Jun 16, 2018

Blueberry, Pecan, and Citrus Zest Pain au Levain

This Pain au Levain, or sourdough bread, is filled with dried blueberries, pecans, and tangelo zest.

Blueberry, Pecan, and Citrus Zest Pain au Levain

This recipe for Blueberry, Pecan, and Citrus Zest Pain au Levain takes over two days to make, but most of that time is hands off, and the long slow rise in the refrigerator really develops flavor.

This is a sourdough bread, leavened with a sourdough starter, or a "levain." The bread is about 42 percent whole wheat with about 85 percent hydration. I was hoping for a more airy crumb, but I never quite get the same results as I do with a formula using less whole wheat.

Pain au Levain with blueberries

This month, the Bread Baking Babes are making Pain au Levain with whole grains and citrus, nuts, seeds, and/or herbs. Our host kitchen babe is Cathy of Bread Experience. She was inspired by Richard Miscovich's book, From the Wood Fired Oven. I happen to have the book, and have loved every formula I have tried.

This bread is super moist and has a subtle sourdough flavor and aroma. The blueberries and pecans, combined with the tangelo zest, are very tasty in this bread.

I used dried blueberries in this bread. They are my new favorite ingredient for fruited bread. They are not as dry as raisins or cranberries, and they are so flavorful. For the citrus, I used the zest from a tangelo, but you could use the zest from an orange or two small tangerines.

Blueberry and Citrus Zest Pain au Levain

Notes on this recipe: This bread is fermented in the refrigerator for the final rise. I prepared the dough a bit early and let the shaped loaves sit for about 15 hours in the refrigerator. Next time I will be more vigilant about only fermenting the dough for 8 to 10 hours.

More notes on this recipe: You will need a very active 100 percent hydration sourdough starter to make this bread. Be sure to feed your starter a couple of times if you've been neglecting it to get it all bubbly and ready.

After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Bread Baking Babes' adaptations of Cathy's recipe.

bread, artisan bread, sourdough, levain
Bread, sourdough
American
Yield: 2 1 1/2 pound loaves

Blueberry, Pecan, and Citrus Zest Pain au Levain

ingredients:

Starter/Levain
  • 46 grams 100 percent hydration sourdough starter that is bubbly and active
  • 227 grams water
  • 227 grams all purpose flour
Final Dough
  • All of the levain
  • 415 grams all purpose flour
  • 275 grams whole wheat flour
  • 500 grams water plus 50 grams to add with the salt
  • 15 grams salt
  • Zest from an orange, tangelo, or two tangerines
  • 130 grams chopped pecans
  • 130 grams dried blueberries

instructions

Day 1: Late Evening - Make the Levain
  1. Mix the starter and water together in a large bowl. Mix in the flour, and cover and let rest at room temperature overnight. 
Day 2: Afternoon - Mix the Final Dough and Shape the Loaves
  1. Pour the water over the levain and mix with a dough whisk or spoon. Add the flours to the levain and water mixture and mix with a wet hand or dough whisk until you have a shaggy dough. Cover and let rest for for 30 minutes (autolyse). 
  2. Sprinkle the salt over the the dough, along with the 50 grams of water. With a wet hand, fold the dough over the salt, and then pinch the dough throughout to incorporate the salt. Add the zest, pecans, and blueberries, and continue to stretch and fold the dough until everything is evenly distributed. Cover and let rise for 120 minutes, performing two stretch-and-folds, twice, every 40 minutes. 
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl. Divide it into two pieces, and pre-shape each into a boule or batard, and let rest, seam side down, covered with oiled plastic wrap, for 20 minutes. 
  4. Shape the dough into a boule (round) or batard (oval) and place each seam side up in a heavily floured tea towel lined basket. Cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place in the refrigerator overnight, for 8 to 10 hours. 
  5. With a baking stone on the lower third of the oven, and a steam pan on the lowest rack, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. You could also bake the loaves in preheated Dutch ovens, lifting the lids after 20 minutes of baking. 
  6. Remove the loaves from the refrigerator. Invert the loaves onto a parchment lined peel. Score the loaves and slide them onto the baking stone, carefully add a cup of hot water to the steam pan (cover your oven window with a towel while doing this), and close the oven door. 
  7. Bake the loaves for 35 to 45 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of about 205 to 210 degrees F. Cool completely on a wire rack. 
Created using The Recipes Generator
The bread baking babes are:
Blueberry and Pecan Pain au Levain #sourdough #bread

42 comments:

  1. Beautiful!! I bet the blueberries really balanced out the strength from the whole-grain.

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    1. They really did Elizabeth. They are so delicious!

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  2. Gorgeous loaves and photos! The combination of blueberries and pecans sounds like a winner. I haven't tried tangelo zest. I bet it's awesome!

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    1. It is. It's very juicy and sweet. Thanks!

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  3. wow, Karen... what a great combination of flavors for a sourdough!

    I haven't baked with my starter in a while, other things occupying my mind and kitchen... (sigh)

    beautiful loaf!

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    1. Thank you my friend. Hope all is okay with you xoxo

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  4. Absolutely love your choices! I would love to try it with cream cheese or Boursin spread on. I bet it toasts brilliantly as well.

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    1. Thanks Kelly! It totally is wonderful toasted. Love your ideas for spreads too!

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    2. Thank you. So can you refresh your starter even if you don’t take any out for a loaf or do you only refresh it when you take from it? Also how often can you make a loaf? I mean does ithe mother need time to rest or be fed or can you make a loaf every day? Sorry so many questions. Deb

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    3. I do refresh it. You have to discard some of it from time to time, or it will grow too big. I think you need to have refreshed your starter within the last 36 hours before using.

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  5. I’ve been wanting to try a sourdough that takes several days to make. My friend makes one that tastes like French bread as I don’t like sour and I love hers. She said it’s because it takes her 2 days that it’s not sour. She also gathers wild yeast. I’m wondering if this bread is sour or mellow? Also how do I make a mother to keep in my fridge and how does one feed it? Thanks. Deb

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    1. This bread is kind of sour because of the whole wheat. If you do an all white bread, you'll have a less sour taste. It also helps if you refresh your starter a couple of times before starting. I keep my starter in the fridge and feed it once a week, although I've been known to go as long as a month. I got my starter from a dried starter from King Arthur Flour. I've never started my own, but mine has been "alive" for over seven years!

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  6. Looks lovely...will try this one soon. I found your advice about using a plastic banneton, and spraying it with oil to add release very useful.

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    1. Wonderful! Thanks for the feedback!

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  7. Blueberries and Pecans?!?!? Is there a more perfect combination for breakfast toast?

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    1. It's a fabulous combination Katie =)

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  8. OMG...nothing beats the aroma of fresh baked bread. There is just so much satisfaction when you bake bread at home. I would devour this. Toasted, slathered in butter....and a cup of coffee. Call it breakfast for me.

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    1. I completely agree with you about the thrill of making your own bread.

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  9. Fresh baked bread is always the best indulgence! I love the flavors from the fruit and zest that you've include in this.

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  10. I love the combination of pecans and blueberries in bread but the aded zest sounds delicious! Your bread looks like a work of art. Would love a slice right about now!

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    1. Would love to share some with you Denise!

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  11. This is just gorgeous, and the flavors must be amazing. That's the problem of whole wheat, to make a denser crumb, but I think it looks fantastic!

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    1. Thank you! We bread nerds are always trying for the big holes.

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  12. This bread looks so delish!! I wonder if I could use fresh blueberries in this recipe? I've been wanting a new bread recipe and this one is definately the one to try!!

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    1. You probably could use fresh, but they might break and dye the dough. Not necessarily a bad thing!

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  13. This bread is gorgeous! I never would have thought to add blueberries, even dried, to a sourdough bread, but I love the idea!

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    1. They are way better than raisins!

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  14. What an absolutely gorgeous loaf! I love the pop of color from the blueberries inside, and the pecans add the perfect amount of crunch. I can practically smell it from here - yum!

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  15. This bread looks more than worth the time it takes to make. Delicious!

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  16. There are no words to express how much I love bread... your twist with blueberry and pecans is amazing!

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    1. Glad to find another bread lover!

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  17. Love the color that the blueberries lend to this bread - so pretty!

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  18. What a gorgeous combination of flavors, and the bread itself is absolutely perfect!

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  19. I love homemade bread! This looks so deliciously crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Gorgeous!

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  20. OMG this looks soooo good. Gorgeous. I wish for a slice right now with my tea. What an interesting recipe. I just HAVE to make this for my family.

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