Beaujolais-Chorizo Bread

dsc03529This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found in Saveur magazine, who got it from Frederic Lalos, baking superstar and owner of Le Quartier du Pain in Paris.

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I tore it out a while ago, waiting for an excuse to make it.

Something that jumped out at me is the fact that each of the main ingredients (bread dough, wine, and chorizo) are all fermented food products.  Without bacteria and yeast, these delicious foods would not exist!  Really makes you think.

I went to two different specialty stores before I found a place that sold both really good chorizo and really good Beaujolais.  I ended up at Arrowine. The employee there saw I had wine and sausage and encouraged me to take a look at the cheese selection.  Ordinarily I would’ve been all over that, but I told him what I was using them for and he was really interested (or he was humoring me).  Anyway, thanks local business!

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My tips for cutting up the chorizo: remove the casing and use a bread knife, not a chef’s knife (I know that’s a chef’s knife in the picture).

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Anyway, the recipe is pretty simple: you make a quick little starter that ferments for four hours, then add the chorizo and wine, let it rise another hour, shape, and bake.

I had a thought of adding parmesan or manchego cheese to up the Spanish flavor and make it more like picnic bread, but I thought too many salty umami-like ingredients might make it taste musty.

Also, it would probably be good to make the recipe first as written before tweaking it 🙂

Mostly.

I made some tweaks.

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For the starter, you will need:

1 3/4 cup bread flour

1 cup water (recipe calls for less water but I found the dough to be too dry)

1 tsp yeast

For the dough:

All your starter (the recipe calls for 1/4 cup.  Why make a huge batch of starter if you don’t use all of it???)

4ish cups of bread flour.  The recipe calls for more, but I found 4 cups was perfect

1 2/3 cups Beaujolais or fruity red wine.  Don’t spend too much.

1 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon salt

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the starter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Cover and let rise for four hours.dsc03517DSC03523.JPG
  2. Punch down your starter and add your wine, yeast, salt,and two cups of bread flour.  Mix slowly to combine, then add the rest of the flour one cup at a time until it comes together as a dough.  Switch to the dough hook and knead for five minutes.  Add the chorizo and knead another five minutes.  Cover the bowl and let rise for an hour.DSC03524.JPG
  3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and let your dutch oven heat up while the oven preheats.  DSC03525.JPGDivide the dough in two and shape into a boule or whatever shape you prefer and let rise another 45 minutes to an hour.DSC03526.JPGI used my bannetons and refrigerated my loaves for the final hour.DSC03527.JPG
  4. Bake your dough for 15 minutes with the lid on at 500 degrees, 15 minutes with the lid on for 375 degrees, and 15 minutes with the lid off.
  5. Let cool completely before slicing.  Or mail a loaf to your friend in Houston for her birthday.dsc03528This bread really packs a punch.  The chorizo is very intense, so a few bites is all any of us could really muster.dsc03531There is a definite musty element from the chorizo, but I was disappointed in the wine’s impact.  It didn’t affect the color (maybe it was slightly browner than usual), and the fruity flavor you might expect from a Beaujolais wasn’t there.  Maybe I could make it again with just the chorizo to see.  This seems like the kind of bread that would do well if you toasted it and topped it with cheese, either a mild creamy cheese or a hard cheese.  In any case, it was a fun experiment!

2 thoughts on “Beaujolais-Chorizo Bread

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