After yesterday’s success making cider squash muffins, I wondered if other baked goods could be improved with cider. I decided to try out cider instead of water in my 2-3 white bread.
Now, it wasn’t a controlled experiment. I had leftover rice and oatmeal as well as two beaten eggs from an egg wash. I threw them all in the bread. Because the rice and oatmeal were already cooked, I didn’t need to change the hydration of the bread. Eggs are only 75% water and therefore add only 90g to the 500g, an increase from 66% hydration to 78% hydration but I couldn’t really feel a difference in the final dough.
For this recipe, which makes two loaves, you will need:
750g all-purpose flour
500g apple cider
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal or rice (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
- Mix together all ingredients in a very large bowl.
- Once everything is mixed together, let it sit for ten minutes, then shape it into a ball.
- Cover your bowl and let it sit 8-12 hours until doubled in size. Then divide the dough in half and shape into balls again so the top is smooth. Place each one upside down into bannetons if you have them.
- Cover the bowls with a tea towel and place the bowls in the refrigerator for an hour. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with a dutch oven inside. When the time comes, upturn one of the bannetons into the dutch oven and score the top with a razor blade. Cover the dutch oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then bump the temperature down to 375 for a second 15 minutes. For the final, third 15 minutes, remove the lid of the dutch oven. What do you think? The crumb was so, so soft (probably because of the eggs, and the milk in the oatmeal). I also think the apple cider performs the same function as a sourdough starter, making the dough slightly acidic to inhibit amylase enzymes and make the crumb nice, fluffy and chewy. The cider also gave the bread a subtle but tasty tang. I’ll be making more cider breads in the future!