Life is funny. When I first drafted this post I was planning to talk about how cold weather is perfect for hibernation and filling your house with heartwarming scents, but at the time, it had been an unusually warm, snowless winter. As if on cue, it’s been snowing really hard since I woke up this morning. I think I’ll stay indoors a little while longer and cut myself another slice of this bread. It’s the perfect thing to hole up with on a day like this.
Cider, Apple & Barley No-Knead Bread
1 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
Measure out dry ingredients into a large bowl.
approx 1 1/4 cup apple cider
1 1/2 tsp mulling spices
1/4 cup pearl barley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp malt vinegar
In a small pot, heat apple cider with mulling spices just until boiling, then remove spices and add barley. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, then pour out into measuring cup. The barley and apple cider together should measure 1 cup (if too much, remove some of the liquid; if not enough, top up with more apple cider). Add malt vinegar and egg to cider and mix well.
Pour the cider mixture into dry ingredients, combine thoroughly, cover with cling wrap and allow to rise for about 18 hours.
1 apple, peeled cored & diced in 1/2″ pieces
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
Toss apple with flour, spread out in a single layer on a pan and bake at 300F for 25-30 min. This will ensure the apple does not make the dough overly wet when it is mixed in.
After the first rise, turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold in apple chunks.
Place dough in a bowl oiled with vegetable or canola oil and turn to coat. Cover, place in a warm location and allow to rise for another 4-5 hours or until it doubles in size.
1 tbsp raw cane sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Place a heavy, lidded, oven-safe pot (I use a 2.25 qt Staub cocotte) in a cold oven and preheat the oven to 450F.
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
When the oven and pot are fully heated, turn the dough out into the pot and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes is up, uncover the pot, turn off the oven and let sit for another 10 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and let cool for an hour in the pot, then finish cooling completely on a rack to allow the sides and bottom of the bread to firm up.