Harvest Bread for World Bread Day 2015

World Bread Day 2015 (October 16)

Für das deutsche Rezept bitte hier entlang.

Usually my Blog is in German only. There are so many differences in the food quality characteristiques and my blog is rather small and regional that I just think translating it isn’t worth the effort (you might change my mind, though..). Yet, Zorra is doing such a great job at creating an international bread basket for this year’s world bread day, that I decided to translate this recipe all the same. I hope you may overlook the imperfection of my English and enjoy the recipe nevertheless. Just ask in case something isn’t clear enough.

It wasn’t hard to find an idea for my contribution to World Bread Day 2015. I love the autumn, I really do. Yet sometimes the weather is just awful. That’s the moment to turn the beauty of this time of the year into a tasty harvest dish. Have you ever taken a walk through the colourful Ticino forests where you can pick up more chestnuts and hazelnuts than you can possibly eat? That’s when the idea of a chestnut bread crossed my mind. It just seemed to be the right thing to bring the richness of this season into a crusty loaf of bread. I’m already looking forward to soak up the gravy of a Thanksgiving turkey (or in my case Christmas turkey) with this nutty bread.


Rye Sourdough
10 g starter
100 g dark rye flour
100 g water

Bread Dough
200 g rye sourdough
400 g plain brown wheat flour
250-275 g water
5 g fresh yeast
11 g salt

220 g pealed chestnuts
40 g hazelnuts, roasted

  1. Sourdough: Mix starter, water and rye flour in a high, narrow container. Cover it and let it ripe for about 18 hours at a warm spot, 28°C would be perfect. It should at least double its volume.
  2. Blanch the chestnuts until soft. Frozen chestnuts take about 5 minutes. Fresh chestnuts have to be cooked for nearly an hour. Let them drain and cool down before adding to the dough.
  3. Roughly chop and roast the hazelnuts. Let them cool down.
  4. Bread Dough: Mix rye sourdough, wheat flour and 250 g of water. Let it swell for 30 minutes. You can skip this part and knead the dough immediately, yet it will be harder to get a good gluten structure. Add yeast and salt. Knead the dough and add the remaining 25 g of water, if it is too firm. Knead until the surface is smooth and tight. The dough shouldn’t stick to the bowl anymore.
  5. Work the drained, chilled and roughly chopped chestnuts and hazelnuts into the dough.
  6. Let it rest for 90 minutes. Stretch and fold after 30 and 60 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven with a baking stone or a baking tray to 280°C.
  8. Shape the dough into a batard. Let it proof in a banneton for 50-70 minutes. The exact time depends on your room temperature and sourdough activity.
  9. Baking: Cut the dough surface in diamond shapes (approximately 0.5 cm deep) and bake for 60 minutes at 280°C falling to 210°C. Add steam directly when putting it into the oven. Remove steam after 4 minutes by quickly opening the oven. Reduce the temperature to 210°C (don’t leave the oven open, just let it fall slowly). For an extra crusty bread: Three minutes before your loaf is finished (after 57 minutes), reheat the oven to 280°C and bake with the oven slightly open.


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