Ploughman’s Lunch Platter
A popular English pub lunch, seen in Marion Eaton’s When the Clocks Stopped!
A crunchy slice of Sour Dough Country French Bread on a platter with cheese, here Blue Cheese and Aged Cheddar, Gherkin pickles, softened butter, hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, a crispy radish, marinated veggies—we have dilly string beans—and a spicy peach chutney. And of course a great stout beer, Guinness from nearby Ireland.
Branston Pickles are a favorite and I’ll make them for the next time I do this platter! Keep you posted.
If you have the time, it's well worth making this Sour Dough Country French Bread. So very good and is a delicious anchor for this platter.
Yield: 2 large or 3 medium loaves
Step 1: Starter
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1 cup warm water
Mix together in a bowl or large jar, cover and let rise for 12-24 hours.
Step 2: White Sour
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 unbleached flour
All of starter
1/4 cup rye flour.
In a large bowl, mix together until smooth. Let rise 4 hours.
1 cup warm water
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups White Sour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2-3 cups bread flour or unbleached white flour
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
Flour for dusting work surface
Oil for greasing bowl
Cornmeal for dusting baking sheet
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water. Stir until dissolved and wait until it bubbles, to make sure the yeast is active.
Add White Sour, whole wheat flour, 2 1/2 cps bread flour and salt, Mix with large wooden spoon until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and holds together.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead, adding more flour gradually if dough is to soft or sticky. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. The dough should push back when you press it.
Place dough in oiled bowl, turn to coat and cover.
Allow dough to rise 30 minutes.
Punch down dough, shape into a round ball, cover and let rise another 30-40 minutes.
Punch down again, divide into 3 loaves for 3 medium loaves or in half for 2 large loaves.Shape into balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal.
Cover loaf with a flour dusted towel, place in a draft free spot and allow to rise until doubled, about 45-50 minutes.
Brush loaves with warm water and with a sharp knifes score the top attractively with several cuts.
Preheat oven to 475.Place an ovenproof dish on the bottom rack. Place the bread pan on the middle shelf of the oven. Carefully fill the ovenproof dish on the bottom with boiling water or 4-5 ice cubes. Do not open the oven door for 10 minutes.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.This depends on the size of the loaf. The top and sides should be hard to touch. Let cool on a wire rack.
For freezing: let bread cool to room temperature. Wrap in saran wrap and then aluminum foil or a zip lock freezer bag. May freeze up to 3 months.
Tip: If bread browns too quickly, place a piece of aluminum foil on top of each loaf.
from Secrets of a Jewish Baker
Gluten Free: Use only Gluten Free Flour.
Whole Wheat: Substitute White Whole Wheat flour for half the Bread Flour.
Baguettes: Shape into long, thin loaves, about 2 inches in diameter. Shorten the baking time.
Save time: While the slow starter adds a fabulous taste, if you need a quicker baking process, add 1/4 teaspoon yeast to the Starter.The first rising should take about half the time.