Smoky Chili Bread

Bread has an incredible significance that exists well beyond daily sustenance. It represents our ability to engage in a community of people who all cooperate in support of its production from the seed saver to the farmer to the miller, the baker to the consumer. I am a firm believer that if we honor and live our passion, we have the ability to heal our community. Bread baking distributes nourishment to our friends and has the power to build bridges to our enemies by sharing what we love.

Bread baking can also be a very meditative activity, especially in times of distress. It takes us out of our thinking brain and into the sensations of our body. It focuses our attention on the here and now and encourages unnecessary distractions to recede. When making this recipe, inhale the perfume of your starter, engage your hands in the mixing of the flour and water, and watch attentively with your eyes as you notice the dough rise in response to your gestures.

This recipe is my table loaf, whether I make it with or without the chilies. When a neighbor is sick, a family member seems blue, or I feel a little guilty for making a snarky combover joke, this bread is my olive branch. Elevate these loaves by purchasing bread flour, whole wheat, and rye flours from Greenmarket Grains.

By / Photography By Ngoc Minh Ngo | May 29, 2018

Ingredients

  • 175 grams 100% hydration sourdough starter, refreshed (fed)
  • 520 grams water, room temperature
  • 45 grams mild honey
  • 525 grams bread flour
  • 140 grams whole wheat flour
  • 30 grams whole rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground smoked chilies (such as chipotle)
  • 17 grams fine sea salt

Instructions

Combine the ripe leaven, water, and honey in a large bowl, stirring to combine. Add the flours and ground chilies (if using) and mix with your hands until hydrated and no lumps remain. Cover with plastic and allow to autolyze (rest) for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix until completely incorporated. Cover with plastic and allow to bulk proof for 3-4 hours, gently turning and folding the dough onto itself every 30-45 minutes. Do not punch down the dough.

When the dough is puffy and almost doubled in size, gingerly remove the dough from the bowl without degassing. Divide in half on a well-floured surface and preshape into loose round forms. Place seam side down and cover with plastic, allowing the gluten to relax for 10-30 minutes. Final shape into tighter boules with increased surface tension and place seam-side up into floured bannetons or a couche. Cover with a towel and then plastic and refrigerate for at least 8 or up to 36 hours.

Bake in a Dutch oven preheated to 480 degrees for 20 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and lower the oven temperature to 470 degrees. Continue to bake for an additional 12-18 minutes or until the top is a deep dark brown and the bottom sounds hollow when thumped with your fingers.

Ingredients

  • 175 grams 100% hydration sourdough starter, refreshed (fed)
  • 520 grams water, room temperature
  • 45 grams mild honey
  • 525 grams bread flour
  • 140 grams whole wheat flour
  • 30 grams whole rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground smoked chilies (such as chipotle)
  • 17 grams fine sea salt
Subscribe
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60
We will never share your email address with anyone else. See our privacy policy.