Trent and I have been self-isolating here in Glenwood Springs, CO like so many of the rest of you out there. With all these emotional ups and downs, some days it feels like a struggle just to focus, let alone be productive. On the upside, we are stuck here with all the mushrooms that we have foraged over the years. We’ve been experimenting lately with lots and lots of mushroom recipes. Frozen, fresh, freeze-dried, pickled, confitted, dehydrated – we have stored mushrooms so many ways over this last year. What better way to stave off the virus blues than to do some baking and utilize some of these mushroom stores – that is if you can find some flour in your neck of the woods! Don’t panic, it will be back 🙂
A few years ago we participated in the Yachats Mushroom Festival in Yachats, Oregon. If you get the chance to check this out – do! It’s a wonderful little town on the Oregon coast and a fantastic mushroom fest. One of their events was a community dinner that included lots of locally cooked and foraged food. It was exceptional, but the most memorable element for me was a chanterelle bread that they served. Ever since then we have been on a mission to figure out how to make a flavorful mushroom bread. Let me tell you, we’ve had lots of fails. It seemed no matter how many mushroom chunks or powdered mushrooms we added, nothing would impart flavor. Bread, just tasted like bread. Snooze. But after consulting a family friend and bread master (thank you Bill Poseta!), we finally found something that worked!
I want to share the bread recipe with you. It is a modification from Jim Lahey’s NoKnead Bread Recipe which you can find in his book: My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, seriously so many good bready things in this book! The very best part about this bread is the simplicity – you mix up the ingredients and then you wait, and then you wait some more. For the patient baker, it’s a no brainer. This “fermented” bread has a crunchy crust with a chewy delicious interior and something about the fermentation process allows the bread to pick up that mushroom flavor that we so desired.
And, hey Colorado – my absolute favorite mushroom to use in this bread (trust me we have tried a LOT of different mushrooms and combinations) – Hawkswings! That’s right, this will give you a reason to fill your baskets with those beautiful Sarcodons in August instead of passing them by. Also great: porcini, chanterelles and morels – duh.
You will need a dutch oven or a cast iron pot with a lid as well as Saran Wrap and parchment paper. Feel free to experiment with your mushrooms in this bread. For example, since Hawkswings can be bitter, we often omit the powder and just use the mushrooms and their rehydration liquid. Black trumpets weigh nothing, so you can easily use a lot less of them in the bread and impart the same flavor – in fact they make the bread black, it’s wicked cool!
So without further ado, here is a recipe for a mushroom boule that will rock your world.
Yield: One, 10 inch round loaf
3 cups bread flour – (we have found All Purpose Flour also works if that is all you’ve got!)
2 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 ⅓ cup (300g) cool water (55 to 65 degrees F) – use cooled mushroom soaking liquid, add water to make up the rest
½ teaspoon ground thyme
½ large onion, diced, sautéed in 1 teaspoon of oil and cooled to room temperature
Mushrooms if using dried
45 g (approx 2 cups packed) dried wild mushrooms (rehydrated and chopped but not cooked)
25 g (approx ½ cup) powdered wild mushrooms
If using dried mushrooms, you will likely need a few extra tablespoons of water in your dough.
Try this recipe with dried porcini, morels or hawkswings (Colorado). Feel free to modify the dried amounts based upon desired flavor. Strong flavored mushrooms may require less powder.
Mushrooms if using frozen
250 g (approx 1 ½ cup packed) wild cooked and frozen mushrooms. Chop into small pieces and drain well. Try with chanterelles, hedgehogs or lobster mushrooms.
If using dried mushrooms, begin rehydrating right away. Cover with boiling water, submerge for 30 minutes. Rehydrated mushrooms do not need to be cooked prior to adding to the dough (however if using morels, sauté with onions just to be safe and to ensure toxins are fully heat released). Reserve, filter and cool the soaking liquid and substitute for water below.
In a medium bowl stir together flour, salt, yeast, mushrooms, sautéed onions and thyme. Add water or mushroom soaking liquid and using a wooden spoon mix until you have a wet, sticky dough – about 30 seconds. Dough should be wet and sticky to the touch, if not add an additional tablespoon or two of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure you have a good seal. Use a rubber band around the top of the bowl if your plastic wrap does not stay in place. Let sit at room temperature (~72℉) for 18 hours (or a bit longer is ok), out of direct sunlight until the surface shows tiny bubbles and the dough has more than doubled in size. Don’t cheat on time, this fermentation process is the key to flavor!
When time is up and fermentation complete, transfer dough into a large bowl. First line the bowl with parchment paper and spray top of parchment with nonstick cooking spray. Center and plop the dough ball on the paper, making sure you have enough parchment to cover all sides of your cast iron pot. You will be transferring the dough and paper right into the cast iron pot later and using it during the baking process. Lightly fold parchment over dough and cover with a towel. Careful, the dough will stick to the paper so fold over gently.
Pay attention to timing here, you will want a hot oven when the dough is ready! Place dough in parchment under a heat source such as a lamp and let rise for another 60 minutes. Turn on your oven after 30 minutes and heat to 470℉ – place cast iron pot and lid in oven while oven is coming up to temperature.
Once the final rise is complete, transfer the parchment and dough into your HOT cast iron pot and cook covered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove lid and cook uncovered another 15 minutes. Pay attention here and check after about 10 minutes – if your oven runs hot, the crust could burn.
Remove bread from oven, pot and parchment. Place bread on a cooling rack for 1 hour. Again, don’t cheat on time, the bread is best cooled for at least 1 hour.
Enjoy! Store unused bread in a brown paper sack or perforated bread plastic to keep fresh for up to a week. It may feel just a bit too moist just an hour out of the oven but will even out after it reaches room temperature.
Do you have a favorite mushroom bread recipe that you would like to share? We’d love to hear it. Please leave us a comment!