Harvest Loaf

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Harvest Loaf

Packed with whole grains, nuts, and dried fruit, this Harvest Loaf is the warmly spiced autumnal bread we’ve all been waiting for. This bread’s amazing flavor all starts with poolish. For those unfamiliar with poolish, it’s a type of pre-ferment traditionally used in the production of French breads. Although it requires a little forethought, the use of a pre-ferment like poolish gives unmatched flavor and texture to this loaf. Platinum® Yeast from Red Star® is combined with a flour blend and water to create the poolish that gives this loaf its unmatched rise and texture. The crisp outer crust gives way to an incredibly tender and delicate crumb. The chewy bites of dried fruit and added crunch of nuts are the perfect finishing touch to this brilliantly textured wonder. Whether served toasted with a pat of butter or smeared with a healthy helping of apple butter, it’s sure to become a new classic on your Thanksgiving table.

Harvest Loaf

Harvest Loaf
Makes 1 boule
  • Poolish:
  • ½ cup (120 grams) lukewarm water (80°F/27°C)
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package Platinum Yeast
  • ½ cup (64 grams) bread flour
  • ½ cup (63 grams) whole wheat flour

  • Dough:
  • 1 cup (240 grams) lukewarm water (80°F/27°C)
  • 2¾ cups (349 grams) bread flour
  • ½ cup (63 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 3½ teaspoons (10.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) tightly packed orange zest
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) chopped nuts*
  • ¾ cup (96 grams) dried fruits* (chopped if larger than a raisin)
  • Water, for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons (12 grams) old-fashioned oats
  1. For poolish: In a large bowl, whisk together ½ cup (120 grams) lukewarm water and a pinch of yeast. Add flours, and stir thoroughly until smooth and no dry bits of flour remain. Cover bowl loosely, and let stand at room temperature overnight. Reserve remaining yeast in an airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, whisk together 1 cup (240 grams) lukewarm water and remaining yeast; add poolish. Add flours, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and orange zest, and beat at low speed for 4 minutes. (Dough will come together; it will not be smooth but should not tear when pulled gently.)
  3. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 30 minutes.
  4. Using wet hands, fold dough in bowl by grabbing underside of dough, stretch it up, and fold it to center of dough. Do this 4 times around bowl. Add nuts and dried fruit to dough; using wet hands, squeeze nuts and fruit into dough until evenly distributed. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 30 minutes, repeating folding dough in bowl. Cover and let rise until smooth, soft, and doubled in size, about 30 minutes more.
  5. Line a proofing basket or a medium bowl with a linen dusted with flour.
  6. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using your fingertips, gently press dough into a disk (about 1 inch thick). Grab bottom edge, and gently stretch and fold bottom third over center third. Stretch right side out, and fold right third over center; repeat with left side. Finish by folding top third over previous folds. Roll loaf away from you to seam side down, and using both hands, cup dough, and pull it toward you to seal. Rotate dough 90 degrees, and pull until a tight smooth boule forms. Place in prepared basket or bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until dough is puffed and jiggles when basket or bowl is gently shaken, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. When dough has about 20 minutes left to rise, preheat oven to 500°F (260°C). Place a Dutch oven in oven to preheat.
  8. Turn out boule onto a piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Brush tops and side of loaf with water; sprinkle with oats. Using a lame or razor blade, score top of loaf. Carefully remove Dutch oven, and using parchment to help, place boule with parchment into hot Dutch oven. Cover with lid, and place in oven.
  9. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until bread is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C) to 210°F (99°C), 10 to 15 minutes more. Immediately remove from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
*We used pecans and walnuts for the chopped nuts and raisins, dried apricots, and dried golden figs for the dried fruit.


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