This recipe is from Carol Field’s The Italian Baker – I figured I’d give it a shot, especially since I don’t think I’ve ever met a mushroom I didn’t like. I wouldn’t put this recipe in the “beginner baker” category, as it actually takes quite a few steps, relies on some initial cooking, and results in a dough that is not particularly standard-feeling.
If you try this one, at the very least you’ll need some experience knowing how to tweak the amount of flour needed to get a workable dough, and since the majority of the mushrooms get added during the shaping phase, you need some more advanced kneading experience to work them in right while still getting the dough shaped correctly. It’s worth the effort, but it’s not recommended for people not already comfortable with normal bread baking.
Step 1: The Porcini Mushrooms
1. Take 6 or 7 dried Porcini mushrooms and soak them in 1 3/4 cups of very warm-hot water.
2. After about an hour and a half, remove the mushrooms and pat them dry, roughly chopping them up in small pieces.
3. Reserve the water.
Step 2: The Fresh Mushrooms
1. In a skillet, add a teaspoon of minced garlic to a tablespoon of oil
2. Add 8oz of chopped fresh mushrooms to the skillet.
3. Sautee the mushrooms until slightly browned
4. Allow them to cool down.
Step 3: The Dough
1. After warming up the porcini water to 100 degrees or so (warm), add 1 1/4 teaspoons of yeast to the water in the mixing bowl (if you are using a mixer)
2. After 15 minutes (when the yeast becomes cloudy), add 3 cups of flour and 1 tablespoon of salt
3. Use the dough paddle on medium for about 3 minutes
4. Using the dough hook, add another cup of flour, or until the dough is more or less capable of being handled (it should be somewhat more wet, so it shouldn’t be that easy to handle).
5. Add the porcini mushrooms to the dough
6. Use the hook on medium for about 3 minutes
Step 4: First Rise
1. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl
2. Cover with a towel and let it sit for 3 hours
Step 5: Second Rise and Shaping
1. You can either split dough into two pieces, or just leave it as one piece
2. Punch down dough and knead into a circle (if you want a round loaf)
3. Add half of the fresh mushrooms
4. Fold over the ends in making the round loaf, each time adding some more mushrooms to each fold over.
5. Shape into ball, and let sit, covered, for 3 more hours.
Step 6: Oven
1. Preheat to 400
2. Make a few slashes with a razor
3. Put dough in oven, let bake for 1 hour, turning it after 30 min.
Step 7: Eat
1. Eat. It is a good tasting bread on its own, even better toasted!