elderflower sourdough bread

I came across a bakery in Calabria once that was filled with the scent of elderflowers. I was intrigued and found out they were making elderflower bread. Delicious. This recipe is a ciabatta-based version of this. There is also a sweetish variety in Lombardy called pan meino, using cornmeal flour and polenta, there is a recipe here.

200 g elderflowers, stems removed
470 g flour
70 g fine polenta
20 g salt
30 g olive oil
600 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter
360 g water

You can find a recipe on how to make your own sourdough starter here or you might get some at an artisanal bakery, which will be the best as their culture will be mature and very active.  In the bowl of a kitchen machine fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, salt, olive oil, starter and about 250 ml of the water. Mix on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until the dough comes together. Add the remaining water little by little until the dough develops stringy gluten and reaches a consistency that is quite light and soft, this will take another 5 minutes. The dough will still be very sticky at this point!

Pour the dough into a well-greased, wide container. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 30 minutes. Fold the dough after 30 minutes and repeat after another 30 minutes and then again after another hour.

Split the dough into the separate portions that you need for the individual loafs. Take a rectangular cake tin, line with a cloth and dust liberally. Shape the dough, dust liberally with flour and lay into the tin. Cover and rest in the fridge.

After 7 to 12 hours, take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature, about 3 hours.

Preheat the oven and baking stone or baking sheets to 270 degrees Celsius. Put a spare baking sheet at the bottom of the oven.

Tip the dough out of the cake tin, dust heavily with flour and lay it upside down onto baking parchment, dust the top with flour. Slide baking parchment onto the hot stone or baking sheet and immediately put into the oven. Quickly pour a cup of water into the bottom baking sheet to create steam and immediately shut the oven door. After five minutes, lower the temperature to 230 degrees Celsius, open the door to let heat and steam out.

Bake for another 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven an let cool on a wire rack.

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