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Morel Thyme Bread

Think of Ann Marie and Dave Tingleff’s Pellston-based business, Local Eats, as a farm market that comes to your door. Say you want farm fresh eggs and a couple pounds of locally raised pork chops waiting for you when you get home from work (and really, who wouldn’t!)? Well, that’s what Local Eats does. When they aren’t forging relationships with farmers and customers within a hundred mile radius of Pellston, the Tingleffs love testing local food recipes in their kitchen. Try the recipe for their morel thyme bread!

Ingredients

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1⁄2 cups warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour, (both will work)
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons salt
  • 4–5 dried morels, crushed into small pieces/powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1⁄4 cup finely shredded Reggiano cheese

Preparation

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, morels, thyme and cheese. Add dry ingredients to yeast and water, stirring until blended. This is a dry-ish, stringy dough and you will need to use your hands to completely blend all the dry into the dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise for 12 to 18 hours at a warm room temperature.

Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle flour on dough and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes. Using minimal flour, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dishtowel with flour. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour. Cover with another towel and let rise 1 to 2 hours. The dough will be ready when it has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat the oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (we use a Dutch oven) in the oven while it heats. When the dough and the pot are ready, carefully slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. Shake the pot a touch to distribute the dough toward the middle.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned and crispy. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and cool on a wire rack for at least one hour before slicing.