Pistachios are one of my all-time favorite nuts. Their brilliant green hue is such a beautiful color and their unique, earthy flavor is all the more enhanced when they are toasted or baked. Pistachios are delightful paired with blueberries. In this blueberry pistachio sourdough, dried blueberries bake with pistachios for a chewy bread, filled with sweet and savory notes. When baked, the dried blueberries create a jam-like consistency so you don’t even need any actual jam. Blueberry pistachio sourdough makes for a self-contained toast with a pat of butter or the flavorful bookends of a sandwich.
for the levain
- 14g sourdough starter
- ½ cup / 63g all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup / 80g water
for the loaves
- 2 ½ cups / 650g water, divided
- 20g kosher salt
- 5 cups / 625g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup / 63g whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup / 127g pistachios, shelled
- 1 cup / 159g dried blueberries
- Day 1 (overnight) make the levain in the evening and let rest ~10 hours
- Day 2 (morning) mix, stretch, fold dough ~4 hours
- Day 2 (afternoon-overnight) bulk fermentation ~12 hours
- Day 3 (morning) bake for 55 minutes.
The night before you are going to bake your bread, mix together the starter, all-purpose flour, and water until evenly combined. Cover in plastic wrap and let sit for 10-12 hours until the surface is bubbly and a small bit (about ⅛ teaspoon) of the starter floats in a glass of water.
In a large bowl, mix together the activated levain and 550g of the water until the levain completely dissolves. Add the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour and mix with your hands or a rubber spatula until it forms a shaggy dough. Let this mixture sit for 1 hour to let the flour fully absorb the water, this is the autolyse stage.
After the dough has rested for an hour, evenly sprinkle the salt over the top then add the remaining 100g of water. Pinch and squeeze the dough with your fingers to make sure that the salt and water evenly incorporates.
Starting at the top of the bowl, stretch the dough up and fold it in half over itself. Turn the bowl clockwise 90° and stretch and fold it once again. Turn the bowl twice more, each time 90° and stretch and fold each time, for a total of four stretches and folds. Then let the dough sit for 30 minutes.
At this point, sprinkle half of the pistachios and dried blueberries over the top of the dough. Using your fingertips, press them into the dough and begin the first stretch and fold of the series. Turn the bowl and stretch and fold once more, then add in the remaining pistachios and blueberries, once again pressing them into the dough with your fingertips. Stretch and fold the dough twice more then let rest for 30 minutes.
Repeat the stretch and fold process every 30 minutes followed by a 30 minute rest over the next hour and a half for a total of six stretch and fold sequences, including the one adding in the mix-ins.
Following the final stretch and fold, let the dough rest for 30 minutes then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Work with one piece at a time and fold the dough from four corners, essentially making four flaps which join in the center of the dough.
Dust two bannetons or large bowls lined with dish towels with rice flour and place the loaves seam-side up inside. Place in the refrigerator to ferment overnight.
Once the loaves are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500°F and place two 5 qt. Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pots in the oven to heat. If you only have one, you can bake the loaves back-to-back. Test that the dough is ready to bake by lightly pressing it with your finger. If the indent moves back quickly, the dough is not ready to bake. If it keeps the indentation, then the dough is ready!
Turn the loaves out onto a piece of parchment paper with the top of the loaf as the part that was inside the banneton or bowl. Slice the top in a pattern of your choosing to ensure that the steam can release and the dough can rise to its full potential.
Lower the oven temperature to 450°. Remove the heated dutch oven, place the dough inside, cover, and bake for 20 minutes without removing the lid. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 35 minutes until crisp. Repeat with the second loaf if you are baking the pistachio blueberry sourdough loaves back-to-back.