Professor Low – an avid home baker and long-time levain aficionado – is interested in the nutritional benefits of levain-fermented bread. From what I understood, he is currently reviewing the existing research. I was all ears, as you can imagine, and can only hope that his synopsis will soon be made available.
The conversation around the table was rendered all the more lively by the fact that Gérard poured Sancerre all around and served a marvelous foccacia covered with fragrant and meaty mushrooms (grown nearby) and other local organic produce.
Gérard kindly allowed me to share his recipe on Farine.
1 flatbread (dough made with firm levain; hydrated at least at 80%; containing 30% freshly milled whole-grain wheat, rye and spelt flours)
400 g shiitake mushrooms, stem removed, sliced (oyster mushrooms can be substituted)
1 leek, sliced and parboiled for a few minutes with a pinch of baking soda (to make it tender)
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Sauté the onion in a mixture of olive oil and clarified butter
- Add the garlic when the onion is golden
- Cook at very low heat for about 10 minutes (do not let the garlic turn golden)
- Add the mushrooms and cook about 15 minutes
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Remove from heat
- Preheat oven at 475ºF/246ºC
- Slice open the flatbread and drizzle some olive oil on both open faces
- Spread the mushroom-onion mix on both
- Grate fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano over the mushrooms
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Sprinkle the cut-up and parboiled leek on top
- Slice and eat hot with a glass of cold Sancerre. Bliss ensues…