The term ‘table bread’ usually refers to a loaf that is good for many different meals, a workhorse. I like it as a name for this bread because the thing itself reminds me of a table: long and flat-ish with a wide plane, sturdy, good for holding things. You can’t taste the rutabaga per se, but like most root veg add-ins, it lends a very subtle sweetness and a lasting softness to the crumb. It’s a sneaky way of getting tons of moisture into a dough and keeping whole grains very supple. You can use whatever root you have on hand.

437g whole wheat flour (recently-milled and lightly sifted if you have the means, reserve the bran)
340g water (+ 5-10g as you mix)

80g active wheat or rye levain
9.5g salt 

130g boiled rutabaga, smushed until mostly smooth (you can also use steamed root veggie here)

To make, use the Foundational Loaf method with a couple changes:

+ A long autolyse dramatically helps a 100% whole grain dough. Don’t skimp here, give it at least an hour.

+When you’re ready for your second fold, smear the counter with some water. Place the dough on the big wet spot and spread it into a large rectangle with moist hands. You want the dough to be about 1/2” thick or less. No big deal if it rips a little. Spread the rutabaga on it, then fold the top third down and the bottom third up, like a letter. Next, fold the dough up from one of the short sides until you roughly have a square, then tuck the edges under themselves to form the dough into a ~ball. Rest and continue as the recipe states. But:

+If the dough feels unmanageable after the addition of the rutabaga, do your next few folds on a damp counter, not in the bowl, and focus on folding it like a sweater rather than coiling or tucking the dough on itself. The veggie mixture will work its way around the dough over the next hour or two. You’ll keep finding pockets of moisture and slop but so long as you’re gentle and firm, by the end of your mixing you should all be better adjusted.

+If you sifted the bran from your whole grain, sprinkle some of it in along with the rutabaga and dust the rest into your banneton before you put the shaped dough inside. Now you can really call your bread ‘whole grain’. See? Sneaky.


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