It's getting cold here in Basel and I'm homesick, so I made my version of comfort food: chowder in a bread bowl. Chowder is one of those things that just makes your whole body feel warm no matter how sick, cold, grumpy or cranky you might be. Plus if you eat your bowl, there are less dishes to clean.
Sourdough Bread Bowls (Makes three medium sized bowls or two large ones):
150g 100% hydration sourdough starter
425g bread flour
1. Mix the mix the starter, flour and water to a shaggy mass. (N.B. "Shaggy Mass" is going to be my new band name.) Let rest for 30 minutes.
2. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix thoroughly using the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
3. Repeat the “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 30 strokes 2 more times at 30 minute intervals.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, and do one stretch and fold.
4. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Note the volume of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
5. Repeat the stretch and fold on the board. Reform the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl.
Allow the dough to continue fermenting until the volume has increased 50%.
6. Put the dough into the fridge until the next morning, about 20 hours.
7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface. Divide into three equal parts and loosely shape into rounds. Let rest for 60 minutes.
8. Shape into boules and left proof in baskets or supported by tea towels for 30 to 45 minutes.
9. Preheat oven to 460 fahrenheit.
10. Slash and load into ove. Bake with steam for 20 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes longer, until they are golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 205 fahrenheit.
11. To make bowls, cut down into the top in a circle, not all the way through. Then use your hand to tear out the middle in one piece. Serve the middle on the side for dipping.
Chicken Corn Chowder:
4 cups of milk
1 cup diced potato
1 cup diced carrot
1 ear fresh corn (or one small can of corn)
1 medium sized chicken breast
4 strips bacon
1 cup water
2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut corn off cob, set both aside.
1. In a heavy pot bring carrot, corn cob (just the cob), milk and a few sprinkles of salt to a simmer on low heat. Stir often.
2. Meanwhile cook bacon until crispy. Set aside.
3. Cook chicken in bacon fat over medium high heat until cooked through and golden brown. Set aside.
4. Add potato to soup.
5. Shred chicken into bite size bits.
6. In a separate bowl whisk together water and flour to make a slurry.
7. When the vegetables are just tender, add the chicken, corn, nutmeg and slurry.
8. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes until thickened.
9. Check for salt and pepper, then ladle into bread bowls.
10. Top with crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar.