Tordu is traditionally made in central France. The name is French for bent or twisted. It looks like a cross between a twisted baguette and donut twists.
The dough starter must be made two days in advance.
This is hardy bread; and keeps well in a sealed container for several days. It may be served warm with herb butters, or with dips such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
For the Starter:
2 teaspoon of active dry yeast
300ml warm water
250g durum wheat flour
Prepare the starter two days in advance. In a medium sized bowl place the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, stir and let rest for five minutes,
Once the yeast has rested and is bubbly mix in the flour. When the flour is fully incorporated cover the bowl with a clean dry cloth and place in a warm draft-free place for two days. Stir this mixture twice a day.
For the Dough:
1teaspoon of active dry yeast
175ml of warm water
50g rye flour
325g durum wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
250g of the starter mixture
small amount of cornmeal for dusting the baking pan.
In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in the water.
In a large bowl place the flour. Add the salt and combine. Next add you yeast mixture and starter mixture. Mix until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and with floured hands knead the dough for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic when ready.
Place the kneaded dough into a large oiled bowl and rotate dough until all of it has been lightly coated in oil. Cover with damp warm cloth and let rise in warm, draft free place for about 1 1/2 hours or until double in size. I like to place it on the top of my stove as it pre-heats.
Once the dough is double in size punch it down in the bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes covered with a warm damp cloth.
Shape the Tordu dough into a long loaf resembling a baguette. When you dough is shaped take a stick or piece of doweling and press it into the center of the dough lengthwise until it nearly separates the dough.
You may at this time if you wish sprinkle a few herbs, seeds or grated cheeses on the top of your loaf.
Lifting one end of the loaf; turn it over several times. This will produce the twists. Do not tightly twist the dough. You want the twists loose.
Now place the Tordu loaf onto a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Cover with a warm damp cloth. Allow the dough to proof in a warm draft free place for 1 hour until double in size. I like to place the pan on top of my pre-heating oven.
Preheat oven to 425F
Once the loaf has proofed bake it for about 1 hour or until it is golden brown and there is a hollow sound when you tap the bottom of the loaf. If you would like a very crisp crust mist the loaf with water before placing it in the oven. Also half way through baking pour 1/8 cup of water on the bottom of your oven.
When the Tordu is ready remove it from the oven and place the loaf on a cooling rack.
Let cool. May be eaten warm or at room temperature. Serve and enjoy.
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