Bread, Soup and Crackers

Spring is oh so quick here – it’s almost summer, I know, but I mean this leap (GIANT) from a very cold and uncomfortable kind of spring to this blooming, bird-singing and sea-windy type, with weather characteristic rather of June, was so fast!

I’ve baked this wonderful Sourdough Seed Bread the recipe for which you will find at breadmakingblog.breadexperience.com with detailed instructions. ATTENTION: requires sourdough culture (I used rye but that did not give much of colour to it, it’s more like ‘white’ bread) and some time, apparently =)

The recipe will make 2 large loaves - as the author suggests, I made one oval and the other round, but instead of putting them in baskets for rising once they were shaped, I just placed them on paper.

The changes that I – inevitably as always – made were using golden flax + regular brown flax seeds for the soaker, and rye bran added to rye flour instead of whole rye flour. I also skipped the overnight rise for the dough (which is optional anyway) and thanks to unusually warm weather my loaves rose perfectly in some 5 hours.

Here is a new hero – Onion Crackers from www.ecurry.com – which I enhanced with some black sesame, basil and paprika instead of coriander leaves and chillies.

And now I would like to continue our Leftovers saga a bit… here’s a way to use up your bread that unfortunately has become too stale even to cut=)

So welcome Tuscan Bread and Tomato Soup which I found on www.nytimes.com - also known as pappa al pomodoro. The author does not recommend using sourdough bread as its flavour is troppo forte =)  But I used … sourdough bread, moreover from rye sourdough culture, which doubtlessly adds even more flavour and perhaps also sourness (that’s true). Not used to almost mono-ingredient soups, we added diced potatoes (and they just wouldn’t cook! so we had to simmer the soup much more than 10 min), paprika instead of chili, one grated carrot, but the main alteration was to use less bread (and also not discarding the crust, which I think is a waste) and pour more water. Actually, we even had to add more potato water (water left from boiling potatoes, do not throw it away!) after the soup had its overnight stay in the fridge. Overall, the soup is quite nice, something like a cross between a soup purée and what we call ‘hlebny sup’ in Russian (=bread soup), as the latter has this sourish taste, especially if bread is left to brew a bit, similar to the way kvass is made.

And we’re actively using our windowsill-grown basil, mmmm, such a luxury to pick your own fresh basil and put it directly in your plate!

My job contract is running out, one week left, and I have to admit I’m glad. No more state enterprises, please.

G.

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