bread · Italian recipe · sourdough

Pane al Cioccolato… Senza Cioccolato

Here is a bit of Italian cuisine art to add to your kitchen! It’s kind of weird, perhaps, to combine cioccolato and sourdough in a bread recipe, but I will tell you that it was actually a very good idea! It’s just that I baked this bread senza cioccolato, which means, yes, without chocolate =)

As I needed a recipe for a black bread with my rye sourdough culture, I decided to try this one but alter it so that it won’t be too sweet. Apart from omitting actual chocolate in the recipe, I guess I also diminished the amount of honey and added some ground coffee. This bread is amazing, actually, as it keeps very well and has this cocoa flavour to it, very nice!

Pane al Cioccolato  adapted from thegingeredwhisk.blogspot.com – will make a very soft and chocolaty loaf with or without chocolate =) ATTENTION: requires sourdough starter and quite a lot of time!

Ingredients 

  • Biga Naturale (or starter):
    • 28 g 50% hydration sourdough starter – I used my rye sourdough
    • 32 g (1/4 cup) bread flour – I used all purpose flour
    • 18 g water, at room temperature
  • Final Dough
  • All of the biga naturale
  • 393 g (3 cups) bread flour + I also added some rye & wheat bran+ ground wheat germ
  • 248 g (1 1/8 cups) water
  • 71 g (4 Tbs) honey
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 25 g (4 Tbs) cocoa powder + I added some ground coffee
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 10 g (1 Tbs) kosher salt
  • 78 g chocolate chips – here I decided to swap the chocolate for … pumpkin seeds=)

{outside}

Method (copy-paste from the original recipe)

Mix the ingredients for the biga naturale together in a bowl until everything is evenly distributed.
Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow to sit at room temperature for 8 hours.
In the bowl of your electric mixer- or use your hands, which I did!, mix together all the ingredients for the final dough, except for the chocolate chips!
Knead by machine for 8-10 minutes. – again, hands.
Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.

{inside}


Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead in the chocolate chips by hand, until well incorporated.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
Shape into either a boule or batard (a round or an oval) and allow to sit at room temperature for 3 hours (covered).
Preheat your oven and baking vessel to 200 ‘C. – I used parchment paper + preheated inverted baking tray, which I use to simulate a baking stone =)


Score your bread with a few slashes in whatever pattern you like.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes covered (I used my round glass heat-proof pan), rotate the loaf, and bake another 15-20 minutes uncovered.
When done, remove bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 1 hour.

So, whether with or without chocolate, more or less honey, this bread is something new!

Enjoy baking and keep to the spring mood! It’s in the air (if not in the weather=)

G.

bread · travel

Some St. Petersburg Shots and Breadsticks

Just wanted to share some St. Petersburg images with you that I have made recently. This one is of the famous Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (ex Kirov Theatre), an opera & ballet place, one of the MUSTs of my city if you’re into theatre, of course. The building is huge with a round cupola in the centre as it used to be royal circus, actually, but was re-built as an opera house which it is now.

It’s true I have a special fancy for lamps, I mean, old-fashioned street lights, in combination with outdoor signs and architectural details, they make a perfect target for photos.

No shots of the inside though, as I was there only for a short interview. But you can imagine a gorgeous theatre with royal boxes and gold and velvet and lustres and and and and =) Well, better just come round and see it for yourself!

And a photo without sun… this one is from my another ‘trip’ for job interview, this time the weather was more like winter again. It’s Sampsonievsky cathedral, reflected in the opposite building.

***

Back to my kitchen now… and to a more sunny mood=)

Out-of-this-world Breadsticks  adapted from littledaisyworld.blogspot.com will make salty and a bit spicy soft breadsticks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese – I used just regular cheese
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 3 tsp minced garlic – I forgot it and added some powdered garlic after they were baked
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 3/4 tsp minced fresh basil – yeeeeaaaah, I LOVE it!
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning – haha, I remember how my Caterina the Polenta Girl was surprised to know such thing exists=) had to show her a bag of Russian heeehehe Italian seasoning and translate the list of the ingredients to her
  • 3 cups all purpose flour – I substituted some with whole wheat, so that there’s a bit
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 or 2 Tbs butter, melted

Method (copied from the original recipe)

In a medium bowl, combine water + sugar + yeast; stir and let sit 5 minutes or until bubbly.

Take a larger bowl and combine olive oil + cheese + garlic + basil + Italian seasoning + salt; mix together then add the yeast mixture. Add in all the flour and stir until it comes together as a big lumpy dough. Rub all over with a little olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let it stands for about half hour.

Preheat oven to 175 ‘C.

Flour the surface where you’ll be kneading the dough, then knead the dough on it a few times till it becomes supple.

Divide the dough into 2 parts. Divide each part into 12 smaller parts. roll each smaller part into a rope, twist it a bit before you place it on greased baking sheet – I used paper and also twisted two ropes into one, just like this:

Let the twisted ropes rise again until double in size about 40 minutes. Before baking, brush the ropes with melted butter and sprinkle some more salt and and Italian seasoning.  (I used just salt, and already with the amount of the seasoning I added to the dough, the sticks turned out quite spicy! even my Father did notice that, which is rare=)

Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until they are nice golden brown, remove from oven and brush with melted butter again. (I had to bake them longer as they got thicker by twisting them in twos. And I also added some powdered garlic after brushing them with butter for the second time).

Consume moderately with some greens =) so that you won’t have salt all around your organism!

See you soon with new recipes… and perhaps finally a bit about 90s in the USSR, you see, I haven’t forgotten that yet!

G.

bread · French recipe

Oh Mon Dieu, Ces Baguettes!..

Craving for a crunchy baguette?  Oui-oui! Moi aussi =) It takes some time, but it’s worth it, believe me. And the dough in the recipe I’m going to present you was super smooth and elastic, I just loved it! I’ve told you that this is what I enjoy most, pastry, for example, will never give you such satisfaction as leavened dough (am I speaking as a dough-obsessed? =)

Yesterday I was going to make some falafel as I’m a happy owner of a bag of chickpea flour now, but we ended by making some Ossetia pies with brine cheese and basil, mmmmmm=) my Mom also added some pesto in there.

Classic Baguette  adapted from culinaryflavors.blogspot.com will make 3 supa-dupa-pupa baguettes =) ATTENTION: requires time… but keeps about 2, maximum 3 days, had to eat the remaining piece with caramel pudding today, as it was already quite hard to chew
Ingredients

For the starter

  • ½ cup + 3 Tbs cool water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch of instant yeast

For the Dough

  • All of the starter
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup + ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 400 g all purpose flour – I had to use more
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar – I didn’t add it

Method (copy-paste from the original recipe)

For the starter
Put everything in a bowl and whisk until they are incorporated. Place a clean towel on top and let it stay at room temperature for 14 hours. It is better to do this the evening before the morning you want to make the baguettes.
For the dough
The originla recipe called for a mixer with paddle attachment, but for the lack of these I used my good ol’ hands. Just put the starter and all the dough ingredients in a bowl and… Start mixing then knead for 5 minutes. Oil the bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 1 hour. After this hour deflate it and let it rise again for another hour. You do this step once again. This procedure requires as a total 3 hours.
Divide the dough into three pieces and let them rest for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, flatten each one to a rough rectangle. Fold it over lengthwise and seal the edge with fingers. Flatten it again and fold it again and seal it the same way. Turn the seam side down and roll gently.
Place the baguettes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with a towel and let them rise for about half an hour.

{this is my impromptu couche for baguettes – just parchment paper with flour}

In the meantime preheat the oven to 200° C.
After this half hour, spray the loaves with warm water and make three diagonal slashes with a sharp knife in each baguette.
Place them in the preheated oven and let them bake for 20 to 30 minutes (mine required just 20 min.). Be sure to bake them long enough. They should appear almost charred in spots.

The result will be visual, ok?

and just one more=)

Hm, it seems I’m more in the baguette mood today rather than telling you about the USSR in the 90s. Yesterday we finished watching that strange film called Plumbum, or A Dangerous Game (1986, USSR), very very much telling about the era and at the same time outstandingly well filmed for those decadence times (+ music from one of my favourite soundtrack composers). It appears to have won at the Venice Film Festival, actually! It is about a boy who is not only a very witty and rather unusual-looking one, but also gets himself involved in tracing down criminals and outcasts etc in a very grown-up and self-confident (or better boisterously self-confident) way. But in the end his girlfriend dies, falling off the roof… I guess that should such a movie be filmed nowadays or even in those harsh 90s, it would have been much much … harsher. Mom says, harsh words and cool mafia guys entered the movie scene right in the 90s. We’ll tell you about them, eventually.

Ok, will return with more things to tell you about, I’m on a ‘bake-off’ holiday as I call it, because what’s the best pastime when you’re at home and have to wait for ideal job offers? to BAAAAKE non-stop :^)

G.

cookies · Italian recipe

Crackers + Pesto

Mmmm, finally, polenta appears on my blog! The bag of real Italian polenta I was chanceuse to buy in that Stockman store is almost empty, so I need to go to Caterina the Famous Belluno Girl to replenish my stocks, haha =) I made polenta according to classic instructions (from the pack) and today we fried it in such small sticks and it was great! We also steamed some broccoli. This is all cause I’m still unemployed, people =)

I have an idea to write about 90s in Russia, a dark and crazy period which not all of us survived (not kidding) and just exactly the period corresponding to my most precious childhood years. We watched half a movie from 1986 (USSR) yesterday and the times were already daaaark then. Especially if you compare the films from 80s to even 10 years earlier, or 60s.  Ok, this will come, and I will finally return to my USSR saga!

Savoury Oat Crackers made as seen umaskitchenexperiments.blogspot.com  will make salty crusty crackers without that much of oaty flavour

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats – I used our Russian variety called Hercules (quite large and hard oats)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs all purpose flour – I had to add a bit more
  • 1/2 tsp salt – I guess I added a bit too much… or perhaps my butter was salted, I just didn’t mind it
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 Tbs walnuts / cashew nuts, finely chopped – I opted for walnuts
  • 1 egg, well beaten – I used less than 1, as the mixture got already quite sticky
  • sesame seeds – I guess black sesame will be nice here to, or a mixture of both

Method (copied from the original recipe)

1) Preheat the oven to 180 ‘C. Grease the baking tray with butter or line it with baking parchment (which I did). Spread out the sesame seeds in a wide plate.
2) Mix rolled oats, unsalted butter, plain flour, salt, dried thyme and cashew nuts in a mixing bowl. Lightly rub them using your finger tip.

3) Add beaten egg little by little till you get the soft dough. It is not required to use the full egg here.
4) Once the dough is ready, make a gooseberry size balls and roll them in sesame seeds to coat lightly and evenly.

5) Place the balls in the prepared baking trays. Make sure to leave enough space between dough balls (mine did not spread much).
6) With the help of a rolling pin or hand, roll over the balls to flatten them as much as possible (I used my good ol’ hand=).
7) Keep inside the oven and bake it for 12- 15 minutes or until it is pale golden (mine took 15 min.).
8) Cool the baking trays for 3-4 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rock to finish cooling.

The recipe is for just a small stack of crackers, so if you want to feed a crowd, double/ triple the recipe for your needs.

***

I also tried making some pesto today, I guess, Italians will never call this pesto though…

My small food processor worked hard but it managed with the task =) So here is a basic recipe, but you can can alter it to your taste, which I – as is impossible to avoid in my case – did.

Parsley Pesto   adapted from thishomemadelife.com  – will make an anti-flu appetizer spread (with all those cloves and mustard)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley – I also added some basil and dill, what I had on hand
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon dried, rubbed sage– for the lack of sage (we usually use it to prepare gargle solutions when you have a sore throat) I used dried mint, you can see quite distinctly ‘logs’ from it=) I had no idea there were such hard dried sticks
  • 1 clove garlic – I added three tiny cloves + French grain mustard which haha expired some time ago, but we still try to finish it
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 5 Tbs olive oil – I added less, but I guess it’s better to stick to 5 Tbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – I added some grated cheese but much less

Method

Place all ingredients, except cheese, in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Transfer to a small bowl and stir in cheese.

It’s as simple as that!

We used it as spread for the crackers and bread, and I also tried it with polenta and broccoli. I guess it will also be nice for spaghetti and as an extra flavour for pie fillings (this is exactly what I am about to do tonight).

Our winter is lingering stilllllllllll, just doesn’t want to let spring enter our gris world here. But we’re patient.

Tssss! I have some prospects for my future employment… We’ll see!

G.

cookies · sweet

Double Citrusy Heaven

The winter should go away enfin, don’t you think? So here are two recipes to boost your weakened immune system with some vitamin C and also make your belly and palate satisfied=) Some time ago I already offered you a citrusy recipe, Soft and Chewy Vanilla-Orange Cranberry Cookies. This time here are cookies and a cheesecake with both oranges and lemons.

I’ve recently tried making some Greek χαλβάς which also required orange syrup – actually boiling an orange in halves in water+sugar. I managed to use even the mesh from this orange, as it got very sweet from 3 cups of sugar=) and what was also left – almost caramelised zest – surely was stocked for some future use. The halva / halwa was soft and more like a cake (it’s not the type of halva made from seeds, and you might imagine that instead of almond meal I used flax meal which is more available here and less costly), huge – occupying the largest square baking tin I have – but I failed to make a photo of it… (the recipe is in Greek, so it’s kind of authentic). So these bits of zest stuck in my mind and were nagging at me to use them =) and here what I finished baking:

Citrusy Ricotta Tart  adapted from elrasbaking.blogspot.com  will make a large cheesecake with a distinctive citrus flavour

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe for basic sweet pastry dough I used the suggested recipe for the second time already, but added… yes, how could I keep myself from adding some flax meal to it? So that’s why my pastry got its colour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 100 g semolina flour
  • 2 medium size Meyer lemons, zested and juiced – I used just two regular lemons, and also preserved some zest
  • 425 g ricotta – I used almost 2 * 250 g packs of 5% fat cottage cheese (tvorog)
  • 3 medium size eggs
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel (use the link to see the recipe from the original site), optional – which I did add:

Method (I’m copying the original recipe with my adjustments)

First, you have to make the pastry for this cheesecake, I used the recipe offered by Elra and as suggested, left it for 1 hour in the fridge before rolling it out. Once you have the pastry dough prepared according to your favourite recipe, prepare the tart shell, by rolling the dough larger than your spring-form, which you should line with parchment paper. I also buttered the sides. Transfer the rolled dough to the pan, and gently press the sides using your fingers. Using a rolling pin trim off the excess. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, heat the milk over medium heat, add semolina flour, stir until semolina turn into porridge consistency (mine became just like mannaya kasha (traditional semolina porridge) in no time). Add lemon juice and the lemon zest, stir for couple more seconds. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Preheat oven to 190 ‘C.

Once the semolina has cooled, place it into a mixer bowl, add ricotta, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Using paddle attachment (this I did by hand, as I have no paddle attachment for my hand mixer from the 1990s=), mix the ingredients on a low speed into a smooth batter. This only take for a minute or so. Scrape the batter into the tart shell. Scatter candied orange peel on top if desire. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tart is set and still slightly jiggle in the middle when the pan is gently shake. Cool completely before serving. (I baked for some 15 minutes more as it still seemed toooooo jiggly, but then I got the idea that it will steady itself somehow in the fridge, so I took it out finally).

The result, you ask? The cake doesn’t seem that much once you try it=) The flavour it has is definitely citrusy, and the texture is very cheesy, I mean, even though I didn’t use real ricotta here, via the natural reaction between the citric acid and the cottage cheese, the final curd became as if granulated. Keep it refrigerated as it’s cheesecake, isn’t it.

***

And here are some cookies, can you believe it, I finally made glaze and moreover it was really not too liquid as it usually turns out due to my inability to add that much powdered sugar? =) I also used gold & silver powder to decorate the top.

Triple Berry Orange Shortbread (adapted from www.sprinkledwithflour.com) will make  zesty cookies with much to chew on=)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar – I added more
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest – I used the zest I have in my freezer and it was not that finely grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried berries (I used a mix of cherries and cranberries)

Method (copy of the original recipe)

Preheat oven to 170 ‘C. In a small bowl combine the sugar and orange zest, rubbing the zest into the sugar with your fingers. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and sugar mixture. Cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and starts to cling (here I had to drop my trick to use less butter as my dough just wouldn’t cling). Stir in the chopped berries. Using your hands, shape the mixture into a ball, kneading until smooth. Don’t worry if it looks like a crumbly mess at first, the longer you work it, it will form into a smooth ball.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough until 1 cm thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles (I used various shapes and also rolled the dough thinner than suggested). Reroll scraps as necessary. Place the cookies apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bottoms just begin to brown (mine were ready in less than 20 min). Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 tbsp orange juice (I used milk), drizzle glaze over cookies. Eat and enjoy!

I have already spoken enough of the result, these cookies are great! I love the berry part of them too, my Father even thought there were some nuts in them, ahaha =))

The sun is shining just in my face and it seems it’s already spring out there, though it’s not. Russian northern spring always takes time to finally come into its full power.  Wish me luck and more positive thoughts, I need that.

G.

bread

Super Soft and Crunchy Bloomer Bread

Mmmmmmm, basil! They inspire me=) And also perfectly matching the spring mood which I hope will keep my spirits up. But actually this herb is not the hero of my post today, but the aroma it spreads each time I open the bag with these wonderful leaves. But it’s just that the bread which I baked yesterday and tasted today at breakfast, has created this connection somehow.  The thing is hat I just couldn’t keep myself from adding something extra to a supposedly all-white bread, so I added some flax meal which in its turn added this slightly violetish colour, as well as a bit of health, I hope=)

Each time I plunge my hands into dough, I realise that is what I enjoy most – bread baking! Yesterday, when at the same time I was making this bread, pastry for a cheesecake and cookie dough (both coming soon), each time I switched back to this soft pillow-like yeast dough, my hands as if were telling me ‘yep, girl, that’s what’s best of all!’

I happen to have fresh yeast again and I was searching for a recipe of what I call ‘artisan’ bread, as I also miraculously happen to be AGAIN unemployed now and so have enough time to bake whatever I like with frequent va-et-vient towards my laptop to check the headhunter website I’m mostly using. However, this recipe turned out to be a very lazy one, though it requires time – but you will not spend it kneading or  doing anything else with the dough.  Look here:

Bloomer adapted from tasteofpearlcity.blogspot.com  – a lazy recipe which will make a perfect loaf, soft inside and crunchy outside!

Ingredients

  • 675g  unbleached white bread flour – I used regular all purpose + about 25 g of flax meal
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 15 g fresh yeast – don’t forget to get some for the recipe
  • 430 ml lukewarm water

For the topping

  • 30 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt – this is what made it so crunchy and chewy, I suppose!
  • poppy seeds for sprinkling – here they are:

{my bread gained its strange form because when I turned it over before slashing, the seam side got on top and at 230 ‘C it just couldn’t resist the heat and broke off like this}

{but it’s even better, hm?}

Method (I’m copying the recipe)

Combine flour, salt, yeast and water together to make smooth dough (here I first diluted my yeast in water and then added the mixture to the flour blend and salt), transfer the dough to a work surface, sprinkle with  flour and knead the dough smooth and elastic for at least 10 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl, covered with oiled cling film and leave it at  room temperature to rise for about 5 to 6 hours or until doubled in bulk (I left it for 6 hours).

Knock the dough back, knead it again for 5 minutes, cover the dough and leave it in room temperature for 2 hours or more (I let it rise just a bit over 2 hours).

Take the dough, knock the air back, roll it into a rectangle, shape it into a log shape, place it on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. Turn the loaf over and place on a greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper), make 6 to 7 diagonal slashes on top using a sharp knife, cover and leave it to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 230 ‘C. Mix the salt and water together and brush it on top of the loaf, sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Spray the oven with water and bake the bread immediately for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200 ‘C (here I got lost in my computer and forgot about the time, so I did it only about 7 later, and decided to keep baking the bread at less than 200 ‘C as it was already quite brown on the top) and bake for 25 minutes or until golden on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

But the result is amazing! I’m telling you! The dough was giving off some distinctly yeasty smell while rising, I was afraid the finished bread will do the same but no such thing! The bread is wonderful, with the extra boost from flax meal it got even more interesting than a regular white bread.

And here is the special guest of our recipe – flax meal:

and these are the seeds the flour is made from:

Happy baking!

G.

sourdough

Sourdough Pancakes, as Promised

As promised (yes, quite a lot of days before) – pancakes! These are not traditionally Russian, as taken from King Arthur Flour website, one of my favourite sources for recipes, nor will you bake them as quick as … pancakes=), I mean, to make them was quite easy but there’s overnight sponge, so be prepared for some efforts!

And one more thing… I will be officially UNEMPLOYED (oooooooooooooooooooooooooh) from 15th March. Now on my own request, so to say. I just could not stay there any more, I need to be active, to grow, to think… and I guess there’ll be a long and difficult period before I really find ANYTHING. Haha, today I also got FIRED (he used the word DISMISSED) even without being actually EMPLOYED! =) after such a treat, and also after two days at that posh store+restaurant I decided to keep FAR FAR FAR away from such a world. I felt as if I was back to the Russian 90s, really. So here we go again, off to a new search of an ideal workplace!

But the good thing is… the spring is slowly on its way to us, right???

The recipe is for waffles too, but I don’t have the device, so here are the pancakes (actually, more like French crepes, because in Russian blini = crepes and pancakes are small and thick, and what I wanted were CREPES, so I used the batter for larger crepe-like pancakes).

Classic Sourdough Pancakes  adapted from www.kingarthurflour.com – will take time to prepare but the result will be a pile of chewy thick pancakes! ATTENTION: needs sourdough starter + a total of about 13 hours to make… I’m copying the recipe

Overnight sponge

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk – I made mine by mixing kefir and milk
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, unfed – I used my rye sourdough that you should already know well=)
  • all of the overnight sponge
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter – I used sunflower oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt – I added less as I know my starter to be quite salty (without any salt in it…), but my parents said some more salt could be just right
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Pancake batter

1) To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated starter, and remove 1 cup.

2) In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup starter, flour, sugar, and buttermilk.

3) Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.

4) In a small bowl or mixing cup, beat together the eggs, and oil or butter. Add to the overnight sponge.

5) Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble! (Wooohooo, at this stage you will have a very strange mixture which will then turn into this, especially after adding soda!)

6) Pour batter onto your preheated griddle. (Here you can surely make pancakes, but if you manage to quickly turn the pan, you’ll get crepes. The batter will be quite thick and resisting any further spreading).

add some butter…

stack them one on top of another with an obligatory buttering between crepes… and enjoy!

Result: Perfect warm or keep them in fridge covered for a nice breakfast (you can warm them up a bit with a slice of cheese in a microwave, for example). Or eat them warm with some chocolate mousse, as my parents did=)

Forgot to say, that today is far from Pancake Day, of course, we’re celebrating Women’s Day here in Russia. So, les femmes, all the best to you!

G.