bread · sourdough

Bring Some Artisan Bread to Your Life

No good news about my job yet. I guess I’m either too demanding or just a fool =) I mean, I know very well there’s not such a thing as an ideal job, but I’m always unsatisfied with what I find. Ok, here are more interesting things, two bread recipes – of a black sourdough bread (which is not that much black though) and of a white bread with poolish. If you happen to have quite a lot of spare time for such time-consuming loaves, believe me, you will love the result!

Sourdough Seed Bread  adapted from youcandoitathome.blogspot.com will make 2 large loaves loaded with seeds but yet soft and well-preserving. ATTENTION: requires a sourdough starter and time… but worth it!

Ingredients

Levain build

  • 136 g bread flour
  • 170 ml water
  • 2 Tbs mature culture – I used my rye sourdough starter

Soaker

  • 3/8 cups flax seeds
  • 190 g water

Final dough

  • 698 g bread flour – I used all purpose flour
  • 74 g rye flour – I also added rye & wheat bran + toasted wheat germ
  • 108 g sunflower seeds, toasted – I swapped them for pumpkin seeds
  • 54 g sesame seeds, toasted
  • 320 ml water
  • 1 Tbs + 1/2 tsp salt
  • all of the above soaker
  • 306 g liquid levain (all less 2 Tbs) – I used all

Method (copied from the original recipe with my remarks)

1. Making the levain build 12-18 hours before making a final dough: Mix it until it’s all combined and leave it in a covered container at room temperature.

2. Make the soaker at the same time of levain build and put it in a covered container.

3. Final dough: mix  all the ingredients together, except salt, until all flour is hydrated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or bag and sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes (to autolyse).  – here I forgot my dough for 1.5 hours…

4. Sprinkle salt over the dough. Knead the dough by hand for 15-30 mins (depending on your speed and strength). The dough should have a medium gluten development.

5. Bulk ferment the dough in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or bag for 2.5 hours, with one or two folds during fermentation (if doing one fold, do it after 75 mins. If doing two folds, doing each fold with 50 mins interval). – I did two folds.

6. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Shape the dough into either boules (rounds) or batards (ovals).

{I like this one with a strange protruding hmmm head? =)}

7. Retard the dough in the fridge overnight (you can also bake the breads on the same day by adding one teaspoon of instant yeast during mixing the final dough. Proof the shape loaves for about 1.5-2 hours, until almost double in size). I did the retard.

8. Next day, take the two pieces of dough out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours while pre-heating the oven. Bake at 238 ‘C for 40-45 mins.  – I opted for 1 hour of ‘warming-up’ and then for 40 mins baking. I also had to cover the loaves with aluminium foil as the tops started burning too much.

But the result is amazing – if toasted twice (!) this bread is even more deserving=) And I guess it will also make wonderful rusks if you dice the bread, coat the pieces in olive oil+garlic powder/pepper/salt/herbs (or all of them) and toast in the oven for some time (I usually switch on fan for several minutes), flipping them over at some point.

***

Here is the second recipe for today, white bread perfect for breakfast.

Couronne-Shaped Country Loaf adapted from fabfoodblog.blogspot.com will make a pretty looking and nicely tasting round loaf  ATTENTION: Requires preparation in advance (12 hours)

Ingredients

Poolish:

  • 120 g white bread flour – I used all purpose flour
  • 120 ml water, at room temperature
  • 3 g instant yeast

Bread dough:

  • 200 g white bread flour
  • 60 g rye flour + I added some toasted wheat germ
  • 100 ml water, lukewarm – I had to add more
  • 3 g instant yeast
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 0.8 tsp salt

Method (copied from the original recipe with just a bit of my remarks)

Twelve hours before baking, prepare the poolish by mixing all the ingredients in a dish. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment.
Prepare the bread dough.
Take out about 15-20 ml of the lukewarm water, add the sugar and the instant yeast. Leave for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.
In a large and deep dish, mix together the white and rye flours with the salt. Add the yeast mixture and the poolish and mix, gradually adding the leftover water until the dough aggregates. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, adding a little flour if necessary.
Shape the dough in a ball, place in a lightly oiled container, cover with a damp towel and leave to ferment for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch the dough to degaze it. Shape the dough as a boule (round ball) by pushing its bottom side inward, increasing surface tension. Poke a hole in the middle and stretch it outwards to obtain the couronne shape. The diameter of the hole should be about 7 centimetres.
Place the dough on a non-stick baking sheet, cover with a damp towel and leave to proof for about 45 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 250°C.


When the oven is ready, place a small oven-proof dish on the bottom, and add boiling water to it (I usually use my cast iron skillet). Dust the dough with flour and slash it with a knife. Place in the middle of the oven and toss a little cold water on the oven’s sole to generate steam. Close the oven door.
Bake at 250°C for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 230°C and keep baking for about 20 minutes.
Leave to cool on a rack for two hours before serving.

The result is both visual and pleasant for the palate=) You can imagine that it disappeared really quickly!

I made some lemony-lemony double layer cake yesterday, before presenting it to you, first I should try it, of course!

See you in some time…

G.

UPD Nathan’s Lemon Cake I made was really juicy and sweet, if you happen to have some lemons around, I’d recommend this recipe! For sure I missed the moment when there was at least one piece left of it to snatch a photo… =)

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