bread

Good to Be Back Home Baking Bread

I’m back from a rather long trip to Kirov and Syktyvkar (and I’m now certain that Kirov is a more foodie and overall more hmmm adapted-for-life place), I’ve brought over a kilo of rye malt (yep! imagine the smell in my suitcase… and my head full of real Russian black bread baking – expect a post on that!), some rye flat bread and sweet Armenian bread that you pay for by weight. What I did like about these cities from the foodie side is that you can still get there what seems to be lost here, in St Pete. Happy children there can still buy kalach (crown-shaped white bread) and sayka (pull-apart white buns) whereas our glamorous St Pete kids devour too-industrially-looking-over-packaged-standardized-etc-etc goods. Now I understand why that kiosk selling bulochki (buns) near the bus stop is quite popular – it’s not defrosted puff pastry strawberry pies they’re selling there but good ol’ baked stuff.

Really, I do have to ponder on this matter a bit more extensively one day, cause bulochki believe it or not were those daily things of a Soviet life, also because they were a kind of Soviet fast food option. I just wish you could travel back to the bulochnaya (bakery) with wooden shelves and a long metal fork to check the freshness of the bread (remember, there used to be several grades of freshness in USSR! you can go to my post on this and other Soviet ehm food particularities). You were standing there confronted with all those tempting bubliki(ring-shaped usually with poppy seeds on top. Did you know there’s an equation for the bublik shape?), baranki (a smaller version of bublik made famous through a Soviet children’s story made into a cartoon Tsvetik-Semitsvetik, well, at least for me – the girl was eating those sugary baranki that she had purchased on a string (that’s how sushki, twice baked small bublik, are also traditionally kept) and you WANTED them too!), karavay of Darnitsky khleb etc etc and you can guess the aroma was amazing. Sorry for all those ‘in the brackets’ comments – once I start talking about bulochki and bread in general, I have immediately all those hyperlink-style thoughts in my head.

It’s a pity I have such a few Soviet recipes here, I’ll try to somehow make up for it in the future. For the time being, check Jam Envelopes, Nina’s vatrushka or Sochni of Arkhangelsk (BTW, going there again, I mean to Arkhangelsk, in just a couple of days).

Well, for those craving for a nice loaf of soft white bread regardless where the recipe comes from, here’s what you should try (I did it as soon as I arrived from the airport=):

Soft Honey Seed Bread adapted from www.guardian.co.uk will fill your kitchen with probably the best aroma there can be + make your morning a really GOOD one. The author says you can make several loaves but I opted for a rather large loaf and baked it without a tin.

A year agoQuiche à la Tanya & Georgia

My changes, as usual:

– as for the flours, my choice was wholewheat flour + cornmeal

– for the liquids – less honey (finally finished my Greek honey) and smetana instead of yogurt (well, the fat content increased with that, of course).

I did not slash the loaf and actually baked it directly on the baking sheet which I preheated along with the oven. The loaf took about 30 mins to bake and it was already too much black-brown at the end, so I took it out without waiting for the required 40-50 mins.

{the seeds in this bread are great, really. The colour’s from the already winter sun}

The result – great sandwiches – especially with Italian butter 😉

Listening to Ella Fitzgerald and already making Borodinskiy Bread with rye malt, so stay tuned!

G.

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3 thoughts on “Good to Be Back Home Baking Bread

  1. Hi! thanks for revoking long-forgotten memories of what “bulochnye” looked like in the 70s-early 80s! =) Like going back to my childhood for a moment! Congrats on your so successful shot at Borodinsky!. Do you think there is any sense in trying to reproduce at home the kind of very dark, heavy, just a bit sweet Finnish bread (probably resembling our Karelsky of old a little)? This was my favourite among the breads I tried in Finland, I think it has a lot of rye malt and probably molasses (?) in it.

    1. Thank you, Irina! About that Finnish bread – i think they do put quite a lot of ‘solod’ there and probably molasses or dark honey. And I’m sure they make it – still – at home! You’ve inspired me to try and find some recipe now, hehe 😉

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