Sourdough Bread for Maslenitsa

Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Raisins

Have you seen the sky? It’s oh so spring already, the light is different and the days are long. Well, who cares if there are tons of snow and they’re predicting a snow storm until Friday? Probably spring is my favourite time of the year, because it’s not that predictable or determined as summer or winter (although who can be sure now about the weather…). I have my special music for each season and I think I’m going to listen to some of the spring choices soon, to pour more oil on flames, so to say. And the nature also provides its own music – the seagulls’ crying (these you can hear here even in the bathroom, through the vent window), the March cats yelling madly under our windows and the birds very busy chirruping. The spring here is always windy and sandy and sunny at the beginning. And even though the crazy sun can make your head ache, you cannot but welcome the spring eagerly. This is the Maslenitsa week (the Orthodox Carnival), when blini (Russian blini are large just like crepes) are baked and a sort of a lady-scarecrow impersonating winter is burnt at the end of the week. I haven’t made the sourdough blini once again yet, just these whole-wheat pancakes, but I’ve been baking some sourdough bread recently that I wanted to share with you.

Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Raisins

{with smoked Adygea cheese}

Sourdough bread is always a challenge for me, you never know – even with a sourdough starter lively bubbling away – whether it will turn out… bread or a soggy lump. But I like being challenged and I love the procedure as much as the result. Well, I can compose odes about the bread, you know : ) There are not that much recipes on the net requiring the rye sourdough starter, usually just a sourdough starter, but I’m using my rye sourdough instead, and rarely do I feed it with white flour – because what I’m aiming at is normally a brown kind of bread for lunch / dinner. If a recipe asks for just white flour, I add some bran or substitute a part of it with rye / wholewheat flour. This one, for example, was initially a ‘white bread’ recipe with just a tiny addition of wholewheat and rye:

Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Raisins

Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and (NO) Raisins adapted from will make two wonderful loaves – tight from the outside but airy inside.

The recipe asks to feed your sourdough starter on all purpose flour, but as I fed it with rye before choosing a recipe, I thus turned it to rye bread from the beginning. And then with the addition of rye bran… however, it did not look very rye-ish, there was still much of white flour in it. I used less walnuts and omitted raisins completely (my principal eaters still cannot admit things can be sweet and sour at the same time).

The bread will take time but it’s worth it:

Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Raisins

I baked my loaves for less than 40 minutes and at 180 ‘C at the end of baking. And I can tell you, I really enjoyed their sight when they came out of the oven! Very neat loaves and cute too 😉 and with great crust (I floured + slashed the tops)!

Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Raisins

{still some winter light – cold, blueish and thin, it was in February that I took the photo}

Result? Absolutely worth the effort! Two lovely loaves are just enough.

Enough for some time, I mean. And then you take another recipe and here it is:

Brown Sourdough Mountain

Might look weird but if you knew that this bread – while still in its dough state – travelled some 20 km on a bus to be baked, you will not judge by the appearance! The bottom of the dough boule which when inverted turned into the top of the loaf, got stuck to the floured towel and I had to struggle with it for some time before the bread was ready to be baked. I couldn’t even slash the top so I just baked it as is. So, the recipe:

Brown Sourdough Mountain (I like the name!) adapted from will make a large loaf of malted bread – choose your flavours for it too.

The thing is, this recipe was not supposed to be rye either. Nor were there any flax and coriander seeds that you can spot in the crumb:

Brown Sourdough Mountain

The recipe said ’20 g multi grains’ – and so I added flax and coriander (we bought some fresh coriander leaves recently and I realised I like its well-pronounced flavour after all!) seeds, chopped sprouted rye grains and rye bran. The dough took in more flour also because I scalded my rye malt with boiling water (the original recipe asks for roasted malt). Such malt surely made the bread even more brown and flavourful – and when I though about the flavour while mixing the dough, I automatically came up with coriander, to accompany it:

Brown Sourdough Mountain

As for the procedure, it’s of course quite lengthy (especially if you choose to retard the loaf in the fridge which I did for about 6 hours – and this after it took a bus ride of course) but as the author admits, worth the waiting. Look at the air pockets in these slices:

Brown Sourdough Mountain

This bread is more crumby and definitely more brown although there’s not that much rye flour in it, as a matter of fact. I couldn’t really spot the sprouted rye grains in it and the flax seeds are rather somewhere in between, but the coriander seeds are a good match for it indeed. And we do not mind the appearance, of course ; )

Brown Sourdough Mountain

I’ve had much of a laugh today when completing first an IQ test (God, I’d love more mathematics and logical things in life!) and then some sort of a eeeehm psychological test to determine your personality, I guess, with statements (true / false) ranging from ‘I suffer diarrhea once a week’ through ‘I love mending key holes’ to ‘I sometimes see things’. Guess how excited I am to read the results tomorrow at the local disoccupation centre! (if they let such a laughing psychopathic maniac leave the room, of course ). Who knows, I might even get to understand what my true occupation should be…



4 thoughts on “Sourdough Bread for Maslenitsa

Say something...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s