bread · sourdough

Black and White Sourdough Bread

I’ve been thinking a lot these days (each job interview for me is a bit / a lot like talking to a psychiatrist) and my conclusion is something like this – It’s not the time, energy, etc spent on job search that makes you feel sad, it’s the realization of yet another wrong attempt to adjust yourself to something completely not ‘yours’ that is so disappointing. BUT, there’s spring and it’s time for spring cleaning – in all possible meanings and directions. And new life that’s joining in the spring crescendo.

Look how this tiny brave-heart flower struggles its way through the twig!

new life

This was taken at our dacha (which is to the North-East of St Pete, there’s a particular climate there as we’ve noticed), where the snow has just gone away and the earth is drying itself up under the crazy springtime sun (the sun was actually so intense that I noticed the ‘trick’ of this new flower only after zooming in on my computer). And the flower wants to become just like his eldest brother:

first flowers

The nature will see to that. It will also welcome to this crocuses the first butterflies and bees:


So delicate… Could not resist (the bee shot was too blurry):


The nature has everything in place – the old berries and the new buds on the same bush, the new life will soon overcome and the old will be forgotten, becoming the food for the new. Nothing is useless. I think that only humans are capable of littering this whole planet up.

old and new life

Off with the spring session, on to the recipes still waiting in the line to be posted (oh those lines, a characteristic trait of the Soviet times of which I’m in no way nostalgic!). This post is about black and white sourdough bread – not that the bread is b&w, of course! I’m just sharing with you a recipe of a more rye-ish bread which we call ‘black bread‘ in Russia (mostly to accompany your lunch or dinner OR great with sweet&sour varenye – for the true gourmets!) and a less so bread which we’d call ‘white bread‘ here (for breakfast). Let’s start from the lighter sourdough bread:

Wheat bran, oats and anise rolls

The rolls’ rye content is provided only by the starter. BUT there are other things you would certainly like – suffice to read its name:

Wheat Bran, Oats and Anise Rolls adapted from the anise flavor while this bread is baking will please even those who have bitter childhood memories of the cough syrup 😉
WARNING: the procedure will require two days! But don’t worry, it’s not that complicated.

Wheat bran, oats and anise rolls

What I changed:
Added spelt bran + sprouted rye and wheat grains to the dough ingredients; used oat flour for the topping. As for the shaping, I made just 8 rolls.
The bread proved to be quite well resistant to keeping it for a long time, perhaps because it’s divided into smaller rolls.

Wheat bran, oats and anise rolls

See the indentations? Fork. The original recipe tells you to stab them, ohooh.) And the good things inside? Here they are:

Wheat bran, oats and anise rolls

Bran, flax seeds, grains, anise seeds. And here are the rolls with the stabbing monster and some corks (just for fun):

Wheat bran, oats and anise rolls

The cloth is a Russian traditional linen towel, very thick and, well, quite old. The recipe is not Russian at all but I was in the mood for this towel.

Result: shaped as rolls, this bread is perfect for breakfast but also with any meal – we ate it as ‘black’ bread and I even tried it (shhhhh) with jam. the anise flavour is not that acute and if you wish you can just skip it.


Hungry for even more good things? Yep!

Walnut & Rye Sourdough Bread

Now presenting the ‘black’ sourdough bread (a lot more rye-ish) from a blog I discovered just recently thanks to a friend’s blog:

Walnut Pumpkin Seed & Rye Sourdough Bread adapted from will make 2 loaves of (SERIOUSLY) amazing bread. AMAZING.
And again, because it’s sourdough, baby – WARNING: the procedure requires 2 days! And of course it’s worth it, no doubt.
For the wholegrain wheat flour I used a mixture of wholewheat + plain flour + wheat and rye bran; instead of walnuts – and what I think we all appreciated – I mixed in pumpkin seeds + sprouted rye and wheat grains; I skipped the dried figs option.

Walnut & Rye Sourdough Bread
As for the procedure, I left the loaves for less than three hours for the second rise as they were getting menacingly overproofed. The baking time had to be adjusted too, as the original 35 minutes were not enough for the loaves – I baked them for at least 45 minutes.

Ok, just another shot of those – should I call them meaty? – seeds. I tell you, the pumpkin seeds, not that tiny type, but the true XXL one, will… make this world better 😉

Walnut & Rye Sourdough Bread

Result: This is a very meaty bread, me, a vegetarian, I have no other word to describe it. This is meat for me! And you know what? I have not tried this bread with any jam but what I did was to spread some natural yogurt on it and then add a slice of cheese… Ammmmmmmazing. And don’t forget, it should be toasted – then the effect will be just right.

Walnut & Rye Sourdough Bread

Reading that book about St Petersburg in the late 19th-early 20th centuries again, after a brief pause for a certain F. Sagan. Are we going in circles or what? I mean, some 100 years have passed and we’re still living in the same conditions and the same ‘types’ are living there (but please, not to be placed on postcards now as they did back then!) and … well, I’ll make a post about it, especially after visiting so many places with these job interviews and spring cleaning / wallpaper gluing / Ikea bed assembling with my friend.

Who’s next in the line?



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