bread

Seeds and Grains

A bird flew up to our window in the morning to check whether there’ll be probably-possibly the ‘free canteen’ again, as we call it – a huge water bottle with holes in it and lots of seeds and grains during the longissimo cold period here in St Petersburg. We had to stop that somewhere in early June (!) and still the birds are ‘just checking’! : ) Here is a photo of this thing, it’s just that now it’s more complicated, Father made a sort of automatic ‘portioning’ of grains should we go away for some time.  So, sorry, no free canteen this July which has kicked off with a heavy rain but warm day followed by a sunny but coolish day today – here are the extremes of our climate at work.

Dan Lepard's seeded rye and wheat loaf

The recipes I’m going to share with you today have long been waiting to be finally posted, so I kind of had to recall what was that I wanted to tell you about them. But here they are at least, the post being propelled by that bird in the morning which reminded me of grains and bread… and my projected post. I like having something extra to chew on in the bread and here are two recipes with lots of chewy-crunchy stuff inside – bread with seeds and grains.

Dan Lepard's seeded rye and wheat loaf

In the background – fresh basil leaves from our windowsill (supposedly cloves-scented basil but for me it’s just good basil : ). By the way, for a tremendously diverse collection of bread with herbs (and not only!) see the June edition of Panissimo to which I have submitted Quick Rosemary Bread.

Dan Lepard’s Seeded Rye and Wheat Loaf adapted from www.guardian.co.uk will make a small loaf so packed with seeds and energy it will last longer than you think. Another successful recipe from the same author is this one – Dan Lepard’s Sour Cream Sandwich Bread.

As usual, the recipe is at the aforementioned address and here are just my remarks on what can be quite successfully changed and substituted.

I used less sugar and opted for whole wheat flour with the addition of wheat bran. As for the seeds choice, I didn’t have sunflower seeds so I used poppy seeds instead. I quite like the chewiness of pumpkin seeds so I think they gave the bread enough of it even without sunflower seeds. I also scattered some poppy seeds on top of the bread.

As for the directions, I had to switch off the oven and leave the bread there for the last 10 minutes of baking as it was getting rather darkish I thought.

Dan Lepard's seeded rye and wheat loaf

Particularly cool with natural yogurt (prostokvasha), cucumbers and fresh basil (the one which is supposed to be vanilla basil).

Result: The thing I wanted from the bread – I got it: the seeds-seeds-seeds. An almost German-style kind of rye bread, although this one can be just as well eaten at breakfast as it’s not that seriously rye-ish (it’s just that it’ll make smaller sandwiches). And it’s also an easy no-knead bread, you just dump the dough in the pan. I baked this bread a while ago, on the 23rd floor and it traveled with no problem to my parents’ place. It was an even longer loaf than in the picture:

Dan Lepard's seeded rye and wheat loaf

***

Let’s move on to grains now:

Honey Grain Bread

Oats for a change. But not exclusively – I also added some wheat and rye grains which I’m too lazy to sprout now : )

Honey Grain Bread

This is a white sort of bread, perfect for breakfast with its large slices and quite neutral flavour.

Honey Grain Bread

Honey Grain Bread adapted from www.breadworld.com will make a soft crumbly white bread with grains on top and inside.

My remarks: I decreased the amount of yeast, honey and milk (substituting the larger part of milk with water) and instead of raisins (which were anyway optional in this bread) I used rye and wheat grains which I scalded with hot water and left for some time to soften. Thus, I made this bread even… grainier : ) As for the oat topping, I just made less of it.

The recipe is very easy with just one rise, but I decided to make 2 rises. I also baked the bread in a cast-iron pan.

Honey Grain Bread

The top crust is just amazing.

Honey Grain Bread

Couldn’t get enough of it : )

Honey Grain Bread

Result: A sunny white loaf. Perfect for the first days after being baked, it later became quite crumbly (falling apart a bit) and the only problem with it was that after several days the grains that I added to the dough without sprouting became too crunchy, having given off all their humidity, I guess.

Honey Grain Bread

And of course all the oats came off the top already after first slice =)

Can you believe it’s already July? By the way, went to Novgorod last week (remember Novgorod Borkannik or Carrot Pie?) but managed to try only local kefir and ryazhenka. I need to make gourmet trips myself, so that I can discover for myself, test and bring you some traditional recipes.

Now that I’m off with writing content for a company’s website, I might finally get to the post on Soviet kitchen utensils I’ve been planning for… since spring!

G.

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