I’ve told you already about the sky of St Petersburg – the inevitable cable against the sky. And the colour might be gray – in most cases – but it also might be perfectly blue, as it is right now. Really, each summer for a short period St Petersburg gets transformed from a greyish city with people in black and only black into a bright lively place with so many colours and flavours (not always pleasant but at least you know there’s life out there). The green parks of the city help too. All in all, the city is gorgeous (in the picture above – Bolshaya Morskaya Street, a true collection of elegant buildings on both sides with the cupola of St Isaac’s Cathedral hovering above).
Rubinshteyna Street, right next to very good Maly Drama Theatre
Fontanka Embankment, Yusupova’s mansion
Maly Prospect, Petrogradka
And now – back to bread. To all that bread. In the authentic Russian English pronunciation ‘bread’ sounds like ‘bred’ which means ‘rubbish, delirium’; All That Rubbish is actually a song by Splean (St Petersburg rock band), always bringing back school-year memories.
I don’t know about you but I find bread just fascinating. Yes, I’m fascinated by bread (the fellow bread-baking addicts are nodding in ascent). Each time that I take the loaf out of the oven, tap on its bottom to check if it’s ready, smell it, touch the crust, wrap it in a linen towel to cool down… I think it’s what you lack if you just buy the packed standardized bread. This is what we all lack in the big city here in St Petersburg, the freshly baked bread all warm just out of the local bread factory’s oven – the flavour and the feeling of this almost hot loaf is I guess unknown for the majority of kids and teenagers nowadays. I remember this wonderful bread fragrance from the childhood when we still had our local bread factories delivering bread to the shops in those kind of dark wooden drawers (with NO packaging, mind you). I recall once in the early 90s the delivery people gave us a freshly baked – still hot – white loaf, it was so delicious! We shared it among all the children then hanging out on the ‘playground’ (it was a sort of dilapidated area with long-long grass, crashed bottle glass in the bushes and some remnants of the kindergarten playground). It was such bliss, the crackling crust, the soft warm crumb inside – even if it was just a tiny bite for each of us, it was what the gods ate for sure. Thanks for those people who were generous enough to treat a bunch of children.
Woow, I can write about bread non-stop, just give me space and time!
Here’s a link to the recipe:
Wheat Sourdough Bread (Farmer’s Loaf from the Baden region in Germany) adapted from foodzeit.blogspot.com – will make a wonderfully moist sourdough loaf with chewy crust, just perfect and not at all complicated.
For the recipe please refer to the original blog, here are my remarks:
I didn’t use additional yeast, only that for the preferment (yes, the recipe requires 16 hours to get the sponge and the sourdough ready). I wanted to make a more ryeish bread, so I added more rye flour + wheat & rye bran. Hence the colour of my version – a more brownish hue. I also reduced the volume of water a bit.
And as for the procedure, it’s actually quite simple and doesn’t require much time. But as I had to leave home for more than the indicated 60 mins, I placed the bowl with the preshaped dough in the fridge, where it continued to rise slowly.
And here’s that tremendously moist crumb:
Result: There’s moist crumb, chewy crust, flavour – a very successful combination of rye and wholewheat! This recipe should be called the Amazing Wheat Sourdough Bread, thank you, Foodzeit! Returning to your blog I realized the recipe comes from the region close to Strasbourg and I recalled the bread from the nearest German city, it was something really close to this loaf. The original recipe in German is here.
The author says this bread won’t keep long, about 4-5 days without special storage conditions, but, indeed, it won’t last THAT long in my family!
And then suddenly there’s rain: