Once it starts getting so really windy but not piercingly cold windy – it’s the surest sign spring is coming to St Pete. As trivial as it might sound – you can feel spring in the air! And that’s exciting and a bit deranging at the same time.
It’s amazing how you re-live each year with renewed interest the coming of spring, all these changes it brings in the length of day, in the light, the colours, the way you feel. I don’t like the fading and the decadence in the weather (although I do like all these old towns and decrepit houses with long history and narrow winding streets) but I do like this drastic and at the same time progressive change that the spring induces in the world outside and inside me.
Sun! We desperately need sun here in St Petersburg. And something green and nice, no more of these ergostasia mprosta kai ta skoupidia plai! (slightly changed lyrics of a Greek song – factories in front and garbage on the side). This first stage of spring when all the brrr things come out of the melting dirty snow is kind of demoralizing a bit, making you to crave for this stage to be over the faster the better. So, sunflower seed bread for the early torturous spring. Let’s hope it won’t reverse to winter again just like this unstable period is known to do so often.
2 years ago – Mangoes and Rye to Welcome Spring
1 year ago – a post on Thessaloniki with some typical Greek food
Sunflower Seed Rye Sourdough Bread adapted from www.savesourdough.com will make a giant! chewy! nutty! nutritious! bread. ATTENTION: requires quite a bit of time to prepare the sourdough and some time for the soaker.
Go to the website to see the original recipe, here are just my changes and remarks:
As for the soaker ingredients I did not have the required amount of rye flakes but a mixture of four cereals – rye, wheat, oats and barley – that we use to make the famous Russian kasha in the morning. These are hard stuff flakes so I poured boiling water over them as the author suggests and left them for a couple of hours. The water was not enough for this amount of flakes so they soaked it in really fast.
For the dough I used honey instead of molasses, fine salt instead of coarse sea salt and certainly less toasted sunflower seeds, although I can assure you that using even a third of the indicated 150 g will be already a considerable chewy enhancement! I also added less water.
As for the procedure, I left the dough to ferment for 3 hours with 3 stretch & folds, then proofing of about 5 hours in the fridge. When I took the bread out of the fridge, I almost did not give it any time to warm up before baking. I baked the bread with steam about minutes.
The crust is great in this bread, adding to the overall chewiness:
Well, the crumb is super too!
All these nuts and flakes make this bread so much … a substantial meal rather than what you would expect from a baked product! Very truly chewy.
Result: This bread is gigantic and really tasty, moist, chewy, with all these seeds & flakes which make it so much bread-ier =) And although it is really big, you shouldn’t worry, 45 minutes in the oven and it’s done!
Greece suddenly (or much-expected-ly…) changed to France! See you in May, Strasbourg!