It was so misty yesterday morning that when I was jogging in the park near the river I could see neither the opposite bank nor the rest of the park. I had no camera with me and an hour later here’s what was left from that thick Medieval mist (don’t know why but I have this connection in my head!).
After crossing the bridge the picture got ‘enhanced’ by the smoke coming from the Izhorsky Plant. It adds to the picture I say, not to the well-being of the citizens.
The mist lingered for some more time also above the island called Chukhonka (where the Finnish tribe chukhna used to live). It is such a famous and popular place with Kolpino people that I could have made an entire post just on that. It looks really nice in autumn:
Just half an hour later – no mist, lots of sun and the ever-present smoke from the factory chimneys. I will soon continue my Kolpino architectural series, there’s yet much to be told about it.
The sun also gave me the opportunity to take photos of the freshly baked sourdough bread with pistachios I brought from the recent trip to my beloved Aegina island. A post on that is to come soon.
The mere taste of the toasted and salted pistachios bring back the memory of our first encounter with Greece back in 1996. I know it sounds weird but I had never tasted pistachios before we travelled to Aegina for the first time. And those Aegina pistachios are famous at least all over Greece.
So I though I could finally make some of the recipes I keep for baking ‘later, when I will have pistachios’. And here’s what I’ve decided upon:
A year ago – Cinnamon-Roll Pull-Apart Loaf with Apples
Two years ago – Autumn Colours and Karelia (with another misty picture)
Three years ago – Creamy Peach Tart and Kitchen Reborn
Raisin Sourdough Bread adapted from zestysouthindiankitchen.com will make a very soft and moist sourdough bread with bits of pistachios and lots of fiber. Visit the link to see the original recipe. ATTENTION: requires time (overnight levain and proof time the next day).
Changes to the ingredients: When I was making the levain the night before baking, I had to put more water to make it less dry. The same happened when I was mixing the final dough. My sourdough culture is made of rye so the bread turned out darker. I did not use raisins and consequently skipped all the prep procedure. I also omitted the yeast completely, relying solely on the strength of my sourdough. I did not have any cornmeal so substituted it with rye flour.
Changes to the procedure: I left the dough rising for 3 hours but also made several folds during this time (as I didn’t add any yeast). I felt lazy to make two loaves so made a large one instead. I had to proof it in a glass bowl which I use as my ‘proofing basket’ and after an hour or so it started growing in size considerably. I inverted the loaf on the silicon mat and baked it for 39 minutes. As I went out rollerskating during this time, it’s obvious I ‘forgot’ to rotate the loaf! When I came back I could easily tell the characteristic smell of the sourdough bread and the already burning flour.
I actually love this sourish smell and that of the burning flour too… Too much baking : ) I think the crust got really great and even this strange ‘ear’ that appeared after I inverted the loaf from its ‘basket’ added up to the look.
And yes, those specks of light green pistachios in the crumb! When I was taking the photos the bread was hot, just out of the oven, so the crumb looks too moist. I know that you’re not supposed to slice sourdough bread right after baking but the setting sun was hurrying me up : )
Remarks: You can add the raisins if you like them in your bread, my family just tend to avoid them in the ‘black’ bread. Also do add some yeast if you’re not sure in your sourdough. At first the dough start spreading out in the oven and I thought that was it, I was going to have a flat loaf but then the process stopped and the loaf puffed up a bit. I think I would rather make two loaves just as the recipe suggests, so that it takes them less time to bake. Moreover, it’s more handy when you have two smaller loaves instead of one large super-loaf.
Result: Crusty bread with fragrant pistachios. I love the amount of bran in it and the fact that it’s at the same time both ‘black’ and ‘white’ bread as it doesn’t have that much rye flour in it. Overall, very fragrant!
I’ll have yet another apple cake recipe for you to share soon!