Ascending and descending stairs in museum-like libraries might make you hungry. A good ol’ slice (or slab? 🙂 of sourdough bread with honey will quench your hunger immediately! So don’t be shy, just make yourself a large slice and pour some honey over. A more Soviet variant will be bread with varenye, or confiture, a perfect substitution for any sweet treat. And it still works for me!
Here are two recipes that I’ve tried recently to make my favourite type of bread (and food) – sourdough bread. If this works for you too – get your sourdough culture out and refresh it generously (I know you love it, just like I do!) – you will need quite a lot for these two recipes.
Let’s start with a recipe for sourdough buns – full of seeds and oats and very rustically-pretty on the outside too. I love to have something to chew on in my bread!
A year ago – Caucasian Cheese Pie and Some Winter Reflections
Two years ago – Petite Alsace and Petits Pains
Three years ago – 2 Breads with Poolish
Breakfast Sourdough Rolls adapted from sweetsoursavory.com will make pretty buns with seeds, seeds, seeds! Follow the link for the recipe, here are just my alterations:
I didn’t use any additional yeast, relying 100% on my rye sourdough culture. As for the other ingredients, I added 4 cereal mix for porridge (oats + barley + rye + wheat flakes) + some extra rolled oats to make up for 1 cup. I couldn’t resist adding some rye flour (of course), so my buns turned out darker (of course). But that’s how I like my bread! I didn’t roll my buns in anything, just used plain flour.
This bun got such a peculiar shape cause, well, I shaped it this way! : )
Remarks: All the while these buns require 12 to 20 hour rest in the fridge, they bake really fast, just about 15-20 minutes in the oven and they are done! And they also ‘cracked’ nicely, making you want to tear them open at once! : ) Like this:
Result: A great recipe for rustic-looking sourdough buns. If you want something like those crusty buns from a French bakery (in France, s’il vous plaît!) that make that crunch-crunch sound when you grab the paper bag… – you got them!
Next recipe – to keep in line with the French theme – is exactly a French bread recipe, made more Russian with my imminent addition of rye flour. Again, if you compare my result with the photos on the original website, you’ll see how far my rye addi(c)tion sometimes take me : )
69% Hydration Pain au Levain adapted from www.karenskitchenstories.com will make dense, moist bread with strong whole wheat flavor. Follow the link to get the entire recipe. My changes:
Used my rye sourdough culture and fed it with rye flour (I know what my baby likes most! :). I didn’t use less levain, so secreased the amount of water by 45 g. What I did add as usual was more whole wheat flour + some wheat bran + rye flour (haha). I used less salt (when I bake bread for myself only, I normally skip salt at all).
As for the procedure, it requires time for sure, but I started in the morning, left the levain for the required minimum of 8 hours (with the rye flour the result is quicker) and then baked the bread in the evening. Which gave me cooled down, almost fresh bread in the morning!
My oven here is small, so I did not use any Dutch oven-substitution (which is usually a large metal bowl turned upside down to cover the bread loaf), I just baked two loaves side by side with some steam.
After some hesitation (or should I say – caprice) the St Petersburg sun made its appearance and turned the bluish photos into a more pleasing and realistic representations. But of course there’s nothing like actually EATING this bread!
By the way, our lazy and consequently rare St Petersburg sun appears in winter ONLY when it is VERY cold. I’m serious! The clouds bring warmer weather but they also veil all the sun rays from us, already ‘pail as death’ as we say in Russia. On the contrary, cold days most often mean sun. It doesn’t heat but it makes life better.
Remarks: Although I don’t have a slightest idea whether my bread was 69% hydration or not, I surely did like it from the very start. Actually, I think that my bread is less moist and has less air pockets with all my additions.
Result: I can assure you that this bread IS tasty. The two loaves are not here to stay very long… I was craving for something with whole-wheat dominant in it. Just to make change from all-rye bread : ) And here I found it! The bread will make suuuuch nice slices (=slabs in the widest part of the round loaf). Tried it with honey, mmmmm!
Coming up – sweet recipes with the most obvious ingredient, guess which one!
Adding these recipes to my ever-growing sourdough bread collection.