All posts filed under: Bread

Traditional home-made loaf

  Bear in mind that the recipe below uses a sourdough starter. Don’t be intimidated by a sourdough starter. They are easy to make and maintain. The advantage of a sourdough starter is  it allows the wild micro-organisms and naturally present enzymes to break down much of the protein, sugars and hard-to-digest anti-nutrients present in the flour. If you’re just starting out my recommendation is that you begin with wheat and progress onto a mixture of other flours once the family have adapted to and gotten used to the idea of eating traditionally baked bread. Ingredients ½ tbsp. of salt 1 cup of lukewarm water 1 cup of sourdough starter 1 cup of whole wheat flour 3 cups of hard (high protein) wheat flour Directions Mix the salt, water and sourdough starter together in a bowl until the salt has dissolved. Add the whole wheat flour (this is where the nutrients come in – the bran and wheat germ contain the B vitamins and omega-3 oils that make this such a valuable, nutritional loaf). Stir the whole wheat …

Baking Bread: The Basics

This post is designed to give you a brief introduction to bread baking. If you’ve never baked bread before do not be intimidated. You can never go wrong. Sometimes your dough may be wetter than intended, in which case you’ll have more air-bubbles in the bread. Sometimes the dough will be heavier than intended, in which case your bread will be denser.  Sometimes you’ll have added too little salt and the bread will taste bland (very disappointing). Sometimes too much salt is added by mistake and the loaf ends up as bread-crumbs to garnish a savoury dish. You rarely repeat the same mistake twice. Just have faith that whatever dough you make, what ever shape you form, whatever additions you add, freshly baked home-made bread will taste good regardless of whether you have followed the recipe down to the last –t or not. Baking bread – more so than with pastries, cakes or biscuits – is an intuitive process and for the sourdough recipe, at least, I prefer baking by volume (cups) rather than by …

Start with a Starter

As long as it is fed regularly a sourdough starter can live indefinitely and become an heirloom passed on from one generation to the next. The starter is not designed to be eaten raw and should only form anywhere from 10-20% of the total loaf. Starters were and are essential to traditional baking since it contains the wild yeasts and LABs needed to leaven the loaf. Packets of commercial, packaged yeasts are a relatively new invention developed on a commercial scale at the end of the nineteenth century only. Prior to that loaves could only be leavened through wild fermentation. For more information on the nutritional benefits of sourdough baking see here. The starter-culture smells sour as a result of the fermentation process. Once baked the sourness diminishes considerably leaving natural flavours and aromas in the baked bread. The result of microbial activity on the grain as the loaf leavens results in a loaf of bread that has more flavour, is more satiating, has a more pleasing texture and is a lot more nutritious than the …

Everyday Sourdough Loaf

Before beginning Start with a Starter. This bread is so satiating, filling and tasty it is brilliant for everyday breakfasts and quick lunches. Although three loaves may sound a lot, unlike commercial bread, this home-made sourdough loaf does not go stale quickly, which means baking every other day rather than every day, depending on need. The fermented grain, (in the form of the sourdough starter) combined with the eight to ten hour proving time, results in an easy to digest loaf with boosted nutrient content thanks to an over-night transformation effected by a number of beneficial enzymes and micro-organisms. For the benefits of a sourdough loaf see fermented grain. Ingredients 4 cups of rye starter. 4 cups of filtered water. 2 table-spoons of Celtic sea salt. 4 cups of whole-grain rye flour. 8 cups of strong white wheat flour.  Directions Place the 4 cups of water and 2 tbs of celtic sea salt into a deep bowl and stir until all the salt has dissolved.  Add the 4 cups of rye sourdough starter and stir.   Add any seeds or other …

Traditional Seeded Rye Bread

  Makes two loaves. The recipe comes courtesy of Kolja whose Grandfather owned a Baker’s Shop in Schleswig-Holstein – the northern most part of Germany bordering on Denmark and the North Sea. Seeded Rye Bread formed the typical daily loaf of many in Northern Germany and the neighbouring Nordic/Scandinavian countries since Rye grows so much better in the cooler climates of Northern Europe than high protein wheat, which requires heat and sunshine to grow. Rye contains next to no gluten so this bread has a long proving time and is not going to rise spectacularly. The low gluten content of rye means that kneading this particular flour is not unlike forming mud-cakes on a swampy river estuary. Kinda fun – but it does not give that satisfying experience one gets from handling high protein wheat flours. It also explains why this recipe calls for “spooning” the mixture into the tins rather than ten minutes of kneading. The dark colour of this full-bodied, delicious loaf can not be attributed to the rye alone. The addition of molasses …

WAFFLES

The idea of soaking flour in yoghurt sounded odd when I first came across this recipe in Sally Fallon and Mary Enig’s Nourishing Traditions. Milled flour and yoghurt do not seem like naturally happy bed-fellows. Mixing ground flour with thick yoghurt can feel a bit like biting into wool – unpleasant. That all said the end result are the BEST waffles I have ever tasted and that is saying something for a lady living in Belgium. Adding a soured dairy ingredient to a grain dish was quite a common practice in traditional cooking. Many old recipes called for the addition of either buttermilk, yoghurt, kefir, curds or crème fraiche in place of milk – fresh milk in the absence of refrigeration, to recall, was not very common. I prepared these waffles for fourteen people one long hot summer a couple of years ago. At the end of the holiday when we asked the children what their favourite memory of the holiday was many said – jumping into the river, going to the beach, playing with my …

Kaiser Roll

This recipe makes aprox. 18-20, 70 gr rolls. Any uneaten rolls can easily be frozen and defrosted for another time. Kaiser-rolls are those delicious, dense, rolls that go perfectly with a boiled egg or buttered with apricot jam and a steamy cup of filtered coffee. Originating in Vienna where legend has it they were purpose made for an Emperor these impressive white rolls are always a hit. In many respects the actual recipe is not unlike that used for other plain rolls – it is their unique star-like shape which make them particularly attractive, reminiscent of an Empress’ swirling silk dresses. A true baker knows how to form these shapes with their hands but this can be time consuming and tricky. You can also just cheat and use a Kaiser-press. Ingredients 6 cups of white wheat flour 2 cups white sourdough starter 1 cup buttermilk 1 TBP salt 2 large eggs 3 TBS butter  Directions Mix the salt, milk and sourdough starter in a bowl until the salt has dissolved. Add three cups of white …