Posts tagged ·chleb na zakwasie·...

I’ve Been Baking a Storm

How was your weekend, my Dears? Mine was very, very pleasant. I spent the lovely evening on Saturday at my friend’s M., who gathered us, the group of four, at her dinner table serving authentic Swiss raclette. The right dose of friendship, humour, outstanding food, and some wine always makes for adorable times, don’t you think? Besides socializing, I did a lot of bread baking – mass of it – 6 baguettes, 2 Hildegard’s spelt breads, 3 ciabattas, and 4 of seeded multi-grain sourdoughs. Yes, the sourdough is what I want to highlight. I came across the formula while checking out the weekly Wordless Wednesday post by Susan of Wild Yeast . The picture of the rising boules, bathed in the morning light made me stop and gaze at the image for long minutes. It was obvious I needed to do some baking of my own. I wanted my fingers to feel the elastic dough, to watch it rise, to have it respond to my baking incantations, to have its heavenly aroma permeate the whole of my kitchen. If the recipe didn’t call for hemp seeds, I would have started baking that very minute. Time passed before I located the seeds, but the bread was well worth the wait. Every bread I bake following Susan’s formula is a wonderful bake, and this was no exceptions. Flavours are extraordinary and I fell in love with the taste of hemp seeds in it. I urge you to try this bread yourselves, if bread baking is something you like to do. If not, find a friend who bakes and don’t leave their side until you taste this goodness.

Jak Wam minął weekend? Mój przeszedł nadzwyczaj miło. Spędziłam sobotni wieczór u M., która zebrała naszą stała miedzynarodową czwórkę przy dużym stole i serwowała autentyczne szwajcarskie raclette. Odpowiednia doza przyjaźni, dobrego humoru, świetnego jedzenia i pewnej ilości wina, zawsze gwarantują dobrze spędzony czas, czyż nie? Poza towarzyskimi spotkaniami, weekend zleciał mi na pieczeniu chleba, całej masy chleba. Upiekłam 6 bagietek, 2 chleby orkiszowe Hildegardy, 3 ciabatty i na koniec wieloziarnisty chleb na zaczynie z nasionami. I to właśnie o tym ostatnim chcę powiedzieć kilka słów. Odwiedzając blog Susan z Wild Yeast, a konkretnie przeglądając jej tygodniowe wydanie “Środa bez słów” zobaczyłam zdjęcie kulek chlebowych skąpanych w porannym świetle i tak przyjemnie było się im przyglądać, że zrozumiałam, że chyba powinnam sama oddać się pieczeniu choćby skromnej ilości chleba. Zatęskniłam za ciastem pod palcami, za całym tkliwym procesem wyrastania i za aromatem pieczonego chleba, który spowiłby kuchnię. Gdyby nie to, że przepis wymagał nasion konopi, to wkroczyłabym do kuchni od razu. Nie tak łatwo było znaleźć te nasiona, ale warto było poczekać. Każdy chleb pieczony według receptury od Susan jest udany, no i ten nie był wyjątkiem. Oprócz nasion konopi, ma on jeszcze sezam i siemie lniane, i to te nasiona nadają temu chlebowi niemożliwie orzechowy smak. Polecam ten wypiek każdemu kto piecze trochę chleba, a jeśli nie, to namawiam na znalezienie kogoś, kto to dla Was zrobi i pozwoli Wam wypróbować tę dobroć.

Bread Baking Therapy

I was wondering what was going on with my physical and mental state recently, as since we came home from our voyages, I feel rather on the blue side of things. Mind you, I’m fighting what A. calls my case of the Spanish flue, just because I contracted the bug as we were returning from Spain, and since then I’m challenged to find my regular level of energy through my coughing fits and congested sinuses. But there are other reasons, I’m sure. The typical fall weather is here in Vancouver, with rain, and clouds, and then some more rain. Add to this the fact that I’ve felt uninspired to hold the camera in my hand recently, or when I did I disliked every picture I took. To top that, I’m without my laptop (had to give it up for the warranty repairs) and, this said laptop of mine, turns out to be like the extension of me, evidently essential for my daily existence. Though A. put together a desktop computer for me, it being the collection of all the spare computer parts he’s been faithfully collecting over the years, it’s slow, it’s barren of my files, it’s noisy, and too big to be hug-able. Oh yes, I shouldn’t complain – I’m grateful I have a computer at all, I love the fact that it’s warm and cozy in my home, and the cold will pass eventually, but I allowed myself to feel sorry for myself for a few days, before I decided yesterday to be done with this kind of melancholy. What helped was the quote I came across on Wild Yeast where I went for some bread eye candy, and where these words jumped out at me:
“… no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation … will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.
–M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating”
I received the much-needed kick, and I got my strut back. I turned on the oven and baked some gorgeous ciabatta, the formula for which I’ll gladly share if anyone is interested.
By the way, the Wild Yeast is my favourite bread-baking go-to resource and the place to see some beautifully styled bread images. I know how difficult it is to make bread look good on pictures. With all its brown, orange and yellow tones, it’s a challenge to make the bread stand out and yet tell the “bread story” with the addition of photo props that wouldn’t compete for attention with the subject of the shot. Susan knows how to do it and if you want to take good bread photos I urge you to visit her wonderful blog for some good bread-styling lessons.

Sourdough Ciabatta
Recipe By: Bill Wraith (Note: The following write-up is copied almost word-by-word from Bill’s original recipe tha can be found here. The changes I’ve incorporated appear in italics)
Preparation Time: approximately 8 hours
Categories : Breads – Sourdough

Amount Measure Ingredient
——– ———— ——————————–
482 grams bread flour (13.2% protein)
340 grams water
454 grams sourdough starter, 100% hydration
14 grams salt

Mix the flours and water together in a bowl using a dough hook. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Mix flours and water above with all the starter and salt. Mix for a few minutes, switching between low and medium speeds – just long enough to thoroughly mix the starter and salt with the mixture from the autolyse step. The dough should be quite “wet”, meaning it will not clear the bottom or even much of the sides of the mixer bowl. It should be fairly sticky and already have a fair amount of gluten development.

Bulk Fermentation and Folding: (about 4.5 hours)
Make a fairly thick bed of flour on the counter about 12 inches square. Using a dough scraper, pour the dough out into the middle of the bed of flour. Allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then, fold the dough by flouring or wetting your hands, then grabbing one side of the dough and lifting and stretching it, folding it over itself like a letter. Do this for all 4 sides. Brush flour off the dough as you fold over the sides that were in contact with the bed of flour. You don’t want to incorporate much flour into the dough as you fold. After folding, shape it gently back into a rectangle or square, spray it with a light coating of olive oil or some other oil spray, and dust very lightly with flour. Then cover it with a large glass bowl. Repeat the folds approximately every 45 minutes two more times. After three folds, let the dough rise for another 2.5 hours, at which point, the dough should have doubled roughly in volume.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces of equal size, roll them in the bed of flour to dust the cut ends, and let them rest a few minutes. The dough is wet and will quickly resume its flat, rectangular shape by itself. Gently place the pieces on the couche. Use the couche to create folds for the ciabatta.

Final Proof:
Let the breads rise in the couche for about 2 hours, until they are puffy and have increased significantly in volume.

Prepare to Bake:
Preheat oven to 525F (convection oven). While that is going on, take each loaf out of the couche. Invert each loaf onto a peel fitted with parchment paper. Press down on the dough with your fingers fairly firmly to feel the peel underneath. It sounds crazy, but the loaf will bounce back just fine in the oven if it is not overproofed. This step is important to avoid “separation of crust and crumb” or “one gigantic hole” instead of many holes. It also evens out the loaf so it has a nicer shape after baking.

Easy Bread

The amazing thing about the rural life we’re experiencing here is the availability of the organic food. I still can’t believe, we can go out shopping with an extensive shopping list and purchase all products on it without stepping into a supermarket. Pretty much, everything, from fruit and vegetables, sourdough breads, and freshly made cheeses or churned butters is available from farmers’ stands or artisan food makers. No need to bake breads anymore. So easy!

Zadziwiającą sprawą w tym wiejskim naszym życiu jest dostęp do zdrowej, organicznej żywności. Nadal trudno jest nam uwierzyć, że wyruszając na zakupy z długą listą, możemy zakupić wszystko bez wstępu do supermarketu. Począwszy od owoców i warzyw, przez chleby na zakwasie, jak również świeżo wyprodukowany nabiał jest dostępny ze straganów, albo od małych lokalnych producentów. Nie ma potrzeby wypiekania chlebów.

Bread Baking Buddies: Potato Bread with Chives

Bread Baking Buddy Badge

I’m so excited.  I’ve joined the group of bread bakers – Bread Baking Babes, the group I’ve been enviously watching bake their beautiful breads at their monthly challenges. I’ve mustered some courage, I’ve asked, and I’ve joined, becoming one of their many Bread Baking Buddies. This month’s challenge was the Potato Bread with Chives and I did my best to follow Sara’s of I Like to Cook recipe.  I stuck to it, I’m really good that way, following recipe to the last dot, except…, except I substituted a small part of the commercial yeast with my home-grown sourdough culture.  I hope I still was able to make this wonderful bread some justice.  It tasted great, though I could have not guessed that chives were part of the bread formula.  I might just add more next time.

Cieszę się niezmiernie, bo oto dołączyłam do grupy domowych piekarzy – Bread Baking Babes, grupy którą zazdrością śledziłam jak piekły wspaniałe chleby z miesiąca na miesiąc.  Zdobyłam się więc na odwagę, spytałam czy mogę dołączyć, i w taki oto sposob jestem Koleżanką Piekarza.  Kwietniowe wyzwanie rzucone było przez Sarę z I Like to Cook.  Przestrzegałam przepisu dość szczegółowo, zwykle mi się to dzielnie udaje, tym razem jednak, zastąpiłam porcję drożdży własnym zakwasem.  Mam nadzieję, że nie zmieniłam natury chleba znacznie, bo jest on naprawdę doskonały.  Smakował wyśmienicie, chociaż nie zgadłabym, że szczypior był częścią przepisu.  Po prostu dodam więcej następnym razem.

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