As I promised in the previous post it’s time to catch up with bread recipes.
I started bread baking a few years back in Poland, probably there is something in my genes as both my parents worked in a bakery. I love the taste and smell of a freshly baked bread. At first, I baked with yeast only, the sourdough bread seemed like too much trouble.
I had baked a few really crappy loaves of bread that my boyfriend tried to convince me to stop baking.
Hover later on he bought me Tartine Bread book (it wasn’t very logical of him). I tried to bake with a starter, this caused that I covered most our kitchen appliance with bread dough, he didn’t like it either.
Finally, I went back to yeast breads and found out the most important rules for bread baking are:
1) knead the dough well,
2) let it rise properly.
My problem was that I wasn’t patient enough, when you are in hurry and you bake unrisen bread you end up with heavy, not very appealing bread.
If you want to skip all the problems you can use no-knead bread recipe, this is brilliant and I was using it for a long time, I still do.
This year I started baking sourdough breads again. When you start reading about the techniques it is so overwhelming. I don’t have enough patience to counting hours, kneading the bread every hour, checking the hydration ratio. Yes, I’m a perfectionist and I know one day hopefully I will get there, but I just wanted to eat nice sourdough bread. So I stopped caring about what is hydration of my starter, I mixed rye and wheat while feeding it, I’m even sure my starter wasn’t even the most vigorous one, but I managed my way to bake the best bread ever. The crust is crunchy and chewy. The flavour is deep as you can get only with a starter.
Then a month or so I killed my starter. I just started to feed new one this week, so for the weekend we will have delicious sourdough bread.
Here you can read how to make your own starter.
Mine looked like this in the morning
My favourite sourdough bread (Pain de campagne)
The recipe comes from Linda Collister book “Bread from ciabatta to rye”
Notes: I usually put the dough into a fridge for over night. I find it less stressful as I start bread making always to late and the flavour will get only better.
- 450 g strong flour
- 30 g wholemeal flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 200 g sourdough starter
- about 325 g lukewarm water
In a big bowl whisk together flours, salt and starter.
Start kneading the dough adding the gradually the water. Amount of water varies on a flour type.
Knead the dough until it be elastic, smooth, not sticky.
Put the dough to the lightly oiled bowl and cover it with cling film and leave it until doubt the dough to rise into the fridge overnight.
Punch the dough to deflate.
Form it into the ball and put into the floured basket or a bowl covered with floured tea towel.
Leave it for 2 hours or until the dough doubled in size.
Put the cast iron pan into the oven and heat it to 240°C. Put the risen dough into the heated pan.
Bake for 25 minutes and take the lid off. Bake for 10 more minutes or until golden.
The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool the baked bread on the cooling rack.