Sunday, June 26, 2011

White Soda Bread With Herbs

This month the Bread Baking Babes are baking Irish Soda Bread. I looked at the photos of this bread and it looked delicious. Nice color and funny shape. The crumb looked like cake. And that’s funny because I just made my first Banana Bread which is more like cake. It is so delicious I had to bake a few and give them to our Thai friends. They love them. 

It took me a while to bake this Banana Bread, because I don’t like the name. Oke, it sounds crazy, but for me it workes this way. Maybe because in Dutch it sounds even worse; bananen brood. But, luckily I like to experiment and baked it anyway. 

So this Irish Soda Bread reminded me of the Banana Bread. Peter said I had to bake it,  because “it looked delicious with the thick butter on the slices”.

When I looked at the recipe I found out we didn’t had: fresh rosemary, sage and chives. And there is no buttermilk to be found where we live. We went to Chiang Rai, a big city 2 hours drive from our house. We did find a rosemary plant, and how happy this makes me. Also we found dried sage. But, still no buttermilk. I had to make it by myself. We still had a little bit of starter culture to make cheese and we bought milk. After 2 days (one day out of the refrigerator and one day in the refrigerator) we had something that looked like buttermilk. It smelled slightly sour.

When the bread came out of the oven I was very pleased, it looked nice. Good color and the kitchen was full of rosemary flavor. We wanted to eat it that evening. That afternoon I had made new peanutbutter with peanuts and cashewnuts. This will be a nice combination, we thought. But, when we had our first bite, we looked at each other and said; ‘this is not as delicious as it looks. It has a chemical taste’. The bread had a nice rosemary flavor, some sage and tarragon. But there was something else that we didn’t like. Maybe it’s the tarragon? Maybe it’s the baking soda? Maybe it’s a “Dutch-thing”; Bread Baking Babe Lien also didn’t like the smell and taste of this bread.

It was nice to bake this bread, it was quick and looks beautiful and the chickens liked it!

Better Banana Bread, but I like to call it: Heavenly Banana Cake

It took me a long time before I baked my first Banana Bread. Why? It’s easy, it’s delicious, it looks nice, everybody loves’s it. So, why? To be honest I don’t like the name. And the Banana Breads I saw didn’t look so delicious. But, we have a lot of bananas in our garden and we had to do something with them.
I found a nice recipe by DM Snyder at the Fresh Loaf with a lot of good response. I had to try. Lucky me, it’s delicious.

I couldn’t stop and had to bake a few to give to our Thai friends. They love it! Thanks David.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet Ginger Twisted Buns

This month is Bread Baking Day #41 and its 4th anniversary! It’s fun to come up with the theme of BBD. This month’s theme is Local Herbs.
Living in Thailand we eat herbs every day. Thailand has a great variety of herbs. Thai people use many of them in their delicious cooking because of flavor and taste. And many herbs are used for their healing qualities. And what surprised us is that young Thai people, girls and boys, know a lot about herbs. Thai people have a good developed sense of taste. Also children can tell about the presence of sour, hot, sweet, salty and more in their daily food.
There are many Thai herbs to choose from. But, not all will taste good in bread. In our garden we grow ginger, it's easy to grow. And if you're out of ginger you can buy it, all year round, at the local markets. Ginger is a hot herb with a distinct taste. But, when you make sweet ginger something else happens in your mouth. This sweet ginger makes a good combination with bread. I wanted to experience this in my bun.
Normally we have a jar of ginger syrup in the house, but it's Peters favorite Dutch pancake topping. He likes to spread it on a pancake with cantaloupe, but with banana it's also delicious. He ate it all. I had to make a new jar full of it. I was inspired by David Lebovitz candied ginger. I used to make it like this, but now I prefer to leave the slices of ginger in the syrup and take out what I need.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thai Tartine

Since I started artisan baking, about 7 months ago, I’m baking different types of bread almost every time. Last month I decided to discover more about Tartine. By baking the same bread for a while, I hope to discover more about bread and to develop my skills and feeling for it. And what is more delicious than eating Tartine while learning?

This month it’s the 4th anniversary of Bread Baking Day. And I’m the lucky host, I choose for Bread with Local Herbs. So, I combine Tartine with Thai herbs.
I wanted to use fresh herbs for a stronger taste and smell of the herbs. I don’t think you can use all the nicely smelling Thai herbs in bread, but Krathiem (garlic), Hom Deng (red onion), Phrik Thai Dam (red chili) and Bai Makrut (kefir lime leaves) will do very well. I decided to fry the herbs in a little bit of soy oil to release the aroma, the same you do in  Thai cooking. I didn’t chop the garlic, but crushed it in the mortar. This also releases more flavor. All over the world people bake bread with garlic and/or onion. But, what makes this bread taste Thai, is the use of chili and kefir lime leaves.

We love this version of Tartine. The nice flavor of the herbs, the spicy chili and especially the Kefir Lime Leaves made it Thai. You can eat this Thai Tartine with soup or as a snack. This experiment is a success; Thai Tartine will be back in my oven! 

The photo shows dark herbs, they are not burned as you can see on the crumb shot below. The white is too much flour!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Soft buns

We live in mango land. Our house is in the midst of mangos orchards. We also have a few trees.  But we don’t use chemicals and our mangos are eaten by the bugs. We don’t mind; we like beetles and butterflies. So we buy our mangos. But this week we didn’t have to buy them, our neighbors gave us a few kilos.

During season we eat mango every day. There are so many kinds of mango and they are all delicious. You can do so many things with fresh mango; mango ice cream, mango sherbet, mango chutney, mango shake, mango filling for pie, mango with sticky rice! and ...
Of course I went to the kitchen to make some bread to thank our neighbors. Last time we gave them a flower of buns  These were white and they loved them. This time I was looking for something different. I found Preferment Hamburger Rolls on WildYeast  

For our neighbors I placed 7 buns in a spring cake form to make a flower of buns and the other 2 buns are our hamburger buns for tonight. The neighbors liked the buns and we too. That evening we had our own hamburgers on these soft buns. I still prefer crusty sourdough buns, but these are good soft buns.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brown Tartine

We love Tartine bread and we love brown bread, so why not combine the two. That’s what I did and this is the result. For the complete recipe have a look at my discovery of …. Here you find my experiences on baking Tartine bread.

For this brown tartine I used:
350 grams plus 25 grams lukewarm water
100 grams leaven
450 grams white all purpose flour
50 grams whole wheat bran grounded in my grinder (so it was coarse)
10 grams roasted malt
10 grams salt

It was a hot day, 36˚C, and I had to place the dough in the refrigerator during bulk fermentation and during proofing. It was in the refrigerator for just a few hours. 

I just bought a new banneton and was eager to use, but the dough was so sticky I had to punch it down and form it again after proofing. It stuck to the banneton and I had no other choice, but it worked out great. Next time I use more flour in the banneton. 
I made a boulle and after 30 minutes proofing I scored it with a X and placed it in the hot oven. This is the result; again a delicious Brown Tartine.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This month Bread Baking Day celebrates its 4th anniversary!

Four years ago Zorra of Kochtopf came up with the great idea to start Bread Baking Day. As an addition to the World Bread Day she started a new international monthly foodblog-event. And what a success it is.

Every month amateur bread bakers, of all skill levels, from all over the world send their bread to Zorra and the host of that month.
Last month Zorra was the host of BBD #40; bread with curd. Please go and have a look at this roundup. Our fellow bakers made delicious looking breads. You want to try them by yourself. 

This special month I am the lucky host. The theme of the first BBD was; Bread with herbs. And today; 4 years later, I would like to invite you, bakers from all over the world, to honor this great initiative and all bake: Bread with local herbs and/or spices

Every country has its own local herbs and spices

I had a look at this website on herbs  and found out in Canada and America for example you find: lemon verbena, Mexican tarragon and pink pepper;
Australia has: Tasmanian pepper and lemon myrtle;
Europe has: blue fenugreek, caraway and mugwort;
South East Asia has: lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and chili
And ....
Of ourse many more to experiment with. You know best what’s around in your neighborhood.
I don’t know if it’s possible to use these herbs and spices in bread, but probably you do and we all like to learn about it. I hope you all will experiment with different herbs and/or spices.

You can use sourdough or yeast, make it sweet or not, use fruits and nuts, as long as there are local herbs and/or spices in your bread.

And when you can not find local herbs, just bake what ever bread you like with the herbs and/or spices you can find.

Are you ready to bake! If you like you can place the logo of this BBD on you blog.

At Zorra’s blog you find:
  • The code for the logo to place on your blog to promote the event;
  • All roundups of the 40 previous Bread Baking Days;
  • If you have no idea what to do with local herbs and/or spices, have a look at the roundup of the first BBD for inspiration. 

When you have baked your deliciously smelling bread, before July 1, 2011:
  • Post it on your blog and link back to this page (please use English or add a translator button)
  • Send me an email in English: with the following information:
  • BBD#41 in the subject line
  • Your name
  • Name of your blog
  • The permalink where you post your bread
  • City and country
  • Photo of your bread (300x300 pixel)
  • The deadline is July 1, 2011
  • Round up will be on this page at the latest on July 5, 2011 (come and see)
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate and send me an e-mail. I hope to see many wonderful smelling breads at the round up, you too?
Enjoy! Connie

Nutty Fruity Pie

Dutch Apple pie, but without apples. Also know as Nutty Fruity Pie

In Holland we love to eat Apple pie. Probably everybody loves to eat a good Apple pie. Once I visited Canada and had the most delicious warm Apple pie with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. It’s been more than 20 years ago, but I can still taste it.
Coming to live in Thailand we had to make Apple pie for our Thai friends, because she had never tasted it. She wanted to learn how to make it by herself. Now the Dutch Apple pie has moved to Thailand too. This is a family recipe.

In Thailand we have apples; granny smith, golden delicious, yellow apple and a pear like apple called Sali. It’s a fresh and moist apple-pear. This one we had in the house when I wanted to bake Apple pie.

I promised Peter not to bake sweet things for a while, because we are watching our growing bodies. But, the urge to bake was too big. And I thought of something healthy. Apple pie is healthy, isn’t it?

So, when I started to collect all ingredients I discovered Sali apple was not the best apple for this pie. But, what about a healthy Apple pie without apple? We bought healthy nuts and dried fruits last couple of weeks. And these were all waiting to be good filling for a loaf of bread.

Still wanting healthy and delicious; so I went for a Nutty Fruity Pie.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Crusty Buns

This weekend we went to Chiang Mai, a lovely old city in the North of Thailand. It’s a four hours drive, but it’s worth it. We go there every few months and enjoy all the things we don’t have in our small and quiet village. We buy a lot of bags of all purpose flour and all the other flours I use more and more. Flours like; rye, roasted malt, whole wheat bran and this time we also bought corn meal. There are many shops with nuts, dried fruit, chocolate we like visit to taste their products . 
But, we also go to eat ice cream, go to a big mall with airco (we normally don’t like it, but here we love it). Every weekend there are great artisan street markets where artistic Thai people sell their mostly own designs of many things. At the nearby Temples you can eat delicious Thai food. And of course we go to the big plant market. So, there is enough to do during these days.
At some of the big shops you can buy good bread. We bought a few of crusty buns; they have hard and chewy crust and soft crumb. When we ate these Peter said; ‘Connie when you can bake buns that taste like these, you're the greatest’. You can imagine what I did when we came back home. Yes, I went to look for a good recipe for these crusty buns. And, no surprise when I found in my own archive I had baked them before. Only I didn’t bake them as buns, but as a loaf; French country Bread. I found the recipe at the site of Arden, now known as Levine.
We both agreed, these are deliciously crunchy buns; hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Great buns with cheese, hamburger, or anything you like. This evening we eat the last 4 buns with a fresh vegetable soup and home made boursin (soft creamy cheese (made from home made yogurt) with garlic and other herbs).