It’s been a while since we had a nice brown bread on our table. Wouldn’t it be nice to make a Brown Essential Columbia. This country French-style bread is named for the Columbia River. It’s a beautiful river like our river Mae Kok here in the North of Thailand. We’re lucky to have a river near our village. Beside all obvious reasons for having a river, water also helps with the fun we all have during Songkran; Thai New Year. It's very hot during these days; more than 35C (95F). In the street people throw water at each other. It’s a very old tradition to visit and pay respect to elders (family, friends, neighbors and monks) during these three days. And at the river banks the locals build bamboo restaurants and they rent out big tubes to play in the water. From the south many come to visit their family and play in the river. It’s a happy celebration all over the country. But, especially in the North of Thailand.
Of course it's also time to bake a bread, despite the heat. The delicious bread I choose comes from Maggie Glezer's book "Artisan Baking".
This is a absolutly delicious loaf of bread. There are a few on my list of favorites; Norwich Sourdough, Tartine Country Bread, Ciabatta. And now this Essential’s Columbia is on there too.
I’ve baked it a few times before, but today I wanted to bake a brown bread. Just add a little bit of roasted malt and you have a nice brown bread. The other thing I changed was honey in stead of non-diastatic barley malt syrup.
I found this recipe also in Dutch at Levine’s Uit de keuken van Levine.