Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sourdough Roasted Garlic Bread

Host for this month Bread Baking Day is Jenni of The Gingerd Wisk. She would like to have a Bread Fashion Show. We can do whatever we want as long as we decorate our bread. She gave us some examples and as soon as I saw Sourdough Roasted Garlic Bread made by Susan of Wild Yeast, I knew what to bake. I’m a fan of Susan and this recipe is high on my list of bread to bake. 
Often I started with the preparations for this bread and then we ate the roasted garlic without baking the bread. But not today; today I will bake the bread! The garlic’s are roasted, more garlic heads than I need just in case and the levain is ready.

Because I know Susan’s recipes are good I bake 2 loaves. Even though Susan said to hold back some of the water I just went for it and used all the water. I did all the required stretch and folds, which helped, but still the dough was slack. Considering this I’m very happy with the result and want to show them anyway. The loaves a not as well risen as I’m used to. But the smell and taste were very good. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pain au Levain with Sunflower, sesame and flax seeds

After some weeks with family and without baking bread it’s time to give my full attention to my sourdough. I needed to feed the sourdough two times before I could use it. Still, not bad after such a long neglect. 

Today I wanted to smell roasted sunflower seeds in our house. We love the smell and taste of these nutty seeds. And together with sesame and flax seeds we also have a very healthy loaf. 

I found a nice recipe of Daniel Leader made by Weekend Loafer.

I like to grind the flax instead of making the soaker. Because I grinded whole wheat bran in my blender it was more coarse and absorbed more water than I anticipated at first. I added water when I was kneading the dough by hand until it felt good (medium dough consistency). I had to finish to knead the dough by hand because the mixer stopped, because a bug (probably a cockroach) made his/her home on the printed circuit board. We live in the tropics and so do a lot of bugs and some want to live inside my mixer. Peter has removed a few families already and knows what to do. In the meantime I kneaded the dough by hand. At first we had to get use to the idea of cockroaches in our house, but mostly we don’t see them because they come out at night. In every house in the tropics you find them together with geckos, ants, mosquitoes and what else walks or flies in. The other night we had a bat coming out of the chimney, one day a snake followed a frog on the run right into our living room. And yesterday morning we woke up from a loud bang against the terrace windows; a young owl was sitting on the terrace looking dizzy. Luckily she wasn’t hurt and after some time she flew away. Now we can enjoy her when she flies  by in owl-light. 


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jam Fantans

As soon as I saw these lovely fans I knew what to bake for our friend. We love visiting local markets to buy our vegetables and herbs. In our surroundings there are several 'once-a-week' markets. Every Tuesday there is a market near a friend's house, he lives 20 km from our house. Every Wednesday we go to a morning-market 35 km from our house.
At the Tuesday market many people from the hill tribes: Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Karen Longneck and also local Thai people come for their weekly shopping. Our friend is married with a Karen woman and they live in a very small village of only 10 houses.

When we have our weekly vegetables from the market we visit to our friend for a nice breakfast and talk. Normally we buy local Thai treats for breakfast, but this time I brought the Jam Fantans. I baked 3 with marmalade and 3 with homemade lychee jam. Our friend had some Canadian Gouda cheese. When we went home, the breakfast table was empty.

Elle of Feeding my Enthusiasms is kitchen of the first month of 2013 for the Bread Baking Babes. She came up with great fantans for us.

I use my sourdough whenever I can, but this time I didn’t read the whole recipe and used yeast instead.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Russian Dark Rye with Borodino

It’s January 2013 and here in Thailand; 2556. We had some busy weeks because we had a family visit from the Netherlands. It was great to show them our favorite places and enjoy each other’s company. The visit gave me not much time to bake new bread and in the spare moments I baked a ‘no-fail’ Norwich sourdough; as always a hit.

Today I had time to bake something new. This is the second month I bake with pre-mixed flour from
Schmidt. I choose Borodino. The main ingredients of this dark rye bread are a mixture of rye flour and wheat flour, yeast, salt, barley malt syrup, black treacle or molasses and coriander and caraway (fennel) seeds. Since I used pre-mixed Borodino I added all purpose flour, rye flour, sugar, ginger syrup, salt and coriander and caraway seeds.

This year Schmidt gives me pre-mixed flours to bake bread. Every month I bake one or more breads with their flour and write about my experiences on my blog. Maybe more people in Thailand will (start to) bake their own bread or ask their bakeries for healthy bread. Last month I baked Avena Vital; a delicious oat bread.

There are some stories about this Russian bread. One is about the largest and bloodiest single-day battle of Napoleon’s invasion in Russia in 1812. The battle took place at the Russian village Borodino. Borodino bread, also known as Borodinsky bread, is named by a general's wife who sought to inspire the Russian troops before the battle of Borodino. Other stories tell about the widows of the Russian soldiers who created a new type of mixed rye bread. And some others don’t think it’s possible the bread was baked before 1917, the Great October Revolution. It has to be a great recipe for it to survive until now! I was curious and ready to bake it.

My conclusion: we like it!
The bread has a nice soft and moist crumb. The taste is slightly sweet and has a nice flavor of caraway and coriander seeds. In the pre-mixed Borodino there’s roasted malt, this gives the loaf a beautiful dark color without the taste of molasses. It’s a loaf you keep on eating until it’s gone. It goes very well with cheese, marmalade and our home made peanut butter. But even without these spreads it’s delicious. Next time though, I will omit the sugar because I think it the taste doesn’t need it.
If you’re not familiar with rye bread, this is great start. It’s an easy recipe. There are more ways to bake Borodino, with boiled sponge, but this is an easy way to bake this delicious bread.
Good color and great taste