It’s been too long…
It’s been too long since I made a seedy loaf and anxious to remedy that I grabbed Monsieur Hartley’s Bethesdabasics and gave his Sourdough Spelt and 5-seed bread a workout yesterday evening. Luckily I had some white starter waiting patiently for an outing so it was meant to be.
I’ve never put poppy seeds in a dough before, usually sprinkling them on the top and in the bottom of the oven, on the floor and so on. I like the adrenalin rush of skidding in my socks on the fine layer of baking debris on the floor, especially carrying a hot tray or a kettle of boiling water; all part of the home baking process. Sometimes I have to vacuum my feet; the dogs mysteriously vanish as I open the cupboard under the stairs as the vacuum cleaner is one of their sworn enemies.
I confess that I didn’t soak the seeds overnight, only for a mere hour, but the mix of linseed, poppy and other bird seed (sorry Jackdaw) absorbed nearly all the water in that time so I figured I would get away with it. Linseed has an interesting glutinous quality once soaked which makes the dough a little sticky when you work with it, but also gives the dough a lovely moistness and makes it easy to shape and score.
I mixed the dough up at about 5 pm and baked it just after midnight, leaving it to cool while the foxes roamed the garden, calling to each other and the robin sang away in the dark. Did I mention I live in a city? It’s full of animals out there and they take full advantage of the night.
This morning the sun is bright and the temperature has risen to a balmy 6 º C, so I’ve celebrated by dragging the Hartley loaf outside for its photocall and then hastily back indoors as it’s not that warm really. You can’t beat a breakfast of fresh bread and butter, just delicious!
This is a moist and well fermented bread full of nutty seedy goodness, yet with no sense of crunching on tiny seeds as the soaking has softened them all right down – Brian won’t eat seedy bread, but that’s all right because he has endless loaves of white toast stuffed in the freezer. To each their own!
Not long now till the Bethesda shindig in July when you can meet Mick, marvel at his eyebrows and bake with him and anyone else who chooses to come. It’s not a workshop, but a gathering, a get together, a bake-in, it’s what the participants want it to be and it will be fun! If you fancy stepping off the internet and into a floury environment for a day or a weekend find out more here.