Where did the time go?
The Mellow Bakers are almost at the end of their long journey through ‘Bread’ by Jeffrey Hamelman and I have been so mellow of late that I have hardly baked any of the monthly breads.
Yesterday though I promised someone some seedy bread and made this delicious sourdough from the December choices.
I adapted the recipe to suit what I had in the house and speeded it up too so I am not sure how close it is to what Mr H has in mind but so it goes. I only made a half quantity as I wanted to make two small loaves, one for a lunch and one to give away.
I had a feeling that we have made something very similar before but I have lost track!
For this bread I used:
- 360 g strong white bread flour
- 40 g wholemeal rye flour
- 11 g salt
- 150 g refreshed starter at 125 % hydration
- A soaker of flax/linseed 35 g seeds to 110 g warm water
- 30g of toasted sesame seeds and 60g of pumpkin seeds
- 110 g warm water
The house is coldish at the moment, averaging about 18 º C without the heating on so the first prove was fairly slow about 3 hours.
I split the dough into two small balls, shaped them and put them in my smallest bannetons and tucked them in the boiler cupboard to prove and I turned the heating on as it was getting dark and late and I was chilly.
The boiler cupboard is the insides of a kitchen cupboard, hung on the wall over the ancient boiler that heats this house. It has a frame built round it and a door. It gets a bit overcrowded as you can see, though I have tidied it since I took this picture.
The book says give this dough a long cold prove, but I gave them a warm prove for another two and a half hours or so, and then baked them in my new La Cloche (birthday present) at 220º C for approximately thirty minutes.
I served the bread with a delicious Red Pepper and Sweet Potato winter soup made with:
- One large sweet potato
- 3 large red peppers
- 1 large leek
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 sprigs of fresh coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
- A litre of jellied chicken stock (from roasting chickens)
- A small piece of red chilli
- Salt and pepper
- Peel, chop and seed and wash etc., all the vegetables. Sweat in a little olive oil in a heavy duty pan with the lid on for about an hour till soft and juicy, stir in the ground cumin or any seasonings you prefer. Leave overnight if you are making this soup ahead but you can simply continue on if that’s your schedule.
- The following day, add the chicken stock, a little boiling water. Whizz with Braun hand whizzer thing till smooth. If the soup seems too thick add more water. If you want a super smooth soup then put it through a sieve but I rarely do that.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Serve piping hot with thick yoghurt or creme fraiche and garnish with coriander leaves. The slight bitterness of the red peppers sets off the sweetness of the sweet potato beautifully.
We also had Portuguese freshly roasted chestnuts – we are so lucky to live near countries where they grow these so well like Italy, Spain and Portugal – to toss from hand to hand while we peeled them and greedily followed up with a slice of apple rye cake (yes the almonds on the top do go soggy!) and as my friend doesn’t drink caffeine, I found my dried lime flowers from the summer and made her a tisane with that.
Outside there is hail, snow, rain, wind, and darkness but inside there is bright orange soup and fresh bread, very hyggeli!