This is the same bread as the previous date kefir bread post but I have reduced the quantities to help my kefir buddies. I would have tacked this onto the end of the old post but it would get a bit long. So forgive me doing it this way. Please read the other post for full method etc. This makes two loaves which should fit in a domestic oven if you shape into ovals like this:-
Numbers for a smaller quantity of dough which should give you two good sized medium loaves of approx 630g each (baked weight) or 1 and a half lbs – and thus less likely to make a mixer struggle.
For the preferment
115 g room temp water
150g fresh live kefir
187g strong bread flour
35g date syrup
mix well and leave in covered bowl for 18 hours
all of the above preferment plus…
225g – 275g water, hold back on some of the water till you see how dough comes together
640g bread flour – the final shape and lift of the loaf will depend in part on the type of flour you use, I tend to use about 50% very strong flour to get the crumb that Brian likes amd vary the other half to use stone milled flours.
12-15g of salt, depending on your preferences
20-30g of melted butter. I thnk it improves keeping quality and softness but you can leave this out or experiment with an oil you like instead.
Dough takes between three to four hours to develop to the point at which you shape it. I suspect it would start to get more sourdough like in taste if you retard it and that is not my goal with this bread. My aim is to get it baked roughly 6-8 hours after the final mix.
You can divide this into two and shape and bake in tins or shape free style, or make rolls, stuffed breads etc. If you mix with more water and maybe olive oil you could try for a foccacio type bread too. Possibilities!
I used new Herbert Birnbaum 750g oval banettons with wooden bottoms for these loaves, like my very first ones from Germany, where I ended up sending Euros in an envelope, not a method I would recommend! These ones were purchased from The Weekend Bakery using PayPal (see Friends and Inspirations page for links) who offer excellent customer service and have a wonderful site packed with bready knowledge. You don’t need banettons to make this, you can shape freeform or use tins or improvise with a colander and an old well floured teatowel, or buy a florist’s wicker basket and line with a cloth.
Fran (aka Narf7) has just sent me photos of her uber cool home made organic soya kefir bread! Hoping she will write a post soon so I can link to it. Link here now! I love the way bread brings people together across the world. Waves madly at Tasmania!
Abby has made the bread here on her Magic Ingredient post
and my friend Fran M (aka Fancybake who lives in the North of England) has been busy making kefir bread too, she doesn’t blog so here is a picture that she sent me of her raisin kefir bread. She is a wonderful home baker who I met in Yorkshire.
and Pete in Swindon has made a formidable loaf topped with sesame seeds – read his delightful blogpost by clicking on the link.
If you have a go and don’t blog and want me to add a photo here let me know in a comment or if you want me to link to your blog post I will add it in here.