I was invited to join in a post by Karin recently to create ‘a bread worthy of Götz von Berlichingen, the Knight With the Iron Hand’. and so far I have come up with a Kefir Rimacinata Bread – which might just have a bit more bite and oomph and hopefully would appeal to such a forceful character.
I made this bread using the milk kefir variety of levain as per the formula below, (if anyone using BreadStorm wants the .bun file please let me know in the comments and I will email it to the email address you use to comment with, as I have now purchased the desktop version of the software as I like it so much). One could easily use yoghurt and yeast instead and leave out the date syrup if not using the milk kefir.
It yields a warm and lightly lactic sour golden loaf with a soft and slightly chewy crumb and a nice thin crust with a bit of bite to it. Excellent with marmalade, Swedish fish paste or almond butter, just as it is without toasting – and I am sure you could slap a couple of slices together with some mortadella, Black Forest Ham or cheese from the breakfast table and pop it in your chain mail pouch as you go off to pillage somewhere, or sling it in your saddlebag for a horseback sandwich as you gallop down dappled country lanes – it is a reasonably robust loaf.
If I get a chance I will make a yeasted version of the dough and put it in a pullman and see how it works as a pullman loaf for square sandwiches and toast, but I quite like miche profile sandwiches these days !
A note on the flour and some links that might be useful if you haven’t come across this flour before:-
When I was doing the Mellow Bakers project I went on a quest and found the flour In Bristol, imported and always stocked by Licatas in Picton Street. I made my version of a Semolina Rimacinata Loaf then with toasted sesame seeds and sesame seed crust and the quality of the crumb made me think this is a bread for Götz’s breakfast, not as fluffy as a traditional white sandwich loaf but not as heavy and hearty as a full-on multi grain bread.
This particular flour is not that easy to get hold of because it is an import. Celia @ Figjam and Lime Cordial is also very fond of this flour and regularly uses it in her baking. Sally has used it very successfully too, have a look at the Bewitching Kitchen’s Semolina Sourdough Boule.
Euan, aka signor biscotti, writes about the differences between semola di grano duro rimacinata and the semolina sold in the shops in the UK and demonstrates that you can make a lovely bread using pudding semolina in Pudding Semolina Bread on his blog and writes eloquently about the confusion surrounding the word semolina, as he says the word semolina ‘…is used to refer to a number of different things’.
However, I had a quick look this morning and found this brand Divella Semola Rimacinata online from Matta’s International Foods; there may well be other online stockists and suppliers or if you have an Italian Delicatessen in your town or city, it is always worth asking them or as Euan suggests, have a go with the semolina you can buy in the supermarket!
Guten Appetit Herr Götz! Hoffentlich haben Sie etwas Leckeres zum Frühstück von Karin und ihren Freunden gefunden! (my school German attempt at saying, ‘Hope you find something tasty for your breakfast Mr Götz from Karin and her friends’)
- Make a kefir based levain as per formula above with flour, kefir, water and date syrup. You can make a kefir preferment without added sugar but it takes longer to ferment and is not as vigorous. Optionally add a spike of dried active yeast to speed everything up.
- Mix the levain 18-24 hours before preparing the final dough.
- The preferment should be bubbling vigorously at the ideal point to mix the final dough but can be mixed successfully if it has started to separate providing it still looks bubbly and not a pool of slithery gunk. Use your nose and your judgement on this!
Dough mixing notes:
- Mix final dough using a stand mixer or by hand. These notes are for mixing with a stand mixer:-
- Melt and allow butter to cool.
- Use room temperature water to mix dough unless you are planning to retard the dough after mixing in which case cooler water is appropriate.
- Mix levain and water together first. Hold back 50g of the water to start with.
- Mix the flours together before adding to the dough if you remember.
- Mix on slow speed till no visible flour is left and the mixture looks sticky and is beginning to come away from the sides of the bowl. If it forms a big lump round the dough hook, add extra water.
- Leave for 15 minutes for the flour to absorb all the water and start to develop. If it looks very tight, add up to 50 ml more water
- Sprinkle salt on the top of the dough and mix in at low speed.
- Dribble the melted butter in and mix till incorporated.
- Turn dough out and check that is is quite soft and beginning to develop.
- Place in a bowl and cover.
- Prove for 2.5-4 hours depending on room temperature. I stretch and fold the dough twice during this time.
- When dough has increased in volume by about half and shows good aeration on cutting, scale and shape as required.
- The final prove is quite slow if you are relying on the milk kefir alone to raise the dough. On a warm afternoon it needed another four hours or so before it was ready to bake.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven with steam at 220 C for about 40 minutes and reduce the oven temperature by 10 degrees or so for another 20 minutes of the bake if you are baking a large loaf like this.