Tag Archives: rainbow chard

Summertime and the Desired Dough Temperature

Here is a ‘quick’ hybrid sourdough/yeast bread that I made today, suffering from low bread baking pressure as I was. It was suddenly hot today, (hotter than Athens)  27°C  degrees outside, 24°C in my kitchen which as people who read too many bread books know is a  ‘desired dough temperature’ for many breads.

Mixed sourdough starters light rye bread by Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

50 g mature rye starter at about 100 per cent hydration
100 g mature white starter ditto
320 g water at 22 C
50 g dark rye flour
200g strong white flour
250g very strong white flour (high gluten)
a squeeze of agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon instant active yeast

Autolyse for 30 minutes


10 g salt

This bread marked a small turning point for me.  No book, no recipe, just what I have finally managed to get stuck in my brain as to numbers, it has taken a while….

To print this recipe with suggested timings and oven temperatures click here

I had been feeding my starters for a couple of days and they were never quite ready at the point when I was ready, so this morning I took what I had as above. Mixed them with water, mixed up some flour to match, a squeeze of agave syrup for luck, which we all need, a pinch of yeast because I wanted to bake them before midnight, nearly forgot the salt. I think the autolyse process was designed by someone who forgot the salt, don’t you?

Method once mixed: Leave, neglect, forget, remember, fold, leave, neglect, forget, do the garden, entertain the dogs by throwing squeaky balls into the paddling pool, I do enjoy listening to Zeb blowing bubbles under water and I  finally dug out the tulip pots. Brownie point there.  Remember the bread again,  get it into a square ended 1 kg  banneton, leave, neglect, forget. Hastily put oven on, tip dough onto peel, slash, steam oven, put flattened out dough into oven. Sit down in front of oven and stare. And then the miracle of oven spring! Yay! Even this bread came through for me.  I love bread so much,  a cake wouldn’t have tolerated being treated the way I treated this poor dough today.  A nice substantial white loaf  with a hint of rye,  sourdough tangy, a good crust, not as airy as a full blown nursed, timed and cosseted  mulitpli -folded sourdough, but quite frankly I don’t give a damn!

Flush with success, I dashed out into the garden and savaged the rainbow chard which had miraculously survived the winter snow and ice; chopped it up, steamed it lightly and mixed it up with two eggs, a packet of feta cheese, some freshly brewed yoghurt, some chopped garden mint, a twist of black pepper and then wrapped it up in the remainder of the  filo pastry which I found in the fridge today, brushed with melted butter, into the oven at 170 ° C till done!

Yum delish with some salad and a  chilled glass of organic white – biobon sauvignon blanc from Riverford of which they say

Biobon Sauvigon Blanc, Pays d’Oc, Gérard Bertrand

Next to Sauvignons from more northerly climbs, this is soft, almost creamy but it still has that lively, slightly aromatic quality. Most importantly is that it’s pure and easy to drink, with you instinctively reaching for another glass.

My broadband provider, Virgin Media, and my TV are out of order as I write, so I think it is time for another glass of wine, don’t you?  And here four hours later I am connected again. Cheers!

Downstairs meanwhile, the TV and the set top box and the DVD player have decided to stop talking to each other following a visit from a Virgin Media ‘engineer’ the other day. Fortunately they never get their hands on my Mac!  Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!