Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Golden Flax and Spelt Sourdough Loaf


Having successfully tried one recipe from this cookbook for our May bake, I checked it out from the library to see what else it had to offer.  Artisan Sourdough Made Simple looked to be a winner for me.  Now I have my own personal copy.  This amazingly delicious flax and spelt loaf just confirms a great recipe selection.  It's a cookbook I think well worth getting your own copy.

Of course it is a bonus that flax happens to be quite good for you as well, with its high levels of healthful omega 3 fatty acids.  Both the flax and the spelt have a lovely nutty flavor and the flax adds a soft springiness to the bread that is very enjoyable.  Oh, and this loaf sang to me when it was done!  I have had that happen only rarely, and it's a real treat to hear that wonderful crackling sound of an especially perfect crust cooling down.


I suspect that lovely crackle and thin crispy crust is due to the baking method.  This loaf is originally meant to be baked in a lidded pot like a dutch oven.  Now that I am actually paging through the beginning of the book, I see that the method I chose to approximate this is indeed listed there.  Hey, guys aren't the only ones who don't read directions.  So what I did was to invert a granite ware roasting pan bottom over the loaf on my baking stone.  It gives the same steam oven effect with inexpensive items many people already own.  I've had that old roaster for years and my mom gave me her nice pampered chef baking stone because she would never use it whereas I use it all the time.  They seem to work very well together.  The other nice thing about the roaster is that it is light and easy to maneuver.   At any rate, it seemed to work brilliantly.  My kids are devouring the loaf as we speak.  One with butter, and one swooning over how good it is with Boursin.

For once I did have bread flour on hand and so did use that as well as the all purpose, but I did substitute freshly ground sprouted spelt for the whole spelt flour.  It slightly changed the formula and water needs of the dough, so I did adjust amounts of flour a bit.  I also noted that the flax, which is meant to be pre-soaked, absorbed a good 90g of water and then held on to a lot of the rinse water as it seemed to me.  You are asked to add warm water just to cover the seeds and they swelled so quickly that I added a touch more.  Originally 60g, then 30g more.  I would recommend not using hot water, just warm, and stop as soon as the seeds are covered and don't add any more.  They will swell and absorb it all, as well as creating and keeping a gel during their rinse.  It's the nature of flax seed.  Lovely texture and crunch in the bread though!  So due to those factors, I added 120g extra all purpose flour to match the dough in the cookbook pictures.  Still a very nicely hydrated and somewhat sticky dough.  Not difficult to work with at all after the bulk rise.


So if you're looking for a tasty sourdough with health benefits as well as great flavor, give this one a try.  Try the May recipe too.  For that matter, just get a copy of the cookbook!


Golden Flax and Spelt Sourdough Loaf
Yield: 1 Large Round Loaf

50 g (¼ cup) bubbly, active starter
365 g (1½ cups plus 1 tsp) warm water
180 g (about 1¾ cups) whole spelt flour (I used freshly ground sprouted spelt, sifted)
150 g (1¼ cups) bread flour
150 g (1¼ cups) all-purpose flour (I added an extra 120g or 1 cup)
9 g (1½ tsp) fine sea salt
60 g (about ⅓ cup) golden flax seeds
Oil, for coating omitted

A few days before baking, feed your starter until bubbly and active. Store at room temperature until ready to use.  I used mine straight out of the fridge, it had been fed a little over a week ago.  I keep my hydration slightly less than 100% so it lasts well between feedings.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the starter and water together.  Add the flours and salt.  Mix with paddle to combine. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, soak the flax seeds in just enough warm water to cover while the dough is resting.  (Flax seeds must be soaked to prevent dehydrating the dough.)  Rinse and drain well in a fine sieve before using.  They will feel very sticky and gelatinous.
Add the flax seeds to the rough dough.  Knead them into the dough, using the dough hook, until incorporated.  It will take a few minutes.  The dough will be slippery at first, but after a minute or so it will feel less sticky to the touch.

Cover again and let rise at room temperature until double in size. This will take about 6 to 8 hours at 70°F (21°C). (About 10 hours for my cold starter.)  Optional Step: About 30 minutes into the bulk rise, stretch and fold the dough for added structure and height. Repeat this process, about 2 to 3 times, spaced 45 minutes apart.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly oiled surface.  The oil helps to combat any residual stickiness from the flax seeds.  Shape the dough into a round and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.  (I simply shaped mine directly onto a floured towel, no oil required.)  Line an 8-inch (20-cm) bowl or proofing basket with a towel and sprinkle with flour. (I used a banneton floured with rice flour.)  With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you in a circular motion to tighten its shape.  Place the dough into the prepared bowl, seam side up.
Cover dough and let rest until puffy but not fully risen, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.  (55 minutes for me.)  Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).  Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the size of your baking pot.  Or just a rectangle if using a stone and a cover.

Place the parchment over the dough and invert the bowl to release.  (I inverted onto a pizza peel and parchment.)  Dust the dough with flour and rub the surface gently to coat. Poke your finger down into the center of the dough, going about three-quarters of the way through. Then make eight 3-inch (8-cm) cuts around the dough using the tip of a razor blade or knife.  Use the parchment to transfer the dough into the baking pot.  Or use a baking sheet or pizza peel to slide the loaf onto the baking stone and then cover with the roaster.

Bake the dough on the center rack for 20 minutes, covered.  Remove the lid/pan, and continue to bake for another 30 minutes. Lift the bread out of the pot, and finish baking directly on the rack for the last 10 minutes.  (This may not be necessary with the baking stone method, mine did not need the extra 10 minutes and was already at 200ºF internal temp.)  Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 1 hour before slicing.
This loaf is best enjoyed on the same day it is baked. Store at room temperature for 1 to 2 days in a plastic bag.


Approximate nutrition for one slice of about 60g:


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Rosemary Raisin Bread with the BBB


This month, our Bread Baking Babes host kitchen has chosen a wonderful sourdough bread, great for beginners because it has the insurance of added yeast.  Of course it is perfectly acceptable to let it be completely sourdough risen if you so desire and at least one of the Babes did choose that option.  It's also a forgiving recipe because only now as I write, do I realize that I left out a portion of flour!  And it still turned out great!  I had planned on doing half bread flour and half freshly ground sprouted spelt for the bread flour portion, and completely forgot the additional whole grain flour portion.  Fortunately I had withheld a little water due to the spelt, but my dough was still on the sticky side and I was okay with it being that way.  The little loaves turned out beautifully soft, but with plenty of structure still.  Wonderful fresh with butter, brilliant toasted.  I made a half batch and divided that into two small loaves, using golden raisins in one and dried blueberries in the other.  Both were wonderful but I suspect the blueberry option would be elevated properly by the addition of some lemon zest next time.  A half batch would probably fit into a 9x5" loaf pan for a generously sized loaf.  I liked my two little loaves baked in two 8x4" pans, especially since I was using two different dried fruits.  Which, by the way, our host kitchen has given permission for changing up the herb and fruit combination if you like.  I do love the golden raisins, love how the blueberry turned out, and would love to try dried cranberry as well.  I was also very extended on the initial rise time because it was quite hot and I wanted it to cool down before I turned on the oven.  I definitely more than doubled, probably tripled,  but the dough happily complied and rose again nicely for the final shaping.


We would love for you to try out this recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  This is a great and easy sourdough to try out, wonderful fresh and toasted, with great flavor and versatility.  I imagine it would make fabulous french toast!  Definitely worth making.  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished loaf to Judy's Gross Eats by the 29th of this month.  Be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.   New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.


Rosemary Raisin Sourdough Bread
(Recipe can be halved or doubled)
28 oz bread flour (794 grams) (I used half bread flour, half sprouted spelt)
8 oz whole grain flour (227 grams) (Oops, forgot!)
1 oz Kosher salt (28 grams) (I used a bit less, 12.3g for half batch)
2 tsp. active dry yeast (6 grams)
2 oz honey (57 grams)
4 oz olive oil (113 grams)
4 oz raisins (113 grams) (I used more, I like my raisins well stocked! 70g per loaf, 80g blueberries)
1/8 cup chopped fresh rosemary
16 oz sourdough starter (100% hydration) (454 grams)
16 oz room-temperature water (454 grams)

Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until just combined into a shaggy dough.  Cover and let mixture rest for 10 minutes.  
Using a dough hook, knead dough for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1½ to 2 hours, or until doubled.
Remove dough from bowl and shape as desired.  Place on baking sheet or in loaf pans, cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
About 20 minutes before baking, heat oven to 450˚F.  Add steam if desired and bake at 450˚F for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 400˚F and continue baking until top is brown and the internal temperature is between 190-200˚F, about 15-20 minutes.  Watch the bread carefully so it doesn’t get too dark (adjust oven temperature accordingly).  (After the first 10 and 15 minutes, I removed the loaves from the pans and baked for another 5 minutes directly on the oven rack to finish.)
Remove from oven; let cool on rack before slicing.


Thumbs up from all family members!


The rest of the Bread Baking Babes


Approximate nutrition per slice for my small loaves:



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Lady Grey Date Nut Bread #BreadBakers


Dates really are nature's candy.  It's no secret that I've had a serious sweet tooth all my life.  When I was a kid it was quite a treat for my mom to get a bag of chopped crystallized dates.  They were usually hidden so they would last for actual recipes.  I used to pick them first out of any mixes we got that contained them.  But I never actually had a real whole date until I was an adult, and that creamy, sweet experience (and I do prefer the soft, creamy medjool dates), was barely comparable to those hard little nuggets of my childhood.  Needless to say, I have found many ways to enjoy whole and freshly chopped dates in my baking ever since.  Mom loves a date nut bread so I thought that would be a nice bake.  But delicious as they are, dates are rather plainly sweet.  I wanted to boost the flavor just a little bit.  One of our favorite Christmas cookies is an Earl Grey shortbread.  They are outrageously good and I thought the tea would complement the bread beautifully.  So I added a double dose of tea to this bread with both brewed and loose additions.  A little ginger for warmth and some lemon zest for a brighter note, and you have a sublime date bread.  (Hint, if you really love ginger and want to actually taste it instead of it being just a subtle enhancement, by all means add more or even add some crystallized ginger with the dates.)  I love pecans, but this would be equally good with walnuts.  


It is wonderful fresh with butter, but goodness me, it is out of this world toasted and buttered for breakfast.  A very nice treat for any occasion.  And I find it quite suitable to have a version of tea bread with actual tea in it.  And so if you haven't already guessed, this month the Bread Bakers group has baked Quick Bread Loaves.  After the recipe, be sure to check out the amazing collection of breads.  And thank you so much to Stacy at food lust people love for hosting the theme this month!


Lady Grey Date Nut Bread
makes one 8x4" loaf of tea bread

185g (6.5 oz.) (about 1½ cups) coarsely chopped, pitted dates
¼ cup strongly brewed Lady Grey or Earl Grey tea, still hot
2 tbsp (1 oz or 28 grams) butter, well softened
2 tbsp sour cream
½ cup (97g) muscovado sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tbsp grated lemon zest
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp ginger powder
2 tsp Lady Grey or Earl Grey tea (about 2 bags worth)
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3 oranges)
¾ cup (3 oz or 85 grams) coarsely chopped pecans

Glaze
¾ cup powdered sugar
½-1 tbsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Combine the chopped dates, hot brewed tea, and 2 tsp vanilla in a small bowl and set aside for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Lightly butter a 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper, then butter or spray again lightly.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, and brown sugar together on medium speed until well combined.  Beat in sour cream and scrape down the bowl.  Add the egg and lemon zest and mix well.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, loose tea, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice to the creamed mixture, beating only until just combined.  Fold in the dates with their liquid, and the pecans by hand.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile whisk together the powdered sugar with enough orange juice to make glaze of your desired thickness. Start with ½ tbsp juice and add by half teaspoons until drizzling consistency.  Spread the glaze over the cooled bread.




#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Check out our other quick bread concoctions this month:

  • Banana Nut Bread from Sneha's Recipe 
  • Cheddar Bacon Chive Quick Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories 
  • Chocolate Quick Bread from Sara's Tasty Buds 
  • Coconut Sweet Bread from Passion Kneaded 
  • Cranberry Pecan Quick Bread from Food Lust People Love 
  • Espresso Banana Quick Bread with Espresso Streusel from All That's Left Are The Crumbs 
  • Irish Soda Bread from Anybody Can Bake 
  • Keto Low Carb Coconut Flour Bread from Cook With Renu
  • Lemon Blueberry Bread from Palatable Pastime 
  • Lemon Pistachio Loaf from Ambrosia 
  • Summer Shandy Beer Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm 
  • Zucchini Bread from Simply Inspired Meals



  • Approximate nutrition per slice of bread:

     
    BreadBakers

    Thursday, May 16, 2019

    Multigrain Sourdough Sandwich Bread with the BBB


    This month, our Bread Baking Babes host kitchen has picked out a great sourdough loaf to bake!  Don't despair if you don't have a sourdough starter though, there are instructions at the end of the post for using yeast instead.  It won't be exactly the same, but still a great multigrain loaf. 


    There are plenty of ways to tweak this loaf and make it your own if you so desire, I chose to use a slightly larger portion of kamut for my whole wheat and I did elect to use the optional oat topping.  I really liked what it added to the loaf in flavor and texture as well as looking nice.  You can also use your own combination of grains or cereals for the soaker.  Keep in mind that the KA Harvest blend is made of whole grains while the Bob's cereal blend is a cracked mixture.  So either cracked grains or whole are fine depending on the texture you want your bread to have.


    The dough is soft and sticky but not really difficult to work with.  I did use a floured towel because I hate having to clean my counters after I use oil.  The dough had a great jiggle when fully risen, like some instagram videos of well hydrated dough I have seen!  My kids promptly demolished half the loaf and had more for breakfast toast on the way to school.  Good bread.


    We would love for you to try out this recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  This is a great sourdough to try out, equally excellent fresh, grilled, toasted, or sandwiched.  Definitely worth making.  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished loaf to Karen's Kitchen Stories by the 29th of this month.  Be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.   New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

    Multigrain Sourdough Sandwich Bread
    Makes 1 large loaf

    50g (¼ cup) bubbly 100% hydration sourdough starter
    300g (1¼ cups) warm water (I used 275g)
    20g (1 tbsp) honey
    45g (3 tbsp) melted coconut oil or soft butter
    50g (1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp) whole wheat flour  (I used 100g stone ground kamut)
    450g (3¾ cups) bread flour  (I used 400g all purpose)
    9g (1½ tsp) fine sea salt

    Soaker:
    70g (½ cup) King Arthur Flour Harvest Grains Blend or Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Cereal, or another mixture of grains and seeds (Bob's Red Mill blend contains soybeans, just so you know!)
    240g (1 cup) hot water
    Rolled oats for topping the loaf (optional)


    In a stand mixer, combine starter, water, honey, oil or butter, flours and salt and mix with dough hook until a shaggy dough is formed.  Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

    While the dough is resting, pour the hot water over the multigrain in a separate bowl and let rest. Drain thoroughly in a fine sieve before using.

    Add the soaked multigrain mixture to the dough and knead with dough hook to fully incorporate. The dough will be pretty wet at first but will begin to come together.  Don't add more flour.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise until doubled, about 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

    Place the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and press it out to a rectangle. Roll the dough into a log and place it into an oiled or buttered 9x5-inch loaf pan, seam side down.  (I did use a lightly floured towel and folded the sides in a number of times to strengthen the gluten cloak.)  Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rest until the dough has crested one inch above the rim of the pan, 1 to 2 hours.  (Mine took 3 hours.)

    Heat your oven to 450ºF.

    If you want to top the bread with rolled oats, brush the loaf with water and press in some oats. (I brushed the loaf with some eggbeaters that needed to be used up, and pressed the oats onto that.)

    Place the loaf on the center rack of the oven and reduce temperature to 400ºF.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 195-200ºF.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. 


     If you don't have a sourdough starter, start with a 50/50 by weight mixture of water and flour and a pinch of yeast and let it ferment for 12 to 24 hours. This may affect the timing.

    The sourdough starter in this bread is 100 percent hydration.

    Suggested timeline (plus or minus depending on the weather):

    Day one:
    Feed your starter and let it sit, covered, at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
    Day two:
    8 a.m. mix your dough and let it rise.
    4 p.m. Shape the dough and let it rise
    5 or 6 p.m. bake your loaf.

    Alternative timeline (plus or minus depending on the weather):
    Day one:
    Feed your starter and let it sit, covered, at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
    Day two:
    8 p.m. mix your dough and let it rise
    6 a.m. shape the dough and let it rise
    7 or 8 a.m. bake your loaf.
    (Timeline for my kitchen: Day 1 fed starter, that evening mixed dough around 9-10pm.  Covered and rose overnight.  Shaped next morning around 8:30-9am.  Baked around noon.)

    The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

    Approximate nutrition for one slice of bread:


     

    Tuesday, April 16, 2019

    Ciambella Mandorlata - A Celebration Bread with the BBB


    This month, in honor of Easter, our host kitchen has chosen for us to bake Ciambella Mandorlata; an Italian Easter bread that originates in Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region.  This lovely bread, usually shaped in a ring, has a soft, brioche-like texture and is decorated with a delightfully crunchy and sweet spiced almond topping.  The ring shape is supposed to represent the unity of the family and though often baked for Easter, it is also enjoyed throughout the year as a breakfast bread.


    We would love for you to try out this recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  This is a wonderful bread to share with family or friends on a special occasion, or just make a regular breakfast special. You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished flatbread to My Diverse Kitchen by the 29th of this month. Be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line. You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.


    Ciambella Mandorlata
    adapted from Ultimate Bread
    makes one loaf

    For the dough:
    2 tsp dry yeast (Mine is getting old and I used almost 2¾ tsp) 
    ½ cup lukewarm milk
    4½ cups bread flour (I used 250g freshly ground and sifted sprouted spelt, and about 365g all purpose flour)
    2 tsp salt
    1/3 cup sugar (scant)
    grated zest of 3 lemons (I used Meyer lemons)
    9 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (I only used 8 tbsp, one stick)
    3 eggs, beaten
    ½ cup water (I used ¼ cup for my dough and flour)
    I also added: 
    ½ tsp orange flower water
    1 tsp mahleb
    ¼ tsp cardamom

    For the topping:
    4 tsp ground cinnamon
    3 tbsp sugar
    ¾ cup blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped (I used sliced almonds)
    1 egg yolk
    I also added 1 tsp lemon zest to the topping as well


    Sprinkle the yeast over the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve.  Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest in a bowl.  Add to yeast mixture along with eggs and butter.  Add the water by tablespoons, as needed to form a soft, sticky dough.  Knead on medium speed until smooth, springy, and elastic, about 10 minutes.

    Scrape down the sides and form the dough into a ball.  Return to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel.  Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 4 hours.  (Three hours for my kitchen).  Deflate the dough, then cover again and let rest for about 10 minutes.

    Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a 16-inch (18") long rope.  Twist the two dough ropes together.  (I find that you get better definition in the "twist" if you lightly flour the ropes and just cross and place the pieces over each other, the same as if braiding a three strand, rather than actually twisting.)  Place the twist on a buttered baking sheet.  Form it into a ring by bringing the two ends of the rope together.  Match and pinch the edges of the pieces together to seal.  Cover and proof until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.  (I did put a glass in the middle to keep the center hole open, and stretched it out a bit after an hour.)

    To make the topping mix the cinnamon, sugar, almonds, and egg yolk in a bowl.  Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture evenly over the top of the ring. (I heated up a slurry of cornstarch and water until it gelled and added just a small spoonful to the topping because I felt it needed a bit more binding.  The rest I used to brush on the loaf with a pastry brush before adding the topping and it helped it stick beautifully!)


    Bake at 200ºC (400ºF) in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.  (We recommend baking for 10 minutes at 400ºF and turning down the heat to 375º to finish the loaf.  Tent with foil if the topping is browning too quickly.)


    The rest of the Bread Baking Babes



     Approximate nutrition for one slice of bread:





    Saturday, March 16, 2019

    The BBB Bake up some Moroccan Ksra


    Since Moroccan tagine happens to be one of my daughter's favorite dishes, when I found this bread that is traditionally served with tagine, I knew I wanted to try it out.  It is a flatbread with anise seed and in this version, barley flour or rolled barley.   (If you don't like anise you could always sub fennel or caraway I would guess.)  I expect it will be great with any stew or soup type dinner.  I couldn't find my rolled barley in the freezer, so I ground some pearl barley into flour.  If you can't find barley, you can always use whole wheat flour, rye or semolina.  I have seen this bread often topped with sesame seeds before baking, and it can be made on the grill as well.  You just have to be careful of hot spots and turn the flame down low while grilling and flip often. I think perhaps for my grill, preheat on medium instead of high.   I made my dough 3 days before I ended up using it and it will last up to 10 days in the refrigerator.  My grilled batch dough was 7-8 days old.  As it only needs a 30 minute rest before baking, this makes it a convenient flatbread to serve with dinner!  This batch makes two 7-8" wide, fairly thick rounds that are cut into wedges to serve.  You don't have to chill it first, but as it is somewhat sticky, it is definitely easier to work with after chilling.



    We would love for you to try out this recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  This is a wonderful bread to quickly bake up to go with any meal. You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished flatbread to me at eleyana (AT) aol (DOT) com, along with a photo and your baking experience by Mar. 31st and be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line. You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month. New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

    (Oh yes, I tried this bread as a sourdough and it worked just fine, but what was even better, I made half the dough into the flatbread and then a few days later decided to make the remaining half into sourdough waffles...  Seriously the best waffles EVER.  Lighter than air, melt in your mouth, tender and crispy.  And they reheated fabulously as well.  Two thumbs up from all family members, so a very versatile dough to say the least!  Another Babe did a proper sourdough conversion formula, but I just used the quick and simple rule to adapt recipes to sourdough: Substitute 1 cup of starter for each package of yeast, and then subtract about ½ cup of water and ¾ cup of flour from the recipe to compensate for the water and flour in the starter.)

    Ksra (Moroccan Anise and Barley Flatbread)
    from the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
    Makes two 7-8" rounds

    340g (1½ cups) Lukewarm water (100ºF or less)
    5g (1½ tsp) dry yeast
    8.5-12.5g (1½-1¾ tsp) kosher salt
    3.5g (1½ tsp) whole anise seeds
    45g (6 tbsp) barley flour or 35g (6 tbsp) rolled barley
    407.5g (2¾ c + 2 tbsp) all purpose flour (I used half sprouted flour 50/50 spelt and kamut blend)

    To make the dough:

    Mix together the yeast, salt, anise and water in a large bowl or container.  Stir in the remaining ingredients with a large wooden spoon, dough whisk, or in a mixer with the paddle.  Mix until the flour is incorporated fully.

    Cover and rest until the dough has fully risen and collapsed back down a bit, about 2 hours.  (I put mine straight in the fridge and didn't use it for three days!)

    You may use the dough after the initial rise but it's easier to work with cold.  Dough will keep up to 10 days in the fridge.

    To bake:

    Divide the dough in half, dust with flour, and shape each portion into a ball by stretching the sides down to the bottom of the ball and folding under.  You may also work with only one portion of dough if you like, the other will keep in the fridge for another day.

    Flatten each ball into a ¾" thick round and let rest on a parchment lined or cornmeal dusted pizza peel for 20-30 minutes.  Optional to sprinkle with sesame seeds or more anise seed.  Press lightly to help the seeds stick, or use an egg white wash to really hold them on!  Also optional to poke the dough with a skewer in a few places prior to baking.

    While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450ºF.  Place a baking stone near the middle of the oven and a metal pan or broiler tray on an unused oven rack and heat a cup of water to use for steam while baking.  (If you do not have a baking stone, you can use an inverted baking sheet, a cast iron pan, a pizza pan, or the grill on med-high!)  (If you use a grill, you will need to flip the dough periodically.)

    Slide rested loaf directly onto hot stone.  Pour 1 cup of hot water into the metal pan or tray for steam and quickly close the oven door.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until richly browned and firm.


    Don't let the cat steal it!  (He really wanted some.)

    Allow to cool before cutting into wedges to serve.



    Grilled Ksra

    Baked Ksra

    We enjoyed our first baked Ksra with kheema nariyal saag (beef curry and spinach), and after a week in the fridge for the other half of the dough, grilled up another flatbread to have with tagine.  The flavor of the sesame seeds was wonderful and smokey after grilling and the anise flavor had developed a little more.  Be careful to heat the grill well, but grill over a low flame and flip often, watching out for hot spots.  There will be large bubbles developing, it's very fun to grill this bread.  It is brilliant warm, with butter, and I used it for poached egg on toast as well.  Yum.



    Fabulous for soaking up sauces!

    The rest of the Bread Baking Babes



    Approximate nutrition for one wedge of flatbread made using half wholemeal flour and cutting each flatbread into eight wedges:




















    BONUS RECIPE:

    In case you're wondering about those fabulous waffles, here is what I did.  And I expect it would work with the standard recipe just as well as the sourdough version I made though I would recommend the dough be a couple days old for best flavor.  You don't need any more flour, the batter comes together right from the dough.

    ½ recipe Ksra dough, either sourdough or rested two days in the fridge.
    ¾ cup milk (I used cashew milk this time)
    1 egg
    2 tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp baking soda
    1 scant tbsp sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup)
    ¼ cup oil or melted butter

    Preheat a waffle iron.

    Combine dough and milk in a bowl, breaking up dough into small pieces and stirring to incorporate.  Don't over mix, just until most of the pieces of dough are broken down into the batter.  Stir in the egg, baking powder, soda and sweetener, and then the melted butter or oil.  Pour ¼ cupfuls onto a standard waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

    Makes about 16 waffles.

    Enjoy with berries, whipped cream, syrup, powdered sugar, or your favorite toppings.