Saturday, October 16, 2021

Pumpkin Shaped Bread or Rolls #BBB


Our kitchen of the month chose a rustic pumpkin shaped and pumpkin based sourdough loaf for us to make this month!  Of course I have seen posts decrying the PSL, (pumpkin spiced latte), crazed autumn lovers for a few weeks now.  Rest assured, this is not PSL flavored if you don't go for that, and it easily could be if you do!  Since I had already done a large pumpkin sourdough loaf before, I decided to go with something a little more compact this time.  I think they look quite like the Jack-Be-Little mini decorating pumpkins you can find in the produce section with the decorative winter squash.

My full sized pumpkin sourdough, pumpkin shaped loaf.

Myself, being a wayward babe, I chose my own pumpkin sourdough recipe, but you can check out our original full sized recipe, variety of grains, and excellent shaping pictures on the host's post.  (Mine has a smaller yield and is enriched with the use of butter and milk.)  For the following recipe, since you are starting it the night before, it doesn't really matter if the starter has been fed just recently.  I might not use a completely old and hoochy starter, but if it's been in the fridge for a week or so since feeding, it should still be fine.  Just might take a little longer to fully perk.  Mine hadn't been fed for at least a couple weeks. 

This is a fun shaped bread that, while it takes some time, is not difficult and will impress! It was absolutely delicious dipped into our chowder with dinner too.  We would love for you to try this shaping method with us this month!  Bread Experience is the host kitchen this month. If you want to bake along with us and receive your Buddy Badge, please send a photo and link by October 29th to be included in the roundup.  Send an email to breadexperience at gmail dotcom and include BBB October Submission in the subject.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.
Pumpkin Sourdough Rolls
makes 10-12
¼ cup (56 g) butter (cold)
2½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour or any combination of flours  (I added a touch of millet flour)
½ cup (125 g) sourdough starter discard 
½ cup (122 g) pumpkin puree
½ cup (120 g) milk (dairy or plant based) (I used coco-cashew this time)
2 tbsp (40 g) golden syrup or honey (may reduce or omit if desired)
1 tsp (5 g) salt

Late the night before (or early the morning of) when you want to make the rolls:
Chop the cold butter into small pieces and toss with the flour in a stand mixer.  Rub the butter pieces into the flour with your fingertips until it is an even, mealy mixture.  Add the starter, syrup or honey, pumpkin and milk to the bowl.  Knead until a fairly homogenous dough is formed.  At this point, you can either cover the bowl and let the dough sit at room temperature for 8-10 hours, or you can cover and chill overnight to have the dough ready for later the next day.
On the day you want to bake:
Turn out the dough and knead and fold on a floured surface until the dough is springy and smooth.  Return to bowl and allow to rise until doubled.  This may take all day for chilled dough, or it may be ready to go in the morning for an overnight ferment, depending on the current strength of the starter. While the dough is rising, cut some kitchen string into forty 8-10-inch strands.  Place the strings in a bowl and toss with a little oil to coat.  Set aside for shaping later.
Once the dough has doubled, divide into 10-12 equal portions and roll into rough balls.  (10 if shaping into pumpkins, 12 if baking as plain rolls in a 9x13 dish.)  If desired, reserve about 15-30 grams of the dough to shape into little stems.  These stems may be plain or they may be colored with a little matcha or cinnamon or cocoa powder.  (I used some cinnamon and matcha.)  Roll each large portion of dough into a round ball by cupping your hand over the dough and pressing and rolling lightly in a circular motion for 10 to 15 seconds.  Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place 4 pieces of string on your work surface, first in a cross, then an X, for eight equal divisions into a star shape.  Place a dough ball, smooth side-down, onto the center point. Carefully and firmly tie each string into a knot over the center of the roll. Snip off excess string using scissors.  (Do not tie the string too tight, just evenly against the surface of the dough.)

Place each tied roll, knot side down, onto a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strings and dough balls.

Let rolls rise for about 30 minutes or until they are slightly puffy against the strings.

Shape the reserved dough into "stems" and place them on the sheet next to the rolls.  The shapes should endeavor to be like little cones with a wider end and a narrow end.  (Pumpkin stems attach at the wide end, but it doesn't have to be a huge difference.)

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Cut strings off of each roll at the tops and peel down carefully and slowly to remove. Peel as far as possible and if the strings have baked into the sides, the strings may be pulled through from the bottom.  Cut a small hole in the tops of each roll and press "stems" into each hole, wider side down. Transfer pumpkin rolls to a serving platter.
To reheat rolls later, spritz with a little water, place directly on oven rack and preheat oven to 350ºF.  Rolls will be fully heated through when the oven is done preheating.

These were just lovely with baked potato soup!
(I took half of my dough and made 5 rolls for dinner, the other half I rolled out, spread with a little butter, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon, and rolled up into cinnamon rolls!  I sliced them into five rolls and baked for about 30 minutes at 375ºF in a pie dish.  Then topped with a simple powdered sugar glaze.)

Leftover dough yumminess.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Tangzhong Kolaches #BreadBakers

Our BreakBakers theme for this month (hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories) was to bake a bread using a tangzhong, which is a roux of flour and water (or sometimes milk), which is cooked, cooled, and then added to the bread dough. It has the desirable effect of turning almost any dough into soft and fluffy bread. The tangzhong helps the dough hold onto moisture and stay fresh and works for all manner of applications from bread to rolls to pastries. As I looked for recipes I figured, what would be better suited for an even more soft and fluffy result than a pastry known for being soft and fluffy! Kolaches are exactly that: soft and fluffy Czech pastries filled with cheese or fruit.

They are sometimes topped with a streusel called a posypka topping among other names, depending on the region.  Not absolutely required but definitely tasty!  Having never tried one before, I was happy to give the recipe a go!  They did not disappoint.  The only thing I would change is to make 8-10 instead of 6.  At six per batch, you have to split them with someone!  But SO fluffy!  I might consider docking the center as well: this was extremely happy dough.  Flatten that center well... well.

Tangzhong Kolaches
makes 6-10
3 tbsp water (43g)
3 tbsp milk (43g)
2 tbsp flour (14g)

2½ cups (335g) flour (may a few tbsp need more if adding sourdough starter or using an extra large egg)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp + 1 tsp (30g) sugar
2 tsp (6g) instant yeast
optional - 1 spoonful sourdough starter
4 tbsp (56.5)g unsalted butter softened to almost melted
1 large egg at room temperature
½ cup (245g) warm milk about 115ºF
Extra butter for brushing dough

Posypka topping (streusel):
¼ cup flour (35 grams)
1 tbsp sugar (12 grams)
Tiny pinch of salt
4 tsp cold butter (18 grams), cut into small chunks

4 oz cream cheese, softened (114 grams) (Quark is an oft-used option)
2 tbsp sugar (25 grams)
½ of an egg yolk
~½ tsp lemon zest
~1/8 tsp vanilla
Raspberry preserves (optional)

To make the tangzhong: Whisk together the 2 tbsp flour, 3 tbsp milk and 3 tbsp water in a small saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat and whisk for about 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and whisk leaves a trail on the bottom of the saucepan. Scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer (or another bowl if you wish) and let cool slightly.
To the bowl add the milk and starter if using, and whisk together.  Add the 2½ cups flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add the softened butter and the egg and stir to make very soft dough.  Place the bowl on the mixer stand and begin kneading with the dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.  If the dough is too sticky, add flour 2 tbsp at a time while the machine kneads, until the dough no longer clings to the side of the bowl. This should be Goldilocks dough: not too sticky, not too dry; just a perfect, easy to handle, smooth dough.

Cover the dough and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
Turn the dough onto the counter or a pastry mat. The dough should be workable by hand with no sticking, but if for some reason it is sticky you can flour the the counter or your hands. Divide the dough into 6-10 equal portions. Shape each into a ball by folding in the sides and corners a few times. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.  

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.

While rising, mix together ingredients for the Posypka Topping and the cream cheese filling:
Posypka Directions: In a small bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Toss the butter with the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingers until it is a powdery streusel.  Work the crumbs until they stick together in clumps that are the size you desire.  Chill to hold the crumbs in that size range.
Cream Cheese Filling – Mix together softened cream cheese and sugar, then stir in the egg yolk. Mix well, adding the lemon zest and vanilla.
Preheat oven to 400ºF.  If you’d like to introduce steam into the oven (to help with rise and promote a soft crust), put an empty cast iron skillet on the bottom rack.  Make an indentation in each risen ball and fill with filling.  (I used a combination of cheese filling and preserves for mine.)

Sprinkle with posypka topping. Let rise for about 10 minutes or so.  Once the oven is preheated, carefully pour about 2 or 3 cups of cold water into the hot skillet for steam.  (This step is optional.)
Bake Kolaches for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until very lightly browned and baked through.

#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 our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



    Be sure to check out the rest of the fluffy bakes:

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Filled Wool Roll Bread #BBB


If you haven't tried a tangzhong method bread, this is a great recipe to try it out and a fun shape as well!  Our host has chosen a uniquely shaped loaf for us this month. This wool bread has been making the rounds as an impressive looking loaf meant to look similar to a roll of wool.  It is usually made with a milk bread or soft and fluffy tangzhong bread.  I chose a relatively simple recipe for mine and it did indeed turn out a supremely soft and fluffy loaf!

The dough was a milk bread tangzhong recipe from allrecipes.  I reduced the sugar by a tbsp and if using a sweet filling, it could probably be omitted altogether though the 2 tbsp did yield a very nice and lightly sweet crumb.  I decided on an almond filling because I love almond pastries.  I whipped up a quick batch of homemade almond paste and ended up with a bit more filling than I needed.  Too much almond filling may ooze a bit, but is so tasty!  I used more almond paste than called for and would stick to the recipe next time, though hubby thoroughly approved of the final results for the bread and filling.  So soft and fluffy!  I think this is the fluffiest milk bread I have ever made, and am definitely keeping the recipe.  It turned out a very soft and pleasant dough.

This bread is versatile since you can make it sweet or savory, filled or plain.  It's just a wonderfully soft and tasty loaf, any way you make it.  We would love for you to try this fun shaping method with us this month!  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.
Wool Roll Bread
makes 1 large loaf
For the Tangzhong:

    ½ cup water
    ¼ cup all-purpose flour

For the Dough:

    ½ cup whole milk, warmed (I used 2%)
    2 tsp active dry yeast (I used scant 2 tsp instant yeast)
    2 tbsp white sugar
    ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    1 large egg, beaten
    2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
    (I also added a spoonful of unfed sourdough starter)
    desired filling, or leave the bread plain
    2 tbsp whole milk (I used 2%)
(I used an almond filling):
½ cup (125 g) almond paste (or make your own: In a food processor finely grind 8 oz (225 g) blanched almonds. Process in 8 oz (225 g) powdered sugar. Then knead in 1 egg white. Store in the refrigerator.
¼ cup (60 g) packed brown sugar (I used 30 g light brown and 30 g dark brown sugar)
¼ cup (55 g) softened butter 
To make the tangzhong, (water roux), whisk together the water and flour in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a gummy paste is formed. The mixture should reach at least 150ºF (65ºC). Remove from heat and let cool completely.

While the roux cools, pour ½ cup warm milk and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer and let bloom for 10 minutes.

Add the cooled roux, sugar, salt, beaten egg, flour, and butter to the yeast mixture. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, knead on low speed until a smooth, elastic, slightly sticky dough forms, about 10 minutes.

Cover dough and let rise until doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.
For the almond filling I used, mix together the almond paste, brown sugar, and softened butter until smooth.  Cover and set aside until needed.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and press into a round disk. Divide dough into 5 equal portions. Form each piece into a ball, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Butter a 10-inch springform pan, or 10-inch round cake pan.  Set aside.

Take one ball of dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface into an oblong shape, about 4-5 inches wide by 9 inches long. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, make lots of lengthwise cuts, about 1/8 inch apart, starting 1/3 of the way from one of the ends, slicing all the way through the dough to the opposite end, forming many equal-sized strands of dough. (Sharp knife worked much better for me.)  When done, two-thirds of the dough will be sliced, and one-third will not be.  (I would do half sliced and half whole, to allow for better spread of filling in my case.  There is still plenty of string coverage when rolling up.)
Perhaps a bit over generous with the filling...
Roll the unsliced part of the dough to flatten to 1/8-inch thickness. Place desired filling in the center of the unsliced dough, and roll it up, keeping the sides tucked and even, until the filling is covered and you've reached the beginning of the cuts.  Then carefully roll up to form a "wool roll," being sure to not crush the sliced edges of the dough strands.  Finish with the seam on the bottom. Transfer to the prepared pan, and place on the bottom, just barely touching the edge of the pan. Repeat four more times, placing the rolls around the inside of the pan to form a ring.

Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).

Brush the bread's surface lightly with remaining milk.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Jujube Mantou #BreadBakers

Our Breadbakers theme for this month is Chinese Breads and our host is A Day in the Life on the Farm. I was sorely tempted by all the scallion breads, but intrigued by the beautiful shaping of the flower buns that is an option when making mantou. I was also curious about the Chinese dates/ red dates/ jujube. They are quite different from Medjool dates, not sticky, not nearly as sweet, and rather spongy with a tenacious pit. They reminded me very much of dried apples with a bit of caramel flavor. The ones I found were enormous compared to what I saw in all the pictures online!

Traditionally, these steamed buns are made with bao flour, which is bleached and yields a nice creamy white bun. I have made bao before with all purpose flour and they turned out fairly creamy white. I was surprised that this batch turned so caramel colored after steaming and I wonder whether it was the jujube fruit, or the fact that I added a bit of corn starch to my flour to approximate a low/medium gluten bao flour.

These mantou are a sweet version, but mantou can be savory as well and filled with many different things or eaten plain.  (I definitely want to try filling them with a scallion omlette!)  The jujube was an interesting flavor that grew on us, especially with the soft and fluffy steam bun presentation.  Like most steamed buns, mantou are best served warm, but may be refrigerated or frozen and then reheated in the microwave or steamer basket.  I took this particular version of mantou from a youtube video by Kimiya Lim.

Jujube Mantou
makes 6 medium steam buns

Yeast mixture:
90ml warm water
5g (1 tsp) fine sugar
3g (1 tsp) instant yeast

190g (1¼ cups) Bao flour (can be replaced with all purpose flour)
½ tsp baking powder
30g (1/8 cup) Caster sugar
15g (1 tbsp) melted butter (or oil)
35g (5~6 pcs) Jujube / Red dates - finely chopped (mine were HUGE and I used 3 - 2 would have been better)

oil to brush the dough 
Activate yeast by stirring into the water, with the 5g sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Pour into the yeast mixture and stir together to form a shaggy mixture. Pour the melted butter over the top and add the chopped red dates. Combine well. Turn the rough dough out onto a work surface and knead for 5-6 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.  Place in a clean bowl, cover and let rest for 40-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Turn out the dough and knead for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Form each piece into a round, then slightly oval ball. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

 To shape the buns into a decorative flower, roll out each portion to form an oblong.  Brush the top of the dough with a little oil.  Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut about five lengthwise strips within the oblong, taking care not to cut all the way through the edges.  Pick up the dough and twist the ends, bringing them back together and tucking the ends under to form a spiral flower.  Set each bun onto a piece of parchment or a muffin liner.  Arrange on a bamboo steamer tray with enough room so the sides do not touch.  Cover and let rest for 35-45 minutes until almost doubled in size.


Steam with high heat for 12 minutes.  Let stand with the lid closed or just barely cracked open for 2 minutes when done to ensure the buns are finished and will not deflate.

Serve warm.  The buns will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, or may be frozen for a month.  Reheat in the steamer or microwave to serve.

#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 our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



Be sure to check out the variety of Chinese breads by our other bakers:


Monday, August 16, 2021

Naan Sangak (Persian Pebble Bread) #BBB


This month, we made a popular Iranian flat bread, naan sangak.  Lots to share for this challenge bread!  (Sometimes you learn a whole lot during recipes by going off the rails a little bit!)  Number one: it is pebble bread, not stone bread.  Somehow I got the notion that I needed larger stones, which I did find at the local garden center.  (They had smaller as well.)  Then I found out my stones had a weird coating on them and ended up wrapping them in foil thanks to Tanna's timely suggestion.  That worked fine.  I also tried using an upside down ebelskiver pan, still in mind of the large stone shape, but thinking of options for those who didn't have the time or inclination to get stones.  Then I actually watched a video of the breads being made in Iran.  Woah.  Those are little pebbles!  (Notice at the end, them picking off any little pebbles that are still stuck to the bread, wouldn't want to bite on that!)  Wait a minute, I can do that!  I'll just use my ceramic pie weights!
Description of Sangak from the above video.

The pie weights were the winner for texture in both crust and crumb.  A crispy outside and soft and chewy inside flatbread that with the ceramics is essentially like baking on a textured baking stone.  The more weights the better of course, I used all I had.  The thing about the larger stones and the cast aluminum ebelskiver pan is that the large rounded surfaces tend to stretch the dough and you end up with more uneven baking.  Still good, but smaller was better.  I did all mine in the BBQ because it is HOT again this week.  The recipe is meant to make one long traditional bread but I portioned my dough into three to try different techniques to bake them.  One with the river stones, one with the upside down cast aluminum ebelskiver pan, and one with the ceramic pie weights.  The dough was easy to make and work with, I really just eyeballed the yogurt and oil and it turned out lovely.  Slightly sticky and slack but would have been fine being even more so, considering the very slack dough in the video.
We would love for you to try these uniquely baked flat breads with us this month!  Check out Elizabeth's post to see excellent shaping pictures and instructions to participate.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.
Naan Sangak
makes one long bread
This version adapted from Elizabeth's recipe for Wild Naan, and the recipe for Persian Pebble Bread in "Taste of Persia" by Naomi Duguid
Equipment you will need:

    two rimmed cookie sheets
    enough clean small river stones to fill one of the cookie sheets (I would use the pie weights again.)
    oven or barbecue


    dessert spoonful culture (whole wheat 100% hydration starter) from the fridge (about 40 g)
    50 g (50ml) room temperature water
    50 g (100ml, or approx. 1/3 cup + 4 tsp) whole wheat flour

  The leaven may require an extra feed in hot weather, in which case:
    all of the above leaven
    15 g (15ml, or 1 Tbsp) room temperature water

    15 g (30ml, or 2 Tbsp) 'no-additives' 100% whole wheat flour

Final Dough

    320 g (2½ cups + 1 Tbsp) unbleached all-purpose flour
    5 g (2 tsp) wheat germ  (I save and keep my bran in the freezer when I sift my fresh ground flour and used that)
    180 g (180ml, or ¾ cup + ½ tsp) room temperature water
    1 dessert-spoon (about 25 g) plain yogurt (I used kefir)
    15 g (1 Tbsp) olive oil
    All of the leaven, when it is ripe (I added a pinch of yeast because I procrastinated!)
    8 g sea salt + 5 g water (1.33 tsp table salt + 1 tsp water)

  Topping, optional

    sesame seeds  (I topped my three mini breads with sesame, nigella, and za'atar)
Leaven: Late in the evening on the day before you will be making the sangak, feed a spoonful of starter with the 50 g water and 50 g whole wheat flour. Cover with a plate and put into the cold oven (if the night temperatures are cool, turn the oven light on) to leave overnight.
In the morning of the day you will be baking, particularly if the weather is warm, take a small spoonful of the leaven and see if it floats in a bowl of cool water. If the starter is quite bubbly but that little amount sinks, stir 15 g water and 15 g whole wheat flour into the bowl from the previous night. Cover with a plate and leave until about noon. If the kitchen is cool, omit this step and proceed to the next one.
Final Dough: Make sure the leaven is ripe enough to pass the float test and then proceed with making the actual dough.
Using a bowl that is large enough for the dough to triple, mix together the flour and wheat germ. Add 180 grams water, yogurt, olive oil, and all of the leaven.  Stir together to form a soft dough. Cover and leave on counter for about 20 minutes.
Add the salt and water together and knead into the dough thoroughly. Cover and set aside to rise.  Don't worry if the dough is quite slack.  Slack is good for this bread.
Proofing: Check the dough from time to time as the afternoon progresses into evening. Wet your hands or use a dough scraper and gently fold it whenever it has doubled.
Preheating the Stones: A short time before dinner on the day you will be baking the bread, put the cookie tray of stones into the barbecue on a pizza stone over direct heat, close the lid, and turn it to high, or into the oven on the middle shelf of the oven set at 450ºF.
Shaping: While the stones are preheating, use the palms of you hands to slather water over the bottom of another cookie tray. Turn the risen dough onto the tray (the dough will still be pretty slack). Wet hands again and gently guide and flatten the dough into a rectangle, making sure that one end of the rectangle is very close to the narrow side of the tray. Gently lift the bread up and down again to make sure it is not stuck to the pan. Evenly sprinkle sesame or nigella seeds (if using) on top.
Using za'atar for this one

Baking: When the stones are scorching hot, carry the tray of dough and tip it at the back edge of the tray of hot stones. DO NOT TOUCH THE STONES WITH YOUR HANDS! The dough should begin to slide off the back of the wet tray. If it does not, gently nudge any part that is sticking with a thumb or finger. Gently pull the dough tray back towards the front of the barbecue to stretch the dough onto the hot stones. Once the dough is on the stones, it WILL stick for the first part of baking. Do not attempt to rearrange the dough, it won't work so embrace where it has fallen.
Close the lid of the barbecue if using. (Use direct and indirect heat on the barbecue.)
It takes 5-10 minutes to bake the bread. (Mine took 10-12) Turn the tray around from time to time to account for uneven heat in the barbecue and oven. USE OVEN MITTS! To check for doneness, use blunt-nosed tongs to gently lift the bread from the stones. Some of the stones may stick to the bread. Don't worry about that. Enough of the stones will fall off onto the tray to let you check.
Cooling (slightly): When the bread is done, bring it inside on its tray of hot stones. Some of the stones will remain attached to the bread. Once the bread cools for about 5 minutes, the stones can be dislodged relatively easily with oven mitts or a spoon. BE CAREFUL! THE STONES ARE STILL VERY HOT! If the stones are extremely reluctant to release themselves, simply bake it a little longer and try again.

Use a pizza wheel to cut the de-stoned bread and serve it immediately with Persian stews, Indian-style curries, chili con carne, soup.... It's good with grilled vegetables too. 
Upside down ebelskiver pan (handle removed for baking)

The cast aluminum really browned the dough!
Good old pie weights!
Got a good stretch on this round.

Definitely the best result for us.

Nice texture on the back!


The rest of the Bread Baking Babes


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Rosemary, Sage, and Wild Rice Levain #BreadBakers


Our Breadbakers theme for this month is Spiced Savory Breads and our host is Renu of Cook with Renu.  Having already baked my bread, it's amusing to me as I write this post that I want to make it again with different spices.  Don't get me wrong, it was lovely with the fresh rosemary and sage picked right out of the garden!  I just think it would also be fantastic with Za'atar next time too.  In a week with cooler temperatures, I will also take the time to make this in the full 48 hours with an overnight rise in the refrigerator!  This helps develop the flavor and structure of the sourdough.  However, with company visiting and higher than comfortable temperatures on the only day I had to bake, I was left to condense my time line to a single day bake.  It's okay though, it still turned out a lovely bread.  I love that bread just wants to be bread.
This is a somewhat sticky dough with a higher hydration, but still easy enough to work with.  The wild rice may be cooked to desired doneness.  Feel free to add nuts like chopped pecans if desired!

Rosemary, Sage, and Wild Rice Levain
makes 1 large or two small boules
30g 100% hydration starter
30g water
30g bread flour (all purpose works)
Final dough:
90g leaven
320g water
320g bread flour (all purpose is fine, bread flour helps with structure)
85g whole wheat flour (I used Edison wheat flour)
20g rye flour
9g sea salt

85g cooked wild rice
~1 tbsp each, chopped fresh sage and rosemary

Optional: extra whole sage leaves for garnish

In a bowl, combine the leaven ingredients, cover and leave to ferment until bubbly and active.  (This only took a couple hours for my recently fed starter but could take up to eight.)

Add the water and flours for the final dough and knead until the dough is cohesive and all the flour has been hydrated.  Let rest for 20 minutes.  Mix in the salt.  Then fold in the rice and herbs until evenly distributed throughout the dough.  Let the dough rise for a few hours, turning and folding every half hour or so.  Turn out the dough and divide if desired for smaller loaves.  Preshape the loaf and let rest for 15 minutes, covered.  Prepare a banneton with either a liner, or misted and floured with non-glutinous flour.  Use the whole leaves to decorate the top of the loaf, or place them in the bottom of the banneton.  (I attached mine to the loaf using a bit of water to moisten the dough and allow them to stick.)  Place the loaf, bottom side up, into the banneton.  Cover and allow to rise overnight in the refrigerator if time permits, or on the counter for 2-3 hours.

If the loaf has been chilled, allow to come to room temp for at least an hour.  Preheat oven to 500ºF.  Place a Dutch oven on the lowest rack to preheat for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle some semolina on the bottom of the loaf that is upside down in the banneton.  Gently turn out onto a piece of parchment with the seam side now down.  Score as desired.  Carefully remove the preheated Dutch oven and gently place the loaf with its paper into the pot.  Cover with lid and place back in oven.  Reduce temperature to 470ºF and bake with the lid on for 20 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake for an additional 12-20 minutes until the crust is deeply browned.  (If the bottom crust is getting too dark in a cast iron oven, remove carefully and finish baking on a baking stone or directly on the rack.)
Allow to cool completely before slicing. 


#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 our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



Be sure to check out the rest of the savory offerings by our other bakers:


 Recipe adapted from Sourdough Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savories and more.