Category Archives: sourdough

Raisin coriander sesame semolina sourdough

I only started to feel settled here in Sydney when we figured out where to get decent flour.  It was an outright quest for us, slowed only by the oppressive heat of summer, but we found it in the end: high-protein, good quality bread flour, with sufficient gluten to make a proper, self-supporting loaf.  With it, we discovered rye, hard whole wheat, spelt, semolina, all the ingredients we needed to make the bread we missed, and perhaps try a few new ones along the way.

This loaf here? It’s a new favorite. The raisins give it a subtle sweetness while the coriander turns this bread into something decidedly adult.  And the semolina? It makes this amazing toast without messing with Tartine Bakery’s characteristic open crumb.  In short, it’s the kind of sourdough loaf I’ve been trying to create since James and I became interested in baking so many years ago.

The only fault I can find with this bread is that it takes some planning to make. But now that it’s dark when I leave work, I don’t mind this so much.  It gives me something to look forward to on the long drive home.

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Filed under baking, raisins, semolina, sourdough

Baguettes with a twist

Dough
It’s been a while since I wrote about bread on this blog. There was a vacation, failed (though promising) recipe or two, and the typical excuses of a busy life. Our staple’s just to easy to fall back on. But you knew it couldn’t last, right?

Shaped baguettes

These loaves were, oddly enough, inspired by a recent trip to the freezer. Things have been getting a bit spare in there, since we started eating from the garden, so, as you might expect, weird things are suddenly emerging from its depths. No, I’m not talking about decade-old steaks or anything quite so petrified. I’m talking about flour.

Pre-rise

A rye blend and buckwheat flour, to be precise — both begging to be used. Now, you’re probably wondering what rye and buckwheat have to do with the lovely looking baguette pictures I’m posting here. Unless, of course, you’ve taken a tour through Paris with Daniel Leader, and found Eric Kayser’s buckwheat batard recipe in among the typical Parisian fare.

Buckwheat levain

You’ll need a sourdough starter, which is where the rye blend comes in, and plenty of buckwheat for this recipe. You also need to let go of the idea that this bread will behave. Buckwheat, as it so happens, is not your normal flour. It’s the seed of a plant that happens to be related to rhubarb and sorrel, and doesn’t actually have much gluten to speak of. It will take high gluten flour, a nice, active sourdough starter, and some patience to make this recipe work.

Buckwheat baguettes

Now that I’ve scared you off, I’ll tell you that it’s worth every bit of trouble. The 10-day sourdough process, the long kneading times, and the expensive high gluten flour (which we get directly from King Arthur), are all forgiven once you taste these loaves. The buckwheat? It comes through in its characteristically nutty, smooth way. The flavor is distinctive and fascinating somehow. It’s certainly not your everyday baguette. And the crumb? Well, decide for yourself.

Crumb

I think it turned out pretty damn well for a first go, don’t you?

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Filed under baking, bread, buckwheat, sourdough