Cha- cha cha lla llallah ūüé∂

This is a bit of a through back to last year when I did challah. it was interesting…. the shape had¬†not kept. It was a tasty blob. Dare I say I think my bread skills has been improving since I started this blog.

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Challah has such a deep history that I absolutely love and there is so much variation to the recipe. Safron and other spices can be found in some parts of the world. Not being part of that faith of tradition I still love it. This recipe is quirky as it uses coconut oil, whereas vegetable or olive oil would be more the traditional oils you would find. I love coconut oil vs other types of oil in the kitchen. It has a great advantage over other oils like a high smoke point. For example again super not tradition but for Yorkshire it is amazing. In my Christmas dinner taste test it won against olive and vegetable oil.

Another slightly atypical ingredient is sugar. I think it is more traditional to just use honey. The only reason I have used sugar is that I now have loads of citrus sugar from doing candied sugar. It is really lovely as small little pieces of candied citrus chunks that sometimes pops up in the challah.

I like having challah for breakfast which again ignores its history totally of being a Jewish holiday bread which absolutely intricate to the ceremony of it which really amazing. I love the dictum set to how to cook and company and you can find loads of article on that. It is very much the simpler less gourmandise version of brioche. I love brioche but it can somewhat rich if you are having for breakfast, a bit too much a sugary treat to start your day.

This makes quite a big braided chunk which can be made into delicious french toast.IMG_7874

I pretty much got my recipe from Bk17 Bakery’s challah recipe. The recipe also gives you the option of adding a tahini¬†filling which looks amazing. There is also challah chocolate¬†tahini recipe from 600 acres, which again looks amazing. Traditional middle east spices like cardamon and saffron can also be added. Sourdough home also has an excellent recipe post on sourdough challah with a bit of way traditional challah can’t use milk and a bit more what is kosher which is really interesting. For the ever important braiding, there are loads of youtube tutorials. There is even one with colour coded strands. IMG_7824IMG_7826

Troubleshooting tip- hydration matters. Don’t use flour on your surface when you are braiding as this will dry out the dough too much. If your dough is too dry the braids will crack. If it is too wet it won’t keep it shapes.

Quick note – your starter should have been feed around 4-6 hour prior and should be really active and bubbly.

Ingredients:

  • 280 g sourdough starter, really bubbly and active
  • 175 g water
  • 35g sugar
  • 20 g honey
  • 40 g ¬†coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs + 3 yolks
  • 15 g sea salt
  • 375 g all-purpose flour
  • 375 g white bread flour

EGG WASH:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • Dash of water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • sesame,¬†poppy, or nigella seeds and/or coarse sugar like palm sugar (optional)

Recipe

  1. In a large bowl mix well starter + water + honey + sugar +oil +eggs + salt.
  2. slowly + flour until a sticky wet ball of dough is formed.
  3. knead in the bowl for about 5 min, it should be a smoother ball of dough.
  4. Lightly oil the ball of dough in the bowl.
  5. Proof until the dough doubles in sizes, about 6 hours.
  6. Now the tricky, choose how many strands you want. I like having 6 braid challah. So separate your dough into 6 equal parts. Form a strand by rolling with your hand. The thinner it is the longer your challah will be and make sure that they are all uniform. Once you have 6 strands braid them.
  7. Place the uncooked challah on a cooking tray for the final proof, about 1 hour.
  8. Preheat your oven to 195C¬ļ
  9. prepare your egg wash by combining +yolk+water+honey.
  10. and gently brush the egg wash on.
  11. Sprinkle your topping of sesame, nigella, palm sugar or whatever you want
  12. Cook for 35-40min until the top of the challah is a deep brown.

Quinoa sourdough no knead

I found a new game for my leftover cooked grains called “does it sourdough?” and yes, quinoa is lovely in sourdough.

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Next stop is going to be couscous I think, alway cook too much of the stuff. Ohh with maybe tahini?…. Anyways.

Recipe notes – I also been adding a bit of milk with the dough for the last couple of loaves. A couple people that I know don’t like sourdough because they feel it is too “chewy”. I slightly understand what they mean. Sourdough compared to supermarket normal sliced white loaves can have a bit more chew to them. I have observed though adding a bit of milk really soften the crumb of the bread. This loaf recipe is also on the more liquid side, which at the moment I am favouring. As you can see below. It is a bit harder for it to properly shape it just slightly slumps.
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Adding thyme would have been a nice touch but I killed my thyme plant within a week of buying one. But still hopeful it is just in very deep hibernation will miraculously resurect (after all Easter Monday is coming up). But anyways no thyme at the moment.

And finally I made one huge Bannaton, so if you are making two medium boules adjust the baking time.

Ingredients

  • 350g water
  • 22g salt
  • 160g starter
  • 500g white bread flour
  • 250g wholemeal bread flour
  • 70g milk
  • 250g cooked quinoa

Recipe

  1. In a small cup add 22g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  2. In a large bowl add water + milk+ the starter and mix to dissolve.
  3. + add all the flour + quinoa+ the now tepid 22g salt water 
  4. Mix until combined
  5. Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
  6. Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface and shape your dough and put it in a bread proofing basket.
  7. ¬†And leave the dough at¬†room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the¬†oven at 260Cňö¬†with the Dutch Oven¬†inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260Cňö.
  8. Slash the top and Bake at 260Cňö¬†for about 45mins¬†with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to¬†230Cňö¬†for another¬†20min.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.

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Sourdough Brioche 2017- que ce que √ßa cloche!

Brioche time. Brioche is basically super rich bread with eggs and butter. Sourdough brioches are pretty to easy to make but they do require time and patience. This recipe is not too sweet as it uses honey. You can use 35 grammes of sugar instead.  The inspiration for the recipe is from here and here.

I haven’t made¬†brioche¬†since last year.¬†Last year I used orange sugar which¬†I¬†think was a nice touch and really the only redeeming¬†feature of the brioches that I made. Looking back on the post there has definitely been great strides and progress made in 1 year.

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This year brioches are definitely looking a lot better and are much fluffier and just much more brioche-y.

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This recipe’s use of butter is definitely reminiscent of the chef Gary Rhodes whose oft-repeated¬†phrase is add another spoon of butter.

Eggwash notes: I used the egg white and milk for convenience since the recipe calls for one yolk. But if you want a different effect on the brioche you can go to epicurious or cooksinfo website that really get into the ins and out of all the different types of eggwash.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 230g bread flour
  • 270g all purpose flour
  • 50g honey
  • 10g¬†salt
  • 3 + 1yolk¬†eggs
  • 250g starter
  • 300g room temperature butter
  • 200g milk
  • 1/2 zest of lemon

Recipe

  1. Cut the butter in small 1cm pieces and leave out to soften
  2. Mix all ingredient in a bowl except the butter Р milk + lemon zest +honey+ eggs+ flour + starter. Keep the egg white from the 4th egg as you will use it later for the egg wash
  3. Mix well, let it rest for 15min and mix well again.
  4. +butter. Mix gently until all the butter is incorporated. You should massage it in but I ended up mixing it in the kitchen aid and it seem to be alright. The dough should have a nice shine to it.
  5. Put in a covered container and leave in the fridge to rise for 24 hours.
  6. On a lightly floured surface shape the dough and in your baking tins.
  7. Final rise should be at room temperature for 3 hours.IMG_6616IMG_6619
  8. preheat the oven at 215C¬ļ.
  9. prepare the egg wash 3 tablespoons of milk + egg white and mix vigorously.
  10. gently brush the egg wash on the brioche dough.
  11. Bake for 25min for medium shape brioche, until the top are nice and golden brown.brioche raising

Tadah!

brioch 2

No knead rosemary polenta bread

Gotten slightly obsessed with polenta this week for some reason. Maybe its spring and the weather turning around, and polenta is light but comforting. Anyways the perfectloaf, which is a fantastic and beautiful‚Äč little website, has the most amazing but slightly intimidating bread recipes. I took inspiration from its great rosemary and polenta bread post. They also have a great pizza dough recipe that looks marvellous‚Äč‚Äč but bit too complicated for me at the moment.

Anyways had some leftover polenta for dinner and guessed what happens to leftover/ food going off? Bread time!

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It’s not bad, quite enjoyed it toasted‚Äč with a bit of butter and blackberry jam. Decent‚Äč airy-ness as well as good crumb and texture.

Quick note – this recipe uses cooked polenta. Here is Felicity Cloaks polenta recipe as part of her how to make the perfect…. column. I am not going to lie to you, polenta is a bit of a faff to cook. I have used uncooked polenta in the past to bake bread, but I think the polenta doesn’t¬†quite cook through. The bread ends up a bit gritty from what I remember.

Recipe makes 2 medium boules

Ingredients

  • 550g white bread flour
  • 250g wholemeal flour
  • 335g water
  • 120g¬†starter
  • 22g¬†salt
  • 180 g cooked polenta
  • 100g milk
  • 335 water
  • handful rosemary

Recipe

  1. In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  2. In a large bowl add water + milk+ the starter and mix to dissolve.
  3. + add all the flour + polenta+ rosemary+ the now tepid 10g salt water 
  4. Mix until combined
  5. Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
  6. Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface and shape your dough. With the seams bottom down, push and rotate your shaped dough to really close the seams.
  7. ¬†And leave the dough at¬†room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the¬†oven at 260Cňö¬†with the Dutch Oven¬†inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260Cňö.
  8. Slash the top and Bake at 260Cňö¬†for about¬†35mins¬†with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to¬†230Cňö¬†for another¬†15min.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.

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No Knead seeded oatmeal sourdough

I have just totally given up on kneading. So this loaf is a no-knead variation of the seeded multigrain that I have done earlier. I also took a bit of inspiration from Ginger&bread’s rye and spelt recipe, those rye berries look really great.

I used unhulled hemp seed because I bought way too much and never used them. I have no idea in fact why I originally bought them. Unhulled hemp seeds are a bit weird, super hard and just no recipe uses them. They do work really well with this bread.

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The soaker ingredient aftre 30 min. The longer you leave them to soak the better. Soaker ingredients really pop up once mixed in the dough.

 The combination of the hempseed and linseed with the oats and the rye flour really makes this loaf hearty and delicious.

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The bread is still quite bubbly. The texture and taste of it is really enjoyable. The hempseed and linseed gives it a pleasurable crunch.

Soaker ingredients

  • 85g hemp seed and linseed
  • 70g oats
  • 90g hot boiling water

Final Dough Ingredients

  • 350g water
  • 180g starter
  • 240g white bread flour
  • 100 wholemeal flour
  • 175g rye flour
  • 12g salt
  • soaker ingredients

Recipe

  1. In a small bowl mix all the soaker ingredient and leave for at least 30min 
  2. In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  3. In a large bowl add the rest of the water + the starter and mix to dissolve.
  4. + add the flour + soaker ingredient + the now tepid 10g salt water 
  5. Mix until combined
  6. Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
  7. Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface shape your dough. The seams bottom down, push down and rotate your shaped dough to close the seams on the bottom.
  8. ¬†And leave the dough at¬†room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the¬†oven at 260Cňö¬†with the Dutch Oven¬†inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260Cňö.
  9. Slash the top and Bake at 260Cňö¬†for about¬†30mins¬†with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to¬†230Cňö¬†for another¬†15min.
  10. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.

No knead workhorse loaf

Continuing my adventure in no knead land. I thought would the no knead method work for any sourdough recipe? Decided to put the workhorse loaf to the test.Using the same recipe proportion (cut it half to make only one loaf in case it all went belly up) but applying the no knead method. Conclusion is a most definitive yes you can!

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So here is no knead workhorse bread.

Ingredients:

  • 300g ¬† ¬† White bread Flour
  • 150g ¬† ¬† ¬† Whole Grain flour
  • 225g ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Water
  • 100g ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Starter
  • 10g ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Salt

Recipe

  1. In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  2. In a large bowl add 215g of water + the starter and mix to dissolve.
  3. + add the flour + the now tepid 10g salt water 
  4. Mix until combined
  5. Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
  6. Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface shape your dough. The seams bottom down, push down and rotate your shaped dough to close the seams.
  7. ¬†And leave the dough at room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the oven at 260Cňö with the Dutch Oven¬†inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260Cňö.
  8. Slash the top and Bake at 260Cňö¬†for about 30mins¬†with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to 230Cňö¬†for another¬†15min.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.

 

This is amazing. I don’t think I am ever kneading dough ever again. I mean look at those holes and crumbs!

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Who needs to knead? No knead sourdough

The kneading of the sourdough at 20 min interval for so many time is alway the most time-consuming and annoying part (I get flour and dough everywhere in the kitchen). I had heard about no knead technique, but I had a slight suspicion that it was mostly to make pun-ny book titles like “kneadlessly simple” and the title to this post. It is also the least used methods in sourdough recipes that I have seen. Although it’s a great for people who dont have a proofing basket as you don’t need one for this no knead recipe as the dough rises in a mixing bowl.

The biggest contention with no knead is the flavour. Many argue that it doesn’t taste as good, as the flavour has less depth. I slightly agree with that the no knead method did not taste bad but it was different, a bit more like normal white bread…. Here is a post that argues why kneaded bread is better not only because of the taste but other points I hadn’t thought about. I think though it is mostly comes down to personal preference. I am definitely going to try some more no knead breads.

The best book for the no knead method is My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey and Rick Flaste. Also for a bit more science and why the no knead method works a post can be found at serious eat. Or also on here, Bodnant welsh food website, which also did two loaves to compare kneading vs no knead. Basically, the dough as it rises kneads itself. Also what is crucial is that you use a dutch oven.

But it actually works! You don’t need to knead! I used the New York Times recipe and to see if it made any difference as a comparison I also made¬†my workhorse loaf recipe which is very similar. I made two¬†different loaves with my workhorse recipe and kneaded them to different degrees. I kneaded one loaf with 20 min ¬†4 times and another 8 times. The best result was kneading it 4 times at 20 min intervals (which is what the standard practice seems to be in most recipes). Kneading it 8 times did not make any difference to the loaf compared to kneading it 4 times.

Here are the loaves just out of the oven

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The left is 4 times, the bottom middle is no knead and the right is 8 times
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here is an intersection of all three of the loaves. Can you tell which is which?

A couple thing I have discovered and have started to do is: one dissolve the salt in 15grams of water from the recipe and dissolving the starter in the water before adding it to the flour which makes everything easier to mix. I also have started using plastic bags to cover the dough while its rising which is really good to prevent the bread from drying out. After shaping  I have also started to twist the bread on itself on to close the seems on the bottom.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams white bread flour
  • 125 grams wholemeal bread flour
  • 300 grams water
  • 180 grams starter
  • 6 grams salt

recipe

  1. feed your starter 8 hours before.
  2. In a cup with 10 grams of hot water add the salt and mix to dissolve.
  3. With the rest of the water at luke warm temparature add the starter and mix.
  4. add the flour and the cup of salty water to water/starter mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Wrap the bowl using a plastic freezer bag or cling film.
  6. let it rise for 24 hours in the fridge
  7. On a well floured surface scoop out the dough and fold and shape into a loaf.
  8. Leave the dough for 2 hours for its final rise.
  9. Heat the oven to 260C¬ļ and place your dutch oven inside for 30 in.
  10. Put your loaf in the dutch oven seams up.
  11. Bake for 30 min at¬†260C¬ļ and take the top of and cook at¬†245C¬ļ for another 10 min.
  12. take the bread out and leave to cool for 45 min at least