Friday, 30 May 2014

Irish Soda Bread with Fresh Herbs - BTTFB May 2014

This month Carola from Sweet and That's It choose us "Back To The Future, Buddies" an Irish Soda Bread with fresh herbs, originally baked by the Bread Baking Babes in June 2011, picked by Ilva from Lucullian Delights.
I had baked soda bread before and knew it wasn't complicated and very quick! Since my friend is Irish and often mentions her mothers Soda Cake (not Bread, it's called Soda Cake!) I was keen to do it justice. Apart from the fresh herbs I added some toasted seeds and replaced some of the white flour by whole wheat flour. I made two small loaves; one for my friend and one for ourselves.
Since soda bread doesn't need any proofing time it's mixed, baked and ready to eat within 45 minutes! And as my friend says: do eat it warm, with loads of (Irish) butter!

My take on the recipe  (Find Carola's recipe here. The original recipe is from "The Ballymaloe Bread Book" by Tim Allan), makes two small loaves

350 gr very strong white bread flour
100 gr very strong whole wheat bread flour
1,5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
35 gr half freshly chopped curly parsley and half chives
45 gr toasted mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, pine nut)
415 gr buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 210C (fan).
Sift flours, salt and baking soda into a mixing bowl. (Do add the bran that stays behind in your sieve!) Add the fresh herbs and seeds to the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle and add the buttermilk. Mix the ingredients quickly with a danish dough whisk, a wooden spoon, or your hands. Don't overwork the dough! As soon as it comes together, shape the loaves into balls (approximately 5 cm high) on a well floured worktop. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 mins. at 210C. Lower the temperature to 180C and bake for another 15-20 mins.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Wild rice and caramelized onion bread - BBB May 2014

Bread Baking Babe Karen of Bake My Day choose us Buddies to bake a Peter Reinhart's recipe from his book "Artisan breads every day" (which is still on my wish list). After the dough is kneaded it has to sit in the fridge at least overnight, but anything up to four days, which makes this recipe ideal to fit into any routine.
Special ingredients being wild rice and dried onions, I didn't have a clue where to get these around here. Luckily our local "Fruit and Nut Place" came to the rescue (again) and I did find a nice small packet of wild rice.

I still don't know what dried onions look like, so I opted to use caramelized onions.
After kneading the dough (in my bread maker) I left it in the fridge for two days. It definitely doubled in size in the cold! I shaped the cold dough into a batard and left it to rise in a banneton at room temperature for just over two hours.

I was confused by the -relatively low- oven temperature suggested by Karen and the other Babes, so I choose to bake it a little hotter. The end result looked fantastic, smelled glorious, but when finally cool enough to cut into, disappointment ... a dense crumb ...

It might have been my oven temperature, it might have been my shaping or kneading (the machine's that is), the slightly overcooked wild rice, too little moisture (all milk by mistake) or any other reason, but again this was a completely new experiment, which I really enjoyed. The bread tasted very onion-y, almost too overpowering and sweet, so I would definitely use less onion next time and follow the original recipe a bit more to the letter ... (Oh, and leave out the garlic.)

My take on the recipe (half the amount of Karen's original recipe)
7 gr instant yeast
285 gr strong white bread flour
100 gr whole spelt
9 gr salt
85 gr (well) cooked wild rice
25 gr dark brown sugar
60 gr buttermilk
190 gr milk (or water)
45 gr cooled caramelized onion/garlic = 1 large onion plus 1 clove garlic, finely diced and slowly caramelized in butter

Put all ingredients (in the above order) in the bread maker and choose the "pizza dough" program. After 10 mins. leave the dough to rest for 10 mins. Then choose "pizza dough" program again for another 10 mins. of kneading. Transfer the dough into a slightly oiled container, cover and store in the fridge for up to four days.
On baking day shape the cold dough and put it in a floured banneton. Leave the dough to rise -covered- for approximately two hours at room temperature. Meanwhile preheat oven to 200C (fan). Turn the risen dough out onto a baking sheet, spray the top with water and bake for 15 mins. Lower the oven temperature to 180C (fan) and bake for another 20 mins. (The inner temperature of the loaf was 94C by then.) Leave to cool on a wired rack.