Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sour Seedy Bread.

Maybe my tastebuds are dying as I age... Because in recent years I have no patience for bland food, even bread.

I've been refining my recipe for a seedy sourdough loaf. Something to akin to Mestemacher (for a commercial example). I've tried several internet recipes, most have been lacking in one way or the other so I have been tinkering.

This is what I've been going with.

200g cracked red wheat berries, I have a hand-op grain mill. But I suppose a coffee grinder might work. The grains should be cracked, but not pulverized. Some whole ones in there are good.
200g cracked white wheat berries
100g sunflower seeds
300g KA bread flour
150g rye flour
200g syrup, I mix blackstrap molasses with light corn syrup to simulate "sirap"
Tablespoon of salt (more or less to your taste)
500g water/sour dough starter. I mix about half cup of starter with enough water to make 500g. Many recipes use buttermilk and yeast. I don't like the cheesy quality this gives the bread, I like it better with sour dough starter.

I stir all ingredients in my mixer bowl (should be very wet, but not too wet. Might need a bit more flour, might need a little more water) then mix with the paddle, not hook, for 8 minutes. The dough sits covered at room temp for 48 hours. The long ferment is essential for both the sour flavor of the bread and for hydrating the cracked wheat berries. You could probably get away with 24 hours but you might end up with some crunchy berries. Laugh at your wife as she walks around saying, "what's that sour smell?" for a couple of days.

After the rise dump the dough into a greased pan and smooth the top. I have found that one of these pans really does make a difference. I like something about the square shape you end up with (don't need the top for the bake). Let it rise in the pan until the dough is just peaking above the top.

The bread bakes at 340 for about 90 minutes. As soon as the bread can be removed from the pan, put it into a plastic bag and tie. Let it cool over night in the bag. This softens the crust and makes it much easier to slice. This is counterintuitive to most bread bakers but you really don't want a crusty crust in this style of bread.

Now, I'm sure you could manage slicing the loaf with a bread knife. But I use a meat slicer (yeah, I know. I have too much crap). A thin slice is what you want.

The best thing about this seedy sort of bread is that it keeps well and can be frozen with decent results. I vac pack it in little portions. You get a week or two in the fridge before it gets a bit dry.

There you have it. An aggressively sour bread perfect for supporting all manner of savory toppings. I'm a big fan of a toasted slice sopping with marmalade. Also great for things like teewurst or the Braunschweiger mettwurst I made the other week.

This is a flexible recipe, you can use punkin seeds or rye berries or whatever as long as you stay near the proportions I've listed above. It's a good bread, you should try it.

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