1 Jul 2015

Baking Sourdough Bread

One thing I am really proud of are my bread baking skills.

German bread is different to Irish bread.
Its texture is firmer, its crust is thicker and really crunchy, its taste a lot more aromatic
and if you opt for a really dark, wholemeal, healthy Pumpernickel Style one,
it actually fills you for quite a long while and helps your digestive system to work more efficient..

When we came over to Ireland in 2007, the first thing I missed a lot was the German bread.
And nearly all of my German friends I met here over the last few years, are the same.

We nearly popped a bottle of bubbly stuff when "our" Lidl supermarket nearby extended its shop and announced, they were bringing German bakery products into the country. Boy was I thrilled!

And the bread was GOOD! Our favourite ones were a rustic rye bread and a triangle shaped wholemeal multi seed loaf. And OF COURSE these 2 where the first breads taking off the shelves again.

I am not a great fan of the Irish brown bread as I find its texture a bit to crumbly-cakey to be a bread I would like. The shop-bought ones. Homemade brown bread is different. I like that a lot. If someone bakes one for me.

I don't like white bread. Well... the odd slice here and there, warm, just jumped out of the toaster, a bit of butter... great. Sometimes. But every time we buy a whole white bread, two thirds of it don't get eaten, start to mould and end up in the bin. True story. (I KNOW!)
And as it turned out last year, Klara is intolerant to wheat and gluten and more than one slice of toast makes her very sick with bad tummy pains and diarrhoea.

So I made the decision to bake bread. I wanted to learn how to make my oh-so-much-missed sourdough loafs. And I interviewed my mom who gave me some recipes and I went to the health shop in town to buy different wholemeal flours.

My first trials did not go so well. I have to admit that I'm not the most patient person in the world and that reducing the time the starter needs to ripen from 3 days to 1 day might not have helped.

Waiting for the final dough then to "double its size" as it often sais in the recipes, wasn't one of my best talents, either.
And some of the recipes I have tried so far have maybe just not been for me. Dunno!
But I've learned. I know a lot more things now about making, "breeding" and storing the sourdough starter. I understood, how important it is to give the dough the time it needs to turn into the desired consistency, sometimes fluffy and airy, sometimes tough and chewy, depending on the type of the bread I am making.

And I love the breads now. I always batch-bake. To make sure there is an appropriate amount of bread, sliced and ready to be defrosted and eaten. For breakfast. Or for lunch or tea.
With butter and jam, with yummy mature cheddar or creamy brie. Accompanied bye a nice cup of coffee or tea or a glass of juice. 2 slices filled with salads and tuna or ham. As a very healthy sandwich variety.

The kids love it. For Alfie, I cut off the crust and he gobbles down little cubes of very dark bread even. Buttered. With a bit of jam. Or a bit of cream cheese.

And the SMELL of warm, freshly baked bread in the house!!!

Now! Look at these beauties! And DON'T tell me you're NOT jealous.

Very dark sourdough loafs.
Made from wholemeal rye and wheat flour.
With sesame, linseed, sunflower seeds and molasse.

Rustic, traditional sourdough bread.
Made from wholemeal rye flour..
A bit flat but still oh-so-good!!!!

Hungry now??!
You're welcome!


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