PAINTED SOURDOUGH

I consider this bread a work in progress, as the color is fading a bit during baking. Sugarprism stays very well on cookies (as I showed in the first cookie from this post), but I suppose 450F is a different story. However, this was only my second time doing it, and I already saw some improvement from the first attempt. Any sourdough recipe you are fond of will work. I opted for Elaine’s Herb and Olive Oil Sourdough, which I used as a teaser recipe in my recent review of her wonderful book (click here to read it, in case you’ve missed it). I like the way the olive oil in the dough seemed to tame a bit the crust explosion, and that worked well to keep the design untouched.

Basic things to consider when painting… minimize the amount of flour on the surface. When we do stenciling or even artistic slashing, a coating with flour is super important. In painting the dough, it makes things difficult and interferes negatively with the color. In today’s bread, for the outline I used black cocoa diluted with water. For the petals, Sugarprism in yellow and red. For the center of the sunflower, bronze luster powder diluted with vodka. As you can see, from the before pictures the bronze luster powder was the champion as far as keeping the color during baking. Black cocoa will always stay well, but if your goal is color, that cannot really help you much…

Just in case you are curious, below you see my first attempt painting sourdough. Two small issues happened: the dough had so much oven-spring that it lifted the design in ways that were not ideal. And I coated the surface with flour, which made the Sugarprism color interact with it and fade even more. The flour also gave a rough texture that made it impossible to spread the color nicely with a brush. In this case, I re-painted the bread the moment it came out of the oven to bring the color back. But my goal is to not have to do that, and get some method that retains the color during baking. Stay tuned then for my next adventure, in which I will use exclusively luster powder + vodka, hoping for a happy, very colorful ending…

ONE YEAR AGO: Over-the-Moon Blueberry Lemon Macarons

TWO YEARS AGO: Springtime Macarons Bake-Along

THREE YEARS AGO: Macarons for a Little Princess

FOUR YEARS AGO: Gilding the Sourdough Loaf

FIVE YEARS AGO: Lolita Joins the Bewitching Kitchen

SIX YEARS AGO: Cashew Cream Sauce

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Blood Orange Margaritas

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Smoked Salmon Appetizer

NINE YEARS AGO: Clementine Cake

TEN YEARS AGO: Springtime Spinach Risotto

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TWELVE YEARS AGO: Torta di Limone e Mandorle

ENRICHED SOURDOUGH JAM-FILLED ROLLS, AND A COOKBOOK REVIEW

I am absolutely thrilled to share this recipe, fresh from the press, part of the second cookbook of my dear friend Elaine (click here for her sourdough site and here for her new book ordering info). Sourdough taken straight into brioche territory, with just the right level of sweetness, filled with your favorite jam. The recipe makes 16 rolls, I actually halved it and divided the dough in 8 pieces for shaping as rolls. To divide the egg, I just mixed one egg with the yolk, weighed that, and used half. It ended up being 30g egg mixture for half the recipe, in case you’d like to go that route.

ENRICHED SOURDOUGH JAM-FILLED ROLLS
(from Elaine Boddy’s Sourdough Whisperer)

Either line a large baking or cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with rice flour, or prepare fluted baby brioche pans (3 1/8 inches [8 cm] in diameter and 11/4 inches [3 cm] deep), lined up ready to fill on a baking sheet.

Makes 16 snack-sized buns
50 g active starter at 100% hydration
270 g milk, cold or room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (reserve egg white for brushing)
75 g butter, at room temperature
50 g runny honey
500 g strong white bread flour, plus more for dusting
7 g (1 tsp) salt, or to taste
200 g jam of your choice (about 2 tsp per roll)
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

In the early evening, in a large mixing bowl, roughly mix together all the ingredients, except the reserved egg white and jam. It will be a very sticky dough, and it may be easier to use a bowl scraper or spatula to mix it at this stage. Leave it roughly mixed, cover the bowl with a clean shower cap or your choice of cover and leave the bowl on the counter.

After an hour, perform the first set of pulls and folds on the dough. Lifting and pulling the dough across the bowl until it starts to come into a soft ball, then stop. The butter will not be fully mixed in yet; it will become more so as you work with the dough. Cover the bowl again and leave it to sit on the counter. During this first set of pulls and folds, the dough will still be sticky, but keep working with it.

Over the next few hours, perform three more sets of pulls and folds on the dough, covering the bowl after each set. The dough will remain sticky but nicely stretchy and will come together into a nice soft ball each time. Do the final set before going to bed. Leave the covered bowl on the counter overnight, typically 8 to 12 hours, at 64 to 68°F (18 to 20°C).

In the morning, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pull the dough into a 14-inch (35-cm) square that is an even thickness all over. Using a dough knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into sixteen equal squares. Place a heaping teaspoon of jam in the middle of each square, pull the corners and edges of each square together and stick them together. Turn each parcel over and shape into a ball. Place each ball onto your prepared pan, allowing space between them to grow, or place them in your baby brioche pans. Cover the balls with a large plastic bag and leave on the counter for the rolls to proof again for 2 to 3 hours, or until doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 325F. Mix the egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush the top of each ball gently with it. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the rolls directly on a rack to cool briefly. These are best eaten warm, with an optional sprinkle of powdered sugar.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This dough is wonderful to work with… smooth, elastic, easy to shape. Do not be afraid of letting it sit overnight at room temperature, unless you live in a super warm climate without air-conditioning. This rich type of dough tends to proof a lot slower than regular sourdough. For the final proofing, I used these brioche pans. They are a bit pricey but excellent quality. Love the way they look… But as Elaine mentions in the recipe, you can simply shape them as round little balls instead.

You can fill them with any jam you like. I used Morello Cherry preserves and it was absolutely delicious… A little bit leaked from the bottom of some of the rolls, but no harm done.

I don’t think I need to say much more, right? The picture is worth 1,000 words… They actually freeze well too. Just wrap them, and when you are ready to enjoy them, bring to room temperature for 20 minutes or so, then place in a warm oven to heat through. They will be as good as freshly baked!

Now let me walk you through Elaine’s new book, “The Sourdough Whisperer.” And in the end of this blog post you will see another bread I baked from her book, as a teaser recipe..

The book is organized in two parts, the first deals with everything you need to know about making sourdough: making a starter from scratch, maintaining it, ingredients, tools, her master recipe and timing your bread baking to suit your schedule. The essence of it all is exactly what we’ve seen in her first book: simplicity. I tell you one thing, in this first part she covers EVERY single question a baker might have as far as tweaking recipes, or changing proofing time and/or temperature. A must-read even if you are a seasoned sourdough baker.

Part Two is devoted to recipes, and you’ll find eight sub-chapters in it.

#1 – The Master Recipe Sourdough Collection. In this chapter she shows how versatile her Baby Master Recipe can be, adapting it to make different shapes, Wedge Rolls, Sandwich Loaf, a beautiful concoction using a Bundt Pan (yes, that is right, and the photo of that one is worth a prize), a Pullman Loaf, and she closes it with a cute little method to use up “ends of bags” of flour. Every single bread in the whole book has a picture, so keep that in mind. I love that.

#2 – The Enriched Sourdough Collection. I love this section! Normally I do a straight sourdough bread, so to me playing with enriched dough is not very common, which is one of the reasons why I chose the featured recipe. Elaine uses her default Enriched Sourdough in some formulas, and also offers a lighter alternative. The chapter opens with a total beauty, Enriched Sourdough Pesto Babka. Stunning! The Jam-Filled Rolls are part of that chapter, and I almost chose the Cinnamon and Raisin Enriched Bundt Pan Bake to showcase here.

#3 – The Spiced Sourdough Collection. I love bread with spices, if you follow my blog you’ve probably noticed. I definitely will be trying some of her versions like Smoked Paprika, Rosemary and Sun-Dried Tomato Master Loaf, and her Turmeric and Onion Seed Sandwich Loaf.

#4 – The Softer Sourdough Collection. Super interesting chapter. It centers on methods that will produce a sourdough with a much softer crust, something she achieves by adding milk into the formulas. She starts with a “Half-Milk, Half-Water Baby Master Loaf”, and moves to variations using different proportions and different liquids such as buttermilk (Buttermilk and Spelt Loaf with Pine Nuts and Oats, another thing of beauty). I made the teaser recipe from this chapter, “Olive Oil and Herb Master Loaf”, so check it out in the end of this post.

#5 – The Filled Collection. Maybe my favorite chapter, I just don’t know. In this section, she really shows her creativity, joining interesting ingredients together. First comes a Cheese, Fig and Walnut Sandwich Loaf, absolutely gorgeous and mouth-watering photo… Apricot and Almond Babka Loaf with very detailed pictures of the shaping. I absolutely MUST make the “Chickpea, Barberry and Lemon Pantry Loaf”.

#6 – The Flat Sourdough Collection. Elaine uses her master recipe to make focaccia, pizza, ciabatta, and fougasse. In other words, she covers all the classics. Pictures are wonderful, including once again quite detailed shots of shaping ciabatta, which can be tricky.

#7 – The Shaped Collection. Another super fun and creative chapter, she shares techniques for special shaping. Braided Loaf is the first example, but don’t think about challah, this braid decorates the top of the bread, super cool. Looks intimidating but the pictures show you exactly how to do it. A Chocolate and Nut Sourdough Crown follows, would be just amazing at a party. The one I intend to try soon is… Pull-Apart Sharing Sesame Sourdough. The chapter closes with baguettes, in my opinion the trickiest bread to shape correctly.

#8 – The Same Day Collection. Sometimes we want to speed things up, right? This series gives recipes to have sourdough prepared and baked the same day. It is all a play with amount of starter and proofing temperature. Sourdough Pizza and Pita are two examples, but my favorite might be Same Day Poppy Seed Sourdough Rolls. They are adorable.

If you bake sourdough bread, or if you flirt with the idea of venturing into it, you need this book. The tone is always friendly, supportive, positive, and again, reading the book and browsing through the wonderful pictures, I just wanted to stop and start baking right away. The mark of a captivating cookbook!…

And now, as I always like to do when reviewing cookbooks, I share…

A TEASER RECIPE

OLIVE OIL AND HERB SOURDOUGH

Isn’t that amazing? The crust is a lot softer than a regular sourdough, and the bread stays fresh longer. A pleasure to work with, great flavor with the herbs spread inside the crumb.

ONE YEAR AGO: Monet’s Glazed Carrots

TWO YEARS AGO: Brownies, Three Ways

THREE YEARS AGO: Berry Rebellion Tarts  (one of my favorite blog posts)

FOUR YEAR AGO: Emilie Raffa’s High Hydration Sourdough

FIVE YEARS AGO: Short-Ribs with Chickpeas and Chard

SIX YEARS AGO: Asian-Style Short Ribs 

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Herbed Goat Cheese Souffles

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Barley Risotto with Peas

NINE YEARS AGO: Jammin’ Blueberry Sour Milk Pancakes

TEN YEARS AGO: Scallops with Black Pasta in Orange Cream Sauce

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Stir-fried Chicken with Creamed Corn

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedo

CHARCOAL PAINTED SPELT SOURDOUGH

Something new that I’ve tried last week… Use any sourdough recipe you like, I am sharing my default version with a touch of spelt. Once the bread is ready to go into the oven, add some water to a little charcoal powder and brush the surface of the dough. While it’s still wet, place a stencil on top and shower it with white flour (all-purpose is fine). Rub it gently so that the design is as sharp as possible. Carefully lift the stencil, slash the bread and bake.

CHARCOAL PAINTED SPELT SOURDOUGH
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

480g bread flour
20g spelt flour
10g salt
370g water
80g sourdough starter at 100% hydration
1 tablespoon activated charcoal powder
a little water
all-purpose flour for stencil detail

Make the levain mixture about 6 hours before you plan to mix the dough. It should be very bubbly and active.

When you are ready to make the final dough, place the water in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer and dissolve the starter in it, mixing with a spatula briefly, then add the two types of flour, and the salt. Turn the mixer on with the hook attachment and knead the dough for 4 minutes at low-speed all the time. If the dough is too sticky, add 1/4 cup flour, you want the dough to start clearing the sides of the bowl, but still be sticky at the bottom. 

Remove from the machine, and transfer to a container lightly coated with oil, cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 4 hours, folding every 45 minutes or so. After four hours bulk fermentation, shape the dough as a ball, and place, seam side up, in a lightly floured banetton. Leave at room temperature one hour, and then place in the fridge overnight, from 8 to 12 hours.

Next morning, heat the oven to 450F. Invert the dough over parchment paper, make a paste with the charcoal powder and water, and paint over the surface. Immediately place a stencil on top, and shower white flour over it, rubbing it gently to get the design to stick well. Next, use a brand new razor blade to score around the design, to coach the bread into opening without ruining the pattern.

Bake at 450F for 45 minutes, preferably covered for the first 30 minutes to retain steam. Cool completely over a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I know that one should never complain about excessive oven-spring when bread baking, but for some designs it would be better to have a less “explosive” loaf… I intend to play with formulas with higher whole-wheat content to try and tame the loaves with patterns and more elaborate scoring. Still I like the way this turned out, and it is much better than rubbing the powder over the loaf.

You can brush the excess flour once the bread is cold. I need to play a bit with the placement of the stencil and the amount of flour to add to it, but overall I am quite pleased with the overall look.

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SOURDOUGH FUN, THREE WAYS

Today I share three recipes to put your sourdough starter to use. Opening with hamburger buns, moving on to a no-knead, no-fuss sandwich type bread (courtesy of Karen, from Karen’s Kitchen Stories), and wrapping the post with my favorite type, a rustic, spicy loaf.

SOURDOUGH HAMBURGER BUNS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

80 grams bubbly, active sourdough starter at 100% hydration
240 grams whole milk, warm
1 egg
6g salt
20g sugar
430g all-purpose flour, divided
45g butter, softened
egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little water)
sesame seeds, black and white


In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix sourdough starter, milk, 1 egg, yeast, salt, sugar and 300 grams of flour on medium speed until a loose, shaggy dough is formed. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest in the bowl for 30 minutes.


Change to the dough hook, knead the dough for 7-8 minutes, gradually adding an additional 130 grams flour and the butter in small amounts. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but pulling away from the edges of the bowl as it kneads. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and keep at room temperature for the bulk proof for 4 to 5 hours. It will not double in size, but it should expand and feel “lighter.

Divide the dough into six portions (about 120 g each). Form into tight little balls and allow to proof at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Heat the oven to 375F, brush the surface of the rolls with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and internal temperature of 190F. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: My only issue with the recipe is that the dough took a very long time to proof and did not seem to expand that much. The enrichment of the dough with added fat slowed things down a bit. However, they had excellent oven spring. I still want to do the tangzhong method with sourdough, so stay tuned for that. I see recipes that add a touch of instant yeast to speed things up, but I decided to go through a pure sourdough method this time.

Moving on, a recipe from my friend Karen, which I made right after she blogged about it, but as usual, it takes me a little time to make things show up in the blog. If you are in the initial steps of your sourdough journey, this is a very relaxing bake, I urge you to give it a try.

SOURDOUGH NO-KNEAD SANDWICH BREAD

for recipe, visit Karen’s site

Sometimes it is nice to have a bread in the traditional loaf format, perfect for sandwiches and also to make croutons, if you so desire. I want to bake another loaf again very soon. Thank you, Karen!

Finally, a sourdough with a lot of flavor, thanks to Penzey’s, my favorite online source for all things spice…

SOUTHWEST SPICE SOURDOUGH LOAF
(from The Bewitching Kitchen

385g white bread flour
16g whole-wheat flour
1 + 1/2 to 2 tsp Southwest Seasoning Mix (Penzey’s)
8g salt
280g water
65g sourdough starter at 100% hydration

Make the levain mixture about 6 hours before you plan to mix the dough. It should be very bubbly and active.

When you are ready to make the final dough, place the water in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer and dissolve the starter in it, mixing with a spatula briefly, then add the two types of flour, the spice mix and the salt. Turn the mixer on with the hook attachment and knead the dough for 4 minutes at low-speed all the time. If the dough is too sticky, add 1/4 cup flour, you want the dough to start clearing the sides of the bowl, but still be sticky at the bottom.

Remove from the machine, and transfer to a container lightly coated with oil, cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 4 hours, folding every 45 minutes or so. After four hours bulk fermentation, shape the dough as a ball, and place, seam side up, in a lightly floured banetton. Leave at room temperature one hour, and then place in the fridge overnight, from 8 to 12 hours.

Next morning, heat the oven to 450F. Invert the dough over parchment paper, rub gently white flour on the surface. Score with the pattern of your choice using a brand new razor blade.

Bake at 450F for 45 minutes, preferably covered for the first 30 minutes to retain steam. Cool completely over a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I often run into the “problem” of excessive oven spring ruining my scoring. But I admit, it is not a bad problem to deal with, it just means your starter is doing its job. This was such a great bread, you can use other mixes if you like, or make your own, paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic, onion, are some of the components of Penzey’s mix.

I hope you like this trio of sourdough options. Now that the weather is turning cooler, it’s definitely time to bring the starter to play more often.

ONE YEAR AGO: Spooky Bakes, a Farewell

TWO YEARS AGO: Fall-Inspired Baking

THREE YEARS AGO: On a Halloween Roll

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pumpkin Macarons

FIVE YEARS AGO: Zucchini, Lemon & Walnut Cake

SIX YEARS AGO: Paleo Energy Bars

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Dressing

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Burgers

NINE YEARS AGO:  Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

TEN YEARS AGO: Clay-pot Pork Roast

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Panmarino

TWELVE YEARS AGO: A Classic Roast Chicken

BAHARAT FLOWER SOURDOUGH

I am quite fond of adding Middle Eastern spices to sourdough bread, and this time I experimented with “baharat.” Interestingly, the word “baharat” means “spices” and a commercially available mixture might have different proportions of many kinds, depending on the origin. You can also make your own, using the formula suggested in this article. I went with a store-bought product, and chose this one. It has intense flavor, but it is not overly hot.

BAHARAT FLOWER SOURDOUGH
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

385g white bread flour
16g whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baharat mixture
8g salt
280g water
65g sourdough starter at 100% hydration

optional for decoration:
egg white + a little water (egg wash)
sesame seeds (I used a mixture of white and black)
luster powder + vodka

Make the levain mixture about 6 hours before you plan to mix the dough. It should be very bubbly and active.

When you are ready to make the final dough, place the water in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer and dissolve the starter in it, mixing with a spatula briefly, then add the two types of flour, the baharat and the salt. Turn the mixer on with the hook attachment and knead the dough for 4 minutes at low-speed all the time. If the dough is too sticky, add 1/4 cup flour, you want the dough to start clearing the sides of the bowl, but still be sticky at the bottom.

Remove from the machine, and transfer to a container lightly coated with oil, cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 4 hours, folding every 45 minutes or so. After four hours bulk fermentation, shape the dough as a ball, and place, seam side up, in a lightly floured banetton. Leave at room temperature one hour, and then place in the fridge overnight, from 8 to 12 hours.

Next morning, heat the oven to 450F. Invert the dough over parchment paper, rub gently white flour on the surface. Score with a flower pattern and paint the details with a bright color using luster powder diluted with vodka. You need it to be a bit on the thick side, and don’t worry about precision, it will more or less mix with any flour bits around it. Do not worry. Paint the center of the flower pattern with egg wash and gently press sesame seeds on it.

Bake at 450F for 45 minutes, preferably covered for the first 30 minutes to retain steam. Cool completely over a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you ask me which type of spice is my favorite for sourdough, I would have to politely decline to answer. I love them all. I tend to use curry more often than others but probably because I have two or three types of curry in the pantry and like to put them to use. The amount included gives just a hint of flavor and the bread is still good to enjoy with anything you want. Even plain with a little olive oil or butter.

ONE YEAR AGO: Biscoitinhos de Canela

TWO YEARS AGO: Salmon Tacos

THREE YEARS AGO: The Chignon

FOUR YEARS AGO: Rack of Lamb Sous-Vide with Couscous Salad

FIVE YEARS AGO: Focaccia with Grapes, Roquefort and Truffled Honey

SIX YEARS AGO: Moroccan Carrot Dip over Cucumber Slices

SEVEN YEARS AGO: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Cilantro-Jalapeno “Hummus”

NINE YEARS AGO:A Moving Odyssey

TEN YEARS AGO:Hoegaarden Beer Bread

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:
 
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TWELVE YEARS AGO:
 
Shrimp Moqueca