Monday, 23 September 2013

Cookbook Mondays: Artisan Bread

A while ago I found a book called Artisan Breads  by Jan Hedh. I immediately bought it because I was suckered in by all the beautiful bread in the book, and also the recipes for bread made from wild yeasts. I have another bread book written in the early 70's which has taught me a lot about breadmaking, but it was pretty standard sort of recipes. Since Jan is a Swedish baker I was sure I would learn new skills and recipes, and they would be a success. But then it lingered on the bookshelf, because learning a new bread recipe takes time and patience, and at that point I had none. 
A couple of weeks a go I began a raisin starter from the book. 

The recipe called for honey as well as sugar but I omitted it in the hope it would work anyway. I had no idea the French usually make sourdough with a honey and raisin starter, so now I know! It worked and a week later my jar of raisins was bubbling like champagne, and the jar opened with a pop! You can see the bubbles in the photo below.

 I went ahead making the 'mother' and then the 'chef' which sounds complicated but really it wasn't, I just put it into the Kitchenaid with the dough hook on and timed it. I do like making the actual loaf by hand, or at least finishing it by hand though. Breadmaking is such a tactile process and you really need to 'feel' the dough turn into elastic. I made the dough for a wheat and rye loaf on Friday night, and left it overnight, hoping I had done everything right and it would rise. Phew... it did! I baked it off Saturday morning and we enjoyed it as part of a brunch. I made the Beloved have the first slice in case it was a disaster LOL. I was so pleased it worked the first time, and I'm going to keep making different bread from the book. If you like making your own bread and have the time to do it I would recommend it. Not all the recipes are vegan but many are easily adaptable and he explains the chemical process so the right substitutes can be made. Happy baking!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! I have never made a starter with anything but flour. I'll try this.