I love talking about bread. When I took my classes with the great baker, Richard Bertinet in Bath, England, he had the term Bread Bore....yup - we can be boring to many people when talking about bread.... but if you are interested, it is incredibly fascinating!!!!
I love baking it! I love eating it! Reading about it...etc. etc. I first started this journey when my brother in law, Colin, was telling me about his Sunday bread baking. They didn't and maybe still don't have a bread bakery in Florenceville, NB, so he baked the bread for the week. It was beautiful! In Toronto, we have so many wonderful bakeries and markets, but I thought it would be a great idea to spend Sunday mornings baking bread. It would be a way for me to slow down...no plans...just make my bread. It lasted for quite a while but then life got in the way and I stopped doing it as regularly. I still have my starters bubbling away. I have been privileged to be a tester for one of Peter Reinhart's bread books, taken classes in Paris and Bath and have studied bread a lot. I still have sooooo much much to learn. I would like to take classes in San Francisco and I daydream about working in the kitchen of many bakeries....one of them is Tartine Bakery.
When I saw a Mother's Day workshop in Toronto at Nella Cucina for Sourdough bread, I jumped at it. Patti, who was giving the class, had the opportunity to bake at Tartine's so I was interested....The only thing missing was my mom....but I know she was with me.... We would have had so much fun...
Because this bread could take 2 or more days to make, some stages were prepared in advance.
We started off with flour, water, salt and a culture I have called "Nella" of course!
We then mixed the dough....
Ate lunch on some freshly baked bread
let it rise....scored it....
and baked it!.....and voila!
Happy Mother's Day to all those fabulous women or men who are moms!
Moms to your own children...to other's children....to pets... to godchildren....etc. etc.
Have a great day!
Until we bake again
Here is the recipe from the class....
How To Start Your Own Bread Starter:
· Have a blend of organic whole grain flour and organic unbleached hard white flour.
· Mix 150g grams of flour to 150g of filtered water. Let it rest in a cool area for a couple of days.
· After a couple of days you should see/smell activity; you should be able to see the Co2 bubbles and it will have doubled in size, if not, wait another day.
· Once there is life, discard 80% and feed equal parts flour and water. (75g each)
· Let it rest over night and repeat this process for a few days to get a good starter. Keep your feedings regular, and make sure to smell and get a feel for the ideal ripeness.
· Once your starter is strong enough you can either continue feeding with the whole grain and white flour blend, or just strictly use white flour.
· If you are not using your starter on a regular basis, you can place it in the fridge for a few months. When you are ready to make bread again, make sure to discard the liquid that forms on the top, and begin replenishing it. It will require a few feedings, equal parts flour and water, to bring it back
Basic Sourdough Recipe:
350g organic hard white wheat flour
262g filtered water
· Mix flour, water and leaven, rest for 10- 20 minutes
· After rest period (autolyse) add salt. Knead dough for 7 minutes, or until dough has a smooth surface.
· Make sure to turn dough every half hour in the first 2 hours, to help strengthen the glutens and redistribute the temperature of the dough.
· The following 2 hours, fold each hour.
· Lightly pre-shape dough into a boule or two smaller boules.
· Set aside and cover for 10 – 20 minutes or until the dough feels relaxed. Use a banneton or line a bowl with a cloth and lightly dust with flour (ideally rice flour, which is less sticky).
· Shape pre-shaped dough into tight boules. Try not to tear the surface of the dough but also try to get the most tension without over working the dough.
· Place dough into the bowl and banneton for a final proof, and refrigerate.
· Preheat oven at 500 F. Place dutch oven or la cloche in oven.
· A good test to see if the dough is ready to bake is to lightly press your finger into the dough, if a print stays up to 7 seconds it's ready to bake
· Once he dough ready turn the boule from the banneton or bowl onto the pre-heated Cloche or dutch oven.
· Score the dough with fresh, sharp razor (a serrated knife will also work), cover and let bake for 20 minutes.
· Remove lid and finish baking for 20 min
· Once the bread comes out of the oven, let it cool completely first before slicing into it.