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The best bread I have ever made

The best bread I have ever made

Before I take a deep dive into this best bread I have ever made, which can be turned into 1 big loaf, 2 smaller loafs, rolls or 1 small loaf and some rolls let me just say this: Sourdough, I love you. Along with seeds and kernels and good quality flour. The flavour combined with moist and crumb just worked this time around.

To be honest I owe my baking “skills” ?which aren’t really skills just a hobby? to @Cathrine Brandt and @Meyers baking book. Without these two reference-points I would have never dared think I could bake tasty bread (or any bread) of a certain quality. I am still developing my skillset and my equipment. Small but important gadgets can make a massive difference!(!) And I am still expanding. Additionally, I learn more about flour-types, grains, kernels, seeds every time I bake. Interesting facts like the amount of protein in flour has a massive impact on bread, which I had zero clue about. The baking world is a funny one, and I dig it.

The bread itself

This bread is two-day adventure (like most of my breads). 99% of the work goes on day 1. I start by freshening up my sourdough approximately 8 hours before using it. In this particular case I started at 9 AM and left it on the counter until 5 PM. By 6.30 PM it was in the fridge for over night raising. On day 2 I took it out the fridge at 8 AM and had my breakfast roll at 10 AM… gosh it was good! My husband normally does not like any kernels or seeds in his bread, but his exact words were: “This is the best bread I have ever tasted (homemade).” The loaf was also approved by our friend and her 3-year old daughter, whom ate 3 slices 🙂

My 10 AM breakfast: A fresh roll (paired with cheese and butter), a soft-boiled egg and skyr topped with linseeds, coconut flakes, almonds, apple and cocoa nibs <3

The Goodies

Young sourdough

  • 1/2 DL ‘old’ sourdough
  • 1 DL water
  • 1/2 DL wholewheat flour (12+ g protein pr. 100 g)
  • 1/2 DL wheat flour (12+ g protein pr. 100 g)

Kernels and Seeds

  • 100 g wheat kernels boiled for 40 minutes, drain and cooled after (tip: Do this when freshening up your sourdough since they will be cooled by baking time)
  • 50 g sunflower seeds soaked in cool water for 1 hour and drained (do this just before baking)
  • Oats for drizzling on top (decoration)

The bread itself

  • 5 1/2 DL cold water
  • 1/2 DL young sourdough
  • 5 g fresh yeast (still too scared to leave it out)
  • 50 g wholewheat flour (remember protein check)
  • 100 g Öland wheat flour (this type of flour has ~14g protein/100g)
  • 450 g wheat flour
  • 15 g of salt

The How

Day 1

  1. Freshen up your sourdough 8-10 hours before using it. This is done by mixing above mentioned ingredients – ‘Young sourdough’ – and leave it in an open container on your kitchen counter. Once it bobbles and you see activity it is good to go. Tip: If your sourdough floats when put into water it is good.
  2. Prepare kernels
  3. Prepare seeds
  4. As your sourdough is ready, you should get all the ingredients out, weighed off a ready for baking
  5. Add cold water and sourdough to your kneading bowl (I use my Ankarsrum as spoken of here) and stir
  6. Add yeast and stir until dissolved entirely
  7. Now, add flours and salt and turn on your machine at the lowest speed to “collect” the dough (this should take ~1 minute)
  8. Turn up the speed on your machine to max, and leave it kneading util your dough gathers around the hook or kneading-middle.. It takes my dough around 8-9 minutes (the dough will “let go” of the edges of the bowl). Tip: Do a gluten test here to check entirely for readiness.
  9. Up next, add your sunflower seeds and kernels to the dough and mix for no more than 10-15 seconds on the lowest speed
  10. Add the dough to an airtight container, where you have added a little olive oil for moist, and leave it on the kitchen counter for 1 hour
  11. After the hour put it in the fridge over night (lip on and sealed)

Day 2

  1. 10-12 hours after refrigerating, take your dough out the fridge 1-2 hours before baking
  2. Turn on your oven to 250° Celsius over and under heat 30 minutes before baking. Tip: If you have a pizza stone or baking pan leave it in the oven to heat up with it to place your bread directly on it.
  3. Spread flour on your kitchen counter and place dough gently on it
  4. Shape your bread: I would recommend making 1 big loaf, 2 smaller loafs, 1 loaf and some rolls or rolls only – your baking time will vary for all
  5. For shaping I use this tool
  6. Drizzle with oats (if you want), and bake your bread:
    1. Big loaf: Approximately 40 minutes (5 at 250° Celsius, remainder at 220-230° Celsius)
    2. Smaller loafs: Approximately 30 minutes (5 at 250° Celsius, remainder at 220-230° Celsius)
    3. Rolls: Approximately 17 minutes (5 at 250° Celsius, remainder at 220-230° Celsius)
  7. Check if your bread is ready by tapping it on top. It should sound hollow and have a neat dark brown colour.
  8. Put your bread on a grill to cool off before eating

The loafs stay fresh for 2-3 days if kept in a paper or plastic bag with small air holes, but I always prefer bread on day 1 or 2. Actually… I prefer it fresh out the oven and still warm! The rolls freeze very well and can thus last longer. I really hope you want to try out this recipe, as it is in its entirety delicious.

Beach sunset 5 minutes from our house: Imagine a cold walk here followed by fresh bread with butter and hot cocoa!

Happy January 31st everyone –

♡ NDK

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