I'm back on track!
It seems an eternity away from these sourdough hamburger buns - the beginning of the June was really special and unforgettable. As one of finalist in the sixth-annual Saveur Blog Awards 2015 I headed for New York (first time in the US!) to attend a three-day final event organized by the Saveur Magazine - check photos here.
Even though I didn't win in the Special interest blog category, this New York experience was something really inspiring and I am so happy to have met all the beautiful and tallented blogging souls. Thank you everyone who nominated my blog to make this happen and to all my readers and supporters. Congratulations to all the winners!
"I'm gonna make it by any means, I got a pocket full of dreams..."
(Alicia Keys, New York)
And I am so grateful for the opportunity to visit the Saveur Magazine premises. We prepared something - stay tuned! =)
On my last day in New York I decided to explore the city (read as to find bakeries with sourdough bread). Mission NY sourdough bread was successful, I found a lot of bakeries with delicious sourdough bread. Can't wait to come to New York next time to visit the Bien Cuit bakery. And since so much bread I bought was quite a challenge for me (I usually eat one loaf per week), I shared the it with homeless people.
Today is a special day. It's a summer solstice here in the Northern hemisphere, marking the longest day of the year. The memories of the last year's solstice celebration are still so vivid. We drove to a forest and then drummed from the sunset to sunrise by the fire with a group of friends! It was one of the most emotional experience of my life.
To honor this year's summer solstice, I decided to make a summer solstice sourdough finger bread in the shape of the Sun. Above all, this sourdough bread is very simple and quick to make, so you can make it and take it to the picnic.
Check the video recipe and leave me a comment below if you like it:
Summer solstice sourdough finger bread
Yields: one bread with 24 sticks
I prepared sourdough starter in the evening, left it to ferment overnight, mixed the dough in the morning, left it to ferment for 3 hours, shaped the bread afterwards and baked it straight away.
50 g active whole grain wheat or rye sourdough starter (100% hydration)
300 g white wheat flour
175 g water or milk (I used water)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 pinches fine sea salt
50 g tomato sauce + fresh or dry herbs (origano, basil)
sesame seeds for topping
1 egg yolk for garnish
* Pay attention to how much water your flour absorbs. In my experience, white khorasan flour absorbs more flour than white wheat flour (around 200 g) and white spelt flour absorbs less than white wheat flour. I advise you to start with less flour and continue to add more if necessary. The dough should be more on the stiffer side, however still kneadable.
1. In the evening, mix 25 g of whole grain wheat flour with 25 g of water and 1 heaping teaspoon of (active*) rye sourdough starter. Cover and let it ferment overnight until bubbly and doubled in volume.
* you could also use unfed sourdough starter directly from the fridge, it will work as well.
2. In the morning, prepare the dough. Dissolve all of your active starter in 175 g of water (or more if the dough feels stiff), add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 300 g of flour, and 2 pinches of salt. Mix until all ingredients come together. The dough should be more stiff but still soft to be able to knead it without any resistance. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until smooth. When done, transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap or kitchen cloth in order to prevent the surface from drying out.
3. Let the dough to ferment for 3-4 hours. In that time the dough will not double in volume, nonetheless you will see the difference and also the signs of fermentation at the bottom of the bowl.
4. When ready, first preheat your oven to 200°C (392°F) along with the baking tray. Next, transfer the dough onto the working surface (use the plastic dough scraper) and divide it in two equal parts. Take one piece and transfer it onto the lightly dusted parchment paper. Roll it to a round shape with diameter of 23 cm (91⁄16 in). Set aside. Take another piece and flatten it as well.
5. Spread the tomato sauce over the first piece of dough but leave 1-2 cm free around the edge. Sprinkle the herbs over the sauce. Cover with second flattened piece of dough and (optionally) seal the edges.
6. Place a glass jar in the middle of the dough.
7. Start shaping the bread. Use a back of the knife or the bench knife to first divide the dough into four equal parts. Next, divide each quarter into two parts and again into 3 parts, so you end up with 6 sticks in each quarter. Take each stick and twist it three or four times.
8. When done, remove the jar and wash the middle of the dough with egg yolk and then sprinkle some sesame seeds over it. Optionally wash the twists as well. You can was the dough with water.
9. Take the baking try out of the oven and transfer the bread onto it. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until nicely brown. When baked, take the bread on a cooling rack and let it cool or it warm.
Happy summer solstice!
This recipe was adopted from the beautiful Kalács bread by Viviene Perényi (At down under).