Using Dried Sourdough

On a recent visit to my local Polish shop I came across packets of dried sour dough.

I had never seen these before and bought a couple to try them out.

There was a recipe printed on the back of the packet and this is what I used.

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  • I have noticed many Dr. Oetker products in Poland and in England.
  • I thought the company name was made up but have found this is not so.
  • Doctor August Oetker was a German chemist and was one of the people who invented baking powder.
  • He started a company in 1891 and the first product sold was Bakin, which was a measured amount of baking powder to be added to 500g of plain flour when making a cake. 
  • His family still run what is now a multi-national company.

Ingredients

  • 150g rye flour
  • 350g strong flour
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet of dried sourdough
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 400ml of lukewarm water (approx)
  • *
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons of seeds eg – sesame, linseed, caraway
  • *
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame or caraway seed
  • 1 teaspoon of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of water

Method

  • In a large bowl mix the rye flour, strong flour, sugar, dried sour dough and the yeast.
  • Slowly add the water to get a soft dough that you can knead.
  • Knead dough for 10 minutes, set a timer.
  • Cover the dough – a shower cap is good – and leave in a warm place to rise.
  • This could be for an hour or more.
  • *
  • Line a long Continental style loaf tin – approx 10 by 30cm.
  • Use a single sheet and push the paper into the corners.
  • *
  • Add the oil and seeds to the risen dough and mix well in.
  • Knead to a smooth dough for 10 minutes.
  • *
  • Push the dough into the tin and smooth flat.
  • Brush the top with water, seeds and flour.
  • Cut slashes with a knife in the top.
  • Cover and leave for an hour or more to rise.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to GM5 – 190°C.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

 

Chleb – Bread

Today is the third anniversary of my blog – I started posting on 4 July 2015 and this will be my 155th post!

I am really enjoying the research, the cooking, the photography  and the writing and have many more recipes to share with you all.

Chleb – Bread

A wedding tradition in Poland is to greet the bride and groom on their arrival at the reception with bread & salt.

The bread is seen as a gift from God and is a wish that they never go hungry.

The salt is a seen as a gift from the earth and is a wish that they overcome the bitterness of life.

Rye

To be called bread in Poland the loaves or rolls must contain some rye.

Wheat loaves or rolls are called bułki or bułeczki but this is also the name  given to some cakes and buns – hence there is often some confusion!

Żyto is the Polish for rye.

Rye   – Secale cereale  is a grain and is used for bread and for making some of the best vodkas.

It grew  wild in Turkey and  since the Middle Ages it has been cultivate widely in    Central and Eastern Europe.

Rye grows well  in poor soil and in cold and harsh conditions.

Nowadays rye is grown primarily in Eastern, Central and Northern Europe and the top three rye producing countries are Germany,  Russia & Poland.

Poland consumes the most rye per person at 32.4 kg/capita (2009) followed by Nordic and Baltic countries. (From an article in Wikipedia).

Sour dough

This method of bread making uses the natural yeasts that are found on the grain and in the atmosphere.

I had never tried using a sour dough method before.  I have now tried it out twice –  even as a former science student  – it felt like MAGIC! – the results were wonderful!

This recipe is adapted from one in found in my American book – Polish Heritage Cookery by Robert & Maria Syrybel.

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It takes around 3 days to make 2 loaves.

I suppose I could halve the recipe but I am quite happy to cut and freeze any surplus and the bread keeps for several days and can always be toasted.

Whey

This recipe uses whey which I often have if I have made any twarog – curd cheese.

If I do not have any whey I make a mixture of around 2 parts yoghurt to 1 part water instead.

Method

Day 1

At around 5 pm mix 150g of  rye flour with  250ml of hand hot water in a bowl.

Cover with a tea towel and leave for 24 hours.

Day 2

Again at around 5 pm,  mix 150g of  rye flour with  250ml of hand hot water and the mixture from the night before in a bowl and leave overnight or around 12 hours.

 

Day 3

In the morning

Ingredients

350g rye flour

350g (strong) plain flour

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of caraway seeds

450 – 500ml  of whey  or a mixture of 2 parts yoghurt & 1 part water

Plus the starter mix from the days before

Method

Combine all the ingredients together.

Aim for a “wet” mix – it is harder to handle but gives the best results.

Knead for around 5 minutes – longer if you can!

 

Shape the dough – cut  it in half and make 2 oval-shaped loaves and place them on greased baking trays or you can put them into tins – I used  a round – loose bottomed tin – 20cm in diameter in my second bake.

Leave to rise  for around 5 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C

Place some water in a roasting tray at the bottom of the oven.

 

They take around 50 minutes to bake – I swap the two trays around after about 20 minutes.

 

Delicious with just butter – Well worth the wait!