Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mmm Toast

Yeah that’s right, I make my own toast. I must say I don’t even look at the scared wheat (my name for the 99% air pre-sliced white bread you find in your local store) when I pass the huge piles of the stuff as I forage for groceries. However, we have just finished celebrating midsummer’s eve here in Sweden and you sort of want some newly toasted bread to go with the egg and pickled herring or the sour cream, onion and fish roe toast. Anyways with a fresh batch of (or I guess it’s sour but anyways) wheat sourdough starter in the kitchen I’d thought this was an excellent opportunity to put its powers to good use.

Sourdough cheese toast
360 g water
30 g fresh yeast
100 g sourdough of wheat
60 g butter
600 g extra strong flour
50 g durum wheat (semolina for you US readers)
16 g sea salt
100 g cheese in cubes (not to hard cheese of your choice, but not to strong, and defiantly not that horrible scary yellow propane product some Americans call cheddar)

Possible taste additions:
10 g of freshly chopped dill
2+ cloves of finely chopped or smashed garlic
Red chilly flakes to taste

15 g of toasted sesame oil
50 g toasted sesame seeds

Mix all ingredients except the salt, cheese and additions in a mixer on a medium setting for 6 minutes (or hardcore kneading for 10). After that add the salt and let your machine work another 4 minutes (or yourself for 7). After this you can add the rest of the stuff and work it in for 30 second (1 minute by hand).

Let your wonderful dough rest for 20 minutes. Divide into two pieces and “round-shape” them (I don’t know the exact word for this but the process is: 1. Flatten or punch down the dough into a disc and then fold it into a jellyfish sort of shape. 2. Cup your palms over the jellyfish and work it in small circular motions. 3. Repeat a couple of times). This is done in order to even out tensions in the dough as well as making a nice round shape:).

While resting the two nice rounds for five minutes prepare to loaf pans with a bit of oil. Now destroy your nice round shape by reshaping the dough to fit into the pans and make some slits in the dough (I went for 3 diagonal ones on each). This is also the time to brush some eggwash on and maybe another addition (raw seeds of any kind fork fine, but try to display what is inside the loaf so if you added sesame in the dough use sesame on top), and then rest for 60 minutes. *insert bad joke about not waiting for the CBS show if you want*

Preheat your oven to 250C or 480F (if you have a wood burning stone oven *drool* that would be the best option, but otherwise convection ovens work best). Put the loafs in spray in water to create steam and lower the oven to 220C or 420F, and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

After removing the loafs from the oven I would let them cool a bit before removing them from the pans but not to let the bread cool completely in them.

Store the bread in a paper bag if uncut or since this is toast, slice it, and freeze it. Toast and eat with butter *YUM*

Ok, so I did mean to be a good bloger and give my readers pictures but I am sort of picky about aesthetics sometimes and I didn’t give my bread enough time to rise after I slashed it which resulted in sort of teacup shaped toast slices not fit for a picture. I’ll be more vigilant with my camera tomorrow when I will make sourdough baguettes.

PS. I'm scared of the camera; I’m a crappy photographer to start, and everyone else post such beautiful pictures HELP

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