It was on a cold and sunny day when I stumbled over Chad Robertson and his Tartine bread. After I saw his brilliant video on vimeo I had the urge to quit my job and do nothing but baking and cooking. I was always interested in baking bread but beside the sunday "zopf" it was never really worth the effort. Our local organic baker does much better bread than I managed to do. But I had this vision of a very moist and very fragrant bread. Immediately I ordered the book. I couldn't wait for it to arrive. It arrived more or less on christmas. After reading it I was even more convinced to give it a try. Chads bread gets a very long resting time which I find key to good bread. Once I was to tired to bake my "zopf" bread in the evening so I let it sit over the night in a cool place. The next morning I baked it, and was more than pleased with the result. Not only had it a very nice structure, it's also perfect to have fresh bread on a sunday morning. Since that day my "Zopf" always gets at least a 10 hours rest.
Short after new year I started with setting up my own starter. After a long 10 days I baked my first bread. I knew it wouldn't work because there was not enough air in the dough but I gave it a try anyway. As expected the bread did not rise enough but it tasted delicious. I decided to speed thing up and ordered a starter online. I will still try to make my own starter but for now we are more than happy with our little french one.
The result was stunning and we basically spent a whole sunday sitting in the kitchen eating bread.
Tartine bread is a beautiful, inspiring book that teaches you a lot about baking and bread. It's what if been waiting for, for a long time. So if you like baking and have things to do while your bread is resting go for it - it's well worth it!
If you need more inspiration I recommend starting here:
oh and check the video
Culinary travels and bad weather took us to new york the other day.
Making bagels is fun. It looks more complicated than it actually is. I know you could go and buy ready made ones.
But when the when the weather is cold and you are stuck at home with a little boy at home it's a fun thing to do.
500 gr flour
2 tsp dried yeast
172 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
340 ml water
Mix flour, yeast, salt and sugar with the water and mix in a blender or a food processor till very elastic.
Dust, cover and let it sit for 40 minutes.
Form 8 balls and let them sit for an other 5 minutes. Form the bagels. I always make a hole with my finder in the middle of the dough and start turning, sliding the the doug on the floured surface. The hole should be approximately 4 cm in the end. Let them sit for an other 30 minutes.
Heat a big pot with water. Put the bagels into the boiling water and cook for 30 sec on each side. Carefully take them out and put them on a dry cloth to drain. Sprinkle with sesame, poppy seed, onions ete.
Bake for 25 minutes on 220°.
Cut into halves and fill as you like.
With marmite and gherkins.
Honey mustard, brie and cress or onion sprouts,
New York lox with organic salmon, cream cheese with horseradish and capers.
Hard to believe but sometimes cuts are a good thing. We buy our bread from the outstanding "Vechigen Reform" bakery. They do very nice dark and moist bread. Even me who usually prefers white bread can't stop eating it.
But for the weekend brunch I still prefer white bread, better braided bread which is very common in Switzerland.
Since the beginning of the year we try to live on a tight budget. But certain things are easier to abstain from than others. We don't go out for dinner, ok that's a pity but can be done, we found a new everyday wine that costs half as much and is even better that the old one, nice. Kevin tries all the cheap beers at the supermarket... but I am not ready to do without organic food I realized. (I know here one could economize a lot ). When I realized that Vechigen Braided bread costs 8€ I knew I had to start baking again because I really don't like the supermarket alternative.
Now 3/4 of a year later I am quite proud of my "Zopf" as we call this type of bread. In the beginning it was to dense and never salty enough. Now it's fluffy and salty. The clue is I let it rest for the night which means that I have to make the dough Friday evening which usually is quite tough after a week of work. But Saturday morning, when the smell of fresh bread is in the house, all the hassle is forgotten, and we happily eat the still warm bread.
1 kg "Zopfmehl" 90% all purpose flour 10% spelt flour
4 tbs salt
42 gr fresh yeast dissolved with 2 tbs sugar
160 gr unsalted butter at room temperature
5 dl milk
Mix flour and salt. Add the rest and knead very well. With the occasional beating.
Let it rest during the night. Make the braid and brush with egg .
Bake for 40 minutes on 220°
By the way the bread lies on Banksy's fantastic book " Wall and Piece"
A few streets from where we live is a lovely indian restaurant called Mahamaya we go there as often as our budget allows. Which, at the moment is hardly ever. It's one of our favorite places for several reasons: It's a cosy place, they serve cobra beer ( kevins main reason to go there ;-) lovely indian food and they make a flat bread called kulcha which is my main reason to go there. Kulcha is supposed to be an punjabi speciality and it's just one of the best things I have ever eaten.
For several weeks now I tried to make my own kulcha. I started with googling kulcha and found several recipes, which to me did not sound like my kulcha at all, mainly because they don't use cilantro which to me is the main ingredient in the mahamaya kulcha.
It's my new grill party classic, people love it and keep asking for the recipe so here it comes - kulcha my way:
I usually buy readymade pizza dough but of course you can make fresh pizza dough. I guess thats makes even nicer.
Makes roughly 8 Kulcha
1 kg Pizza dough
1 big onion
100 gr silken tofu you could probably also use yoghurt or better paneer
a handful pine nuts
1 tbs good indian curry powder
a bunch of cilantro roughly chopped
salt and pepper
Slice the onion, cook in a frying pan, slowly till golden and sweet. Ad the pine nuts and the curry power. Stir for a bit. Ad the tofu salt and pepper and continue stirring for a few more minutes. Take off the heat ad the and ad the cilantro.
Roll out the pizza bread and fill with 1- 2 tbs of the filling. Rub with some olive oil and put on the grill. It only needs a few minutes on each side, depending on how thin you rolled the dough. Don't walk away the get burned very quickly.
They are best grilled on the fire but you can also make them in the oven.
Oh and by the way, even people who say they don't like cilantro love this brad.