Sunday, 20 November 2011

Seeds and Grain Sourdough Bread

There is something very romantic about making bread, all our senses get involved in the process, our hands learn to feel the chemical changes that simple combination that flour, water, yeast and salt make, passing from one state to the other, it is simply magical. Our eyes, witness all of those changes and when the dough has been perfectly kneeled, it shows some sort of smoothness in its texture. Our sense of smell, of course, is so active in all the process, especially once that the bread is done. Who cannot recall the smell of bread coming from the bakery while walking in the street? I have this memory in San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful colourful town in Mexico, everyday at certain time in the afternoon each summer, one could smell its bread baking coming from traditional mexican bakeries and the sound of a great shower of rain pouring down. Still, it has been with mama Laila, my mother in law that my passion for making bread began. When I just got married I lived with her for 2 years. She will cook delicious za'ater (flat bread with thyme), zafiras (flat bread with meat) and fatiras, bread rolls filled with cheese, or meat, among many others. Every time she will make bread, I will observe her hands dancing around and learn from her expressions. Making bread is very rewarding, but making sourdough bread is even more, not exactly because of the taste, to be honest, but because of the process that it takes and because, it is the most natural form of bread, so if like me, you like to learn about how to come back to your inner nature, sour bread is a great teacher!! Once that one has been able to create the sourdough, one has to take care of it literally like a baby, every 3 days needs to be look after and feed! I have been very blessed by having a 9 year old sourdough that has been given to me by my gorgeous friend Monica from the blog "Sabores del Alma" with whom I will enjoy hours of talking, learning and making bread. Here is a simple way of making sourdough, the process take a few days and we will need 1 cup of rye flour, because it naturally contains the bacteria and yeast that we need. Mix the cup of rye flour with one cup of water, leave it near the window for an hour and then cover it and leave it in a warm place. Don't do anything to it the next day. The third day, add one cup of white flour and one of water and mix it well. Cover it again. The next day, leave it alone. On the fifth day, your sourdough should be bubbling and smelling like sour yogurt and it will be ready to use. For our sourdough bread recipe we will use 1 cup and a 1/2 of this mixture, the other half keep it in the fridge and every 3 days feed with flour and water, until you are ready to make more bread again! Hope you will enjoy it

Seeds and Grain Sourdough Bread Recipe

1 1/2 cups of sourdough
1/2 cup of warm water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of honey
3 cups of Wholemeal with seeds and grain bread flour
Wholemeal flour for dusting

Mix all the ingredients and form into a ball. Let it rest for 10 minutes while covered and then come back to it, this will help you in the kneeling process as it will be less sticky, as the gluten is beginning to work. After the 10 minutes put the dough on a surface and kneel it with love and no thoughts about you not doing the correct thing. Kneel it for around 10 minutes. Then form it into a ball and let it rest on a warm place. I will use the heaters and cover it with a Clingfilm and lots of covers on the top, this helps the process. Once it has double the size, bring it out of its container and slightly flour a surface and roll open the dough in order to create a rolled sausage and tipping the sides down. Place the bread on a cooking tray that has been previously greased and let it rise for around 1 to 3 hours until has doubled its size.  This can be done in the fridge if you would like to have early morning homemade bread, it can be left all night and by the morning be ready.

Once the dough is ready make one or several half way cuts with a sharp knife.
Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Sprincle wholemeal flour on the top and bake for around 25 to 30 minutes until is dark gold in color.

The bread is ready!!!

It is a bread full of character that can be eaten with butter only, cheese, anything you would like, hope you will like it too!!!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Begining with.. My Mother

Thank you so much for all those who will give themselves sometime to read. This first post I would like to dedicate it to my mother. It has been her beautiful hands the ones that have inspired me to create this blog. Since I can remember my mother's hands will not find any difficulty in anything; they will work hard, create beauty, heal, love and disapprove as well. They will express feelings and dance. I can still see them dancing through the home, taking care of her plants that were must of the times the envy of the neighbourhood, take care of the many animals that used to live with us, birds, dogs, cats, all of them received from her hands love and care. She will see with her hands creations to taste, recipes that are still in our mouth and transport us to her every time that we try to imitate them. She will create beautiful decorative things that were around the home that on our childhood hardly saw, but that now in adulthood greatly appreciate. My mother, the root of my tree! You will find in this blog a lot from her presence, but will as well the many great ladies that have been in my life, you will find Latin-American taste from my Mexican origin, my love to my Arabic side through my husband and this energetic place that lets all of this elements amalgam together and create a new hue of colours for infinite creations, England. Peace and blessings!