Turmeric Marbled Sourdough Bread

There was a type of bread that I wanted to bake and it was  time to try it. The marbled bread.
This bread has the particularity that the crumb has swirls of colours coming from combined dough with different colours. The recipe is a classic one, with a high hydration dough to get a more open crumb. It is just about colouring a part of the dough (preferably in a healthy way) and layering it over the rest of the dough in the lamination phase to obtain a distinct combination of colours. The swirls come from the manipulation of dough after the lamination, more exactly during the coil folds. There is a trick about them and I will explain.
For these loaves, I used turmeric as food colouring and this one has the tendency to tint the rest of the dough as well. To avoid this, it is better to keep the coloured dough in a smaller proportion than the white one, that will be about 25-35% from the total dough. Then, I performed 3 coil folds during the bulk fermentation, after I integrating the 2 coloured pieces of dough. More than 3 would make the crumb completely yellow. Two coil folds would be better in order to see the distinct swirls but you'll lose on the bread structure side as the hydration of this dough is high. So, 2-3 coil folds are the right number, but also be careful when you perform the coil folds themselves to avoid doing it multiple times. Keep the movements simple and do not overdo it.
All the rest of the steps are exactly the same as for a classic sourdough bread.

This bread is more about the visual aspect of the crumb rather than the taste or bread fermentation technicalities. I find that the turmeric addition did not changed the overall taste of the bread so this ingredient is kind of neutral for the taste. 
To get the open crumb, I recommend fermenting the dough up until the aliquot jar indicates 100% volume increase.
I invite you to watch the video above for all the detailed steps of this recipe and method of making bread.


Cheese turnovers with discarded sourdough

I have done these turnovers in many ways and my children are crazy about them. In French they are called "chaussons". Usually I do not use a special turnover mould and I do them manually, by packing the cheese inside like in an envelope. Then, I bake them using a sandwich machine.
But these ones, I wanted to be more good-looking and I used a butterfly mould forgotten on a top shelf of my pantry. 
This is a great way to get rid of a big quantity of discarded sourdough. They taste so well in combination with the feta cheese and, although I have not tried other types of cheese, I think it would taste great too if you replace the feta with some melting cheese inside.
They are super easy to make and I warn you, they fly super fast from the plate.

Christmas Savoury Tart

I made this tart really in a hurry and because I had broccoli and zucchini sitting in my fridge. You do not have to follow fancy recipes and buy dedicated ingredients. Sometimes, it is enough to throw into a tart whatever ingredients you have available in the fridge. Just be carefully to combine them wisely to obtain a dedicated taste.

Here you have a little video about how I made this tart.

Black Sesame Sourdough Bread

Making sourdough bread is such a rewarding activity even if you make it just as a hobby. I know many of you are making sourdough because of its health benefits but the pleasure to do it, to put your hands in dough, to watch it growing during the proofing, to score it or stencilling it, to wait in front of your oven watching it blooming and then waiting impatiently for it to cool before taking a bite is another level of accomplishment. Baking and cooking, in general, could be seen as such a witchcraft: combine individual ingredients in a certain way in a pot, baking it and coming up with a gorgeous result that taste heavenly, isn't this looking like a sorcery? Just kidding, let's put the feet on the floor and talk about this bread.

Though, there is something magic about this bread and its about the combination of sourdough with seeds. The seeds bring a nutty flavour that combined with the mild sourness of the sourdough bread are making from this bread an exceptionally tasty one.

I found this recipe being close to perfection in terms of taste and crumb, however the dough handling is not for a beginner. The dough is wet and the addition of rye and spelt makes the dough sticky. I do not want to discourage you from making this recipe but I want you to be prepared about what kind of dough to expect. Having a bit of skills in reading and handling the dough will definitely help and reach you to success from the first attempt.

I did this recipe 4 times in a row, to test changing little variables, to observe the results. Some changes were good, some were less good. Now I can conclude that my perfect formula for this recipe is: 10% rye, 10% spelt (the rest strong bread flour), 77% hydration and 70% dough increase (in the aliquot jar) before the fridge retard.

Here they are, 2 fantastic loaves. You'll hardly see an ear for this loaf (I've got half of an ear twice from 8 loaves) but the crumb.... oh this crumb looks to me perfect. Opened at the perfect size, not over open crumb, and for sure not a dense one. This is for me the crumb to satisfy all the wishes. 

Chocolate Sourdough Bundt Bread

I recently discovered baking sourdough bundt breads (or cakes if you prefer to call them like this) made only with sourdough without using any baking powder, baking soda or yeast.

Beside the evident health benefit, there is something that I love about this type of cake. With sourdough you know for sure that your cake will rise as you will see it before putting it in the oven, With baking powder, if you picked a good recipe you have some chances to see it rising but do not be surprised if some are not.

The first recipe I developed in this way was made following more or less the steps I usually do for classic sourdough bread. I had a successful recipe last time but I was wondering if I cannot simplify it even more. What if I would add all ingredients at once, without having to add them in steps at a certain interval? I was not looking for developing a structure as I would do for classic bread because I bake in a pan.

Bundt pans are having the advantage of having a central element (that creates the hole of the bundt cake) that ensures that the cake is baked evenly also in the center. That said, I didn't need an extra structure, so no folding, no extra gluten development, no lamination needed and no shaping needed. So why not put the batter straight into the pan? I told myself it was worth a try.

Then, sourdough needs time to grow. It took me about 5 hours to see it growing and I put it in the fridge as it was too late in the evening to bake it directly. If you want to bake it directly, I would recommend to add maybe another extra hour for proofing because mine it continued to rise in the fridge. By morning, it reached the level of the pan and had also a bump that overpassed it.

In the oven, it rose even more, but it didn't go down over the borders, it rose up keeping the shape of the pan.

I made this recipe with very little sugar and it resembles to a light sweet bread with profound chocolate taste. You might want to extend the sweetness by adding more sugar, but I preferred to keep it also in a healthier version.

I used stiff sourdough at 50% hydration because I wanted to avoid any sour taste for a sweet bread, but I do not think the taste would have been completely changed if with a starter at 100% hydration. Maybe I will try this one day.

Regarding the hydration of the dough/batter, I found that there should be a balance. Make a simple ratio between the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients (excluding the sugar/jam etc) and if you are staying in 1.3 - 1.4 there should be no issue with this bread rising nicely. This ratio can be translated into 130% to 140% hydration but special ingredients like eggs, yogurt, oil cannot be considered as containing only water. There are other elements in there, like proteins, fats that cannot be counted as water. But keep this ratio in mind and then, you can make convert any bundt cake recipe based on baking powder into a bundt bread with sourdough .

This is a really simple sourdough recipe for a light sweet bread. If it looks nice to you, give it a try and let me know what you think about it.