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Black sesame rye sourdough crackers

My kids love food that crunches between their teeth. I always have at hand for them some "cracotte", sticks or even dried bread.
As this pandemic time put me to stay at home, I launched myself into a more advanced bread journey and that means that I keep my starter at room temperature. Well, actually my starter stays on top of my wifi router because there I have constantly between 25-30ÂșC. I hope that the internet provider will not change soon the wifi router type otherwise I'll need to improvise another "home place" for my precious Maya sourdough :) . When keeping the sourdough out of the fridge you need to feed it. And mine is such a gourmand ! At the wifi router temperature it eats 3 times a day in proportions like 1:4:4. You can imagine then that every week I gather a lot of discarded sourdough starter that pushes me to bake something with it. I search for different recipes on the web, I adapt them and go to the kitchen to make them. This time, the source of inspiration was a recipe that I found on a brand that I love, although I never had the chance to have in my hand one of their famous flours.
As always, I bring to any recipe my personal touch, and my contribution for it was the rye sourdough starter and the black sesame seeds. These 2 come with a specific flavor.
I baked these crackers during the day when my kids were at school. When home, their eyes jumped straight on them. You can imagine that I lost the battle of convincing them to eat before crunching. But in the end, this is healthy homemade food, so why not.
When I saw the recipe I was thinking that it will take me some time to do it, but actually it was much quicker than expected. 
This is how, I am pretty sure that now I have a new recipe on my regular baking wish list of my kids.

Ready for a crunch session? Have a look on the recipe bellow.

Plum cake

I have the feeling that the plum becomes a forgotten fruit. During my childhood, my mother used to prepare this fruit in all sorts of ways. She was making compot, jam, cakes (ohhhh and I remember the famous plum dumplings... maybe I should try those ones as well) and we were eating them fresh as well many times. Nowadays, I do not see the same popularity for this fruit anymore and it is a real pity.

Because I miss so much seeing my parents during this pandemic times, a lot of memories are coming back to me and plum cakes is one of them. Before coming up with this recipe I consulted my mom to be sure that this is a similar recipe with the one she was doing when I was a child. In Romania, it is another type of plum that is most used. That type is smaller, bluer, sweeter and more oval. The one that I find here is big, round and red. Nevertheless, I tried my luck with this type in a very simple recipe.

Yes, it is the taste that I remember... these fruits leaves a lot of juice in the cake and make this simple cake a delicious dessert. Here it comes, my recipe for the plum cakes, exactly as I remember it from childhood.

Pain demi-gris

While visiting a local farm I saw an organic flour that was labeled as demis-gris. As I was curious about it and it looked so tempting, I bought a bag of 5kg to test it. I nicely placed it on a shelf and there it remained for couple of months. While cleaning the kitchen, I found it back and I was determined to give it a try.
I was oscillating to combine it with some strong flour but finally decided to use it in its pure form so I can see its behavior during handling the dough and later to see its original aroma.
Honestly, when I bought it, I had no clue what demi-gris is. With a bit of research afterwards, I understood that it's a combination of whole wheat flour and white wheat flour. I am still not 100% sure that this is what French and Belgian people call demi-gris, but if there is somebody to enlighten me about this type of flour s/he will be more then welcome to leave me a comment. No idea if it is a 50-50% proportion but the important aspect is that it is organic and this qualify the entire bread as being very healthy.

So, I started with low expectations as whole wheat flour is one of the most difficult type of flour to work with. I've done many breads before with the main ingredient being the whole wheat and I knew that whole wheat gives a more dense crumb. No matter how dense the resulting bread, it was always very tasty. With that said, airy or not, what I was ready to bake was a tasty and healthy anyway.
I followed my new method of baking that includes autolyse, lamination and coil folds. Because I knew the wheat flour requires more time to hydrate, I opted for an overnight autolyse. After kneading, the dough was less elastic than when using a strong white wheat flour, but this was not at all unexpected.

I was worried about the lamination phase. I didn't know if I would be able to stretch the dough and how much. Well, here I was actually surprised that I could laminate the dough nicely in just a bit smaller rectangle than usual. 

I baked the dough and I was satisfied with its outside looking. But the most impresive part was revealed after cutting. The crumb... oh the crumb was beyond any expectation: soft, airy, elastic and with such a mesmerizing aroma...

I put the bread on the table for dinner and sliced half of it. This sliced half was completely devoured by my children. Maybe I do not know exactly what this demi-gris flour is, but for sure there is something magical about it ...

Pumpkin Sourdough Bread

October is the month of the pumpkins. It is the time when you put some wood in the chimney and gather the family around the fire for the first time in the cold season. Autumn comes with small changes in the diet as your body requires more calories to keep itself worm. But autumn is well known for its specific fruits and vegetables and pumpkin is one of them. Orange or yellow, they start to pop up in every house on the table or just in front of the house as a decoration to prepare the classic Halloween holiday. We make pumpkin pies, pumpkin soup and why not, pumpkin breads.

This is a recipe for a sourdough bread made with pumpkin puree and pumpkin seeds.
It is a very delicate bread, with soft crumb and combined aroma of pumpkin and cinnamon. It is not a cake but a delicious bread.

85% Hydration Sourdough Bread

 

This one is probably one of the most hydrated bread I have ever tried. I did it multiple times just to be sure that I was doing it the right way. I did it with a mixer or by hand, I baked it in the conventional oven or in the wood fired oven. Every time, the result was similar. Although very hydrated, I was impressed about how easy it was to work with the dough despite the high hydration. The challenging part of this bread was the dough structure. With so much water inside, it was difficult to create a dough that was standing by itself. I still need to practice this part but so far I am not ashamed of this result either. For sure, there are parts that I can improve but for the moment I am happy with what came out of my hands.
The taste, texture and flavor of this bread were every time outstanding and they convinced me that this is a great recipe. Not for beginners, as requires a bit of practice, but for sure I'll do a similar hydration in the future.

Here it is also the video of the recipe: