I miss bread, real bread, with a crust, and with a bite. This is one of those food differences that most Germany will lament because it’s so encoded in our DNA. Dark bread, black bread, gray bread, buns, don’t forget the buns with like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, mixed seeds. The texture of fluffy bread that still takes some effort to chew.
Most breads I encountered here in Saskatoon/Saskatchewan, Canada are more of the “very fluffy but nothing to it” kind. Even our bread that we toast has more texture than the sandwich bread my husband eats. There are surely some exceptions, like those from the Farmers Market and I know of some artisan bakeries. But generally I miss the mix and differences from home.
Several times before I ventured into the bread making, or rather the bun making. White Buns, Savoury Party Buns, Cheese Buns and an Easter Wreath (which is sort of like a sweet bread bread). All of these are with yeast which leads to some delicious results. However, the real bread is made with sourdough. That is a real challenge.
Thankfully, my co-worker is a bit crazy just like me and made her own sourdough starter. She was so kind and gave me some because making one for yourself is a ton of work and frankly, I don’t have 4 days to take care of that, hoping it will turn out. She gave me about 60g of hers so that I could make my own bread.
The recipe comes from Petras Brotkasten, a German webpage about bread baking and other endeavors.
– 75g whole wheat flour
– 60 ml luke warm water
– 20g sourdough starter
– 240ml warm water
– 350g whole wheat flour
– 20g honey
– 10g salt
– 120g pumpkin seeds
Mix the first three ingredients the night before. It will form a ball of dough. Place that in a bowl and let it sit over night, about 8 hours.
Tip 1: Mine sat much longer because I was at work. It worked nevertheless.
Add 240ml water and stir, let that sit for about 10 min. You can do this already in your stand mixer if you like. After the waiting time, add the flour and, using the dough hook, combine until most of the flour is incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 20 min.
Add the honey and salt and mix until combined, mix for another 2 min on a higher setting. Cover again and let it stand for another 30 min.
Tip 2: All this waiting is for the gluten to relax and the dough to rise. Relaxed gluten will make a better bread.
Prepare your working area with some flour and remove the dough from the bowl onto the area. Pat the dough into a rectangular shape and add half the pumpkin seed, slightly pressing them into the dough. Fold the dough three times, down part up, up part down. Then turn the dough and pat again into the same shape, adding the last pumpkin seeds and folding again.
Let the dough rest for another 30 min and then pat and fold again another 2 times. Oil a bigger bowl and place the dough in the bowl, covering with plastic wrap and placing it in the fridge over night. The next day, take it out and let it “warm up” for 1 hour 40 min.
Tip 3: It should have risen over night, forming a more or less round loaf shape. It depends on your bowl of course.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let that sit for 5 min and form a loaf if it’s not already in that shape. Let it rest another 3 hours before it goes into the preheated oven. 240°C for the first 15 min, then another 15 min with only 200°C. Spray the loaf with water 4 time in the fist 5 min so it will make a nice rust. After the baking time is up knock on the bread to hear if it sounds hollow. If so, it is done, if not it needs more baking. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool on a rack.
Tip 4: Cover with aluminum foil to make sure the crust does not burn.
The structure of this bread allows it to be cut rather thinly because it won’t squish so much. Although it’s with pumpkin seeds it goes well with jam. But it’s also nice with cheese or cold cut meat.