Smörgåstårta: I’m celebrating Breademic’s two-year anniversary, so have taken the week off from baking, and taking the opportunity to share with you Smörgåstårta, a Swedish sandwich cake that all bread bakers should be aware of. It’s beautiful, delicious, and makes great use of leftover bread! (More info below.)
Year Two was the year of sourdough. I tested three methods of making a sourdough starter (ended up adopting the most straight forward method and it’s never let me down), and also learned a lot of baking techniques. I looked for easy, quick breads to make in between sourdough bakes because they can be very time consuming, and a bit tricky,
These are my top five breads from Year Two. If you haven’t already, give one of them a try!
Week 56: Sourdough – This is the loaf to try if you’ve never made sourdough, but you really want to get involved with it. It is the most comprehensive recipe I found.
Week 59: French Sourdough – I like this one because you can use your starter straight from the fridge. That saves a lot of time, and gives you the ability to start making the bread as soon as you feel the urge.
Smörgåstårta is a savory bread-layered cake, and you can use any fillings you like (we prefer egg salad, smoked salmon spread, and bay shrimp mixed with sour cream and fresh dill), cover it with a cream cheese/sour cream mixture and then decorate with fruits, vegetables and/or herbs.
If you’re new to the site, make sure to check out all the breads from Year One and Year Two, read over the Tips page if you’re new to baking, and if you find yourself as enamoured of bread baking as I, visit the Library page to see what my favorite bread baking books are.
Stay tuned for Year Three, which will have as it’s focus gluten-free breads!
There hasn’t been as much fan-fare around Yohan Ferrant’s do-nothing method, and I couldn’t find an original posting from him, just a lot of chatter about it on baking blogs. So, I checked out his Instagram feed, and finally came across a reel of him demonstrating how to make it. I’m listing the ingredients, but not a lot of detailed instructions, because, well, there aren’t any! Just mix, rest and bake!
Place a bowl on your scale and add ingredients in the order listed below.
90g sourdough starter (levain)
350g flour (I used 325g bread flour + 25g whole wheat flour)
Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon, scrape sides down, flatten with wet fingertips, then cover and let rest for 12 ~ 24 hours, or until doubled in size and bubbly on top. The temperature of the room makes a difference, if it is 70 degrees, or thereabouts, it should take about 14 hours.
I like to put the dough into a straight-sided container, because then it is easier to tell when it has doubled in size.
Shape dough by lifting a side, stretching it out a bit and folding it over. Flip it, then round it into a ball. I let mine rest overnight in the fridge, because I was ready for bed.
.He puts his directly in the baking receptacle , then straight into a pre-heated oven. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, then 20 more uncovered.
ITALY: Made with a focaccia dough, and not baked until it’s fully risen, this potato pizza is delicious anytime. It makes for a great snack, is a nice accompaniment to a dinner salad, or you can put a fried egg on top, and call it breakfast.
Step 1: Prepare the dough
30ml olive oil
370g bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
1-1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
Mix the olive oil together with the water.
Measure the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and herbs into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to combine.
Place bowl in machine, add the water/oil mixture, and with the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until all the ingredients are mixed together. Remove paddle attachment, and et rest for 15 minutes. You can get the dough off of the paddle with wet fingers.
With the dough hook, mix on medium-low speed for 5 minutes, or until the dough starts to clear the sides of the bowl, and sticks to the dough hook in one piece. If it’s too runny, you can add some flour — just 1 tablespoon at a time though, and no more than 2!
Use a dough scraper to remove it from the mixing bowl and into a large oiled bowl. Cover and let proof overnight in the fridge.
STEP2: Shape dough
Next day, empty dough out into a well oiled 7″ x 9″ rectangle baking dish or 10″ cast iron skillet.
Press fingertips in dough then sprinkle with olive oil.
Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or until it fills the pan.
Preheat oven to 425, and prepare potatoes
STEP 3: Prepare potatoes
1 lb potatoes, sliced paper thin (preferable Yukon gold)
2 shallots, sliced paper thin
2 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 cup olive oil
Place potatoes and shallots in a medium bowl.
Add herbs and oil and mix well to combine.
STEP 4: Bake
Add potatoes and shallots to the dough.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until potatoes start to brown on the sides.
This comes our way via Alexandra’s Kitchen. It’s easy, fast and satisfying to make. She’s also got a version made with 50% whole wheat, instructions for baking in loaf pans if you prefer sliced sandwich bread, and suggestions on adding toppings, making it with gluten free flour, etc.
I’ve listed the ingredients so you can have them at the ready, then follow along in the video linked below. Link to full written recipe here.
4 cups (512 g) all-purpose or bread flour
2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
2 cups (454 g) lukewarm water (made by mixing 1.5 cups cold water with 0.5 cup boiling water)
Making focaccia with sourdough and everything bagel seasoning gives it just a little more umph, both in texture and flavor. If you don’t have a starter on hand, check out Week 9: Focaccia and/or Week 33: Winemaker’s Foaccia made with grapes.
You’ll need to refresh your starter the night before, (or really early in the morning) and be forewarned that once you mix the dough, it will need to proof overnight in the fridge.
Here are the ingredients so you can have them at the ready and follow along to the video linked below. I am so pleased to have stumbled Mile Zero Kitchen’s video tutorials. They are as informative as they are relaxing, and I highly recommend them.
100g active Liquid Starter
400g Bread Flour
15g Olive Oil
Substitute the 8g salt with 6g salt + 2g everything bagel seasoning. And put cream cheese in some of the dents.
Sprinkle the fresh herbs (I use basil) on just after the focaccia comes out of the oven, to keep it from burning.
I line my baking pan with parchment so I can easily lift out the bread.
We made pitas with all purpose flour for Week 4: Pita. This time around we’ve used whole wheat flour and baked them in the oven, rather than the stove top. This would be fun to make with the kids; they’re sure to enjoy shaping the balls of dough, rolling them out, and then watching them puff up in the oven.
This makes 6 pitas. They are best eaten fresh, so I only make what we can eat right away.
Step 1: Make dough
1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2-1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine
Add the water and then the olive oil on top of the water
Place bowl in the stand mixer, and with the dough hook, mix on medium speed to combine, scraping sides with a rubber spatula to made sure verything’s incorporated. You might have to turn it off, and lift the hook up so you can get the dry bits from the bottom.
Once it’s mixed, lower to #2 and knead for 10 minutes, unitl it comes away from the bowl. If it’s still sticking to the sides, add 1 tablespoon of four, but no more.
Cover and let proof in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
Step 2: Shape
Preheat oven to 550, or as high as it will go
Cut 3 sheets of parchment paper the size of your baking/cookie sheet.
Place cookie sheet in oven — without the parchment paper sheets.
Scrape dough out of the bowl onto a heavily floured countertop and divide into 6 pieces
Form into balls by stretching out the sides then folding them in towards the center. Turn over and shape into a ball. View “Shaping into a Ball” on the Video page.
Cover and let rest for about 45 minutes.
Dust the countertop with flour, and the tops of each ball, then roll out to about 5 inches diameter. If they spring back, let it rest, move on to another one, then go back to it.
Place 2 pitas on each sheet, and let rest 15 minutes.
Step 3: Bake
Put the pitas close to the oven.
Open the door, slide the rack out that has the cookie sheet, then carefully lift the parchment with one set of pitas and place them on the cookie sheet
Slide back in and close door.
Bake 2 minutes, then flip the pitas with tongs and bake another two minutes. Try to move fast, so the oven doesn’t loose too much heat.
Repeat two more times. Make sure to wrap the baked pitas so they don’t dry out as they cool.
Here is a method for making crispy, airy individual sandwich buns in just a little over one hour. I kid you not! I discovered this by accident because I forgot to do the whole “stretch & fold, then rest 30 minutes” routine that you’re meant to do over a period of 2 hours. All I managed to do was mix the dough, let it rest an hour, then shape the rolls and bake. That’s it, and they came out great.
They are similar to ciabatta, but (obviously) not nearly as airy or flavorful, but they are delicious all the same. It is a wet dough, so a little tricky to work with, but if you keep your countertop and fingers well-floured, you’ll be fine. I made four, but you could cut into 8 pieces and serve as individual dinner rolls. If you want the crust to stay crisp, cool them in the turned off oven with the door ajar.
1 tsp yeast
300 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
240 g water, warmed to 90 degrees
Step 1: Make dough
Measure dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add water, then stir with the handle of a wooden spoon until well combined and there are not bits of dry flour lingering about.
Clean sides of bowl with a dough scraper so all the dough is together.
Cover and let rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
Step 2: Shape
Gently scrape dough out onto a generously floured countertop.
Dust the dough with a little flour
Slip well floured fingers under an edge of the dough and gently pull out a bit.Go around the sides , to shape the dough into a rectangle, roughly 9″ x 12″. Don’t press it into a rectange, you don’t want to flatten the air bubbles.
With floured fingers, gently roll the dough, from top to bottom, starting at the top of a long side. If it’s sticking a bit in places, use your dough scraper to push some flour at the sticky part, and then push it away from the countertop.
With a bench scraper, divide into four pieces.
With floured finger, gently lifteach roll onto the baking sheet.
Cover and let reset for about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°. Adjust racks so one is in the middle and one at the lowest.
Fill two loaf pans with boiling water and place on the bottom rack.
Step 4: Bake
Bake for 20 minutes at 425° (turn oven down).
When ready, remove from oven and let cool on wire rack before slicing.
ITALY: Just when I think I’ve settled on my favorite loaf, another one comes along that moves it down to second place. This Italian sweet(ish) bread is tradionally made around All Saints’ Day during October and November. It’s packed with raisins and walnuts (the Saints) and flavored with cinnamon, black pepper and red wine. Serve it with a green salad, some cheese, a vin santo, and call it dinner!
Step 1: Make dough
400 g bread flour
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 teaspoon yeast
150g chopped walnuts (they taste better if you toast them, but it’s optional)
75g red wine (like a Cabernet Sauvignon)
50g extra virgin olive oil
1 egg yolk for brushing on surface just prior to baking
In a med-large bowl, measure the flour, sugar, salt, spices and yeast together and whisk well to combine.
Add the raisins and mix with the whisk, breaking up any clumps
Measure the water, wine and oil into a separate container and stir to mix.
Add to the flour.
Mix with one hand until a soft, but fairly stiff dough forms. You don’t want any dry bits of flour. If it doesn’t come together fairly quickly, after about a minute, then make sure you’ve poured in everything from the container that had the water/wine/oil, and add just 1 Tbsp of water. That should do the trick. Don’t worry about any bits of flour stuck in the walnuts, it’ll get absorbed.
Scrape off any bits that are on your hand into the bowl. Pat it down so the surface is fairly flat, i.e. not a ball.
Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight, 12 – 16 hours.
Step 2: Shape and proof
Next day, remove dough from bowl and do some stretch & fold kneading. It’s a tight dough, so it won’t stretch a whole lot.
Flip it over and let rest 2 hours in a warm place
Remove the dough ball onto an oiled countertop.
Stretch the sides out, then fold over into the middle. Turn over and shape into a ball. Place on a baking sheet, cover and let rest another 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 3: Bake
Brush with a beaten egg yolk, then score with a cross.
Bake 50 minutes until dark brown and glossy.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool thoroughly. It’s best if you can wait a day before opening.
It’s a challenge to make 100% whole-grain bread. Whole wheat and rye flours do not have the same gluten content as white (all purpose or bread) flour, so the doughs don’t tend to rise as high, resulting in a heavy, dense loaf. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but isn’t always what I’m looking for. I found a method for making a 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf (Week 21: 100% Whole Wheat) that’s soft and squishy, but it requires a lot of kneading.
I found hundreds of recipes for 100% whole wheat, no-knead bread, and they are identical but for one thing. They all call for the same amount of flour, water and salt, but that’s where the similarities ended: the yeast measurements range from 1/4 teaspoon all the way up to 2.
I started with the one that had the most yeast (2 teaspoons), hoping that would make for a nice rise. Turns ot the amount of yeast doesn’t really effect how high the dough rises so much as it effects how long it takes for the dough to rise. The bread was ready in a day, had a nice rise, but not a lot of flavor. Next, I tried a version with just a 1/4 tsp yeast, and extended the rise time from overnight to 4 days: 12 hours at room temperature, then 2~3 days in the fridge. The rise was acheived, and the bread was more complex.
The takeaway? If a recipe calls for an overnight rise, and more than 1/2 tsp of yeast, don’t make it. If you use too much yeast, the protiens can’t keep up during the long rise time and it looses the bubbles and ability to rise.
1/4 tsp yeast
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1-3/4 cups water + 1/4 cup orange juice, at 95 degrees
3 Tbsp melted butter
480g whole wheat flour (bolt it, then save to dust on top of bread before scoring)
Day 1 Saturday
Measure yeast, brown sugar, water/orange juice into a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Add melted butter and stir.
Add flour, then mix with the handle of a wooden spoon until it is all incorporated.
Clean off the the sides of the bowl with a bowl scraper, and then mix the dough by scopping a side from the bottom and lifting it up over the top. Rotate around the bowl until it’s well mixed and dough is becoming a little smoother.
Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight for 12 hours.
Day 2 Sunday
1-1/2 tsp salt
Next day, sprinkle the salt over the top of the dough.
Push the salt into the dough with wet fingertips, then put your fingers under a portion of the dough, lift it, then fold it over the top. Go around the bowl so that the salt is in now fully covered with the dough.
Squeeze dough with your fingers and thumb to finish mixing in the salt, until you no longer feel any granuals, or for about 30 seconds.
Cover and let rest 15 minutes.
You’re now going to do a series of “bowl folds” and resting periods. Write down the start time of this process, and each time you do a bowl fold so that you don’t lose track. (View the Stretch and Fold video under the heading “Kneading During Proofing” on the Video page for a visual.)
With wet fingertips, separate a side portion of dough away from the bowl.
Holding it with fingers and thumb, lift and stretch it up a few inches, then fold it over to the opposite side.
Go all around the bowl until you get to where you started. By the end of a round it shold be a little tighter, and harder to stretch as much.
With both hands, use fingers to lift entire dough up and flip over.
Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Repeat this for a total of 4 bowl folds and 4 stretch and folds, 2 hours rest time total.
Now it’s time for one envelope fold.
Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly oiled surface.
Press into a rectangle
Fold right side over, halfway, then the left side over that.
Fold the top down, then the bottom up over that.
Return to bowl, seam side down.
Cover and let rest for 2~3 days, this time in the fridge.
Remove dough from fridge, and use your bowl scraper to gently scrape the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured countertop,
Pick up a side and pull it over to the middle. Continue all the way around. You’ve now got a circle of dough with flour on both sides, and no flour in the middle.
Turn over and shape into a ball, tightening the top as you go, on an unfloured surface. See “High-hydration Boule and Batard” instructions on the Video page.
Place in proofing basket lined with a floured cloth, smooth side down.
Cover and let rest for about 1-2 hours, until it is room temperature and has risen a bit.
Cut a sling out of parchment paper (see photo below) to fit the container.
Place aheavy-duty oven-proof pot with lid inside the oven and preheat to 475 degrees.
Remove pot from over, lift dough inside, cover and bake at 450 (turn temperatre down) for 20 minutes.
Remove lid and bake at 400 (turn temperature down) for 25-30 minutes.
Delayed Salt Method: Delayed salt allows natural, or biological, development of a part of the amino acids in gluten, called cystein, to occur, which can’t happen in the presence of salt. It’s a very simple way to improve your breadmaking, no matter how you choose to make bread. It’s particularly useful when making bread by hand, but is also commonly used when a mixer is employed.
You can add a little bit of whole grain flour to your baguette dough without sacrificing a tender, open crumb. I know there’s 100% whole wheat baguettes out there, but I’m not ready to tackle them just yet. They can be tricky to shape, but I found a great video from Noah Weston, and he’s making alot of them, so there’s opportunity to watch his process over and over again. New to me is the use of a “bread board” to help lift teh baguettes onto the baking sheet. I made one out of a flap of a cardboard box, covered in clear tap so the dough doesn’t stick.
This takes about 7 hours, so if you start at 10:00 AM, they’ll be ready to bake at around 5:30.
Step 1: Make poolish(4~16 hr rest)
150g warm water (about 90 degrees)
1/8 tsp yeast (about .5g)
Let this ripen at room temperature for at least 4 hours. You can also make it before going to bed, and then letting it rest on the counter overnight for up to 16 hours.
Step 2: Make dough(30 minute rest)
280g water (90 degrees)
2g yeast (3/4 tsp)
Put the yeast in a medium bowl, add water and stir to combine
Empty the poolish into the yeast and water mixture.
50g whole wheat flour (sifted, to remove the sharp germ)
Add the flours, salt and sugar and mix well with the handle of a wooden spoon until it’s incorporated, and there’s no dry bits on the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Then start mixing with your hand, squeezing dough with one hand, and turning the bowl with the other. Do this for about 2 minutes to fully incorporate everything, lifting sides up and over as it starts to become elastic.
Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Stregthen dough(30 min + 1 hr rest)
Wet fingertips and do about 8~10 stretch and folds in the bowl
Scoop and fold about 8 times. pick up, let one side drip down and fold under to lay dough on top
Rest 30 minutes
Repeat stretch adn fold and scoop and fold
Rest one hour (total rest time: 2 hours)
Step 4: Shape Dough(15 min + 15 min + 45 min rests)
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface
Cut into two halves
Watch video below for shaping and scoring. I am not as rough as he is!
Pre-Shape: Loose tri-fold and 15 minute rest
Shape and let rest 15 minutes: Fold top third down and press, then botton third up and press, then fold in half and press
Final shape: roll to full length
Place on couche seem side down, and rest 40 minutes
While dough is resting, preheat oven to 525. Boil water and fill two loaf pans (or one pan…whatever you have) and place on opposite sides of the bottom rack
Step : Bake
Score bread as instructed in the video. With wet dough like this, the blade can drag. You might find it easier to oil or wet it.
Use a potholder when you transfer the dough to the oven. A lot of steam will come out when you open the door.
Put in oven gently, shut door quickly
Turn down oven to 500
Bake 20~30 minutes. Check it often, so it doesn’t burn.
Remove from tray and let cool before slicing. If it’s humid in your kitchen, cool bread in the turned off oven with the door ajar