Recently, I had my first video experience. I am not a video person, and although I have taught some cooking, and I have taught many classes on Zoom, I have never done food preparation live. Now, of course, when everything and everyone is on Zoom, it was only a matter of time for me to participate in a live cooking experiment.
I have talked about the ancient Jewish food history, and made two of the easiest, yet really nice summer dishes based on the products that would be available during ancient times in Israel – greens, nuts, cheeses and such.
The dip that I made, I have offered to be served on a bread that became, sort of, a staple in my house. I have used the basic recipe from the Starter Sourdough book I got recently, but of course, I have added my own twist to it.
I make my own sourdough starter from rye flour and water. It takes you about a week to cultivate a starter from scratch. I find it too hard to throw food away, so I will always make something from the discards. Usually, that’s some kind of pancakes for breakfast. I would just add yogurt, some spelt or almond flour, and a couple of eggs.
If you already have your sour starter, in the morning of the day that you are making the bread, activate it by adding equal amounts of flour (rye is best), warm water and starter to a clean jar.
In the evening of that day take:
1/2 cup starter
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup rye of whole-wheat flour
Mix everything in a big glass bowl, cover loosely and leave on the table or counter overnight.
In the morning, add this starter to a bowl (or a bowl of the standing mixer) together with additional 1/2 to 2 cups of warm water (this would depend on the flour you use – more rye = more water)
1 tbsp honey
2 cups spelt or rye flour
Add 1 tsp of dry yeast (in this weather I find it helpful, possibly wouldn’t do this is dry weather)
Let this stand for a few minutes, then add
1 cup whole wheat flour mixed with 1 tbsp sea salt
2 cups bread flour (of course, I think that none of us now have bread flour, so I use All-Purpose flour for now. You will need more of it “as it takes” for dusting and possibly adding to the mix depending on the total weight and humidity in the house
Mix everything by hand or with the standing mixer on low speed.
Flour the clean board, and finish kneading the dough until you can put it into a nice ball. Put the dough into an oiled big bowl and let rise for about 2 hours loosely covered.
Oil two bread pans (best dutch ovens, but I don’t have them, my kitchen is too small to store them.
Cut the dough in two portions, and fold each a couple of times. Put seam side down and cover. Let stand for about 50 minutes more.
Preheat the oven to 450F. Sprinkle flour all over bread and spread it evenly. With a sharp knife cut the bread one-two times diagonally.
Put the bread pans in the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400F. Bake for about 45 minutes until the crust is dark golden.
Let the loaves cool.
The bread will not be too pretty, but soooo delicious!