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It’s almost a summer here, so many beautiful sunny days passing by, everything is blooming out there and freezer is once again filled up with ice-cream. And with many many bakings, too. Been trying to perfect some recipes and well, I think the supply is exceeding demand. Any reasonable person would probably carry out some production cutbacks, but well… It’s tough to undergo such procedures, since the employee seems so happy at her work and I don’t think I could relocate her either.

So, kneading bowl goes from washing straight back to be used again and oven is on everyday. Today I actually made quite a few things; ciabatta bread-rolls, melon pan and bagels. Bagels were such a catastrophe again. I always manage to smash them when boiling them in water. And then they turn out to be all wrinkled and blah. Should perhaps make the dough even drier and proof them in the fridge alone. See, another baking to practice and to perfect.

Little ciabattas

Luckily the other two kinda worked out. Melon pan was as good as always, and I filled a few with cherry jam, too. Ciabatta bread-rolls I’m ok with, not enough bubbly, since as I started to prepare the dough, I decided that my wheat sourdough is too old, so I threw it away. Great, so I was left to do the bread-rolls with a quick sponge, and not so good one in that. So in that sense, I’m pleased how they turned out.

The tower

But one bake I gotta brag about. I made a bread with rye sourdough. My first one. Got this sourdough starter from work so had to try it out. It made a nice sourdough actually, and a nice bread, too. But this sourdough I also threw away, for it was eating too much. And boah, was it sticky! But no worries, still got plenty of that starter stuff, so can make a new one anytime.

Ryebread and the mother's mother

But now I go to eat those luckless bagels away, yum yum.

Marika~

Been enjoying the arrival of spring. Tiring myself with these daily 15 kilometer walks. It’s just so pleasant out there right now. Sun shines without it being too warm, flowers bloom and already met seven common brimstones flying out there. Nobody was stoning me, just seems to be the name of the butterfly. I do like the Finnish name “Lemon butterfly” for it, but to the English speaking world this seems to look more like a lemon.

Anyway, to balance all these sporty activities I’ve been baking cakes with butter-creams, chocolate decorations and marzipan toppings. Like this one here. They are delicious…

Practice practice

But unfortunately this ain’t a cake blog. So, I made a bread loaf! With soybeans! Enjoyed it, something different than the basic sunflower or pumpkin seeds. And the soybeans were all soft in the bread, so no broken teeth here.

Soybean bread

To make one bread (with sourdough)

To soak
100g   Soybeans, dry roasted (mine were halves, but I think crushing them first would work nice as well)
130g   Boiling water

1. Bring the water to boil and pour over the soybeans. Cover and let it stand for 3-4 hours.

Dough
230g   Soaked soybeans from before
78g   Wheat sourdough
235g   Wheat flour
57g   Rye flour
8,7g   Salt
11g   Fresh yeast
148g   Water

1. Measure everything into your dough mixer and mix 4 minutes on slow speed and further 2 minutes faster.
OR
Measure the sourdough, salt, yeast and water into a bowl. Mix well ’till smooth. Add the flours and knead into a smooth dough, for about 5 minutes. Then add the soaked soybeans and knead again ’till smooth.

2. Place the dough into a bowl, cover with a cloth and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

3. With help of some flour knead and form your dough into a ball. Gently roll the top in some flour and place it with the flour side up onto an oven tray with baking paper. Cover with a cloth and let the bread proof for about 45 minutes, ’till clearly grown.

4. Meanwhile, heat up the oven to 230°C degrees. After proofing place the bread tray in the low-mid level and turn the heat down to 200°C degrees. I baked mine for 50 minutes, but keep an eye on yours and bake ’till nicely brown, at least 30 minutes, though. Enjoy!

Marika~

For my absence one might assume that I’ve finally had it and quit baking. Sorry folks, quite the opposite. Been baking like no tomorrow, at least on the last day before my practical test, when there really was no tomorrow.

So yes, had my examinations, not the final ones, but still enough important (also stressful) ones to matter. But they went smooth in the end, had fun and actually quite a bit of excess time in the practical test. And they always call me slow in my bakery, hah, here I was referred as the one with the best time management. Take that!

And next week more stressful times ahead, no I mean, more baking ahead. Leaving to Hannover to bake on Monday again, and returning only on Friday. But last time had fun, so hopefully it will be as good this time, too.

But that’s it for the applesauce, actually wanted to share a recipe. These bread rolls I had to make in my practical test, too, so, by now, this recipe is surely tested. They are quite huge, and therefore make a great meal to take with you to work or then to enjoy as a part of a luxurious breakfast brunch.

Braided rolls

Dough, makes nine rolls

750g   Wheat flour
35g   Fresh yeast
413g   Water, lukewarm
15g   Salt
15g   Sugar/syrup – I also recommend using some (5g) dextrose/glucose (many groceries sell it these days for all sporty purposes), happened to buy some for one candy recipe that called for it, and now have been using it to feed my yeast doughs, and it does improve the proofing, must admit
23g   Margarine

Seeds to cover the bread; like sunflower, sesame, flax – and some oatmeal, too

Measure the ingredients into a mixer with a kneading hook, and knead about 4 minutes on the slowest speed, and another 6 minutes on the second slowest speed. Or hand-knead the dough by dissolving the yeast into the water and pouring this over the dry ingredients. Knead into a smooth dough, add the margarine, and knead ’till the dough is smooth again. Let it rest for 15 minutes covered.

Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces, also each weighting about 140-145g, and shape them round. Let the pieces rest covered for another 15 minutes.

Braid the rolls:

Braiding rolls

Prepare a seed mixture of your liking into a bowl and take some water into another bowl. Dip the rolls in the water and then in the seed mixture. Divide the rolls onto two baking trays to proof. Let the rolls proof covered in a warm place ’till well risen, about 30-40 minutes.

Seeds

Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes in 210°C. Enjoy!

Ready for oven

Marika~

Well, isn’t it that time again. To start a new happy healthy year. Though I didn’t make such promises, at least not officially, I still happened to make something to go with that theme. Bread with 100% wholemeal spelt and seeds.

The first thing I’ve ever made with spelt and spite all my prejudices it’s delicious. I’m such a white wheat bread eater that even baking with spelt is a huge step for me. But it worked out, yay! So, enjoy the recipe.

Dough, makes either one big, two small or one and a half medium breads (100% wholemeal spelt)

40g   Fresh yeast
400g   Water, lukewarm
10g   Salt
10g   Syrup, dark

50g   Sunflower seeds
50g   Flax seeds, brown
50g   Sesame seeds
500g   100% Wholemeal spelt flour

More seeds to cover the bread

Grease the bread forms. Pour some seeds on your working table, or onto a deep plate and mix them (this is for covering later). Make the dough: Dissolve the yeast, salt and syrup into the water and combine with the wholemeal flour and seeds.The dough is not knead-able, so just mix it ’till everything is well combined.

Depending on the size of your bread mold, take a piece of dough and roll it in the seed mixture. The form should be at least 1/2 filled, but I think filling 3/4 of the form gives the best result.

One and a half bread

Place the dough onto the bottom half of your oven. The oven should be cold at this point. Once you have the bread in, put your oven to heat up to 200°C degrees. Mine took about 15 minutes to reach that, and then I kept baking the bread for another 20 minutes in the form and further 10 minutes without. Therefore the total baking time was 45 minutes. The time can vary depending on your oven and the size of your forms, so keep an eye on the bread, but in an hour it ought to be baked for sure.

Sliced

Let it cool down before slicing and then simply, enjoy.

Marika~