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Wild Yeast Ciabatta using Yeast Water and Bassinage Method

Sunday, May 29, 2022

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Yeast is a living microorganism that feeds on carbohydrates / sugar and releases carbon dioxide and alcohol that helps to leaven bread and enable fermentation. Wild yeast is found everywhere in the nature and can be easily captured from plants and animals. Your skin is even home to different types of yeast.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, or herbs can be used to capture wild yeast, but the easiest way to capture wild yeast is to use dried fruit, making sure that the fruit ain't treated with sulfur dioxide. Fill a glass bottle with lukewarm water, add in dried fruit (and honey / sugar to speed up the fermentation process ). Seal the bottle with a ballon or a latex glove (as the yeast feeds on the sugar, it produces carbon dioxide and tremendous pressure can develop in the bottle ) and leave it at room temperature in a place away from direct sunlight or heat. The yeast is ready when bubbles appear and the liquid is frothy on top, which will take about 4-5 days. Strain out the liquid and use the wild yeast water for baking in place of both the liquid and baker’s yeast in recipes. You can also use the wild yeast water to make sourdough starter.You can discard the fruit or use it for baking.
Bassinage is a French term for pouring or bathing in water. In bread, the bassinage method makes the initial dough stiffer by holding back some of the water. After the gluten has developed, the second water is added to the dough. This method increases the amount of water that the dough can retain and produces a more open crumb.
Ciabatta is a rustic Italian bread that is usually made from wheat bread flour, water, olive oil, salt, and yeast. The name means “slipper” in Italian and refers to its elongated, broad, and flat shape, but you can form ciabatta into small squares or rolls. Ciabatta dough is wet and sticky with hydration levels often 80% or higher up to 95%. So it can be tricky to handle the dough and obtain those signature air bubbles within the dough. The taste will be same regardless of the crumb of your bread. Here are some very helpful tips on how to handle high hydration dough.
The soft, chewy texture and big, distinctively airy holes make ciabatta perfect for dunking into soups, sopping up sauce or absorbing seasoned oil. From breeding yeast water to the loaf of bread, it takes about 7 days. A slow and long process, but the result is definitely worth your time and patience.

Wild Yeast Ciabatta using Yeast Water and Bassinage Method

adapted from Marcel Paa
Cultivating Yeast WaterRefreshing Yeast WaterDough
  • 250 g Water (approx. 35C/95F)
  • 70 g Dried fruit (e.g. dates, sultanas, figs, apricots)
  • 20 g Honey
  • 200-220 g Yeast water from above
  • 500 g Water (approx. 35C/95F)
  • 20 g Honey
  • 20 g Sultanas
  • 70 g Active yeast water
  • 500 g Bread flour
  • 20 g Olive oil
  • 9 g Salt
  • 20 g Active yeast water
Cultivating Yeast Water
Refreshing Yeast Water
For the Dough
  1. To cultivate wild yeast water : Use hot water to rinse the bottle and pour in the 250 ml warm water. Then add the honey and finally the dried fruit. Depending on the type of dried fruit, cut it into small pieces so that it comes out of the bottle after swelling. Shake the bottle until the honey has dissolved and close the bottle with a balloon or a latex glove. Leave the bottle at room temperature for 4-5 days. During these days, shake the bottle a little every now and then so that new oxygen gets in.
  2. To refresh the yeast water : To do this, put the wild yeast water, warm water, honey and sultanas in a glass bottle and close it tightly. Shake the bottle to mix all the ingredients. Replace the bottle cap with a balloon. Leave it to ferment at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  3. To prepare the dough : After 12-24 hours, the sultanas float on the yeast water and this means that it's strong enough to ferment the dough.
  4. Carefully remove the balloon from the bottle and pour the yeast water through a sieve into the mixing bowl of your mixer. Add in the remaining ingredients and knead for 2-3 minutes on slow speed.
  5. Increase the mixer speed and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes at medium speed until it passes the "window test". Gradually fold the second part of water into the dough until the dough has completely absorbed the liquid.
  6. In a lightly greased rectangular container, place the dough and cover with a plastic film. Leave it to rest for 12-16 hours at room temperature.
  7. During that time, stretch and fold the dough 2-3 times. To do this, dip your hands in a little water beforehand, then pull the dough up slightly on one side and place it on the opposite side of the container. Repeat this process from all four sides. Then cover the dough again and let it rest.
  8. After the proofing time, turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface and divide into two equal portions. Pull the dough towards the conter from each side to form a "slipper". Place it on a generously floured tea towel on a baking tray with the seal facing upwards. Cover the dough with the towel and leave to rise for 40 minutes at room temperature.
  9. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F with a baking stone in the middle of oven and a baking tray at the bottom.
  10. Place the dough, with the seal side down, on a floured bread shovel and push them directly onto the baking stone in the oven. I simply turned the dough onto a well floured parchment paper and place it directly onto the baking stone. Pour a glass of water into the baking tray at the bottome of the oven and close the oven door immediately.
  11. Now reduce the oven temperature to 220C/430F and bake the loaves for 15 minutes. Now open the oven door to let the steam escape and then bake the loaves for another 25 minutes until crispy. Cool the loaves on a wire rack.

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Chives Blossom Butter

Friday, May 27, 2022

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Chive blossoms are a colorful and flavourful edible flower that will appear at the end of chive stalks in late springtime. These pale purple pompoms taste slightly stronger than the chive leaves, but still very mild, and they are simply beautiful in a wide range of recipes.
Chive bloosm flavoured butter is an easy compound butter, that makes food so much more interesting and better with that delicate onion flavour. The flowerless chive leaves are available all year round in supermarkets, but not the blossoms. If you don't grow chives, you might be able to find these scrumptious little gems at farmers markets in May and June, or forage them in the wild.

  • 1 tsp Chopped chives
  • 12-15 Chive blossoms
  • 250 g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  1. Thoroughly wash the chive and the blossoms. Pat them dry with paper towels or dry them in a salad spinner. Finely chop the chives. Separate the flower petals from the stem.
  2. Mix salt into butter. When the salt is completely incorporated into the butter, add in the chopped chive and blossoms. Mix until well blended.
  3. Fill a few of silicone muffins cups with butter and freeze for 30 minutes. Once they are firm, it's very easy to remove them. Store the butter, covered or wrapped, in the fridge a couple of hours to let the flavours meld.
  4. You can simply throw the butter in a container or jar, or shape it into a log. Chill until firm. Use the chive blossom butter for bread, steak, fish, grilled vegetables or to toss with pasta.

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Tripe with Harissa Sauce

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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Beef Tripe / Kalb PansenLamb Tripe / Lamm Pansen


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Embracing nose-to-tail eating can be daunting for those who didn't grow up eating offal. Heart, liver, tripe, tongue… there are so many options on offer when it comes to choosing what to eat or cook. In my grandparents’ generation all parts of an animal were valued and eating offal was as normal as eating mince. Offal isn't awful at all, on the contrary, it's very delicious if prepared right and highly nutritious. We waste massive quantities of food every single day and by using the whole animal, which helps reduce food waste, we are eating more mindfully and thoughtfully while ensuring that animal is fully appreciated.
Tripe is a type of organ meat that comes from the stomach lining of cow, sheep, goat or pig. Aside from being low in calories and fat, tripe is an excellent, healthy, and affordable source of lean protein and it’s also loaded with vitamins and minerals (zinc, choline, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium).
According to Healthline, there are four different kinds of beef tripe, classified depending on which stomach chamber the product was made from. The four types include:

  1. Blanket or flat tripe. This type is made from the first stomach chamber of cows. This smooth tripe is considered the least desirable.
  2. Honeycomb tripe. This variety stems from the second stomach chamber and resembles a honeycomb. It’s more tender than blanket tripe and has a more palatable flavor.
  3. Omasum or book tripe. Coming from the third stomach chamber, this type of tripe is described as a mix between blanket and honeycomb tripe.
  4. Abomasum or reed tripe. This variety is from the fourth stomach chamber. Its taste varies from strong to mild.

You either hate it or love it because of its distinctive aroma, bland flavour and chewy texture, it's often strongly spiced and most commonly prepared in dishes like soups and stews, or deep-fried as a snack. Although it isn’t as desirable as other cuts of meat, tripe remains very popular in the traditional cuisines of many cultures around the world.
The tripe fresh from the farm requires quite a bit of cleaning, the one you can purchase from the stores (I ordered mine here, where you can purchase all kinds of offal, from brain, spleen to testicles) are usually washed / bleached and parboiled. However, it still needs to be further prepared to soften the texture before it's ready for consumption.

  • 500 g Lamb or beef tripe (honeycomb or blanket)
  • Water
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1-2 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • 1-inch Fresh ginger, smashed
  • 2 tbsp Homemade harissa
  • A large bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Grape tomatoes, halved
  1. Thoroughly rinse the beef tripe under cold running water. In a medium saucepan, add the beef tripe. Pour enough water into the saucepan to cover the tripe completely. Bring to a boil and boil hard for about 8-10 minutes. Drain, discard the water and rinse the tripe well.
  2. Place the beef tripe into a clean pot and add in about 1 liter water. Season with salt, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic cloves and smashed ginger. Cook until tender, about 1 hour. You can do this in your Instant Pot for 20 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse the tripe well. Set aside to cool. After the tripe has cooled, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Toss the sliced beef tripes with homemade harissa and chopped cilantro. Serve on a bed of greens and halved grape tomatoes.

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Rye Rolls / Roggenbrötchen

Monday, May 23, 2022

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Brötchen (German word for small bread) is a staple food in Germany. It's basically a smaller bread with a crunch crust and a perfectly dense, chewy, soft crumb. If you haven't yet tasted a traditional German Brötchen, you're missing out!
Depending which part of Germany you are from, these small bread rolls are known by various names: Brötchen (in northern and central Germany), Schrippe (in Berlin), Weck (in southwest Germany), and Semmel (in Bavaria). It’s claimed that there are over a thousand different varieties of these little German buns throughout the different regions of Germany. Mine is made with a mix of wheat and rye. The wholemeal rye flour provides a hearty, aromatic taste, tender, moist crumb and a crispy crust. If you want a 100% wheat Brötchen, try this one.
You can enjoy these rolls for breakfast with butter, jam, cheese, or deli slices, or as a dinner roll to sop up extra sauce or gravy. These Roggenbrötchen taste best fresh the same day they are made, but if you have leftovers, just spray them lightly with water and place in a 200C/400F oven for a few minutes and the crust will be crispy again.

Roggenbrötchen / Rye Rolls inspired and adapted from here and here
  • 150 g Organic wholemeal rye flour
  • 250 g Organic white bread flour (all purpose flour)
  • 10 g Fresh yeast
  • 1 tbsp Sugar beet syrup
  • 280 ml Water, lukewarm
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Caraway powder
  • 1/4 tsp Anise powder
  • 1/4 tsp Coriander powder
  1. Mix whole rye flour and bread flour in a bowl. Make a well in the flour and crumble the yeast into it. Add sugar beet syrup and mix with some of the water in the well to make a paste. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the water, olive oil, salt and spices, knead everything to form a firm dough. Cover the dough and let it rise for another 45 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 even-sized portions. Shape each portion of dough into an oval roll and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F with an ovenproof bowl of water. Dust the buns with a little flour and cut each roll lengthwise with a sharp knife.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Briefly open the oven door for 3-4 seconds to let the steam escape so that the crust will be even crispier.
  6. Reduce heat to 200C/400F and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the tray and allow to cool on a wire rack.

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I am sending this to Food Wednesdays at Kathy's blog-Hummingbird Studio at the Lake.

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