Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Basil bread? No, not at all - Basel bread. As in the Swiss city! This recipe comes from a famous Swedish baker - Jan Hedh - and he has worked a lot all over Europe. He has written several cookbooks - one on bread, two on chocolate, one on desserts and one on jam - and I have them all. They are great reads - sometimes the recipes are very complicated, but the ones I've tried have been completely worth it.
This particular bread is delicious - it's very fluffy on the inside, but with a strong, crispy crust. It's always formed, Hedh tells us, by putting two small ovals together during the final proving, so that you end up with a double bread, sort of. (You can perhaps see it in the picture above - near the back is a seam.)
It freezes very well too, and can be revived in a warm (100°C) oven for about ten minutes.
Be aware that this will take some time. I usually start the night before and let the starter rise over night in the fridge. Also, you need active sourdough, so if you don't have that - that's where you need to start.
A mixer comes in handy - this bread is worked very much, and I love my Kitchen-Aid for it.
from Jan Hedh's "Bröd"
5 g fresh yeast
250 g water, tepid
200 g fine rye flour
50 g sourdough from rye
Mix the sourdough with the rye flour. Dissolve the yeast in warmish water (no hotter than body temperature) and mix that in too. Work in a mixer for ten minutes at low speed. Put in a slightly oiled plastic box, cover with a lid and leave to rise for three hours at room temperature or over night in the fridge.
15 g fresh yeast
250 g water, tepid
450 g flour (regular, white, but preferrably high protein)
18 g flaky sea salt
Dissolve the yeast in the water, pour over the starter dough and add flour. Mix on low speed for ten minutes. Add the salt and work for eight more minutes until the dough is very elastic.
Leave the dough to rise in an oiled bowl for two hours. Punch it down three times during this time, this will give a better structure to the finished bread.
Take the dough onto a well floured surface and divide into four parts. Roll into small ovan breads, and put together them two and two. Place on a sheet of baking paper (for easier removal to the oven later on) with plenty of flour. Leave to rise for an hour.
Heat the oven to 275°C with a cookie sheet or a baking stone inside. Move the breads to the hot sheet, and spray with lots of water so the oven fills with steam. This makes the crust crispy.
After five minutes, lower the temperature to 200°C. After ten more minutes, open the oven door a little bit and air for a few seconds. Spray with more water. Repeat this twice more during the total baking time - 50 minutes in total.
Recipe in Swedish: