Sourdough brioche chocolate hazelnut rolls

Hello world! It’s what you usually write when you publish your first post, right? Well, this is my first post this year, though it looks like I’ve got stuck somewhere in August 🙂

Time flies really fast. It flies even faster when you’re involved in too many things and you forget to breathe in between to become even aware of it. It flies fast when you don’t focus on yourself and your goals but always make others a priority and always act as pleaser. Or when you forget why you do things you do in the first place. Time flies fast when you allow others to lead your life. And when you compare yourself to others thinking you’re not good enough even when you pour all yourself into what you do.

When I get stuck, I return to sourdough baking. It helps me to simplify things and to feel grounded again. It’s when I know why I do it. It’s because I love to learn and experience new things and new flavours. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with brioche style dough. The brioche dough is perfect for soft rolls and you can use it to make other sourdough goodies, like this chocolate cinnamon twist bread.

What have you been baking in the meantime? Any delicious recipe to try out? Let me know in a comment below.

I invite you to follow more of my sourdough adventures on Instagram.


Sourdough brioche chocolate hazelnut rolls

Sourdough brioche chocolate hazelnut rolls
Yields: 9-10 rolls

Baking schedule:
The dough for this rolls was prepared in the evening, left to rise overnight, put in the fridge to consolidate, shaped in the morning, and left to rise at the room temperature. The rolls were baked on the second day.

Ingredients:

Note: Baker’s percentages are put in brackets if you would like to scale up or down the formula.

Starter
75 g water
75 g strong white wheat flour
1 heaping tablespoon of your (active) sourdough starter

Dough
all of the above starter
400 g strong white wheat flour (100%)
150 g milk (37.5%)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
40 g of caster sugar (10%)
7 g salt ( 1.75%)
130 g butter, cubed and slightly soft but still cold (32.5%)

Filling
150 g roasted and ground hazelnuts
180 g melted dark chocolate

Instructions:

Sourdough starter
1.  In the morning, prepare your sourdough starter. Mix 75 g of white wheat flour, 75 g of water, and 1 heaping tablespoon of your base sourdough starter. Leave it to ferment until risen, puffed, active and bubbly. This may take from 4-12 hours, depending on the temperature and strength of your starter.

Dough
2. In the evening/late afternoon mix the dough. First, dissolve your entire starter in 150 g of milk. Add all other ingredients, except for the butter. Mix everything together. If the dough feels dry, don’t be tempted to add much of additional liquid – mixing in the butter in the following phase will soften the dough. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes and then leave it to rest for 15-20 minutes.

3. Next, knead in half of the butter quantity. Once completely integrated, add and knead in the other half. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes (it is advisable to use mixer) until smooth. Shape the dough into ball and place it into clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment overnight in a cool place until almost doubled in volume. Keep an eye on the dough, you don’t want to overproof it.

4. When the dough is ready, put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably more. This is an important step which will enable easier (non-sticky) shaping afterword.


Sourdough brioche chocolate hazelnut rolls

5. When you are ready to shape the rolls, prepare the filling. Mix the roasted and ground hazelnuts (I roasted them for 15 minutes at 160°C) and melted chocolate. Also, take your dutch oven (or any other round pan) and grease it with butter and lightly dust it with flour.

Shaping
6. Roll the dough to be 5 mm thick or 30×45 cm (12×18 inch) wide. Drop the filling across the rolled dough and spread it thinly, leaving 1 cm (1/2 inch) space from all sides.

7. Roll the dough from the longest side in the direction away from you to get a log. Cut the log into pieces using a sharp knife or a piece of thread. Place the rolls into the pan.

Final rise
Leave the dough to rise at the room temperature until puffed. This step is temperature depending, it can take anything from 1 to 3 hours.


Sourdough brioche chocolate hazelnut rolls

Baking
Thirty minutes before the baking, preheat the oven to 200°C (375°F) or 180°C (356°F) with the fan oven. When the dough is ready, put the pan oven into oven and bake the rolls until well baked, 30-40 minutes. Leave to cool slightly on the rack. Best when eaten warm.


What is your favorite rolls filling?

Let me know if you try them – tag me on Instagram (@mydailysourdoughbread) or drop a comment below 🙂

See you soon!


The post Sourdough brioche chocolate hazelnut rolls appeared first on My Daily Sourdough Bread.

How to fit sourdough baking into your daily schedule?

“Oh, sourdough, I know it’s so healthy, but it takes two days to make it, right?” and “Sourdough bread baking just takes so much time and I should be at home all the time, I couldn’t do it!”, are the sentences I here most often when I say I bake sourdough bread.

Well, the answer is yes, sourdough baking takes a reasonable amount of time. But this isn’t really your time, i.e. the time you would spent on making bread. The most of this time is waiting for the bacteria and yeast to do their job. Feeling releaved? Read on.

Most importantly, baking sourdough bread doesn’t require you staying at home. However, preparing and fermenting sourdough while being away in some parts of the day will require some understanding of fermentation principles and planning ahead (similar to life, right?). Let’s look into steps on how to fit sourdough baking into your daily routine.

Steps towards fitting sourdough into your daily life

1. Understand how fermentation works

Temperature of the water, temperature of the environment, flours used, and amount of starter in the dough are the variables that affect the dynamics of sourdough bread fermentation the most. By changing those variables you can easily adjust the time of the dough fermentation to fit to your absence from home. Increase the temperature and amount of starter and your dough will ferment faster and vice versa. Getting to the right temperatures and right amounts of starter will take a little bit of experimenting in order to avoid overproofed dough when coming back home. This is especially important in summer when temperatures get high.

2. Get clear on what kind of bread you would like to bake and then plan (ahead) wisely

Different types of dough (or better to say types of bread) might require different approaches of handling the dough. In all cases, baking will require planning ahead and adjusting the recipes to fit the times when you are at home and when you can work with dough (i.e. before work, after work, etc.)

Two easiest sourdough breads that you can make while away are the sourdough sandwich loaf baked in a tin and sourdough focaccia baked in a tray. With both doughs you would simply mix the dough, knead it for couple of minutes to develop strength of the dough, transfer it to a greased pans, leave it to ferment until doubled in volume, and then bake it. Easy, right?


Sandwich loaf

I usually mix the dough for sandwich bread or focaccia in the morning before going to work and, depending on the season, I leave it to ferment at the room temperature or in basement until I come home in the afternoon. In the best case scenario, the dough is ready to be put in oven in an hour after I come home (while the oven preheats). It is better to come home to slighlty underproofed dough than to overproofed one, where there is almost no way back. 

You can make both types of bread in the afternoon in shorter amount of time, by simply mixing the dough with larger amounts of starter which will make the dough to ferment faster (also put the dough into warm place). In this way, you can have simple (yet very delicious) breads for dinner.

Using seasonal fruits in focaccias is one way of upgrading your sourdough bread and it’s basically making two in one – bread and dessert.


Focaccia

3. Make fridge your best friend

When I discovered fridge, I became one happy baker, or at least to say, I got more sleep. Putting the dough into the fridge after the bulk fermentation at the room temperature allowed me to go sleeping and to avoid overproofed dough in the morning. Using the fridge, my dough was ready to be put in the oven when I woke up in the morning. (OK, I once forgot to put the dough into the fridge and the scene in the morning was not pleasant.)

Fridge can serve you for choosing a cold bulk fermentation or cold final rise of the dough (or both). In both cases, the signs of the proper development of the dough are the same as in fermenting your dough at the room temperatures.

In addition to solving the sleeping issues, cold fermentation also brings out the special character of the dough, bringing out the subtle edgy sourness of the bread and making it extremely delicious.

Before you put the dough into the fridge, just make sure you cover it with a plastic bag or someting similar as the fridge dries up things.

4. Experiment and repeat

Practice make perfect (bread). As you will observe how your dough acts under different circumstances, you will be able to judge the temperature and the amount of starter needed to get to the wanted step of bread baking.


Sourdough loaf

What are your biggest challenges when it comes to baking sourdough during the busy days? How do you organize your baking? Let me know in a comment below.

The post How to fit sourdough baking into your daily schedule? appeared first on My Daily Sourdough Bread.

Step by step beginner’s guide to perfect sourdough bread

I’m not going to lie – my first sourdough bread was a brick. In was in 2011, when I started my sourdough bread baking journey. I got myself Chad Robertson’s book Tartine Bread and a dutch oven in a hope to get that perfect crunchy crust and tender soft crumb. First, it took me a while to make sourdough starter (I blame winter for this), and the dough was anything but rising. My transition to sourdough bread was due to health issues, so I thought it would be a great choice to stick to the whole grain flours to make my first sourdough bread.  Let’s say this wasn’t the smartest idea. Looking back, all I was missing to make good looking and tasty sourdough bread was tools, some essential tips and awareness about the dough.

Today I know I need to first know the flours I’m using and to feel the dough in order to know when to move to the next step.

I hope this (lengthy, khm) step-by-step guide makes you curious and motivated to make your own sourdough bread. Don’t be scared about how long this post is – the amount of your presence in making sourdough bread is shorter than the time you needed to read this post.

Let’s go!


Before we dive into the detailed instructions, I would like to invite you to the three part background series of tips, tricks and secrets of sourdough baking. If I had these advice when I started, I would be one happy baker.
Part 1: Six biggest challenges when starting sourdough baking and how to overcome them?
Part 2: 7 essential keys to sourdough baking
Part 3: Do you recognize 3 early warning signs of underproofed bread?



Beginners sourdough bread

TOOLS

In basisc, you will need:

– a bowl for mixing the dough
– dough spatula or (and) bench knife for handling and cutting the dough
– digital scale to measure the ingredients
– bread rising basket (banetton) – I used 20 cm (8″) wide basket
– dutch oven for baking (or baking stone)
– blade or sharp knife for scoring the dough

If you don’t have all the tools at home, there is plenty of space for improvisation. Check also my article at Food52 about 10 essential tools for sourdouhg baking at home.

BAKING SCHEDULE

Starter for this bread was prepared in the evening and left to rise overnight. Just after preparing the starter, I also mixed the flour and water and left it for autolyse until the next morning when I added sourdough starter and left it to rest for another hour. After one hour of rest, I added salt and left the dough to bulk ferment for three hours to build the strength of the dough.  After the bulk fermentation, the bread was preshaped, left to rest on the bench for 15 minutes, shaped and put into rising basket. It was left to rise for three hours at the room temperature (summer) and then baked in a dutch oven – 20 minutes with the steam and 25 minutes without steam.

As you will see below, I didn’t write down the exact time of the steps, only the time needed in my case. There is a lot of variables that effect the time of rising (like amount of starter in the dough, types of flours used), temperature of the ingredients and environment being the most important ones.

See the alternative for this baking schedule at the end of the post.

FLOUR SELECTION and HYDRATION LEVEL

For this bread, I chose white wheat flour, type 500. In Slovenia, the flours are not equipped with information on the protein level of the flour, but only with type of flour, depending on the amount of bran contained. The most similar to the one I used would be bread flour in US.

Hydration level is the amount of water in the dough in regards to the total amount of the flour. If you have 1000 g of flour and 700 g of water, that’s 70% hydration.

Important note: due to the different flours used, the hydration level stated in the recipe might not apply to your flour. This is why it is very important to know how much water your flour can handle. It might handle less or more – act accordingly. What you aim for when mixing the flour, water, and sourdough starter is the consistency of the dough that feels right – both stretchy and elastic (the ability of the dough to bounce back). Too much water in the dough and you can get from elastic dough to runny dough. On the other hand, a little bit more water in the dough and you can get from tight to open crumb. It’s about balancing and the feeling in your hands.

INGREDIENTS

Sourdough starter
75 g white wheat flour
75 g water
1 tablespoon of mother sourdough starter

Dough
400 g of white wheat flour
290 g water at 30°C/86°F (72.5 % hydration of the dough)
8 g salt
150 g sourdough starter from above


STARTER


Sourdough starter

First, you will need an active and healthy mother sourdough starter. If you haven’t started one yet, download the tutorial on how to make it here.

In the evening, mix 75 g of white wheat flour (bread flour) with 75 g of water and 1 tablespoon of your mother sourdough starter. You can use a smaller jar or a smaller bowl, whaterever you prefer, however, if you use a glass jar, you will be able to see the starter’s activity better. In the morning, the volume of the starter should be doubled and there should be bubbles at the side and at the top.

DOUGH

In the evening, also mix the dough, – but only flour (400 g) and water (280 g – leave 10 g for the morning when you will mix in the salt). Why? Mixing flour with water will make the dough undergo the autolysis.
ALTERNATIVE: I sometimes skip the long overnight autolysis and instead I mix the dough in the morning and leave it in autolyse for an hour or hour and half. The best way is to experiment and to find out what suits your flour best.

Autolysis (from Greek word meaning self-digestion) is a process of the protein protease starting to break down the proteins in the flour when it’s mixed with water. Broken proteins then start realigning and forming gluten network.
When adding water to the flour, keep in mind, that the dough will relax during the night, so it’s better to start with less water and add it more in the morning if the dough feels dry.

The photo below shows the dough in the morning. We can see it’s relaxed and that the gluten strands are developed.


Beginners sourdough bread

In the morning, mix your starter into the dough and knead the dough well for couple of minutes. Next, leave it to rest for one hour before putting in the salt.


Beginners sourdough bread

After one hour has passed, add the salt and the remaining 10 g of water. Also, depending on the consistency of the dough, now it’s the time to add more water to the dough.

Next, leave the dough for the bulk fermentation. In this period, the dough should get stronger, puffed, and airy and should also increase in the volume (appr. by 30-40%).

During the bulk fermentation, you can also perform a series of stretch and fold (3-5 times in intevals of 30-45 minutes). This will help the dough to gain strength. To perform stretch and fold, grab the dough at one side, pull it up and fold it over itself. Repeat on four sides of the dough.


Beginners sourdough bread

Beginners sourdough bread

At the end of the bulk fermentation the dough should feel puffed, strong and greasy to the touch and should have nice pleasant sweet smell. Undeveloped dough in the bulk fermentation could be one of the reasons for underproofed bread.

PRESHAPING, SHAPING and FINAL RISE

Once the bulk fermentation is finished, take the dough to unfloured surface. Lightly dust it with flour, then take your bench knife or spatula and flip the dough upside down, so the floured side in on the bench now (or if you prefer – dust the bench and simply turn the dough out of the bowl).
Using the bench knife, flip the dough over itself and use hand moves the shape it into round shape.



If the dough was correctly fermented, then you will see small (or big) bubbles on the surface of the dough. Leave the dough to rest and relax for 10-15 minutes, the shaping will be easier then.


Beginners sourdough bread

In the meantime, prepare the rising basket. Cover it with a kitchen cloth and lightly dust it with flour (left photo below). Observe how the dough relaxes and spreads in ten minutes (right photo below).


Beginners sourdough bread

After ten minutes have passed, take your bench knife or spatula and carefully turn the dough upside down. Start shaping the bread by pulling the bottom part of the dough and folding it onto itself (right photo below).


Beginners sourdough bread

Next, pull the left and right side and fold them over as well. You can also continue folding left and right side to the top of the dough and folding in the next step gets easier.


Beginners sourdough bread

Fold the upper part of the dough towards the bottom, then use your hands or bench knife to roll the dough to create the tension on the surface (right photo below).


Beginners sourdough bread

Flip the dough into the rising basket smooth side down. Dust it with flour and then cover it with the rest of the cloth. Put the rising basket into the plastic bag to prevent the dough from drying out while rising. This step is especially important when your let your dough rise in the fridge.
My dough needed 3 hours at the room temperature and 1 hour in the fridge to rise fully (right photo below). The reason I put the dough in the fridge is the fact that it is much easier to score the dough if it has been left in the fridge for some time.
To check if the dough is ready to be put in the oven, gently press the dough and observe the rection of the indent. If it fills up very quickly, then it’s not ready. The dough is ready, when the indent comes back slowly and when the volume is also incresed.


Beginners sourdough bread

BAKING

At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready to be put in the oven, heat the oven along with the dough oven to the highest temperture.

When it’s heated, transfer the dough into the dutch oven. The easiest way to do it is to put a piece of parchment paper and the cutting board over the rising basket and then simply flip it.


Beginners sourdough bread

Score the dough using a blade, scissors or sharp knife. Cover the dutch oven with a lid and transfer the dutch oven to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes at 240°C (464°F), then take the lid off (right photo below) and bake for another 20-25 minutes (or until golden brown) at 230°C (464°F).


Beginners sourdough bread

When the bread is baked, take it out of the dutch oven and leave it on the cooling rack to cool down before cutting.

If the dough was properly fermented, the crust should be thick, crunchy, and brown and the bottom of the bread should be properly baked. Holding the bread in the hands should feel light.


Beginners sourdough bread

The crumb should be open and tender.


Beginners sourdough bread

I often make this bread in a way that I leave it to rise overnight. I prepare the dough in the late afternoon and shape it just before going to sleep. In the morning, the dough is well risen and ready to be baked. With this schedule you might reduce the amount of starter in the dough to slow down the fermentation.


Beginners sourdough bread

Ready to bake your beautiful sourdough bread?
I’m looking forward seeing your bread, let me know how it goes in the comment below!

The post Step by step beginner’s guide to perfect sourdough bread appeared first on My Daily Sourdough Bread.

[Video – part 2] Entering into peasant bakery

In my last post I shared the experience about the workshop with Nicolas Supiot From the seed to the peasant bakery.

Today I would like to share a video about his unique way of sourdough bread baking. It’s meditative – with bare feet on the ground, hands in petrin and fire in his heart. 

Nicolas bakes sourdough bread twice per week. The first step starts in the evening before the baking day, when he mills his own grains in his own mill and then puts the flour in the petrin to rest there overnight. Petrin is a french word for a dough box – the box where you mix the dough.

In other languages petrin is called metrnga, nečke or vintola (Slovenian), tulha (Portuguese), maida (Sicilian), Deeg Schaal (Dutch), načve (Serbian), artesa (Spanish), korytko (Slovak), noshtvi (Bulgarian). *
How is petrin called where you live?”

The baking day starts early. The morning mists are slowely disappearing as he weighs sourdough starter and warm water. Before he pours filtered water into petrin, he gives a bowl three decisive spins – to bring water back to life.

The preparation of dough is not routine, it’s different everytime. Except for the prayer before dipping his hands into the flour. Prayer is a gratitude for the existing and connection to the future bread.

He mixes the dough with softness and determination and leaves it to rest. Nicolas says that in bread baking lot of work is done when we are not working. It’s relatively warm in the room, so dough ferments fast. While it ferments, Nicolas performs some streching and folding to give dough the strength. As the dough rests, he fires up his wood-fired oven. The fire needs to burn and heat up the bottom. Nicolas observes the readiness of the oven by the color of the bricks and movement of the flames. When it’s time to shape the loaves, it’s done decisevely, yet gently and fast. Experienced hands know how to feel the dough.

This is Nicolas Supiot in his peasant bakery.

Who is a peasant baker?

Shortly said, peasant baker (also farmer baker) is more than just a job of being a baker. It is a choice of lifestyle taking care of the entire bread production chaing – growing own grains, milling those grains into flour in own mill and baking naturally leavened bread.

To an outside observer running a peasant bakery might seem extreme. But as I learned from Nicolas, it’s better to say radical instead of extreme.

Radical: in a medieval philosophical sense, from Late Latin radicalis “of or having roots,” from Latin radix (genitive radicis) “root”. Meaning “going to the origin, essential” is from 1650s.”

Peasant bakery exists on the other side of the agricultural industrialization, unbalanced grain economy and fast produced industrial breads. By going back to roots, I mean choosing old varieties of wheat and other grains and agricultures practices that take advantage of environmental intelligence, natural cycles and old knowledge of plant protection dating before the pesticides era.

Choosing heritage and local varieties of grains is important step towards seed independence and biodiversity. Biodiversity brings flavor and character.

Peasant bakery gives transparency and clearness, what is a consumer needs to make better choices.

Being a peasant baker means being on a holistic journey, from the seed to the bread. It requires understanding of different connected processes and adequate adjustments.

In the end, two things matter the most: the protection of our environment and general well-being. These two can go hand in hand – by going back to roots and chosing technology innovations as a means of efficiency at the same time. And in the end, it’s all about balance.

We can always decide and choose. And indecision is decision as well. Make good decisions for your well-being.


Stay tuned for the next video where we will have a look into the other side of reality!

* Thank you all contributors from My Daily Sourdough Bread Facebook Page!

The post [Video – part 2] Entering into peasant bakery appeared first on My Daily Sourdough Bread.

[Video] From the seed to the peasant bakery with Nicolas Supiot

When you think of the bread or when buying a bread, what comes to your mind first? Is it the smell, the look or the moment of enjoying its taste? Do you think of the baker who made it? Are you interested in the story behing the bread and how long did it take to make the bread? Are you wondering where your baker sourced his/her flour from? Or where did the grain grow? Is it local or imported from the other part of the world?  How did the farmer treat the crop while growing? Did he used pesticides? Where were the grains stored after harvest?

I try to think of bread as a journey. It has a story. It starts and ends somewhere. The end destination is important (that’s us eating it), but it’s the actions and decisions on the way to the goal that make the goal – well, even better.

It’s the selection of seeds, the way of cultivating grains, the sense and awareness of the environment, understanding of the plants’ behavior, the choice of cleaning and storing grain berries, the milling process, and the bread making process. It’s about making things CLEAR.

“And it’s also about the chain from the farmer to the miller and to the baker. However, not as a one way street, but as a crossroads of knowledge and experience sharing, all of them understanding each others needs and expanding each others horizons. “

Nicolas Supiot, French, is all in one. He is farmer, he grows heritage varieties of wheat, he mills his own flour, he makes and bakes traditional sourdough bread. He is a peasant baker.

And he also prepares workshops to share his knowledge forward to all the people interested in such way of farming and baking. I visited his workshop From the seed to the peasant bakery in June and below I present the (first!) video about our 5-day experience. Hope you enjoy the video and feel the good energy present at the workshop as much as we did.

I clearly remember reading about Nicolas’ bread baking three years ago. His way of handling the dough was somehow magical and that feeling stayed inside of me through all these years, until finally this year all planets alligned and led me and my friend Alessandro from Clear Sicily to France. The 5-day workshop was held at the beautiful old Nicolas’ farm in the Brittany, NW France, near Rennes, at the Ecosite Les Jardins de Siloe.

The purpose of the workshop was to guide us through the bread journey and to understand decisions, consequences and outcomes in the field, within the mill and in the bakery.

The workshop was more than just a technical way of providing knowledge. It was about the metaphores of our lives in many many levels. What kept coming through out the week and through the words and experience exchanges, was the idea of reflectance or mirroring. All that you see, experience and feel, is in a way a reflection of your own being, your actions and your state and you cannot separate yourself from that reality. Let’s think about that for a second. In bread terms, this sounds as Nicolas would point out:

” You are the bread you make. “

I will write more about the bread journey, clear flour and clear bread in the next posts and months, so stay tuned.

If you have any question regarding the workshop, leave a comment below or drop me an e-mail to natasa@mydailysourdoughbread.com.

And below are some photo impressions.




Nicolas Supiot

Nicolas Supiot

Nicolas Supiot

Field of mixed seeding of heritage wheat and fava beans.


Nicolas Supiot

Happy me.


My daily sourdough bread

Talk soon!


SAVEUR BLOG AWARDS

PS: Remember the last year’s surprise when My Daily Sourdough Bread blog was nominated as the finalist in the Annual Saveur Blog Awards? This year, the awards are back! The last year has been an interesting journey of meeting new inspiring people in New York and elsewhere and discovering the beauty of bread baking around the world. Thank you for your support.

I would be grateful to the Moon and back if you took a second to nominate my blog in Best Food Obsessive Award or Best Photography category (or in any other) – click HERE.

The post [Video] From the seed to the peasant bakery with Nicolas Supiot appeared first on My Daily Sourdough Bread.

Sourdough bialys and new adventures

Looking at my last post, it looks I’ve never returned  from Sicily 🙂 Well, I didn’t in a way. The memories of beautiful Sicily and its gorgeous landscape and spending time and creating new projects with Clear Sicily team are still so alive. More of the Sicily is coming in the next months and I invite you to follow me on the social media (Facebook, Instagram), where I post the glimpses of my bread adventures. There is one new adventure just around the corner as I’m soon off to the French countryside to bake some bread in a food wired oven – so stay tuned!

And now for the recipe of today’s post. I’m a big fan of pizzas (even more than of a loaf of bread, but don’t tell anyone, OK?) and I’m always happy to find new shapes and flavors. Bialy is one of those shapes (look at those mini pizzas!) and there is just something magical about the roasted onion in the bread. 

Bialy (also bialystoker kuchen or cebularz in Poland) is a type of yeasted roll, being a traditional dish in Polish and Jewish cuisine. It is named after a polish city Bialystok. Bialys can be filled with anything, but traditionally you’ll find them filled with onions, garlic, poppyseeds and breadcrumbs.

Bialys are (just like bagels, their boiled cousins) very popular over the Atlantic ocean, in New York City. They were brought to America by Jewish immigrants in the early’s 1900.


Sourdough bialy

Sourdough bialys
Yields: 9 bialys

Baking schedule:
Starter for the dough was prepared in the evening and left to rise overnight. The dough was mixed in the morning, left to double in volume, preshaped into rolls, left to rest, shaped and baked immidiately on a baking stone.

Ingredients:

Starter
75 g whole grain wheat flour
75 g water
1 teaspoon of your mother starter

Dough
all of the above starter (appr. 150 g)
400 g white wheat flour (or bread flour)
270 g water*
8 g salt

Filling
2 big onions or 4 smaller ones
fat for sautéed onions

* Adjust the water qauntities to the absorption needs of your flour. My flour doesn’t absorb much, the dough was quite dynamic and soft at 65%. You should aim for the dough that is niether soft nor stiff.

Instructions:

Starter

1. In the evening, prepare the starter. Mix 1 teaspoon of your (active) mother sourdough starter, 75 g of whole grain wheat flour and 75 g of water. Cover and leave to ferment overnight until doubled in volume and bubbly.

Dough

2. In the morning, prepare the dough. Mix 270 g of water and all of the above starter. Add flour and mix until all the flour is incorporated and then knead the dough for 5 minutes. Next, leave the dough to rest for 1 hour.

3. Once one hour has passed, add salt and incorporate it well into the dough. Also, check if the dough is stiff and it needs more water. Now leave the dough to rise until almost doubled in volume, puffed and airy. If you want, you can perform several stretch and folds during the rise – it will help the dough to get more strength. My dough needed 5 hours to rise, your might take less or more, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

4. Once the dough is risen, use your plastic dough spatula to gently take it out to the unfloured working surface. Dust the upper surface of the dough with flour and using your bench knife or dough spatula divide it into 9 pieces, each weighting approximately 85 g. Shape a roll from each piece of the dough – see the left photo below. Dust the rolls with flour, cover them with a kitchen cloth and leave to rest for an hour.

5. In the meantime, sauté the onions and preheat the baking stone to the maximum temperature of you oven. Sauté the onions until nicely colored and softened. Feel free to add some herbs, spices or poppyseeds as well.


Sourdough bialy

6. When the dough has rested and your stone has been preheated, start shaping the bialys. Dust the working surface first. Work with one piece of the dough at the time. First, dust the top surface of the roll and then flip it on dusted side down. Next, make a rim at about 1.5-2 cm away from the edge and use your fingers to flatten the middle of the dough. Make sure the middle part is very thin, you don’t want the dough to puff up in the middle and get the onions out all over the place. Place each shaped bialy on the parchment paper and fill the indentation with roasted onions.


Sourdough bialy

7. Transfer the parchment paper with a pizza peel onto the hot baking stone and lower the temperature to 240°C (465°F). Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely colored.

Bon appetit!

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