Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Who's Your Buddy? Rosendal's Crisp Bread

I made Knackebrod tonight, what did you do?

Don't you just love the sound of that? I am going to try to have to work knackebrod into a sentence as often as possible tomorrow. There are umlauts in there, and Ulrike did teach me how to type them but I have forgotten. (Bad, I am a bad friend to the international blogosphere, please forgive me)
This is the bread of the month with the Bread Baking Babes, and I am proud to be a buddy to those fine, highly intelligent and very good looking women. (Did I leave anything out?)
The host this month is Görel of Grain Doe, the recipe and notes are in her words, check out her Knackebrod post for more information.

This flatbread was like a cross between the lavash, pita and the really thinly sliced dark rye breads you can get in the little packages.

The instructions have us stamping a hole in the centre, and, not wanting to waste good bread, I baked up the holes as crackers with caraway and black sea salt on them. They are very good.

I made three different kinds, not counting the holes. The first batch of four I made just as the recipe stated, including having the pestled anise seed in the dough but I forgot to dock the dough so they puffed up a little. The second I did the same way but remembered to use my handy-dandy dough docker. The third batch I brushed on some olive oil and sprinkled some coarse salt. The fourth got olive oil and sesame seeds.
I definitely liked the flavoured ones the best, but I also enjoyed the subtlety of the original ones.
Be prepared, this recipe takes the good part of a week, mostly unattended.
My daughter is going to be very angry when she sees that I have been hanging crackers from her little art guy.
Rosendal’s Crisp Bread
Ingredients - Makes 16 round breads
500 ml/2,1 cups milk
25 g/0,9 oz fresh yeast
3 tbsp honey
180 g/6,4 oz rye flour
80 g/2,8 oz whole spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
50 ml/3,5 tbsp rye sourdough starter*
Optional: 1 tsp aniseed, pestled

2 tsp salt
300 g/10,6 oz rye flour
100 g/3,5 oz wheat flour

Heat milk until it's lukewarm. Dissolve yeast and honey in milk. Add flours and sourdough. Cover with cloth and let rise for 40 minutes.

1. Add salt, the wheat flour and 2/3 of the rye flour to the pre-ferment mixture. Add more rye as needed until the dough is "firmish", but not stiff. It should still be a little tacky. Mix well, but don't knead. Let rise for 30 minutes.
2. Divide dough into 16 pieces, form the pieces into round, tight spheres and leave on table under cloth.
3. Heat oven to 200 °C/390 °F .
4. Roll out the dough balls to thin rounds. Prick the rounds with a fork and take out a hole in the centre with a small glass or a cookie cutter.
5. Bake** two rounds at a time for appr. 15 minutes until the bread is nicely brown and crisp. If necessary (watch out!), cover with foil during the last 5 minutes. Let cool on racks.
** I used my baking stone, but I think you can just as well bake on a cookie sheet. I placed the rounds on parchment paper on cookie sheets, and transferred only the parchment paper to the baking stone in the oven.

Görel's Comments: The original recipe suggests variations such as substituting flour, adding caraway, aniseed or fennel, rolling in sunflower seeds or sesame seeds, brushing with olive oil and sprinkling caraway and salt flakes. I have tried some of these, and I have also tried brushing with water before sprinkling with sesame seeds. All very good, although in this round, I chose to stay traditional and just add aniseed to the dough.
I found that when I had brushed with olive oil and water, the bread became less brittle. The oiled bread was also more heat sensitive and needed to be covered earlier during the baking.
And -- if you want to go all Swedish -- butter the bread, top with sharp cheese, e.g. "Västerbottenost", and enjoy with a bowl of hot pea soup on a Thursday!

Rye Dough Starter
This is one of many ways to make a rye starter:
Day 1–3:
100 g/1 dl/0,43 cup water, luke warm
200 g/7 oz fine rye flour, preferably organic (and 100 % rye)
100 g/3,5 oz shredded apple

Mix the above, cover and place the container at a warm spot (ideally 26–30 °C/79–86 °F). Leave it for three days, stirring it occasionally to promote the process.
Day 4: Move the mixture to a larger bowl. Add 200 g/7 oz rye flour and 200 g/2 dl/0,85 cup luke warm (35 °C/95 °F) water. Mix thoroughly and leave for another 24 hours.
Day 5: Your sourdough should be ripe by now, store it in the fridge until it's time to use it.

This is my photography studio. A cloth thrown over a desk in the basement. The desk lamp acts as my only lighting. Maybe, when I grow up, I will have real equipment.