Monday, May 28, 2012

Shepherd's Bread

Every month I try to bake along with Zorra’s Bread Baking Day and with the Bread Baking Babes as a Buddy. For more than a year I baked almost every month, but my health almost spoiled it for this month. I just baked delicious bread with Thai vegetables and Chiang Mai sausage for Bread Baking Day #50. I was ready to start with Sheperds Bread when my foot started to hurt. So much I couldn’t walk. Then I remembered last year I got gout for the first time in my life. So this was the second time and I had this enormous pain in my foot. When things pass, like they always do, they also pass from my mind. So I had forgotten all about gout,the pain and the diet. I’m terrible with diets anyway. But, now it was back again. I stayed away from the kitchen for a few days. Peter ordered me to keep off my feet so I would be back on my feet sooner. I had all the time to have a good look at all those nice blogs about bread and food.

I thought I couldn’t join the Babes this month, but today May 28 I decided to give it a try. The number of loafs in the freezer is getting low and we need to eat, don’t we. Today I felt a bit better and started to walk with care.

Karen found a beautiful looking loaf in the book Bread for all seasons by Beth Hensperger. It’s baked in a pot. I love baking in my ceramic pot; the loaves rise beautifully because of the hot ‘pot-spring’. The only thing is they all kind of look alike. But, today I’m baking in my pot as a Buddy with the Babes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bread with Thai vegetables and Chiang Mai sausage

Sandra of Snuffs Kitchen is the host for Bread Baking Day #50. She asked us to bake bread with vegetables. This got me thinking about Thai vegetables. There are so many Worldly vegetables, but I liked the idea of using Thai vegetables. But not all vegetables would do nice in bread. In Thailand there are a lot of different eggplants and even more different kinds of cabbages; all delicious with rice.
But there is also delicious Phak bung (ผักบุ้งalso known as morning glory. When fried it tastes like spinach.
Phak Bung
I wanted to add the special Chiang Mai sausage. Whenever you are in Chiang Mai you have to visit a local market like Warrorot market or Thanin market in the morning. Ask for Sai ua also known as Chiang Mai sausage. When you see a group of people waiting for their turn, there’s a big chance you found it. It’s already cooked so you can eat it on the spot by itself or with some sticky rice. Unless you are vegetarian or can’t eat a bit spicy, you’ll probably love it!
Sai ua (ไส้อั่ว) is a type of sausage from Chiang Mai which is highly regarded in the rest of Thailand. It is a slightly spicy grilled pork sausage containing red curry spices and fresh herbs. The taste of finely shredded kefir lime leaves, coriander leaves and lemon grass permeates the dish. 
Sai ua, Chiang Mai sausage
Last month the Bread Baking Babes baked Granville Island Beer Bread. I wasn’t able to join them, but the bread looked delicious and I was inspired by it. We had no beer, dried onion flakes and cheese, but we had Chiang Mai sausages and Phak Bung. 
Last night we ate half of the loaf. The crumb is soft and the spicy sausage with the spinach makes this a nice evening meal: delicious!
This evening we will eat the other half, but now I’ll put some homemade yoghurt cheese with tomato and cucumber on top. I think we'll visit Chiang Mai soon for another sausage.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lychee Muffin

We are so lucky; we live in a mango orchard and the mango’s are ripening at this very moment. And a few kilometers from our house you’ll find orange and lychee trees. And during this month we have all the lychee we can eat, and more.

At the market we bought 3 kilo and the same day a friend came by and gave us another 3 kilo. It took Peter a long time to clean the lychees. 

We had 3 kilo cleaned lychee to make Lychee Jam, Lychee sherbert and Lychee syrup. Halve of the Jam and Sherbert is gone already; we gave it to friends.

There were some lychees left and I decided to make Lychee muffins. This is an easy recipe with simple muffin-dough. This gives you a good taste of the fresh lychee which is not too sweet. We needed to eat all the muffins in two days because of the fresh fruit; no problem.

The last time I baked muffins, we ate one and threw away all the others. I added ingredients that are fine for bread but not for muffins. Don’t ever bake a muffin using Nigella and candied ginger and whole wheat flour. Trust me on this.

Go for lychee in your muffin!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flax seed Sourdough, what a hit

Today I’m baking with Flax seeds. I like the nutty taste of these tiny brown seeds and if only part is true about the benefits, Flax seeds are also amazingly healthy.

I just finished mixing the dough and left it for an hour to autolyse, when we had guests. Every year after Songkran, Thai New Year, some of the girls we help with our foundation Little Sisters come and pay their respect. We started a foundation to help poor Thai girls to go to school every day. Because we think education gives a possibility to take control of your own life and a possibility to make your own choices in the direction of your future. This is what Little Sisters wants for the girls.

The girls came with two of their teachers, who became our friends. They brought a big basked with fruit for us. Even though we know one another for a few years already it’s still exiting for the girls to visit us in our house. Normally we see them at their school or at their home when we go to visit them.
After we talked for a while, all the girls poured water over our hands and gave us good wishes for coming year. It’s a nice ceremony that shows respect for each other. With mangos from our garden they went home. And I went back to the kitchen to see what happened during the 3 hour autolyse.

I changed 6 things with this recipe:
  1. I used 100 grams more water because I soaked the flax seeds in boiling water and when cooled enough added the water too.
  2. I used rye flour and added whole wheat bran, instead of only rye flour.
  3. When the teachers and girls left the first dough had an autolyse of more than 3 hours.
  4. After bulk fermentation I gently formed a kind of batard with the help of flour and dough cutter without pre-shape placed it directly in the floured banneton.
  5. I placed a wet towel (instead of a plastic bag) on top of the banneton and let the dough proof.
  6. I baked the loaf at approx. 230°C. My oven only heats from the bottom and to get a brown color on the bread it needs more heat. And it’s very difficult to adjust the temperature without a proper thermometer.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Multigrain Norwich Sourdough

It’s been a while since I posted about a loaf of bread. I’ve been baking, but not as frequent as I would have liked to. Last few weeks were very hectic. The ultrasound on my yearly checkup of my breasts showed a possible malignant mass, but luckily it was benign. But before we knew this we had some troublesome weeks. The hospital which can deal with this kind of problems is a four hours drive away through the mountains in the north of Thailand. We could only see the doctor in the evening so we had to stay overnight. It took four appointments and one operation before we got the good news that the cyst was benign. So lucky us!!!!

During all the waiting for the results I tried to bake some bread; normally it helps me to relax and meditate. But it was hard to concentrate.

Now everything is back to normal. And there was a big necessity to bake bread because we ate all the breads out of the freezer.

Today I went again for delicious Ciabatta and a Multigrain Norwich Sourdough. Whenever I want to bake failure-proof bread, I go for Norwich Sourdough. This bread has a delicious crumb with a crunchy crust; the way a good sourdough should be (for us).
Since I soak the multigrain they are chewable instead of tooth breaking. And they don’t stick between your teeth. The main reason I choose multigrain is because it tastes great; it gives the bread a nutty flavor. And I also added some delicious sunflower kernels. And of course it's very healthy!