I made bread

Do you remember the smell of bread baking in the oven? I do. There is something very comforting and homey about it. I had a hankering to make some good old fashioned sourdough bread last week.

So out came my biggest bowl. I had to start from scratch. Unfortunately I lost the well seasoned starter base I kept in the freezer some time ago. There is nothing quite like the flavour of a sourdough bread made with a starter base that has been preserved for many years. The depth of flavour is to die for.

Anyway, it was not to be. This bread was made by touch and feel. No recipe. Mum taught me how to make it many years ago.

Into the bowl went a goodly amount of lukewarm water. Next, a packet of dehydrated yeast. After it had dissolved, I added a good dollop of rye flour, wholemeal flour and plain flour until it was roughly the consistency of batter. Covered with a towel, I left it by the kitchen window. For five days. Every morning and evening I would stir it. A little flour added when the bubbles stopped appearing kept the starter brewing.

This morning I decided it was ready. It had that earthy sourdoughy, yeasty smell. Before going any further, I put some of the starter base into a jar in the fridge for the next batch. The flavour will develop and deepen each time I use it.

Rather than kneading by hand, I let the machine do the work after adding a bit of salt. So much easier and quicker. I added enough of all three flours to bring it to a bread dough consistency. Then left it to rise until it had doubled in size.

A little bit of kneading and it was time to start forming it into bread. I wanted to try a few different styles so I made small cobs, bread rolls, and one ‘reikäleipä’. Just for the fun of it. It’s a traditional round flat sourdough bread which was stored in the rafters on rods to dry. Here they are, rising again.

Rye sourdough bread is baked in a very hot oven. I cranked it to top temperature and put the trays in. To test whether they are ready, you simply knock on the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow it’s done.

The reikäleipä is a bit blonde so it probably could have done with few more minutes in the oven.

I’m happy. It made the house smell wonderful. And the bread is delicious.

Just imagine biting into a bread roll straight from the oven with butter dripping off it…. yum !

© Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace
Love, family  and togetherness makes the world a happy place.  Me


25 thoughts on “I made bread

  1. I don’t do bread (except pumpkin during the holidays — though I’d love to learn to make a good fruit cake), but now and then I made biscuits from scratch. That’s as adventurous as I get!

    1. Home made is good, whatever it is. I have never made pumpkin bread. I don;t know that my family would eat it. Christopher gags at the mere thought of pumpkin, Marc is the same with bananas! He couldn’t get enough of banana custard as a baby. BY the time he was in primary school he was so turned off them he wrote an essay on ‘why I hate bananas!’

  2. I wish your blog had a scent button 😄 I bet your home smelled sooooo good!!!!

    I miss baking bread….I’d make artisan bread and rolls for Jim and I at least once a week…now that it’s just myself, I’ve lost the desire to bake. But, maybe with the kids coming for Thanksgiving it’s time?!?! 😊

  3. Liz often bakes and the bread is delicious. The kids used to love it straight out of the oven with lashings of butter – all hot and crusty (like me!).

  4. I made bread from my own sourdough starter once, when I was about seventeen. I’d never had sourdough bread, but I don’t think it’s meant to taste like mine did.;) My dad had to eat the lot, since nobody else could stomach it, and he loathed waste – so did I, but I wasn’t prepared to die for the sake of my ethics 🙂

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