bringing the bread back

sunflower and linseed

sunflower and linseed

I’ve made a few dud loaves lately.

Distracted, not enough effort, too much effort, unhappy starter, busy…I could tick all of the above boxes. The funny thing was I felt my sourdough hat was sitting slightly skewiff, I knew it and the month that it was sitting a little wonky, well I certainly didn’t produce any of my finest loaves that’s for sure.

Come on girl get it together, where had the magic gone?

I played with a buckwheat starter…ick.

I ate a whole loaf of under proved sourdough, (toasting it three times helped a little, felt it was a tad heavy to subject the kids to)

My teeth battled through over cooked rolls, and I did have a rather long thought process of, hell maybe I’ll just start buying it again.

Then thankfully something flicked, I didn’t have to walk that supermarket bread aisle. The time was right, the starter was eager and the hands willing. My sourdough hat felt straight once more, and with it a greedy need to bake bread.

sunflower and linseed

Sunflower and Linseed Bread

600g active starter

750g strong bakers flour

150g wholemeal spelt flour

75g linseed

75g sunflower kernels

700-750mls water

1 tsp dark malt flour

3 tsps salt

Mix together in your usual sourdough bready kind of fashion. I baked these at 230C with steam for free form loaves or 220C and a little longer baking time in a tin.

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33 thoughts on “bringing the bread back

  1. That looks so, SO good Brydie, and I still think a dud home-made loaf is far superior to a bought loaf any day! Gorgeous photos. Dark malt flour sounds lovely – haven’t come across that before.

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  2. Glad the bread fairy is by your side again. I am still getting my feel for sourdough and thought I was doing ok until I forgot the salt altogether in the last batch – will try harder this weekend! Have always loved sunflower and linseed loaves so will try this

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  3. Distraction does not make for good bread. I have been having on and off experiences for the same reasons- although my plain yeast breads were good- the sourdough were bad performers. I’m blaming it on the sourdough starter and starting over, thanks to Celia!
    You are so honest about your failures Brydie and encouraging for that reason. Thank you!

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    • Distraction really doesn’t work does it. My best loaves are always the ones where I’ve done it mindfully every step of the way. It can still be quick, but multi tasking many things leads to marginal loaves…and who wants to eat them!

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  4. Now, lovely, I have a sourdough starter qn for you…I have been terribly neglectful of mine of late (his name is Pepe, long story!), and will need to revive him with some love this weekend before it’s too late. He’s always been a rye starter through and through, never fed him anything else, and I’d like to tone down the ‘ryeness’ in the breads I’m baking (because they always end up waaaay tangy and abit too flat). Do you think I could gradually introduce white flour into the feeds by mixing it with rye and then gradually tapering the rye off?

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    • Becs, I’d say just dump it in, (in a respectful bready way of course.) You could still use rye for the rest of loaves when putting the dough together but your starter could be a regular white flour one which would probably give it a little more oomph. I haven’t played with a 100% rye for a long time as wholemeal spelt kind of moved in, but I’d say give it a crack.

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  5. Your bread looks delicious Brydie and photographed perfectly too! Bread is funny stuff isn’t it…it can be really easy but sometimes difficult or rewarding or frustrating!? But it is always worth it when you get a really awesome loaf. Happy baking x

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  6. A beautifully told story of a girls relationship with her starter :). Gotta love starters! Even though Audrey has gone to composting heaven I know that when I am ready, I can start again…at the moment I am juggling and learning to live with kefir and kombucha. Just found a baby SCOBY growing on a bottle of second ferment! Aint fermenting life grand? πŸ™‚

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      • Its yummy :). I just second fermented my first batch with some pomegranate juice and it’s delightful. I mixed some into my non-dairy kefir and now have my base for Summer morning smoothies and I can make it all myself (with the help of my little scabies) and tailor it to however I want it…bliss :). My hint is not to put too many teabags in if you are going to give it to the kids as it may get a little bit bitter. I used 8 bags to 3 1/2 litres of water and a cup of raw sugar. Aside from that it was delish :). Must admit, not sure how it tasted like ginger beer (the final liquid before I second fermented it) as there isn’t any ginger in it but hey, I am not complaining πŸ™‚

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      • Tell me, have you ever come across any comparison with the health benefits of kombucha, kefir or ginger beer? I make ginger beer with a reduced amount of sugar (1 cup about 3 litres) and have often wondered how it compares health wise to the other two?

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      • Not sure. I have only just started using Kombucha and my non-dairy kefir relies on only date paste to keep it going. I am going to give ginger beer a go with date paste as well. I just opened a swing top bottle (2 litre) of second ferment Kombucha and it went EVERYWHERE :(. Just a warning, most of my kitchen is now Kombucha scented πŸ˜‰

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  7. I’m so glad you persevered because you have baked some outstanding breads in the past and with all of your knowledge and experience you really don’t deserve to be eating supermarket bread. I think we all go through highs and lows in the cooking arena xx

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  8. This loaf looks fabulous! I love the seeds. My loaves are coming along beautifully at the moment and I have managed to get 3 friends into making sourdough. Yum.
    Have a wonderful weekend. x

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  9. I lost my sourdough mojo in the last month and am teaching a workshop this weekend!!! Starter is such a funny thing, I think I damaged mine by putting it into a new clean jar, which maybe had residual soap? thankfully i’d given starter to a friend a year ago who has never ceased turning out spectacular loaves, so she topped me up and we’re all good again.

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  10. Pingback: when the hunger sets in | cityhippyfarmgirl

  11. this look really yummy! but i have never been able to do bread, they become this stone-like object, which miraculously still happen to taste nice if i can manage to bit through them.

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