Mixed Method Baguette

“All sorrows are less with bread.”  Miguel de Cervantes

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Life is a combination of magic and bread. Franz Kafka, the famous writer said: “So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all the questions for the time being.” Therefore, baking bread has to carry the qualities of a life-solving activity. It can be complicated, it can be simple, it can be timely or very quick, it can be made with hands or with borrowed electric virtue, there are many ways and approaches to making bread. One of the important steps is the mixing method. Just that itself, some believe, can make or break the final result.

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I will not, however, investigate the methods of mixing, but the mixing of methods. I do consider myself a sourdough snob, and I have a truly passionate love towards my little house-guests, the wild yeast, and wild yeast only. However, it is common practice for commercial bakers to add fresh yeast mixing with starter, in order to schedule rising and baking times predictably. Whilst my honest opinion is that when combined with commercial yeast, the bread is not real sourdough, but it still can be amazingly good bread with many benefits.

One probably could get through life without stepping off the known footpath, but the question is: would it worth to live then?

Making bread is like living with someone… having captured moments, is having permission to enter to the soul, but how one captures it, is only up to the discretion of  lovers…  I like to capture the soul of the grains in many different artistic ways, but, at the end of the day, people eating my bread mainly just want it to be fulfilling, to taste good and to accommodate the community of those who share it.

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“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.” Aesop

Mixing commercial yeast (strictly fresh though)  with sourdough starter when making bread , creates the experience of the sourdough tang with a lighter rather than denser crumb, still getting great natural  flavour, texture, and digestibility. The primary function of yeast is to produce carbon dioxide gas, which expands the dough during proof, and yeast prefers slightly acid conditions to work best…so it could really be a marriage made in Heaven. There is so many beautiful bread loaves to make, so this is, indeed, just another intriguing recipe.

Ingredients

500 g white flour, 8 g salt, 300 ml warm water, 150 gr sourdough starter, 5 g fresh yeast, 2 tbsp oil

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Preparation

In large bowl, add the warm water. Slowly stir in yeast and rest. Mix in 3/4 of the flour and then the rest of the ingredients. If needed, begin adding more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough chases the spoon around the bowl. The amounts of flour and water needed vary depending on many factors, including weather, which is why most bread recipes only give an approximate amount. Turn dough out onto floured board and knead, adding small spoonfuls of flour as needed, until the dough is soft and smooth, not sticky to the touch. Put dough in oiled bowl, turn dough over so that the top of dough is greased. Cover and let rise for about 5 hours. Punch down dough. Turn out onto floured board and knead. Preheat oven at 200 degrees C. Form dough into baguette shapes and set in baguette pans. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. Score dough by cutting three slashes across the top with a sharp knife. Put in oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out bread and let cool on a rack or clean dishtowel.

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“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”  Adelle Davis

I am a true pioneer…

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