Category Archives: bread

Sourdough Starter Diagram

Currently I’m working on a new design of kokblog. I’m planning to launch the new design next week. In this process I have decided to turn some of my pages into posts. And one of them is my diagram on how to make a Sourdough Starter.

Description: The above diagram is just one way to start a sourdough starter. At the end you will have one rye and one wheat starter. I use either starter for most of my breads. The wheat starter can also be used in a sweeter dough like for e.g. Cinnamon Buns etc. I bake with my starters 1-2 times a week (sometimes even more). I keep them in my fridge and take either of them out one or two days before I want to bake. Depending on how long it has been without ”food”, I feed it once or twice with a few tablespoons of flour and a little water. I keep my starters small, in that way I always have just enough and there is no need to discard anything. I have kept a starter in the fridge (without feeding it) for up to 3 weeks (not recommended). You can also freeze the starter if you are not planning to bake for a longer time. Just give the starter some time to recover by feeding it once or twice every day for a couple of days before baking. When the starter is lively and full of bubbles it’s ready to bake with. My diagram is based on Iban Yarza‘s How to Make a sourdough starter video.

NOTE: Since I published this last year, I have discarded my rye starter (I simple baked it up). It was just easier to keep one. If I ever want to use a rye starter I feed one part of my all-purpose starter with just rye flour for a couple of days.

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Links to my sourdough breads

Sourdough Bread with Rye

Plain Sourdough Bread

Wild Fennel Knäckebröd at Case Vecchie


Madame Fromage’s Semolina Crackers (book review)

© Johanna Kindvall

Another cookbook that’s become one of my favorites is Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings by Tenaya Darlington, aka Madame Fromage (Running Press, 2013). I have mentioned the book here several times but I think the book is worth it’s own post. First of all the book is not just a cookbook it’s an introductions to 170 different cheeses. The book is a collaboration with Di Bruno Bros., a well known cheese shop in Philadelphia.

In the book Tenaya simply tells stories around the selected cheeses, includes several ideas and tips on how to serve, what to drink and pair them with. Tenaya also teaches you how to buy a cheese and how to talk to a cheesemonger. The main purpose of the book is to help the reader find the cheese of their dreams. Unfortunately I want them all!

The book has several recipes for treats that works well with cheese, such as Lavender Mustard, Balsamic Poached Figs and Semolina Crackers (see below). There are also many cheesy recipes, for e.g. Manchego & Marcona Almond Pesto and mouth watering Grilled Peaches with Quadrello di Bufala

I’m so looking forward to her next book, which is a cocktail collaboration with her brother André Darlington. When ever I read something by Tenaya, the book or something on her website I end up hungry with a big smile on my face. Tenaya has loads of humor. Chapters as Baby Faces, Stinkers and Pierced Punks is just a few examples of her excellent wittiness!

I’m dreaming that one day Tenaya will have me over for dinner…
© Johanna Kindvall

Madame Fromage’s Semolina Crackers

(I didn’t counted them but there were plenty to serve with a cheese plate for 4 people)

As you know, I like to bake, so after receiving the book last Spring I almost immediately baked Tenaya’s Semolina Crackers (that are adapted from Heidi Swanson‘s recipe).  I like the way Tenaya bakes them, just simply rolled out on a baking sheet, baked, cooled and then “cracked” with your hands before serving.  You can also roll them out with a pasta machine, like I suggest here below. I have halved the recipe and changed the method slightly, otherwise it’s pretty much the same as in the book.

dough
¾ cup (123 grams) semolina flour cup
¾ cups (106 grams) all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
one teaspoon flaky sea salt (more if you like saltier crackers)
½ cup (about 120 ml) warm water
about 2½ tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing

flavour
fresh rosemary

Mix together the water and the olive oil in a large bowl before adding the flours, sea salt and chopped rosemary. Work together well with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Transfer the dough to a floured flat surface and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should feel smooth and not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball. Place in an olive oil greased bowl. Let the dough rest in the fridge for one hour.

Cut out small pieces (size depends on how long crackers you want) and flatten them out slightly with your hands. Roll them out about 2″ wide with a rolling pin or pasta machine. Roll them out as thin as you can and desire. (I roll them out to level 5 in the pasta machine which is less than 1/8 inch thickness). Dust with more flour if the dough feels sticky.

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Place the long crackers on the sheet and bake at 350°F  (175°C) for about 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Let the crackers cool completely (not stacked) on a flat surface. Store in airtight containers. My crackers never lasted that long, but according to Tenaya they store well up to a week.

© Johanna Kindvall

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Tenaya will have some book signings (around Philadelphia) in December (2014).

More with Tenaya Darlington on Kokblog

Your Spring Goat Cheese Primer (part 1)  collaboration between Tenaya & me
Late Summer Cheese Picnic
(part 2) collaboration between Tenaya & me
Smoke and Funk: A Fall Cheese Board (part 3) collaboration between Tenaya & me
How to Turn Your Desk Into a Cheese Board – guest post by Tenaya

Fika – The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break (my first book)

kindvall-fika-cover-3

Breaking news: Fika – The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall will be in the bookstores April 2015. It’s a celebration of Fika, the coffee break that Swedes do daily: either at work, at home, in a cafes, on the train or during a walk in the woods. The book is loaded with cookie, cake and bread recipes developed from both our Swedish heritage. They are new, adaptations or renditions of old classics, such as cardamom buns, pepparkakor, chokladbiskvier and skållat rågbröd.

It has been such a sweet journey with Anna; developing the recipes, test baking (again and again), writing, editing and drawing it all. It has also been such a pleasure to work with our publisher and editor Kaitlin Ketchum at Ten Speed Press and with Elizabeth Stromberg, who did such a wonderful work creating the beautiful design of the book.

If you like, you can already pre-order the book in several online bookstores: Random House, Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

I’m so excited that I can’t walk straight! And I think I need to sit down and have some fika!

© Johanna Kindvall

related links
Fika in Saveur Magazine, January & February 2015
I’m Working on a Book (post)

 

Sourdough Bread with Rye

One of my fun jobs this summer was to design chocolate packaging for Francoise Villeneuve at Wiggley Leroux Confections. My job was to create a label and a chocolate bean pattern for the chocolate bar wrapping paper. It was such a pleasure to work with Francoise on this project and her delicious confections are now available at BaconN’Ed’s food truck, Reston Station, Washington, DC.

Last week I was in Laramie, Wyoming to draw animals for the public art installation AnimalEyes by Walczak & Heiss at the Berry Biodiversity Center. It was great fun and I learned loads of cool stuff about local animals such as horned lizards, prairie dogs and bumble bees etc. Did you know that an ant queen can reach an age of 30 years? And that there used to be camels here?

On this trip I brought bread, which our hosts welcomed enormously. They served it with their in-house Roman dried tomatoes and pheasant gizzard confit. Wonderful!

This bread is also excellent, sliced thin, topped with aged cheddar and slices of fresh red pepper. This Autumn, I will have it as much as I can with a cup of strong black tea in front of the fireplace (or with my feet up on the radiator).

Sourdough Bread with Rye
one small boule

starter dough
50 gram well fed and lively sourdough starter
150 gram water (about 2/3 cup)
150 gram (1¼ cup) rye flour

2nd dough
330 gram (about 1 1/3 cups) water
600 gram (about 4¼ cups) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

starter dough: For the 1st dough, mix together the starter together with water and rye flour. Cover and let sit for 12-24 hours in room temperature.

the dough: Add water to the starter dough and stir before adding the flour. Mix everything well together. Let rest for 15-30 minutes before adding the salt. Work the dough some more to distribute the salt evenly and form a ball (I find it easier to do this directly on the countertop). Place in a slightly greased bowl. Cover with a plastic bag.

Stretch and fold 3 times with 45 min intervals. After last stretch and fold let the dough rise for about one hour.

Shape the dough into one round boule. Set aside for about 10 minutes and shape again. Place it with the seam side up in a round floured banneton. You can also use a normal bowl with a well floured tea towel.

Cover with the plastic bag and let prove for 2-4 hours.

About 30 – 60 minutes before baking your bread, set the oven to 500°F (260°C). Place a baking sheet or baking stone into the oven. A stone will need more time to heat up than a baking sheet. If you want steam during baking, place a tray under the baking sheet. I fill it with boiling hot water just before I bake the bread.

When it’s time, take out the warm baking sheet (or stone) from the oven. Carefully transfer the shaped boule onto the hot baking surface. Score the dough (see scoring links below) before transfer it to the oven. Lower the heat to about 450°F (230°C). Bake for 15 minutes, open the oven door to let out some steam. The bread should have risen up nicely and started to get some nice golden color. Bake for another 30 – 45 minutes.

The bread is done when it sounds hollow when knocking on the bottom. You can also check the breads inner temperature, which should be around 208°F (98°C).

Let the bread cool completely uncovered on a cooling rack before slicing.

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More sourdough breads on kokblog

Plain Sourdough Bread
Sourdough Knäckebröd

Other useful links

Slashing or Scoring your Dough by Azelia’s Kitchen
Scoring Bread – post at Fresh Loaf

 

Coming Home to Sicily (book review)

kindvall-sicilian-headpots-2

Sicilian head pots with strawberries.

Coming Home from Sicily (published by Sterling Epicure, 2012) is an amazing book about seasonal farm to table cooking by Fabrizia Lanza. Fabriza is, as I have mentioned here before, the director of  Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School at Case Vecchie in Sicily.

Fabriza grew up in Sicily and is a trained art historian. For many years she worked and lived outside Sicily, mostly in the north of Italy. She only visited her family in Sicily on vacations. However about seven years ago Fabrizia decided to return to Sicily to help her mother Anna Tasca Lanza with the cooking school. Fabrizia, as she says in the book, finds it as interesting to learn how to make a Cassatta as analyzing an artwork by Bottecelli.

For over a year, co-author Kate Winslow and her husband Guy Ambrosino (the book’s photographer) followed the growing seasons of the vegetables, the harvest and the cooking at Case Vecchie. Kate worked closely together with Fabriza in the kitchen and collected seasonal recipes for the book. Casa Vecchie, beautifully pictured by Guy in the book, is located on Regaleali, which is one of Sicily oldest and largest estates. The estate also includes the Tasca family’s own winery.

In the book, Fabrizia shares sweet personal stories about herself, her family, friends and employees. It makes the book great fun to read as well as a marvelous cookbook. It also brings back my own memories of Case Vecchie. It makes me think about the mineral flavor in the white wine paired with the panelles in the courtyard. The deep flavor of the olive oil together with the sweetest tomatoes I have ever had. And the rooster who woke me up every morning at 5am.

If you have never been to Sicily, this book will surely bring you there.

Some of my favorites in the book are the Pan roasted Rabbit, the fava bean pesto (Macco), the Grape Crostata and the Sfincione (Palermitan pizza).
For this post I decided to bake Fabrizia’s focaccia, a recipe I especially like because of the special ingredient of one glass of white wine. I haven’t changed much in this recipe, just a few things. Instead of 1½ tablespoons fresh yeast, I used instant yeast. I also topped it with mushroom instead of the oil-cured black olives that is suggested in Fabrizia’s recipe.

The bread is a simple and a perfect treat to bring to a picnic.

 

Focaccia con Funghi
adapted from a recipe by Fabrizia Lanza

dough

3½ cups (about 500 gram) durum wheat or semolina flour
1 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
about ½ – ¾ cup (180 ml) water
½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
½ (120 ml) cup white wine
1½ teaspoon fine sea salt

topping

about ½ cup (180 ml) mushroom confit (or sauteed mushrooms)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
fine sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Mix together flour and instant yeast and place it directly on your counter top. With your hands, make a well in the middle and add ¼ cup (60ml) of the water. Work it well into the flour before adding the olive oil followed by the white wine and another ¼ cup (60 ml) water. Add the salt. If the dough feels too dry, add more water. Knead the dough 10 – 15 minutes (it should be a sticky dough). Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes in a warm kitchen (I had it rising for about an hour as my kitchen wasn’t so warm and cozy).

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a 10 inch spring form with olive oil. Press the dough into it and let it rise for about 10 minutes more.

Make dimples in the dough with your fingertips. Place the mushrooms in the dimples. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt. Lastly drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

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I also want to take the opportunity tell you that in the beginning of next year, Fabrizia and the cooking school will run a 5 week program for chefs around the world. The program will teach the chefs the experience of farm-to-table practices, in the field, garden and kitchen.

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other related links

Olive by Fabrizia Lanza (book)
The Flavors of Sicily by Anna Tasca Lanza (book)
The Heart of Sicily by Anna Tasca Lanza (book)
Natura in Tasca – products produced by Fabrizia Lanza