20 November 2014

Sourdough Rye Brick Bread (Kirpichik)

This bread resembles the one we used to have in Soviet Union times and was called Kirpichik (Brick). The bread using this recipe comes out tasting exactly like the one we used to buy in the shop.
This bread is made in 2 stages. First you need to make production sourdough and then the bread itself.
As always I would recommend reading through the whole recipe before starting to implement it.



For production sourdough:

50g active rye sourdough starter
75g rye flour
75g filtered water


In a medium bowl mix together all the ingredients using spatula. It will be a thick paste. Cover the bowl with a cling film and leave to ferment at room temperature for minimum of 8 hours or overnight.



all production sourdough (approx 200 g)
350 g filtered water
350 g white strong flour
150 g rye flour
1 tbsp raw honey or sugar (optional)
1 ½ tsp unrefined sea salt


medium bowl for mixing the dough
stand mixer (optional)
cling film
bread tin


Mix all ingredients together and knead with a spatula or in a stand mixer with a bread hook for 8 minutes, the dough will be quite liquid. Transfer the dough into a medium bowl, cover with cling film and leave to ferment at room temp for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.

After the initial ferment, transfer the dough into the bread tin (line it with unbleached parchment paper if using nonstick one), the dough should occupy slightly more than a half of the tin, cover with cling film and leave at room temperature to proof for around 5-8 hours. It will rise approx 1.5 times and will be bubbly.

Heat the oven to 220°C Fan/ 240°C and bake the loaf for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven. Bake out of the tin for the last 10 min. Take the loaf out and cool it on the rack covered with the kitchen towel. Make sure it is completely cold before cutting it.

This bread keeps well in a plastic bag for a week which keeps the bread very soft and chewy. I noticed that after a week it starts getting white mould, this is because the water content of this bread is quite high in relation to flour so try consuming it within one week, or you can cut it up and freeze some. You can also keep it in a cloth or paper bag and it will stay without mold longer but will be quite hard.To defrost, simply place in a warm oven for a few minutes if in a hurry or place into a plastic bag in the kitchen counter overnight.

Please enjoy!

PS: This recipe is adapted from Dark Silestian Rye Chleba in the book by Daniel Leader and Lauren Chattman called Local Breads.

8 November 2014

Sourdough Biscotti


50g white sourdough starter
40g unsalted butter, softened
80-100 g sugar
40g raw honey
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of unrefined sea salt
250g + all purpose flour
80g crispy nuts of your choice roughly chopped (can use crispy seeds too)
50g shaved coconut
100g dried fruit roughly chopped (I use mixture) 

All ingredients are organic except the sea salt.


Preheat oven to 180°C /160°C Fan together with the baking stone (if using); line baking sheet with parchment paper if not using the baking stone.

In a medium bowl combine starter, eggs, butter, sugar, honey, vanilla extract and mix up with a spatula or if using a stand mixer use the whisk attachment. Then gradually add salt, flour, coconut, nuts and dried fruit and mix using the spatula or bread hook (if using the mixer) and mix till the dough forms, add more flour if needed, the dough should be heavy, greasy and not very sticky. Do not over-knead. Form a ball and place in a small bowl (it is not going to expand) cover with cling film and leave at room temperature overnight or for minimum of 8 hours.

When ready remove the dough from the bowl and form into a long flat log around 5cm thick, divide into 2 logs if desired.
Place on the lined baking sheet or straight into the hot baking stone and bake depending on your oven from 25 minutes for up to an hour, it should be slightly brown.

When ready take it out of the oven and cool it down for around 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. When cool gently cut the loaves on the angle into 1cm slices (a serrated bread knife works best). 
Return the pieces into the oven and bake the biscotti for another 10-15 minutes on each side, less if you like it softer. Store in an airtight container.