Recipe Redux: I’ll have what she’s having sourdough & chia bread – by Emma Stirling APD

Oh my what a theme for this month’s Recipe Redux.  With the Academy Awards on our doorstep the idea is to take recipe inspiration from a favourite movie scene.  I have so many favourite foodie films, like Eat Drink Man Woman and Chocolat but they seem a little too obvious.  So of course I chose this:

So did you catch the famous pastrami on rye from Katz’s Delicatessen before Meg’s eyes rolled back? For a long time now I’ve been wanting to try my baker’s hand at making a sourdough rye loaf from my own starter culture.  But I’ve been a bit worried that I too would be fakin’ it? Could it really be as good as the real deal from one of my ah-maze local bakeries like Sourdough Kitchen in Seddon or Lamadre Bakery in Geelong (hi Anna) Would it really make me ooh and ahh?

Start at the very beginning

Starter cultures are big deal in baking.  A religion really.  So I can’t take credit for these steps and after much research decided to follow this easy how-to video from the wonderful Jules at Stone Soup.  My starter was only up to day 5 when I got baking with it.  If you allow yours to mature until at least day 10, you can skip the yeast as the lactic acid will have fermented nicely. Jules has this fantastic way of baking bread in a dutch oven, so I copied that too.  She really is awfully clever – you will love her virtual cooking school at Stone Soup.  I jiggled her recipe with other’s, added chia seeds for a boost of essentials and soluble fibre, plus pepitas on top just because I love them.

I’ll have what she’s having sourdough & chia bread

200g bread flour, 150g organic stoneground rye flour, 200g starter culture (see above), 240g water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dried yeast, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, semolina

Mix the flours, water, yeast, salt and starter together, cover and leave to rest for 8hours or more.  Preheat oven with the lidded Dutch Oven inside on full temperature for 30minutes.  Form your loaf into shape on a heavily floured bench, mixing in the chia seeds as you go, but there’s no need to knead.  Sprinkle semolina on the top side, which will become the base.  Remove hot Dutch Oven, sprinkle base with flour, flip in loaf carefully and stud top quickly with pepitas. Pop on lid and then back in oven for 30min.  Remove the lid, turn the oven down to 200degrees and bake for around 15min longer to brown the top.

Now I know I know you’re going to say what happened?  As my loaf does look…well, a little like it….*ahem*….. couldn’t get it up.  Things did fall a little flat compared to Meg’s high octane delights.  And yes the pepitas did get a tad hot under the collar.  But we’re in a heat wave at the mo and I think my starter culture was too hot and bothered and liquidy the day of baking, so I’m going to try again when my starter is a little more mature and the cool change blows in.  But then I decided to simply look passed appearance, close my eyes and relax into it  (with just a little dab of Myrtleford Cultured Butter for my bread).

And all I can say is, it seriously hit the spot.  Seriously. This is no pretender. No faker.  It’s a keeper.  And I’ll be going back for more, multiple times.  I can’t wait to see what the other Reduxer’s got up to.  I hope they were as satisfied as me:

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