Bread is one of the most primitive, fundamental foods known to mankind. A piece of wholesome, lovingly hand-made bread and a little butter can make a simple yet delicious meal. There was a time in my life when I made bread every night because this centuries-old craft procures a deep sense of satisfaction.
Waking up to the smell of freshly-baked bread is something akin to watching the sunrise in the mountains. For my bread, I like to use a home-made sourdough and lots of grains. Made from nothing more than water, rye flour and time, sourdough is the perfect base for home-made bread. Preparation and “feeding” takes a week, after which the dough is ready for use, or it can be dried or frozen so that it can be kept. However, you can make a fine-quality bread with normal yeast.
My passion is what might be referred to as extreme wholegrain breads, for which I use whole grains that have been soaked in water overnight. Breads can be made like jigsaws from different kinds of flour and grains, fruit and vegetables, herbs, etc. I love these moments when I can pull out all my boxes containing all the different kinds of flour and grains to knead them into a dough in the mint-coloured KitchenAid bought specifically for this purpose. The dough is placed in a tin and left in the fridge overnight so that I can bake it fresh the next day.
Try this, for example: Boil 100 g whole spelt grains in water and leave to stand overnight. The next day: Gently heat 500 g buttermilk and 50 g sugar beet syrup (from a health food store) in a saucepan, then crumble 1 yeast cube into the mixture and dissolve.
Sieve the soaked spelt grains, strain off the water then mix with 200 g rye flour, 250 g wholegrain spelt flour, 50 g linseeds, 75 g sunflower seeds and 50 g chia seeds. Add 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp crushed fennel seeds and combine this mixture with the buttermilk and yeast mixture in a bowl to obtain a runny dough.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm, draught-free place. Grease a loaf tin (coconut oil or clarified butter) and scatter with oat flakes. Pour the viscous dough into the loaf tin, cover and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the dough with oat flakes and preheat the oven (for example a V-ZUG Combi-Steam MSLQ) to 210 °C on the hot air with steaming setting. Place a rack in the second groove from the bottom and place the loaf tin on it. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn off the steam and reduce the temperature to180 °C. Bake the bread for about another 60 minutes.