Beautifully baked sourdough bread

Fresh out of the oven; baked sourdough bread

Isn’t it funny how my blog seems to have transformed into a bread baking blog in the last couple of days? For those of you that do not like bread, I can assure you that all will go back to normal quite soon. But today was our second part of the breadbaking course we had in Vianen given by Robert Verweij from Teest, Edwin Klaasen from Desemenzo en Albert Steehouder from backery Steehouder. We had been “slaving” the entire week between the first day last week and today to make our own sourdough starter. And ofcourse that was one of the things that we did today; bake our own bread with our very own sourdough starter.

Sourdough before being processed

My sourdough starter shortly before it is being processed into the dough behind it

We started the day with adding our starter to (already kneaded) dough, incorporate that and put it in a basket to do the initial rise. While that was left to stand, Albert showed us what happened if you took one dough and gave it various kneading times starting at 3, then 6, 9 and 12 minutes in total in a machine. Below you can see how the different breads looked starting from the left with 3 minutes and working upwards to 12 minutes.

Difference in bread if you use various kneading techniques

Can you tell the difference between these breads?

We got to feel how the dough reacted to kneading, how it changed from being hard and unyielding to soft and stretchy. Quite a good exercise this as it does let you see and feel (and afterwards smell and taste) the difference. Truth be told I would have probably stopped kneading after 3 minutes as it looked fine to me at that point. Once we got to the tasting though, there was a mark-able difference between the different breads with 9 minutes being most peoples favorite. We tasted bread baked with different flours (from soft to harder), we tasted sourdough bread that we baked and the secret recipe of Edwin’s Woeste knoest- brood.. 🙂

Albert holding up flour to see the difference

Albert holding up two different types of flour

I almost feel we did more this last day then we did the first day and that was already a lot. We made a ‘partybread’ (comparable to a christmas stollen), we made baguettes again for lunch and they were soooo good. We also found out that making one of those…. mmm, I think they are called ‘pain d’epi”? is really not as difficult as you would think… You need a pair of scissors and of you go!

Using a pair of scissors to cut the dough

Making pain d’epi was not as hard as it looked!

Pretty looking unbaked batards

Pain D’Epi ready to be baked

I could go on about all the things we learned and well,  It’s worth the time and effort and while I certainly liked the no-knead method it does in no way compare to this bread. We had it tonight with fresh pesto, mozarella, rocket and strips of grilled peppers and it was SO good… I’ve got more flour so I will for sure be baking more in the weeks to come!I’m sure it’s gonna be trial and error but at least now I know what I do wrong (or I have an idea what it might

I was thinking of giving you a recipe but I decided against it. First of all, they are not mine to give, and secondly I am going to be doing some more breadbaking and will share those recipes with my own findings. We’ve done a lot of things today that cannot easily be put into one clear instruction on how to make this, so you’ll have to wait for more info… 🙂

flour being weighted

Weighing the flour