I have been missing for a while from my space and I hate that. I take my commitments seriously, so when I am unable to make good, there this is horrible niggling feeling that keeps at me till I can come back to whatever it is that I don’t have time for, or for some reason am unable to attend to.
My blog is like my security blanket. I love being here. It is my little creative space.
I am here in India for mom and for work and the craziness here has kept me away from the blog. I also came here to shoot the wedding of a dear friend and the man she married, a famous and endearing cricketer. But that is another post. For now, a dear blog friend was kind enough to guest post for me today. I am in awe of this lady. She is can bake things like I haven’t seen before. Now I am awfully afraid of baking breads. But, Eva aka Mrs. Hudson can whip them out like magic. And she has done it again with a bread she has so wonderfully created, just for Boxofspice. Please check her blog out if you haven’t already at Bakestreet. She may write in Spanish but I think cooking is like music. It has no language. And Eva plays this music like a master.
She has been more than kind in her words for me in her post to me below.
First of all I want to thank Rakhee for letting me be a part of her wonderful blog space in which we are accustomed to see real wonders.
For months I have known her blog and since then have enjoyed every one of her recipes, pictures … shame not to try them! Certainly I have several that I need to try.
One day I woke up to a pleasant surprise. Rakhee contacted me, requesting me to do a guest post on her blog. Of course, I accepted with pleasure. It’s wonderful to share one of my recipes here and it is certainly a great honor.
I asked Rakhee if she would like something special and she told me I could do whatever I wanted, just that she would like to see spices in the recipe if at all possible, since she is Indian. I found it a perfect proposal, since many fantastic combinations can be done with them.
At first I was not sure if I could do something sweet (she has many exceptional ones on her blog) or some variety of bread. Finally, I opted for the latter.
I thought about a mustard bread, very fragrant and perfect to combine with sweet or savory (though it may seem strange to combine savory with sweet, it is wonderful). The presentation took me some more time. I wanted to make something elegant, delicate, with impeccable presence so that I could capture the beauty of an Indian woman in elaboration.
Then I remembered this kind of bread that I learned to do with a master baker, Josep Pascual, and I just knew it was going to be perfect.
A bread that resembles a flower with petals and allows us to decorate the inside with seeds.
To accompany this bread, though you can eat it alone, I prepared a Garam Masala spiced toffee. I am speechless! This combination is pure pleasure. Full of aroma and great flavor for your palate.
The best way to enjoy it, and this reminds me of when I was child, a good slice of bread accompanied by a piece of black chocolate and a couple of tablespoons of spiced toffee.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.
for the sourdough
180 grams Levain, 100% hydrated and refreshed with strong flour (70 grams) and whole rye flour (20 grams)
rest of the dough
250 grams wheat flour (bread flour)
190 grams semolina
50 grams whole rye flour
295 grams water
11 1/2 grams coarse salt
3 tsp of mustard Maille A l’Ancienne or any coarse grained mustard
seeds: poppy seeds, sesame, pumpkin seeds
for the garam masala toffee
75 grams sugar
25 grams butter
150 grams cream
2 tsp mixed curry powder (coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, bay, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, basil, fenugreek and pepper)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
preparing the bread
In a bowl incorporate the 3 types of flour, mix lightly with a silicone spatula. Pour water* over the flour and mix again until a smooth dough forms. Cover with a cotton cloth and let rise for around 50 minutes.
*If your flours already have a lot of hydration, instead of adding 100% by weight of water, you can add 70-80% for rising, reserving the remaining water. Once you knead the dough, you can add the rest gradually. That way you can can see how much water you need for your dough.
Add the sourdough and integrate well into the mixing bowl scarping down the bowl well with a spatula.
Place on a clean work surface, and without any flour. Begin to knead. We will now proceed to make the French kneading or Bertinet Kneading. Resting in combination with kneading. The dough will develop the gluten without working it excessively. Knead 2-3 minutes and let stand 4-5 minutes. This step will be done once before adding salt.
Add salt spreading it over the surface. Integrate carefully and knead again. The dough will become strong gradually. Alternate the kneading with rests until the dough passes the membrane proof.
Once we have reached this point, add the mustard. Knead gently to distribute evenly across the surface. Prepare a large airtight container or a large bowl, greased with oil, and place the dough inside and cover. With a bowl cover with film.
Let the dough ferment for 4 and 1/2 hours at room temperature * with 2 folding sessions every 45 min. The 45 minutes starting in the beginning of the fermentation time.
Once we complete the folding, let it stand again until it has almost doubled in size. In my case it was 3 hours but keep a close eye. The temperature in my house was 22ºC.
After this time resting prepare the banneton (a basket that provides structure for sourdough breads), I used a round shape. Sprinkle the banneton with rye flour and set aside.
forming the shape
Before proofing, cut a piece of dough 160 grams and make a boule. Set aside.
Pre-form a ball with the rest of dough, and let stand 20-25 minutes covering the dough with a cloth.
After this time we form a boule with the big dough. With the small piece form a disc, stretching it using a rolling pin. Set aside.
Spray water on the big ball of dough and decorate with seeds. Brush the disk with oil without doing the edges and place it on the dough ball. The folds should be at the base.
Place the boule again in the banneton, covered with foil (covering the entire banneton to prevent moisture absorption) or place into a large freezer bag, closed well and store there until the next day. Total 14 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 250° C (475° F) heated up 30 to 45 minutes before. Put tray/stone at the bottom of the oven and a container with small tray with volcanic stones that must be put in before you turn on the oven. The stones must take on the temperature and be hot.
In case you use a stone I recommend to preheat the oven, for one hour.
Five minutes before placing the bread in the oven, warm some water (in a regular cup, 1/2 cup aprox). You can do this in the microwave.
Carefully take out the bread dough on a table which was previously in the banneton lined with foil.
Score the dough. Not a deep cut. Only the layer that is the disc.
Insert bread in the oven and pour the hot water over the tray with the stones and close the door. You need to do this fast to maintain the temperature inside the oven.
Leave it in for 15 minutes at 245° C (475° F) with heat only coming from below. Turn off the top heat.
After these first 15 minutes, open the door slightly to release all the steam inside. Be very careful so as not to burn yourself. Take out the tray/container with stones and close the door again.
Lower the temperature to 230° C (450 F) and turn on top heat. Leave for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature further to 190ºC (375 F) and leave for 10 minutes. Finally turn on the air at 190ºC (375 F) and leave for 5-10 minutes. This drying will favor and improve the bread crust.
Total baking time is 45-50 minutes.
Once we finish baking, turn off the oven and leave a few minutes in the oven with the door half-closed to help form the crust. About 15 minutes. Then remove and let cool completely on a rack before opening.
This bread holds for between 3-4 days. Simply put it face down on a wooden board on the side where you have made the cut, to preserve the air or cover it with a cotton cloth. If this area is dry, just have to cut a thin slice and the interior will tender up.
garam masala toffee
In a saucepan add sugar and on medium heat, stir until it turns light brown and seems to caramelise. Then add butter, liquid cream, salt and spices. Keep stirring on medium low heat for 5-8 minutes.
Remove from heat and store in a glass jar. Let cool completely.
Enjoy a few slices of mustard bread with spiced toffee and black chocolate.