Posts Tagged ‘gammelsurbrød’

Bread: Gammelsurbrød, round 2

July 6, 2009

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This was my breakfast. The all rye-meal gammelsurbrød that I thought I had killed eventually turned out to be pretty good. Very sour. I mean, it really put the “sur” in gammelsurbrød. It is likely the most potent rye I have made throughout this entire arbitrary obsession. That’s because it had a long time to ferment—this bread was over 24 hours in the making—and the dough smelled pretty much like alcohol when I put it in the oven.

Bread starters are semi-frightening because they are very much alive. They get all bubbly-like and ferment-y, they rise and fall (like breathing), and they sometimes can learn to recognize simple words and phrases. Basically, they develop the intelligence level of a human infant, or a really dumb toddler.

While the last part of that paragraph was utter nonsense, it is true that bread starters are finicky things. Like I said, I almost killed mine. I added too much flour and it didn’t rise overnight. So I added and extra tablespoon of yeast and some warm water, re-mixed it, and let it rise all day (hence the extra time for fermentation). Thankfully, it revived itself and I was able to bake it at night, and enjoy with fried egg the next morning.

For this bread and other Danish recipes, check out:

http://www.mindspring.com/~cborgnaes/

But I think that you should add less rye meal during the first rising. And remember, patience is key. Let that bread dough get totally raunchy and semi-alcoholic. And don’t forget a fried or boiled egg. yum.

Bread: Rye—t on, sista!

July 4, 2009

Last Monday I was at Berkeley Bowl and I came across a bucket in the bulk section labeled ‘organic rye flour’. I couldn’t pass it up. So I bought a bag of it ($2.54 worth to be exact). I came home and went completely rye-crazy.

Rye is a very common bread in Northern Europe, especially in Germany and Scandinavia. In America, most breads characterized as rye contain caraway seeds, and sort of resemble the breads found containing pastrami sandwiches in delis. But in fact there exists a whole rainbow of different ryes: from the heavy Danish Blackbread, to the sweet tinged Swedish, to the German pumpernickel (which I’m pretty sure is german for daemon bowl movement…) Rye is a powerful bread, to say the least. It is thick, hearty, quite potent, and truly loving it is not for the faint of heart.

First I baked the “European” rye recipe from the amazing Cheese Board cookbook titled: Cheeseboard: The Collected Works. It’s a wonderful book of all the recipes invented by the local bakery/pizza co-op of the same name. It’s available for purchase at a Cheesboard near you (read: the one on Shattuck in Berkeley, California, USA). It turned out delicious, but more like the American version of Rye. This was the result:

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The next recipe I made was the Swedish version (one of the swedish versions, actually), called limpa. It is lightly sweet and soft, and flavored with molasses. I added a bit of cardamom to the original recipe. In all, yum. Som säger de i sverige: det smackar bra!

(forlåt, jag har ingen bild…maybe I’ll add one later)

Next came the danish version: Danish blackbread, gammelsurbrød. This one is almost entirely rye flour, and it is the thick, delicious hearty rye bread that I mentioned before. If you’ve ever had a smörgås, imagine the taste of the cracker part of the smörgås. Then make the texture thick, soft, and chewy instead of krispy and with a little more powerful flavor and you have gammelsurbrød.

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Next up is gammelsurbrød with ONLY rye meal. coarse rye meal. the bread of all real badasses. yea, we’ll see how that works out. I also may try finnish rieska with rye flour. I don’t know when I’ll get tired of rye, but for right now, it doesn’t look like any time in the near future.