More Bread Fellows, and an announcement!

More Bread Fellows, and an announcement!

Hello, Friends!
I just had a tea party here with a lovely group of women! It’s becoming a yearly event. (You know who you are…) What better thing to do when one is still thinking about bread? Tea parties are all about little flour-based snacks… crumpets, scones, little cakes, and of course… tea sandwiches! I can’t get enough of them.

My current obsession for those sandwiches, and it has been for some time now, is Danish Sourdough Rye.

a real tea bread--sourdough rye

a real tea bread–sourdough rye

It makes any sandwich an event, even if all I put on it is a fine cultured butter with a little salt. My favorite two toppings, however, would be either a mushroom brie or a really good cheddar. This is no ordinary bread, mind you. Full of whole grains, wonderful seeds… It can turn the sometimes frilly and antiquated tea ritual into something deep that feeds the soul.

The bread takes two or three days to make, and although one can buy the flours and cracked grains, I prefer to grind the grains myself. (If you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer you can get a grinding attachment.) You’d think THREE DAYS? What a bother! But really, it’s like having a plant. It just takes a little thought each day, never much work–not even kneading! And the bread? Well, if you like the stuff with substance, it will bring tears to your eyes. And it’s perfect to have with tea. Believe me, Ladies… There’s nothing frilly about this kind of tea.

Speaking of tea and tea parties, I realize that I don’t have enough of them in my life, and I think most other people don’t either. So, during the summer, I am adding Saturday morning and afternoon teas to my cooking class parties! Only for summer, you and your eight or so friends, can come and make scones, crumpets, sandwiches, and sweets meant for tea. Then we’ll sit outside next to Stony Brook (weather permitting) and have a glass of bubbly and a right proper tea.

Sourdough Rye Recipe:

3/4 cup cracked rye
3/4 cup cracked wheat
2 tablespoons each flax and pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 cup sourdough rye
2 1/2 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup barley malt syrup or molasses
1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup barley flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions:
Day 1:Combine thoroughly the cracked rye, cracked wheat sourdough, flax, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, sourdough, and filtered water in a large non-metal bowl. Cover and set aside for at least 24 hours (48 hours will do nicely though).
Day 2: 1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle in the salt and drizzle in the barley malt or molasses. Stir thoroughly.
2) Add the flours and stir in the same direction for about 3 minutes. Bread should resemble a thick porridge.
3) Oil a 9×5″ loaf pan. (I prefer cast iron.) Sprinkle the bottom thoroughly with the sesame seeds, shaking the pan well enough that any extras to come up the sides of the pan a bit. Let rise several hours or overnight until risen 3/4 inch or so.
4) Place in an oven for 2 hours. (Yes, you heard right… 2 hours.)
5) Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool. It’s best to keep the loaf until the next day before cutting in. This will last in a sealed container refrigerated for several days.

Next Post:
Summer Tea Menu!

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