30 Aug

Baking for the Harrow Fair

The past few years I’ve been wanting to submit some of my baking in the Harrow Fair, which is like the Olympics for farm folk. It happens to take place on Labour Day weekend and I always seem to be busy or out of town. But this year I was finally available to enter the hundred-some-odd-year-old competition that pits grannys against each other in all things domestic arts (. . .and farming too, but unfortunately my childhood dreams of raising sheep haven’t yet come to fruition, so I’m sticking to baked goods).

To enter something into the fair you have to buy a membership to the agricultural society which costs $7. If you win the prize is $6. Ummm…? I guess it’s about the bragging rights? I don’t know.

Matt insisted I should enter a pie into the competition because I do make a mean pie. But the last time I made one I brought it to my friend’s for dinner and it was a disaster (lucky for me I had enough glasses of wine not to care…all that much). So, yeah, no pie.

I went with bread instead because I love baking bread and I’m pretty good at it. The competition categories for the breads are pretty slim– you mean there isn’t a category for best pain a l’ancienne?— so I decided to enter 3 breads: white bread, crusty rolls, and whole wheat buns (which were a bonus since I used a recipe that I never tested before).

The entries had to be submitted last night by 9 and there is no way that I’d be able to bake 3 different types of bread after work and have them ready by 9 o’clock so I baked the crusty rolls and whole wheat buns on the weekend and froze them and I saved the white bread for baking fresh last night.

As I was preparing the dough I kept looking back at the clock, counting back the time that I would need to get my bread ready on time and it wasn’t adding up. Shit. I performed some baker’s magic tricks to speed up the proofing/rising processes and I managed to get the bread into the oven at exactly 7:25pm.
Somewhere between 7:25 and 8:10 was the end of the world. The loaves started to get way to dark way too quickly. And by dark I mean burnt. I was pissed because I knew the crumb would taste good but I didn’t want to associate my name with a loaf of bread that had burn spots on it.

&^%&^!! @#$S%!!! $#%&#^! @#*&$!!!

I spent about 5 minutes swearing and throwing things around the kitchen in frustration and disappointment. My best bread was ruined. Ruined!

In a huff and a hurry I pulled myself together and grabbed my other breads out of the freezer and sped all the way out to Harrow and made it on time to the fairgrounds. On the drive home Matt said, “Next year you should just take the day off work to do all your baking”.

An entire day off to bake just so I can win $6? Umm yeah, that sounds kinda awesome.

. . . Want to know what happens with my bread? Read all about it here

15 Jul

Kamut Brioche

Kamut Brioche

It’s time for another Eating the Alphabet recipe link-up where each month we make a recipe featuring a fruit, vegetable, legume, or whole grain from a different set of letters of the alphabet.

So far I’ve done:

(A or B): Buttercup Squash and Artichoke Pasta
(C or D): Grenadian Oil Down with Cassava (Favourite)
(E or F): Homemade Fig Newtons (Favourite)
(G or H): White Chicken Chili with Hominy
(I or J): Juniper Berry Bechamel

This month we look at K or L. My ingredient of choice: Kamut.

WTF is Kamut?

What is Kamut? Khorasan Wheat is more commonly referred to as Kamut which is actually it’s trademark name. It’s a bit odd that a strain of wheat has been trademarked, but according to Kamut International, this is to ensure that customers are always getting 100% organic khorasan wheat that has not been combined with standard wheat or genetically modified. So if you’re buying Kamut and not plain old Khorasan wheat, you can rest easy my friends.

Kamut is a hardy strain of wheat that originated in Egypt. It grows relatively easily with less water than standard wheat requires to produce the same yield. It can often be grown without pesticides since the low moisture requirement naturally deters insects.

Kamut is high in protein (12-18%) making it a good substitute for bread flour in bread making. (Learn more about protein content of flours here). It can also be used in cereals, other baked goods, and pastas.

A serving of Kamut contains more than your daily required intake of selenium, the antioxidant that boosts immunity and prevents cancer.

Kamut tastes much nuttier than plain ol’ white flour or even whole wheat flour. I found it’s depth of flavour to be really very enjoyable.

(Sources: 1, 2)

How the hell do I use Kamut?

You can use Kamut either as a whole grain, cooking it like you would rice, or as a flour, baking with it in place of regular wheat flours.

– eat whole grain kamut it instead of oatmeal for breakfast
– use kamut flour for making pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, or bread
– use kamut pastas in place of regular pasta (or make fresh pasta with kamut flour)
– eat whole grain kamut instead of rice as a side dish at dinner

I decided to use Kamut flour in bread for its high protein content. I thought that its nutty flavour would be really good in a rich bread, so I baked the richest bread I could think of: brioche! But I kept the butter content on the lower end so that the flavour of the Kamut wouldn’t be overpowered bythe butter flavour of a richer brioche.

I think the nuttiness of Kamut would be phenomenal in a panettone, stollen, colomba di pasqua, raisin bread, or any other sweet or rich bread. I’m going to try that next time for sure!

Kamut Brioche

Kamut Brioche

makes 12 brioche a tete


1/2 c. kamut flour
2 t. instant yeast
1/2 c. warm milk

4 large eggs (or 3 XL), lightly beaten
3 1/4 c. kamut flour
2 T. granulated sugar
1-1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. butter at room temperature

1 egg whisked for an egg wash.


Combine the sponge ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or until it bubbles and rises.

Whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt to the sponge until smooth. Add in the flour and stir by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the butter, about a tablespoon at a time while stirring.

Once the butter is incorporated transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until smooth and supple but not sticky, adding in more flour if needed.

Place the dough in a large clean bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover with plastic and let rise at room temperature for 90 minutes or doubled in size.

To shape the brioche, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a large log and cut into 12 equal pieces with a pastry cutter. Shape each piece into a ball, flouring your hands and the dough as needed. Then shape each ball into a tapered oblong shape, sort of like a snowman, with a head and body. Use your finger to poke a hole through the centre of the larger “body” of the brioche and poke the smaller ball through it. Place the brioches in an oiled muffin tin. Cover with a towel and let rise for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the tops of the brioche with the egg wash; place the tins on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until an even rich brown colour. Cool the brioche for 5 minutes, then turn the brioche out of the tins to cool completely.

11 Apr

Sugar-Free Lent

My sugar-free Lent went fairly well. I cheated a few times with hard candies if my sugar craving was really bad and I started to get lax about the sugar-laden condiments, like ketchup or plum sauce, the closer it got to Easter but for the most part I did okay.

I broke my fast at my family’s dinner celebration on Good Friday. Actually, that’s a lie. I broke my fast on Holy Thursday when someone at work offered me a mini cinnabon and I thought, “eh, why not? I’ve never had one before” and gave it a try. Oh heavens! That frosting they use is delicious.

So I broke fast again on Friday with my sister’s homemade birthday cake (that I somehow neglected to take a picture of, I swear I took one!)

2 layers of delicious chocolate cake

filled with strawberry curd

and frosted with white buttercream


And I also had some of the Colomba di Pasqua that I made.

Colomba di Pasqua means Easter Dove. It’s an Italian yeasted bread with candied fruit and raisins that is shaped like a dove and served at Easter. My favourite part is the topping which is a sweet paste of ground almonds, egg whites, almond extract, and sugar that makes the colomba taste like it’s covered in amaretti cookies.

Colomba di Pasqua

I tried to make my colomba tropical by adding in shredded coconut and candied pineapple that I soaked in coconut rum straight from the Philippines. I thought it turned out quite good!

And I actually learned to properly shape the colomba so it actually looks like a dove.

Sort of. Kind of. You see it don’t you?

dairy freez

Saturday I broke my fast again with Matt when we drove all the way out to the Dairy Freez in Cottam for ice cream. I haven’t been to the Dairy Freez since I was a kid.

It may be blasphemous to say but I think I prefer the sundaes at Dari DeLite on Howard Ave.

On our way home from the Freez we stopped at Schinkel’s in Essex where I found the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten (and yet another way to break my sugar fast):



What is speculaaspasta you ask? It’s a creamy, smooth spread made from speculaas, you know, the Dutch gingerbread that I deemed to be my new favourite cookie this year. Yes, a spread made from cookies. It’s genius.

It’s a little on the pricey side at $6.50 for this wee jar, but it was definitely worth the money to taste it. I’m not entirely sure how to use it. Mostly I’ve just been eating it by the spoonful out of the jar. I tried some on my colomba and it was heavenly. I can imagine it being very good stirred into vanilla ice cream. My Dutch friend Heather said that her grandparents ate it on thick round crisps.


Matt said he like it, but he is still firmly rooted in Camp Nutella, whereas I might be a Camp Speculaaspasta convert. I apologize to my Italian heritage.

05 Apr

Fate and Yoghurt Cheese


I went out last night with some girlfriends and listened to them talk about singledom, trying and trying not to find husbands, and how fate works in interesting ways to set us on our paths in life.

Fate. If I would not have done X then I wouldn’t have Y. I find it frustrating to think of my life as a result of the domino effect that my past choices set off. Is that cynical?

It makes me feel like I don’t appreciate my life as much as I should.

Or maybe it’s just that I don’t want to evaluate my life retrospectively, marvelling over what awesome combination of my decisions and some Greater Power lead me to this point right now. That’s the same train of thought that leads to the “what ifs” and “if onlys” that can make a person frenetically over-evaluate and rethink their choices.

I lead me to this point right now. That’s all I need to know and I’m happy with that.

Homemade Cheese

On the weekend I was craving a salty, creamy cheese so I mixed:

1 tsp salt
1 650g tub of plain yoghurt

I hung it in a cheese cloth from my cabinet to strain overnight.

Yogurt in a cheese cloth

Ta-da! Cheese.

It’s delicious with wheat thins and these homemade anadama buns that I made this week.

Yogurt Cheese

Anadama Bread with Cheese

Anadama Bread with Cheese

I’m very excited for this Easter because my whole extended family is going to be getting together to celebrate on Good Friday. That seems to be the most convenient day for everyone to get together especially since now we’re starting to break off and have families of our own. It can be hard to juggle the holidays with all different sides of the family.

It’s been a long time since we have all gotten together, and I know everyone will have a lot of interesting things to share. I’m looking forward to it.

12 Mar

flour girl: Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread (2)

I spoke to my sister on the phone yesterday and told her that I made Irish soda bread that afternoon. I thought that she didn’t like soda bread, but she said that she was “pretty sure she did”. Pretty sure? That wasn’t very convincing, so I didn’t believe her.

Tonight at dinner Matt grabbed some panini out of the freezer. Didn’t he want my soda bread? I asked him. “Umm yeah, I don’t like soda bread.” Well, I knew someone didn’t like soda bread.

In any case, Matt said that this was the best soda bread he’s had, even though he didn’t like it. And didn’t want to eat it. Not exactly a raving review, but I’ll take it I suppose.

So, I’m talking about baking soda, yet again, but this time about it’s leavening properties.

Most breads rise because of yeast, which is an organic leavener, but some, like cornbread or Irish soda bread use baking soda for leavening. As an alkali, baking soda reacts with the acidic components of the dough to release carbon dioxide; this reaction makes the dough rise.

Normally Irish Soda Bread includes buttermilk, but since I didn’t have any on hand I subbed in some plain yoghurt instead. Yoghurt, like buttermilk, is acidic so it reacts with the baking soda to help the bread rise.

Irish Soda Bread

What I really like about this recipe is the inclusion of oats. I absolutely love the taste of oats and any time I can include it in my multigrain breads or crackers or cookies I will.

This bread is really good for breakfast with a smear of butter.

Irish Soda Bread


250g all purpose flour (~2 cups)
250g whole wheat flour (~2 cups)
100g oats (~1 cup)
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
25g butter, cut in pieces (~2 Tbsp)
1 c milk
1 c plain yoghurt


Preheat the oven to 400F and spray a lined baking sheet with pan spray.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingers.

Mix in the milk and yogurt mix by hand, being gentle as you handle it (you don’t want to over knead it). Turn it onto a floured surfaced and shape it into a flat, round loaf about 1-1/2″ thick.

Transfer to the baking sheet and score a deep cross in the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until browned and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Let cool on a rack before serving.

This post was submitted to Yeastspotting
07 Mar

flour girl–Best Homemade Soft Pretzels

Pretzels (4)

I’ve been eating a lot of white carbs lately. I just finished baking up a batch of Italian bread which I’m already 1/4 of the way through eating. I also may have devoured the equivalent of 8 servings of bread at my Nonna’s this evening.

It’s this sugar free Lent business. I’m craving sugar in all its forms. I can’t even tell you how many dates I’ve eaten since Ash Wednesday.

Or maybe it’s not Lent at all. A few weeks before Lent began I had been itching for some pretzels. I had one when I was in Orlando and had been craving it since.

The Key to Killer Pretzels:

I had made pretzels before, but this recipe from Good Eats is by far the best one that I’ve tried. It had the perfect colour, flavour, and texture.

The key to making soft pretzels with a chewy interior and a crispy, deep brown crust is an alkaline bath.

By putting the pretzels in a boiling solution with a ratio of 15 parts water : 1 part baking soda, the starches on the outside of the pretzel will gelatinize and break proteins in the dough down into smaller chains that will be able to create that deep brown colour once they are baked without overcooking the interior of the pretzel.

To get an even deeper brown colour, brush an egg yolk onto the pretzels before baking.

Pretzels (2)

Side Note: In the episode, Alton Brown mentions that he uses this alkaline bath for making bagels. But, please don’t. Bagels are much better when they have a bit of sweetness to them.  For a sweet chewy bagel then you want to use a sugar-water bath instead (like in this recipe)

The Recipe

Pretzels (3)

Homemade Soft Pretzels

from Good Eats
Makes 8 large pretzels (ie. not nearly enough)


1-1/2 c warm water
1 T sugar
2 t salt
2-1/4 t instant yeast
22 oz all-purpose flour, (4-1/2 c)
2 oz butter, melted

10 c water
2/3 c baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 T water
Pretzel salt


Combine the water, sugar, and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. (If not using instant yeast, allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam)

Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with pan spray.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water two at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt (I didn’t have pretzel salt or coarse salt so sprinkled lightly with sea salt, but for the most part they were nude)

Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

This post was submitted to Yeastspotting
02 Feb

Moist and Tasty Cornbread

It’s been a couple of weeks since I baked up any bread so I decided to dig into the depth of my fridge for the sourdough starter that I’ve neglected for months. When I took the plastic wrap off the bowl I was blown away by the intense alcohol smell. I considered trying to refresh a small portion of the starter, which I can usually do even if it’s been dormant in the fridge for a while, but from its pungency (yes, I made the mistake of tasting it) and soupy consistency I wasn’t confident that it would come back to life.

So I pitched the whole thing.

I’m contemplating making a new starter this weekend, but I’m uncertain of my abilities to keep it alive. Living things always seem to be at risk on my watch– my sourdough starter, the succulent planter I bought for my desk when I first started my job, the geraniums my mother-in-law planted at my house. Funny how all those things– sourdough, succulents, geraniums– have a reputation for heartiness. They’re not easy to kill. And yet through neglect and mistreatment and disregard I’ve managed to kill them all.

Luckily my dog is still alive; though I probably deserve little credit for this. It’s entirely because of my husband’s care and attention. He notices when she wants food and when she’s scratching too much and when she seems sad and when she needs to take her flea medication while I sit back and watch her thinking that she’s entirely normal. “No Sam,” he’ll disagree, “I think she needs to go to the vet.” And she usually does.

I can’t keep anything alive.

So after pitching my sourdough starter I decided to make a ciabatta bread but realized that I had no yeast. So that idea was scrapped too and since I didn’t have bananas I couldn’t make a banana bread either. So I ended up making cornbread the only other chemically leavened bread that I could think. I didn’t really want it but I was bored and wanted to bake. In the end it turned out so moist and delicious that I couldn’t stop eating it.

This would be really good to make on Super Bowl Sunday with some whisky baked beans.

Moist and Tasty Cornbread

makes one 10″ round loaf


1 cup (6 ounces) coarse cornmeal or polenta
2 cups milk (I used soy)
1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons butter, melted


Soak the cornmeal in the milk. Cover and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugars.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the molasses and melted butter. Add the egg mixture and soaked cornmeal mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon or whisk until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and the batter is blended and smooth to the consistency of pancake batter.

Line a 10-inch round cake pan with parchment and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the cornbread batter. Bake the cornbread for about 35-40 minutes, or until the bread is firm and springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top will be a deep golden brown.

Allow the cornbread to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing it into squares or wedges.

28 Oct

flour girl: homemade croissants for the win!

I’ve been baking yeast bread on a weekly basis for at least three years now and yet I hadn’t even thought of making croissants before.

It’s not because Matt doesn’t like croissants (a fact that I didn’t discover until after I made them). It’s not because they’re loaded with butter either (that never stopped me from making pie crust or a million different types of cookies).

I think it’s because they’re so hard to make. Or at least that’s the widespread belief. But there’s also widespread belief that artisan breads are hard to make, and I make them all the time.

Who is spreading this propaganda anyway? I should start my own “Breadmaking is Easy!” campaign. I’ll design wartime propaganda-style art deco posters and they’ll be famous. People the world over will frame them and put them in their kitchens. They’ll be like the “keep calm and carry on” posters but obviously cooler and more upbeat because we’re talking about bread here.

Where was I going with this?

Oh yes, “Breadmaking is Easy!” and you should try making your own croissants.

I spent Saturday morning watching this old time The French Chef video, giggling at Julia Child’s loveable awkwardness, and following her process for making croissants. (side note: Julia Child would have totally put a “Breadmaking is Easy!” poster in her kitchen.)

It’s quite a bit easier than you might expect. It takes a long time to make the croissants and they require a bit more hands-on work than regular yeast bread but they’re doable and definitely worth making. I started the inital dough on Friday night, proofed it in the fridge overnight, and by Saturday afternoon I had fresh delicious croissants.

I liked Julia’s recipe because the croissants:

-weren’t too flaky. I like flaky, but it’s still bread, not pastry and I want to be able to eat it without a huge crumbly mess all around me

-weren’t too buttery. The butter adds great flavour and of course creates the flakiness, but I find a lot of croissants are greasy and way too buttery for my preference.

-were a reasonable size. They’re about 5″ in length which is perfect for breakfast or a light snack. Think Pilsbury Crescent Roll sized, not Costco sized.

I’m not going to write out the whole recipe and the process. I think it’s easier to get the idea of what to do by just watching the video.

But I will give you some tips that I learned in the process:

roll out your dough on floured parchment instead of the counter. It’s less messy and sticky that way. When the dough required refrigerating I just wrapped it in the parchment that I rolled it on and put it in the fridge. I used the same parchment to roll it out on the next time around.

do this on a cold day in a cold house. The butter will stay cold and you don’t have to worry about overworking the dough with your warm hands. And it’s always fun to be able to see your breath indoors, isn’t it?

let the dough rest. When the dough feels elastic and shrinks back as you try to roll it out, walk away for 10 minutes and let it relax on the counter. It’s not ready for you to roll it, why you gotta pressure it like that?

don’t put chocolate chips in it. If you want a pain au chocolat, fill the croissant with shavings of baker’s chocolate instead. Chocolate chips won’t get hot enough to melt inside the croissant. You’ll just end up biting into the thing and having a bunch of whole chocolate chips tumble out and you’ll be like, “…the fuck?”

Anyway, chances are good that you are saying to yourself “Oooh I should make these croissants!” or maybe you’re actually saying “Who the fuck makes their own croissants?”. Either way, you probably won’t end up baking them because you still think they’re too hard/too time consuming/too insert-excuse-here.

But if you do happen to be inspired by a half-pound of butter, a desire to nibble like a French woman, and a poster that says “Breadmaking is easy!” then let me know how your baking experience goes. These croissants do not disappoint.

P.S. My husband, the self-proclaimed croissant hater, actually liked these. Homemade Croissants for the WIN!

This post was submitted to Yeastspotting.
01 Sep

Triticale Seed Bread

Triticale Bread

Every time I go to my favourite place in the world, Bulk Barn, I scan the flour section. They have the most diverse variety of flour there that can be purchased in bulk and they carry all the flour that I can’t find at the grocery store: light and whole rye, whole wheat bread flour, and high protein flour just to name a few.

On my last venture to the Bulk Barn I found a new kind of flour: triticale. I had read about triticale before but never tried baking with it until this week.

What is Triticale?

Triticale Grain crop(source)

Triticale is a hybrid of the grains wheat and rye. It has a higher protein content than wheat but because of the lower ratio of glutenin to gliadin proteins it has less gluten strength than wheat and, therefore, a denser crumb, like a rye bread. It also imparts a bit of a nutty flavour to bread.

How to use Triticale?

Triticale is used in bread, cookies, pasta, and cereals. It is often mixed with wheat and used in international flat breads such as chapatti or paratha along with other Indian dishes such as samosas.

Making German-Style Bread with Triticale

German-style bread traditionally is made with rye flour. It has a dense crumb, a rich flavour, and is sliced very thin.

With triticale’s protein and flavour properties, I figured that the best type of bread to make with it was a dense German-style bread with lots of seeds to complement the flour’s nutty flavour and the high protein content.

I used an overnight soaker and starter for this bread to create even more depth of flavour.

Triticale Bread

Triticale Seed Bread

Adapted from Peter Reinhart
(makes one large loaf)


6 ounces hard whole wheat bread flour
2 ounces triticale flour
1/4 ounce chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 ounces water

Combine until the ingredients form a ball. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature for 24 hours.


8 ounces triticale flour
1/4 teaspoon yeast
6 ounces water

Combine until the ingredients form a ball. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove from the fridge a couple hours before making the final bread to bring it to room temperature.

Final Dough

2 ounces triticale flour
2 ounces sesame seeds
2 ounces toasted unsalted sunflower seeds
2 ounces toasted pepitas
3/4 t salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (one packet) instant yeast
3 ounces date molasses

Chop the soaker and starter into several pieces. Combine the pieces in a bowl with all the final dough ingredients in a stand mixer on low speed with the dough hook to form a ball.

Increase the speed to medium-low speed, for 8-10 minutes, adding flour or water to get a soft dough that clears the sides of the bowl. (Alternately you can need by hand for about 15 minutes)

Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let proof at room temperature for about 60 minutes or until one and a half times it’s original size.

Form the dough into a boule and transfer the proofed dough to a cloth-lined and floured bannetton (or form into a loaf and transfer into an oiled 8-1/4” x 4” loaf pan). Cover and let proof again for 60 minutes or until one and a half times it’s original size.

For the free-standing loaf, preheat the oven with a baking stone and a steam pan to 425 degrees. Score the bread and place it in on the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of water into the steam pan, lower the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the bread and bake another 20 to 30 minutes (the dough should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom).

(If you are baking it in a loaf pan, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaf on the middle rack for 45 minutes)

06 Jul

flour girl: Whole Wheat Santa Lucia Buns

I’d prefer to call these `S` buns. I’m ‘S’; they’re ‘S’. They’re my buns.

Kinda like ‘S’ cookies that I loved as a kid (and that I still love now because they are amazing with coffee or tea). I deemed them mine and mine alone because they bore my initial.


These buns have a soft crust and crumb that makes them great for sandwiches and they`re good toasted after a few days as well. The flavour is hearty and slightly sweet, but more subdued than sprouted grain bread.

Santa Lucia Buns

Whole Wheat Santa Lucia Buns

From the book Whole Grain Breads


1 3/4c. whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. soy milk

Day 1:
In a bowl stir together the soaker ingredients until they form a ball of dough. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.


1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 t. quick rise yeast
1/2 c. water
1 egg, beaten

Day 1:
Combine all the starter ingredients together in a bowl. Knead the starter dough by hand for a few minutes. Place the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the fridge a few hours before needed for the final dough.

Final Dough

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
2 1/4 t. (one packet) instant yeast
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. vegetable oil

1 egg white, beaten with 1 T. water (for egg wash) and 1 t. honey
raisins for topping

Day 2:

Chop the starter up into 8-10 pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add all the remaining dough ingredients to the bowl.

Stir the ingredients together with a spoon until the mixture begins to form a ball.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Add extra flour as needed so the dough is firm and a bit tacky.

Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then continue kneading for another few minutes until the dough passes the windowpane test so you know the gluten is developed.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at warm room temperature until almost doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Punch down the dough. Divide it into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Let the dough balls rest for 10 minutes. Roll each ball out into a 10” long snake.


Shape each snake into an ‘S’ by rolling the ends in toward each other on the same side, then flip one spiral over to get an ‘S’.


Place the shaped buns on a foiled lined baking sheet. Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature again until 1.5x original size (~1 hour).

Brush the buns with the egg wash and place a raisin in the centre of each coil.

Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes rotating the pan 180 degrees after 15 minutes until it sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom and/or has an internal temperature of 195 degrees fahrenheit.

Cool on a rack before serving.

Santa Lucia Buns

Submitted to Yeastspotting