Dried Scallop Rice Soup

Dried Scallop Rice Soup

I don’t know about you but I like eating soup as it is my all-time favorite comfort food.  When I saw Maangchi making this abalone porridge, it reminded me of the similar rice soup I made often in the distant past using fresh seafood (scallop & shrimp) and white fish and very occasionally with chicken.  Maangchi’s recipe inspires me to take this familiar dish dressing it up with Korean flavour (sesame oil and roasted seaweed nori)  and sends me on a search for some fish to be the main flavour of the soup.

Upon reading about dried scallop I decide to use it because I think this salted version of scallop would impart a lot of taste to the soup.  And I was right for this soup packs a wallop of umami from the scallop alone. You wouldn’t need to season it with anything else but I recommend a bit of fish sauce which enhances the already flavorful soup with yet another complex umami.  If you like me, a pinch of sea salt would tight everything together but it is not necessary as the broth has plenty of salt from the dried fish and fish sauce.

I thought the use of diced carrot is brilliant for it brightens up the mostly white soup and nicely contrasts the bright and dark green color of spring onion and seaweed.  I love fresh ginger so use it generously in my version of the recipe.

I won’t describe how it good tastes but I tell you this:  it is food for the soul and feast for the eyes.  So good so that when I offered some to friends they came back asking for more and wanted to learn how to make it.  Go ahead make some and discover it for yourself.  It freezes well only if there would be any leftover.

Let’s make the soup, shall we.

Ingredients:

100 g dried scallop, no color-dyed &  preservatives

1 heaping Cup uncooked rice **

2 Liters spring or filtered water

minced garlic

1-2 inches fresh ginger, julienned or coarsely chopped

1 small carrot, diced

2 Tablespoons sesame oil, preferred roasted kind

1 to 2 teaspoons fish sauce

sea salt as needed

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4134/4908894959_94d5d90387_z.jpg

soaked dried scallop and soaked rice

Garnish:

green onion, thinly sliced — highly recommended

Korean roasted seaweed seasoned with sesame oil  –  an absolute must-have

Shichimi, Japanese 7-spice hot pepper

garlic chili sauce

** I use Haiga rice or Japanese short-grain rice.  If you use other type of rice, add an extra 1 to 2 Tablespoons of glutinous rice (sticky rice).

I do not rinse Haiga rice but other types of rice.


Method:

1. Soak rice and scallop separately in water, for at least 2 hours before cooking.

soaked dried scallop and soaked rice

Soaked Scallop & Rice in Water

2.  Prepare garlic, ginger and carrot.

Prep garlic, ginger & carrot

Prep garlic, ginger & carrot

3.  Drain the rice and scallop, reserve the soaking liquid.   Add more water to measure 1.5 liter or about 6 ¼ cups.

prep all ingredients before cooking

prep all ingredients before cooking

4.  Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, carrot and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.  Do not brown the garlic.

Sauté the herbs and carrot

Sauté the herbs and carrot in sesame oil

5.  Add the scallop and rice.  Continue sautéing to well coat the rice with oil.

Sauté all ingredients

Sauté all ingredients

6.  Continue stirring and cooking until the rice grains look translucent, about 5 to 7 more minutes.

the well sautéed ingredients just before adding liquid

the well sautéed ingredients just before adding liquid

7.  Add the measured liquid to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer.  Cover the pot with a lid.

adding liquid

adding liquid

8.   Cook until the rice is well expanded, about 50 to 60  minutes; stirring occasionally.

9.  In the meantime, prepare the green onion and wash the dishes.  Crumble the seasoned roasted seaweed in a plastic bag.

chopped green onion

chopped green onion

10.  Add the fish sauce.  Add more water to thinning the soup if it’s too thick for your taste.

11.  Season with sea salt only if necessary and cook for about 5 more minutes.  The soup should have a creamy consistency by now.

12.  Turn off the heat.  Ladle the soup in a bowl and garnish with the condiments.

Soup with the condiments

Soup with the condiments

13.  Enjoy.

Enjoy the hearty tasty soup

Enjoy the hearty tasty soup

I particularly enjoy this soup with an egg simmering slowly in a serving portion to poach its white and yolk to a softness perfection.   Heavenly!

Poaching an egg in a serving-portion soup

Poaching an egg in a serving-portion soup

In a spicier version with a quarter teaspoon of garlic chili sauce.  Yummy spicy!

And those tender pieces of scallop just melt as soon as they touch your tongue.  I can’t get enough of this soup.  Addictive!

Tender scallop rice soup

Tender scallop rice soup

sweet potato coconut milk shrimp soup

Sweet potato, coconut milk and nutmeg, yum!  I love this version of the soup from the Guadeloupe islands which called for monk fish.  I never had monk fish, have you?  In fact I don’t ever recall seeing it at local supermarket or even at special fish store.  Upon some research about monk fish I decide to substitute it with white prawn and it’s delicious just as I imagine.  I also revise the cooking method a bit by caramelising the potato and onion to bring out more flavor.  This soup is super easy but requires a bit of work like peeling the shrimp, making the broth, chopped everything and blend the soup in the blender, but it is all worth it. Either chunky or creamy you’re going to love it.  Even if you don’t like coconut milk, I highly recommend using it because  you won’t even taste it.

Of course you can use any meaty white-flesh fish or lobster tail in place of shrimp and very light chicken broth if no fish broth available.  My version of shrimp make use of the shell  to produce the fish both.

The soup is beautiful to look at with a deep turmeric yellow tinted with orange bits from the carrot and… wait until you taste it, heavenly!

I hope you enjoy making and eating this soup in welcoming autumn.  Please give me some fed back of how you like it and if you substitute any ingredients, especially the fish.

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Shrimp Soup

8 servings

Ingredients:

500 g Prawn or large Shrimp

600 g Sweet potato

240 ml/1 Cup coconut milk

2 large Carrots

1 large white/sweet Onion, diced

4 cloves of Garlic, minced

4 branches of  fresh Oregano, minced/or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon of freshly ground Nutmeg

1.5 – 2 liters of fish Broth, see instruction at step 3 below

4 Tablespoons of Olive oil or non-flavor oil of your choice

Salt & ground Pepper to taste

fresh coriander & shichimi (optional) for garnish

Method:

1.  Peel the sweet potato and carrot and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Chopped the oregano leaves if used fresh.

2.  Peel the prawn, reserve the shell.

3.  Roast the prawn shell in a large 5-quart soup pot until it turns pink.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat to simmer and let it cook for 20-25 minutes.

4.  Drain & reserve the broth; discard the cooked prawn shell.

5.  Warm the oil in the soup pot over medium heat.  Sauté the onion for a few minutes then add in the potato and carrot cubes and continue sauté for 5 minutes.

6.  Lower the heat and continue to cook slowly to caramelise the vegetables and onion; stir frequently; about 20 minutes.

7.  Add the minced garlic, oregano and ground nutmeg  and cook for about 5 minutes more.

8.  Add the reserved broth.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat to bubbly simmering, about 20-25 minutes.

9.  In the meantime, half the prawn length-wise and cut into 1-inch pieces.  Chop the coriander.

10.  Turn off the heat.  Carefully mix the soup in a blender in batches.  Reserve back in the pot.

11.  Add the coconut milk and the pieces of prawns and simmer it on medium heat, about 10 minutes.

12.  Serve the soup in individual bowl, garnish with chopped coriander.

Enjoy!

Tips:

1.  If you decide to use a meaty fish in place of prawn and do not have fish broth, a well-diluted version of chicken broth can be used to no ill-affect.

2.  The soup freeze well so at step 11, the prawn/fish can be omitted.  Add the prawn/fish when you reheat and serve the soup.

Quinoa Pilaf

30/07/2010

quinoa pilaf with roasted pecan

cooked quinoa pilaf with roasted pecan

There are many ways to prepare quinoa, which I have eaten for years and it has recently become trendy, as a one-dish meal, a side dish or can be used in a creative salad.

Cooked quinoa takes on flavour of any dish it is served with, very well.  It is fluffier than rice once cooked and packs a powerful 20 percent of complete amino acids, the most of any grains & seeds.

As long as I prepare it as a side dish as in place of rice,  I like the ratio 1 part quinoa:1.5 part  liquid;  anything else thrown in is a bonus.

Here is one simple way that I often prepare and serve it as a side dish which many friends have enjoyed.  You can easily double or triple this recipe.

Quinoa pilaf

4 servings, as a side dish.

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, well washed & drained

1.5 cup hot liquid, water/full-strength vegetable broth/well-diluted chicken broth

.5 medium-size white onion, chopped

a bunch of curly parsley, washed & finely chopped

(green onion works well, green and white part, thinly chopped)

a hand full roasted nuts, chopped pecan/chopped walnut/whole pine nuts

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

salt to taste

special equipment: a fine mesh sieve/strainer

Method:

1. Thoroughly wash the quinoa using a fine mesh sieve, set aside to dry, at least 20 minutes before cooking.

2. Wash the herb, set aside to dry.  Roast the nuts, set aside to cool.  Heat the liquid in a microwave or let it simmer over a stove top.

3. Chopped the onion.

4. Sauté onion in olive oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium high heat  until the onion well coated and slightly soften, a few minutes.

5. Mix in the prepared quinoa,  and sauté until a nutty aroma comes out, about 5 minutes.

sautéing quinoa and chopped white onion in olive oil

sautéing quinoa and chopped white onion in olive oil

6. Carefully pour in the prepared liquid for it might splash.  Bring it to a boil then turn down the heat and let it simmer, well covered.

You might want to season it lightly with sea salt at this point, to your taste.  Let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

7. In the meantime, chop the herb & the roasted nut.

8. Throw in the chopped herb in the last 5 minutes of cooking and put the cover back on.  If you use fresh cilantro, mix it in at the last-minute just before serving.

9. Turn off the heat.  Leave it cover for 5 minutes more or so.

10.  Mix in half the nut and fluff the quinoa with a fork.  Serve immediately or cover to keep warm and serve later.  Pass the rest of the nut around the table.  Season with if necessary.

cooked quinoa adorned with chopped parsley & roasted walnuts

cooked quinoa adorned with chopped parsley & roasted walnuts

Here is a close-up of another batch of quinoa pilaf prepared at my friend Alice’s using the antique pot passed down from her late mother:

quinoa pilaf with roasted walnuts

quinoa pilaf with roasted walnuts

As with any cooked grains leftover stored in the fridge tends to become hard so it’s no different with quinoa.  Just reheat it slowly in a microwave at low-powered setting for a few minutes to bring it back to taste.  You can even mix in a teaspoon or two of water to moisten if it seemed too hard.

I had wonderful leftover quinoa with a fried egg mixed in turning it to a delicious one-dish meal.  On occasions I brought it out to room temperature and added it in a green salad.  Once I put leftover in a clear soup to give the soup some body and added flavour.  The variation is endless.

Enjoy this quinoa pilaf with cilantro served alongside roasted Meyer lemon chicken and sautéed baby spinach.

quinoa pilaf served as side dish with roasted Meyer chicken & sautéed baby spinach

quinoa pilaf served as side dish with roasted Meyer lemon chicken & sautéed baby spinach

tart cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

tart cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

I found this recipe in my sweet notes yesterday.  I recalled making this once and liked how simple its procedure is, no special equipment required not even a mixer, and it tastes very good.

I decide to make it again to share with dinner guests this evening, also to re-test this recipe and to just have some sweets around for sudden midnight craving.

The original recipe calls for spelt flour which I did not have so used whole wheat pastry instead when I made it the first time.   And I am very excited about using amaranth flour for this bake.

I should mention that I convert the original vegan recipe into non-vegan one by adding an egg and substituting called-for oil with butter.  I don’t usually have yogurt around so liberally use either milk/2 percent Lactaid , sour milk (1 cup of milk:1 Tablespoon of   fresh lemon juice) or this favorite So Delicious® Coconut Milk.

It is supposed to be of dense texture  but the agave nectar and the egg alone transform this into cake-y bites.  Truth is I don’t really know what it would taste like but I like how mine turns out.

It is simple but best ingredients are key here so don’t skimp on any and try this first to see how you like it before substituting other fruits and nuts of your choice.

The combination of macadamia nuts and tart cherries is very good.  The macadamia bits add a nice texture to the bite: it tastes as if it has coconut pieces in it.

And the amaranth flour contributes an intense flavoured batter, a nutty aroma during its bake, and indeed a surprising nutty bite.

This would be  my second time using whole grain flour in sweets.  I think it gives a pleasant nutty taste to the palate so think I’ll try to use more whole grain flour in future recipes.

One last thing, I also reduced the sugar a bit as the original recipe stated that it’s pretty sweet; I used a combination of agave nectar and natural sugar.

Anyhow, here is the recipe and how I make it.

Tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

By Mily| February 20, 2009 – 21:07

Adapted from here

Ingredients (adapted from this recipe):

  • 100 g agave nectar
  • 50 g/1/3 C evaporated cane juice
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g/¼ C butter, melted and cool
  • 1/3 Cup yogurt, milk or coconut milk is a good substitution
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100 g unbleached wheat flour
  • 120 g amaranth flour, whole spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 80 g/½ Cup Macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 80 g/1/2 Cup dried cherries

Equipment: a 7 x 7 inch square or 8-inch round baking pan

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 7 x 7-inch or an 8-inch round baking dish with butter.

2.  Mix the dry ingredients (flour through salt ) together.

3. Chopped the nuts and mix the dried cherries with a little flour mixture to separate them into pieces.

coarsely chopped Macadamia & tart cherries

coarsely chopped Macadamia & tart cherries

4. Mix the egg and sugar until the mixture reaches a light yellow color.  Add the melted butter, yogurt and vanilla extract to the sugar & egg mixture and stir until combined.

mixing wet ingredients

mixing wet ingredients

5.  Sift the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.  Then fold in almost all the nuts and the cherries in the batter.

the mixed batter with nuts and cherry bits

the mixed batter with nuts and cherry bits

6.  Spread it in the baking dish, sprinkle with the rest of the nut and baked for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

batter in the baking pan

batter in the baking pan

7.  Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then take it out and cool on rack.  Enjoy it warm or at room temperature.

baked tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Round

baked tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Round

The squares had a golden color due to the agave nectar.  It’s quite moist with bursting bits of tart cherry and the richness of macadamia nuts.  Yum!

I must admit I enjoy the square much more at breakfast with a cup of red tea, with or without milk.  I hope you will give this a try and enjoy eating it as much as I do.

tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

Note to Self:  Remember to adjust the leavening agents when baking at 5000 feet or higher.

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Back in the first few days of last December I was craving for some sweet-but-not-too-rich bread so I searched around the Internet and found several sweet ideas with citrus & Earl Grey twist.

This bread is based principally on this recipe and inspired by citrus idea of this.  I skipped the spice all together because I don’t like cinnamon but would make the exception for freshly ground nutmeg in some baked goods.  However, no spice needs to be here for I want to see how the Bergamot fragrance of this King of Earl Grey perform even among more citrus juice, pulp and zest of Clementine.

For that time of the year I had a choice between glowing-hue Tangelo or Clementine and I chose the latter simply because it has less pith; but still thought about how that deep reddish orange-y color of  Tangelo would look in the bread.  I would try other citrus such as orange or blood orange when they are in season.

One more thing, I had a large bag of golden raisins with Stollen in mind but was glad to use it here first in rehearsing for more sweets in the coming holidays and to fulfill my yearning for sweet bread.  Not to limit myself there I also had Manuka honey to spread on the slices even before the bread was created.  Talk about intense desire or had I waited a bit too long?  I had all these flavors dancing in my head for a some time while mixing the dough and waiting for its two fermentations. ;-)

I was aiming for a fairly wet dough so increased the water a little to get the 72% hydration for the overall dough –that accounted for just the flours, water and starter–.  All other liquid such as agave nectar and citrus juice were to moisten the raisins which no doubt would have absorbed some liquid in the dough to stay moist after being baked.  If you were to make this bread in your kitchen, you’ll need to adjust the liquid and be able to read, touch and feel the dough to get it to the desired state of medium gluten development.

The starter was vigorously strong because I had been religiously feeding it twice a day during the 8 weeks back then since its birth (not a small task because it was dully tedious after a while so it went into cold storage ever since), the hydration seemed okay, the dough was kneaded long enough to reach the required gluten development, the shaping went well, the steam & temperature were properly applied because the crust’s color proudly proved it so… and yet this bread did not have an open crumb, so read further to find out why.

Let’s make this bread and see how it turns out.

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Dough

  • 200 g  vigorous 100%- hydration white starter, refreshed at least 2 times.
  • 500 g unbleached wheat flour (50% bread flour, 50% all-purpose flour)
  • 330 g water
  • 20 g agave nectar
  • 9 g sea salt
  • 150 g Clementine,  blitzed up, skin and all,  in a food processor
  • 1 Tablespoon  Earl Grey Tea (loose leaves)
  • 200 g  sultana (40%) ; I used golden Thompson Seedless raisin

Over all dough hydration is, give or take, about 72%,

How I do it

1. Boil 125 g water,  pour over the tea and leave it to infuse.  Reserve the moistened tea leaves and cool off the [liquid] tea .

2. In a large mixing bowl mix the flours; then add the starter.  Loosen the clinging starter with the rest of the water.

3. Pour this water, the [cool] tea, and the  moistened tea leaves into the mixing bowl.  Mix until hydrated.  Let autolyse for 30 minutes.

4. Add the salt and agave nectar into the dough and knead well in a mixer, about 5 minutes.  Your mixer mileage might vary.

5. Add in the blitzed-up Clementine and continue mixing until the dough reaches medium-gluten development, another 3-5 minutes.

6. First fermentation – Cover the dough with saran wrap and let it proof at room temperature 72° - 75° F, about 3 hours.

7. At the end of the first proofing period, knead the fruit into the dough.

mature starter

mature starter

fold in the sultanas

fold in the sultanas

8. Shape dough into a batard and place it, seam side up, on a floured linen-lined basket or banneton and sprinkle some flour on it.

shaped loaf, seam-side up

shaped loaf, seam-side up

9. Cover it well with saran wrap, put the whole thing in a large plastic bag (white-colored trash bag works really well here) and place it in the fridge overnight.

Note: I wanted to bake the loaf on the same day so left it proof in the oven crack open with the appliance light turn on to get close to room temperature, about 4 hours.

10. The next morning, preheat oven and baking tiles to 475° F  for at least 30 minutes.  Prepare steam.

11. Take the loaf straight out of the fridge, turn it out on an inverted baking sheet lined with parchment paper.   Alternatively, turn it out on a lightly floured peel if you have one.

12. Slash a single cut from one end to the other, holding the blade at about 30 degrees to create a flap over the dough.  This will result in a beautifully open ‘grigne’ and nice ear.

13.  Load the loaf on parchment onto baking tiles; turn the oven down to 450° F, bake with steam for the first 15-18 minutes.

14. Turn down the oven  to 360 ° F, remove the parchment and bake, without steam, for a further 30 minutes.   Halfway through, turn the loaf 180 degrees.

15. Turn off the oven, crack the door open and leave the loaf in for a further 5 minutes.

16.  Cool off completely on rack.  Slice it.  Enjoy.

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough 'Grigne'

Loaf, Crust & Crumb

Clementine Sultana Earl Grey Tea Sourdough Loaf, Crust & Crumb

This post is featured in this week’s Yeast Spotting.

Lesson Learned & Notes to Self:

I could not wait to bake it the next day so skipped the delayed fermentation in the fridge, and prepared the loaf to bake that evening even when it was still quite doughy –not quite expanded & filled with bubbles nor passed the finger test– [first] sigh!

To make the matter worse, when it came to slashing the dough my mind went totally blank as I recalled (that’s what happened when one did not practice bread making for a  period of 365 days or more) and so the utility blade not only went directly straight a perfect 90 degrees onto the dough’s surface but also with quite a deep, about a half-inch, cut –see picture below– [second] sigh!

What to do at this “point of no return” nor avail redemption but to quickly put the loaf in the oven, loaded the steam, shut the oven door closed and hoped for the best.

Start 2 End of 3-hour Proofing

from Start to End of 3-hour Proofing period: not much expansion

The loaf did turn out okay appearance-wise.  I am thankful that the hot steam definitely brought about some sort of oven spring to create that beautiful “grigne” and  deep mahogany color for the crust.

loaf turned out okay with "grigne" but no ear

loaf turned out okay with "grigne" but no ear

Things to remember for the next loaf.  Yes, I’ll make this bread again:

1. This is sourdough then allow the loaf to rise to its fullness no matter how long it would take, well, within reason.  You can wait to bake the next day if need be.  Light & filled with bubbles not doughy loaf before it goes into the oven.

2. Take the time to mentally go over how you’re going to slash the loaf.

3. Hold the blade at an angle 20-25 degrees &  give a determined cut to create a flap-over-the-dough slash;  and don’t be too emotional since it’s only bread!

The bread tastes awesome by the way with a dash of Manuka Honey.  Enjoy!

Manuka Honey on Stupendous Toast

Manuka Honey on Stupendous Toast

sourdough Pan Siciliano

sourdough Pan Siciliano

What is Pan Siciliano?  It’s a delicious bread from Sicily shaped in the form of an S and has both wheat and semolina flour.  Its light crust and crumb, slightly sweetened with just a tad of honey, a bit of olive oil which goes very well with semolina flour, and enriched with crunchy crusted sesame seeds, all together created a light bread that is so unexpectedly wonderful with a subtle hint of sourdough note.

Yes, this particular recipe from Mike’s Sourdough Home caught my attention because its bread is raised completely using sourdough starter so make sure your starter is vigor and strong.  I was pretty excited about making this bread the first time for I learned how to shape a baguette, then coil it into an S, painted the loaves with seeds and also learned to be patient waiting over 48 hours before I could bake and taste a completely new bread.  Many lessons learned and I thoroughly enjoy the process.

Some of you might not like this bread –Birgit, for instance did not appreciate this bread at all–  if you are crusty-sourdough-type of a person.   The S-shaped loaves look lovely and I think children would assuringly enjoy this soft bread.  I, myself, like to toast  this bread very lightly, to not over-dry it, for breakfast munching it over a cup of warm tea.

I converted the original recipe into metric measurement and adjusted it just a bit where I see fit .  Let’s make the bread.

sourdough Pan Siciliano

sourdough Pan Siciliano

Pane Siciliano

Recipe is from Sourdough Home, which is  modified from a recipe in “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

This recipe makes three 400-gram loaves and will take 3 days to finish.

Pate Fermente:

dough hydration is about 58%

240 g mature starter, at 100% hydration; prefer to refresh over 24 hours

45 g/3 Tablespoon water

30 g strong/bread flour

135 g all-purpose flour

2 g/¼ teaspoon salt

Dough:

final dough hydration is about 81%

450 g pate fermente, all the above pate fermente

210 g  semolina flour, I use Giusto’s semolina flour and don’t remember whether it’s  fine or coarse grind

210 g strong/bread flour

360 g lukewarm water, I use water around 80 ° - 85° F

7 g/ 1 ¼ teaspoon salt

28 g/2 Tablespoons olive oil

20 g/1 Tablespoon honey

Seed:

Raw sesame seeds (optional), highly recommended.

Method:

DAY 1:

In the afternoon or evening  start making the pate fermente by mixing all the ingredients together, knead it a bit to a smooth and firm dough.

Cover it well and allow to rise until almost double.  How long this would take depends on how strong your starter is.

Place it in a well-covered container and put it in the refrigerator overnight.  The pate fermente can be stored cold for 3 days.

DAY 2:

When you are ready to make the final dough, remove the pate fermente from the refrigerator.

Cut it into small pieces, cover them and let warm up to room temperature, about 1 to 2 hours.

Mix the pate fermente pieces with the water and mix until smooth.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Cover and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flour to well hydrated.

Place the dough on a cool surface and knead well until smooth.  This takes about 10 to 12 minutes.

Place the dough in a container, 2.5 times its size.  Cover, let it rise for several hours until is almost double.

Prepare a large (half-size) baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Gently handle the dough, cut it into 3  equal pieces.  I weigh the dough pieces.  Form the dough into thin baguette.

Coil both ends, with each end, in opposite directions  into the distinctive shape of this bread.

To do this, grab each end of the baguette with a hand and start coiling the dough from the outside to the center.

Place the shaped loaf on the prepared baking sheet.  Cover it with saran wrap.  Repeat the shaping for the other 2 loaves.

Mist the loaves with water.  I used a spray bottle with a light misty setting.

Sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds.  Loosely cover with saran wrap, put the sheet into a large [garbage] plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

DAY 3:

In the morning, take the loaves out of the refrigerator.  The loaves should have risen a bit during cold storage.

Place the loaves at a warm place and let warm up to room temperature.  The loaves will continue to rise.

It takes about 2 hours or until the loaves  are light & full of bubbles.  Finger test should leave a small dent on the loaves.

About an hour into the proof, carefully spray the loaves with water again and paint them with more sesame seeds.   Please do not disturb/deflate

the formed bubbles.  Cover again with saran wrap and leave the loaves alone undisturbed.

About an hour before the loaves are done, pre-heat the oven to 500° F.  Steam is needed so prepare for it now.

Place the loaves on baking sheet in the oven.  Turn the oven temperature down to 450° F.  Bake with steam for 15 minutes.

Turn the baking sheet 180 degrees so the loaves bake evenly, and bake another 10 to 15 minutes without steam.

When the loaves reach a nice shade of brown, pull it out of the oven.  Let it cool on rack  for 20 minutes.

Enjoy.

== I am going to dig for more pictures of this bread, please come back to check out.

sourdough Pan Siciliano crumb
sourdough Pan Siciliano crumb

I am sending this bread to Yeast Spotting.  And I am going to go over there to see other bakers’ breads for the week which has always been a feast for the eyes (and drooling for sure); so please join me.

Norwich Sourdough Boule

Norwich Sourdough Boule baked in Dutch Oven

Norwich Soudough Boules

Norwich Sourdough Boule

It’s Hamelman’s Bread‘s Vermont Sourdough, a country white bread.  But I did not pay much attention to white bread recipes then until I stumbled upon Susan’s Wild Yeast Blog where the name and the recipe come from.

I did not have any oven set up to bake bread in different shapes other than the forever boule during the first year of my bread baking.   I became quite good, if I said so myself, at using the available baking tools at hand, namely my two baking pots, and also at shaping and slashing round boules.  Also the first year, I was the sole mixing machine & my elbow grease was wholly responsible for all the bread baked during the said period.

Since my discovery of Susan’s Blog about 2 years ago I’ve become its regular readers.  I love to read Susan’s posts, marvel over her beautiful creations, be inspired and to learn much more about bread baking.

I love this no-failed recipe and its tasty outcome. This recipe makes five small-size batards but here I baked in 2 large boules.

Norwich Sourdough Boules

Norwich Sourdough Boules

Follow the recipe’s instruction up until shaping.  Shape into 2 equal boules by weighing the dough or just eye balled it.  Proof in floured linen-lined baskets or couches for a good 1.5 hours at room temperature or until the loaves are light, airy and full of bubbles.

Preheat the oven with two lidded baking cast-iron pots, about 5-6 quart in size, at least 45 minutes before baking.  If your oven is not large enough to fit 2 of such pots so have to bake one loaf at a time, place the unbaked loaf in the fridge while the first loaf is in the oven.  After finishing baking the first loaf as instructed below, do allow time for the oven, the pot and its lid heated for at least 20 minutes before loading & baking the other loaf.

Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes with the lid on.  Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes or so in the pot or remove the pot to bake the loaf in the oven until its crust becomes mahogany dark.  Turn off the oven, crack the oven door open, leave the loaf in for another 5 minutes or so to completely dry out the crust.  Cool on rack before slicing into it, if you can wait.

Don’t you love the mahogany blistered crust?  Even if you don’t normally eat white bread, you would want to try this bread, at least once.   Sorry I don’t have any picture of the crumb but here another picture of the grigne:

Norwich Sourdough's "Grigne" & Crust

Norwich Sourdough's "Grigne"; & Crust

I encourage you to bake this bread, and yes, you can bake it in boules and enjoy it with a much thicker crust, if you are a crusty-type bread eater.

I would like to share this recipe at this week’s Yeast Spotting where bread enthusiasts and amateur bread bakers around the globe posting their marvelous recipes and beautiful pictures; please stop by for a baked treat.

I haven’t baked any bread at all the last few weeks but I finally got hold of my starters (white and rye) and brought them with me to the mountains where I am visiting at the moment.  I hope to be able to bake some bread, wish me luck, at 7200 feet.

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