To match Sparkling Syrah...

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Buckwheat-Olive Sourdough
A very distinctive dark and dense loaf for the lovers of heartiness

-  I n g r e d i e n t s  -

Sourdough Starter - approximately one and half cups
Non-fat Milk - one cup at room temperature
Water - one and a half cups, see olive brine substitution
Buckwheat Flour - one and a half cups
Spelt Flour - one and a third cups
Soy Flour - two thirds cup
Green Ripe Olives - one can, 6 oz. dry weight (see notes)
Kalamata Olives - one cup before chopping, pitted
Active Baking Yeast - one tsp., not rehydrated
Yellow Onion - a little more than 1/2 med. onion, finely chopped
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour - three cups
Dark Rye Flour - one cup
Unbleached White Flour - enough to make the dough not sticky
Coarse Sea Salt - one slightly rounded Tbls.

-  T o o l s  -

A large mixing bowl about 14 to 16 inches in diameter
Measuring cup and Tablespoon  -  Rubber scrapper with a stout handle
Clean kitchen towel  -  small round baking dishes  -  Kitchen knife & cutting board
Spray bottle that is only used to spray water  -  Cooling rack

-  T h e   B i g   P i c t u r e  -

If you know buckwheat, and you like it, be sure and try this recipe.
And if you aren't sure you like buckwheat, try making buckwheat pancakes or some blini, which
are crepes made with buckwheat flour and then stuffed with non-fat sour cream and home
smoked salmon.  These crepes are much simpler to make and they will let you know if you are
a lover of the very specific (and wonderfully hearty) flavor buckwheat gives.  There is a recipe
from Gourmet magazine at which needs a lot of adaption to make it
healthy enough to eat, but it will give you an idea of where you are headed (search on blini).
There is another thing that you should know before you start.  Can you get Green Ripe
Olives?  They are always canned, sometimes called 'cured homestyle', and are marketed
under the Graber or Lindsay trademarks (The Graber olives are typically much more expensive
and not usually pitted).  These olives are Americana and they are seasonal, which is
counter-intuitive for a canned product, but the companies only make so many of them and
then they run out until the next crop.  We always have them on hand because they are the secret
ingredient to my mother's 1,000 island dressing.  If you can't find them try the Internet:
So don't assume that just because this recipe has two kinds of olives in it that it's olive bread,
it's not.  It is the rustic pumpernickel-like loaf that makes you take pause, sigh, and
remember how great-bread can transport you to the grandest of times.

- T h e   I n c r e a s e -

Sometime in the early part of the morning, or the night before if you like it even more tangy,
put the approximate 1 1/2 cups of Sourdough Starter in the large mixing bowl.
Add the 1 cup of Non-fat Milk and the 1 1/2 cups of Water.  Make sure they are at room
temperature with the help of the microwave.  I have never done this, but I will try it
the next time I make this recipe and promptly report to you.  I'll bet substituting
the olive brine from the ripe green olive can for water and then decreasing
the salt later will make for yet another layer of exotica in the bread.
Then mix in the 3 flours:
1 1/2 cups Buckwheat Flour, 1 1/3 cups Spelt Flour, and 2/3 cup Soy Flour.
Why so many flours?  Yes, the recipe has 5 altogether.  Well...
a big part of the answer is because we make so many different kinds of bread they are
on-hand and convenient.  But the other parts of the answer is nutrition and it gives
the bread, like some wines, more complexity of flavor when skillful blending goes on.
You know, when you have been bitten by the sourdough bug, this does make sense.
In any event, and with your encouraged substitutions, mix well all the ingredients, cover,
and leave at cool room temperature overnight, or at least until it starts to
bubble and it does its specialized fermentation.

-  the  R e s t  of the  S t o r y  -

When you and the Increase are ready, mix in the can of coarsely chopped Green Ripe Olives,
1 cup of pitted Kalamata Olives coarsely chopped too, and a little more than 1/2 of a
Yellow Onion, finely chopped, which should come out to about 3/4'rs of a cup.
Now, just for the flavor, and not for the leavening action, put in 1 tsp. of
Active Baking Yeast, but don't follow the package instructions and do not rehydrate it.
After all of that is stirred in and 1 cup of Dark Rye Flour and 3 cups of
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour.  Now it should be ready to knead with the help of a little
White Unbleached Flour.  The trick that I use is to take a small sieve/strainer with a handle
and dip it into the flour jar and sprinkle it over the dough until its stickiness decreases to
the point you can handle it.  Knead it in the large bowl until the elasticity starts to develop.
At this point, add the 1 slightly rounded Tbls. of Coarse Sea Salt, a sprinkle at a time while
kneading for two or three minutes more.  Now it is ready to form into loaves.  But first get
four round baking pans or two cookie sheets, or a combination thereof,  ready by spraying
them with oil.  Now if you haven't gotten enough aerobic exercise today, try this.
Cut the total dough into four and take a piece and form it into a ball.
The funnerest way to do this is to throw it up into the air a few inches with a little spin on it.
Keep tossing and compressing until it is a nice ball and then gently put it in or on where you
are going to bake it.  If you use round baking dishes, they should be sized so the initial ball is
one inch away from the edges.  This will give it some room to rise without the loaf getting
too tall.  Let them rise for 2 to 4 hours, or at least until they are half again as large
as they were.

-  I n t o   t h e   O v e n   &   T o   t h e   T a b l e  -

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and put in the loaves when it comes to temperature.
They should be checked in 20 to 25 minutes to observe their progress.
They are too dark to use browning as an indicator of being done...
so rely on the thump with the thumb that sounds hollow.
Do not err on the side of over-done with these loaves, don't let them dry out.
You will definitely want to spray them with water upon taking them out, and maybe
even once while they are still in the oven.  Let them cool for at least an hour covered with
a kitchen towel that is very slightly damp.  When they are ready, cut thinly.
We use this bread as a starter course with the Sparkling Syrah.
Make a spread for it using pan toasted walnuts, non-fat cream cheese,
and enough Marsala to make it spreadable without breaking the sliced bread.
So enjoy, knowing that...

You will be the only kid on the block
                                            with a loaf like this                    
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