Author Archives: ejm

About ejm

I am a freelance musician in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. What I really love is good food, books, movies, gardening (even though I have a black thumb) and bicycle travel. My foodblog is at adventures in food and drink, recipes, disasters, triumphs....

Multigrain Bread that isn’t just for Sandwiches (BBB May 2019)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Multigrain Wild Yeast Bread; just how much water is absorbed by multigrain cereal? fixing the hydration; can’t stop baking in the combo-cooker; sigh… late again; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Multigrain Sourdough Sandwich Bread

I love bread with lumps in it! – me, blog from OUR kitchen | Muesli Rolls sans Chocolate (BBB June 2015)

BBB May 2019

We have been happily making “sourdough” bread since July 2017. We did have a few earlier rough starts though….

Ever wonder how to bake sourdough, but don’t know where to begin? I’m going to tell you a secret: You don’t have to be a professional baker or have a concrete knowledge base to get started. Sourdough can be accessible to anyone. […] I used to think it was some kind of mad science project myself. But in actuality, it’s a technique that can be traced back thousands of years […] It is not necessarily “sour” dough. The flavor can be either mild or tangy, depending on how the starter is cared for and how the dough is made. You won’t find any hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, or preservatives lurking in homemade sourdough-it’s 100% natural.
– Emilie Raffa, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple | Introduction

But I confess that the bread we’re making is almost always based on Chad Robertson’s basic country loaf in his wonderful cookbook “Tartine Bread”. I used to make multi-grain bread all the time when we were only using commercial yeast. But now, with bread raised with our Jane Mason starter, we’ve almost forgotten what it is like to have lumps in our bread! (continue reading )

Ring! Ring! (BBB April 2019)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Ciambella Mandorlata (Italian Easter Bread); substitutions – of course there are substitutions; using commercial yeast; how not to plan ahead; attempts to replace the word “so”; information about Bread Baking Babes;

…for better than never is late; Never to thrive, were too long a date.

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Ciambella Mandorlata

BBB April 2019

When Aparna told us about the BBBs’ April project, I was determined that I would translate the recipe back to its origins. Because it seems certain that Ciambella Mandorlata would have been traditionally made with wild yeast.

Decorated with a crunchy-sweet nut and spice topping, this Italian Easter bread is originally from Bologna, one of the capital cities of the Emilia Romagna reginon. This traditional ring-shaped loaf is said to represent the unity of the family. It is now common to see the bread in Italian bakeries all year round, not just during the Easter holidays.
– Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno, ‘Ciambella Mandorlata’, Ultimate Bread, p153

And then time got away from me. So much so that I couldn’t even manage to think about making the BBB bread by the 16th…

However, look at me! I did manage to get it baked in time for Easter!

:-) O O :-)

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Wild Stab at Ksra (BBB March 2019)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Ksra (do as I say, not as I did) to go with Moroccan Tagine; reading difficulties – again…; commercial yeast? we don’ need no stinkin’ commercial yeast! information about Bread Baking Babes;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Ksra

There is really no single Moroccan bread, but there are countless variations on a theme – Naomi Duguid, Flatbreads & Flavors

BBB March 2019

I was thrilled when Kelly announced that this month’s BBBabe bread is Ksra or Kesra – to go with Moroccan tagine. How perfectly timed this is for us! It would give us a chance to use our tagine (as if we need an excuse).

When I was wandering around the internet looking at other peoples’ Ksra adventures, I was reminded that there is a recipe for Ksra in Flatbreads and Flavours. Hey, we have that book….

I raced to the kitchen to look. As I took Flatbreads and Flavors from our cookbook shelf, I remembered that we also have Anissa Helou’s book, Mediterranean Street Food. There was bound to be a recipe for Ksra there! Of course there is.


Most [Moroccan] households prepare their own dough and […] in the mid- and late morning, women or preschool children walk down the lane with the shaped loaves on a board, covered with a cloth. They carry the board balanced on their heads or slung on one hip. When you see the array of breads lined up for baking at a local bakery, […] you realize that there are nearly as many different kinds of bread as there are households.
    Household bread in Morocco was traditionally made with a sourdough starter […] but that is now changing as commercial dry yeast becomes more widely available.
– Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford, Moroccan Anise Bread Ksra, Flatbreads and Flavors, p.242
There is nothing I like better than to buy bread from one of the Berber women who set up stalls in the medina. […] Morocco is an extraordinary country, only a few hours’ flight from sophisticated London or Paris, yet completely unspoiled by modern life. Going there is like going back in time to the Middle Ages. Last time I was there, I was taken to a farm a few kilometers away from Marrakesh, […] [O]ne of the young girls set about making the bread. She kneaded the dough in a large earthenware dish, shaped it, wrapped it in acloth, and left it to rest. When it was time to bake it, her mother set another flat earthenward dish over a raging fire built with olvie branches, and when the dish became really hot, she started baking the bread for our lunch. It was as much a delight to watch as it was to eat. Tunisian bread is similar to Moroccan but without sesame seeds and with ground fennel sees in place of the anise seeds.
– Anissa Helou, Moroccan Bread K’sra, Mediterranean Street Food, p.81

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Wild Shroves

summary: What to do with extra wild yeast starter; we treasure our Taylor Forbes cast-iron waffle iron; thank you, Mum!

Don’t forget to have shroves today!

sourdough waffle

Instead of making pancakes, we served our shroves in the form of waffles, adding some of our wild yeast starter to the batter. Of course we did!

And we threw in some pepitas too.

We served the waffles with beautifully smoky bacon. We couldn’t believe how light and crispy they were! (continue reading )