Baking Class: Bread winners

Making you own loaves can be as easy as pie when you have recipes from a master baker.

By NERIA BARR
October 24, 2012 15:12
Fresh Bread

Bread Winners. (photo credit: Dan Peretz)

 
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Few people have influenced the way we eat bread in Israel as much as Erez Komarovsky, who was the man behind the Erez bakeries and restaurants. After 10 years with the Erez bakeries, Komarovsky moved to Matat, a village in the Upper Galilee, where he runs the Galilee Cooking School. For recipes and tips on baking bread, Komarovsky is a master. He has offered us a few of his trusted recipes for bread and cake, which he baked using the new Sugat flour collection.

The Sugat collection, created together with Komarovsky, consists of 10 flours for specific uses, such as softer flour for cakes, dark for dark breads, mixes for cookies, pizza flour, rye, etc. The packages are colorcoded for easy recognition. Prices range between NIS 8 and NIS 10.

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YOGURT AND OLIVE BREAD 
Makes 2 loaves 
  1 kg. Sugat bread flour 
  30 gr. fresh yeast 
  21⁄2 cups yogurt 
  11⁄2- 13⁄4 cups lukewarm water (Komarovsky uses bottled water) 
 1 cup pitted Thassos olives 
  1⁄2 Tbsp. Sugat fine sea salt 


Place flour in a bowl and crumble the yeast into the flour. Add yogurt and water and knead a few minutes until soft dough is formed. Add olives and salt and continue kneading 5 more minutes. The dough should be soft and quite sticky.

Transfer the dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl and cover with a plastic lid (not wrap). Let rise about 90 minutes at room temperature. During that time, every half hour punch the dough to get the air out and knead for 30 seconds, then return to the bowl and cover.

Divide the dough in two. Place each half on a heavily floured work surface and gently form an elongated loaf shape from each part, while collecting flour with your fingertips and incorporating it into the bottom of the loaf. There is no need to punch out air from the dough at this point.

Line a baking sheet with paper and sprinkle with flour. Place the loaves on the lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise about 1 hour.

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Meanwhile, heat the oven to 230º, with a baking sheet or a baking stone placed in the bottom third of the oven.

When ready to bake, slide the loaves with the paper onto the heated baking sheet or stone in the oven. Drop a few ice cubes in the bottom of the oven to add moisture. Bake about 20 minutes, lower the heat to 210º and continue baking another 25 minutes. To check for doneness, tap the bread. If the sound is hollow, it’s ready. Remove and cool on a rack.

RUSSIAN-STYLE RYE BREAD 
Makes 2 loaves 


2 loaf baking forms 
 700 gr. Sugat whole rye flour
 300 gr. Sugat bread flour 
 40 gr. fresh yeast 
 1⁄2 cup natural silan with no added sugar 
 3 cups water 
 4 Tbsp. fine olive oil 
 1⁄2 tsp. Sugat fine sea salt 


Topping: 
 1⁄2 bag bulgur and quinoa (10 Minutes mix by Sugat) 


Soak the bulgur and quinoa mix in water for 2 hours.

Mix the flours in a large bowl and crumble the yeast into the mix. Add silan, water and oil. Knead 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and continue kneading a few more minutes, until dough feels sticky.

Transfer the dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl and cover with a plastic lid (not wrap). Let rise for an hour at room temperature.

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each part into a ball and then into a sausage shape that will fit into the loaf form. Oil the baking forms and place the loaves in them. Brush the loaves with water, drain the bulgur and quinoa mix and spread over the loaves. Cover the loaves and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 230º. When ready to bake, drop a few ice cubes in the bottom of the oven to add moisture. Bake 20 minutes. Remove bread loaves from the baking forms, and return to the oven for 25 minutes or until the crust is hard.

A SPECIAL HALLA 
Makes 2 loaves 


 1 kg. Sugat halla flour 
 1⁄2 cup demerara sugar 
 40 gr. fresh yeast 
 2 eggs 
 1⁄2 cup natural sunflower oil 
 21⁄2 to 21⁄4 cups water 
 1 Tbsp. fine sea salt 


Topping: 
1 egg yolk 
 3 Tbsp. sunflower seeds 
 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds 


Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl. Crumble the yeast into the flour. Add the eggs, oil and water and knead by hand until a dough forms. Add salt and knead 5 more minutes until dough is smooth and not too sticky.

Transfer the dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let the dough rise for 1 hour at room temperature.

Divide the dough into six equal balls. Place the balls on a floured work surface and let rise for 10 minutes. Shape each ball into a sausage. Braid three parts to shape a halla, and repeat with the last three.

Place the loaves on a lined and floured baking sheet. Beat the egg yolk with a little water and brush the loaves. Sprinkle the sunflower and sesame seeds on the breads. Cover and let rise for another 60 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180º. When ready to bake, drop a few ice cubes in the bottom of the oven to add moisture. Bake about 35 minutes or until the breads are browned. Cool on a rack.

Tip: Choose the natural unheated sunflower oil, which has a nutty flavor. The oil is available at health food stores.

QUICK APPLE CAKE 


 12 green apples (Granny Smith) 
 A little lemon juice 
 1 Tbsp. soft butter 


For the streusel: 
 200 gr. Sugat cake flour 
 200 gr. demerara sugar 
 Pinch ground cinnamon 
 Pinch ground nutmeg 
 200 gr. cold butter, cubed 


Heat oven to 180º. Peel and core the apples, then grind them. Drizzle a little lemon juice on the apples to prevent discoloration.

To make the streusel: Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the butter cubes and work them into the flour with your fingertips to create small crumbs.

Butter a glass baking dish. Place the apples in the dish in an even layer. Spread the streusel over the apples evenly. Bake about 40 minutes or until the streusel is golden. Serve warm with slightly sweetened whipped cream. 


All the recipes and photos are courtesy of Sugat and chef Erez Komarovsky.

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