But as great as sourdough is, at some point every bread gets old. So that this does not happen so quickly, you can do a few things – for example, store the bread properly. It should not remain in the paper bag of the baker or be put in a plastic bag. In the former it dries out, in the second it becomes soft and moulds at worst, as no moisture can escape. Better is a bread pot made of earthenware or clay, because such a has a moisture-regulating effect. My preferred storage method is even simpler: I wrap the bread in a tea towel and place it on a cutting board with the cutting edge down. The crust remains crispy and it does not dry out so quickly from below. Of course, this only applies if the bread stays whole and you don’t let the baker cut your breads you buy. After all, there are bread knives – or the Master M 80* all-rounder from Graef*.
It’s not just a bread knife, it’s a whole knife drawer in one. The hardened solid steel knife with hollow cut cuts effortlessly through every bread crust (probably even through that of a stone-old bread, should it come this far). The capacitor motor provides the necessary force behind it and is really surprisingly quiet. But the device can of course not only cut bread, but also meat and sausage, cheese, fruit and vegetables. Since the knife is smooth lysed, wafer-thin slices succeed through which you can almost look through. The thinner the cut, the more aromas are released. A thick slice of freshly baked bread, salted butter and a small mountain of the finest topping – is there anything better? By the way, the same applies to other foods as to bread: stored in one piece, they keep fresh for longer. Less packaging is also needed, so everyone can make a small but important contribution to avoiding waste of resources and food. The latter is a major problem in Germany, where one in eight food stuff ends up in the garbage in private households. That’s an incredible 82 kilograms per person per year! Graef has taken up the topic of content and the devices must also meet this requirement. They are clearly designed for longevity and last at best for a lifetime. The Master M 80 therefore comes with a knife sharpener and a ten-year warranty on the engine. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like I need it: the all-rounder is a really solid device that can easily hold its own in sophisticated kitchens.
75 g seedy oatmeal
250 g water
1 tbsp active sourdough
500 g wheat flour 550
100 g rye wholemeal flour
250 ml buttermilk
180 ml water
1.5 tsp salt
For the cook, put the oatmeal in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat a little and simmer until a porridge has become. Stir again and again. Allow to cool until the cooking piece is at most lukewarm.
Put the cooking piece with the other ingredients in a bowl. First mix with a spoon and, if that is no longer possible, knead briefly with your hand. The dough does not have to be smooth, there should only be no dry spots to be seen. Cover the bowl well so that the dough does not dry out (I use a bath hood). Now he has to go for 24 hours at room temperature. During this time, it should be stretched and folded twice. Instead, go under the dough with your hand or a dough card on the edge and gently pull it up until you feel some resistance. Fold the stretched dough over the middle to the other side. Repeat this step a few times, turning the bowl 90 degrees each time. Only continue until you realize that the elasticity is waning
After 24 hours, the dough should be much smoother than at the beginning and have significantly increased its volume. (Depending on how warm it is in the room, this may be the case a few hours earlier.) Sprinkle the work surface with a little flour and then generously sprinkle the tender oatmeal on top. Gently topple the dough from the bowl onto the oatmeal. Carefully shape into a sphere by folding it from the edge to the center from all sides. Lift with the smooth side down into a floured fermentation basket. Alternatively, you can dust a tea towel with flour, put the dough in it and then lift it into a small salad bowl or similar.
Preheat the oven to 250°C with the tin and, if available, a pizza stone in it. Topple the dough on a piece of baking paper. Cut about 1 cm deep on the surface with a sharp knife. Draw the bread with the baking paper onto the brick or the tin. Pour a coffee cup of water onto the oven floor and close the flap immediately. (If you prefer not to tip the water onto the oven floor, you can also put a baking sheet or a metal clawing mould on the floor at the beginning and pour the water into it.)
Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, until it has taken on a strong brown colour from the outside. It’s done when I hear it hollow when knocking on the door. Wait until the bread is completely cooled.
A year ago: Caramelized cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla
Two years ago: Sourdough cinnamon snails with apples and cardamom
Three years ago: Risotto with porcini mushrooms and parmesan
Four years ago: Tortas de aceite with olive oil, anise and red pepper
Five years ago: Potato wiring soup with bacon
Six years ago: Caramelized fennel
Seven years ago: Pastasotto with dried tomatoes, mascarpone and pine nuts
Eight years ago: Vegetable quiche
*This post was created in collaboration with Graef, but my opinion remains unaffected.