Buttermilk Bread (from the MLOVE Con-Festival kitchen)

Thanks to those who enjoyed the bread at MLOVE this summer and have asked for the recipe. Here it is!

MLOVE Kitchen!

The early morning baking was a bit of a ritual that Max and I got into.  Me, because I am always up at around 5 and Max because he always goes to bed around 5.  The kitchen always looked like a bomb had hit it and whilst Max did his best to clear the decks, I put together bread with whatever I happened to find in the cupboard and the fridge.  I did not really ever measure so I will have to do my best to try to replicate it here.  Don’t worry too much about quantities.  I did not!

MLOVE Breakfast Bread

1 kg white bread flour (German flour has numbers on it and I can never remember what they mean – just try to get the highest gluten content you can – ask the bakery or shop where you buy the flour and buy the best quality you can afford.)
20 g fresh yeast
20 g salt
200 g warm water
400 g buttermilk (at one point we also substituted 200 g of kwark with herbs – krauterqwark – and 200 g buttermilk because there was not enough buttermilk!)
1 big tablespoon of honey
1 big tablespoon of butter or lard
sesame seeds to decorate

Pour the flour into a big bowl and make a little “well” in it.  Crumble the yeast in and then pour the water on top.  Cover the well with flour from your bowl (just gently flick it on top of the yeast and water mixture) and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  Have a coffee.

Put in the buttermilk (or qwark and buttermilk mixture) and the salt, the honey, and the butter or lard and knead the bread well for 15 minutes.

Put it back into the bowl and cover it with a towel.  Let it rest for 1 hour or until double in size.  This will take 2 hours in a cold kitchen and maybe less in a warm one!

Take it out of the bowl and divide it into two.  Shape each loaf into  a big, tight ball and put each one on a baking tray that is lined with grease proof paper or greased with butter or lard.  Cover and let rest for 1 hour.  This may take 1.5 hours in a cold kitchen and maybe only 30 minutes in a warm one!

Turn the oven to 200 degrees.  “Wash” the tops of the loaves with water or beaten egg white mixed with a little water.  Sprinkle sea salt flakes and sesame seeds on the top of the loaves.  Or simply dust the tops with some flour.  Cut a pattern on them if you would like to with a sharp knife or a razor.

Put the dough into the oven and bake it for 45 minutes.

Let cool if you can before you eat it!