17 Jun 2009

Nettle bread

There are so many different kind of breads with grains, flakes and all kind of ingredients. Every weekend I'm surprised by the variety of bread and rolls showed in the weekly Yeast spotting of the weblog Wild yeast. You'd almost get the impression that every possible combination has been tried already.

You can imagine my reaction when I heard a new colleague talking about a bread filled with stinging nettle. His girlfriend used to buy this at the local bakery but the baker doesn't bake this bread any more and they missed it so much. Reason enough for a quick search on the internet; it shows that although nettlebread is known in different countries, it's not so well-known.

It's a little too late in season to use fresh nettles because they're in bloom at this moment. However, the dried nettle is available in healthstores and can be used as a subsitute. Next spring I'll be the first to pick fresh nettles, blanche them and use them for a real home-baked nettle bread.

This recipe must be a look-a-like for my new colleague and his girlfriend.

Nettle bread

3 tbsp. whole wheat grains
3 tbsp. hot water

250 gr. wholemeal wheat
250 gr. bread flour
340 - 350 ml. water; lukewarm
2 tbsp. dried nettles
10 gr. fresh yeast
10 gr. salt

Make the soaker the evening ahead and leave it covered.

The next morning: combine in a big bowl the wholemeal wheat, bread flour and crumble the yeast in it. Add the water and the dried nettles and mix it just enough to make all the ingredients wet. Leave it 20 minutes covered for autolyse.

Add the salt and the soaker to the dough and knead it 5 tot 7 minutes till you get a nice (a bit sticky) dough. Put the dough in a well oiled container, cover it and leave it 50 - 60 minutes. Take the dough out of the container and put in on a oiled working surface. Give it a double businessletter turn and put it in the container again for 50 - 60 minutes. Repeat the double businessletter turn again and put it for the last time in the container till doubled in size.

Take the dough out of the container and handle it gently. Form a batard, a tight ball of put it in the clay pot for the final proof. This time it's ready for baking as it's almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 480 dgr. F. (250 dgr. C.). Bake the bread 10 minutes in the hot oven, lower the temperature to 425 dgr. F. (220 dgr. C. ) and bake it for another 30 minutes. Using a clay pot you have to take of the lid after 20 minutes of baking.

Take the bread out of the oven and leave it for cooling down on an iron rack.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh what a lovely whole grain bread. Very nice.

Gabriella said...

Really, really beautiful!!!

Lien said...

Great loaf. I really like bread with dried nettles. I once saw a recipe with fresh nettles... but I didn't feel much like picking, cleaning and cooking them first ;-). I think I'll stick to dry like you!

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Leslie Lim said...

I read your blog.I thought it was great.. Hope you have a great day. God bless.