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Sunday, 28 July 2013

"Local Breads" - Light Silesian Rye (Chelba)

Now we're on to the final couple of loaves in Daniel Leader's book "Local Breads" and we're in Poland.  This loaf is traditionally scattered with caraway seeds, but the friends I was baking it for don't like them, so I left them out.  The recipe called for white rye flour, and the closest thing I could find is a very fine ground rye flour.  It is very light and mild in flavour, so I thought it would do the trick nicely.

Using 50g of the rye starter in my fridge I fed it with 100g of fine rye flour and 100g of water and let it ferment at RT for 24 hours.  The recipe calls for 200g of starter, but only gave you instructions to make 200g = nothing left for next time, so I upped the quantities to create an extra 50g for a rainy day!

200g starter + 300g water + 500g bread flour + 10g salt (+ 5g instant yeast which I left out).  All of this mixed together (I always put in starter first, then mush it in with the water, flour on top, then salt last) until it formed a shaggy dough.  I let this sit for about 1/2hr to autolyse, then kneaded for about 10secs every 15mins 3 times (on oiled bench and put in an oiled bowl covered with a plastic bag in between).  It fermented in the bowl for another 2 hours with a fold after 1hr.

The dough was divided into 2 equal portions and shaped into rounds then rolled into a sort of blunt ended bullet about 6 inches long with rounded ends.  These proofed in my "couche" in the fridge for a while, then on an ice pack in the back of the car (I was away for the weekend and visiting friends on the way to another friend for dinner, and didn't want to bake it until I got there!) and was finally baked about 4 hours later!

I was very nervous they were going to be over-proofed, but the looked just fine when I uncovered them - phew!

My friend had preheated her oven for me to 200C (no baking stone, but there was a heavy metal tray in the oven in its stead), and the loaves were baked for only about 30mins, although I would have needed 40mins in my oven.  Oh, I also slashed them with about 5 parallel cuts straight across the loaves.

Chelba baked
Theoretically prior to baking the loaves should have been brushed with water and sprinkled with caraway seeds - not this time for me though.  And also brushed again with water after baking to give a shiny crust . . . . yep you guessed it, I didn't do this either!

Allegedly they can be stored for about 5 days in a paper bag at RT, but these were eaten for dinner that very same evening! :)

As you would expect with a white loaf using rye starter, the flavour was very mild, and I have to say, I preferred the taste of the very similar Zitny Chelba I made the other weekend.

Chelba crumb


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