Talal, who lives in Kuwait and works as an architect, and I share an obsession with baking sourdough bread. He and I met at a baking class a couple of years ago and have stayed in touch ever since. He travels a fair bit for his job and his Instagram feed is stuffed with exquisite photos of breads in Japan, Norway, Eastern Europe and North America. He is a fine source of ideas for new recipes, one of which I am going to try this week.
Talal runs a microbakery and sells exclusively through Instagram - @33breadlane (no website - how efficient!), using an "On demand" delivery service that handles payments and logistics for his customers around Kuwait City.
Smoked Spelt and Rye
Talal mentioned that he had purchased some oak-smoked rye berries from a mill in the UK and that got me thinking about trying this ingredient out in a sourdough loaf. Michael Pollan writes extensively about the grip that cooking with smoke has on folks in Cooked. Incidentally, the book has been turned into a Netflix documentary series and has a good chapter on bread. Many of you no doubt enjoy BBQ (Not grilling) and some of you may slow cook yourself. I guess if we cannot get our carcinogens the old fashioned way, we should at least be able to consume them in a way that tastes fine.
it took a few rounds to figure out how best to smoke grains: I now soak the berries for 24 hours to soften them and then spread them on a screen in my Weber grill. I build a small fire (5 - 10 briquettes) off the side and feed with hardwood sawdust, leaving the berries to smoke for 6 - 8 hours. The berries pick up a fair bit of the smoke and the kettle is running hot enough that they end up somewhat toasted.
This Saturday's Bake
I will bake a bread made with 20% fresh ground smoked spelt and rye, with white flour and some high extraction for umph.
Let's see what you think of the resulting bread.
Your Canadian Baker