Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Seaweed Pesto Tear and Share Sourdough

Published on March 22, 2018 by   ·   No Comments Pin It
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Melissa Sharp’s Super Loaves & Simple Treats is a treasure trove of atypical “healthy” treats. By baking with sourdough starters, reducing the amount of refined sugar in her recipes, and incorporating superfoods throughout, Melissa encourages bakers to foster gut health and wellness. Using high quality, unprocessed ingredients—many of which are gluten-free and/or vegan—you can literally have your cake and eat it too. Melissa began her healthful baking journey, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36. By supplementing her chemotherapy with nutritious eating, she took control of her wellness and developed a new passion. Enthused with a mission to nourish herself and others, Sharp quit her corporate job and became the owner of Oxford’s hit bakery Modern Baker in the UK. 

Here’s the first of a few of Melissa’s amazing recipes we will rolling out slowly in the next months. And, duh, buy the book because it’s brilliant and gorgeous – a perfect hostess gift as the photography is absolutely beautiful, as are the recipes.

Seaweed Pesto Tear and Share Sourdough

Seaweed Pesto Tear and Share Sourdough

Seaweed Pesto Tear and Share Sourdough

MAKES 1 loaf
EQUIPMENT food processor and 2-pound loaf pan

Slicing bread can sometimes feel a bit of a chore, especially if you’re picnicking or want your bread to look a bit more rustic at the table. This loaf is fantastic because it just tears apart. It’s almost as if you cut the slices before you even bake it. This isn’t as labor intensive as it sounds, it’s actually a very easy loaf to shape, and anyway the quality of the shaping is much less important than for a “normal” loaf. Pesto flavors work well with doughs, though too much can become overpowering. Homemade is always best, of course. We add a touch of seaweed, mainly for its diverse nutrition (few on a Western diet consume enough iodine), but also for its subtle flavors that give even more depth.

DAY 1
½ cup (60 g) white bread flour
¼ cup (60 g) warm water (90 to 99°F) Active Wheat Starter (page 41)
Mix the flour and water with the whole quantity of the starter and leave loosely covered at room temperature overnight.

DAY 2
4¼ ounces (120 g) recipe starter from Day 1
1 1/3 cups (320 g) warm water (90 to 99°F)
3¼ cups (440 g) white bread flour
1½ teaspoons (8 g) salt
2 tablespoons (25 g) extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE PESTO
¼ cup (30 g) walnuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/3 cups (80 g) fresh basil leaves
¼ cup (60 g) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 g) lemon juice
½ teaspoon (2.5 g) kombu seaweed flakes

1 In a large bowl, combine the recipe starter with the warm water and mix gently.
2 In another bowl, combine the flour and the salt.
3 Add the flour mix to the first bowl and mix using one hand until a dough forms. This takes only a couple of minutes. It’s a good idea to use only one hand, leaving the other one clean for using utensils, etc. Use a plastic dough scraper around the bowl to make sure all the flour is mixed in. Cover the bowl with a shower cap or damp dish towel and let it rest. 4 After 5 to 10 minutes, give the dough a fold in the bowl. Use slightly wet hands to prevent the dough sticking to them. Pull a section of the dough out to the side and fold it into the middle of the ball. Repeat this going around the ball of dough until you get back to the beginning (four or five folds). Use the scraper to turn the dough upside down, cover the bowl, and leave for another 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat this another two times. For the third and final fold, add the olive oil to the dough and fold well so that it is completely combined. If you add the oil earlier it can prevent the gluten from developing. After the final fold, cover the bowl and let rest for 1 hour.
5 After the hour, turn the dough out of the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Stretch one side of the dough out and fold into the middle. Repeat this with each of the four “corners” of the dough. Place upside down in the bowl again and let rest for another hour.
6 To make the pesto, place the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Add the basil, oil, lemon juice, and seaweed and pulse a few more times.
7 Shaping a tear and share loaf: Lightly grease a 2-pound loaf pan. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Roll it out to 16 x 12 inches. Cut the dough into twelve 4-inch squares. Spread all but one of the squares with the pesto. Stack the dough squares on top of each other with the pesto side up. Finish with the plain square, so that each end of the pile is free from pesto.
8 Carefully turn the stack onto its side and lift it into the pan. The top can be quite rough as this will give a nice texture to the loaf.
9 Follow the rest of the Basic Sourdough recipe from Step 8 (page 47) to the end, baking the loaf in the pan, not on the baking sheet. Remove the bread from the pan to check if it is baked through and to cool.

Reprinted from Super Loaves & Simple Treats by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright ©2018, Melissa Sharp.

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