My First Sourdough Journey

 

Very proud of my first sourdough bread which I baked with my own starter. I followed the instructions of this Sourdough Companion post and after eight days of regular feeding, my sourdough starter became ‘active’ (it doubled in size within 24 hours) and was therefore ready for baking.

Active sourdough starter
My active sourdough – the small black line indicates the original level after feeding

I used a recipe from the book Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen by Gerhard Kellner using fine rye flour, wholewheat flour, the sourdough and poolish I started the day before.

And my new proofing baskets also came into play.

Sourdough bread in the proofing basket
Sourdough bread just turned out onto a baking tray from the proofing basket

Very pleased with the result! My first sourdough bread has turned out super spongy and moist with a great crumb and even better crust.

Sourdough bread baked and quartered
Sourdough bread baked and quartered
Sourdough bread crumb and crust
Look at that lovely crust and crumb!

 

Vinschgerl Recipe – South Tyrolean Flatbreads

 

Vinschgerl (also sometimes Vintschgerl) are rustic palm-sized flatbreads which originate in South Tyrol. Blue fenugreek (Brotklee, Schabziger Klee, trigonella caerulea) adds a very distinctive, slightly spicy flavour to these delicious breads and the flat shape ensures that there is a lot of surface for the strong crust to form.

Vinschgerl - Rustic, aromatic flatbreads.
Vinschgerl – Rustic, aromatic flatbreads. Great to serve with a charcuterie board!

Vinschgerl Recipe

Ingredients – Makes 12 Vinschgerl

  • 400g fine rye flour
  • 200g wholewheat flour
  • 15g of rye sourdough
  • 1½ tsp of salt
  • 1 package of dried yeast (7g)
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • ½ tsp blue fenugreek
  • 350g water, lukewarm
  • 200g natural yoghurt (not straight from fridge)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed with pestle and mortar
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed with pestle and mortar

How to make Vinschgerl

  1. Mix the wet ingredients (water, honey, yoghurt) in a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl mix the flours, sourdough extract, yeast, salt, blue fenugreek and the crushed seeds together.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to form the dough (using your hands for this will be easiest). The dough should be quite soft and gooey due to the high rye content. Add some more water if necessary but don’t add any more flour.
  4. Leave to rise in a warm place for up to 6 hours. The dough will have a less sticky, ‘cleaner’ consistency after this long rest and you will be able to shape it into a rectangle (approx. 2 cm high) on a clean work surface. If it’s still too soft, just shape it into a rectangle with wettish hands.
  5. Take a knife to divide the dough into 12 smaller rectangular pieces.
  6. Put the pieces onto two separate pieces of baking parchment (6 each). Place two pieces each right next to each other – this is the traditional way of baking them.
  7. Carefully dust or rub the surface of the dough pieces with a little rye flour, then cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. (This will make the delicious cracks in your Vinschgerl more visible.)
  8. Leave to rise in a warm place for another 1 – 2  hours.
  9. ½ hour before baking – preheat the oven to 220°C (Gas 6).
  10. Bake for 35 minutes.
  11. Cool on a wire rack.
A pair of Vinschgerl, baked in the traditional way.
A pair of Vinschgerl, baked in the traditional way.

Also try this rye flatbread recipe for South Tyrolean Schüttelbrot.