Here’s a new twist on a theme…
Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms, the host of the BBB’s this month, made Summer Twists for the bread bake this month. She adapted her recipe from Farine’s Morning Cuddles. Both versions sounded cute and cuddly, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients so I created my own version using spelt, hazelnuts and dates.
I’m calling them My Buddy Twists because I made them with the Bread Baking Babes and Friends and they’re a little twisted (the bread that is).
I also substituted a spelt levain for the sourdough starter. You can use an overnight poolish instead of the sourdough (refer to Elle’s post), but I wanted to get some more mileage out of the spelt levain I created a few weeks ago. I also substituted Spelt flour for the whole wheat flour and ground hazelnuts for the pecans. Then, I added some dates for kicks. I’m living dangerously these days…ha! Actually, I was trying to be practical and use what I had on hand instead of running to the store to get the missing ingredients. I think I did pretty good.
My Buddy Twists
Makes: 16 Twists
- 350g liquid Spelt levain (or any active mature starter).
I hadn’t fed my Spelt levain in a couple of weeks so I fed and doubled it in the morning and let it sit on counter all day (about 10 hours) until I was ready to bake the bread after work.
- 320g all-purpose flour
- 230g Spelt flour
- 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 115g rolled oats (I used old fashioned oats)
- 15g salt
- 1 heaping tablespoons powdered buttermilk
- 100g hazelnuts, ground
- 1 3/4 cups
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 100g dried dates, chopped
- 1 egg white and 1 tsp water, for egg wash
Mix the flours together with the yeast, oats, salt and powdered buttermilk.
Stir in the ground hazelnuts.
Add the water and butter to the dry ingredients.
Add the levain and mix until a soft dough forms.
Let sit 10 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead in additional flour if needed until dough is tacky but not sticky. Add in more flour or water as needed.
Knead in the dates.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl greased with oil, turn the dough to coat with the oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. This might take 2 hours or 6. At this point, I covered the bowl and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator, the next day, I took it out and let rise on the counter until it was doubled in size.
When dough has doubled in size, turn out onto lightly flour surface. Divide the dough into two pieces.
Return one piece of the dough to the rising bowl and cover. Divide the other piece of dough into 16 pieces, each about 52 g. Shape into balls.
Shape each piece into a rope.
Twist two pieces together a a time or two. Repeat with remaining 7 (52 g) pieces. You will have eight twists.
Place twists on a greased baking sheet. You can also use parchment or a silicone mat to line the baking sheet.
Take the remaining large (about 800 g) piece of dough and repeat the process above. You will finish with 16 twists set out on baking sheets. Cover twists and let rise until doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F when twists are almost doubled.
Uncover and brush with egg wash using a pastry brush.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. If browning too rapidly, turn down the oven temperature. Turn the pans back to front and bake another 10 – 15 minutes or until breads are 180 degrees inside. Cool on a rack then serve.
After I removed my buddy twists from the oven, I brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar. They had a wonderful flavor – a little sweet from the dates and cinnamon sugar and a little nutty from the hazelnuts. Yum!
I especially enjoy baking bread on the weekends and allowing the dough to slow ferment to bring out the flavor and nutritional properties of the bread.
Over the years, I've become enamored with grains.So you'll find me experimenting using different types of heritage and ancients grains.Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't, but it's all part of the experience.I invite you to join me on this bread-baking journey.
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