Fenugreek sourdough bread - traditional in Greece region Epirus

Epirus where I'm from is the west side of Greece. It has always been a poor region and the natural grown herbs where something regular in real traditional Greek kitchen. One of the if Fenugreek or "mos-ho-si-tar-o" as they call it which means something like fragrant herb!

The only connection I have with that time is my grandma and a relative of hers, grandma "Fone". This grandma makes the classic traditional sourdough bread but with an amazing twist of fenugreek seeds. I'll sadly give you the recipe I use(classic 70% sourdough) with the fenugreek seeds addition and then try to describe how they make them.

100% strong flour
70% water
10+% sourdough starter(100% hydration)
2% salt
1% fenugreek seeds broken in a pestle and mortar.

Make it the classic way, autolyse for 20-30 minutes, I use the slapping technique for kneading for 2-3 minutes, then put in folding bucket and fold at 45 min and 1 + 1/2 hours, then preshape, shape and retard overnight in banetton coated with coarse cornflour. Bake at 220 for 40-45 min in closed pot.

The fragrance of the seeds is amazing, but that's not the way this gradma makes bread. All greek grandmas I've met use something like the same recipe.

They don't use strong flour. As I have never had many success with "soft"(?) flour I don't use it that often but works nice as they do it.

They feed the sourdough the previous night. The morning as it is quite ripe and they add flour to it and start kneading by hand. It hasn't got much humidity because "not strong" flour can't hold much water, so they add quite a bit of flour to eat while kneading with their firsts.

Then after 10+ min they kinda shape it and put it in big round oiled trays and leave to ferment for 4-5 hours. Then they bake it. It's pretty good, it's the bread I was raised with, sometimes more fluffy others more dense.

I'll try it, though I have never tried making it, I know it's strange! I tried to work soft flour like strong when I was at my village, first time this year. It felt quite weird, had nice results but nothing close to what I get with strong flour. I tried to put it in "banneton" but it kinda got stuck to the towel though that have never happened to me. Have you worked with soft flour? Got any good recipes?

Method

 

11 comments

Fixed it!
Ok here are the pics

http://mypalm.ath.cx/gallery/displayimage.php?album=1107&pos=27

http://mypalm.ath.cx/gallery/displayimage.php?album=1107&pos=28

http://mypalm.ath.cx/gallery/displayimage.php?album=1107&pos=29

No difference than  any other bread, just the fragrance of a small amount of fenugreek seeds (2-3 gr or in baker's thing 0.5-1%)

I have a bag of fenugreek seeds just lying there with no where to go.

What's this yummy-looking cake/bread? :)

By soft flour, do you mean flour with a low protein level (if so, do you know the %?), or cake flour? I've made breads with a side-to-side comparison between bread flour and plain flour, and, there doesn't seem to have much discernible difference. As for cake flour, I've used it to make steamed chinese buns (baos) but these baos were made with both yeast and baking powder, yielding a soft and fluffy texture.

 

Yeah the one with low proteins, they don't write how much but I think it's too little...When I tried the one they had in my village I used this recipe with 400gr low protein flour and 100gr whole wheat. While slapping kneading I could feel it different in my hands, I even tried a less hydration the next day but again I was not satisfied... Even after I put it in banneton it almost stuck to the towel something that has never happened to me before!!!
[quote=TeckPoh]

What's this yummy-looking cake/bread? :)

[/quote] Sorry mate I didn't see your question!! Well it's from a long long time ago, when I didn't know anything about cooking. I remember it was a recipe from the internet, had eggs, butter, chocolate pieces, ginger(that you boil with water and sugar), baking powder. It was nice but I never made it again...I could say it was just a classic cake recipe with ginger and chocolate and baked in a tin that made it looked like the bought ones! Any advice on the pics? I mean anything I could do better? They were taking in a hurry just to post but again so do your...just advice from someone with experience! :)

 I am so impressed.  I was merely looking at Hellenic (Greek) recipes and then thought of my darling late yiayia and how great she cooked. So I searched for recipes from Epirus and found this page. Fabulous.

This is an amazing page for bread, read some of it and you'll stuck with sourdough bread!

That pix is amazing!

Glad you like it Teck!! Good to have you back ;) Cheers mate!

i recently went on a greece holiday and the bread in the bakeries were delicous! A must try for any food nut.