We recently spoke to Liesbet Vandepoel, part of the Puratos team, to get a better understanding of the importance of sourdough and how sourdough can play a role in restaurant operations. Vandepoel, as team member of Puratos helped put together the new cookbook, ‘Sourdough: Four Days to Happiness’.
The book details the journey of a single sourdough starter that travels from person to person, each person adjusts and changes the sourdough adding a new element to the starter. As each individual made their mark on the bread, it creates a connected story that spans across the globe.
Each person creates something new and different with the starter as well. One such person is Barbara Elisi Caracciolo. Barbara owns a bakery in Arla Årsta near Stockholm, she also writes a blog of her various bread recipes. Her recipe for ‘Viking Pizza’ was featured in ‘Sourdough: Four Days in Happiness’, and she was kind of enough to share with MENU Mag!
Here’s an excerpt from ‘Sourdough: Four Days in Happiness’ along with the Viking Pizza Recipe:
“Barbara learned how to bake from books and the internet. Her second type of bread was Italian “filone” bread. It was a success and she found that it tasted like home. She was ready to tackle her third baking project, sourdough bread. Rustic Italian bread like the one they would eat when her family went on excursions to the lakes surrounding Rome. “I hadn’t eaten sourdough bread since my childhood. I cut a slice and with every mouthful, precious memories began to whirl through my head.” That was the day, she says, on which she fell in love with sourdough.”
Viking Pizza Recipe
There are countless recipes for crispbread in Sweden. In the past each family had its own. This is Barbara’s recipe.
150 grams sourdough starter
250 grams rye flour
250 grams wheat flour
50 grams whole meal rye flour
Some rye flour for rolling out the dough
360 grams water
1 – 2 teaspoon(s) cumin
100 grams mixed grains (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed)
2 teaspoons salt
Soak the cumin in water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Add the “spice water” to the sourdough starter and stir well.
Mix the flours in a different bowl.
Mix all the ingredients except the salt together and knead using the food processor for 10 minutes. Cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky. Now add the salt and knead the dough thoroughly by hand on a work surface without extra flour using Barbara’s “slap and fold” method.
As soon as the dough no longer sticks to your fingers, leave it to rest again.
Put it back in the bowl and leave it to rest at room temperature until it has at least doubled its volume. This can take between one and a half and four hours.
The dough can also be left to rise overnight – in which case it should be left in the refrigerator.
The best baking method for crispbread is to bake it on a hot stone. But a baking sheet with baking paper will serve as well.
Pre-heat the stone and the oven to 250°C.
Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface. Do not use any additional flour! Cut it into 16 pieces and form each one into a ball.
Place the balls of dough onto a baking sheet, cover with a cloth and leave to rest again until they have risen once more.
Don’t be impatient – this can take some time.
Now sprinkle flour on the work surface. One ball of dough at a time should be rolled out very thinly. Sprinkle it with flour as you roll.
The most authentic Swedish crispbread is rolled out using a “Kruskavel”. If you don’t have one, use a normal rolling pin and prick a pattern in each “Viking Pizza” using a fork.
Use a wooden spatula to push the crispbread rounds onto the hot stone. The baking time will be short – only about four – five minutes. I recommend keeping an eye on them.
The recipe is also delicious without the grains and spices, and can be made in countless variations.
Crispbread is ideal as a delicious “emergency ration” in the cupboard. If it is not nibbled at beforehand it will keep for a very long time. It is best stored in a tin, wrapped in baking paper.