Bread”Alentejo” style

The Alentejo bread is known for its slight sour aftertaste and thick and rustic crust.A bread that still keeps its roots to the past being made with sourdough.

 

It’s been told that came from the Romans the intensification of the baking, even that there is some traces of bread made by a fermentation of beer. With the moors came the Muslim food culture changing the way we use bread.One of the oldest Muslim recipes “tharid” already mention the bread soaked in a aromatic broth like the ones used now in the Alentejo cuisine.

For keeping it simple, this recipe is based on a normal oven. You can use a wooden oven if you prefer for a traditional taste.

You will need to start some day in advance to make the yeast;

For the yeast:

1º Day

  • 40 gr wheat flour
  • 45 ml water

Mix the ingredients and put them in a glass jar.Cover it with cling film and put the jar in room temperature (25º -30º).

2º Day

  • 40 gr wheat flour
  • 45 ml water
  • Culture from the previous day

Mix the 3 ingredients and do like day one.

3ºDay

  • 40 gr wheat flour
  • 20 ml water
  • Culture from the previous day

Same as previous day

4º Day

  • 120 gr wheat flour
  • 100 ml water
  • 230 gr Culture from the previous day

Mix the ingredients like the day before. After some hours there is more bubbles and the pastry is getting bigger. The yeast is ready to be used when it doubles the size in 8 hours or less.

First pastry:

Mix all ingredients till there is a ball shaped formed.Seal it and put it on the fridge.This first pastry should be made in 48h advance and keep it on the fridge all the time.After 48h should had become double in size and have a vinegar smell.

Final Pastry

Mix the flour with the water till they form a pastry and let it rest for 30 min.

Add the first pastry and the salt and start to knead till you have a smooth pastry and shining ( around 20 min).

Let it rest in a oiled container for 4 horas. After 2 hours, stretch the pastry and fold it till the pastry release some of the air bubbles.

Pre heat the oven to 250º. Take 200 gr of the pastry out for the next time you will bake this bread.Knead in a flour surface the pastry in the shape you wanted( Alentejo bread normally has a “head” that give it the traditional looks). Let it rest for more 45 min.

Cook the bread for 5min at 250º and then 200º for one hour( 1 kg of bread).

Done? Open that plum jam or one of our black pork meat and enjoy;)