Daily Life Food Inspiration Projects

Bread baking, wine tasting, slow living (+recipe)

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My last days in the Bay Area were nothing short of blissful. In between working on my sketchbook project and after waiting (many days) for my liquid levain to get extra bubbly, I baked several loaves of slow bread. I received Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery book as a Christmas gift, so it’s been really exciting to imagine all the new goodies I’ll learn to bake in the new year.

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First sourdough boule success! It took so many days of preparation, I think I might have shed a few hot tears if it came out less than perfectly crusty.

bakingwants
Baking Wishlist: 1. Marimekko Hauki apron / 2. Hancrafted rolling pin / 3.   Fog Linen Work linens

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I am excited to share my Finnish pulla recipe with you, which is a soft, sweet bread, spiced with cardamom. The recipe makes three loaves of bread, which may seem like a lot. It takes quite a bit of time to prep and bake, so I figure you might as well bake enough loaves to eat, save, and share. Nothing beats fresh bread, but it was still good a few days later. We sliced up the rest of the bread, made French toast with almond milk, and spread Speculoos cookie butter on top. So good!

Finish Pulla / Scandanavian Cardamom Bread
adapted from red star 
makes three loaves

Ingredients:
9 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups whole milk
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten

Directions
1. Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and 2 tsp. cardamon, and mix well in a bowl.
2. In a saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter until warm. Let cool until lukewarm, and add to flour mixture.
3. Add 4 beaten eggs to the mixture to make a batter. Gradually add about 3 cups of the flour and beat again until the dough looks glossy. Stir in the remaining flour and mix by hand until the dough is stiff. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth and satiny, around 5-10 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, making sure to turn the dough to grease the top. Cover with a plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down, and let rise again for 30 minutes.
5. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 3 parts. Divide each third into 3 pieces again. Roll each piece into strips. On greased cookie sheet, loosely braid 3 strips into a loaf. You should get 3 large braided loaves. Let rise for 30 minutes.
6. Whisk together the remaining cardamom and egg. Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake each loaf at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 25 minutes, or until golden. Let cool before serving!

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In feeble attempts to off-balance our carb consumption, Taurin and I ventured out to explore Northern California. We went wine tasting in Sonoma, scoped out some potential wedding venues, and ate lots of oysters by the coast. On my last evening, Taurin took me to see the sunset by the East Bay.

me

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“가까이 갈 수 없어 / 먼발치에 서서 보고 돌아왔다 / 내가 속으로 그리는 그 사람마냥 / 산이 어디 안 가고 / 그냥 거기 있어 마음 놓인다” — 정희성·시인

See you again soon, California!

22 Comments

  • Reply
    Jannese
    January 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    The bread looks delicous, and the photos are beautiful as always!!! Glad you’re back!

    • Reply
      Sewon
      January 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks, Jannese! It’s good to be back in the city~ 🙂

  • Reply
    jessica
    January 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    oh wow, that bread you baked looks delicious! i’ve tried making my own a few times before and they’ve never turned out right, but i think it’s because i’m too impatient!

    littlehenrylee

    • Reply
      Sewon
      January 22, 2013 at 12:17 am

      The book talks a lot about the importance of timing and measurements. I really like baking pies because you can always wing it and it (usually) doesn’t fall apart, unlike these breads!

  • Reply
    Krys
    January 18, 2013 at 12:18 am

    So I’ve never made bread before. But your photos look so appealing and the ideal of homemade bread sounds like the perfect thing to try the next time I’m at home – thank you for sharing a recipe! I’ve really enjoyed keeping up with you via twitter, the Bay area seems like it was so kind to you and Taurin (:

    • Reply
      Sewon
      January 22, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Thank you, Krys. The Bay Area really was wonderful for us. 🙂 I highly recommend baking some bread when you have some time at home, maybe with a movie or a good book!

  • Reply
    ai
    January 18, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Impressive! Good job, you. I love sourdough, but it has never occurred to me that one could actually bake it at home. I’m not planning on doing that, but I’d like to get into baking bread some time soon.

  • Reply
    GAB MESINA
    January 18, 2013 at 4:30 am

    The pictures are wonderful! Your’e living the life

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    January 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    That last picture is just gorgeous! Did you enjoy the wine tasting? A friend is taking me to one this weekend I think and I’m pretty excited haha (I’ve never done anything like it before).

  • Reply
    Veronica Fish
    January 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    That does look blissful! Some day I will eat at Thomas Keller’s restaurant – it’s on the bucket list

  • Reply
    coco
    January 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    sewon, this is one lovely post.
    slow living seems to give an opportunity to realize many
    greatness in life. wine, bread, linen work,,,,all my favorite.
    thank you. i hope you enjoy more of slow life.

  • Reply
    meds
    January 20, 2013 at 7:27 am

    always a good time to travel and recuperate from the craziness of life 😉 what a wonderful looking bread! as much as I complain that baking sometimes ends up “uncontrollable” (because you have to hope for the best while the batter is in the oven), it’s such a joy to see the end-product!

  • Reply
    Diane
    January 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Oh my goodness, that bread looks amazing!!! I need to make some more often.

  • Reply
    Winnie
    January 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    There really is nothing better than freshly baked bread with just a little butter. The smell must have been divine! I’m definitely wishing for some sunshine after seeing your pictures, we’ve had lots of snow in the UK and I just can’t deal with the cold anymore!

  • Reply
    catarina
    January 22, 2013 at 6:29 am

    ohh awesome! that sun is making me so jealous!

    i can’t wait to see your black and white pictures!!! <3

  • Reply
    Camila Faria
    January 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Oh, WOW, your breads are absolutely amazing! This book must be incredible. I can only imagine the awesome smell in your house. : )

  • Reply
    Vivika Vain
    January 24, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Awesome photos, you make me hungry! Nice to find your blog, following you!

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Your first attempt at sourdough bread looks amazingly delicious! I really want to try making bread now!

  • Reply
    Eliz
    January 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Delicious looking bread! I’m tempted to bake by hand now based on these photos, instead of always relying on the insta-bread machines 🙂

  • Reply
    Rina
    January 27, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Hi SeWon!
    Although I have been away from blogging, I have still managed to keep up with you California adventure!
    What a fun trip! Thanks for sharing such lovely photos and stories. 🙂
    Bread making is the true labor of love. And both loaves turned out marvelous, well done!
    Did you use a dutch oven for the sourdough bread? I got one for Christmas, and have yet to use it…
    (but I really should soon!)
    I’m definitely going to try that yummy pull-apart-bread recipe! I have a good cinnamon pull-apart recipe that is so good and so easy to make, it’s very similar to your pull-apart bread.
    Oh, I bet your sketchbook project is going to be magnificent! I would love to see what sort of ideas you came up with. You are such a cleaver and creative person.
    take care!

  • Reply
    Mary Catherine
    January 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I needed a new bread recipe!! It’s perfect baking weather here in Ohio.

  • Reply
    Amelia
    January 28, 2013 at 7:02 am

    I am going to try the Finnish Pulla Bread when I go home for the holidays since there’s no ovens in the dorms :(.

    I like how you hair has grown – it really suits you.

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