Today is World Bread Day 2012 and to celebrate the renewed interest in artisan bread-baking throughout the world, I am happy to participate in the bread roundup with this flavorful Pear and Spelt Bread from Hanne Risgaard’s gorgeous book, Home Baked – Nordic Recipes and Techniques for Organic Bread and Pastry. The recipe is on page 142 and originally titled “Pear and Sourdough Bread.” I adapted it slightly, using freshly milled whole spelt instead of sifted spelt flour and no commercial yeast at all (the recipe calls for fresh yeast).
We share a pear tree with our neighbors and even though the tree is technically in their garden, they kindly let us pick the fruit on their side of the hedge as well as ours. I make jam and jelly as well as galettes and crumbles and we all share in the bounty. This year, I received Hanne’s book when the tree was at its most prolific and I knew I had to make the bread. What a treat!
What a great combination of flavors! I KNEW you would pull some magnificent loaf and hurried here to marvel at it…
spelt and pear… you outdid yourself, lady!
HAPPY WORLD BREAD DAY!
Happy World Bread Day to you too, Sally! How I wish we lived closer and could share our breads. I would love to have a taste of your beautiful Essential Columbia!
My Italian Smorgasbord says
what a beautiful crumb! how much sourdough did you use and how did you adjust the water? can't wait to try this recipe too.
Thank you, Barbara! I used the same amount of levain as indicated in the recipe, skipped the yeast, added 50g of durum flour and I don't see anything regarding water in my notes. I may have adjusted on the fly. Different flours absorb water so differently that it is usually the best way to go. I'll be looking forward to your post. That bread tastes incredible, in part because of the pears but also because toasting the durum is truly a stroke of genius. It gives the bread a very nutty flavor.
My Italian Smorgasbord says
I thought there was no leaven included in the recipe, so I assumed you had to adjust the water content. smart of you to simply omit the added yeast. I disregarded most of Anne recipes because of her fascination for industrial yeast. now you make me feel I can just imagine the recipes with natural leaven and see what else is good in them.
From what I understand some professional bakers add commercial yeast to their levain doughs to make sure production stays on schedule throughout the day. I remember our instructors at SFBI telling us yeast can often (not always) be skipped when time isn't an issue. I like using pure levain because it is more in step with century-old baking traditions (bread was made that way before commercial yeast was invented) but also because breads that have been leavened exclusively with wild yeasts (starter) have a much longer shelf-life. They don't dry out so fast. Is that your experience as well?
My Italian Smorgasbord says
yes, I had a similar experience and I find bread made with yeast generally tasteless now that I am used to sourdough bread. if anything, I look for ways to even prolong the fermentation that my leaven generally needs. the longer the fermentation the easier the bread is digested and the more complex is the flavor. I honestly hate that bakers add yeast to bread that they sell, pricey, as sourdough bread. to me that is a half fraud.
What a beautiful loaf of bread. I love the crumb you achieved and the stencil is just perfect.
I wish I had remembered about this event so I could have participated.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful bread.
Thanks, Ian, but you know, I almost forgot as well. I was saved by the fact that Sally posted early. Why don't we make sure that we all remember next year by spreading the word ahead of time?
Your pear bread looks lovely. I am so envious of you having access to all those pears!! I made a pear bread a couple of years ago and loved it. But it was a very very slack dough and the pears were left in chunks. Am I correct in thinking that you pureed the pear for your loaf?
The pear stencil is fabulous.
Thank you so much, Elizabeth. I feel very lucky indeed to have access to such a prolific Bartlett pear-tree: the pears are fragrant and juicy, truly magnificent. In this bread, the fruit is peeled and finely diced, neither cooked nor pureed raw. The tiny pieces are randomly distributed in the crumb and melt in your mouth when you bite into one. Very pleasant! The bread also has a distinctive nutty taste because part of the durum flour is pan-roasted. Altogether quite an intriguing combination of flavors…
Happy World Bread Day!
Thanks for all your fantastic posts …and this one is no exception … just beautiful!
Thank you, Phil! It was heart-warming to see all these breads pop-up around the world yesterday: the artisan bread community is indeed alive and well. I loved your posts on the tempered grain and the rye bread. Truly loved them! Brilliant… We had smørrebrød for lunch yesterday, topping slices of Hanne Risgaard's Real Rye Bread which I had baked a few days earlier with shrimp, kohlrabi and radish salad in an horseradish homemade mayo and tiny pieces of tomato and avocado. It was good but certainly not as pretty as yours!
The shape of your gorgeous loaf echoes the shape of that perfectly ripe pear (its golden color is just beautiful and these pears must have been at peak flavor, freshly picked and ripe from the tree!).
I am so grateful to have Hanne's book and I would love to make this bread with fall pears. I am thinking how enjoyable the flavor will be, with 'Poires Tatin' to taste alongside :^) – two beautiful things to look forward to for the season.
Many, many thanks! :^) from breadsong
Thank you, breadsong! These pears were definitely at peak flavor and healthy to the last one even though the pear-tree has never been treated that I know of. I am so glad you arrived on the day I made this Poire Tatin jam. Can't wait to hear how it tastes on the pear bread (sadly there is no more of that left, not even in the freezer…)
bernd's bakery says
Hi MC, simply beautiful and thank you for not using fresh yeast. The crumb is perfect and does not need any yeast. Unfortunately i do not have the book (yet). I guess the pears give a very subtle taste and flavor and a delicate sweetness. I could imagine to enjoy it with fresh goat cheese…
Happy World Bread Day 🙂
Hi bernd, thank you, you too! I can only imagine how much you will enjoy the book when you finally get it. A lot of these breads remind me of yours… Gorgeously rustic and wholesome looking. The Real Rye bread (which My Italian Smorgasbord has just posted) is fantastic. I can't get over the flavor. I'll be making it again tomorrow. It will be slightly different because this time I will be using old dough, as recommended, whereas the first time I used my rye starter. I can't wait to see if the second one is better or if they are both winners.
Gyönyörű, kreatív kenyér. Nagyon jó ötlet a körte!
Thank you, Terike, and thank you, Google Translator! 😉
I have some pears on my counter that have just been volunteered into being added into a bread dough. This recipe looks like a nice simple one too. I have found I like adding yogurt to my breads lately so I have that on hand too…
Thanks for the inspiration!
Indeed a prefect treat with fresh pears from the tree. Envy! 😉
Thank you for baking for Word Bread Day . Hope you will join us next year again!
What a great looking loaf of bread and an interesting flavor combo 🙂
Would love to give it a try – Could you please tell me where to find the recipe you used ?
Thank you, tsunami! Sure… Actually the exact source is given in the first paragraph of the post. Please refer to it!