Artisan Toast, 6 Ways

Making my own sourdough bread has been on my wish list for years. I love the dark, crunchy crust on the outside and the chewy, tender crumb on the inside. Give me some sourdough bread and I’m a happy gal.

I’ve even turned my husband into a sourdough snob and now that the Artisan Bakeshop has opened in my neighborhood, we splurge on their bread every week for Shabbat. We can’t go back to regular Challah even if we wanted to. We are sourdough snobs, period.

Well, somehow, G-d was listening to my inner sourdough goddess when I ended up sitting right next to the Queen Of Sourdough at the recent Kosher Food Blogger Conference. Chaya Suri (also known as Spice & Zest) is a talented home cook who doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She taught herself the ins & outs of sourdough when she began her starter three years ago, and she’s never turned back! She makes sourdough everything – crackers, pizza, pretzel buns, pita, challah, even sweets like babka and donuts! I invited her over for a hands-on sourdough class-turned-artisan toast party and Oh. Em. Gee. you guys. Her bread is insane. And now, now I have my own starter blooming in the fridge, and my own batch of sourdough bread ready to be baked! I’ve hopped on the sourdough train and I’m never turning back!

The best part of cooking together with another foodie is that we speak the same language. Chaya Suri loves using herbs and spices in her cooking (hence the name Spice & Zest, soon to be a food blog!) and her creations are healthy, creative and full of flavor. I drool over her Instagram posts and I can’t wait to cook with her again! Of course I picked her brain about some of her favorite cookbooks, kitchen tools and spices, and lets just say my Amazon shopping cart is loaded t capacity.

So first things first, Chaya Suri came with her cast iron pan, a batch of ready made dough and sourdough starter. We baked up her bread and a quick batch of her amazing (and easier than ever) sourdough crackers and then started on a new batch of sourdough bread from scratch. To say I was a little overwhelmed by the whole you-need-to-take-care-of-your-starter-like-another-child thing is an understatement. I’ve been known to kill every plant I ever had. But I’m going to try. And if my starter “chokes”, I’m just going to have to bother the Queen of Sourdough for a fresh batch! 😉

After we put together our 85% hydrated dough, we set it aside for the autolyse stage (don’t ask me what that is, just hire Chaya Suri for your own class!) and got started on our toasts. Artisan toasts are all the rage right now, and being a huge fan of Zak The Baker, I couldn’t wait to put together my own Artisan bites.

We made some fun combos including avocado toast with persimmon and pomegranate (with pomegranate molasses ans sriracha salt!), Gingerbread toast with my own homemade gingerbread pecan butter (it’s as good as it sounds!), camembert toast with port cranberry jam, berry toasts with creme fraiche, honey & lime, feta toast with tomatoes, olives and za’atar (because I always HAVE to have za’atar on the table) and finally, a spicy cheese toast with preserved lemon and harissa (because you know I’m obsessed with the stuff).

My favorite, hands down, was the avocado persimmon toast, followed closely by the gingerbread and the feta with za’atar. The others came close behind because they were all winners!

What are your favorite artisan toast combinations? Share them with me in the comments below!

 



Here are some of Chaya Suri’s book/tool recommendations, if you want to get started on making your own sourdough. To attend one of her sourdough workshops, email her at cookwithspiceandzest@gmail.com.

Tartine Bread
Tartine Book No. 3
Sourdough
Lodge cast iron pan
Proofing Basket
Bread Making Container (stainless steel is not recommended)
Bread Lame
Flour Sack Towels
Bench Scraper

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