Kolach for Maryna

Maryna’s a baker in Kyiv and she bakes bread every day. I started corresponding with her after the Russian invasion but I find it hard to know what I can say, what I shouldn’t say and what is helpful to say. So I constantly feel I’m not a lot of use.

But bread is a language we can use even if my attempts at Ukrainian breads might seem a bit of a joke to Ukrainian bakers.

Anyway, this is my birthday bread for Maryna very slightly adapted from Ollia Hercules in the Guardian a few weeks back.

I cheated and used tinned pumpkin and I should have cheated with the butter. The recipe calls for soft butter to be added to the dough little by little after the other ingredients have been mixed. Not sure if I see the point. So next time I’ll do what I always do with enriched doughs – melt the butter gently and add it to the initial dough.

So basically the dough was hand mixed with all the ingredients going straight in. Bulk fermented for four hours (except it wasn’t because of the threat of 40 nets of hard wood logs arriving that had to be tipped on the road and removed from said road as soon as possible) So four became about three when the dough had to be divided by four, rolled out and braided. Don’t think I’ve ever done a four strand braid before. Braided and formed into a couronne …

About another three hours prove – egg washed – baked in the Pico 250C top, 220C bottom, steam 15 minutes, reduced temp to about 220C top, 190C bottom. 40 minutes total. Egg washed again after 15 mins and 30 mins.

So, Happy Birthday Maryna, love to you and your family – hope you get some time to celebrate!

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