Best-selling fermentation authors Kirsten and Christopher Shockey explore a whole new realm of probiotic superfoods with Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments. This in-depth handbook offers accessible, step-by-step techniques for fermenting beans and grains in the home kitchen.
The Shockeys expand beyond the basic components of traditionally Asian protein-rich ferments to include not only soybeans and wheat, but also chickpeas, black-eyed peas, lentils, barley, sorghum, millet, quinoa, and oats. Their ferments feature creative combinations such as ancient grains tempeh, hazelnut–cocoa nib tempeh, millet koji, sea island red pea miso, and heirloom cranberry bean miso.
Once the ferments are mastered, there are more than 50 additional recipes for using them in condiments, dishes, and desserts including natto polenta, Thai marinated tempeh, and chocolate miso babka. For enthusiasts enthralled by the flavour possibilities and the health benefits of fermenting, this book opens up a new world of possibilities.
Chocolate Miso Babka
Yield: 12–15 servings
Challah, which is a soft and buttery egg bread, was a staple when our house was full of hungry kids and tired grownups. After a trip to New York, Christopher found and quickly fell in love with chocolate babka. By the time he got home, the loaf he had brought back to share was mostly devoured, leading to what the kids remember as the best culinary experiment ever.
After about a dozen versions or so, Christopher came down to using his go-to challah with modifications. Now the evolution continues with the addition of miso, which lends a caramel note to this wonderful creation.
1¼ cups warm water (at body temperature)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
⅓ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Sweet White Miso
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
Coarse granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Pour the warm water into a large bowl. Whisk in the yeast and honey. Let stand until the yeast begins to foam, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 egg, and salt to the yeast mixture and whisk together.
Add the flour 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. You will probably want to start stirring with your whisk but abandon it for a sturdy wooden spoon, which you will abandon for your hands in the end. Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and the dough feels elastic, 4 to 5 minutes. If it is still sticky, add a bit more flour and work it in. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, 90 to 120 minutes, depending upon the activity of the yeast, your kneading, and the temperature of the room.
Butter a 10-inch bread pan and line it with parchment paper.
Punch down the risen dough, dump it onto a floured work surface, and knead for 5 minutes, sprinkling on some additional flour if your dough begins to stick to the surface or to you. Divide the dough into three equal balls. Roll each ball into a ropelike shape about 1½ inches in diameter. Make sure all three are of equal length and relatively the same thickness. With a rolling pin, flatten each rope to about ½ inch to form rectangles.
Combine the chocolate, granulated sugar, miso, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Process until they are a consistent crumble.
Brush each dough rectangle with the unsalted melted butter and sprinkle one-third of the chocolate-miso mixture onto each. Press the mixture into the dough with your fingers. Roll each dough rectangle up into a rope again and pinch the seam and ends to keep the chocolate-miso mixture safely inside.
Braid the three ropes together, but don’t worry if they aren’t perfect because you are going to twist them and cram them into the bread pan.
Place your braided dough in the pan, twisting it a bit if you like. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature or until the dough has risen enough to fill the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Brush the top of the risen dough with the egg wash, then sprinkle the coarse granulated sugar on top.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is brown. Remove the bread from the pan by lifting out the parchment paper. Cool on a wire rack. No really, wait until it’s cooled before you slice into this beauty so that it keeps its shape. Enjoy!
Excerpted from Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments © 2019 by Kirsten Shockey and Christopher Shockey. Photographs by © Dina Avila. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.