Ingredients for making bread at home; seeds and spices


Our reader Ana asks us some questions about where to find some ingredients to make bread:

I always visit the page, and now that I have bought a book to make bread, I have had problems to get a number of foods and seeds. If possible, he would recommend where to get caraway seeds and mustard powder.

In other countries with more custom of making bread at home, such as Germany, they tell me that there are specialized stores that sell different types of flour by weight, with different degrees of grinding, depending on the use that is going to be given. Right there we can buy poppy, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, ready to decorate or put into the dough of our bread.

We have already talked about yeast, an important part of the success of a bread. However, other ingredients such as seeds or spices, which are often added to many breads, are more difficult to find. These ingredients can be found in health food stores or in the diet and natural products section of some large supermarkets.

However, there are times when you have no choice but to go to spice stores, there are few but they usually have everything. For example, in Chinese supermarkets with imported products I usually find almost everything, such as star anise, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cardamom, fresh and powdered ginger, peppers of various types, and ground spices in bulk.

Specifically, the caraway the reader asks us about was bought ground in a Moroccan store, they use it a lot in Morocco for couscous and to marinate meat skewers, and it is part of a famous mixture of spices called ras-el- hanout. Sometimes, if it's something weirder, I also go to a Hindu spice store, where you can find more exotic ingredients.

Regarding mustard powder, I think it is not difficult to find in some supermarkets where they have imported products. One of the easiest to find is a yellow tin from the Colman´s Mustard brand, and it is of good quality.

It's a matter of knowing how to search and not limiting ourselves to the sometimes ridiculous shelves of spices in supermarkets. Ingredients as basic as pine nuts, peeled walnuts or raisins are often difficult to find in some supermarkets. And let's not say when it comes to spices or more "exotic" seeds. It is true that finding them requires some research work from the stores around us, but it is worth it if we want to get homemade breads with a perfect finish.

Cover image | Flickr by jlastras
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