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apprentice

Woman does not live by rye or barley alone.


So this woman decided to follow suit, when she saw that a lot of other bloggers on The Fresh Loaf were having fun with bagels. I have a formula for Montreal-style bagels from my instructor at baking school. He got it, scribbled in pencil on a brown paper bag, from bakers at the St. Viateur Bagel Bakery where they've been supplying bagel lovers since 1957.


First, I had to scale back the formula. St. Viateur makes almost 10,000 bagels a day at its main location, so the original formula is a big one. It uses 40 kilos of flour, which they make several times a day. At school, we cut that back to 5 kilos. I thought I might manage with 1 kilo at home, which would produce just a baker's dozen. Even so, my poor Kitchen Aid mixer was straining. I quickly moved to hand kneading after the dough came together.


I'll publish the recipe below. There are two significant differences from others I've seen. Firstly, no salt. That always surprises people. I never know how to answer. Either the baker forgot to write it down, or it's what makes this particular bagel extra chewy and delicious. I don't miss it -- not a bit. Secondly, no proofing. At all. You can even skip bulk fermentation, if you let the bagels rest in the fridge overnight after shaping. Or production can be a continuous process after bulk fermentation where you go directly to dividing, shaping, boiling and baking. Then eating. :)


Here's the dough after 8 minutes of kneading:


bagel dough


You can see the stiffness characteristic of bagel dough.  I flattened the ball to a circle about 2" high and used my bench scraper to divide it into 4 oz. wedges. These, I rolled into strips much as Jeffrey Hamelman describes in Bread. As you handle the dough, it becomes smoother and more pliable.


I hadn't made these in over two years, but it was coming back to me. (Don't stack them like that...argh, they'll stick together. Oh yeah, keep a spray bottle handy to mist them or remember to cover with plastic while I process the rest. Wait a minute, no dusting flour...best worked on a damp surface!) The stream of consciousness continued, as I talked myself through the vague memories that my hands recalled better than my brain.


shaping bagels


Then came the boiling and seeding. We never worried about colouring the water much. A handful of brown sugar or some malt syrup if it was handy -- just enough to help gelatinize the starch on the surface in a tasty way, making the bagels smooth and shiny. The dough already has sweetness from malt extract. Today, I used about 2 T of brown sugar in the boiling water. I love sesame seeds, so I used them for most of the bagels and coarse salt for the rest.


boil n seed bagels


Here's what they looked like at half-time on my baker's half sheet pan in the oven. #13 of the baker's dozen got squished. That's okay. I found they needed extra time to brown properly. So near the end, I divided them between two smaller sheet pans without parchment and jacked the heat back up for about three minutes. Did the trick.


bagels at half time in oven


Who's got the cream cheese?


    fresh from oven


Montreal Style Bagels


1 kilo bread flour (about 8 cups)


2 grams instant yeast (2/3 tsp)


40 grams sugar (3 tbsp + 1/2 tsp)


9 grams malt - the flour, not the syrup (4 1/2 tsp)


50 grams egg (1 large)


463 grams water (2 cups or 500 ml)


2 1/2 tsp vegetable oil


Scale or measure out all ingredients. Blend dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until dough starts to come together. If using a stand mixer, change to hand kneading at this point rather than strain the motor of your machine. Continue kneading until developed fully. At this point, you have some choices. The instructions that follow are for continuous processing. If you want to incorporate overnight retardation, see my two replies to Michael below.


Cover the dough and give it about 45 minutes rest on your counter, aka a period of bulk fermentation. When the time is nearly up, put a large pot such as a Dutch oven full of water on to boil and throw in 2 T brown sugar or some barley malt syrup. (Honey or maple syrup are fine, too.) Divide the dough into 13 units of about 113 grams (4 oz) each. Roll into strips and shape as bagels. There is no need to proof the bagels once shaped, but keep covered and/or mist so they don't dry out. Place on a sheet pan beside the pot of water. Process 6 or 7 at a time, however many will comfortably fit in your pan, moving them around in the water periodically for a minute or so. When ready, they float. Remove back to the sheet pan, and put the next batch on to boil.


While still damp, dip the boiled bagels in your preferred topping and place on a second baking sheet which has been lined with parchment and sprinkled with cornmeal. (If you have a hearth-style oven, the bagels may be placed on a peel or other loading device sprinkled with cornmeal and transferred to the oven to bake directly on the hearth. The technique with a wood-fired, brick oven is different again, one with which I'm not familiar.)


Bake out completely until a nice, golden brown, about 20 minutes at 460F. Reduce the temperature after the first 10 minutes, if your bagels are getting too dark. As mentioned above, I had all 13 bagels on a baker's half sheet, roughly 17" x 12", and they weren't quite baked through where they touched. I transferred them to two smaller sheet pans without parchment and gave them an additional 3 minutes. There was a lovely smell and a small bit of smoke when I opened the oven door. The bagels were perfect!

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apprentice

As Mini O said last year, this is a nice easy little loaf. But "easy" belies how much I've learned from working with Tom Jaine's formula. This loaf did its job in teaching me about barley!


First, it taught me how tasty barley can be and what a shame it is that this wonderful grain has been overlooked through much of history and especially in recent years.


Next, it taught me how best to combine barley with other flours to get the volume we are keen on in this period of history. Jaine's addition of whole wheat flour was fine up to a point. But whole wheat itself often needs a little help to "rise to the occasion." I tried adding bread flour at first, then a little vital wheat gluten. But in the end, I didn't need the gluten. The chief answer was in discovering the right percentage of barley versus wheat, a tidbit I found in Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters.


Another discovery related to volume is that the amount of yeast in Jaine's formula led too easily (for me) to over-proofing. He's got it at 4.2% based on the weight of the flour -- not crazy-high for a straight dough in days gone by, but high for current tastes. And probably higher than necessary with my having increased the amount of wheat flour. I have a loaf shaped and rising right now with much less yeast, and it's behaving better than previous ones. In fact, the yeast in my last loaf went wild in the first 30 minutes after shaping, then had nothing left for oven spring. In fact, it fell a little.


My revised formula follows. New amount of instant yeast is equivalent to fresh at 2% of flour weight. Oven spring is happening! Pictures follow. Anyone who's interested in seeing Jaine's original recipe can check it out in P McCool's post here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1054/oat-barley-loaf#comment-3565


Barley Bread


227 grams (8 oz) water


28.35 grams (1 oz or 2 T) whipping cream


3 grams (0.1 oz or 3/4 tsp) instant yeast


136 grams (4.8 oz) stoneground whole wheat flour


102 grams (3.6 oz) whole barley flour


102 grams (3.6 oz) bread flour


6 grams (0.2 oz or 1 tsp) salt



  1. Mix all dry ingredients together including the yeast.

  2. Mix water with whipping cream. (Adjust temperature of water to produce a desired dough temperature of 76F. Over the past year, my water temp has varied from 42.4F to 67F to produce a dough at 76 degrees.)

  3. Add liquid ingredients to dry. Knead for approximately 8 minutes. Leave to rise in a greased bowl covered with greased plastic wrap. Proof in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size. Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface, gently degas, preshape round, cover and wait 5 minutes, then shape to form a simple loaf to fit a greased 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 3" loaf tin. (I like doing "buns'o'bread or pain fesses, as they're called in Quebec). Let rise until almost double in a warm place for 1 hour.

  4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 F. Steam is an option when ready to bake, as is a glaze made of a little egg white mixed with a spoonful of cold water. Bake for 25 minutes. Makes one loaf.


A final note: I tried toasting the barley flour in one recent bake. That produced a lovely aroma in my home but not much difference in the taste of the bread. I did note, however, a big increase in how fast the bread went stale. But made according to the formula above, this is a delightful little bread with a creamy crumb and a taste that goes well with most foods both sweet and savory. It's especially nice with apricot jam! :)

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apprentice

I love this bread! I love it for a lot of reasons, not least of which that it's easy and delicious. I also feel as if I'm reclaiming a bit of our bread heritage, when I make this loaf. Barley has a long and wonderful history. Now it is almost exclusively used in brewing – understandable on account of its very low gluten content. But a pity from the nutritional point of view!

I've made it three times, and I'm not quite there yet. But I'm well within sight of the changes that will make it work for me. So here's the story to date:

#1 Bake: The dough, silky soft and extensible. Not much elasticity:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulk ferment was good, but not much oomph left for the proof.

Shaped as pain-fesses, about as ready as it would ever get.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful crumb, lovely taste:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But short!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got a little more height after experimenting. That's Bake #2 on the right:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trick seems to be substituting some bread flour for a portion of the whole wheat. I also threw in a pinch of gluten. Am happy to share the percentages of barley, ww and bread flour that seem to work best for me. But it will have to wait until I return from a short holiday.

Meanwhile, if anyone else wants to play with this, go check out the thread on Mini O's Oat & Barley Loaf. PMcCool posted Jaine's recipe there about half-way down. It's dated Aug. 23/06. (Sorry, the taxi's due, or I'd go get the link to post it here for you.)

Happy Baking!

Carol

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apprentice

This bread was begun with the highest hopes and a bubbly poolish...


Beer Bread poolish


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


The poolish had actually bubbled a little too long. It looked perfect around 15 or 16 hours, but I had other things on the go and left it for another two hours. Slight deflation. Couldn't be helped. The picture was taken right before mixing. What do you think?


Had all my ingredients measured the night before, ready to go. Because I couldn't find hulled malted barley kernels locally, only unmalted, I opted to use non-diastatic barley malt powder. I understand malting better now. It seems I could have produced the powder myself using the unmalted kernels. That's what malting is, I learned, thanks to Mini O and a bunch of reading. You sprout or germinate whole grain kernels (usually, but not only barley) under controlled conditions. Once malted, the grain is heated to dry and then ground into powder. Sometimes called crystals, flour or extract, just to confuse things further. :)


I chose a nut brown ale from a local micro-brewery. Bonus! The bottle held 650 ml, so there would be some left over to go with my supper of curried chicken.


Will make a long story short for now. Things looked promising every step of the way. Even had some fun experimenting with techniques for the final ferment because I don't own oval bannetons. I scooched one loaf up in a trench created with a piece of canvas and covered it with plastic. Also tried an idea in From Julia Child's Kitchen for suspending a long loaf in a canvas sling, weighted heavily, from the edge of a table. Both worked fine but bannetons are way easier. They're on my long wish list!


I loaded the bread in the oven. My dinner was ready. I'd already been sipping the ale, and it was utterly delicious! I'm usually more of a wine or single malt whiskey girl, but that ale made a convert of me. It also made me so impatient for the bread! I was beginning to see why Hamelman wrote in his recipe that this one would have a lively, robust flavour.


Here they are:


beer bread loaves


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


And here's the crumb:


beer bread crumb


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


And here's the part I've been sighing about since Thursday. Why I haven't really wanted to write this blog entry. The taste...I'm so sorry, Jeffrey...was disappointing. Insipid even.


Gasp! Even typing those words, let alone saying them aloud, feels sacrilegious to me. I've always found Hamelman's recipes completely reliable. Oh, the temperature might be a little hot for my oven. I also had a lot to learn about handling rye before I could produce something similar to the promised results in those breads. But taste? He's never failed me there.


And probably still hasn't. It might well have been a mistake on my part. For one thing, I ended up with about two ounces less than the total weight he indicates. I have a sneaking hunch I might have mismeasured the salt, using the 1 1/4 tsp amount from the next line in the text, instead of 1 T. But that wouldn't account for two whole ounces!


So I'll make it again, especially if I hear from someone at TFL that they had a good result with this recipe. It's basically a nice white bread with some whole wheat and malted barley thrown in. The poolish, the ale...altogether it should have been tasty, as advertised. We'll see.


That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Thanks for your interest.


Carol


Added by EDIT: Please be sure to read my post in the comment section below on the results of the second bake. I did change my story! This is a lovely bread, well worth your time and attention.

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apprentice

It was the nicest kind of serendipity that drew me into working with barley. A friend asked if I could make her some sprouted barley bread. She heard that sprouted grain breads are healthy, and she knows how much I enjoy a challenge.

Naturally, my first stop was TFL. Mini O, how did I miss that you were working with barley, too? I guess I was too focused at that point on "sprouted barley bread" as a search term. I found some references to other barley breads and looked further afield.

I accumulated lots of info about barley in general, its different forms and many uses. See here, http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch410.html if you want to delve further. Who knew what an important role this humble grain played in creating the world we know today?

Didn't find recipes for SBB, but I found references to a product made by the Alvarado Street Bakery of Sonoma County, California. They bill themselves as a global supplier of whole grain breads and bagels. Their loaf has sprouted barley and wheat berries plus a few other things including raisins. That wasn't what my friend had in mind. I kept looking.

My research ultimately led me to some non-sprouted barley breads that I really wanted to try. Also found a sprouted wheat bread recipe I figured I could modify for my friend to include sprouted barley as well. I reasoned that the plain barley breads would teach me what I needed to know to make a success of the sprouted version. Good excuse? We'll see how it works out. My wonderful friend said, "Carol, I'm sure I'll be happy to eat whatever you're happy to make."  :)

First up was Jeffrey Hamelman's Beer Bread with Roasted Barley. That will be my next blog entry – with pictures.

Carol

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apprentice

Seems appropriate to make my first blog post about pumpernickel. Mentioned in my intro post yesterday that it was Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel in Jeffrey Hamelman's book Bread that brought me to The Fresh Loaf. Growing up in multi-cultural Winnipeg, Manitoba, I was exposed to so many wonderful ryes. So while I was at baking school, I made whatever breads (and other things) we were assigned and then worked overtime on the ryes.

To say there's a learning curve with true pumpernickel is an understatment! Made JH's recipe countless times. Thought I'd share pictures of the first decent loaf I produced, along with the grateful and happy email I sent to  my instructor in the wee hours that day before graduation. I might flub picture posting this first try. Bear with me.

The final dough, ready for the pan:

 

 

 

 

 

After the long night's bake:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crumb:

 

 

 

 

 

Email to my instructor (excerpt):

"Best graduation present ever! I seem to have cracked the pumpernickel at last. Not completely there yet, as you can see from the concave bit, centre top. But I think I know how to solve that, too. Several insights made the difference... But most importantly, I saw a reference in side note on page 216 that his Pullman pans are 13" long rather than our 16". Meant I was vastly overproofing by trying to get the bread close to the top of the pan. Even overproofed this one because it was supposed to get 50 to 60 minutes and could not believe that it seemed to be ready at 20! I turned the oven on to preheat, and the loaf continued to rise before my very eyes like time-lapse photography. That's what produced the concave bit, I would guess. Could think of no one I'd rather share this joy with! And yes, that is one of the school's Pullman pans. It's right by my front door to bring back today."
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