…pretty daisies on the exhibition grounds, greeting me as I arrived for the Baking Congress
Summer arrived this week – I’m happy for all the people who have travelled to Vancouver (at this time of beautiful weather!), to participate in the Baking Association of Canada’s Baking Congress, held yesterday and today.
I was able to attend yesterday, enjoyed the company of many really nice people, including TFL’s Floyd, running into him unexpectedly :^)
Floyd's post about the event is here - great coverage and lots of really good photos!
Craig Ponsford, Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie gold medal winner (1996) and former chairman of the Bread Baker’s Guild of America (BBGA) conducted bread-baking demonstrations, ably assisted by Tracy Muzzolini, a member of Team Canada 2008 and the BBGA. Both taught at BBGA's WheatStalk event last summer in Chicago but I didn't have the opportunity to take their classes - so it was wonderful to seem them at this conference. Thanks to them both for the instruction, and their hard work putting together the demo!
A nice variety of 100% whole-grain breads were prepared – baguettes and Red Fife and barley pretzels (baked that day) and I was able to see Craig shape pumpernickel, braid challah and mix Danish dough to be laminated the next day.
Craig has published a collection of whole-grain and gluten-free recipes for the California Raisin Marketing Board – formulas for delicious-looking pumpernickel and pretzels are here:
Craig shared lots of interesting information during the demonstration I saw.
(display of how the wheat berry components can be separated during milling, part of the lovely display at Nunweiler's Flour booth - the gentleman there very generous, sharing information about milling, and samples of their organic, whole-grain flour)
On whole-milled flour:
- the components of the wheat berry are never separated when flour is whole-milled; flour labelled as whole-wheat could have the endosperm, germ and bran separated and re-combined
- how to tell if the flour you have has been whole-milled: the flour will never sift out white, as the germ ‘smears’ when milling and gives color to the flour; the flour will have similar particle sizes so you won’t see large pieces of bran
- whole-milling stabilizes the germ
- you can use 2/3 less yeast when using whole-milled whole-wheat flour as this flour provides more food for the yeast
- 2nd speed mixing too aggressive for whole-grain flour
- recommended less mixing time and using folds, to preserve flavor
- add salt later on intensive mixes; if you add salt too soon, dough can build strength too fast and potentially break down before it’s fully mixed
An interesting thing Craig does to cut down on white sugar is to substitute agave syrup or fruit puree (applesauce, banana or prune puree, raisin paste, hydration may need adjusting if using a really wet puree). He mentioned he includes applesauce in his Pumpernickel bread – wish I could have been there to taste the baked bread!
Craig used wet hands and roughly air-shaped the pumpernickel paste, placed it in a tub of coarse pumpernickel meal, making sure it was completely coated in meal before placing in a greased pan, and noted you can keep the rye paste super wet as the coarse rye will keep on absorbing.
...really coarse pumpernickel meal, and a toss into the pan
And when braiding the challah, he demonstrated how you can braid ‘up’ instead of braiding on a horizontal plane; I think he said it was easier to see what you were doing. It was like he was braiding a little tower - I wish I could have captured that braiding method on video.
On pretzels and lye:
Craig sprayed the pretzels with a 4% lye solution, using a regular spray bottle. I thought this was a wonderful idea - no splashing or dripping as might happen when dipping, no distortion of the shape because you’re not moving the pretzels, and you might not have to mix as much solution?
Here’s the baked baguette, super flavor!:
and the crumb...
These are pieces of the pretzel cut up for tasting
(I was preoccupied taking the picture and regret not taking a piece, to sample)
A short seminar on sprouted grains was presented by Everspring Farms.
The lady presenting (I regret not catching her name) discussed the nutritional benefits of sprouting, and some variables to consider when sprouting - time and temperature (germination times of 12 to 48 hours were mentioned), and the variety of wheat (as germination weakens the grain).
The lady presenting also mention the duration of germination would affect the amount of sprouted grain you blended into your mix (the longer the length of germination, the lower the inclusion of rate of sprouted grain flour); and that using sprouted flour can give a softer crumb and slow staling.
She also said sprouted grains can be used as a wet mash, but to mill into flour, are the sprouted grain is dried down at a low temperature.
Here’s a picture of a wet mash:
(ground with the Kitchen Aid grinder)
I tried making a sprouted grain bread with that mash, along with additional sprouted whole-wheat flour once, and really liked the bread! The seminar was a good reminder to get organized and try this again.
Here are some pictures of Artistry, on display:
(this bread was really good)
Dogwood flowers crafted by a young lady from Vancouver Island University, above in color, below, au naturel
This Spring, I've tried to take pictures of dogwood blooms and I'd say the ones above look very realistic!
It was a very enjoyable day at the Baking Congress, so glad I attended - met many helpful and kind people, saw some beautiful baking and got the chance to taste delicious things.
Happy baking everyone,