The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

breadsong's blog

  • Pin It
breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello everyone,
I caught an episode of "Mexico: One Plate at a Time", on TV - hosted by Chef Rick Bayless.
Fresh flour tortillas were the subject - very quickly made, using a food processor.
The recipe is available online at rickbayless.com  -
(I used the ingredients posted online, and the method demonstrated on TV, to make these tortillas). 

                         Here's one cooking...

 

Fresh flour tortillas...0h-so-delicious! They puffed up nicely while cooking:
   

                  This one ballooned just like a pita!:


My adaptation of the recipe and method:

I wouldn't hesitate to make these flour tortillas again - they were fabulous; enjoyed freshly-cooked, a delight!
Thank you, Mr. Bayless!

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello everyone,

We visited Terra Breads recently and sampled their apple focaccia (loved it! – a really delicious, seasonal bread for fall).
A friend of mine and I were talking about salted caramel awhile ago...a flavor I adore.
Here is what I came up with, trying to re-create Terra Bread’s delicious apple focaccia, with salted caramel, 
here at home :^)

                                     

 

For the apples, I used the Honeycrisp variety; for the bread, an enriched, slightly-spiced dough; and finished with a salted caramel sauce.
This version is sweet! - sweeter than the bakery’s, the caramel sauce being a bit thicker.
On the apple focaccia we tasted from the bakery, sesame and thyme leaves were used as garnish. I did the same, sprinkling on top, when baking was finished and after the caramel glaze was brushed on.
The white color of the sesame was a nice contrast to the rich color of the caramel, and the green thyme leaves added another touch of color (and flavor!). I love fruit and herb combinations and really, really enjoyed the combination of apple and thyme, along with the caramel.

Some were baked as individual ‘focaccie’ and I baked one ring-shaped bread, in a trois frères mold: 
  

The formula and method (based on a Bara Brith dough I made awhile back - less spice and minus the dried fruit):

... the pre-cooked apple slices:

...individual focaccia before baking;                                             close up of overlapping slices, ring mold, after baking:
       

... the baked focaccia, before glazing: 

 

 

The crumb of one of the focaccie:
(had to force myself to put the knife and fork down, in order to be able to pick up the camera, to take this picture! :^)    )

 
Yum, I thought this bread quite rich and delicious and was happy to indulge with the salted caramel, a special treat!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting :^)

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello everyone, and Happy 'World Bread Day'!
Here are some breads baked over the last while, lovely flavors from different countries :^)

 


                                                                                     



For Canada (Victoria BC and Manotic, Ontario),
Cliff Leir’s 50% Whole Wheat (with thanks to MC-Farine for her post), baked with Watson’s Mill Flour,
a lovely flour kindly sent to me by Franko (his post on Watson's Mill is here):
 

***


For the United States (San Francisco, CA), SFBI Miche, a formula posted by dmsnyder - thanks so much, David!:
 

 

***

For the United States and Sweden, two breads presented at WheatStalk 2012 (Chicago, IL):
Richard Miscovich's 100% Sprouted Whole Wheat       Solveig Tofte's Vort Limpa Rye (Orange, Anise, Fennel)
    

 


***

For France, Roasted Garlic Fougasse, from Jeffrey Hamelman’s book Bread, and MC-Farine’s Pain de l’Abbaye Saint-Wandrille:
 



***


For Germany, a variation of Jeffrey Hamelman’s 80% Rye with a Rye-Flour Soaker (honey, walnuts, spice):
 



***

For Russia, Andrew Whitley’s Borodinsky (from his book, Bread Matters), flavored with beautiful coriander:
 

 

There was a world of great flavor with these breads - very happy to remember how good these breads tasted,
for World Bread Day :^)

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong




 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Day 3 - The last day of the Conference - as I arrived, was happy to be greeted by dew-kissed apples in the orchard,

and another beautiful, sunny breakfast :^)

 

There were also fresh, wood-fired bagels – my goodness, we were spoiled with all of the fresh, lovely food we were presented with!:
 

***

The morning passed quickly, being very absorbed in Scott Mangold’s class, “Test Baking with Local Wheats for Home and Bakery”. Scott is a very good teacher and gave very practical advice on the testing process, and conveyed his considerable level of skill and experience as he assessed locally-grown wheats, whose properties could be unknown or vary from season to season.

MC (farine-mc.com) has (so kindly!) written a detailed post about Scott's class, found here:
http://www.farine-mc.com/2012/09/scott-mangold-test-baking-with-local.html

Assessing rise and spread of doughs made with two different local, whole-wheat flours:
                              

The baked breads: I got to taste two of them – both were good, and but my favorite was the bread made with Red Russian wheat - I sure do hope I come across that variety of wheat someday, for baking ; its flavor was exquisite :^)

 
Four varieties of local wheats tested: Renan, Hedlin Farm's Bauermeister, Camas Red Fife, and Red Russian

A close-up of one of the loaves:

***

After the morning class, one last walk along the colorful path from the Sakuma  Auditorium; so many pretty flowers :^)
               

***

We were treated to another great meal, a lasagna lunch (yummy and from Patty Pan catering), before saying our good-byes or departing for tours that had been scheduled for the afternoon.

This year’s Kneading Conference West was, just like last year, great fun and a fantastic opportunity to get together with so many other generous people, interested in bread and grains, and willing to share their knowledge and experience; I sincerely hope this Conference continues as an annual event at WSU.
Many thanks to the hard-working organizers, instructors/presenters, volunteers and caterers for making it such an educational and enjoyable event to attend!

:^) breadsong

Previous posts: Kneading Conference 2012 - Day 1
                          Kneading Conference 2012 - Day 2

 



breadsong's picture
breadsong

Another gorgeous day for the Skagit Valley, and a sunlit breakfast waiting for us as we arrived for Day 2 :^)
 

…and, if you wished, you could have pie for breakfast!

***

After breakfast, Andrew Whitley, co-founder of The Real Bread Campaign in the UK, led the day with his keynote address “Bread Matters”.
MC-Farine has a really good summary of Andrew’s talk here:
http://www.farine-mc.com/2012/09/andrew-whitley-bread-matters.html


Andrew described his realization that for some, tasting bread can take them back to a place where bread mattered.
It was very interesting to hear Andrew describe what motivated him to become a baker, write his book, and to co-found the Real Bread Campaign, in efforts to improve the state of bread in his home country. I’m sure Andrew’s efforts have brought much joy to people, firstly by baking good bread for them, and then by teaching how people to make it for themselves :^)  

***

During the day, I popped in an out of the Professional Baking Class taught by Jesse Dodson (first picture below), Michael Eggebrecht and Martin Philip (second picture below). 
 

A wealth of knowledge with these three, and I tried to jot down interesting and helpful things they mentioned:

Whole Grains:
- whole-milled flour lasts longer (is more shelf-stable?) than flour that has been re-combined
- whole grains like to ferment a little warmer that white dough
- proofing for whole grains has to outpace the loss of gas; mix whole grains to 80F dough temperature, so the warmer temperature will promote faster gas production, resulting in shorter final proof/fast to the oven
- with whole grains, colder temperatures will amplify acetic flavors, warmer temperatures will amplify lactic flavors

Dough Temperature:
                               
- a good dough temperature for a French bread (baguette dough) is low 70’s (F); mixing too warm will
result in a tighter crumb (wish I’d thought to ask why!)
- dough temperature and effect on duration of bulk fermentation (assumed to be happening at 70F room temperature):  as a guide, you can expect a change of 7 minutes per degree per hour of fermentation; for example, ciabatta that might bulk ferment at 75F for 180 minutes (3 hours), if mixed to 78F instead of 75F, would have a 63-minute reduction in bulk fermentation time (7 minutes x 3 degree temperature difference  x 3 hours original bulk fermentation = 63 minutes) – so your dough would bulk ferment 117 minutes instead of 180 minutes
- if trying to use environmental compensations (fridge, or a warming device) for dough temperature that didn’t hit the target, your dough will ferment unevenly around the perimeter)

Masters of shaping and scoring:
It was a pleasure to see these talented bakers working with the dough, shaping and scoring!
This is pre-shaped baguette dough:

Jesse demonstrating blade angle, batard scoring:

Cutting épi de blé:
 

Steam:

                                            
- too little steam affects crust color and how cuts expand, but too much steam will also affect how cuts expand
- smaller loaves jump in the oven more quickly that larger ones, and so require less steam than larger loaves

Rye:
- the coarseness of the rye grind affects hydration but also the accessibility of the endosperm – what I understood Jesse to say was if the endosperm’s accessibility was reduced as a result of how the rye was milled, less starch could be converted to sugar and that would affect fermentation
- Jesse mentioned when baking dark rye, they tried steaming a second time, 8 minutes into the bake, and got another ½” of height in the baked loaves
- Andrew Ross noted, you can adjust the acidity in your dough if you know the amylase present (represented by falling number) in your flour, for a particular harvest

Baked!:
 

 

***

I would have loved to have caught Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward’s class “A World of Flatbreads” but did manage to get these pictures (flatbreads baking, tasty samples, and a happy dough, bubbling and fermenting away in the sunshine):

                      
                                         

***

There was also an enormously fun demo by Mike Dash of Rolling Fire Pizza, with gorgeous and silky Caputo 00 dough for shaping and baking…
 

Guess which slice had my name on it? :^)

***

There was an afternoon tour of the Bread Lab and demonstration of the various pieces of equipment used for testing flour properties – what wonderful tools to have to help determine the baking properties of the beautiful grain being grown at this WSU extension.

***

Later that afternoon, Naomi Duguid and Dawn Woodward, along with Gary Moulton, presented “Sensory Analysis of Cider, and How the Descriptives Relate to Bread”.
             

It was very interesting to consider the aroma and flavor descriptions that typically apply to wine, beer and cider and consider how those descriptions translate to the aroma and flavor of bread:
                       

***
Then, more Skagit Valley Tastings! More delicious cider (apple, and a gorgeous blackcurrant from Finn River), accompanied by some beautiful barley bread, made by Andrew Ross (who taught a barley class last year at KCW), and Hannah Warren:
  

 

***
Also so enjoyable, the beautiful, sweet bouquet of sweet peas,

intensified by the warmth of the late summer sun...

***

Then, a delicious BBQ dinner provided by Bonanza B-B-Q,  as the sun started to set on this second, wonderful day :^) …

Previous:  Kneading Conference West 2012 – Day 1
Next: Kneading Conference West 2012 – Day 3











                        




breadsong's picture
breadsong

                  

Having had such a wonderful time at last year’s Kneading Conference West, I jumped at the chance to attend this year’s event and be immersed, once again, in all things grain. It was really good to see friendly faces from last year and meet new people – so many interesting, and interested people to chat with, and learn from!

***To see some wonderful write-ups of this event, and more pictures, please see these posts:
Floyd’s http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30236/kneading-conference-west-part-1
Floyd’s http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30241/kneading-conference-west-part-2
MC-Farine’s http://www.farine-mc.com/2012/09/kneading-conference-west-2012.html
Naomi Duguid's  http://naomiduguid.blogspot.ca/2012/09/notes-from-skagit-valley.html
Rhona McAdam’s http://reallygoodwriter.com/food-festivals/kneading-with-a-k
Teresa from Northwest Sourdough's http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=3199
Teresa from Northwest Sourdough's http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=3237


Washington State University’s Mount Vernon extension, where the event was held, is located in the beautiful
Skagit Valley and is an ideal location for this event – lovely fields and orchards, conference spaces and labs –
and the staff there are such gracious hosts! Here is the extension’s director, Dr. Steve Jones, serving up some yummy pretzel samples,
freshly-baked in Andrew Meltzer’s class:  

More sharing of good bread: a gorgeous wood-fired miche someone brought; check out the brick pattern imprinted on the bottom during the bake :^)

 
      I regret I didn’t get to taste this: 


We enjoyed some pretty amazing company: Keynote Speakers Naomi Duguid and Andrew Whitley;  so many great instructors, volunteers, bakers, millers, and maltsters;  old, and new friends;  and also, enjoyed very delicious ‘tastings’, accompanied by glorious and perfect late-summer weather…

...a lovely orchard apple, ripening in the September sun  



***
The conference opened with Naomi Duguid’s keynote address, “Bread Over Time”.
Naomi talked about looking back – how we are standing on the shoulders of peoples’ determination, creativity, labor and achievements in the absence of technology, in using grain - a rich and difficult resource - to survive; and discussed respect and how we may be able to give grain-based foods value again by getting back to local grains, individual varietals with local, distinctive flavors – so we might know where our grain comes from, recognize the effort it takes to produce food from grain, have a commitment to a piece of our bread’s production and a relationship with those that have a part of producing it. MC-Farine has captured so well Naomi’s address!:
http://www.farine-mc.com/2012/09/naomi-duguid-bread-over-time.html




***

The next session I attended was “Whole Grains: We Need the Whole Story” presented by Bob Klein, Tom Hunton, Cliff Leir, and Andrew Whitley. The panel discussed milling methods and that ‘whole-wheat’ might not mean ‘whole-grain’.
As part of this panel discussion a video was shown that described (and I hope I’m paraphrasing correctly) “A wheat kernel may be more than the sum of its parts – it’s a system – all pieces are designed to work together; how can we outsmart a well-designed seed?; we may not have all of the science yet to know what phytochemicals we may be missing when we exclude certain parts of the grain from our flour”.
It was noted “what’s in the mixing bowl may not be usable by our bodies” and how study is needed to determine how long fermentation may help make the nutrition in the grain more available to us.

Bob Klein, of Community Grains, presented an example of product labelling that might help the consumer understand what they were purchasing:

I remember seeing coffee beans for sale at a market once, which listed on the package, the place and elevation where the beans were grown, along with the name of the farmer that grew the coffee. That packaging, as with this labelling from Community Grains, causes me to think of the people behind the product :^)

There was discussion too, on how to improve consumers’ perception of whole grain flour, perhaps by emphasizing freshness, that the product was produced with integrity, the product’s good/distinctive flavor and by creating more positive connotations of the product with better description (describing a bread as “golden” instead of “brown”, for example).



***

In Julie Richardson and Laura Ohm’s class, they were preparing some beautiful pies and tarts; these were peach and plum with raspberry – pleated pie and pastry perfection! (a picture of baked ones coming up, next post): 

                                  
         
                                  
                                                                                                                                

***

In the afternoon, we enjoyed a Skagit Valley Tasting - incredible beer from Skagit Valley Malting, delicious goat cheese from Gothberg Farms, and crispy, flavorful, hand-crafted crackers from Dawn Woodward, of Evelyn’s Crackers:

And from the gorgeous gardens, a yellow poppy,
catching some of the last of the day’s sunshine :^)

***

After the beer, cheese and cracker tasting, and a extremely tasty wood-fired-pizza dinner (thanks to Mike Dash of Rolling Fire Pizza, and Mark Doxtader of Tastebud Farm), the day ended with a talk given by Richard Scheuerman about the heritage of grain-growing and the agricultural history of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the Pacific Northwest, illustrated with beautiful artwork
(really lovely botanical drawings of various heritage grains): 

Richard talked about the biodiversity of the grains that used to be grown in the Puget Sound region and explained these grains were landrace grains, strains with rich genetic diversity that adapted over time to the locales in which they were grown. I thought I heard Richard say some of the historical varieties he researched are now being grown at the WSU extension (I hope I heard correctly), because if that is the case, isn’t it wonderful the ‘terroir’ of some of those Pacific Northwest grains is being preserved? :^)


Continued with next post: Kneading Conference West 2012 - Day 2

Last year's event: Kneading Conference West 2011

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Bonjour, everyone :^)

Susan of Wild Yeast posted an invitation to celebrate Julia Child on August 15th
(on what would have been Julia’s 100th birthday), by baking Pain Français, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2.

What a special way to honor Julia Child! – many thanks to Susan and her baking group, the Bread Baking Babes,
for extending the invitation to participate in this centenary celebration!
Susan has written a wonderful post to celebrate Julia - here is a link: Oh, Julia!

Here are the loaves I baked, to pay tribute to Ms. Child and her Pain Français.

Une rose pour Julia

I have a yellow rose bush outside, called the ‘Julia Child’ rose, named for (and perhaps by?)  Ms. Child…
it blooms beautifully each year. I really love this rose and when I see the flowers, it makes me happy to think of Julia
and her lovely cooking!
Julia’s rose inspired me to try shaping Julia’s bread as pain français en forme de rose.
I loved the golden crust color of the pain français after baking…reminding me of the golden yellow color
of the rose itself :^)
                                                     

 

                          a close-up of the ‘rose petals’

The idea for shaping the rose came from this post:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19320/caucasian-bread
The dough was 63% hydration (quite a bit lower than the original recipe, thinking I would need a stiffer dough to make rose petals).
After rolling out, I brushed the dough with olive oil, prior to rolling up into a cylinder. I hoped the olive oil would prevent the petals from merging/sticking together.
The dough was cut in half lengthwise after it was rolled up, folding open as I cut to expose the cut side (facing up). The two pieces were twisted together, trying to keep the cut side facing up, then the twist coiled up to form the ‘rose’.

A picture of the twist, and the final shaping:
 

I had some extra dough from this batch so baked a small batard, decorated with another flower for Julia;
the stencil for this an imitation of the one used by MC,
for her beautiful pain de l’Abbaye Saint-Wandrille:


Fleur-de-lys

Admiring the decorative fleur-de-lys pattern, a symbol of la Belle France, on the cover of both volumes of
Mastering the Art of French Cooking – which inspired the stencilling on this boule:

 

For this bake, the dough was 71% hydration.  I am not sure what the crumb is like – I froze this loaf – so hard to not to have a slice to taste after baking, considering the tantalizing aroma as this bread emerged from the oven!


La Couronne des Perles

I watched an episode of ‘Baking with Julia’ on pbs.org, where Julia and Steve Sullivan of Acme Bakery are making decorative French breads (a wonderful episode!).
One of the breads they made was la couronne, decorated with a ‘string of pearls’.
I thought a bread, dressed up with a string of pearls, was a most lady-like thing to bake in honor of Julia’s birthday!
                                                    

After I baked this bread, I re-read the beginning of Ms. Child’s book, My Life in France, where she describes her first meal after arriving in the city of Rouen, enjoyed at the restaurant ‘La Couronne’:
“our first lunch together in France had been absolute perfection. It was the most exciting meal of my life…”  
I loved that part of the book, where Julia writes about how she discovered her love of French cuisine!,
and was happy I’d baked a couronne, considering the name of that restaurant :^)

The first time I tried making la couronne, it was at 76% hydration; I held back a bit of water from the original formula,
as I was using a soft flour.
I didn’t hold back quite enough water, finding at 76% hydration the pearls flattened out when proofed upside down.
This second try was 71% hydration and this time, the pearls kept their shape during proofing.
             Here is a picture of the crumb:


I was so happy baking these breads to honor Julia for her birthday, and to enjoy the pleasures brought by Julia’s fresh, crusty, aromatic pain français.
Joyeux anniversaire et merci beaucoup, Julia, for this bread and everything else that you taught and gave to us,
through your research and writing!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

Submitted, with many thanks, to Susan @ YeastSpotting

 





 
 
  

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello everyone,
These basil buns are my adaptation of Jan Hedh’s Risotto Bread, from his book, Artisan Breads.

I loved Mr. Hedh’s idea of including fresh basil in a prefermented dough.  Our season for fresh basil is here! –
I was curious to try making these rolls, to see how they would taste.
                                      

The aroma of basil held very nicely after baking and the basil flavor is definitely there! There is a nice sweetness from the durum, along with tanginess and richness from the yogurt and parmigiano cheese. The crumb is very soft and moist  from the yogurt and risotto, but the risotto is not visible in the crumb after the bake.

I tried stencilling the tops with a basil leaf, and also tried applying a basil leaf with an egg white/water wash, wanting to see how a whole, tender basil leaf would hold up to baking. The leaf lost its bright green color during the bake, but the leaf didn’t brown like I feared it might.

one of the rolls, before baking

                                                             a stencilled roll

crumb (golden from the durum, nice and soft!)

The adapted formula (I wanted to call these rolls 'Pane Risotto con Basilico' in honor of their Italian flavorings :^)   ):

....this was how much basil I used (leaves are pictured on a dinner plate)


 ...the dough after all the ingredients were mixed together


                       One last shot :^)

Thank you, Mr. Hedh, for these lovely, fragrant, delicious little rolls!

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

Submitted to Susan's YeastSpotting



 



 



 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello everyone,

At the end of June, The Bread Bakers Guild of America presented WheatStalk 2012, a *wonderful* three-day
educational event in Chicago.

On the Guild's website, the event is described as:
“… a joining together of member bakers, millers and growers to learn and improve techniques, share ideas and build community”, and,
“…will feature three educationally packed days with hands-on classes, demos, lectures and oven building taught by the industry leaders and old friends…”.

This event was exactly as promised! :^)

WheatStalk attracted some incredible (and extremely hard-working!) instructors, teaching assistants and volunteers!
The event was so much fun to attend, very well-organized, and held at Kendall College (a superbly-equipped and immaculate facility), located right on the Chicago River:
                                             

How fortunate was I to be able to attend this event, study at Kendall College, and have a bit of time to explore Chicago.
What a vibrant city! The architecture  was gorgeous (so many beautifully-designed buildings!), lots of green space in the downtown area, lots and lots of public art on display – a real feast for the eyes!

The view from 95 stories Up! --->  

Skylines:
 
Beautiful trees in among the skyscrapers, and one example of the incredibly-beautiful outdoor artwork,
                                                                                                                   a mural by Marc Chagall:
       


I found this event to have a joyous atmosphere with so many friends connecting again and so many
nice, kind people to meet.
Everyone was very welcoming to a home baker like myself, and my instructors were patient and generous,
each one a wealth of knowledge.
The teaching assistants and fellow students were invaluable to learn from, also – people were asking such good questions.
By the end of the conference I was feeling quite awestruck by the collective knowledge and expertise of the bakers in attendance!


The first evening, Jeffrey Yankellow presented a Baker’s Math class.
Jeffrey emphasized the importance of knowing the function of ingredients in dough, of understanding the bread-making process and baker’s math, and of practical experience. With all of all of these, he said you can ask yourself, “What do I want this bread to be?” and create any bread you want :^)


The next three days offered almost-impossible choices (by that I mean, so hard to choose among the incredible classes and demos offered!):  the range covering artisan breads and pastries, gluten-free baking, wood-fired oven baking, decorative breads, milling, bread baking science, building a wood-fired oven, food photography, equipment maintenance...

The social gatherings organized were lovely and it was really good see so many people enjoying one another’s company!

My first class was Decorative Breads, with Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie / Team USA Silver medal winner
Harry Peemoeller :^)
I admired the way Harry ‘thinks outside of the box’ and uses all sorts of different things for molding pieces for his displays, the way he brings components together to create individual pieces and an overall artistic vision, and how he uses natural ingredients, powders, spices and glazes to make his pieces look so realistic.
Here is a picture displaying Harry’s craftsmanship using decorative dough, along with his artistic design and construction/engineering skill!:
 
(and, a link to a photo of Harry's Team USA Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie work of art!)


The next day's class was Baking with Sprouted Wheat Flour (and wood-fired oven baking), taught by
Richard Miscovich, a professor from Johnson and Wales University. Richard had such energy, enthusiasm and patience and was an excellent instructor! Richard taught us about sprouting wheat and how to use freshly sprouted berries a couple of different ways, mixed up two different types of lovely sprouted wheat dough, and also instructed us regarding wood-fired oven construction, insulation, proper burning/combustion, steaming and baking. Fascinating! I read in the latest Guild newsletter Richard is writing a book on wood-fired ovens (oh, I’ll be watching out for this book! ). Here are two photos showing what came out of that wonderful WFO :^)  
(a a 50% sprouted whole-wheat with sesame, and a 100% sprouted whole-wheat):
 

The last day I attended a Baking Science lecture presented by Lee Glass (a physician really good at explaining chemistry!) and Andrew Ross (a crop and food scientist and professor at Oregon State University). These gentlemen taught in an engaging way, bringing the subject matter to life with clear explanation and humor – it was very interesting, and enlightening.
Solveig Tofte (of Sun Street Breads in Minneapolis, MN) then presented an entertaining  demo on Scandinavian Baking. Solveig’s demo was touching as she discussed family recipes she’d worked on, and in the process, had been able to recapture flavor memories for her family. Her Vört Limpa Rye bread was one of the best ryes I’ve had the pleasure to taste; I was so preoccupied with its gorgeous flavor I didn’t even think to take a picture of it! Solveig described the flavor of this bread as “not sweet, and the spices don’t camouflage the flavor of the rye and fermented grain”. So true! – the bread’s flavor was beautifully balanced. Here is a picture of two beautiful Fyrstekake (“Royal” or “Prince’s Cake”, Norwegian almond-filled tarts) she demonstrated:
just loaded with almondy-goodness! :^)

Update: This blog post on Modern Baking's site is a lovely write-up about Solveig's presentation, and features her recipe for Harring Kake:
http://modern-baking.com/blog/glimpse-rich-family-history

To read more about WheatStalk, please see these lovely blogs, so well-written and filled with beautiful photos:
http://www.farine-mc.com/2012/07/wheatstalk-2012.html
http://thebakingblog.com/category/wheatstalk-2012
http://thebakingblog.com/2012/06/28/natural-ingredients-and-traditional-practices/
http://thebakingblog.com/2012/06/29/taking-inspiration-from-team-usa/
http://thebakingblog.com/2012/06/30/when-cardinal-rules-are-broken/


Update: Here are some more links to coverage regarding this event:
http://www.zingermansbakehouse.com/2012/07/wheatstalk-2012-i-was-there-man/
http://www.bakemag.com/Photo%20Gallery.aspx#id=album-339924&num=content-6344565

Lastly, here are a few pictures of some the lovely breads produced by some of the classes (wish I could have seen (and tasted!) them all!):

Easy Rye Breads, taught by Volker Baumann
 

The *most delicious!* kougelhopf,
kindly provided for breakfast by The French Pastry School 
(that was not my breakfast plate btw :^), limited myself to just one, willpower in action let me tell you!)

Bagels, Bialys and Pretzels, taught by Jeffrey Hamelman
 

An extremely-tempting-looking savory pastry, crafted by Ciril Hitz

Baking with Ancient Grains, taught by Frank Sally
   

Team USA Bread Demo, Jeffrey Yankellow and Mike Zakowski
    


Many, many thanks to the Guild and those who organized, taught, and volunteered at WheatStalk: a truly first-class event!
Thanks too, to Kendall College, Goose Island Brewery, and The French Pastry School for being such generous and gracious hosts.

I left this conference feeling so privileged to be able to attend, full of inspiration to learn more about baking delicious, nutritious, beautiful bread,
and *very grateful* to all of those organizers and teachers who put this event together for the benefit of the students.

Happy baking everyone!
:^) breadsong

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello everyone,

This month, Elle and the Bread Baking Babes are baking MC-Farine’s cute and charming Morning Cuddle Breads,
as ‘Summer Twists’.

MC, on her always-so-interesting blog!, recently featured a beautiful Barley Bread - in her post she recalls the sucre d’orge (barley candy) she had as a youngster. 
I was curious so looked up barley sugar candy online (noting its pretty golden color), and read on Wikipedia “Barley sugar was often made into small spiral sticks, and the name is… sometimes used for…twisted legs and spindles in furniture…”.
                          (So that’s where ‘Barley Twist’ furniture got its name!).

MC‘s Barley Bread post motivated me to make these breads as ‘Barley Twists’ … using a bit of barley malt extract , and some of the *lovely* Fairhaven organic whole barley flour MC gave to me (*many thanks!*), in place of oats. 
The barley flour was scalded, to help retain moisture and hopefully add a bit of extra sweetness.
For fruit, I added golden raisins, their color reminding me of the golden color of the sucre d’orge :^)

                  Barley Twists        
                                           Cinnamon Cuddles

Two breads were shaped as ‘Barley Twists’, egg washed, and sprinkled with barley flakes prior to baking.

The other two breads were shaped in a ‘C’ shape, for ‘Cinnamon Cuddles’ (the raisins in this bread seemed to call out for some cinnamon! ). I added some cinnamon to the egg wash, sprinkled cinnamon sugar along the edges of the twists, where the strands joined, and for a bit of extra golden color, sprinkled some turbinado sugar on top, prior to baking:
 cinnamon egg-wash :^)
                                   just before baking

                                                                 crumb

The bread has a soft and moist crumb, nice sweetness from the golden raisins, and the bread itself having a lovely complex flavor that I don’t quite know how to describe!, but this is a wonderful breakfast bread.

Thanks to MC for the lovely ideas in her posts, and thanks to Elle, too, for featuring this bread this month!
Here is the formula I worked out, inspired by these ladies' efforts :^)


Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting :^)

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - breadsong's blog