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News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Who needs English Muffins when serving eggs with Hollandaise sauce!?

eggs fauxrentine


Instead of toasting English muffins, we toasted our multigrain bread, made with seeds, corn, rolled oats, oat groats, oat bran, buckwheat, rye and wheat flours to make Eggs Fauxrentine (ouuchh! sorry about that!)

On the day that we decided to have this extravaganza of eggs with Hollandaise, I was hoping to make Eggs Florentine. But we didn't have any spinach, so I decided to try using radish greens instead.

WHAT a brilliant idea!

So was the multigrain bread toasted for the base. And the bacon. And the chopped chives from the garden. And the radishes on the side.

You've got to try this combination and make "Eggs Fauxrentine"! (Hard boiled eggs* with bacon, radish greens and hollandaise garnished with fresh chives and radish roots).

* Instead of hard-boiling the eggs, you can gently poach them so the yolks are still soft. (Brrrr. Personally, I can't think of a more disgusting way to start the day, but there it is.)

Did I mention how great this is? The multigrain bread was particularly good as the base. Its nutty flavour is the perfect complement to the Hollandaise - especially this particular Hollandaise that had a little more lemon than some.

Yes, you really must try this!

Just a word of caution, make sure that the radish greens are young and tender rather than large and furry. A couple of days ago, I added some radish greens from a more mature bunch of radishes to a sandwich and it was just a little too much like having a bit of wool in the sandwich....

eggs fauxrentine

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Please read more about radish greens:

Oh yes, and here are our recipes for:

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This is a "YeastSpotting" post. For details on how to be included in Susan's (Wild Yeast) weekly YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:

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edit: added apology for the rather horrible name for this truly delicious dish...
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cinnamon raisin oatmeal bread


I was wandering around in here the other day and saw what looked to be great looking raisin bread on Floydm's pages. The recipe was originally from Hamelman's book "Jeffery Hamelman's Bread". (I just tried to read Hamelman's tome, Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes and returned it to the library after aborting about ten pages in. With what's left of my mind, I just couldn't quite manage to retain enough to comprehend anything he was saying.) But happily, Floydm could retain and comprehend what he read, enabling him to translate this fabulous recipe.

Thank you Floyd! The bread is absolutely delicious!

cinnamon raisin oatmeal bread

Here is what I did to Floyd's version of the recipe:

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I did it!!! I did it!!!

wild bread

After weeks of angst with babying my jar of wild yeast, feeling I would never be able to bake a loaf of bread that WASN'T sour (not to mention the several times I was going to throw in the towel altogether), I have achieved my goal.

Not only was it not too sour; it wasn't sour at all! And it was light!! Light as a feather!!

And here's how I did it: I virtually started over with feeding. Some time in March or so, I brought the sludge out of the fridge and returning to McKenna Grant's (Piano Piano Pieno) original formula, and started a twice a day regimen:

  • 2 Tbsp wild sludge
  • 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp water

And kept at it for days until finally finally, it began to look like a real starter again.

Now the question is whether I'll be able to repeat the success...

I like to balance cookie cutter(s) on top of the just shaped bread to etch a design in top of the loaf. For this loaf, I used 3 heart shaped cutters. Instead of removing them just before baking, I left them there for the first half of the baking and removed them when turning them around to account for uneven heat in the oven.

wild bread

The bread really was outstanding. Wonderfully crisp and chewy on the outside and light and open-holed inside.

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I made the following for Bread Baking Day (BBD) #09: Bread With Oats

multigrain bread

In the past couple of weeks we were having problems with fuses blowing on our oven; it's fixed now and ever since the oven has been working beautifully. BUT. I think the oven is now hotter than it was. I know that I used to be able to be quite casual about checking the bread after the bell rang 30 minutes after putting it in the oven. I used to take it out at 35 minutes and it would still not be quite ready. Or perhaps it's the honey content in the dough that makes the crust get so dark. Perhaps I should bake this bread at 375F instead of 400F. As a result, this bread does look awfully dark. But inside, it is as wonderful as ever.

apricot roll
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I made the following for Bread Baking Day (BBD) #08: Celebrate!

apricot roll and 5 strand braid

Because there was enough dough for two loaves, I decided to make one as a roll and braid the other one without filling it.

We really love this bread. And we really loved how much oven spring there was. Imagine how tall it would have been if I'd put the bread in tins to bake!

Next time I will use prunes for the filling, as Manuela suggests, rather than apricots. Apricots are nice but I think the flavour of the prunes will be better with the bread, not to mention, prettier in the roll. And I'll add less filling, and serve the extra in a little bowl on the side. I like the idea of the roll having just a hint of the fruit flavour.

apricot roll

We haven't tasted the braid yet but we know that it will be delicious as well. I may have to make some apricot or prune jam to go with it though.

Please note that I have not forgotten that today is 1 April. But I decided to refrain from playing tricks on the blog this year. I thought my time would be better spent posting for BBD#08 (let alone that I couldn't think of anything...).

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chapati
A few mornings ago, I imagined that my wild yeast starter was all ready to make bread. I announced I would make focaccia with it to go with that evening's dinner of puy lentils and sausage. Silly me. I should have known this would be a mistake. My failures with my wild yeast are legion this winter. The focaccia dough failed entirely to rise. Not even a glimmer of a bubble. After several hours. So I stuck the slumping lump of dough in the fridge and made another announcement: I would make chapatis with wild yeast (ha) dough the next day, because they're made without yeast anyway. What a brilliant save!! The chapatis tasted faintly sour but they were absolutely wonderful. Especially when you consider that the dough might have been baked into a spectacularly terrible focaccia.
omelette and chapati
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naan


At some point not long after turning the oven on to preheat our bread stone, a fuse blew. We didn't notice until after putting the first two naan in the oven. Luckily for us though, we remembered that we had once made pita on the stovetop. So we quickly grabbed the tava (shallow pan in photo) and started heating it on the big burner.

And disaster was averted. By adding only an extra ten minutes of cooking time, we were able to tuck in to our fabulous Indian style dinner. Yes, indeed, rogan josh with beets & turnips, broccoli and naan is delicious!

Here is our recipe for naan with instructions for baking in the oven. Look at the pita recipe for instructions on how to bake on the stovetop. (Also included in the list are our recipes for beets and rogan josh):

naan
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cinnamon swirl(ish) bread
I saw SourdoLady's most beautiful looking Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread and decided I had to make it. Luckily, even though mine was a miserable failure at a cinnamon swirl, it still tastes good.
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Cheese Pinwheels made with Baking Powder Biscuit Dough

cheese pinwheels © ejm January 2008

It has been driving me crazy to just throw away the leftovers after feeding our wild yeast starter. Especially as it seems to be in perfectly good condition. I know it's just a couple of tablespoons of flour but still it just seems wrong even to compost it. So now, every time I feed the starter, I have been adding whatever is left over to biscuits or muffins or even bread that is made with commercial yeast.

At first, I was just going to make cheese baking powder biscuits. But then I suddenly thought that cheese pinwheels would be fun. I already knew that adding the left over sludge wouldn't disturb the biscuit dough at all. That's one of the great things about baking powder biscuits. They're so forgiving. Well, pretty forgiving, anyway...

cheese pinwheels

There are some hazards to not measuring... perhaps I added a tiny bit too much cheese. See how it exploded out of the pinwheels in the baking.

Because there was plenty of cheese, these biscuits didn't need any butter, although a little butter was good too. Wheee! So much for adding olive oil instead of lard or shortening to the dough to make the biscuits better for us....

Here is what I did to make the pinwheels:

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I made these loaves for Bread Baking Day #6.

wild bread with rye and sesame seeds © ejm January 2008

When shaping freeform bread, I usually shape it in boules because that's what I know how to do. But there is a request for shaped breads, specifically NOT "batard, boule or baguette" for Bread Baking Day #6.

I took a look through our bread baking cookbooks to find some traditional shapes for bread. Lo and behold, there was that same sideways "S" shape in Pane Sicialano in The Italian Baker by Carol Field.

Considering the difficulties I've been having with our wild starter and bread making lately, there's no way I was going to try that particular recipe again right now!

Then I remembered reading (where WAS it?!) that any bread can be put into any shape. How handy is that?

So I mixed up our wild bread recipe, but this time, added just a little bit of dark rye flour and sprinkled sesame seeds on top of the loaves just after shaping the loaves. I also added a tiny bit (1/16 tsp) of active dry yeast to the bread, because I'm so nervous that our starter isn't strong enough.

I formed one of the loaves into a crescent and one into the sideways 'S' shape Lucia shape sideways 'S', one of the traditional shapes for Lucia bread.

Happily, the occhi shaped dough expanded nicely. I had to assume that the crescent shaped one was risen enough too. Both were rather flat when I put them in the oven. But I was very happy (read "very relieved") that both did get some oven spring and turned out to be relatively presentable.

The results? Delicious!

I'm amazed at how the flavour of the rye comes through. The bread was quite firm in the crust with lots of un-uniform holes. In the somewhat chewy crumb, there was just a hint of sourness.

Here is the recipe I used:

If you would like to participate Bread Baking Day #6

The deadline for BBD#06 is 1 February 2008. For complete details on how to participate, please go to:

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