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Every 2 or three years I like to make a Yule Log for our family, relatives or friends , but in this case it was a request from one of my wife's colleagues. Sometime back in November my wife Marie was chatting with one of the other staff members at the college where she works about their respective plans for the Christmas season. Her friend Wendy mentioned that one of the things they always like to have on Christmas Eve is a Yule log, but that she'd been disappointed with the ones she's had over the last few years because they'd been so plain and ordinary. What she was looking for was one that had all the whistles and bells so to speak, but just couldn't find a local bakery that made them that way. When Marie asked her what in particular she wanted on it, the reply was “those cute little meringue mushrooms and maybe some marzipan holly ...or something”, to which Marie replied “oh...my husband makes them like that. I'll see if he'll make you one. I'm sure he'd love to” Does this sort of thing sound familiar to any other husbands or wives here on TFL?


Don't get me wrong. I enjoy making these cakes every so often, but they do take a fair amount of time in order make all the various components for them, and time has been a precious commodity for me this month for some reason. However, I thought it'd be fun to do one, and if it turned out the way I hoped, thought it might make a good blog post to TFL.


 


The cake itself is a chocolate sponge baked in a 20x14 sheet pan, cooled, then brushed with a flavoured simple syrup, in this case Kahlua, then layered with a custard buttercream flavoured with hazelnuts and rum. This is rolled jelly roll fashion in parchment and tied with string then kept in the fridge for a night or two, until it's tight and sealed. The day before doing the final decorating I made the meringue mushrooms, in addition to some coloured marzipan holly leaves and berries, as well as shaping small pine cones from chocolate plastique. The meringue is a typical all purpose type that can be made either cold or with the hot Swiss style method. The caps and stems of the mushrooms are piped on to a sheet pan and baked at 225F for an hour then left in the oven for another hour with the heat turned off and the door slightly open, then left to cool for at least several hours or overnight. Assembly is done by taking a sharp paring knife and rounding out a hole in the base of the cap, dipping the stem part in melted chocolate and inserting into the hole in the cap. Very easy and quite realistic looking!


On decorating day I made French style chocolate buttercream for the icing of the log and some chocolate curls or 'bark' to lay on top of the buttercream to add a bit more realism. Next I cut off diagonal sections from each end of the roll, iced them and placed one on the top ,slightly off to one side and the other on the rear lower side of the log, securing them with bamboo skewers to the body of the cake. Then it's just a matter of adding all the other decorating components to make a nice presentation. I had planned to add some spun sugar angel hair to drape over the log, or maybe a white chocolate spider web, but simply ran out of time to get it all done before going to bed for my workday start at 2:00AM the next day. It's probably just as well I didn't do the spun sugar anyway, since it's not to be eaten till the 24th and doubt it would hold up properly over that period of time. When I was taking my training in trades school in Vancouver, my cake and decorating instructor Mr. Knoss, a Swiss master, used to say “one of the most important aspects of cake decorating is knowing when to stop” . It's very easy to get carried away with decorating and end up with something that's over decorated and busy, so I think in this case, necessity forced me to stop at a good point.


 


Unfortunately, necessity has also been a factor in me having to leave out all the recipes and most of the procedure for making the various components. It would take pages of typing to write up, and for a hunt & peck typist like myself, would take till sometime in the New Year to finish I reckon. For anyone who might be interested in any of the recipes or procedure used in this cake I plan to write them up over the next few days....week or two?, and have them available for anyone wanting them.


 


Now it's time to get some family Christmas baking done.


Merry Christmas and best of the Season to everyone on TFL!


Franko



 


 


 


 

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Franko


For the bread I wanted to bake this week I didn't have to look too far to find the recipe I was after. Right next to the Whole Wheat Levain in Hamelman's Bread that I baked last week is his Whole Wheat Multigrain which also uses a levain. Over the last six months I've accumulated a lot of various grains and thought I'd try to use some of them up since I'm running out of room in my storage bin. As well, I wanted a recipe that I could use the Red Fife whole wheat flour in, so this seemed like the perfect fit. The only changes I made to the formula were to increase the amount of grains by 18% and the overall hydration by about 4% , putting it into the high 70's. The grains used were millet, oatmeal, cracked wheat, rye chops, and the last of some seven grain mix I've had since last February. The millet made up 40% of the hot soaker, and the remaining grains were divided in roughly equal proportions. Since the formula includes 1% of bakers yeast in addition to the levain, this is by far the quickest rising levain style bread I've made so far, taking just a little over 5hrs and an easy one day 'mix to oven' levain bread. The loaves were baked using the dutch oven method, the boule baked totally in the lid/pot combo and the batard on the stone covered with the pot. So far I've had better results using the pot/stone combo for even bottom colour, as the lid/pot method tends to darken it more than I'd like. Earlier this week in a reply to Mini on another post I described it as scorching, but it's not even that, it's just uneven colouring since there's no 'burnt' taste to the loaf. The DO we have is heavy aluminum rather than iron so that may be where the problem lies, I'm not sure. I'm considering having a piece of baking stone cut to size to fit inside the lid and see if that doesn't correct the problem, or I may just go for a genuine Lodge CC. At any rate, both loaves turned out well I thought, with a crunchy crust and a nice chewy, even textured crumb. This is a good everyday bread for sandwiches or toast, and although it uses a levain it's very mild in acidity but with lots of deep wheaty flavour that bread lovers will enjoy. If there was any downside to this bake it's that I've just enough Red Fife flour left for one more mix, meaning my trip down Island to Cowichan Bay for more will have to be sooner than I'd thought. The RF flour is so nice to work with and makes such tasty bread I really don't mind having to literally go the extra mile/s to get some more.


All the Best,


Franko





 


 

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Pain au Levain with Red Fife Whole Wheat Flour


Every year in November Marie and I make a point of attending one of our local Christmas craft fairs in hopes of finding some unique items for gift giving as well as for ourselves. This year the fair had more vendors than I've seen in previous years, with lots of newcomers from various locales in BC as well as Washington state. One of the newcomers was a fellow by the name of Bruce Stewart who owns and operates a craft bakery called True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay here on Vancouver Island .


http://truegrain.ca/


When I met Bruce he was handing out samples of his Christmas fruit cake to a group of folks and quickly offered some to Marie and I. Now I'm not usually a big fan of fruit cake but this was exceptional, and superior to any I've had in the past. Bruce is a very genial guy and clearly has a lot of enthusiasm and passion for his craft and product, so the two of us easily fell into a conversation when I mentioned that I was a professional baker as well. At his bakery Bruce mills most of the flour he uses on site, to make a wide variety of breads, including rye, spelt, kamut, emmer, and most interesting to me, Red Fife wheat . Red Fife is one of Canada's premier grains and listed on the Slow Food Organization's 'ark of taste' as Canada's first presidium. For more background on this click the link below.


http://www.slowfoodfoundation.org/eng/arca/dettaglio.lasso?cod=547&prs=PRINT_1192


If you look on the left of the page in the link above you'll find another link to the 'Ark of Taste' which lists all the various foods of countries that the Slow Food Org considers worthy of cataloguing and preserving for future generations. Our TFL members from the USA might find it interesting to note that they have 139 listings for various food groups, more I believe than any of the other nations listed.


While I was chatting with Bruce I noticed he had some bags of flour for sale and asked if he had any Red Fife that I could buy, as I've yet to run across it for sale at any of my usual sources for flour. Bruce smiled and asked me if I wanted the sifted or the whole grain and how many bags. I went with a bag of whole grain Red Fife and a bag of his unbleached organic white , which is one that he doesn't mill himself. I'm kicking myself now for not getting the Red Fife sifted, but it gives me an excuse to take a drive down Island and pick some up at his bakery and maybe get a tour of his shop as well.


Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour was the formula I decided to use the Red Fife in since his formulas are so reliable and familiar to me. First I needed to convert some left over liquid whole wheat starter to a stiff starter using the Red Fife, and then to a levain for the final mix. This took a few days of feedings before it was good and active, and ready for use. I mixed the levain one night before going to bed , intending to use it the next day when I got home from work. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans. We've been having some record cold temperatures here on Vancouver Island this last week, making my 70k commute to work in the wee hours of the morning somewhat treacherous. While I was at work my wife called to tell me that another front was moving in and another dump of snow was expected to happen overnight. I decided to stay in town that night rather than try and do the drive back up Island the next morning in even worse road conditions than we already had. Realizing I'd probably have to start over again with the levain was slightly disappointing but preferable to finding myself off the road in a ditch... or worse. The next afternoon I managed to get home without any problems thankfully, and immediately tested the levain to see if it had any life left. Lo and behold it did, popping to the surface of a bowl of warm water I'd placed a few grams in. The rest of the mix went according to Hamelman's directions, but mixed by hand. I'd scaled the mix so that I'd have two 900 gram dough pieces for baking, which I then molded after a 3hr bulk ferment as a batard and a boule, covered with linen, and put overnight on a shelf in our very cold garage to finish a slow rise.


The next morning I checked the loaves and was surprised to find that they'd risen quite a bit more than I'd expected due to an overnight warming of the outside ambient temperature. I could tell the batard was over proofed, but not so far gone it wasn't worth baking off, and the boule looked to be fine in it's banneton. The batard was baked first, on the stone with a foil roasting pan covering it for the first 20 minutes, and the boule was baked using the Dutch oven method. The batard turned out as expected, with low volume and spring, but the boule baked off quite well I thought, with lots of expansion, a good jump, and no wild splits.


To my taste the Red Fife has a certain sweetness to it that I don't find in other whole wheat flours, and which helps to bring out it's rich wheat flavour. Combined with the white and medium rye flours called for in Hamelman's recipe it works nicely to boost the overall flavour of his very good formula. This bread will go perfectly with tomorrow nights meal of red wine braised short ribs and a white bean and tomato gratin that I'm making for our family dinner.


It looks like things are warming up a bit now and the roads are getting back to normal, so with any luck I'll be able to make the drive down to Cowichan Bay to pay Bruce and his bakery a visit sometime in early 2011.


Best Wishes,


Franko





 

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Franko


 


Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel from Hamelman's 'Bread' has been on my radar for as long as I've owned the book (about 9 months). The recipe is like no other pumpernickel that I've ever seen before, as all the ones I've come across previously have had caraway in them. I just assumed that it wasn't true pumpernickel if it didn't have caraway, so I've never bothered making it at home, having never acquired a taste for the stuff. When I read the formula for the HB pumpernickel I began to wonder if I'd ever really had a true pumpernickel since this formula and Hamelman's write-up preceding the recipe made it look very authentic to me. One of the other aspects of this bread that intrigued me was the long slow bake time of 12-16 hours. The process of slow cooking has always held a fascination for me through it's use of controlling heat and moisture, as well as smoke in the case of BBQ, to create something that is greater than the sum of it's parts. Anyone who's had the pleasure of eating a Texas style beef brisket or Southern style pulled pork shoulder will know exactly what I'm referring to. Never having baked a bread for much longer than an hour, the HB was something that I needed to try, just for the experience if nothing else. Last week I finally had all the things in place that I needed in order to make it, including the necessary free time. Two of the items had to be ordered such as the Pullman pan and the rye chops, and that took a few weeks, but in the interval I used the time to glean as much information from Andy, Nico, and others posted experiences with this bread as I could.


There are several components to this bread requiring a little preparation in advance, however I'm not going to go into all the detail here since Andy, Nico, Eric Hanner, Tx Farmer and Shiao-Ping have all covered this in their posts far better than I ever could.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17254/horst-bandel039s-balck-pumpernickel


What I will tell you is that this is without a doubt the stickiest, most cake-like bread dough that I've ever mixed by hand or machine. At one point early on in the hand mixing I wondered if the dough would ever come together enough that I could mold it, but with a little flour correction and some patient but gentle table work I finally managed to get it to a state I was confident it would mold properly after it's bulk fermentation of 30 minutes. Other than that everything went well thankfully, and I put it in the oven for it's overnight bake at 4:00PM, then gradually lowered the oven temp from 375F over the course of the next 5 hrs. Before going to bed I put the pan on a rack placed over an aluminium foil roasting pan and added 2L of boiling water to the roaster and lowered the heat to 170F (as low as the oven goes). Except for a 3AM check of the water level, the loaf went undisturbed until 8:00AM at which point I tested the loaf for excess moisture with a bamboo skewer. The skewer came out dry and the loaf was removed from the oven. By this time the house was filled with the rich aroma of rye and an almost a caramel like scent that even my wife Marie thought was quite wonderful. Remarkable, since she's not a fan of rye bread by any means.



About 12 hours later I gave in and cut off a thin slice to have my first taste of this amazing bread. Trying to describe the flavour of this bread is like trying to describe a full bodied red wine. There's so much going on in it, from sour to sweet, to fruit nuances, overall balance, depth of flavour and finish, etc. It's simply the most flavourful and complex bread I've ever tasted. As for the bake, I think I could have gone with a little less time, as the crust is slightly thicker than I’d prefer, but the crumb is even textured and remains moist even after 5 days. For the most part I'm fairly happy with the result, but knowing that there is considerable room for improvement. I'm happier still with the fact that now I have a better idea of what real pumpernickel should taste like.



 


As much as I love the HB Pumpernickel, it's impossible to make a decent size sandwich with it so I used that as an excuse to make the Country Rye Bread from Tartine Bread a few days later. It's really just a Pane de Campagne but with an 81.8% hydration including leaven. Robertson indicates that you can vary the proportion of rye to suit your taste, and as the formula calls for only 17% , I increased it to 20% but keeping the water at the original weight. Other than that the procedure is the same as for his Basic Country Bread that I posted on last week.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20515/tartine-country-bread-same-dough-two-different-baking-methods


The dough had a cool 70F bulk ferment for 3hrs then placed in the fridge overnight till the next afternoon, (about 19hours). It sat at room temp for an hour, then divided, rounded lightly, and rested for 45 minutes. I shaped one for an oblong brotform and the other as a boule to go in a banneton. The dough was very slack and tacky so I dusted the brotform quite heavily, not wanting any sticking problems on unmolding, which left the finished loaf with a little more flour on it than I would have liked . The oval loaf was baked under a dutch oven, but on the stone as the lid of the dutch oven is concave and wouldn't have worked with this shape of loaf. The boule was baked entirely in the dutch oven. Both loaves turned out quite similar to the Basic Country (BC) loaves, with a nice dark colour and sheen to them. The loaf is quite a bit denser than the BC because of the rye, but with a slightly open crumb, if a little irregular in spots. The dough really needed a warmer bulk ferment during the initial stage, which I'll try to be more careful with next time around. I found this to be a pretty easy dough to make despite it's high hydration simply because you do all the workup on it in the bowl until it's time to divide and shape. Then it's just a matter of using a little flour to keep it from sticking to the counter and your hands. The flavour is very good , even better than previous versions of Pane de Campagne I've made that I thought were quite tasty, and this has a beautiful chewy crust that I prefer to the others.





Here on Vancouver Island we're well into storm season, with a cold wet winter fast approaching. Either of these breads will be fine accompaniments with some of my favourite slow simmered stews and braises to help see me through the worst of it.


 


Best Wishes,


Franko

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Franko

 



 


Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread book has been getting a lot of attention on this forum of late so I decided to order a copy and see what it was all about. Mr Robertson's description of his journey to create the bread he had in his mind is a fascinating read and speaks to the dedication he has for his craft. While the book doesn't get into the same level of technical detail as Hamelman's 'Bread', it doesn't suffer for lack of clear and precise instruction, making it accessible to anyone interested in producing fine hand crafted breads, croissants, and brioche. Included is a chapter on various ways to use day old bread, which in itself is worth buying the book for, and one of the best collection of recipes I've seen for quite some time. Eric Wolfinger's excellent photography is found throughout the pages and adds significantly to the overall high quality of this book.


 


Chapter 1-Basic Country Bread describes in detail Mr Robertson's foundation formula and procedure for making the bread upon which all his other breads are based. Out of respect for copyright I wont share the formula here , but as Mr Robertson says, it is a simple process , and the formula is that of a basic levain style dough. It seems that this past weekend a few other TFL'rs decided to make this bread as well, notably David Snyder, who had wonderful results using Chad Robertson's technique of baking the bread in a dutch oven. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20473/basic-country-bread-quottartine-breadquot-baked-dutch-ovens


Never having used a pot for baking a loaf, I was intrigued by the photos in the book of the dark bold bake that this method can achieve, but as the recipe makes two loaves I decided to bake one in the pot and the other on the stone using Sylvia's method of steaming that's been so successful for her and other TFL members. I made the dough up by hand giving it a 45 minute autolyse and then a 3hr bulk ferment following the guidelines in the book for folding in the bowl, a technique I appreciate because of it's easy cleanup. The dough was divided into 955 gram portions, lightly rounded and rested for 20 minutes before final molding, then placed in floured bannetons for an overnight rise in the refrigerator. I would have liked to have done it all in one day but it was a 'work night' so my time was limited. After 19hrs of final cold rise the first loaf was slashed and placed in the lid of the dutch oven with a round of parchment beneath it, and the pot was placed on top of that. I thought this way would be easier than lowering the loaf into the pot with a lot of extra and unnecessary parchment paper. The oven and pot had been preheated to 500F for a good 40 minutes before the bake began, then turned down to 450F for the remainder of the 45 minute bake.


After 20 minutes the pot was lifted very carefully off the loaf and the loaf continued it's bake, finishing the crust and taking on a rich brown colour.




When the first loaf began it's bake I took the second one out of the fridge and let it warm up on top of the oven, so that by the time the first was out and my stone had heated for the second bake it was ready to go. Into the oven it went with Sylvia's towel steaming method in place and the vent blocked. I gave it as much steam as I possibly could during the first 10 minutes, spritzing regularly in 3-4 minute intervals. It didn't result in quite the jump that #1 had but it did bloom nicely along the slashes creating the type of pattern I've been trying to get on some previous bakes of other levain style breads.



Even with an 8 minute longer bake than #1 it just didn't take on the same kind of caramelization as the pot baked loaf. Still, I was happy with both results and I think both methods have their place depending on what your preferences are for a particular type of loaf. I'm not sure I'd use the pot with anything other than a very lean formula, as I think you might just get a little more colour than you were bargaining for, but for the Tartine basic Country Bread, and similar lean levain style breads it's a method I'll continue using.


Recently my wife Marie hinted that I might be getting a new mixer under the tree this year for Christmas since my KA is getting pretty long in the tooth, so to speak. Now I love new toys as much or even more than next person, so she was a little shocked when I told her that I've decided to start mixing bread by hand as often as possible from now on. It just makes sense to me that the breads that many of us are trying to emulate, are breads that have been around since long before the electric mixer appeared on the scene. I realize it's possible to mix these 'craft/artisan' breads with a mixer by controlling speed and mixing time, but for home baking it's become apparent to me that it's much more practical, and in most ways more satisfying to use the two best mixers I came equipped with. If I had any doubts about making this change they were put to rest when I cut into loaf #1.




 


This is the type of crumb that I want for my wheat based levain breads.... not exactly, but closer than I've come previously, which I think is due largely to the fact that this dough was worked even less intensively than I would normally do by hand. Why it took me so long to connect the dots that have been staring me in the face all this time, I believe is due to having been trained on mixers, and having used them throughout my professional career for bread mixing. Just goes to show that in baking, the learning never stops if you keep an open mind to the new ideas.. as well as the ancient tried and true methods of bread production.


 


Best Wishes,


Franko


 


 

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Franko


Savoury Polenta Levain


 

This summer our garden provided us with a bumper crop of little cherry tomatoes , so many in fact that we, or rather my wife Marie, ended up putting a large portion of them in the dehydrator so we could make use of them through the winter time. The tomatoes were cured briefly in a mix of salt, olive oil and fresh oregano before going into the dehydrator. When they were finally ready to eat we were amazed at how well the pure tomato flavour had been retained. I've eaten a lot of the sun dried type that you can find at the grocer or deli over the years, but I've never had any with quite as intense a flavour as these little gems. At last count we had just over a half pound of dried cherry tomatoes , which made me think that we could spare a few to make a bread with. The idea of using them in a loaf with polenta came from remembering an excellent grilled polenta with a sun dried tomato, garlic, parmigiano and olive oil dressing that I'd had years before at a pot luck BBQ with some friends.

Searches on TFL and the web in general didn't turn up much that I was interested in as most them called for eggs and milk or other ingredients I wasn't keen on, so I thought a little experimentation was in order to make the bread I had in mind. It had to be made with natural yeast, polenta -(more accurately, a hot cornmeal soaker), and the dried tomatoes, other than that I was pretty open to using whatever I felt would help compliment the flavour of the tomatoes. Thinking about the grilled polenta dish that I'd had, I decided to just go with some roasted garlic and parmigiano as the flavour additions and see how that worked. Well it worked just fine! The tomato flavour came through as the main player, the garlic and cheese offering subtle support, and the polenta adding a soft texture to the overall loaf. The sour sort of plays around in the background, which is what I was hoping for since I wasn't going for a tangy or sharp flavoured bread. The polenta gives it a soft crumb, and the wheat provides a good chewy crust, making for a pleasant contrast while you're eating it. This bread is great for panini sandwiches and toasts up quite nicely as well, but to me this is what I call a 'cocktail bread' , or something that you might make to take to a friends for dinner, or to have with some olives and cheese and a glass of wine as your waiting for the main course to finish cooking. There are a number of other things you could add to it such as toasted pine nuts, various herbs, or a different type of cheese but if you're looking for the taste of the tomato to shine through I'd recommend using a light hand. The recipe is included below as well as some photos. If any TFL'rs are interested in giving this one a whirl, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

 

All the best,

Franko



 

                      SAVOURY POLENTA LEVAIN

Ingredients

%

Kg

Kg

 

 

 

 

Levain

 

 

 

Mature liquid Culture

13

10

 

Bread Flour

100

78

 

Water

125

100

 

 

 

 

 

Polenta

 

 

 

Water-144 F

100

300

 

Yellow Cornmeal

33

100

 

Butter/olive oil *

5

15

 

 

 

 

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

Bread Flour

100

600

 

Polenta

69

415

 

Honey

2.5

15

 

Roasted

Garlic/

Shallots

 

6

36

 

Parmigiano Cheese

10

60

 

Levain

31

188

 

Salt

2

12

 

Water

25

150

 

Dried Tomatoes

*

10

60

 

Total

 

1305.5

 

 

Notes:

*drizzle a little olive oil over the tomatoes to soften before starting the mix.

sundried tomatoes packed in oil and drained can be used as well -all or in part

* either butter or olive oil work well, use butter if a richer flavour is desired

Procedure:

  • Mix the levain 16-18 hrs before making the final dough and keep at room temp.

 

  • Make the polenta at the same time as the levain. Pour boiling water over the cornmeal and butter/oil and stir well then heat in microwave on high for 1 minute, stir until it begins to thicken, then heat for another minute or less and stir again till the polenta is very thick. Pour into a shallow container and let cool overnight. The polenta should be soft and slightly granular, not gelatinized or rubbery.

 

  • Break the polenta up in the mixer using the paddle attachment on 3rd speed for 1 minute, then add and mix all the ingredients except the salt and tomatoes on 1st speed until combined in a rough mass. Add the salt and mix on 1st speed for 3-4 minutes then on 2nd speed for 7-8 minutes. Adjust the water if needed to attain a medium soft dough. The dough should be soft enough to incorporate the dried tomatoes easily.

 

  • Mix in the dried tomatoes on 1st speed until thoroughly combined. Knead the dough by hand on the counter for 4-5 minutes using minimal dusting flour and a scraper until it's developed and the dough is smooth and elastic.

 

  • 1st stretch and fold after 1 hr, then again after the 2nd hr.

  • Retard at 45F or less for 18 hrs. Allow the dough to come to room temp of 70-75F for 1-1/12 hr before shaping.

  • Lightly round the dough, cover and rest for 15-20 minutes, then shape as desired and roll the loaf in semolina. Try to tuck any tomatoes poking through the suface back inside or underneath the loaf to keep them from scorching. Let rise for 2-1/2 to 3 hrs, then slash and slide on to a stone in a preheated 500F oven with normal steam and lower the oven temp to 460F. Bake for 15 minutes then rotate the loaf for even baking if using a non convection oven and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, rotating the loaf once more.

  • Cool the loaf on wire racks for 8hrs wrapped in baker's linen

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Franko

 


 


 



Pain de Campagne


 


This weeks bake is somewhat of a hybrid between Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with increased Whole Grain and a formula posted by JoeVa back in January of this year for a Pane a Lievito Naturale con Segale Integrale .


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15474/pane-lievito-naturale-con-segale-integrale


 


The final dough includes a ratio of 20% whole rye flour as well as malt syrup and nondiastatic malt powder. The malt syrup helps provide the natural yeasts with sufficient nutrition during the long fermentation of this dough (30+hrs) and the nd malt powder is used for added flavour, similar to JoeVa's formula. But where Giovanni's posted formula calls for a stiff levain, I used a liquid white levain as per Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with increased Whole Grain because that's what I had active at the time. Since the levain is a wheat based leaven I'll just call this a Pain de Campagne for now unless someone has a better suggestion for it. The bread has a good sour note to it that combines well with the malt for a balanced overall flavour. The crust is chewy and the crumb is even, which makes it a good loaf for sandwiches and everyday use, and a bread I'll be making often. Formula and photos included.


Cheers,


Franko


 


 


Ingredients

%

Kg

Kg

 

 

 

 

Levain

 

 

 

Mature white Liquid Culture

13.3

16

 

Bread Flour

100

120

 

Water

125

150

 

Total

 

286

 

 

 

 

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

Rogers Unbleached Bread Flour

80

600

 

Nunweiler's Dark Rye Flour

20

120

 

Levain

30

286

 

Malt Syrup

0.5

3.6

 

*Non-diastatic Malt Powder

1

7.2

 

Salt

2

14

 

Water

52

380

 

Total

 

1410.8

 

Total Hydration

73.9

 

 

  • non diastatic malt powder can be found online at KA

Procedure:

Mixing Time-5 minutes on 1st speed 7-8 minutes on 2nd speed

Desired Dough Temp-76F

 

Add all ingredients except the salt to the mixing bowl and mix on

1st speed for 2 minutes. Add the salt and mix for an additional

3-4 minutes on 1st speed, or until all the ingredients are combined.

Mix on 2nd for 7-8 minutes until the dough is cohesive but not fully

developed. Turn the dough out onto the counter/bench and work by

hand until the dough is smooth and well developed. The dough

should have a medium feel to it, pliable but slightly resistant to the

touch.

Bulk Ferment -2 1/2hrs at 70F

First stretch and fold after 50 minutes

Second s&f after 50 more minutes

After a full 2 ½ bulk ferment, round lightly, cover and rest for 15 min ,

then shape as desired. Place in floured banneton (if using) and place

in refrigerator or at a temp of 58F or less for 26hrs. After this time bring

the dough to room temp for 4 hrs or until almost fully proofed, slash, and bake at

500F for 10 minutes with normal steam then reduce the temp to 440F for

the remaining bake time of 30-35 minutes, rotating the loaf after 20 min

to colour evenly on all sides. Cool for 8 hrs minimum, wrapped loosely in

linen on a wire rack before slicing.

 

 

 

 

Franko's picture
Franko

 



A few weeks ago I was reading Hamelman's recipe for brioche when I noticed in his side notes that a feuillete or laminated dough can be made from a brioche dough. While I realized that of course it can be done , it's just something that had never occured to me before. Brioche is such a rich dough to begin with, the idea of laminating even more butter into it just seemed a little over the top. Sometimes though over the top can be very good and this looked to me like it might just be one of those times. Although I had Hamelman's base formula for brioche as well as others I've used before, I didn't have any for making the feuillete. Specifically what I was looking for was the ratio of roll-in butter I would need to do the folds. Web searches turned up very little, however one site did have some actual photos of a class at King Arthur being conducted by Mr. Hamelman making up a pastry using brioche feuillete, so that was helpful in giving me some idea how to use it. Link to site: http://mzkitchen.com/?p=2120


 


I put a query into Andy/ananda asking if he had any ideas on it , and while he'd read about it in Bo Freiberg's book on pastry, he'd never made it himself. I decided to just wing it, see how it worked, and adjust the ratio if necessary. The first attempt I made was based on a 91% butter to flour ratio, down from the original 110% butter-108% flour ratio I'd first shown Andy when I started putting a beta recipe together. Andy thought I was a “brave fellow” for wanting to try it , which I thought was a very polite way of him saying that I might just be a little too over the top with those numbers. Having made brioche dough on numerous occasions over the years this one mixed up well with no surprises for me and I gave it a 1hr bulk ferment and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Next afternoon while I laminated the bulk of the dough for feuillete, I took a portion of it and made up a few brioche tete to bake off and see how they turned out.   They turned out fairly well I thought, not having made them for a few years and I was very happy with the flavour. Unfortunately I'd run out of time that day to do anything more with the feuillete and decided to leave it for the next day. When I got home from work the next afternoon I set about rolling out the dough to a 14x9 inch rectangle and dividing that into 3” wide strips of dough that I piped a 3/4” strip of filling (recipe to follow) along the length of each, then alongside the length of that strip I placed blueberries side by side. These were then rolled string fashion, or like you would a cinnamon bun roll, to 15 1/2” and then made into a 3 strand braid and placed in a loaf tin to rise.  It took about an 1 ¼ hrs to rise and 25-30 minutes in a 380F oven to bake. When it came out I immediately applied a thin apricot glaze to seal it and help prevent staling, then sprinkled it with toasted almond slices for garnish. When it had cooled sufficiently I drizzled the loaf with some white vanilla fondant I'd made a few days before.  The braid didn't rise quite as high as I would have liked since by this time the dough had lost some power from the additional day it'd had before I could use it, but it turned out well enough that I knew I had to try it again . As far as the flavour went?... pretty incredible. I'll get into that more a little later in this post but for now....Wow! Some photos of the the finished loaf.


 


The second dough was started the night before I finished eating the first loaf, (about 48 hrs..or less ) my wife being slightly appalled at how quickly I'd devoured this large, ultra rich pastry. A few muttered comments were made regarding possible repercussions were this to become a regular habit. Something about being married to a fat guy.. but I can't say for certain. Seriously though, this sort of thing is something I rarely eat, being in my 'once in a blue moon' category of food. With the second mix I wanted to make the dough a little stiffer so that I could hopefully get a high and more defined look to the braid. Other than decreasing the hydration slightly and dropping the roll-in butter ratio to 72% overall, I made the dough as I did before, following the same length of bulk fermentation, same amount of degassing and overnight retardation in the fridge. This time though I had the next day off from work and was able to do the lamination and product make up in one day, which I think resulted in a better looking product. The dough doesn't suffer from the lower ratio of roll-in butter, in fact I think you could reduce it another 5%-10% and not notice any appreciable difference in the finished product. OK , now about the filling and flavour. This seems like a natural sort of pastry that you could use a cream cheese filling of some sort in,.. and it is, but I've just never acquired a taste for the stuff. I wouldn't try to dissuade anyone from using it as a base for a filling if they like the flavour, but I think there are more elegant options available for a pastry like this. The choice I made was to use Brie, combined with honey, toasted almond meal, puff pastry crumbs, and beaten egg white to bind it into a consistency that can be easily piped. Brie works well with the fruit and nuts , not overpowering them, and also melting into the soft cells of the bread itself.




  • room temp or soft Brie-114 gr




  • lightly toasted almond meal-25 gr




  • liquid honey-20 gr




  • puff pastry crumbs-15 gr




  • beaten egg white-5 gr




note: cake crumbs can be substituted for puff pastry crumbs


egg whites should be beaten lightly till they run fluidly without lumps


 


The fruit I had at the time, and still have the most of, is blueberries. We have a couple of very prolific blueberry bushes in our backyard that challenge us every year in trying to figure out how to use them all up before the next years crop comes in. I think we're about six months behind at present, so it's just an ongoing problem for us every year , but we try to make the best of it. The beauty of a dough like this is it's versatility. It will accept a wide variety of fillings ranging from sweet to savoury, (with some adjustments to the sugar ratio for savoury fillings being necessary) so it really depends on what flavour you want to have, or what you have on hand at the moment to use as a filling. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything within reason that this dough won't lend itself to and enhance. The flavour is of course predominated by butter, but also with that great taste of a long fermented yeast dough that permeates every bit of the silky soft crumb. Very similar to a croissant or danish dough, just better...by a long shot!






Ingredients

%

Kg

Kg

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

%

weight-Kg

 

Bread flour

77

385

 

High gluten flour

23

115

 

Water-cold

9.6

48

 

Eggs-cold

49

245

 

Salt

2.5

12.5

 

Sugar

12

60

 

Yeast

5

25

 

Butter-cold

50

250

 

Total Weight

 

1140.5

 

 

 

 

 

Butter block for Feuillete

 

 

 

Butter

30

150

 

Flour

10

50

 

Total Weight

1340.5

 

 

Procedure: Place all ingredients except butter in the mixing bowl and mix on 1st speed until all the ingredients are incorporated. Mix on 2nd speed for 8-9 minutes until the dough is strong and resistant

to the touch. Take the cold butter and beat it flat with a rolling pin until it's pliable and add in chunks

continuosly until all of it has been absorbed. This will take some time depending on your mixer. I

found that I had to work the dough by hand on the counter for about 5 minutes using the slap and

fold technique until the dough was developed enough that it would 'sheet'. To test for sheeting you

should be able to gradually stretch a small piece of dough out very thinly until it's almost transparent.

Let stand, covered at room temp for 1 hr then fold the dough, recover, and refrigerate overnight, degassing 2-3 times over the next several hours. The next day the dough is ready to use as a traditional brioche dough or for doing the roll-in and folds for feuillete.

 

To make brioche feuillete: Add cold pliable butter and flour to mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on 1st speed for 3-4 minutes , then on 2nd speed until all the flour is incorporated. Shape into a square or rectangle (depending on what lamination method will be used) and chill to the same temp as the brioche dough in the refrigerator. Roll the butter in using preferred lamination method and give a

total of 3x3 folds plus 1x4 fold, resting the dough for 30 minutes in refrigerator between each fold.

The dough is ready to use at this point.

Note: For a more thorough description of the lamination method see ananda's blog

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16082/laminated-yeasted-dough-construction

 

 

Pate Brioche Feuillete is not exactly health food but it is good for the soul , being one of those special occasion additions to a baker's repertoire that can be useful to have come Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year.

 

All the best,

Franko

 

Franko's picture
Franko

 


Last week my wife Marie asked me if I could make her a loaf of Spelt bread without using any regular wheat flour in it since she has problems digesting typical wheat based breads. Up till now she's been buying a spelt bread available at our local supermarket that's one of those flash frozen par-baked things that have become so common in supermarket bakeries these days. Not being a bread purist, she been quite happy with it despite my looks askance, but I wonder if maybe some of the things I've been learning from TFL and discussing with her might have rubbed off. At any rate I've been wanting to make a bread for her that she could enjoy, and happy she asked me since spelt is a grain I've never used previously and was interested to try it out.


Richard Bertinet's new book 'Crust' has a recipe for a pure spelt bread in it which I showed to Marie, and she thought it sounded fine, but asked if I could include some nuts and/or seeds, maybe some oatmeal as well for a little variety. I think if she hadn't asked me first I would have suggested it, as the recipe seemed a little plain for our tastes. I picked up a bag of 100% whole grain spelt flour from our local health food/organic grocery that's milled by Nunweiler's Flour Co out of Saskatchewan, and a certified organic mill. They have a line of various whole grain flours including, dark rye, buckwheat, as well as whole wheat and AP. Link included below for anyone interested, although I doubt you would be able to find it outside of Canada.


 


Bertinet's formula is pretty straightforward other than using a poolish of spelt flour, which I made up the night before, as well as an oatmeal soaker to be included in the final mix. Next morning I toasted some sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a 380F oven for about 8 minutes, and let them cool before proceeding with the mix. I thought I might have to increase the flour ratio somewhat because of the extra water I included to the formula from the oatmeal soaker but the oatmeal absorbed almost all the water, contributing little to the overall mix, with just the water called for in the recipe being added. The dough had a bulk ferment of an hour, followed by a light rounding and a 15 minute rest, then shaped and placed in a floured brotform. The rise took just under an hour, which after having made long rising levain style breads for the last few bakes kind of took me by surprise. I think it made a good loaf, but more importantly Marie really likes it, saying it has so much more flavour and texture than the stuff she was buying from the store, which I told her was a result of having used a preferment in the mix. The technical details aside, it seems I'll be making this bread on a regular basis from here on, the only change being to increase the percentage of seeds by double or more. Recipe and photos below.


Note: the recipe below has been edited from the originaly posted formula due to some errors and miscalculations recently brought to my attention. My apologies for any confusion this may have caused anyone.


Franko


Richard Bertinet's Spelt Bread-adapted and halved


Ingredients

%

Kg

Poolish

 

 

Spelt flour

100

250

Water

100

250

Instant yeast

1

2.5

 

 

 

Oatmeal Soaker

 

 

Oatmeal

100

125

Warm Water

100

125

 

 

 

Final Dough

 

 

Spelt Flour

100

250

Mixed toasted sesame, sunflower,and pumpkin seeds

24

120

Poolish

202

502.5

Oatmeal Soaker

50

250

Salt

2

10

Water

64

70

Instant Yeast

1

2.5

Total Weight

 

1205

      
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

Mix Poolish ingredients together and rest overnight in the fridge.

 

Combine poolish with remaining ingredients and mix on 1st speed for 3-4 minutes. Mix on 2nd for 2 minutes then knead on counter for 2-3 minutes, or just until the dough is smooth and uniform. Put the dough in a lightly floured bowl , cover, and let rest/bulk ferment for 1hr. Dough temp 71F-74F .

 

After the dough has rested for an hour , remove from the bowl and round it lightly and let rest for 15 minutes, then shape as desired. Preheat oven and stone to 500F .

 

**Note: this dough rises very quickly and should be monitored very closely during the final rise. It is easily overproofed. The times and temperatures listed below are based on my kitchen environment at the time and my oven. Adjust accordingly to your own situation at the time of final proof and baking.

Let dough rise approx. 30-40 minutes. then slide the loaf onto your hot stone, with normal steam and bake for 10 min. Turn the heat down to 440 for 25-30 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped . Cool on wire racks for 6 hours or more.

 

 

Franko's picture
Franko

For this weeks bake I wanted a loaf that had some seeds or nuts as a component as well as one using a levain so Hamelman’s Sourdough Seed Bread seemed to fit just what I was looking for. The formula uses a liquid levain at 125% hydration for the leavening and never having used the liquid type in any previous bakes I was curious to try it out to see how it would differ from a stiff levain in terms of fermentation and flavour. The seeds that are called for are sunflower, sesame and a cold soaker of flax seeds. The one and only addition to the ingredients I made was to include some pumpkin seeds in the mix for a little more variety. All the dry seeds are given a light toasting in a 380F oven to bring out their flavour and which I’m sure adds significantly to the flavour profile as Hamelman suggests in his side note to the recipe. The flours used in the overall formula are bread flour @ 92% and whole rye flour @ 8% with a recommended total hydration of 75%, the water from the flax soaker contributing almost 60% of the total. Once it was time to mix I decided to use David Snyder’s method of using the paddle of a stand mixer for the first 2-3 minutes on 1st speed, and then switch to the hook for the 2nd speed mix of 7-8 minutes. This method works well to get everything combined uniformly and quickly and one I’ll use from here on. Thank you Mr. Snyder! The total weight of all the ingredients was 1.740kg which my poor old KA struggled with it at first but after I adjusted the water slightly it came together nicely requiring only a few minutes work up by hand to a medium consistency. The final dough temp was 77.2F, just a shade over the DDT of 76F then with a bulk fermentation of 3 hrs with 2 folds at 1.5 hr intervals. The dough was molded and placed in floured brotforms, covered and placed in the refrigerator for 15 hours at which point they came out and finished the final proof at room temp for 3 more hrs before going into a 500F oven for 8 minutes with the remaining 30 minutes of bake time at 460F.
The loaf has a good crust along with a crumb structure that is open but fairly uniform, which is just the way I like it. Eaten on it’s own it has a marvelous medium sour, nutty flavour that lasts for some time after, I’m sure due to the long cold fermentation time it had. One of the aspects of this breads long fermentation that I really appreciate (besides the flavour) is that it allows me to do some other things away from the house and kitchen while it does its thing. That for me is a win-win situation that will see me using this method more often.
Franko



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