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hanseata

Was it my childish resistance against praying with St. Jeffrey's faithful congregation, or an unconscious dislike of dealing with a tome - so far I haven't baked a lot from Hamelman's "Bread". Though one bread, the wonderful "5-Grain Sourdough with Rye Sourdough", made it straight into Karin's Bread Hall of Fame, and his "Rye Sourdough with Walnuts" formula I used for testing a 1-step versus a 3-step starter (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19814/interesting-experiment-sourdough-starters).

For my "Equal Opportunity Challenge" I wanted kill two birds with one stone, giving "Bread" another chance, and finding a vehicle for the chia seeds I had just purchased for a bargain price. Therefore I chose a simple white loaf, one of the first formulas of the book: "Country Bread".

Working with the recipe wasn't very difficult. I refrigerated the mature pre-ferment overnight, and upped the amount of water in the dough a bit to accomodate the chia seeds (I didn't soak them, since, according to the description on the tag, "you can eat them directly out of the package"). The dough was slightly sticky, as intended, and I gave it an extra Stretch & Fold right away, and let it ferment for an additional 50 minutes after the last fold.

The result was a very pretty loaf, with a pleasant, slightly nutty taste - for people who don't care too much for sourdough tang. Unfortunately, the Andersons do not belong to these mild mannered goodie-two-shoes, we like our yeasts wild and free!

Therefore, this gentle bread will have to find another home, even jazzed up with chia seeds it is a bit too tame for us.

Country Bread - with chia seeds

 

 

 

 

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hanseata

The best recipe collection (bread, rolls and snacks) of German bakers' magazine, "Allgemeine Bäckerzeitung", supplied the formula for my third "fair baked" bread.

A heavy weight, scaled for 21 loaves, with selling points, marketing tips, production cost and time calculation, including sales tax (7%) and even a suggested retail price (1.83 Euro). The production steps are briefly listed - no need to explain to professionals what they do every day.

  Die besten Rezepte aus der Allgemeinen Bäckerzeitung - Brot, Brötchen & Snacks

Scaling the ingredients down to home bakering proportions was not difficult (a minimum of 3 loaves), and the instructions, though brief, were precise, and didn't overtax my mental capacities.

The recipe said (more or less) only: "make a dough". I tried to stretch and fold it, but that didn't work too well, the dough was too wet. Therefore, instead of soaking only the flaxseeds in hot water for 1 hour (original recipe) I would include some of the flour in the soaker, to have a larger preferment, and more water already absorbed in the flour.

I like to retard my doughs, overnight fermentation works better for my schedule, and, also, improves the taste (the original recipe had only the longer starter development.)

The Bäckerzeitung says: "roll the shaped loaves over a wet towel, and then dip them into the (topping) seed mixture". Though this coated the breads nicely with seeds, they didn't stick well enough, and a lot of them fell off during and after baking. Next time I would either take care to press them more into the dough, or brush the loaves with egg white, instead of just moistening them with water.

The breads turned out very nice, crusted with seeds they looked quite attractive, and the taste? Modestly (haha!) I will only quote my friend Lynn - beneficiary of this triplet bake: "Our seedy, seedy bread was delish! We toasted it which really brought out the flavor of the seeds! Mmmmmmm!"

 

SAATENBROT - MANY SEED BREAD (3 loaves)

SOAKER
143 g whole wheat flour
  84 g medium rye flour
299 g water
     4 g salt
129 g flaxseed

 STARTER
  21 g rye mother starter (mine is 100% hydrated)
214 g medium rye flour
214 g water, lukewarm
 
FINAL DOUGH

all starter and soaker
130 g medium rye flour
143 g bread flour
187 g water
    5 g instant yeast
  12 g salt
129 g sesame, toasted
129 g hemp seeds
    2 g anise, caraway, fennel and/or coriander
 14 g sesame seeds (for topping)
 14 g hemp seeds (for topping
 14 g flaxseed (for topping)

 DAY 1:

1. In the morning, stir together all ingredients for soaker, cover and let sit at room temperature. Mix all ingredients for starter (in 1-step), cover and let ferment at room temperature.

In the evening, mix together all ingredients for final dough for 1 - 2 minutes on low speed. Knead on medium-low speed for 4 minutes (or knead by hand). Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Resume kneading for another minute (dough will still be somewhat sticky). Divide dough into 3 portions, place in oiled containers, cover and refrigerate overnight.


DAY 2:

2. Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using. Shape into sandwich loaves. Roll breads over wet towel, and then over seed mixture. Gently press seeds into dough. Place breads in oiled loaf pans. (No scoring). Mist with spray oil, cover, and let rise for 45 - 60 minutes, or until they have grown 1 1/2 times their original size.

3. Preheat oven to 240ºC/465ºF, including steam pan. Place pans into oven, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. Bake at falling temperatures: 10 minutes at 240ºC/465ºF, 10 minutes at 220ºC/428ºF, then turn loaves out onto baking sheet, remove steam pan and continue baking for 10 minutes at 200ºC/400ºF, and 10 minutes at 180ºC/355ºF. The internal temperature should be at least 200 F/93 C.

4. Let breads cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Saatenbrot - Many Seed Bread

 

 

 

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hanseata


Fellow baker Hanaâ (http://hanaaskitchen.blogspot.com) instigated me to buy yet another baking book - as if my bookshelves were not already buckling down under the weight of my cooking library. She invited me to join her ABC baking challenge, every month trying out a new recipe, currently from Abby Dodge's: "The Weekend Baker". The author, contributing editor of one of my favorite magazines, "Fine Cooking", also posted the recipe here:

http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/glazed-cinnamon-rolls-2

My husband loves sticky buns and their sugar laden relatives, but, though I like cinnamon, I was never very fond of the overly sweet stuff he would sometimes buy. Therefore, without Hanaâ's challenge, I would probably never have thought of baking cinnamon rolls.

What I especially like about "The Weekend Baker" and this recipe, are the several "do ahead" options. I prefer working with slow fermentation for my breads, and most doughs show their appreciation for the cold treatment with a significant better taste, so, after a 30-minute rise, I put my my dough to sleep in the fridge overnight.

I always try to incorporate some whole grains in my recipes, a substitution of 10% white flour with whole grains doesn't require additional liquid, so I replaced 47 g of all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour.

The recipe was easy to follow, and the next morning the dough had nicely risen in the fridge. I rolled it out cold - it will come to room temperature quickly - and the filling was no problem, either. Next time I probably would add some toasted, chopped nuts, though.

Cutting a roll of dough in even slices with a bench scraper or knife is not that easy, the layers slipping away over the crumbly filling. Using dental floss, as Hanaâ suggested, works much better.

I skipped glazing the rolls, nice as it looks, it adds even more sugar, without contributing to the taste. And even without this decoration - the cinnamon rolls looked beautiful when they came out of the oven and their wonderful aroma filled the whole house, so that I could hardly wait to try one until they had cooled down a bit.

"... now I know their taste - now I'm a believer..." you don't have to be a Monkee to love these treats!
I am converted, and my husband could wallow in them, so good are they!

They, also, freeze well, wrapped in plastic foil and then placed in a ziplock bag. To enjoy them you only have to nuke them for a few seconds, and then re-crisp them at 350ºF/175ºC for a few minutes in the oven.

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hanseata

The second bread on my "Equal Opportunity Baking" list (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/26944/fair-baking-my-equal-opportunity-pledge) got its place near the top because of my curiosity.

In the past I had read several comments on the many errata in Leader's books, and, therefore, decided not to buy it. But Christmas came, and, being blessed with three daughters (2 step and 1 own), I found several baking books under the tree, among them "Local Breads".

With my fair baking pledge in mind, I searched for the errata posts in TFL again, and saw Mini's (MiniOven) comment on a translation error, a mixup between the German term for caraway = Kümmel (a typical German bread spice) and cumin = Kreuzkümmel (a spice used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes). Both taste totally different, and cumin has no part in traditional German cuisine.

I looked at the German bread section in the book, and found that Mini was right. Somebody had posted Sharon Burns-Leaders' contact address, and I emailed her about Mini's and mine observation. She answered me promptly:

"Thanks for the correction! Since it was pointed out it seems quite silly that we never questioned it! I do try to answer all of the queries from readers personally myself,  though reading through some of the posts on The Fresh Loaf was, I have to admit, a bit frightening.  We did work very hard on that book and I personally tested every recipe so the personal and passionate comments were a little hard to hear when they were critical, however, I am amazed, as always, at the dedicated and talented bakers that are out there!"

That was a very gracious answer, and I decided to cut Leader's book some slack, and find out for myself how his recipes are working. Because I like breads with walnuts, I chose a variation of his Whole Wheat Sourdough Miche, French Walnut Bread.

I have a lively 75% hydration starter in my fridge, so I didn't have to make a levain from the scratch. Leader's stiff levain contains a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour, so I started with feeding my whole wheat mother starter with AP flour, adjusting the water to make the stiffer levain.

Since I had decided to give my new KA 600 Pro a chance, I mixed the dough with it,  again regretting my jump at Amazon's "Black Monday" bait, when the bowl started wobbling and would have jumped out of the holders if it wasn't held down with brutal force.

Long experience with nut additions told me not to wait until the dough had fully formed (it's a real big pain to work the nuts in at this stage - I really don't know why all baking books, from Reinhart to Hamelman insist on doing that!), so I fed them slowly to the dough while kneading.

I basically retard all my doughs, so I did the same with the French Walnut Bread, placing it in the refrigerator after an hour of rising, and a brief kneading. The dough was, as expected, a bit sticky, but not too difficult to handle.

Overnight the dough had almost doubled, and, after it came to room temperature, behaved exactly as it should. Instead of steaming, with ice cubes I used a steam pan and boiling water - why lower the oven temperature unnecessarily?

The result was a good tasting bread, with the typical purple-ish color (walnut "dye") and a nice airy crumb.

Next time I might just use S & F as in Peter Reinhart's "Artisan Bread Every Day", instead of a long, slow knead.

 

 

 

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hanseata

My first "Equal Opportunity Bread" (see my last post) had to be a batch of rolls. I like having a supply of rolls in my freezer, when we come home from a trip, and want a bread that thaws faster than a large loaf. So I grabbed one of my most favorite baking books - hey, who said I couldn't include my favorites in my fair baking? - "Brot aus Südtirol". Richard Ploner's breads are all small, mini breads, or rolls. The (professional baker's) reasoning: "They should all have the same size in a mixed bread basket".

This baking book has everything going for it, interesting recipes and appetizing photos. Unfortunately, it has not been translated into English, yet. Because of this sad omission I am happy to be able to translate at least some of its wonderful recipes for English speaking bakers.

The one thing I always change - apart for an adaptation of the ingredients to what is available in the US - are the very short fermentation times. Ploner doesn't retard his doughs, but I do, and I am sure that even these nice breads benefit from it.

The original recipe lists sugar caramel color (15 g) - I didn't have it and didn't see a real need for it, either. Richard Ploner lets you choose between toasted soy flakes and pumpkin seeds - for me a no-brainer, since I love toasted pumpkin seeds, and buy them in bulk. The sesame seeds I toasted, too, to enhance their "nuttiness".

 

MALZBROT - TYROLEAN MALT RYE ROLLS WITH SESAME AND PUMPKIN SEEDS

6 g instant yeast
280 g water, lukewarm
300 g all-purpose flour
100 g medium rye flour
100 g whole wheat flour
5 g malted barley flour (non diastatic)
5 g sugar (1 tsp.)
6 g sesame seeds, toasted (2 tsp.)
50 g pumpkin seeds, toasted, chopped
3 g whole caraway seeds (1 tsp.)
10 g salt


DAY 1:

1. Dissolve instant yeast in warm water. Mix with other dough ingredients to form a rough ball, 1 - 2 minutes on low speed (or with a wooden spoon). Let dough rest for 5 minutes.


2. Knead on medium-low speed (or by hand) for 2 minutes, adjusting with water, if needed (dough should be a bit sticky). Continue kneading for 4 more minutes, the last 20 seconds at medium-high speed (dough should still be more sticky than tacky).


3. Transfer dough to lightly floured work bench, and, with wet or oiled hands, stretch into a rough square, fold like a business letter, and then fold again like a business letter from the short sides. Tuck sides under dough to shape a ball, and place in oiled bowl, seam side down. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.


4. Repeat S & F for 3 more times at 10 minute intervals (total time 40 minutes). After the last fold, place into oiled container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.


DAY 2:

5. Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using, it should have doubled in size (or shape cold, with then longer rising time).


6. Preheat oven to 428ºF/220ºC, including steam pan. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces. Pre-shape into rounds. Let relax for 5 minutes.


7. With both hands, roll rounds into 10-cm/4" long strands, with tapered ends. Place, seam side down, on parchment lined baking sheet. Score lengthwise. Mist with oil spray, cover, and let rise for 45 - 60 minutes, or until they have grown ca. 1 1/2 times their original size.


8. Bake for 12 minutes, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. Rotate rolls, remove steam pan, and continue baking for another 13 minutes, until they are golden brown. Leave in switched-off oven with door slightly ajar for 5 more minutes, then let cool on a wire rack.

Malzbrot - These rolls went straight into Karin's Bread Hall of Fame - they are soooo good!

 

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hanseata

Like some teachers have their "pets", I have some favorite baking books that I always turn to when I'm looking for new recipes. These books have old envelopes, supermarket receipts, movie tickets, and other odd papers stuck between pages as markers,  my own volume/weight conversions (or corrections), and lots of scribbled comments. And, they are also graded with stars, enthusiastic exclamation marks, or a scathing: "Not that great!"

Then there are The Others, bought or received as presents, that, for some reasons, never captured my attention, either because they have no attractive photos to inspire me, their design is too dull, their write-up too boring (yes, I am that shallow!), or I just forgot all about them. They end up in a dark corner of my bookshelf, forsaken and forlorn, probably hiding treasures that no one will ever know in the Anderson house - and NOBODY CARES!

This shameful negligence has to come to an end - these books are people, too! They, too, deserve a chance to be looked at, taken seriously, and, maybe, supply the next candidate for Karin's Bread Hall of Fame.

So my New Year's Resolution is this Equal Opportunity Pledge -  fair treatment of all my baking books, every one shall have a chance, no more "pet baking", but equal opportunity for all those disadvantaged recipe collections, that never saw the light of my kitchen!

LIST OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY BREADS (with links to the posts):

  • Richard Ploner: Malzbrot - Tyrolean Rye Malt Rolls ("Brot aus Südtirol") DONE!
  • Daniel Leader: French Walnut Bread - Pain au Levain Complet aux Noix ("LocalBreads") DONE!
  • Saatenbrot - German Many Seed Bread ("Die besten Rezepte aus der Allgemeinen Bäckerzeitung") DONE! 
  • Jeffrey Hamelman: Country Bread ("Bread") DONE!
  • Andrew Whitley: Arkatena Bread ("Bread Matters") DONE! 
  • Müslibrötchen - German Muesli Rolls ("Brot & Kleingebäck") DONE!
  • Bill Middeke: Beer Rye Bread ("Baking with the St. Paul Bread Club") DONE! 
  • Bernd Armbrust: Camembert-Trauben-Brot - Camembert Grape Bread ("Brot") DONE! (But needs more work)
  • Peter Reinhart: Croissants ("Artisan Bread Every Day")
  • Fanny Gerson: Mexican Conchas ("My Sweet Mexico")
  • Dan Lepard: Alehouse Rolls ("The Guardian")
  • Bäckerei Hesse: Herzbube Walnuss - Knight of Hearts Walnut ("Brot - So backen unsere besten Bäcker")
  • Jan Hedh: Cosa Nostra Bread ("Swedish Breads & Pastry")
  • Bauernbrot - Farmers' Loaf ("Brotrezepte aus ländlichen Backstuben")
  • Cornelia Zingerling: Mandel-Vollkorn-Brot ("Brot backen")
  • Niels Schöner: Pain au Levain de Sarrasin ("Notes From a Floury German Kitchen")
  • Vollkorntoastbrot mit Leinsamen - Whole Grain Toast Bread with Flaxseed ("Brot backen - Köstliche Rezepte aus der guten alten Zeit")
  • E. and J. Wood: Cranberry-Nut Sourdough ("Classic Sourdoughs")
  • Ayla Agar: Turkish Simit ("Classic Turkish Cooking") (this is a different version of Simit than the one I posted already).
  • Ute-Marion Wilkesmann: Allerweltsbrötchen - Ordinary Rolls ("Brötchen statt Brot")
  • Chad Robertson: Basic Country Bread with Sesame ("Tartine")
  • Rose Levy Beranbaum: Golden Semolina Torpedo - Altamura ("The Bread Bible")
  • Richard Bertinet: Breton Bread ("Crust")
  • J. Alford and N. Duguid: Ethiopian Spice Bread ("Flatbreads & Flavors")
  • R. Topp and A. Riffert: Heilkräuterbrot - Healing Herb Bread ("Vollkornbäckerei zu Hause")
  • Martin Pöt Stoldt: Buttermilch-Weizenvollkorn-Kastenbrot - Buttermilk Wheat Sandwich Loaf ("Der Sauerteig - das unbekannte Wesen")
  • Floyd Mann: Rustic Bread ("The Fresh Loaf Pocket Book of Bread")

So far, so good. There might be more.....

Malzbrot - Tyrolean Rye Malt Rolls - they went straight into my Bread Hall of Fame!

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hanseata

Last spring Breadsong posted about Alsatian Beer Bread, a formula developed by Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, published in "Modern Baking", a professional bakers' website http://modern-baking.com/bread_pastry/mb_imp_16940/. I liked the looks of her buns, and was intrigued by the beer crunch crust  (if it's crunchy AND made with beer, it must be good!) so I copied the recipe from "Modern Baking" to my ever growing to-do list.

Alsatia is famous for its  happy marriage between French and German cuisine, as shown in Zwiebelkuchen - Onion Tarte (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19698/time-onion-tarte-zeit-fuer-zwiebelkuchen), and Elsässer Apfeltorte - Alsatian Apple Torte. 

It's also home of one of my favorite authors, Tomi Ungerer, known for his quirky, illustrated books for children and adults, whose heroes are no mild mannered goodie-two-shoes, but usually just the opposite - like the stubborn cat boy in: "No Kiss for Mother". And even in his wonderful illustrations for a book of German folk songs ("Das grosse Liederbuch") he always manages to smuggle one little nasty detail in his otherwise idyllic scenes and landscapes.

Like me, Tomi Ungerer loves cats and good food, and is no tee-totaller. And as an Alsatian, he must love this bread, too.

PAIN À LA BIÈRE - ALSATIAN BEER BREAD (3 loaves)

PATE FERMENTEE
 95 g all-purpose flour
 95 g bread flour
   3 g salt
    1 g instant yeast (1/4 tsp.)
119 g water
 
FINAL DOUGH
 28 g potato flakes
 98 g water, (to soak potato flakes)
all pate fermentee
250 g bread flour
125 g rye flour (whole or medium)
    9 g salt
    4 g instant yeast
220 g water
 
BEER CRUNCH (enough for 6 breads)
50 g rye flour
90 g beer
2 g salt
1 g instant yeast
rye flour , for dustin

DAY 1:

1. Prepare pâte fermentée. Let ferment at least 3 hours at room temperature, stretch and fold, then refrigerate.

 DAY 2 :

2. Remove pâte fermentée from refrigerator 2 hours before using.

In a small bowl, mix potato flakes with water.

 3. Combine all dry dough ingredients with pâte fermentée. Add cautiously 220 g water (not all might be needed). Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, add potato flakes and knead for another 3-4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and continue kneading another for 2-3 minutes.

 4. Let rise for 1 hour. Divide dough into 3 pieces (350 g), pre-shape into rounds, let rest for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, combine ingredients for beer crunch in small bowl.

 5. Fold 3 sides of rounds into center to make triangles. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. Spread beer crunch over loaves, then dust with rye flour.

 6. Preheat oven to 470 F/245 C. Let breads proof for 1 hour at 81 F/27 C. (If rye flour is absorbed, dust again before baking).

 7. Bake for 20 minutes, (no steam,) rotate, and continue baking for another 20 minutes.

 

Comments: The original recipe lists only an unspecified pre-ferment. I used a pâte fermentée, but I'm sure a levain would work as well.

It also has 240 g water for the final dough, but cautions that might be too much. It was! The dough looked at first drier than it really was, and I had to adjust with more flour to keep it from being wet like Pain à l'Ancienne dough, and totally unshapable. Therefore I suggest using 220 g water.

The original formula's baking temperature (470 F) and time (40 minutes) reflects conditions in a commercial oven, after 20 minutes baking time the breads were already getting rather dark, and after 25 minutes the internal temperature had already reached 208 F, so I took them out. Thinking of David Snyder's San Joaquin Sourdough, I would next time bake the breads at 460 F, for about 27 - 29 minutes, plus leaving them longer in the switched-off oven to prevent the crust from softening.

All in all, a really nice bread, with a hearty note from the rye, a great crust, and an attractive look. I will add it to my repertoire.

Updated 2/11/12 to include some information Kim gave me (who had made this bread at a baking class with Chef Pierre Zimmermann).

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hanseata

A few days ago, my lovely stepdaughter, Cat, convinced me to join twitter. As if I didn't spend enough time already on my computer!

But it's fun to follow Dalai Lama (my favorite, whose tweets are not about food, but food for thought), well-known food gurus, like Mark Bittman ("How to Cook Almost Everything" - always good for some environmentally conscious comments) -  or new baking entrepreneur Martina Snetkova ("Cookie Time!") in her heroic fight to establish her little bakery-on-wheels against a big chain cafe who tried to crowd her out of the Bay Area market before she even got started.

And Dan Lepard. When I saw this recipe, I jumped on my bicycle (yes, at the end of November! In Maine!!!) to get local brown ale, sharp cheddar and white onions:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/oct/21/ale-crust-potato-pasty-recipe

Having learned a few tricks by watching the French video on croissants (that somebody here just posted), working with the ale dough was fairly easy. I americanized the potato onion filling a bit by adding some fried bacon. The amount of the filling would have been enough for nine pasties instead of six (my husband will work the surplus into somosas).

This is the result:

The crust was wonderful, and can surely be used for pies crusts, too. Smaller versions would be great finger food at parties.

Here ist my adaptation of the recipe (with a reduced amount of filling - enough for the six pasties):

 

ALE-CRUST POTATO PASTIES (6)

DOUGH
325 g bread flour, plus extra for rolling
175 g spelt flour, or whole wheat (I used spelt)
10 g salt, (2 tsp.)
300 g cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm (0.4") cubes
250 ml Newcastle Brown Ale, or similar (I used Bar Harbor Thunderhole Ale)
 
FILLING
2 slices bacon, cubed
265 g white onions, chopped
¼ tsp. salt
15 ml olive oil
65 g water
salt and pepper, to taste
50 ml heavy cream
350 g potato, cooked and diced
70 g sharp cheddar, grated
egg, lightly beaten , for egg wash

 

1. For the dough: Stir together flours and salt. Toss butter cubes through flour mix. Pour in beer and mix to rough lump (the butter pieces will still be visible).

2. Transfer dough to floured worktop and roll out ca. 1 cm (0.4") thick. Fold it like a business letter, roll it out and fold it again into thirds. Wrap dough package in plastic foil and freeze it for 30 minutes to firm. Repeat this double rolling and folding 2 x more at 30-minute intervals. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

3. For the filling: In a saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Using slotted spoon, take out bacon bits, place on piece of paper towel, and set aside.

4. Add onions, oil, water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Cook until all water has evaporated, and onion is very soft. Stir in cream, let thicken a bit (mixture should not have too much liquid). Remove from heat, add potatoes, season well with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

5. Divide dough in halves. Return 1 piece to refrigerator. Roll other half into rectangle ca. 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13"), then cut into thirds (using a pizza cutter), each about 23 x 11 cm (9 x 4 1/3").

6. Brush dough stripes with water, spoon filling towards one end, covering about half of piece (leave edges clean, otherwise you can't seal them!), top with bacon and sprinkle with cheese. Fold other half over filling, and seal edges with a fork. Repeat with other pastry sheet. Chill pasties until firm, at least 30 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 400 F/200 C.

8. Brush pasties with egg wash, and trim cut sides, if necessary. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and slash tops.

9. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees for even browning, and continue baking for another 15 - 25 minutes, until puffed and golden.

 

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hanseata

Farro, or emmer, an ancient kind of wheat, is popular in some parts of Italy, and, ever since I purchased Maria Speck's wonderful book "Ancient Grains in Modern Meals", also in our family. Creamy farro with honey roasted grapes became our new breakfast favorite that even my picky, normally no-breakfast-type son wolfed eagerly down:

http://daleydish.com/blog/2011/03/creamy-farro-with-honey-roasted-grapes.html

With this delicious experience in mind, I felt inspired to come up with a recipe for a bread with farro. I wanted a straightforward bread, with sourdough, but not too tangy, to showcase the farro. I used whole farro kernels that I ground in my little hand cranked mill (with the additional "benefit" of a good arm muscle workout).

PAIN AU LEVAIN WITH FARRO

MOTHER (levain 1. build)
20 g wheat or rye mother starter (100% hydration), OR 16 g of apple or raisin yeast water
8 g water, lukewarm
20 g bread flour


CHEF (levain 2. build)
42 g mother (all)
16 g water, lukewarm
42 g bread flour
 
LEVAIN
100 g chef (all)
100 g water, lukewarm
200 g bread flour
 
SOAKER
314 g farro flour
236 g water
6 g salt
 
FINAL DOUGH
all soaker
all levain
314 g bread flour
6 g salt
202 g water

rolled wheat or other flakes for topping


DAY 1:

1. Mix soaker ingredients, let sit at room temperature.
For the 3-step levain: mix ingredients for mother, and proof in a warm place (like oven with light on) for ca. 6 hours. Repeat procedure with next two steps (chef and levain). Refrigerate overnight.


DAY 2:

2. Remove levain from refrigerator 2 hours before using.
3. Cut levain in small pieces (to make mixing easier). Place all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until dough comes together, 1 - 2 minutes. Knead on medium low speed for 4 minutes (dough should be very tacky, bordering on sticky). Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then resume kneading for 1 minute more (dough should be still very tacky, if not sticky).
4. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rest in a warm place for 90 minutes. Transfer to lightly floured work surface, and, (with your hands from from the middle of the dough to the sides), push out air, then stretch and fold. Place folded dough with seam down back in bowl. Let rest for another 80 minutes.
5. Push out air again, let dough relax for 10 minutes more.
6. Divide into 2 equal pieces, shape into boules, place seam-side down on parchment lined baking sheet, mist with water and sprinkle with rolled wheat. Mist breads with oil spray, cover, and proof for 75 - 90 minutes in warm place, until grown to 1 1/2 times their original size. (Preheat oven after 30 minutes.)
7. Preheat oven to 250ºC/485ºF, including steam pan.
8. Place breads in oven, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water, and bake for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 200ºC/400ºF and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate breads 180 degrees, remove steam pan and continue baking for another 20 minutes (internal temperature 98ºC/209ºF). Leave for 10 minutes in switched-off oven with door slightly ajar. Then cool on wire rack.

Pain au Levain with Farro

I am very happy with the result, a pleasantly mild, nutty tasting bread. 

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