I've been taunting Benny for weeks now about trying out some Canadain T55 and decided to have two baguettes square up and have a face off for the TXX grand prix. For the record on the left is Canadian T55 blended 50/50 with French T65. This blend is done by recommendation of lepicerie.com seeing that this particular T55 is ancieny Khorasan grain. On the right is straight T65 from france. First impressions is that the Canadian blend turned out really much nicer than the French. The shaping and lead up was noticeably different in that the Canadian dough was a bit more putty-esqe and required some more force while shaping. Basically much better ear development and just overall more appealing shape. Maybe it was due to that loaf being shaped better. who knows, and it may take several bakes to really stamp a blue ribbon here but first impression is very positive -
This loaf is 73% hydration and I noticed it felt more like a 70% or lower so the khorasan is likely more absorbent. The French loaf I brought up to 74% anf really didnt get much burst. Crumb pics on the way ...
Recently I posted the arrival of a new oven that I purchsed as a dedicated bread oven, and since then have been in setup mode and quickly realized this has become a project as opposed to a more plug-n-play scenario. So with that, I am seeing some positive results and want to share them here.
This is a small 350g batard tester loaf to see how well this (relatvely) cheap import mini deck oven performs. the oven I puchased is a 'xoeleo' from china manufactured primarily for pizza and as such has required some tinkering and tuning. Danny ayo was kind enough to send me links to a seal for the door and www.brookbake.com dug up a rofco steam tray (despite them being out of stock). To date I have applied a door seal but still seeing considerable leaking steam from some of the other seams in the body. Despite the leaks I very surprised by the fast spring on this bake. Another surprise is the paper thin crust on this loaf. never had such a thin crust like this ever.
Very little went into the preparation of this loaf - the bake was more a first 'wet' test (as opposed to dry steamless) test, in fact I originally did not even plan to load but rathet test the steam so this is a last minute loaf sort of thing. Very interested to see whats next.
Dropping this here to remind us that baking bread doesnt have to be sophisticated. This was one of the videos i watched to learn what it takes. For me its a reminder that even with minimal effort you can bake something that most likely going to be more enjoyable than something you get at the market thats choc full of preservatives. This youtuber's loaves are not picture-esque but the enthusiasm says it all and he also takes a moment to note that gluten development is a reaction between water and flour and not neccessarily a function of kneading - https://youtu.be/JTY4WJRSzY8
Heres attempt 2 at the croissant/ canele that, should it eventually work out - well you saw it here first ;)
Since last week where I spontaneously decided to stuff some canele molds with left-over croissant lam, I realized there might be something interesting here. So this week I decided to do a true blend of canele batter and the dough. What I had hoped would happen is the batter would encase the dough and sort of creep up the sides of the mold in a capillary fashion. Instead it (the batter) just kind of settled ultimately creating a canele cap. You can see this in the pics.
Another goal this time was to do more of a koign Amman style dough (hence the upside down photo showing the coin effect) whereby I heavily sugared the roll of dough. This is due to the fact that last week as I bit into the first creations I just felt this needs to be sweeter. That part worked. The flavor is much better than attempt number 1.
Not sure if I want to continue pursuing this but will give it some thought and see what might evolve.
One thing that can frustrating with croissants is having nice crumb towards the periphery but a hollow and collapsed interior. One way that can help reduce this is to cut a 1/2 slit in the base of the triangular cut out. I think the original purpose of this slit is allow for wider loaf since it promotes lateral rolling motion widening the loaf as it rolls up. A nice benefit if this technique is for whatever geometric, physical reason I at least will see far fewer cases of cavernesque crumb. Just a little tip / observation for other croissanteurs out there ;)
On a pastry kick. For those of you who love to laminate and work with brioche doughs, I always have about 1-2 croissants worth of off-cuts which usually get balled up and baked along side the croissants then promptly cursed and thrown out. This is what they 'monkey bread' it's just quasi laminated waste. So today I decided to stuff it into canele molds. It's a bit of trip since they look like canele but taste like kouign aman. This has got thinking of some interesting ideas from here. Main thing to note here is that all the dough went to good use !