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MadAboutB8

 Inspired by Dmsnyder's SFBI Miche, I made another wheat germ sourdough weeks ago and loved it. This time, I wanted to increase hydration and include rye flour in the dough.  Instead of calling them wheat germ sourdough, I’d like to call it Pain au Levain with wheat germs (pain au levain is literally sourdough bread, only with fancier name). Taking the idea from Susan at Wild Yeast Blog, I shaped the dough into 3 Bs, three basic shapes; boule (round), batard (oval) and baguette. The bread had 2% toasted wheat germs, 72% hydration (amount of water comparing to total flour), mixture of bread flour (80%), whole wheat (15%) and rye flour (5%). I used the mixed flour sourdough starter (whole wheat & bread flour at 50/50 ratio) as I wanted pronounced acidity for the bread.  The bread didn’t disappoint. It was good all-round bread. It was great for toast, soup and sandwiches. I made Croque Madame using the bread and it was delicious. This recipe has now become my go-to plain sourdough bread.  It was also interesting to see the differences of the same dough into three shapes. Of all three shapes, I like the baguette shape the least. Baguette has high crust to crumb ratio and I am a crumb lover rather than crust. We froze the batard and haven’t got the chance to have it yet but I’m sure it will be as wonderful as the boule.  Full post and recipe is here.  Sue http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

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MadAboutB8

I made this same bread before some months ago combining Jeffrey Hamelman’s method and Bourke Street Bakery recipe (not entirely). This time I followed Bourke Street Bakery’s recipe closely. Umm, closely, I actually increased the amount of both soy beans and linseeds substantially (double the amount for both soys and linseeds), upped the amount of water a little (hydration percentage) and replaced 10% of bread flour with whole wheat flour.

The recipe called for soy flour, which I didn’t use in my previous bakes. I didn’t think that I was able to find the flour and I was not a fan of buying a big bag of ingredient specifically for one recipe. However, I also like to experiment with new things/new flours and I came across soy flour at Asian grocery store. The flour has very interesting texture. It was moist, creamy and mushy. It felt almost like the blended soy beans, only drier.

I was glad that I included soy flour into the dough as suggested by the recipe. The flour added moisture, tenderness and creamy colour to the crumbs. The bread was lovely, nutty and full of textures. I was also surprised how sweet the bread was, which I believe the soy flour must have contributed to some of the sweetness.

Soy beans in the bread tasted amazing, I love the texture and its creamy nutty flavour. It was just lovely.  I am also wondering if soy and linseed bread is Australian thing or it is something common. 

Full post and recipe is here.

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

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MadAboutB8

I’ve been wanted to try making sourdough pancake for quite sometimes. It was regularly suggested by sourdough bakers as a good way to use the starter discard from the feedings. 

I make pancake rather often. And I was curious to find out how well sourdough starter would leaven the pancake batter and the taste it would give.

I used the recipe from King Arthur website. The recipe is for sourdough waffle and also good for pancake. I usually have pancake with berries. Now, it's almost Winter in Australia, berries are hard to come by and/or too expensive. Topping alternative I had in mind was poached pears as pears are now in its peak season. 

I adjusted the pancake recipe a little by adding a little bit of malt powder and grated lemon zest. The pancake recipe produces relatively thin pancake. It was a scrumptious breakfast. Sourdough pancake tasted excellent with mild tang to it. It added depth of flavour. Poached pear was fabulous. I love the honey and lemon combination poaching liquid. It went really well with the pear. I also reduced the poaching liquid to use as pancake syrup. 

Full post and recipe is here

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

 

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MadAboutB8

One of the most loved pastry items with multiple identities, Pain au Raisin. Though it is widely known as Pain au Raisins (or Pain aux Raisins), it is also called escagot and snail. Many Aussies know this item as snails due to its shape.

It has everything that ticks, slightly spiced juicy sultana (golden raisin), pastry cream wrapped in buttery and flaky croissant dough. Some are also glazed with apricot jam, and finished off with icing sugar.

I’m still on my mission practicing making croissants. This week was my sixth effort. Apart from making them into classic croissant shape, I also turned the dough into something else, and this week I made them into pain au raisins.

This was the second time I made them. Comparing it to my first effort, this time was way much better, which I believe it was resulted from a well-proof dough. Well-proof croissant dough will produce flaky layered pastry. 

 

More details and recipe can be found here

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

 

 

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MadAboutB8


I still had some leftover home-grown apples (not from our home, unfortunately). These apples were delicious, juicy and slightly tart. I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of apples they were. My guess would be ‘Golden Delicious’ because of its golden colour and sweet yet tart flavour.


We quite enjoyed the apple bread I made couple of weeks ago, from Dan Lepard’s Exceptional Bread. This time I wanted to try different recipe and my heart was set at apple and oat sourdough from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook. The apples that we had would be just enough for the bread.


I changed the recipe a little by substituting 10% of bread flour with rye flour. I also increased the amount of water a little (hydration ratio) my dough hydration (not including water in oat soaker) was 65% comparing to 62% in original recipe.


BSB sourdough recipe includes high ratio of starter, over 40% against total flour. Now that I was making bread during cold autumn mornings and nights, I found it worked out quite well with the fermentation and flavour. I also followed the book by feeding my starter three times at 8 hours interval before the final mixing, which, I believe, enhanced the flavour and gave better bread texture (the crumb were more open).



This is great tasting bread. I was amazed how flavourful it was. Oats contributed to moister crumbs and earthly flavour. The chunks of apples inside the bread also enhanced the flavour significantly. They gave such a nice aroma, and sweet & tart flavour to the crumbs around them. It felt like we were having a fresh fruit toast for breakfast. What a nice change from dried fruit toast, not to mention the real flavour and no added-sugar from dried fruits.



Comparing this bread to Dan Lepard’s I made the other week, we loved the BSB’s better. It’s is simple and clean flavour with fewer ingredients. It tasted simply better, or should I say it matched more with our taste buds or it was more Australian:P.


It also made me wonder what the bread would really taste like at Bourke Street Bakery itself. Sometimes, I just felt like flying to Sydney and find it out once and for all.


Full post and recipe is here.


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

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MadAboutB8

Continuing on my croissant project, to practice making croissants, this week I turned them into almond croissants.




 "my fifth time making croissants, getting more comfortable with them, but still more practices to do:)"



Almond croissant is my most favorite pastry item. It is buttery, crisp, moist, sweet and nutty, what is not to love in this little pasty of indulgence?


It was created by French bakery to use up the day-old croissants. It is a brilliant idea to turn somewhat stale croissant to something absolutely delish. Those French are genius.



Almond croissants are made by spliting day-old croissants in half, dip (or brush) those halves in light sugar syrup, spread almond cream all over both halves, and sprink flaked almond on top. The croissants are traditionally baked under trays, so it explained why the traditional almond croissants are flat.


Full post and recipe is here.


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

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MadAboutB8

 


I was amazed how wheat germs enhanced bread flavor when I made David (dmsnyder)'s famous SFBI miche a couple of months ago. I liked it a lot that I wanted to try making more breads with wheat germs.


Well, I can be easily distracted with other baking projects, bread ideas, new books, etc. Now, two months later, I finally got the chance to make a plain sourdough with toasted wheat germs added. 


This time, I toasted the wheat germs longer until it was very aromatic and golden, which I believe it added nuttier flavor to the bread.


 before and after the toast (wheat germ)


I made a simple sourdough with mixed wheat and whole wheat starter that was fed twice before the final built. The formula has 68% hydration, 10% whole wheat flour and 2% toasted wheat germs.


I had been more vigilant with the 'desired dough temperature (DDT)' for the past few weeks as the weather was getting cooler in Melbourne, the temperature is now sitting around 10-14 C in the early morning and evening (when I prepare my starter and/or final mixing). I started to notice that the dough was rather slack without adhering to DDT (as a result of me being slack on the DDT). So, I am now back to the business measuring the temperature of ingredients and adjusting the water temperature to achieve DDT.


I am quite happy with the flavor of this bread. It was a simple sourdough with a small amount of wheat germ that did such a wonder to the flavor. I also love the flavor that mixed flour starter produced, pronounced acidic tone. The bread had a lovely chewy texture.


 


Full post and recipe is here


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

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MadAboutB8


Now that I finally found (the elusive) durum flour (after been making semolina bread with fine semolina all along), I wanted to find out what differences between fine semolina and durum flour would produce in a finished product. I wanted to try this with the bread that I made using fine semolina before, Semolina Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread cookbook.


Taste-wise I couldn’t tell or feel the differences. They both have lovely flavour and nice chewy texture (though the bread I made with fine semolina was a distant memory).


The differences were more in the dough structure. I found durum flour absorb the water better and easier to work with. Fine semolina hardly absorbed any water and the dough was really wet and slack from my memory.



Bread made with durum flour also got better crumb structure, it was more open and rise well during the bake. The one made with semolina were rather flat, the crumb was relatively open and all but it just didn’t rise and dome nicely.


This bread has 60% durum flour and 67% hydration. I was surprised that the crumb wasn’t creamy and yellow as I would expect from durum flour. It was only a tad creamier than an all-wheat bread.



This bread is one of my favourite. I love the aroma and texture of sesame seeds in bread (or in anything really) and the durum flour also add sweet creamy flavour to the bread, and tender crumb. I used black sesame seeds instead of white as I find the black sesame seeds are more flavourful. I love its smoky flavour.


Full post and recipe can be found here.


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

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MadAboutB8


This might not be the traditional Hot Cross Bun but my Easter won’t feel like one without Chocolate Hot Cross Buns.


I based the recipe largely on the traditional Hot Cross bun I made last week. I included sourdough starter in the recipe for extra flavour. The starter didn’t help much with the rising, if at all. I also couldn’t taste any acidity from the starter.


Inspired by The Flavour Thesaurus book (the book about flavour pairing), I included crushed cardamom and cinnamon in the bread dough instead of mixed spices (sorry, the Hot Cross bun hard-core). The book suggested that cardamom, when paired with chocolate, makes chocolate taste rather expensive. That was interesting and I was curious to find out.



The cardamom does make the chocolate aroma nicer, lovely. The bread smells fantastic. I don’t want to sound too overly excited...I totally love this bun. It was the best chocolate hot cross bun I ever had, still drooling thinking about it. I can't tell which buns I love more, traditional or chocolate...they're both equally nice. I'll let my family decide when they have these two on Easter Friday.



Full post and recipe is here.


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

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MadAboutB8


I'm still having some home-grown apples that I wanted to use and I was thinking about apple bread. Originally, I thought about making apple and oats bread from Bourke Street Bakery cook book. However, I bought quite a few new bread-making books that I should use. So turning to Dan Lepard's books, I saw a promising apple bread recipe.


It was my first time using Dan Lepard's recipe, from Exceptional Bread. The book doesn't have baker's percentage. So, I had to compute my own. Making bread without baker's percentage to me is like flying-blind. At least, I love to know the hydration percentage and flour mix percentage in the formula.


Lepard's recipe use quite an unusual sourdough starter, cultured with mixed bread and rye flour, yogurt and apple juice. I never came across this before. Instead, I use the bread and rye starter with water and include apple juice and yogurt elsewhere in the final dough. However, I am curious what the flavour profile of the culture fed with apple juice and yogurt would be like. I'll have to try it some other times.


The recipe has a very low hydration, only 45% (water + apple juice). If I counted yogurt into hydration (which shouldn't be the case as yogurt might only contain 50% water and 50% fat or???), it would make 55% hydration, which is still relatively low.  I prefer to work with dough with over 60% hydration as it is more pleasant to work with, smooth, soft and satiny texture for hand kneading.


Plus, the recipe also contains 35% combined rye and whole wheat flour (they absorb more water). It would mean 55% hydration, in fact, is around 50% percent. I'm not sure if this is a typo or bread recipes from UK is generally low in hydration.


I followed the recipe anyway and adjusted the water as I went along. Turned out, I had to add approximately 10% more water (which bring the hydration to 60 - 65% percent).


The bread didn't gain much volume out of it and the crumb was somewhat tighter than usual. This could be due to few reasons, heavy dough (with 30% chunks of apples in it), low hydration, high percentage of rye and whole wheat flour. The original recipe included commercial yeast, which I omitted as I retarded the dough overnight. I wonder if the crumbs would be lighter if commercial yeast is used.


 


All in all, the bread tasted lovely. I didn't think about it much the first day, but the flavour developed at the later days. Second day the bread taste better, and the third day it tasted fabulous. The bread had a complex flavour, with apple juice, yogurt, chunks of apples and mixes of wheat, whole wheat and rye flour. It made a great toast for breakfast.


Full post and more photos can be found here.  


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

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