Last week marked the return of ARTE Dubai, following a summer break in August. A week earlier, I’ve baked three breads in 3 days. The first was Rye Sourdough with multigrain, and then a new recipe of mine: Date sesame bread, and finally the all too popular: Roasted garlic bread from Hamelman's book :BREAD. As expected, the garlic bread sold out in 3 hours, while the date sesame came in second, and finally the Rye multigrain; the word rye multigrain may have mislead many visitors into thinking that the bread is hefty and dense , whereas it has only 20% rye.
Overall the market was a success, and all bread was sold a few hours before the market closed. Date sesame Bread was well received, and I really liked the balance of flavors this bread offers. The recipe is as follows:
Prepare the levain 12 hours prior to mixing time and let ripe, covered, at room temperature. Prepare the soaker and leave covered also for 12 hours prior to mixing time. Prepare the date puree by pitting dates, and sprinkling over them a half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Add boiled water, stir well, and leave to cool completely, then mash the dates into a puree. On day two, toast unhulled sesame seeds until fragrant and let cool. Mix all ingredients except the Date puree, and sesame, and leave for 15 minutes. Add the date puree and mix to moderate gluten development, then fold in the sesame seeds to distribute well and transfer to an oiled bowl to rest covered for 50 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough, cover, and let ferment for additional 50 minutes. After three folds and 2.5 hours of fermentation, invert your dough onto a floured surface and divide into two pieces, round, and let rest covered for 15 minutes while you prepare your basket/couche. Shape, and rest in a basket/ couche for 2 – 2.5 hours. 1 hour before the dough is ready, preheat your oven with a stone in place and a steaming device near at hand. When your dough is almost ready, fill your steaming devise with water/ steaming towels, and insert it into your oven to heat up and generate steam. Transfer your loaves to a peel lined with parchment paper, score as desired, and load into your oven. Immediately reduce the temperature to 250C and bake with steam for 15 minutes, remove the device, and continue baking for another 25 minutes at 190C. Unload the loaves, and let cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing.
The crust and crumb was what one would expect from a 60% whole wheat sourdough but the flavor was outstanding, especially when toasted. The bread had a faint hint of sweetness to it, complemented well with toasted sesame and levain sour. When I bake this bread again, I'll try chopped dates instead of a puree.
My first attempt at pastry for the market: Butter biscuits with jam and garnished with roasted almond slivers / dried coconut. My wife helped with those. The biscuits didn't sell well; visitors were all over a macaroon table! so, we'll have to bake something trendy next time :)