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Mini Oven

 

Whipped egg whites are often used to leaven pancakes, light cakes, baked or steamed desserts.  I didn't have Chia seeds in 2009 when at the time I made the suggestion to Sharonk, and completely forgot about it until I stumbled across it today.  Egg whites work in that they are whipped until stiff making a protein foam and then ingredients (grated nuts, flour an the like) are folded in or it's folded into batter.  Either way.  If chia gel were strained so the seeds don't plug the nozzle, and placed in a pressure container for whip cream and charged with CO2 gas, the extruded chia foam (think unscented shaving cream) might be used to hold ingredients as they bake or are floated over boiling water.  Well folks, I've got Chia seeds thanks to Shiao Ping.  Sharon suggests  "To make chia seed gel, take 2 tablespoons of chia seed and mix it into 8 ounces of water.  Stir with a whisk or fork every 5-10 minutes for a half hour... let the chia seed gel sit for 12 hours before using." 

The Plan:  I could substitute it for stiff egg white in a regular gluten recipe and find a starting point.  As far as gluten free recipes go (you can see where this is going... gluten free, egg free, yeast free)  I wouldn't know what to add to the foam or even if it would work.  (Maybe when I get that far....)  I have acquired chia seeds and can make the gel, and do have the container and gas but have no idea what to do next.  (ok, no plan.)  I suppose if the gel keeps two weeks in the fridge, I have two weeks to play around with it.  I was just wondering if Sharonk or anyone had some suggestions where I might start...  (Hint hint) 

First I want to make seed free gel, then pressurize it and test the properties of chia gel foam.  Bake it, boil it, steam it, fry it.  Seeing what happens.  Sound like fun?

It is Carnival Tuesday, anything can happen!

 

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Mini Oven


Seeds everywhere!  Lots of seeds!  Seeds in the dough seeds around the dough.  Seeds, seeds, seeds!  A few nuts too and my favorite flours, Rye and Spelt.   Lots of fibre! 


DOUGH    in order:



  • 170g rye sourdough starter 100% hydration

  • 600g water at about 20°C  (68°F)    Stir until starter is well dispersed

  • 70g dried walnut rye sourdough altus crumbs

  • 5g bread spices (blend of crushed coriander, caraway, fennel)

  • 100g spelt flour

  • 600g rye flour


       Mix until all flour is wet, cover and set aside for about 2 hours.  Then add:



  • 13.5g salt

  • 70g hemp seeds

  • 8g roasted sesame seeds (1 tbs)

  • good handful sunflower seeds

  • a good handful of crushed poppy seeds 


Work everything in well and let it rest covered 2 hours (22°C)


Here is where things got hung up... getting ready to shape the loaf... didn't like the last loaf shape in the last bake...  Had a couple of hours to think this out so I started debating with myself what other seeds variations I wanted in the loaf, what shape or form to use, banneton or no banneton, clay baker or free form.  I wanted seeds on the outside, liked the way chia seeds made a sort of support on the outside crust and then again, I wanted something interesting going on too.   Ready for a change...  approx. 1650g of dough or too much for a 9x5x4 bread tin.


Staring at a fresh bag of crushed flax and having just had potato flakes on my mind, what if?  What if I rolled the dough in mixed seeds?  What if I rolled them in seeds and piled them up inside my woks to bake?  Would the dough support itself better as smaller dough pieces?  Or would it go flat?  It likes to go flat.  Unmixed seeds?  Testing seed covers?  Little blobs of dough in different colors piled up on each other?  This was beginning to sound like a "monkey bread."  Then I could see rolling balls of rye dough (or dropping globs of wet cement) falling into bowls of various seeds, rolling around and stacking themselves up to make a loaf.  Might prove interesting...  or one big mess.   Will the bread balls separate or allow for slicing?  Mmmm.


Unlike the overly sweet sticky monkey bread, this is the savory version:  Seedy Nutty Monkey Rye


It is actually quite easy with two large wet soup spoons!  Once covered, the dough balls are easy to place and move around.


Drop large spoonfuls of dough (about the size of an egg) into soup bowls with about 1cm deep



  • crushed poppy seed (dark gray/black)

  • crushed flax seed (brown with shiny specks)

  • whole green pumpkin seeds (they turn a beautiful chestnut brown)

  • chia seeds (light gray)

  • potato flakes (turn dull brown) 


Arrange into a buttered bundt pan (or a pullman pan) cover and allow to rise 3-4 hours. 



I actually used a poke test!  Amazing!  I first steamed the bundt pan inside two woks, one inverted over the other.


Preheat the oven with one wok (2 cm of water inside) to 225°C using the fan setting. 


Place the filled bundt pan inside, cover and steam bake 30 minutes, then remove from oven, quickly take out bundt pan with loaf returning it to the oven to brown and finish baking at 200°C using upper & lower heat setting.  Done when inside loaf temp reaches 96°C and it has rich brown color.   Place rack onto bread and invert.  Remove pan and allow to cool.  Bag overnight.  Cut the next day.



I don't know which side of the loaf should be up, the top or the bottom.  I started out calling it monkey bread.  When it landed on its rack it had mutated into turtle shell bread.



 


And now for the crumb shots.   An interesting thing happened and it shouldn't be of any surprise... but the coatings that absorb the most amount of water, tend to create the separating problems in the crumb.  The oil containing seeds seem to let the rye dough pass around them to join with neighboring dough balls.  Potato flakes and chia seeds seemed to create natural seams  .  This might be corrected if sprayed with water while arranging.  I could still cut off 1cm slices nicely but to cut .5cm  led some sections to separate. 


The bread tastes like a vollkorn should (yum!) and has an enjoyable bite and flavor that lingers.  We've been eating from it and have not yet spread anything on it.  It is not dry.  Still waiting on the sunshine but as the snow is beginning to fall again...  I'll post what I have.  I used a sharp knife to first cut the loaf in half and then the electric slicer.  Chia was a knife deterrent with its thin tight shell on the crust.




Not too patch work like inside.  Some interesting lines between the sections that run together.  Crumb looks very consistant.

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Mini Oven

I've been slowly brewing away with some thoughts over the years....  Starters and their differences.  Why is it that sometimes a weak rising sourdough starter culture will bounce back quickly (too quickly) and suddenly "stabilize" after chilling or a near death experience?


I have a timing theory thinking the yeasts might have syncronized their life cycles through temperature control and also the idea that perhaps getting the desired yeasts to spore (hibernate) and then wake up the correct yeast using the same selected bacteria group to do the job.  I have always (still do hopefully) kept my ears and eyes open for explanations. 


I was pointed to a podcast on research extending life spans recently and the mention that yeasts were also affected perked up my ears.  Why not?  I began to think about it more and more and it made sense.  Maybe this was one explanation for what I was observing.  Longevity of yeast perhaps.  That the yeast were living longer budding more and producing more gas in their life spans before dying letting the next generations take over.  The peaks that stay peaked for longer periods of time after feeding the neglected starter.   Hmmm.  Puts the expression "never starve a starter" into question.


There is also lots of other information in the interview like a quick mention that 2% sugar intake shortened life span by 20% which also could be applied to yeasts.  I wonder what the details are there?  The BBC Podcast features Prof. Cynthia Kenyon, director for the Hillblom Center for Aging, Univ of Calif. San Fran.   Topic: Latent capability to extend lifespan.


http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/discovery/discovery_20101027-1032a.mp3


Toward the end of the interview, I was struck by our own TFL member diversity and how contributions from so many have enriched the site.   Listen and enjoy!


"Lay back and bake at TFL!"

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Mini Oven

I got to playing with pepper jelly. 


Ingredients:  gelatin, sugar, one orange habanero, assorted sweet garden peppers, one garlic clove, water, and one glass 250ml.   Method: slice everything colorful and thin and mix with sugar, gelatin and a little water to let all the vegetables shrink and curl up for about 6-10 hours.  Amazing how they do that!  Bring to a light boil until passing the gel test on a cold plate.  (about 10-15 minutes)  Pour into hot sterilized jar and cap, let cool. 


The color of the jelly is not as dark as this picture, it barely has color at all, a light clear hint of orange with red, green, yellow and orange squiggles.


Photo:



 

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Mini Oven

They just didn't want to be baguettes!



I took the recipe under Metric and divided by 20 to use 500g total flour in the recipe.  I did make some changes... I added an egg white into the water to total 165g in the final dough.  I used 1/2 tsp of yeast in the final dough.  This gave me longer fermentation.  I also hand mixed the dough.


Poolish Baguettes, page 101, Hamelman's "BREAD" with barely a pinch of yeast and using 9% protein white unbleached wheat flour to sit 12 hours at 23°C (74°F).


Mixed the dough with water (22g egg white "small egg" and 143g water) whipped with a fork  then added to the poolish along with salt 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast and 12% protein unbleached wheat bread flour.  Let stand one hour and folded the dough.  Did two more folds with 2 hours between for a 5 hour bulk rise.  Cut off 8 rolls at 100g each and one at 85g.  Let rise under cover and kept moist with water to rise about 45 min to an hour.  When somewhat risen, I sprinkled with sesame seeds and made 5 point star scissor cuts not connecting the cuts.



Then quickly into the hot steamy oven 240° rotated with steam release after 10 minutes.  Baked for another 10 minutes.  Then the second tray got sprinkled and scored hot on the trail of the first tray. 



 


They made it to the dinner table.  Crispy crusts and tender insides, still warm.



Mini Oven


 


 


 

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Mini Oven

Monday:  My garden is bursting with Spring!  The wind is windy and the birds are joyful!  We have 18°C and the furnace has been turned off.  I've pulled a starter out of the fridge.   A firm rye that was not put into long hybernation (do not fear, my pretties, the prepared starter is the jar next to it also looking none the worse from wear.)  It's wonderful and exhausting to be back in Austria.  Lots of garden work and getting used to stairs again.  Back to the starter.


This overripe goo smells cheese strong and has ice crystals all over it.  (Must have been at the back of the fridge.)  I'm thawing it out and scraping it now to look at the bottom.  This stuff could send me under the table from just breathing it, that with jet lag could be lethal.  It would be wise of me to breathe ever so lightly.  My son thought I should pay a fine, keeping a starter that smelled so strong.  It's criminal!  I laughed and smiled to my inner-bread-self.  I'd be the last one to tell him he could have thrown it out months ago.  Must have been fed last in January. 


(4 pm) I managed to push a top layer aside to get at the most underlying glop.  Rather stiff really, broke some out and reminds me more of fresh yeast consistancy.  It is also brighter in tan color than the top gray layer.  I've mixed water with it and ... um... now some rye flour and we will see what decides to grow.  Oops, got to run out for some rye flour.  Needed milk anyway.  I love being able to read everything on the shelves!  Rye everywhere!  Picked up some spelt berries too.


Tuesday:  (4 am)  The starter sat 12 hours and no action other than it smells sour and no longer like wet flour.  Too much acid for the yeast!  Gotta build up yeasty beasties!  Took out a spoonful and did a 1:5:5 again for the next 12 hours > 20°C in the kitchen.


(8 am)  Cooked some spelt in my rice cooker and because I didn't do too much with water so it would go dry, got some nice browning on the cooked grain...  not a bad way to add color to a loaf...  I ate some for breakfast as a chewy hot cereal.  Spent the day trimming and chipping in the garden.


(6 pm)  Got bubbles! I can see them thru the glass but not on top.  Smells sour but mellow and when I attack it with a spoon the bubbles collapse and I see structure under that smooth exterior.  Very good!  Took out another spoonful and did a 1:5:5 feed plus scrounged around for some old rye bread.  Found sunflower light rye, will have to do and processed it into crumbs, mixed in.  Got that sitting out now until I wake up in the wee hours, but also good until morning if I sleep thru.  


Mini

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Mini Oven


I've been playing with rye loaf ratios (starter/water/flour) and I came up with one using any amount of rye starter that when refreshed is a paste (100% hydration) and as it ferments loostens to a thick batter.  I was looking for basic numbers (like 1/2/3) and I found them they're  1/ 3.5/ 4.16.   It makes Rye so much easier!  The starter should be generously refreshed 8-12 hours before and mixed into the dough just before peaking and in a 22°c room (72°F) the dough ferments 7-8 hours before baking.   Dough should not be folded or shaped 4 hours before going into the oven.


Basic Ratio> 1 part starter: 3.5 parts cold water: 4.16 parts rye flour    


4 tablespoons bread spice for 500g flour    Salt 1.8 to 2% of flour weight


Hydration of dough aprox 84%.  Handle dough with wet hands and a wet spatula.  Combine starter and water then the flour, stir well and let rest covered.  Add salt about one hour after mixing and any other ingredients.  If room is warmer add salt earlier.  Three hours into the ferment lightly fold with wet hands and shape into a smooth ball.  Place into a well floured brotform or oiled baking pan.  Cover and let rise.  Don't let it quite Double for it will if conditions are right.  Before placing in the oven, use a wet toothpick and dock the loaf all over to release any large bubbles.  Bake in covered dark dish in cold oven Convection 200°C or 390°F (oven can reach 220°C easy with the fan on.)  Remove cover after 20 to 25 minutes and rotate loaf.  Reduce heat by simply turning off convection and use top & bottom heat at 200°C.   Remove when dough center reaches 93°C or 200° F.


All kinds of combinations are possible including addition of soaked & drained seeds and or cooked berries or moist altus and whole or cracked walnuts or a little spoon of honey.


How it works:  I have 150g rye starter at 100% hydration.  I figure for water: 150 x 3.5 gives the water amount or 525g.  I figure the flour: 150 x 4.16 gives 624 g Rye flour.  For salt:  2% of 700g (624g + aprox. 75g in the starter) makes salt 14g or one level tablespoon of table salt.


This amount of dough took 1 1/2 hours to bake and included moist rye altus.  It was baked in two non-stick cast aluminum sauce pans (20cm diameter) one inverted over the other .  The rounder of the two on the bottom.  No steam other than what was trapped inside.  Top removed after 25 minutes.  It has a beautiful dark crust with a light shine.  Aroma is heavenly.



 

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Ready in 3 1/2 hours?  (Make it longer if you wish, use 1/2 teaspoon of yeast, add salt & caraway and use cold water to make it rise slower.)


Wheat shaped form ... White Bread   crusty



  • 450g hot water (you can just manage to keep a finger in it)

  • 7g instant yeast

  • 650 g Wheat flour (250g AP, 400g Bread flour)

  • 1 1/2  to 2 teaspoons table salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway

  • olive oil for bowl & form


Pour hot water into a large 2.5 ltr. mixer bowl and sprinkle with yeast.  Add the flours and stir until all the flour is moistened and a shaggy dough has formed.  Cover and let stand 2 hours or until the dough has risen up to the cover.  Remove cover and scrape out dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Sprinkle with the salt and caraway.  Fold or roll up the dough and knead to blend for about two minutes.  Shape into a tight ball and cover with the bowl.


Soak top and bottom of a Clay form (total volume 2 liters) 10 min in warm water.  Allow to drip dry and surface water to absorb, one minute.  Smear inside with olive oil.  Re-shape and tighten dough to form a loaf.  Rub with oil and place into bottom form.   Oil the inside of cover and place over dough.  Set in cold oven for 15 minutes.   Turn on oven to 225°c  (440°F) on Hot air (convection) and time for 45 minutes.   Remove form and brown loaf another 5 minutes in hot oven on rack.   Cool on rack for 15 minutes and serve warm with bread knife on cutting board. 



 


I was given this form for Christmas without any instructions.  As you can see the ingredients add up to just over a kilo of dough, about the right amount to fill this two liter volume form.  The loaf crust is very crunchy and thick.  The crumb slightly chewy and tender.  I removed the top for the last 5 minutes of baking but wished I had removed the whole form to let the bottom brown more as well.   Slices are almost round and crumb is fine.  The oil in the form adds to an almost buttery flaky crust.   This loaf was sliced warm.



Mini


 


 

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Mini Oven

Inspired by Charles Luce gluten free millet starter (following instructions in The Bread Builders, by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott)   I startered a sourdough starter using amaranth...


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14476/excellent-gluten-free-bread#comment-91244


I am repeating part of the thread below so that when I use the starter with gluten flours, it will not be confusing in Charles's gluten free thread.  The discussion can be carried on here about using amaranth sourdough starter in gluten breads.  I also want to try his recipe for millet bread but use amaranth starter.  He has much more experience than I with gluten free breads and this has interesting and fascinating overlaps I'm only beginning to discover.


Nov 16 //  ...to make a starter.  It smells much like corn.  For obvious reasons, I didn't rinse the grain first but put it directly into a blender to turn it to flour.  Then I mixed 60g with 60g water and it sat 57 hours (instead of 48) 16°c to 17°c 


Nov 18 //   I added 60g more amaranth flour and 60g water, blended well  16°c.


I'm hoping it will make the amaranth tastier, milder maybe.  This could be the "trick" I've been waiting for.


Nov 19 //   I got life!  I forgot it again, it is 24 hours since I fed it and it is bubbly and rounded and even a little bit risen!  Amazing!  Can't smell any "sour" still smells like wet amaranth (yuck) or wet corn but I know it is active.  I stirred it and forced it to collapse.  In stirring I can feel the bubbles or pockets of gas in the starter.  Now to dump half and feed again but in the warmer room to help develop the yeasts.  I will also start washing the amaranth and adding the water then blending before adding to the starter.   The photos are before and after stirring:



 


Nov 20 //    First thing was to smell my starter.   Na ya...   ... went for cooked rolled oats this chilly foggy morning.  When I discard today I plan to try a glutinous 10 grain flour and we will see if it lifts it.  I've not yet aquired xanthum gum and millet flour.  I would be interested in mixing the amaranth starter in a palatable mixture of GF flours.  Maybe the Montana Mix that Charles mentions and suggests on his blog.   Amaranth can be quite strong in flavor and smells of Autumn.   Wet leaves and mushrooms, truffle  come to mind along with dry red wine and soaked beans ...thyme.  Charles Luce seemed to also be in a similar lock of the senses and on the above mentioned thread writes: 



...walked through my neighborhood, which is quite Hispanic, smelling the smells and thinking of your question. Potato starch flour comes to mind, as does banana flour, yuca (tapioca)flour and corn masa (used for making corn tortillas in Mexico). Maybe coconut flour too. Then I read that porcini (Steinpilz) work w/ amaranth...



I had read that amaranth was often combined with banana and chocolate, also seems to be used more in cakes and sweet recipes...  I use a fine metal coffee filter for washing the grain.   Coconut milk.... interesting.


Okay, it's evening now and I'm looking into my starter and the smell is....getting sour and the amaranth is taking on a milder smell.  This looks promising!  This is good!  Ooo can't wait for the bread!  I mixed it 1-2-3  120g starter - 240g water - 345g 10 grain flour  autolyse  and work in 1 tsp salt.  Three hours in the kitchen then into a cool room for the night.  To bake tomorrow.  Better plain for the first loaf,  then come more taste experiments.


Now I'm working on the remaining 120g of starter.  I am rinsing 60g amaranth and will dry it before milling and adding.  It dries nicely in a smooth dish towel, the grain doesn't seem to stick at all.   This time I feed it 60g amaranth shortly blenderized (no water but the tiny seeds seem to slip avoiding the blades) mix well and after 3 hours tuck away into the fridge.  I'm liking the smell of the starter, I really do.


Mini Oven


 


 

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Mini Oven

Peter Reinhart's  Thin Wheat Crackers on p.291  in  Whole Grain Breads


My interpretation used Spelt Flour type 700 glatt (fine) with additional 30g flour to the recipe.


Twentyfour hour rest on the counter top before cutting into small shapes and making windowpanes.  Place on parchment and continue to thin out the crackers...  Keep a towel handy to wipe off oil.  If I do this again I will use two tablespoons less oil in the recipe.  I like mine without the salt wash, which does give the crackers a little more strength but the crunch is better without it.


1000 words:


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