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Shiao-Ping

This is not the easiest sourdough starter to culture.  It took many days for the Golden Semolina starter to be ready and even then it did not look very robust.  It would not surprised me if this type of flour is extremely low in sugar content.   I was going to abandon the starter or even add instant yeast to the final dough, but I thought if it didn't work out, no harm - it's an experiment.   


Bulk fermentation was 18 hours in the refrigerator.  The dough needed extra long time for second fermentation - 14 hours - in cool room temp (16C/61F).   This is the batard that came out of my oven this morning:  



Minced Corn Sourdough with Golden Semolina Starter    


                               


                                The crumb  


My formula:  


285 g Golden Semolina starter at 55% hydration


300 g white flour


167 g water


75 g corn (pan-fried with 1 stalk of green shallots in 2 tbsp of olive oil, then minced)


9 g salt


polenta for dusting


 


final dough weight 860 g and approx. dough hydration 68 - 69%


 


Shiao-Ping

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Shiao-Ping

I needed to revive my grape starter (I dried it using the method here) to make sure that it is still alive and happy.  And indeed it is.  I dried it a month and a half ago because it was getting too strong and active and I couldn't keep up with it.  It took me 4 days to bring it back from its sleep and on the 5th day (yesterday) I mixed up a batch of dough.


This is the sourdough that came out of my oven this morning:    



My daily sourdough with grape starter  


                        


                         The crumb           


My formula:  


150 g grape starter @100% hydration (my original grape starter was fed with 1/2 wholemeal and 1/2 rye meal before it was dried; but for this bake I used only white flour to revive it)  


320 g unbleached white flour


12 g organic honey


22 g olive oil


170 g water


8 g salt


oat bran for dusting  


(final dough weight 680 g and dough hydration 70.6%)  


 


After 3 hours of first fermentation yesterday during which time 3 stretch & folds were performed, it went into the refrigerator of 8 hours cold retardation, then it was shaped and stayed out at cool room temp (15 C/59 F) for another 8 hours before it was baked at 230C/450F this morning at 7.   


This is the first time that I've ever got a meaningful "grigne" in my sourdough.  The oven spring I got this time was phenomenal.  The dough expanded nearly double in the oven - first the whole dough raised up to nearly double its height, then the centre line along where the score was made further raised up to 2 + 1/2 times its original height.   


                   


                    grigne                                                                                     


                                                                                                                       


I was trying to think back what I'd done to deserve this oven spring.  It appears to me from the very beginning when the flour was mixed with the starter, the choice of flour and the hydration that was used for the particular flour, the way it was mixed, right down to its fermentation, and how the fermented dough was handled, everything has contributed to this.  I know many users at TFL in the past have commented that bread making is a continuous process and that every link in this circle matters.  This is the first time that I am cognisant of this process and witnessed its pleasing result when done properly.  


Well, let's not get carried away.  White flour is easier to achieve a holely crumb, right.


                                                                    


                                                                                 


                                                                                 i am dreaming of a WHITE ... sourdough ....


 Shiao-Ping

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Shiao-Ping

My formula for the dough:  


220 g organic stonegournd wholemeal starter @75% hydration 


400 g organic stoneground wholemeal flour (protein 14%+)


25 g water


270 g fat free butter milk


9 g salt   


(final dough weight 924 g and dough hydration 74% ) 


formula for the semi-liquid dough for brushing on the dough please see here.  (I would however increase water to 50 grams from 44 grams for future renditions.)


 



Mottled 100% Wholemeal Sourdough  


                                                                                           


                                                                                            The crumb  


(1) The edges of the mottled surface were burned.   Because of the size I had to bake it quite long and the mottled surface cannot take high heat for a very long duration.  Next time I would lower the heat as soon as the dough is loaded.   (But, if the dough size is only half and baking time is shortened, the high heat for the whole duration is still the way to go to produce the golden brown crust.)  


(2) The mottled crust is nice and crispy, the best shape for it however is not a boule.  (I know now.)  The benefit is best felt in a baguette style or thin long bread such that you slice it length-ways.


(3) 74% dough hydration using butter milk is different from 74% hydration using water. The hydration would have been fine had it been water that I used given the high protein level in the wholemeal flour.   This sourdough turns out to be quite dry (ie, under hydrated) as the crumb is somewhat dense.   


(4)100% wholemeal flour gives a strong bitter note to the taste that my family doesn't care for.  Don't do it again.  


 


Shiao-Ping  

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Shiao-Ping

My formula  


190 g rye starter @100% hydration


95 g Rye meal unbleached flour


95 g organic stoneground whole meal flour


95 g KAF Sir Lancelot flour


50 g water


204 g orange juice


7 g salt Quinoa for dusting  


 


final dough weight 640 g    dough hydration 67%  


 


Mixed at mid-day yesterday, stretch & folds 4 times (as the dough was very slack) at 50 min intervals, then shaped, then bulk fermented in refrigerator for 8 hours to around mid-night, then cold retarded at 15 C (59 F) for another 8 hours.  Baked this morning at 8ish.   



50% Rye & 25% Wholemeal Orange Sourdough  


                                           


                                            The crumb  


 


I am learning to resist using diastatic powder, Vitamin C, or any other similar ingredients that are supposed to help the sourdough bread.  I am learning to do sourdough as is.  In this try of a rye and whole wheat sourdough, I couldn't however resist using orange juice as part of the hydration.  In my younger days I've had many Jewish friends and was introduced to pumpernickel bread very early in my life.  I love the smell of caraways seeds, but find pure rye lacking in taste; hence, orange juice to redefine its taste somewhat.      


Well, I like the result, and therefore I am giving you ...  



more crumb.  


 


p.s. A bad idea to roll dough in quinoa; with their round-shaped body, they dance unprovoked - they are everywhere as the bread is being sliced.  Sesame would be smarter.  


                                                                                                                


                                                                                                                I fed all the dancing quinoa to my garden worms  


 


Shiao-Ping         

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Shiao-Ping

This sourdough was inspired by MC's fantastic Double Apple Bread at her farine-mc site.  My family is big on apples and when I saw her post I knew I would have to try.    


I used to wonder how apples in a good apple pie don't stick to the pastry.  Last November I was in New York  for a rare Chinese concert of Liu Fang and in one of my sleepless nights adjusting to the time zone difference, I was watching the American Iron Chef Boby Flay in a quest trying to find the best apple pie in America.   In the show, the brown paper bag apple pie won the contest.  Ever since then, my apple pies have seen great successes (I've tried it with frangipani built in, I've tried it with a custard centre, I've tried it with both - they are all good) and even my father-in-law loved it.   I admit this is a convoluted way to explain why I ended up with excess custard in my fridge and why it found its way into this apple sourdough.  To me, custard goes so well with apples.   


While I made my custard bread every now and then (I use custard to hydrate the dough) and my kids love it, I was not sure how my sourdough culture would react to custard.  One would say you don't need custard as sourdough is flavorful enough.  In making this bread, I also resisted using any instant yeast.     


I followed MC's instruction on fermenting the fresh apples for 5 days here with double quantity.  But I am scared of soaking muesli overnight as she did because it reminds me of the many failed gluten-free breads that I used to make.  So, I just used rolled oats in this instance.   


Here is my formula:  


200g rye starter @ 75% hydration


360 g Lucke's Wallaby unbleached baker's flour (11.9% gluten)


50 g rolled oats (and extra for dusting)


75 g shop-bought dried apple slices (chopped)


30 g water


120 g of the sweet , alcoholic juice from fermenting the apples


100 g cooked Granny Smith apple puree


55 g home-made vanilla custard


75 g of the fermented apples, chopped (the rest of the apples went with bacon under griller as part of yesterday's breakfast!)


 9 g salt  


I've been wanting to try David's beautiful San "waa-keen" Sourdough but there is a picture of a crown bread from Auvergne, France, in Leader's Local Breads (page 100) that really took my fancy.  I am not confidant if I bulk ferment my apple-loaded dough for 21 hours, as in David's method, that I would be able to shape it into the crown shape without deflating the dough too much.   So, before all is said and done, I mixed, did 4 stretch & folds in a space of 3 hours, shaped, and then put the dough into my refrigerator just before mid-day yesterday.  Here is the shaped dough before it went in:   


    


    the shaped dough  


I was however uncomfortable with the varying temperatures in my big old fridge, -1C to 7C (30F to 45F).  It was quite cold last night - the air through my kitchen window registered 14C (57F); I thought, perfect, that's the temp that I want my dough to be in; so at the last min I took the dough out of the fridge (it'd been there for 12 hours) and placed it right next to the window before I went to bed. 


I baked it this morning at 9 (21 hours altogether for proofing!).  And here is the Triple Apple Custard Sourdough (what a tongue twister):  


                           


                           Triple Apple Custard Sourdough  


                                                                                                     


                                                                                                      close-up 1


                   


                   close-up 2


 


                                


                                The crust


 


I am very happy how this sourdough has turned out.  The crumb is as open as I could have hoped for.  The mouth-feel is quite heavy as it is very moist with loads of apples.  Thank you, MC, I know you are travelling at the moment, but you'd be happy with this apple sourdough, knowing how much you like fruits, dried fruits and all that healthy stuff!  And, thank you, David, for your ever detailed instructions in all of your wonderful posts.


 


Shiao-Ping  

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Shiao-Ping

This recipe is from page 130 of Eric Kayser's Beyond The Bread Basket.  It is part of a dessert called Strawberries in Wine with Pink Caramelized Almond Bread.  As winter is now in full swing down under, strawberries are everywhere in fruit & vege stores and supermarkets; I thought it would make a relatively healthy dessert for after dinner.  


Formula for Pink Caramelized Almond Bread 


250g bread flour


a pinch of salt


2.5 g active dry yeast (or 5 g fresh yeast) dissolved in 4 tsp lukewarm water


20 g granulated sugar


45 g butter 10 g powdered milk


20 g whipping cream


125 g water


75 g pink caramelized almonds*  


* I belive this is pink pralines, the same ingredient in Eric Kayser's other recipe, Brioche with Pink Pralines in his book, Eric Kayser's New French Cuisine.  When I spoke to G. Detou, they did tell me there are two types of pink pralines, one with whole almonds (20%, 30% or 50% to sugar content) and the other with pre-crushed almonds (only 20%).  I find it odd that the sugar content could be so high but it is really not easy talking to a French man over the phone.  Maybe I misunderstood him somewhere, typical me.  As I have a bag of raw almonds in my pantry, I thought I could try to make my own pink almonds (like pink almond candy).  Into a large bowl, I put 122 g icing sugar and started adding pink and red food coloring and a little bit of water until I got a sticky paste.  I chopped up 215 g almonds into small pieces and add them into the paste.  They were baked in 160 C oven for about 25 min.  The ratio of my almonds to sugar is 176%, way higher than the information I got from talking to G. Detou, but it will do for now.  Here is a picture of my my homemade pink pralines look-alike:    


                                            


                                                 


                                                  home-made pink almonds  


 


This is a very easy bread to make.  Place all ingredients except pink almonds in the mixer, knead for 5 min at low speed and 8 min at high speed.  Add the pink almonds, kneading them in by hand.  Set aside the dough to rest for 30 min, covered with a damp cloth.   Shape, then leave to rest at room temp for 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 210 C and bake for 25 min.  (The book says to bake at 160 C for 25 min, but I wonder how the crust gets brown at this temp.)


  



Pink Caramelized Almond Bread                                                                  


                                                                     


                                                                     The crumb  


 


The recipe for the Strawberries in Wine follows:  


300 g strawberries*


75 g red wine*


75 g granulated sugar*


2 black peppercorns


2 cloves


1 cinnamon stick


1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways  


* Note: These three are the key ingredients; the rest are there for more depth in flavors and are not essential.   


Bring the red wine to the boil and flambe it.  Add all the other ingredients except strawberries to the wine and simmer.  Cut strawberries into quarters and add them to the liquid and simmer for a further 2 - 3 min.  Remove from heat and allow the flavors to blend.   


To serve:  Cut the bread into cubes.  Spoon the strawberries with wine into a desert bowl and add the bread cubes.


 


                              


                               Strawberries in Wine with Pink Caramelized Almond Bread (page 131 of Beyond Bread Basket)  


This dessert is simply divine.  My son loves the bread on its own too.   For a slightly different texture in mouthfeel, lightly toast the pink bread before cutting it into cubes to go with the strawberries. The Strawberries in Wine would also be wonderful with a scoop of home-made vanilla ice cream:  


300 g milk


300 g cream


1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways and scrape the seeds out   


5 egg yolks


1/2 cup sugar


300 g mascapone  


Heat up the milk, the cream and vanilla seeds to almost boiling.  Whisk the egg yolk and sugar.  Pour the hot milk/cream over egg yolk and sugar, whisking vigorously, so the lumps don't develop.  Return to heat until a custard is formed.  Remove from heat, stirring to let custard cool down then place in freezer for 30 min.  Mix in mascapone, and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.  (Note: Dip your scoop in hot water before using it to scoop the ice cream out; alternatively, let ice cream stand in room temp for 15 - 20 min.)  


 


                                                                                                                        


                                                                                                                         Pink almond candy


                                                                                                                         my trick to lure kids to drink tea


Enjoy!  


Shiao-Ping  

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Shiao-Ping

Colors excite me.  Often I buy a book because the cover page takes my fancy.   Eric Kayser's "Rund Ums Brot" is one such book.  When I bought it, I knew it was not in English; but all I want was to look at the pictures.   There is an expression in Chinese, your eyes want to eat ice cream too, very crude (or, in English, feast for the eyes?).   It was when I saw this page (below) that I went to google translator for help:


 


          


Eric Kayser's "Rund Ums Brot"                               page 108 (Pink Caramelised Almond Bread)


 


Google didn't seem to make sense, then I thought to myself how would it be possible that this book was in German but not in French or English?  My point was there should be an English or French version.  Then, it dawned on me, YES, this book is in English under a different title - "Beyond The Bread Basket."  This was not the first time that I bought same book twice, or same CD twice, or same clothes twice (or thrice, in different colors).   On page 130 of this latter book, it says the bread is a Pink Caramelized Almond Bread, using pink caramelized almonds (Oh, not pink pralines again!).  I cannot get my hands on these pink pralines because G. Detou has been politely avoiding my small order (more trouble than what it's worth to them). 


 


Eric Kayser's recipe has butter, sugar, milk, cream - the full Monty.  While the quantities are not large enough to qualify this bread as a brioche, I am not going to go that route again -  sourdough breads really don't need them.  The question remains - where would I get the red color?  Ahh, beetroot, my vegetable dye!  I once made a beetroot walnut chocolate cake that my son absolutely loved.  Think of a carrot cake that is full of walnut and chocolate pieces, then substitute beetroot for carrot!  You get an absolutely moist cake which guarantees you full degustation by the kids.  Beetroot is so good for them (and us). 


 


I thought it would be interesting incorporating this ingredient into a sourdough bread.  Walnut would normally be a good pairing except, hey, why not test out new choices (well, fine, almond is not new).  The white color of almond slivers is infinitely more attractive against the red of beetroot. 


So, here we go, we've got all our constituents lined up. 


 


My formula


200 g sourdough starter @ 75% hydration refreshed late afternoon


286 g Australian Laucke's Wallaby's bakers unbleached flour


134 g water


60 g sliver almond*


100 g beetroot (diced 0.5 - 1cm cubes)**


8 g salt


1.5 g instant yeast (or 1/2 tsp)


 


* I could easily get fresh beetroot and slow-roast it in oven to cook it, but it would be more work than challenge at this stage.  I need to work out the moisture content of these red darlings in order to get my dough hydration right.  I am shooting for 67.5% dough hydration, not very aggressive.  My technique is as yet not very good for high hydration dough.   I am working on 50% weight in beetroot as extra hydration for dough.


*  I am working on a combined almond & beetroot ratio of 40% flour, which may seem high for some.  Other than these, I have resisted the temptation of using any flavor improvers.  (But salt? No, I'd like to think it is there for the integrity of gluten development.)  As for the instant yeast, well, call me a chicken.


 



It's like a mission impossible at first trying to knead all this in....



Then, all of a sudden, after 6 - 7 min of kneading, it all came together.


 


I just went and had a peep.  At this very moment, the dough is peacefully going through its first-fermentation.  I shall return after a short night's cap myself to report on its further development.


Shiao-Ping



Day Two  


It sang when it came out of the oven for over 3 min!  My son said, "Why is it crackling?"  


My daughter asked me what bread that is; I said, "Beetroot and Almond."  She goes, "Pee-Yew!"  So, there you go - one person's glorious bread is another person's pee-yew.   



The dough just before going into the oven (little did I know the color was to disappear in heat)                            


                                        


                                        Voila! Beetroot Almond Sourdough Bread


                                        


                                        The crumb


Verdict:  


1.  Shape and color: I am happy with the boule shape and scoring but am disappointed that the pink disappeared.  (It was hot pink throughout, inside and out, before it was baked.)  Nontheless, the color of the crust is what I look for in a well-cooked loaf, warm, like harvest in autumn. 


2.  Aromas: The aromas from the crust, as well as from the crumb, are pleasant but faint even though the crust sang loudly as the bread came out of the oven.  In truth, beetroot is not one of those vegetables that gives off strong odors. 


3.  Crumb:  To my surprise, the crumb is distinctly creamy (or even golden) in color, despite the red dots of beetroot scattered about.  Its texture is elastic, typical of sourdough breads, and at the same time, moist and tender. 


4. Flavors:  Beetroot has a very faint sourness, as well as sweetness, taste.  Its color not withstanding, it does not have a domineering taste.  So as slivered almonds.  As a result, the flavors of this sourdough bread are those of a classic white sourdough bread with a bit of interesting features thrown in; ie, red dots for visual, and crunchiness (of almonds) for extra texture and mouthfeel.   


Well, it's not a bad sourdough (but no where near what the subject title of this post has announced!) .  My son has already told me, "Oh, I am not eating that!"  I am sure if the red dots in the bread are replaced by brownish chocolate bits, he'd be racing to have a piece.  My kids know their mother is someone who likes to have her imagination run free.  Their constant complaint is their mother ceases making them something once perfection is reached; she moves on to something else.  


 


Memory does not condition my choices.  I like to try new frontier.   


 


Try next time:  


Beetroot Salad Sourdough (another "pee-yew" idea?).  Shred raw beetroot and marinate it in lemon juice, salt, and a little bit olive oil; use the resulting red juice as part of the hydration for the dough, and mix in the raw beetroot in the dough.  The long fermentation will moderately cook the raw beetroot and hopefully still give some crunchiness to the soft crumb.   


 


Shiao-Ping

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Shiao-Ping

I saw a picture in "20 Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, L'equipe de France De Boulangerie", page 169. 


                  


                         the book                                                                            the page  


I can't read French and my google translator is not doing a good job in letting me know how it is made.  Suffice to say it involves brioche, potato, and some sort of cheese. 


I don't feel like a very sweet dough, so I thought a normal bread dough will do me fine.  I added leek as leek and potato are sort of a classic combination which you often see in quiches.   I used parmigiano and French goat cheese. 


Dough weight 600 g divided into two pieces; 1/2 to line the rectangular baking tin, measuring 12 cm x 36 cm; the other 1/2 for lace on top.  One big potato very thinly sliced and poached in milk.  One leek sliced and pan-fried very briefly in very, very hot pan for 1 & 1/2 min with a little olive oil.  Only the very high heat in contact with the vegitable brings out the lovely caramelized effect that keeps the dough from being soggy.  Slow cook is no good. 


 



1. first layer of cheese goes in



2. in goes leeks and goat cheese



3. roll out the second piece of dough, run a rolling lacer over it



4. place the laced dough on top, seal the edges and egg (yolk) wash it



5. Oops! I almost burned it.  Only 19 min in 230 C oven and it burned; well, nearly.



6. Let's have a slice!


 


Lessons:


 


A. Kids don't like it when it's too doughy.  Next time cut down the dough weight by 1/3 to 400 g for the size.  The thinner the dough, the heavier the filling, the better it is.


B. Incorporate freshly cooked salmon (with dill and lemon), or grilled boneless chicken thigh for a complete meal.


 


Enjoy!


 


Shiao-Ping   


 


 

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Many years ago I was in Hang-chow, China, 200 km south west of Shanghai, visiting their Tea Museum.  The museum is set in the beautiful West Lake where historically poets and artists gathered.  I bought a cookbook incorporating tea in dishes at the museum.  I thought at the time the idea was really clever, and why not, Oolong tea (a type of green tea) is so good for us.  Other than that, there's not much to speak of about the book, which is in its typical Chinese crude way of presenting cuisine.   


Scroll forward 9 years.  I've got a Tea Liqueur sitting in my pantry since my last trip in Japan.                   


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Black Tea Liqueur


As a Chinese, I used to look down on Japan - everything they've had culturally came from historical China anyway.  But I was very, very wrong.  Their samurai spirit is such that they might have initially learnt some things from China, but they have been doing it better.  Is there another country in the world where the old and the new co-exist so beautifully?  I had to go to Kyoto to see how historical China (we are talking about 900 AD) drank their tea.   


Anyway, I've been wanting to use this black tea liqueur.   I used to make Earl Grey Banana Bread to take to my kids' tuck shop morning tea, and the ladies there all loved it, saying how complementary and nice the fragrance from earl grey tea was with banana.  Speaking of earl grey tea, the Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, who used to apprentice with the now infamous UK celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay (the only London three Michelin-starred chef), won the Great British Menu challenge for the desert category and his desert was served at the Queen's 80th birthday banquet.  His Earl Grey Tea Custard is something to die for.  


My subject here is bread.  I am not allowed to do deserts (self-imposed).   I thought I'd just do a simple, honest Black Tea Sourdough, and see what happened (but I'll have to get help from Tea Liqueur!).   So here it is. 


             


             Black Tea Sourdough Boule  


When I set out to make this bread, I did not have high expectations, because who would have known how sourdough culture would fare with black tea, let alone the liqueur!    


My formula


250 g starter @ 75% hydration refreshed in mid-morning (6 hours to double)


272 g unbleached white flour


125 g cool black tea (I used 2 English Breakfast tea bags)


18 g honey


16 g Tea Liqueur


7 g salt  


 


The dough was mixed after dinner, let to ferment for three hours, then shaped and let stand at room temp (15C) overnight to proof.  I baked it this morning at 7 am.   


Now, before I show my crumb picture (I know everybody at The Fresh Loaf is as crumb-obsessed as myself!), I have to quote Kaplan.  He said that he almost missed his son's birthday because he spend the whole afternoon with Pierre Poilane back in 1969.   "Master Poilane was then still making glorious golden-brown batards whose dense mie (crumb) exploded with aromas evocative of harvests and dried fruit." (page 1 of his "Good Bread Is Back").  


Hmmmm.... I tried to picture a dense crumb exploded with aromas....  


 


                                                  


                                                  The crumb of the Black Tea Sourdough Boule  


It's in the spirit of a joke that I placed this picture with his quote.  But I wish I could EMS a slice of this sourdough to you all - to say it is aromatic is an understatement!  It is at once subtle and penetrating. 


Well, I am Chinese.  I love tea.  It may not be everybody's cup of tea.  


                                                                                                                                         


Enjoy!


Shiao-Ping   

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Shiao-Ping

Making breads must be a disease like any other addiction.  You don't want to stop once you get going.  


 


We just planted a baby avocado tree in our backyard.  A big storm last November uprooted one of our jacaranda trees and there was a spot available.  It will be years before our avocado bears fruit if it survives, but I am getting ahead of my game and practising my skill.  


Hass avocado is our favorite variety of avocado here in Australia.  Apparently in the U.S. it accounts for more than 80% of the avocado crop, including 95% of the California crop.  So, plenty is available.


I once made an avocado moose with orange cream and the kids loved it.  I haven't tried avocado in breads.  The tricky part would be how to let the sourdough shine - would the oil in avocado interfere with the sourdough culture? and, how to preserve the vibrant green color?  I know I will need the help of a little bit of instant yeast.  As well, I am pairing orange with avocado as avocado on its own may be a bit bland.  There may be one too many flavors but this is just my first try.


 


Formula


 250 g starter (refreshed last night at 75% hydration)


 485 g King Arthur Flour Sir Lancelot white bread flour


100 g water


100 g orange juice (about 1  1/2 navel oranges)


10 g very fine orange zest (about 1  1/2 navel oranges)


20 g honey


1.5 g instant yeast (1/2 tsp)


 


the avocado mixture


150 g roughly mashed avocado (about 1  1/2 medium size avocado)


10 g lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)


11 g salt


 


I was aiming for a final dough hydration of around 63.5% and I figured the oil/liquid in avocado is anywhere from 40 - 50% its weight. 


 


                          


              orange zest                                                                       mixing with avocado


 


I first mixed the starter, flour, orange and honey (for no more than 30 seconds), and while the sticky mess was being infused in orange flavors in resting, I prepared the ingredients for my avo mixture.  I chose the avocado slightly under ripe as I find if avo is too ripe it tends to oxidise too quickly once it's open.  I left it to the last minute to cut open my avo, mashed it with lemon juice and salt - the mixture is great to eat as is - then, chucked it right into my bread machine and turned it on at low speed.  I had to help the machine as the avo was swept aside and not being mixed in.


 


The rest of the procedure is pretty standard.  Today the weather was warmer than yesterday (around 21C); the first fermentation took 4 hours.  I divided the dough into two pieces and shaped.  Proofing was another 1 1/2 hours.  And here is today's bake:


 



The boule


 


                                                                         


The...(what do you call this shape?)


 


                                        


                                         The bread basket


 


The crumb was a little bit on the dense side, but the aroma!... the orange fragrance really comes through the crumb!  The avocado was also there. The crumb color was a pale olive green (somehow the crumb photo below does not show the color accurately but the open sandwich picture further down is more true).  We sliced the bread after 30 minutes from the oven (couldn't wait any longer), the first thing that hit us was orange, then a slight hint of avocado.  The interest thing was, after the bread rested for another hour and a half, the sourdough taste comes alive.   It was only then that all flavors and sourdough have come together nicely. 


 



The crumb


 


There is definitely room for improvement on the crumb.  I am sure Sir Lancelot flour was not the right choice of flour as it is a high protein, hard wheat flour.  I used it because I've only just received it from America and wanted to try it out.  For a more open crumb I should have used a lower protein and more balanced flour.   Nontheless, for the moment, I am happy to have it on its own or in a sandwich...


 



The open sandwich


 


The forefathers in 18th century Paris making sourdough breads in their little dark dungeons in the wee hours of the morning, had they had access to ample fresh avocado supply, and fresh oranges supply, would they not have tried the combination?


I've got to finish reading S L Kaplan's book before I get any older.                 


 


Shiao-Ping


                                                

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