Foreground is cinnamon, sugar chocolate babka. I enjoyed the last one so much it was time to bake another. I used 2 x 300 gram balls of dough to roll out the babka. The remaining 253 grams of pulla dough was used to roll out the blueberry cream cheese bread front right. In behind is a ciabatta style loaf with 20% durham semolina which resulted in a really nice snap to the crust!
Well, I was on my way to the ski hill and then it started raining.
Well taking a page from PalwithnoorinP's book, I tried my favourite dough, pulla and tried his sweet butter filled rolls. I used a cinnamon, sugar mixture to which I added vanilla and rum: Appleton Estate Signature Blend. Boy is that nice rum and does it ever add a nice flavour to the sugar mix! I used my standard pulla mix and for the enamoradas used three pieces @ 100 grams.
I used the same sugar mix with the babka, then added half of the chocolate filling recipe from ITJB. I used two pieces at around 200 grams each for the babka and rolled them out thin, spread the sugar mix, then the chocolate and rolled up tight. I rolled out both pieces until tight, then cut each roll in half with a carving knife and twisted each roll together. I then twisted the two twisted rolls together so they would fit in a bread pan.
I baked the little rolls @ 400F for 10 minutes with steam and 10 without, turning at the half. Babka was 14 minutes with steam @ 400F and 14 without. Naturally, prior to baking, all were brushed with egg wash and liberally sprinkled with granulated sugar. YUMMMMM!
My search for a ciabatta style loaf had lift off today. Here is the fully proofed loaf prior to baking:
I changed only two things. First, after the letter folds, I gently pinched the sea closed on the side and end.
I tried Peter Reinharts one hour proof, flip and another one hour proof on a previous bake and the result with my mix was a very over proofed loaf. Today I flipped the proofing loaf after 55 minutes and baked at 60 minutes: 14 with steam and 12 with a turn, I also got smarter about the turning. Today, I placed parchment over the proofed dough, another baking sheet and quickly and gently flipped. Voila! the parchment peels off the new top and time to bake.
Well, it is getting closer and I am happy with the crumb. This makes a great sandwich loaf. I started at 80% hydration,thought, but had a mucky mess, so must have screwed up the water weight. I added flour to get the dough to a workable, but wet consistency. I re-read Peter Reinhart's instructions in ABED on working and shaping ciabatta and found I had missed a step. The oven spring was enormous on this loaf. Easily 3.5 - 4x spring. I wish I had a before photo of a proofed loaf perhaps 11/4" high.
Why we bake fresh loaves!!!
Hungarian salami, black forest ham and both grainy and Dijon mustard topped with salad was awesome! With a 350 gram total flour, I can now bake this fresh daily, give half to my neighbours, eat the rest and enjoy the good karma which comes from giving!
This old ski bum is in his happy place with a great day on the slopes today. Spring skiing in mid winter with 4C ambient temperatures, soft snow and perfectly groomed pistes! Coming home to a fresh loaf I bake baked this morning was a big bonus!
I changed the hydration and because the starter had been refreshed two days prior, I used 60g rather than 50. The holes are just too darned big! It makes a decent sandwich loaf, but not quite what I was looking for. I searched some youtube videos and unlike Peter Reinhart, Ciril Hitz degasses his ciabattas and does not fold and his crumb structure is more even. I like the shape Peter's letter fold gives, but next bake of this loaf I will de-gas gently before folding to see if I can get a more uniform crumb structure.
One of the reasons I love to bake is that I learn something new just about every time I bake a loaf. I got great oven spring once again and the before and after photos follow:
Well with ski season full on, I have been living on Norm's onion rolls, pulla and Floyd's blueberry, cream cheese braid variations for three months now. This ciabatta is the first plain, lean loaf I have baked in some time. Sometimes you just get a taste for things.
This loaf was baked using 350g strong bread flour @ 78% hydration and using 50g newly refreshed liquid levain, 7g salt and 1TBs EVOO. I used vigorous mixing in the bowl followed by four sets of S&F's with 10 minutes rest and after 2 hours of bulk rise, then gently shaped as described by Peter Reinhart in ABED.
Baked at 500 for 12 minutes with steam, turned and baked another 12 minutes. I wish I had a before and after picture as I didn't just get oven spring, I got oven explosion! I estimate 3 - 4 times oven rise from proofed. I will do a before picture next bake which is in progress @ 80% hydration.
Well this is the nicest loaf of pulla I have baked in some time. With this being ski season, I began taking shortcuts. I assumed that because I was using a sponge, I could use less than a fresh starter. I did and the previous two bakes had about 1/3 less oven spring than this bake. For this bake I refreshed my 100% starter 1:1:1 and left it on the kitchen counter overnight to double or more and then fall back. I then began the sponge and the bake and easily +1/3 more oven spring. With the additional oven spring the crumb was lighter and less chewy. So much for shortcuts.
Three or four pulla bakes ago, I absent mindedly used 100% strong bread flour. Prior I used about half and half BF and AP. To my surprise the 100% BF dough was more extensible when rolling out the braids than the blend. So all of my pulla is now 100% strong bread flour which I buy out the back door of our local artisanal bakery JK Bakery.
One of the things I love about cooking and baking is that is an ongoing learning experience. Oh yeah, my baiding is getting a little better with each loaf.
The smaller cookies on top are almond shortbread. These cookies carry a WARNING. I cannot stop eating them! I baked a half batch of each for Christmas and still have some lemon cookies. In the mean time I am up to 5 batches of the shortbread and will soon begin a sixth! Great recipe, but please heed the warning.
We have apple, walnut, cream cheese on the left and a mixed dark berry cream cheese on the right. Both of these braids are based on Floyd's excellent Blueberry cream cheese braid in the most bookmarked section. My only change was to up the fruit to 11/2 cups per loaf and then try to shoehorn it all in. I used my beloved pulla dough for the braids. In behind my obligatory pulla loaf which I bake at least once a week. Okay time to stop baking. With the onion rolls and these three large braids, my small freezer is full. All of these loaves freeze AND reheat nicely.
I enjoyed these rolls so well, I made a second batch. The big change? I used 3 Tbs granulated onion rehydrated in 2C boiling water rather than 2Tbs onion. I have enjoyed these rolls for sandwiches as dinner rolls or just on their own with a schmear of butter. One of my favourite recipes from any source. Bless you Norm!