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Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I went to my favourite neighbourhood coffee shop a few days ago to enjoy a cup of flat white.  The lady owner there has a bit of an alternative flair about her and I enjoy the free air that she exudes to her place.  She really knows her stuff because the sourdough she serves for snacks is one of the best in town.  She told me her supplier is "Leavain Bakery" in Brisbane.   I thought I might go and visit Leavain Bakery sometime so I Googled it when I got home.  Wow - I had no idea!  Leavain Bakery supplies to some of the best restaurants in Brisbane!  I though, Shiao-Ping, well done!  I am so privileged to have the same sourdough in this little café as those that would be enjoyed by patrons to some of the best restaurants in town.  One of the restaurants is Philip Johnson's E'cco Bistro.   The New Zealand chef in Brisbane, Philip Johnson, has some of the best dessert recipes I've ever seen, something to die for. 


As I was reading up on Leavain Bakery on the net, it was brought to my attention that John Downes, the man behind the Australian sourdough movement in the late 70's has a cook book out.  As I was buying the book on the Australian Sourdough Companion website, an user, Johnny's beautiful crumb shot caught my attention.  His Ciabatta Integrale (a wholemeal ciabatta with multi-grains) involves a procedure which is most unusual to me.  I would like to summarize it below, if I may:



  1. The night of Day 1:  refresh the starter (in 2 feedings over 24 hours)

  2. The night of Day 2:  combine all ingredients (except salt) and autolyse 20 minutes, then add salt, mix by hand for 1 or 2 minutes, then straight into the refrigerator overnight

  3. The morning of Day 3: take dough out and fold once, return to the refrigerator

  4. The night of Day 3:  take the dough out again and over the next 4 - 5 hours stretch & fold the dough once every hour; shape and place the dough in a banneton, proof for one hour, then into the refrigerator again overnight

  5. The morning of Day 4: Bake!


I find Johnny's procedure very "elegant"- the least effort that allows you to arrive at the best possible result.  The essence seems to be in his minimalist approach and its beauty is that it is great for a person who has a busy work life.  I have since found that SourDom, another experienced baker of Sourdough Companion, talked about this flexible schedule at length in his Sourdough Timetables article.  But (and this is a big BUT), I did not understand what made this timetable work for sourdough bread; I mean, what was happening behind the scene; ie, what was happening to the natural yeasts in the refrigerator?


I went to Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  Under page 191 of Pain a l'Ancienne, it says:



The unique delayed-fermentation method, which depends on ice-cold water, releases flavors trapped in flour....  The final product has ... character that is distinct from breads made with exactly the same ingredients but fermented by the standard method.... 


The cold mixing and fermentation cycles delay the activation of the yeast until after the amylase enzymes have begun their work of breaking out sugar from the starch.  When the dough is brought to room temperature and the yeast wakes up and begins feasting, it feeds on sugars that weren't there the day before.



Peter Reinhart adds,



... this delayed-fermentation method... evokes the fullness of flavor from the wheat beyond any other fermentation method I've encountered.  As a bonus, and despite all the intimidation science, this is actually one of the easiest doughs ... to make." 



How beautiful is that! 


Without further ado, let me go straight to my bread.  My Pain a l'Ancienne is an adaptation of Peter Reinhart's formula, as well as that of Johnny's Ciabatta Integrale.  Thank you Johnny, and thank you Peter.


 


                    


 


My formula for Wholemeal Pain a l'Ancienne



  • 182 g starter @ 75% hydration (5% rye)

  • 475 g Wholemeal flour (13.1% protein)

  • 414 g ice water

  • 11 g salt


Total dough weight 1.08 kg; overall hydration 85% 


 


                                                            


 


                    


 


My formula for White Pain a l'Ancienne



  • 182 g starter @ 75% hydration (5% rye)

  • 455 g Unbleached bread flour (11.9% protein)

  • 358 g ice water

  • 11 g salt


Total dough weight 1.01 kg; overall hydration 78% 


 


                                 


 


               


 


I recommend anyone to read SourDom's Sourdough Timetables.   While SourDom's intention is to give home bakers flexibility in scheduling, the delayed fermentation achieved means that the home baker has everything to gain in terms of crumb flavor.  Try it and wish you happy baking!


 


                                   


                                  Grilled Pain a l'Ancienne with buffalo ricotta by Australia's Paesanella


                                Cheese Manufacturers, drizzled with honey and garnished with honeycomb


 


Shiao-Ping


Note 1:  My Google translator tells me Pain a l'Ancienne means "old bread." According to jackal10 of eGullet Society for Culinary Arts and Letters, "A l'Ancienne" is a technique where the dough is mixed cold, and then retarded. The long cold period allows a long period for enzymatic breakdown of the starch into fermentable sugars but because of the cold there is little yeast activity, so that when the dough is later warmed up the yeast has more food available than would otherwise be the case. With slack dough it can give a highly aerated open structure."  


Note 2:  Johnny did not use ice cold water; however, his retardation schedule would mean that he would have achieved the same benefits.  Peter Reinhart's formula calls for one night retardation only.  

mariacuellar's picture
mariacuellar

Hi baker friends,


I have a question for you. How do you feel about burnt loaves? I read a quote in Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf said by Johan Sorbergs, a baker in Stockholm, saying that "Today burnt crusts are viewed as deadly at worst... But without the penetrating effect of the browning and charring, the crumb flavor is thin." Is it true that to get a better crumb flavor the crust has to be nearly burnt? Or does the burnt crust ruin the whole bread?


I asked this question in my blog when I tried out one of Jim Lahey's recipes:


http://mariasgoldenoven.blogspot.com/2009/11/walnut-cinnamon-bread-pan-co-santi.html


Thanks for your sharing your knowledge!


Maria

chouette22's picture
chouette22

When I saw Txfarmer’s post with a sea-star pattern pumpkin challah, I knew I wanted to give it a try (thank you for the inspiration!).


Since I was responsible to bring bread to the Thanksgiving dinner we were invited to, I thought this would be a beautiful addition to the table. I also followed Txfarmer’s lead when it came to the recipe and used Maggie Glezer's "A Blessing of Bread” pumpkin challah one. I have never made challah before, but often bake Zopf and brioches, and the dough consistency is very similar.




The shape comes from Hamelman’s “Bread” (p. 314-316): you have to make several six-strand braids which are then intertwined. It really wasn’t all that hard since the directions and pictures were very clear. However, I definitely needed to concentrate when I did the braiding and consequently had to shoo everyone out of the kitchen. :)



It was a fun project and I really enjoyed it! And on top of everything it tasted really good. The deep yellow color from the pumpkin was also wonderful.




 I hadn’t really paid much attention to chapter 9 in “Bread” before this project. The entire chapter is dedicated to different braiding techniques. I wanted to try a few more so yesterday, with the rest of the pumpkin puree, I made my regular Zopf recipe and substituted some of the liquid with the pumpkin. I just love the color this gives and the taste is really good as well.



For this loaf I followed the Winston Knot technique (p. 306), without bringing the ends together at the end. One basically braids with 12 strands, but in groups of 3. I gave this to my neighbor to thank him for cutting my pizza stone a few days ago. For some reason I had two pizza stones, but of course could fit only one into my oven. I bake all my round loaves on this, but could never fit long baguettes on it (thus they were baked on sheet pans). I hadn’t bought a bigger baking stone, because they are all quite a bit thicker than a regular pizza stone and thus need to be pre-heated much longer. I love that the pizza stone basically provides the same effect, but because of its relative thinness, doesn’t need to be heated up so long.



My ‘can-do-it-all’ neighbor cut my second stone perfectly to complement my first one, using the surface in the oven to the maximum. I LOVE it!




This is the very easy two-strand braid, coiled up into a rosette shape (p. 297).



Mmm, those torn-away strands are so good with butter.




And finally my regular four-strand braid.
I was on the phone when these loaves were in the oven and forgot to cover them with aluminum foil after about 20 minutes (something I usually do), thus they got just a tad too dark.


I don't think I am done with pumpkin in my breads yet...


 

Muffin Man's picture
Muffin Man

I decided (for some strange reason which eludes me now) to formulate a list of tools in order of utility.  This is what I came up with:



 


1. Scale, Measuring Spoons, and Mixing Bowls


         Absolute necessity.  You cannot make bread without them.  A scale because while 6 oz is always 6 oz, a cup of flour may vary considerably in weight.  Spoons because most home digital scales are not accurate at tiny amounts.  Bowls for the obvious reason.


2. Plastic Bowl Scraper


         An absolute must.  Helpful for manipulating dough and unbeatable for bowl cleanup.


3. Bench Knife


         Tops for dividing dough and work surface cleanup.


4. Peel (Lg and/or Small) and/or Baking sheets


         Very handy for putting loaves in the oven (either) and for removing them (peel).  You want half sheets unless you have a commercial oven.


5. Parchment Paper (flat)


         Great for hearth loaves.  Reuseable if not scorched. I avoid the rolls sold in stores as they want to curl up in use.  Go online for half sheet size - they're worth it.


6. Baking Stone and Steam Pan


         Terrific for hearth baking.  I use a cast iron chicken fryer (deep skillet) containing lava rocks for more surface area as a steam pan, located just below the stone.


7. Storage containers


         The major enemy if most ingredients is air.


8. Access to refrigerator and freezer


         for retardation, starter storage, and long term storage.


9. Workbench


         OK, you can do without one, but I wouldn't want to.


 


         I have a nice Kitchen Aid, but find that its need is overrated unless you are into very stiff (or very loose) doughs or are doing volume production.  Likewise, the light I an electric oven is all the proofer you really need.  Any bowl with a towel and flour can serve as a banneton.


 


While not everyone will agree (maybe no one), this might serve as a start for a dialog on tool utility.

 

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I love Baguettes!


Lately it seams like I cant keep these in the house. I no sooner get them out of the oven and there gone.



I baked 4, here are 2 with some pieces on the side



(Obligatory crumb shot)





less then 1 hour after baking, 1 left.


Served with Pesto, Olive Tapenade, and Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke spread.

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

When my sister-in-law invited me up to NY for Thanksgiving diner for family and friends...I thought to myself...oh S--- I am going to get stuck in traffic for hours...and then she said and bring one of your breads. OK....my first thought was to make the very festive two tier Celebration Loaf with nuts and cranberries. It would make a nice centerpiece for the table and be very festive. When I thought it out....I needed a bread I could retard overnight and throw in the oven first thing in the morning so I could leave before noon on Wednesday to run the gauntlet to the city. Since I had only one chance to get it right... the bread had to be reliable, stay fresh for a few days and make a good a sandwich. The choice was a real no brainer..... Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread....the tastiest, most reliable bread you ever want to make. If you have never made this bread before...you must try it...it will become your favorite too...




This is being sent to Susan at  Wild Yeast for  Yeastspotting

koloatree's picture
koloatree

so far, this is my best baguette to date. thanks to Jeffrey and James from King Arthur institute (really cool folks!). I have to remember to use a lot less flour and increase the steam. i think lack of steam turned my previous sourdough bake a darker color as suppose to a nice golden brown...i also was suprised by how well the baguettes turned out baking on the baguette pan. i was expecting less volume increase compared to direct hearth baking.


 


 



 


 


 




 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I baked three loaves for a Thanksgiving day dinner at my sister-in-law's house in Omaha, Nebraska.It was a case of I'd either be the smart son-in-law or the brother-in-law from Hell depending on how they turned out. I baked my rye Wednesday with the Bauernbrot recipe that Salome posted recently and despite my shortcomings on shaping the loaf, it came out very tasty. It didn't hurt that my mother-in-law got one of the first samples.


The sourdough sandwich loaf that I thought would be the most popular turned out to be the least noticed, I suspect that was because it wasn't the most visually interesting and people do eat with their eyes first. My grandmother's Polish egg bread with raisins turned out well, not like my memories of it from my childhood, but I got compliments for its soft crumb and the sweet flavor. The egg bread was a straight dough in an effort to come as close to the method that Babci used when she baked for her large family. I admit, I don't have the resource of a wood burning stove that she used well into her 50s. I retarded both of these loaves overnight so my wife and I could smell the cooling loaves on the three hour drive north to Omaha. I enjoyed the ride but I suspect my wife felt like I was tormenting her.




Despite coming down with a nasty cold during the day, I've survived and expect to be volunteered to do the baking next year.

koloatree's picture
koloatree

hi everyone.


i baked 2 1.5lb sourdough loaves. i was a bit off on my proofing scedule by a few hrs! btw, does anyone know how to achieve caremelization color? my bread comes out with a dark brown as suppose to golden brown. could it be an access of flour i used to dust the loave and peel? could it be from not using enough steam? my cast iron sizzles intensly for about a minute before it goes to a really slow simmer. for the bread, due to my unknowing scedule, i did a long first proof that lasted 18hrs @ ~45 degrees. in that time the bread almost tripled in volume. afterwards i shaped and then baked after the bread increased volume by 60%. i took some dough and placed it in a little tube shaped container; marked the levels, and waited for the dough to reach ~60-80% of its size. i did so to help with guessing when to bake. is my theory correct? i also did no fold and shaping.


 



this is a photo of the same bread recipe we baked at KA institute. it has a nice golden tan; a look i am trying to replicate.



 


below is a pic of the BBA poor mans brioche baked in a pop over pan. i was pretty happy with the results compared to my 1st attempt paper weights i baked last week.*is the outer layer suppose to be somewhat crisp? the insides were nice and fluffy.



the left is JH dinner roll and the right is the poor mans brioche shaped to be a hamburger roll.



 

SumisuYoshi's picture
SumisuYoshi

Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah


When I was finishing off the last of the challah I made the week before I made this one, I was trying to figure out what to do with some leftover cranberry sauce and leftover pumpkin from other things I'd made, then the idea came to me, what about a challah made with two doughs? One with pumpkin puree providing much of the hydration, and one with cranberry sauce providing much of the hydration. I thought the colors and flavors would make a really interesting combination. And, while I was at it, why not make it with my levain? Having only made challah twice before, this may have been a bit ambitious, but why not! I decided to use the challah recipe in Bread Baker's Apprentice as a starting point, as I liked the loaf I'd made the week beforehand. I took a look at the hydration in the recipe and calculated out how much flour and hydration I wanted in the preferment, I had to estimate here as I didn't know what percentage of the pumpkin puree and cranberry sauce was water. The cranberry sauce definitely had a lower water content, and it also seemed to have somewhat of an inhibiting effect on the levain. I'm not sure why, but I have some ideas. It may have been the sugar and/or acidity levels of the sauce, or the lower availability of water because there was less water in the sauce. The more mundane reason, it could just be that I forgot to get the cranberry sauce to room temperature first (not to mention our house is colder than room temperature) so the cold starter and cold cranberry sauce may have just stayed cold much longer, as the cranberry dough did rise at the same speed as the pumpkin on the final rise.

Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

Pumpkin Cranberry Challah Recipe

Makes: 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves

Time: 2 days. First day: Pumpkin and Cranberry starter. Second day: mix final dough, ferment, degas, shape, final rise, bake.

Ingredients: (baker's % are at the bottom of the post, or will be in a day or two for now they are here)

 

  Cranberry Dough  
Starter    
  Flour 4.5 oz
  Cranberry Sauce 3.5 oz
  Water 1.250 oz
  66% Levain .5 oz
Final Dough    
  Starter 9.75 oz
  Flour 6.5 oz
  Sugar .5 oz
  Salt .125 oz
  Vegetable Oil .5 oz
  Eggs 1 Large Egg
  Egg Yolks 1 Large Egg Yolk
  Water 1 oz.

 

  Pumpkin Dough  
Starter    
  Flour 4.5 oz
  Pumpkin Puree 3.5 oz
  Water 1 oz
  66% Levain .5 oz
Final Dough    
  Starter 9.5 oz
  Flour 6.5 oz
  Sugar .5 oz
  Salt .125 oz
  Vegetable Oil .5 oz
  Eggs 1 Large Egg
  Egg Yolks 1 Large Egg Yolk
  Water 1 oz.
  Ground Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  Ground Nutmeg 1/8 tsp
  Ground Cloves 1/8 tsp
  Ground Allspice 1/8 tsp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Mix the starters: ‘Cream’ the levain with the water and cranberry sauce, and water and pumpkin puree. Then mix in the flour until the dough forms a loose ball. Let rest 5 minutes, and then knead for 3 minutes to ensure adequate mixing. Place each starter in a lightly oiled container or bowl.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  2. Leave the starters to ferment: Leave the starters in a room temperature place to rise until nearly doubled, degas the starters and refrigerate unless you will be finishing the dough then. If refrigerating, remove from the fridge at least an hour before you start the final dough.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  3. Pre-mix ingredients: Stir together the flour, sugar and salt (and spices for the pumpkin dough), and mix the starter with the oil, water, egg and egg yolk (making it wetter so it will more easily mix with the dry ingredients).
  4. Mix everything into a dough: For both doughs: pour the liquid ingredients with starter into the dry ingredients and with a large spoon, dough whisk, or a stand mixer, mix until a ball forms, adding additional water or flour as needed.
  5. Knead to develop gluten: Knead for about 5-8 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test. Once again, do this for both doughs. Once kneaded, place each dough in a lightly oiled container or bowl with a cover.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  6. Degas both doughs after they have nearly doubled: Gently remove them from their bowl or container, turn them out onto a lightly floured surface, and degas. After degassing, divide each dough piece in half, (or any other even numbered amount, or any other division you want, however you need equally sized pieces unless making a double braid) form into a rough boule and let sit a few minutes to relax.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  7. Shape boules into strands: Roll the boules out into strands, spend a little bit on each one then move to the next so the first has a chance to relax, until you end up with strands an appropriate length for the braid you plan on doing.
  8. Braid loaf as desired: I’m horrible at braiding so I’m not going to try to give advice on it! After braiding, place the loaf on parchment paper on a baking sheet and brush loaf with 1 egg white whipped until frothy, saving the remainder for after proofing.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

  9. Proof loaf: Place loaf on sheet in a food safe plastic bag, or spray some plastic wrap lightly with oil and cover the loaf with the wrap. Leave the loaf to proof at room temperature until about 1 and a half to twice its original size, about 1-2 hours depending on room temperature and your starter.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F: Just before placing the loaf in the oven, brush again with the egg wash and top with any seeds or other garnishes you like. Place the loaf in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes before rotating the loaf 180°, continue baking for 20-40 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and measures about 190°F in the center. When done, remove from the oven to a cooling rack, and let cool for 1-2 hours before slicing.

    Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry ChallahSourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

 

This challah was really awesome, great flavors, and great colors! You may want to increase the amount of the spices some, it was just barely enough in my opinion. But you don't want it to overpower the other flavors. I made some french toast with this bread, while we normally only use cinnamon, I added ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger to the mix this time. It was like pumpkin pie french toast, but with a bit of fruity overtone from the cranberry. Definitely a good bread for the fall holidays.

Note: As with my last bread, this one can be made as a straight dough, rather than sourdough. Just mix everything in one step, add about 2/3 tsp yeast and add .3 oz. flour and .2 oz. water to compensate for the lack of levain.

And my second recipe submission YeastSpotting . I really enjoyed this one and hope other people enjoy it, or are inspired to their own creation!

 

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