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varda's picture
varda

Matzo has two ingredients - flour and water.   It is supposed to be baked not more than a couple of minutes after adding the water to the flour.    It's not supposed to rise at all so it has to be pricked.   When you put all that together you get a very, very easy recipe.   And yet, I've never tried to make it before.   Passover starts tomorrow night.    Matzo has two identities.   One, it is supposed to be the extremely quick travel bread that the Jewish slaves slapped together for the road when they were in such a hurry that they didn't have time to let it rise.   But it is also referred to as the "bread of our affliction."   And if you look back at the ingredient list - exactly the same as for paste - you kind of get that point as well.   In other words it really doesn't taste very good.   Anyhow, after all these years, I decided to try it myself.   I specifically decided not to look up a recipe.   What's to look for?    It's flour and water.   It's made fast.   It's pricked.   End of story.

My approach:  

Preheat oven to 450F.   Then quickly mix 100g AP flour with 65g water, roll it out, prick with a fork all over, and put in the oven (I used a perforated pizza tray.)   Bake until slightly brown.  Show your kids.   My son is eating it now.   Delicious he tells me.   Right. 

pmccool's picture
pmccool

This is the second bread from this weekend's bake that is from the late Bernard Clayton Jr.'s New Complete Book of Breads, as both an expression of gratitude and a memorial of sorts.

Mr. Clayton's Pain Seigle is one that I have not previously made.  It is an interesting bread, from the standpoint that approximately 50% of the flour is in two preferments: a "starter" made with commercial yeast and a sponge.  It also has a high rye content, with 2 cups bread flour to approximately 5 cups of rye flour.  

Starter

1 cup rye flour [I used the only rye flour available to me, a finely milled whole rye]

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 cup warm water (105º-115º)

Mr. Clayton recommends a fermentation period in a covered bowl running from a minimum of 6 hours up to 36 hours.  I let mine ferment from Friday evening to Saturday evening, about 26 hours.

Sponge

All of the starter

1-1/4 cups warm water (105º-115º)

1 cup bread or all purpose flour

1-1/2 cups rye flour

Blend the water with the starter, then blend in the flours.  Cover and allow to ferment 8 hours or more.  I let this ferment overnight, then mixed the final dough around 11:30 Sunday morning, a total of 14 hours.  The sponge ballooned, at least quadrupling its original volume.  Plan accordingly.

Final Dough

All of the sponge

1/2 cup hot water (120º-130º)

1 tablespoon salt

2-1/2 cups rye flour, approximately

1 cup bread or all purpose flour

Stir the hot water and salt into the sponge, then add 1 cup of each flour.  Mr. Clayton's instructions say to mix by hand or machine for 15 minutes, adding the remaining rye flour until the dough is a shaggy mass that can be kneaded.  Here's where I took a slightly different path.  Mr. Clayton's descriptions and directions, while acknowledging that the dough will be sticky enough to warrant kneading with a bench knife or bowl scraper, still reflect a wheat-flour-based mindset.  Kneading, if by hand, should be done on a floured surface; "it will gradually lose its stickiness and become soft and elastic."  With all due respect, no.  I found that the white flour in the sponge had developed a very strong gluten network from its overnight hydration.  Adding the last cup of bread flour increased that.  However, the more rye flour that was added, the more this became a rye dough insofar as its handling characteristics went.  Being mindful of rye's fragility, I did about 3 minutes of stretch and folds in the bowl (as opposed to 5 minutes of kneading), then turned the dough out onto a wet countertop so that I could shape it into a rough ball.  That also let me clean and oil the bowl for the next fermentation which, per instructions, was timed at 40 minutes.  No indications were given for the dough's expansion or appearance at the end of this bulk fermentation, so I watched the clock.

Mr. Clayton instructs to "punch down the dough" and "knead for a minute or two to press out the bubbles."  I didn't see a significant change in the dough at the end of 40 minutes, certainly nothing to warrant punching down or kneading.  Clayton recommends forming into 3 boules of about 1 pound each.  I elected to form 2 boules.  This was followed, per instructions, by a 30-minute final ferment on the baking sheet. 

Glaze

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon milk

The egg yolk and milk are blended together and brushed on the loaves.  Mr. Clayton recommends glazing before slashing.

The bread is baked in a 400º dry oven for about 45 minutes, until a finger thump on the bottom crust produces a hollow sound.

Here's how it looked:

Clayton's Pain Seigle

And a somewhat closer view:

Clayton's Pain Seigle

It is a handsome bread.  The glaze imparts a lovely sheen.  It is also obviously underproofed.  My kitchen temperature today was in the low 70's, perhaps not as warm as Mr. Clayton's "room temperature."

As noted in a previous post, my cup of flour probably weighs less than Mr. Clayton's cup of flour.  Therefore, it is likely that these are somewhat higher than his in hydration.  Now that I have this bake as a baseline, I would probably extend the bulk ferment and the final ferment to a point that I could see more obvious indications of inflation in the dough.  These may be somewhat dense and tight-grained when I get around to cutting into them.  That won't be until later this week, since they will go into the freezer once they have cooled thoroughly.  They don't feel like bricks, so I will keep my fingers crossed.  I can't remember whether I've made an unseeded rye before, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the rye tastes all on its own.

Paul

pmccool's picture
pmccool

Given Bernard Clayton Jr.'s influence on home bakers in the United States, it seemed fitting for me to bake some breads from his New Complete Book of Breads in observance of his recent death.

This post will be about his Italian Bread.  I needed a fairly simple bread that could fit into a compact time so that it would be available to give to acquaintances who have a surgery scheduled for this Tuesday.  Not knowing whether their children would be agreeable to a whole-grain bread, much less a sourdough, I opted for a crusty white bread that would go well with the soup that my wife was preparing for them.  

The formula, all in volume measurements, is fairly simple:

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon malt syrup [having none on hand, I substituted agave nectar]

1/2 cup nonfat dry milk

2 packages dry yeast

3 cups warm water (105º-115º)

6 cups bread or unbleached flour, approximately

1 tablespoon vegetable oil [I used olive oil]

The process is nearly as simple.  Mix together the salt, water, malt syrup, and yeast.  Place 4 cups of flour in a mixing bowl, form a well in the flour, and pour in the liquid mixture.  If using a mixer, mix 10 minutes at medium speed (2 on a KitchenAide?).  If mixing by hand, mix for a similar time.  Then add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a firm dough forms.  Knead for 10 minutes.  Place in a large, oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to ferment until tripled in volume.  Deflate the dough and allow to rise an additional 30 minutes.  [I opted for a shorter hand mix and a shorter kneading time, performing one stretch and fold when the dough had nearly doubled, then allowing to triple the original volume.]  Clayton recommends preshaping the dough, about 4 pounds, into boules, batards, or baguettes, then allowing a 20 minute rest.  He also recommends brushing the loaves with water immediately before placing them in the oven.  I elected to form 4 batards in the final shaping and rolled them in sesame seeds before placing them on the baking sheets, skipping the water brushing step.  Allow to nearly double in volume again before baking (Mr. Clayton says "about 1 hour").  Bake in a 425º dry oven for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Rotate the baking sheets about halfway through the bake to ensure even baking and coloring.

Since I used two baking sheets and had to position one fairly low in the oven and the other fairly high (it's a relatively small oven compared to U.S. ovens), I chose to use convection baking and lowered the temperature 40º, as suggested by Mr. Clayton.  At the 20 minute mark, I rotated the baking sheets and swapped their positions.

Other than some clumsy slashing, which is in no way attributable to Mr. Clayton, the loaves expanded very nicely in the oven, more than one might expect given the lack of steam.  Here is how they look:

Clayton's Pain Italien

And a slightly closer look:

Clayton's Pain Italien

We did keep a loaf for ourselves, so I will post the crumb shot once we cut into it.

When I next bake this bread (I have before and it is too good not to continue to use it), I will try steaming the oven.  I expect that it would enhance the blooming of the slashes as the ovenspring occurs.  It is possible that my decision to use the convection setting also had an effect on how much the slashes opened.  Given the oven capacity, the convection setting was the better choice in terms of promoting an even bake.  I will also probably skip the sesame seeds in future bakes, even though they seemed like a good idea at the time.  From Mr. Clayton's description of the dough, I suspect that I had a higher hydration than he would have used.  My impression is that he may have packed more flour into a cup than I do.  

Given that this formula came from a bakery in Monaco, one can argue about how "Italian" it really is.  Regardless of its pedigree, it is good bread.  Thank you, Mr. Clayton.

Paul

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I posted a funny blog (would that be a “flog”?) earlier today about the …um, difficult texture of rye dough.  But, seriously, the bread turned out very well.  I took a first try at Greenstein’s Sour Rye, which Brother David had blogged about some years back (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9316/sour-rye-bread-george-greenstein039s-“secrets-jewish-baker”).  He had recommended it as a good sandwich rye.   The flavor is, to my taste, much superior to Reinhart’s New York Deli Rye, which I made recently.  As David promised, it is quite similar to the rye bread up with which we grew.   There’s no way to take pictures of the process without either washing your hands for several minutes to get the paste off or getting your camera irreparably gummed up, but here are some pictures of the finished product.

IMG_2312

IMG_2328

I also made a batch of proth5’s incredible “Starting to Get the Bear” baguettes, aka “bear-guettes” (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20831/starting-get-bear).  This has become my favorite baguette formula.  The crispy crust and creamy open crumb are just about perfect.  No pronounced ears this time, but yummy as ever.

IMG_2317

IMG_2319

We had company for dinner (roasted King Salmon marinated in teriyaki, greenbeans with garlic and slivered almonds, and cucumber salad).  And they raved about both breads.  It’s nice to get positive feedback from people besides the loyal spouse.

A productive day in the home bakery.

IMG_2325

Glenn

honeymustard's picture
honeymustard

I have recently taken up the role of assistant manager at the coffee house where I work. It's a job I wanted and I enjoy thus far, but the initial stress can be slightly overwelming. Bread baking has becoming a pacifier, a soother.

So I tried this recipe. It was recommended to me in one of the forums here, and true to the recipe's claim, it was amazing.

Ciabatta

The crust was absolutely unreal. While I love and appreciate crusty breads, I enjoy breads that have a softer but chewy crust, and it delivered with a creamy interior. No need for butter, though it wouldn't hurt. It might benefit from olive oil. I made the version that allowed for some semolina flour, which might make a difference in the flavour. I baked it on a preheated stone and sprayed water on the interior of the oven. The recipe indicates that the dough had to triple in size in 2.5 hours. Mine tripled in just under 2.

While it turned out fairly well for my first true ciabatta (I've made my fair share of fake, Americanized versions - see Betty Crocker), it wasn't without its flaws. One of the four loaves developed a giant air bubble and as a result, it was completely hollow. I suppose I could have stuck a sausage in there and pretended it was meant to be that way. I also wished for a darker crust, but I shouldn't complain too much. As I say, I'm entirely happy with the crumb for the most part and certainly the taste. I'll give it another go and be sure to expell more gas next time.

Gross.

honeymustard's picture
honeymustard

I have recently taken up the role of assistant manager at the coffee house where I work. It's a job I wanted and I enjoy thus far, but the initial stress can be slightly overwelming. Bread baking has becoming a pacifier, a soother.

So I tried this recipe. It was recommended to me in one of the forums here, and true to the recipe's claim, it was amazing.

Ciabatta

The crust was absolutely unreal. While I love and appreciate crusty breads, I enjoy breads that have a softer but chewy crust, and it delivered with a creamy interior. No need for butter, though it wouldn't hurt. It might benefit from olive oil. I made the version that allowed for some semolina flour, which might make a difference in the flavour. I baked it on a preheated stone and sprayed water on the interior of the oven. The recipe indicates that the dough had to triple in size in 2.5 hours. Mine tripled in just under 2.

While it turned out fairly well for my first true ciabatta (I've made my fair share of fake, Americanized versions - see Betty Crocker), it wasn't without its flaws. One of the four loaves developed a giant air bubble and as a result, it was completely hollow. I suppose I could have stuck a sausage in there and pretended it was meant to be that way. I also wished for a darker crust, but I shouldn't complain too much. As I say, I'm entirely happy with the crumb for the most part and certainly the taste. I'll give it another go and be sure to expell more gas next time.

Gross.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 

This bake was inspired by the very large bâtards Chad Robertson bakes, but the formula is that of the miche we baked in the Artisan II Workshop at the SFBI last December.

I've now baked this bread using the original formula and using all high-extraction flour rather than the mix of “bread flour” and whole wheat. I've made 1.25 kg miches and 2.0 kg miches. I have been curious how the SFBI miche would be as a bâtard, and I wanted to keep the size large, to be better able to compare crumb structure and flavor to the miche/boule shapes I've made with the same dough.

An additional point: This was my first bake using a large, linen-lined oval brotform for proofing.

 

Total formula

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP Flour

679

96.67

Whole wheat flour

23

3.3

Water

515

73.33

Wheat germ (toasted)

18

2.5

Salt

15

2.08

Total

1250

177.88

Levain

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

70

75

Whole wheat flour

23

25

Water

94

100

Liquid starter

47

50

Total

234

250

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water and mix in the flour. Desired Dough Temperature: 78ºF.

  2. Ferment for 8-12 hours.

 

Final Dough

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

586

100

Whole wheat flour

0

0

Water

398

68

Wheat germ (toasted)

18

3

Salt

15

2.5

Levain

234

40

Total

1251

213.5

 

Procedure

  1. In a very large bowl, dissolve the levain in the water. Add the other ingredients, except the salt, and mix thoroughly by hand.

  2. Cover tightly and autolyse for 30-60 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix thoroughly to incorporate.

  4. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

  5. Ferment for 3-4 hours with 4 folds at 50 minute intervals. (I did this by the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique.)

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Pre-shape as a log.

  7. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes to relax the gluten.

  8. Shape as a bâtard and place, seam side up, in a floured banneton.

  9. Cover with plastic and retard overnight in refrigerator.

  10. Remove the loaf from the refrigerator and allow to warm and complete proofing for 1-3 hours. (Watch the dough, not the clock!)

  11. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the over to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  12. When the loaf is proofed, transfer the loaf to a peel. Slash the bâtard as desired, and transfer it to the baking stone. Steam the oven and reduce the temperature to 450ºF.

  13. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove any water remaining in your steaming apparatus.

  14. Continue baking for another 30 minutes or until the loaf is darkly colored, the bottom sounds hollow when thumped and the internal temperature is at least 205ºF. (If you have a convection oven, switch to “Convection Bake” and reduce the oven temperature to 425ºF at this point.)

  15. Remove the bâtard to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Bloom and Ear

Crackly Crust

I rested the loaf overnight, wrapped in baker's linen, before slicing and tasting.

Sliced loaf profile

Crumb close-up

The crumb was moderately open. She crust was crunchy, and the crumb was chewy. The flavor was moderately sour with a lovely wheaty flavor but without any harsh grassiness from the whole wheat. This flavor is as close to my notion of a "perfect" sourdough bread flavor as I can imagine. Those who prefer a less assertively tangy bread, might enjoy it more without the cold retardation.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

dstroy's picture
dstroy

Our kids are huge fan of the appropriately named "Annoying Orange" guy. His latest adventure involves bread dough.

ananda's picture
ananda

 

NECTA Competition, April 12th and 13th 2011

 

The North East Culinary Trades Association hold this competition in a local venue every year, and the College has always played a full part in it.

The first day is largely student-focused, with the main theatre centring on live work in "pods" by students from various colleges, cheered on enthusiastically by a large audience there to enjoy the spectacle.   Additionally, a range of "static" displays are also put up, in various categories as part of the overall competition.

I mentored one student in the live class to assemble a "Decorated Gateau", and a school student who made a plate of scones which were displayed for "Afternoon Tea" as part of the static display.

For the scones, I contacted an expert in baking powders and chemical leaveners, who I first visited as a student working on a raw materials assignment for my BTEC in Baking Technology.   A few tweaks to the recipe, and a decision to use dates and pecan nuts as flavour, and we were sorted.   A bit of practice in the 2 weeks leading up to the Competition, and my scholar came and made his scones early on the day, so we could take them and display them absolutely fresh.   First prize achieved here.

In the live class, I had selected a Level 1 student to enter this category.   She actually already does her own cake decorating from home.   Her business is only just getting off the ground, but clearly she just has natural talent....in spades.   She did most of her work for the Competition at home, with me acting as adviser through text message and e-mail and phone.   Try as I might, I could not get her to feel nervous about the whole experience.   Veera is so laid back; but it finally hit her when she arrived at the venue at the Civic Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne, to find I was still back at base waiting to drive over last minute with the scones.

Anyway, a decorated gateau is quite different to the expert sugarcraft work Veera normally surrounds herself with.   This is the design she came up with; devastatingly simple in appearance, but obvious complexity and skill in execution.   She deservedly won the gold medal and took the trophy in this category.

........

A teaching colleague also entered the Live Easter Cake, and took a third place up against experts from the local Sugarcraft Guild.

As for our College; we took 12 first places overall.   This is more than we have ever achieved.   Overall, we won the Live Classes and came 2nd in the Static displays, and took top spot for the coveted "Overall Best College" prize.

In spite of all the difficulties in our professional world right now, all the lecturers were on a high for the rest of the week, and we could break up for Easter feeling really good about what we do.   The main kudos, however, goes to our students.   What a set of stars they are!

Best wishes

Andy

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