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Bread Adventures in July 2010

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ananda's picture
ananda

Bread Adventures in July 2010

 


Bread Adventures in July [finally edited to include a few pictures, and remove the original apologetic whingeing!]


This academic year seems to have gone on longer than any I can previously remember.   I still have a few assignments to mark for late submitting Hospitality students...maybe I should be getting that out of the way this weekend?   However I thought it would be more fun to write up the detail of the breads I've been making this month instead!


Apologies in advance: unusually for me, there are very few photographs.   I've had 2 excellent baking sessions, but a camera has been hard to lay hands on, on both occasions.   I'm actually just baking off the last of the breads from the last 2 day's hard work crafting an interesting range of doughs.


Some of these are part of my contribution to the "Hamelman Challenge".   I haven't checked up to see how folks are progressing with this recently, but here's a summary of where I reckon I've got to:


TOTAL is apparently 85 different breads.   Some of these I have decided there is little point me making.   These are the likes of Chollah, Hot Cross Buns etc., which I've made so many times, and incorporate into my regular teaching every year, and have tried and tested methods which I don't intend to change [eg. use of a ferment etc.].   Then there are breads I've made before such as ciabatta, baguette etc.


Add these to the one's I've done recently and the total completed reads 29, and therefore, still 48 to complete.   Many of these are Rye-based, so that continues to excite.   Most of the others either use soakers, or liquid levain [I tend to use a stiff wheat levain], so there is much to look forward to.


Anyway, I've had 2 baking sessions; one on Thursday 1st July, the other largely yesterday and today.   The first session was in College, when I played host to my Baking and Teaching mentor from Leeds together with one of his recent student graduates who is a bread fanatic working at an artisan outlet in Leeds.   Joe actually retired just a year ago; a fount of knowledge, it would be difficult for me to quantify my debt to Joe; he was the inspiration driving me to work so hard whilst studying.   Joe had told me a little about how passionate Laura was about bread, and had asked me to make some breads on the day, which would give her some new ideas to work with.   These are the formulae and methods I came up with; many, actually being work in progress, or brand new recipes to me.


•1.    "Bermaline"


This experiment was inspired by a post on TFL from qahtan, which has clearly been a long term project for the original poster.   See: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17994/bermaline-pan    As will be noted, original interest goes way back to an old thread on the Dan Lepard forum in 2004!


I used the traditional recipe supplied by duncang, on the Dan Lepard thread, in 2008.   I couldn't resist using this formula, as it specifically references semolina.   Given I have been using the coarse semolina provided by my local miller, the by-product from the accompanying bag of lovely fine pizza/ciabatta flour, this was the recipe for me.   Just a bit about the bread itself: it is a companion to the traditional "Hovis" tinned loaf, therefore using a prescribed amount of germ and fibre, both as a bread improver, and, to add to the somewhat worrying lack of fibre creeping in to the British diet at the time.   So, not much has changed there then!!!   Additionally the loaf used a given quantity of malt extract, which was actually manufactured by "Bermaline", so the bread made under this brand, would have to use this type of malt, together with the specified meal.   Hovis and Granary are really the only mass-produced bread categories in England still made along the same lines; I don't want to count "Soreen" as a bread, if that's alright?


The bread is baked with the tin over the loaf, so the attractive logo on the side of the bread appears the right way round.   There is a hole in the middle of the pan base.   Put a skewer inside this during proof as a means to monitor proof levels prior to baking....good tip from the master [Joe]!   Well, I used Bermaline pans at Leeds to make tinned bread as they are really attractive finished loaves.   But, I don't have these at Newcastle College.   I do have a similar tin, oval-shaped, but with straight rather than sloping sides.   It does have the crucial hole in the base too!


Here's the formula and recipe.   Neither Bermaline Malt Extract nor Meal exists anymore, but this is a semolina take on it.



Material

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

Gilchesters Organic Coarse Semolina

100

3000

Organic Barley Malt Syrup [Meridian]

9.3

279

Water

63

1890

Salt

1

30

Vegetable Shortening

1.4

42

Fresh Yeast

1

30

TOTAL

175.7

5271

Original Source  is Bennion, E. B. [1954] Breadmaking: its principles and practice. London: Oxford University Press

nb. This is not the original edition of this book; first print was January 1929!

Method:

  • Soak the semolina in the water for one hour before mixing
  • Add the remaining ingredients, attach a dough hook and mix on slow speed to form a soft and developed dough. A gluten network will form so long as gentle mixing is employed. DDT is 30°C
  • Ferment in bulk for 2½ hours, knocking back after 1 and 2 hours
  • Scale and mould loaves at 500g, and prove on trays covered by the oval loaf pans. Proof at 35°C, 85%rH, for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Bake at 225°C top heat 6, bottom heat 8 for 35 minutes.
  • Remove covering pans, and bake out a further 5 minutes if necessary.
  • Cool on wires

 

Notes

Following changes needed:

A] not enough salt; increase to 1.8%

B] not enough yeast; increase to 1.8%

C] to increase the strength of the dough, use strong white flour at 20% and reduce the semolina to 80%; this may not be necessary with changes A and B implemented.   Another alternative may be to reduce hydration by 1-2%, but keep formula as 100% semolina

D] consider a small increase in malt syrup

 

•2.    Gilchesters "Pain au Levain"

I started a natural leaven with the Gilchesters flour back in October 2009.   I buy 2 grades of flour from Gilchesters; one is the very fine pizza/ciabatta flour, and the other is branded as "Farmhouse" flour.   Andrew Wilkinson, who runs the business, came to College back in November to give a lecture to my Foundation Degree students.   He explained this flour has approximately an 85% extraction, and it really is wonderfully finely ground.   This is the base for the leaven I have since maintained.   Here is the formula for the second bread we made:

Material

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

  • 1. Levain

 

 

Gilchesters Organic Farmhouse Flour

25

750

Water

17.5

525

TOTAL

42.5

1275

 

 

 

  • 2. Final Dough

 

 

Levain [from above]

42.5

1275

Gilchesters Organic White Pizza/Ciabatta Flour

75

2250

Salt

1.8

54

Water

49

1470

TOTAL

168.3

5049

Pre-fermented flour: 25%.   Overall dough hydration 66.5%

Notes:

We made this as a true sourdough.   I did the final elaboration for the leaven about 18 hours ahead of schedule - longer than ideal, but I don't sleep at College, thankfully!   Still I made the leaven cold, and chilled it down for the final 2 hours in the fridge as soon as I arrived that morning.   I mixed the dough gently on a low speed to enable long mixing time and full development.   The Gilchesters flour is high in protein, but the quality of the gluten is not great.   The Farmhouse flour always needs every drop of the 70% hydration used; the 66.5% in the final formula was just right for the bread we could produce in a relatively limited time schedule.   After mixing, the dough had 1½  hours in bulk with one S&F at the mid-point.   After that, we scaled just less than 1kg to give 5 large loaves.   These were moulded round and proofed in bannetons.   We used a prover, with humidity due to time pressure.   The result was the loaves stuck, just a little in the bannetons; but this was not fatal, just distorted the loaf shape a little.

Finished breads were great, although a little sour for some people's tastes, I suspect.   This leaven actually needs quite a lot of looking after to maintain it well.   The high ash content means it gets pretty hungry, and ferments through quite rapidly.   However, I don't get to work with it as often as would be ideal.   I think this leaven would be a total winner in a commercial bakery, where it was in use all the time, and subject to a constant refreshment cycle....a dream, per chance?

•3.    Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel

I think we've been here before a couple of times now; see blog entries below.   BUT, finally I had the opportunity to cook this bread as I've wanted to all along.   I made the bread in my Pullman Pan.

We cooked it in the Combi Oven I have installed in the bakery kitchen.   This is a Steaming Oven and a Convection Oven in one; you can use steam, fan-powered dry heat, or a combination.   Ordinarily I detest this sort of oven for baking, being a dedicated worshipper of conduction or radiation systems.   However, 9 hours in the steamer for a 2.4kg loaf in the Pullman Pan?   Extraordinary result, I have to say.   The only difficulty is that the finished loaf had to sit in the oven overnight with the lid still on the bread pan.   The oven was programmed, so it switched off automatically, but I was long gone home by then, and the building was devoid of anyone to decant the finished bread.   I actually have photos of this loaf, and will attach below.   Colour is just sublime; soo dark, and it got darker too.    BUT, not the burnt dark you get from baking in the oven.   I don't like that.   Dark from all the sugar caramelisation over such an extended cooking period.   The slight sag on the top of the loaf is entirely due to the loaf sitting in the cold oven overnight with the lid on.   Condensation as the loaf cooled has run onto the top of the loaf, causing it to collapse just a TINY bit.   Well, I eventually dared to cut into this on Monday evening, having made it the previous Thursday.   Moist may not be even enough of a description.   It's Saturday today, and I've just eaten the last slice for breakfast...still almost as moist as when the loaf was first cut.   Way to go in the future, methinks for sure!

 

•4.    Jeffrey Hamelman's Flaxseed Bread

I was almost totally faithful to the author's formula, and refer you to pp.211-2 of his book "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes".   I did adopt the small element of fresh yeast, purely on account of available time, given I had set up so many breads for Laura to have some kind of hands-on experience in making.   Actually, now I look over the formula, I realise that I decided to use wholwheat flour in the final dough, rather than medium rye flour.   Given I'd chosen the HB to perfect, I decided to make this slightly less of a "high rye" than originally intended by the author.

We made just over 4kg of dough and shaped it up into 4 large loaves proved in bannetons.   These loaves were so bold; they baked beautifully in the steam of the deck oven, on the sole.   The keeping qualities were absolutely amazing, thanks to the flaxseed [cold] soaker.   Laura e-mailed through to me on Thursday, a week later.   She said she was still eating up this loaf, and how fresh it had kept!

 

And so, on to Session 2.   I've made the following breads over the weekend, and they are all inspired by Hamelman's "Bread" book.

•5.    Garlic Levain

The formula is almost exactly to the one in the book.   I had some very tasty flavoured oil which I used to roast the garlic.   I actually peeled the garlic and chopped it into chunks which I then roasted in the oil.   See pp. 183-4 for the recipe/formula.   My main deviation is that I used an overnight cold bulk fermentation for the dough.   As recommended I used a 2 hour ambient bulk proof [I added in one S&F half way through].   After that I chilled the dough right down overnight in the fridge....good excuse to get up early and bake!   I baked this as one oblong loaf, with arrowhead cutting on the top.   The smell in the house has been quite outrageous for some time now!

•6.    Pain au Levain with Mixed Starters

I know this is a favourite with Larry.   I actually had to do a little adapting of the formula, as my rye and wheat leavens were not running in synchronicity.   The wheat leaven is older, and has been used to the point where it is becoming a kicking culture.   It had been sitting unused in the fridge for about 3 weeks.   I did one elaboration on Thursday evening, making it into a liquid levain.   From there, yesterday afternoon I refreshed this to a full stiff levain.   It was ready to use within 3 hours, and I knew I would have to motor.   Of course, the rye was very active by this stage, but had nowhere near soured through, as I prefer when working with rye.   So I will publish this recipe to clarify how the balance of the formula has been change.   Additionally, my rye sour was the usual batter [100flour:167water], and the wheat leaven, a stiff dough [100flour: 60water]

Material

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

  • 1. Rye Sourdough

 

 

Dark Rye

5

50

Water

8

80

TOTAL

13

130

 

 

 

  • 2. Wheat Levain

 

 

Strong White Flour

19

190

Water

11

110

TOTAL

30

300

 

 

 

  • 3. Final Dough

 

 

Rye Sour [from above]

13

130

Wheat Levain [from above]

30

300

Strong White Flour

66

660

Strong Wholemeal Flour

10

100

Salt

1.8

18

Water

49

490

TOTAL

169.8

1698

Pre-fermented flour: 24%.   Overall hydration: 68%

Hamelman's formula uses just 16% pre-fermented flour; my higher alternative was to counter the youth of the rye sour!

I used exactly the same method as described above for the garlic leaven.

Any photos posted of these products are done on my mobile phone...apologies for any lack of quality!   My wife, Alison, is off to Manchester this weekend with her 3 girl superstar students, bidding to win a national poetry competition.   She, quite rightly, has priority in terms of access to the camera.   Still the bread in the freezer will be replenished on her return.   Oh, nearly forgot: one more!

•7.    Volkornbrot with Flaxseeds

This has been a total delight to make.   Having perfected the steaming technique for HB, I decided I would bake this loaf, just as we used to bake the Rossisky-style loaves at Village Bakery.   However, my Pullman Pan contained only just short of 2kg of paste, so clearly getting a bake on the product was going to be a small challenge.

Essentially the formula is exactly to Hamelman's, see pp. 219-20, but for the following small amendments: I have only cracked rye to use as a substitute for the rye chops in the first cold soaker.   I am very happy to say I had no need whatsoever for any baker's yeast in this formula.   In fact I actually had to hold it in the fridge for 2 hours waiting whilst I baked off the 2 breads described above.

Once on the final leg of baking the last mixed levain, I put the Pullman Pan in the oven, with the temperature reading 220°C, and turned the thermostat down to 200°C.   20 minutes later, I propped open the oven door for 5 minutes, and turned the heat down to 180°C.   After that, I removed the baked Pain au Levain with mixed starter.   I re-filled my makeshift "larva pan" [old cast iron roasting pot containing several stones] with boiling water, shut the oven door and left the loaf to bake a further 1¾ hours at 175°C.   My oven is an electric fan oven; nothing fancy at all.   The finished bread looks as I would have expected.   It's not quite as dark as the HB [no molasses for a start, and it has golden flax], but I reckon it will darken in the days to come.   I wonder how long I can wait before cutting into it?!

Top left: Pain au Levain with Mixed Starters.   Top right: Garlic Levain

Bottom: Volkornbrot with Flaxseeds

 

Best wishes to all

 

Andy

Comments

wally's picture
wally

I worked up a sweat just reading through them.  Look forward to the pics once the upload problems get resolved!


Larry

LindyD's picture
LindyD

That's a lot of baking, Andy.


I'm a total slacker compared to your energetic schedule - but on the other hand, the weather is much too nice here to spend much time baking bread, other than my sustenance sourdough.


I'll pick up the Hamelman challenge in the fall - hope you get the photo issues fixed.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi All


This was Daisy_A's suggestion so a big thank you to her.


Here is the link to the photos on flickr which accompany the post above.


Larry, I'm sure it's nothing like the sweat you get when at work in the bakery; it's great to hear from you.


Lindy, I don't believe you are a "total slacker" at all.   Weather's actually been very good over here too; just I couldn't resist the baking sessions.


Here's the link, and sorry if you missed the post, or found the content inferior without the photos.   See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24731237@N03/sets/72157624340315285/


I will keep on investigating options; ideally I'd sort things through with flickr as I now have 269 photos uploaded, just about all baking related.   If not, thanks to Daisy_A, LindyD and Franko for their preferred alternatives; that's where I'll go if flickr doesn't work out


Best wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Andy, that slice of HB makes me wish I had it here:-)


It's really great, the bread of my dreams!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

A lot of super nice breads there. The HB pictures brought me smiles. After struggling with it week after week last year, I still remember how great it came out in the end.


 


I am currently practicing 100% rye sourdough breads. The first two came out with all kinds of problems, which is why I am pouring over posts from you and minioven and other experienced TFLers. I simply tried it for fun, when the first one (1939 Russian Rye) came out flat and dense, I was ready to toss the idea aside, but then I ate a slice, wow! Major flavor, and this is a "failed" loaf, imagine how great a good loaf would taste. I then tried the basic Russian Rye from "Bread Matters", over proofed (even though it was only 2 hours, but there's so much water in the formula and my kitchen is very warm). I will try again soon!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi txfarmer,


Nico and I have had a good look at the formula given in Breadmatters.


It doesn't seem right for me to go into detail, but the formula is not right.   The hydration is about 100%, and I could not counsel that you aim for that level.   If you need some support on this, I suggest you pm me!


I'm guessing you have found the formula I published, but if not, here it is: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15577/pure-sourdough-rye-year-1939#comment-99318   It's in shiao-ping's 1939 rye thread.   Hydration, overall, should be 85%!!


Yes, the flavour is unbelievable.   I'm so looking forward to cutting into the Volkornbrot with flaxseeds on Tuesday....that's 3 whole days on from when I baked it!


Your own lovely breads continue to impress at this end


All good wishes


Andy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

A lot of baking, indeed - but I especially like the procrastination part of it... Instead of doing my online counseling (for two German student websites) or adding up our vehicle mileage for the taxes - in other words useful, productive occupations - I'm getting my TFL fix...


Karin


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy,


Glad giving the link worked. Like I say - got the idea from Yippee!


I must say it is worth seeing the results - Horst Bandel pumpernickel looks and sounds amazing!


I was interested too in finding out how the Bermaline went, particularly having followed qahtan's posts as well. Interested in the use of semolina and malt, particularly having just bought a bucket of the Meridian malt.


Sounds like a great run of baking all round.


Best wishes, Daisy_A

ananda's picture
ananda

"What you do instead of your work is your real work." -- Roger Ebert


My wife had this next to her pc for some time.   I've borrowed it from her.    Do you like it?


Good to hear from you; and thanks again Daisy.   You'll be taking up the "Bermaline" challenge then?


Best wishes


Andy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Exactly! That's why I put off vacuuming on this steamy morning and rather engaged in deep, meaningful scientific thinking:


http://hanseata.blogspot.com/2010/07/liquors-and-sneakers-sprituosen-und.html


Karin


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy,


Glad the link worked well. What do you think about adding it in at the start of the blog too for readers new to the thread? Also you mention large print in the JH section but that is not showing my end so maybe it's sorted out?


Re the Bermaline - well I would be interested in making the formula at some stage down the line but wouldn't claim real authenticity without the pan. At the moment I've got enough challenges on stablizing my sourdough and trying to stop eating the malt straight from the jar (as I used to as a child...)!


Best wishes,  Daisy_A

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Daisy_A,


Thanks for the tips; consider  done.


If you are still struggling with your sour, and need some help, please just send a pm.


Sure you said you were a savoury baker; how sweet is malt syrup then???


BW


Andy


ps: fancy raiding Leeds Thomas Danby [sorry, now City!] College to get your hands on a Bermaline pan??

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy,


Mmm, you got me again... It's refined white sugar I have no time for; quite literally, I only take it out of the cupboard around twice a year, it's so bland as well as sweet. I prefer more complex tasting sweeteners, although I'm under no illusion that they are any less fattening!


I would also mostly pair them with something sour, so good maple syrup with crêpes but also loads of lemon and orange juice, maybe some liqueur or porridge with orange blossom honey but also argan oil and a nice tart fruit like blueberries or raspberries :-)


I guess I like malt syrup because it also tastes tangy, a bit like a sweet beer. Also I remember getting it as a child when my mum was on a mineral and vitamin kick. Think it was a Mary Poppins moment, masking cod liver oil or something. Still, 80% maltose or thereabouts, I know, I know! Mostly got it for malt loaf although I have enough of it to explore some yeasted, malted breads. 


As for the Bermaline pan, thanks, I'll think on. Don't think the bread would be the same without it but also don't want to deprive the already stretched British Education sector of even more resources ;-)


Thanks for the offer of help on the starters. Rye sour is fine. Wheat and a new San Francisco starter have struggled in the heat but think I have them stabilized for now. I'm not keen on picky eaters but they are on spring water and organic whole wheat now, albeit in small doses. Would lime in the water effect them even after filtering? It is high here but don't want to go on long term with spring water. Will pm if things start to go wonky again.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

wally's picture
wally

I have to have a go with the pumpernickel, but I'm not sure how to proceed with my gas oven.  Yours looks absolutely fantatic, though!


Larry

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy,


Good to see the pictures up. They all look great. I particularly like the picture of the three breads together. However I'm with Larry - pumpernickel is knockout! You can see the crumb glistening so beautifully.


Kind regards, Daisy_A