September 17, 2011 - 10:38am

## Ananda's Bara Brith

In a comment to my "Holiday Bake" blog Andy posted a formula for the Welsh tea bread Bara Brith, which I made today according to his formula with great success.

The formula mentions nothing about the baking profile - I made a 1300 g loaf in a tin, and baked for 50 minutes, starting at 230C and gradually turning the heat down to 170C after 40 minutes.

And I didn't use all of the tea. But the formula gave us a really great tasting fruit bread with a slight aftertaste of black tea.

Looks like it has no chance to age ... (Some sources say this gets even better over time.

Here a couple of pictures:

## Comments

Juergen,

This week I will give this a go. I did copy Ananda's formula but it ended up under a pile so was forgotten. I am so glad you posted your loaf. Looks like one my daughter will really enjoy - especially with the tea as she is just beginning to delve into teas - in the form of Chi - kinda close - emphasis on KINDA :-)

I have not yet followed a formula written the way Andy expressed it but I am assuming that I choose a total weight for the flour - lets say 100g since that makes it easier - and then I simply multiply the %'s he has listed to get the grams of each ingredient?

Eg. The first ingedient on his list is currants @ 20% - therefore I would use 20g?

Janet, this is a really enjoyable sweet bread - not too sweet, actually.

Your assumption about the maths are correct - I used 500g of flour.When you add up all of the percentages given you get the yield: 268% in this case. 100g flour will make a loaf of 268g.

Interesting idea to use Chai spices for this bread - actually not far from E. David's preferred mix:

Chai: Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves

E. David's mix: Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Nutmeg

For the tea I used PG Tips tea bags, but I can imagine a good Assam, Ceylon, or even a Yunnan (or something other strong and malty) could be even more interesting. (depends on personal taste, naturally)

Juergen,

Just saw how I ended my message....forgot to close it and when I tried to edit it wouldn't let me....ooops...must have gotten distracted....again.

I also see I spelled misspelled Chai...

My daughter bought a large carton of the stuff and I am thinking I will just hi-jack some since she won't get through it all before it goes bad.

Thanks for the heads up on my assumption in regards to the math. :-)

Janet

I often use Twining's

Lady GreyorBlossom Earl Grey(actually both are very similar) to bake tea loaves. It works great. They're both really good as iced tea, too. (Just put one tea bag in a glass with cold water and leave it in the fridge for 1 - 2 days to steep)lumos

Hi Juergen,

That looks like a huge loaf, well done for getting it baked right; lovely!

As I said when I first posted the formula, it was used in development with a student. Somehow the missing bits of the procedure never got recorded in the classroom practical; student and tutor both too busy probably!!!

For baking, I would pan into pans between 375 and 500g and bake at 180-200*C.

Hi Janet,

The rationale behind my formulae is that I want to see at a glance what % of pre-fermented flour is in the formula. Thus, the 100% flour is found by adding all of the flour in the formula together, including that in the pre-ferment. Regarding multiplying up, I teach my students to use a factor, similar to how you ended up working...in your case, ONE.

The normal commercial way is to look at the total amount of dough required to fulfil the ordered amount. Find the multiplier that takes you from total % to total weight. Round that up just a little, and that is your factor. So, if you needed 2.4kg of dough in this instance, your factor would be 10. From there you simply multiply all your ingredients up by 10, just as you noted.

Best wishes to you both

Andy

Thank you, Andy. It is a huge loaf, and I learned a lot about the baking stage by having now made 6 batches of Bara Brith with different loaf sizes.

(I didn't eat all of it, honestly.)

I had one underbaked loaf, which got me thinking.

I like your way of representing a formula - it's very practical to see the amounts of each of the ingredients at a glance, and it is probably the easiest representation to transform into Excel spreadsheets.

I have the formulas of nearly all my bakes in excel, and I can type in the expected yield to get a baking sheet for the bread I am going to make. I usually allow for 5% to 10% of loss due to fermentation and dough sticking to hands and tools. When taking bread in to work (my tiny commercial endeavor) I usually have batch sizes of 1.5 to 3 kg. I can't handle more than 3 kg at a time with by setup.

Having the yield in % also makes it easy to start with an ingredient: I have 200g of that fancy flour, how much of that fantastic bread X can I make with it?

Or

OOps: I added 150g too much liquid - how can I save this bake?

Thanks again,

Juergen

Andy,

You lost me on this one....so back tracking because it is something I do want to understand.

I usually like to bake loaves that weigh approx. 1000g.

Looking back at your original formula:

Material

Formula [%]

1. Fruit Soaker

Currants

20

Raisins

20

Mixed Peel

7

Strong Tea

38

Cover the fruit with the tea liquor

TOTAL

85 [47 + 13 + 25]

Strain off and reserve residual liquor [25] Fruit should absorb 13.

2. Pre-ferment

Strong White Flour

20

Caster Sugar

5

Fresh Yeast

5

Water @ 38°C

35

Tea is acidic, stick to water

TOTAL

65

3. Final Dough

Ferment [from above]

65

Wholemeal

40

Strong White Flour

40

Salt

1

Mixed Spice

1

Milk Powder

7

Butter

18

Brown Sugar

10

Tea [from soaked fruit]

25

As required to form soft dough

SUB TOTAL

182

Soaked fruit [from above]

60 [47 + 13]

TOTAL

242

Your total percentage is 242%

Now how would I go about using that final % of 242 so I know my final weight would be 1000g? (Baby steps please.....old brain here :-0. )

I am stumbling on the word 'factor' that you use. In the method I would use I would have gone on down the ingredient list and simply multiplied each ingredient by the percent you listed by the total flour weight ie, for 100g flour I would have multiplied the 7% milk powder times 100g which would give me 7g. I would multiply the 40% strong white flour and get 40g needed...sugar would be 5g and on down the line. Everything being multiplied against total flour amount of 100g...

Hope I have understood this part okay but am still lost as to how to use the final % figures to work out a formula size I want...

Thanks for your help here!

Janet

Hi Janet

Step 1. Determine the factor: required dough 1000g divided by total % column 242 = 4.13

Step 2 Round up to make it easier, and to ensure you are not short; choose 4.2.

Step 3 Multiply each ingredient by the factor to determine the recipe.

Note: we are saying the same thing. In your original example, the factor is 1.

All good wishes

Andy

Andy,

Thanks for the 'steps'. Very simple for me to grasp.

BUT..... one thing to clarify in Step 3 - I am assuming that I am using the factor (4.2) to multiply against the percentages listed? Ie..4.2 x 20% = 84g for the currants; 4.2 x 1 = 4g for the salt; 4.2 x 40% = 168g for the flour ....etc., on down the line?

Essentially all I need is desired dough amount and the final total percentage and I am good to go?

I have done something similar using a factor but used it when increasing or decreasing a formula where the gram weights were know. I was multiplying the factor against all the gram amounts after dividing my desired flour amount against the 'actual' flour amount to get the factor.

Nice to know it is the same method and that one only needs to know a few numbers to get started.

In writing out this formula I was struck with how little salt is included while there is a lot of yeast....I am thinking that is due to the acidity in the tea - one wants this to ferment and proof quickly? (I am used to using approx. 2% salt in most formulas I have baked thus far. This will be a first with such a small quantity....)

Thank you for taking the time to spell this out for me. I greatly appreciate it.

Juergen - Thanks for letting me jump in here to ask Andy my questions....didn't mean to hi-jack your thread....

Take Care,

Janet

Hi Janet,

You've got the concept: given a formula plus a required dough weight and you can easily calculate the recipe.

Low salt: it's a sweetened dough.

High yeast: it's enriched with butter, sugar, egg, spice and lots of dried fruit. Yeast struggles with all of these. The tea hardly comes into it.

Also, note that I only ever use fresh yeast in my formula.

Best wishes

Andy

Andy,

Thanks for the heads up on my math assumptions. A fun new 'trick' to apply!

So in a sweetened loaf you want low salt simply for the flavor?

High yeast....how soon I forget that yeast does struggle with a lot of sugar on top of enrichments. I have special IY just for that purpose as fresh yeast isn't available around here and would go bad before I could use it all up anyway as I use primarily SD in my breads now-a-days.

Once again, thanks for the explanation.

Janet

Hi Janet,

Salt in any sweetened dough is low. If you raise it, you would also have to raise sugar levels too, then the whole formula would need to be re-balanced.

For Instant Yeast, you should be using just one third the amount of fresh yeast which I quote in my formulae. See Reinhart BBA, pp.60

Best wishes

Andy

Andy,

I did not know this despite the fact that I have baked sweet loaves before - I simply followed the formula without questioning the reason behind the figures and they weren't explained - or maybe they were and I wasn't ready yet to understand what had been written :-)

Now I have yet another piece to the puzzle so that I can really know what I am reading!

Thanks for the adjustment on the IY. I do have PR's BBA but don't use it - my primary book of his is WGB and I bet it is in there too but I probably missed it since he always uses IY when writing out formulas.

Thanks again for your help!

and Juergen to for the topic :-)

Take Care,

Janet

Andy,

We are just getting through a new loaf of Bara Brith - Your formula is dangerously excellent.

The only word I hear from my wife is: "MORE" ...

Juergen