The Fresh Loaf

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Orange Turmeric Pain au Levain

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Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Orange Turmeric Pain au Levain

Many years ago I went to South India with a group of Taiwanese friends to attend Dalai Lama's annual congregation.  It turned out to be a bad idea for me as I never liked group activities.  I deflected half way through the event and years' later I still felt embarrassed by it. 


It may sound funny but one of the things I missed about the trip was the Tibetan butter tea that they served throughout the congregation.  Dalai Lama is a very personable leader; he made sure that everyone gets his share of butter tea.  I first read about this strange salty tea from Alexandra David-Neel's My Journey to Lhasa.  She was French and the first Western woman to ever step foot in Lhasa early last century.  When there is nothing else to eat, this butter tea can be a meal on its own.


The second thing I missed about the trip was the vegetarian lentil curry soup that they served for lunch with Nan breads.  It was so delicious that I asked to have a tour at their kitchen facility and see how they cooked this dish.  But it was many years ago now and I have never been able to replicate it.  In memory their soup was a lot more soupy and flavorsome than mine.


Anyway I made a big pot of lentil curry soup with chicken the other day and I was wondering what bread I would make to go with this soup until I saw my husband juicing an orange.  I had decided that I wanted to make some sort of yellow/orange colored bread and so the issue was how to get that color into the bread and what the dominant flavor it would be in the bread.  I have been making Pain au Levain variations and I knew this bread would be no exception.  I thought orange and a mild curry flavor using Turmeric powder would go well together - orange would soften the taste of turmeric and gives it an extra dimension.  Hence, Orange Turmeric Pain au Levain.


 


         


 


My Formula 



  • 465 g starter at 75% hydration (5% rye)

  • 465 g flour (5% rye flour and the balance white flour)

  • 155 g orange juice (about 2 medium oranges)

  • 120 g water

  • 6 g (2 tsp) turmeric powder

  • Very fine zest (from one orange)

  • 14 g salt


Total dough weight 1.2 kg and dough hydration 65%


Bulk fermentation 2 hours with 2 stretch and folds and proofing 2 hours (assuming dough and room temperature around 23 - 25C / 73 - 76F).  Retardation in the refrigerator 9 hours.  Pre-heat oven to 250C / 480F.  Bake with steam at 220C / 430F for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 210C / 410F for another 25 minutes.  


 


                        


 


       


 


                                                 


 


I always love orange zest in baked goods; the aroma is very refreshing.   Turmeric, like ginger, is a root vegetable and is an important ingredient for curry.  Turmeric and coriander go very well together.  Dipping a slice of this Orange Turmeric Pain au Levain into a lentil soup which is garnished with fresh coriander herb, you pick up some beautiful coriander aroma as you bite into the bread.


We were watching the latest series of Great British Menu on TV while we were having our soup dinner.  In this series the chefs in Britain competed to honor the returning soldiers serving in Afghanistan with a homecoming banquet that captured the authentic tastes of Britain.  One of the dishes that were chosen was a curry dish.  What was interesting to me was that one of the judges said that curry is an authentic British taste.  Hmm... how interesting.


 


Shiao-Ping 

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Beautiful, Shiao-Ping.  Great write-up and photos too.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I want your recipe for the soup!


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Recipe for the soup?   Just in case you are not (hehehe...), the recipe follows:



  • Soak lentils overnight or as many hours as possible until they are puffed (if you don't have time, you can use hot water)

  • In a pot, melt lots of butter and olive oil, fry chopped onions and garlic until fragrant

  • Put in Hoyt's mild curry powder, Turmeric powder, and/or Hoyt's Garam Masala powder (and some Hoyt's hot curry powder if you like more heat in your curry), fry until fragrant

  • Place lentils and water (roughly same amount as lentils) into the pot and simmer for an hour, and in the mean time

  • Dice and marinate skinless chicken thighs with salt and a little corn flour (and some cooking wine if you use one)

  • 10 to 15 minutes before the soup is to be served, place the chicken into the pot and heat until just cooked, season to taste, and serve with some cream and fresh coriander herb.


(Note: Chinese cook chicken either 10 - 15 minutes or an hour, no in-between.  Anything in between the chicken tastes tough to Chinese, and more than an hour, the chicken has been cooked to death, no intrinsic flavors left.)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hmmm ... a couple questions: I might use chicken broth rather than the lentil soaking water to make the broth. And, do you really use "corn flour" or do you use "corn starch?"


My wife learned to cook from her room mates in college (U.C. Berkeley) who were all from Hong Kong. They taught her to marinate meat in a bit of soy sauce, wine (they used sherry, but I bet they used rice wine at home) and corn starch. Most Chinese cookbooks I've seen use that combination. 


Or are we dealing with another American/Australian difference in names of foods (like shallots)?


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I was going to write sherry, but I wasn't sure if sherry was the correct spelling without my spell check (this is how bad my spelling is; I wish TFL had a spell check function).  And, yes, you are right, it is corn starch I wanted, not corn flour (but it wouldn't hurt either, and would serve the same purpose too).  


In the case of this lentil soup, you don't want to use soy sauce as soy sauce has a very distinct Chinese taste which is not desirable for this soup; salt will do a better job.


You are quite right about the soy sauce, rice wine and corn starch combination.  This is a typical Chinese marinate for pan-frying meat.  The combination that I normally use has garlic and a little sugar added (to replace the unhealthy MSG).


And lastly, to use chicken broth would make this lentil soup a deluxe version.   If you have this deluxe ingredient, then, it is important for the correct amount of curry powder to be used, otherwise the soup might be ruined.  From my experience I have found Hoyt's mild curry powder very giving - if you are heavy handed, it is not disastrous; however, the hot curry powder is very spicy and you need to be careful with it unless you like the heat.  My family likes to have anything curry with some natural yogurt to soften the heat.


Shiao-Ping 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Chicken broth is a staple at my house. In fact, I made a pot last night I'll de-fat and freeze today, except the quart I'll keep out to make some sort of soup today - probably French onion soup.


I think I'd use yoghurt rather than cream in the curry soup. And, as you say, I would not use soy sauce in the marinate. Hmmm ... Yoghurt in the marinate might have a similar effect on the texture of the chicken as soy sauce does.


I've never seen Hoyt's curry powder here, but there are other brands I could use.


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

 ... the tenderizing effect of yogurt on meat.


 


The famous English chef, Heston Blumenthal, did a scientific study of yogurt on chicken, involving extensive lab tests.  He found that Indians' Tandoori chicken where the chicken pieces were marinated in yogurt for days was exceptionally tender to taste.  He wanted to find out whether there was any scientific proof of the tenderizing effect of yogurt on chicken.  And the lab results were positive.


 


p.s.  I forgot to mention there was also chopped tomatos in the soup.  The red color right near where the cream was in the centre of the soup was tomato skins curled up.

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

in asia the word "corn flour" is sometimes used instead of corn starch. i am an indian i see "corn flour" printed on packets of corn starch here lol. if an asian says "corn flour" it means corn starch :) and not the corn flour used to make tortillas. 

also i recommend not using too many curry powders to make curry as it becomes a little over powering to senses. believe me when i say curry can make people dizzy and feel like a drunkard when many spices are used, been there done that. just use Garam Masala, add hot or sweet paprika to your taste and salt and marinate chicken with 1/4 tsp garam masala, paprika, salt and yogurt before adding to the soup. add tomatoes that are peeled and chopped finely. a few drops of lemon juice if you like some tang or pureed ripe mango to make it a little sweet ;) try it and i swear you wont forget it ever!! 

making small meatballs of beef/lamb mince+marinating ingredients and adding them to soup is another variation. 

also soy sauce isnt used in "curry" or "curry-like" recipes :) wine is added though (personal preference) corn startch is also not added unless you are adding meatballs to it and it goes in the mince to make balls so they wont fall apart when cooking. 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Very good advice. Thank you. 

Yuki-Johan's picture
Yuki-Johan

:) you are welcome

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

I want to try this bread with my Dal Makhani

GabrielLeung1's picture
GabrielLeung1

I've been following your blogs for awhile and you are very creative.


--Gabriel

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Beautiful croissants and danishes you've got on your blog, and perfectly shaped baguettes!

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I'm big into soups, also. Amongst my favourites are a French spicy pumpkin one from the author of "Chocolat", a couple of lentil soups - one Indian in origin, the other (and my favourite) Moroccan - and also a nice aromatic, spicy, Thai-style pumpkin soup with prawns.


I love bread with soups, and your very unusual but "right" variation on pain au levain looks perfect as an accompaniment to any of the ones mentioned above, both aesthetically and in flavour. Orange and turmeric - wow! Exotic, but so "right"!


You've done it again, Shiao-Ping! THANK YOU.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

You make orange and turmeric sound like twins! 


Thanks, shiao-ping

jannrn's picture
jannrn

Sounds AMAZING and I really want to try it!! But where do I get this Hoyt's curry powder?? PLEASE tell me it isn't only available in Australia!!!!!

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I should have just said, curry powder.  I did a search on Hoyt's and found that it is indeed an Australian-owned company.  The only reason that I put it there was because I thought it was American.  


Anyway, if you go to the herbs and spices section in your supermarket, just buy anything that says curry powder (if you are like me who does not like too much chilli and pepper, then you will choose mild curry powder).  The main ingridents in curry powder are Turmeric, coriander, Cummin and cardamon, but often there are also nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon, in addition to chilli and pepper.


 


p.s.  Click on the link above on the wording curry powder or here which will re-direct you to Wikipedia's curry powder page for more information.

maryserv's picture
maryserv

Yum yum yum, this sounds and look so good! Both recipes! Shiao-Ping, have you posted the soup recipe somewhere else besides here (like Cooks.com, All-recipes, or Recipezaar?)

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Besides HERE?  Oh you get plenty of good recipes in cooks.com and the like.  They don't need my recipe which is really common.   But thanks for your comment.

maryserv's picture
maryserv

Shiao-Ping,


I said I was gonna, and I did!  I made both the soup and beautiful bread for dinner tonight.  So delicious!  Even my 7 yr old like both!  Thanks so much for posting these!

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Here's how I heard the story....


Back during the glory days of the British empire, many Brits went to India.  And in India, their Indian cooks prepared curries.  The Indian cooks carefully blended the ingredients to make the curry just so for each dish.


 


When the Brits got back to England, they missed the Indian curries.  They tried to get their English cooks to make curries.  And when the English cooks found out what was involved - grinding a dozen different spices in different amounts for each dish they told their employers what they could do with that idea.  And when they tried, the results just weren't the same.


So. an enterprising Brit formulated a curry powder.  Curries became as easy as opening a jar.  And the British love of curries took hold.


Curried dishes have deep roots in much of the world.  However, it has been argued that pre-mixed curried powder and dishes made with it are British.   Very, very British.


-Mike

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I love the triangular loaves!


 


How do you shape them and keep the dough in that shape until it is baked?


 


Thanks,


Mike

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Think of the clay dough that children play except that, rather than handling it excessively, you think of your moves before-hand, accomplish your moves swiftly, and chuck the dough into a mold, if you have one.  Then, instead of proofing the shaped dough at room temperature, you retard it overnight as refrigeration helps it to keep its shape when baked.  If you don't have a mold, you'll have to improvise because the wobbly dough does not stay in that shape naturally.


The way I shape is to firstly pat it gently flat, pick up three corners of the dough, and fold them onto the centre; then quickly place it in the mold.


Hi Mike, Thank you for your information about the British contribution to "curry powder."


Shiao-Ping

breadsoldier's picture
breadsoldier

My family and I just consumed my first attempt at Orange Turmeric Pain au Levain. With lentil soup, it was a journey to a Higher Place.  Absolutely wonderful!! Thanks Shiao-Ping...

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I am glad that your family enjoyed it.  Soup and bread is such a easy combination for meals.  That's what my husband had for lunch too!

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

This bread looks very good.  I wish some day to try making a bread with similar flavor.  I do love curry and I drool at the sight of the meal above.

For those who want to try to make their own curry powder, here is the recipe that I use.  Curry powder is very flexible, and you can substitute things freely.  It all tastes good.  This recipe is sized to fit into a large McCormick glass spice bottle.  Some of the spices are powdered and some are freshly ground from whole, depending on what I have on hand.  I used the same volume measurement for both types with the presumption that the same volume of powdered spice would weigh more than if it had been measured whole, but that the whole spices ground freshly would be more potent in flavor.

  • 8 tsp coriander seed
  • 8 tsp turmeric
  • 8 tsp cumin seed
  • 4 tsp gingerroot
  • 2 tsp cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 tsp dried red chili pepper (not chili powder)
  • 2 tsp fenugreek (original recipe called for mace, I have also used mint)
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp poppy seed
  • 1/4 tsp peppercorns

Everything gets ground up in a coffee mill or grinder, and mixed together well.  You can adjust the heat of the powder either in the jar or by adding more red pepper to the pan.  You can also make the powder in the jar completely without red or black pepper, and adjust as needed when you cook with it.  This is a picture of the resulting mixture.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi MangoChutney,  Thank you for your recipe of curry powder and picture.  I would definitely try it.  Shiao-Ping

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

I used your flavorings with my one-loaf whole wheat sourdough recipe, leaving out my flax and sesame seeds and using orange oil instead of orange zest.  I used the orange juice in place of the whey I use in my overnight soak, added the turmeric and orange oil to the dough in the morning, and followed my own baking temperature schedule after it was risen and proofed.  The loaf looks fairly routine on the outside, but what a difference the whole wheat makes to the appearance of the inside!  It's like your bread and mine are photographic negatives of each other, in color.

Eating this bread is like eating toast with orange marmalade built into it.  Wonderful!  Thanks again for sharing your recipe.  Tomorrow I will make some curry and serve it with this bread, assuming there is any of the bread left by then.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi, I love the color of your crumb and I bet it tastes delicious!  Thanks for showing the pictures.

suzyr's picture
suzyr

I know this bread is really a treat..and it is beautiful.  I prepare alot of Indian curries and the soup reminds me of Dal's.  This past holiday I prepared a Saffron infused Challah and it turned out very nice.  I really can't wait to make this. Thank you posting it when you did and your soup recipe. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

correctly say that the national dish of England is Chicken Tikka because of the huge popularity of the dish and the huge Indian population that cooks it and sells it as #1 for English take out.  You would think that fish and chips would be #1 but 'The Tikka' takes it by quite a wide margin !

My standard Chinese meat marinade is 1 T light soy (salt), 1 tsp dark mushroom soy (flavor), 1/8 tsp white pepper, 1 T each chopped garlic and ginger , 1 tsp Shao Xing rice wine with 1 tsp of tapioca starch, potato starch or corn starch.  I think you can start just about any stir fry with this :-)

I just love the look and color of your bread! The soup is very nice too - with the tomatoes or no :-)

I have Mandarin Orange , Minneola Tangelo and Apple Yeast Water levain building  for a Monday bake.  I should have 250 G  by then.  I also have fresh Minnelolas in the back yard or fresh Mandarin juice from a friend available.  Do you think that your bread would be a candidate for it  - at half the size?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Here it is. I love the smell of this bread. This is what makes it so alluring and eventually delicious. Stunning toasted. My soup used homemade chicken stock and the leftover caramelized onion and smoke pork jowl from isand66's bacon, cheese and onion bread I baked this morning. I also added some whole Thai chilies for heat. No Chicken required.  The soup was so simple and delicious.  A perfect foil for the beautiful yellow bread. A very fine combination.  Thanks Shiao-Ping

aytab's picture
aytab

I made a version of this bread last night. All I can say is WOW!!! It is amazing and to tell you the truth it's even better this morning as thick cut toast with butter and Blackberry Jam!!!!!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

even though I made it with YW and...... there are at least 10 breads on my top 5 list :-)