The Fresh Loaf

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Barley Twists and Cinnamon Cuddles

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breadsong's picture
breadsong

Barley Twists and Cinnamon Cuddles

Hello everyone,

This month, Elle and the Bread Baking Babes are baking MC-Farine’s cute and charming Morning Cuddle Breads,
as ‘Summer Twists’.

MC, on her always-so-interesting blog!, recently featured a beautiful Barley Bread - in her post she recalls the sucre d’orge (barley candy) she had as a youngster. 
I was curious so looked up barley sugar candy online (noting its pretty golden color), and read on Wikipedia “Barley sugar was often made into small spiral sticks, and the name is… sometimes used for…twisted legs and spindles in furniture…”.
                          (So that’s where ‘Barley Twist’ furniture got its name!).

MC‘s Barley Bread post motivated me to make these breads as ‘Barley Twists’ … using a bit of barley malt extract , and some of the *lovely* Fairhaven organic whole barley flour MC gave to me (*many thanks!*), in place of oats. 
The barley flour was scalded, to help retain moisture and hopefully add a bit of extra sweetness.
For fruit, I added golden raisins, their color reminding me of the golden color of the sucre d’orge :^)

                  Barley Twists        
                                           Cinnamon Cuddles

Two breads were shaped as ‘Barley Twists’, egg washed, and sprinkled with barley flakes prior to baking.

The other two breads were shaped in a ‘C’ shape, for ‘Cinnamon Cuddles’ (the raisins in this bread seemed to call out for some cinnamon! ). I added some cinnamon to the egg wash, sprinkled cinnamon sugar along the edges of the twists, where the strands joined, and for a bit of extra golden color, sprinkled some turbinado sugar on top, prior to baking:
 cinnamon egg-wash :^)
                                   just before baking

                                                                 crumb

The bread has a soft and moist crumb, nice sweetness from the golden raisins, and the bread itself having a lovely complex flavor that I don’t quite know how to describe!, but this is a wonderful breakfast bread.

Thanks to MC for the lovely ideas in her posts, and thanks to Elle, too, for featuring this bread this month!
Here is the formula I worked out, inspired by these ladies' efforts :^)


Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting :^)

 

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and turns of the C's too!  Will be stealing this twist shape before you can say 'No!' :-)  Thanks for posting your formula too.

Nice baking! 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi dabrownman,
Thank you! - and you wouldn't be stealing - this site is for sharing! :^)
You are so welcome re: the formula. I tried to keep the hydration in this formula the same as Jeffrey Hamelman's Challah (water+egg+oil)  (remembering what a nice dough that Challah was for braiding; hoping for the same dough consistency with this formula, for 'twisting'). 
:^) from breadsong

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

for the Twisted Sister Chacon!  It worked great!  Thanks for the idea.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi dabrownman,
Glad you tried this for shaping. Your loaf looks really good and the baked loaf is very pretty!
:^) breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

The shaping of your barley twists is simply exquisite breadsong! To get exactly right proof, in order to keep the right shape through baking, as you have, is an art in itself . Can't say I've ever seen anything quite like it, beautiful as always.

Franko

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko,
Thank you! ... but I must confess, I didn't do any sort of proof test on these. I eyeballed them after 90 minutes proof time and they looked a bit puffy so into the oven they went. I remember reading (I think it was in Maggie Glezer's book,
A Blessing of Bread?) underproofing (braids) will cause distortion in the oven, so I'll put it down to luck, this time :^)
Having said that, though, this dough was a slow-mover fermentation-wise (dough not expanding by great amounts during bulk fermentation) so perhaps that translated to how the dough behaved in the oven, too.
Thanks again for your compliments on the shaping! I found this a nice dough to work with.
:^) breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Breadsong,

I made MC'c cuddle bread awhile ago and it was a nice dough to work with and your idea of adding barley is tantalizing.  My kids usually like it when I add barley flour to breads but I forget until I read a formula here that mentions it......will have to do something about that!

Your shaping of these loaves is great.  I am impressed with how uniform your twists are...put mine to shame.  The crumb does indeed look like you got the results your were seeking with the higher moisture due to the scald....something else my kids like - a nice dense soft crumb.

Tell me if you can....I still do not completely understand why a poolish and a leaven would be used in the same formula when the dough is bulk fermented overnight.  I can see how it would affect taste if the final dough were fermented and proofed all in the same day as the IY would speed up fermenting time thus creating a mild flavor despite the sd....but that logic doesn't seem like it would apply to an extended overnight bulk ferment especially with so little IY used in the poolish....

I know from past posts by you that you bake a variety of breads using a variety of techniques so - can you help to enlighten me with my continued lack of understanding in regards to the composition of this formula that uses both a poolish and a leaven.  What affect did you notice, if any, by the inclusion of the poolish?

Will have to now give your twists a try so they shall be added to my 'to bake' list!

Thanks for the post and the inspiration :-)

Janet

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Janet,
I hadn't planned on refrigerating the dough overnight, but after 1.5 hours bulk fermentation at room temperature, the dough hadn't expanded much. (MC had mentioned in her post her dough took a long time to bulk ferment, it was getting late and I didn't want to be up all night :^), so I put the dough in the fridge).
Overnight, the dough had expanded somewhat but it still took awhile in the morning to warm up and puff up to the point where I thought it could be divided and shaped.
I had thought, if the dough had expanded enough by morning, I might be able to divide and shape while the dough was cold (I've found cold dough really easy to shape/braid), but even though I had to let it ferment longer/warm up after being in the fridge, the dough was still really easy to work with - no stickiness at all.
I included levain and poolish to try to follow along with how MC made her Cuddle Breads - my understanding is poolish and its protease activity will add extensibility to the dough (I certainly did have an easy time extending the strands while shaping) and the acidity from the levain will help counter that by adding strength to the dough (helpful with a 'weaker' ingredient like barley?).
Thank you so much for your comments and questions! I hope you like this barley bread. I tried scalding some Red Fife flour and also scalding barley flour for another loaf I made, and was amazed by the pepperiness that came through in the flavor. No pepperiness in the flavor of this bread, but there is a lovely acidity to balance the sweetness of the raisins.
:^) breadsong


Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Breadsong,

Thanks for your explanation and the mention of long bulk proofing time.  I imagine that was due in part by the high percent of sugar in the formula via the golden raisins.  Whenever I use a high percent of sweetener in any form in a recipe I add .08% IY  (Saf-Instant Gold) to counter the sugar's effect on the dough.  That amount seems to keep things moving along my 'usual' time line but there are times when I have to increase to 1% - the dense Christmas loaves that are loaded with goodies require an extra boost :-)

I almost always mix my doughs at night and then ferment overnight in the refrig. followed by an AM warm up, shaping and proofing as you described above.  When your formula gets to the top of my 'to bake' list I will see what happens if I skip the poolish and simply add the IY to the final dough since the effect on the protease should still be the same due to the IY.  Will be interesting to see how easy the dough will be to handle in the morning.  I will increas the % though to adjust for the sugar content.

I am also thinking of 'mashing' the barley rather than scalding it because that way I can increase it's natural sweetness and increase the moisture content and not destroy all of the enzymes in the grain.  

Will be fun to see what results.

Thanks for your inspiration and your gift for being able to see combinations and creating a new loaf by combining several similar formulas.  I always learn something new when baking something you have posted :-)

Take Care,

Janet

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Janet, please accept my belated thanks for your kind comments :^) - we were away for a few days.
Please let me know how your experimenting with this one turns out!
:^) breadsong


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hello Breadsong,

Lovely shaping, as noted by posters above.   Thanks too for the link to Farine's piece on Fairhaven Organic Mill.   It's years since I've used Barley Flour, but I know the Watermill http://organicmill.co.uk/acatalog/flours.html still supply Barley Flour, and I remember using it just over 20 years ago.

All good wishes

Andy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Andy,
Last year at Kneading Conference West we got to visit Fairhaven Organic Mill - it was a very interesting visit and good to 're-visit' thanks to MC's post. There was no opportunity for 'cash and carry' when we visited though (it was difficult being surrounded by so much beautiful flour and not being able to bring any home!  :^)  ). 
Since then, I'd been looking for Fairhaven organic barley flour and hadn't found any at retail, and was so pleased when MC gave me some to try baking with.
I think it's great you have a source of British barley, with the Watermill.
Thank you for your compliments on the shaping, Andy - I really appreciate it! And thanks again for your video on 'cutting in' fruit - this technique was so helpful to employ, for this dough.
:^) breadsong

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Lovely barley twist, and cinammon twist, Breadsong! Never heard of either one, they look very tasty! Is the original recipe naturally leavened?

Excellent efforts, as usual!

Khalid

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Khalid,
Sorry for the slow reply but I wanted to say thank you for the compliments!
MC wrote in her post the two formulas she took inspiration from were both straight doughs, but she decided to use both poolish and levain; so I did as well.
:^) breadsong

ejm's picture
ejm

The barley twists look stunning. How did you get them to be so straight? (They actually look like they could be used as table legs - if they weren't soft beautiful bread sticks, that is.)

Beautiful twists! Many thanks for baking with us.

-Elizabeth

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Elizabeth,
This dough was a real pleasure to shape and extend, and was on its best behavior as I twisted up the strands -
it gave me no grief whatsoever.
Thank you so much and I was so happy to see your group chose MC's beautiful recipe. I had to join in for another month!
:^) breadsong

MC's picture
MC

Hello breadsong, I am so sorry but due to extended traveling and to WheatStalk, I see your post only now. Thank you so very much for your kind words! Your breads look fantastic. You have the hands of an artist! So much control goes into producing a perfect twist. Interesting that the "sucre d'orge" you found on the Internet was shaped like that. The ones I remember from my childhood were straight and very very thin. I am glad you found the other kind though as we wouldn't have had this beautiful loaves otherwise... So glad too that you got to use the barley. :-)

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi MC,
I don't think I knew about barley sugar candy, prior to reading your post. It was interesting to look it up and discover that's how that style of furniture spindle/leg got its name. Funny how you can accept what things are called, without questioning why :^)
Thank you! I am so happy you liked how these breads looked - I was so taken with your idea for this bread, the shaping, how you brought it all together to create something really special.
I loved using your Fairhaven barley flour - top notch and great flavor!
Many thanks! :^) from breadsong

Andreea C's picture
Andreea C

Hello! Congratulations for your very pretty loaves. I had bought some barley flour a while back and it has been sitting in my cabinet untouched since then. I'm happy to have found in your post inspiration for using it. 

All the best,

Andreea

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Andreea,
Thanks so much for your kind note. I hope you enjoy baking with your barley flour, as I have.
:^) breadsong