The Fresh Loaf

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Help with duplicating a "Pony" bread recipe. Please.

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mattyparanoid's picture
mattyparanoid

Help with duplicating a "Pony" bread recipe. Please.

Originally posted to reddit, it was suggested I try here.

We buy this bread at our local farmers market every week. Trouble is we can't always get it. It also happens to be one of like three things my two autistic sons eat. I would like to be able to supplement the purchased loaves with some out of our own breadmaker or oven.

I asked the vendor for the recipe and they said it was on the label. They were coy about specifics (I understand why). I would buy more loaves but they never bring enough to the market or they aren't there at all.

So, can some one help with a recipe? Even an educated bread guru stab at substituting some given amounts of the listed ingredients against a known, similar recipe would be awesome. Google and recipe sites give an overwhelming amount of data. Reddit hasn't delivered yet, although the hive mind over their may very well bring it. My wife and I are both pretty capable home cooks but this is well out of our league. Full loaf and ingredient pics below.

Was also told I should describe the following:

Texture is somewhat soft, moist, dense and heavy, not crusty at all Flavor is very mild wheat, nothing very distinct Aroma is also mild The amazing thing about this bread is its texture, very dense and moist with mild flavor.

Loaf and Ingredient Pics: http://i.imgur.com/18aUP.jpg http://i.imgur.com/UKX1G.jpg

Slice and Crumb Pics: http://i.imgur.com/Vb6Fr.jpg http://i.imgur.com/ZFJkb.jpg

Thanks in advance bread gurus, I love bread so by extension I love you all too!

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

That doesn't look like it would be too hard to replicate for an advanced beginner bread baker -- but it will take some experimentation, and you're probably going to have to do that on your own because none of us can actually see and taste the loaf you're trying to match.

I would suggest a trip to the library for some bread books -- you can search the many book threads here to find the good ones. Then look for a recipe for an "enriched whole wheat loaf." Enriched is tech talk meaning it has sugar (the agave syrup) and oil. The loaf is not 100% whole wheat since the first ingredient is bread flour, which would be a high-gluten white flour. It's labeled as "bread flour" on packaging; it's not the same as all-purpose flour.

You can add a tablespoon or so each of wheat bran and flax seed to that recipe; it won't hurt anything until you start adding more than that, at which point you would have to increase the water (assuming that, since the label does not list milk). Then just experiment by adjusting the quantities of flours and those additives until you get it where you want it. 

White whole wheat flour is a 1:1 substitute for whole wheat. It's available, but not necessarily at your local grocery, so you may have to seek that out. Or just use whole wheat -- it's mainly a visual thing for folks who don't like the darker look of whole wheat flour. If your kids don't mind, don't worry about it. King Arthur (kingarthurflour.com) sells a white whole wheat flour, but so do a lot of other mills.

I'll give you one lead on a recipe. It's the Transitional Whole Wheat loaf in Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads." That's a 50/50 (equal amounts of white and whole wheat flours) loaf with a small amount of sweetener and fat (butter or oil). I make it regularly and often add seeds and/or brans.

"Whole grain active yeast" -- that's hilarious. There is nothing "grain" about yeast at all, but they must think it looks good on the label. Maybe you can call them on that and blackmail them into giving up the recipe... (That's a joke.)

Good luck. You're about to discover the joys of breadbaking!

jaywillie

 

 

mattyparanoid's picture
mattyparanoid

You are not the only person to mention the yeast description. This bread is from a high-end "farmers" market that caters mostly to people with a larger amount of discretionary dollars if you get my meaning. I think many of the vendors play up on the "organic" aspect of selling thier products.

Not a critiscism as much as an observation and a cautionary buyer beware...

Thanks for the advice, we are looking to make a loaf this weekend and are going to let everyone know how it turns out.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It may be fun for your family to develop a recipe to match this loaf but you may have a bit of a learning curve ahead. Baking is not like cooking.

Some thoughts and information on the ingredients and the pictures.

Bread flour is the first ingredient listed which means it is in greatest amount. Bread flour is a refined flour that has a high gluten content so it forms a strong "netting" to hold in the bubbles of gas generated by the yeast. This will actually make the bread less dense than a 100% whole wheat. I would guess it is probably at least half the flour if not slightly more since the crumb is "soft and dense". The softness is developed using ingredients and technique.

White whole wheat flour is a genetic variant of wheat that does not contain the tannin which colors the wheat (and flour) reddish and flavors its with the characterisitc "whole wheat" taste. When it is fresh ground,red whole wheat smells and tastes sweet and grassy to me but some people describe the taste as slightly bitter. White whole wheat doesn't have the tannin so it is very mild and not bitter at all. It can have a golden color which is evident in your pictures. The dough characterisitcs and subsequent bread are identical when either red whole wheat or white whole wheat flour is used, except for the taste.

Blue agave is a sweetener. I have never used it but I do use honey in my whole wheats.

"Whole grain active yeast" is an interesting description. I wonder if it is actually a natural levain made with whole grain flour? Natural levain is another term for "sourdough". The problem with using that term is that people automatically think "San Francisco Sourdough" and think that the bread made with it is sour tasting. Couldn't be further from the truth. Until about 1920, ALL bread (sweet, savory,everyday,dessert) was made with natural levain (sourdough). It's yeast. I believe you can make this bread with either natural levain or commercial yeast and have an equally delicious loaf-if you use a good technique. Using sourdough or natural levain may build in another major learning curve.

The crumb looks like there is a generous amount of wheat bran. Is the flax seed whole?

Technique is going to be almost more important than ingredients when making a whole wheat loaf that maintains a soft crumb that doesn't crumble. I would find a recipe that uses a "preferment" or "autolyse" technique. These techniques allow most of the whole wheat flour and water to soak for a period of time so the water is fully absorbed into all the hard parts of the whole wheat. This is what keeps the baked crumb soft and not crumbly.Alternatively, the dough ingredients  can all be mixed together and then left to "retard" overnight in the refrigerator in a covered container and finished the next day. Same thing is accomplished as long as there is enough water in the mix.It should start out sticky and just be tacky by the morning. Part of the learning curve.

You have some delicious experiments in your future!

 

mattyparanoid's picture
mattyparanoid

Thanks for the reply, I learned a lot from your post. We have purchased the ingredients and have recieved some amazing input for recipes. We are psyched to try our hand at making thier favorite bread.

We really appreciate the kind attention to our request and will report back after we try our hand at baking some bread.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Here's a recipe that I use for what I call a "healthy bread"; I've adapted it to use only the ingredients you listed, and should get you close in terms of texture. 

Organic bread flour 100% 210g
Organic White whole wheat flour 200.00% 250.00g
TOTAL FLOURS 460.00g

Water 60.00% 276.00g
Organic blue agave syrup 10.00% 46.00g
Wheat bran 2.00% 9.20g
Flax seed powder 2.00% 9.20g
Fine Sea Salt 2.00% 9.20g
Instant Yeast 1.50% 6.90g
FINAL DOUGH WEIGHT (g) 816.5g

  1. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except salt.
  2. Mix for 2 min @ KA speed 3, let the shaggy dough rest covered for 30 min. 
  3. NOW ADD  SALT.
  4. Mix for 5 min @ KA speed 4, or knead by hand 20 min or until fairly smooth.  
  5. Let rise 30 min covered on counter, do one stretch and fold, then complete 2nd rise in warm place (like in microwave with 2 cups boiling water) until doubled
  6. Shape: gently deflate and roll into log
  7. Place into lightly greased loaf pan
  8. Start preheat of oven to 375F, set rack to middle
  9. Cover and let rise until about 1-1.5" over edge of pan, in warm humid place (like in microwave with 2 cups boiling water), will take anywhere between 30-60 minutes
  10. Bake @ 375F for 40-50 min, middle rack
  11. Let cool for 30 minutes or more

Once you try it, tweak flavors (sweetener, salt), and textural elements (bran, flax) as desired.

For a version that's lighter and fluffier, try increase knead times (from 5 to about 8 minutes); longer knead times usually result in lighter-looking, shreddable, light-textured breads. 

mattyparanoid's picture
mattyparanoid

Thanks so much for taking the time to adapt the recipe. I went to WholeFoods yesterday and bought all the ingredients and we are hoping to take a stab at it this weekend. I am feeling a bit challenged by all the talk of moisture and a few of the terms/techniques I am not familiar with, but google is my friend and I am sure we will get through it.

It should be fun and we are looking forward to it. I plan on reporting back when we have a loaf to taste. Thanks again for the help.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

questions along the way, there are plenty of machine and hand bakers who will help.  If your machine has a dough cycle youn can use it to do the work and you can then shape it put it in a loaf pan and bake it in the oven for a more traditional look.  If you use the machine to bake, make sure you use instant yeast rather than dry activc yeaat.  The recipe sounds interesting and delicious. 

Happy baking

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Good luck with it, post back here with some photos of how it turns out. If you have any problems, let me know and I'll be happy to help troubleshoot. 

BTW, all the weights are correct, but the % listed for the White Whole Wheat flour is actually 119% (not 200%) of the weight of the bread flour. 

 Also, I forgot to add the olive oil listed, so here's the corrected & revised "Son of Pony Bread" ingredient list. Directions are the same. 

"Son of Pony Bread"

Organic bread flour 100% 210g
Organic White whole wheat flour 200.00% 250.00g
TOTAL FLOURS 460.00g

Water 60.00% 276.00g
Organic blue agave syrup 10.00% 46.00g
Wheat bran 2.00% 9.20g
Flax seed powder 2.00% 9.20g
Olive oil 2.00% 9.20g
Fine Sea Salt 2.00% 9.20g
Instant Yeast 1.50% 6.90g
FINAL DOUGH WEIGHT (g) 825.5g