The Fresh Loaf

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The Treasure Island Bake

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Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

The Treasure Island Bake

Last Saturday was the "Treasure Island" summer fair at my son Benjanin's school, "Lewes New School", and as reported previously he volunteered me for a bread stall. The idea was that the children should make a major contribution to the fair, and I came to the conclusion, that I would let them bake bread from the Treasure Island times, and sell it at the fair.

By the way, the title photo is not "period bread", but my special take on Bo Friberg's Vanilla Butter Biscuits.

Back to the bread making.

After much research and some help from Ananda I settled for three kinds of breads, with slightly adapted formulas to fit the schedule.

You can find the formulas here, I added Ships Biscuits, of which I baked a daily sailor's ration to show at the fair.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RotlIxZvaL634QLINCnPRWO5kqFKZrgkEzLYjKxIHU0/edit?usp=sharing

The three breads are:

1. Pease Bread, a soured version of Horse Bread, my version uses equal parts of ground yellow split peas, barley and oats, and a tiny bit of sourdough starter of the same mixture. Probably the easiest sourdough to make, peas ferment like crazy. And there is no kneading or sophisticated shaping involved. The taste is quite strong and the crumb a bit crumbly. Excellent with some smoked meats, or with stews.

2. Maslin Bread, this is a bread similar to a German "Feinbrot", usually a mix of wholegrain rye with another grain, depending on the region. In Sussex it probably was wheat, but I used spelt instead because many of the folks at the school try to avoid wheat, for various reasons. I based the proportions on a 50:50 rye:spelt detmolder, with the addition of Ale Barm - now there is a special ingredient.

3. Manchet Bread, this was the posh white loaf of the day, made with Ale Barm and heavily worked, to get a fine, white crumb. I used old dough, with 50% of the final build being old dough. This made a soft, dense but creamy crumb. Delicious. And those hop notes from the barm coming through. Great.

How we did it: 

This is Benjamin with all the materials for the bake, on the way to school on Thursday Morning:

The Star Trek box contains his lunch... the other boxes flours and starters, Spock, ... It's life as we know it ...

Then I gave a little taster of the three breads Benjamin's class (15 kids, 1 teacher and 2 assistants) would make, and a little talk about the specifics of each of them.

This was my Manchet sample:

 We then set off to Harvey's Brewery

http://www.harveys.org.uk/

where our most kind hosts gave us a great tour around the brewery, with many insights into the process.

We sampled some malt and yeast, and smelled hops, and saw steam engines, mills, many different tanks and vessels, piped wort, and - what we came for - yeast! Ale Barm.

Here swimming on top of a few thousand litres of great ale to be:

We got our barm and carried it back to school, where the kids had other duties.

I stayed on, and mixed the preferments: Ale Barm dough with wheat and spelt for Manchet (I provided for 5 loaves of spelt manchet), rye sour for maslin, and the full dough for pease bread.

Here is the pyramid of preferments:

 

I was a bit worried about the size of the second container from the top, 

and I guess I was lucky - not too much spillage the next morning:

First thing on Friday Morning each child and adult decided on a slashing pattern so we could recognise or loaves after the bake.

Then we mixed the Manchet bread. Opening the box with the preferment set free great scents of hops and yeast, and the honeycomb structure created many "Aah.."s.

Kneading the dough and beating it with rolling pins was great fun. The kids didn't need much help, but the noise level in the classroom  was enormous. 

While the manchet was proofing we shaped the Pease Bread, slashed it right away, and I carried it to the kitchen, where the hot oven was waiting.

Next was shaping the manchets, everybody did really well.

Then the Pease breads came out of the oven. The colour here is influenced by the pink of the box:

Next was mixing the maslin. A rye dough. Great stickiness. 

Again, everybody was absolutely great, what I had to do most was scraping dough off little hands ....

The bowls are testimony to the stickiness of a rye rich dough:

After we put the maslin bread to rest it was time to slash the manchet and get it into the oven:

After that, and just before lunch, it was time to shape the maslin breads, another sticky experience,

Most of the young bakers understood well that swift and gentle handling of the dough was required at this stage.

I got a bunch of cheap wicker baskets (at Nesbits on Shaftesbury Avenue near Leicester Square, for the Londoners)  for the proofing.

During lunch I got the manchets out of the oven:

This oven is a gas oven with two shelves and no stones. It heats up to 250C, but with a load of 20 loaves it goes down below 150C and takes ages to recover.

Unfortunately I hadn't quite figured out how to make the best use of it, some breads got rather dark as a result. 

But the smell in the school kitchen was absolutely amazing and won me some customers and helpers for the fair.

Once the kids had their lunch and runaround and the teachers had their cup of tea we went on to turn out the maslins and slash them.

There was already an air of routine in the classroom.

These are the maslins in the oven:

By that time I had figured out how to juggle the heat, and the bake was slightly more even:

All that was left to do now was to tidy up and pack my tools.

Saturday was Treasure Island fair day, and a certain member of our family was so excited that we all had an early start ...

Lots of pirates started to gather, from far and near ...

... to - among various other things - buy Treasure Island Bread at my stall:

The manchet (white bread!) sold out first, but we managed to sell all our 56 loaves!

A great experience, all in all.

 Thanks again to Edmund Jenner and colleagues from Harvey's Brewery in Lewes for all their support (and a cask of ale), 

and to the Head and the teachers at Lewes New School to support this whole project wih lots of enthusiasm.

Cheers,

Juergen

 

Comments

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

And lots of bread!  Pity the parent who asks "What did you do in school today?"  They will get a blow-by-blow account of everything, including the stickies.

Great post, Juergen.

Paul

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

came actually back to me, with very positive comments, despite the stickiness.

We didn't manage to clean the bowls before returning them - I felt quite bad about that. 

And a child who can't stop talking about bread clearly shows it got her engaged. That's what we parents (and teachers) like, isn't it?

Thanks a lot,

Juergen

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

school bake day.  I'm sure they have never seen anything like it but that it was also the best day they ever had at school too!  Very nice baking indeed.  What kids get to go to a brewery too!

Nicely done

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

about the brewery was actually a teaching assistant who walked past it all her life but never got to look inside before.

Thank you,

Juergen

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Juergen,

I am hugely impressed by this undertaking of yours!  Three different doughs and a room full of children is no easy task to take on AND you got photos too.  Amazing.

How fortunate they all are to have you do this for and with them.  Something I am sure they will all remember for a life time.  What a great way to insure that baking bread, not only from 'scratch' but with sd, will continue on into generations to come.

 I can't help but wonder how many of the children have parents who bake bread at all and if your demonstration has inspired any of the parents to begin to bake their own breads now too now that they know how simple it is to do.

Thanks so much for this first installment of your adventure.  I look forward to subsequent additions....

Take Care,

Janet

P.S.  Tonight I mixed up a batch of your 100% Spelt dough.  A good friend of mine will be 87 on July 5 and it is her favorite loaf.  I tweaked it a bit after seeing Phil's spelt loaf in his latest post so this one has a HL of 92%!!!!!  ( I just couldn't bring myself to go any higher.....  :O)  I am looking forward to seeing how the dough turns out tomorrow morning after sitting in the refrig. overnight and then how I will manage to shape it....Should be fun!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I've got mine going at 90%. Now my apprentice says I'm a wossie compared to you!  But I'm autolysing the sifted out 22% for 24 hours to soften it up and I'm gong to fold that gluten killing part back in after the gluten is developed with slap and folds.  I'm going to tin it up too.  No sense making pancakes.  Now Lucy is laughing on her back with 4 paws in  the air -)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

is very much one of back-to-the-basics and "we can do it ourselves", and there are some bread bakers and some very good general bakers there. 

The children were truly amazing, and it all went better than I could have possibly imagined. We had no issues with hygiene, we had 3 loaves fallen to the floor and disposed of, but there were enough materials for those kids to start over again.

I am sure some of the excitement of these days carries on into their families.

Happy Baking,

Juergen

PS. Looking forward to hearig about your spelt bake, and thanks a lot for reminding me of my own recipe :-)

It's so touching you are using it and it is somebody's favourite!

 

varda's picture
varda

and looks like great execution.  -Varda

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Every bit of it was great fun. Lots of discoveries for me, too.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I love seeing so much dedication all in the name of love and bread.  Thanks for posting this, it is inspiring and motivatingfor sure.

John

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi John,

Sorry to be so late with my reply. 

It was an incredibly inspiring project. 

After reading the post one of my workmates said he'd start baking on the weekend - I haven't heard from him yet.

Thank you very much,

Juergen