The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Highlands

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Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

The Highlands

After my debut into the world of bread making with my first ever sourdough loaves and my bubbly new immature rye starter, I was keen to head back into the kitchen and try my hand at some bread again. I wanted to try something a little more robust, slightly darker and filling. My parents were going on a road trip up north the day after, so the answer was obvious, a hearty sandwich bread was in order.

Scanning quite a few web pages and looking in my bread book I stumbled upon a Golspie Loaf. A wonderful creation by the well known UK baker Dan Lepard in his excellent book "The Handmade Loaf". A tip of the hat to the classic bere bannock flour that was once milled in the highlands to make flatbread. It called for me to use my Rye levain and some oats, which I have wanted to use in bread making, so it was an easy and obvious choice. The recipe was simple (even better) and would make me try something new in a sandwich tin (still haven't solved my banneton issues yet, not going to waste good money on expensive bread baskets). Rye levain (75%), Wholemeal Flour (100%), Water (62%), Dried Yeast (1%), Sea Salt (2%), Oatmeal (19%). 400g Wholemeal flour provides enough for one loaf.

Using his low knead basis for bread making (intermittent 10-15sec kneads with 10min gaps), the dough was quickly and easily in place and ready to go in a 20cm oiled and oat coated sandwich tin. It looked a little flat to me, "shouldn't it be higher than this?" I thought to myself. A deep score through the entire bread to later divide into quarters the bread was good to go. Even after proofing and doubling in size I wondered if this could become a bread that coud hold fillings. 20min at 190C and a further 25 at 170C provided the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Golspie rose wonderfully, covered in lovely smelling oats. Many of the oats were falling off (maybe I could have used some water to attach them to the dough a little better?), but there were many still there, especially coating the sides where the oil coating of the tin was. The desire to just cut into it and the obsession with seeing and getting the perfect "Crumb Shot", was a massive temptation. However, a bit of fresh air for an hours walk let it cool sufficiently, but then I couldn't wait anymore and it was time to cut and make some sandwiches.

Dividing the quarters the bread seemed to be a little doughy and I thought it must be underbaked. However, as you can see, the crumb was dense, but had an airyness to it and was moist. It also held together very well and provided a really stable base for sandwich fillings. Apparently it tasted really good too and went down a treat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had bought some very, very cheap and basic unglazed quarry tiles to act as a baking stone (instead of paying upwards of £40 for a stone I got 6 tiles for £4). They just had to be tested.

 I made some small granary rolls. These rolls were made using granary flour. A UK company Hovis makes the flour and it is essentially a wholemeal flour with toasted wheat flakes (17%). It gives a good taste and nice texture. The recipe was simple: Granary Flour (100%), Water (60%), Dried Yeast (2%), Salt (2%), Olive Oil (8%). Mix, light knead, proof, de-gas, final proof for 1h and into a hot oven (220C), for 20-25 min. Steam was created for the first 10min with a pan of cold water in the bottom of the oven. Unfortunately these turned out like little bricks. They were soft inside and tasted ok, but the crusty top was more brick like and I was not happy. I tried a new setting on the oven and I think it was the wrong choice.  

Hydration was a little off too, a little too low. Maybe I can increase hydration with wholemeal bread? The tiles worked great, they were very hot and conducted the heat perfectly. I have to test those properly with some sourdough again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Final Hurrah

To finish off I decided to whip up a basic almond and marzipan cake for my sister. Turned out to be pretty big but I am assured it tasted lovely and had a great yellow tinge inside from the golden marzipan I had used. So there we have it, another day in the kitchen and at least one decent loaf made and some valuable lessons learnt to take into the next bake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having spent a day or so thinking about it and looking through recipies I like the idea of country themed breads and baking. Having spent pretty much most of my life travelling and living throuout the World I thought it could be fun to do a theme bake every so often. So this time we had Scotland, I wonder where I will be heading next time.

 

Good luck with your bread baking and any tips or advice are very welcome and thanks for stopping by!

Andy

Comments

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

Having problems with the layout. Sorry

Andy

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Your bread, cake and rolls don't care if the site preview doesn't come even close to matching what is posted so that it is designed to be impossible to get it right.  So much for progress to small screens that no none can possibly use!

You might be one to appreciate your baking more ....the less 'equipment' you use - like me.  Today we baked a fine bread in a 50 cent basket I got at Goodwill just for that bake.  You can splurge on what is needed if it doesn't cost much.

Your baking progresses well and it is fun to watch.

Happy baking

 

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

I only have my ipad mini for the moment, but it looked great when I set up and added pics and wrote the text. Will just need to be more basic next time with the layout.

i agree with the less is more principal, in all aspects of life actually. I am trying to source some very cheap baskets and if I could find a cheap direct read thermometer, I do not think I will want for much more. I like things to be kept simple.

Thanks for your comments as always

All the best

Andy

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Glad to see someone else using unglazed quarry tiles.  They helped my bakes a great deal.

John

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

That is my hope too. They were incredibly cheap and I think will give that necessary heat from underneath directly to the bread. I will still generally use baking parchment between tile and bread, but that is just so I do not flour the entire oven.

Hope your tiles are working well and will keep an update on how mine are for me

CB85's picture
CB85

Did you get the tiles? A hardware store? I want to do this too but I wasn't sure where to start...

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

I was a little unsure what to do, but after having a look on google I decided I wasn't going to pay over £40 for a piece of stonel I just knew there were cheaper alternatives.

i went to a tile hardware store (here in the UK) And asked for unglazed quarry tiles. These are almost always red and it is very important that you get unglazed tiles as glazed ones will leach dangerous substances into the bread under heat.

My tiles are 15cm x 15cm and six fit perfect in the oven. They heat very easily and keep the heat and little risk of cracking, if they do they are very cheap to replace.

so basically any good hardware store will have unglazed quarry/stone tiles, measure your oven spend a couple of bucks (literally) and you have your own purpose built stone. 

Hope you find what you need.

Andy

CB85's picture
CB85

Thank you so much for the info! I am going to try to find some today!

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

Hope that you find some. I was desperate to test mine. I am using them again to bake something I will post a little later about.

Happy hunting

Andy

CB85's picture
CB85

to see your next bake! No luck at the hardware store...but they did tell me about a tile store I didn't know about!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I got mine at a local tile warehouse.  Super cheap.

John

CB85's picture
CB85

that's my next try!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I always use parchment between tiles and bread as well.  Works as a great transfer tool as well.

John

evonlim's picture
evonlim

very inspiring post!! so well done. thanks for sharing greatly appreciate  it!

evon

golgi70's picture
golgi70

That almond cake looks exciting.  Mind sharing the formula?  At first sight I thought is was going to be similar to the "pound cake" style almond cake I make but from the cut it looks amazing.  

 

Josh

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

Not a problem at all, the cake is more decedent than a pound cake, it is less spongy, creamier and heavier in many ways. 

Ingredients:

250 grams unsalted butter (softened), 250 grams marzipan (softened), 150 grams caster sugar, 50 grams ground almonds, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, 6 large eggs, 150 grams self-raising flour.

Oven preheated to 170C

1. chop butter and marzipan into small pieces and process together with sugar in a food processor using the double knife attachment, mix until a smooth paste is achieved.

2. add vanilla extract and ground almonds. pulse until well blended.

3. add eggs, one at a time and mix between each one.

4. add the flour a spoon or two at a time and mix well until the mixture is smooth

5. spoon into a 25cm springform sandwich tin and bake for 50min, check from 40, but 50 min will probably be required.

Finish with a dusting of icing sugar and toast some shaved almonds under the grill for 10min, sprinkled with sugar to caramalise and decorate the top of the cake.

Let me know if there is something you are unsure of. The softer the marzipan the better, it will give a softer, smoother texture. White marzipan would be a great contrast, but golden is awesome too.

Good luck

Andy

 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

So its essentially a baked almond custard.  wonderful.  The one I make is a buttermilk cake with cardamom and quite yummy but more in the vain of pound cake as I already mentioned.  Is marzipan the key or could good almond paste be substituted?  I will certainly have to try this.  You say you sprinkle over toasted almonds after the bake.  Could they be scattered on top and baked on to it or will this cause problems?  

Thanks so much for the formula

Josh

PS now I gotta go see if 25cm is 9" as I'm in Amerka

 

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

I added the almonds after the bake was completed. They were "loose" on the bake, but they worked just as well. Could be a good idea to add the almonds in the bake, but I added afterwards. I think that almond paste would work just as well. I love both equally as much. Golden marzipan is very British, but in a pinch when I am abroad I use a almond paste. The colour could be a little less vibrant, but the taste is just as good.

Does this help?

Andy

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Andy,

A couple of hints for your Granary Rolls.

Hydration is not far off actually, you may get a few grams of extra water in there.   I would look to use a solid fat if you can.   Olive oil does not have the same functional properties, even if it has better flavour.   But try to bake hotter!   Rolls should really bake in 10 minutes max.   And don't use steam.   Rolls such as these have a soft crust; if you use steam, then you will not achieve a soft crust.   A small matter, but the Hovis flour is not anything like wholemeal, it's mainly white with some added brown flour.   You might want to explore making rolls with either a quick ferment, or an overnight pre-ferment to mitigate against producing "little bricks".

Liking the Golspie Loaf.   Have you found anything out about Golspie Peasmeal, or Beremeal?

I know this is hard to swallow, but actually, you do get what you pay for.   Bannetons/Brotformen and a granite baking stone are fantastic bits of kit.   You can get great results using alternatives, but please be aware that using these high quality alternatives is very likely to produce better results

Best wishes

Andy.