Prince George's Chacon
King George V of England, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany were cousins. Their family squabbles created WW1 a war that could not be settled until the end of WW2.
Prince George was named after King George VI; the ‘Stuttering King’. George VI was king during WW2 and was the father of Queen Elizabeth who took the throne in 1952, some 61 years ago. She is the great, grand mother of the newly arrived Price George.
With all of this history, the design of the Prince George Chacon was not easy. The rye flour and rye sprouts came from his German connections mainly but also from his Russian ones. Even the Windsor name was adopted by King George the 5th in 1917 from the real German royalty of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
German sounding royalty in England during WW1 was not a good thing in their royal eyes. The English Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout used for the liquid in the dough was first presented to the Royal Imperial Court of Russia where it was a favorite. It was also very tasty and not poisonous. I wanted to be the official taste taster like The Prince would have. Just trying to keep the bake in line with the royal theme.
I forgot to put the aromatic seeds I had ready to go so I chalk that up to Queen Elizabeth’s old age so, no seeds is a tribute to her adn my wprthless apprentice who is supposed to reminds her master of these forgottenn things. It’s not much of a tribute but better than some funnier ones that come to mind and associated with her ancient age on the throne.
The chacon is a favorite shaping technique we use for special occasions and celebrations. The corn meal and wheat are from America the home of the baker, the new home of my German apprentice and the USA was once an unruly British colony.
The corn meal also represents the common heritage of the Prince’s mother and our wish that the Prince show a little true grit as he grows older. The white wheat flour represents his royal father. At one time, white flour was used in bread that was only bound for royals. By all accounts, Will is the real deal. The sprouts are, of course, for the Young Royal Sprout himself.
This recipe was loosely adopted from a Tzitzel recipe that Varda was working on. For all we know, if the Windsor Royal Family had kept their German names and married some Jewish Royalty like I did somewhere along the way, this young one might well have been name Prince Tzitzel . His nickname could have been Tizzy!
Breakfast on bake day.
If he had a sister, she could have been named Elizabeth for her grandmother; the Queen, and Lizzy for short. Oh…… what could have been! Sadly, we won’t be seeing Tizzy and Lizzy in the royal family tree any time soon.
A nice salad for dinner.
We started the rye sprouts 2 days before they were needed. The rye sour levain was a 3 stage process of 3 hours each for the first 2 stages. When the levain had risen 25% after the 3rd feeding we refrigerated it for 48 hours. We pulled it out of the fridge to warm up and to finish doubling.
Bake day lunch
The flours were all home milled in the Krup’s coffee mill - the perfect size for the little guy and The Prince deserves the best flour we can manage from a small coffee mill. We used a 75% extraction again for the rye and the whole wheat but cut down the hydration from 91% last time to 85% this time. It was a much stiffer dough but Tzitizel supposedly is a less hydrated kind of rye than the normal.
Saturdays breakfast - the fuel to slice the Prince's Chacon
When we pulled the levain out of the fridge we also started the autolyse by mixing the stout into the flours which included everything except the levain, salt and sprouts. We sprinkled the salt over the autolyse ball so that we wouldn’t forget it but it wouldn’t interfere with the autolyse very much.
After 3 hours later we mixed the autolyse with the levain and did 10 minutes of slap and folds to get the gluten developed. We then let the dough rest for 15 minutes before doing (3) sets of S&F’s on 20minute intervals where we incorporated the sprouts on the first one. One set consisted of 4 stretches from the cardinal direction points and 4 folds - that’s it.
After a 30 minute rest on the counter the chacon was shaped in the bottom of the basket after dusting it with corn meal ala Tzitzel. The design used was one meant to resemble Franko’s flower that he posted earlier this week. We started with a ball in the middle and then did 4 tapered petals radiating out from it and added 4 smaller balls to fill in between the petals at the base.
The reminder of the dough was air shaped into a huge bialy and laid on top of the design on the bottom of the basket. Can’t wait to see what this design will look like after baking. After 30 minutes on the counter in a used plastic bag, into the fridge it went for a 16 hour retard.
If it rises to 85% overnight in the cold we will bake it cold right out of the fridge. If not, we will let it warm up and finish proofing on the counter before loading it into the mini oven, a perfect oven for the little tot. We used 2 of Sylvia’s steaming cups as usual for steam and we preheated to 500 F
In this case the bread needed a little more time to proof on the counter before hitting the oven with a splash of water going onto the bottom of the oven for a burst of additional steam. After 2 minutes we turned the temperature down to 450 F and continued the steam for a total of 15 minutes.
The steam was then removed and the temperature was turned down to 425 F, convection this time. We rotated the bread 180 degrees every 5 minutes until the bread reached 205 f on the inside when it was removed to a cooling rack.
The chacon cracked and bloomed unevenly but nicely and almost where we expected. The bread browned well and we baked it boldly. The corn meal made for a different crust effect too. Have to wait for the crumb shots but with the rise and lower hydration, we would expect the crumb to be a little less open than our normal for a rye bread like this one using fresh ground flours.
How did that Chinese 5 spice pork get in there?
The crumb came out like we expected and not quite as open a we wanted but it was soft and moist. It is the best deli rye style of bread we have managed to date. Very tasty indeed. Next time we will up the hydration back to the 90% level to open the crumb some more,. When we take away the beer, sprouts and cornmeal and add in so caraway we think it will be very close to the Tzitzel we remember, only better. because of the home ground 75% extraction flour that just can't be bought anywhere. This is the way bread is supposed to taste - killer with smoked meats as we will soon find out.
Time to relax with a prickly pear margarita
Multigrain SD Starter
75% Extraction Rye
Rye Sour Levain
Levain % of Total
75% Extraction Rye
75% Extraction Wheat
Total Stout 360, Water 80
T. Dough Hydration
% Whole Grain Flour
Hydration w/ Adds
Add - Ins
Whole Rye Berries
The spout weight is the dry weight before sprouting.