The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

finger sandwiches using pains au levain

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Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

finger sandwiches using pains au levain

Two girl friends came for tea this morning.  In the past I would have toiled for weeks (no kidding) to prepare the most exquisite desserts and pastries that I could think of for our tea.  Since I started making sourdough breads, my taste bud has changed.  Just as well, Chinese tea is not meant to be enjoyed with sweets.  We just drank and drank until we were hungry.  We then had the finger sandwiches that I made earlier for lunch with the two Pains au Levain that I baked yesterday - Snow Peas Pain au Levain and Carrot Pain au Levain.


 


            


                                                                     Celebration for summer colors


 


          


                           Snow peas butter, bacon and snow peas sprouts in Snow Peas Pain au Levain


 


          


                                     Smoked ocean trout, avocado and lemon in Carrot Pain au Levain


 


          


                                             Asparagus and crème fraiche in Snow Peas Pain au Levain


 


My Formula for Carrot Pain au Levain



  • 450 g starter @ 75% hydration (5% rye flour)

  • 450 g flour (5% rye flour and the balance white bread flour)

  • 282 g carrot juice (from 455 g peeled carrot, or 4 - 5 carrots)

  • 55 g orange juice (from 112 g orange, or 1/2 orange, skin included )

  • 14 g salt


Total dough weight 1.2kg (divided into two) and approx dough hydration 72 - 75%


             


                                                                       


My Formula for Snow Peas Pain au Levain



  • 500 g starter @ 75% hydration (5% rye flour)

  • 500 g flour (5% rye flour and the balance white bread flour)

  • 660 g peas puree (made up of 500 g frozen peas cooked in 30 g oil + 2 garlic + salt to taste, then blended with 130 g water added)

  • 12 g salt


Total dough weight 1.6kg (divided into two) and approx. dough hydration 67 - 70% (based on assumption that there is 30 to 35% liquid in peas.)


             


                                                                        


Procedure for both breads



  1. Mix only the flour and carrot/orange juice (or peas puree).  Autolyse for an hour.

  2. Combine with starter and salt; stretch & folds in bowl, 60 - 70 strokes (very messy, especially the peas dough)

  3. Bulk ferment for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (my room temperature was 25 - 26 C) with one set of S&F's.

  4. Divide into two doughs and pre-shape and shape into cylinder or any shape you like.

  5. Proof for 2 hours (my room temperature was 25 - 26 C)

  6. Retard in refrigerator for 10 hours.

  7. Bake with steam at 220C for 35 minutes (carrot bread) or 40 minutes (peas bread).


 


                                                                     


Leftover bread crumbs for a bread quiche for dinner tonight:  I soaked the above leftover bread crumbs (from making the finger sandwiches) in chicken stock, then added some vegetables (Swiss mushroom, butternut squash, capsicum, and cherry tomatoes), eggs, cream and cheese and made a bread quiche.  The idea came from making bread and butter pudding the other day using staled walnuts and raisins sourdough. 


            


 


                             


                                                                         Enough bread to sink a ship


Shiao-Ping

Comments

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

beautiful !!   May I be your guest ?    ;)


Please tell me a bit more how long to bake the bread pudding creation.


Thank you, Shiao-Ping,


anna


 


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Have you ever make a quiche?  It is like that.   Generally I find medium heat (ie, 180C / 350F) is plenty hot enough for this type of baking where, if it is a big one, the egg and milk/cream mixture may need a longer time to set in the oven.   You bake until you see the centre has slightly risen up, signifying even the centre has set.   With a medium size quiche bakeware (like a cake tin) it will take roughly 40 to 45 minutes, but you need to watch.


This is the same if you do a sweet version of it; ie, the bread and butter pudding where you can also be inventive by throwing in any fruit you fancy into the bake in addition to the bread, be it banana, apple, pear or any other fruit, but in general, soft fruit is better than hard fruit (pre-cooking the hard fruit like apple in butter and cinnamon and nutmeg would be good).


 

ques2008's picture
ques2008

i live thousands of miles away but heck, i'll rent a private jet to feast on those tastes and colors.  that's right, it's summer in Australia.  here, we're having some kind of an indian summer which I'm sure will not last long.  ice should be on its way.


 i really love the colors.  the green in the bread, is that from a special coloring you use?


 


 


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Ice should be on its way?  Sounds wonderful.   Wish we had 4 seasons.  (Years ago when we lived in Singapore, the locals there used to say to me they had 4 seasons - hot, hotter, wet and wetter!)


 

ques2008's picture
ques2008

or has some world-renowned chef tried recruiting you yet?  i wouldn't be surprised...

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Your creativity continues to astonish me.


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

No, I am just more willing to experiment than most other people.   


Over the last two weeks I made two bread and butter puddings using Walnut & Raisin Sourdough.  Now I hardly make pastries, I still want to do some sort of desserts for my son and my husband, bread and butter pudding seems to be the easiest that I can think of.  But can I tell you how I started the first one of those two?  You were the reason (your Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread back in June/July)!    I am a fruits and nuts person when it comes to bread before anything else.  When I saw that post of yours, I thought that looked soooo delicious; and would you believe it - ever since then I have been trying to emulate your Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread!    


That was why I ended up with so much Walnut and Raisin Sourdough in my freezer - it was because I wasn't happy each time how they turned out; so I kept making them.  The other day I was defrosting the last batch which had fewer walnuts in it, thinking I would give it to Polly our dog for her mid-day snack.  (I really shouldn't because apparently nuts are not good for dogs.)  I soaked the Walnut & Raisin Sourdough in water, and I started eating it (quite often I eat Polly's food), and it tasted so good (no kidding) when it was wet in liquid.  At that split second, Susan of Wild Yeast blog's Panettone Bread Pudding with Almonds and Cherries that I made last Christmas flashed back into my mind.  That was so delicious (and deadly rich); one great recipe she's got there.   


In a nutshell, that was how the bread quiche in this post came about - from your Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread! 


Now that I used up the last bit of my less-than-satisfactory Walnut and Raisin Sourdough from the freezer, I am ready to embark on my next trial.  If I'm not happy with something I made, I'll keep trying.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

No, I would never cater.  I cannot work under stress.


We used to entertain a lot at home and I used to love to cook for that.   But now we enjoy small gatherings rather than big parties.  When I first came to Australia more than 20 years ago, people entertained mostly at home, and then when eating out became more affordable, people would meet at restaurants.  A girl friend told me recently that the trend is now switched back to entertaining at home, or very little entertaining at all as I see it (less and less human contact due to world wide web?).  Food for thought.  My laptop is now 5 years old; somebody told me laptop should be replaced, upgraded so to speak, every couple of years.  Now that I am not working, I see no reason why my laptop or my mobile should be "upgraded."  I am very happy with my "old" technology.  

ques2008's picture
ques2008

stay with the old laptop then.  if it's serving you well, so be it.  do you use a camera with SLR - your color definition is magnificent.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

My camera is OLYMPUS u1030 SW (10.1 megapixel).  I bought it just before I started blogging, quite coincident.  I think the higher pixel helps.


The next one I would like is one, similar to this, but that would allow me to take the clouds in the sky.


 

ques2008's picture
ques2008

i learned what SLR meant right here in the fresh loaf.  it means "single lens reflex".  i ended up buying a kodak to take pictures for my blogs, it has no SLR, but i thought yours were taken with a special high-tech camera because they came out beautifully!

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hi Shiao-Ping.


I was the first poster on this thread to respond to your lovely post above, but for some reason my comments have been deleted! Perhaps the title I gave my post was mistaken by admin. It was "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend", which is a play on the title of a song, and a flippant reference to your making the finger food for your girlfriends, whose good fortune was to sample your fabulous wares! Clearly, since I am a guy, no sleaze overtones were intended. Sheesh...having to explain one's attempts at humour sure takes the fun part out of the equation!


Anyway, my comments were along the same lines as most others above: a wonderful creative display, as usual, beautifully presented.


Cheers
Ross

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

... so I went to Amazon.com to listen to a sample.  No, I don't think that I like that song as much as this one called "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper.  In the 80's when I was studying this song was very popular, and how appropriate it is included in an album called "NOW That's What I Called The '80s!"

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Whatever song you listened to was not the song I had in mind, which was an early Ramones song called I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend. DON'T CENSOR ME FOR THAT! If I hadn't had to explain my entirely flippant title, no one would have been any the wiser.


I doubt, Shiao-Ping, given what I know of your pop music tastes, that you would like The Ramones (a seminal American punk rock band who put punk on the world map and are now generally revered).  That said, I bet you chase it up just to see if you hate it. So I'll make it easy for you! It's on the first album, simply called The Ramones. Link is here. (4th song)


 


 


 

chouette22's picture
chouette22

Your tray is just SO beautiful! I don't always leave comments, because I run out of superlative expressions to describe your creations, and I feel I cannot always repeat myself. But believe me: I read each and everyone of your posts with admiration!


I have a question: What prompted you to start using equal amounts (in grams) of starter and flour? I noticed that you have been doing this for a while now. Is this a specific formula or is it just something that you started doing and that obviously works very well for you?

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

You made beautiful breads yourself.  I especially like your Pain au levain with whole wheat (Hamelman, "Bread" p. 160) and wanted to ask you a question about it but just haven't got around to it.  I love your Sourdough Seeds Bread too. You made one of the nicest seeds breads that I've ever seen.


You have asked a question that I myself have been fascinated by since I started making sourdough breads.  I am not a person who loves theory (Chinese people rarely do); when it comes to bread, my approach tends to be more practical.  I want to know the reason behind why certain things happen the certain why, and I can be quite thorough about it.   But that's about all. 


The question you asked is why I used equal amounts of starter and final dough flour.  I first began this ratio in my Sourdough 50/50 post (I view starter the same as other pre-ferments, ie, poolish, biga, sponge and mother dough.)  At the time I did a study to see what the usual percentages of pre-ferments were vis-à-vis final dough flour.  In that post I ended up using 50% starter and 50% poolish, totaling 100% final dough flour.  In my research I found it is quite common for poolish to be 100% flour (for instance in ciabatta) and very common for total pre-ferments to be far higher than 100% flour; for example, SFBI has a Semolina Durum Crowns formula where sponge and poolish together are 230% of flour!  Also, I did a Miche where the starter was 230% of final dough flour too.   That was also an SFBI formula.  If you read the procedure in that Miche post very carefully you will find something very interesting:



  • Firstly, the bulk fermentation was only 30 minutes;

  • Secondly, there was no proofing (or second fermentation) because the normal proofing was replaced by "proofing retarding" in the refrigerator at 8 - 9C/46 - 58 F (different temperature from our home refrigerator).  And,

  • Thirdly, because of the high percentage of pre-ferments in this bread, and also because of the type of pre-ferments (ie, starter, as opposed to just poolish or other pre-ferments), this bread is the sourest of all the breads that I have ever made.  If the pre-ferments had been, say, a poolish, where the hydration is 100% or more, the bread would not have tasted so sour.


The rule of thumb is if you have a very large portion of pre-ferments, retarding is not recommended (otherwise your flour will have been fermented too long and there is a danger of gluten breaking down because of the amylase activity), unless your bulk and proofing times are very short. 


When we do a sourdough bread (a pain le levain), the rule of thumb of starter to final dough flour percentage is 25 to 35% (at most 40%).  Of course it can be done with less starter, and the famous examples among TFL bakers are Susan from San Diego who made beautiful sourdough breads with as little starter as 4.8 - 5% as in here and here, although her beautiful recent bakes were higher at 16.7%, still low compared to the norm.


So, my point is, anything is possible, depending on how you care for your dough once the final dough is mixed. As Sourdough 50/50 worked for me, when I was doing the next bread (My Imitation of Chad Robertson's Country Sourdough), I started to do 100% starter to final dough flour .  My thinking was to have maximum natural yeast presence before I started my dough process in order for



  1. maximum open crumb and

  2. maximum flavor from just pure flour. 


So far this approach has worked for me.  There is a danger of over-fermenting the dough, and so I have to be careful of my proofing.  It's a constant adjusting process with different room temperatures due to seasonal changes and new add-ins that I am forever experimenting.  On the other hand, while this percentage may seem high, on a total flour basis, the total pre-fermented flour to total flour is 36%, the average being 12.5 to 16.7%.  The highest I have ever seen is SFBI's Caramelized Hazelnuts Bread (in Michel Suas's Advanced Bread and Pastry), and that is 58% (where the pre-ferments to final dough flour was 250%)!


Hope this answers your question.

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

... while I have had fairly good open crumb and good flavors for the sourdough breads that I made using 100% starter vis-a-via final dough flour, I would certainly not say that what I have achieved is anywhere near the "maxium" open crumb and "maximum" flavor possible.  There are many other factors at play as you can appreciate.

chouette22's picture
chouette22

... for your detailed answer! I have read it very carefully, but will also save it to my sourdough research file for future reference. You are so thorough in your research and application and I appreciate it very much that I get to benefit from your work! It is all so interesting.


Funny that you are mentioning my SD seed bread, there are two of them baking in the oven right now! My husband has declared that this is his all-time favorite bread that he would like to take to work every single day. He toasts the slices there before assembling his sandwich to bring out the full nutty flavor. But, your Turmeric Pain au Levain is on my to-bake list for him, as he would certainly love that flavor (being from India). I'd certainly serve it along a lentil soup or daal, just like you did. Thanks again for your inspiration!