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eatalready's picture
eatalready

Borodinsky Supreme -- Old School -- 100% Rye

Borodinsky bread is my childhood staple food.  We had it practically every day and never grew tired of it. The aroma, the well balanced sweet and sour, the substantial “meaty” crumb and thin glossy crust — should I go on listing all the wonderful things that put this loaf in the bread hall-of-fame?

Nowadays, it seems that every dark rye bread sprinkled with caraway or coriander seed claims the name Borodinsky.  I tried those sorry numbers from stores that carry Russian foods… Half of them are too dry and too fluffy, others are missing that signature tang that only wild sourdough can lend, others still, generously “enhanced” with chemicals resemble very little of the bread we used to eat instead of chocolate.

Over the years, I’ve seen scores of recipes of Borodinsky and, having tried more than enough of them, came to a grim conclusion that the true Borodinsky has become a myth, an urban legend, an elusive unicorn — many claim to have seen one, but none actually delivered the goods.  However, I knew that somewhere out there in the world of used books, there should be an old school formula from soviet bread factories, a so called GOST (Government Mandated Standards) recipe, or even an older one, which, if done right with good ingredients and a bit of careful planning, could yet bear the right results.

Making 100% Rye Borodinsky Supreme

I was right.  There are still some serious bread enthusiasts, both in Russia and otherwise, who dug up the old textbooks and technologies and rendered very good step-by-step instructions accompanied by beautiful photos explaining the process in modern terms and in great detail. Some even dared to adapt for available flour types in each country via many a trial (and, no doubt, some error).  Exciting!

Now to the business of the actual Borodinsky.  Majority of us who grew up with Borodinsky, consumed the part rye/part wheat bread.  It was delicious and we loved every bit of it.  There is, however, a version of Borodinsky of a higher grade, called “supreme”, which is 100% rye.  It blends whole rye and white rye flours in 85/15 proportion.  No wheat to be found. The formula of that bread is cited in the book by Plotnikov called 350 Varieties of Bread (4th Edition, 1940). Some of the formulas in the book existed before government standards were established (1939).  See, many GOST formulas were streamlined for mass production, sometimes simplified, cheapened, etc., while many of the pre-GOST formulas upheld the old school best traditional methods and standards of bread making, thus yielding superior (albeit more labor and time consuming) bread.

Making Red Rye Malt Flour

Sprouting organic rye berries to make red rye malt

Making Red Rye Malt Flour

Final product — red rye malted flour, milled moderately fine

When I stumbled upon the pre-GOST formula, and soon thereafter a detailed blog post with illustrations, I was beside myself. The only thing that stood between me and 100% rye Borodinsky loaf was red rye malt, more precisely, the lack of the above.  Now, that one I still can’t get over.  Possibly due to differences in product naming, and partly due to the fact that I can’t reliably get the true organic red rye malt anywhere in quantities less than 100 kilo (190 lbs), I finally decided to make red rye malt flour at home.  I entrusted myself to the detailed set of instructions I found on this site (THANK YOU!!!), and made my first batch the other day.

Making 100% Rye Borodinsky Supreme

I have to say that the aroma that permeated my house during the roasting process has brought back some serious childhood memories, and for that alone I will be forever grateful.  It also brought the first promise of true Borodinsky in the future, because it smelled exactly like our USSR bread shops filled with still warm unwrapped bread loaves.

Anyway, I am getting distracted here, as my bread is almost done baking and the entire house is now smelling unbearably beautiful.

The process is quite lengthy, but the actual hands-on time is minimal. Good ‘ole “good things come to those who wait” has never been more true (well maybe beat by the famous Pumpernickel). The most important thing here is to plan your pre-baking stages, so that they don’t disrupt your busy schedule.

My impression of the bread: for me it turned out a bit sweet and under-salted, even though I weighed everything quite precisely. The aroma and visual appeal were definitely there. The crumb and crust are both as I remember them. Thin, slightly crunchy crust and substantial, lightly moist, uniformly porous crumb. Color is about milk-chocolate shade. I feel I could have given it a bit more rise and it could be baked at a higher temperature — the top didn’t come out quite as dark as it should be, but the bread was at 180F throughout and baked uniformly through.  I will definitely try this recipe again with the above adjustments.  Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend this formula, especially if you like your bread with a touch of sweetness.  It passed the ultimate test of schmaltz with cracklings and coarse salt, the sweetness of the loaf was just perfect for this.

References/Sources:

- Detailed blog post with superb step-by-step photo of rye+wheat Borodinsky 1939 version (in Russian) http://registrr.livejournal.com/16193.html

- Blog post with excellent photos  of 100% rye Borodinsky Supreme (in Russian) http://mariana-aga.livejournal.com/152489.html

Borodinsky Supreme

Makes a small loaf in a 1-1/2 quart (1.4 liter) pan.
From start to finish (with some steps going simultaneously) – 14-16 hrs

Step 1: Rye starter

Refresh your 100% hydration rye starter (6-8 hrs), you will need 125 g of it

Step 2: Scalding (5-6 hrs)

  • 200 g boiled water at 150F (65C)
  •   50 g whole rye flour
  •   25 g red rye malt flour

Step 3: Pre-ferment  (3-4 hrs or until doubles or more)

  • all of the scalded batch
  • 125 g refreshed starter
  • 125 g whole rye flour
  • 125 g water, room temperature

Step 4: Final dough — soft and very sticky (30-90 min bulk fermentation or until doubles or more)

  • all of the preferment
  • 200 g whole rye flour
  •   75 g white rye flour
  • 5 g salt
  • 30 g sugar
  • 25 g molasses (I used Blackstrap)
  • 2.5 g ground coriander (best if freshly ground for more intense flavor)
  • 0.5 g dry yeast activated in 75 g water and 3 g sugar (20 minutes)

Step 5: Shaping and final proofing (60 min or until tops the pan)

Grease 1.5 quart loaf pan. Pack the dough nicely into corners at first and then the rest. Smooth over with wet hands. Cover with plastic and let rise until reaches the top of the loaf pan.

Step 6: Flour washing (1 min)

Mix 1 tbsp AP flour with 50 ml water, shake well. Brush the bread right before setting into the oven. Sprinkle the top sparingly with whole coriander or caraway seed, if desire

Step 7: Baking (60 min)

Preheat to 400F (200C). Bake 60 minutes.

Step 8: Kissel (custard) washing (1 min)

Mix 1 tsp corn or potato starch with 150 ml water. Bring to a boil.  Brush the bread as soon as it finishes baking. Remove the loaf from pan and cool on rack.

Flour wash before baking and custard wash after baking are needed for creating that famous beautiful glossy, almost lacquered looking crust on top of the loaf, which also prevents the bread from going stale too fast.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Pumpkin Sourdough Rye - for BBD #62

Hello everyone,

It was lovely see all of the breads bakers around the world contributed for World Bread Day in October –
thank you to Zorra for her work to round all of these up!

                                                                               
BBD #62 - Bread Baking Day meets World Bread Day (last day of sumbission December 1st)

November’s Bread Baking Day (BBD #62) celebrates the breads contributed for World Bread Day,
inviting bakers to bake a World Bread Day bread for BBD #62.

One of the rye breads contributed for World Bread Day really caught my eye:  a Pumpkin Rye Sourdough bread, kindly posted by a Polish baker on the blog ‘The Scent of Bread – Zapach Chleba’.

Wasn't this an incredibly gorgeous rye? The beautiful, airy crumb and glorious color – I had to try making this one! This is my attempt at re-creating this amazing Polish baker’s bread.

                                       

I couldn’t find any information on the type 720 flour this baker used, so I used some whole, dark organic rye flour from Nunweiler’s.  This is a really, really nice flour to work with – I was very happy with the fermentation.
My rye levain was very happy, too – this picture was taken just before mixing the dough:

 

This bread has a fantastic flavor. I used squash and roasted it until it was really caramelized.
The sweetness from the squash is delicious in the baked bread!
                                                  (another picture of the crumb)

 

Here are the quantities I used for a 9x4x4 Pullman pan:



Thank you Zorra, for providing a venue for bakers around the world to share bread, and thank you to the baker from Zapach Chleba for baking this Pumpkin Sourdough Rye.



Happy baking, everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving to all those celebrating this week!
:^) breadsong

(submitted to YeastSpotting)

 

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

illustration: Stretch and Fold in the Bowl

I thought i'd share my piece of illustration on the Stretch and fold in the bowl technique:


 


Khalid 

msgenie516's picture
msgenie516

The PERFECT bread recipe for the beginning baker! Think Wonder Bread!

Hi,


First, I want to mention I'm not talented enough to be able to claim I created this recipe.  I found it on another forum and I really don't know who the original author is, but whoever it is, created a WINNER!  This bread has a soft crust and interior (somewhat like store bought white but much tastier with a nicer texture) so for those of you who only want to tackle a crusty bread, this one is not for you.   The crust also does not get very dark, but you could probably mist it with a bit of water if you want it darker.


But, if you're even a little like me in that you desperately want to be successful in making ANY kind of bread, you will LOVE this recipe!  After I struggle for days to get a more complicated recipe to work for me, this one is a RELIEF to work on.  I have never had a failure, even when I threw it together in a hurry.  And EVERYONE here loves it!   My grandson, who never asks for seconds of anything, asked me for a second slice of this tasty bread.  My husband, who is difficult to please to say the least, is very happy when I use it to make his sandwiches to take with him to work in the morning.  He's actually so proud that I can make it that he shares his sandwiches from time to time so his associates can sample it.


This is the recipe:


Combine in the slightly preheated bowl from your stand mixer (you can also do this entirely by hand, but it's a lot more work):


2 cups of 110-112 degree water


1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon instant yeast (a total of 4 teaspoons)


1 tablespoon sugar


Cover and let rise in a warm place for 5 minutes (to create warm place, I put my oven on 350 degrees for about 10 seconds and shut it off)


Add to the yeast mixture:


¼ cup oil


5 cups bread flour (I find the best way to measure flour for this recipe is to scoop it, as recommended by the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.  I have tried weighing it--which really should work--and spooning into the measuring cup, as recommended by the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, but with both methods the dough was too slack and I had to add flour.)


2 teaspoons salt


Knead until smooth and elastic.  I use the dough hook to combine it for a couple of minutes (while scraping down the sides to help combine the ingredients) and knead for at least an additional 5 minutes on speed 2.


Place the dough (sometimes you have to aid it with a scraper to release it from the bottom of the mixer bowl as it doesn't seem to hold the ball shape on the hook each and every time) in a greased bowl, turn it, and cover it with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with a nonstick coating, such as Pam.


Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20-25 minutes.  I use the minimum time for both the first and second rise.  Punch the dough down and divide it into two equal portions.  Then roll each piece into two rectangles that each measure approximately 10" by 14".  Starting from the long end, roll each rectangle up in jelly roll fashion and tuck in the ends slightly.  Pinch the seam together and place each loaf with the seam to the bottom on a greased 12" by 16" (or similar size) cookie sheet or shallow baking pan.  I find the two loaves work fine on one pan.  Diagonally slash each loaf about 3 times with a sharp, floured knife.


Lightly spray the loaves with nonstick spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let the loaves rise for 20-25 minutes in a warm place.  Since I will have to preheat my oven while these loaves are rising, I cannot let the loaves rise in there and I turn on my toaster oven and leave it on for several minutes.  After I shut if off, I check to see how hot the top has become and layer the appropriate amount of kitchen towels on top of it so that the bottom of the cookie sheet I will be placing on it doesn't get too hot.  I then place the loaves on top of the towels on the toaster oven, making sure they are situated to the back (under the cabinets), where I believe the most heat would be trapped.  Your situation may be different so I am only offering this as a suggestion.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the bread for 20-25 minutes.  I use the maximum time as this bread does not get a very dark crust.  Let the bread cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing--it will still be warm.


ENJOY!  (Bread is pictured below)

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Baking this pound cake since 1964

I have decided to give the recipe for this wonderful pound cake I have been baking since 1964 and only given the recipe out to family in the past 45+ years.  It is very close to the same recipe given by Paula Deen called mama's pound cake.  I think only the milk and salt differs a little.  I have referred to this recipe always as 'Grandma Turners Pound Cake'.  It was given to me by my mother in law Elsie Turner in 1964 and was given to her by her daugter in law from Atlanta, GA.  What is so great about this pound cake and the reason I don't turn it upside down out of my large bundt pan or angle food cake pan is it has a cookie crunchy crust that is fabulous and I think very desirable on a pound cake.  It is a very large cake and can be made nicely also in loaf pans.   We love it with fresh sliced strawberries, sprinkled with a little sugar to bring out some juices...yumm.  A real family favorite for over 45 years.


1.  2 sticks of butter


2. 1/2 cup vegetable oil


3.  3 cups all purpose flour


4. 3 cups of Sugar


5. 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder


6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla -Added-vanilla extract used 


7. 5 Eggs


8. 1 1/4 cup whole milk


Bring your eggs and butter to same room cool temperature - so the butter is fairly soft -this helps prevent the curdling effect you get when mixing the batter together at different temperatures.


By hand or electric mixer


Grease and flour pans - Preheat oven to 325F - I use convection oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 min. for my 10+ cup large non-stick bundt pan.  Testing with a spagetti noodle poked down into the cake and coming out dry.  The crust will be a nice dark golden brown. 


Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl '3 times' now I just shake it though a wire sifter once.  In a large bowl or mixer, Cream butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy - Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture ' I lightly beat them - Add milk and flour to creamed mixture alternately. I end with the flour.  Add vanilla extract.  You can also use lemon extract. 


After the cake is baked.  Cool for about 5 minutes.  Lay a cooling rack on top of the pan and invert.  Lay another cooling rack on top of the bottom of the cake and flip back over to see the cookie crust side...try not to eat it all!


                  ADDED - These freeze great.  I wrap them up in plastic wrap and then foil.


      


                                       


                        


 


                                                                 Gets crunched a little more when removing but you can see why I prefer this top to the


                                                                  molded bundt top.  It's hard not eat this delicious crunchy cookie crust top.


 


                                  


                   Sorry we didn't have any whipped cream today.  The strawberries make a nice juice when sliced with a bit of sugar sprinkled over them.  Or you also make a lovely puree strawberry sauce to go with some sliced strawberries. 


Sylvia                            


 


 

AW's picture
AW

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

After much searching for a whole wheat sandwich bread that would be soft yet nutritious, my friend Ben shared this recipe with me. Ben and his mother have perfected over the years and given us some choices on substitutions for ingredients, which is so nice.


I think the texture and crumb are simply perfect. The dough can also be nicely worked up into individual soup rolls, though I have to say that I much prefer it as a sliced loaf. If you'd like a step-by-step show of this friend me on FB.


___________________________________________________________________


Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread


From Ben Chaffee


Makes 2 loaves (8-1/2" by 5-1/2")


1 package active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast (2-1/2 tsp)


1/4 cup water


2-1/2 cups hot water


1/2 cup brown sugar (can interchange honey or molasses 1:1 for brown sugar)


3 tsp salt


1/4 cup shortening*


3 cups (374 g) stirred whole-wheat flour


5 cups (663 g) stirred all-purpose white flour           

 

  1. Soften active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (110°) or compressed yeast in 1/4 lukewarm water (85°). Combine hot water, sugar, salt, and shortening; cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir in whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of the white flour; beat well.
  3. Stir in softened yeast. Add enough of remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface; kneed till smooth and satiny (10 to 12 minutes).
  4. Shape dough in a ball; place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
  5. Cover; let rise in warm place till double (about 1-1/2 hours). Punch down (or fold). Cut in two portions; shape each in smooth ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  6. Shape into loaves.† Place them in greased 8-1/2" by 5 2-1/2" loaf pans. Cover with a damp towel. Let rise till double (about 1-1/4 hours).
  7. Bake 375° for 45 minutes. When tapped, the bottoms of the loaves should have an almost hollow sound. Cover with foil last 20 minutes, if necessary.

 

*Other fats, such as vegetable oil or butter, can be used 1:1 for the shortening.

Place dough on counter. Press out large bubbles and gently form each dough ball into a rectangle. Ensure the shortest side of the rectangle is approximately the longest size of your loaf pan (8-1/2"). Roll up the dough. Pinch the seam closed. Tuck open sides down and under. Place in loaf pan.

 

Whole Wheat Sandwich

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Chocolate Sourdough - Chad Robertson's way

Chad Roberson's Tartine Bakery doesn't do chocolate sourdough (if they do, I haven't had the fortune of tasting it).  We did Pane Cioccolata (chocolate bread) at Artisan III, SFBI, and it was very good.  Everybody loved it but at the time I was thinking to myself if I were to make it at home I would make some changes for the following reasons: 


First of all, I feel really uneasy about "double hydration" method, which is supposed to be good whenever you have any "add-ins" for your dough, be it dried fruits, nuts, seeds or soakers, or in this case, chocolate chips.  The procedure is: you mix your dough with only 80 - 85%% of the recipe water in the first and 2nd speed as usual until a slightly stronger than normal gluten development has achieved, then turn the mixer back to first speed, slowly incorporate the reserved water and finish off on 2nd speed, then, add the seeds and nuts (or whatever add-ins you have) in the first speed initially for incorporation, and finish off, again, in 2nd speed.  The reasoning for this method is it is easier to develop dough strength with a stiffer dough than a wet dough and so the purpose is to build up the strength before you incorporate any add-ins.  Because of the longer mixing time, the temperature of water you use with this method is lower than for other doughs. 


I remember we mixed the dough for nearly 20 minutes in the spiral mixer.  I am not confident that I could do such a long mixing time with the mixer I have at home.  I always feel "traumatized," looking at the dried fruits or nuts being beaten up and chopped up while they try to be mixed in to the dough after the latter's gluten structure has already been formed; it really takes time to break the gluten bond.


Secondly, after the dough was bulk fermented, it was scored then proofed. One other type of bread where we scored first then proofed was rye bread.  It was said that because of the delicate gluten structure in both of these cases, if you were to score after the dough is proofed, you may destroy the gases that were produced.  While this makes sense to me, I don't care for the look when it's baked.


Thirdly, the Pane Cioccolata formula we used at Artisan III has only 20% levain (in baker's percentages) and therefore it also has a small percentage of dry instant yeast (DIY).  If I increase levain to 100% I wouldn't have to have DIY!  Also, chocolate chips used were only 12% of total flour, I know my son would just LOVE more chocolate chips. 


So here is my Chocolate Sourdough inspired by Chad Robertson's method all by hand (timeline as described in Daniel Wing and Alan Scott's The Bread Builder) in my previous post.


                


 


                              


 


                   


 


Formula for My Chocolate Sourdough 


Two nights before bake day - first stage of levain build-up



  • 61 g starter @ 75% hydration

  • 121 g bread flour (i.e. two times starter amount for me; I do not know what ratio Chad Robertson uses.)

  • 91 g water


Mix and ferment for 6 - 8 hours at 18C / 65 F (depending on your room temperature, you may need shorter or longer fermentation time for your starter to mature)


The morning before bake day - second (and final) stage of levain expansion



  • 273 g starter @ 75% hydration (all from above)

  • 273 g bread flour (I use one time starter amount in flour but I do not know what amount Chad Robertson uses)

  • 204 g water


Mix and ferment for two hours only


Formula for final dough



  • 750 g starter (all from above)

  • 650 g bread flour

  • 100 g cocoa powder (8.5% of total flours*verses 5% in SFBI recipe)

  • 86 g honey (7% of total flours verses 15% in SFBI recipe)

  • 250 g chocolate chips (21% of total flour verses 12.6% in SBFI recipe)

  • 433 g water (note: with every 12 g extra water, your total dough hydration will increase by 1%. If you wish, you can increase up to 5% more hydration. See step 10 below.)

  • 1 to 2 vanilla pods (optional but really worth it)

  • 20 g salt


Total dough weight 2.3 kg and total dough hydration 73%


*Total flour calculation takes into account the flour in starter. 



  1. In a big bowl, first put in water then put in the starter.  Break up the starter thoroughly in the water with your hands.

  2. Then put in honey; scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods and put it in, and stir to combine

  3. Put in all the remaining ingredients except choc. chips

  4. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine for 1 - 2 minutes. (Take down the time when this is done, this will be your start time.  Starting from this time, your dough is fermenting.  From this start time to the time when the dough is divided and shaped, it will be 4 hours; i.e., bulk fermentation is 4 hours.  The preferred room temperature is 18 - 21C / 65 - 70F.  You may need to adjust your dough temperature by using cooler or warmer water.)

  5. Autolyse 20 - 30 minutes

  6. Sprinkle half of the choc. chips on a work surface (spreading about 30 cm by 30 cm) and stretch or pad the sticky dough thinly to cover the choc. chips.  Then sprinkle the other half of choc. chips over it; press the choc. chips into the dough so they stick.

  7. Gather the dough from the edges to the centre and place the choc. chip dough back into the mixing bowl.

  8. Start the first set of stretch and folds in the bowl by pinching the edges of the dough and fold onto itself to the centre (10 - 20 times).  Rotate the bowl as you go.  As the dough is quite stiff, you may need both hands for the folding.  The hand folding serves as mixing.  I used my left hand to press down the centre, so my right hand can pinch an edge of the dough and fold it to the centre.  As you stretch and fold, try not to tear the dough; only stretch as far as it can go.

  9. After 45 minutes, do a second set of stretch and folds.  At the end of this stage, the dough will already feel silky and smooth.  As the dough is quite stiff, its strength develops very fast.  Be mindful that the bottom of the dough is the right side of the dough; and the right side of the dough always remain at the bottom in the bowl.

  10. After another 45 minutes, do a final set of stretch and folds.  As the dough feels quite strong, no more folding is necessary (unless you choose to increase total dough hydration, in which case, you may need one more set of stretch and folds).

  11. At the end of the 4 hour bulk fermentation, divide the dough to 3 - 4 pieces as you wish.  Be mindful that the bottom of the dough is the right side; sprinkle some flour on your work bench, and place the pieces right side down.

  12. Shape the pieces - gather the edges to the centre, flip it over (so the right side is now up) and shape it to a tight ball with both hands.  (As I find the dough is quite strong, I did not think pre-shaping is necessary.)

  13. Place the shaped boules in dusted baskets or couche, right side down and seam side up to encourage volume expansion.  Cover.

  14. Proof for 2 hours in room temperature of 18 - 21C / 65 - 70F.

  15. Into the refrigerator for retardation at the end of the 2 hour proofing (minimum 8 hours; I did 18 hours).


                                                                    


Bake Day



  1. Bake the boules cold for best result (ie, straight out of refrigerator).  Just before baking, sift flour on the dough and score it.  Bake at 190C / 380F (not higher due to honey) for 40 minutes.  Once the dough is loaded onto the baking stone, steam the oven with no more than 1 cup of boiling hot water.

  2. Note: I find better result when baked cold.  One boule was left at room temp while others were being baked, and it became quite puffy so when I scored, it deflated quite a lot and there was no noticeable oven spring with this bake.          


                


 


I sliced one of the boules and went down to the back yard to water the plants.  When I came back up, my son said to me, Mum, the chocolate sourdough was epic.  How I love his choice of words.  Well, you know how to please a growing boy - make a chocolate sourdough!


This is the first time that I made a chocolate sourdough - it is not sour at all because of the chocolate and honey, but it is very chewy.  And the crust!  Very crispy.  The crumb?  Very more-ish.


I don't imagine you find chocolate sourdough made this way in the shops - they would go bankrupt if they do - too much work (but absolutely worth the trouble for home bakers)!


Shiao-Ping

gothicgirl's picture
gothicgirl

Naan

For the most part, I have had a lot of luck with bread recipes.  If it does not work out the way I want on the first try I begin the tweaking process.  It is not always fast but I get there in the end.  I say for the most part because I have had one bread nemesis.  One bread that, no matter how I tried, would never work out the way I wanted.  


That bread was the delicious Indian flat bread called naan.


Naan Fixins


Naan is my nemesis no longer.  Now I have a recipe for naan that is tender, chewy, crispy, and soft all at once, and is terrific stuffed with curry.  The recipe is adapted from one found here.  


Along with a good recipe I have a good cooking method.  Naan is made, traditionally, in a tandoor oven which produces an insane amount of heat.  If you want naan that has the right texture, the soft inside with the chewy exterior, you have to find a way to replicate a tandoor at home.  I tried the grill with average results.  I tried the stove, in a similar way that I cooked my tortillas, but it was not hot enough.  


I make pizza at home from time to time and have two very well seasoned pizza stones.  On the internet I had read that some bakers use their pizza stones, in a smoking hot oven, to achieve a tender interior with a crisp exterior.   It sounded promising, so I tried it.  I heated the oven to 500 F with my pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven.  I let it heat for thirty minutes and then added one rolled out piece of naan.  It was as close as I will ever get to perfect, and it is pretty darn close!


Naan Dough Divided


Another thing I discovered is that you need to have patience.  Don't rush the naan.  Give the dough a two hour ferment, then after they dough is divided give it the full half hour proof on the bench before rolling.  Letting the dough develop will give you the taste and texture you want.


Naan 


Naan   Yield 12 naan


3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 cup milk, heated to 110F
1 tsp sugar
ghee to taste


Activate the yeast in the warm milk with the sugar added.


Combine the flour and salt.  Once the yeast is active, combine the yeast mixture with the flour mixture.  Mix in a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic.


Allow to rest for two hours, covered with a towel or plastic.


Naan DoughNaan Dough Divided


After the dough has rested turn it out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces and round them into balls.  Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.


While the dough rests heat your oven to 500 F and place a pizza stone, or cast iron skillet, on the bottom rack of the oven.


Naan Rolled Out


Once fully rested roll out the dough until it is about 6″ to 7″ wide.  It should be fairly thin.


Naan on the StoneNaan Baked


Moisten your hands with water, gently pass the dough between your hands to moisten gently, then lay on the hot pizza stone.  Close the oven and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until puffed and beginning to get brown spots.


Remove from the oven, brush lightly with ghee (or melted butter) and cover with a cloth.  You may need to press the naan to release the air inside.




Serve warm.


Posted at www.evilshenanigans.com - 2/27/2009

San Francisco Style Sourdough

San Francisco Style Sourdough
JMonkey

I don’t make white breads very often, but I make this one every so often to satisfy the occasional, overpowering hankering. If you like, you can substitute whole wheat flour for up to half of the white flour, or you can simply use a whole wheat starter. You’ll probably want to increase the water, though by 1 to 3 Tbs.

Formula:
White flour: 100%
Salt: 2%
Water: 72%
30% of the flour is in the starter. (I’ll give two recipes, one for starter at 100% hydration and another at 60% hydration)

Ingredients
White flour: 500 grams or about 4 cups
Salt: 10 grams or 1.25 tsp
Water:

  • Using a wet starter: 210 grams or 1 cup MINUS 1 Tbs
  • Using a stiff starter: 270 grams or 1 cup +3 Tbs

Starter: Two options

  • Wet starter (100% hydration) 300 grams or 1 ¼ cup
  • Stiff starter (60% hydration) 240 grams or 1 cup

Mixing
Dissolve the starter into the water, and then add the salt. Finally add the flour and mix until all is hydrated.

Dough development and the first rise
However you develop the dough, from the time you mix until the time you shape the dough, it’ll take about 3 to 4 hours for the first rise at room temperature.

Shaping
Be gentle. You want to retain as many of those air bubbles as possible. Rounds and batards are the traditional shapes for San Francisco-style sourdoughs.

Second rise and retarding
Sourdoughs benefit quite a bit from retarding – many people think loaves that have been retarded taste better. You can simply cover the shaped dough and place it in the fridge or, if you’re lucky and the overnight temperature will be between 45 and 55, you can simply place it outside, in which case the bread will probably be ready to bake when you wake up.

If you put it in the fridge, it’ll need to warm up for 3-4 hours to complete its rise.

If you don’t want to bother with retarding, you can let it rise for another 2 to 3 hours at room temperature. You can also speed things up (and increase sourness) by placing the dough on an upturned bowl in the bottom of a picnic cooler, throwing a cup of boiling water in the bottom and covering it quickly. After an hour, throw another cup of hot water in. The rise should only take a couple of hours this way.

Baking
Score the bread as you like. Hash marks are traditional for rounds, and batards usually take a single, bold stroke down the center or a couple of baguette-style slashes.

While you can certainly bake this bread on a cookie sheet, it benefits from a stone and some steam, or a covered baker. However you do it, bake at 450 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.

Buttermilk and Honey Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread

Buttermilk Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
JMonkey

This is one of my favorite breads. The honey adds a touch of sweetness while the buttermilk gives it a slightly tangy flavor. It’s great for toast and sandwiches. And, as Laurel Robertson (whose recipe I’ve adapted) in “The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book”  wrote, “It keeps well, when hidden.”

Formula:
Whole wheat flour: 100%
Salt: 2%
Instant yeast: 0.6%
Water: 38%
Buttermilk: 38%
Honey: 8.4%
Unsalted butter: 2.8%


Ingredients

Whole wheat flour : 500 grams or about 4 cups
Salt: 10 grams or 1.25 tsp
Instant yeast: 3 grams or 1 tsp
Water: 185 grams or ¾ cup + 1 Tbs
Buttermilk: 185 grams or ¾ cup + 1 Tbs
Honey: 42 grams or 2 Tbs
Unsalted butter: 14 grams or 1 Tbs

Mixing
Add the salt to the flour. Mix them thoroughly and then add the yeast, also mixing. Melt the butter (or, if you like, work it in later while kneading) and add the water, buttermilk, melted butter and honey to the flour, mixing well until everything is hydrated.

Dough development

You’ve got several choices on how to develop the dough.

  • Traditional kneading: Let it rise 2 to 2.5 hours in the bulk rise at room temperature.
  • Stretch and fold: After the final stretch and fold is finished, give it 2 hours at room temperature.
  • French fold: Give it two hours after the French fold is finished.

If you’re not retarding the bread, deflate the dough after the first rise with a stretch and fold, and let the dough rise once more before shaping. It’ll take about 1.5 hours or so.

Shaping
This dough makes a great sandwich loaf, and I usually bake it in a greased 8.5” by 4.5” bread pan.

Retarding
I’ll often make the dough after dinner. After the first rise is complete, I’ll shape it, put another pan on top and then place it outside if the temperatures will get down into the 45 to 55 degree range. If it’ll be colder than that, I place it in our “cold room” which is unheated, but rarely gets below 40 degrees.

If it’s going to be a hot summer night, I’ll pop it in the fridge, but that usually means that I’ll need to let it warm up for 2-3 hours in the morning. I’ll sometimes speed up the warming by putting the pan on an upturned bowl at the bottom of a picnic cooler, throw a cup of boiling water in the bottom of the cooler and then close it up quick.

Scoring and baking
I usually score the dough with a single slash down the center, but it’s not necessary. I bake at 350 degrees F for about 55 minutes. If you like, you don’t even need to preheat the oven. Just pop it in cold and turn the oven on.

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