I love pumpkin bread and muffins any time of the year, particularly with chocolate chips in it and while sipping a cup of dark coffee, but pumpkin bread seems particularly appropriate this time of year.
This is a recipe for your standard pumpkin quick bread; yeasted pumpkin breads are rare, though not unheard of. Fresh pumpkin can be be used, though I usually take the easy way out and just use canned pumpkin puree. Whole wheat flour can also be substituted for some or all of the all-purpose flour for a change of pace.
Because the moisture content of the pumpkin can vary, as it can in the flour, the recipe recommends between 3 and 4 cups of flour. I used about 3 1/2 cups, but don't be afraid to trust your gut and adjust according to conditions.
Makes approximately 12 muffins, 3 small loaves, or 1 large loaf
1 3/4 cup (1 15 oz. can) pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3-4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups chopped walnuts or chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, and eggs and mix until creamy. In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients except the nuts or chocolate chips. Mix 3 cups of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then add as much of the 4th cup as necessary to achieve the proper consistency (moist, but thick enough to stand a spoon in). Add the nuts or chocolate chips and stir in.
Pour or spoon the batter into greased muffin tins or bread pans. Bake on the center rack until a toothpick poked into the center comes out dry. At sea level, muffins should take between 20 and 25 minutes to bake, small loaves between 25 and 30 minutes, and full sized loaves between 50 minutes and 1 hour.
Autumn is here!
Mini's Favorite 100% Rye Ratio
I've been playing with rye loaf ratios (starter/water/flour) and I came up with one using any amount of rye starter that when refreshed is a paste (100% hydration) and as it ferments loostens to a thick batter. I was looking for basic numbers (like 1/2/3) and I found them they're 1/ 3.5/ 4.16. It makes Rye so much easier! The starter should be generously refreshed 8-12 hours before and mixed into the dough just before peaking and in a 22°c room (72°F) the dough ferments 7-8 hours before baking. Dough should not be folded or shaped 4 hours before going into the oven.
Basic Ratio> 1 part starter: 3.5 parts cold water: 4.16 parts rye flour
4 tablespoons bread spice for 500g flour Salt 1.8 to 2% of flour weight
Hydration of dough aprox 84%. Handle dough with wet hands and a wet spatula. Combine starter and water then the flour, stir well and let rest covered. Add salt about one hour after mixing and any other ingredients. If room is warmer add salt earlier. Three hours into the ferment lightly fold with wet hands and shape into a smooth ball. Place into a well floured brotform or oiled baking pan. Cover and let rise. Don't let it quite Double for it will if conditions are right. Before placing in the oven, use a wet toothpick and dock the loaf all over to release any large bubbles. Bake in covered dark dish in cold oven Convection 200°C or 390°F (oven can reach 220°C easy with the fan on.) Remove cover after 20 to 25 minutes and rotate loaf. Reduce heat by simply turning off convection and use top & bottom heat at 200°C. Remove when dough center reaches 93°C or 200° F.
All kinds of combinations are possible including addition of soaked & drained seeds and or cooked berries or moist altus and whole or cracked walnuts or a little spoon of honey.
How it works: I have 150g rye starter at 100% hydration. I figure for water: 150 x 3.5 gives the water amount or 525g. I figure the flour: 150 x 4.16 gives 624 g Rye flour. For salt: 2% of 700g (624g + aprox. 75g in the starter) makes salt 14g or one level tablespoon of table salt.
This amount of dough took 1 1/2 hours to bake and included moist rye altus. It was baked in two non-stick cast aluminum sauce pans (20cm diameter) one inverted over the other . The rounder of the two on the bottom. No steam other than what was trapped inside. Top removed after 25 minutes. It has a beautiful dark crust with a light shine. Aroma is heavenly.
San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes
San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes
April 1, 2013
My San Joaquin Sourdough originated in Anis Bouabsa's baguettes which had won the prize for the best baguette in Paris in 2008. Bouabsa's baguettes departed from convention in utilizing a 21 hour retardation after bulk fermentation and before dividing and shaping. Jane Stewart (Janedo on TFL) and I initially modified Bouabsa's formula by adding a bit of rye flour and some sourdough starter for flavor. I then omitted the commercial yeast altogether and began using the modified formula to shape as bâtards. Over time, I have tweaked the formula and method in various ways, but have settled on the current one as providing the best product.
Today's bake takes the San Joaquin Sourdough back to its roots, so to speak. I used my current formula and method to make San Joaquin Sourdough baguettes. I am very happy with the results.
Medium rye Flour
9.2% of the flour is pre-fermented
Liquid Levain ingredients
Medium rye Flour
Final dough ingredients
Medium rye Flour
Mix the levain by dissolving the liquid starter in the water, then add the flours and mix well. Ferment at room temperature, covered tightly, until the surface is bubbly and wrinkled. (8-12 hours)
Dissolve the levain in the water, add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.
Add the salt and mix to incorporate.
Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.
Bulk ferment for 3-4 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, then a stretch and fold on the board after 2.5 hours. The dough should have expanded by about 50% and be full of small bubbles.
Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured board.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and pre-shape as logs or round.
Cover the pieces and allow them to rest for 60 minutes.
Shape as baguettes and proof for 45 minutes, covered.
Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.
Transfer the baguettes to your peel. Turn down the oven to 480ºF. Score the loaves and load them onto your baking stone.
Bake with steam for 10 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes. (Note: After 10 minutes, I switched my oven to convection bake and turned the temperature down to 455ºF.)
Remove the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
When tasted about 2 hours after baking, the crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft. The flavor was complex, with a caramelized nuttiness from the crust and a sweet, wheaty flavor from the crumb. There was some mild acidity but no discernible acetic acid tanginess. These are among the best-flavored sourdough baguettes I have ever tasted. Very yummy fresh baked and with great sandwich, crostini, toast and French toast potential.
Submitted to YeastSpotting
Laminated Yeasted Dough Construction
I thought some detail on creating laminated dough for croissants etc may be a popular subject.
[AS % OF FLOUR]
Strong White Flour
- Mix the ingredients for the dough to form cool, developed dough.
- Put in a plastic bag in the chiller and rest for 30 minutes. Cut the butter into 4mm thick strips and put back in the chiller.
- Roll the dough out to a rectangle 8mm thick. Put the butter pieces flat onto 2/3 of the rectangle, and fold as below:
- Turn the dough piece clockwise through 90°. Roll out to the same size as before, fold as above, and turn. Repeat once more.
- Chill the billet for half an hour and give 2 more folds and half turns as described. This gives 168 layers of butter in the croissant dough. Chill again for half an hour.
- Roll the dough piece out to 5mm and use a croissant cutter to cut out triangle shapes. Stack into piles of 6 and rest covered for 2-3 minutes. You can use a template made from wood, or, cardboard, to cut out the individual triangle shapes instead. Please see the video, at 1 min 35secs, for a brief view of the croissant cutter on the left of the screen.
- Tease out each triangle, fold up the top edge and roll up tightly. Roll out the feet to pointed ends and move round so these feet join up to make the classic shape. See Vicki demonstrating this in the pictuure below. For Pain au Chocolat and Pain Amande, cut the dough into strips, 6 x 10 cm; cover with small chocolate chips, or a thin layer of almond paste, and roll up so the seam is well pressed down on the bottom.
- Place on silicone lined baking sheets and brush with beaten egg. For the pain amande, dip in flaked almonds
- Prove at 38-40°C, 80%rH for 40 minutes.
Bake in a hot oven, 235°C for 12-15 minutes; a deck oven should be set at 7 for top heat, and 5 for bottom. No steam is used, and a damper is not needed.
[Almond Paste to make Pain Amande]
150g Icing Sugar, 150g Caster Sugar, 300g Ground Almonds, 50g Egg, beaten, 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Key Principles of successful laminated dough:
- 1. The dough should not be too wet. If the dough is soft, it will stick to the bench and the pin, and the laminations will quickly be ruined. If the dough is too tight, it will be difficult to roll out without the dough insisting on springing back. Some have advised that the dough need not, therefore, be fully-mixed. This is because all the rolling and folding will continue the dough development. My own thought on the matter is that the dough should be developed to the level allowed by the choice of flour used. So if a top grade flour is used, the dough should be mixed accordingly. If the flour is not so strong, it will not tolerate intensive mixing anyway; by hand, or, machine.
- 2. The best way to deal with dough which springs back is to allow extra resting time. Allowing plenty rest between turns is the first key principle to grasp. If you compare the folding process to working out bicep muscles in the gym, you should not go far wrong. Bicep curls would be repeated to the point where the muscle is so tensed up it cannot do any more. After a period of rest the same moves are repeated. The moves are designed to strengthen the muscle by continued work. But there has to be rest in between to allow the muscles to relax. It is exactly the same for the gluten-based protein fraction in the dough.
- 3. The other key principle is to be able to work cold. It is generally cold and raining here in the UK, but I am aware many who write on this site have problems creating cool enough conditions in the kitchen to lessen the burden of making these items; I wish I lived where it was warm too, don't you believe it! Here are a few options:
- Use a chilled marble slab, or, a refrigerated work surface.
- Use crushed ice in the dough, or chill the dough water for an extended period prior to dough mixing.
- A good trick is to chill the dough overnight. Give the dough 3 half turns, then bag and chill overnight. Waken up early the next morning, give the dough its last half turn and process from there. Bake off the croissants and serve straightaway for breakfast. You have just made yourself soooo popular with everyone in the house, forever!
- 4. What about the choice of laminating fat? Commercial croissants tend to be made with specialised and plasticised fats. This means the final product tends to be just a lot of air! Worse still if the fat is cheap, the melting point will be high, and the product will stick in the roof of the mouth [palate cling] These fats are not exactly renowned for their health-giving properties, either. So they are used on cost and performance grounds. As far as I am concerned croissants are made with all-butter. It is possible to buy a concentrated butter commercially. This is great, because all the water has been removed, so it means the butter block can be rolled out to a sheet, without it melting. Household dairy butter has a water content of 15-20%, so the problem with not working cold, is that the butter can easily start to melt, meaning the death of all the laminations you have worked so hard to achieve. So, performance-wise, butter is not the best, but for flavour, it obviously has no competition. I'm pretty sure concentrated butter is only available commercially; this is definitely the case for the UK and rest of the EU too.
- 5. Regarding lamination; due care and skill is the 3rd principle. I teach that croissant are given 4 half turns. Danish are often given only 3. Full puff paste employs equal laminating fat to flour used in the dough. This is usually given 6 half turns. The more turns, the more layers created. Above I state 4 turns gives 168 layers. Another 2 half turns works out as follows
168 x 3 = 504 504 x 3 = 1512. So many layers is incredibly difficult to achieve. Yet, to commercial bakers it is essential. The number of layers dictates the amount of "lift" in the product, giving greater volume to weight ratio! This affects product yield; well-aerated puff paste yield more products. Given these doughs use expensive ingredients, a baker cannot afford to miss out on achieving correct product yield.
- 6. In terms of volume and lift, it is important to explain how this works with yeasted doughs like these. When the product goes into the oven, the fat layers melt into the dough layers beneath, creating cavities between the dough layers. These cavities are filled with steam from the water content of both butter and dough. The steam exerts pressure on the dough layer above, causing the product to expand. See diagram below. So, it follows that the more layers, the greater the pastry will rise. So, what of the yeast? Well, the benefit is in terms of a first fermentation for sure, but it has to be achieved in cold conditions, as we have noted. This should mean the yeasts are far from worked through when the croissants are set to prove. Note the yeast level is relatively high. Any benefit has to be derived from rapid expansion as the croissants hit the hot oven. So, testing the dough for evidence that fermentation is slowing down is not a relevant test. We have no need for any sort of complex fermentation at this stage.
7. Lastly, oven treatment tends to be incredibly forgiving to croissants , so long as the oven is hot enough. Although, I think I'd be hedging my bets with items that were becoming tired and spent, in line with the notes just above. My practical classes last anywhere between 3 and 5 hours. 3 hours is really not very long to make these items with skill from start to finish; and the resting between turns really can be so crucial here. But I cannot think of a single class I have facilitated on this product where the students have been anything other than delighted by the tasks they have carried out, and the products they have made. It's the colour, and aroma; these items just look and smell great when they are baked. Fabulous!
See the photos attached below, and the link to the video below that.
Here's the video:
Quick Rustic Ciabatta Pizza - Recipe, Full Howto with Pics
I started making this pizza after I had left over dough from my quick ciabatta recipe, (which you can make by following the same instructions but doubling the ingredients). Anyway, I like this better than the traditional olive oil enriched overnight proofed pizza doughs. It takes only about 2 hours start to finish to make, so you can make it after work.
A kitchen aid style stand mixer is required, unless you're comfortable working with high hydration doughs and hand mixing. People have assured me it's possible, but it's much easier with a mixer. You could also use a food processor to mix the dough, but the time will be much shorter. Probably less than a minute.
The resulting pizza is light, delicious, and full of huge holes in the crust. If you grow tomatoes and basil in your garden, this pizza is just the ticket.
Also I created a page on google for this whole article that's more linkable if you'd like to share this with other - http://hollosyt.googlepages.com/quickrusticciabattapizza
- 250 g Bread Flour (All Purpose will also work in a pinch)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp yeast
- 7 g salt
- 2 Tomatoes
- Handful of fresh basil
- Olive Oil
- Mozzarella Cheese
Step 1, make the dough
Mix the flour,yeast,salt & water in your stand mixer with the paddle on high speed, it won't look like it is doing anything for a while. Then after about 10 minutes or so it will start to come together
Initial mixing, notice the dough is sticking to the sides
Dough is done as soon as it stop sticking to the sides and is just coming off the bottom. It has the consistency of rubber but is very sticky.
Step 2, proof until triples.
I like to proof this dough in a narrow plastic container that has markings on it, it's important that the dough triples so it's easier to observe that then just throwing it in a bowl. Spray the container you use with spray oil, you'll thank me later.
Be quick moving the dough from the mixer to the proofing container. You'll probobly still end up with a little dough stuck to your hands, because it's very wet.
Here's my dough, now it will be very easy to see when it triples.
Step 3, heat oven and shape pizza.
Place your pizza stone into the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.
Now on a heavily floured counter, pour out your dough into a nice blob.
Now turn a baking sheet upside down and cover it with parchment paper. Not wax paper! Parchment paper is silicone treated and won't melt or light on fire in your hot oven. It will make getting this thing in the oven much easier.
I like to get the dough into a rough pizza shape while on the counter by grabbing it from underneath and stretching. Since the dough is floured on the bottom, you won't stick too much. You don't want it paper thin, but fairly thin in the center
The next step is tricky, we need to get our pizza to the parchment paper on the baking sheet. If you have corn meal handy, you might dust the parchment with that for re-shaping once we get the unruly dough on.
So pick up this thing and quickly move it to the parchment, if you need to do some reshaping once it's on the parchment move fast. It will eventually stick to the parchment. Then your only choice is to dump it out and try again with fresh parchment.
Phew! That was a close one, but I got in on the parchment. And it resembles a pizza dough!
Now it's time to top the pizza, I really just want some light olive oil, garlic powder, fresh tomatoes, basil and cheese. If you want sauce, you're on your own. You can really do whatever you want from this point.
One thing I've noticed with my oven though is that if I put the cheese on from the start, it'll burn and I'll have a raw pizza with burnt cheese. So I usually add cheese 2/3 of the way through baking.
Step 4, Baking
Time to bake! I always trim the parchment so it fits the pizza since loose parchment will brown a bit and might even catch on fire in the oven. So you can see in the photo above I've trimmed it up.
Once your oven has hit 500 degrees, slide your cheese-less pizza on to the pizza stone using the baking sheet. If you don't have a stone, just leave it on the sheet.
After 5 minutes my pizza looked like this, nice oven spring!
Once the crust has just started to brown (after about 8 minutes for me). I add the cheese.
Now I just let the cheese get to the point that I like and the crust to be nice and brown and I'm done. The all together baking time for this pie was 14 minutes.
Looks good to me, though maybe i put on too much olive oil since it kind of pooled in the center. Also I probably could have put the cheese on a minute or two earlier since it's not brown all over.
Yum, yum yum.
Crust is looking perfectly golden.
Once again, nice airy crust, not dense and sticky, but light and delightful. That's the pay off from our 100% hydration ultra lean sticky dough.
Firm Sourdough Starter - Glezer recipe
I’m finally getting around to posting Maggie Glezer’s firm sourdough starter recipe. For those of you having problems with your starters you might wish to give this a try. Most people here are using batter-style starters so it might be interesting to see if there is any discussion on firm starters. Plus I need help in learning to convert properly for use in recipes which don’t use a firm starter and there are always questions that come up. I have photographed my starter from mixing the dough ball and pressing it into the pint-sized jar through several hourly increments where you can see how grows and finally it quadruples in 8 hours, or in this case just short of 8 hours, which is the “gold standard” Maggie talks about for a firm starter to be ready to leaven bread.
I realize there are many opinions and methods on sourdough starters and this is only the one I’ve chosen and that works for me. But as many of you know, I’m a bread newbie and a sourdough newbie and I’m interested in all the information. Some of you were asking about a firm starter so thought this might help.
PHOTOS on firm starter:
(NOTE: Edited to correct recipe 9-25-07 so if you copied it prior to this date please recopy and accept my apologies!)
SOURDOUGH STARTER DIARY – © Copyright, Maggie Glezer, Blessing of Bread
(How to make sourdough bread in two weeks or less)
To begin a starter, you need only whole rye flour, which is rich in sourdough yeasts and bacteria, bread flour, water, time, and persistence (lots of the last two). Amounts are small because I like to use the minimum of flour practical for building the sourdough, as so much of it will be thrown away. If you are baking bread in the meantime, you can add any of these discards to a yeasted dough for extra flavor.
SUNDAY EVENING: Mix 1/3 cup (50 grams/1.8 ounces) whole rye flour with 1/4 cup (50 grams/1.8 ounces) water to make a thick paste and scrape it into a clean sealed jar.
TUESDAY MORNING: The starter should have puffed a bit and smell sharp. Add 1/3 cup (50 grams/1.8 ounces) bread flour and 1/4 cup (50 grams/1.8 ounces) water to the jar, stir it well, and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula to clean them. Reseal the jar.
WEDNESDAY MORNING: The starter should have risen quickly. It is now time to convert it into a stiff starter. In a small bowl, dissolve a scant 2 tablespoons (30 grams/1.1 ounces) starter (discard the rest) in 2 tablespoons (30 grams/1.1 ounces) water, then add 1/3 cup (50 grams/1.8 ounces) bread flour and knead this soft dough. Place it in a clean jar or lidded container, seal it, and let it ferment.
THURSDAY EVENING: The starter will not have risen at all; it will have only become very gooey. Repeat the above refreshment, throwing away any extra starter.
SATURDAY EVENING: The starter will not have risen at all; it will have only become very gooey. Repeat the same refreshment.MONDAY MORNING: The starter will finally be showing signs of rising, if only slightly! Repeat the refreshment.
TUESDAY MORNING: The starter should be clearly on its way and have tripled in twenty-four hours. Repeat the refreshment.WEDNESDAY MORNING: The starter should be getting stronger and more fragrant and have tripled in twenty-four hours. Repeat the refreshment.
WEDNESDAY EVENING: The starter should have tripled in eight hours. It will be just about ready to use. Reduce the starter in the refreshment to 1 tablespoon (15 grams/0.5 ounce) starter using the same amounts of water and bead flour as before.THURSDAY MORNING: The starter is ready for its final refreshment. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams/0.4 ounce) starter, 2 tablespoons (30 grams/1.1 ounces) water, and 1/3 cup (50 grams/1.8 ounces) bread flour.THURSDAY EVENING: The starter is now ready to use in a recipe or to be refreshed once more and then immediately stored in the refrigerator.
Refreshment for a complete Sourdough Starter
MAKES: About a rounded 1/3 cup (90 grams/3.3 ounces) starter, enough to leaven about 3 1/3 cups (450 grams/16 ounces) flour in the final dough
This stiff starter needs to be refreshed only every twelve hours. Use this formula to refresh a refrigerated starter after if has fully fermented and started to deflate. If the following starter does not quadruple in volume in eight hours or less, refresh it again, with these proportions, until it does. If your kitchen is very cold, you will need to find a warmer area to ferment your starter.
1 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams/0.4 ounce) fully fermented sourdough starter
2 tablespoons (30 grams/1.1 ounces) water
1/3 cup (50 grams/1.8 ounces) bread flour
MIXING THE STARTER: In a small bowl, dissolve the starter in the water, then stir in the flour. Knead this stiff dough until smooth. You may want to adjust the consistency of the starter: For a milder, faster-fermenting starter, make the starter softer with a little more water; for a sharper, slower-fermenting starter, make the starter extra stiff with a bit more flour. Place it in a sealed container to ferment for 8 to 12 hours, or until it has fully risen and deflates when touched.
Conversion of a Batter-Type Starter into a Stiff Starter
MAKES: About a rounded 1/3 cup (90 grams/3.2 ounces) starter, enough to leaven about 3 1/3 cups (450 gram/16 ounces) flour in the final dough
If you already have a batter-type starter – that is, a starter with a pancake-batter consistency – you will need to convert it into a stiff starter for the Glezer recipes, or to check its strength.
1 tablespoon (15 grams/0.5 ounce) very active, bubbly batter-type starter
1 tablespoon (15 grams/0.5 ounce) water
1/3 cup (50 grams/1.8 ounces) bread flour
MIXING THE STARTER: In a small bowl, mix the starter with the water, then stir in the flour. Mix this little dough until smooth, adjusting its consistency as necessary with small amounts of flour or water to make a stiff but easily kneaded starter. Let it ferment in a sealed container for 8 to 12 hours, or until it is fully risen and starting to deflate. If the starter has not quadrupled in volume in 8 hours or less, continue to refresh it with the proportions in “Refreshment for a Completed Sourdough Starter” until it does.
Today I tried making English Muffins for the first time. They turned out pretty good:
I think I made the dough a little too dry, so I didn't get the big holes inside that you want, but they still tasted good.
I used the recipe from Beth Hensberger's Bread Bible. I may try another next time, but no complaints about this recipe.
Traditional English Muffins
1/4 cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon (1 package) active dry yeast (or a little less than a tablespoon of instant yeast)
Pinch of sugar
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Cornmeal (for dusting)
If using active dry yeast, combine the water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. If using instant yeast, as I did, you can just mix the yeast in with the flour and omit this first step and the sugar.
Combine 2 cups of the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in egg, milk, butter, and yeast mixture. Mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring in each time, until you have a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Return the dough to a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
Sprinkle a work surface with cornmeal. Pour the dough out of the bowl and onto the surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with cornmeal and then roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Use a large round cookie cutter or an upside down drinking glass to cut the muffins out of the dough.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the muffins onto the skillet and let the bake for 5 to 10 minutes until quite dark before flipping.
An optional step, if you are concerned about baking them all the way through (which I was), is to have your oven heated to 350. After baking the muffins on the griddle for 5 minutes on each side, place them on a cookie sheet and place them into the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. This assures that they are baked through.
In the 15 years since I first tried Brother Juniper's Struan Bread, I've tasted a lot of great bread, but I still don't think I've tried anything that makes as great toast as Struan Bread does. Nor have I tried any bread is so universally enjoyed: everyone who tries it agrees that this bread makes killer toast.
It isn't bad for sandwiches either.
I have to admit though that this bread occasionally gives me nightmares. Click "Read More" to learn why.
When I was in high school I worked in the Brother Juniper's bakery and cafe. For the most part I worked on the slicing machine, but I also helped scale and shape the loaves. Oh yes, and top the loaves with poppy seeds.
The poppy seeds. The poppy seeds are what give me nightmares.
I have no idea how many pounds of poppy seeds we went through a day, but I know we made as many as 500 loaves of Struan Bread, each one covered with hundreds of poppy seeds. Those seeds would get everywhere: in your hair, under your fingernails, in your clothes, everywhere you can imagine. Even a few places you can't imagine: I recall a number of times pulling poppy seeds out of strange places (like my book bag for school or a clean pair of pants) and wondering "How in the world did poppy seeds get in there?!?
I still avoid poppy seeds most of the time, though I'll admit they are wonderful on top of this loaf.
About Struan Bread
Struan Bread (properly pronounced "STRU-en bread", but most people I know call it "STRON bread") is a harvest bread. I believe the story is that Peter Reinhart read something about a traditional bread that Irish villagers baked into which they threw a little bit of everything they were harvesting. Struan Bread as we know it is an attempt to capture the spirit of that loaf.
Regardless of the origin, this bread is wonderful. One is certainly free to experiment with including different or additional grains. I've done so a bit and the bread has turned out quite good, though I don't think any of them have be as excellent as the combination found in the original recipe (reproduced below).
Oh yeah, I need to add that this recipe is roughly the recipe found in Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. I believe he includes versions of it in most of his other baking books (Crust & Crumb and Brother Juniper's Bread Book come to mind). If you don't already have one of his bread books on your shelf you owe it to yourself to pick one up.
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves
3 tablespoons polenta
3 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons wheat bran
1/4 cup water
3 cups unbleached bread flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons cooked brown rice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Mix together the ingredients for the soaker. Cover and allow to soak for at least half an hour or as long as overnight.
In a larger bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then stir in wet ingredients and soaker. Add more flour or water until the dough can be formed into a ball that is tacky but not sticky. Place the ball of dough on a clean work surface and knead it for 10 to 12 minutes, then return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to ferment until doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, degas it gently, and split it for two loaves or shape it as is for one. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, spritz or sprinkle water on top, and sprinkle a handful of poppy seeds on top.
Cover the pans loosely with plastic and allow the loaves to rise until doubled in size again, approximately 90 minutes.
Bake these loaves at 350 for 40 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature is around 190 degrees. When ready the loaves will be quite brown on top and will make a hollow thud when tapped on the bottom.
Doesn't that look good? Trust me, it is WONDERFUL! Try it, it is worth the work!
Related Recipes: Maple Oatmeal Bread
Tortas de Aceite
Our family traveled to Spain this past Spring, and Sevilla was our favorite city on the trip, we were there during Semana Santa. We particularly enjoyed the Tortas de Aceite- yeast-leavened olive oil wafters laced with sesame and anise. This version is a little different than the standard torta in that it is leavened with sourdough and uses star anise instead of anise seed.
A view of the courtyard in Sevilla's Alcazar, the Royal Palace.
Tortas de Aceite Recipe
|Sourdough starter, 60% hyd.||6g||Total flour||200g|
|KAF AP||30g||White flour||100%|
|Water, room temp||18g||Hydration||60%|
|Main Dough||Levain flour||10%|
|Unbleached AP, 10% protein||180g||Sugar||6%|
|Sesame seeds, toasted||1Tb + 3/4 tsp||Olive oil||27%|
|Water, room temp||108g|
|Star anise||1 piece|
|Granulated sugar||2 tsp + 2 Tbs|
Mix levain, allow to ferment ovenight at 68-70F. It should rise but not yet be fully mature.
Weigh flour into mixing bowl and coat a 3-4 cup bulk ferment container with olive oil.
Use spice grinder to grind toasted sesame seeds, salt and main dough sugar until fine. Stir into flour.
Add 32g levain (the rest is for perpetuating the culture), water and oil to the flour mixture and mix until combined, then knead by hand about 10 minutes.
Transfer to oiled container and cover.
Ferment until dough has doubled, about 5 hours at 81F.
Using olive oil to grease work surfaces and dough, stretch and fold 3 times in first 3.5 hours, then allow to rise. Ready when rounded peak reaches a little past 2 2/3 cups.
Divide and pre-shape into 12 rounds. Place on oiled sheet pan and rest one hour, covered.
In spice grinder, grind star anise with 2 tsp sugar until fine, then scrape into bowl.
Preheat oven to 450F, placing rack in middle of oven. Prep a half sheet pan with silpat or parchment.
Spread 2 Tbs granulated sugar on a plate.
Flatten dough balls slightly, then sprinkle the top with 1/4 tsp of the anise-sugar mixture. Spread mixture over dough disc with fingertip.
Shape six discs into pizza-like tortas about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, then turn face down in sugar plate to coat with sugar.
Place six tortas on one half sheet pan and bake 8 minutes, then rotate and bake 3-5 more minutes, until nicely caramelized.
Repeat with remaining six tortas.
Editing to add notes:
Don't be tempted to add the anise into the main dough- it has potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities and will kill off every discernable trace of sourdough culture (did this with my first go at these).
These re-heat and re-crisp beautifully in the toaster.
Flattened Discs with Anise-Sugar Mixture:
The Shaped Tortas:
Plaza Nueva at Sunset:
Looking for Tapas: