The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Nonya Rice Dumpling, an asian delicacy

Without going through the practice of making bread and everything,  I wouldn't have attempted this. As this delicacy requires techniques as complex as making a baguette,  and patience that is required in making sourdoughs.


This is to share with you here a different type of food we make in Asia.  The Nonya Rice Dumpling.  To share with you on how it looks as some of you may have read my blog mentioned under Vermont Sourdough.  It is not baked but boiled for 2.5 hours submerged in water. 


 




overnight baker's picture
overnight baker

What sort of malt?

I am trying to follow a bagel recipe and it asks for 1 tbs of "Diastic malt, either liquid or dry" and "Malt syrup, honey or sugar for boiling.


So I've scoured my local shops and I've managed to find a product called spraymalt in a brewing supplies store and malt extract from a health food shop (more detail below).


I'm happy to just throw in the malt extra where it asks for malt syrup as it can't be super critical if it suggests you can use honey or sugar. With the diastic malt however my (basic) understanding so far is that it has enzymes in it an that these might be important in producing bagels distinctive taste and texture.


Does anyone know whether either of the products I have found are likely to be 'diastic' and if not what difference that will make to my bagels?


 


Here's the blurb from the packet/jar:


 



SPRAYMALT MEDIUM. Rich malt flavour, ideal for bitters. Boosts the beer's natural body and results in a more rounded, mellow note to the final brew.


Use as a direct replacement for sugar in your brewing - lb for lb. Simply pour the sachet contents on to the beer kit extract in your fermenter and carry on brewing in the usual way.


Muntons Spraymalts are made using the finest premium malts, spray-dried into a fine soluble powder. This process is deisgned to retain all of the malt flavour, without imparting any burnt, off flavours. Spraymalts are ideal additions to any recipe, adding extra malt sugars and a delicious malt flavour.


Ingredients: Barley malt extract (from 100% malting barley)



 



HOLLAND & BARRET MALT EXTRACT


Traditional English Malt Extract. Delicios in baking, on toast or over cereals.


MmeZeeZee's picture
MmeZeeZee

Adding more whole wheat to Hamelman's Pain au Levain w/ Whole Wheat

Has anyone had success with this?  I love his PaL but I am want a 50% (at least) sourdough.  Does anyone have a formula that would help me work this in?  I've had great success with the white and whole wheat PaL, I just want to get a better whole wheat version.  I know that will change the consistency a bit, but hopefully it will still retain some of its lovely chewiness.

mlucas's picture
mlucas

(first blog post) How to use Murphy's Law against itself; sourdough tips from a newborn babe

With our second child, my wife was desperate to have the baby by the due date. Her parents were leaving for England for three weeks and they really wanted to meet the baby before they left!


It happened at that time we needed a bunch of topsoil to fill a big brick flowerbed I'd made. When the order came and we had a huge mound of topsoil on our driveway, I joked that due to Murhpy's Law the baby would come now, since we had all this work to do shoveling it. Sure enough my wife went into labour that night and had our daughter Maya the next morning. (I remember shoveling dirt like mad while she was in the early stages of labour!)


That was 2006. Fast forward to May 2010 and expecting our fourth child any day. I didn't realize what I was doing when late on the Friday night (May 21) I made up the dough for Shiao-Ping's Banana Pain-au-Levain, plus made up the soaker and elaborated a whole bunch of starter for Hamelman's Five-Grain sourdough recipe. I didn't get to bed until 1:30am!


Of course that night Kristen's water broke (around 5am) and we were at the hospital a few hours later. I was operating on less than 4 hours sleep, and calling my mother-in-law from the hospital asking her to put the soaker & starter in the fridge.


Our daughter Aria was born the Saturday night, just before midnight. I baked the banana bread Monday morning, just before heading back to the hospital to bring Kristen and Aria home. Finally on Monday afternoon I mixed up the Five-Grain sourdough (after the starter had been sitting 'active' in fridge for 2.5 days).


Banana Pain-Au-Levain


To my surprise, both batches turned out fantastic! Neither were overly sour. The banana bread had a lovely moist crumb with the characteristic flavour that Shiao-Ping described. And the Five-Grain rose well, which surprised me after the starter had been in the fridge so long, I didn't think it would still be so active. Thanks to the soaker, the seeds in the Five-Grain were deliciously soft, in fact the sunflower seeds cut easily along with each slice.


five grain levainFive-Grain Sourdough from Hamelman's 'Bread'


I'll always remember that I baked two batches of bread the day we brought Aria home. And I learned that it really is okay to let your active starter "hold on" in the fridge for a while until you're ready to mix the dough. (I'll still try to stick to max 24 hours holding time, but knowing even 2.5 days worked fine, I won't worry about it so much!)


Happy baking,
Mike

sharonk's picture
sharonk

The Lineage of my Gluten-free Sourdough Starter

 When people think of sourdough starter lineages they often think of the famous San Francisco or Alaska starters originally brought over from Europe. I imagine the people who brought starters along with them were courageous people looking for a better life. I imagine they dehydrated their starters in the old country and carried small amounts of it in pouches or tiny clay pots carefully tucked into whatever belongings they could carry with them in the boats. When they got to the land of opportunity it is said their bread starters took on a new flavor, the flavor of their new locale. Hence the famousness of the San Francisco or Alaska sourdough flavors.


 


I first learned to make sourdough using an old-fashioned 7-day rye bread recipe. It was a goopy, no-knead recipe that produced a rich, malty, dense loaf. The starter was built over seven days, yielding a giant bowl of sponge-like starter. When it was time to assemble the breads rye flour, water and salt were incorporated into the starter. This “goop” was then spooned into the loaf pans as this bread did not stand up by itself, it needed “walls” to hold it up. It was so sticky that the less handling involved, the better the finished product.


 


When I began to work with gluten-free starter possibilities I used this spongy, goopy technique as a guide and after a year of many failures, had great success while incorporating a few important changes through trial and error:


 



  • extra daily feedings to prevent spoilage

  • boosting and preserving it with a bit of an old fashioned fermented drink, water kefir.


 


I found the starters to be rather delicate and did not regularly store well. I found that I could easily begin a new starter so using it up was never a problem. In fact, I found the fresh starters resulted in breads having a consistently fresh taste while the stored refrigerated starters often carried some “off tastes” I associated with over-fermentation. The over-fermentation also seemed to result in less than satisfactory leavening.


 


This sponge-goop technique is very different than wheat sourdough techniques that benefit from extensive kneading and shaping. Unlike their rye counterparts traditional wheat breads also stand up, rise and bake without the support of the walls of a loaf pan.


 


Some seasoned wheat sourdough bakers have had poor success with my technique when they apply their years of experience with wheat sourdough to my rice starter. They expect to take a small amount of starter and knead large amounts of flour into it, shape it, let it rise and bake it. My technique, however, is the opposite. I grow a large amount of high-moisture starter by feeding it at least twice a day. I then stir in a small amount of flour and pour or spoon it into a loaf pan or muffin tin.  From there I let it rise and then bake it.


 


I think the main reason the wheat technique doesn’t work for my recipes is that my technique was originally derived from the 7-day sourdough rye sponge-goop technique which is really quite different than the wheat technique.


 


One definition of lineage is “the descendants of one individual”. The descendants of the San Francisco and Alaska sourdough starters are available for sale and supposedly retain some of that “genetic” material referring to the local bacteria and yeasts that grow in the starter. When one purchases those starters they know the lineage of their starter.


 


I don’t sell starters, I sell a technique. I think about my technique as a “technical” lineage, much like a technique or practice handed down from teacher to student, or master to apprentice. My “technical lineage” is a descendent of the 7-Day Sourdough Rye Technique.


 


I am deeply grateful for the people willing to try my technique because in addition to feeding ourselves we are also keeping alive a technique that could easily be forgotten in these modern times. We keep it alive by learning it, practicing it, feeding our families with it and teaching it to others.


 


We successfully unite the past with the future when we reclaim an old-fashioned technique like 7-day rye sourdough and successfully and palatably use it to address the modern dietary challenges of gluten intolerance.


 

mido_mijo's picture
mido_mijo

Decorative dough or dead dough decorations

I'm interested in decorative doughs or dead dough decorations.


 


I'm trying to look for books more on the subject and various types of wood molds. I like those breads with the decorative tops...so...


So far I only know of breadhitz.com to carry wood molds and books/dvds on the subject.


 


thanks in advance


 


btw. i've searched the forums and only found a few without references to books or sites....or maybe i missed them..

bread10's picture
bread10

Starter Gone Moldy

Hello,


I bought a sourdough starter and now it is covered in white mold. I cut off the outer edges of the dough to salvage what I could, but then found the white mold was also growing inside in any crevasse between the dough.


I have followed the instructions for feeding and maintaining a healthy sourdough starter.


Why has this happened? I know someone else that has the exact same stater and has been doing the same as I have and it is perfectly healthy and active.


It is very disappointing not to mention the time and money wasted as well!


 


Thanks

stefenos's picture
stefenos

whole wheat pastry flour: yes or no in biscuits and scones

i have seen formulas for both biscuits and scones that include an ap/ww blend of flours.  there has been a bag of ww pastry flour setting on my pantry shelf for months and i am wondering if this would be a beneficial or detrimental addition to my biscuit and scone flour mixes.  thanks for any thoughts or shared experiences you may have.

ejm's picture
ejm

scones

We were reading Nigel Slater's "Eating for England",



You are faced with a plate of scones, a pat of butter, a dish of jam and a pot of clotted cream. [...] You have either butter or cream, never both. At least not when everyone is looking. It is generally accepted that the jam goes on first, followed by a teaspoonful of cream. Others insist it is the other way round.


-Nigel Slater, "Eating for England"



And we suddenly neeeeeeded to have scones. Luckily for us, not everyone was looking: we had all three condiments on our scones. Butter first, next cream - maybe more than a tablespoon, THEN jam. Mmmmmm!!! Scones with butter, "cream" (made with yoghurt and goat's cheese) and black currant jam. What could be finer?


scones © ejm June 2010

The scones want to split in half; the crumb is very tender. The hint of nutmeg and addition of currants differentiates scones from our baking powder biscuits.


Recipes here:



  • scones

  • "cream", a reasonable facsimile for clotted cream made with yoghurt and goat's cheese


-Elizabeth


 

dcsuhocki's picture
dcsuhocki

2010 Krakow Bread Festival

Well, I had some good luck this past weekend.  It seems that I'm in Krakow at the perfect time of year:  the 2010 Bread Festival was in full swing.


 


You can read my short piece here:


http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/820336/dan_suchocki.html


Here are some pictures:


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