The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

Steamed Bread Chemistry ?

I steamed my first chinese bean paste buns yesterday (boy were they good!) and was struck by the difference in taste and texture of the steamed bread. I wondered what was going on chemistry-wise with the starches, sugars, etc. I know there is an explanation out there for what happens when dough is steam cooked rather than baked. I have the basic bread chemistry down on baked bread, but would like to know about steamed. It still has oven spring, but is quite different in texture (chewy, more dense, starchier?) and does not appear to brown if at all. No Maillard reaction? Also it seems that most steamed breads are enriched. What would happen if a lean dough was steam cooked? (I'm saying steam "cooked" to differentiate from bread that is steamed for the first part of baking, i.e. baguettes).


Does anyone know? Dan DiMuzio, Steve B, Debra Wink perhaps?


Some other questions:


I know of Boston Brown Bread and other similar recipes that can be steam cooked all the way through in a steamer, in cans in a dutch oven or crockpot, et. But are is there any precedence for a bread that is steamed and then baked to add a crust? Would there be any taste, texture benefit to doing so?


I appreciate any interesting scientific insights, personal experiences, historical anecdotes, etc. :-) 


Thanks!

JohnMich's picture
JohnMich

Croissants - a video demonstration.

Hi all! I'm new here and hope I can make a contribution. The ABC, the Australian Government owned TV (and radio) network has a new cooking show Poh's Kitchen and the first episode included a video demonstration by a very well-known French pastry chef on how to make croissants.


The video (no. 1 - the 10 February episode) should be available from the page you get when you click on http://tinyurl.com/yfl2meo  Goodluck!


Regards, John


 

Shauna Lorae's picture
Shauna Lorae

Island Banana Bread

I had three very ripe bananas to use up so I was looking around for a banana bread recipe that did not call for a lot of sugar or butter. I found an amazing looking recipe on King Arthur Flour's website for Banana Pina Colada Muffins (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/banana-pia-colada-muffins-recipe). These muffins were beautiful; banana batter studded with dried pineapple chunks, topped off with a delightful shredded coconut crown. My only problem was I didn't have any butter so I kept searching until I found a recipe for Island Banana Bread on Vegetarian Times website (http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/9044?section=). This one is vegan but I decided to alter it to suit my tastes. The following recipe is a fusion of the two differen recipes into my own very own Island Banana Bread:


Ingredients

2 c. White Whole Wheat Flour


1/4 c. Soy Flour


2 tbsp. Dried Buttermilk Powder


1 tsp. Baking Powder


1 tsp. Baking Soda


1/2 tsp. Sea Salt


1/4 tsp. Nutmeg


1 c. Diced Dried Pineapple (or other dried fruit: dates, apricots, etc.)


1/2 c. Raisin Puree (or prune puree)


1 1/2 c. Mashed Ripe Bananas


1/2 c. Packed Brown Sugar


2 Eggs


1 tsp. Rum


3/4 c. Orange Juice


1/3 c. Shredded Coconut

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 9x5" loaf pan with canola oil.

2. Combine & set aside: white whole wheat flour, soy flour, dried buttermilk powder, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and nutmeg.

3. Mash together raisin puree and bananas.

4. Beat in: brown sugar, eggs, rum, and orange juice.

5. Stir in flour mixture all at once, stirring gently to combine.

6. Fold in pineapple.

7. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle with shredded coconut, pressing it down gently into the batter.

8. Bake til knife inserted into the center comes out clean (about an hour).

 

The result was a beautiful banana loaf, laden with sweet bits of tender pineapple and decorated with a toasty coconut crust.

juliesbass's picture
juliesbass

Flat Bread Recipe

I have searched the entire internet (I think) ha ha , I am looking for a recipe for a flat bread , similar to Taco Bell's Gordita bread , I was wondering if anyone here knows where I might find a recipe , or even have one .


Thanks to All !!


Julie

bakinbuff's picture
bakinbuff

A testament to soaking...

I've read a number of places on this fantastic site about the benefits of soaking whole grain flours before incorporating them into a dough, and I happened to give it a try yesterday while preparing today's loaf of bread, a Rosemary and Thyme Sourdough Boule.  While I was preparing the fresh herbs, I added the usual amount of (hot) water to the 1 cup of wholewheat flour I wanted to use in the dough.  That soaked while I stripped the thyme off the stalks and chopped the rosemary needles.  I threw the herbs on top of the soaking flour (and incidentally, I had also added the tablespoon of olive oil I generally add to my loaves to the water before adding the flour, don't know if that made any difference).  Anyway, being as this was the first time I had soaked the flour, and adding to that the fact that this was the first boule I've used exactly half and half of whole wheat and strong white flour, I was really, really pleased with the result!  The hydration was no different with this loaf than my other loaves, but I believe the soaking is what resulted in a gorgeously moist and light and fairly open crumb, despite the higher than usual proportion of whole wheat (and therefore lower than usual proportion of higher gluten white flour).  Anyway, I just wanted to encourage anyone who is considering increasing the amount of WW they use in their bread, but doesn't want to sacrifice lightness and moistness of the loaf (wholewheat doesn't have to be dense and dry!) to give soaking a try.  Another thing of interest to me was that usually when I use more wholewheat than usual, I find I have to add a little extra water to compensate, and sometimes I can't quite get the dough moist enough before kneading is done so the end result is on the dry side, which can be very frustrating.  However, with this loaf I used exactly the same amount of water as usual, and the resulting dough was the perfect combination of stickiness (stuck to my hands but not the counter), and even required a tiny bit of extra flour in the kneading process!  I have read that wholewheat soaks up water quickly, then releases some of it again after a period of time, so my conclusion is that it must soak up a lot of the water straight away when not soaked, and not get the time to release it again before kneading begins.  I'm no expert, and this certainly wasn't a controlled experiment, but from now on I will be soaking my wholewheat flour!


txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid


The recipe is from right here on this site: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/blueberrycreamcheesebraid , thanks, Floyd! I kept the dough a tad too wet at first, but easily corrected by adding a bit of flour.


 



 


This is not bread, it's cake!



Delicious.

norco1's picture
norco1

freezing yeast

I recently purchased a lb package of instant yeast. The contents can last for months before they are  depleted. Will freezing the yeast effect its performance when used in time? 

RudyH's picture
RudyH

Costco flours

My wife is a member at Costco and we are generally happy with this. We have recently experienced a couple of the minor hazards of buying their bulk flours. I'm the baker in the family so when I put flour on the shopping list my wife has sensibly tended to shop price.


1) A 25 pound bag of all purpose flour was bleached rather than the unbleached, which is what he have customarily bought. The flour was also not sifted like the more expensive commercial flours like Pillsbury. This was no big deal, but my perception is that unbleached flour is healthier, so I prefer to pay the extra for unbleached.


2) Next time she bought 20 pounds of all purpose flour that is actually a kind of variant on the all purpose flour theme. It's got fiber and a different kind of grain that is claimed to be more nutritious. That was a good concept but it really alters the breads I make with it, so I am essentially making a new kind of bread. So if you buy flour there, check the details of the label.


As a result of this, I'm beginning to specify brand names on the shopping list.

bakinbuff's picture
bakinbuff

Sneaky Sandwich Sourdough

My husband and and small boys quite like whitish sandwich bread, and although they like my sourdough boules and batards for dipping in soup, it is difficult to convince them to eat sourdough in any other form.  I have read in a few places that the long fermentation times plus the lactobacilli in sourdough improve the digestibility and lower the GI rating of bread (in comparison to bread prepared commercially with the shortest possible rises, etc).  Seeing as the family like toast and sandwiches from time to time, and I always make a instant yeasted loaf for that, I thought it couldn't hurt to try a sourdough sandwich loaf and test out the family's reaction.  So, today I am baking a sourdough sandwich loaf which is all white bread flour except half a cup of fresh ground whole wheat flour.  Of late, my starter has been less sour than it was before, so perhaps that will help, too.  Anyway, here are the pics of the crust and crumb.  While it was baking it filled the house with a delicious almost buttery smell which I find utterly irresistable!  Let's hope they like it too....



A cool loaf and two slices of toast later...


The children gobbled it up!  It is not sour, is quite light and fluffy, and very much what I was after.  Success!


 

andrew_cookbooker's picture
andrew_cookbooker

When to start baking with my starter? It's a bit sluggish...

I'm a bit of a newbie with sourdough, and I've got a seed culture going, using Reinhart's Pineapple Juice recipe initially, and then I started fiddling around with it after reading more on this site. So now I have a little jar of culture which is fairly sluggish. For the last three days I've been refreshing it with a 1:1:1 ratio of starter:water:flour, and it is taking 24-36 hours to double in size each time. It's in my kitchen at about 69 degrees F. I was using Unbleached AP the first two refreshes at 1:1:1 and then put in some organic WW yesterday to see if it would wake up, but it's still the same. It's alive, but slow.


I keep waiting for it to get speedier as I've read lots of accounts of people having vigorous cultures which are doubling in 4 to 6 hours. So I haven't put it in the fridge yet or tried to bake with it. Am I being overcautious with this? Or should I keep going at room temp for a while longer to see if it becomes speedier?

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