Den Lepard's Roasted Potato Focaccia
I am saving Txfarmer's 36 hour baguettes for next weekend, when I'll be home (for a few days) with my dear, powerful oven... ;-)
In my present situation, I opted for a simpler baking adventure, and made Lepard's focaccia, which turned out DELICIOUS! I include a photo here, and for those interested in the description, a link to my blog
Good thing I went for a tough run this morning, it's the only way to counteract the calories packed in this baby... :-)
Bread, Art, Heritage: Katy and Rebecca Beinart's Work and a Simple White Sourdough Tin Loaf
Picture Triptych: Katy at the community oven 1, Oxford, UK; Bread made by Daisy_A with Katy's starter and sourdough tin recipe, against English lavender; Katy & Rebecca Beinart, 'Borscht and Black Bread', Performance, March 2010. Photo: R Beinart. Live event at Malmesbury Museum, Western Cape, South Africa, with kind permission
I have been baking so much I have a backload of blogging. However I need do justice to this really interesting art project, that centres around bread and baking.
In May we were privileged to catch up with artist Katy Beinart who was taking part in a festival in a community garden in Oxford, UK. As part of her art practice Katy has been tracing her ancestors' migrations from Russia, Belarus and Lithuania to England, Australia and South Africa via their stories, but also the parallel movement of plants and bread cultures.
For the festival Katy introduced plants to the garden, which are familiar in the UK but which hail originally from Eastern Europe. These were then linked with the stories of individual family members. Beetroot (Beta vulgaris), for example, represented Moishe/Morris Schreibman, (born 1884, Pinsk, Belarus, died 1929, London, UK). Katy records that he came to London to find work as a carpenter, sailing from Bremmen on the "Sperber" and staying briefly at the Poor Jews Shelter in Whitechapel, in London's East End. He married Sarah Gitovich and they lived off Brick Lane, where he also ran a cabinet making business. Katy notes that Sarah, also known as Zlata (born Gomel, Belarus, date unknown, died London, UK 1975), left her country of birth with an uncle to escape pogroms. She never saw her family or the family dairy farm again and when Moishe/Morris died she brought up 8 children on her own. Sarah was represented by Dill (Anethemum graveolens).
On the day of the festival Katy was also baking bread in a dirt oven that her sister Rebecca Beinart (also an artist), had built along with community garden members. The loaf baked was a white sourdough tin, from a Eastern European recipe that Katy had sourced.
The bread baking is a fascinating project, part of Katy and Rebecca's wider recuperation and representation of family ties and migrations on their father's side in the Origination project. More information is available on this link.
As part of the wider art project Katy and Rebecca followed a family migration route to South Africa, taking their 'bread-making suitcase' with them on board the transport ship The Green Cape, crewed by predominantly Polish sailors. They chose to sail because this is what their forebears would have done. The transport carrier was the main type of craft now sailing from the UK to South Africa. Katy used their starter to bake bread on board ship, which the sisters shared with the crew.
Breadmaking suitcase; Katy & Rebecca Beinart, 'Breadmaking', Action, 2010. Photo: Rebecca Beinart, with kind permission; Rebecca Beinart, 'Sal Somnia Omnit', Action, 2010. Photo: Douglas Gimberg, with kind permission.Once in South Africa the Beinarts baked and shared bread with newly-encountered family members. In some cases they also tried to recreate meals like those their ancestors may have eaten and ate in the places they occupied, including a bare salt pan that once formed part of a family business! As part of the continuation of the project in the UK, Katy was facilitating her starter's 'migration' to other bread makers. This is how I came to leave Oxford with a small pot of Katy's starter and a recipe to bake in my own home.
Rebecca, whose practice links art, ecology and politics also has a project involving sourdough cultures called Exponential Growth. Developed as a commission for the University of Loughborough it charts the local, national and global networks into which Rebecca's Loughborough born starter is dispersed. More information is available on these links Radar Arts and Exponential Growth
Rebecca handing out starter culture on Loughborough Market; c.Rebecca Beinart/Exponential Growth 2010, with kind permission
Please note: important information on Exponential Growth and an invitation to contribute to a Bread Fair in Loughborough, UK on Saturday 23 October 2010, and/or to contribute to the mapping of the culture's journey as an international baker is included at the end of the blog in bold type. It would be great if some bakers from TFL could take part! Let's push out the boundaries - info on this link and below.
These initiatives seem to me to touch on so many themes on TFL, including the migration of breads, recipes and starters between countries and the way in which bread is such a strong link to memory, family and place.
It also touches on the question, raised regularly on the board, of the degree to which starters change when transplanted. Does a San Francisco starter remain the same in Oxford, Toronto, Tokyo, Madrid? Katy noted that her relatively new starter behaved very differently in the hot South African climate.
The Beinarts' Origination project also delicately raises wider questions about how people change and adapt when they migrate from one place to another, while also striving to retain familiar characteristics and practices Much of this human culture can also be traced in bread baking practices. What changes, what remains the same? How far can migration routes be traced by the emergence of similar recipes in different countries? How intense is the link between early memories of bread and personal and family histories?
This last question is something leading bakers also reflect on. Jeffrey Hamelman, for example, recalls 'My earliest memories may be of bread. One of my grandmothers was Polish or Russian, depending on where the ever-changing boundary line happened to be drawn at a given time […] Gram always had bread' (Bread, p. 5). In the opening paragraph of his book Artisan Breads Jan Hedh relates 'My mother made nearly all the breads, biscuits and cakes for the family, and I remember the lovely smell and the wonderful flavours that awaited me as I returned from school'. (p.13)
On TFL bakers also strive to recreate for themselves, friends and family.much-loved breads enjoyed in childhood or remembered from another country. Some bakers share or seek recipes from their countries of origin or foreign countries they lived in when younger. Others reflect on why certain national recipes are well-known abroad whereas other have not travelled, even when their some of their original bakers have emigrated. Bakers also celebrate well-loved bread recipes that have taken root and are developed and enjoyed in a new place: Stan and Norm's project, which I have read about with great interest seems a great example of this. In the best cases the culture just keeps on growing, in all senses of the word.
Baking the bread
When I took on a sample of Katy's starter as part of the involvement of other bakers in this project it behaved very differently to my own. A year after her return from South Africa Katy's starter was much more stable than my own, which were still young and unruly. Whereas my starters tore through dough when well fed on the bench and lay down and refused to move after a stay in the fridge, Katy's raised dough well and reliably and regained strength much more quickly after refrigeration. Katy's starter was kept around 125% hydration. It also had a different scent and flavour, with a keen tang like a good cheese.
When used to bake the recipe given to me by Katy, the starter raised the dough well and produced an even crumb, aerated with small, well spaced holes. At this point in my baking I had had a breakthrough with using an oven stone and steam to produce a good crust. I also used Marriage's strong white bread flour which I have found to be very good for artisan bread. The bread came out with a strong, golden crust. The crumb was as shown in the picture at the top of this blog:
The flavour of the bread was milder than I am used to with mixed grain formulae, yet it was pleasant, with a lovely mouth feel. It kept well and we enjoyed it with both savoury and sweet toppings.
When we met Katy again at a talk she gave at Modern Art Oxford, she added that she was moving on to try rye in loaves, as used in other bread-making traditions in Eastern Europe and that she was happy for bakers to adapt her original recipe. However, given that this was the very recipe that she used while on board ship and in South Africa, I wanted to follow in that line.
The lean sourdough tin recipe used by Katy and Rebecca is given below:
Very simple Wheat Sourdough
Makes two large loaves
Stage 1: Evening
200-250g Wheat Starter Culture (use a little less if your culture is very bubbly & active)
450g white bread flour
Mix together in a bowl into a sloppy dough. Cover and leave overnight somewhere warm. Now feed the original starter mix with 150g flour and 150-200ml water to replace what you took out.
Wheat sourdough takes less time than rye. If it’s in a warm place, stage 1 can take just 5-6 hours, so you can start it off on the morning and bake in the afternoon if this fits your schedule.
The next morning
450g white bread flour (or add half wholemeal flour
2-3 teaspoons salt
Mix the flour and salt into the existing bowl of dough that you left overnight. Knead it by hand in the bowl – it is a very wet and sticky dough, but it should feel elastic. If it feels too wet, add a little more flour. Work on it for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Rest it for 10 minutes. Mix it again for another couple of minutes.
Oil two large bread tins well, then dust generously with flour. Divide the dough and put into tins, they should be just over half full. Cover tins with an upturned bowl, leaving space for the dough to rise. Leave it to rise in a warm place. Depending on the heat and the liveliness of the culture this will take between 2 and 5 hours.Baking
Once the dough has risen to the top of the tins, you’re ready to bake. As you get to know the timings you can be cunning and pre-heat the oven so it’s hot at the right time.
Place the tins in the oven at 220◦C/ Gas 7. Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the bread from the tins and bake for a further 10-15 minutes to form a good crust. The loaves should sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Remove from tins and leave them to cool before cutting.
As part of the Exponential Growth project there will be a Bread Fair in Loughborough (UK), Town Hall on Saturday October 23rd. from 2/2/30 p.m. 'Culture caretakers' have been invited to this event to share their breads and to enter a competition in which breads will be judged on 'Regional specificity; Flavour; Appearance; Originality of recipe; Method of passing on the culture'.
There are currently 93 caretakers but there is still time for more people to join! If you would like to have some of the Loughborough culture and/or attend this event please contact Rebecca on email@example.com
As part of the wider project Rebecca is recording on world map how far the culture has travelled globally. It would be great if some TFLers felt that they could contribute to this part of the project.
If you are interested please contact Rebecca asap on firstname.lastname@example.org with a mailing address and she will send out a sample, postage paid. The bread baked can be your own recipe, or one that relates to this project in terms of geography and culture. It does not have to be the recipe given in this blog. Of course if you do bake, don't forget to share on TFL!
Tartine Basic Country Loaf with raisins and pistachio
I have really become enamored of late with Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread, particularly his basic country loaf which is a combination of APF or BF and WWF. I had to experiment with some raisins and pistachios that I had on hand. The methodology was identical to Robertson's given in the text, same proportions, same times and so forth. My only variation is that I use spring water, I mill local Oklahoma winter hard red wheatberries, and perhaps my method of folding the bread and the number of times that I fold versus the text. I fold 4 or more times depending on what kind of structure I see developing; Chad states he folds three times every 25 minutes during the bulk rise. I add one of two extra folds. Also, I do not use all of the 50 g of water that he calls for when addiing the 20 g of salt after the inital 20 minute autolyse. I usually just end up adding 25 g rather than the entire 50 because I feel it makes my dough to wet.
I have also discovered that his temps of water and air environment called for at various locations in the recipe should be adhered to. He states using water at 80 degrees and he's right. I tried using my ambient temp water at between 65 and 72 and the dough behaved differently. The bulk rise and final rise temps should also be between 78 and 82 which is conducive to good yeast activity and providing a proper amount of time for the flavors to be created in the dough.
In this bread I added 1 1/2 cups of currants (a smaller dark raisin) and 1 1/2 cups of unsalted pistachio nuts, added at the first folding following the 20 minutes autolyse or rrest. It took several minutes to incorporate these two items evenly throughout the dough. If you skimp here, the raisnins and nuts will be along the inside of the crust edge rather than scattered throughout the loaf.
Also, as the recipe states, it will make two loaves. During this bake, I cooked the first loaf immediately ater the final rise. The second loaf I allowed to ferment in the fridge for 12 hours just to see if there was a difference in taste. There is and its quite good. But, even without that fermentation period, the bread was also very good. But, the time in the fridge did improve the flavor.
Finally, I baked these two loaves in a round clay couche that I soaked before puttiing into the oven and I added them as tthe oven was heating. The oven was up to 360 degrees when I added the couche (normally I put my cooking vessel in when I fire up the oven, but I forgot this time.) The clay vessel had been soaking in water for 15 minutes just prior to going in the oven to preheat befoe i added the boules.
I put the loaves in when my temp reached 515, put the top on and after 10 minutes, turned the oven down to 450. After a total of 20 minutes had elapsed from the time I first put the dough in the clay pot, I took the lid off and baked for another 20 minutes at 450. The crust becomes harder, good carmelization, and the interior crumb is chewy and flavorful. I really, really like this bread.
Here are the pix:
Jim Lahey's no knead
Just baked my first basic loaf from the book. Aside from being a little scorched on the bottom (Note to self:oven runs hotter than advertized at higher temps...)
This was the simplest and one if the best loaves for texture that I have made. good thing I held on to that ancient dutch oven of my grandmother's....
I can't wait to try it again in sourdough version.
Kneading or Stretch an Fold or both
If this has been discussed and I missed it I'm sorry, but I didn't see it.
I tried a new recipe:http://artisanbreadbaking.com/bread/french_baguettes
recipe for a 60% hydration French Bread dough, the so called French Bread
It requires 5-7 min. kneading, then stretch and fold several times, at intervals.
I thought stretch and fold method eliminated the kneading process...am I wrong? Do they go hand and hand? Or are you to do one or the other, not both?
p.s. the bread turned out good, against my own judgment I followed the recipe and did both the kneading and the strech and fold.
Any advice or remarks appreciated.
whole wheat tortillas
Has anyone made tortillas using whole wheat flour?
Savory Sweet Potato Bread
I'm looking for a recipe for a savory Sweet Potato Bread Recipe that will have a firm crust, and not using cinnamon, nuts, etc. I've looked all over the net but haven't found anything that I'm interested in. If anyone knows of such a recipe and could point me in that direction would be appreciated. Thanks!
Durum flour handled too much?
Can I handle the dough too much? I am working on a much larger batch of bread than I've ever done before--about 8 loaves of a rustic Italian loaf with durum flour acpunting for about 2/3 total flour content. It's about 66% hydration.
My concern is that it got to be too much to finicsh last night--sick dog, etc.--so I put it in the refrigerator to retard overnight. Because I didn't think to divide it last night, the whole mass of dough cooled slowly, so I turned it several times. Same thing this morning, trying to return it to room temp. Now my once glossy surface is rather rough looking. Could it be that that much handling, with a high percentage of delicate durum flour, has broken the strands? Should I start over?? I've committed to bread for the church bake sale tomorrow and the clock is ticking.
Rye Sourdough with Roasted Cracked Wheat - Take II
I'm working on this recipe.
My current state of the art is:
Evening of Day 0
- 1/4 cup WW flour
- 3 T water
- 1 T WW starter
(this approximates 100% hydration starter mix). Let rise overnight.
Morning of Day 1
- starter from last night
- another 1/4 cup WW flour
- another 3 T water
Let rise until about noon (6 hours). Should be Quite Active at this point.
Noonish of Day 1
Toast 1/4 cup + 1 T cracked wheat in dry skillet until Dark Golden Brown, mix with 1/4 cup + 1 T boiling water. Let rest/soak/cool.
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1/2 cup WW flour
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tsp salt
- toasted cracked wheat mixture
- sufficient bread flour to hit a moderately high hydration dough
Knead dough until it starts to develop. The dough will be moist and sticky, if you form it into a blob and grab one end you can lift the blob up off the working surface. Holding it there, it will sag, eventually pouring slowly out of your hands over a minute or two. It's as thick as a Very Thick muffin batter, and somewhat springy due to gluten development. Mine was starting to windowpane, weakly -- I didn't want to overdevelop since the ferment goes on a while.
Bulk ferment for 5 hours, S&F every hour.
Into the fridge around 6pm.
6 am Day 2
Remove from fridge, place somewhere warm. S&F after an hour. Form up a loaf after 2 hours. Proof until done (2 hours in this case). Bake at 450 with steam for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 425 for another 25 minutes. Results:
I had good development going in to the fridge in the evening, but it seems to have started to vanish by morning. I feel like the dough was starting to fall apart. The next test will be to follow the same pattern, but aim for mixing dough about 3-4 hours later, so there's only 8-9 hours in the fridge instead of 12. This experiment went off rather better than the previous run (the dough was less sticky, and much more willing to stand up, but the surface gluten network wasn't quite what I want it to be). The flavor and texture are very very similar to the previous result, and the loaf is more staisfying to me, but I feel I have more work to do.
Previous experiment is here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19856/rye-sourdough-roasted-cracked-wheat