The Fresh Loaf

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Tamarind Date Sourdough with Walnuts

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lief's picture
lief

Tamarind Date Sourdough with Walnuts

I have to give a shout out to Dan Lepard for the inspiration on this bread. You see, I really like tamarind so I've been kicking around the idea in the back of my head that I would like to make some bread with tamarind in it. However, I wasn't taking the thought too seriously given the tartness of tamarind fruit. Then the other day, I happened to be randomly perusing Dan Lepard's website, danlepard.com, and I came across his recipe for a tamarind date cake. I thought, oooh, that sounds delicious... and then lightning struck! Of course! Dates are the perfect complement to tamarind, and I felt that the addition of dates would make my elusive tamarind bread idea reasonable. Dan Lepard's cake also included walnuts, and I thought that was a great idea, so I included them in my bread as well. Here are the results of my first formulation:




The boules were wrapped in floured cloth inside mixing bowls for proofing, so there is a bit of flour on the crust, but the crust is STILL being whitened due to insufficient steam. This is the second time I've baked bread and been aware of what the most probable cause of the whitening is. As such I made one final adjustment to my steaming method (on top of my adjustments from last week) and went for it. Usually, after shutting the oven door I immediately go and set the timer. This time I watched the oven and sure enough, as soon as I closed the door, I was able to see a bunch of steam rise out from the top of the "closed" door. Within 5 seconds it was gone. Argh!! BTW, I'm a renter, so short of buying a new oven for the landlord, my last hope rests in the covered "self-steaming" method.


But enough about crust whitening! This bread is delicious! It is fairly sweet with a wonderful taste and texture imparted by the walnuts. The taste of the tamarind is more subtle than I was going for, so I will be making adjustments to the recipe. Also, I wanted the bread to be a bit crustier, so I'll probably give it a longer bake next time. I was fooled by the gorgeous dark, reddish brown crust that I saw near the bottom of the boules (since the top was whitened) and took them out of the oven a little sooner than I should have. All in all, I'm fairly pleased with the results (whitening aside) given that it is my first attempt and I was not following a recipe.


 

Comments

LeeYong's picture
LeeYong

Very kewl!!! I've tried the recipe using tamarind in his muffins... next time I will add more tamarind - wasn't as sour as I've liked them but was still yummy!


 


Happy baking!

spsq's picture
spsq

I love new ideas - definitely one to try!


Did you use tam paste or rehydrated tamarind?

lief's picture
lief

I bought tamarind still in it's shell from my local market (they're great and carry all sorts of stuff).  I de-shelled the tamarind, peeled away the "veins", and scraped the flesh of the fruit off the seeds with a butterknife.  I then ran the scrapings through a food processor with a bit of water to create my own tamarind paste.  For this iteration of the recipe, I used 40g of tamarind and 26g of water to create the paste, to give you some idea of the ratios I was working with.

BerniePiel's picture
BerniePiel

I think it is great that you experiment like this, Lief.  I did the same over the weekend and am still not sure I want to post it for fear the cogniscenti would not approve.  It was fairly radical in that I used light rye, whole wheat, KAF's European Style Flour (one of my faves), KAF's regular bread flour, sesame seed (in the dough, not on it), walnuts, and black cherries.  I used  a pate fermente using different flours with the primary being KAF' bread flour.  I made two miche's which were about 15" x 4 " centers.  The taste was extraordinary and I think can only be obtained if willing to take a chance and experiment.  The crumb looks well developed, as well, Lief.  Excellent job and thanks for sharing.


Bernie Piel

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How can you describe such an exotic loaf and not show a picture!  You tease!


Lief, I think the loaf looks great!  The crumb looks really good!  I have a block of dried tamarind myself.  I tend to slice off pieces and soften them in warm water.  Hmmm.  Thanks for the share!  :)   


To make a marinade for fish, I mix tamarind, lime juice, coriander, and a pinch of brown sugar... 


Mini

lief's picture
lief

Thanks for your kind words, Mini.  I admire your "work" on TFL.  I really like your idea for the tamarind fish marinade... I'm sure that I'll use it at some point :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I was thinking about that combo for bread as well...  anyway...  if you add gingerale and changed to fresh coriander instead of seed pods to the marinade above, one could eat the fish raw.  Sort of like a raw fish salad adding salt and pepper, tobasco to taste.  (The heat must be bringing out the honorary "Tico" in me.)  

lief's picture
lief

I'm with Mini on this on, Bernie.  I would love to see a picture, as well as the formula and methods for your miche, if you are willing to share.  It sounds quite nice!  If you aren't afraid to bake it, then why be afraid to post it?  Perhaps it won't please everyone (what does?), but if it pleases you, then I'm sure it will please others as well.


Thank you for your experimental support :-)

BerniePiel's picture
BerniePiel

sesame seeds and Black Cherries w/ a pate fermente from sourdough starter and KAF's BF, non-organic and a couple of pinches of instant yeast (about 1/8 tsp total).  I made this bread without measuriing anything and just determining "from feel or experience" what were the proper amounts of the diverse flours going into this exotic bread, water, salt, a full jar of sesame seeds which were toasted and added to the flour, the remainder of a bag of walnuts and a bag of black cherries ended the day.  The bread was delicious, especially as a morning toast. 


http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=69625&id=1172499599<B>


I'm at a loss why my Mac is so termperamental when trying to load photos on TFL?????  It's maddening.  Mini, I know you are the Grand PooBah of Apple computers so if you are able to load some of these, I'd appreciate the help.  Also, my apologies for the quality of the photos, but they are acceptable enough to get the idea of what these looked like.  One of the loaves was baked in a circular couche w/ a domed lid, the other was simply slid off of a peel onto the oven stone w/ no cover.  Both were scoured, but the one in the couche cracked open on the side due to oven spring.  I mixed the dough by hand and am doing that a lot more often because it is helping me understand the dough and how it reacts.  Also, I'm fairly brutal about my kneading which is simply lifting if off my marble kneading block with a scraper and letting the dough stretch from its own weight and then slamming it down quite forcibly and after a few minutes, the dough takes on a wonderful silky texture.  I like a slightly wet dough because of my belief that great oven spring will generally occur when the dough is wetter, rather than dry.  The final product was so big that I was able to feed 4 families by quatering the loaf that split.  The other is in my bread box and freezer.


While you are on my facebook page, if you go there, please check out my sesame seed Italian bread--again a couple of loaves, but mixed w/ KAF's European Style Flour and a pate fermente from sourdough and handmixed and kneaded.


Since I'm happy with those loaves, as well, here's the link:    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=69616&id=1172499599.


This bread was really delicious.  I also should say "thank you" to David for his blog recipes on Italian bread which I reviewed before attemping to make these latter loaves.


I agree with you, Lief, about showing pix.  I just can't seem to get the hang of how to do it w/ my MacBook Pro.


Bernie Piel

lief's picture
lief

Hey Bernie,


I continue to refuse to join Facebook, so I can't look at your photos, but did you see the photo FAQ on TFL?


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2960/posting-photos-faq


The description of your bread is quite intriguing.  I may try my hand at something like this at some point (obviously, I can't replicate your recipe since there isn't one) but it sounds like a nice combination.


Happy Baking!

BerniePiel's picture
BerniePiel

I've got a little time this morning so I'm going to see if I can master this photo upload process for TFL.  I use a Mac and Mini has been very helpful but I don't load photos very frrequently on this site so its like starting new every time I have something to upload.  I just need to make the commitment to learn which I'm going to try this morning.


You are right about there not being a written recipe.  I learned how to bake from my maternal "country" relatives that live in Southern ILL. and your comment quickly brought to mind my Aunt Violet's instructions on how to make bakiing powder biscuits....which was a 'pinch of this a handful of that...."  When I pressed her for more specificity she said "Who cooks like that?  You need to learn how it all comes together."  Hence the way I cook.  I admit it's almost like each loaf is a new experiment.  I admit that I do use recipes but I almost always will add different ingredients or vary amounts to suit my taste preferences.  E.g. extra cinnamon, extra tsp of vanilla, an egg here, and so forth.


I also must admit that when I first started cooking (age14) I made some less than tasty mistakes but by the time I reached 20, and I'll be 65 in September, the mistakes became fewer and fewer, but they still happen when I'm trying something totally new.  Your initial post shows me that you, too, are willing to experiment, hence the addition of the dates to the tamarind bread which sounded great to me.  Finally, I should say that since I got the "bug" about baking bread, I bought almost all of the major bread books and then read most of them and this base of knowledge is what serves as my broad guidelines when I'm baking.  The use of different flours as flavor producers were gleaned from several of the texts including Calvel's and Reinhart's, Maggie Gleezer's was an impetus for adding cherries to walnuts, the toasted sesame seeds was my own addition; I'm also a member of BBA and found a blurb by P. Hamel on using rye flour and its unique properties which affect hydration and how sugar conversion will affect the potential wet and gummy quality of recipes containing rye flour (because of that I added 1/4 cup of honey to the "recipe" I mentioned.  So that's a little on how I bake and I think real breakthroughs in anything comes about by doing something different.  Now to try to figure out how to upload photos.


Bernie Piel

lief's picture
lief

Bernie,


I understand where you are coming from.  I tend to cook like that myself, but when it comes to bread, I tend to be much more strict (about measuring, not what goes into the bread!).  It's kind of funny now that I think about it, but I have this desire to be able to reproduce my breads as closely as possible and that is why I make sure to write everything down and measure everything.  I usually even work everything out on paper before hand if I'm creating a brand new recipe.  But I don't do that at all when I'm cooking, even though I have many loose "recipes" that I cook, I don't really care, or even really want, to reproduce them exactly.  Funny thing that.

BerniePiel's picture
BerniePiel

with a HUGE THANK YOU to Mini for her lessons on how to do this on a Mac and w/ TFL's uploader.  I would never have been able to figure this out w/o her help.


Lt Rye, WW, KAF Euro w/ cherries, walnuts and toasted sesame seeds


The loaf on the right was baked in a covered clay couche and I forgot to score it so it found it's on break points; the loaf on the left was baked directly on the stone.  Other images to follow:



Crumb shot of the loaf baked on the stone.  (Incidentally, the covered loaf was several tones lighter than the uncovered loaf pictured above--which is to be expected.)  I baked them in a hot 525 degree oven for first 15 min w/ addition of three pours of 8oz of water poured into an old enameled baking sheet that covers the bottom of my oven done every five minutes.  After 15 minutes, I lowered the temp to 450, then 15 minutes later to 400 for 20 minutes and gave a longer an extra 10 minutes to the loaf in the uncovered couche to make certain it was cooked through.  I dropped my nsertion thermometer and it broke, so I had to wing it on loaf temp and the extra time worked to my advantage.  The loaves were extremely tasty and a good combination of ingredients.  Morning toast w/ butter or cream cheese--yummy.


The following are crumb shots on the stone baked loaf.  I'm afraid I didn't take photos of the other because I had neighbors clamoring to get a quarter of that loaf.  The bits of brown in the crumb are the Oklahoma hard red wheat which ground from berries from some local producers in my food coop and which I milled in my Nutrimill in a somewhat coarse grind for both flavor and healthy fiber.



Also, I had mentioned my sourdough seeded Italian which also used the KAF Euro style flour, so here are some pix of those two loaves:




Lief, many thanks to you for the prodding to learn how to upload photos.  Now I just need to learn how to size them so they aren't so "in your face" large.  I really enjoy making bread w/o a traditional recipe or just using someone else's recipe as a point of departure and creating a new taste.  Also, these breads, especially the rye/ww/euro-style/cherry/walnut/sesame seeds, because I was dealing w/ about 7 pounds of dough really gave me an appreciation for just mixing the dough by hand and feeling it change into each of its stages as it interacted w/ the varying amounts of water, kneading, resting, S&F's, etc.  Definitely Happy Baking. 


Bernie

lief's picture
lief

I'm glad you got the photo thing worked out.  I have to say that your miche crumb shot has my mouth watering!  I just came back from a trip to the market and I almost bought some dried cherries, thinking of this bread.  However, I refrained because I just aquired my first batch of pumpernickel flour a couple of days ago and have a few recipes I would like to try with that flour first.  I can almost gaurantee you that I'll be attempting to recreate some version of your miche though.


How important is the KAF European Style flour to the character of this bread?  I haven't seen it in any of my local markets.  I guess I could always order some and have it shipped...

BerniePiel's picture
BerniePiel

with pumperknickel, as well.  The walnuts, cherries and rye just seem to go together.  I did not use sesme seeds, but a tbs of anise seeds, but don't overdo it with them.  The KAF Euro style isn't critical by any means, but when I used it in an earlier loaf that had some diced hard salame kneaded into it, it was awesome.  I did another where I formed a rectangle, spread a thin coat of chopped garlic, a layer of hard salame and then some sliced fresh basil leaves over most of the salame.  Rolled it up and let it rise for an hour in my garage which is pretty warm and the results were really delicious.  Makes great pizza, as well.  Enjoy the pumperknickel and thanks for pushing me to learn how to post photos, Lief.


Bernie Piel