The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Annyang Hasaeyo from South Korea

KristinP's picture
KristinP

Annyang Hasaeyo from South Korea

I've been around the forums a little bit but don't think I've formally introduced myself yet.  I'm an English teacher in Daegu, South Korea, originally from Seattle Washington.  Korea has a humongous void where bread should be.  Most of their baked goods are overly sweet and steamed.  One of the things I miss most is crusty, rustic, SIMPLE bread.  After 16 months here, necessity has called and I'm attempting to make my own bread out of brute force.  I've acquired a fair amount of kitchen equipment, all things considered and I can also find my way around the grocery stores and markets with relative efficiency.  It's been pretty successful, but the hardest part of baking in Korea is finding ingredients.  All the basics are readily available - flour, baking powder, yeast, etc, but I'm having a hard time finding things like high-gluten flour, cornmeal, many spices, semolina, rye flour, or other "special" flours. Today I actually found powdered wheat gluten available in small amounts that I added to some bagels I'm making.  It's expensive and in very small amounts though.  The other major limiting factor is my oven.  It's a counter-top, convection oven, which works reasonable well but it's really small (about the size of a microwave) and only goes up to 440F. So far I've been able to make ciabatta, foccacia, english muffins, banana bread and cinnamon rolls with great success.  I have some bagels retarding right now that I'll boil in a day or so.


Are there any other expats in South Korea out there?  Do you have any insider hook-ups or have you figured out how to find baking ingredients?  I also brew beer and was lucky enough to almost literally stumble upon a Korean homebrew supply store!  However, I haven't been able to find the equivalent for baking supplies.


Also, one other question.  I have acquired a precious amount of cardamom!  What are your favorite cardamom recipes?  I want only the best, this is like gold to me!


 


-Kristin

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hi Kristin


I'm sure Mini Oven will be along shortly, in the meantime try typing Korea into the search box.


Sounds like you are doing very well with your oven, this recent thread from Sally will provide some more encouragement:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21789/sometimes-person-needs-give


Robyn

fenchel2c's picture
fenchel2c

Kristen,


You may not have breads but you have Dunkin' Donuts.  We don't have them on the west coast.  Enjoy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Welcome to TFL!   I spent a little time SW of Seoul, purchased a Magic steam oven there and have whipped out a few loaves in the past 3 years.   Lucky you to find a homebrew supply!   They can more than likely get you some whole grains for baking.  Let the store management of your local Lotte or X-mart know you want whole wheat flour, and unbleached bread flours.   They now can offer baking parchment paper.   Also, check the expat sites for delivery services to see if they are affordable or available in your area.   Many times they know where the ingredients can quickly be found.


Bangsan Market near Dongdaemun in Seoul is where I found some hard to find ingredients.  There must be a place in Daegu or Busan as well.  I found some hard to get spices in the South Asian sector of Ansan.  The only place I could get cinnamon, corriander, & star anis.  Ask your expats from the Philippines where one "area" might be located near you.  Cloves is one spice we could not find.   You might get started with a sourdough and you can certainly turn out some pretzels using soda.


I found out if I put the black baking pan that came with my oven directly on the bottom of the oven, inverted, it improved the heat a lot under the loaves.  I bought a few trivets in the market to raise my loaves up off that baking pan and aluminum foil to cover the loaves until I was ready for them to brown. 


Well time for you to get up and me to go to bed.  Have a good day!


Mini


 

KristinP's picture
KristinP

Thanks for the insight!  Do you happen to know what the words for whole wheat or some of the whole grains are in Korean?  I live right by a Costco, so I've been buying the 20kg bags of bread flour from there.  But I would love some flax seed or wheat berry. 


 


I actually managed to find the middle eastern shops in Daegu and found star anise, cinnamon and cloves even!  Were you ever able to find saffron?


 


Thanks for the tip on putting the black pan at the bottom.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

of brown and black rice which can also be used like whole wheat berries, a hot soaker first and you're in business!  No I don't know the name for whole wheat but can you ask other teachers at work?  I have seen it.  So it must be there.  Are you interested in baking with Makale or the rice beer?  Might also be interesting.  Some of their grain/legume mixes for adding to rice can also be used.   Pearl barley, roasted sesame seeds (a few teaspoons inside the dough is wonderful!) and then there are the stands in the supermarket that sell powdered vegetables and grains, I never got them to make me the mixture I wanted but looks like it might be worth a try to 'fibernate' the bread.  Stay away from the packaged rough looking barley mixtures, it contains grains with ergot and rope (nasty fungi you don't want near your kitchen, and as a precaution, don't pick up the bag buy any flour that is near the stuff on the supermarket shelf.  It's not worth it.)


I never found saffron.  I did use lots of orange and lemon peels (and garlic) to flavor stuff like the beautiful squashes available.  Baking Chocolate/cocao was also tricky to locate.  I ended up buying drink cocoa and subtracting sugar from recipes.  It's one thing I take back and forth along with caraway, fennel, bread spices, flax, rye flour, vanilla sugar/beans, baking pwd, and pumpkin oil/seeds and a kilo or two of spelt flour.  I did see normal shelled seeds lately and a mixture of seeds with the green pumpkin seeds that would be worth trying.  The dried seasoning packages (for rise dishes) with mushrooms, vegetables and herbs also temp me to layer them inside a soft dough or throw into pizza sauce.


If you look up Norm's hard roll recipe it is very handy and versatile recipe.  I would aim to come out with a dough about 800g and divide it into two pans of 4 to bake.  I like to drop cardamom into my coffee.  It is great in sweet doughs like brioche and the like.  Run a search for it here.  There are about three excellent recipes that I know are hidden in the archives.  A good strong piece of cardboard has been a handy friend to me and my mini oven as a peel.  I would have sheets of parchment all over the kitchen table and an inverted baking sheet hot in the oven.  Then slide them in and out onto the hot pan with the bakes.  I ended up buying one of those wire shelves on wheels, the one with the wider bottom three shelves and a board.  Parked my oven on the board and used the 4th narrow top shelf as a cooling rack.  How long are you planning to stay in Korea?

mini_maggie's picture
mini_maggie

I know this is an old thread but I was doing a search on black rice because a friend just gave me a huge bag of it, and I thought in addition to cooked rice there had to be a way I could incorporate it into some bread.  Mini Oven, I'm glad to see you say you can use it like wheat berries.  How long a hot soak would you suggest?  Essentially fully cooked, or just softened? 

I've already perused previous posts on it, but anyone else have any suggestions on baking with black rice?  I've found some nice coconut rice pudding recipes I will try, but open to any and all baking options, bread or otherwise.   The type I have is Chinese black, not the more glutinous Thai sticky black rice.

Someone let me know if it's preferable to start a new thread than to hijack an old inactive one.  Thought I'd post here so hopefully at least Mini Oven will see my question.  

Thanks!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

by volume (funny how that is) and cook it first in a rice cooker, just like regular rice always wash it first.  Check on it after 20min to see what it's doing if the aroma changes, a little brown on the bottom is not at all bad, lots of caramel flavour!  But don't burn it.  

Once it cools down, add to your liquid bread recipe ingredients or use your liquids or ice cubes (weigh them) to cool it down but make sure your sourdough and/or yeast don't go in the hot rice if you can't keep your hand submerged in it.  Uncooked rice tends to stay hard, compete for dough moisture and make nasty lumps on the surface.  

Cooked rice can also bake hard on the crust so try to poke them inside or under before final proof.  Treat them like nuts, the cooked rice shouldn't interfere with the dough hydration if all the cooking water is absorbed.  Wet or overcooked rice on the other hand might make a big difference, keep that in mind when adding the liquids to the recipe.  Might want to hold back a little bit and add later after most of the mixing is done.  Don't forget to weigh the rice when it is dry in the very beginning and figure for salt.  Figure 1.6 to 2% of the rice weight and put it into the boiling water.  During boiling is also a good time to add any spices you might want in the loaf or any sifted out bran from whole wheat flour or green tea bags.  

Have fun!

mini_maggie's picture
mini_maggie

Great tips, thank you!   Spicing the rice during the precook is a great idea too. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

time in hanseata's wild rice bread but really like Japanese black rice.  Never thought about using it in bread - but will soon enough if the sun keeps shining in AZ anyway:-)   Thanks for the reminder Mini. 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Those were the very same reasons why I started baking my own bread in Maine!


I hope you will find ways to get your necessary ingredients - and there are many breads that you can bake at lower temperatures.


Mini, as always you are a well of wisdom, I really admire your survival skills in those breadless deserts!


Happy baking,


Karin


 

Stephanie24's picture
Stephanie24

Hi Kristen, I'm also in Korea - I live in Bucheon (in Gyeonggido).


I've never made bread before, but I plan to try soon. Korean bread is just so disappointing...


My husband says that whole wheat flour is called 통밀 (tongmil) in Korean. You can find some on this Korean website: www.happybaking.com


 

globalgourmand's picture
globalgourmand

Kristin!

Boy are you right about the bread situation here-- pitiful and depressing. (We also frequently lament the lack of real cheese.) But there is at least one baking supply store in Daegu which a friend just told me about. I haven't yet been but I hope to go tomorrow.  I'll report my findings.

Another thing I'd like to tell you about is a website that TFL's spam filter is not letting me post anything on. You can get organic, fair trade saffron, organic whole or ground flax seed, all kinds of spices, semolina, vital wheat gluten, all kinds of flours. Lots of things, even organic cardamom! And all at rather good prices. Shipping is quite inexpensive-- I just ordered some supplements and for an order over $60, the shipping was $4. I happen to have a referral coupon that will give you $5-10 off your purchase. Let me know if you're interested.

Incidentally, my husband is a beer elitist (add good beer to the list of things that are nearly impossible to find.) What kind of brews are you aiming for

Hm, I think maybe we should be friends? :) I'm a poor baker but a passionate cook? You'll be getting the short end of the stick since there's plenty of good food here and virtually no good bread but, if you're interested, I live in Yeongcheon about 40 minutes east of Daegu and come into town often.

Cheers,

Tanya

globalgourmand's picture
globalgourmand

Okay, so I stopped by the baking supply store today. I'd say its' focus is on pastry and dessert baking more than bread but there's still a lot there that you might find interesting and its worth a visit. Today I got LARGE bags of raw pepitas, sunflower seeds and raisins for a very good price. They have many other nuts like hazelnut, pistachio and walnut. There are also all kinds of flours and powders but they're more of the pumpkin and yam ilk (to make fillings) than rye and spelt. There is nice unsalted butter from New Zealand. Bulk marzipan. Lots in the realm of cookie cutters, cake decoration, icing spreaders, whisks, bowls...  lots of baking pans, tins and moulds that would fit in your little oven. There are lots of bulk spices, but mostly the generic ones. Its definitely worth checking out though, if only for fun. There also seems to be a little classroom off to the side. Its very easy to get to. Daegu metro station, exit 4. Look/walk right a few steps and you should see a yellow vertical sign on the lefthand side that says "Sam Won." Just past the sign on the left is the entrance. Its on the second floor and is open 8:30am to 7pm, if I recall correctly. I found a blog post about the place by googling "baking store in Daegu". I'd link but I think TFL thinks its spam and the post is easy to find anyway. The name of the blog is muchadoaboutlisa and the name of the post is "some sweet shopping."

Also, the name of the website where you can order virtually any spice and many dry ingredients shipped cheap to Korea is called iHerb dot com and the savings code is ZAP589 to get $10 off an order of $40 or more ($5 off less than $40.)

~T.