The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cider - another of those pesky words that means something different in the UK to the States

Zeb's picture
Zeb

Cider - another of those pesky words that means something different in the UK to the States

I've been talking to DrFugawe who has recently been baking a Nancy Silverton apple bread and this month I am going to bake the Hamelman Normandy Apple Bread.

I have come to realise, and it's probably been discussed here before, that cider in America is not the same thing as cider in England.

The confusion lies particularly with the term 'sweet cider'. To an English person, that means an alcoholic fermented and usually carbonated drink made from pressed apples which happens to be sweet. We have dry, sweet, semi-sweet, sparkling ciders, all alcoholic, and then there's scrumpy too, if you live in my part of the world. 

To an American, it means apple juice pure and simple. Now I know.  It's like corn flour and cornflour, again two different things, or american pumpernickel and Westphalian pumpernickel,  or American cheddar and English Cheddar. Same names, but a world of difference. 

So if anyone else from this side of the Atlantic (England)  is baking from 'Bread', be aware that JH doesn't intend for you to use your local organic cider, he just wants you to use some nice freshly pressed organic apple juice along with your home dried apple pieces.

Having said that is there any reason for not using some good English cider?  I was thinking that if I treated the cider in a similar way to the way Dan Lepard makes barm bread, that would be a good jumping off point for an excellent sourdough. Has anyone here tried doing that?

 

Happy Baking

 

Zeb

Comments

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Hi Zeb,

Perhaps the post here might be of interest to you.

 

SteveB

www.breadcetera.com

Zeb's picture
Zeb

Hi Steve,

 

Thanks for the link!  That bread of yours looks just great and I think that's probably the way to go.  In the West Country where I live we have lots of 'hard' cider production and it would be a shame not to use something local to me. It's good to know it works fine in a yeasted bread. Edit, nope I didn't read your post closely enough, you did use sourdough and a spike, ah ha! That's pretty close to what I was thinking of doing.

I'll pop back and post when I have made it - probably next week. I might experiment with a barm just to see how it goes, but that would be a bit far from Hamelman's recipe which I am supposed to be following :)

Zeb

 

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

isn't 'carbonated - except by the natural fermentation of yeast. 

We have many types of cider, including scrumpy - which probably would be as  undrinkable to most Americans as it is to most English people. It's sometimes called 'rough' cider, it's cloudy, fresh, not sold in bottles and doesn't affect anyone until they go into the fresh air ...

Mary

EvaB's picture
EvaB

like the cider we buy in the liqour stores here, although its not rough or cloudy, but darn sneaky stuff, two bottles of it, and you can't walk properly!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Joanne,

Why don't you use a live cider to create the "barm", in the traditional way bakers used beer to seed their leavens in Britain.   There must be a lot of traditional ciders where you live where the fermentation has been kept alive?

I take your point about diverting from the recipe, but you did ask about using cider.

All good wishes

Andy

Zeb's picture
Zeb

Hi Earle, I think I was worrying about the effect of the alcohol on the starter in the dough, you're right, but I have since read several posts, like SteveB's where it seems to be fine to use 'hard cider' so I will do that.

Hello Mary

I used the term carbonated loosely just to mean fizzy, wasn't thinking about where the fizz came from particularly.  I refer to scrumpy in my original post, I know it from my student days, and on draught it is still popular -  and lethal,  in the cider pubs round Bristol, though there are bottled versions available too.

 

Hi Andy, I don't know how to create a tradtional barm, the only reference I have for making a version of barm is Dan Lepard's very fine barm bread in HML, that's what I was thinking of originally. I wondered if anyone here had already played with that method with a 'hard cider' ...  I think I might try that after I've had a run through of the basic recipe using a traditional english cider - that is if I decide I like apple bread in the first place. It sounds like it's going to be very sweet...

 

More than one probably wants to know about cider everywhere on Wiki - that I have been perusing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cider

pommeau anyone?

 

 

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

Hello Mary

I used the term carbonated loosely just to mean fizzy, wasn't thinking about where the fizz came from particularly. 

Yes but in UK the word 'carbonated' doesn't mean naturally fizzy, it means that carbon dioxide has been added for extra sparkle. I don't think it's done to cider (I hope it isn't), sparkling ciders are naturally fermented so produce their own CO2.

Coke, though, is carbonated. 'sparkling water' is carbonated, 'lemonade' is carbonated as are other 'drinks' (which I don't touch) - I'm sure you understand.

 

Zeb's picture
Zeb

Hello again

As I said I really don't know much about carbonation but now I am curious so I bought a bottle of Organic Sheppy cider in Waitrose and here are pics of front and back

I don't see anything that says added yeast, I thought the fermentation part comes from the yeasts on the appleskins, but I do see carbon dioxide, and I see sulphur dioxide which presumably is what makes the cider clear. Scrumpy is usually still and cloudy and has neither carbon nor sulphur dioxide when you buy it at source on the farm. I used this to make the bread today, I think the alcohol has had an effect on the leaven, as the bread didn't rise as well as other breads I made today with the same leaven. 

There are a lot of ciders on the shelf, all clear, so presumably they are all treated with sulphur dioxide, even the organic ones as you can see here.   Best, Joanna

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

I don't see anything that says added yeast, I thought the fermentation part comes from the yeasts on the appleskins,

It does.

but I do see carbon dioxide, and I see sulphur dioxide which presumably is what makes the cider clear.

CO2 is produced by the action of yeast on the sugars, it isn't introduced. Malic acid is the natural acid of apples. SO2 is a preservative and IS added - which I don't consider makes an organic product but it's allowed even in organic beers, ciders and wines. It doesn't need to be added to distilled spirits of course. 

Scrumpy is usually still and cloudy and has neither carbon nor sulphur dioxide when you buy it at source on the farm.

Oh it does have CO2, it can't be avoided when making alcohol. SO2 isn't introduced at the gate. The CO2 doesn't HAVE to be labelled.

The clarity is achieved by settling and perhaps fining, the fining doesn't stay in the product so doesn't have to be on the label.

There are a lot of ciders on the shelf, all clear, so presumably they are all treated with sulphur dioxide, even the organic ones as you can see here. 

They are all clear because it's thought that that's what the consumer wants, also because any solids left in (which produce the cloudiness) make the product unstable, therefore reducing its shelf life. 

Selling at the gate (direct from the producer) doesn't need to have a shelf life - but if you keep it yourself you'll discover that it isn't stable :-) 

Mary