The Fresh Loaf

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XI - They've got IT!!!....or do they? : A Mystery of Maison Kayser's Bread Solved.......or not?

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lumos's picture
lumos

XI - They've got IT!!!....or do they? : A Mystery of Maison Kayser's Bread Solved.......or not?

A bit of a breather to ease the tention created by my obsessive baguette journey. :p

I was browsing through internet leisurely yesterday, searching for some information about Eric Kayser for Andy (ananda), and totally by accident, I came across a blog entry which mentioned…..Pain aux Algues, SEAWEED BREAD, by Maison Kayser!!!!!  Apparently he got the inspiration when started his operation in Japan, travelling to and fro France/Japan and spending some time there,  and conjured up a formula of bread aimed at Japanese market, initially, with chopped up wakame (the most commonly used seawwed) mixed in the dough, which quickly joined the array of breads in his branches in France, too.

Pain aux Algues (海藻のパン) sold by MK’s Japanese branches

 

A blogger in Paris reporting her experience of Pain aux Algue by MK

 

So, maybe a hint of seaweedy aroma I detected in the pain au levain my daughter got it from Paris wasn't entirely an illusion my  aging brain created????? 

I hastily continued my search for more info on his seaweed bread, and, admittedly, and a bit disappointingly, I found Pain aux Algues they sold had light, white crumb with chopped-up pieces of  seaweed clearly visible.  So obviously the bread we had was not that.

 

Crumb of Pain aux Algues sold at MK Japan

 

French blogger’s attempt to re-create MK’s Pain aux Algues (Firefox translation)

 

But what IF M.Kayser was taken to the idea of using seaweed to add an extra dimension and depth to the flavour and aroma (seaweeds are known to have lots of ‘umami) and  has conjured up another new bread which included seaweed in more discreet way, like just as the extract of seaweed rather than as more obvious chopped-up form?

I don’t know……But maybe?.......or may be not?

 

I  close this blog entry by just reporting the other loaf my daughter bought for me had a similar flavour profile but  in a milder way and with more open and softer texture and lighter coloured crumb, and it did NOT  have any hint of  the seaweedy aroma the first one had.

 

Gros Pain au Levain by Maison Kayser

(Sorry, I couldn't resist...... the centre bit sliced off for quick tasting before taking the photo....)

 

 

MK's Gros Pain au Levain sitting with my......er.....can't remember what they were..... whatever....

 

best wishes,

lumos

 

 

 

Comments

suave's picture
suave

Seaweed breads have been known for a long, long time, definitely from before the rise of Kayser, and yes, they are known to use seaweed extract.

lumos's picture
lumos

Or has it? I didn't know that. Thank you very much for the input, suave. :)

But the assumption above that M. Kayser got the inspiration was what I read in an article/a blog entry somewhere, not my invention. ;)

It's good to know seaweed extract is used for some breads, though the mystery still remains if that bread in question was one of them....  My daughter certainly does not recall seeing'algue' in the bread's name.  In general, if seaweed extract is included in the ingredients, would they state it within the bread's name, do you know by any chance?

 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Seaweed in bread...that gives me all kinds of ideas...

lumos's picture
lumos

I burst out laughing....literally. :D :D :D    Have I told you how much I love you? :p

 

L......l......l......lo....ok forward to see what you come up with, txfarmer!!! :D

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

fertilizer in my garden, worked great. Pansies tasted yummy !  :)

Anna

 

lumos's picture
lumos

Yeah, I've read some seaside villages in Britain used to use seaweed as fertilizer in olden days.

Look forward to the day Maison Kayser list 'garden fertilizer' on their list of bread ingredients. :p

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

just might

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi lumos,

Very interesting!   I'm sure one of my Bakery Students came up with an idea to make a Seaweed Bread for a baking competition last year.   And his source was none other than M. Bertinet!

All good wishes

Andy

ps. his loaf was excellent too!

lumos's picture
lumos

Oh, yeah, clearly forgotten about it!  It's in his first book (Dough), isn't it?  ::goes to check the book::

..........Yup, it says,

I used to do something similar in Brittany using local seaweed but here I find Japanese wakame very well.  Because of if affinitiy with the sea, it is fantastic with the seafood....

 

Wakame is the one used for Maison Kayser's Pain aux Algues in Japan.  Now I understand what the article that claimed 'Eric Kayser got the inspiration in Japan' meant; not the inspiration for using seaweed, but for using wakame instead of more traditional French seaweed.  *light bulb*

When I saw the recipe, just the idea of using something so Japanese put me off, actually....  I've seen too many funny combinations of ingredients for bread (and often for other types of European/Western foods) in Japan to please the local palate, using very traditional Japanese food to pair with something very European/Western. Some of them do work, mind you, but others are just plain weird!  Japanese are quite good at making many kinds of 'foreign' foods in a very authentic fashion, but they sometimes ......you know. :p

In his second book (Crust), M. Bertinet's got another Japanesque bread 'Japanese Sushi Rolls' which uses 'nori', rolling it between dough like .....sushi rolls....sitting in a Japanese lacquer-ware bowl with a bottle of sake.......... Monsieur Bertinet, IF you're reading this, please don't,  anymore.....:p

 

We did have seafood with the first loaf. It was excellent with marinated herring + cottage cheese. Actually, when I smelled the loaf, I couldn't think of anything other than some sort of seafood to bo well  with such unique aroma, so it was no brainer.

Thanks for waking up the bit of my aging grey cells, Andy! ;)

 

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Lumos,

Don't know if you caught this post of Syd's a while back on his blog, but he took the idea of combining sea flavours with bread in one of the most unique directions I've ever seen, inspired by a bread that's made in Taiwan. This is somewhat in the same realm of seaweed and bread but notched up considerably in flavour I'm sure, and certainly in colour. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23179/squid-ink-baguette

If you've ever had black pasta made with squid ink you'll have a good idea of the flavour. I think it's a natural for any type of seafood sandwich, or fish/seafood dish sauteed in butter. A very interesting post that you might enjoy if you haven't seen it already.

Franko

lumos's picture
lumos

Sorry, I haven't warned you before, but  you've just entered the danger zone, Franko......  If you get me started about squid ink, you'll have a trouble trying to stop me. I. JUST. LOVE. SQUID. INK!!!!!!

It's not traditionally used in Japan except for very few areas,  funnily enough, inspite of our notorious reputation for using every bits of every known fishy-species in every form,  but Italian is the most popular 'Western' food in Japan since mid-'80s, and since then everybody loves squid ink pasta, squid ink risotto, etc. etc......I was already in UK that time, so I had my first taste of squid ink in Italy and I was immediately hooked. Since then,  whenever I see squid ink on a menu in Italian/Spanish restaurants, I (and my daughter) definitely order it.....painting our teeth and lips black.   (we tend to grin a lot with joy when we're eating squik ink, so it really shows.....:p)

Anyway......In Japan, it became so popular, some bakeries and restaurants started making  squid-ink baguettes (the dark ones in the middle, standing between regular baguettes)  and many homebakers started making those themselves, too.   That was in sometime in '90s, I think.   Many bread books have a recipe or two for squid-ink breads, too.

Many Far Eastern and South Eastern Asian countries seem to got a lot of influences from Japanese food scenes, especially breads, in recent years ( I hope a lot of TFLers from that region would testify that), so what  Syd discovered in Taiwan might've also been one of the 'imported ideas' from Japan, though in Japan they tends not add sugar, etc, to enrich the dough, like in Taiwan.  The dough for their squid ink baguettes is more or less same as standard baguette; very lean, but with the richness and depth of flavour coming from squid ink it self.  They have various kinds of squid ink baguettes or petit pain rustique  with some filling mixed into dough, like nuts, edamame (young green soya beans), chopped and fried bacon/pancetta,  etc. etc.... (I wonder if txfarmer is watching this.....:p) 

My local fishmonger recently started stocking squid ink in small sachets, and I almost gave him a  passionate kiss hug when I found it on his counter.  So, naturally, 'squid ink baguette' is on my 'Bread to Bake' list since then. I'm thinking of making it once my T55 trials has (sort of) completed. ;)

best wishes,

lumos

 

 

 

ww's picture
ww

seaweed, squid ink.... was also in Japan that i ate uni bread. I bought a loaf thinking it was tomato paste bread (being of  an orangey-brick red colour), little did i guess it was uni! wasn't quite what i wanted for breakfast :)

we have here preserved olive leaves, which i love, and i've always thought of using it in breads, perhaps a focaccia. Thanks lumos for reminding me, and the French obsession :)

 

lumos's picture
lumos

I've seen uni (sea urchin) bread, too, in Japan. Didn't eat it. I LOVE uni, but I only love it when it's raw.....and with soy sauce and bit of wasabi....or lemon juice.......gosh, I'm drooling......

So can I please ask where  your 'here' is,  ww?  I checked your profile page but it doesn't say where you live. 

Never heard of preserved olive leaves. Is it a bit similar to preserved grape leaves?  How do you use it?  .....whatever that is, using it fro focaccia certainly sounds yum!!

Thank YOU for letting me know of the ingredients I've never known existed.  I'm a completely food-obsessed, any new knowledge for food-related thingy would just make me very happy!  You made my day.....and it's only 8:25 in the morning here.  :)

 

ww's picture
ww

Singapore. Nope, never did do anything except randomly reply to pp and post the occasional photo.

kana chai, i see, is translated as preserved olive vegetable. It is a dark green leafy vegetable, a briny mush that comes in a small bottle. Asian tapenade if you like - but just vegetables and oil. Also the texture is mushy but not completely so. You can still make out the individual leaves, sort of like seaweed, not whole and large like vine leaves. A staple of SE Asian pantries that comes by way of Thailand, i think. A typical dish using this ingredient is kana chai fried rice. My mother also steams it with tofu. You can strew it most anything and it'll be delicious IMO :)

btw, i sent you a message.

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks! ...and thank you for PM. I've already replied. ;)

The olive thingy is very very intriguing!  Can you please tell me how to spell it in Chinese characters?  I have  two large Chinese food shops not too far from me, so they may have it there. They stock lots of preserved foods in a jar, both Chinese origin and also from other Eastern/South Eastern Asian countries, like Thailand.   

I  know 'chai' is '菜', but if you could tell me what the 'kana' part is, it'd be easier for me to look for.....I think.... ::fingers crossed::

 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

>>>I've seen uni (sea urchin) bread, too, in Japan. Didn't eat it. I LOVE uni, but I only love it when it's raw.....and with soy sauce and bit of wasabi....or lemon juice.......gosh, I'm drooling......  <<<<

I love eating raw liver - maybe the two of us could do a reality show, hehe 

;) Anna

lumos's picture
lumos

They eat raw urchin in Sicily, too.  But they serve it in its shell, just slice open the top part, with a wedge of lemon.  They know Japanese like it raw urchin, so whenever the waiters see an oriental-looking tourist walking past their restaurants, they shout 'uni! uni! uni!' and  and try to drag you inside their restaurants. :D

I think raw liver is popular in Korean cuisine. Most of Korean barbecue restaurants in Japan have it on the menu, and I love it, too.   Maybe you're born to a wrong country. :p

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Krupuk, Roti, not only seaweed but shrimp makes a good bread/cracker flavour.  Shrimp paste?  Fish sauce?  how about pulverized tiny dried shrimp?

I could brew up some seaweed, strain using the infused water in the dough.  That way... no green flecks!  

Just thoughts & brain storming here...    What about black bread with green onions?   

lumos's picture
lumos

Not sure if fish sauce works because it has such a strong and distinct smell because of fermentation.  But others definitely sounds very promising.....though if someone invented sushi bread with real raw fish in it, I'll just kill him! I mean it!

I don't mind having green flecks, actually.  I think it'll be very attractive. You can even use your nettles in it! ;)

Let us all sit back and see what txfarmer'll come up with!! :p

 

ww's picture
ww

Hi Lumos,

was at the supermarket and remembered. It's called Olive Vegetables Hong Kong. This particular brand is Sin Guo, from China. The ingredients are: mustard leaf (i should have guessed!), vegetable oil, olive, salt, food additives. In Chinese it would be: 橄榄菜

hope you  can find it!

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you so much, ww! Really appreciate it.

I went to one of two Chinese supermarkets (almost) near me and looked for 'olive vegetable' but couldn't find it.

So is olive vegetable same as mustard leaf (芥菜)?  What's different between this and pickled mustard leaf?   I've come across a couple of blogs on 橄榄菜 by  Japanese bloggers who live in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and both of them said it's such a great 'discovery' of new taste for them (which makes me even more eager to find it! :p), though none of them seem to be too sure about what it is.  And one of them seem to think it's 芥菜 pickeled in olive oil, but it's not is it?

Now I know how to spell in Chinese character, I'll write it down and take it to the shops to see if they can help me.

Thank you very much again. :)

lumos

 

 

ww's picture
ww

look what some poking about in the fridge yielded - a half-used bottle of the object in question!

i'm not good with Asian pickled and preserved stuff in general, my mother having a distrust of most things preserved. I just know we have preserved radishes and cucumbers and the more leafy vegetable types. I distinguish them more by taste and use - chopped up as garnishes, or actually cooked as one of the ingredients. Apparently we're not the only baffled ones, see this: http://www.kitchenchick.com/2007/03/pickled_mustard.html

I think the diff betw pickled mustard leaf and preserved olive vegetable is that the latter has OLIVES and is PRESERVED IN OIL, whereas pickled mustard leaf is, i imagine, just the vegetable and is pickled in vinegar and water. Don't take my word for it though. Our dear kana chai is a bit of a misnomer actually: it's not olive leaves (thus not the Greek vine leaf) and is not preserved in olive oil. It is a direct transliteration: preserved + olives + vegetable :)) The taste of olive comes through very obviously, and this is probably why i like it so much.

Another brand

a dark green, briny, oily mess

meanwhile the rest of the TFLers must wonder what we are on about...excuse us for the diversion!

lumos's picture
lumos

LOL more we dig, we encounter more mysteries. :D

I know what preserved mustard vegetables/leaves (usually preserved in salt and let it ferment for several months  during which time it develops sour note naturally)  are because it's used in some Chinese dishes popular in Japan or eaten with rice. 

According to some sources on internet,  the 'olive vegetable' in question is completely different plant from European olives, but it's translated like that because it bears fruits that look like olives. 

I usually go by Chinese name on a label, because I can usually tell what they mean by looking at Chinese characters used,  even if I can't read them...and quite often English translation on the label is just useless because they just put 'vegetable' for any sort of vegetables which doesn't tell you anything other than it's not animal. :p   Though I've never come across the characters used for kana-chai before so I have no idea what they mean....and they're so complicated there's no way I remember them! 

btw Dunlop (Fuschia Dunlop) mentioned in that blog is a great food writer, specialised in Sichuan and Hunan cooking.  She's the first 'westerner' who were trained in their official cookery school for their cuisine and her recipes are very authentic. She's published two cookery books and both are very good. Thoroughly recommend it, if you like that style of cooking.  She's opened a Sichuan restaurant in Soho, London, a few years ago and that's really good, too! Definitely one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in London. ;)

lumos