The Fresh Loaf

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Tartine's aromatic Semolina Bread + Walnut and Sage Wholewheat

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PiPs's picture
PiPs

Tartine's aromatic Semolina Bread + Walnut and Sage Wholewheat

I have wanted to bake the Semolina sourdough from Tartine Bread for some time now. The heady mix of toasted fennel and sesame seeds held within the golden crumb sounded like a delicious combination beneath a crunchy encrusted exterior.

Finding the durum flour proved to be quite a challenge though. It took me more than a few visits to organic grocery stores until I discovered a small bag tucked away on a low shelf from a New South Wales company specialising in pasta and durum based products.

It has been some time since I last baked with durum flour and I was a little nervous with the amount of water that the Tartine formula called for … 80% Hydration! … however the dough developed strongly over a three hour bulk ferment and shaped easily into batards. The seed coating looked beautiful as they quickly rose in cloth-lined baskets … it is hot and humid again in Brisbane.

The hot oven in the hot kitchen punched the wet dough upwards and I couldn’t help but let out a small sigh of relief as watched the oven spring unfold. This is aromatic bread. The crumb is full of vibrant fennel seeds with the sesame seeds playing a much smaller role in the flavour profile.  The crumb is sturdy but not tough … the fennel flavour is sturdy also - bright and savoury. I would be inclined to reduce the amount of fennel seeds just to allow the sesame flavour to show through a little more.

By the end of a week in the fridge, my desem starter is keen to step out and stretch it’s legs after pushing its bed of flour upwards to a cratered top. Keeping the ideal cool temperatures is an impossible dream at the moment so my next best option is to feed sooner and watch its development closely.

The idea for the Walnut and Sage bread surfaced during a week of afternoon bus trips home. I knew I wanted to bake a whole-wheat desem bread studded with walnuts and I loved the idea of incorporating a sweet honey walnut paste similar to a concept used by Dan Lepard. The idea of sage came after … to balance the added sweetness brought by the honey.

 


Walnut and Sage 100% Wholewheat

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight

2140g

 

Total flour

1081g

100%

Total water

919g

85%

Total salt

20g

2%

Prefermented flour

162g

15%

 

 

 

Desem build – 4 hrs 26°C

 

 

Starter (50g not included in final dough)

75g

50%

Freshly milled wheat

150g

100%

Water

75g

50%

 

 

 

Walnut Paste

 

 

Walnuts

50g

 

Walnut oil

20g

 

Honey

20g

 

Water

50g

 

 

 

 

Final dough

 

 

Desem starter

243 g

26%

Freshly milled organic wheat flour

919g

100%

Water

788g

85%

Walnuts lightly toasted

300g

32%

Walnut paste

140g

15%

Chopped fresh sage leaves

1/2 cup

 

Salt

2og

2%

 

Method

  1. Mix desem starter and leave to ferment four hours
  2. Mill flours and allow them to cool before mixing with cold water (Hold back 50g of water) from fridge and autolyse four hours.
  3. Combine walnut paste ingredients and mix till smooth with motar and pestle.
  4. Lightly roast remaining Walnuts and allow to cool.
  5. Add desem starter to autolyse then knead (French fold) 5 mins. Return the dough to a bowl and add salt and remaining 50 grams of water and squeeze through bread to incorporate (dough will separate then come back together smoothly) then knead a further 10 mins. Add Walnut paste, roasted walnuts and chopped sage leaves and squeeze through dough until combined.
  6. Bulk ferment two hours with two stretch-and-folds 30 mins apart.
  7. Preshape. Bench rest 20 mins. Shape.
  8. Proof for 1 hour at 28°C
  9. Bake in preheated dutch oven at 250°C for 10 mins then reduce temperature to 200°C and bake a further 10 mins. Remove from dutch oven and bake on stone for a further 20 mins.

 

After allowing them to cool I couldn’t wait any longer to try a slice. The knife sliced through the delicate soft crumb with ease. The walnut oil and walnut paste softened the crumb and coloured it the lightest purple. There were some lovely walnuts protruding from the crust but Nat’s quick fingers saw to them … I am sure they would have been distracting for the photos anyway :)

The sage flavour sits at the back of the palette complimenting the walnuts – you breathe it in - a perfect balance. So much so that the bread moves effortlessly between sweet and savoury settings. Perhaps a late breakfast with honey and ricotta or a slice toasted with blue cheese and glass of red to accompany one of our favourite pizzas on a Saturday afternoon watching the sun slowly set.

… our version of Jim Laheys Zucchini Pizza – with added red onion and pine nuts.

Cheers,
Phil

Comments

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

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dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I don't want to cut into it.  Not yet.  I  think that there might be something purple or green or both inside.  It could be a purple people eater or even something much, much worse.  I'll have to wait until the morning light - don't want to be crippled by darkness if it is something horrible ........and emerges very hungry.  I will need every advantage to escape when and if it attacks.  I plan to use them all if necessary.....until tomorrow then.  I'll contain it in a brown paper bag so it stays nice and comfy, unperturbed......  and has no reason to attack anyone ......until it is too late......and the bread knife strikes when it is least expected.  Sleep well my friends in bread.  We will deal with this purple menace tomorrow - if we live through the night.

 

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hey dabrownman,

You mean one of these purple and green monsters? ... you'll be fine ... um ... you did make it with wholemeal flour didn't you? ... dabrownman?

cheers,
Phil

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

brown bread too :-)   The brown bag containment field worked overnight I am pleased to say and, once under the bread knife, it was purple after all!!! The cell phone camera just doesn't do it justice like your photography does., This is one handsome round of bread and the smell is unique but nice as well.  Even when using the home ground whole meal wheat berries, the crumb is not dense, but slightly open, soft and moist too.  The home grown sage comes through well and the walnuts, which I thought would be too much, are also very tasty and in balance.  What a great concoction Phil.  Have had it plain, toasted and with goat cheese this morning and it just grows on you.  Before you know it - its nearly gone - but I did freeze half of it.  I cut your formula by a fartor of 4 and got a small round.  It didn't spring much as I thought it would in the cast iron enameled pot I used but I think the pot was too big and I should have used a smaller one.  It did rise well in the basket during final proof. I did let it go 1 and 3/4 hours instead of the 1 in your formula.  This is a sophisticated, fined and elegant yet rustic kind of bread that is in a new class - the purple one.....a bread that people want to eat.   Very nice indeed Phil. 

 

sweetbird's picture
sweetbird

Oh my goodness! It seems I only turn my back on the computer for a second and when I turn back around I find a whole delicious assortment of new formulas, deeply beautiful photographs and wonderful stories from you! I'm trying to catch up and have just spent some happy minutes reading through these recent posts. I truly hope you're assembling all this material so you can get it to a publisher. It's great stuff. Your Tartine loaves are impressive. Chad Robertson uses seeds very assertively! I've made both his semolina breads -- this one as well as the variation with golden raisins, fennel seeds & coriander seeds. Both are unusual breads -- the first was very bold and the second was sweeter and more delicate.

Your sage & walnut bread is going on my list of breads I must try. Sage-walnut is one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations. I don't have a desem starter but will give it a go with one of my other starters. Thank you, Phil!

(Love the photo of the bread books, too!)

All the best,  Janie

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Phil,

A friend was here today when your 'Sage and Walnut' loaf came out of the oven. Even though she had just finished her lunch she couldn't resist tasting one of the small rolls I had made with some of the dough.

She decided to simply eat 1/2 of one of them.  The entire roll was gone within a few savory moments.  She was enthralled by the flavors and textures of this recipe.

While eating I showed her your photos and her first comment was, "I would love to have one of those photos on my kitchen wall."

From there we began to micro manage your life and decided that you should market your pictures for people's homes and local stores or restaurants that deal with breads or any foods in general.  In your spare time, of course.  :-)

Needless to say she was captivated by both your bread and your keen eye for detail.

And I just thought you would like to know.  :-)

Thanks for another wonderful loaf that has now been added to my collection!

Take Care,

Janet

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to design and build a whole house, or possibly just the pantry,  around PiPs Pictures, where I would have fake but real looking loaves of Phil's bread placed strategically in the space, but not nailed  down (like Frank Loyd Wright did with his furniture) so that they could be moved and forever enjoyed where ever they ended up.  I can see whole wall murals made of Walnut and Sage for the dining room.........Semolina Seeded for the  Loo and for the bedroom..........something really sexy.......

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Bread in the bedroom? um ... there is a time and place for things dabrownman :)

Cheers,
Phil

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

(as opposed to Bauhaus).  It was Angelina Jolie, wearing some thinly sliced bread  in the ....eeerrrr......bedroom.   If one needs bread everywhere - who am I to get between true love and......thinly sliced bread :-)

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi Janet,

That's really nice feedback to get :)

It's a funny thing to photograph something so transitory as bread. It's kind of like sculpture but its not meant to last long. All these breads that I have photographed have all been eaten now ... gone. Just a few pixels is all I have to show they existed. I kind of like that for some reason ... I like the transitory nature of bread ... its a useful thing for keeping us alive ... but I also like the beauty and the craft of its creation and nurturing.

Maybe there is a market of the photos ... I am not sure ... at the moment I am just going with the flow ... try not force it too much :)

Good to hear from you and i'm so glad your friend liked the bread.

Cheers,
Phil

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Phil,

And that us exactly what your photos capture - the essence of the moment; that pregnant pause that is so richly filled with possibility all from the barest of ingredients....

I totally get 'going with the flow' otherwise the outside demands step in and your art is forever changed and so are you.  My husband simply can't understand why I don't sell my loaves.....because it would change everything, that's why....I am at an age where those types of demands would ruin it all.....

My friend and I totally understand and I hope you know that - all tongue in cheek talk :-)

Take Care,

Janet

caryn's picture
caryn

OMG!  Your breads look amazing.  I have always wanted to make a sourdough that was covered with seeds.  Did you have to lower the temperature at all when baking these?  I don't have Tartine's book, because I already have too many bread books.  I  just want to know if you had to do anything special when using the seeds on the crust so that they do not burn.  Thank you.

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi caryn,

Glad you like them. The seeds within the bread are toasted. The seeds on the outside of the bread are not toasted. I rolled the dough on a fairly damp cloth before rolling in the seed mix. I didn't alter the bake temperatures at all. Even the seeds on the base of loaf were fine.

cheers,
Phil

caryn's picture
caryn

Thank you.  It does make sense not to toast the seeds that are on the outside, but toast the ones on the inside.  Just curious, then at what temperature did you bake these loaves?

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi,

Loaves were baked at roughly 250C for ten minutes with steam. Then a further 35 min at 200C. I rotate then halfway through the bake. Keep an eye on them as ovens can vary.

Cheers,
Phil 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Phil,

Yesterday's bake was your walnut sage again as people really liked it!

I did photos this time but no crumb shot as all went to friends.....

I did a couple of different scoring patterns and I didn't score as deeply as I did on the previous loaf of yours I just posted for you.  Both work - just a different look...

            

 

                                                                                                  

When I baked this loaf before I had kept the dough stiffer than the HL you posted. (I am used to following Peter Reinhart's 75% HL for whole grains....) This time I didn't and the difference was noticeable....These loaves were lighter and oven spring was greater.

 In the evening,  just prior to retarding the dough, it was still pretty slack/sticky even after 3-4 rounds  S&Fs at 45 minute intervals.  I am always amazed at how things continue to tighten up overnight.  By morning it was a nice smooth dough without any of the stickiness or slackness  it had the night before :-) .

I am now watching the HL levels YOU post and sticking to them :-)

Thanks again for this formula!

Take Care,

Janet     

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Wow ... they look great Janet!

Glad the hydration level is working for you ... it would make it a lot easier having the overnight retard. I know another wholegrain baker who does they same thing and says the dough is much easier to handle the following day.

So nice that people are enjoying your breads.

Cheers,
Phil 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Phil,

Going back a bit here but when I made your walnut bread a while back I was using an almond paste that I had stored in the refrig. and it was 'store bought' so the question I have tonight didn't even occur to me then but  tonight I am working on another walnut loaf - this time with onions and, after reading a recipe in HML, I decided to make my own walnut paste, which I did, but when it came time to mix the loaf I couldn't help wondering, "Why go to the trouble of making a paste?  Why not simply put those ingredients into the dough separately when mixing????"  This sage loaf of yours came into my mind so I figured I would ask you if you know why one makes a paste???  

What difference does it make in the long run to go to that extra trouble of making a paste to begin with?  Why not just grind up part of the walnuts into a fine powder and then add to the final dough with the other ingredients that also go into the paste?

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Janet

 

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