The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello From Abu-Dhabi

genetaie's picture
genetaie

Hello From Abu-Dhabi

I'm not sure where my post will arrive as I can't quite understand how to post messages yet, this will come with practice I guess, just like bread making.Very new at making bread, I started last spring in France and had to stop when we were posted to Abu-Dhabi last December, thinking I wouldn't be able to make a starter as I tried to make some when visiting a friend in Doha where the climate is similar. Thanks to a friend who shared his starter with me I'm back on the bread trail. Yeap Yeap!!

 After visiting a bookshop in Abu-Dhabi, I found "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" which opened a door or would I say, just like Alice in Wonderland, made me arrive in a new world of understanding what I was trying to do. Next step was to find Peter Reinhart on the web and here is the thefreshloaf website! Great, amazing, fantastic. Many Thanks to all the contributors (and a special thanks fto Ffloyd who guided me on "how to post on the forum", new at this too ahahha). This website fuelled me with some new energy and here I am with this post. Understanding what to aim for when making bread let me the confidence to try with the flours I find in Abu-dhabi, I'm still experimenting with all the flours I can put my hands on: Lulu flours, Waitrose, Carrefour, Al Baker... few indications on % of gluten or ash but the beauty of it is that the bread comes different each time until I'll have understood how they work. 

Hello................are there any bread makers in the Emirates?

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, and welcome to TFl, genetaie!

I'am from Dubai, and i'am glad to find a fellow bread baking enthusiast who lives in the UAE.

As to the flours, i found that most locally produced flours, with exception of Waitrose flours,  are relatively poor in Gluten (Protein), and would not make ideal hearth breads. I have sourced bread flour with protein content of 12.5% from National Flour mills in Dubai. They, however only sell them in bulk, i.e. 50 kg Sacks. buying in bulk saves me money, too.

As to the books, you'll find the baking books you want and then some, at The book world in Dubai Mall.

Best wishes,

Khalid

genetaie's picture
genetaie

Thanks Khalid for your feed back on flour and book shop, this will certainly be on the list for the next trip to Dubai! Do you go to Bur Dubai to buy the flour, but I'll have to find some one to share the 50 Kg with!

Warm regards

Cath  

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I purchase my flour directly from the mill, in Shindagha, which is in BurDubai. At Carrefour , occasionally, i used to find Hovis strong white bread flour. As yet, i couldn't find any reliable, resonably priced source of bread flour anywhere in UAE ,except at National flour mills (the producers of jenan flour).

If you plan to get the bread flour in bulk (50kg), you would have to plan to store it in a dry airconditioned  place, otherwise, it can be spoiled with weasles, and similar insects.

annasyed's picture
annasyed

Salaam from Satwa, Cath and Khalid. 

I also live in Dubai, and enjoy baking bread (if not very well!) There are some particular challenges I've found with yeast breads in Gulf -- the weather here is such that everything seems to rise very quickly, and I often get icky boozy smells in my breads.

Be that as it may - if you are welling to shell out quite the pretty dirham, you can buy strong and lovely organic flours from the Organic Store in Dubai Mall. I've just finished up a bag of whole wheat German floor from there, and have to say that I am pleased as punch with the nutty soda breads I made with it. 

Best wishes to you.

Um Isra

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That sounds like too much fermentation.  Try reducing the amount of yeast in the recipe to slow it down.  

genetaie's picture
genetaie

Salaam Um Isra

Thank you for your post and the info about the organic store in Dubai. To me, the weather is a bliss as the dough rises so easily, not like in Normandy when it would stand on the kitchen shelf not showing the slight sign of rising! In fact as you say this can be annoying too and this is how I've developed my bread making: I let the starter out of the fridge an hour before to knead my dough, mix all ingredients and knead for 3 to 4 minutes, let rise for an hour, shape my bread and put it into the Pyrex bowl in which I'll cook the bread and back in the fridge for 5 to 6 hours, sometime even more as I would knead in the evening and let the dough overnight to be baked on the next morning after a 1 hour rest to let it catch room temperature. After reading Peter Reinhart book, I understood that I was following his advice on slow fermentation to develop the flavour trapped in the wheat. This way I haven't reduced any of the yeast or starter amount asked for in recipes .

Cath

Cath   

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Salam, Um Isra, and greetings to all Satwa residents!

Beside the lovely package recipes of soda breads, i invite you to explore the wonderful addictive world of breadbaking. You are right, Organic Cafe's german flours are excellent, but you need to do them justice by investing in bread baking books that derive unmatched flavors from them.

i suggest you head to your favorite book shop, and purchase either one of the following:

- Wholegrain Bread, By peter reinhart. or

- Bread baking apprentice, By peter reinhart, or

- Laurel's Kitchen book, baking with wholegrains, By Laurel (something).. or,

If you feel pro, then go for "Bread" By Jeffery Hamelman.

As Cath pointed out, you can bake great bread by retardation (slowing down in the fridge), though i would advise you to first go through the technical info found in any of the books above, that will help introduce you to the basic principles of dough fermentation.

Tell me, what breads are you interested in baking?

Salam alykum.

genetaie's picture
genetaie

 

Alykum Salma Khalid and Um Isra

You're so right Khalid, bread making is really an other world; you're working with living element and the outcome is never sure, at least with me....which is the beauty of it. Up to know, I've been making bread (sourdough bread) and after reading Peter Reinhart book The Bread Baker's Apprentice , which I would strongly recommend to Um Isra,  I'd like to come to the next step which is making specific bread and that is another story! Greek celebration bread wasn't difficult, and I had the pleasure to use 2 spices which were totally unknown to me malheb and mastic. Waoo.........what flavors! Now comes Ciabatta.......I've made bread but not ciabatta! I've used Lulu, Atta N° 2 flour which might be one of the reason why my bread didn't look nor taste like ciabatta and I've used a firm starter but forgot to adjust the amount of water, so that my final dough wasn't moist enoug. I'll keep praticing for sure! This ciabatta bread might lead me to Dubai to buy this JENAN flour! Jeffry Hamelman's book might be the next one I'll buy as so many of you in the TFl are refering to it, but I'm just a beginner and don't feel "pro" at all. With this post I'd like to give Khalid a special thanks as he's been a very active member of the TFl with all the posts and incredible breads that he's made.

Cath 

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, cath

The atta flour you used is a whole wheat flour that had its large bran fiber particles removed. Ciabatta bread requires strong white flours that contain protein of no less than 12.5%. Head down to your nearest spinneyes supermarket and look for waitrose strong white bread flour, which contains protein of 12.9%. 

genetaie's picture
genetaie

Hello Khalid

First some shopping at Spinneys to buy some Waitrose bread flour as you so wisely advised, I bought some Dove Wholemeal at 12,6% as well, then getting as much information by watching all I could put my hands on on the TFL and finally back to Pater Reinhart book "The Bread Baker's Apprentice".

A post by Joe Fisher (12/20/2011) on the very same recipe I wanted to try (Ciabatta, Poolish Version by P. Reinhart) and lots of reading and watching on ciabatta prompted me to consider % of water in the recipe. Back to math (not Black...A. W.) with oz into gramme and Farhenheit into Celsius  (28g for 1 oz; C= (F-32).5/9 ).

My aim was to make a 70% hydratation dough.

 In P. Reinhart's recipe the final dough is between 52% and 66% water (right?) therefore I added 187g of water (6,67 oz) to the final recipe.

The dough was great to work, looked like ciabatta after I followed every step of the recipe,except that I made the poolish in the morning but here we're heading to summer so the temperature isn't an issue and the poolish was lively and bobbly by the time I used it.

When cooked it looked like ciabatta but didn't have the lovely open crumb: it wasn't ciabatta. What went wrong?

My guess is that  the hydratayion isn't high enough, next time I'll try a 90%!

I took plenty of photos but doesn't master the upload of photos into my post. This will come............as I'm trying!

Cath

 

 

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

hi genetaie

my son & dil live in al ain, abu dhabi. if you find information on good bread flour in the u.a.e. i would appreciate. i have several recipes that i would like to send to him.

i will also share these with you.

claudia

genetaie's picture
genetaie

Hello Claudia

Finding good bread flour in Abu-Dhabi isn't easy as stated in previous post but not impossible. I buy some good bread flour at Spinney's store but it tends to be expensive.

 A friend of mine would buy chappatti flour N°2 at Abu-Dhabi Coop or Lulu stores and would make a good sourdough bread with seeds.

Your family will find all sorts of seeds in these 2 stores and one I would recommend to try is mahlab. It should be ground into a fine powder before to be used. It will give an incredible flavor to the bread (1tsp more or less per loaf).

Now the weather is getting very hot and the dough will escape the bowl before you turn your back!

 

genetaie's picture
genetaie

Hello Claudia

back from shopping, the flour I mentioned in my previous posting is CHAKKI ATTA by Pillsbury; it is a stone milled whole wheat flour with a 12% protein.

Cath