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Nine Weeks’ Baking; summarised

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ananda

Nine Weeks’ Baking; summarised


Nine Weeks’ Baking; summarised

A lot to write about, I suppose, given I have not managed to post a blog entry for almost nine weeks, mainly because I have been so busy, and tied up with so many baking-related activities.

The March Farmers’ Market in Alnwick was a big success; the sun shone all day long, and my stall caught everybody’s attention as it was facing straight at the towns’ shoppers on entry to the Market Square.   I sold out of bread in just over 2 hours.

Alison and I took the long drive to NW Scotland the next day after the Market, for a week’s holiday.   The beautiful weather we had enjoyed for most of March was breaking, so our time in Sutherland brought snow, wind and sleet, as well as sunshine.   Our holiday cottage had an old-fashioned stove with an endless supply of fuel to burn.   The kitchen had some wonderful “le Creuset” pans, so I decided to experiment with the Dutch oven methods of baking oft mentioned on TFL.

I had taken my Rye Sourdough culture plus Bacheldre Organic Dark Rye and Marriage’s Organic Strong Wholemeal.   I baked twice through the week, and made the same loaf each time, naming it “Rye and Wholewheat Holiday Bread”, with an “H” cut into the top.   Here are the essential details:

Rye and Wholewheat Holiday Bread


Material/Stage

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sourdough

 

 

Stock

 

40

Bacheldre Organic Dark Rye Flour

30

150

Water

50

250

TOTAL

80

440

Returned to stock

 

40

 

 

 

2. Final Dough

 

 

Rye Sourdough [from 1]

80

400

Marriages Organic Strong Wholemeal

70

350

Salt

1.6

8

Water

35

175

TOTAL

186.6

933

 

 

 

% pre-fermented flour

30

-

% overall hydration

85

-

% wholegrain

100

-

FACTOR

-

5

 

Method:

 

  • Build the sourdough to the required quantity.   I used 2 refreshments over 36 hours.
  • Mix sourdough with water and flour; cover and autolyse 50 minutes.
  • Add salt and develop by mixing by hand for 10 minutes.
  • Bulk proof for 2 hours; S&F after one hour
  • Pre-shape, then prepare a banneton.   Final shape.
  • Final Proof for one hour.
  • Pre-heat Electric fan oven containing Le Creuset Roasting pot and lid for one hour to 240°C.   Also set a pan of hot stones in the bottom of the oven prior to pre-heating.
  • Flour the base of the hot Le Creuset pot and tip the proved loaf gently into the pot.   Flour the top if needed, then score an “H” for holiday into the top.   Load the lidded pot to the oven and apply steam.   Turn the heat to 200°C after 15 minutes.   Take the lid off after another 15 minutes and bake out for another 10 – 15 minutes.   Turn the oven off and leave the loaf inside for 10 minutes with the door wedged ajar.
  • Cool on wires.

 

What was special?   This is a 100% wholegrain loaf, with 85% hydration.   Our sandwiches, enjoyed out “in the hills” were joyful.   Here is a brief reminder of an amazing part of the world which we both love so much.

 See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny1zVAsT_IM&feature=plcp 

I revised my Hot Cross Bun recipe, finally giving in and cutting down on the liquid content, which was excessive.   Freshly ground spices; they are divine!   Formula:

 

HOT CROSS/SPICY BUNS

Makes 36 buns @ 70g

 

Material

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe[grams]

1. FERMENT

 

 

Strong White Bread Flour

20

180

Caster Sugar

5

45

Fresh Yeast

8

72

Water @ 38°C

45

405

TOTAL

78

702

2. FINAL DOUGH

 

 

Ferment [from above]

78

702

Strong White Bread Flour

80

720

Salt

1

9

Milk Powder

8

72

Butter

15

135

Egg

15

135

Caster Sugar

15

135

Cinnamon

1

9

Nutmeg

1

9

Sultanas

33

297

Raisins

17

153

Mixed Peel

17

153

TOTAL

281

2529

3. CROSSING PASTE

 

 

White Flour

 

150

Shortening

 

35

Water

 

200

4. STOCK SYRUP

 

 

Caster Sugar

 

150

Water

 

150

 

 

 

FACTOR

 

9

 

Method:

  • Make the sponge [flying ferment]: Weigh out the water, making sure temperature is correct.   Dissolve the yeast into the water.   Add the flour and sugar, and whisk to a smooth batter.   Cover and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes
  • Weigh the other ingredients: blend the flour with the other dry ingredients.   Cut the butter into small pieces and rub roughly through the dry ingredients.   Weigh the egg separately.   Weigh the dried fruit separately.
  • Add the egg and dry ingredients to the risen sponge, and combine to form a soft and strong dough.   Mix for 3 minutes on first speed and 8 minutes on second speed to develop, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
  • Rest the dough for 20 minutes, then use a metal cutter to cut through the dough and add the fruit.
  • Rest the dough for 40 minutes.   Scale and divide into 70g pieces
  • Mould each dough piece round, and rest covered for 15 minutes.   Prepare 3 baking sheets for the oven.   Pre-heat the oven [180°C, or, 160°C for a fan oven]
  • Re-mould dough pieces and tray-up 4 x 3 on baking sheets lined with silicone paper [baking parchment].   Brush the tops of the dough pieces with beaten egg and cover.
  • Final proof in a warm environment for 1½ to 2 hours.
  • Pipe on crosses for HotXBuns.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes
  • Glaze with sugar syrup immediately after baking
  • Cool on wires

 

The April Farmers’ Market was equally successful; I took record takings, and had one loaf left to give to my business adviser who I was able to meet up with after the market closed to discuss a potentially very exciting new business opportunity currently being explored.

Early in May we set out on a new Farmers’ Market adventure with a partnership with an old friend and business colleague who has built a fabulous wood-fired oven in his garden in Ryton, on the edge of the very lovely Tyne Valley.   I have posted on this before, here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/27794/development-day-work-nigel-13th-march-2012

My friend Nigel is making some White Levain breads and some Golden Linseed and Light Rye breads.   I am making Moscow Rye and Gilchesters’ Miche, which I have posted on before…a number of times.   We made just short of 100 loaves.   Moving forward our aim is to make 150 loaves.   Hexham is a lovely, historic town in the west of Northumberland, and trade at the Farmers’ Market is brisk…weather permitting!!   We enjoyed sunshine and had sold out by lunchtime.   Very good vibes!

Now I am building up stock ready for the next Alnwick Farmers’ Market on Friday.   I’ve made Moscow Rye and some Black Pumpernickel breads in pans to keep the non-wheat people happy, as well as plenty of Gilchesters’ type breads.   Today I spent some time perfecting a Pain de Campagne recipe using 2 leavens.   I have posted similar before, but here are the details:

20th May 2012

Pain de Campagne with Rye Sourdough and Wheat Levain

Rye Sour Refreshment:

Day/date

Time

Sour [g]

Dark Rye [g]

Water [g]

TOTAL [g]

Temp °C

Sat 19 May

15:00

40

200

120

360

28°C

 

Wheat Levain Refreshment:

Day/Date

Time

Levain

Bread Flour

Water

Total

Temp °C

Sat 19 May

15:00

40

160

96

296

22°C

Sat 19 May

18:00

296

200

120

616

22°C

 

 

Material/Stage

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1a Wheat Levain

60% hydration

 

Marriage’s Organic Strong White Flour

22.5

360

Water

13.5

216

TOTAL

36

576

 

 

 

1b Rye Sourdough

167% hydration

 

Bacheldre Organic Dark Rye Flour

7.5

120

Water

12.5

200

TOTAL

20

320

 

 

 

2. Final Dough

 

 

Wheat Levain [from 1a]

36

576

Rye Sourdough [from 1b]

20

320

Marriage’s Organic Strong White Flour

50

800

Marriage’s Organic Strong Wholemeal

20

320

Salt

1.5

24

Water

43

688

TOTAL

170.5

2728

 

 

 

% pre-fermented flour

30

-

% overall hydration

69

-

% wholegrain flour

27.5

-

FACTOR

-

16

 

Method:

  • Prepare the levains as schedule.   Make a cold “autolyse” with final dough flour and water plus the rye sourdough.   Chill the autolyse and the wheat levain overnight.
  • Combine wheat levain and autolyse in the mixer on first speed for 5 minutes.   Add the salt, mix 2 minutes on first and 3 minutes on second speed.
  • Bulk ferment for 2½ hours; S&F after 1 and 2 hours.
  • Scale and divide [2 @ 1400g]; mould round.   Rest 15 minutes and prepare 2 large bannetons.   Re-mould and set for final proof in bannetons.
  • Final proof 1½ hours.   Pre-heat oven.
  • Tip onto peel, cut the top of the loaf and mist with water spray; set on stone in the oven.   Apply steam.    Set into oven at 280°C, no fan.   Set heat to 250°C.   Mist loaf after 10 minutes and top up steam if needed.   After another 10 minutes, switch to convection and drop heat to 200°C for 20 minutes.   Drop heat to 180°C and bake out a further 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Cool on wires.

A few photos:

 

I wrote a feature on the joys of baking bread at home, which appeared in “Culture” Magazine late in April, free with the Newcastle Journal.   Maybe you can see it here? The feature is on pp.58: http://www.journallive.co.uk/2012/04/26/culture-magazine-december-2011-61634-28430272/

 

And last week a local cookery writer came to visit and do a day of baking with me.   Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I tested both the wood-fired oven and electric oven to the limit, making Seigle d’Auvergne, Gilchesters’ White loaves, Wholemeal Bloomers, Moscow Rye panned loaves and Spicy Buns [as a featured recipe].   Busy day!   For more on Jane Lovett, see here: http://www.janelovett.com/

Honestly, there is a lot more than this going on just now, and it is making it impossible for me to post as much as I have done in the past.   My apologies for that.   Still, I promise to keep everyone up to speed on the Bread and Roses baking ventures, somehow or other.

Oh! Alison’s booked our holidays too: we are off to Paxos in August for 2 weeks.   It’s the Powburn Show just before we go, and Alnwick Farmers’ Market shortly after we return!   Then it’s the Food Festival in Alnwick in September and I have a Guest Speaker slot.    Hopefully, I will have completed my Dissertation too and be looking forward to a trip to London to celebrate being awarded a Master’s Degree.   That is sometime away, and a lot will happen in between times.

My very best wishes to you all

Andy

Comments

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Geez, Andy, gorgeous breads in marvelous variety, all on an incredible schedule. Amazing, especially when I think that it takes me a week to conjure up a project and produce a kilo of dough. 

I must say, I'm a bit envious of all the bakers here who can access and make regular use of a variety of interesting, high quality flours. There's nothing wrong with KAAP; on the contrary, it's as good an ap flour as one can find, but to be able to try out so many particular things is wonderful. At my pace, I'd be overwhelmed and would barely make a dent, even in small bags. I'm still using the two kilos of 00 flour I brought back from Italy in October.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hello Louie,

I don't know whereabouts you are based, but is there not anyone here on TFL who is relatively local to you and can advise on sourcing good flour?

I now hold 6 different flours and that covers my full range of breads: local brown and white, strong white and wholemeal, and a Light and a Dark Rye.   They are all certified Organic.   I would be reluctant to replace any of them!

You probably know that "AP" doesn't exist is the UK.

It's great to hear from you, and thank you for your kind comments

Best wishes

Andy

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Hi, Andy. I meant to say that actually making use of six different flours on a regular basis would tax my schedule - and my waistline! I'm in New York City and there are plenty of flours available locally as well as through the mail. I fear they would pile up and not be put to best use, so, like so many others, I fall back on AP flour. That's why I'm slightly envious of my colleagues here who have the space, the energy and the schedule to use a variety of wonderful particular flours. Still, I take many cues from your paradigmatic examples.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi again Louie,

now that's a word I try to keep out of my life as much as possible

You have tons of baking ability, so no need to be envious of anybody.   Why not make the taste count too?

Best wishes

Andy

isand66's picture
isand66

Wow Andy you're a busy busy guy!

I look forward to reading and seeing about your further adventures.

Your bread as always are wonderful.

Good luck on your newadventures and getting your Masters.

ananda's picture
ananda

Busy indeed Ian, but I hope I will be a lot busier after September, of course!

Many thanks for your comments and good wishes

Take good care

Andy

varda's picture
varda

that your break from posting on TFL was due to a full slate of baking activities professional and otherwise.    Glad to catch up, and love the breads you posted.   Will try the Pain de Compagne and perhaps someday the hot cross buns.  -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

Yes, I have a lot going on, and that will remain the case moving forward, I sincerely hope.

The Campagne is a double leaven bread, and produced a lovely chewy crumb with good crust to compliment, and just lovely flavours too.   I have no doubt you would love the Spicy Buns!...and they are so easy too.

Very good to hear from you, as always

Very best wishes

Andy

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Andy,

Thanks for the update.  I figured you were up to your elbows in dough due to how your business was taking hold.  Nice to know it is keeping you busy and that people are getting to enjoy your beautiful loaves!

Thanks too for the photo show of your trip.  Very nicely put together and the scenery is gorgeous.  What a contrast between the high mountain peeks and the ocean.

Take Care,

Janet

P.S.  Curious to know how you liked baking in the DO.  Did I miss where you commented on it?  I wonder if you only used it pre-heated or if you tried a loaf with it cold into a hot oven too?  (I see where you did add it in your method section just no comment on the results.....)  I use them for my baking too but do not preheat them and am wondering how they compare to the ovens you usually use.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Janet,

Yes, the NW of Scotland is perfect for Alison [the sea-lover] and for me [the mountain-lover].   A fabulous place, just a few hours drive for us to get to.

I have never used DO, or commented on it before, but am aware plenty of others on TFL use the technique regularly.

I pre-heated the Le Creuset roasting pot and lid.   Then I carefully tipped the proofed loaf from the banneton into the pot, put the lid on and baked with some steam.   I took the lid off later in the bake, I believe.   I don't remember the oven having much choice of settings, so I probably had to use the fan setting all the way through.

Personally, I prefer to use conduction, as I have always baked with wood-fired, or electric deck ovens...unless forced to use rack ovens, which, frankly I detest.   That said, they are good for baking panned rye loaves with lids on...very good indeed!

But for the style of bread I was making with lots of wholegrain and high hydration, the process worked great on the day.

There really isn't anything to compare with a wood-fired brick oven, of course.

Lovely to hear from you

Very best wishes

Andy

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Andy,

Thanks for telling me your impressions of the LC.  I can well understand your dilemma of having to use a rack oven after using a WFO or a deck oven.  One gets 'spoiled' quite easily and it is hard to take a step 'back'.......

I have 2 small Le Cruesets that I use and love them because they are lighter and easier to handle than my Lodge combo cooker.  Both will fit into my oven at one time which helps when baking multiple loaves at a time which I tend to do - all whole grain too.

 I used to pre-heat the LCs but then read where it wasn't necessary so I experimented and didn't find a difference except that loading a loaf of shaped dough into a cold LC is a lot easier than trying to load one into a hot LC :-0

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond to my question.

Take Care,

Janet

P.S. How do you store your fresh bread prior to selling it?  Do you freeze it?  If so, can you explain just how you do that?  (My daughter is having a garage sale here this summer to raise money for college in the fall.  She would love for me to bake some of my breads but I know I would have to do it over time and therefore loose the freshness in the breads....looking for a solution so I can  help her out by making as much as I can and having it still taste good.)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

baking Andy.  I had to be 9 weeks of hard work hopefully in a fun kind of way.  If you keep baking, they will keep buying is my guess.  They are the lucky ones.

Cheers and the best to you and yours.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi DA,

I'll give up if it ceases to be fun....not going to happen tho', I'm sure of that.

Many thanks for your kind words

Best wishes

Andy

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi Andy,

I am so happy that your market baking and sales are going so well. It's a great feeling to sell out ... and so early in the day.

Are you noticing any trends with your customers on what they are looking for?

It's also good to see you guys taking some time for yourselves ... especially important as you are keeping yourself very busy :) The Scottish scenery is absolutely breath taking ... Nat has been to Scotland many, many years ago and it is somewhere that I would dearly love to visit .... the closest I have come is using google maps 'street view' around some of the lochs :) ... um, not quite the same is it.

Looking forward to you finding some time in the future to keep us posted on whats happening in your world.

Cheers,
Phil

 

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Phil,

there are people who no longer eat wheat, so the All-Rye breads are popular with them.   And there are a few who just love Rye Bread too!   The local flour is a big hit.   But each month has been different you know.   January was steady, but very enthusiastic.   February was pretty slow in poor weather.   March I sold out in beautiful sunshine, with the enriched breads being an immediate hit and local breads the last to go.   April was the other way round.   A few specials always provide additional sales, but I am always very pleased to confirm that what everyone really wants is good bread.

You would love the Scottish Highlands Phil!

Very best wishes to you

Andy

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Thanks for a wonderful write-up! No wonder you haven't managed to update the blog, busy as you are. Wonderful bread, and thanks for posting the formula!

It's inspiring to read about your sale records at the farmer's market - it must be rewarding to witness such an appreciation of real, honest bread. Your bread. I'm also excited to read about possible business opportunities being explored! The response at the market seems to indicate that there's a real demand for you have to offer. Perhaps something to invest in after you've completed your master's, Andy?

Well, summer is approaching fast, and best of luck with the rest of your studies. It's nice to have a 2 week vacation to look forward to in the other end.

All the best.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Hans,

I will keep you all updated on how things progress.   It's a fine balance which allows me to complete the studies and open up the best of business opportunities.

Thank you so much for your supporting generous comments

All good wishes

Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Beautiful breads and interesting formulae, as always. 

It sounds like a varied and interesting few months. Thanks for the update.

David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,

"varied and interesting" is a summary I am very happy with

Good to hear from you of course

All good wishes

Andy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Andy,
It is so good to hear everything is going so well - and great job on your magazine article!
Loved your "H"oliday bread, and photos of Scotland.
Thanks for the update and wishing you the best with the Markets, studies and speaking engagement!
:^) breadsong

ananda's picture
ananda

Hello Breadsong,

I'm taking it you managed to open the link to the magazine article; that's great.

Yes, I've been in touch with the Festival Director today and she is coming to see me at the Market on Friday; nice cup of tea when it all wraps up.   She has requested Ciabatta, so that's decided the last bread type I am going to make on Thursday!

Lovely to hear from you, and thank you as always for your kind words

Best wishes to you

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Andy, 

Well I knew you had a full plate going on with your market baking and studying for the MSc, but I'm glad to know you and Alison were able to have a little down-time as well, with your get-away to Scotland. Lovely slide show of the countryside side, many thanks for sharing it! I can't help but think your years spent teaching at the College must seem a distant memory by now with all you've accomplished since leaving. Truly inspiring to witness over the last year how you've managed what might have been an adverse situation into a very positive one with all your success to date, and so much more to come I'm sure. The future is looking very bright indeed for you my friend.

Your breads look fabulous Andy, and I'm not sure which one I'm more taken with. The crumb on both are excellent, as is the crust, so I'll just say I'd be very happy to have a slice or two of either on my plate for lunch today.

All the very best,

Franko

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Franko,

Strangely, teaching in some shape or form, remains a large part of my working life, and a very good source of income.   I have a few consultancy projects on the go which centre around training in some shape or form.   And I have a partnership with a great food retailer in central Newcastle to promote baking courses which we are running near Hexham, starting at the end of this summer.   I am hoping this will be the beginning of accredited courses and qualifications for Real Bread bakers here in the UK.   One in the eye for Colleges per chance?   And the too-powerful establishment that is "the food industry"?

But being able to spend plenty of time baking is such fun, and is indeed the inspiration; the spark!

The "H"oliday Bread had a fantastically moist crumb and soft crust, with gorgeous rye sour tones and strong presence of wholewheat.   The Campagne had an altogether different crust, probably thanks to steam and baking stone.   The crumb was open, with random holes as open as I would ever want.   The flavour is complex, but not sour; loved by both Alison and me.

Great to hear from you Franko

Very best wishes

Andy

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

A sellout in 2 hours...fantastic!  So glad you found time to post just a great blog!  You always find time for some lovely holidays, too!

I must admit I'm off to run some errands and will take a good look at all your blog!  So good to hear from you and all looks very good indeed.

Oh, yes..I was just talking with my girlfriend yesterday about how I was glad my mom introduced me to canned sardines at an early age...I love them and enjoyed the photo very much..along with the beautiful bakes!

Sylvia

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Sylvia,

Days out in NW Scotland in this sort of weather require proper food, and I have always made the chunkiest of sandwiches.   Sardines, mayonnaise, tomato and rocket were the fillings that day.   You may have noticed snacks of Brazil and Macadamia Nuts and Medjool Dates in the background.   A flask of strong black coffee and a large bottle of water and we are both set for the day!

For all that I always seek to be busy and work hard, I remain determined to "work to live", and not the other way round.   Without Alison, I doubt that would be possible.

Thank you so much for all your kind words

Best wishes

Andy

Syd's picture
Syd

Nice to have you back and blogging  again Andy.  :)

Best,

Syd

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Syd,

Good to hear from you as always.   I hope I won't be away so long again; we'll have to see how the work schedule pans out

Best wishes to you

Andy