The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

basque pumpkin bread

jimt's picture
jimt

basque pumpkin bread

Hi, I'm trying out a new recipe for Thanksgiving (no pressure as it's an add-on) that I found in "The Breads of France" called Basque Pumpkin Bread. It's a rather simple recipe of cornmeal, pureed pumpkin, milk, butter, sugar, yolks and salt and the whole thing is then leavened with egg whites. My question is if I mixed it today and immediately refrigerated it would it survive the night in the refrigerator or would the cornmeal and everything start breaking down through enzyme activity, etc? Should I do everything but folding in the egg whites tonight and then do that in the morning before baking?

Thanks 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

You're basically using the air in the frothy egg whites to "leaven" the "bread" (practically a cake). Mix it all now and refrigerate then you'll loose all the air. Sounds like a recipe that is supposed to be done very quickly and not over mixed nor rested too long. I wouldn't refrigerate this. Aren't you supposed to carefully fold the ingredients into the egg whites and not vice versa? The order is also important here. I think!

jimt's picture
jimt

Thanks, what you are saying about making it at once makes sense. 

As to the question of which to fold into which, I'm not quite sure of the proper 'technique' but the book states "beat egg whites until stiff and then fold into the batter." I'd prefer to do things the way they work best as opposed to a recipe from a book from which I've not baked anything as of yet. So you would suggest the other way fold ingredients into the egg whites?

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Put to one side. Beat the egg whites and when ready gently fold in the batter.

I see what your original question is now. Is it ok to make the batter then refrigerate and then fold into the beaten egg whites the next day (I didn't read the question properly).

First of all you fold the batter into the egg whites and not the other way around. And secondly, there might not be anything inherently wrong with what you said but I wouldn't fold in stiff cold batter, rather wait for it to warm up and become soft like a batter again. You won't be saving any time.

Very important in how you add the batter to the beaten egg whites for this to work.

dablues's picture
dablues

This has nothing to do with bread, but when I make yeasted waffles I let my waffle batter sit for the length of time it says and then I fold in the egg whites carefully.  I would assume you should do it at the end when you are ready to bake, but I could be wrong.  My waffles are Belgian and it doesn't say to separate the eggs, but I find it makes for a lighter airy waffle.  So I would be careful folding in the egg whites.

jimt's picture
jimt

Thanks for the great idea. I'll be experimenting for sure and Belgian waffles sound like a great way to do it.

dablues's picture
dablues

This has nothing to do with bread, but when I make yeasted waffles I let my waffle batter sit for the length of time it says and then I fold in the egg whites carefully.  I would assume you should do it at the end when you are ready to bake, but I could be wrong.  My waffles are Belgian and it doesn't say to separate the eggs, but I find it makes for a lighter airy waffle.  So I would be careful folding in the egg whites.

dablues's picture
dablues

This has nothing to do with bread, but when I make yeasted waffles I let my waffle batter sit for the length of time it says and then I fold in the egg whites carefully.  I would assume you should do it at the end when you are ready to bake, but I could be wrong.  My waffles are Belgian and it doesn't say to separate the eggs, but I find it makes for a lighter airy waffle.  So I would be careful folding in the egg whites.

jimt's picture
jimt

Thanks, that makes sense and I'm so glad you pointed out the error.

As to executing this, would it be better to fold in warm batter (as made) or that which is coming up to room temperature?

Anything else I need to be aware of while folding ingredients?

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But never tried it. It's like making a kind of cake sponge of which I forget the specific name. I think make the batter as normal, set to one side while you prepare the egg whites then go straight ahead and fold it in. Room temperature sounds about right. It's all in the technique. Egg whites whipped up to the optimum consistency then folding in the batter without losing the bubbles. Don't overwork it. If I remember the name of the sponge then you'll probably be able to find a video on it. I'll put my thinking cap on. 

jimt's picture
jimt

Awesome, thanks! I'll search around for a video and then just go for it in the morning. Thanks again for the help!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Sorry, this comes too late to help you this time. When combining beaten egg whites with dry ingredients (such as in making angel food cake), you fold the dry mix into the whites, most often in three portions. But when combining with a batter, fold the egg white foam into the batter. Generally, start with about a third of the whites first to loosen the batter, then gently fold in the rest in two more additions. Get it right into a preheated oven.

Best

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Really hope it wasn't too late and it turned out ok. I stand corrected.

Sorry Jimt.

jimt's picture
jimt

Thanks Debra, I wound up being confused enough to look up a video and make sure. This is the one I used, thanks again for your help!

Lechem, don't feel bad, I believe you mentioned looking at a video so this is what I did...just another learning opportunity so I am very happy.

 

How to Whip and Fold in Egg Whites










 

I wound up dropping a bit of yolk in the whites so tossed and started over with cold eggs and don't believe I got the most lift out of it but the bread was still delicious.

Here is the bread, cooling on the road trip.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

And you enjoyed it. Looks delicious. 

Even adding one to the other produces a different result if you reverse it.

jimt's picture
jimt

Yes, now that I've done it I believe it may be a most useful technique on other items or even just to try to improve upon this next time--definitely left plenty of room for improvement.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Your cake/bread looks like it turned out quite nice. Glad you found a good and detailed tutorial. It's a classic technique, and now you know it's not difficult. :)

Here's a tip for you on separating eggs. Do it while they're cold, because the yolks have less tendency to break then. They get more fragile as they warm up. But you'll need to take care not to let the bare yolks dry and skin over while they're coming to room temp (if you need them room temp). A small condiment sized glass bowl with a saucer on top works well. The whites can be warmed up relatively quickly in a mixing bowl set over luke-warm water.

The bread sounds interesting, thank you for sharing a photo. How did it taste?

jimt's picture
jimt

I appreciate the tip. I actually had left the eggs out overnight and then while separating the last one I made an error that wouldn't have been a problem if I had done it over a separate bowl. Yes, separating the cold ones next was much easier but then since I was running late on time I didn't warm the whites which I believe would've given me a bit more lift. That and I'm sure that my technique was not so great in folding in the whites.

The bread itself was quite delicious and will be made again for sure...again, plenty of room for improvement.

Biggest problem was that I believe I should've roasted the seeds before use...I separated them, boiled them and figured they would toast well being on top of the loaf but they finished a bit underdone.