The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Summer Solstice Chacon

dabrownman's picture

Summer Solstice Chacon

.Lucy and I have been working hard on her app that makes food invisible and has no smell so that fat people like me can lose some weight because we won’t be able to find the food we would normally consume.  Here is a picture of a delicious Chinese 9 course meal…..can’t see it can you?  Lucy rests her case    but not so fast.


Sadly, the no smell part still has a way to go.  It doesn’t smell like Chinese food but it does smell like a large pile of rotting flesh that has been in the sun to ripen.  I know you can’t smell it but believe me it is pretty putrid.  I’m pretty thankful she isn’t close to the no smell part because it keeps her from working on her app to replace everyone’s job and Silicon Valley is already spending billions to do just that as it is.

Back to bread.  Lucy said I should have spelled Chacon Shacon to get the 3 S’s in the title but I told her Tom Chacon would be really upset if he saw it.  She didn’t remember who Tom was though… even though he left TFL in haste and in a huff after Lucy made him semi famous.  Just shows how pride and ego can make you fail big time, every time!  In this case Ch sounds exactly like Sh so the alliteration still works!

A Chacon is a great way to make a bread that stands out for a special occasion.  As I have said before, if I had a bakery, I would bake a weekly special bread in some kind if chacon design and then sell it for a buck more to make some extra profit.  The special occasion this time was the Summer Solstice Challenge Bread.

Miso Pork Stir Fry with Shiitaki Mushrooms

We spent about 5 minutes extra to come up with the sun design and get it in the bottom of the basket.  Lucy said we should have spent more time on it but I told her that time is the one resource that I have so little of, that I just can’t spare more than that extra on any one bread thing when it takes a couple days to make a simple Sourdough bread like this as it is.

Thai Green Chili Veggies with Tofu

She wanted to make sun’s rays yellow and orange using durum, corn meal and food coloring to make them pop and I’m sure next time she can do whatever she wants.  It does sound pretty good though.  At least they stand out pretty good as it is.

Instant Pot Osso Bucco for Yippee!

Simple this bread is otherwise.  All white flour, 10% pre-feremtned Lafama AP levain using 10 g of NNMNF rye starter at 100% hydration that was retarded for 24 hours.  The dough flour was half Smart and Final unbleached AP from the bins and half High gluten flour from the bins so we ended up with bread flour.

Now doing carrots in the same pan with the rosemary steamed then seared potatoes in butte.

The original recipe was 75% hydration overall but it felt too dry so I upped it to a bit over 78%.  When making a chacon, if you get it too wet the design won’t pop like it should.  We did a 30 minute auto;yse with 1.9% PH sea salt sprinkled on top.

Once everything came together, we did 50 slap and folds to get everything mixed and then did another set of 50 slaps 30 minutes later to get the gluten moving along nicely.  Then we did 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds from the compass points also on 30 minute intervals.  Then, into a plastic covered, oiled, SS bowl for a 16 hour retard in the fridge.

We let it warm up on the counter for an hour before starting the chacon process.  We started with a ball in the middle and then made the rays like a small baguette and then cut them in the middle to get a point at one end and a fatter end that attached to the ball in the middle.  We just eyeballed them.

Goat brie with Colby jack cheese and white peach lunch with this bread today.

Then we shaped the remaining dough into a boule and placed it on top of the design in the bottom of the basket and put it into a plastic grocery shopping bag to proof on the counter for 1.5 hours.  Then we um-molded it onto parchment on a peel and slid it into the 475 F combo cooker, lid on for 18 minutes of steam at 450 F.

Lid off and 16 more minutes of 425 F convection heat to get it to 206.5 F.  We took it out of the bottom of the combo cooker 8 minutes before the bread was finished so the bottom didn’t get too dark and we didn’t bake it to 210 F like normal because the design was getting too dark and we didn’t want it to burn.

Lucy always reminds us to have a great salad with any dine meal.  She did with honey goat cheese, blueberries and heirloom tomatoes this time with the usual cucumber, green onion, carrot, crimini mushroomsshaved fresh Brussels  sprouts, Romaine and iceberg.

We like the way it came out and it does remind us of the Sun and the Summer Solstice.  Have to wait on the crumb though.

It pays to have a good breakfast on bake day the day you can have SD pancakes easy as pie - for Leslie !


leslieruf's picture

love the “sun”, and the “food porn” - I have just had breakfast and I am already hungry!

look forward to the crumb!


dabrownman's picture

One thing we have a lot of around here is beer, wine and food porn:-) We love these challenges because Lucy and I are hardly ever challenged, if you discount mentally and physically, with really fun things to do besides degenerate jello shots and permanent; snow cone and ice sculptures.  With you in winter solstice, it made since to do a rye bread.  Hubby will be happy!  Glad you liked the post and 

Happy Solsticing!

leslieruf's picture

although mostly without the pancakes lol, ‘cause I am lazy in the mornin too!  

will cut my rye tomorrow😊 the solstice challenge was a challenge indeed and once I started the rye I thought yes, it is a dark bake for the dark of the winter!

happy solstice dabrownmam


Elsie_iu's picture

you can probably sell your bread in 10 minutes even at US$10 :) I noticed larger holes at the periphery of the bread. Was it due to looser shaping or other reasons?

And there's something not quite related to this post...How could Lucy left the cherries uneaten for so long that they've became wrinkled old ladies?

Lastly, can I have a plate of SD pancakes with sausage and a fried egg? Thank you.

dabrownman's picture

were the bottom of the bag  I buy about 3 pounds a week when they go on sale for $1.99.  This week they are 97 cents. The mature ones are just as sweet and every wrinkle tells a story.   I just opened up the next bag and not wrinkles!  It's like being 18 again. 

When we do a chacon we are always thinking about the design to get it just the way we want and then spend no time at all with the bulk of the left over dough like we should.  We don't do a re shape and we don't degas properly and the next thing you know you have a loaf where the irregular holes are all in one place.  Its like designing a beautiful building just the way you want and the roof leaks ruining everything dear on the inside.  So don't take the easy way out like me.  I'm lazy but you don't have to be :-)

Don't forget the bacon!  Here you go and Happy breakfast Elsie


Elsie_iu's picture

of how I went crazy for cherries when I was visiting my relatives in Canada last summer. I took 2 lb home weekly at the price of ca$1 per lb... That was 7 times cheaper than the lowest price in Hong Kong! And the quality of those pricey cherries can't even compete with those in Canada! One of the attractive features of summer cherries, to me, is their thin crisp skin. When they turned soft, I transformed them into cherry compote to pour over yogurt :) Opening a new bag of cherries and all the wrinkles disappeared! Why am I relating it with cosmetic advertisements? 

The crumb is actually pretty nice. Nothing close to a porous roof I can assure you :)

Your breakfast plate perfectly demonstrated how well sweetness and saltiness go together. My mouth waters when I imagine the yolk breaking and flowing all over the pancake...

Ru007's picture

I really like the look of this one Dab, very apt for a summer solstice bake :) The crumb looks great too! 

LOL!! Lucy is making progress with her app, lets just get the no smell bit right!! 

Happy baking



dabrownman's picture

the the bread would fit right in there too. - maybe better - it has a whole lot of rugged looking on it.  I told Lucy that the food has to smell like money before she will get her app right:-)  I can't decide which is worse, dying because there is no work to have money to buy food or because you can't find the food.  Quite a dilemma. 

Glad you liked the post Ru and happy baking.

isand66's picture

Lucy is going to give the painting dog "Dog Davinci" a run for his money!

I love the way this one came out.  I have to try another one of these soon.  The last one I tried didn't come out right so need to give it another go.  All the other food looks amazing as usual.

Happy Baking! 

Ian, Max, Lexi and the rest of the NY gang.

dabrownman's picture

Lucy how to paint!  Her apps haven't made a dime so far either but they keep her from eating the couch and wing back chairs like by brother's Lab.  I think she brings a 'lesser understanding' of things to any party and then struggles mightily onward ,toward failure, from a lowered base.  She says this is harder to do than many people think considering many people can't think at all.  Jeeze!  She really does have a low opinion of her master I can tell you that. 

She is glad that you like her Solstice Sun and hopes the East Coast Pack isn't sweating out the heat of the Sun like she is.  Happy baking Ian

PalwithnoovenP's picture

It's my favorite kind of art. Did I miss a challenge? 

Crumb looks wonderfully soft and moist. Is it?

Can't take my eyes off the bread and that Thai veggies with tofu to eat with that bread. Happy baking!

dabrownman's picture

We like a bread that looks and tastes good like this one.  I wanted to put the Tofu in the Miso Pork dish but forgot so I put it in the Thai c=veggie curry instead:-)   You can't have Thai food without some Thai Homali Jasmine Rice to sop up the soup:-)  Bread would be nice for the left overs though so you don't have to wait to make rice which is exactly what I did yesterday.

Glad you liked the bread but that Oriental dinner the other rnight was awful good too.  Happy baking Job