The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Miso Caramelized Chestnuts Sourdough

Elsie_iu's picture

Miso Caramelized Chestnuts Sourdough

Although the daytime temperature is still above 25°C in HK, hawkers selling roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes are starting to show up on the roadside. Of course I cannot miss out the opportunity to them in bread.


Miso Caramelized Chestnuts Sourdough


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

120g      40%       Sprouted white wheat flour

120g      40%       Whole white wheat flour

30g        10%       Whole toasted buckwheat flour

30g        10%       Whole toasted barley flour (I milled barley flakes)


For leaven:

9g         3%       Starter

18g        6%       Bran sifted out from dough flour

18g        6%       Water


For dough:

282g        94%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven

182g     60.7%       Water

100g     33.3%       Whey

45g          15%       Leaven

9g              3%       Vital wheat gluten

5g          1.67%      Salt


For caramelized chestnuts:

35g      11.7%       Roasted chestnuts

10g      3.33%       White granulated sugar

5g        1.67%       Red miso paste



304.5g     100%       Whole grain

304.5g     100%       Total hydration


Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 18g for leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Make the caramelized chestnuts. Put a few tablespoons of water and the sugar into a small pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat from high to medium when most water has evaporated. Dissolve the miso paste in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water then pour it into the pot after the sugar has transformed to cinnamon-brown. Stir the bubbling mixture vigorously while adding in the chestnuts. Continue to heat it until it thickens and produces a shiny coating on the chestnuts.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 3 hours.

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and leaven, autolyse for 20 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients than ferment for 15 minutes. Fold in the add-ins and ferment for 3 hours 15 minutes longer.

Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Retard for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.

The dough behaved in a weird manner when I was trying to develop the gluten. It wasn’t really coming together so I got a bit nervous. The resulting bread does have a rather poor crumb structure but it could have been worse, so I feel like this was a victory already :)

The crumb is not as moist or chewy as my usual bread. It might be a result of the incorporation of buckwheat and barley or it was only one of the consequences of poor dough structure.

Despite the relatively disappointing crumb profile, the flavour is outstanding. Toasted buckwheat is strong and robust, which goes really well with the saltiness, sweetness and the slight bitterness of miso caramelized chestnuts.



Sliced pork tenderloin with lemon glaze

Mixed mushrooms and beans with Chinese olive pickles


Silken tofu seasoned with aromatics (scallions, garlic and ginger) and Chinese soya paste



DesigningWoman's picture

Love the idea of the caramelized chestnuts -- may have to crib that one from you.

Pretty bake, as always. Enjoy!


Elsie_iu's picture

Some people are scared of making caramel since it could go wrong in a number of ways. The sugar is not browned evenly, it is burnt, it hardens as it comes in contact with cold liquid or it crystallizes around the edges of the pot.  There are also some who shudder at the thought of standing close to a pot of vigorously bubbling hot mixture. However, I'm in the opposite camp: it's kind of therapeutic to me :)

Give the caramelized chestnuts a go. They won't let you down!

Danni3ll3's picture

eat them all long before they would make it into the dough! Delicious!!

Elsie_iu's picture

if you make a double batch of chesnuts? ...Or maybe triple just to play safe :)


dabrownman's picture

And all the food looks grand as well.  Variety in all things especially food and bread makes the world go around.  No boring is ever allowed near the table!  Well done and happy baking and cooking Elsie!

Elsie_iu's picture

Getting bored with your food means getting bored with your life :( My motivation for getting up early in the morning is having a rejuvenating breakfast with homemade bread, homemade yogurt and homemade granola (no, I don't keep a cow for fresh milk...).

Your food is very inviting too! I hope your no carbs diet will end soon so that you can enjoy bread and other kinds of delicious carbs again!

CeciC's picture

Hi finally have someone from Hong Kong too!! Welcome to the world of bread! Do u feed ur starter often?

Elsie_iu's picture

Maybe I am when compared with you but I've been posting for months :) This is the first time I hear from you though. Nice to meet you!

I bake once a week and feed my 50/50 whole rye/red wheat starter once every two weeks. The flour used to feed it has been switched to the freshly milled kind once I got my mill so it's very active.

CeciC's picture

U mill ur own flour where u got ur kernel n Miller? 

Do u refresh ur starter a few times before using them?

Elsie_iu's picture

straight from mockmill and breadtopia respectively. I used to get all my grains from citysuper and now it's still where I go for millet, barley, buckwheat, masa harina and regular red wheat.

I like to feed my starter twice to refresh it after using it for the leaven. It's then allowed to rise for an hour at room temp before going into the fridge. The next week, I use it directly from the fridge with no refresh. The leaven's usually ready in 2.5-3.5 hrs (1:2:2-1:4:4, starter:flour:water). 

CeciC's picture

I shall check them out I got my stuff fr city super too