The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Taking a stroll out of my comfort zone

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

Taking a stroll out of my comfort zone

I'd mentioned to Abe that I was thinking of rosemary and onion for my next bake (working on shaping and scoring) and he came back with a suggestion for this lovely recipe for tomato bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou.

Of course, why not?

The first surprising thing was the quantity of levain: 300g of 100% levain for 400g of flour! And since I wanted two 700g-ish loaves, I found myself building 450g of levain over the course of two days, after which I left it to retard in the fridge.

And a loaf with no whole grain (except the rye culture)? Eek.

The next disconcerting thing was giving up my recently adopted "best" practices: adding a soake;, overnight cold bulk; preshape and bench rest.

But Abe encouraged me to follow the recipe as written, at least the first time out, before I started in with my sometimes ill-advised tweaking. So I did. Most of the way.

I did, however, have to cheat the bulk fermentation slightly. Being the star of time management that I am, I found myself in the position of either shortening the bulk by 15 minutes or letting it go until after dinner, which would have been way too long, unless I stuck the dough in the fridge early enough. Which I didn't, since the aim was to follow the recipe to the letter.

Since there was neither pre-shape nor bench rest, the shaping of the slightly underfermented dough was a tad on the sticky side, but nothing unmanageable. Thanks to the "small, clear, straight-sided container" with a wad of dough in it, I did let the loaves proof longer thann I would have done if I were just relying on the poke test.

Baked as per the recipe, and the kitchen smelled wonderful. I should also mention that the dough took on the most beautiful color from the tomato paste.

Loaves are flatter than I hoped (so what else is new?); whether that's due to the shortened bulk or the not-tight-enough shaping (or the relationship between them) will be tested out on the next bake.

The taste is wonderful; we had it with some fresh goat cheese, and I just got home from work and ate a slice toasted, with nothing on it. Crumb is soft, crust is crisp, color is so much fun to wake up to!

Toast!

I'll definitely make this one again, although I will want to ramp up the proportion of nigella seeds -- and do the pre-shape and bench rest.

Thank you, Abe

We did bake this one "together", and of course your loaf looks so much nicer, with that lovely round cross section and yummy crumb. Thanks again for pointing me in the direction of this loaf.

 

Comments

Abe's picture
Abe

I love that kinda crumb. I believe it's described as lacey. It is a lovely bread and glad you like it.

We should do this more often :)

Agreed! Can't go wrong with more Nigella Seeds. And perhaps play around with the herbs like substituting the Rosemary for Basil or Oregano.

One thing I did do was to use dried Rosemary instead of fresh. I quickly looked up if it should be a straight swap and saw somewhere that because dried is more potent then one should use a 3rd.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

because our gardienne has a bush of the stuff growing in the courtyard. I keep trying to sweet-talk her into some thyme and sage, but for the moment, no dice. Maybe I should have thought to bring her a loaf of this one!

I don't care for dried basil, so might have a go at fresh. On the other hand, I don't know that I've ever seen fresh oregano, have you?

Yes, love the nigella seeds. And they work quite well with the sesame seeds on the outside.

How did you do your intial mix?

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

now I understand Abe’s comment a few days ago, lol.  if I read it correctly, my version of the book says you could use celery seeds instead of rosemary -  now you have made this using rosemary how would it change the flavour?

I don’t have any atm but have seen oregano plants at the garden centre so you could grow it in a pot maybe?

lovely bake and crumb

Leslie

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

I've never used celery seeds. Interesting idea, though. 

I'll see if I can't find a pot of oregano at a gardening store. I suppose it would help if I knew if they were seasonal, and if so, what season (can you tell I grew up surrounded by skyscrapers planted in asphalt?)

Which of Abe's comments are you referring to? 

I loved the taste of this one, but I especially loved  the decorator color of the dough 😄

You had a great bake too,  yummy, oaty, lacey crumb!

Keep on baking!

Carole 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

but you would probably need to bring it indoors in your winter.  it is an italian herb after all. 

Yes the colour looks lovely and I will go buy some nigella seed so i can give it a shot.  Abe commented he was going to do a bake with Carole 😊 so it makes sense.  

I always wanted to make the beetroot loaf in that book so might do both, lol...

very well done

Leslie

hreik's picture
hreik

Your loaves are gorgeous.  Nice going.  Perfect crumb.

I'm gonna have to try this recipe.  I've never used nigella seeds.... don't even know what they are... lol

hester

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

Actually, the second crumb shot was a cheat : those slices were toasted!

I think you'd like nigella seeds. They're oniony and mildly peppery. I use them in a red-pepper jelly, you could also use them in naan. And they're supposed to cure everything except death 😊 

Looking forward to your next bake.

Carole 

David R's picture
David R

...is not hard to grow for a basic-skills gardener with a warm sunny place to grow it. Mine died, because I have neither basic gardening skills nor a warm sunny growing spot.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

in the same boat as you! I don't think I've even seen the fresh stuff at the market. Bears exploring.

Thanks, David. 

 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

sorry its “fallen over” lo!  i couldn’t resist and bought one today.  pot is small only about 5-7 cm. 

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

Hmm, the leaves look more fragile than I expected (was thinking something woodier, like rosemary ). I'll see if I can find one and subject it to my usual benign neglect!

Thanks for that!

Carole 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

You will love Mexican Oregano which is regular oregano on steroids.the difference is quite amazing.  That might have been what MO got in Chili.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

I bought some dried awhile back when trying to convince Angus that it was "safe" for him to eat chickpeas and other pulses. They do seem to mitigate the -- ahem -- more musical side of discomfort,  but tastewise, i think I need to find a fresher batch. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

more often than not to explore the possibilities of a wider variety in the world of baking.  This one really came out nice for sure.  Love the color.  The great thing about the clear glass test is that is is always spot on, no guessing,  and you can teach yourself what a 50% though 100% proof in your benetton really looks like.  Well done and happy baking DW

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

Exploration before I get too set in my ways, eh? It was fun and the result is satisfactory. I absolutely love the color of the dough. 

I think I'm a convert to the clear-glass test, too. I just need to remember to pull off a bit before weighing, dividing and shaping.

Keep on baking! 

Carole 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Enjoy!  

Oregano... it does have a season, In Chile, the season was April and beginning of May...that translates to Oct-Nov in the northern hemisphere.  So late Autumn.  It is absolutely beautiful when picked fully clustered and freshly dried or rubbed off the woody stems.  I couldn't get enough of it and had a pizza that was fully covered with the herb and it was one of the best pizzas I ever ate.   Marjoram is also in the oregano family of herbs.  Taste test your plant and decide if you like its flavour, they can vary.  Can use anytime during growing season,  heat and sun tends to intensify flavour.

There are some winterhardy varieties.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

Ok, I'll have to find some fresh oregano, whatever the variety. I've only ever had it dried. The idea of a pizza covered with the stuff is great -- like salad in a pizza bowl. 

And marjoram is another one I don't think I've ever tried, in any form.

So much to learn!

Keep on baking -- do you still have some ginger cookies left? I think I'd have eaten my way through the batch already! 

Carole 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

one small box anyway for a nephew. The others went so fast!  Will deliver them today if they weren't discovered.  My hiding places all seem to be known.

I tried a new herb today.  Had some Malaysian basil that got left over from something and before it wilted too much decided to root it.  This morning there were dried leaves all around the vase and tasted one.  Mild licorice taste, hmmm.  Poured my coffee and put the rest of the leaves into a mug with boiling water.  Later made a simple yeasted 300g white wheat loaf straining the "tea" to see if any flavour shows up.  Waiting for hubby to notice.  I didn't notice anything ...yet.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so I'll soon have more for experiments.  Definitely need more in the dough.  I looked up the label...Horapa leaf... or Ocimum basilicum Linn.    Looks interesting, sure is colorful.  Just looking at it made me think it was in the mint family of plants.  :)