The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Experiments: Yeasted Danishes, Cinnamon Scrolls, 66% Sourdough Rye, 100% w/w

paddyboomsticks's picture

Experiments: Yeasted Danishes, Cinnamon Scrolls, 66% Sourdough Rye, 100% w/w

Ahhhh. Experiments. Sometimes they go right. Right = Happy Paddy. Prancing about the lounge, lovingly gazing at my creations, and hopelessly covetous; I regret eating the beautiful food I have created! Even though it tastes sooooooo good! Bad experiment. Sigh. Bad = Sad, Angry Paddy. A divot in my brow like a hole in a golf course. Not even Survivor is enough to make me smile. Today was a success. Four baked goods, three experiments, and potentially three successes - two guaranteed.

1. Cinnamon Scrolls
From my lovely friend Sarah. I have been meaning to make these for a while. Sarah said they were easy, and hot damn she was right! I'll be making this babies over and over. Delicious, and surprisingly low on the butter and sugar. Yeasty though. Lord are they yeasty!



2. Danishes From the inimitable Wild Yeast. I confess - I had grave doubts and concerns about this one. The recipe is really (ultimately a little needlessly, in my opinion) complex - there are dozens of steps, with hours rest in between. Puff Pastry traditional works through a kind of lamination process - where you roll it out flat, and butter it - over and over and over. Keeping the dough cold is crucial. It's not a fun process, and in my opinion the gains over store bought puff are marginal at best. This is a different process, it involves rolling out a barely incorporated dough with _huge_ chunks of butter in it. I admit I was skeptical, but wouldn't you be? Look at this! Look at the butter! Ye gods! THE BUTTTTTTTEERRRR!

So you have to roll it out:

*Hands belong to Awesome BakeFriend Pat. Unbelievably, it started to incorporate. The dough - partly because it's so cold - is very stiff. Stiff and yellow. It reminded me of nothing so much as pasta dough in its qualities. After appropriate chill-out times, you have to shape it. Because I need to change my middle name to: "Let's Make A Double Batch!", Pat and I had quite a few danishes ready to go: way too many for my meagre kitchen.... 38 or so...

After, smear on the cream cheese mix, peach halves, morello cherries and boysenberries, then you're good to go!


I couldn't believe it: they tasted as good as the looked!!!


Key learnings from this: Breaking up this recipe as Wild Yeast implies can be done is probably a good idea. Individually, the steps are not too time consuming. All together they are pretty damn time consuming. The biggest step is combining the butter and the flour. That's a lotta rolling!

This said, I think that this recipe could do with some work: all those refrigeration times are definitely not required. They are only there to keep the dough cold. If the weather is cold, or you're able to contain yourself and keep your groping hands off the dough, they won't be necessary.

Also: I would be reluctant to refrigerate the dough to the outside of those time limits. 4 days, etc. is a really long time in the fridge. Too long, in my opinion. Sure it would work, just maybe not well. Finally: don't use too much cream cheese; it will inhibit the rise a bit if you do.


3. Jeffrey Hamelman's 66% Rye Sourdough from Bread. Still getting the hang of Hamelman, I think. His book is a tremendous wealth of knowledge, but the two recipes I have tried so far, whilst not bad, haven't been up there with my favourite recipes.

I am finding his doughs in general have a higher hydration than I would expect, and the dough then has a kind of satiny, silky feel. Also, I'm not getting the proofing rises that I general ly expect from these doughs.

Both recipes I have made so far have stayed very flat in the proofing process, far less than my trusted recipes. I've waited over his leavening times, and still, not much action. I get an oven rise, to be sure. but it's - hmmmm - it's just not quite right.

Despite slashing, I get rise lifting up the bottom of the loaf (hexagon loaves! No fun!). Also I find on cutting the bread that I get a slightly dense, almost rubbery texture - not the soft or chewy texture I generally prefer. This all said, I haven't cut the loaf yet, so the jury's out. Has anyone else tried out this loaf or the Vermont sourdough? The loaves are the front two in the first pic.


4. My Trusty, Delicious Wholemeal Loaf. From Boas, formerly of Folding Pain, now of Grain Power. I have to say; this is the my favourite bread that I have ever cooked, and that's saying something. The flavour is brilliant. The texture: both soft and chewy. It keeps well, and makes great toast. And most importantly, it's practically indestructible - you can screw around with it endlessly and it still holds up. This recipe is fantastic.

What a blissful day of baking! I wish every day was like this!


Janedo's picture

Wow, now that was a serious baking session! Looks wonderful, so you can definitely skip and dance.

You're scaring me about Hamelman. I have started the three build 80% rye. I'll see how it goes. I hope I don't have flour troubles since they're different here.

The whole grain looks very nice, indeed! And those danishes....


paddyboomsticks's picture

Wow, Janedo, you must post about the three-stage rye. I have been eyeing it off in trepidation. I'm intrigued by the possible flavour.

FYI, update on the rye, I cut it open for lunch, and am pleasantly surprised. My misgivings re: rise are still mostly true, I didn't get a lot and it yields up a dense loaf.

However, the flavour on the rye is quite good, in my opinion. A dense, but very soft and delightfully moist crumb, with an almost shockingly sweet taste (to the point that if I didn't know better I would swear there had been some sweetener added).

All in all a very nice rye ultimately, though in my opinion nothing can beat DMSynder's Russian Rye (not even the Nury! Controversial I know!. That said I would qualify all three of those loaves as "good ryes".

Janedo's picture

I scoured Hamalman's "Bread" and figured it wasn't worth doing a light rye, I've got that down pat and LOVE it, but too scared to go right in to a 100% or a pumpernickel. So, I figured 80% sounded good to see what a dense rye was like. It has been quite an adventure. I had to convert my starter and then there are all the builds. Havin never worked with pure rye before I don't know what to expect. I've been sniffing a lot! Ha ha! So, I just did the full sour up and it has to ferment 3-4 hours and then it's bread making. I'm nervous! But I'll post the results, either questions on what I did wrong, or pride that it came out all right.

I chose a recipe from a book but I could have done David's Russian rye. I'll go look at that again. I should have reread all those posts before because there is a lot of rye discussion. Will do that next!

I'm glad your rye was not a disappointment. I think strong flavoured bread needs some time to get accustomed to. It was be shocking at first and then little by little you take to it (or not) and can literally become dependant. That's what happened to me with the light rye, so I have hopes it happened with dar.


paddyboomsticks's picture

I know what you mean about stronger flavoured loaves. I almost never have a plain with loaf any more, my palate has obviously become used to a wholemeal or rye-based kick!

jj1109's picture

those danish look fantastic. and so does that wholemeal loaf... but the link to the recipe doesn't work for me :(

I don't think I'll let my wife see those danish... I would be subscribing myself to a large amount of rolling of dough if she does ;)

xaipete's picture

Beautiful Danishes, Scrolls, and breads. You've definitely been baking up a storm! I love the look of the Danish topped with a half peach. The dough IS a lot of work. Lately I've begun to notice that some butter brands are better than others (uh, actually, I noticed that some, esp. Challenge, didn't have much flavor). What brand did you use?

I just realized this post was from 2008. I hope your still baking, paddyboomsticks!