The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from tomsbread

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tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

Hello from tomsbread

Hello all,

Greetings from Singapore from another bread fanatic. This is a wonderful website for learning and I have learnt so much from it. Thanks.

I baked some Ciabatta today. The pics are in

http://www.angelfire.com/planet/tomsbread/index.htm

Tomsbread

Comments

epkrebs's picture
epkrebs

Hello: Your bread looks fabulous! Each picture made the bread seem so real, I could almost smell it!!! I'm still working on my airpockets...

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

Try the stretch and fold method. It really works. I have described it briefly in the techniques section in my page but you will find more if you do a google search. I have seen a video of it once in the internet but I do not have the link now.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Some info on stretch and fold here.

wendyshum's picture
wendyshum

I was no problem in getting the air pocket inside just following the stretch and fold but how can you get that thick and crispy crust? Mine is always becoming soft.

rmk129's picture
rmk129

Hi Tomsbread,

Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed browsing through your website...I especially liked the articles on bread nutrition etc. and I am SO envious of your great oven :)

I have a quick question...in the nutrition article, it states that the addition of sprouted seeds to bread should enhance its nutritional value dramatically: "Sprouted wheat was found to increase in vitamin A content ten fold in seven days, while vitamins B2 and B12 increased between two and ten times, and vitamin C content increased rapidly as well." It also says "For their use in breads, wheat sprouts should only grow one half the length of the kernel itself, or else the bread will be sticky." This intrigued me!!!

I am very much a newbie bread baker so maybe this is a silly question, but in order to obtain wheat sprouts do you just buy whole wheat ?kernels? ?seeds? and keep rinsing them in water for about one week (like you would to make alfalfa sprouts) until they grow to the required length? Could I do the same with peeled wheat or does the kernel need to be whole? Last question...what amount of these do you recommend can be added to an average loaf for best results?

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

You can sprout wheat using wheat berries. You should have no problem finding these in health shops. I made some before using hard red winter wheat from the US. At that time, my intention was to make some malted wheat flour. Most flour mills add this to their flour so it is really unnecessary to make your own. I just soaked the berries in water. In Asia, we consume quite a bit of bean sprouts. One of the things I learnt about sprouting is that you have to change the water frequently. A friend told me that his family sprouted beans for sale and this was done in bamboo baskets. Every couple of hours, the beans are sprayed with water. The bamboo baskets allowed the water to drain.

After some time, the wheat berries should sprout and sprouting creates a lot of active enzymes. I have read from books that too much enzyme activity result in gummy bread and that may be the reason why the author suggested limiting the sprouting length. There are some websites which detail the wheat berry sprouting process. I will have to search for it and will forward to you if I find it again.

I have never added sprouted grains into my bread but it was through sprouting wheat berries that I realised that you can create a sourdough starter from the yeasts that grow on the wheat berries. I observed that a lot of bubbles were created during the sprouting and surmised that this was due to the yeast feeding on the berries. I started adding flour into the sprouts and was able to grow a very robust culture from this. The culture smelt fruity and very pleasant. I baked most of my sourdough breads with this culture.

rmk129's picture
rmk129

Thank you for the information...one last question. What exactly are wheat berries? I looked it up on the internet and there are quite a few discussions between people who debate whether they are the same thing as peeled wheat with different conclusions.

I recently moved to Argentina, so I'm just getting used to the grocery shopping situation here :) Most neighbourhood supermarkets carry "trigo pelado" (peeled wheat), but so far I haven't seen anything else that might be wheat berries. If they are not the same thing, I will try my luck in some of the larger health food stores. If they are the same thing, perfect...already in my cupboards :) Thank you!

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

I have to confess that I know very little about wheat in their stages of production. I refer them as wheat berries because the label said so. In singapore, wheat grass juice is highly valued as a nutrition supplement and people buy the berries to grow as wheat grass. I believe it must be an intact grain with nothing removed from it. If you already have some, it dosent hurt to throw some into a cup of water.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

So far as I have seen in other reading, wheat berries is a term that is used to identify the whole, unmilled grains of wheat, as tomsbread has surmised.

I hadn't previously seen any references to peeled wheat. If it is possible to draw parallels from rice processing, it could be wheat with the outer hull removed (analogous to brown rice), or wheat with both the outer hull and bran layer removed (analagous to polished rice). I don't know which, if either case is correct, so I guess some more research is in order.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Could you post a review of that UNOX oven? What model is it, how do you use it, and how does it compare to a standard range (assuming standard ranges are what you use in Singapore!). It looks as if it could solve some problems for me.

Also what type of feed does it require? 240V/20A?

Thanks!

sPh

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

Their website is http://www.unox.it

My oven model is Elena and all the detailed specifications are in the website. I have the oven since Jan and so far I am very happy with it. The manufacturers were not boasting when they said that the temperature controls are precise. When I set the oven to 200 C, my oven thermometer really registered that, and at various locations too. This shows that the heat distribution is good. It is a convection oven and the fan is quite powerful. It changes direction every few minutes. The fan is actually sucking air to the back. The oven interior chamber is insulated and the door is double glass which means it is 'cool' to the touch externally.

It is a convection oven and initially, my breads burnt if I follwed the bread recipes to the letter. Breads baked in convection ovens have to be done at a slightly lower temperature. However, sometimes I find that I have to lower the temperatures significantly to achieve the results shown in the books. This made me wonder if cook book writers are doing some form of temperature compensation knowing that typical home ovens are not efficiently insulated enough but then that is yet another moot point.

The steam injection is achieved by dripping water onto the fan which scatter the droplets onto the heating element. You will need a water source for this.

As I have only used it for about 5 months, I cannot comment about its reliability. My old oven broke down 3 times in 1.5 years. The last straw came when the glass door shattered after I baked a bread in it. So if you ask me, I am very happy with my present oven, especially since it didn't burn a big hole in my pocket.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Thanks for the information; I am searching for a US distributor.

sPh