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canuck's picture
canuck

So, since the last post (which was quite some time ago), we moved back to Canada after three years of living in Africa.  I had a really good sourdough starter going in Zambia, it was reliable and very active, and I didn't want to just dump it.   I looked around and found some pages which described how to dry starter for transport, so that's what I did.  Here are the steps:

 1) I shmeared (thats a technical term,ha) a thin layer of starter all over a piece of baking paper, which I put on a cookie sheet.  In a couple of days it was pretty dried out and started lifting off the baking paper.  I let it dry out another day and then it was really dry and coming off the baking paper in big flakes.

 2) I took all the flakes, put them in a zip-lock bag and crunched them up into something that was close to powder.  it was a little a chunky, but still fine.

3)  I packed the zip-lock into our baggage and hoped for the best.  With all the airline paranoia I was a bit worried about explaining a bag full of white powder to the customs agent.  "Well, it is organic, and I use it...to..um....bake."  Sure, what will the sniffer dogs think? Luckily, nobody looked at our bags and the starter made it to Canada without any questions being asked. 

4) After we got home, I simply mixed the dried out started with some water and some flour in a covered container and let it sit.  At first, nothing happened, but after a few days a few bubbles appeared,  I then fed the starter some more and let it sit, and it became more active.  A couple more feed and refresh cylcles and it was going good as new.

 So, now we have Zambian starter in Canada.  I've used it a couple of times and it works great, so I'm pretty happy.  I'm no yeast scientist, I wonder if there are that many different strains of yeast that something that started in Africa would be very different than a starter started in Canada, from the "kind of yeast" point of view.  Anyone care to venture a guess?

 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

 This German Farmer's Bread (Bauernbrot) was made from a recipe in Gini Youngkrantz's Authentic German Home Style Recipes - Fourth Edition (pg. 21).  This bread is made from approximately half rye flour (48.8%) and equal amounts of whole wheat flour (25.6%) and AP flour (25.6%), excluding starter.  The recipe calls for a cup of active sourdough starter along with yeast in the final dough.  Ms. Youngkrantz's recipe produces an excellent German sourdough rye bread very much like the Bauernbrot I remember from Germany.  The recipe calls for "free form" loaves but I used German unlined willow brotforms for the final proofing and placed them on a parchment lined peal and docked them about a dozen times with small 8 inch bamboo skewer slighly larger in diameter than a tooth pick (they held their form nicely) then slid the parchment and loaves onto a baking stone, then a cup of boiling hot water to produce a blast of steam at the onset of the baking cycle.  This recipe calls for a slow-bake on low temp. (350 deg. F. for 70 minutes) with steam.  Instead, I baked them at 450 deg. F. for the first 10 minutes (to get max. oven spring) then lowered the oven temp. to 350 deg. F. for the remaining time.  I checked them at the end of the 70 min. baking cycle and they read 210 deg. internal temp.Howard - St. Augustine, FL 

Bauernbrot (Farmer's Bread) - Gini Youngkrantz:

This German Farmer's Bread (Bauernbrot) was made from a recipe in Gini Youngkrantz's Authentic German Home Style Recipes - Fourth Edition (pg. 21).  This bread is made from approximately half rye flour (48.8%) and equal amounts of whole wheat flour (25.6%) and AP flour (25.6%), excluding starter.  The recipe calls for a cup of active sourdough starter along with yeast in the final dough.  Ms. Youngkrantz's recipe produces an excellent German sourdough rye bread very much like the Bauernbrot I remember from Germany. 

The recipe calls for "free form" loaves but I used German unlined willow brotforms for the final proofing and placed them on a parchment lined peal and docked them about a dozen times with small 8 inch bamboo skewer slighly larger in diameter than a tooth pick (they held their form nicely) then slid the parchment and loaves onto a baking stone, then a cup of boiling hot water to produce a blast of steam at the onset of the baking cycle.  This recipe calls for a slow-bake on low temp. (350 deg. F. for 70 minutes) with steam.  Instead, I baked them at 450 deg. F. for the first 10 minutes (to get max. oven spring) then lowered the oven temp. to 350 deg. F. for the remaining time.  I checked them at the end of the 70 min. baking cycle and they read 210 deg. internal temp.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I make several different versions of this very famous cake as it is probably my very favorite of all chocolate desserts and perfect for a fancy presentation. The only thing that may cause problems is finding the ingredients in the States. I don’t know what’s available over there, so I’ll do my best to describe how it’s done here.
For Sean’s birthday we had a very nice dinner of marinated, then BBQ’s duck breasts, a zucchini – chèvre tian and sautéed potatoes. I decorated his cake with maltezer’s and white and dark chocolate Mikado’s and 4 sparklers.

French Royal or Trianon

Gâteau Royal or Le Trianon

Marcaron base :

60 g finely ground almond
130 g sugar
15 g flour
2 egg whites
1 tsp cocoa

Preheat the oven to 220°C
In a bowl, mix 60g of the sugar, the almond, the flou rand the cocoa.
In a mixer, beat the egg whites and when they start to foam, add the rest of the sugar and let stiffen. Fold in the dry ingredients.
Prepare à springform pan (around 22 cm), line it with parchment paper and fill with the batter.
Bake ten minutes. Let cool and then remove from the pan.

Prepare a cake ring, or the spring form pan that has been cooled and washed. I use a ring that is placed directly on to the serving platter. I lined the outer edges of mine with a plastic ring so that when it came time to take the cake out, the plastic stops the cake from sicking on the side of the pan and then can be simply peeled off.
Place the baked base in the ring by cutting it to size.

Praline layer :

In France we have a brand of chocolate called Poulain 1848. They make a praline bar that is used for this cake. I don’t know if anything like that exists. You can also use milk chocolate blended with Nutella. Less « chic » but it works. Soft, pralne chocolate of any kind should do the trick. The gavottes may pose another problem. Here they are:

Gavottes

200 g pralinoise (Poulain 1848)
90 g crêpes dentelles « gavottes »
40 g ground praline

Melt the chocolate. Crush the gavottes. Mix the praline and the gavottes in to the chocolate.. Spread this mixture on to the macaron base, making sure the corners are filled and it is level.

Mousse au chocolat :

75 g sugar
1 egg + 3 yolks
200 g baker’s chocolate (good quality !)
300 ml whipping cream

Beat the egss and the sugar with 2 tbsp of hot water. This should triple in volume and become very light in color.
Melt the chocolate and then blend it in to the egg mixture.
Whip the cream until it form a « whipped cream » and fold this gently in to the chocolate mixture, making sure it is fully incorporated.
Spread this on top of the praline layer and even the top as much as possible.

Place the cake for 8-10 hours in the fridge. I placed the fridge at 1°C for the setting period.

Comments :

This recipe can be found on a great number of French cooking sites and blogs. The recipes vary somewhat. This one comes from a very nice blog called Amuses bouches
http://amusesbouche.canalblog.com/

I wanted to try the macaron base because I usually do a génoise-type base and often soaked in kirsch. I have to say, I prefer the génoise base. You can also skip the praline layer and make a chocolate brownie base. I do that sometimes and make a thicker mouse layer using only whipped cream and melted chocolate.

Trianon with sparklers

I also made this cute Batman cake for his friends at school. He was quite delighted with it. It was one of those things... 9pm, wanting desperately to go to bed, but I had to figure out how to do a Batman theme because it was Sean's special day. It worked out just fine. I was rather proud of myself!

Batman cakeBatman cake

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway Crumb

Hamelman's 40% Rye with Caraway Crumb

This is the second of Hamelman's rye breads I've made. The first was his Flaxseed Bread, which I thought was pretty terrific.

 Eric Hanner's photos of Hamelman's 40% rye looked so great (as did SteveB's), and others who had made it gave it such rave reviews, well! How could I not make it?

Eric and Steve both used AP flour and Medium Rye Flour. On reading Hamelman's formula, I found he calls for Whole Rye Flour and High-gluten flour. Since I had both of those, I used them. (Actually, I chickened out and used 2/3 high-gluten and 1/3 bread flour for the wheat flour.)

The good news is that this is one of the best tasting rye breads I've ever had. It is moderately sour with a pronounced flavor of rye and  caraway. The crust was chewy, except the "ear" which was crunchy. The crumb was rather dense in appearance but with a lovely mouth feel and chew.

The bad news is that I think I must have under-proofed the loaves. I let them expand by about 50% before baking them, and I got explosive oven spring and bloom. The loaf I do not show had the biggest side-blowout I've ever had (and I have had pretty extensive blowouts with my ryes before).

I expect I'll be making this one again. Maybe I'll let it double before baking next time, though.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pain de Campagne variation

Pain de Campagne variation

 

Pain de Campagne variation, crumb

Pain de Campagne variation, crumb

 A couple of weeks ago, I baked a pain de campagne. The formula evolved from that for baguettes which Anis Bouabsa had shared with Janedo. It had some sourdough starter and some rye flour added to Bouabsa's original. Of course, I didn't have any French T65 flour, so I used KAF "French-style Flour," which is their T55 clone. Also, rather than forming the dough into baguettes, I made one large bâtard. The mixing method was also changed somewhat. After a 20 minute autolyse of the flours and water, the other ingredients are added. The dough is mixed using a method I learned from Hamelman via proth5, although I have since found a very similar method in Reinhart's BBA (see his formula for Pugliese.) The dough is stretched and folded in the mixing bowl with a plastic scraper for 20 strokes, repeating this 3 times over an hour. (20 strokes. 20 minutes rest. 20 more strokes. 20 mintutes rest. 20 strokes.

The critical  method I retained from the original was how the dough was fermented: After the autolyse and "kneading," the dough is refrigerated for 21 hours before dividing, shaping and baking. 

 See my TFL blog entry of August 31, 2008 for more details. (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8454/pain-de-campagne)

 King Arthur Flour sells a "specialty flour" they call "European-style Artisan Flour." They have told me this is their approximation of French T65 flour, which is what Ansi Bouabsa actually uses for his baguettes. The European-Style Artisan Flour is a blend of Spring and Winter wheats with some ascorbic acid and some white whole wheat. It is 11.7% protein.

 This week, I made pain de campagne again. The only changes from my bake of two weeks ago were 1) I substituted KAF European-style Artisan Flour for KAF French-style Flour, and 2) I made two boules rather than one bâtard.

 The European-style flour absorbed more water, resulting in a drier dough. It was also slightly less extensible, but still more so than, say, KAF Bread Flour. 

 I baked using the same method as before. For the two boules of about 480 gms each, I preheated the oven to 500F and turned it down to 460F after loading the boules and pouring the hot water in the skillet. The water was removed after 10 minutes. After another 10 minutes, the loaves were "done," but I wanted a darker crust, so baked them for an additional 5 minutes, then left them in the turned-off oven for another 5 minutes.

 The crust did not stay as crunchy as the previous version. The crumb was about what I expected. The dough acted like a 68% hydration dough, and the crumb looked like it. The aroma of the sliced bread, 3 hours after baking, had a pronounced smell of wheat bran, and the taste of the whole wheat in the flour really came through. It was only slightly sour. The texture of the crumb was quite nice. It was tender and chewy. My experience suggests the flavors will meld by tomorrow morning, and the taste will change. I'm looking forward to tasting it.

 

Personally, I prefer the previous iteration, at this time but others may differ. Certainly, both are very nice. 

 David 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

When I was searching through a file of recipes I came across this one, written on a sheet of lined paper goodness knows how many years ago. I don't remember ever baking it but wonder if anyone here knows the bread and maybe tried it. I won't give the entire recipe but basically it calls for potatoes which are boiled and mashed, and when they are cool enough sugar salt and yeast are added. This mixture is kneaded and formed into a ball which is covered and put to rise. Half of the potato ball is added to milk, sugar, butter, salt and ap flour and the other half is saved for another baking. Makes pan loaves or 36 rolls. Does this sound familiar? Any comments, success or otherwise? Has all the ingredients for tender bread, and I wish I could remember where I found it, A.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

 

This is my first loaf of Pain au Levain from Jeff Hamelman's "Bread" using the starter I created using the durum flour procedure to improve sour a couple weeks ago. The starter was a bit slow upon coming out of a 2 week sleep and refreshed. It did wake and get active so here we are.

I'll post a crumb image later along with the flavor evaluation of sour.

Added by Edit: The crumb isn't very open and there is no, zero, nada sour flavor. I would say that if there is a sour benefit to be had by using durum, it may be in elaborating with durum and not an extended procedure using it. 

Eric

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I was happy with my first attempt at 40% Rye with Caraway, until I saw SteveB's. After looking at his post on his blog I tried his method modifications minus the covered steaming. I like the steam cover I just can't bake 2 loaves this size at the same time.

I also used only 8 grams of caraway and it was ground. I just wanted a hint of spice. The sour came through very nicely. I used my rye starter and let it age for 18 hours for maximum sour flavor.

Thanks Steve, I don't know how this could be any better.

Eric 

 

 

 

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Here is my crack at terminology that is commonly used in bread baking. It's a start, with a hope that with some comments these will be corrected and added on to.

Poolish - A French term. Uses commercial yeast. An aged mixture that is made up of equal amounts of water and flour, by weight, and a small (tiny) amount of yeast. (1)

Biga - An Italian term. Uses commercial yeast. An aged mixture that is made up of water and flour, which may but do not have to be of equal amount. A tiny amount of yeast is also added to this mixture.A Poolish is really just a form of Biga. A Sponge is the English term for Biga. (1)

Starter - An English/American term. An aged mixture that is usually maintained in a very small amount, that is used to start or seed a larger mixture that is then called a preferment. A starter made from commercial yeast is called a straight dough starter and a starter made of wild yeast is called a sourdough starter.

Pate Fermente - A French term. A small piece of dough reserved from the previous batch of bread. This is the only preferment that may contain salt in it.

Preferment -  An English/American term. An aged mixture whose primary purpose is to impart a maximum amount of flavor to the resulting bread. This mixture is allowed to fully ferment before (pre-) being added to the final dough mix. Examples are: Sponge, Poolish and Biga.

Autolyse - A French term. A technique where gluten containing flour and water are mixed and aged for a desired amount of time to arrive at desired gluten development level and flavor characteristics. There are no other ingredients present except flour and water. And flour has to contain gluten.

Soaker -  An English/American term. An aged mixture whose primary purpose is to hydrate the dry ingredients that are to be used in the final dough. The dry ingredients are gluten free.

High Extraction Flour - An English/American term. It is a flour that is between White and 100% Whole Wheat. It has a certain percentage of Bran and Germ removed.

Patent Flour - An English/American term. White Flour which was extracted from the central most part of the endosperm. Is considered to have the highest quality of gluten. (1)

Clear Flour -  An English/American term. White Flour which was extracted from the outer parts of the endosperm. Around the part where the Patent Flour was extracted from. (1)

Notes:

Difference between Starter, Sponge, Biga and Poolish. Well Poolish has equal amounts of water and flour. Biga and Sponge are the same to the best of my knowledge. A Starter is more clearly defined in a professional bakery environment where a small amount of left over preferment is reserved to be used in the next preferment. The amount of preferment mixed contains a small excess that is fully fermented. Then the small excess is extracted to be used in the following preferment, and the current preferment is added to the dough for the current batch of bread.

---------------------------------------

(1) Source J. Hamelman "Bread"

 

Edit 09/14/2008

Today I saw a FAQ page so I thought I'd link to it from here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/faqs

ejm's picture
ejm

flatbread
I mixed the focaccia dough at around noon. It was around 25C in the kitchen. The dough hadn't even budged by 5:00pm. Still no sign of any rising by 6:00. So I decided to cut the dough into 8 pieces and try making pitas. As I rolled out the discs, I wracked my brains trying to think what was different.
  1. I had rehydrated the yeast with cold water. That shouldn't have been a problem. It was plenty warm enough in the kitchen
  2. I had added leftover sludge after feeding the wild yeast. That shouldn't have been a problem. It wasn't that acidic. In fact there was no sour taste to the dough at all.
  3. Maybe I had added too much salt. I don't think so. It didn't taste too salty.
  4. I had added malt to the yeast. No, if anything that would have helped rather than inhibited the rise.
  5. The flour is relatively new. If at least 4 loaves of bread hadn't been made from that bag of flour, I'd have blamed the flour.

The next morning, my husband found a little dish of creamy looking water on top of the stove. There were a few fruit flies doing the breast stroke in it. The liquid smelled faintly of apples. And THAT'S why my focaccia dough refused to rise. I forgot to add the yeasted water to the dough! Quel moron. Hmmmm, if there was no yeast in the dough, these can't really be called "pitas", can they? I think they have to be considered as "chapatis" because they are yeast-free.

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