The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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happylina's picture
happylina

 

 

Hello TFL loafer:

 

I'm glad to come here as a new member. I'm a new baker. I just start baking western bread from 1 month ago. I find here 2 weeks ago when I want to find pot bread. I like here many charming breads. And I'm very interesting with here Tartine bread pot experiment now! Thanks for information about baking bread. Thanks for this website organizer.

 

I want to take dumpling in this weekend. So I buy pork and celery. Daisy_A ask me if I know char siu bao. I know this South China bread from my tongue. I been take this in restaurant when I stay in  Guangdong. The char siu pork is my favate dish in Guangzhou. But here Beijng no many char siu. I been try to baking this pork last month. It's not same with restaurant. But already ok.  Package,pack, bundle; packet; parcel;bag; yurt all call "Bao" in China.  char siu bao is wheat flour parceled with char siu pork. Many people no take lunch and dinner in Guangdong. They like to take morning tea with small cake and midnight snack with big dish in restaurant.  So Guangdong have many delicate snack.  char siu bao so popular and came from Guangdong. So normally char siu bao meaning  Guangdong style char siu bao.

 

I search in net. If I want making it samilar with restaurant. I need making a along time raising sourdough. But I want take now(#^.^#). So After 1 day waitting for pork saltd. I finishd char siu baking. I start to making char siu dumplng.  Dumplng dough no need yeast. So I can get quickly. I already have char siu now. So I will making Guangdong char siu soon. And now this my style char siu bao(char siu dumpling)

 

BBQ sauce:

Soybean sauce 2 T(30ML)*,

Red colour preserved beancurd 1 piece,

Sugar 45G*,

Five-spice powder 1/2 t(2.5ML),

garlic chopped 5G,

Cooking rice wine 1T(15ML),

oyster sauce1T(15ML)*,

Red rice or preserved beancurd sauce 1T(15ML)(optional)

meat:pork 250g

brushing liquide:Maltose(or honey) 30g,water 30ML

 

 

Pork mix with BBQ sauce, 2 OR 3 days later, Brushing liquide on pork, 200 degree 35-45 minutes. 3 or 4 time Brushing liquide.

Cha shao Bao fillings:
1.cha shao 400g, diced meat
2.ginger 2 piece green onion 1, cut up
3.water 1/3 CUP(This receipe is for Bao, For dumpling,about half)
0,light soy sauce 2t,   dark soy sauce 1T,BBQ sauce 1T, oyster sauce1.5T, surgar 1.5T,  sesame oil 2T,
4.Cornstarch 1T mix with 2T water.
5.plant oil 1T
WATER for Bao 1/3 CUP, For dumpling, Just a little

Making filling:
Cha shao FILLING: Frying pan big fire-> 5.plant oil 1T->add 2.ginger 2 piece green onion fry ->add 3.boiled-> add 4.-> add 1.chaoshao ,mix, cold, ok
VEGETABLE: Half green onion, half piece ginger, 300g celery, chopped,mix with plant oil 1T,
mix with five spices powder 1/4t, mix all with sesame oil,chicken essence ,salt,

Dough: 250g all porpose flour 125g water 4g salt 1 egg white,   knead 3 or 4 time every5 minutes at first. Can add little  water. 50% dough to 60% dough all ok.

wrap dumpling: Waitting about 30 minutes, kneed and making the dough to a  long strip. cut to small pieces about 2cm diametical 2 cm long. rolling pin  make it to about diametical 7Cm.

put vgetable,after BBQ pork,after close the dumpling. If it dry ,can use some water for easy making.

Fry: For one pan fried dumpling: 100g water 10G all porpose flour mix
1T plant oil on Pan, medium heat,place dumpling as flower looking. Move the pan often. when bottom get yellow colour, pour into wheat flour water on pan. cover tha pan. Move the pan, all the place same heat. After 5 minutes for cooked meat and vegatable, 10 minute for no cooked meat. open cover,stop heat.
 Take a big plate, cover the dumplings, and  the pan cover the plate quickly.

 Ice flowers fried dumpling coming. It's Chinese festival food.

Boiled dumpling: After water boiled, Put dumpling to water. High heat until boil then low heat and add cold water, boil again, add water, until dumplings as ball floating on water. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also use my electric cooker aluminous pot baking my pot bread. This bread I use many DIY material: I use millet rose ferment(I made in 1 week ago) mix with soy bean and ginkgo dregs(residue from beans after I making tofu) and full wheat (11/3cup all purpose wheate 11/3 cup whole wheat no bran and 1.5 cup  whole wheat with bran )   80G 100% yeast(20g all porpose flour 20g whole wheat flour). I use about 350Ml  wine and 50 water. ferment and bean dregs all wet. So my dough more than 80% water flour I think. And in room 14 degree 12 hours it's already big up. I think maybe from my wine. I take it out room. It's already cold enough outside. About 33 hour later. It's more big. I take back room in 14 degree. After I finish my Chashao Bao lunch. I remember my big bread. It's already very big and sticky.So I preheat my oven with pot in 200 degree in 10 minutes. After I take dough to hot pot close lid 250 degree 20 minutes. after I take the lid away, 20 minutes 210 degree. After I take pot over and move bread 10 minutes again. After I turn the bread top down. top heat 200 degree open 10 minutes. After stop I open the oven door. Not so happy feeling. so I open oven 200 degree 10 minutes again. After really stop,I open oven waitting about 5 minutes. I take the bread out. And quickly open it.  The time from I start his dough already 48 hours.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your reading

 

have a good weekend

 

Happylina

 

happylina's picture
happylina

This my first time making Chaoshao Bao. I'm lucky this bao open flower----Smiling ball.  although it's not big  laughing bao. They are shy(#^_^#)


When I introduce my baking experience.  Kindly new friends talk with me in TFL blog. They tell me they also interesting with Chinese bread.  Daisy_A ask me if I have good recipe for Cha siu bao. And Daisy_A already try to making delicious Cha siu bao. This food we call Cha shao bao.  Since it's from south china rice area. They making this as cake. It's sweet bread with cha shao meat.  I take many Cha shao pork When I live in Guangzhou. But for Cha siu bao. I always thought restaurant for saving money no put enough fillings. And maybe I more like salt pork bao than sweet bao. So I no often take this cake. For me the BBQ pork more interesting. 

I search in internet 2 days ago. There's many receipes for Cha shao bao. But normally they use ammoniapowder for bulking. Many home recipe no flower. I been taken festival opening flower mantou(steamed bread) from my friend before. That bread had very big bursting head. It's familly making tradional food. I think they no use ammoniapowder. At last I find a receipe. The long time leavening sour loaf reacts with baking powder. Big quicklly steaming. After can get big opening flower. So I try this recipe  and get my first Cha shao bao at last night. I know here have many good baker. And texfarmer making very nice bao. So I'm shy to show my Chinese bao. I just want to share this recipe with you: 

Dough Recipe:

 

A:

leaven dough:

water:125g

caster sugar: 1/2T

Instant yeast:1/2t

low protein flour: 225g


B:

sweet main dough:

leaven dough: all

low protein flour: 225g

powdered sugar:125g

lard oil(or white oil):60g

baking powder:2t

water:40~50g


Makng:

1) Mix A to a smooth dough.waitting one night.

2) dough turn into paste. fuller vinosity.

(Mine no change into like this)

3)Mix A and B, kneed to smooth and soft sweet leaven dough.

4)Apart to 14 pieces. For one about 53g.  roll to ball. 

5)squash(or crush???) to wrapper,fill into about 33g fillings. 

(If you want big flower no put many fillings. close the ball like a ball. No need making fronce. And thick top better for open flower)

6)You can use cooking paper for every piece(I use one thin gauze). place to steamer. warm place 30 minutes.

7)Boiling water pot. Up the Chashao bao steamer. steam 12 minutes on medium strong heat.   

 


I made some mistake when I making. This loaf need enough time polish. The recipe write polish time is one night. I made polish loaf in early morning. Mix with half main flour and house made sweet sour rice wine in morning. So it's only 5 hours. And south China very warm. Here my room only 14 degree. So Maybe I need find more warm place. So I have to waiting  to midnight until I think it's ok.  

This is cake not bread. I made half of this recipe. I use 20ml my homemade sweet rice wine  instead of water. I no like very sweet. so I use half sugar of this recipe. 

Cha shao pork and fillings recipe you can see here: 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20835/water-fried-chashao-vegitable-dumpling-water-boiled-chashao-dumpling-millet-ferment-full-

 If you want to know how to making, you can see from here:

 

http://blog.yam.com/homeeconomics/article/28118784

You can get infomation from google translator.

 


Thank you for your reading


Happylina  

 

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

to Thanksgiving Day.  I baked several different kinds of bread in advance of Thanksgiving Day and these were just a few, I managed to get a couple of photos of along the way to the big day.  I baked challah, sourdough, cornbread, pugliese and tried the buttermilk rolls from  BH Bread Bible.  I tried a sourdough out in my new cast iron baker...It bakes up a wonderful loaf but the cast iron was a little heavy and hot to handle and limited to only one loaf at a time...all in all, I love cast iron dutch oven pan!  I especially like this one most of all for stove top cooking..just right size little fry pan and real nice pot for frying chicken or any deep frying, I'm very happy with this set, so much so I gave my extra large iron pan, I was using for lava rock. to my DIL with instructions how to get back the once lovely seasoned coating it had...I also have another extra large very well seasoned/aged one...but it will keep that lovely seasoning, that took so long to build.

 

            

 

                                       

                                                    I love my new Lodge Cast Iron multipurpose dutch oven set

                         

 

                                                    Steaming a couple of sourdough loaves

                                

                                                               Sylvia

                         

proth5's picture
proth5

 Even in what passes for "normal" in my life, mid-November to the end of December ranges from busy to insanely busy.  There are jams to package, candies to make, and cookies to bake.  Being the designated holder of family culinary traditions, the doing, packaging, and shipping can take on a life of its own.

As the one or two of you who read my blogs know, 2010 hardly started out as a "normal" year.  I had high hopes it would quickly settle to normal. But it was not to be.

 Doesn't mean I don't keep up with the bread, though.

 Lately I've been getting some big bear bites as I try to adjust my usual formulas to use two pre ferments.  I'll have to admit, my mental mise en place was somewhat lacking and some very, very odd things came out of that fancy, new oven.  Today, however, I looked over at the days baking and thought - "It's far from perfect, but that's some nice looking bread."

Twp Preferments - same day

I've been varying the percentage of flour in the preferment all over the map.  What I found, is that reverting to my old faithful of 12-15% of the total flour pre fermented once again, did the trick.  

 The formula (for 6 loaves of about 10 oz of dough per loaf) (And y'all are going to have to put up with ounces...):

 Total percentage of flour pre fermented: 15%

 Poolish

Percentage of flour in the poolish: 10%

 King Arthur All Purpose Flour           3.7 oz

Water                                            3.7 oz

Instant yeast                                        generous pinch

 Levain

Percentage of flour in the levain: 5%

Hydration: 100%

 

King Arthur All Purpose flour                   1.7 oz

Water                                                  1.7 oz

Seed                                                    0.35 oz

 Final dough

67% hydration

Desired Dough temperature 76F

 

King Arthur All Purpose Flour                   31.35 oz

Water                                                  19.2 oz

Instant Yeast                                         0.05 oz (Yes, that little - that's 0.135%)

Salt                                                        0.55 oz

All of the poolish

All of the levain

 

Mix the flour, water, polish and levain to a shaggy mass.  Autolyse for 30 mins.

Mix in mini spiral for 3 minutes at single speed.  Moderate gluten development. (Could also be mixed by hand or stand mixer.)

 (At this point I divided the dough in half, with one half receiving a normal bulk ferment, and the other half sent into the refrigerator for a retarded bulk ferment of about 10 hours.)

 Bulk ferment 4.5 hours at 72F, stretch and fold at 2 hours.

 Divide and pre shape.  Rest for 25 minutes.

Shape. (At a mere 7% of the flour in the levain, I achieved a dough that fought back during shaping.  This 5% of flour in the levain handled very nicely.)

 Proof for 1 hour 30 minutes.

 Slash and load.

 Bake 5 minutes with your favorite home steaming method at 500F conventional bake.

 Switch to convection bake at 480F (I love my new oven...) for 12-13 minutes.

 Since I have the convection oven, all my loaves (even the ones where the bear gets me) sing pretty nicely and the crusts are quite crispy even after the bread is cool.

 The taste?  Not a really assertive levain taste, but definitely more flavor there than a typical poolish baguette.  The crumb is much more yellow than I can capture with my negligible photographic skills.  I would describe the taste as "creamy."

This formula hasn't passed the "I baked this for many weeks and it is consistent" test, but I though I would share.

 We'll see how the other half turns out tomorrow (In general I've not been best pleased with shaping after retarding with these mixed pre ferment breads, but we shall see...)

 Happy Baking!

Added by edit:  The batch of baguettes that received the retarded bulk ferment were removed to a proofing box at about 72F for an hour and a half before shaping.  Thye still fought back a bit, but not nearly as badly as other batches.  Unfortunately time ran out for picture taking, but they had a more open crumb than the first batch.  My official bread tester declared them, the best bread, yet. I, of course, was unhappy with the shaping...

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, I really love Rose's walnutty-oniony bread. I found a maple-veined cheese a few years ago and it paired amazingly well with this walnut bread! Any good cheese is great with this bread though.  This is a 69% hydration loaf using milk, with the addition of some roasted walnut oil. I like to substitute shallots for onions; I like their nice pink color and great flavor.  Regards, breadsong

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, Here is an attempt at the Pear Buckwheat Bread from Advanced Bread and Pastry by Mr. Michel Suas.
What a wonderful book!!!!
The shaping instructions for this bread can be found here (thank you Susan!):
http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2010/01/31/pear-buckwheat-bread/

This recipe requires dried pears. I tried drying diced pears in the oven and it worked out OK; with thanks to Eric Kastel, who writes about drying apples in his book Artisan Breads at Home (I just did the same thing with the pears):
Preheat oven to 400F or 380F convection; start with twice the weight of dried fruit you require; peel, core and dice (1/2-inch) fruit; spread on baking rack and set on top of parchment lined baking sheet; bake 15 or 20 minutes (may need to move diced fruit around so it dries/browns evenly); turn oven off and let fruit dry for a bit longer (I left the fruit in for another 20 minutes or so to let it dry a bit more). I stored the fruit in the fridge until I was ready to make the bread.

I poured a couple of Tablespoons of pear liqueur over the dried pears and let the fruit absorb the liqueur before mixing the bread, and used toasted hazelnuts instead of walnuts. Here's how it turned out!:


Happy baking everyone!  This was a fun project.  I don't have a crumb shot yet, but will be cutting into one of these loaves later today & will try to take a picture then. Regards, breadsong

amolitor's picture
amolitor

This is the next in a series of blog posts, regarding my quest to reproduce Acme Bakery's Walnut Levain. See:

previous post

and

original post

I think I'm pretty much there. My loaf is quite large now, because we like it. There are two preferments, one "old dough" (yeast raised) and one a sour sponge for flavor. The loaf itself is basically yeast raised.

Day 0, Evening

Sour Sponge:

  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2-3 tablespoons active liquid sour culture ("enough")

Old Dough Preferment

  • 1 small ball old dough from any white (or mostly white) yeast-raised bread. I use a ball about 1 1/2 inches across, previously frozen (see: this post).
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • enough bread flour to make a stiff dough (3/4 cup to 1 cup)

Thaw the old dough, if necessary, break it up into the warm water and let soften. Mix in the flour, knead to mix thoroughly (you don't care about gluten development at this point).

Let both preferments stand overnight, covered, at room temperature.

Day 1, Morning

Second Stage Old Dough Preferment

  • previous old-dough preferment
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • enough bread flour to make a stiff dough (1 cup to 1 1/4 cups, probably)

Repeat the operation from the first stage: break up the now-risen old-dough preferment into the warm water, let soften. Mix in flour to make a stiff dough, knead to mix thoroughly.

Let this new old-dough preferment stand for another 4 hours or so, until soft and well-risen.

At this point the sour sponge should have had 12 hours or so to ferment, and should be well ripened, active and bubbly. When the old-dough preferment is also well risen, place BOTH preferments into the fridge for at least an hour.

Day 1, Afternoon

Now we're going to make up dough. Take the preferments out of the fridge and let them warm up, ideally to room temperature.

  • sour sponge preferment
  • old-dough preferment
  • 1 cup warm water (this might be QUITE warm, since you're working with cool preferments, but not so hot as to kill anything of course)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp active dry yeast (I use a scant half tsp of "instant" which seems to be more vigorous than "active") depending on temperature (use more if cooler)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • sufficient bread flour to make a moist dough (about 3 cups, probably)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Set aside all but 1/2 a cup of the chopped walnuts, and chop that half cup up Very Fine. I chopped mine to the consistency of very coarse sand (with a few large bits, consistency is not required).

Proof your yeast in a little bit of the warm water (which may be cooler than the rest of the water). Break the old-dough preferment up into a large bowl, and add the rest of the water, heated up as needed to bring the dough temperature up to at least room temperature (i.e. Quite Warm if your preferments are still cool, and Slightly Warm if everything is at room temperature), let soften.

Mix in the sour sponge, and stir well. You may still have some soft lumps of old dough preferment at this point.

Incorporate enough flour to make a wet dough. You're shooting for dough that will stick to the board and to your hands, but not excessively. I'd say more than 65% hydration, but less than 70%. I knead it by slapping the dough down on the board so it sticks, pull it out like taffy toward me, fold it away from me over the stuck down part. Scoop it off the board with my hands, turn 90 degrees. Repeat. It's sticky enough for that process, but not crazily sticky.

I mix thoroughly in the bowl, by hand, adding 1/3 of a cup of flour and the mixing 40-50 strokes, add the next 1/3 cup, etc. This gives some gluten development in the bowl.

Mix in the salt before it's too hard to stir, but before you've incorporated all the flour. Keep going until you can't stir any more, or until you've got enough flour worked in (that is, it's ok if you can't stir a 70 percent hydration dough by hand, not everyone can! The point is, get the salt in there before you can't stir and have to start kneading).

The last thing before you tip it out to knead, mix in that half cup of finely chopped walnuts.

Knead until it's pretty well developed. I only kneaded about 10 minutes. You don't need TOO much work to get good gluten development at this point, since your preferments are well developed; and if you use my (actually Joe Ortiz') technique of mixing in the bowl a lot, you're pretty well developed by the time you dump it out. Windowpaning will be hard with all the walnut bits, but the dough should want to windowpane even if the walnut won't let it!

Knead in the rest of the walnuts at this point, just to get them evenly distributed in the dough.

Bulk rise an hour and a half or so (until it poke tests). This last loaf I made, my dough was frankly too cold, since I didn't have time to warm my preferments up enough (I forgot about them!) so I did a couple of stretch and folds to warm more evening, and my bulk rise was more like 3 hours.

Shape into a boule and drop into a banneton. Final rise until poke-test. Expect about an hour.

Bake at 450F for one hour, with steam for the first 10 minutes. The crust winds up quite dark brown.

Remarks

The key to getting a more or less evenly purple crumb seems to be kneading with the finely chopped walnuts in. Adding them after kneading doesn't seem to have an effect on flavor, but does make the purple color very blotchy and uneven. (see previous posts)

I make have overbaked this last loaf, I want the dark crust, but the crumb seems a trifle too dry.

At this point I am really quite happy with my imitation of Acme's bread. It's not a perfect copy, but it has all the properties that I like about the Acme product, and it's extremely tasty (especially toasted). Also, my version is Quite Big, this thing is about a 3 pound boule, so there's lot of bread to eat and even give some away!

Pictures

There's plenty of pictures of previous variations in the earlier posts, so this is really just about showing the color of the crumb and of the crust:

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanksgiving day 2010

Rotisserie barbecued turkey (okay, so it's not bread)

Glenn (on the left) meets turkey (on the right). 

Day after Thanksgiving breakfast

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguette

Cinnamon rolls & Pecan rolls (made in muffin tins using NY Baker's Babka dough)

Cinnamon rolls, for kids who don't eat nuts

Pecan rolls, for the rest of us

Glenn makes challah

He's on a roll!

You should have seen the one that got away!

Here's the proof

Ready to bake

Cooling

Challah c rumb

The challah made fantastic turkey sandwiches!

And, for dessert, the much anticipated Apple Crostada, inspired by trailrunner!

Apple Crostada!

Delicious! It had the flakiest, best tasting crust ever!

For better or worse, as I was enjoying a second slice while mentally reviewing the recipe, I realized a stick of butter actually is 8 tablespoons, not 4 tablespoons. That means I used 9 tablespoons of butter rather than the 5 T Caroline's recipe specified. No wonder the crust was so flakey!

David

Przytulanka's picture
Przytulanka

 I'm sure that many of TFL members remember the recipe -http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15778/g%C3%A9rard-rubaud-miche submitted by Shiao-Ping. 

On November I was experimenting with the recipe-changing flours, adjusting time of proofing and fermentation.

Whole Grain Miche

 Recipe: http://bochenkowo.blogspot.com/2010/11/whole-grain-miche-wiejski-razowy.html

Second-Pine Nut Rye Bread with  pâte fermentée

Recipe: http://bochenkowo.blogspot.com/2010/11/pine-nuts-rye-bread-with-pate-fermentee.html

Third Miche with Chestnuts

 

Recipe :http://bochenkowo.blogspot.com/2010/11/miche-with-chestnutschleb-z-kasztanami.html

Franko's picture
Franko

Pain au Levain with Red Fife Whole Wheat Flour

Every year in November Marie and I make a point of attending one of our local Christmas craft fairs in hopes of finding some unique items for gift giving as well as for ourselves. This year the fair had more vendors than I've seen in previous years, with lots of newcomers from various locales in BC as well as Washington state. One of the newcomers was a fellow by the name of Bruce Stewart who owns and operates a craft bakery called True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay here on Vancouver Island .

http://truegrain.ca/

When I met Bruce he was handing out samples of his Christmas fruit cake to a group of folks and quickly offered some to Marie and I. Now I'm not usually a big fan of fruit cake but this was exceptional, and superior to any I've had in the past. Bruce is a very genial guy and clearly has a lot of enthusiasm and passion for his craft and product, so the two of us easily fell into a conversation when I mentioned that I was a professional baker as well. At his bakery Bruce mills most of the flour he uses on site, to make a wide variety of breads, including rye, spelt, kamut, emmer, and most interesting to me, Red Fife wheat . Red Fife is one of Canada's premier grains and listed on the Slow Food Organization's 'ark of taste' as Canada's first presidium. For more background on this click the link below.

http://www.slowfoodfoundation.org/eng/arca/dettaglio.lasso?cod=547&prs=PRINT_1192

If you look on the left of the page in the link above you'll find another link to the 'Ark of Taste' which lists all the various foods of countries that the Slow Food Org considers worthy of cataloguing and preserving for future generations. Our TFL members from the USA might find it interesting to note that they have 139 listings for various food groups, more I believe than any of the other nations listed.

While I was chatting with Bruce I noticed he had some bags of flour for sale and asked if he had any Red Fife that I could buy, as I've yet to run across it for sale at any of my usual sources for flour. Bruce smiled and asked me if I wanted the sifted or the whole grain and how many bags. I went with a bag of whole grain Red Fife and a bag of his unbleached organic white , which is one that he doesn't mill himself. I'm kicking myself now for not getting the Red Fife sifted, but it gives me an excuse to take a drive down Island and pick some up at his bakery and maybe get a tour of his shop as well.

Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour was the formula I decided to use the Red Fife in since his formulas are so reliable and familiar to me. First I needed to convert some left over liquid whole wheat starter to a stiff starter using the Red Fife, and then to a levain for the final mix. This took a few days of feedings before it was good and active, and ready for use. I mixed the levain one night before going to bed , intending to use it the next day when I got home from work. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans. We've been having some record cold temperatures here on Vancouver Island this last week, making my 70k commute to work in the wee hours of the morning somewhat treacherous. While I was at work my wife called to tell me that another front was moving in and another dump of snow was expected to happen overnight. I decided to stay in town that night rather than try and do the drive back up Island the next morning in even worse road conditions than we already had. Realizing I'd probably have to start over again with the levain was slightly disappointing but preferable to finding myself off the road in a ditch... or worse. The next afternoon I managed to get home without any problems thankfully, and immediately tested the levain to see if it had any life left. Lo and behold it did, popping to the surface of a bowl of warm water I'd placed a few grams in. The rest of the mix went according to Hamelman's directions, but mixed by hand. I'd scaled the mix so that I'd have two 900 gram dough pieces for baking, which I then molded after a 3hr bulk ferment as a batard and a boule, covered with linen, and put overnight on a shelf in our very cold garage to finish a slow rise.

The next morning I checked the loaves and was surprised to find that they'd risen quite a bit more than I'd expected due to an overnight warming of the outside ambient temperature. I could tell the batard was over proofed, but not so far gone it wasn't worth baking off, and the boule looked to be fine in it's banneton. The batard was baked first, on the stone with a foil roasting pan covering it for the first 20 minutes, and the boule was baked using the Dutch oven method. The batard turned out as expected, with low volume and spring, but the boule baked off quite well I thought, with lots of expansion, a good jump, and no wild splits.

To my taste the Red Fife has a certain sweetness to it that I don't find in other whole wheat flours, and which helps to bring out it's rich wheat flavour. Combined with the white and medium rye flours called for in Hamelman's recipe it works nicely to boost the overall flavour of his very good formula. This bread will go perfectly with tomorrow nights meal of red wine braised short ribs and a white bean and tomato gratin that I'm making for our family dinner.

It looks like things are warming up a bit now and the roads are getting back to normal, so with any luck I'll be able to make the drive down to Cowichan Bay to pay Bruce and his bakery a visit sometime in early 2011.

Best Wishes,

Franko

 

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