The Fresh Loaf

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Benito's blog

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Benito

Finally home and had a chance to bake a loaf of bread.  We are really enjoying this particular blend of whole spelt and whole wheat along with a combination of nuts and/or seeds.  I decided to use walnuts, sesame and poppy seeds this time and I’m glad that I did, the flavour from these inclusions really enhance the flavour of this milk bread.

I usual I used a stiff sweet levian to reduce the LAB population in the levain and thus reducing the acidity of the bread.  I also continue to be pleased with using 200% hydration in the tangzhong and using a 20% of the total four in the tangzhong.  One would think that this might have a negative impact on the rise of this bread since the gluten forming proteins are denatured during the cooking of the tangzhong, however, I have found that if anything, making the tangzhong stiffer and at a higher proportion of the flour has had a positive effect on the oven spring.  I no longer use any VWG in making these breads even when they are 100% whole grain as it seems that the changes to the tangzhong have compensated for not using VWG.

For one 9x4x4” Pullman pan loaf.

 

Instructions

Levain

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76-78ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.

 

Tangzhong 

In a sauce pan set on medium heat, stir the milk and whole wheat flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until well thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.  Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as the tangzhong gelatinizes at this temperature.  You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate it, ensure that it is covered to prevent it from drying out.

 

If you plan on using a stand mixer to mix this dough, set up a Bain Marie and use your stand mixer’s bowl to prepare the tangzhong.

 

Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flour.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before adding in more butter.  Again, knead until well incorporated.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane, not quite as good as a white flour because the bran will interrupt the windowpane somewhat.  Add the nuts and seeds, then mix again until they are well distributed.

 

On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2 - 4 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.

 

You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.

 

Prepare your pans by greasing them with butter or line with parchment paper.  

 

Lightly oil the top of the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top and divide it into four. I like to weigh them to have equal sized lobes. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using an oiled rolling pin roll each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Letterfold again from the sides so you have a long narrow dough. Then using a rolling pin, roll flatter but keeping the dough relatively narrow.  The reason to do this extra letterfold is that the shorter fatter rolls when placed in the pan will not touch the sides of the pan.  This allows the swirled ends to rise during final proof, this is only done for appearance sake and is not necessary.  Next roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.

 

Cover and let proof for  4-6 hours at a warm temperature.  I proof at 82°F.  You will need longer than 4-6 hours if you chilled your dough for shaping. I proof until the top of the dough comes to within 1 cm of the top edge of the pan.

 

Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash.  Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.

 

Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190ºF, rotating as needed to get even browning. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. After 50 mins remove the bread from the pan and bake a further 10 mins by placing the loaf directly in the oven on the rack with the oven turned down to 325ºF

Benito's picture
Benito

We are visiting family in Newfoundland for 1.5 weeks now and I wanted to bring a loaf of bread for my brother in law.  The bread had to travel well and stay fresh for a while.  A lot of people seem to enjoy a nutty seedy loaf so decided to make a milk bread.  I had sunflowers, pumpkin seeds and walnuts and wanted to amp up the walnut flavour again by adding toast walnut oil.  Not everyone likes a 100% wholegrain loaf so I decided to use whole wheat for all the levain and tangzhong and the rest of the dough would be bread flour.  Using my usual stiff sweet levain to ensure that there is less sour tang by using the osmotic pressure of sugar to dehydrate the microbes.  The LAB are affected more than the yeast so you reduce the LAB population relative to the yeast resulting in less acids produced during fermentation of your dough.

For one 9x4x4” Pullman pan loaf.

 

Instructions

Levain

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76-78ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.

 

Tangzhong 

In a sauce pan set on medium heat, stir the milk and whole wheat flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until well thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.  Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as the tangzhong gelatinizes at this temperature.  You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate it, ensure that it is covered to prevent it from drying out.

 

If you plan on using a stand mixer to mix this dough, set up a Bain Marie and use your stand mixer’s bowl to prepare the tangzhong.

 

Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flour.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before adding in more butter.  Next drizzle in the toasted walnut oil.  Again, knead until well incorporated.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane, not quite as good as a white flour because the bran will interrupt the windowpane somewhat.  Add the seeds and mix again until they are well distributed.

 

On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2 - 4 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.

 

You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.

 

Prepare your pans by greasing them with butter or line with parchment paper.  

 

Lightly oil the top of the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top and divide it into four. I like to weigh them to have equal sized lobes. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using an oiled rolling pin roll each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Letterfold again from the sides so you have a long narrow dough. Then using a rolling pin, roll flatter but keeping the dough relatively narrow.  The reason to do this extra letterfold is that the shorter fatter rolls when placed in the pan will not touch the sides of the pan.  This allows the swirled ends to rise during final proof, this is only done for appearance sake and is not necessary.  Next roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.

 

Cover and let proof for  4-6 hours at a warm temperature.  I proof at 82°F.  You will need longer than 4-6 hours if you chilled your dough for shaping. I proof until the top of the dough comes to within 1 cm of the top edge of the pan.

 

Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash.  Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.

 

Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190ºF, rotating as needed to get even browning. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. After 50 mins remove the bread from the pan and bake a further 10 mins by placing the loaf directly in the oven on the rack with the oven turned down to 325ºF

Benito's picture
Benito

I first saw this type of shaped steamed bao when I borrowed Kristina Cho’s book called Mooncakes and Milkbread from the library.  My brother in law then emailed me a recipe for them out of the blue so I decided to make them.  Unfortunately my brother in law is no where near us so I’m unable to share this with him.  I’m pretty happy with how they turned out even if I didn’t do the twisting of the strips of dough prior to shaping them.

For six bao

 

Overnight Levain

In a large jar, combine all purpose flour, water, ripe sourdough starter, and sugar. Cover the jar loosely and let the levain ripen overnight at warm room temperature (I keep mine around 74°F to 76°F/23°C to 24°C).  After 10-12 hours it should have peaked between 3-3.5x.

 

In The Morning

In a mixing bowl, add the water, milk, sugar, corn starch, oil and salt, mix to dissolve.  Add the tangzhong and stiff sweet levain and using a silicone spatula, cut the levain into small pieces.  Add the baking powder and flour.  Mix to form a shaggy dough.  Allow to rest for 10 mins.  On your countertop knead the dough until good gluten development.  This is a very stiff dough that will be challenging for your home mixer to knead.  Remove some dough for aliquot jar to follow rise.  Shape into a boule and rest in a covered bowl at 82°F until it has increased by 40%.

 

Garlic scallion oil

1/4 cup canola oil (substitute some toasted sesame seed oil)(This makes far more oil than needed, use only ¼ to ½ of this amount at most)

2 garlic cloves sliced 

⅛ cup finely chopped scallions 

½ teaspoon flaky salt

 

To make the oil: While the dough is rising, make the garlic scallion oil by heating the oil, garlic and scallions over medium-high heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a heatproof container, and set aside until ready to use.  Remove the garlic slices prior to using, you can pass the oil through a sieve to remove the garlic and scallions as long as you have enough fresh scallions for shaping.

 

Prepare six 4” parchment squares.

 

After bulk fermentation, transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface. Roll out the dough to a roughly 10 × 16-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the garlic scallion oil and sprinkle the crisp scallions, some additional fresh scallions and sesame seeds to taste and salt evenly over the surface. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter so you end up with a long narrow strip of folded dough and not a square of dough. Pat out any trapped air pockets as you fold.  Brush oil on the top of the dough.  Flatten and roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a roughly 10 × 16-inch rectangle. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes. (Don't be tempted to skip this step, as the dough will not stretch out as easily without a proper rest.)

 

Cut the dough into six equal-width strips (1 ½ × 10 inches), then cut in half into 1 ½ × 5-inch strips. Stack two strips of dough on top of each other and press lengthwise down the center of the dough with a chopstick. Pinch the two short ends of the dough with either hand, gently lengthen and stretch the dough, then twist the dough into a spiral. While securely holding onto one end, twist the dough around the pinching fingers, then pinch to secure the other end to the dough (see photos). Place the formed bun on a square of parchment paper. Cover with a damp, clean kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot until they are 1 ½ times larger.

Cover the shaped bao with a damp cloth and place in a warm place and allow them to ferment until they pass the poke test.  Using an aliquot jar they should reach 120-125% rise.

 

Prepare your steamer setup and bring water to a boil.  Working in batches if necessary, arrange buns in the bamboo steamer spacing 2” apart.  Steam over boiling water for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and leave the buns in the covered steamer for 5 more minutes to prevent collapsing.  (I left them in the steamer and on the same stove element turned off). Do not lift the lid of the steamer, doing so will cause a sudden drop in temperature that can cause the buns to collapse or wrinkle or dent.  Remove the buns from the steamer and allow them to cool for 5 minutes before serving.  

 

 

Buns can be kept in an airtight container (a resealable bag works great) at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Room temperature buns can be reheated in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds or steamed for about 2 minutes, until soft and warmed through. Reheat frozen buns by steaming until soft and warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.

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Benito

So I’ve gradually noticed differences between my two starters, one fed only white bread flour and the other whole rye starter.  The white starter I got from Alan (thank you Alan) and the whole rye is my own now what, four years old?  It is possible the differences I am seeing are due to differing microbes that inhabit each of the starters, or they might be purely related to the type of flour each is fed.  With the greater buffering capacity of whole rye vs white flours the LAB population will be able to replicate producing acid for a longer time before the pH falls enough to start to inhibit their growth.  As you know, the LAB are actually more greatly affected by low pH than the yeast.  So the rye starter may have a slightly greater population of LAB relative to the yeast compared to the starter fed only white flour.  In my bakes so far using either the white or the rye starter, I have started to notice this difference in the breads made.  The white starter seems to produce breads with less sour tang and that leaven the dough more rapidly while the pH falls more slowly.  This was very evident in this bake.

The formula was almost unchanged from my previous bake except that the hydration was increased by 1% from a touch more scald water accidentally added to the bran.  As you can imagine, it would be impossible to pour out that extra water since the bran absorbs it pretty quickly.  For this bake, the levain was made using the white starter while my last bake was made using the rye starter.

Some differences noted during bulk and final proof.  

The starting pH of the rye starter bake was 5.31 while the starting pH for the white starter bake was 5.5 suggesting that the TTA of the levains and dough was lower for the white starter bake.  Now of course you could say that some of that TTA was from the starter itself, but considering that the starter was 1:4 ratio to the flour for the levain and the prefermented flour of each bake was only 9% I doubt that the difference in starting pH could be fully explained by TTA of the starter used to make the levain.  

The pH change of the rye starter bake was 1.4 with a total rise of only 45% while the corresponding pH change for the white bake was only 1.15 with a rise of 115%.  Now it is quite possible that the aliquot of dough removed for the rye starter bake wasn’t totally representative of the main dough, I have seen this happen before, but the difference in rising power of the rye vs white starter bakes is quite remarkable and I would suggest is related to relatively less LAB and more yeast in the white starter vs rye starter bakes.

Now my current bake suffered from a lack of ear.  Some possible causes could be over fermentation, over hydration, too shallow a score, insufficient steam and top crust formation too early in the bake.  There are other possible causes but these come to my mind.  I do recognize that my scoring was too shallow I think that I subconsciously scored too shallow because I was concerned that the dough had over fermented even though the poke test passed and there was some rebound of the dough.  The crumb didn’t show any signs of over fermentation and I would have expected more spreading of the dough during baking if it was over fermented.  I doubt it was over hydrated as I only increased the hydration by 1%.  

In the late evening, build the levain and ferment at 74°F aiming to use it after 10 hours.  I used my bread flour starter for this as it seems to produce doughs with less acidity which should allow for longer fermentation and greater rise.

Sift the whole wheat flour.  Scald the sifted bran with 97 g of filtered water (I suspect I can increase the scald water even higher).  After it cools place it in the fridge overnight.

 

In the morning the levain should have peaked, mine was 3.5 x rise and the dome was just starting to flatten.  Remove the refrigerated bran and allow to come to room temperature.

 

In the bowl of my Ankarsrum Assistent I added the water (not the hold back water yet) and then the levain.  Using a silicone spatula cut the levain into smaller pieces.  Add the sifted flour and then allow the Ankarsrum Assistent to mix the dough.  I continued to mix at around 2-3 setting until the dough had at least moderate gluten development.  Next I added the salt dissolved in all the holdback water, gradually allowing the salt water to be absorbed before adding more.  Once all the water is incorporated I added bran gradually, again allowing it to incorporate well before adding more.  Once all the bran is added continue to mix until very good gluten development.

 

Remove the dough from the bowl, perform a letterfold on the counter.  Remove an aliquot of the dough for pH measurement and set up your aliquot jar.  At 30 mins intervals perform a coil fold on the dough, watching the rise and pH.  I performed four sets of coil folds and then allowed the dough to rest and ferment until the dough rose 50% and the pH dropped by 0.7-0.75.  Shape the dough into a batard and place into a prepared banneton.   

 

About 60 mins prior to baking pre-heat the oven to 500°F setting it up for steam baking.

Once the dough reaches 110-120% rise, the pH drops a total of 1.15 and the dough passes the poke test place the dough into the freezer until the oven is ready.

 

30 mins prior to baking, pour 1 L of boiling water into metal loaf pan with Sylvia towel and place on baking steel on the lowest rack of the oven.

Once oven reaches 500ºF turn dough out of banneton, brush excess rice flour off, score and then brush with water.  Transfer to oven.  Pour 250 mL of boiling water into the cast iron skillet on a high shelf, high enough that the dough have fully bloom.  Drop temperature to 450ºF and bake with steam for 25 mins.  Then vent oven and remove all steaming gear and drop temperature to 425ºF.  Bake for another 25-30 mins rotating as needed.

I will add that I am totally convinced that doing an open bake leads to a thinner crust the more I have done open steam baking now.  I have consistently found that the crusts baked this way are thinner than the crusts I used to get when doing dutch oven baking. 

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Benito

I’m not sure but I think it might have been more than a year ago that I made a 100% whole wheat bread of this sort.  I realized that I hadn’t even used my banneton this year yet so it was really overdue.  Since I am out of practice I decided to keep the same formula as my last loaf more or less but wanted to use my Ankarsrum Assistent to develop the dough.  As with my previous 100% whole grain hearth loaves that were successful, I sifted out the bran with my #40 sieve and then did a scald of the bran.  This was refrigerated overnight.  All the bran was added back to the dough after it was well developed.  The dough was started at a lower hydration and then additional water was added by bassinage.  In the end the hydration was about 90%.

The stiff levain was built and left to ferment overnight at 74ºF.

 

The next morning to the bowl of my Ankarsrum Assistent I added the water and then the levain. The levain was broken down in water and then the sifted flour was added and a short mix on slow speed was done until no dry flour remained.  After 10 mins of rest at about 2-3 speed the dough was kneaded until at least moderate gluten development achieved.  The salt was sprinkled onto the dough and then the hold back water was added gradually until it was fully absorbed.  Next the hydrated bran was gradually added to the dough while the Ankarsrum Assistent continued to knead the dough until the bran was well distributed.  The dough was then flipped out of the bowl of the mixer and a bench letterfold was done.  An aliquot of dough was removed to measure the pH of the dough.  I am aiming for a drop in pH of about 1.0-1.1 for shaping and then another 0.3 at the time of baking.

 

Then at 30 mins intervals coil folds x 4 done

 

Pre-heat oven 500°F with cast iron skillet in the oven and set up for open steam baking in anticipation of pH targeted baking.

30 mins prior to baking, pour 1 L of boiling water into metal loaf pan with Sylvia towel and place on baking steel on the lowest rack of the oven.

Once oven reaches 500ºF turn dough out of banneton, brush excess rice flour off, score and then brush with water.  Transfer to oven.  Pour 250 mL of boiling water into the cast iron skillet on a high shelf, high enough that the dough have fully bloom.  Drop temperature to 450ºF and bake with steam for 25 mins.  Then vent oven and remove all steaming gear and drop temperature to 425ºF.  Bake for another 25-30 mins rotating as needed.

My index of bakes

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Benito

I have a new jar of yuzu tea.  So yuzu tea (or citron tea since it is Korean) is a marmalade like jelly made from yuzu that when mixed with boiling water makes a lovely drink.  I decided I wanted to make some sweet rolls and I wanted to have yuzu flavour to it so I would use the yuzu tea as the filling and I have a bottle of yuzu extract that I would use as the liquid for the drizzle/icing. Despite the name of these rolls, they aren’t very sweet.  Other than the sugar used for the stiff sweet levain, there isn’t any sugar added to the dough.  Also, to make these a bit more hearty and healthy, all the flour for the tangzhong is whole wheat.

The dough is my standard formula for sweet roll dough that I have used before.  One change I would make next time is to prepare more of the yuzu filling, perhaps about 25% more and to use more of the flour sprinkled on the filling, again 25% more.

Sweet Yuzu Glaze
Yuzu extract 1 tbsp
½ cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar

 

Make the glaze: Right before serving, top your yuzu rolls with glaze. Mix all of the glaze ingredients together. If you prefer a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar and then add salt to cut the sweetness, if desired. If you’d like it thinner, add more yuzu extract or cream. Drizzle over sweet rolls.

 

Yuzu Filling 

½ cup yuzu tea

1/16 cup granulated sugar

 

18 g flour (sprinkled on the filling after it is spread onto the dough)

Instructions

Levain

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.

 

Tangzhong 

In a sauce pan set on medium heat, stir the milk and flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until well thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.  Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as the tangzhong gelatinizes at this temperature.  You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate it, ensure that it is covered to prevent it from drying out.

 

If you plan on using a stand mixer to mix this dough, set up a Bain Marie and use your stand mixer’s bowl to prepare the tangzhong.

 

Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flours.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before adding in more butter.  Once all the butter has been added and incorporated increase the speed gradually to medium. Mix at medium speed until the gluten is well developed, approximately 10 mins.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane, not quite as good as a white flour because the bran will interrupt the windowpane somewhat.  Next add the zest of two oranges, that way they do not interfere with the gluten development. Mix until they are well incorporated in the dough.

 

On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2 - 3 hours at 82ºF.  There may be some rise visible at this stage.

 

Optional cold retard overnight or just 1.5 hours to chill the dough for easier shaping.

 

Prepare your pan by greasing it or line with parchment paper.  

 

This dough is very soft. Act quickly to roll, spread the filling, and cut before the dough warms and softens further. If it begins to soften, place it in the fridge to firm.

Remove your bulk fermentation container from the fridge, lightly flour your work surface in a large rectangle shape, and the top of the dough in the bowl. Then, gently scrape out the dough to the center of your floured rectangle. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour, and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 15″ x 15″ square or larger rectangle.

 

Brush melted butter on rolled dough.  Then spread warmed yuzu tea onto the dough, then sprinkle flour on top.  The flour will help absorb any water drawn out of the dough by the sugar in the yuzu tea.

 

Starting at one of the long sides of the rectangle in front of you, begin rolling up the dough as you move across. Be sure to tightly roll the dough by gently tugging on the dough as you roll.

Once finished rolling up the dough, divide it into nine 1 1/2″ pieces using a sharp knife or dental floss (my preference). Transfer the pieces to the prepared baking pan and cover with a large, reusable bag, place in a warm spot.  I use my proofing box set to 82°F.  Final proof may take 3-6 hours, be patient and wait until the dough passes the finger poke test.

 

Be sure to start preheating your oven about 30 minutes before you feel the rolls will be fully proofed. For me, the final warm proof time was about 3 hours at 77°F (25°C).

 

Bake

Preheat your oven, with a rack in the middle, to 400°F (200°C). After the warm proof, uncover your dough and gently press the tops of a few rolls.  The fully proofed cardamom rolls will look very soft. The texture of the dough will be almost like a whipped mousse. Be sure to give them extra time in warm proof if necessary. If the dough needs more time to proof, cover the pan and give the dough another 15 to 30 minutes at a warm temperature and check again.

Once your oven is preheated, remove your pan from its bag, slide it into the oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

 

The rolls are finished baking when the tops are well-colored and the internal temperature is around 195°F (90°C). Remove the rolls from the oven and let the rolls cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan.

 

Once fully cooled drizzle the yuzu icing onto the rolls.

 

 

These are best the day they're made, and certainly fresh from the oven, but can be reheated in a warm oven a day or two after.

My index of bakes.

Benito's picture
Benito

For the dinner party last night we had one guest who won’t eat cooked vegetables!  What to prepare that he will eat?  Pulled pork sandwiches as the main, along with coleslaw.  For appetizers I served pork, shiitake mushroom and Napa gyoza that I made a while ago and froze.  These are great to have frozen so you can save prep when having a dinner party.  The pulled pork was made using my Instant Pot.

So for the buns I had previously purchased a few nice purple sweet potatoes, then cooked and mashed them, portioning them out into small ziplock bags and put them in the freezer for future use to save time for baking.  

For 8 buns

egg wash: 1 yolk, 1 tbsp milk and a pinch of salt, beaten…

 

Instructions

Levain

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this stiff  sweet levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.

 

Tangzhong 

In a sauce pan set on medium heat, stir the milk and flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until well thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.  Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as the tangzhong gelatinizes at this temperature.  You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate it, ensure that it is covered to prevent it from drying out.

 

Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flour, I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 15 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next drizzle in the melted butter a little at a time, or alternatively add soft room temperature butter one pat at a time.  Slow the mixer down to avoid splashing the butter at you. The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before drizzling or adding in more butter.  Once all the butter has been added and incorporated increase the speed gradually to medium.  Add the mashed potatoes gradually.  Mix at medium speed until the gluten is well developed, approximately 10 mins.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane.

On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2.5-3.5 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.

 

You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.

 

Line a large cookie tray with parchment paper.  Punch the dough down and then divide into 8 equal portions.  Form each into tight boules.  Place on a parchment lined cookie tray.  Cover them and allow them to fully proof about 4-6 hours, they should pass the poke test.

 

After about 30 mins of proofing time, whisk your remaining egg and milk and then brush the small boules.

 

About 30 mins prior to end of final proof preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Immediately prior to baking brush the dough again with the egg and milk mixture.  Top with sesame seeds.

 

Bake the buns uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190F. Cover if your rolls get brown early in the baking process.

 

 

Remove the buns from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

These buns were so soft with a hint of sweetness and pretty colour from the purple sweet potatoes.  They will stay fresh for quite a while in a sealed plastic bag because of the tangzhong.  For a hardy sandwich or burger the 110 g dough weight per burger was perfect.

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Benito

We had guests over last night for dinner so wanted to make a pie for dessert.  As you might know I love sour cherries and love rhubarb so decided to make a pie with both but this time with a streusel topping.  For pate brisée recipe look at this previous post.

Ingredients for the filling

450 g pitted sour cherries

480 g rhubarb cut in 0.5-1 inch pieces

175 g sugar

2 tbsp or 40 g cornstarch 

A pinch of salt

1 tsp of almond extract

Juice of ½  lemon 

 

Tossed frozen cherries and rhubarb in a pot with the sugar and salt until the fruit defrosted and started to give up some juices.  Then added cornstarch and mixed to dissolve.  Cooked over medium heat until just barely starting to thicken, no need to fully thicken as it will do that while baking.  Once cooled refrigerated overnight.  Tip, you can test the filling to see if there is enough thickener by removing a bit and microwaving it for 30 secs.

 

Streusel Topping for Pies

1⅔ cups streusel, to top Makes 1⅔ cups streusel, enough for one 9- or 10-inch pie topping

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, at room temperature

Stir together the flour, brown and granulated sugars, and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the butter pieces and toss to coat. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is chunky but not homogenous.

Chill for at least 15 minutes before using.

 

The streusel will keep refrigerated for 5 days or frozen for 1 month.

 

Once the bottom pastry is rolled out and transferred to the pie plate cover and place in fridge for at least 30 mins and up to 3 hours allowing the butter to firm up and the gluten to relax before adding the filling and topping with the streusel.

 

When ready to bake pre-heat oven to 425°F baking at this temperature for 30 mins on the lowest rack on a baking stone or steel.  Watch the edge and protect it from over browning.  

 

 

After 20 mins shielded the edge and continued to bake at 425°F for another 10 or so mins then shielded the whole pie with a cookie tray and decreased temperature to 350°F and baked until the bottom crust was nicely browned and the filling bubbling. Up to 30-60 mins more.

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I'm really enjoying making this style of pizza.  It is quite filling and one pizza makes two dinners for us.  This time I didn't have my usual all purpose flour so used bread flour.  I also used whole wheat flour this time instead of either spelt or kamut just to try something slightly different.  I don't find that I can taste much difference between the pizzas made with the different flours since the toppings really are the most prominent flavour of the pizza. 

 

For pizza on an 17” x 11” pan

 

Overnight levain

Duration: 12 hours (overnight) at warm room temperature: 74°–76°F (23°–24°C).

 

In the morning mix the dough when the levain is at peak.  To the bowl of the stand mixer add water, salt, sugar and diastatic malt, stir to dissolve.  Then add the levain, stir to dissolve.  Finally add the flours.  Mix on low speed until there is no dry flour then increase to medium and mix until the dough is moderately developed.  Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil stopping until each addition is incorporated.  Finally mix until good gluten development.

 

Remove the dough from the bowl and do a bench letterfold.  Transfer the bowl to an oiled bowl for bulk fermentation.  

Do three sets of coil folds at 30 mins intervals and then allow the dough to rest until it reaches 40-50% rise.

 

Optional cold retard.  Place the dough in the fridge until the next early afternoon.  This is done primarily for convenience.

 

Allow the dough to continue to ferment at a warm temperature 80°F or so until it reaches 100% rise then shape.

 

Shaping 

Oil the pan well and brush the bottom and the sides with the olive oil.

 

Thoroughly flour the top of the dough in the bowl, release it from the sides of the bowl using a bowl scraper then flip it onto the counter.  Flour the exposed dough well with flour and flour the counter around the sides of the dough well.  Using your bowl scraper push some of that flour under the edges of the dough.

Using your hands, get your fingers well under the dough and stretch it out into a rectangle.  Next using your fingers gently press them into the dough to elongate the dough.  Flip the dough over and repeat aiming to get the dough to about 75% of the area of the pan.  

Transfer the dough to the oiled pan by folding it in half and unfolding it once in the pan.  Gently stretch the dough out to touch the edges of the pan.  If it resists stretching, wait 15 mins and try again after the gluten has relaxed.

 

Aim to bake the pizza once the total rise is 120-125%.  About 1 hour prior to baking pre-heat the oven to 500°F placing your backing steel on the lowest rack of the oven.

 

Bake the pizza.

Drizzle olive oil onto the dough.  Then using a large spoon, spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over the dough from edge to edge.  Slide the baking pan into the oven on top of the baking surface. Decrease the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C) and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and sprinkle on the grated cheese and any other toppings. Lightly drizzle some olive oil over the entire pizza. Slide the sheet pan back into the oven on the baking surface and bake for 20 minutes more. The cheese should be melted and the bottom crust well colored.

 

Crushed Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 cups

1 can San marzano tomatoes - squeeze tomato water out of the tomatoes then using a hand mash up the tomato meat.  Keep the canned juice and tomato water mix to drink.

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp dried basil or 2 tbsp minced fresh basil

1 tsp dried oregano or 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano

1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder

2 tbsp red wine vinegar or freshly squeeze lemon juice or a combination

1 tsp salt to taste

Stir together, can store up to 1 wk.

 

For less greasy pizza, just place your pepperoni in a single layer on some paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds. This starts to cook the pepperoni, and you'll see some of that fat start to melt out and be absorbed by the paper towel.  I did 30 secs twice.

 

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So I needed a dessert for brunch so decided to bake a cake.  This recipe interested me because 25% of the flour is whole rye (the recipe calls for medium rye but I used whole rye) along with olive oil.  Both gave this cake more complexity than straight AP flour and a neutral oil would.  Also, in a nod towards making it lower fat I substituted Greek yogurt for the sour cream.  This is still acid enough to leaven the cake, although a bit more acid might have given it just a bit more of a boost.  This cake delicious and will keep for days given the olive oil in it.

Ingredients


Chocolate-Olive-Oil Cake 
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup medium rye flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups granulated sugar
⅓ cup cocoa powder
1 cup hot coffee (or hot water or black tea)
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
1½ tsp vanilla

 

Ganache Glaze 
¼ cup + 2 tbsp whipping cream
120 g dark chocolate, finely chopped (4 ¼ squares Baker’s Dark Chocolate)
¼ cup sour cream
1 tbsp port wine (or coffee or whipping cream)
⅛ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp vanilla

 

Method 
1. Chocolate-Olive-Oil Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 10-cup Bundt pan with butter. Using fine-mesh sieve, dust with cocoa.

2. In bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking soda and salt.

3. In large bowl, whisk together olive oil, sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in hot coffee, then add eggs 1 at a time, whisking between additions.

4. Whisk in flour mixture. Add sour cream and vanilla, whisking, until just combined.

5. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top. Tap pan on countertop a few times to remove air bubbles. Place on baking sheet and bake until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes; invert onto rack and remove pan. Let cool completely before transferring to cake plate.

6. Ganache Glaze: In saucepan, heat cream until almost simmering. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in sour cream, port, salt and vanilla. Mixture should be warm enough to pour. Drizzle glaze over cake and let set for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

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