The Fresh Loaf

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Romano-Celery-Flax SD-Crumb and formula Added

ehanner's picture

Romano-Celery-Flax SD-Crumb and formula Added

I have been keeping an eye on an Aussy site for a while and enjoying some of the wonderful ideas they have created in breads.

The bakery is Companion Bakery in Tasmania and they have a still shot live feed of the bakery you can lurk here.

The fellow who runs the bakery I believe is Graham and his son who is also an excellent baker. To say these guys are adventurers would be short changing their spirit. They have a great site and lots of experienced bakers in the area that contribute. I suggest checking out these guys. A great project.

One of the breads they make is a Romano-Celery loaf that just looks great. I decided to try my hand and use the skills I have to make this savory bread. I used the percentages that Hamelman usually suggests for cheese and olives of around 20-25% and made a base SD dough with 15% WW at about 70% hydration. I thought I would use some flax seeds I had soaked prior to getting the bug to try this but I neglected to check the resource and used about 15% flax which I think was  little heavy handed.

So here are a few images and I'll get back with a crumb shot later.

I'm drooling while I wait.---Drooling over!

The first thing I have to say is that the house smelled like Romano cheese for hours. That's a good thing! At the end of 43 minutes, the last 3 of which was oven off and door propped open, The cheese was smoking where it was in contact with the stone. Next time I'll use parchment over the stone.

The crumb is about right considering how I handled it. I rolled with tightening like Mark Sinclair does with no bench flour and a light mist of oil on the counter. Then I rolled the dough in bench flour before placing en couche for proofing of 45 minutes.

The flavor is Romano cheese. The celery is there every now and then but just. I softens up totally and is quite mild. The flax seed I can't appreciate at all. I know it adds nutrition and maybe there is more complexity but it would be asking a lot to identify the nutty flavor from it. I will make this again with less cheese and more celery. Actually I think an all celery loaf might be pretty good. I'm surprised really  but there is a nice flavor. Maybe a touch of a milder cheese.

This is a bold full flavor bread that needs a similar main course. It was a hit around the table and during the afternoon as a snacker. If you want to try my formula here is what you need.

Levain: 250g (50g mother culture added to 80g water and 120g fresh ground WW) Let ripen overnight at room temp.
Soaker: 50g Flax seed and 80g water, covered overnight.

250g Levain added to
500g water
790g Bread Flour
130g soaked flax seeds and the now absorbed water.
Salt: 18g
Romano: 20% bakers percent or 180g
Celery: 22% or 198g

Mix and develop dough moderately. Stretch and fold twice over 3 hours, more if necessary. After second folding, spread dough out on counter and sprinkle cheese and celery over the top. Fold to incorporate ingredients. Place in covered container and let dough ferment until double. For me this was an additional 2 hours.

Divide as desired and pre shape, rest and shape. (I made 2- 1000+ gram batards)

I proofed for 45 minutes at room temp, slashed and loaded on a preheated stone at 460F. Steam as normal. Lower heat to 440F after 10 minutes. Bake for a total of 40-45 minutes. I propped the door open slightly at 40 minutes, turned the oven off and let the bread dry out. The crumb was quite moist so I would suggest a longer drying period.





ananda's picture

Hey Eric,

and we just been enjoying Moussaka for our evening meal.

Wow, this looks amazing.   I'll have a delve into the Aussie site tomorrow

I see you use the brown flax seeds; I try and hunt out the little golden ones for preference; but, when soaked, they both add a certain something really special don't you think?

We've got a student balery competition going on next week.   There are seeds-a-plenty featuring and I'm hoping to post on this, maybe get one or two of them to contribute too.

Ah a lovely pair of loaves

Best wishes


dmsnyder's picture

Hi Eric.

I imagine those loaves smell wonderful. I'm curious about the texture the celery will have baked in bread. I can wait to find out, but then I don't have to smell the bread sitting there while it's cooling.


Shiao-Ping's picture


SylviaH's picture

I would love a big chunk of your beautiful savory bread.  The Australians really know how to do it up right.  I love Romano cheese.  As a kid growing up I used to hang out at my Italian girlfriends house a few doors away.  I always thought it smelled..well I won't describe it..but now I absolutely love romano cheese. I just bought a big chunk yesterday.  I love the idea of the celery in the bread.  What a lovely color you have on the crust.  Can't wait for the crumb shot.  Thanks for the web cam post..oops...ringer going off for todays baking and time for dinner.  Beautiful bake, Eric


LindyD's picture

That's almost a meal in itself, Eric.  Romano's wonderful; your cooling bread must smell great.  

Awaiting your judgment about the taste and texture the celery adds.

Paddyscake's picture

Celery, ah hah!, sounds very interesting!

Have been away for a while. Made some Rosemary/Olive oil boules today and Orange/Cranberry loaves for my Boy Wonder! It was his pick for his Care package.

Thanks Eric, Will give it a go!


ehanner's picture

Thank you all for your comments.

Andy: The Moussaka sounds like it would be a nice pairing with this savory bread. I usually get the darker seeds here. I see the lighter ones now and then in bulk.

David: Thanks. The Romano is very present in this loaf. Some may want to halve the amount if you want to try this.

Shiao-Ping: Thank you so much. It does look yummy. It's a work in progress to get the cheese ratio right. I also think I'll try a pain au levain with celery. It is a nice mild flavor.

Sylvia: Thanks! If you like Romano, you will love this bread.

Lindy: I liked the taste and was surprised that the celery didn't hold up better. It was completely soft and didn't contribute to the texture in a crunchy way. It was mild and flavorful however. Thank you for your comments.

Betty: Hey good to see you back! Give it a try on Spaghetti night.


wally's picture

I never would have thought to put romano cheese, celery and bread together but it looks fantastic Eric!  I'm not surprised the celery would loose its crunch, but I can see it upping the dough's hydration somewhat.  I like the idea of its flavor.

Neat looking bakery production area in the website photo!


ehanner's picture

Thanks Larry. The crumb was a bit moist but I think it will even out for today. I wrapped the second loaf in a towel overnight.

The Companion Bakery Web Camera is very cool. The tables and equipment are all on rollers. They move it around during the day for the various stages of bread making. Depending on when you look in there may be people or not. It's a big WFO.