Normandy Apple Bread and Italian Chocolate Bread

It was cold and humid these few days. My sourdough was slow moving so the two bread did not rise as quickly as the recipe indicated. I found that the crumb of my chocolate bread was not as open as those I saw on web. May be a sign of underproof? Final rise was 3 hours and I was not patient to wait longer so just baked the bread right away. The dough size and feel seemed not ready. I adopted the recipe from this site which was originally from Michel Suas’ bread book. Taste of bread was more mellow and better on the next day. The chocolate taste can be stronger and texture was not as chewy but a bit cakey. Need more experiements on this bread…

Apple Bread is a contribution to the Mellow Bakers. I didn’t know Apple Cider before I baked this bread and almost purchased Apple Cider Vinegar as I could not see any Apple Cider in the supermakets at all. Luckily I found on Joanna’s Zebbakes.com that in the US Apple Cider is actually unfiltered and unpasteurized apple juice. Finally I just made the apple juice myself with the juicer at home. What will happen if I used the vinegar? A blogger saved my bread! lol …

Made only 4 small rolls as I did not have enough dried apples on hand. I baked one apple and only about 1/4 of the weight was left after drying. I love the addition of dried apples in the bread, yum. Could not taste the apple flavor in crumb though. The rolls were 80g each and I baked for 25mins at 220C. It seemed the bread did not darken as easily as the recipe indicated. :)

Detmolder Three-Stage 90 Percent Sourdough Rye

This is an interesting bread to play with. The Detmolder method requires to build rye sourdough in 3 stage under accurate temperature:

Refreshing Stage - Moist!

1st stage (Refreshing phase): develops yeast cells with a high hydration paste (150% water) that matures for 5-6 hours at 77-79F (mine 77F)

2nd stage (Basic sour): add more rye and water for a stiff textured paste (60-65% hydration) that ripens for 15-24 hours at 73-80F (mine 77F). This is to develop acetic acid for the sour tang

3rd stage (Full sour): add more rye and water for a moist paste (100% hydration), ferment for 3-4 hours at 85F (mine 86F). This favors to develop lactic acid for a smooth and mild acidity to the bread

2nd stage - see it breathing!

The interesting part for home bakers is to look for an area or other innovative solutions for the desired temperature. My boyfriend definitely found it interesting to see me measuring temperature at different places and put sourdough near the computer (77F). On the 3rd stage it was on top of the computer monitor (86F). I love my pc. My boyfriend did not know what I was exactly doing at the beginning hence put the dough back to the kitchen. A little accident. ;)

As always it’s not hard to make bread, I didn’t even knead this one and just mixed the final dough with a metal spoon until no apparent grain of flour was seen (no knead dough?). All is the long fermentation period. This one has taken 5+18+4+1+1=29 hours from refreshing to out of oven. O yes, and another 1 day to let the crumb stabilize before cutting. It was an exciting moment.. I once made the Vollkornbrot before which also needed to stabilize the crumb but the crumb just fell apart… Whew! Luckily this one was fine!

I used Doves Organic Rye Flour for the bread. For medium rye I just weighed an equal amount of organic rye and shifted half of the flour to remove the bran as medium rye. I baked the dough for 50 mins but it was a bit too moist. Should bake for longer time with my oven. Also seems too much flour on the baked bread~ Taste, little sour, strong in rye, strong in the good flavor of a long fermented bread. Worth to appreciate .. and serve little by little … I told myself of that ;)

Mellow Bakers – Chocolate Marble Bread

Hi! This is my contribution to the Mellow Bakers for this month. Originally a Pain de Mie (or Pullman) on Page 243 of Jeffrey Hamelman’s book “Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes“, I tried something fun — a chocolate marble version.

I used 1/3 of the Pullman bread recipe for this bread. The choco filling is from this website. Very clear step-by-step photos there. I was pretty lazy and didn’t put the choco filling in a plastic bag to fridge it in a choco sheet.. I only spreaded the filling on the dough with a knife. The filling was pretty runny without fridged and it was pretty messy when I twisted the dough … you can imagine the filling sort of squeezed out .. so I didn’t twisted the dough much and there’s not much marble in my bread. Should have prepared the choco sheet~!

The choco filling recipe can be sweeter and smoother for me… still this kind of bread is a hit to my family!!

Join Mellow Bakers! Eat Real Bread! Bake Real Bread!

Limpa – Swedish Rye

Limpa is a traditional Swedish rye bread. According to Peter Reinhart in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, what makes it different from German and deli ryes is the use of aniseeds, fennel seeds, orange peel and a touch of cardamom. Recipe I used is from Reinhart’s another book Whole Grain Bread which fitted my schedule. Besides the spices and citrus, Reinhart’s recipe also has an overnight soaker and rye starter. The bread is moist, rich and heavenly fragrant, and I love it so much!

Some websites also mentioned Swedish Vört Limpa which is offered mainly in Christmas. The difference is the addition of some malt to the dough. I think the taste of limpa is already a wonderful treat for the season, and not as sinful as stollen or panettone.

I used whole rye starter at 83% hydration and whole wheat flour in the final dough. The dough was very sticky. I kneaded it only for 15-20 times and the dough had little strength. However it had very good rise in the oven. Hehehe, seems some luck with this bread. This delightful bread has started my good holiday. :)

Country Bread

This is from Jeffrey Hamelman‘s book “Bread“. Nice and clean loaf. I made this loaf with Dove’s Organic Strong White Bread Flour. Actually I’ve made this bread 2 times – the first time was with King Arthur’s Unbleached All Purpose Flour, which looked much flatter with closer crumb (I didn’t even take a photo). I emailed King Arthur and got a reply that the AP flour is softer and hence it’s better to use bread flour when the recipe calls for. I always thought it could be used for bread as there is a baguette recipe behind the bag of the flour. Maybe it depends on how the flour is used in a recipe? I should also have noticed that the dough with the AP was quite loose when I was making it too. There’s still much to practice and learn for my home baking.

Sweet Brandy Buns

Another delicious bread from Dan Lepard‘s recipe of “The Handmade Loaf“. I think I love his book as the breads are so different but taste good at the same time. A number of his breads are made with alcohol and I love alcohol too. Hehe. These buns are also made with 10% brandy, also 10% double cream, 20% butter and some egg and sugar. The rolls are brushed with  more brandy before baking. I like the aroma of the bread and never thought brandy with sweet bread go so well. The crumb is tended to taste like scones than soft rolls. Nice to serve with jam. Ah.. Xmas’s coming, think they’ll be good for a precious Xmas morning too. :)

Almond-Milk Loaf

A Dan Lepard‘s recipe from his classic “The Handmade Loaf“. The bread used almond milk made with sugar, water and skinned almonds as the liquid for the dough. I love the crust so much as it tastes crispy and nutty because of the nut milk. It’s so unique compared with what we normally have on a white loaf. Recommend to try.

My bread – I made it so “square”, haha

Multi-Grain Bread

Weekend is a bread baking day for me. Today I also went to a Wine & Dine Festival, trying some different kinds of red wine and food. To me it’s still not as satisfying as baking a loaf of good bread. This multi-grain bread was baked in the afternoon today. It’s adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Five-Grain Bread. I did not have oats that the recipe required, hence I replaced with whole spelt grains (and changed the name to multi-grain bread as spelt is different from the remained grains, haha). Overall hydration was remained the same.

Although this is a direct dough, this bread is still quite flavorful with the grains. Especially the crumb is really soft like those stored bought sandwitch loaves. :-)

There were larger bursts on 2 slashes in the bread than the other 2, which is probably because I cut the former 2 deeper. Yet it’s still a natural beauty for me. :-)

Adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman’s “Five-Grain Bread” in the book “Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes

Recipe (makes 1 loaf)

Soaker:

Whole spelt grains 36g

Flaxseeds 36g

Wheat bran 24g

Cornmeal 24g

Water 151g

Mix all the above and leave overnight.

Final Dough:

High gluten flour 151g

Whole-wheat flour 121g

Whole-rye flour 30g

Water 121g

Vegetable oil 15g

Egg 36g

Salt 8.5g (1 1/2t)

Instant yeast 7.5g (3/4t)

Soaker – all of the above

1. Mix the final dough ingredients until the gluten network is fairly well developed

2. Bulk fermentation: 2 hours (or overnight retarding). Fold the dough once after 1 hour

3. Shape the dough

4. Final fermentation : 1 to 1.5 hours at 76F

5. With normal steam, bake at 460F for 40 minutes. The egg and oil may contribute color to the baking loaf quickly, so the oven may need to be lowered by 10 – 20F partway through the bake. Round loaf takes slightly longer than oblong one (mine was 50 minutes)

Bo Lo Bao (Pineapple Bun, 菠蘿包) – World Bread Day 2010

The most well-known bread of Hong Kong, Bo Lo Bao represents our food culture and how we interprets bread in this city. “Bo Lo” is the Cantonese of pineapple, wheareas “Bao” is bread. This bread features a golden pineapple-like pattern pastry on top, and therefore the name. Is there pineapple inside? No! It’s no surprise the name of Chinese food or dishes sometimes may be a metaphor of something else. The name “Mooncake” is one of the examples.

Bo Lo Bao is a product of “East meets West”. One common story about the origin was people wanted more from traditional western style buns, and hence used sugar, egg, shortening, flour etc and created a pastry for the top. This bread has a crispy top, soft crumb, golden color, enriched flavor and short fermentation time. It exactly tells our preference for a variety of characters in food at a quick speed. Because of the crispy crust and enriched flavor, this bread is also suitable to serve hot or warm. I do appreciate the creativeness and originality of this bread, and I like it when I want something savory. Notwithstanding our culture is used to have soft, warm and savory bread, it is not easy for people to pay more attention to an authentic sourdough. Um, let’s hope time will change this!

This Cantonese bread will go to the World Bread Day. I would also like to submit it to Yeastspotting. Enjoy! :)

Recipe (makes 6)

Sweet buns

Bread flour 200g

Sugar 53g

Instant yeast 8g

Milk powder 13g

Water 100g

Egg 23g

Shortening 23g

Salt 4g

Egg wash

Knead all above and ferment until double in size (about 45 mins). Divide in 6pcs and shape into buns. 2nd fermentation until double in size for about 45 mins

Crust topping

Cake flour 45g

Sugar 25g

Shortening 15g

Butter 3g

Egg 5g

Milk powder 5g

Baking ammonia 1g (I used approximately 1/5 tp)

Baking soda 1g (I used approximately 1/5 tp)

Baking powder 1/8 tp

Mix all of the above and divide into 6 portions. Shape into balls. Afer the 2nd fermentation of the sweet buns, use your palm or a chopper to press the topping into thin round slices. Size would be slightly bigger than the diameter of the dough (refer to photo). Place on the dough and brush with egg wash. Use a toothpick to make crisscrosses on the topping. Bake at 200C for 16-17 mins until the top becomes golden brown. Serve warm.

(Recipe and last photo adapted from the book “Hong Kong Memorable Bakery”/ “回憶的味道-港式老包餅” by 黎力強)

100% Spelt Levain

I love the 100% spelt bread that I’ve made according to Richard Bertinet‘s recipe in the book “Crust” before, and this time I’ve made a sourdough version of it. I replaced all the poolish by a liquid sourdough (1:1 spelt to water) and added 25% of walnuts (to all flour) to the dough. Others were remained the same as the recipe.

Proportion of sourdough to final flour was 2:1. The bread was only little sour. Crumb was chewier with the sourdough and I like it. I also like it with walnuts, which go well with the sweet and nutty spelt. Love spelt. I am thinking to make a spelt bread with cheese and walnuts next time. :)

Recipe adapted from: Crust by “Richard Bertinet

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