An old man baking flat bread with an iron drum on the street of Shanghai
Taken in 1992 (From http://weibo.com/1805489442)
An old man baking flat bread with an iron drum on the street of Shanghai
Taken in 1992 (From http://weibo.com/1805489442)
Posted by Nat on October 1, 2011
According to Daniel Leader’s “Local Breads”, Genzano Country Bread is a round loaf with a thick bran-coated crust which is baked almost black, but has a moist and full-flavored crumb inside. The dough is of high hydration which is almost 80%. It requires long baking which leads to the thick and charred crust. The bread is also made with high proportion of sourdough (approximately 28%) which makes the crumb more sour. Authentic Genzano Country Bread is huge and a smaller version is called Pagnotta which is what I baked today. My bread doesn’t look as black as the photo from Daniel Leader’s book but there is already a big contrast in taste between the crust and crumb. The charred crust and sour crumb have made it a stronger flavored bread. See some twist on the crust and crumb can make a dough so different. Love it :)
Posted by Nat on September 18, 2011
Life is miserable when I need to eat those commercial, pseudo and bland bread for breakfast. This is what happened to me in the last 2 months. Working day and night and not having the time to prepare a dinner or bake something for myself. Why can’t there be better breakfast or dinner choices in Hong Kong? In the coming months I wish to keep on baking at least once a week and preparing dishes for myself. That means much better management of my work and life.
I’m happy to see my sourdough got energized after feeding for once though I didn’t take care of it for 4 months. My good companion, haha. The bread tastes really good too. I particularly like it after after the first day when all the flavors mellow. Mildly sour, mildly moist, strong wheat flavor, moderate bites from the brans of rye flour, lightly charred and thick crust. Thanks Nils who shares so many great German bread recipes. :) You might take a look at Joanna’s blog as well which had very good result with this recipe too.
I used Dan Lepard’s method to rest and knead the dough. The bread is comfortably done under the hot weather. :)
Mix to a smooth dough, let rest 45 minutes, give a turn and let rise for another 45 minutes. (I used Dan Lepard’s method to rest and knead the dough – mix the dough, rest for 10 mins and knead for 10 sec. Have rest and knead for 2 more times. Then I let the dough rise for 1 hour and didn’t turn the dough more)
Shape oblong or round, proof for about 1 hour, slash and bake at 260°C for 5 minutes with steam, reduce heat to 220°C and bake for a further 45 minutes. Let cool completely.
Posted by Nat on July 10, 2011
A delicious bread studded with glace cherries, raisins, orange peels, lemon peels mixed with rum. I particularly love the toasted almonds inside which provided more texture and a balance of flavor to the really enriched bread. Did I say the crumb is very tender too? Yum…
Recipe (2 small loaves)
i. Mixed fruits (Mix and leave overnight)
Prepare as general sweet doughs.
Then mix in the fruits and almonds.
First fermentation: 1 hour
Shape into 2 loaves
Final fermentation: 1.5 hours (until nearly double in size)
Brush with egg wash and topped with almond flakes
Bake: 200C for 25 mins
Posted by Nat on June 11, 2011
Easy & delicious~ Good when you want to have some fun in kitchen, or bake something easy for snacks, friends and family~ Stay moist on next day.
Mix in bowl (A):
130g all purpose flour
30g chocolate powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
Mix in another bowl (B):
70g brown sugar
50g melted butter
Also: 50g chocoalte chips (C)
Mix A, B & C. Bake at 220C for 10 mins, then lower temp to 200C for another 5 mins
Adapted from a HK newspaper. Temperature should be 200C? Mine was 220C as I forgot to lower the temperature. Anyway the muffins rose high…Note that the mixture was wet, but the result was good. :)
Posted by Nat on March 2, 2011
I love playing around with different grains. When I saw the Amaranth Flour from Bob’s Red Mill in the supermarket, I bought it without hesitation. There was very little information about amaranth flour in my bread books on hand. Luckily I found a formula on whole grain sourdough in MC’s blog. MC is a devoted blogger on bread who shares so much information about her SFBI workshops and passionately visited and introduced to us different bread bakers in her blog where I’ve learnt a lot. Do visit her site (though I guess many of you already know her). :)
Back to amaranth flour. It is gluten-free as it is not wheat and is produced from amaranth grain. It has a smell of grass and raw carrots. The formula in MC’s blog was suggested by Safa Hamzé who was the instructor the SFBI workshop and has developed techniques working with whole grains. You can find some of the information in an article in “Whole Grain Mania” in Baking Management.
Hence this bread is made of 20% amaranth starter. The starter smelt less “grassy” when ripen but did not smell as sweet as starter made of wheat.There was no amaranth flour in the final dough and so overall amaranth flour was abot 9%. When baking the bread gained color pretty quickly and turned into beautiful reddish-brown. Safa mentioned in the Baking Management article that amaranth kept moisture well which I agree from my result this time. The crumb of my bread was nicely moist and did not stale as quickly on the next day. The crumb was also open and color was yellower. However I could not taste the slight lactic flavor as mentioned in the article. I could not taste the “grassy” flavor from the amaranth neither.
I am happy with the result of this time and agree with Safa that bakers can consider adding amaranth flour to their breads in order to help extending shelf life of the bread. Safa has suggested overall gluten free flour should remain under 15% in overall formulation, and I will try playing around with 15% of amaranth flour next time.
This bread will be submitted to Yeastspotting. Let me know if you have more ideas or other information about amaranth or whole grain sourdough. :)
|Amaranth Starter (100% hydration)||50g||20%|
|Instant Yeast||1/8 tp (approx)||0.2%|
*I baked at 220C for first 25mins, the bread gained much color that time. Then I lowered to 200C for another 10mins, and kept the bread in oven for another 5 mins with oven turned off.
Posted by Nat on March 1, 2011
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. :)
Posted by Nat on February 15, 2011
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
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 ;)
Posted by Nat on February 1, 2011
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!
Posted by Nat on January 5, 2011
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. :)
Posted by Nat on December 23, 2010