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

Baguette(Mini)

They are from Dan Lepard’s French Bread recipe recently published in the British Baker. An interesting recipe for me which uses three-quarters of the flour to make a ferment for the bread. For the flour I’ve used King Arthur’s Organic All Purpose instead of La Campaillette Des Champs flour.

I have only used 150g water for the final dough, as I couldn’t manage slashes on wet dough well. Overall hydration is 59.2%. The crumb still got some nice holes though the hydration is not high and the preferment is stiff (50% hydration). :-)

My dough had bulk fermentation for 4.5 hours instead of 2-3 hours indicated in the recipe. There were some spots of “irregular aeration” at the 3rd hour, however I was not sure whether that was enough. Hence I just left the dough for longer time. Also I proofed the baguettes seam-side down and they were under-proof because I want to make sure they have good oven spring in the oven.

They are some mini baguettes. Dough was 80g each. Just to fit in my mini-oven. I’ve made a 100% sourdough spelt too. I’ll post it up some time later. It’s nice to end my 3-day holiday with some bread baking. :-)

This will be submitted to the YeastSpotting.

Recipe is here.

 

Spelt and Walnut Bread

The recipe I used is from Grégoire Michaud‘s Artisan Bread. I love all the irregular holes and purple stains in the crumb which are created by the levain and walnuts. A natural beauty. Agree? :-)

The spelt and walnuts pair very well too. As always I love the taste of spelt, especially the spelt berries taste really sweet after soaking in warm water overnight. A high amount of spelt in bread doesn’t create grassy and bitter tone like whole wheat. This grain should be more pronounced in making whole grain breads.

I baked the dough on the same day instead of refridgerating at 5C for 18hours for bulk fermentation as indicated in the recipe to fit my schedule. I also made it a big loaf instead of small ones, and baked it at 235C at the beginning and then lowered to 210C after the dough gained color. The bread was taken out at 45mins. The thick crunchy crust goes perfect with the nutty flavor of the walnuts and spelt. :)

I really love spelt bread! What about making a 100% sourdough spelt with walnuts for next time? Stay tuned!

Barley, Rice and Honey Bread

Played around with Jeffrey Hamalmen’s country bread recipe yesterday. I kept the high amount of preferment as in the recipe (164%), replaced 50% bread flour for final dough by barley flour, and added extra 50% cooked rice. I also added 28% honey. Water was increased to 77% for my desirable dough consistency.

Recipe:

Bread flour 75g 50%
Barley flour* 75g 50%
Preferment (60% hydration) 246g 164%
Cooked Rice 75g 50%
Salt 3g 2%
Water 116g 77%
Honey 42g 28%
Yeast 1/6 t
421%

Baked at 220C for 35mins, left in oven for 5mins after baked

*toasted at 180C for 15mins until lightly colored to enhance the nutty flavor

I love the thick, crunchy and nutty crust which seems to be a characteristic of barley bread. The crumb is sturdy and I will bake it for long time next time  as it was a bit moist. Also I would prefer less honey as the it was too sweet for me.

Not sure if I am on the right track to create a dough like this? Anyway I enjoyed playing with doughs during weekends. :-)

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