Mellow Bakers – Light Rye Bread

This is my light rye bread for the Mellow Bakers.

Some people do not like the caraway flavor in rye bread. The caraway in this bread is light. In addition to the thin crust, soft crumb and mild sour flavor, this rye bread is an easy-going one.

I could not find medium rye flour that the recipe called for. As a result I sifted half of the whole rye flour to substitute for the medium rye that the recipe suggested as an alternative, and saved the bran for the crust. Except this, the rest of the recipe was really easy to handle.

I enjoy making bread for the Mellow Bakers. I hope I’ll have time to bake more soon!

Mellow Bakers – Rustic Bread

This is my first contribution to Mellow Bakers. I like this forum where people can share their bread baking results by following recipes from the book “Bread” by Jeffrey Hamelman.

In this rustic bread, there is 10% rye, 10% wholemeal and 80% bread flour (I used King Arthur All Purpose). Hydration is 69% and the dough was pretty slack. I stopped kneading when it had medium gluten development and gave it 2 folds during the first fermentation instead.

However the dough was still too slack to make a shape except making it into a ciabatta. It spreaded out as well when removing from the couch to the baking tray. As a result the bread was resulted quite flat. I think I should use stronger flour next time!

The bread was baked at 450F for 38mins. Its taste was good with a complex flavor in the crumb and crust. Love it, except my skills in managing the dough strength is yet to be improved!

Update on Dec 11, 2010

I’ve always thought King Arthur’s All Purpose Flour can be used for bread as there was a baguette recipe on the back of its flour bag. Until a month ago I received an email reply from King Arthur as I asked them about the flour, I realized I should really use bread flour suggested in Jeffrey Hamelman’s book instead of AP, as AP is a soft flour. Now I know why my rustic bread turned flat!!

Soft Cheese Bread (from Artisan Bread Every Day)

This is the softest almost no knead bread I have ever tried. It stays soft on the 3rd day and tastes really good with the cheese and chives in it.

The no knead bread from other recipes I made before contained a high proportion of yesat, and hence the baked bread tasted really “yeasty”. Recipes in this Peter Reinhart’s new book used much less yeast, but 35C warm water to wake up the yeast prior to mixing with other ingredients. A really smart idea. I think this book should be more pronounced to home bakers to allow them to make great bread at home easily. :)

Recipe: Soft cheese bread from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Bread Every Day

France’s Hottest Baker

He is smart to call bread “erotic” and “romantic”, isn’t it? Adding senses descriptions to market the breads. And he says at the same time, “bread is not just bread — not just something you put on the table to accompany your meal”. It’s clever to attract bread lovers at time. I am looking forward to trying his bread too. I hope they really taste good but are not some sensational marketing technique only. :-)

Gontran Cherrier’s interview in The Times UK:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/recipes/article7056870.ece

Potato Bread with Roasted Onions

I always want to try new recipe when I have time to bake, but I’ve made this bread from the recipe of Jeffrey Hamelman’s “Bread” for several times now, and highly recommend it. This bread is sooo delectable. It has a very strong roasted flavor, yet is sweet because of the roasted potatoes and caramelized onions. The potatoes have made the crumb tender and the dough less sticky to knead as well. I like the potato skins. They gave a “rugged” look and taste to the bread. I also made the other potato bread without the caramelized onions before, but this one with the onions is unbeatable. The caramel flavor made the bread much much more delicious..

Some notes about preparing the bread — I used Chinese potatoes to make this bread, which gives a stronger potato flavor than Yukon Gold that I have tried before. To prepare the potatoes I diced them with their skin on and baked at 180C until cooked, and then mashed them with a fork. For the onions I did not follow the recipe to bake them, I fried the onions with olive oil at medium heat until they were cameralized instead. The weight of the onions would reduce by almost half when they are done. Hence make sure to prepare double weight of the recipe indicated before cooking them. It is also important to make sure the water in the onions are mostly evaporated when cooking them. Otherwise the onions would be wet in the baked bread. If you ever make this bread, do let me know what you think about the taste of it. :)

Spiced Stout Buns

There are stout, black tea and rum in this bread. I served it warm and the alcohol flavor was so strong! Love it.There are also grounded ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peel, lemon peel and dried raisins in this bread. All resulted in an intense flavor.

I could not find Mackeson Milk Stout and hence have used another stout to replace it. There was rum in this bread because I used dried fruits and peels that I have soaked in rum for months. When I ate the bread cold the alcohol flavor in the fruits was still strong.

For the cross, I used only flour to mix with water this time, but I think that the one having oil, flour and water from Jeffrey Hamelman’s recipe gives better result.

Compared with Hamelman’s hot cross buns, this one has personality, the crumb also has sweetness from the stout, while Hamalman’s has a lot of fruits and is “fluffy” in texture.

Jeffrey Hamelman’s Hot Cross Buns:

http://baobread.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/hot-cross-buns/

Dan Lepard’s another Hot Cross Buns:

http://baobread.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/hot-cross-buns-ii/

Spiced Stout Bun Recipe:

http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2799

What to Do with Stale Bread?

Here are some delicious solutions for stale bread (in Chinese, but you could get translation from Google easily :) ) from “Anthropologist in the Kitchen” by Zu Yi, blogger from Taiwan and now living in Hong Kong.

I am going to make Ajo Blanco (starter) and seafood salad with bread croutons (main) with my left over bread soon :)

http://blog.yam.com/tzui/article/27461135

Poilane Rye and Raisin Bread

HK$78 (EUR$7.4) for 6 pieces, not cheap, but I never thought raisin bread would taste that good. The raisins in this bread taste really fruity, aromatic and moist. They are not sweet and taste different from those in the supermarket. I like the crust as well, which is slightly burnt with a nice smell from the wood-fired oven. The bread is worth to try for at least one time. I am happy to find Poilane bread in HK and will try the other two kinds soon. :)

www.poilane.fr

Ciabatta?? They are slippers …

Imagine they are on your feet … lol *o*

Süßes Nussbrot (Sweet Nut Bread)

Love it. Never imagine that rum, hazelnuts and sweetness can be such a  perfect match. Not to mention the bread also has a soft crumb and is packed with lots of hazelnuts …  Great sweet treat.

It’s easy to make – 2-hour sponge plus 1/2 hr first and final fermentations. Yet I think it is better to finish eating on the first day to enjoy a soft crumb because of the short fermentation time.

Thanks Bäcker Süpke for the recipe, also his son for translation! : )

Süßes Nussbrot( Sweet Nut Bread) – Make two 800g loaves

(I modified the steps a bit, since I am not sure of some German/ translations, the bread is fine anyway)

  • The day before:
  • Toast 300g of hazelnuts and chopped into about 8 portions for each (otherwise it’s hard to stick them to the dough as there are many. I skipped the hot water compared with the original recipe)
  • 100g toasted walnut soaked in 50ml of rum
  • Sponge:
  • 300g T55 flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 280ml milk
  • 17g instant dry yeast or 50g fresh yeast
  • Mix and leave for 30-60 mins, until it at least doubles under 24°C (my dough was cold so I left it longer for 2 hrs)
  • Dough:
  • 300g T55 flour
  • All of the sponge
  • 60 g sugar
  • 60 g egg
  • 100 g butter
  • 6 g salt
  • Vanilla (I forgot!)
  • Mix until almost full gluten development. Then mix in the nuts. 1st fermentation for 1/2 hr.
  • Shape the dough . Final fermentation 1/2  hr.
  • Slash the dough. Bake with steam at 180°C. Then lower to 170°C for 45 mins.

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