Amaranth Sourdough

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. :)

Recipe:

Bread flour 250g 100%
Water 163g 65%
Salt 5.5g (approx) 2.2%
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.

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. :)

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!

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)

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.

 

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. :-)

Batard with Spelt

This bread smelt really sweet when taken out from the oven. I am happy that by adding 10%  spelt flour to the pre-ferment and final dough can result with a more delightful bread. Compared with rye and whole wheat, spelt can give a sweeter note to the bread and its wheat flavor is more easy going.

The gluten of spelt is weak, therefore I have only used 10% this time to give it a try. As water absorption of spelt is higher, I increased the hydration to 68%.  This bread is awesome and I will have more bread experiments with spelt soon. I will submit this bread to YeastSpotting. Have fun baking!

 

Recipe (Makes 1 big loaf)

Biga
1/12tp instant yeast
70g bread flour
10g spelt flour
60g water

Mix and leave in the fridge for overnight.

Final dough
220g bread flour
40g spelt flour
1g instant yeast
170g water
6g salt
All of the biga

1)Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and rest for 10 minutes
2)Brush the working table with little olive oil, and knead the dough for 10-15 seconds. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and  rest for another 10 minutes
3)Brush the working table with oil again, and knead for another 10-15 seconds
4)First fermentation for 1.5 hrs (fold the dough once after 45 minutes)
5)Shape into batard, final fermentation for 1.5 hrs
6)Score the dough. Bake with steam at 240C for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 220C and continue to bake for 30 minutes

Stout, Oat and Honey Rolls

This is a recipe from Dan Lepard again. I love his recipes which are always unique, delicious and easy to make.

Dan has suggested shaping the doughs into knots in the recipe, but I’ve made them into rolls. I roughly followed the below bread site to shape the rolls. It’s in Japanese but has many photos to follow easily.

http://www001.upp.so-net.ne.jp/e-pan/tableroll/tableroll2.htm

http://www001.upp.so-net.ne.jp/e-pan/recipe/recipe.htm

I’ve made half of the recipe which gave 6 bread rolls (80g each).  They were baked at 180C for 18 minutes.

I especially like the unique and strong flavor of the stout in the rolls. The bread is also sweet because of the alcohol and honey. It’s soft and has some bites of the oats as well… :) I will make this again, and would like to submit this post to Susan’s YeastSpotting. Happy baking!

Everything Bread

I don’t have time to bake very often and there are a number of grains and seeds in my kitchen going to expire now. There is also a 2-day old rye sourdough in the fridge. It smelt very sour. Therefore I made this bread in an attempt to clear these stuff, and the result is not bad!

The bread contains a soaker with sesame seeds, rolled oats, linseed, semolina and sunflower seeds. The soaker had a strong semolina flavor but the flavor was not noticable in the bread. Instead the bread has a stronger sesame flavor especially in the crust.

The most interesting thing is the bread is only mildly sour. Maybe I don’t have to throw out a 2-day old sourdough now. The bread is  mildly sweet because of the grains too. I quite enjoyed this bread, especially enjoyed throwing anything I have on hand to the bread and returned with pleasing result. :P

My recipe (600 g bread dough):

100% high gluten flour
20% rye sourdough (2-day old)
90% water (40% for soaking the seeds overnight with some salt added)
2% salt
1% instant yeast
30% seeds (sesame seeds, rolled oats, linseed, semolina, sunflower seeds)

Baked at 230C.

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