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 ;)

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. :)

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

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 and Rye Bread

I forgot adding salt to the dough of this bread, haha. This was until the dough doubled so quickly during 1st fermentation, I suddenly remembered it! So I kneaded the salt into the dough immediately, and that was the time I really understood how the salt could increase the dough elasticity.

The dough without salt at the beginning was lack of gluten. I thought it was because of the rye and barley flour. However the gluten was much improved after I added the salt. Anyway, I let the dough rest for its final hour of fermentation. I’m not sure how this has affected my bread.

As Dan has suggested in the recipe, I toasted the barley flour before preparing the dough. I really love the nutty smell of it. Mmmmm :) Also a banneton is necessary for holding the dough in its final fermentation, as its strength is not as strong with the rye and barley flour in it. I could see “cracks” on the seam side after its final fermentation.

This is another tasty bread. I agree that the rye and barley have served as friendly background flavors. I also like the mild sourness. It started my week perfectly. :)

Recipe from: The Hand Made Loaf by Dan Lepard

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.

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!

WBD 09 – Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain

This recipe is from Jeffrey Hamelman’s “Bread”, a sourdough made of flour, salt and water only, and no commercial yeast. A “pure” bread that I like the most.

There is another Vermont Sourdough recipe in Hamelman’s book using 10% rye and 15% starter, and this one is increased to 15% and 20%. According to the book, the increased rye provides more fermentable sugar and minerals to the yeasts in the levain. In addition to the increased levain, this bread is more acidic than the Vermont Sourdough. Since acidity has tightening effect on gluten structure, the crumb of this bread is tighter, chewier, and more elastic.

In terms of taste, this version is sweeter and more tang to me. Definitely I prefer this one more.

I’m submitting this beloved bread to World Bread Day 09. Happy Anniversary! : )

Make 1 Loave

Ingredients:

Liquid-Levain Build

Bread flour 91g (I used King Arthur All Purpose)

Water 113g

Mature culture (liquid) 18g

Final Dough

Bread flour 295g

Whole-rye flour 68g (I used Bob’s Red Mill Dark Rye)

Water 181g

Liquid Levain 204g

Salt 8.5g

1. Mix ingredients for liquid levain build. Cover & let stand for 12-16 hours at 70F.

2. When the levain is done, mix all ingredients except the salt of the final dough to medium consistency. Cover and let stand for autolyse for 20-60mins.

3. Sprinkle in salt and mix for another 1 1/2 -2 mins.

4. Bulk fermentation for 2 1/2 hrs. Fold after 1 1/4 hrs.

5. Shape the dough. Final fermentation for 2 to 2 1/2 hrs (or retard for 8 hrs at 50F, or up to 18 hrs at 42F)

6. Bake at 460F for 40-45 mins with normal steam.

Roasted Hazelnut and Prune Bread

I didn’t bake bread for more than 2 months now. I’m happy to see that my natural yeast is still alive. I fed it three times before baking the bread (including preparing the stiff levain build) and on the second time it became several times bigger .. wow.. it must be starved : P

The recipe is from Jeffrey Hamelman’s “Bread”, my second time to bake the bread. It calls for both bread flour (I used King Arthur All Purpose Flour) and whole wheat flour. However I found out my whole wheat flour was expired just when I wanted to prepare the dough, hence I replaced it with Bob’s Red Mill’s Dark Rye (the other flour I only had).

The texture of the bread is tighter than using whole wheat. Also the taste of rye was not strong enough. Maybe I should use rye sourdough instead of white one if I have it? Or ferment the dough for longer time without the commercial yeast? Anyway the original version with whole wheat flour does taste very good, especially the roasted hazelnut and prune, the deep flavor is good to enjoy in autumn. There is also 5% butter in the bread, which makes it softer and more flavourful. My baked bread always have darker crust, but I like it this way. : )

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