2 Sourdoughs with Amaranth Flour

Been making sourdoughs with amaranth flour too. The one in batard shape was made with 25% white starter (100% hydration), 10% amaranth flour and 65% overall hydration. The other one was made with 33% white starter (100% hydration), 5% amaranth and same overall hydration. Both were retarded in fridge overnight. I like amaranth mainly because it gives a more reddish color to the bread. Also there was study saying it can keep the bread moist. Amaranth flour alone has a grassy smell but it wasn’t tasted in my finished bread. Both bread tasted quite good ..

Submitted to Yeastspotting

Levain with Whole Wheat, Levain with Whole Wheat & Amaranth

Levain with Whole Wheat (Left) Levain with Whole Wheat & Amaranth (Right)

The Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour is from Jeffrey Hamelman’s recipe. I retarded it overnight and the taste was really good, sweet and strong in wheat flavor. I also experimented by substituting 5% of the whole wheat flour with amaranth flour. It was prepared in the same condition – same retardation, fermentation hours, both bread baked together. Interesting finding was the whole wheat and amaranth bread was a bit gummy in texture (crumb & crust), also the taste was not as sweet as with whole wheat flour alone. Gosh seems whole wheat and amaranth cannot be a couple now? Maybe give them some time and let me try to experiment more first..

Submitted to Yeastspotting

Levain with Whole Wheat & Amaranth

Levain with Whole Wheat Flour (Jeffrey Hamelman recipe)

Levain with Whole Wheat, photo shot under sunlight

Experiments – Overnight Retardation for Different Sourdoughs

Light Spelt Sourdough with Assorted Nuts and Raisins (Overnight Retarded)

Sourdough making is now even simpler and time saving for me. Recently I’ve been experimenting retarding different sourdoughs overnight and baking the other day, so that I don’t have to wait till weekend and spend half a day in making a bread. I have tried retarding sourdoughs with different flours, amaranth, whole wheat and spelt, which you’ll see in coming posts, I would say that those with amaranth and whole wheat tasted great, but for spelt it seemed its flavor was lost after retarding. They were not as sweet and the spelt flavor was not as strong as spelt sourdoughs I made in the same day. Of course these were my findings from 3 spelt sourdoughs only, but for sure not all breads are suitable for retarding overnight which I read the same from Hamelman’s book from the Levain section. More overnight retardation findings to come, stay tuned. :)

Spelt Sourdough with Chia Seeds (50% spelt, 75% hydration, 3% chia seeds, overnight retarded)

Whole Wheat and Spelt Sourdough (70% whole wheat, 30% spelt, 75% hydration, overnight retarded)

Whole Wheat and Spelt Sourdough Crumb

Sourdough with Amaranth Flour

A sourdough with 13.5% of amaranth flour (to all flour) added to the final dough. Overall hydration is 68%. The bread this time darkened even more quickly compared with the amaranth sourdough that I made before which the overall amaranth was about 9%. I covered the crust with aluminum foil in the midway to avoid the crust getting burnt before the crumb was fully baked. Texture with the increased amaranth flour was also not as chewy as last time as well. I still love the beautiful reddish brown color that the amaranth flour gives to the crust.. :-) Now I’m thinking of other bread recipes with amaranth flour for next time. Any good ideas? :-)

Recipe

Bread Flour 212.5g 85%
Amaranth Flour 37.5g 15%
Water 163g 65%
Salt 5g 2%
Starter (100% Hydration with Bread Flour) 50g 20%

220C for 15 mins. Then lower to 200C for another 20 mins.

Love the Blister ~

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.

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!

Double Espresso Brazil Nut Cake

This is my first post ever on cake. It’s Dan Lepard’s recipe in The Guardian. I love coffee so much and I really like the idea of adding fine grind coffee beans to this cake. The coffee bean I used? It’s Sumatra Mandheling from my french press this week… Heehee. This cake also has 2 other ingredients that I like a lot: spelt and brazil nuts. The brazil nuts pair with the coffee very well. My cake texture seemed a little coarse, maybe I should chop the nuts finer next time? Anyway, I love the taste of this cake. Yum… :-)

I didn’t make cakes for long time and almost forgot some steps. Hope this cake looks fine. Less icing maybe? No idea about icing on a cake at all!

Recipe is from the Guardian website and the link 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. :-)

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

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

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