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Saturday, 17 August 2013

Rye Swirl Bread

Since I've now finished my Julie & Julia trip through Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" I will now make breads on a whim, choosing from any of the books I have, online recipes I've saved, or recipes people have given me.  It's not that I didn't do this before, but now there's just 'no next recipe in the book' to move on to.  That said, there are plenty I will make on a regular basis - pain au levain (must have made this about a million times), Auvergne dark rye, blue cheese and rye loaves, alpine baguettes . . . . . so many wonderful breads to revisit.  Then there are all the yeasted ones I glossed over that I'd like to remake using sourdough.  So much bread, so little time!

Anyway, while leafing through my bread books (Dean Brettshneider's book "Global Baker") this loaf immediately caught my eye - such a spectacular looking crumb!  So sort of make it I did.  Well when I say sort of, I used the basic idea in the recipe, but not the recipe itself.  For starters the recipe is yeasted, 2nd it had molasses it in which I don't particularly like (well that said, I had one bad experience with back-strap molasses and haven't gone back, but maybe I just need to try again), and it also used caraway which my friends don't particularly like.  So I used the same recipe I made last week (Polish cottage rye), and split the dough in two.

Mr Brettschneider's recipe made two batches of dough (200g of flour in each) essentially the same, except the dark rye dough had twice as much molasses as the light as well as 15g of cocoa powder for colour.   I split mine in two after kneading but before fermenting, but stupidly forgot to add in the cocoa, so folded it in by hand during the fermentation.  It started off a bit swirly and my hands were brown and oily, but we eventually got there!

Dough layers pressed together
So once the dough had fermented the shaping fun began.  Each dough was split into two equal pieces - so you have 4 pieces of dough, two light and two dark.  Each piece was flattened into a rectangle and the dark dough placed on top of the light dough and tightly rolled together to form two logs.  The logs were placed seam side down into 2 loaf tins, covered with plastic bags and left to proof for a couple of hours at RT.

Doughs rolled together
In loaf tin
Prior to baking (oven preheated to 210°C), the loaves are slashed once straight down the middle of the loaves lengthwise.  Baked with a handful of ice cubes for 25mins.


I think my loaves were slightly under-proofed so had a lot of spring in the oven, plus I think I slashed them too deeply, and should have only made one big loaf as I think the swirls got a bit distorted.  Also the dough recipe I used probably wasn't the most ideal as it was a very soft, delicate dough, and something slightly firmer would have suited better.  Mr Brettschneider's dough was at 60% hydration (175g AP flour, 75g rye, 150g water), whereas the one I used was 65% excluding the large volume of rye starter.  Still looked pretty cool, will send to YeastSpotting, but would like to get it looking better!

As per the original dough made last week, the bread had nice flavour, and the cocoa was not noticeable in the taste.
Happiness is making bread!!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

"Local Breads" - Polish Cottage Rye (Wiejski chelba)

This is the very last recipe in "Local Bread" which means I have made all the breads in the book - not bad considering the book is 327 pages long!  My intention was to blog about each bread, but some of the Italian breads I didn't particularly love (mostly because they were yeasted, and I'm really only interested in making sourdough bread), and consequently didn't write up, as the website I was initially using to post all my endeavours was really for sourdough bread only.  So maybe I might go back through and find the ones I didn't like and convert them to sourdough and see how they turn out.

So this polish rye.  I have just checked through my notebook, and it would seem I didn't make any notes whilst making this bread, and since I never seem to have enough time on the weekend I make the bread to write about it, and I made this one back in August, I can't remember a great deal!  Hopeless!

I've just turned the page in the book and have found I made my notes on the recipe page!  Doh!

This bread uses 380g of rye sourdough starter, which is a lot more than most breads use (generally about 150-200g starter for a couple of loaves), and Mr Leader does mention in his preamble to the recipe that he has included a 'build' step to increase the amount of rye sourdough, but unless I'm even more stupid than I've already made out above, I can't for the life of me find it in his recipe!  That notwithstanding, my notes indicate that I fed my fridge starter (about 60g) by adding 200g water and 200g fine rye flour to start this loaf off (at 3pm Saturday afternoon).  Enough for the recipe and some to put back in the fridge for next time.

Rye starter ready to roll!
Sunday morning, I then used my nice bubbly rye starter (he is always SO very happy after being fed, bubbly, smelling wonderful, eager for business!) to make the bread:

380g starter after overnight feeding (put the remainder back in the fridge)
325g tepid water
500g bread flour
10g salt

Given the intro to this loaf said it was the darkest, most rustic of Polish rye breads, I was exceedingly surprised the dough did not contain any rye flour!  But follow the recipe I did.

I kneaded the dough using my Kitchen Aid on speed #4 for about 12mins.  I did stop and scrape down the hook a couple of times as it was a pretty sticky dough.  I also kept a careful eye on the machine as had just had my floor repaired from when it bounced off and broke a couple of my floor boards!  The KA was just fine, nothing broken, but the wooden floor clearly couldn't handle the beast falling on to it!

At 8.30am the dough was put in an oiled bowl and left to ferment at RT but in order to make my bread work around my day, I put the dough in the fridge at 10.30am so I could go out for a few hours.  At 3.00pm I removed it from the fridge, and let warm up at RT for another couple of hours.

This is a very soft dough, light, springy and delicate - maybe because of the amount of rye starter used? 

I preshaped into one big round let rest for 15mins, then did my final shaping and placed it into my banetton, put the banetton inside a plastic bag and left at RT to proof.  And there my notes stop!  So I have no idea how long I let it proof for!?  I would imagine it was 1.5-2hrs, or until it had increased in size by at least 1.5times.  My rye starter has plenty of oompff, so sometimes it takes a little less time than this.  but if the dough was still relatively cool after its ferment in the fridge, it might have taken a little longer.

Dough proofed, ready to slash and bake

I have a clay tile in my oven, and my oven is very special needs and slow to heat up, so an hour before I'm ready to bake I turned the oven to 230°C to heat up.  This allows enough time for the stone to fully heat up.

I covered my bakers peel with a sheet of baking paper, placed this over the banetton and gently inverted the banetton to tip out the dough.  I slashed the loaf 5 times in a rough start pattern, and then slid it into the oven, along with a handful of ice cubes and baked for 50 mins until nice and golden brown (with a turn around at half time).

Baked loaf

Crumb shots

This was nice bread,  nothing startling, but nice.  I still think I prefer the Zitny chelba for flavour, despite the large amount of rye starter in this.  Maybe I would try swapping out some of the bread flour for rye in the dough to see how much that alters the taste.  Would definitely make again and will send to YeastSpotting!

Happiness is making bread!!



Sunday, 4 August 2013

Rolled Oat and Apple Bread

I've been so busy working my way through Daniel Leader's book "Local Breads" that I've scarcely been making any other breads that his.  However last weekend I decided to break from the mould and go a bit crazy - I made a bread fom Dan Lepard's book "The art of handmade bread".  I can't tell you why I decided on this particular loaf, maybe it branched from the success of using grains in my Zitny Chelba pop-top loaves a couple of weekends back, or maybe it was the lovely looking apples I'd just bought, or maybe even the Bircher muesli I'd had for breakfast during the week?  Anywho, make it I did . . . . and yes I kind of think it is a bit like a Bircher muesli bread!

I refreshed my liquid levain for the first time in ages - the last time I hadn't used it in ages it was a bit on the whiffy side and I ended up chucking the loaf as the loaf was also a bit whiffy and didn't rise that well, so I then fed it twice more and it sparked into bubbly life and came good again.  Lesson learnt - fed it more often or make bread from it more often!  This time after feeding it was full of life and not in the slightest bit whiffy :)

50g starter + 100g water + 125g flour - mix together and let ferment for at least 12 hours at RT, or until nice and bubbly.

My scales were still stuffed so I had to do all my measuring using cups again!  Note to self - must try a new battery in my scales, or get a new set!

1/2c rolled oats (50g)                          1.75c bread flour (250g)
6Tbsp boiling water (100g)                    3/4 tsp salt
1.25c grated apple (200g)                     egg wash  
3Tbsp water extra (50g)                      fine oats for finishing
1c starter (100g)                                (3/4tsp fresh yeast)*

First up I soaked the rolled oats in the boiling water, then grated the apple.  The recipe said to peel the apple, but I think you lose the best bits doing that so left the skin intact.  The apples I am currently eating are called Ambrosia.  They are a delicately, sweet, crisp apple full of summer (even though it is August - it is a bit scary how they keep apples fresh for so long), not unlike a Gala, but perhaps not so sweet.

Mixed the apple, levain, second measure of water and soaked oats, then stirred through so it was well mixed.  Then I added in the flour and salt, and mixed till a rough dough formed.  Covered it with a plastic bag and let sit for about 20mins.  The dough was still super sticky after the autolyse so I added more flour until it felt right (total about 2.5c).  This maybe due to the jucyness of the apples, or the fact I was using cups instead of weights? 

I oiled the bench and kneaded the dough for 10 secs, then covered and rested about 10mins then kneaded again.  Placed the dough ball into and oiled bowl, covered with a plastic bag and let it ferment at RT.  I gave it a stretch and fold after 2.5hrs.  The let ferment another 1.25hrs.

* I didn't add any yeast to the dough.

On a lightly floured bench top I shaped the dough into a rough round, covered and let rest for about 10mins, then did my final shaping.  I tipped it smooth side down into my round banneton that had been sprinkled with blitzed rolled oats (so they were fine in texture).  The banneton and loaf were popped inside a plastic bag to proof at RT for 1.5hrs.

Dough shaped and ready to proof

The oven (and baking stone) was preheated to 210°C.  I turned the loaf out of the banneton onto  my peel covered with a sheet of baking paper, slashed the loaf in a "star" type arrangement, and slid it into the oven followed by a handful of ice-cubes for steam.  Baked the loaf for a total of 50mins with a turn around at half time.

Out of the banneton and onto the baking paper covered peel

Slashed ready to bake

Now that I read the instructions, I see I was supposed to drop the oven temp down to 190°C after 30mins, which I neglected to do!  Never mind, the loaf turned out very well :).


The loaf had a distinctive apple flavour, but saying that it wasn't overly sweet.  The combination of soaked oats and apple gave it a spectacularly moist crumb, without being heavy or stodgy. 

Moist crumb

It was a wonderfully flavoured bread, that unfortunately made me keep slicing off pieces, smearing them with butter and eating them!  I did give a good half dozen slices to a friend, and I'm sure if I hadn't troughed it down like a starving waif the loaf would have stayed fresh for the better part of a week!

Was ever so nice with or without butter!
I'm not sure why you would want to add yeast to this dough if you have a perfectly working levain, and the resultant loaf certainly wouldn't have benefitted from its addition.  The fermentation and proofing steps are just a bit longer is all.

Very delicious bread that I would make again in a flash!

"Local Breads" - Dark Silesian Rye (Chelba)

Despite it's name, this bread isn't all that dark or rye-y!  It definitely has more rye flour in it than the light version preceding it, but still . . .

100% rye starter fed as follows - 50g rye starter + 100g rye flour + 100g water, mixed together and left to ferment at RT for at least 12 hours.

Note: The rye flour used for this bread is all fine grade.

My scales were on the blink when I went to make this bread, so sadly I had to make all my measurements but the cup, which was less than ideal, but worked out just fine.  It made me pay attention to how the dough felt, which was a good thing.

I used all but about 1/4c of my rye starter (200g), added in 1.5c (300g) tepid water and then mushed my starter into the water.  2.25c (350g) bread flour, 1c (150g) rye flour and 2 tsp salt.  Combined this altogether and let autolyse for about 1/2hr, then did my usual 10 kneads 3 times over 1/2-3/4hr (on an oiled bench).  It then fermented in an oiled bowl for 2.25hrs at RT.

I was supposed to shape it into a round, but instead used my long banneton, as had decided to cut it in half and give it to a couple of my staff at work.  So shaped into a round first, then let rest, the shaped into a long baton and placed in my banneton that had been lightly coated with rye flour.  The banneton was them put inside a plastic bag and popped in the fridge (as I had plans for the early evening and wouldn't be home in time to bake it had I left it at RT).
Shaped and ready to proof

So the loaf proofed in the fridge for about3.5hrs then at RT for another hour before baking at 210C for 50mins.  As per the light Silesian rye, I was supposed to scatter this with caraway seeds prior to baking, then brush with water after baking, but I did neither of these.  I did however slash the loaf 5x horizontally prior to baking.

 Baked loaf
I didn't get to taste this loaf as gave both halves away, but  both staff members did comment on how nice it was.  Who knows . . . . maybe they were just being polite?!  To be honest, I'm sure it was a perfectly nice loaf, maybe I'll make it again another day to try myself.