Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Sun-dried tomato and cheese loaf with sourdough leaven

My wife found a jar of sun-dried tomato that is expiring in a week and asked me what am I going to do with it. I bought it a few months back to make some bread with it but I completely forgot about it.
After flick through a couple of books and decided to make a sun-dried tomato cheese loaf.
The bread is base on Andrew Whitley's book Bread Matter's Basic Savory Bread Dough, but I use my sourdough starter to make a sponge instead of using fresh yeast. I also added 2g of instance yeast to the final dough to speed up the final rising.

The sponge
1 tablespoon of my sourdough starter
125g Water
75g Strong White Flour
50g Standard Flour

I made this sponge early in the morning before I go to work and leave it on the counter for 10 hours.

The final dough
225g Sponge
225g Strong White Flour
4g Salt
15g Olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
105g Water

The filling.
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
pizza paste
grated cheese

My wife help me to put everything in the bread machine at 5:30pm to run the dough cycle so that after work when we finish dinner I can start shaping the loaf.

 Take the dough out of the bread machine and let it rest for 10 minutes and then roll out the dough and put on the filling. Roll the dough into a log and then cut the dough down the center length wise.

Take the two cut pieces and braid them together and put in a pan.

Allow it to rest till double in size.

 Bake for 35 minutes at 190 degress.

The bread taste very good and soft.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Sourdough baguette

The second project for my sourdough is sourdough baguette. Once again I adapted Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home by Ciril Hitz's  formula, instead of using a poolish with yeast, I used a sourdough leaven.

On Friday night I created the leaven.
1 tablespoon of my sourdough starter
105g Water
105g Strong Bread Flour

On Saturday night morning mix the leaven with the main dough.
Main dough
200g leaven
180g Strong Bread Flour
100g Water
20g Wholemeal Flour
5g Diastatic malt

Once the main dough is mixed, it was put in a plastic box for bulk fermentation and stretch and fold for 3 times. After 3 hours of bulk fermentation the main dough look like it's ready.

Divided the main dough into 2 small doughs and shaped to 2 baguettes for finally rising.

After about less than 2 hours, it seem they are already ready for the oven.

Baked for 30 minutes and here is the result.

Unfortunately,  my kids don't really like my sourdough bread. I'm not sure if I'll bake them again.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

My first sourdough bagels

Now that my sourdough is live and kicking, i have decided to put them to work. My first project is sourdough bagels.
After searching the web for a few sourdough bagels recipes and didn't find any that really like so I adapt the formula from Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home that I always use.

1 tablespoon of my sourdough starter.
125g water
125g Strong bread flour

Main dough
Leaven 240g
Strong bread flour 295g
Water 110g
Diastatic malt 6g
Salt 3g

Day 1
7:30am make the leaven before I go to work
8:00pm mix the main dough with my stand mixer.
8:30pm divide the main dough into 6 portion and shape them into bagels
8:45pm set to prove for an hour
9:45pm Into the fridge for overnight retardation

Day 2
7:30pm remove the bagels from the fridge set let it return to room temperature
8:30pm boil the bagels
8:40pm  into the oven for 20 minutes
9:00pm Bagels are baked.

My Leaven

Friday, 6 May 2011

Sourdough starter (day 7), it got a new home.

Today, it still look the same as yesterday. However decided to move it to a new home because my wife complaint that I took my kid's sandwich box.

 Discard some of it and put the rest to it's new home and feed it with 30g flour and 15g water.
After 4 hours you can see it very much alive. :D

I think my sourdough starter is ready to work.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Sourdough starter (day 6)

There isn't much change from day 5. I decide not to feed it today to see how it will go tomorrow.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Sourdough starter (day 5)

It hasn't changed much on day 4.
Anyway I'm going to feed it with 30g water and 30g flour.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Sourdough starter (day 4)

You can see there is some activity (bubbles) in the starter. It smells like ripped banana and vinegar.

Time to feed another 25g water and 25g flour to it.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sourdough starter (day 3)

After 72 hours, it still doesn't look like much activity but it started to smell like vinegar.
It's about time to  feed 25g water and 25g all purpose flour to my starter.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sourdough starter

I have made sourdough bread before but it didn't turn out as good as I expected. After all I don't think sourdough breads are really my thing.
A few weeks ago bought some sourdough bagels from Wild Wheat and found that their sourdough bagels are pretty nice. So I decided to give it another go.

This time start out with 25g wholemeal flour and 25g water.

After 24 hours and there isn't much activity with my starter. I think the room temperature is too low. I have to give it another day.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Country bread for brunch

I wanted to make a multi grain country bread for a while. so I started out making a poolish on Thursday night.
On Friday night I went to Park n save to get from kibbled grain from the bulk section and then go home to make the dough.

After the dough rise double in size and put it in the fridge overnight.

On Saturday morning took the dough out from the fridge and wait for it to return to room temperature and shape it into a ball and let it rise again for 40mins. Bake it for 35mins and it's ready. However I found it is still wet inside next time I will bake it for 40mins instead.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

More bagels

Previously I wasn't very happy with the blisters on my bagels and have done some research about it and found out that they were caused by long retardation process. However long retardation is a good thing because the bagels will have more flavor.

I have found this bagel recipe online using the poolish method.

So I decided to make more bagels but this time use a poolish starter to enhance the flavor but a shorter retardation in the fridge. This time I keep my bagels in the fridge for 7 hours instead of overnight.

Here are my bagels using poolish. The blisters on the crust are less obvious and they still taste pretty good and smell nice.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Scoring baguette challenge

Scoring baguette is not as easy as one might think.
I decided to ask the experts in The fresh loaf forum and post my question there.
Using my of the tips from the comments:
1. higher temperature, i set the oven to 220 in fan bake
2. score slightly deeper

I wanted to underprove the baguette a little but this time I was districted and I think the baguette actually was overproved.

Anyway here is the result. The scorings are still not as wide open as I wanted! Well I have wait for the next weekend to try it again.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Bagels Blisters

I used to think that bagels is difficult to make before I got into my bread making hobby. When I read Cril Hitz's Baking Artisan Breads I didn't find it too intimidating so I decided to give it try.
His method takes 2 days to make the bagels, making the dough and shape the bagels on day 1 and then boil and bake the bagels on day 2.

I noticed that all my bagels crust have fill with many tiny bubbles and I was wondering why. I googled it but I couldn't really got a definite answer. So I post my question at The fresh loaf where all the artisan bread bakers exchange their experience and knowledge. The post is here but I have learned that it is normal for a bread that develop this kind of condition from the long cold fermentation and that's nothing wrong with it.

One of the posters quoted

"Bubbles on the crust, a result of retarding raw loaves at refrigeration temperatures, are well received in North America. In France, bubbles are considered a defect".
Quote from Raymond Calvel's The Taste of Bread.

Now my next challenge is to make bagels without long fermentation but still taste as good with good texture.

Full of blisters on the crust

Most people don't mind my bagels that have blisters on them, because they taste very good.

Friday, 4 March 2011

In search of the perfect baguette

It is pretty hard to make perfect baguettes at home without specially equipments like baking stone,steamer oven, etc.  However my goal is to bake a good looking baguette with crispy crust and tender texture inside.

I have been baking baguettes using Ciril Hitz's Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home recipes for a few time. The result is not bad, but I've never got a good scoring on my baguettes.

Today I tried it again after I've done lots of reading about scoring baguette, however I still failed. The scores didn't open as big as I wanted it.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

EPI Baguette (Épi de Blé Baguette)

Last week I made the EPI first time, today I made the Epi again. Like last week I used the recipes from the book I borrowed from the libary Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home by Ciril Hitz. This time instead of using the Kenwood chef to knead the dough, I used my Panasonic bread machine to do that me. It did save me a lot of time and trouble. However because of the hydration level of the recipes is bit high, some of the dough stuck at the bottom of the bread machine and doesn't come off without using my fingers to scrape them out.

The dough was divided and shaped into 2 logs

Cut the logs with a pair of kitchen scissors
Put them on a rack to cool down

Have them for lunch

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Hello world!

Hi it's me.
Programmer by day ... baker by night.
I love bread! Especially Hong Kong Style bread!