Sunday, January 22, 2012

Meet Up Breads and a new old book

We had a meet up of KC area TFL members at Barley's Brewhouse in Shawnee, KS this afternoon. In all, we had five people that actually post there and three guests. I wasn't discouraged at all by the small turnout because no one had ever done more than talk about such an event and I helped make it happen. You've got to start somewhere.

The top two pictures are of the loaves that were my contribution to the sampling. The third is of the collection of breads we sampled. The large wicker basket in picture three is a chocolate bread. Cue the Homer Simpson reaction, "Hmmmmm, chocolate. Bread. Such a wonderful food." Everybody had at least one piece of that loaf and I know for certain some had more than that.
Despite the over consumption of carbhydrates, there's interest in another meet up towards the end of Spring. The idea is to start with a format of attendees bringing in their work in a particular type of bread, such as a rye bread. When I consider the number of different rye breads, it begins to sound like a great concept to me. Raj, AKA UneditedFoodie, will be sending me his list of local area food blogs and I'll contact those blogs to see if they have members that would be interested in joining the crowd. Sounds like a cross pollination of bloggers to me. We had a very diverse group of people that enjoy baking bread and serving it to family and friends. It definitely was a worthwhile time.

The top loaves were just one of my typical loaf batches divided in two. I extended the bake time by a few minutes because my oven is different with two loaves.
Starter
150g at 100% hydration
Soaker
80g white whole wheat flour
80g water
Soak for four hours at room temperature

Dough
300g bread flour
20g whole rye flour
186g water
9g kosher salt
15g Hillside honey
28g wheat germ
all of starter
all of soaker

The ciabatta looking loaves actually just use the Gallette Persane formula from my previous post. This time around, I did use 24 hours for the first stage preferment and another 26 hours for the sponge. I had to adjust for time demands of sleep so I slowed the fermentation down by setting the sponge in the basement at 62F instead of room temperature. It worked like a champ for me. I still used a modest 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast for the first two stages and didn't add any more during the dough mix. The bulk fermentation and proofing were slower than expected but I still got a really nice flavor. The two stage building of the sponge contributed to the flavor but today I had a much more slack dough to handle. I don't know enough to say whether it was due to the long sponge build and something like enzymatic changes in the flour or just the changing weather affecting the outcome. It was a fine bread when I served it at the meet up, lots of wheaty flavor and a moist interior crumb.

My new old book added to the collection this week is "Breads of France" by Bernard Clayton Jr. It was first printed in 1978 so I expect that most of the book was written in the early to mid 1970s. There are some procedures in the book that I didn't agree with at first but I may be getting to far ahead of myself by doing so. I've reread a few recipes and I have to concede that my views are changing. I'll be baking more of the recipes included in the book over the next six months and when I do, I'll attribute the foundation of the recipes to Mr Clayton.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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