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Monday, November 29, 2010

Semolina Multigrain Sourdough - time to start using some of 2 kg semolina flour in the pantry



I was running out the bread flour and didn’t want to buy a new 5-kg bag as I’m going away in a week. Looking through my pantry, it occurred to me that I have 4 bags of fine semolina in there. Perfect, semolina bread is on the menu this week.


Slightly off-track: I was in the quest to find the elusive durum flour and convinced myself that fine semolina was durum flour and ended up buying fine semolina every time I see  them without realising that I already had them in my pantry. That’s why I ended up with 4 bags! However, I made many loaves of semolina bread, where the recipe called for durum flour, using the fine semolina and they worked fine.

I came across semolina multigrain bread in Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread: A Baker's book of techniques and recipes. The recipe calls for commercial yeast. I usually prefer to bake with wild yeast (sourdough starter) whenever I can so I converted it to sourdough bread using the stiff sourdough starter.


The recipe has 50% durum flour (which I substitute with fine semolina flour and it worked fine) and 50% bread flour. It has 20% grains consisting of polenta (coarse corn meal), millets and sesame seeds. I used mixed white and black sesame in the recipe.  Black sesame is very aromatic, more so than its white counterpart. Its aroma really comes through when you bite into the bread and it is even more so when the bread is toasted.



I found that semolina flour did not absorb the water as well as wheat flour. This could be because it is not flour, but more of fine coarse grain.  As of the result, the dough was quite wet to work with.

The crumb is soft, chewy and well opened. It is a very tasty loaf with an aroma of black sesame seeds, sweetness of polenta and slight crunchiness of millets.



Now I only have three more bags of semolina to go and will start a fresh new bag of flour after my holiday. Good solution that ended up with such a tasty loaf.  

Perfect for scramble eggs with chive, using recipe from Michel Roux's Eggs cookbook


Recipe note: 1. I left the dough to autolyze for 30 minutes.
2. The shaped loaves was retarded in the fridge overnight
3. Two folds, during 2 hours and a half fermentation

Semolina Multigrain Sourdough recipe
adapted from semolina multigrain bread from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's book of techniques and recipes

Make 2 large loaves

Overall formula
Durum flour 454 g 
Bread flour 454 g
Coarse cornmeal (polenta) 74 g
Millet 54 g
Sesame seeds 54 g
Water 718 g 
Salt 20 g
Total 1.83 kg

Baker’s percentage
Durum flour 50%
Bread flour 50%
Coarse cornmeal (polenta) 8%
Millet 6%
Sesame seeds 6%
Water 79%
Salt 2%
Total 201%

Stiff-levain build
Bread flour 136 g
Water 95 g
Culture 29 g

Soaker
Coarse cornmeal 74 g
Millet 54 g
Sesame seeds 54 g
Water, boiling  227 g

Final dough
Durum flour 454 g 
Bread flour 318 g
Water 396 g
Salt 20g
Soaker all of the above
Stiff-levain all of the above (less 29 g)


1. Stiff-levain build: Make the levain build approximately 12 hours before the final mix.

2. Soaker: Mix all soaker ingredients at the same time when making levain build. Mix well and keep it covered at room temperature until required.

3. Mixing: Add all the ingredients and soakers to the mixing bowl except the salt and levain. Mix or stir the ingredients together until it becomes a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it stand for an autolyse phase of 20 -60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough and cut the levain into fist-sized chunks and place on top of the dough, and continue kneading until the medium gluten development is formed.

3. Bulk fermentation: 2 ½ hours

4. Folding: Fold the dough twice, at 50-minute intervals

5. Dividing and shaping: Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, make a pre-shape dough balls and let it rest on the bench for 10-20 minutes. Shape the doughs into round (boule) or oblong (batard).

6. Final fermentation; Approximately 2 -2 ½  hours (alternatively, retard for up to 8 hours in the fridge)

7. Baking: with normal steam, 225C (440F) for 40 45 mins, turn the loaves half way through the bake.

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Evoke your senses with Orange Blossom Macarons



One of my favourite passtime is browsing green grocer, deli and grocery store. I enjoy browsing through aisles and aisles of foods to get some inspirations for new macaron concoctions and new bread flavours.

I came across orange blossom water during my browsing routine at Thomas Dux, a green grocer and thought that it could be a good flavour for macarons. I never cooked/baked with orange blossom water before but my past experience with rosewater and lavender assured me that it would have worked well.




Orange blossom water is distilled water with essential oil of orange blossom. It has a strong, sweet and rich citrus aroma and is used extensively in middle east cooking. When I first opened the bottle, the sweet aroma just literally made me smile. It’s a unique scent that I have never encountered anything like it before. It felt like I was being transported into a beautiful garden in the middle of spring. It smells just beautiful.

I mixed orange blossom water through the white chocolate ganache to get orange blossom filling for macarons. The orange blossom macaron didn’t disappoint. It delivered the sweet aroma and distinctive flavour. It is the sort of flavour that made me smiling and thought “wow” to myself when I first bit into it. It totally evokes my senses of smell and taste. Now, I have so many orange blossom recipes in my mind that I wish to try, orange blossom pannacotta, orange blossom crème brulèe, or even orange blossom chocolate tart…the list is endless.



This batch was also for S’ workmate who was leaving weeks ago. I love making macarons for gifts and would jump to any opportunities to make it. It’s the joy of making and sharing these little beauties.


I also mixed the orange blossom macarons with jaffa macarons for the gift



Orange blossom macaron recipe

make about 25 3-cm macarons 

Note:
you can also visit my Basic Macaron Recipe blog and I heart Macarons  for more details about the making of macarons

Macaron shell ingredients
100 g egg white (about 3 extra large eggs, aged 24- 48 hrs in advance. Take egg white out of the fridge a couple of hours before making to bring it to room temperature)
110 g almond meal (almond powder, ground almond)
160 g pure icing sugar (powder sugar)
60 g caster sugar (fine sugar)
a pinch of red and yellow colouring powder or liquid

Orange blossom ganache ingredients (macarons filling)
100 g white baking chocolate, cut into small pieces
80 ml thickened cream (whipping cream)
20 g butter, cut into cubes
1 – 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
few drops of red and yellow colouring liquid or pinch of colouring powder

Making macaron shells

1.      Sifting almond meal and icing sugar together by pushing them through a sieve. You can also grind almond meal and icing sugar together in a food processor to have finer almond meal mixture and it will be easier for sifting. However, this is not necessary.

2.      If using colouring powder, mix it with caster sugar in a small bowl until you achieve the desired colour (note that the colour need to be much more intense than the desired end-result as the colour will fade once mixed with egg white and other dry ingredients)

3.      Using electric mixer, beat egg white on a high speed until foamy, gradually add caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg white until it reaches a glossy stiff peak. If using colouring liquid, put about 10 drops of red and yellow into the egg white mixture and mix on a low speed until well-combined.

4.      Mix egg white into almond meal mixture. Stir quite vigourously to break the egg white into dry ingredients for the first ten stokes or so. Continue to mix the egg white with dry ingredients until well combined (try the motion of lift, fold and push the mixture to the side of mixing bowl). The mixture should be thick, glossy and well-blended. The batter will look like a very thick cake batter.

5.      Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm plain nozzle (size #11).

6.      Pipe mixture onto a tray lined with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat (Silpat) about one-inch in diameter and one inch apart.

7.      Tap trays on a kitchen bench a few times to flatten the piped macarons and remove the air bubbles.

8.      Leave the piped shell uncovered at room temperature for 30-60 mins until you can touch the shell without them sticking to your fingers.

9.      Preheat the oven to 160c/180c (convection/conventional) about 15 mins before baking.

10. Reduce the temperature to 140c/160c (convection/conventional) and bake macarons for about 13-15 mins. Baking time will depend on the macaron size.

11. Remove baking trays from oven. Remove macarons from the tray and put them on cooling racks. You may need a serrated knife to help removing macarons. Spraying a little water onto the hot tray underneath the paper also help releasing macarons (the steam gives that magic releasing power). 

12. Once they're completely cool, sandwich two shells together with chocolate ganache. Keep the macarons in a covered container in the fridge. They can be kept upto 5 days (or longer). Macarons taste better after they have been chilled for at least 12 hours. Filled macarons can also be frozen.


Making orange blossom chocolate ganache

1.      Put chocolate pieces in a seperate bowl.

2.      Heat thickened cream in a small pan over medium heat. When it comes to the boil, remove it from heat and pour over chocolate pieces. Let it sit for about 10 seconds, then stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted. Scatter the butter pieces and stir until it's melted.

3.      Mix orange blossom water in and mix until well-combined. It is suggested to start with one tablespoon and test as you go. Add more orange blossom water if you prefer a well-pronounced flavour. I like mine strong and ended up with two tablespoons.

4.      Chill the ganache until ready to use. It needs to be chilled at least an hour or more until it's firm enough for the filling.


Voila, fleur d'oranger macaron. Not quite Laduree, but quite lovely!





Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sometimes all you need is a plain sourdough - Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour

 

Sometimes, all you need is a plain sourdough and a splash of olive oil, maybe some dukkah thrown in.

The plain sourdough bread, i.e. without fruits, grains or any derivatives, is something I try to make more often and manage to forget to make it. Not that I don’t like plain sourdough, I just seem to get distracted by other concoctions and the idea that breads with grains or fruits are more interesting and tastier. Every now and then, I would just realize that I haven’t made the plain sourdough bread for a while, or sometimes S would remind me and make a request for it.


 
Vermont sourdough from Jeffrey Hamelman’s  Bread: A Baker's book of techniques and recipes is the plain sourdough I made most often. I liked it so much so that it is the only plain sourdough I baked from the book .

Well, one should expand one’s horizon a little and venture into the new plain sourdough territory. Flipping through Hamelman’s Bread cookbook, I came across Pain au Levain with whole wheat flour, which looked quite interesting. The recipe has slightly higher levain percentage, 20% versus 15% in other recipes. It contains mixed flour (rye and bread flours) in stiff levain build. It also has 20% whole wheat flour in the recipe.

This recipe also serves another purpose. As the recipe calls for stiff levain, it is a good timing that I can convert my liquid starter (100% hydration) to stiff starter (60% hydration) before I am going away in the next two weeks for a month and won’t have chances to feed my lovely pet starter, Jerry. I was afraid that he would be starving (for flour and water) and pass away while I’m away.

Thanks to a post on The Fresh Loaf about the sourdough starter feeding. Apparently, stiff starter is more resilient than liquid one. It is more likely that it will survive after not being fed for a while. I only need to feed Jerry a few times when I’m back from holiday to wake him up and come back to his cheerful and active self.

The bread has a pronounced sour flavour to it due to the stiff levain used and a small amount (6.5 %) rye flour in the levain. The bread achieved a good volume with a good oven spring. The crumb is moist and chewy, slightly chewier than usual. This bread works well with olive oil and dukkah (Middle East spice and nut mix).

Another great way to enjoy sourdough bread, dipping in olive oil and dukkah

The bread bottom was not as brown as I would have liked but the crust is shiny. It is probably the shiniest crust I had so far. This could be a result of too long an oven steaming. I got distracted and left the steaming for about 5-10 too long (I filled the cast iron pan with boiling water three times and left  the pan in steaming on for about 20 mins).



Relatively nice crumb:)


 
Recipe note:

1. I left the dough to autolyze for 30 minutes.
2.The dough was retarded overnight in the fridge
3. Two folds, during 2 hours and a half fermentation

Pain au levain with whole wheat flour

Make 2 large loaves

Overall formula
Bread flour 680 g
Whole wheat flour 182 g
Medium Rye Flour 45 g
Water 618 g
Salt 17 g

Levain build (60% hydration)
Bread flour 130 g
Medium rye flour 9 g
Water 85 g
Mature culture (stiff)  28 g
 
Final Dough
Bread flour 550 g
Medium rye flour 36 g
Whole-wheat flour 182 g
Water 533 g
Salt 17 g
Levain 224 g (all less 2 tablespoons)

Baker Percentage
Bread flour 75%
Whole wheat flour 20%
Medium rye flour 5%
Water 68%
Salt 1.8%

1. Stiff-levain build: Make the final build approximately 12 hours before the final mix.

2. Mixing: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the salt and levain. Mix or stir the ingredients together until it becomes a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary; the addition of a bit more water may be necessary depending on the absorption of the whole-wheat and rye flours. The consistency of the dough should be medium - neither dry nor overly moist. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it stand for an autolyse phase of 20 -60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough cut the levain into fist-sized chunks and place on top of the dough, and continue kneading until the medium gluten development is formed.

3. Bulk fermentation: 2 ½ hours

4. Folding: Fold the dough twice, at 50-minute intervals

5. Dividing and shaping: Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, make a pre-shape dough balls and let it rest on the bench for 10-20 minutes. Shape the doughs into round (boule) or oblong (batard).

6. Final fermentation; Approximately 2 -2 ½  hours (alternatively, retard for up to 8 hours in the fridge)

7. Baking: with normal steam, 225C (440F) for 40 45 mins, turn the loaves half way through the bake.

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.

So simple yet so effective, nice crusty bread with olive oil and dukkah

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chorizo pesto pizza with whole wheat pizza base

I can't recall I ever had whole-wheat pizza before. It sounds rather un-Italian but I want to experiment a little and see how the whole-wheat pizza would turn out. It would be great if it works so that we can, at least, claim that it's wholegrain pizza and somewhat a healthy choice, even though it is fully loaded with cheeses, chorizo, and etc, lol. 

When I told S that I was making whole-wheat pizza for dinner that night, he went "baby, you know, those Italians, they know their stuffs and they will never make a whole wheat pizza". Umm, that remark didn't stop me, I determined to find out. In fact, that saying "Those Italians, they really know their stuffs" is actually mine. Every time when I have Italian food, I would say this. I think Italian food is one of the best cuisines in the world. The simple and fresh ingredients that they use match each other perfectly. Think about basil and tomato with a splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It’s simple yet so delish.


 



I used pizza base recipe from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and replace 70% of bread flour with whole wheat flour. The recipe incorporates the cold fermentation, which Peter Reinhart suggests that it provides two benefits, one for the flavour and the other for the shaping.

Overnight fermentation brings out more flavour trapped in the starch. It also helps relaxing the gluten and make dough shaping easier.

When it comes to pizza topping, less is more. More toppings doesn't equal good pizza. It is, in fact, counterproductive. It makes the crust soggy and takes longer to cook. It is recommended to limit to only 3-4 toppings, including the tomato sauce.

Instead of tomato sauce, I spread the pizza base with Italian pesto (I got three big jars from CostCo that will last for so many pizzas and pastas) and topped it with mozzarella cheese, onion and chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage). The cooked pizza then topped with baby rocket leaves (arugula). Chorizo is something I love to cook with. It has such an intense well-rounded flavour that complements any dishes really well.


The whole wheat pizza crust works quite well. It is not as moist and soft as the one made with white flour. The crumb is also not as open but it is tasty nonetheless. I also feel that the whole-wheat base is crispier than the white flour base.  


I couldn't help myself pinching the crust to check the crumb!


Not bad crumb, after all!

Yes, those Italians know their stuffs, but it is also good to find a way to enjoy our favourite food in a somewhat healthier way. The whole-wheat pizza is not bad after all and it can still feel Italian to me:)


Recipe note:
I halved Peter Reinhart's recipe. You can double the recipe and make 3 large pizza crusts.

The dough can be stored in fridge for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.

The recipe calls for chilled flour and iced cold water. If you don't have cold water at hand, mix a number of ice cubes with water to get an iced cold water.

Chorizo pesto whole wheat pizza recipe

Whole wheat pizza base recipe
make 2 medium size pizza crusts (255 g or 9 oz each)
Adapted from Peter Reinhart's pizza napoletana from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

200 g whole wheat flour, chilled
90 g bread flour or all-purpose flour, chilled
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
29 g olive oil or vegetable oil (optional)
397 g water, ice cold
6 g Salt

Pizza topping

3 tablespoons basil pesto
1 small onion, thinly sliced
70g mozzarella cheese, shredded
250g (2 sausages) chorizo (spicy Spanish sausages), sliced into 0.30-cm thick
100 g baby rocket leaves (arugula)


1.    Stir together the flour , salt, and instant yeast in a large bowl. With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with a paddle attachment). If kneading by hands, knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. If using electric mixer, switch to dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should be clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50F to 55 F (10 C – 13 C).

2.   Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Mist the counter or a tray lined with parchment paper with spray oil. Using dough scraper or blunt knife, cut dough into two equal pieces (approximately 255 g or 9 oz each). Sprinkle flour over the dough and lightly coat them with flour. Gently shape the doughs into balls and transfer the dough balls into sheet pan or a zip-lock plastic bag. If using sheet pan, slip the sheet pan into a food-grade plastic bag and chill the dough overnight in refrigerator. The doughs can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

3.   Remove the dough balls from the fridge 2  hours before making the pizza. Dust the counter with flour, and the mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour, gently press the dough into flat disks about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle the dough with flour; mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Rest the dough for 2 hours.

4.   About an hour before making pizza, place a pizza baking stone on a bottom rack of an oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (I preheated mine to 275 C or 527 F). If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can bake pizza on the back of baking trays or on a pizza pan. However, you don’t need to preheat the trays.

5.   Generously dust the pizza peel or back of sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Stretch the dough disks into flat pizza pieces. Lay the dough onto pizza peel or baking trays. Spread the pesto thinly onto the pizza base. Put mozzarella cheese on top, followed by sliced onions and top with sliced chorizo.

6.   Slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the baking trays)  and close the door. Checking after 2 minutes if the pizza needs to be rotate for even browning, do so if it needs to.

7.   The pizza should take about 6-10 minutes to bake depending on the crust thickness and fillings.

8.   Remove pizza from the oven and transfer to the cutting board. Top the pizza with baby rocket leaves. Wait for 3 –5  minutes to allow the cheese to set before cutting. Top

This post is submitted to YeastSpotting


Buon Appetito

Washed down the pizza with our favourite beer, Corona with a slice of lemon.
It cant’ get any better.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jaffa Macarons with orange dark chocolate ganache

Orange and chocolate are another food pair that complement each other perfectly, in my opinion. It is the kind of chocolate that I love, chocolate orange or even better, orange with dark chocolate.


Jaffa is the Australian sweet with soft chocolate centre covered with orange flavoured, red coloured hard candy. The candy is popular in Australia and New Zealand that the term Jaffa has become associated with chocolate orange flavour, which is the name of my new macaron concoction, Jaffa Macaron. It is  filled with dark chocolate ganache mixed with orange marmalade. The filling provides a more complex flavour to the macarons. It is bittersweet with a little tang and sweet citrusy aroma.




These macarons are made for my friend's, Lucy, birthday, which I am guessing that her fiancee will end up having most of them as Lucy is on a diet campaign for her wedding in the next couple of months.




Well, in fact, macarons has moderate calories, provided you consume in moderation (I know it is quite hard to be sensible with these little beauties and stop at just one macaron). One macaron with chocolate ganache (about 3-cm size) contains about 100 calories. See, it's not too bad if you only have one macaron a day. It is a much better option than a whole piece of cake.


One macaron a day won't hurt




 I mixed the chocolate ganache with my homemade orange marmalade. The choc-orange ganache tastes so heavenly that I can just devour on it on its own without any meringue shell!



 Jaffa Macaron, with orange dark chocolate ganache recipe
makes about 25 3-cm macarons

Macaron shell ingredients
100 g egg white (about 3 extra large eggs, aged 24- 48 hrs in advance and at room temperature)
110 g almond meal (almond powder, ground almond)
160 g pure icing sugar (powder sugar)
60 g caster sugar (fine sugar)

Chocolate ganache ingredients (macarons filling)
100 g semi-sweet chocolate (about 50% or more cocoa content), cut into small pieces
80 ml thickened cream (whipping cream)
1/2 cup orange marmalade
20 g butter, cut into cubes

Macaron shells - Method
Note: for more details on macaron making instruction, you can visit my 'Basic Macaron Recipe' blog here and 'I heart Macarons' blog here.

1.Sifting almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder together by pushing them through a sieve.

2. Using electric mixer, beat egg white on a high speed until foamy, gradually add caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg white until achieving a glossy stiff peak.

3. Mix egg white into almond meal mixture. Stir quite vigourously to break the egg white into dry ingredients for the first ten stokes or so. Continue to mix the egg white with dry ingredients until well combined (try the motion of lift, fold and push the mixture to the side of mixing bowl). The mixture should be thick, glossy and well-blended. The batter will look like a very thick cake batter.

4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm plain nozzle (#11).

5. Pipe mixture onto a tray lined with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat (Silpat) about one-inch in diameter and one inch apart. 


6. Tap trays on a kitchen bench a few times to flatten the piped macarons and remove some air bubbles.

7. Leave the piped shell uncovered at room temperature for 30-60 mins until you can touch the shell without them sticking to your fingers.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 160c/180c (convection/conventional) about 15 mins before baking.
  
9.  Reduce the temperature to 140c/160c (convection/conventional) and bake macarons for about 13-15 mins. Baking time will depend on the macaron size.

10. Remove macarons from the tray and put them on cooling racks. You may need a serrated knife to help removing macarons. Spraying a little water onto the hot tray underneath the paper also help releasing macarons (the steam gives that magic releasing power). 
  
11. Once they're completely cool, sandwich two shells together with chocolate ganache. Keep the macarons in a covered container in the fridge. They can be kept upto 5 days (or longer). Macarons taste better after they have been chilled for at least 12 hours.


Making orange chocolate ganache

1. Put chocolate pieces in a seperate bowl.

2. Heat thickened cream in a small pan over medium heat. When it comes to the boil, remove it from heat and pour over chocolate pieces. Let it sit for about 10 seconds, then stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted. Scatter the butter pieces and stir until it's melted.

3. Mix orange marmalade through chocolate mixture until combined.

3. Chill the ganache until ready to use. It needs to be chilled at least an hour or more until it's firm enough for the filling.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peter Reinhart's Multigrain Extraordinaire - converted to sourdough

This is the recipe I love from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker Apprentice. He stated that this bread (yeasted-version) made the best toast in the world. Well, I have to say so too. It is yummiest bread I had for toast so far.

The bread has 16% grains which contribute to the sweetness and fantastic aroma. The bread is very moist from many grains that hold the moisture and contribute to the natural sweetness. 



The recipe also contains brown rice that can be substituted by white rice or wild rice, but brown rice seems to blend in the best. I used white rice as I had some left over frozen from few weeks ago.

The original recipe is a straight dough, i.e. using commercial yeast without any pre-ferment flour. I always wanted to try converting a commercial yeasted bread into sourdough and see what the taste difference it would be. As a relatively novice bread baker, I also wanted to test my baker percentage calculation.

The commercial yeast in original recipe is replaced by sourdough starter in liquid levain form. The original recipe is for 2-pound loaf, which means I need to use the baker's math to calculate recipe for desired final weight, 3.5+ pounds for two large loaves. It was fun using the baker's math. I felt like yelling 'bingo' when I finished the calculation.

I find Peter Reinhart's original recipe is very sticky, almost too sticky to work with.  So, I reduced the hydration to 74%, which is still rather wet to work with. I also substitute 20% of bread flour with whole wheat flour. The original recipe also has honey and brown sugar that I also reduced the amount of both by half as the sourdough version would be naturally sweet by long fermentation and grain soaker.

I just realised that I pretty much changed most of the Reinhart formula. Basically, the ingredients remain the same, but most of the ingredient amounts were changed.


What is the result?, you might ask, after the convertion to sourdough and many ingredient changes. Well, the flavour profile changes substantially which, I believe, is resulted from using sourdough starter. It introduces acidity and tang into the bread which is non-existent in the original version. The sourdough version also has tender and moist crumbs. It is not as sweet as the original. Do I like it enough to do it again? Yes, this recipe is a keeper.




Here is the recipe for Multigrain Extraordinaire Sourdough -
(adapted from Multigrain Extraordinaire in Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker Apprentice)

Make 2 large loaves

Recipe note:

1. The dough was retarded overnight in the fridge
2. Two folds, during 2 hours and a half fermentation

Ingredients

Liquid Levain
Bread Flour  108 g
Water  135 g
Mature Culture   28 g


Soaker
Polenta  62 g
Rolled oats  47 g
Wheat brans  16 g
Water, room temperature 125 g


Final dough
Soaker 250 g
Levain build (all less 2 T) 248 g
Bread flour 549 g
Whole wheat flour 185 g
Brown Sugar  17 g
Salt  17 g
Cooked rice  59 g
Honey  34 g
Milk  85 g
Water, room temperature 364 g


Baker's Percentage
Polenta7.4%
Rolled oats5.6%
Wheat brans1.9%
Water74.0%
Bread flour78.0%
Whole Wheat Flour22.0%
Brown sugar2.0%
Salt2.0%
Cooked rice7.0%
Honey4.0%
Milk10.0%
213.9%

Method
1. Liquid levain: Make the final build 12-16 hours before the final mix and leave it in a convered container at room temperature.

2.  Soaker: Make the soaker when making liquid levain build (12-16 hours before the final mix) and leave in covered container at room temperature.

3. Mixing:  Add all ingredients, except salt, into a large mixing bowl. Mix until all flour is hydrated and it forms a ball.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or bag. Autolyse for 30-60 minutes. Return to mixing after autolyse, sprinkle salt all over the dough,  if knead by hand, knead for 15-30 minutes and adjust water and flour as neccessary. If using mixer, mix on the first speed for 3 mins, followed by second speed for further 3-4 mins. Knead until the dough achieve a moderate gluten development.

 4. Bulk fermentation: in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap or bag for 2.5 hours or until double in size

 
5. Folding: Twice, at 50 minutes interval

 6. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Have a bench rest for 10-15 mins to ensure the gluten is relaxed before shaping. Shape into batard or boule (oval or round loaves).

 7. Final fermentation: I retard my loaves in the fridge at this stage, and take it out the next morning for baking. It needs to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours to take off the chill, while you preheat the oven. Or you can ferment for 1.5-2 hours at room temperature and continue with the baking without retardation.

8. Baking: with normal steam, 235C (460F) for 40-50 mins. Lower the oven temp to 220C (430F)  after 15 mins to prevent overbrowning.

This post is submitted to YeastSpotting.