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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Green Tea Bread Roll with Red Bean Filling - great look (and taste) with little effort

I love Japanese green tea, be it a hot cup of green tea, green tea frappucino, green tea macaron, green tea ice cream, green tea cake, the list is endless and I love them all. I suppose its  slight bitterness and unique aroma complement well with dessert.

During my trip to Japan late last year, I would try anything with green tea at any given opportunities. We had waffles filled with green tea mousse, green tea chiffon cake, green tea soft-serve ice cream, green tea tiramisu, choux pastry with green tea ice cream. I was in heaven!

Green tea tiramisu at the front and choux bun filled with green tea ice cream

I stockpiled few different types of green tea powder (matcha powder) from my Japan trip (where else would be better place to get them, but Japan, right). All packagings were in Japanese so I wasn't exactly sure if I had bought matcha powder or something else. I had to go with the illustrations on the packagings instead and trust my instinct that I bought the right products. To find out, I need to test it with some of the bakings. Green tea bread with red bean is one of my favorite that I would test with the matcha powder. Green tea and red bean are something that are made for each other. The match made in heaven.

Japanese takes great care of their food presentation as much as the cooking itself. People eats with their eyes and it even more so with Japanese. Food looks as great as well as its taste. Follow this philosophy, the somewhat nice-looking green tea bread is on my mind.

Excellent looking food with excellent taste
at Ryori Ryokan Hanaoka in Takayama, Japan where we stayed for two nights

The bread style I was thinking about was decorative bread roll with incisions that show its filling. This style of roll is quite common in Asia or Asian bakery store in Australia. I took some of the rolls to my work and my workmate gave me a 10-out-of-10  for the appearance:)

I based the recipe on the sweet roll but tweaked the recipe by substituting 20% of bread flour with wholewheat flour, using sourdough starter to add more flavour to the bread and reduce the yeast amount in the recipe. However, if you don't have sourdough starter, you can substitute this with sponge (mixture of yeast, flour and milk mixed prior to the mixing of final dough). More details is in the below recipe.

This bread would make a great breakfast roll, in my opinion. It has green tea with cafreine to kick start the morning and fibre from wholemeal flour and red bean. It is also a yummy roll to start a delicious day.

Here is recipe...

Green Tea Bread Roll with Red Bean Filling Recipe
make approx 12 bread rolls

Sourdough starter 150 g  (fed approx 12 hours the mixing)
Bread flour 460 g (increase this 535 g if you do not use sourdough starter)
Whole Wheat Flour 130 g (you can omit whole wheat and use all bread flour in the recipe)
Milk 210 g (3/4 cup) (increase this to 285 g if you do not use sourdough starter)
Egg 2 eggs
Salt 2 teaspoons
Butter 120 g, chopped
Sugar 60 g
Green tea powder (matcha powder) 1 tablespoon
Yeast 2 teaspoons (increase yeast to 1 tablespoon if you do not use sourdough starter)
Red bean paste (azuki bean paste) 150 - 200 g (store bought or make your own, recipe is here in my blog post)

Mix starter, flours, milk, egg, sugar, green tea power, yeast and salt until all combined and form a dough ball. If mixing by hand, knead for about 10 -15 minutes until strong gluten is developed (the dough should pass a windowpane taste). If using a mixer, mix on a medium-high speed for 5 minutes until the dough pass windowpane test.

Note: if not using sourdough starter, mix 1 tablespoon of yeast, 10 g of sugar, 280 g of flour in the bowl. Pour in warm milk (285 g) and beat the mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for half and hour (the mixture should be really frothy and double in volume). Then, follow the step above.

Gradually incorporate butter into the dough while the mixer is running or kneading. The dough should be soft, silky and strong at this point.

Let the dough ferment in a bowl covered with plastic bag or cling wrap for about 1.5 to 2 hours until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 12 portions, approx 100 g each and preshape them into balls and let them rest for 5 - 10 minutes.

Flatten the dough ball into round shape and put a heap tablespoon of red bean paste in the centre. Wrap and seal the dough to fully cover the red bean filling. Gently round the dough into ball (make sure the roll doesn't tear and red bean filling leak out).

Use a rolling pin, roll the dough gently (again, make sure the filling doesn't leak) into oblong shape about 0.50 cm thick.

Use a utility knife, making incisions on the shorter side of the dough (from left to right), and leave about half-a-cm on the edges, with 1-cm space between each cut. Be gently and precise when making incision, cut the dough to reveal the red bean filling, but do not cut the dough right to the bottom and it tears apart.

Using pastry scraper to help lifting the dough and turn it up side down, and at the same time, make sure that long side of the dough is now pararel to the kitchen bench.

Roll the dough like a jelly roll from top to bottom and seal the seam slightly. Gently bring two ends to meet in the middle. The roll should now resemble a donut ring without a hole or a tiny hole. 

Excuse the poor lighting and shadow, the bake happened at night!

Using pastry scraper to lift the roll and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper or baking sheet (you will need two trays for this recipe). Leave about 2-inch space between each roll as the dough will expand during the final proofing and during the bake.

Brush the rolls surface with egg wash and try to avoid brushing onto red bean filling as much as you can. Cover the trays with big plastic bags and leave at room temperature for approx 30 -45 minutes or until almost double in size.

Preheat the oven to 175c (convection oven).

When the rolls are ready, brush the dough surface again with eggwash before putting them into the oven.

Bake for 20 -25 minutes. Turn the tray half-way through baking for even browning.

Yummy breakfast
Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Basic Macarons Recipe: Italian meringue method - Now, I'm a convert!

I'm back talking basic macacron recipe again but this time is for Italian meringue method.

Macarons can be made using two methods, which are French meringue technique and Italian meringue’s. Majority of the processes for both techniques are the same. The difference is how you handle the caster sugar (fine sugar) with egg whites. French meringue calls for caster sugar be gradually mixed into the whipping egg white. Whereas, Italian meringue method uses cooked sugar syrup mixed into the whipping egg whites.

Note: I have written a blog post about making macarons using French meringue method before, which could be found here. You might also find the I Heart Macaron post useful for the beginning of my macaron adventure.

With Italian meringue method, it is a little more complex and more tools (and washings) involved as you would need a thermometer. However, it gives shinier crust, less temperamental when it comes to weather condition, humidity in particular, and more forgiving when it comes to mixing. You are less likely to overmix the batch (which results in spreading macarons and no feet) using Italian method than French's.

I wasn’t convinced about making macarons using Italian meringue methods until lately. I had bad experience using this method and my macarons failed miserably. The shells were hard and crunchy. They were anything but macarons. I had always blamed this on the Italian meringue techniques. I had no idea then that I read thermometer incorrectly when cooking sugar syrup. See, I had never cooked/used cooking thermometer before back then (I know it might sound like a lame excuse). The first thermometer I had wasn’t a digital one. I misread the farenheit for celcius, and 118°F is nothing close to 118°C, in fact it’s only 47°C. It wasn’t a surprise that that macaron batch was a disaster; dry, tough and crunchy.

Now that I had a number of successful batches made by Italian meringue method, I feel more comfortable to recommend it. In fact, it is gradually growing on me and I might be a permanent convert. Italian meringue has become my weapon of choice for making macarons.

I based my recipe loosely on Pierre Herme's. I reduced the amount of icing sugar, caster sugar and almond meal and still found that it worked well (I find the macarons are sweet as it is and try to reduce the sugar as much as I can). Pierre Herme recipe bakes macarons at 180c, I bake mine at 150c. I have tried baking them at 160c before and found the macarons to be too dry and lose that soft and moist melt-in-your-mouth texture (note that I use convection oven or what Aussie calls fan-forced oven).

Since I discovered bread-making and are so passionate about it, I started to look at recipe from the baker percentage perspective. i.e ratio/measurement of ingredients against the main ingredient. In bread-making, everything in the recipe are measured against total flour weight. In macaron-making, I measure all ingredients against egg white, which I would like to call it the macaron maker ratio. I am very pedantic when it comes to making macarons, which I believe accuracy is critical. It is important to ensure the ratio between wet ingredients and dry ingredients is spot on.

My macarons maker ratio works like this:

My basic macaron formula (French Meringue technique) is:
Egg white 1 part
Pure icing sugar 1.60 part
Almond meal 1.10 part
Caster sugar 0.60 part

My basic macaron formula – Italian Meringue technique is:
Egg white 1 part
Pure icing sugar 1.25 part
Almond meal 1.25 part
Caster sugar 1.25 part
Water 0.34 part

This means I would measure the egg white before I start measure everything else. For example, I would use 3 large egg white for my usual batch, which yield around 100 g, the rest of ingredients should work like this:

Egg white 100 g (100 x 1)
Pure icing sugar 125 g (100 x 1.25)
Almond meal 125 g (100 x 1.25)
Caster sugar 125 g (100 x 1.25)
Water 34 g (100 x 0.34)

Apart from the accuracy, having appropriate tools is critical for making successful batches of macarons. Tools that you’ll need:-

·    Piping bag size 14 inch (350 mm). You can probably get away with smaller bag but I found this size is perfect for a batch producing 25 macarons.
Tools - using pastry scraper pushing almond meal mixture
through the sieve make it easier
·    Pipping nozzle, 1cm plain round tip (size 11)
·    Good quality (preferably heavy steel, commercial weight) baking tray. I love baking trays from MasterClass. They are made of heavy steel, got a commercial weight and reasonably priced. Good baking tray helps to insulate the heat, distribute the heat more evenly and make the macarons rise better and give you the more uniformed macaron feet (those holy-grail of macaron lovers)
·    Non-stick baking paper or silicone mat or Silpat
·    Sieve
·    Spatula
·    Stand mixer or hand mixer (or a whisk with a strong arm)
·    Scale (I prefer to measure the exact ingredients intead of going by volume measurement i.e. cup)
·   Thermometer, preferably digital one, but I guess the normal thermometer would work just fine.
·    Small heavy-base saucepan: for cooking sugar syrup with Italian meringue method.

Though you might have heard stories about failed macarons batches, that macarons are hard to master, it is not at all hard to make. Sure, sometimes the weather can be a little too humid, you might over-mix the batch, you might have some bad macaron day, the feet didn’t appear, but those macarons will taste exceptionally yummy anyway. Armed with right tools and right recipes, you can make this… at home!

Here is the walk-through for making macaron using Italian meringue method:

I also encourage you to read my other two posts for tips and recipes for making macarons;

Basic Macaron Recipe: Italian meringue method
Makes about 25 3-cm macarons

100 g/or 3 large egg whites (separated 24-48 hours before making and is at room temperature)
125 g pure icing sugar
125 g almond meal (ground almond, almond flour)
125 g caster sugar (fine sugar)
34 g water
pinch of coloring powder or liquid

Macaron filling
100 g dark chocolate, chopped
100 ml thickened cream (minimum 35% fat)
20 g butter, chopped

Sift the almond meal together with pure icing sugar through a fine sieve (some suggests processing ingredients in a food processor for finer texture. I usually don’t and it works fine without it).

Divide egg whites into two equal portions (50 g each portion). Put one portion (50 g) into the almond meal/icing sugar mixture. Do not mix the ingredients together, just pour egg white into dry mixture and leave it as is. Put the coloring powder or liquid on to the egg white. Set aside.

Put the other portion of egg white in a mixing bowl and position it in the mixer that is fitted with the whip attachment. Set this aside.

Place water and caster sugar in a small heavy-base saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to the boil. Do not stir the syrup as the crystal might form. Use wet brush to brush down any sugar crystal or syrup from the side of saucepan.

Once the bubble starts to appear in the syrup, start whipping egg white with high speed until it reaches soft peek and keep the motor running. 

Note: If egg white reaches soft peak stage before the sugar syrup is ready, reduce motor speed to medium and continue beating.

When the sugar syrup reach 118°C (I timed after the sugar syrup start boiling, it took approx. 3 minutes from the start of boiling to reach 118°C), remove the saucepan from the heat immediately. While the mixer is still running at high speed, slowly pour the syrup down the side of mixing bowl. Be careful not to pour the hot syrup over the whip attachment as it will spatter.

Keep beating the egg white at medium-high speed until the mixture is cool down. You should be able to touch the side of the mixing bowl and feel just about body temperature. The finished whipped egg white will be stiff and very glossy (it’s much glossier than the normal meringue method).

Using spatula, fold one-third of the whipped egg white into almond meal mixture. You can mix this quite vigorously until the batter is smooth. Fold the rest of egg whites in two batches. Fold gently but thoroughly until smooth and well-blended batter is achieved. The batter consistency will be very thick, flow slowly, and should not be runny. If the batter is runny, you might have over-mixed your batter. Do not worry that the meringue is collapsing. It is okay that it collapses. It need to be cmpletely blended in with the rest of ingredients and we are not making meringue of pavlova here, we are making macarons.

Add the mixture into a piping bag fitted with plain 1-cm piping tip. If you’re a piping bag challenge like myself, stand the bag in a tall glass to help with the filling. Once the bag is filled, turn it upside down and twist the bag a quarter turn (this will ensure the air, if any, is remove).
Pipe some batter under the baking mats/sheet to stick them to the baking tray. This will help tremendously when the trays are tapped on the bench to remove any air pockets (the baking sheets would stay in its position).

very focus and piping away...
Pipe about 2.5-cm round of batter (in staggering rows) onto the baking tray lined with baking mat or non-stick baking sheets, and leave 2.5 cm space between each shell. You will need two baking trays for this recipe.

Piped shells will be flatten almost by themselves

Tap the trays on the bench to flatten the piped shells and remove any air pocket. Macarons will be become slightly larger after they're flattened

Leave the trays of  piped shells uncovered for 30 – 60 minutes until the crust is formed and dry to touch. To see if the macarons are ready, gently touch the top of shell, if the piped shell is  not stuck to your finger, they are good to go into the oven.

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced/convection oven) for at least 15 minutes. Before putting macarons into the oven, reduce temperature to 150°C. Bake for 15 minutes (this might take a little longer, depend on the size of your macarons).

Feet slow rising after 5 minutes in the oven
 Once baked, remove baking sheet/mats to cooling rack. Let it cool completely before removing them from the sheets. It is much easier to remove macarons from baking sheet when they cool down and it is less less likely that they would stick to baking sheet.

When the shells are completely cool, pipe or spoon filling onto one shell and sandwich two shells together with the filling.
with pitaschio buttercream filling

Store the macarons in air-tight containers in the fridge overnight. The flavor and texture will be better after several hours in the fridge.

Simple chocolate ganache filling recipe
100 g dark chocolate (50% cocoa), chopped
100 ml thickened cream (whipping cream, minimum 35% fat content)
20 g butter, chopped 

Put chocolate in a seperate bowl.

Bring cream to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove it from heat as soon as it comes to the boil. 

Pour hot cream into chocolate. Leave it for about 10-20 seconds. Stir the chocolate and cream mixture until melted. Scatter butter pieces on the mixture and stir until well combine. 

Chill the ganache at least an hour before using them to fill macarons.  


You can also check the below posts out for basic macaron recipe using French meringue method and my love affair with macaron in I heart macarons:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sourdough Miche with Wheat Germs: SFBI recipe - great everyday bread with lots of flavour

I finally got around to make the famous SFBI (San Francisco Baking Institute) Miche the past weekend. I have been wanting to try this recipe for sometimes after reading so much rave reviews from the TFL members.  

The recipe was posted by David (dmsnyder) at The Fresh Loaf (which can be found here). Many of the TFL members have made this Miche and all reported fantastic results (many thanks to David and all TFLers who baked the bread and shared their results).

The bread has a mixture of bread and whole-wheat flour in the starter. It has 74% hydration and contains 2.5% wheat germs, which was toasted before the mixing. I have never baked with wheat germs before, or have any wheat germs for that matter. The aroma of toasted wheat germs was really nice. It has nutty and sweet aroma and give extra nutty and earthy flavour to the bread.

The original recipe yielded one 2-kg Miche. It was suggested not to scale down the recipe (or you’ll be sorry) as the bread was really nice. I didn’t scale down the recipe, but instead, I scaled it up to 3-kg batch for two of 1.5-kg Miches.

Perfect opportunity to use the two round banettons
It was effortless to mix the dough and achieve the appropriate gluten development (this might have something to do with high hydration and mixed flour starter?). After all ingredients were mixed together into a ball, I left the dough to autolyze for about 30 minutes. After the autolyze, the gluten has already formed. I only hand-kneaded for another 5 minutes to get medium gluten development. It also felt like the dough didn’t even need that kneading as the gluten has already developed, and it would be further strengthened by stretch-and-folds (Really, come to think about it, I just did the kneading out of the habit and to get the feel of the dough). I did only three stretch-and-folds at 50 minutes interval, instead of four S&Fs as suggested by the original recipe, as I found the dough was close to being over-developed after three S&Fs and 2.5 hrs fermentation. The dough was soft, silky and a pleasant to work with.

The crumb was open and chewy. My loaves could have been higher if it wasn’t because I used too small a banetton and that the doughs were stick to the banetton. The doughs were little flat and lose their shapes when taken out of banetton.

Doughs stuck to the banetton and they became flat as a result.
Lesson learnt!

The bread required bold bake, i.e. high heat, long bake, to get deep dark caramelised crust. I have never baked the bread to this dark colour before. I thought the bread texture would be dry after such a long bake, but the crumb retained its moisture well.

Deep dark crackling crust

This is one of the tastiest plain sourdough bread I have ever made. I like my sourdough with a tang, chewy and moist crumb and crackling crust, and this bread is all of that, great taste and texture. It is versatile. It is yummy as is. It is nice as bruschetta with tomato and basil. It is superb with olive oil and toast. The flavour is also developing over time as well. It tastes better hours or a day after the bake (the recipe suggested to only cut the bread four hours after the bake for the full flavour development). The bread has a pronounced acidic tone, which I wonder if it has anything to do with whole-wheat flour in the starter. It also has a fantastic aroma, which could be the result of bold bake and wheat germs.

Lovely chewy crumb

I gave some of 3-kg bread to few of our neighbours and S’ mom. All gave sensational reviews and love the bread. Thanks again to David for sharing such a great recipe.

Great with our adaptation of bruschetta

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tomato Permesan Basil Flatbread - it does resemble pizza but it's flatbread

Though it doesn’t feel like we are having summer this year, our tomatoes were doing relatively well. S’ mom gave us the peach tomato plant months ago (the plants came from The Digger’s who specialise in heirloom plants). At first, we had no clue that this tomato was peach tomato and that it was different from normal tomato. It is the kind that would never turn red. It’s the yellow tomato. So, many tomatoes got rotten on the vine (not vine-ripen, but vine-rotten tomato). We finally figured it out after looking at the plant tags (why didn’t we look at the plant tag before, you might ask!).

These tomatoes are relatively small. Its size is about cherry tomato size. The taste and texture are also different from general tomato. It is sweeter, softer and not as acidic. We have used them in salad, pasta, and now in flatbread. They all turned out delicious.

It is a shame though that the plant is now dying (well, as I'm editing this post now, S has killed the plant. It has now gone to heaven). Tomato loves the consistent warm weather. That’s why it is doing so well in summer and warmer climate and we are having an unusual hot-then-cold summer this year. As a matter of fact, the summer is almost finished and I don’t feel we have any summer at all. It is sad that the plant is dying before its time.

I picked the tomato, parmesan and basil flatbread recipe from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook to utilise our home-grown peach tomato. This recipe uses the basic olive oil dough as a base. I tweaked the recipe a little by using my sourdough starter instead of preferment, which I believe give the bread extra flavour.

I love working with this dough. For some reasons, be it the water percentage, milk or olive oil in the dough mixture, the dough was silky smooth and easy (and fun) to work with. I made the full olive oil recipe following the book and froze half of the dough (Happy to report that it freeze well). You can double the amount in the olive oil dough recipe below if you plan to freeze the bread dough or intend to serve four persons.  

This post is submitted to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herb).

Tomato parmesan and fasil flatbread recipe
from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook

make one large flatbread

10 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
25 g parmesan cheese, cubed
small handful of fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
1-2  tablespoon basil pesto (optional)
500 kg olive oil dough (see below for recipe or you can also use the pizza dough for this)

Make the flatbread dough by following the intruction at the bottom of the blog. Once the dough finished its bulk proofing, shape it into flatbread.

To shape flatbread : turn the olive oil dough onto a lightly floured workbench and press down evenly with your hands, to get rectangle shape with 2-cm thickness.

Place flatbread on a baking tray line with baking tray line with baking paper or baking mat. Use your fingers to press down into the dough and create shallow indents over the surface.

Cover the tray/dough with tea towel or plastic bag and set aside in a warm place (25c) to proof for 15 minutes.

Press the cherry tomato halves and cubed parmesan into each flatbread untit they are almost half-sunk into the dough (tomato looks better with cut-side up).

Press half of basil leaves into the dough and brush the dough surface with the basil pesto mixed with olive oil (note: this is my own adaptation to add basil pesto).

Set aside to proof for further 15 -20 minutes (note: the topping are put half-way through proofing, so that they won't deflate the dough before baking. It gives the dough time to rise and have a proper proofing).

Preheat the oven to 180c. Bake for 25 -30 minutes, turning the flatbread around after 15 minutes.

Olive oil dough  recipe
from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook

makes 600 g (enough for the one flatbread)
308 g bread flour
2 g  instant dry yeast
202 ml water
10 ml extra virgin olive oil
10 ml milk
2 teaspoons salt
90 g sourdough starter (100% hydration, fed 10 - 12 hours before mixing)


Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of the mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for another 5 - 8 minutes.  The dough should come away from the edges of the bowl and have a silky complextion when done.

Place the dough in a container that has been sprayed with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to bulk prove for 1.5 hours. Knock back (stretch and fold) the dough every 30 minutes during bulk prove -- this means you will need to knock back the dough twice in total.

Once has finished to bulk prove, it is ready to be used in the tomato, parmesan flatbread above.

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cranberry and Walnut Sourdough - full of flavour and texture

Every now and then, I take a break from making multigrains bread  and turn to making fruit breads. I also have a tendency to try new recipes (almost) everytime I'm making breads. I suppose it is because I'm still relatively new to bread making and I love to explore and try new recipes.

I have been wanting to try incorporating walnuts into sourdough for quite sometimes. Many TFLers (The Fresh Loaf members) raved so much about walnut breads. This weekend was the weekend I was going to try walnut sourdough. I also like the idea of fruit and nut bread. In my opinion, fruit and nut complement each other well in bread. They are the blend of flavour and texture.

For some reasons, I wanted to try using cranberries in the fruit bread. I never baked or cooked with cranberries before and I was curious what it tasted like. So, cranberry and walnut sourdough that is, for this weekend's menu.

I adapted the recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's Prune and Hazelnut Sourdough from Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes. This is the recipe I used quite a few times, with my own fruits and nuts adaptation. I have tried fig and hazelnuts, fig and almond, and this time cranberry and walnuts. Funny enough (or strange enough), I never made it with prune and hazelnut as the recipe suggested, maybe next time.

The recipe always delivers great result. It has 25% wholewheat flour, 5% butter and 12% of dried fruits and 12% of nuts (notes: all recipe percentage is measure against the total flour in the recipe, it's called Bread Baker's Percentage).

Cranberries and walnuts works well together. Dried cranberries added moisture, and slight sweet and sour taste to the bread, whereas walnuts added the crunch to the texture. We enjoyed the bread. It made nice fruit toast. It was also a nice change from golden raisin fruit toast to cranberry's. I also made orange butter to go with it. The butter was very easy to make and it added great flavour to fruit toast (and/or muffin).

Here is the recipe and a short note on my sourdough processes.

Recipe note:

1. I left the dough to autolyze for 30 minutes after initial mixing.
2. The dough (shaped loaves) was retarded overnight in the fridge.
3. I did one stretch and fold during 2 hours fermentation.
4. I have left the yeast out of the recipe as I retarded the dough overnight. But if you want to bake without retarding, you can add 1 teaspoon of instant yeast and bulk ferment the dough for 1 – 1.5 hrs.
5. Cranberries and nuts were incorporated into the dough after the dough was kneaded and medium gluten development was achieved.
6. The dough will be somewhat wet before cranberries and walnuts were added. Dried fruits and nuts will absorb some moisture from the dough after they were added.

Cranberry and Walnut Sourdough recipe
Adapted from Prunes and Hazelnut bread recipe From Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes

Make 2 large loaves

Overall Formula
Bread Baker Percentage %
Bread flour
680 g
Whole Wheat Flour
227 g
617 g
17 g
45 g
110 g
Dried cranberries
110 g
12 %
1806 g

Stiff Levain build
Bread flour 181 g
Water 113 g
Mature culture (liquid)  37 g
Final Dough
Bread flour 499 g
Whole-wheat flour  227 g
Water 504 g
Salt 17 g (1 tablespoon)
Butter 45 g, softened
Walnuts 110 g, chopped coarsely
Dried cranberries 110 g
Yeast 1 teaspoon, instant dry (omit this if you retard the dough overnight)
Stiff Levain all (less 37 g)  


Stiff-levain build: Make the final build 12 hours before the final mix.  Keep it in the covered container and stand at the room temperature.

Divide the starters into 10 pieces and sprinkle some flour over so that they are not stick to each other.

Stiff starter, starters got divided into pieces

Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except walnuts, cranberries and salt. Mix or stir the ingredients together until it becomes a dough ball. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or plastic bag and let it stand for an autolyse phase for 20 -60 minutes. The dough will be somewhat sticky. Dried cranberries will absorb the moisture once they are mixed through.

At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle salt over the surface of the dough and mix on a medium speed for 3 -5 minutes until the medium gluten development is achieved. I usually mix by hand and it takes about 15 -30 minutes depending on my speed on the day.

After gluten is developed, mix walnuts and cranberries into the dough on a low speed until they all combine.

Place dough in an oiled container and cover the bowl with plastic bag or cling wrap. Leave it for bulk fermentation 1 to 1 ½ hours or 2 hours if the dough is retarded overnight.

Folding: If the fermentation is 1 ½ hours, fold once after 45 minutes. If the fermentation is 2 hours, fold once after an hour.

Dividing and shaping: Divide the dough into two equal pieces, pre-shape the dough into round. Cover the dough with tea towel and let it rest for 15 minutes. Final-shape the dough into either oblong (batard)  or round (boule).

Final fermentation (proofing): Approximately 1 hour or retard the loaves in the fridge overnight. If you retard the loaves, omit the yeast in the recipe.

Baking: with normal steam at 235°C for 40 - 45 mins. Turn the temperature down to 225°C after 20 minutes. Turn the loaves half way through the bake for equal browning. (I retarded the dough and took it out in the morning. I then let it rest at room temperature for about an hour. In the meantime, I preheat the oven for about an hour to heat up the baking stone).

Crackling crust, it sings
This post is submitted to YeastSpotting.