Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cumin something something rye

My cupboard is beginning to be a bit cluttered with half-used bags of flour, so I'll probably be doing a few mixed-grain breads. I don't think I'd decided on that when I started this weekend's bread-making yesterday. In the morning I mixed up a sponge or biga as you please of 300g strong white flour and 300g liquid, including sugar and dried yeast. Partly because of other commitments, I decided to go for a long cold rise, so simply mixed the flour and liquid with a wooden spoon and put it in the fridge for 24 hours.

This morning I split the dough into two portions.

1. I added 100g of wholemeal spelt, salt and kneaded well. At this point I decided to give the dough two rises, so put it back into the fridge.

2. I added 50g rye flour and 50g strong wholemeal, and two teaspoons of cumin seeds. And salt. And similarly kneaded, and put into the fridge.

At 1500 I took the doughs out of the fridge and made a bloomer shape of the spelt mix, and four rolls of the cumin dough.

At 1615 into the oven at a bit under 200C (as I discovered when I used the oven thermometer after about 20 minutes) for 45 minutes.

I haven't tasted the spelt loaf yet, but the cumin rolls are really nice. The mix of flours alone gives an interesting taste, but what really makes the cumin come alive is eating it with cheddar cheese. I think the taste might be too much on its own, though, even though the amount I used is quite subtle.

I suppose one of the things you learn as you go on is that you need to tailor your bread to the way it's going to be eaten, even when you're only thinking about basic whitish sandwich bread.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Potato water bread

I've seen this advice several times: use water in which you've boiled potatoes as the liquid in your dough. I guess it's the vitamin C that leaches out of the spuds that is the trick, so after I made some mash yesterday, I drained off the cooking water, and kept it overnight in my super new fridge.

And this morning I'm trying it out in a fairly basic bread.

450g strong white flour
50 wholemeal rye flour
330g liquid inc 1.5 tps dried yeast and a tsp of honey
I pinch of salt

All mixed together at 1010, left to autolyse for 20 minutes, then kneaded. I don't know if this is recommended, but I've recently found that keeping your hands wet helps keep them clean while kneading. It probably adds a little water to the dough too, which is no bad thing. It's now rising in a fairly cool kitchen. (I'm using larger quantities these days, you may notice, as I'm now generally freezing half the bread I make - it's simply more efficient to do that. Oh, did I mention I now have a freezer?)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Smoked bread

Trying something new: Bacheldre's Oak-Smoked Organic Malted Flour. No idea what this will be like, so I'm starting with a basic procedure.

400g flour
5g rapeseed oil
300g liquid, inc tsp honey & tsp dried yeast

Mixed together at 1015. Autolyse of 20 mins, then hand-kneaded. Nice feel to the dough, and then left at kitchen temperature to rise.

Knocked back at 1200, and formed into two small boules. Oven at 1250, 210C, for 35 minutes. (I used a baking tray for this, which has cooked the bottom of the loaves quite strongly. )

The bread's a nice granary style taste, and the smoked flavour is, thankfully, quite subtle. I think I probably should have added more salt. But served with salted butter, it's very nice.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rye bread

I've terminated Joe the Dough. There was no sign of yeast taking hold of it, and I didn't really want to keep a bacteria factory running.

In contrition, I'm trying my hand at rye bread. The main reason being that I bought rye flour to line the banneton, and it might be worth trying.

150g strong white flour
150g wholemeal rye flour
200g liquid (inc a full tsp of dried yeast)

All mixed up at 1530. The dough is heavy, and this will be a chewy bread, I feel fairly sure.