Saturday, February 12, 2011

SFBI's miche

I have made this bread three times so far. Each time I threw in a different technique to see if I could get a better loaf than the previous one. I'll continue to make tweaking as I'm still trying to tackle the temperature issue. The following are some notes about the process:

SFBI's miche: source from David on forum

Take #1

I didn't follow the starter built-up but used my own usual starter built up. So the flour composition and the hydration are deviated from the formula. Here are my steps:

  1. 4 folds at 50 mins interval
  2. shaped and proofed in room temperature for about half an hour, then retarded the dough in the fridge for about 18 hours (9am-3pm)
  3. after pre-heating the oven to 500C, I put the dough in the oven straight from the fridge
  4. turned the temp. down to 450C, baked for 20 mins
  5. turned the temp. down to 430C in convection mode for 40 mins
  6. took the loaf straight out from the oven

The bread looked burnt and charred. The sung beautifully. Crack was found around the loaf. After 3 1/2 hours of cooling, I could no longer wait more. The loaf was still a touch warm, and when I cut it, the crust was really crisp and bits of crust were flying all over the place. The crumb was amazing, with transluscent cell structure. Very chewy and flavourful.

Take #2
Baked in dutch oven

In this attempt, I did follow the starter build-up schedule. However, I don't think the end result is active enough to give the loaf a nice rise in the oven. Anyway, here are the steps:

4 folds at 50 mins interval
shaped and retarded in fridge right away (9pm-2pm)
took the dough out from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours
after the oven has reached 500c, took the dutch oven out, put pie weight in it, then laid the dough into the dutch oven
baked for 20mins at 450, then removed the lid, baked in convection mode for 38mins in 430C

I'm not sure if it is the starter or the limited size of the dutch oven, the ovenspring wasn't as nice as my first attempt.

Take 3:
I decided to use my own starter build-up. Returned to the bold bake method. A successful loaf. Forgot to take pictures.

Take 4:
In this attempt, I changed my stretch and fold style to stretching the dough to a big rectangle first, then do the envelop fold (thanks to Mark Sinclair's video). This results in a very gas_sy dough. By the end of the 4th fold, the dough is loaded with large bubble on the surface but the gas is trapped in the cellular structure. I decided to retard it in the fridge right away. No need to proof in room temperature before or after.

Due to my work schedule, the dough ended up in the fridge from 11pm to 10.20pm. I took the dough out from the fridge and loaded it in the pre-heated oven right away. Same timing and temperature.

This time, the dough has an amazing ovenspring, the best of my 4 takes. Unfortunately, it also has the most burnt flavour from the crust.

My next attempt will be to create the same lovely ovenspring and crumb texture but not the charred crust. I have to tackle two big factors: temperature and timing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Leader's Olive Cheeks

The recipe is from Daniel Leader's Local Breads p. 179. Though the recipe asks for black olives. I only have some green olives sitting in the fridge. The green olives doesn't really contribute much colour to the bread.

Even though I have followed the method in the book, the rolls never really doubled in volume after the fermentation period. After retarding the rolls in the fridge overnight, I took them out and let them sat in room temperature for a couple of hours. However, their size remained more or less the same. The finished product wasn't as impressive as the one in the book.

If you like olives bread, you'll enjoy this bread, and it tastes particularly wonderful if you eat it within a couple of hours. Little rolls don't keep well like the huge sourdough batard or miche that I usually make.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Leader's Whole Wheat Miche

This Whole Wheat Sourdough Miche is based on the formula in Dan Leader's book, the Local Breads.

However, I have made several tweaks:
- levain built is based on a 45g starter, 50g water, 95g white flour and 5g ww flour (this is the levain built for his other sourdough Pain Au Levain recipe)
- I did 2 Stretch and Fold at one hour interval
- after proofing for about 3 hours, I put the dough in the Le Creuset saucer pan (which has been pre-heating in a 505F oven) and covered it with a stainless bowl. The bowl was removed after the first 20 minutes of baking
- baked for 42 mins (40 min should have been ok). Then turned off the oven and let the bread sat there for 10 mins

After the bread had been cooling for about 3 hours, at around 9pm, I couldn't help but decided to cut a slice and give it a taste. The bread was quite ordinary. The crumb was really closed and evenly distributed. I guess I should cut down the kneading time. Also, the flavour was rather ordinary. Maybe I got used to the flavour of a long retardation? Ok, I'll let the dough proof in a cooler temperature for a longer period of time in my second try.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jason's ciabatta (using yeast)

I have been busy baking, making sourdough bread and all. I guess I should really start updating my baking activity on this blog...

So Mark has invited some friends over for a New Year dinner and he asked me to make some bread as appy. Since we'll be dipping the bread in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, I'll have to make the kind of bread that is good for dipping, i.e. ciabatta!

Generally speaking, ciabatta is a yeast based bread. Some will use a pre-fement like a biga. Some sourdough die-hard will subsititue the yeast part with sourdough starter. Since I need to make a no fail bread for guests, I decided to follow a ciabatta recipe that was posted on the fresh loaf forum:

This recipe has been receiving rave reviews by many users. I have heard about this post for quite a while, but never got a chance to give it a try (my preference is still making sourdough bread). Now will be the time.

Ciabatta is a wet dough, and the high hydration content has contributed to the big holes and open crumb. Yes, I am aware that the dough will be very slack, but I didn't expect that it wouldl be so slacky that it was almost impossible to shape it into a form. The dough simply kept spreading on my brand new marble board (my X'mas present!). I was so relieved when I finally pushed them into the oven.

The taste was amazing. I have no regret. Will I make it again? Possible not. I'll try out some other ciabatta recipes.