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.