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2022 July 24

Pain de Campange encore

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 13:40
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I’m trying the pain de campagne recipe again (last time was posted as Pain de Campange), but using “poolish” (the wetter pre-ferment) rather than a “biga”.  I’m also using whole-wheat flour instead of rye for the flavoring (and increasing the amount of non-white flour), increasing the salt, and kneading for much longer.

Poolish:

2½ cups bread flour (319g)
½ teaspoon instant yeast (1.5g)
1½ cup water (340g)

Mix and let rise for about 6 hours (longer than the book suggests, but I wanted more flavor).  Refrigerate overnight.

To the poolish add

1 cup bread flour (130g)
1 cup whole-wheat flour (130g)
1 teaspoon yeast (3g)
2 teaspoon salt (14g) 
⅓ cup water (76g)

Mix for 2–3 minutes with dough hook on low speed. Dough should gather into ball, but be soft and pliable.  Increase mixer speed and knead for 10 minutes. (Lowering the bowl occasionally helps clear the dough off the hook.)

Knead by hand for about 5 minutes, adding bread flour as needed.  

Return to oiled bowl and cover again with plastic.

Let rise for 30 minutes, then stretch and fold to incorporate air.

Let rise for another 30 minutes, then stretch and fold to incorporate air.

Let rise for another 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.

Split dough in half and shape the bread into two boules (without degassing it, if possible) on baking parchment, oil lightly, cover with plastic, and let it rise for another hour until it rises to about 1.5 times as big.

Preheat oven to 500°F with a pan at the bottom of the oven to pour water into to make steam.

When the bread is put in the oven, pour a cup of water into the steam pan.  Repeat the steaming (with smaller quantities of water) every 30 seconds for about 2 minutes, then turn down the oven to 450°F and bake about 25–30 minutes (depending on the shape).  Loaves should be be 200°F–205°F in the center and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

The bread came out looking good with a very crunchy crust, but even with the longer kneading, I’m still not getting the very open texture I was hoping for. The flavor was ok, but not as rich as a bread with more whole-wheat flour or sourdough.

 

2022 July 10

Pain de Campange

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 16:18
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A few weeks ago, I tried a recipe from the book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which my students had given me when I retired.  I did not blog about the loaf at the time, as I’ve been feeling a bit lazy about maintaining the blog.  I decided to try the recipe (slightly adapted, but closer to the book than last time) again this weekend.

Like many of the recipes in the book, the pain de campagne starts with a pre-ferment.  The book calls for using existing dough, but I’ll be using a “biga”—the drier of the two pre-ferments the book uses. (Last time I used a “poolish”, which is the wetter pre-ferment.)

Biga:

2⅔ cups bread flour (340g)
½ teaspoon instant yeast (1.5g)
1 cup water (227g)

Mix together to form a slightly stick ball. Then knead for 3–4 minutes “until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky, but not sticky.”  I’m not sure what “tacky but not sticky” means, as the two words are almost synonymous for me. Even after 5 minutes of kneading with a dough hook, the dough was still very sticky, so I kneaded by hand with some additional bread flour (unmeasured, but probably about 20g).

Ferment in oiled bowl covered with plastic for about 2 hours (to about 1.5 times the initial size).  Knead dough to degas it, then return it to the bowl and refrigerate overnight. The author, Peter Reinhart, seems to be very fond of “overnight retarding to bring out more flavor”.

Remove the biga from the refrigerator an hour before making the bread and cut it into about 10 pieces.

Put biga pieces in mixing bowl with

1⅓ cup bread flour (170g)
⅓ cup rye flour (42g)
1 teaspoon yeast (3g)
¾ teaspoon salt (5.5g) (doesn’t seem to be enough—double to 1½ teaspoons (11g))
⅝ cup water (140g)

Mix for two minutes with dough hook on low speed. Dough should gather into ball, but be soft and pliable.

Knead for about 6 minutes, adding bread flour as needed.  A small piece of dough should be stretchable into a translucent membrane.

Return to oiled bowl and cover again with plastic.

Let rise for 30 minutes, then stretch and fold to incorporate air.

Let rise for another 30 minutes, then stretch and fold to incorporate air.

Let rise for another 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.

Split dough in half and shape the bread (without degassing it, if possible) on baking parchment, oil lightly, cover with plastic, and let it rise for another hour until it rises to about 1.5 times as big.

Preheat oven to 500°F with a pan at the bottom of the oven to pour water into to make steam.

When the bread is put in the oven, pour a cup of water into the steam pan.  Repeat the steaming (with smaller quantities of water) every 30 seconds for about 2 minutes, then turn down the oven to 450°F and bake about 25–30 minutes (depending on the shape).  Loaves should be be 200°F–205°F in the center and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

The bread looks fine and has a good crust, but the crumb is not as open as I’d like, and I think that the bread needs a bit more salt (perhaps double the amount in the recipe).

pain-de-campagne

One of the loaves, showing the gold-brown crust.

pain-de-campagne-sliced

Both loaves, one sliced to show the crumb.

2022 April 2

Another Sourdough Whole-Wheat and Rye Bread

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:45
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I decided to make a whole-wheat sourdough bread this week, just for use at home, as bread-and-tea is once again in person, using the bread machine. This recipe is loosely based on the Bread-machine bread without the bread machine, but starting with a sourdough starter.  My sourdough starter is roughly equal parts water and flour by volume.

Mix

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup water

Let this age for a day (covered with a cloth).  Set aside one cup in the refrigerator for future sourdough baking. To what is left add

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ cup rye flour

Knead with a dough hook until not too sticky, then knead until smooth on a well-floured board, incorporating another

  • ¼ cup more rye flour

to get an elastic, smooth dough. Let rise in an oiled  bowl overnight.

Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on baking parchment.  Let the dough rise until doubled again (another 4 hours).

Beat one egg, and brush the beaten egg onto loaf, slash the top of the loaf, and bake at 375°F for about 50 minutes (interior temperature 191°F), brushing with egg every 10 minutes, and rotating loaf in oven after about 20 minutes.

rye-bread-2-apr-2022

The loaf rose well, and the slash opened up nicely.

After cutting a slice, I found that the crumb was much too moist and dense—as if the bread had not been baked long enough. I wrapped the cut ends with aluminum foil and put the bread back into the oven for another 25 minutes, for 5 minutes of which the oven was coming back up to temperature.

2022 January 27

Mixer-bowl bread again

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 16:46
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Once again I’m trying a bread baked in the bowl for our KitchenAid mixer, similar to Mixer-bowl bread.

On Wednesday I made a sponge using

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water

I let it rise for a day, and Thursday morning I took out one cup of the sponge to refrigerate for future sourdough.  I then added

1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (Droste)
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup warm water.

While mixing with the dough hook, I gradually added

3 cups whole-wheat flour

The dough was quite dry this time. I turned the dough out onto a counter floured with whole-wheat flour and kneaded by hand for a couple of minutes, keeping the dough lightly floured though there really was no danger of it sticking.  This used another

⅛ cup whole-wheat flour

and resulted in a fairly stiff dough.  I put it in a mixing bowl (not the one from the mixer) with a little olive oil and turned it to coat the ball of dough with oil.  I’ll let it rise for about 20 hours with a damp cloth covering the bowl.

Friday morning, I’ll grease the bowl of the KitchenAid mixer with

cocoanut oil

and turn the dough into the mixer bowl.

Let it rise in the new bowl for 6 hours. Bake at 400°F for about an hour Unitli the center of the loaf is about 150°F), then remove from bowl and bake on tiles for another 20 minutes (until the center of the loaf is around 193°F).

Here is the finished loaf (much smaller than previous mixer-bowl loaves, probably because of the stiffer dough):

Mixer-bowl-loaf

2022 January 20

Red bean paste buns again

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:08
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For this week’s bread-and-tea I want to make bean-paste bao again.  I already posted the recipe I used for making the koshi-an (sweet red-bean paste) and a recipe for the bao dough, so this post will just have an updated recipe for the dough.

I made the koshi-an tonight, and it looks and tastes like it should, though the azuki beans are probably getting dried out, as it took about 8 hours of simmering to get them soft enough to push through the food mill.  I’m always amazed how the bean paste looks so grey and crumbly after the water is squeezed out, and adding the sugar makes it even paler and drier-looking, but heating and stirring makes it shine with the lovely red-bean-paste color.

For the bao, I am still adapting the recipe from Mai Leung’s Dim Sum and Other Chinese Street Food. I don’t have cake flour or pastry flour in the house, but I do have all-purpose flour. I did once try cutting all-purpose flour with sweet rice flour, but the results were terrible, so this time I’ll just try using straight al-purpose flour.

Furthermore, our household has gone vegan for January (veganuary), so I won’t use lard or butter.  I have a choice of a vegetable shortening made from red palm oil and coconut oil or pure coconut oil. Since I think that the palm oil has worse ecological impact than coconut oil, I’ll try the pure coconut oil this time.  It shouldn’t matter if it imparts a bit of coconut flavor to the dough, since I’m using a sweet filling.

Step 1:

1 tsp yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
½ cup sifted all-purpose flour

Mix together and proof for fifteen minutes.

Step 2:

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup warm water

Mix with the sponge from step 1 and let rise for 2 hours (until doubled).

Step 3:

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ cup slightly warm water

In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour and baking powder, then knead with the dough from Step 2, gradually adding the coconut oil and water. The dough was very dry, so I added an extra two teaspoons of water.  The dough was still rather dry, but seemed kneadable. 

Roll the dough into a sausage shape about 1½ inches in diameter, cut into 12 equal pieces and roll each one into a ball. Keep covered with a damp towel. Let rise until more than doubled (about 3.5 hours). I did the rising after the rolling into balls, rather than before, this time.

Cut 12 3-inch squares of waxed paper.  Roll each ball into a circle about 2½ inches in diameter, but no thinner than ¼” thick. (Using my cookie sticks!) Pinch the outer edges to be a little thinner. Wet the outermost ½” of edges of the circle with a wet fingertip, to encourage sealing.

Put about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the circle, then pull up the edges and pinch and twist them to seal. Put the bun flat-side-down on a waxed paper square. Let the buns rise for 30 minutes before steaming.

Keep the buns at least ½ inch apart in the steamer, and steam for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Steamed buns can be frozen and thawed, then re-steamed.

21 Jan 2022: Here are the photos of the bao that I promised yesterday—about 5 of the 12 seem to have sealed ok, so I need to either make the dough wetter or do something to improve my technique. (Colored text above are modifications to the post since yesterday.)

12-bao-in-steamer

The 12 bao in the bamboo steamer.

5-bao-on-plate

The five that did not open up too much on a black platter.

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