The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Benito's blog

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Benito

This past winter I figured out my miscalculation on the salt content of my miso when I realized that I based the salt on the dry weight of the beans when in fact I needed to account on the hydrated weight.  This loaf achieves a nice mild yet distinct flavour of my homemade 1 year fermented red miso.  To balance the flavour I have added a small amount of my friend’s wild flower honey from their beehives.  Other than the addition of the honey, this is otherwise a lean bread since no fats were added.  The bread is lovely and soft with a fairly open crumb for this type of bread.  I did attempt to score it, but it was very very soft.  The resulting bloom actually almost appears to have occurred naturally.  I think the next time I will try this again and add some toasted sesame seed oil and see how that comes out.

Overall hydration about 82% when including the 18% water in honey

 

For 1 loaf in a 9x4x4” Pullman pan.

 

Build stiff levain, ferment at 74°F for 10 hours overnight.

Starter 6 g, water 23 g bread flour 39 g

 

Bread flour 262 g, Whole Wheat Flour 129 g, Water 304 g, all levain, hold back water 13 g, honey 26 g and Red Miso 54 g

 

In the morning, add miso and honey to the water and dissolve.  Then add the levain and break down the levain as well as you can.  Add both the flours and mix well until no dry bits are left. After 10 mins of rest start gluten development with slap and folds then gradually add the hold back water in several aliquots using Rubaud to fully incorporate the water well.  Alternatively you can use your standmixer to develop the dough and do the bassinage.  Bench letterfold, remove aliquot, then at 30 mins intervals do coil folds until good structure is achieved.

 

Once the dough has risen 40% then shape the dough into a batard and place in prepared pan.

 

Final proof the dough until it has reached 1 cm of the rim of the pan.  pre-heat oven at 425°F and prepare for steam bake.

 

Once oven reaches 425ºF score top of dough and then brush with water.  Transfer to oven and bake with steam for 25 mins.  Vent the oven (remove steaming gear) rotate the pan and drop temperature to 350ºF.  Bake for another 25-30 mins rotating as needed until browned.  Remove from the pan and place directly on the rack baking for another 5-10 mins to firm up the crust.

My index of bakes.

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Benito

Since my last two loaves were for family members I am low on bread again.  I toasted some walnuts and decided to combine it with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a loaf.  I love the flavor you get from the addition of nuts and seeds to bread.  For this loaf I baked it once the total rise was 140%.  I use an aliquot jar to measure this, a company called BillieOlive makes them.  I’ve doing testing of their aliquot jars for them and most recently, they made a new one that has markings to allow me to measure over 150% rise.  These are very useful.  This loaf is a touch over fermented, you can see that by the slight loss of definition of the four lobes.  I like to see more definition, so probably for this dough 130-135% rise is optimal.

For one 9x4x4” Pullman pan loaf.

 

Instructions

Levain

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76-78ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.

 

Tangzhong 

In a sauce pan set on medium heat, stir the milk and whole wheat flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until well thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.  Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as the tangzhong gelatinizes at this temperature.  You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate it, ensure that it is covered to prevent it from drying out.

 

If you plan on using a stand mixer to mix this dough, set up a Bain Marie and use your stand mixer’s bowl to prepare the tangzhong.

 

Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flours.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before adding in more butter.  Again, knead until well incorporated.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane, not quite as good as a white flour because the bran will interrupt the windowpane somewhat.  Add the nuts/seeds, then mix again until they are well distributed.

 

On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2 - 4 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.

 

You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.

 

Prepare your pans by greasing them with butter or line with parchment paper.  

 

Lightly oil the top of the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top and divide it into four. I like to weigh them to have equal sized lobes. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using an oiled rolling pin roll each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Letterfold again from the sides so you have a long narrow dough. Then using a rolling pin, roll flatter but keeping the dough relatively narrow.  The reason to do this extra letterfold is that the shorter fatter rolls when placed in the pan will not touch the sides of the pan.  This allows the swirled ends to rise during final proof, this is only done for appearance sake and is not necessary.  Next roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.

 

Cover and let proof for  4-6 hours at a warm temperature.  I proof at 82°F.  You will need longer than 4-6 hours if you chilled your dough for shaping. I proof until the top of the dough comes to within 1 cm of the top edge of the pan.

 

Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash.  Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.

 

Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190ºF, rotating as needed to get even browning. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. After 50 mins remove the bread from the pan and bake a further 10 mins by placing the loaf directly in the oven on the rack with the oven turned down to 325ºF.

My index of bakes.

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Benito

I decided to bake a second loaf today on a whim to bring with us on our visit to my inlaws.  I didn’t plan ahead so an instant dry yeast leavened loaf was the only thing to do.  I had a bottle of pesto in my cupboard that has been staring at me every time I opened the cupboard so decided to do this laminated bread which I gave a fancy name even though it isn’t all that fancy to make, although it looks it.

Ingredients

3¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons (422 grams)

all-purpose flour, divided

1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar

1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast

6 g salt

1 cup (240 grams) whole milk 

¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs (100 grams

 

Pesto - I used store bought, 212 mL.

 

Directions

  1. In a small pot add milk and butter.  Using medium heat, warm the milk to melt the butter.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted add the milk/butter mixture.  Once cool to warm room temperature, add eggs, salt, sugar and IDY.  Add flour and mix until there is no dry flour.  Fermentolyse for 5-10 mins.
  3. Knead using the standmixer until there is good gluten development.  Using my Ankarsrum Assistent this took about 4 mins.
  4. Transfer the dough to a damp countertop and do a letter fold, then tighten the dough into a tight ball.  Place the dough into a bowl and allow the dough to double, about 40-60 mins.
  5. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Punch down the dough.  Release the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured countertop.  Divid the dough into four approximately equal pieces.  Snape each quarter into a tight boule.  Cover and rest for 10-15 mins.
  7. Roll 1 boule into an 11” circle.  Transfer to the parchment paper lined cookie tray.  Spoon then brush about ⅓ of the pesto onto the dough circle leaving a ½” border.
  8. Repeat #7 for two more boules of dough stacking each on top of the previously pesto covered circle before adding and spreading the pesto.
  9. Roll the final boule again into an 11” circle and stack this on top as well.
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F bake.
  11. Place a 1.5” round cutter in the center of the dough circle pressing lightly to leave an impression but not cutting through the dough.
  12. Using a long knife or pizza cutter make 16 equally spaced cuts from the outside edge to the center circular impression.
  13. Twist each piece of dough in alternating directions 3 to 4 times.  Pinch adjacent pairs of twisted dough together at the ends to form points.
  14. Cover and allow to double in size about 30 to 45 mins.
  15. Just before baking, brush with egg and milk wash.  Optionally sprinkle sesame seeds in the center circle.
  16. Bake for on baking steel lowest rack.  18 mins until golden brown.   After  18 mins moved up to the middle rack to completely bake and become golden brown.
  17. Allow to cool, enjoy.

My index of bakes.

 

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Benito

We are heading to my in-laws house this long weekend for a visit.  I wanted to bring bread because when we had our vacation from our vacation in Florida with them this past winter I didn’t have time to bake bread for them.  I still had some mashed purple sweet potato in the freezer from my stash last year so decided that this might be a good use of 100 g of it.  The only change from this bread from my previous bake is the addition of smoked paprika.  I was going to add cinnamon but wanted the bread to be more savory than sweet.  I love adding smoked paprika to sweet potatoes when I roast them so I figured this would work well.

For one 9x4x4” Pullman pan loaf.

 

Purple Sweet Potato Filling

100 g mashed sweet potato

12 g granulated sugar

1 tsp (1 g) smoked paprika

12 g flour

Mix together and set aside.

 

Egg/milk wash: 1 yolk and 1 tbsp milk, beaten

 

Instructions

Levain

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76-78ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.

Tangzhong 

In a sauce pan set on medium heat, stir the milk and whole wheat flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until well thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.  Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as the tangzhong gelatinizes at this temperature.  You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate it, ensure that it is covered to prevent it from drying out.

 

If you plan on using a stand mixer to mix this dough, set up a Bain Marie and use your stand mixer’s bowl to prepare the tangzhong.

 

Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flours.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before adding in more butter.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane.

 

On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2 - 4 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.

 

Butter a large baking pan.  Punch the dough down and then divide into 2 equal portions.  Form each into tight boules.  Stretch and then roll each piece of dough into a large rectangle, approximately equal sizes.  Spread the prepared purple sweet potato filling evenly over one of of the rectangles of dough leaving about 1cm at the edge of dough without mashed potato.  Place the other rectangle of dough onto the other sandwiching the sweet potato between them.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out a bit more aiming for more than 12” in length and just under 9” in width.  

 

Using a ruler and pizza cutter, cut the dough into evenly wide strips about 1.5-2 cm wide along the length of the dough but leaving about 2-4 cm of dough uncut at the end furthest away from you.  When all the strips are cut, twist the strips in alternating directions, clockwise and then counter clockwise.  Once all the strips are twisted, roll the whole thing into a log starting furthest away from you getting a nice tight roll at the start.  Transfer the dough into your prepared pullman pan with the seam side down.

 

Place in the buttered baking pan seem side down.  Cover them and allow them to fully proof until the top of the dough reaches within 1 cm of the rim of the pan.

 

When there is about 30 mins left of proofing time, prepare your egg and milk wash and then brush the top of the loaf.

 

About 30 mins prior to end of final proof preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Immediately prior to baking brush the dough again with the egg and milk mixture.

 

Bake the bread for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190F. Cover if your loaf gets brown early in the baking process.

 

Remove the bread from the pan and return to the oven baking directly on the rack if the sides of the loaf aren’t yet crisp baking for another 5-10 mins.  Cool on a rack, enjoy.

I hope I remember to get photos of the crumb tomorrow.

My index of bakes.

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Benito

I wanted to bake something today that wasn’t too involved and didn’t plan for a bread.  I looked through my recipes that I have saved on my iPad and decided to make this zucchini cake.  The zucchini isn’t something that you’ll taste, but it adds fibre and liquid to the batter since you do not dry it out after grating it.  I love chocolate so the chocolate chips interested me.  finally, I still had some cream cheese in the fridge from my last cake that called for it so it was easy to decide on this cake.

The cake is lovely and moist with hints of cinnamon and flavourful chocolate chips.  The icing might be the star.  I sometimes find cream cheese frosting overbearing, but this frosting is delightful.  The addition of whipping cream to it makes it much lighter yet it still has that cream cheese tang.  The part that took the longest was waiting for the cake to cool to frost it.  This cake is a great way to use up from excess zucchini from your garden or the store.

Ingredients

2¼ cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt 

3/4 teaspoon (3.75 grams) baking soda teaspoon (1 gram) 

1/2 ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking powder

1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar (I used only 1 cup)

1/2 cup (112 grams) neutral oil

1/4 cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar 

2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature 

1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract 

2 cups (319 grams) shredded unpeeled zucchini (about 2 large zucchini)

3/4 cup (128 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined; whisk in zucchini. Gradually stir in flour mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in chocolate until mixture is well combined. Spread batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on a kitchen towel-lined counter a few times to spread batter.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Spread Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting onto cooled cake. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

 

WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Makes 2 cups

113 grams cream cheese, softened 

1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners' sugar 

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract 

1 cup (240 grams) cold heavy whipping cream

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beating until combined; scrape bottom and sides of bowl and whisk. With mixer on medium-high speed, slowly add cold cream, beating until stiff peaks form, stopping to scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Use immediately.

My index of bakes.

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Benito

We are having a mediterranean fish stew tonight for dinner and leftovers tomorrow so I decided to bake these spelt sourdough baguettes, which I haven’t done for almost 2 years.  Since I baked them last I’ve made some changes to how I develop the dough.  I now use my Ankarsrum Assistent which I find is as gentle as hand developing dough and I do much more gluten development than I used to.  The idea is that if I develop the gluten more than I used to, the dough should be able to be fermented for a longer time allowing better flavour development.  Where I used to aim for 30-35% total dough rise as the time to bake, I am now aiming for around 60-65%.  I am hoping that the spelt at 9% will allow a nicely open crumb.  I was video recording my scoring, when I knocked my iphone onto one of the unescorted baguettes causing quite the deep dent.

Overnight levain

Built and fermented at 76°F to be ready in 10-12 hours.

 

Fermentolyse - mix 356 g water with all the levain, salt 10 g and diastatic malt 5.3 g to dissolve, then add AP flour to combine.  Slap and fold x 100 then add hold back water 27 g gradually working in until fully absorbed then slap and fold x 100.

 

Bulk Fermentation 82*F until aliquot jar shows 20% rise.

Do folds every 30 mins doing 2-3 folds

Could do cold retard at this point for  up to overnight. (Aliquot jar 20% rise)

 

Divide and pre-shape rest for 15 mins

Use spelt flour for couche

Shape en couche with final proof until aliquot jar shows 60% rise then cold retard shaped baguettes en couche for at least 15 minutes for easier scoring. 

 

Pre-heat oven 500*F after 30 mins add Silvia towel

Transfer to peel on parchment

Score each baguette and transfer to oven and bake on steel.

 

Bake with steam pouring 1 cup of boiling water to cast iron skillet dropping temperature to 480*F 

The baguettes are baked with steam for 9 mins.  Decrease the temperature to 450°F and continue to bake with steam for another 4 mins.  The steam equipment is removed venting the oven of steam.  The oven is left at 450ºF but convection is turned on and the baguettes bake for 8 mins rotating them halfway.  The oven temperature is then dropped to 375ºF and the baguettes rotated again if needed and baked for another 3-5 mins to achieve a rich colour crust.

 

My index of bakes

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Benito

I hadn’t baked a cake in quite sometime and wanted something to share with the staff of our building.  I had this saved from quite sometime ago and never made it so it was overdue.

I unfortunately forgot to take a photo of the crumb.  It was nicely studded with the orange zest and was a lovely yellow colour.  I loved the orange glaze, it was thin and crisp and really enhanced the eating of this loaf.  It had wonderful orange flavour with hints of cardamom.  Cardamom is pretty citrusy so it really goes well with orange.

Ingredients for 1 loaf 

1.5 cups (187.5 g) AP flour

250 g granulated sugar (used 225 g and can be reduced even more try 200 g next time)

2.25 g kosher salt

3.75 g baking powder

1 tsp ground cardamom

180 g whole milk

112 g vegetable oil

75 g eggs (1.5)

1 tablespoons orange zest from one orange

3/4 tsp (3 g) vanilla extract

 

 

Instructions 

  1.   Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a (8/x 4/2-inch) loaf pan.
  2.   In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cardamom; make a well in center of mixture. Add milk, oil, eggs, zest, and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Pour batter int prepared pan.
  3.   Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Drizzle with Orange Glaze.

 

ORANGE GLAZE

 

For 1 loaf

120 g icing sugar

1 tsp orange zest

40 g fresh orange juice 

 

This turned out to be far too much glaze, half as much would be plenty.

 

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately.

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Benito

I continue to tweak my bakes even if the formula largely stays the same.  In the case of my SD baguettes, I have gradually (very slowly since I don’t bake baguettes all that often) been working on the idea that with greater gluten development I can allow more fermentation.  When we did the baguette community bake ages ago we came to the conclusion that less gluten development and less overall fermentation gave us a great baguette with open crumb and good ears/grigne.  In fact, back then I believe it would try to get the baguettes baked once the overall rise from the time the levain was added to baking was only 30%.  Now I have been inching up the overall rise at time of bake.  I now more fully develop the gluten and for this bake targeted 60% rise in the dough.  This happened to correspond to a pH drop of 1.05.  Based on the good ears/grigne that this bake achieved I think I could still push further.

I also finally trimmed the excess metal off the razor blade I use to score.  I can’t believe I hadn’t done this before.  This greatly reduces the drag through the dough as you score giving you much cleaner scores.  Should have done this ages ago but better late than never.

Overnight Levain build ferment 75°F 10-12 hours

78°F 9 hours to peak

 

In the morning, to your mixing bowl add  water and diastatic malt  to dissolve, then add levain.  Use your spatula to cut the levain into small pieces.  Next add AP flour and mix to combine.  Allow to fermentolyse for 10 mins.  Slap and fold x 100 then add salt and hold back water gradually working in until fully absorbed by massaging and then Rubaud kneading the dough, then slap and fold x 200.  Can also use your stand mixer.

 

Bulk Fermentation 82*F until aliquot jar shows 20% rise.

Do folds every 20 mins doing 3 folds

Could do cold retard at this point for up to overnight. (Aliquot jar 20% rise)

 

Divide and pre-shape rest for 15 mins

Shape en couche with final proof until aliquot jar shows 60% rise then (optional) cold retard shaped baguettes en couche for at least 15 minutes for easier scoring.  I often do this for convenience as the oven is pre-heating.

 

Pre-heat oven 500*F after 30 mins add Silvia towel in pan with boiling water.

Transfer baguettes from couche to peel on parchment

Score each baguette and transfer to oven, bake on steel.

Bake with steam pouring 1 cup of boiling water to cast iron skillet dropping temperature to 480*F. 

The baguettes are baked with steam for 13 mins.  The steam equipment is removed venting the oven of steam.  Transfer the baguettes from the baking steel to next rack completing baking directly on a rack to minimize the browning and thickening of the bottom crust.  The oven is dropped to 450ºF but convection is turned on and the baguettes bake for 10 mins rotating them halfway.  The baguettes are rotated again if needed and baked for another 3 mins to achieve a rich colour crust.

My index of bakes.

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Benito

I had just enough potato flakes to use at 12% so decided to use it up for this bake.  Once again, I didn’t make a tangzhong by cooking the potato flakes with milk, but in theory, you do not need to do that when using these dehydrated flakes.  Although the potatoes are dehydrated, the starches in them are already gelatinized so once they hydrate should give you the benefits of a tangzhong without the extra step.  I did find this to be the case as this bread is very soft and keeps from getting stale quite a while.

One thing which is a negative I believe of this particular preparation is that the dough seems to be weaker than what I am used to for my milk breads.  You can see more tearing as the sides and at the top which I seldom get even when I add mashed potatoes and make a tangzhong, which in theory would be an even weaker dough.

For one 9x4x4” Pullman pan loaf.

 

Instructions

Levain

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76-78ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.

 

Tangzhong 

Because the starches are pre-gelatinized in the potato flakes despite them being dehydrated, you do not need to prepare a tangzhong.  Instead, add the dry potato flakes along with your flour.

 

Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flour and the potato flakes.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before adding in more butter.  Again, knead until well incorporated.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane, not quite as good as a white flour because the bran will interrupt the windowpane somewhat.  Add the seeds, then mix again until they are well distributed.

 

On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2 - 4 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.

 

You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.

 

Prepare your pans by greasing them with butter or line with parchment paper.  

 

Lightly oil the top of the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top and divide it into four. I like to weigh them to have equal sized lobes. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using an oiled rolling pin roll each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Letterfold again from the sides so you have a long narrow dough. Then using a rolling pin, roll flatter but keeping the dough relatively narrow.  The reason to do this extra letterfold is that the shorter fatter rolls when placed in the pan will not touch the sides of the pan.  This allows the swirled ends to rise during final proof, this is only done for appearance sake and is not necessary.  Next roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.

 

Cover and let proof for  4-6 hours at a warm temperature.  I proof at 82°F.  You will need longer than 4-6 hours if you chilled your dough for shaping. I proof until the top of the dough comes to within 1 cm of the top edge of the pan.

 

Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash.  Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.

 

Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190ºF, rotating as needed to get even browning. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. After 50 mins remove the bread from the pan and bake a further 10 mins by placing the loaf directly in the oven on the rack with the oven turned down to 325ºF

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Benito

I thought I’d try something a bit different both in the dough as well as the shaping for these buns.  We are going to have fish burgers tonight so wanted buns for them.  The braiding was somewhat successful but could be better since this was my first time trying this.  A slightly lower hydration would have helped this immensely, but ensuring a bit more flour on the dough when making the knots.  The excess hydration was due to the egg being 11 g too heavy.  Next time I’d beat the egg and then add the correct amount.  But overall I’m pretty happy with this first attempt.  They are almost like kaiser rolls with their five lobes.  The grey tone to the buns are related to the ground black sesame I’ve added to the dough. As you might know I love black sesame flavour so why not amp it up by have it ground into the dough in addition to on the buns.

To make 50 g of ground black sesame add 7.1 g sugar and 42.9 g of black sesames to a grinder and grind until a paste develops.  Can make extra but use about 6:1 ratio of toasted black sesame seeds to sugar since black sesame has a drying effect in the mouth that the small amount of sugar can balance out.

 

egg wash: 1 yolk, 1 tbsp milk and a pinch of salt, beaten…

 

Instructions

Levain

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this stiff  sweet levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.

 

Tangzhong 

In a sauce pan set on medium heat, stir the milk and flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until well thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.  Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as the tangzhong gelatinizes at this temperature.  You can prepare this the night before and refrigerate it, ensure that it is covered to prevent it from drying out.

 

Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flour, I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 15 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next drizzle in the melted butter a little at a time, or alternatively add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  Slow the mixer down to avoid splashing the butter at you. The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before drizzling or adding in more butter.  Once all the butter has been added and incorporated increase the speed gradually to medium.  Add the mashed potatoes and ground sesame seeds gradually.  Mix at medium speed until the gluten is well developed, approximately 10 mins.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane.

On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2.5-3.5 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.

 

You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.

 

Line a large cookie tray with parchment paper.  Punch the dough down and then divide into 6 equal portions.  Form each into tight boules.  To shape, roll into a flat long oval with a rolling pin.  Roll into a tight tube of at least 12” length.  You may have to give the dough a rest if it contracts.  Tie into a knot, then knot again and pinch the ends together.  Place on a parchment lined cookie tray pinched side down.  Cover them and allow them to fully proof about 4-6 hours, they should pass the poke test.

 

After about 30 mins of proofing time, whisk your remaining egg and milk and then brush the small boules.

 

About 30 mins prior to end of final proof preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Immediately prior to baking brush the dough again with the egg and milk mixture.  Top with sesame seeds.

 

Bake the buns uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190F. Cover if your rolls get brown early in the baking process.

 

Remove the buns from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

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