Monday, April 16, 2012

Corn Rye Rounds: Pane di Mais

It's hard to believe that I have not touched a serrated knife in over eight days. Nor have I touched a morsel of bread in over a week.  It is good to be back in the world of crust, crumb and everything yum. This past week was Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the Hebrews freedom from slavery. In Judaism, the eating of bread is not allowed during Passover. You can read all about Passover on the inter-web, I am positive there are thousands of blogs on this topic, but I want to focus on something a bit more delicious: bread! (Finally)

The truth is that I am not going to be able to taste this bread for three hours or so, but I am going to write about it none-the-less. I will comment on the final quality of the loaf tomorrow or during the week. I have also been faithfully listening to the Grateful Dead all week, and just this morning a came across a perfect show to post, but that will come in my next post. 

Interestingly, this bread was first expereinced by Leader in Italy. It is a very unique italian bread, in that it contains both rye flour and corn flour.  Those are two ingredients that are rarely used in Italian Cuisine. Also, this is only the second bread that I have ever made which contains rye flour without the use of a sourdough build. (The other is something called thirds bread and it is made from corn meal, rye flour and all-purpose flour.)  It contains molasses and is a no knead bread, which is a wonderful treat for a rainy day.
This formula calls for fine or medium rye flour, so I ground my own whole rye flour and passed it through a very fine sieve. The resulting flour was very light, so I added a few pinches of the bran and germ.   IMPORTANT: You do not want to use corn meal in place of corn flour because corn meal is very course and has a tendency to destroy gluten during the mixing process. Corn meal is okay to use in something such as corn bread, where oil and eggs are used to soften the crumb (and if your lucky, butter!).

The Transfer from the mixing bowl into the proofing bowl.....considerable gluten development
I thought about passing some corn meal through my grain mill, but decided to splurge on some corn flour. Then I thought about using masa, because it is a lot cheaper. I e-mailed the chefs at King Arthur Flour, who are just wonderful. They have always been extremely helpful to me and always have wonderful tips and hints to share with bakers.  They have done this irregardless of whether I am using their products. One of their chefs, informed me that the corn that is ground into masa is soaked in lime juice prior to being ground. I decided to go ahead and buy corn flour, just to make sure that the taste was not altered by the acidity of the lime. 

Corn flour is really a wonderful yellow color. Only 40 percent of the flour in this recipe came from corn flour, but it really added a very nice color to the loaf. I am eager to taste it. I do not think that the 100g or (20%) light rye flour will add a significant flavor, but I have been surprised before. As an example, when I was baking the Polish rye breads, the light Chleb which only used a very small amount of rye flour, had a significant rye flavor and aroma. 

Since this bread did not contain any starter, it required the use of over a teaspoon of instant yeast. All of the ingredients were mixed at the same time. Because of the corn flour, I combined the ingredients with a rubber spatula to pre-mix them before starting the mixer. Leader, suggests mixing on fourth speed for 12 minutes. I mixed on first speed for 4 minutes and then on second speed for about 3 more. I was pleased with the gluten development. Considering that rye does not have a lot of gluten and corn has none, I was very pleased with the gluten development in the dough. I was able to take a picture of the transfer from the mixing bowl to the proofing bowl, so you can see exactly what I am talking about. 

After the mix, the dough proofed for 90 minutes. Then I attempted a fold after one hour. The dough was very wet and sticky so I just folded it inside of the bowl. I am not sure the fold was necessary, but I thought it would give me a chance to release some of the carbon dioxide in the dough. The smell of the dough was very sweet, it smelled just like corn chowder, and after a week without grains, I was longing for a bite, however, I resisted. 

Close up of the dough before fermentation

Thirty minutes after the fold, the dough was divided in half and then shaped into rough rounds, and placed on a floured board to proof. I proofed these loaves for 75 minutes. They were then baked on a baking stone at 450 degrees for about 35 minutes. I actually took the smaller loaf out after about 30 minutes. I definitely preferred the appearance of the loaf which baked for the full 35 minutes. 

Here is the finished loaf, I did a curved score trying to follow the normal curvature of the boule. I like the look I it achieved.
Once again I have not tasted this bread yet, nor have I cut into it, because that would simply be too tempting. I will comment on the bread in the next day or so. I am glad to be back, I have missed blogging quite a bit. Buckwheat levain is next!

A good look at the crumb. 

Bake On

1 comment :

  1. this looks good, never used corn in bread except with pizza dough