Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pain d'Epices (Rye Spice Bread)

Those of you who have been following my blog for any period of time will have heard me refer to "Misky" many times. Misky is Richard Miscovich whom I have often referred to as my mentor in the bread-making world. He was one of my teachers at Johnson and Wales and he is a dear friend. I am pleased to announce that Misky, Richard Miscovich has a new book out and it is called From The Wood Fired Oven. The book obviously has a focus on cooking with fire, but in reality, the book leaves no bread topic unmentioned, plus Misky has a way with words. Everything he touches turns to gold. In 2008 I was blessed with the opportunity to take a 12 week intensive artisan bread baking course that he offered at Johnson & Wales University. My life has never been the same. My plan is to write a full review of his book once I have baked my way through the formulas in his book (that do not require a wood fired oven). 

Today's entry is my very first bread from Misky's new book. 

This bread is actually a Roggen vollkornbrot (100% Whole grain Rye bread). But get this; its a quick bread. I know, crazy, but it's true and it is a love song. The whole way through this recipe, from the zesting of the citrus to the grinding of the seeds, to the tempering of the milk and yolks.... this bread shines (and not just because of the use of 704g of honey). 

This bread starts off with the zest of two oranges and two lemons which is then heated in milk. Then honey is whisked into this mixture until a uniform texture is achieved. About 1/2 cup of this mixture is then added to three egg yolks which is whisked until the yolks are warmed. The yolk mixture is then added back into the milk mixture. This keeps the yolks from cooking in the hot liquid mixture, which, by the way, smells absolutely wonderful.

A mixture of freshly ground coriander, anise seed, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg are then added to the whole rye flour. Baking soda is used as leavening for this bread. One important note is that baking soda is activated by acidity and not by heat, so once the dry and liquid ingredients are mixed you have to quickly get this bread into pans and into the oven.

This bread bakes quickly, especially since I made six small loaves to give as holiday gifts to my co-workers. Within 24 hours of giving them away I had some wonderful feedback. It is always a pleasure to give gifts to those whom we hold dear and near, especially to those people who have great impacts on us in ways that they do not even realize. This is what the holiday season is all about, those who matter!

Bake on and Carry on
Happy Holdays

-DW, The Rye King

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunflower Seed Bread with Poolish

Here is the conversation that led to this bread"

Kelly: "Dave"
Dave: "yeah"
Kelly: "There is no bread"
Dave: sigh
Kelly: "Yeah"
David: "How about something with sunflower seeds"
Kelly "Okay!" 

Since it was early in the afternoon, I did not quite have time to do a full preferment, but I was able to let a poolish sit for about four hours, which was able to give this bread a little more flavor that it would have gotten as a straight dough. The actual formula calls for a pate fermente, which contains salt, but I did not want to do this because the salt would slow down the growth of the pre-ferment so I did away with it. Another thing I forgot to do was to look at this formula's yield, which is three loaves and I typically bake two breads at a time, (I only have two brotforms), but i was able to handle this by proofing one of the breads on a wooden pizza peel dusted with a healthy amount of semolina flour. 

The water with the barley malt

This bread is made with 80% bread flour and 20% rye chops, but to be completely honest this bread was so wet, possibly from the poolish that I needed to add a whole bunch of whole wheat flour. My guess is by the end the bread was at least 10-15% whole wheat. 

The Poolish
The rye chops are prepared in a soaker composed of 120% water and 80% rye chops, but the soakers I usually make are composed of 100% water and 100% rye grain. All of the water was absorbed after four hours. I think I used a tiny bit too much yeast in the poolish because when I added it to the water in the final dough it almost immediately combined after a few strokes with the whisk, which has never happened to me before. 

Right before the mix
Once the poolish was added I treated the bread as a straight dough. All the rest of the ingredients are added including the soaker and the sunflower seeds and the mixed on first speed for three minutes and then second speed for three minutes. (this is when I added all the whole wheat flour. I would have left the dough alone if I was not planning on proofing this bread in brotforms, I have made that mistake before, and dealing with it was a pain in the batinski, so I decided to firm up this dough with additional flour. The reason I used whole wheat flour was to simply add some more health the the dough.....FIBER IS FUN!

The bread then ferments for two hours with one solid fold after one hour. Then it is shaped and proofed for ninety minutes and is baked at 450 degrees for roughly forty minutes or until it is done. I think I might have over baked these breads by two minutes, but the final result is quite tasty. A nice crust and a medium tender crumb.

I will bake this again, although I think it is a bit better when made with a piece of old dough, but making a poolish with slightly less yeast with a bit longer to ferment also would have done the trick.

As always, Bake On

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread with Roasted Hazelnuts and Raisins

Raisin water

This is a very rare bread to be coming out of my oven. A straight dough, with no rye flour, what is has the Rye King done.....The answer is quite simple, he has used all of his whole rye flour and his bread box is empty. So the show must go on! This is a very simple bread, no sourdough build, no preferment at all, it just all comes together in less than twenty minutes.

Dough after mixing on first speed for three minutes

This bread is 50% whole wheat and 50% bread flour, combines 4.8 ounces of whole hazelnuts and 4.8 ounces of raisins which are covered in water to soak. I then used the raisin water in the bread to add a sweetness and enhance the breads browning during the bake. Like most doughs that contain nuts and seeds the raisins and hazelnuts are added after the bread has mixed for three minutes on first speed and then three minutes on second speed. Unlike the rye breads I have been baking this bread does require one fold half way through the bulk fermentation phase (that is assuming you are not rising this bread in the cooler overnight. 

This bread is normally baked at 460 for twenty minutes but with the inclusion of the raisin water I baked this bread at 440 to prevent over browning this bread.

Addition of auxiliary ingredients after dough is mixed on second speed for three minutes

A short post for a simple but wonderful bread.

Bake on

DW, The Rye King

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Granola Bar Bread with Rye Sourdough

massive amount of three stage rye sourdough build
I am sitting here sipping a Hot Toddy, getting over my seasonal bronchitis, so I thought I would share one of my recent creations: Three-Stage Sourdough Rye Granola Bar Bread, which I baked with Thanksgiving in mind. Every year I go to my Uncle Barry and Aunt Jean's for Turkey Day and recently I have been bringing bread. This bread is going to b

Toasted sunflower seeds and oats

e a hit.  

I had a bunch of left over three-stage sourdough build that I was saving for a special bake of Vollkornbrot for a new client of mine, one of the pharmacists at work. So I decided to do some experimenting. For quite some time, I have been toying with the idea of combining a light to medium sourdough rye bread with a deconstructed granola bar. I decided to put my ideas to the test and and this is what I came up with. 

This bread combines flour with my favorite auxiliary bread ingredients, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds and oats. I have made a walnut, pecan and cranberry rye bread in the past and it happens to be one of my favorite original recipes.  I have a feeling this one will top that bread, mainly because of the addition of toasted oats and salted toasted sunflower seeds. 

Soaked Raisins and Cranberries

This bread is 35% whole rye and 65% bread flour, which should provide a bread with a good chew, a great crust, and a medium rye flavor without adding too much heaviness. You can get away with a smaller percentage of rye flour and still get a rich sour rye flavor when you use a three-stage build. The finer attributes in this bread do not come from the ingredients themselves, but rather how they are handled. 2 oz of raisins and 2 oz of cranberries are placed in a small bowl and are then covered with warm water for 15 minutes. This allows the berries to absorb water without releasing too much of their natural flavor and sweetness. This added moisture will prevent these high sugar ingredients from burning during the 45 minute bake. The other technique is to toast the sunflower seeds and the oats. Even if the sunflower seeds are already toasted, I always re-toast them.  This heats the oils within and extracts their nuttiness and infuses the dough with some great flavors. The oats are also toasted. I love the taste of toasted grains, no matter what grains I use.  I think that one of my next projects will be a toasted rye bread.  I have also been anxious to make a sprouted grain bread, especially with some organic home-sprouted rye flour. I will wait on that one until next year while I bake through my Bread Mentor, Richard Miscovich's new book, which I am very excited about. 

The fruit and seed filled dough
This new bread is really rather simple to make once the three-stage sour is built and the auxiliary ingredients are handled. The sour and water are added to the mixing bowl and stirred with a spatula to help break up the starter. Then the remaining ingredients are added. (If a three-stage stage build is not used, I would recommend adding 1/3 tsp dry yeast if you have the time, but this is not essential). The bread is mixed for three minutes on first speed and then two minutes on second speed. The dough is then sprinkled with the oats, seeds, and dried fruit and is mixed on first speed for about 1 minute until the auxiliary ingredients are dispersed evenly throughout the dough. The bread is then placed in a sprayed bowl and is allowed to sit for about 90 minutes at room temperature. (You may need more time depending on the ambient temperature of your baking environment). The bread is then shaped into boules and placed into brotforms that are floured with course rye or whole wheat flour.  I do this for effect rather than purpose. I then let these babies rise for another 60-70 minutes. They are then baked at 460 for 20 minutes and then finished at 430 for 20-30 minutes. 

The loaves are then allowed to cool and are kept in brown paper bags and are then dispensed to friends and family for Thanksgiving! 

Bake On! Eat On! Enjoy On!

-DW, The Rye King