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Saturday, December 31, 2011

BBA#24 Panettone

When we were up to this bread ,well it was summer,who wants to bake a holiday bread in summer? Chris agreed we would skip this till Christmas ,a good idea. The recipe uses a wild yeast sponge,since we needed to make these for earlier recipes it was on hand to use.The fruits, chopped dried aprcots, dried cranberries,dried apples and raisins are soaked in brandy and extracts over night. 
The final dough was quite wet with no additional water,required about 1/2 cup flour to get it right. The first rise went as planned as well as the second, a little slow.
I chose to make 4 breads in paper panettone wrappers instead of 2 large. The paper container was a little too big ,and had to trim them down.
The total time for the 4 breads was a little over 1 hour of baking.
sliced into rounds for  a french toast breakfast
abosolutely dlicious french toast!

Friday, December 30, 2011

WGB #29 100% Sprouted Wheat Bread

This one was a failure, most likely to my choice of grains,wheat,rye,and barley .The barley didn't sprout, and not having a working meat grinder (my kitchen aid walked off the table...ouch!),I was forced to use the processor,which didn't create the 'pulp' of grains required.It was more a mostly chopped mix,that didn't come together during kneading and forget window pane. Amazingly it did rise some in the bowl but not after shaping and panning.
There was no oven rise at all.The bread didn't brown on top and was very dense very chewy and rubbery. I used only 1/3 cup of vital wheat gluten as that was all I had on hand.
This will definately be a 'challenge' to redo the bread. 
1) all wheat grain
2) grains 'must be ground to a pulp
3) use 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
4) achieve a window pane, which will trap the gasses for a risen loaf
this is the 1st attempt photos
In the back is the power bread
very dense interior

WGB #27 Power Bread

This recipe uses a pre soaker a soaker and a biga.The pre soaker is of raisins and whole flax seeds, which helps to start a germination of the flax,making it more digestable and nutritious.I made the biga and presoaker the same day. Then made the soaker using the pre soaker the next day and the final dough the day sfter.
  I keep my sunflower seeds in the freezer to maintain their freshness.Grinding them to a flour was easily done in my spice mill, perhaps due to still being in a frozen state.
The recipe went as described and rose nicely in the loaf pan. I chose not to do the rye breads #26, as I don't care for them.
The bread was delicious toasted and buttered (Thanks for the tip Joe!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

WGB # 28 Whole Wheat Sprouted Grain Bread

Well, made this bread about 3 weeks ago, it was simply one of the best tasting ww breads ,imo,so far.Since the actual baking was awhile ago ,i don't recall any specific problems with the recipe. it went as described i believe. Regardless, this one will definitely be a keeper.
Wheaty ,chewy, delicious.

Rainbow layer Cookies/Cake

This is my favorite holiday treat, especially more so as having been given the recipe many years ago by a co worker.It is a simple process but time consuming,and a long maturing wait (2-3 weeks).
 The end result is heavenly delicious ,rich with almond flavor,raspberry jam ,apricot jam and finnally a topping of dark chocolate.I must warn you, after having made this you will never be happy with the commercial store version,you will be spoiled forever!
 The process;
 Make almond paste; 8oz blanched almonds,whole or slivered (1+1/2cups)
 1+1/2 cup powdered sugar
 1 egg white
 1 tsp pure almond extract not artificial
 pinch of salt
 process almonds in a food processor till very finely ground,you may add 1/4 cup of the sugar to help processing.
When finely ground add sugar and process till combined, add egg white, salt, almond extract, process till it comes together.
 Remove from processor and wrap in plastic ,refrigerate till needed. You will only need half of this for the recipe.
Make sponge layers;
 pre heat oven to 350
 1 cup sugar
half of almond paste (about 8oz)
 1 cup soft sweet butter
 4 egg yolks
 4 egg whites whipped to firm, not dry peaks
2 cups all purpose flour sifted before measuring
10-12 oz of dark chocolate chips,  i use Gheridelli 60% cocao chips ( or what you prefer) 
8 oz jar of seedless rspberry jam
8 oz jar apricot jam
 In bowl of stand mixer or with hand mixer,blend together sugar,almond paste,butter,egg yolks,flour till smooth
Fold in egg whites till combined
Divide batter into 3 equal parts in seperate bowls
Add red food coloring to one bowl blend well
Add green to another, blend well
Leave 3rd neutral
Grease  3- 9x9 baking sheets ,if you have  ,or 9x 14, 10x15 . i used 3 9x 15 sheet pans
Place a sheet of waxed paper into each pan and grease paper also
Spread one color batter into a pan ONLY to 9" ,to make a 9x9 inch sheet, spread evenly using an off set spatula dipped in water if needed to help spread batter
 Bake 1 sheet at a time, 12-15 minutes till lightly brown on edges
Cool in pan on rack , let cool completely
Continue with the other 2 batters in the same manner

 When all 3 layers are cool,  leaving red layer in pan, spread raspberry jam  ( or apricot) on top of red layer ( put as much as you like)
 Invert neutral layer on top of red layer, peel off paper
Spread apricot jam onto neutral layer
Invert green layer on top of neutral layer-Leave pan on top of green layer
Place in refrigerator, put a weight on top of pan ,I use 2 bricks ,each in a plastic bag, or 2 large cans of tomatoes or 4 smaller ones etc. We want  the layers to compress a bit, leave over night.
 Next day or day after, remove from fridge, remove top pan . Invert onto a cutting board, trim all sides  straight and neat, EAT the trimmings! Melt chocolate chips over double boiler, of barely simmering water. Or in a glass bowl in microwave ,caution it is easy to burn chocolate in micro wave, heat for 30 seconds at a time, remove and stir between each heating till melted and smooth.
Spread chocolate over top and sides of layers, let chocolate set till dry.
NOW the Hard part...wrap entirely in plastic wrap twice to avoid off flavors and put back in fridge, let mature  at least 2 weeks ,IF YOU CAN RESIST.

Remove wrap  and slice with serrated knife into desired sizes  ENJOY !! 

I made 2  half sheet pans ( each is 3x13x18) for Christmas, double recipe for each sheet pan

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WGB # 25 High Extraction Flour Miche

This recipe calls for a high extraction flour ,which I could not obtain,therefore i used the substitution offererd. Which is a blend of 25% brread flour and 75% whole wheat flour.
 The recipe also uses a soaker and starter of the same flour mix. I have a whole wheat starter of my own which I fed over 2 days to rejuvenate the wild yeast and then used that to create the mother starter for the recipe. Peter Reinhart has us build a large quantity of mother starter and only needs 3 OZ for the recipe. Not wanting to store it, used most to make a 100% sour dough mix which made 5 baguettes to freeze.
the loaf stuck to the edge of the peel creating a less then round shape
 Ok couldn't resist this photo!