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Monday, January 16, 2012

BBA # 34 Pumpernickel Bread

Growing up in NY, Brooklyn specifically, rye and pumpernickel bread were often eaten with lunch meats or in the case of pumpernickel, cream cheese and jelly ,yum.
 This was not that bread for me. I didn't have coarse rye, so I used my KA whole rye and added in the bran and germ that was sifted out to make the NY deli rye. I used half rye and half bran/germ.
 The bread was not as dark as PR's photo even though I used the amount of cocoa stated, could use more. Nor did the bread have that tangy pumpernickel flavor. I did add crumbs from the multi grain mash bread. As a sandwich bread ,really good, just not real pumpernickel. You have to judge for yourself ( BBA Members)
I have made pumpernickel from Bernard Clayton's book 'New Complete Book Of Breads' the book that started my bread baking in 1988, that bread was dark , used rye & wheat flours as well as corn meal and molasses, along with chocolate. To each his own ,well the process went without problems.
Next time I will use all rye and more chocolate, pehaps the molasses as well.
Here are the photos:
 the color of the crumb is light for a pumpernickel, as well as the flavor, tastes more of a deli rye 
the texture was good

WGB # 34 Spent Grain Bread

This whole wheat bread uses a soaker, a biga, and incorporates spent grain from beer brewing. The grain has been mashed or boiled to remove sugars and starches and flavors for the yeast to feed on in the process of fermentation. The grains are then strained out and discarded or used as animal feed.  There are still residual flavors  and the mashed grains are an ideal medium for yeast growth and add fiber and a chewyness to the bread according to Peter Reinhart.
 I am very fortunate to have a local brewery near by, NoDa Brewery ,Charlotte NC just opened the last October,  Todd and Suzie Ford are the owners. I emailed Suzie and she saved spent grain from their pale ale brew, I made two loaves using this grain, one for us and one for Todd & Suzie.
I was very happy with this bread, it had a wheaty chewy slightly sweet taste, a great bread for soup or stews and chili. I am sure it would be just as delicious spread with butter, or cheese.
The bread is sweetened with honey ,agave nectar or brown sugar. I used 1/2 honey and 1/2 brown sugar, since I have a sweet tooth, I added an extra tbsp of brown sugar. It was not overly sweet, just right .
        The soaker and starter were hydrated to the point of not needing to chop them, as they were quite soft. I simply put them into the mixer bowl with all the other ingredients and they blended fine.
 I finished kneading by hand as instructed, it was necessary to add and additional 1 +1/2 cups of flour. Eventually it came together nicely, although the volume of dough was too large for an 8x4 pan. The dough was at the top of the pan., I switched to a 9x5 ,that was perfect.
 The bread took almost 40 minutes to bake and never reached 200 degrees, only 190, but was sounding hollow when I thumped the bottom, so out it stayed to cool.
 here are the photos: 

spent grain from a pale ale mash

kneaded and ready for the oiled bowl
into the bowl
about an hour later it's 1+1/2 it's size

they both look the same size pan ,but the one in front is the 8x4, rear 9x5 notice the extra head room

ready for the oven
finished loaves, each loaf would also make 2- 7x3 smaller loaves

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WGB # 33 Steamed Boston Brown Bread

Fellow wgb baker joe described this as "dessert' and he is right. This very much is like 'hobo' bread, a similar raisin infused sweet bread  that is baked in coffee cans ( before they all became PLASTIC).
 Problem one was some of the steam got under my foil top and sunk a hole in one of breads. Two, too much molasses flavor for me, PR did mention one could reduce or substitute for the molasses. I almost always make a new recipe as is then adjust them to my tastes. Sorry I didn't adjust this one, 3 hours is a long time to watch a steaming pot!
 If  i make this again I will rubber band the foil around the top of the can. How that affects the process I don't know. And more raisins!   here are my photos...
 I used 2 large cans from tuttarosa crushed tomatoes 28 oz size
note one sunk, probably too much water got in
sliced , found a well in the middle but it was firm and cooked ?

BBA # 33 Poilane-Style Miche

This bread is the cover photo of Pr's BBA book. I had made the whole grain version full size and decided to make three smaller loaves to share. The process went as described wtih just a minor difficulty. The volume of ingredients were very hard to blend by hand in the bowl. I eventually dumped everything onto the work surface and kneaded them together.  During the knead it was evident I had added more water than needed  ,which required an additional cup + of ww flour. All did come together smoothly and tacky.
The rise was faster than 4 hours , more like 3. 
One issue i found was I had used 2 wicker baskets lined with muslin as proofing bowls. When I turned the boules out onto my peel they had developed a crust. That made it difficult to score them cleanly.
 The finished bread was crusty and chewy , and a bit dry, I may have over baked them. That's why it's called a challenge! lol !

 It appears i will be doing this one again ! Here are my photos. I had already given away two so I had only one to shoot.
I found it impossible to blend  well in the bowl

I dumped all out onto the work surface
a nicely kneaded Large volume of dough!
first rise
final rise ready for the oven
finished loaf

WGB #31 &32 Whole Wheat Mash & Multi Grain Mash Bread

I did both these bread twice, the mash bread had a bitter  after taste.may have been to over fermenting my starter, and then over proofing. Or may simply have been something else.In any event I ground it up and it became bird food.
 The multi grain first attempt was disappointing,the pre cooked grains did nothing after 3 hours of total cooking and resting in the warm oven. Although the flavor and chewy texture was very good.
 For the second bake the mash bread was better,although i can't say it is my favorite to date, just good. On the other loaf I used a mixture of raw grains consisting of quinoa, wheat & rye berries, cracked wheat, and whole flax seeds. they did absorb all the water in the mashing process and seemed to gelatinize some.
 The flavor was better than the first try and had a really chewy texture , a good soup & cheese bread as well as a sandwich.  
In the second bake i made two loaves of each, as the dough was ample to do so.

this is the first attempt, the breads were quite large do to over proofing.I had to move one to another pan halfway through the bake the multi grain is on the left
crumb ,first multi grain

mash crumb first bake

mash crumb second bake
multi grain 

multi grain crumb

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

wgb # 30 julekage, Danish christmas Bread

This  whole wheat version of a Christmas bread seems odd to me as only having had the more common all purpose/ bread flour ones. It is healthier though. I only made the Julekage,as I made Panettone and Stollen from the BBA Challenge and didn't care to do them again in the WGB Challenge. I simply had had enough of baking,baking and baking for this Christmas. 
The fruit soaker and the addition of cardamon is the distinguishing spice that sets it apart from Stollen and Panettone .I didn't care for the taste of this bread,my ground cardamon was probably from ???And may be the reason for the off taste, or it's that flavor .Although now that I recall i bought that ground cardamon maybe 10+ years ago..ugh.So much for fresh. That puts me in a 'gonna have to do over' BUT not now.Really had my fill of Holiday breads.
After tasting ,I sliced both loaves and wrapped in packages of 6 slices for my wife to bring to her pottery class . They all liked it?
Here are the photos

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

BBA # 36 Stollen

This one is not next in order, but wanted to have it for Christmas.
This is one of my favorite holiday breads, i have made it prior to starting this BBA Challenge with mixed results. This time it was better, I think it was baked a little to long , and would cut back on PR"s time.
The bread can be made in one day,from starter to dough and baking, Although starting the brandied fruit mix the day before is best for flavor.
The instructions as written are ,what? I simply rolled and secured  leaving a bottom lip to represent the folded blanket it is meant to resemble. I don't see the need for a crescent shape at all.
Since a family member is alergic to nuts made one without. I do make my own candied lemon and orange peel and used store bought dried apricots,cranberries, apples and the raisins.The commercial dried colored candied fruits are in imo horrible, chemical tasting , preserved bits of non edible junk.
If I am to make 'homemade' breads why use that stuff, with all the readily available choices we have. Ok i ranted enough.......Here are the photos