A Bread Trilogy

A Bread Trilogy

In an attempt at being anti-curmudgeonly, we hosted a get-together for neighbors last night.  I had the bright idea of consuming (too) many hours by baking three different breads on Friday.  Unfortunately, I thought about taking photos of the layout just as our first guests knocked, and mere seconds after the food had finished being laid out.  Therefore no more than a single photo was snapped of the groaning table.

Closest in the photo are the Pain a l’Ancienne baguettes.  At 80% hydration and unstructured, they are gently pulled to the length of the baking peel.  My first time baking these in a decade, from Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  Not knowing my baking left from my baking right at the time, I bought the BBA because the photos and walk-through explanations looked to be a good teacher.  Cold fermented for 1 day.

In the center and partially sliced is one of the two Ciabatta loaves.  At 83% hydration, I hadn’t made these in about a year.  SAF Red IDY with a 40% overnight biga, my take on a northwest bakery’s ciabatta which is baked for restaurants. Missing sufficient loft, I guess I’m out of practice.

At the far end, sharing a cooling rack with the other ciabatta, is my slightly skewed take on SJSD baguettes.  For these, at ~74% hydration, I used dabrownman’s 3 stage build schedule with a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and dark rye flours to get from my ~65% starter to 100% hydration liquid levain.  Followed by David Snyder’s formula for San Joaquin Sour Dough baguettes.  A slightly heartier version of Mr. Snyder’s SJSD by virtue of subbing the white flour in the levain with all whole grain and adding a few more grams of water to the final mix.

The evening’s dedicated toppings for slathering on the breads were an olive paste based on David Rosengarten’s Taste program from the early days of the Food Network, and also a hummus.

Outside of the picture on the dining room table my wife made a few of her fabulous offerings.  A Mexican Chocolate Roll and Chocolate Meringue Cookies, both from Mountains of Chocolate, a tiny 35 year old paperback for which I can find no current reference.  The chocolate is laced with cinnamon and almond extract, and el segreto final is the dusting of cocoa across the surface, the roll is guaranteed to make one’s eyes roll in delight.   Similar in look (only) to this lovely creature – http://www.cupofsugarpinchofsalt.com/2014/05/04/mexican-chocolate-cake-roll-with-kalua-cinnamon-whipped-cream/ .

The meringue cookies use cocoa for their exterior, toasted pecan’s and she uses Lindt’s Intense Orange chocolate for the chips.   Again, similar, in look only, to these – http://www.examiner.com/article/brownie-meringue-cookie-recipe .

The final third of her own confection trilogy last night was a pumpkin cheesecake with a cream cheese/whipped cream topping and gingersnap cookie based crust.  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Cheesecake-with-Caramel-Swirl-2635 .

Understanding that TFL is a bread based website, but – if anyone is interested in the chocolate roll or meringues, and as Mountains of Chocolate (1981) seems to be out of print for a generation, I’d be happy to share the recipes.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must hop on the treadmill for oh, say, the next 12 hours.

alan

Source: Fresh Loaf

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