Trying out a new technique

Using some fantastic bread flour that my other miller friend John gave me, I tried a new recipe today. It was based on a technique from Dan Lepard which involved making a roux first, and then using that in the bread. The result is the softest bread we’ve ever made! This batch is red onion, mixed olives, fetta, romano and pecorino cheeses. The original recipe is here (I made the sourdough version). It’s quite late now, and the light made it difficult to take good pics…

We also tried our hand at mint jelly today – can you see all the little bits of suspended fresh spearmint?

Fruity

Here’s the my first attempt at fruit loaf. Regular olive bread recipe, with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (we are in America after all), and half a cup each of raisins, dried cranberries and dried cherries. It made great toast but needed to be a touch sweeter to eat plain. So the plan is to cut the salt and try a little more fruit next time. The working technique needed to be modified slightly to prevent flying fruit, but the result was still good. The flower (the official title is still up for debate) was a big hit with the kids. The little pull-a-part sections made the perfect snack. 

Epi and Hepi

Epi and soup for dinner.  We tried sticking balls of dough together as an alternate epi.  It worked so well we did it again later.  Patrick has named it hepi, for hexagonal epi.

The hepi was made by making little balls, with a backbone of course, and putting them together on the tray.  They pull apart nicely and have a bit more soaking surface than epi.

Evening Light Bread

We reduced the hydration back to 65% as the dough seems way too wet otherwise.  Much better result with big holes in the finished loaf.  Something is still going wrong though.  For the first time ever I had “uncooked” bits of dough in the loaf, and it wouldn’t brown again.  The starter went very active a couple of hours after the bulk fermentation started.  I guess I need to wait a bit longer. The crumb shot looks bad so I’m not posting it 🙂

New flour!

My friend Kevin, miller par excellence, spotted me a bag of his bread flour. Gorgeous, creamy coloured flour, produced the most velvety of doughs that was a real pleasure to work with. This batch kneaded briefly and left to bulk ferment overnight, then shaped and baked this morning.