Thursday, 10 March 2016

In the Bread Bin - Something for myself and something to share

In the Bread Bin is the start of a meme about bakes with yeast.  It would be lovely to be joined by like minded home bakers at any stage of their journey into baking.

When I say something for myself, I always hope it will be for ourselves, and also sometimes for others.  I love baking bread, and exploring new ways, different ways of achieving something tasty for our meals.

All white sourdough loaf posing above my new bread bag from Bakery Bits.

This week I have made a white sourdough loaf, using the Virtuous Bread recipe from Jane Mason's Book All you Knead is Bread, and it has been particularly successful.  How do I calculate the success rate?  Firstly I love the bread: its looks and flavour; secondly and just as important my dearly beloved has loved it too.  How do I know this...he has wanted to have extra slices just to enjoy the flavour and texture, and the loaf was hardly cool.  At first I said no, but he said I was the most dreadful tease!

My early try with sourdoughs did lead to some quite 'sour' loaves...well not quite to Mr S's taste, but with more understanding and reading on sourdough, I have achieved a much 'sweeter' tasting sourdough loaf.  I have found that by refreshing the starter in the morning, then making the predough on the evening of day one, adding all the ingredients on the morning of day two, kneading well, then the hourly folds there is sufficient time for the final rise and bake that we have a nice fully cooled loaf to have on the morning of day three.  I have purposely aimed to have smaller 'holes' but many of them, and am very happy with this.

Mind you we just had to have a slice on the evening of day two just for a taste...and then a second slice.  This will 'not be permitted' next time though!  I wanted to have a sandwich for my lunch yesterday and thought tuna, salad and mayonnaise.  I had run out of the H stuff, and as it was raining so heavily yesterday, I decided to make some home made mayonnaise using olive oil and lemon juice....and used this instead of butter.  The egg white is in the freezer and will be defrosted and used for glazing buns at a later date.

For my sharing baking..I had been 'encouraged' through chatting on face book on The Baking our Way through the Book of Buns site by baking friend Maria to bake to share, I revisited the Anpan Buns from Japan.  I had the 'doubled up filling' red bean paste in the freezer and proceeded with the bake.  I also spent a little more time researching this wonderful technique of using Tangzhong - which Jane Mason calls the Scalded dough, which she also uses in the Milk Buns.  There are quite a few entries on the web and I found Anita's explanation about Tangzhong on her Blog:  'Dessert First A Passion for Pastry' , very interesting.

To get fresh buns for Wednesday lunch time, I made the buns to the last rise stage on Tuesday and decided to put them for a slow rise in the conservatory, copying Maria's technique.  I ought to have checked was warmer in the fridge!  In the morning the buns were very nearly frozen so it took three hours or so for them to be ready to bake.  I think it was because of their chilly overnight rise that glazing with the egg white and then baking, lead to the little blisters all over, quite a pretty effect really.  I think I got a much better rise than last time and the buns were ever lighter and fluffier.  I have used the warmth of the conservatory to aid I have another use when I want to retard baking when it is cool.

I thought my friends would have wanted to take them home...but they all wanted to eat them there and then!

I am going to start regular  entries about my yeasty efforts.  If you would like to join in this meme "In the Bread Bin" whether regularly or occasionally, we can share our joy of baking, lessons we have learnt etc.   Do share your yeasted bakes by leaving comments, and adding links to and from this blog.  Please be considerate, polite, and  respect people and author's work.  I hope that we can all pick up little tips and share our enjoyment of baking.  

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