Wednesday, 10 August 2011

WholeWheat and Chocolate Cherry

I didn’t think I’ll be baking again until the weekend, but what do you know – all the seeded bread is gone and only a tiny bit of challah remaining. Time to get baking again, not that I am complaining or anything :)

With all the rioting going on in London I’ve decided to work from home, just to be on a safe side. Which means that I have a bit more time in the morning to do the mixing, can do shaping late in the afternoon, and will have some bread ready by tonight – 1 day sourdough, sounds like my kind of project.

I normally prefer to retard my sourdoughs in the fridge for 8-12 hours, especially if I am making a more rustic bread, but with some recipes you can have it all done and dusted in a day, starting first thing in the morning and baking it last thing at night. Just to be on a safe side, I am going to add a bit of sugar of the recipes to speed up the whole process, I don’t feel like staying up until wee hours in the morning just to finish baking (I have done that before, I am that mental or sad, depends how you look at it :)

This is another take on a wholewheat honey bread – bread I’ve discovered in US delies and I’d love to be able to re-create. I haven’t came up with a recipe I am completely happy with just yet, so I’ll carry on trying.

Honey WholeWheat – Take I
185g white starter (100% hydration)
140g milk
150g water
155g wholemeal flour
345g white flour
30g honey (I am using Rowse - liquid honey)
1 ½ tsp salt

Combine everything, but the salt, in a free-standing mixer, mix for 6 minutes on speed 1. Cover with a towel and leave for 20 minutes to autolise, add salt and mix on speed 2 for another 2 minutes.
If you count honey as one of the liquids, it makes the bread 69% hydration (water in the starter + milk + water + honey) or 65% hydration if you leave the honey out of the calculation. I would say its probable the later – this dough can definitely be mixed by hand, it had a nice smooth feel to it, cleaned out sides of the mixing bowl with no problem, all wrapped up around the dough hook.
Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic and leave it at the room temperature for an hour and a half. Do 3 stretch and folds during that time, either directly in the bowl or on a counter. Cover the dough with plastic again and leave it to ferment for four to five hours, until almost doubles in volume.
Transfer the dough onto a clean (unfloured) surface and shape into a boule – my shaping is still a bit shaky, so I won’t do any videos / instructions just yet (something to come in the future), just do your usual shaping or follow any boule shaping videos on the Net.
Cover the shaped boule with plastic and leave at the room temperature for another 3 to 4 hours, until it nearly doubles in volume again.

Slash the top of the loaf (I did my slashes very shallow, as I think I’ve left it just a tad bit too long) and bake in a pre-headed oven at 210C for 20 minutes, rotate and bake for another 20 minutes.

It came out looking a lovely golden colour, not as dark as I would have expected. I guess the sugars haven’t had enough time to develop and break down, but that’s what you get from a one-day bread. Not much of an oven spring either, which I am a bit disappointed with, but its feeling quite light, can’t wait to cut it to see what it looks like inside.



Well, this one is a bit of an odd-ball one for me. I wanted a sweet type of bread for my morning toast, and was getting a bit bored with making my spicy loaf (not bored with eating it, mind you, just bored with making the same recipe over and over again). A quick rummage through spice draws revealed lots of currants and sultanas, dates, prunes and chocolate – first two can stay where they are for now, as I’ve baked a lot of currant / sultana bread recently, now – what can I can I can from the other three? Dates? Might be quite dry, not sure, might leave that for now. Prunes and chocolate sounds quite good, I think I saw a recipe for it in one of my books. But before I had a chance to do anything, I’ve lost prunes to Baba, as she grabbed them out of my hands – they are “good for her” and she is going to eat them “as they are”, well, that kind of kills my plans, doesn’t it? Not to worry, I found a small pack of sour cherries that I bought from WholeFoods a while ago, I could always use them instead, and they look too dried up and wrinkly (my, it must have been quite a while ago that I bought them) for Baba to be interested in them.

Sour Cherry and Chocolate Bread

150g white starter (100% hydration)
290g water
410g white flour
90g white rye flour
5 Tbsp sugar
30g dried sour cherries
100g milk chocolate (I used milk Valrhona chocolate), chopped
50g unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ tsp salt

Place starter, water, flours, sugar and dried cherries in a free-standing mixer and mix on speed 1 for six minutes. Cover with a towel and leave for 20 minutes to autolise.
I am not re-hydrating cherries, that’s why I’ve decided to add them together with the liquids to give them a chance to “perk up” a bit.
Add salt and chocolate and mix for 2 minutes on speed 2, with the mixer still running, add soft butter, in small pieces, making sure that each piece of butter is fully mixed in, before adding another piece. Do not mix for more that 4 minutes in total, post-autolise, to avoid over-mixing.
Oil a bowl with sunflower or olive oil and transfer the dough into it – don’t worry if the colour looks a bit uneven – I had streaks of chocolate dough mixed together with pure white dough, I figure stretch and fold would take care of it. Cover the bowl with plastic and leave at room temperature for an hour and a half, doing stretch and fold every half and hour. After last stretch and fold cover the dough with plastic again and leave it to ferment for four hours – it won’t double in volume, all the chocolate and cherries weighing it down, but it will increase in size quite a bit.
Shape the dough – I went for an oval shape this time around – the dough was a bit sticky, so I used a little bit of rye flour to stop it from sticking to the counter. Flour the banneton quite heavily to make sure that it doesn’t stick during the final proofing, sprinkle with a little bit of rye flour on top and cover with plastic (a bit of flour on top is to stop it sticking to the plastic on top). Leave at room temperature for three to four hours, slash and bake in a hot oven. I slashed quite deep, as it was looking a bit under-proofed, and baked it for 20 minutes at 210C, rotated over and baked for another 20 minutes at 190C.

My, my, did it spring in the oven or what?!! I turned down the temperature after first 20 minutes, as 210C was getting too hot for all the chocolate and cherries, and I didn’t want it to burn.

The bread came out looking gorgeous, dark brown with wide slashes and beautiful aroma.

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