Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mellow Baking: April 2010

 It's Mellow Baker time again. Remember the group bakers that's baking the Jeffrey Hamelman book "Bread". Let 's see what I've baked this month. There were three to bake (or choose from):
1. Rustic Bread      
2. Light Rye Bread         
3. Bagels

1. The rustic bread I didn't plan on baking, because I've baked it once before. As it turned out that was in 2006, according to the pictures (on the left). But then I baked it again anyway, because it's just a great loaf. I really am a fan of these yeasted pre-fermented breads. Quite a straight forward one, and seeing the pictures from 2006 and 2010, there is not much difference.. at least not in the bread.
If you're interested in the recipe, check out this link with all the yeasted pre-fermented breads from the Hamelman book. This link made me buy the book in the end!!! A wonderful and flavorsome loaf.

2. Light Rye Bread. From this chapter "Sourdough rye breads", I didn't make a lot of recipes yet. I'm not a rye or a sourdough lover to be honest ánd I am very bad in maintaining a sourdough starter. But fortunately in a lot of Hamelmans sourdough recipes he also uses a little dry yeast as well, which not only is a back up for possible rising problems (due to a not-as-active-as-it-should-starter), but also takes away a bit of the sour/tangyness that some sourdough loaves may have and we don't like that much here. I also had to sort of guess what medium rye flour is, because you cannot buy that here in the Netherlands. (it's either white rye flour or whole rye and that's it.) I made a mix from the white and the whole rye. The main part of this bread is high gluten flour and it turned out a beautiful loaf with great oven rise. Lovely crumb too, I really like this loaf a lot.

3. and then there were Bagels...I didn't expect it but these didn't go very smoothly. I've baked bagels before with good results and therefor I saw no problem baking them again. I was wrong! They came out flat, chewy like rubber bands if you could get your teeth through at all, snotty interior.... just a failure. I binned them, they were really inedible. Sorry I didn't shoot a picture, so I can't show them (bad blogger!), but they were really yuck. Following the comments on the Mellow Bakers forum, there were more with flat bagels, but also lots that had good results.... so I decided to try again. Re-read the recipe, comparing with other bagel recipes and thought about what it was that went wrong.

It was the lenght of time the bagels should be boiling. They come straight out of the fridge and were to be boiled 45 seconds according to the book and should "puff considerably". I don't know how cold Mr. Hamelman's fridge is, but mine is about 4 degrees Celsius. And after a whole night there, the bagels are so cold, they did't have enough time to warm up enough in 45 sec. to get puffy. So I boiled them for several minutes, not timing precisely, but looking for them to get puffy. And it definitely took more than 45 seconds, about 5 minutes. But they puffed and it seemed to be working (*silent cheers*). Then they had to go in some ice water for 4-5 minutes. Why? Never did that before when baking bagels. So I was curious and took two bagels without shocking them in the icy waters. Then baking all of them on a hot oven stone.

There I (well I think I did) discovered the significance of the ice bath. The bagels that were cold on the outside, took longer to brown. And they had more time, before getting too dark, to bake on the inside, so they were cooked better and not snotty inside. The bagels without having being dipped in the cold water, browned very quick and had to get very dark brown (and a bit tough to bite through) to have a cooked interior as well.
So I'm glad I baked again and happy to see them coming out (sort of) like they should. We ate them all! But I'd not use this recipe myself again for baking bagels, it was quite fussy and overcomplicated. But that's just personal.

These are the three breads from the april-mellow-bakers-challenge. It's been lovely baking these ánd even succeeding in making these bagels in the end. Next month there are Grissini, Corn bread and a Mîche on the menu.

On this blog the next post will be my entry for the Bread Baking Day "Baking in pots" in a day or two, see you then.

Mellow Bakers: april

En ook deze maand ga in weer verder met de uitdaging het bakken van alle recepten uit het boek "Bread" van Hamelman. Dit Nederlandse stukje houd ik kort, de foto's hierboven spreken voor zich en deze keer is er geen recept bij. In april stonden er drie op het menu: Rustic bread, Light rye bread en de bagels. Het recept voor (o.a.) Rustic bread kun je terug vinden in deze link. Een lekker en ongecompliceerd brood, dat geen moeilijkheden opleverde. Het lichte roggebrood was ook niet lastig met een flink percentage glutenrijk tarwemeel wil dat natuurlijk goed rijzen.                    De bagels gaven heel wat meer problemen. De eerste lading was platte bagels, met een kei-taaie buitenkant en snottige binnenkant, heel jammer, maar oneetbaar. Op het forum van de Mellow Bakers waren er meer platte bagels, maar ook mensen die wel mooie bagels maakten. Dat moest ik dus nog maar een keer aan de slag. Eerst het recept nog maar eens over gelezen in de hoop iets te ontdekken waarom het bij mij mis ging. Ik had toch al eerder bagels gebakken die wel prima lukten. In het recept staat dat je de koude bagels, die een nacht in de koelkast zijn geweest, 45 seconden in het kokende water moet leggen, waarbij ze moeten uitzetten. Ik weet niet hoe koud de koelkast van Mr. Hamelman is, maar de mijne staat op 4 graden Celsius en er is geen bagel in de wereld die in 45 seconden warm genoeg kan worden om rijsverschijnselen te vertonen. Dus ik besloot de kookduur te verlengen tot ze zouden rijzen, dat was ongeveer 5 minuten. Dat begon er toch hoopvol uit te zien. En uiteindelijk lukten ze ook prima. Het is niet het recept dat ik weer zou gebruiken om bagels te bakken, een beetje te omslachtig en dat kan volgens mij ook makkelijker.Volgende maand zijn er weer 3 recepten aan de beurt: Grissini, Mîche en Corn bread.

Op dit blog zal als eerste mijn bijdrage verschijnen voor de Bread Baking Day... natuurlijk weer een race om het op tijd af te krijgen, maar met een dag of wat zou het hier toch moeten verschijnen, tot dan.


natalia said...

Ciao Lien ! i love all the three of them ! I'm waiting for the book then I'll catch up !!

Abby said...

Love the three-bread wrap-up! And I'm so excited that you tried the bagels again and were successful. Thanks for your experiments with the ice bath - I was really wondering about the difference it made - and I, too, found success with boiling them for a bit longer as in my other bagel recipe! Fun to read your post! =)

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic write-up! All your results look beautiful. And I'm really happy you figured out what the problem was with the bagels - I've tried 4 different recipes, and none of them really worked. I'll try boiling them much longer now - hopefully, that works for me, too!

Petra said...

I have not made the bagels yet and had planned on doing them this weekend. Glad I wrote your blog to hear about your experience. That will surely help to have a joyful breakfast rather than a "honey, do I have to eat those" one.

Marleen said...

5 minuten of 45 seconden da's nogal een verschil....!
Zouden de kippen niet dol zijn geweest op de kleffe variant....?;-)))

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

... the lessons we can learn with the second baking and experimenting. I have to laugh at myself when I think I know more than the recipe I'm reading ... but sometimes I'm right. Really fascinating about the cold bath.

Baking Soda said...

That's my girl!! (I would have shunned the bagels knowing I could and had done it already and never look back), you're admirable for trying in the first place and then do it all over again to find out why.

I still have the printed version of the link hanging around somewhere, maybe I should dig it out again soon.

The rye is wonderful!

oggi said...

I love all three breads, they're beautiful. And the bagels look so good and fat and golden.

I think it's a brilliant idea to post the breads collectively by month. I might follow your lead.

See you in May then.:)

Verena said...

Lien, your breads look so lovely and yummy! Loved the pics! I specially liked the shape of the first one! I am looking for this bread pan for some the marks on the bread surface!