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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Swedish Tea Ring

The H family has Swedish ancestry. It seemed apt to make a Swedish bread for Christmas. The big dinner in our house is on Christmas Eve when we have my in-laws over for dinner. When I saw this recipe on Simply Recipes, it looked so pretty, I had to give it a shot. I made one wreath (the recipe is for two) and followed the directions promptly.

The rest in pictures:


Wet ingredients mixed in with one cup of flour, waiting for the second cup

Before kneading

After seven minutes of kneading, ready to rise

I used raisins and almond paste along with the cinnamon sugar for the filling

Risen dough

Rolled out into a 16 x 8 rectangle

Fillings are in

Rolled, top to bottom


Half way wreath

Complete wreath ready to rise

Risen (later glazed with egg yolk + milk)

Out of the oven

Glazed (not very well) with a sugar glaze

This coffee bread was super yummy. Everyone liked it a lot too. We could have eaten all of it if we weren't so full from dinner. It was great to have some on Christmas day as well. In fact I was so excited to have more of it that I have baked two more loaves to share at a H family reunion over New Year's weekend.

This is the 60th post as I approach one year of blogging about bread baking. It has been a good learning experience. I realize I got behind in posting and didn't have insightful comments in the last 8-10 posts. But now I am caught up.

I'll be back in 2012!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Multigrain Struan 04

A Peter Reinhart classic after six months. The soaker in this multigrain dough is made up of a combination of grains. The 56.5 g of whole wheat flour and 4 g of salt are required, the remaining 340 g of soaker is a blend of 170 g of cooked and uncooked grains and 170 g of liquid. I usually add grains and liquid in turn such that a consistency between porridge and stiff dough is maintained and the soaker weights 400.5 g.

The soaker this time was primarily made up of cooked quinoa and buckwheat flour. This was the final composition of the soaker.
56.5 g : Whole wheat flour
4 g salt

100 g: Quinoa, cooked
20 g: Buckwheat flour
50 g: Oats, ground
40 g: Bread flour
20 g: Amaranth
10 g: Flax seeds, ground
115 g: Milk

Biga on the left, soaker on the right and other ingredients

PR's epoxy method for final dough

11:22 am: Ready for first rise

1:03 pm: First rise is done

1:04 pm: Shaped and ready for proofing
(sesame seeds added after picture was taken)

2:03 pm: Proofed, slashed and ready for the oven

2:09 pm: Into the preheated cast iron combo cooker

Baked with some oven spring


Crumb that is tight at the bottom

The bread
The bread tasted okay, nothing exceptional. It sliced well and held together. The dark shades of buckwheat were visible throughout but the quinoa and amaranth were lost. The sesame seeds made for a pretty topping.

Date: December 17, 2011
Recipe: Multigrain Struan from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads

Flours: Whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, bread flour
Bread specific ingredients: Quinoa (cooked), rolled oats, flaxseeds, amaranth
Sweetener used: Agave nectar
Liquid: Milk

Comments: Buckwheat is a complicated grain to include in breads (and pancakes). It has a strong flavor and can easily overpower the taste.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Garbanzo Sour Cream Bread

My own recipe, meant to use up available ingredients. Nothing out of the common but results were impressive.

For two loaves
227 g  / 8 oz cooked garbanzo beans (blended with ¼ C water)

600 g whole wheat flour
100 g bread flour
15 g cracked flaxseeds
14 g table salt (2 tsp)
8 g instant yeast (2 tsp)

224 g sour cream (I used lite) (1 cup)
221 g water

(Note that I didn't use oil or sugar because sour cream has sufficient fat and some sweetness)


Beans, dry ingredients and wet ingredients

10:53 am: After kneading well for about 10 minutes

12:56 pm: Long first rise

12:57 pm: Deflated, rounded and ready for second rise

2:08 pm: After rising for the second time

2:25 pm: 1442 g of dough, split into two and shaped

3:08 pm: Proofed, slashed and ready for the oven

3:08 pm: Boule in the pre-heated cast iron pan

Good oven spring

Good rise in both loaves

Sliced well

Even light crumb... very desirable

Date: December 8, 2011
Recipe: RPH's Garbanzo Sour Cream Bread

Flours: Whole wheat, bread flour
Bread specific ingredients: Garbanzo beans, flaxmeal, sour cream
Sweetener: None
Liquid: Water

Comments: One of the loaves was the (late) December bread for my father-in-law. This bread was heavier in caloric content and protein due to the beans and sour cream. The crumb was wonderfully light. This bread will do well with sweet or savory accompaniments.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

(Details in a later post)
Wishing all Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Nominee for Failed Bread of the Year

This bread had everything right in principle. I had read several recipes in books and online for a yeast bread using pumpkin puree and decided to use the collected ideas and do it my own way. However I made one silly but crucial mistake. Try to guess what it might have been.

For two loaves
100 g rolled oats (ground for 30 seconds) (~1 cup)
138 g bread flour (~1 cup)
412 g whole wheat flour (~3 cups)
1½ tsp instant yeast
14 g salt (2 tsp)

32 g brown sugar (3 Tbsp)
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground cardamom (5 pods)
73 g orange juice (¼ cup)
389 g pumpkin puree (1 cup)
27 g vegetable oil (2 Tbsp)
2 eggs

134 g whole wheat flour (~1 cup)


Dry and wet ingredients mixed with 1 cup of flour for later mixing

2:07 pm: Bringing it together

2:24 pm: Ready for first rise

The first rise was not impressive after more that 3 hours. That got me wondering and I realized what I had done wrong. There wasn't much I could do at this point to improve my chances of a good loaf. I decided to go ahead with the baking anyway.

6:25 pm: After second rise

I wanted to make a braid using this technique by smitten kitchen. I had also kept aside some butter and brown sugar to use as filling. However with my failed dough and the messy filling, it wasn't easy to shape the dough.

6:56 pm: Making a braid

7:02 pm: Bumpy braid trying to rise

The second half of the dough got a second rise before being shaped into a loaf.

7:53 pm: Second loaf got regular treatment

8:30 pm: Not an impressive rise

Post baking and after the braid lost a couple limbs to taste testers

Any guesses about what might have gone wrong?

Here goes: I had used whole wheat pastry flour instead of whole wheat flour! I store both bags in similar containers, and had picked the wrong one.

Can't have a post with only failures to note. So here are pictures from a holiday baking attempt.

Stained Glass Cookies
I made these cookies from a recipe on Simply Recipes.They were made to share at a Holiday Gift and Recipe exchange with some girlfriends. Mine look nowhere as pretty as the ones Elsie has in her post, but they weren't too bad.

Ingredients and materials

Crushing the LifeSavers

Cutouts filled with crushed hard candy


The stained glass effect!

Happy Holidays!