Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 21

We started Artisan Breads today.  The term "artisan" is a little loose when it comes to breads since so many bigger stores are now selling products with that name on it.  What it comes down to for the most part is, the breads are more hand-made, for the most part, using as little machinery as possible.  They are less uniform in the loaf size, shape and color and most of the time you're looking for those larger air pockets that you try and squash out of other breads.  I think one of the most important things regarding artisan breads is the lack of chemicals.  There should be no preservatives or additives in the bread (other than internal garnish).  An artisan bread is usually made with flour, water, yeast and salt.  Sometimes milk, eggs or butter will be in there as well, but that's basically it.

Results this week will be slightly delayed as it's hard to get more than one bread DONE per day.  We're using a mixture of pre-ferments, starters and instant yeast and so it takes a long time to ferment and proof the bread before baking.  But, ON WITH THE BREAD ALREADY!

Ciabatta (and bread's like it) (I just noticed I spelled it wrong on the bowl...way to go!) have to be turned halfway through fermentation so that all the CO2 that builds up and rises to the top gets put back down on the bottom to come up.  The dough is very soft and unlike most bread dough.  

Mine came out looking like a potato...I told Chef it was Irish Ciabatta.  :-)  

The crumb came out nicely with nice holes in it and it tasted quite yummy.  I may have to pick up some sandwich stuff on the way home in the morning....

We also made Focaccia, which starts out looking like white blobyness in a pan.  Again, the dough is very soft and sticky.  Lots of olive oil is used to keep it from sticking to both the pan and my hands.

Halfway through baking I sprinkled garlic and parmesan on it...mmmm!

Again, the crumb came out nice and airy.  It was really light and fluffy with just a slightly "fried" taste on the edges...delicious!

This is the bottom of it.  You poke holes in it with your finger tips from the top just before baking and this is what happens.  It's totally SUPPOSED to look like this!

We also made sourdough with our 15-year-old starter but I decided to leave that proofing in the fridge for a couple of days.  It will increase the acetic acid (what makes it sour) and the crust will change and become chewier.  :-)

1 comment:

  1. All of the bread looks delicious. And by the way, I love focaccia bread. Dare I go a cheesy cliche route and describe your blog is mouth watering?