Monday, September 20, 2010

BBB - Brunkans långa

This is great!  The BBB have posted another challenge where I just happened to have the special ingredient necessary, languishing in the pantry, needing to be put to use.  ☺  I don't remember why I bought the graham flour in the first place, but I haven't used it in some time.  Now I will be using it in a great sourdough starter.  This turned out to be a fabulous bread: it's mildly sweet, mildly sour, deliciously chewy, and great for many things.  Soup sopping, toasting, grilling, eating out of hand...  My daughter begged me to cut into it straight out of the oven.  I could barely get her to wait for it to cool.  "I'll blow on it, pleeeease?  It's not too hot..."  She's right though, there are few things better than fresh bread out of the oven, slathered in butter and maybe some homemade jam.

This bread hails from a little bakery in Stockholm where it is baked in loaves more than two feet long.  Check out Grain Doe and the original post for more information.  Now since there seem to be different definitions and even appearances of graham flour floating around in stores, I'll just add mine as well.  Here is what my graham flour looks like and the King Arthur description of their own "graham flour". 

You can see the little bits of bran and germ left in the flour.  Now I don't know if all graham flour is milled from soft wheat but I assume that's why the need for a high protein flour in the rest of the loaf.  King Arthur's AP flour is 11.7% protein, their bread flour 12.7% and their special high gluten flour is 14-14.2% protein.  Since high protein definitions range from 12-14%, I'd guess bread flour would work just fine.  For general baking I only keep AP and white whole wheat on hand.  So I tossed in a couple teaspoons of gluten.  I think it probably would have turned out fine without it.

Here are the directions for getting the graham flour starter going.  This was a pretty easy starter to do, though I admit to adding half a teaspoon of my regular sourdough starter just to give it a jumpstart.  ☺

Graham flour* sourdough:

Day 1, morning:
Mix 60g/100 ml/0,42 cups graham flour
with 120 g/120 ml/0,5 cups water.
Cover with cling film and leave at room temp.

Day 1, evening:
Add 60g/100 ml/0,42 cups graham flour and
60 g/60 ml/0,25 cups water.
Mix, cover with cling film and leave at room temp.

Day 2, morning:
Add 60g/100 ml/0,42 cups graham flour and
60 g/60 ml/0,25 cups water.
Mix. By now, the sourdough should be a little active (bubbly). If not, add a teaspoon of honey, some freshly grated apple or a teaspoon of natural yoghurt. Leave at room temp.

Day 3, morning:
Feed the sourdough with 60g/100 ml/0,42 cups graham flour and 60 g/60 ml/0,25 cups water.
Mix, cover with cling film and put in fridge.

Day 4
By now, the sourdough should be ready to use. If you don’t want to use it right away, you can keep in the fridge if you feed it as above a couple of times/week.

*Graham flour can’t be found everywhere. If you want to recreate an exact substitute, here’s what to do, according to Wikipedia:

Graham flour is not available in all countries. A fully correct substitute for it would be a mix of white flour, wheat bran, and wheat germ in the ratio found in whole wheat. Wheat comprises approximately 83% endosperm, 14.5% bran, and 2.5% germ by mass. For sifted all-purpose white flour, wheat bran, and wheat germ having densities of 125, 50, and 80 grams/cup, respectively, one cup of graham flour is approximately equivalent to 84 g (~2/3 cup) white flour, 15 g (slightly less than 1/3 cup) wheat bran, and 2.5 g (1.5 teaspoons) wheat germ.

Brunkans långa
The long (tall?) loaf of Brunkebergs bageri
2 large loaves

600 g/600 ml/2,5 cups water
1125 g/2,48 lb high-protein wheat flour
375 g/13,2 oz graham sourdough (see above)
20 g/0,7 oz fresh yeast
150 g/5,3 oz dark muscovado sugar
25 g/0,88 oz honey
30 g/1 oz sea salt

Day 1
Mix all ingredients except the salt. Work the dough in a stand mixer for 10 minutes or by hand for 20. Add the salt. Knead the dough for 5 minutes more. Put the dough in a oiled, plastic box and put the lid on. Leave the dough for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes: fold one side of the dough against the centre of the dough, then fold the other end inwards, finally turn the whole dough so that the bottom side is facing down. Put the plastic box with the dough in the fridge and let it rise over night.

Day 2
Set the oven temp to 250 C/480 F. Leave the baking stone in if you use one.

Pour out the dough on a floured table top and divide it lengthwise with a sharp knife. Put the dough halves on a sheet covered with parchment paper and place another parchment paper or a towel on top. I dusted them with some flour at this point. When the oven is ready, put in the sheet or shove the parchment paper with the loaves onto the baking stone. Put a small tin with 3-4 ice cubes at the bottom of the oven. (The water releases slowly which is supposed to be better.) Lower the oven temp. to 175 C/350 F immediately after you have put in the loaves.

After 20 minutes, open the oven door and let out excess steam.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the loaves have reached an inner temp of 98 C/208 F.

Let cool on wire.

Now, you'll get a better crumb when you cut if you can at least wait until your loaf is cool. Or at least not still steaming hot. R couldn't wait that long. I did a half batch and still got two good sized loaves out of it. It was easier dealing with the dough in the fridge with the smaller batch.

This will be submitted to Yeastspotting.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Amazingly fudgy dark chocolate gluten free brownies!

If you know someone who is gluten free or recently diagnosed with a wheat or gluten allergy, these brownies are a great way to ease into gluten free living.  While we are fortunate enough not to have wheat sensitivities in the family, we love these because they are practically indistinguishable from regular flour brownies and give us a break from a traditional grain heavy diet.  I have made these with both Spectrum vegetable shortening and butter.  And as much of a butter fan as I am, I actually liked how they turned out with the shortening better.  (I know, no one was more surprised than I.)  They are also dairy free that way for people to whom that is a concern.  What follows is the full recipe but a great thing to do with these is make a half batch in a loaf pan.  They are better fresh anyway and every piece gets some edge - a good thing for edge fans.  You also can't go too crazy and eat a whole pan full yourself that way.  Not that I'd ever do that...  o.O  You are welcome to add nuts if you like, I'm not a nutty brownie fan myself.  Oh yes, I recommend erring on the side of underbaking with these beauties.  Gluten free brownies do not like to be overcooked.  This recipe actually beat out all the wheat flour recipes I've tried for best fudgy brownie.  Goes to show that living gluten free doesn't have to be a study in giving up your favorite things.  Gluten free or not, give these a try, I'm sure you'll love them!

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies (Gluten Free)

5 oz. good Belgian or dark chocolate (I used 70% Dark chocolate Divine bars but XOXOX Chocolove is deliciously smooth as well)
½ cup unhydrogenated vegetable shortening (Spectrum Organic or Jungle Shortening)
2 pastured eggs, room temperature
½ cup loosely packed blanched almond flour (I used Honeyville Farms)
¼ cup teff flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp good bourbon vanilla extract
½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, divided, optional (Enjoy Life is a great gluten, dairy and soy free brand, available at many grocery stores now)

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line an 8" square baking pan (or an 8x4" loaf pan for a half batch) with foil or parchment and lightly grease the bottom.  In a small saucepan, melt the dark chocolate and shortening on the stove. Stir together to combine. Set aside.  In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium high speed until frothy. Add the brown sugar and beat until smooth.  Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg-sugar mixture gradually.  Beat well for a minute or so. The chocolate should look smooth and glossy.  In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond flour, teff flour, sea salt and baking soda; whisk together. Add the combined dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and beat well for a minute. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.  Stir in half the chocolate chips and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Shake the pan a little bit to even out the batter.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake in the center of your oven for 25 to 30 minutes, (around 15 for a half batch) or until the brownies are set.  Don't overcook.  (Gluten free brownies get crumbly if you bake them too long.)  My oven runs fast and hot so I often start checking things 10-15 minutes early depending on the recipe, even after turning it down.  Be vigilant on your first run.  Cool on a wire rack; remove the brownies from the pan by pulling on the foil edges.  Chill for ease of cutting.  Gluten free baked goods do tend to freeze well if desired.  

Makes 9-16 servings depending on how gluttonous you wish to be.  ☺  I cut the half batch into 8 squares.  Store tightly covered or they will tend to dry out and get crumbly.  They might last better in the fridge.  (Aw who are we kidding, how long are they going to last anywhere?)  But I understand they are fabulous chilled!

Flavor options:  If you like minty brownies, try using the mint flavored dark chocolate bars for a subtle hint of mint, or add a tsp of peppermint extract to the recipe as well for an even bigger hit.

I like to add a tsp of espresso powder to my brownies to really enhance the chocolate flavor.

Adapted from gluten-free goddess