Sunday, February 16, 2020

Le Pain Tordu #BBB

Happy 12th Anniversary to the Bread Baking Babes!  This month, the Babes have baked up a crusty, twisted loaf.  A very versatile and tasty country bread!  It is somewhat of a pseudo-sourdough as there is a small amount of yeast added.  What results is a loaf with a springy and chewy texture.  Brilliant for serving with soups or stews, toasting, snacking, etc.  A little history of the loaf from our host and the book French Regional Bread: "Le Tordu Du Gers et De Gascogne is a twisted bread, likely from the old provinces of Gascony and Guyenne, now in the Lot-et-Garonne. It owes its name to the fact that it is twisted into a corkscrew shape.  The tordu is described as having two, three or four grignes (little lips of raised crust) according to the number of twists it's given before being set to rise.
"The five-pound pain tordu was what people on farms used to eat after the war; there were a lot of large families and people ate a lot of bread, In the morning we used to cut it into small pieces and dip it in the vegetable soup.
At 10 o'clock we would eat it as a snack in the fields; and we would eat it with our midday meal and again in the evening.
At tea time, my friends and I used to love it rubbed with garlic, sprinkled with salt and dipped in groundnut oil, since in our region olive oil didn't exist."

Stubby tordu, crackling crust
I made one shorter batard, proofed in a lined banneton, and one longer one in a makeshift couche.  And while I was able to get more twists in the longer one, I could not cover it with a roasting lid for steam as is my preferred method for crispy, crusty loaves.  So I would stick to the stubby twist for my crust preference.  You can see below that though I still added steam to the oven with the longer loaf, the crust is more dull and has less developed color and texture than the shorter, roasting pan loaf.  While the original recipe was made for bakeries and had large quantities and long proofing times, I found that the loaf was ready to bake in around five hours with just little amounts of attention paid to it over that time.  The shaping actually caused me the most consternation, trying to get the twists to actually twist as I wanted them to twist.  I found this short video to be helpful in the shaping.  And speaking of the shaping, this technique is very similar to the fendu loaf, save for the twisting.  Very literal names, fendu meaning split and tordu meaning twisted.

Longer tordu, less crackly crust
I will definitely make this again, the loaf is a pleasure to eat and quite versatile in use.  (And both loaves sang to me when I took them out of the oven despite the different steam methods. ♥)  We had options for a pure white loaf and one that had a bit of rye in it.  I love rye, so I chose that option.  It's just a small amount and it still looks like a white loaf, but with fantastic flavor from that addition of rye and kamut that I used.  I just got new rye and it was interesting how much more plump this batch of rye berries looked than the batch I just used up.  I wonder whether it was due to variety or age or moisture content, home milling is so interesting!

We would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month and enjoy this delicious bread!  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished loaf to Feeding My Enthusiasms by the 29th of this month. Be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line. You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month. New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Le Pain Tordu
makes 2 loaves

498g white flour 
34g whole rye flour (I used freshly ground)
34g whole wheat flour (I used freshly ground sprouted kamut)
355g water
139g ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter
12g salt
2.3g instant yeast

For the dough:

Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flours, water, and starter on med-low speed until just combined, about two minutes.  Cover and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Mix in the salt and yeast on low or medium speed for about 4 minutes to achieve a moderate level of gluten development. Cover and let proof at room temperature for 1½-2½ hours, folding every 30 minutes for the first 90 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in two equal pieces and loosely shape them into balls. Sprinkle lightly with flour, cover loosely with plastic, and let rest for 15 minutes.

To shape the loaves:

Once the dough has rested, take one ball and fold it over to make an oblong shape.  Flour lightly, and with a narrow wooden rolling pin press down and roll in the middle lengthwise so that there are two long lengths separated by a thin sheet of dough. Turn it over, flour again, and press and roll to separate the two lengths well.  Now turn the dough on the diagonal, passing one roll over the other to make the corkscrew shape.  The length of the dough will control the number of twists that will fit along the tordu.  Place in a floured couche or linen-lined banneton.  Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.  Cover and proof at room temperature for about 1½ hours.

To bake:

Preheat the oven to 475ºF and place a baking stone on the rack.  You will also need steam during the initial bake, so prepare for this now.  You can either use an oven safe bowl of hot water to add steam, or spray the inside of a roasting pan with water and place it over the loaf for the time needed.  Turn the proofed loaves onto a parchment lined peel or baking sheet.

Once the loaves are in the oven, turn the heat down to 450ºF.  Bake for 10 minutes with steam and another 20 minutes without steam.  The crust should be a deep golden brown. 

Cool on a wire rack. Wait until completely cool to cut and eat.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Danish Rye Bread (Rugbrød) #BreadBakers

The BreadBakers challenge for this month takes us to those scenic fjords and vistas.  We were to bake Scandinavian bread, specifically something from any of the three traditional Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, or Denmark.  Thank you to Felice of All That's Left Are The Crumbs for hosting!  I resisted the urge to go with my normal sweet fare and chose a highly seeded rye bread, Rugbrød that I had pinned a while ago.  I'm the only super seedy bread and rye lover in the house so this might not be seen again, but it was interesting to try!  I did some substitutions and some adjustments because I initially was going to use the weights in the original recipe, but realized they were WAY off and switched to volumetric and then weighed what I got.  I ground the rye fresh, and cracked it as well with my ♥#Mockmill.  In my opinion the amount of flax was too much.  I love a good flax sourdough, but I think the amount used made the crumb a bit gummy.  I would cut it in half.  Dry hard cider subbed for beer because I had it, and I used fresh kefir for the buttermilk.  Whoa, sour!  Definitely only go for 24 hours with homemade kefir in the mix!  Also ended up adding more flour because my dough was much soupier than what was pictured in the original post.  Oh yes, and I parboiled my whole rye to make sure it would be tender because I hadn't originally intended to let it go for 48 hours, which I did.  That's okay, bread is surprisingly flexible.

Danish Rye Bread
Adapted from A Daring Gourmet

2 cups (480g) lukewarm water
2 tsp (7g) active dry yeast
2 tbsp (25g) sugar
2 cups (206g) whole grain rye flour
2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour (Originally 150g and I ended up adding 90g more)
1¾ cup (210g) cracked rye berries
½ cup (80g) whole rye berries
1¼ cup (180g) whole flaxseeds (Recommend reducing to 90g)
1 1/3 cup (180g) sunflower seeds or combination of sunflower seeds ,pumpkin seeds and/or chopped almonds (weights will be different for other seeds)
3 tsp (9g) salt
1 cup dark beer (can be replaced with water or buttermilk, I used 236g hard cider)
1 cup buttermilk or kefir
Traditional rolled oats for topping

Combine the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm water.  Mixture should be frothy after 10 minutes, if not, the yeast is expired.
Mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture, beer and buttermilk, and stir to combine.
Fit the stand mixer with a dough hook and knead on the medium low speed for 10 minutes. The dough will be very sticky, slack and incapable of being shaped at this time.  (At this stage, my dough was still soup and so I added the extra flour.)
Scrape the dough into a very large non-metallic bowl with plenty of head space for the dough to bubble up). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest at a warm room temperature for 24-48 hours, depending on how sour you want the bread to be.  Allow at least 24 hours to ensure enough of the liquid is absorbed. If letting it ferment for only 24 hours it is recommended to first soak the whole rye berries overnight before using them (drain thoroughly).
Line two 8x4-inch bread pans with parchment paper.  (The original post made one 9x5 loaf.  There is no way this amount of dough would have fit that for me, hence the two smaller loaves.) Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Divide the dough evenly between the lined bread pans, pressing down as needed.  Brush the tops with water and sprinkle over evenly with the rolled oats.
Bake on the middle rack for 100-120 minutes or until the center is done. For best and most accurate results use an instant read thermometer and aim for an internal temperature of at least 205º F.
Let the loaf cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan.  Cool completely before slicing. Keep stored in an airtight container.  Store unused portions in freezer to prolong shelf life.

Be sure to check out our other scrumptious Scandinavian goods this month:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.