Thursday, October 16, 2014


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

Zorra hosts the annual World Bread Day "to honor our daily bread" and show that baking bread can be easier than you think, and also great fun.

World Bread Day 2014 (submit your loaf on October 16, 2014)My contribution - I participate for the first time - is one of my all-time favorites: Pane Siciliano from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

One of the few all-white breads in my repertoire, I bake this often, my customers love it, and I always make some extra loaves for us.

Many Mediterranean countries have a tradition of sesame breads, like ring-shaped Turkish Simit - another favorite. Pane Siciliano, from Sicily, is rolled into an attractive S-shape.

Made with semolina flour, it has an extraordinary good taste, due to a preferment and a long rest overnight in the fridge.

The sesame topping provides an extra-nice crunch.

Pane Siciliano is no quick bread - plan ahead, start with the pâte fermentée 2 days before you plan to bake.

Fluffy inside and crunchy outside

BreadStorm user (also of the free version) can download the formula.

PANE SICILIANO  (adapted from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice)
(4 small breads) 

Pâte Fermentée
142 g/5 oz all-purpose flour
142 g/5 oz bread flour
5 g/0.18 oz salt
1 g/0.4 oz instant yeast
177 g/6.24 oz water

Final Dough
454 g/16 oz pâte fermentée (all)
227 g/8 oz semolina flour
227 g/8 oz bread flour
9 g/0.3 oz salt
3 g/0.1 oz instant yeast
29 g/1 oz olive oil
22 g/0.75 oz honey
235 g/8.3 oz water
10 g sesame seeds, for topping

For the pâte fermentée: mix all ingredients at low speed for 1 minute, until all flour is hydrated, then knead on medium speed for 4 minutes (the dough should be tacky, but not sticky, adjust with a bit more water or flour, if necessary (DDT: 77-81ºF/25-27ºC).

Pâte fermentée

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, roll it around to coat with oil, cover, and leave for 1 hour at room temperature, or until it has grown 1 1/2 times. Degas it lightly, and refrigerate it overnight (or up to 3 days).

Remove the pâte fermentée from the refrigerator 2 hours before using, to warm up. For an easier distribution in the final dough, cut it in several smaller pieces.

For an easier distribution in the dough, cut pâte fermentée in small pieces

Knead all dough ingredients at low speed for 1-2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated, then at medium speed for 6 minutes (DDT: 77-81ºF/25-27ºC). Like with baguettes, the dough should be supple, smooth, tacky, but not sticky. Adjust with a bit more water, if necessary (Beware: if the dough is too soft, the coils will be less distinct!)

Fermentation in square containers makes the shaping easier

Place the dough in an oiled container, turn around to coat with oil, cover, and leave it at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size. (I like to divide the dough in 2 portions before the bulk fermentation.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it with semolina flour.

Divide dough in 4 equal portions

Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Shape first into bâtards, then baguettes. Take each piece at both ends and extend it to about 61 cm/24" length (this should be easy).

Shape pieces first into bätards....

....then into baguettes

Working from both ends, coil each baguette to form an S (take care that the seam stays underneath!)

Coil baguettes from both ends into an S-shape

Place breads on the prepared sheet pan, mist them with water and sprinkle them with sesame seeds, gently pressing the seeds a bit down to attach to the dough. Spray with oil spray.

Place breads on the semolina sprinkled baking sheet

Put the baking sheet in a large plastic bag - like a clean, unscented garbage bag - and place the breads for a slow rise in the refrigerator overnight.

In the plastic bag they go, and then in the fridge

Remove breads from refrigerator 2 hours before baking - they should have doubled in volume, if not, let them rise a bit longer (finger poke test: a dimple shouldn't fill up again, but remain visible!)

Preheat oven to 500ºF/250ºC, including a steam pan (I use a large baking pan, placed on the highest, or lowest tier.)

Over night nicely risen

Place breads into the oven, pour a cup of boiling water in steam pan, and reduce temperature to 450ºF/220ºC.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove steam pan, and rotate baking sheet 180 degrees for even browning. (If some of the breads stick together, separate them now.)

Continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until breads are golden brown, and register  200-205ºF/93-96ºC on an instant thermometer. Let breads cool on a wire rack.

Pane Siciliano

Pane Siciliano can be easily frozen, wrapped in plastic foil and placed in a freezer bag. To re-crisp, spray thawed loaf with water and bake for about 7-10 minutes in a 375ºF/190ºC oven.

My delivery basket: Pane Siciliano, multigrain pitas and rustic baguettes

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts (folgt noch)

Apples are one of my favorite fruits.

Therefore fall means apples - preferably baked apples, as in Schwäbischer Apfelkuchen - Swabian Apple Cake or boozy Apfelkuchen with Almonds & Apfelkorn.

Hanaâ's pick for our October ABC project, Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread was a novelty for me - a bread with an apple filling! King Arthur Flour's two beautifully twisted breads are enough for a large family, so I made instead a batch of Cinnamon Apple Rolls.

Apart from halving the recipe, I made a few changes, replacing a third of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat, reducing the amount of yeast (while enhancing the flavor!) with a slow overnight rise in the fridge, and omitting the sugary glaze.

Next time I would use even more grated apples for the filling

For the filling, I used half white, half brown sugar, and cut down on the overall amount. I also added some lemon zest. Measuring weight rather than volume, I ended up with more than 1 cup grated apples in the filling - which was fine, it even could have been more! 

Using Instant ClearJel in the filling, I didn't experience any pesky leakage, when I rolled up the dough. (You can take flour instead, but, unless you cook the filling, this doesn't work as well!)

We liked the fruity little buns and finished them in no time. They taste best when they still a bit warm.

NEXT TIME  I would put even more apple in the filling, add some walnuts, brush the dough coils with egg wash, and sprinkle them with a bit of raw sugar.

Fruity little Apple Cinnamon Bun

CINNAMON APPLE ROLLS  (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
(12 Rolls)

130 g/4.6 oz all-purpose flour
55 g/1.9 oz white whole wheat flour (or more all-purpose flour, total amount 1 5/8 cups)
22 g/1/8 cup potato flour or 1/4 cup dried potato flakes
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
2.5 g/1/2 + 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 + 1/8 tsp. salt
21 g/0.75 oz butter (1 1/2 tbsp)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 egg*)
113 g/1/2 cup milk

*) Break egg into a small bowl, set on a scale, beat it lightly, weigh amount and spoon half of it in your dough.

20 g sugar
20 g light brown sugar (instead of 1/4 cup all white sugar)
10 g/1 1/2 tbsp. Instant ClearJel powder (or 10 g/1/8 cup instant tapioca)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
170 g/12 oz apples, peeled and grated (1 large apple, I used Honey Crisp - it could have been more!)
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl, so that they are evenly distributed. Add butter, vanilla, egg and milk, then mix until a shaggy dough forms. Let rest for 30 minutes.

The dough is nice and smooth, ready to go in the fridge overnight

Knead dough for ca. 10 minutes; it should feel slightly sticky and soft (adjust with a bit more water, if needed).

Gather dough into a ball and place in an oiled container, rolling it around to coat. Cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using. It should have almost doubled in volume and show large gas bubbles.

The bottom of the dough shows large gas bubbles

For the filling, whisk together sugar, ClearJel powder and cinnamon.

Whisk together sugar, ClearJel and cinnamon

Toss grated apples with lemon juice, then add to ClearJel-sugar mixture. Mix well, and set aside.

Mixing the filling

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured or greased work surface. Roll into a 25 x 30-cm/10 x 12-inch rectangle.

Spread filling over the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1 1/4 cm/1/2-inch margin clear along all sides.

Spread filling over the rolled out dough

Starting with a short side, roll dough into a log, then seal the edges.

Roll dough with filling into a log

Now cut the log into 3 cm/1-inch slices. Place slices, cut side up, on parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them that they touch each other.

Let rolls rise about 45 minutes, or until they are puffy and a dimple remains visible when you gently poke the dough with a finger. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF/175ºC.

Nicely risen and ready for the oven

Bake rolls for about 20-30 minutes, until they are lightly browned.

Let them cool before serving. We liked them still a bit warm.

Mount Desert Island in October - still sunny and fairly warm