Completely green but enthusiastic. Like I said enthusiastic I'm wondering if Hamelman's book would be even more over my head or if its a good book to bring me up to speed on some of the terminology used here. You are its target audience, and he's an experienced teacher. Hamelman is written for professional bakers, with enough discussion that amateurs can follow along. That said, Hamelman rocks.
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Albert Kumin is a Great and Venerable Chef with decades of accomplishments in the world of baking and pastry, not the least of which being that he served as White House pastry chef in the s. His skills are as legendary as his unending generosity. I am happily a sapling in the shadow of this grand tree.
I learned this unusual bread-making technique from him in the s, and although I evolved it over the years, the germ method is entirely his. Growing up in the mountains of Switzerland, commercial yeast was either unavailable or too expensive, so the inhabitants of the mountain villages used what they had on hand to leaven their bread. The raisins soaked in water for several days, releasing their latent yeasts, and the water in which they soaked was then used to prepare one or two builds prior to making the final dough.
All the leavening in the bread comes from the raisin water. What I have always found most extraordinary is that, of all the naturally leavened breads I have ever eaten, this is the only one that is characterized by having a complete absence of acidity, coupled with extraordinary leavening potential.
More than two decades after first making this bread, some of the mysteries were explained: microbiologist and baker Debbie Wink did some sleuthing in the world of deep science and discovered that after about five days, yeast populations are at a peak, and this occurs at the same time that the lactic acid bacteria are at a low point.
The bread is quite easy to prepare, and supports numerous variations, such as omitting the walnuts and raisins, adding other fruits and nuts, increasing the whole-wheat portion, and so on. Bakers with an avid curiosity will hopefully try out this method. Not only will you have delicious bread to enjoy, you will also expand your level of skill and accomplishment as you explore some of the less-traveled byways of baking.
Once they have soaked for the proper duration, they are discarded and the juice from the raisins is used as leavener. Raisin Soak: 5 to 6 days before the bake, soak the raisins in the water. White mold normally begins to cover the surface of the raisins, an indication that the liquid is ready.
Occasionally, however, no mold is visible. If the juice is bubbly with a sweet and tangy aroma, the natural yeasts are most likely active in the juice and the dough process can begin.
First Build: Drain the raisins, collecting the juice. Discard the spent raisins. Scale the required amount of juice, add the flour, and mix to incorporate.
Cover and leave at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours, until well risen. Second Build: Add the second build water to the first build and lightly break up the contents of the first build. Add the second build flours and mix until incorporated. Cover and leave to ripen for 12 to 14 hours, until fully domed. During warm and humid months, the vigorous yeast population in the second build might ripen things too quickly. In that case, try refrigerating it for an hour or two once mixed, in order to slow down the pace of ripening.
Then remove from refrigeration and allow it to mature at room temperature. Alternatively, one can make the second build, leave it out for a few hours, and refrigerate it overnight.
Needless to say the next day be sure to take into account the temperature of the cold second build when computing the water temperature for the final dough. As always, the goal is for the preferment to be domed and fully risen at the time of final mixing; make whatever adjustments give that result and all will be well. Mixing: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the walnuts and raisins. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients.
If necessary, correct the hydration by adding water or flour in small amounts. Finish mixing on second speed for 3 minutes, to moderate gluten development. Mix the walnuts and raisins together and add to the dough. Mix on first speed only until they are evenly incorporated.
Folding: Fold the dough halfway through the bulk fermentation. Dividing and Shaping: Divide the dough into 1. Preshape into rounds. When sufficiently relaxed, shape into round or oval loaves, or place into loaf pans. Cover the loaves to prevent a crust from forming during the final fermentation. Baking: Place the risen loaves on the loading conveyor or peel. Slash as desired. Presteam the oven, load the bread, and steam again.
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Talking Bread and Evolution with Jeffrey Hamelman
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Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
You are currently using the site but have requested a page in the site. Would you like to change to the site? Jeffrey Hamelman. When Bread was first published in , it received the Julia Child Award for best First Book and became an instant classic. Here, the bread baker and student will discover a diverse collection of flavors, tastes, and textures; hundreds of drawings that vividly illustrate techniques; and four-color photographs of finished and decorative breads. View Instructor Companion Site. Contact your Rep for all inquiries.
Bread : A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes (2nd) [Hardcover]
Bread : A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
This recipe comes from Jeffrey Hamelman, a Certified Master Baker one of only about in this country , and a well-known teacher and author. In spite of the ingredients, the bread doesn't taste like coffee. Note: Read the recipe all the way through before starting, so you'll know how much time it takes. To make the slurry: Break the bread into pieces, sprinkle with the ground coffee, and pour the boiling water over it. Mix it all up so the bread is good and wet.