Sunday, June 3, 2018

Brothers Green Eats are calling this Bread Porn, the perfect sourdough loaf



Wow. I didn't realize making bread was so sexy.

You'll notice he's using the NYT no-knead method of overnight proofing. But he takes much greater care. He pulls out and stretches the cardinal points of the dough ball and overlaps them. This redistributes the yeast cells and reinvigorates them to reproducing by placing them next to new partners. And it is a form of kneading. Time is a form of kneading. So the no-knead method actually does have kneading.

The technique relies on a wet dough. He weighed his flour first then added 85% of its weight in water for 85% hydration. The gluten development that occurred overnight is apparent by how the wet dough stretched in the bowl. Bakers have a way of checking by removing a dough wad and stretching it out flatly in their fingertips like a window pane. The better it works as a window, the better the gluten development. But we see the same thing as Mike pulls it, and how it reattaches to itself so readily.

This is a cloche method. An oven inside an oven hot as it will go. The closed environment keeps the dough wet as it heats and bubbles inside expand far as they can go before the dough skin bakes. After that, further expansion must break through the crust and that's why the loaves are slashed with a razor, to direct that outward bursting.

This will be a mild sourdough, fermented only overnight. Definitely different from usual bread, but not very powerful. It took me years and a couple of books and untold number of online pages to comprehend and internalize that further fermentation results in stronger sourdough flavor, further development, and weaker looser, less lively dough. The organisms are consuming the dough as it ferments. This must be done cold. To slow down the activity. So the whole baking experience is a matter of controlling temperature, comfortably warm for yeast reproduction, and encouraging yeast unrestrained orgy, then chilling to slow down the party, then back again to higher temperature and higher activity but now weakened, then extremely high heat to kill them at the height of their yeast-passion. It's cruel. It's manipulative. It's we humans lording it over single cell organisms, playing on their single cell passion. 

Yeast cells actually have two ways to replicate, haploid and diploid, by budding, cloning themselves, and by sexing it up with their corresponding type. It's part of the brilliance of their survival capability that get them through extreme environmental hardships that include drying out and being frozen and lifted thousands of feet into the atmosphere, even bashed around in blenders.

One time I made nine little animated gifs held together inside an html table that shows yeast diploid reproduction but in Spanish. That was the best example that I found at the time. Eight gifs ran with their first frame held for extra seconds while the first gif ran through its frames then stopped, then the second frame, third frame and so on. This took a lot of mathematical planning. And set that to music. The success of the set running in timely fashion one to the next seamlessly depended upon the speed of the browser loading them all at once. Internet connections and computer speeds have improved considerably since then. Alas, it is gone. The files were hosted on a place that increased their cost unreasonably. Too bad. It was lovely. 

And that does it. I hereby resolve to make that set all over again. But with CSS, tables are incredibly passé. When you make them, the panes no longer fit together tightly. I'll have to think of something else. 

4 comments:

Sixty Grit said...

My father used to play the piece of music used in the first portion of that video. Is that Liszt or Chopin or something?

And based on the hands I thought that was a chick doing the work. Nope - just a scrawny urban pajama boy. He certainly is delicate.

Nice bread knife, but as with the rest of that video the scale is not indicated directly - I think that one is too small for the hard wheat sour dough loaves I buy at market.

Chip Ahoy said...

K-M-T, Kemet, is the Egyptian word for Egypt, meaning "black land," the flood deposit at the the area of the delta. The vowels in between the consonants are unknown. They can be anything. It's one of those words that is instantly recognized like a stop sign, because it uses a picture of a pice of alligator skin for K-M, and that sign is rather unusual, then an owl for a redundant M. Those two things together make the word stick out. With the modest T above the crossroad sign, a sort of wagon wheel, meaning "place" or "town" or "city." Here, look.

And now that you've seen it you can never forget it. It sticks out like a ... like a ... like a sign reading "Warning Low Bridge 2 Miles Ahead 14'6" or perhaps, "Yield to Pedestrians!" or "WATCH OUT FOR FALLING ROCKS" you just can't miss it. And you cannot forget it.

So when he says Kemut wheat, I think, Egyptian wheat. It must be. It must. It must. It must. *flounces*

Let's see.

Oh, they're saying Kamut wheat.

* It's an ancient wheat. *ding*

* Kamut is a brand name. *sad buzzer sound*

* It’s also called Khorasan wheat or Pharaoh grain, owing to the fact that grains were discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. It’s healthier than conventional wheat, and has a crazy backstory to boot. *ding, ding, ding*

Yay! I win. If this were Jeopardy! people would be all, "how'd that little fucker know that?"

* Kamut grains made their way to the U.S. via airmail from a soldier, whose farmer father sprouted and grew them over the next few years. Sadly, the wheat-like kernels never caught on and ended up as cattle feed. Also sadly, conventional wheat edged kamut out of the game into near-extinction. Thankfully, once we all realized that unadulterated ancient grains like kamut, quinoa, teff, spelt and buckwheat were not only trendy and awesome but also delicious and far more nutritious, they came back with a vengeance.

Kamut has about 30% more protein than wheat, and more fatty acids. As an added bonus, some people who are allergic to wheat can tolerate kamut, which is great because its chewy, toothsome texture and nutty, rich flavor makes a delicious spring and summer salad. Use it in tabbouleh instead of bulgur wheat or try baking with kamut flour.

Well, there ya go.

Chip Ahoy said...

Chopin, pronounced Chop-in or maybe Show-pan

Nocturnes, Op. 9: No. 2 In E-Flat Minor, Andante.

It's somnambulant. I meant to say dreamy. Your dad was probably trying to put you to sleep.

Not feminine hands. They're veined, hairy arms and masculine. He's not scrawny. He's a stud with low body fat ratio. Not a pajama boy. He's self-sufficient with a generous nature. Not delicate. He actually studied to be an architect, a profession chosen by builders. He makes things.

The knife is KAI. It's certainly sturdy enough for your market sourdough.

People in comments on YouTube asked about the mill. The label says Nutrimill. I just saw one for under $300 on eBay. Similar ones except manual cranking run $700.00 on Amazon and more, up to $1,200 depending on features. It's a cute little mill. My mill is also a Nutrimill, but it's a serious larger type and not made of wood. You can buy the type that clamp onto countertops for $85.00 plus shipping.

Mine is outrageous. It sounds like a jet engine. Especially when you turn it off. The turbo sound it makes as it winds down. It turns corn kernels into dust.

Sixty Grit said...

The grinder is made of stack laminated bamboo - that is a curious choice for a kitchen appliance, but there it is.

His hands are perfect for what he does. That and being a male hand model.