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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Flaxseed (late night) loaf

I wanted to squeeze the bread to show how soft it was but my little photographer thought it would be utterly unhygenic.

It was a  last minute and late night decision to bake this though I knew it would take 3 odd hrs of waiting. But I could not help it. It's  dough or never.

In spite of the presence of flax seed,  the end result was a luscious loaf of soft, moist  bread. I attributed it to a couple of factors : not hurrying the fermentation by avoiding an artificial warm fermentation chamber,  leaving it to cool off overnight uncovered without cooling device ( aka fan ) and the scant use of yeast.

Though the bread was baked in the bread machine which could not accommodate a cup of water to encourage oven spring, the loaf still maintained its dome from start to finish. In fact, this is one of my bread recipes with very little on site maintenance. The only consideration was to ensure that the bread does not rise beyond double its original bulk.

I baked this with a room temperature of 29C so the time recorded here may need some tweaking upwards in a colder place.

Finally, I am very proud to say that this recipe is totally original ( luckily for my folks ! ) and made in between the commercials of K-drama "Love,Bread and Dreams". The talk of starters, sourdough, fermentation simply sent me into a baking spiel. Too bad I did this before the protagonist revealed that the special taste of Bong bun was attributed to rice powder after I  started working on my recipe. Perhaps I would experiment with rice powder instead of flax in my next adventure!

Verdict : soft, loose uneven holes makes it a cross between a sourdough and Japanese bread. Best for holding up dry sandwich ingredients such as cold cuts and thinly sliced cheese.

Makes a medium loaf.

Ingredients :
35g  flax seed, finely ground in a coffee grinder
215g bread flour
1g sea salt flakes
5g instant yeast
80 ml lukewarm water
120ml lukewarm milk

If you wish to eat the bread, the night before :

Mix dry ingredients then add wet ingredients.

Set bread machine to  dough mode. Ferment for 60 minutes or when near doubled in bulk but not more. The dough will appear slightly shaggy.

Remove dough to lightly floured worktop. Flatten dough gently. Fold the dough, bringing both ends of the dough towards the center, like folding a letter.

Remove  the bread machine stirrer.

Transfer folded dough back to bread machine. Use a pastry scrapper to move the dough if needed.  Proof till bulk is almost doubled but not more than that, about 60 minutes.

Bake the bread in-situ under 'bread mode', 1 hour.

Cool on a rack, uncovered, overnight.

Tips : avoid using too much flour when handling fermented dough. Instead, use a broad pastry scrapper to lift or fold  the dough. Excess flour makes bread dry and gives a raw flour taste when cooked.

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