There was no bread…

… in the house this morning, so Brian took action and mixed up some of his favourite Toast dough and I threw it into the tins and now it is cooling.

Hamelman Toast Bread

In the meantime I am building a stiff levain to start on the Pain au Levains breads for Mellow Bakers for April by converting my 100% starter to one with a 60% hydration. So 10 grams of the original starter plus 24 grams water and 40 grams flour. That’s about as close as I’ll get without ‘A’ level maths. Tonight I will mix the starters proper for the recipe. If you click on the link above you will see Geraint’s beauteous breads, he’s set the benchmark pretty high with those.

stiff levainLooking forward to seeing how they turn out. But for now –  thank heavens for toast!

15 thoughts on “There was no bread…

  1. heidi

    That was our condition here on Monday.
    Only my husband doesn’t do bread. EVER.
    He tells me I’m remiss in my duties.
    (Why does he talk like that? I don’t know, I’m sure!)
    So I threw together some toasting bread and now he is happy.
    the end.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Brian said something like that heehee, he said ‘well, you’re the baker’. I said,’ there is rye bread, dearest…’ knowing full well what he would say to that. Except he didn’t. So he went off and made some dough with the Kenwood. Smart and lovely guy!

  2. Ulrike

    The levain bread is wonderful, I sold one to my workmate and we ate the other, all gone. Now I am working on the one with whole wheat flour, I made just the first S&F

  3. Melanie Corley

    That’s pretty neat that he will make the bread himself! So are you eating ‘his’ bread for toast? Good luck on your Mellow Baker’s bread!! I made up some stiff starter last weekend, but how do you know if your stiff starter is OK? When I fed mine, I didn’t see much activity. Is it supposed to double or just increase a little in size?

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      He makes the dough and then I shape it – and yes absolutely I eat his bread :D As to the stiff starter, I have exactly the same concerns as you. And I can’t mix it in to the dough the way Hamelman says. I now always loosen the stiff starters/ pre ferments/ pate fermentees with some of the water first, otherwise I end up with patchy crumb to my bread. I don’t really see the difference, between a liquid or a 100% starter and the stiff version. I haven’t come across them anywhere else. Other clues are simply to sniff the starter and see if the smell gives you some clue as to whether it has ‘ripened’, it should also feel spongy and a bit lively if you squish it I guess. I wouldn’t expect it to double as it is so very dry in texture.

  4. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    I love that your love can make the bread he loves. :)

    ‘Twas the day before Friday
    And all through the house
    Not a loaf to feed anyone
    Not even a mouse

    Then into the kitchen
    Leapt Brian the Brave
    There was no toast for breakfast
    The moment was grave

    He spoke not a word
    but went straight to his task
    The Kenwood was whirring
    The kneading was fast

    And soon he cried out
    To Fair Jo where she sat
    “Be a love, please come help
    Give my good dough a pat”

    Into tins went the dough
    Where it rose like the sun
    And in the blink of an eye
    All the baking was done!

    :) xxx

  5. cityhippyfarmgirl

    For a minute there I thought, I’d love to make that. Play with the stiffer starter, try and do some of those AWESOME looking loaves that Geraint did. Then I had a reality snap and decided that I would just watch to see how your gorgeous loaves emerge.
    Low bread here too this week. Must have been something in the bready air…

  6. Amanda

    I am so impressed that your husband can make the bread. I doubt mine could even say where the bread flour is kept!
    I noticed that your Toast recipe calls for strong flour plus extra strong flour. I’m not sure that we have more than one here in Australia, or am I wrong?

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hee hee, he’s impressed that I can make it, I am a very unpractical person for the most part, I’ll tell him what you said Amanda :D

      Celia might be able to help you out here Amanda. I think she calls it bakers flour? Or high gluten flour, that is what very strong is, it has more gluten in it. I think you possibly can buy something called vital wheat gluten, I’ve heard people talk about it. Having said all that, I’ve made this bread with 100% strong flour and it comes out fine too. The effect of the extra strong, for me at least, is to give a more robust crumb with a chewier mouthfeel, so maybe better for sandwiches? I like it both ways :D

      1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

        Amanda, Manildra sell bakers’ flour and extra strong bakers’ flour, although I’ve only ever seen them in 12.5kg bags. I’ve not found a huge difference between the two, so I just tend to use the regular bakers’ flour for everything these days!

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