16th July 23:44
Ephraim Moya Finding Bread
I noticed from your moya.us web site that you are searching for
(developing) the recipe for La Joya bread. Maybe you could share with us
what you have discovered so far and how the method came to be lost? Did
people in La Joya stop eating bread for some reason? Was bread displaced
by tortillas way back when?
GONORIO'S GARDEN HEAT SOURDOUGH BREAD
I started making a complicated version of bread the people in La Joya
(and the Moyas) might appreciate - a kind of garden sourdough based on
**** Adams of course will scoff at it and torch me for it because it uses
ingredients other than flour, water, starter, and salt. But then ****
and his ilk will never know what they're missing, for they have not
admitted in any way I've seen that they ever experiment much outside
those basics. Or have they, but I've missed it? Anyway, we can reliably
guess he'll never attempt this one, except to prove me wrong. And then
he'll be hooked. This bread is delicious.
What I do is to substitute the juices of garden vegetables for water in
the bread recipe. First I select these veggies:
- 3 Vine-ripe plum tomato
- 1/2 bunch Scallions
- 2 stalks Celery
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- 1 Red bell pepper
- 3 Carrots
- 1 medium Potato
- 1 small Beet
- 3 Habanera peppers
I run these through my juicer and toss out the pulp. It makes about 3
cups of liquid,
Did you notice Garlic missing from the above list? I have learned after
some trial and error that garlic tends to kill the bacteria and yeast -
it prevents the bread from rising.
Because of the sugars and starches in the above vegetables, the yeast
grows fairly fast, even at room temperature. Therefore, I do not put the
bread dough through any second rise.
I make the sponge by starting with a shot glass of starter, one of water,
and one and a half of bread flour. When it gets nice and frothy, I add
two shot glasses of water and 3 of flour. After that froths up, I add 3
cups each of bread flour and the above juice. When that gets frothy, I
put it in the mixer with 5 cups of flour, and stir till the flour is
wettened and clumped - it will not be soggy. I let it rest 15 minutes,
then add the 2 TBSP salt and knead at low speed for 4 minutes.
I do not knead longer than 4 minutes because the longer I knead it, the
smaller the crumb, and I like the larger crumb. The idea is to achieve
balance. Too little kneading and the dough won't hold the gas produced
by the yeast, and the loaves will not rise properly. To much kneading
and the dough is over-developed, so tough that it won't allow a proper
rise, thereby producing smaller crumb..
I cover the blob with a towel and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then I
stretch and fold it 4 or 5 times cut it into 4 equal-weight blobs, shape
them into loaves, slice the tops, and put them in medium bread pans. I
could as easily make two loaves in large pans, but large loaves are too
large for my small family to consume in a reasonable time. Besides, the
bread from large pans is so large it won't fit in my toaster without
I cover the pans with oiled plastic wrap, and let them sit and rise at
room temperature until they are about double in size, or the tops
protrude an inch above the top of the pan.
The idea is to let them rise or proof till the yeast is almost done.
This gives the bacteria as much time as possible to develop a tang, if
any. In my experience, Carl's starter does not produce much tang, but a
long proof time will definitely make the bread chewier, and that,
combined with a relatively short knead time, produces a larger crumb.
I like pan loaves because they make more uniform bread slices for
sandwiches. However, I sometimes make boules. The dough is sufficiently
stiff to allow shaping of loaves that will hold up fairly well under a
two-hour rise. I prefer pans because shoving boules onto the baking stone
always risks flattening them more than I like. Bottom line, I think
boules are unnecessary concessions to old-timey baking where bakers did
not have bread pans. If they'd had them, they might not have used them
because sandwiches as we know them were not invented till servants made
them for the Earl of Sandwich in 18th century England.
I bake the loaves in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 45 minutes.
After 20 minutes I remove them and paint the tops with beaten milk and
egg. This makes the crust nice and shiny.
There is little if any oven spring. I preheat the oven because I have
thick, heavy baking stones in them that take an hour to heat up, and if
they don't get hot, they sink the heat out of the pans, causing the
bottom and sides to look uncooked while the tops are browned.
These loaves come out with a distinctive flavor, aroma, and appearance.
They are slightly orange in color, and you can get the hint of the garden
vegetables with every bite.
As for the hot peppers, you don't notice the heat when you bite into the
bread. If you are not forewarned, you gradually notice a little warmth,
and that is after you've eaten a slice or two. Then the warmth permeates
both your mouth and your nose. I find the experience to be delightful.
If your family likes a little more heat, you can add more peppers next
time. I think three is just right.
By the way (this is for **** Adams and other sourdough snobs), the
flavors and heat cannot be had by any method OTHER than baking them into
the bread. You can't fabricate a vegetable or hot pepper sauce, spread,
dip, or acoutrement that gives anywhere close to the same effect.
16th July 23:45
Ephraim Moya Finding Bread
If you look at Fleischman's home page, especially
http://www.breadworld.com/sciencehistory/history.asp you'll see that
they introduced prepared yeast in 1868, and showed it at the
Philadelphia Centenial Exposition in 1876. Both dates are well before 1900.
The importance of the amount of protein in flour is generally overstated. In a dietetic sense, most Americans aren't short on protein, nor is bread a major source of protein for them. In a baking sense, anything above about 9% can make good breads. Flours in the 14% and up range are needed to support industrial processes more than anything. A lower protein flour can't stand the rough handling an automated production line usually gives it.
Many American bakers have trouble duplicating French breads, ignoring that they are trying to use a 15% protein flour to duplicate breads made with 9 to 10% protein flours.