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www.cookwithannie.com • View topic - Baking Bread in Humid Weather

Baking Bread in Humid Weather

We decided to start a new forum for bread which we think is more than warranted by the complexity and different techniques involved. The first topic here is Hong Kong Classics -- best-loved breads like Pineapple Bun and Cocktail Bun.

Re: Baking Bread in Humid Weather

Postby magnrod on Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:44 pm

Dear Annie and friends,
I finally been able to bake last week. I actually made these bread last week but only found time to post it today, after complaining to Annie about my starter (Marco I, died, sob!!! but glad to announce Marco 2 is well and alive, will be making sourdough very soon!!) Annie gave me some ideas and asked me to bake other bread while waiting for my starter, so I got to work and baked the Pineapple Bread using Annie's recipe you can find it on this website under bread and a wholemeal breadloaf by using Poolish.
The pineapple bun, method is different from the website as I used Chef Karen's. The effect was quite good as the bread stayed soft for a few days, as the weather in Perth is really dry (50% humidity), so that is quite a good achievement. The crumb was fine textured and the 'pineapple' top was deliciuos.
As for the loaf bread, I think it is ok but still not to my satisfaction, I will go on trying til I get the result I like, As I like the stretchy crumbs instead of crumbs that is short and crumbly. I do not know how to explain this texture thing, and the crust were to thick, I think the oven was to hot. But when toasted the bread tasted pretty good and the crusty was crunchy but not hard. Anyway attached the photos.
Attachments
Poolish Bread.JPG
Wholemeal Bread Loaf made with poolish.
Poolish Bread.JPG (287.29 KB) Viewed 2198 times
Pineapple Bun.JPG
Pineapple Bun
Pineapple Bun.JPG (190.72 KB) Viewed 2190 times
magnrod
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 10:42 pm

Re: Baking Bread in Humid Weather

Postby annie on Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:15 am

Dear maggie,

I love your pineapple bun, and it is really perfect. Tell me, besides using Chef Karen's method, did you use her ingredients which called for more butter or the ones posted here? I even love your colour, how do you make it so yummy yellow?
AND, first place your hand on your heart..............was this pineapple bun the best you have tasted in Perth? Could you get this quality bun in Perth? You know, getting the bun stayed soft initially even for 1 hour was a problem :( At one point I was so desperate I wanted to put in some dough enhancer, in fact I did to experiment. But the bun was too soft, and it did stay soft for a long time.........but too artificial besides harmful to the body. And once you tasted the soft textue of Chef Karen's bread, you cannot go back. Right? :D I love to time the baking of the bun and serve it with Cambidore soup (with real shark's fin), wow, the faces of my guests just lit up, the joyful aroma of fresh dough filling the house as it springs to life in the warm oven, and then everyone happily consuming those wonderful rich, soft, tender rolls.

Now to your loaf bread, I know exactly what you mean and even this happened to Chef Karen's product. Sometimes it is not the recipe but I cannot tell you why as I am NO baker. What I do know bread is so temperamental, unless you put in dough enhancers and stabilizers, the result is never steady.

Yes, the crust is a bit too tight and too thick, by the way have you got my straight dough baguatte recipe? and Pain de Mie? If not, I will e mail them to you. Maybe you can try out these recipes from Chef Karen. I will also send you a Foccacia one that I learnt from an Italian chef, because I am still searching for my ultimate Foccacia which I tasted at Carluccio in London.

Annie
annie
 
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:09 am

Re: Baking Bread in Humid Weather

Postby magnrod on Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:52 pm

Dear Annie,
I followed the recipe to the T ( I was tempted to add in extra butter!! but did not), I did add some yellow coloring to the top crust as per the recipe, as for the bread, I glazed it with only egg yolk. I use free-range eggs here, I think the yolk is more yellow than in HK. As for the butter I followed your recipe, but I used fresh yeast instead of dry yeast, I do find that fresh yeast produce softer bread. And also followed Chef Karen's method with the longer fermentation period. Yes you are right, it is the best in Perth, as those here are really artificial and the crust on top do not taste as eggy and nice. But we do wrap it with foil and put it in the toaster for a few minutes to re-heat it, to recapture that 'just-out-of-oven' taste again.
As for the loaf, I baked one again yesterday, and the texture is much softer, but the bread loaf was not square, it buckled in the middle, like when you cut it, it is not square, but had a waist, not sure if you know what I mean. Anyway I lowered the oven temp. I guess this may cause it to 'buckle' a bit as the crust is not as hard and thick as the first time. But it tasted wonderful and soft. Bread is something that is still a mystery to me, I think its harder than cakes. Anyway will go one trying.
As for the foccacia, what is your ideal texture? Do you like chewy one with big holes in it? I made one before but the texture is very unlike the one you made with May, it is more 'holey', and the dough is really very wet, almost 'soupy', I will try to make it again and send you the picture when I have the time this week, then you can see if you like the look of it, as foccacia has so many versions so everyone likes something different.
No I do not have CHef Karen's Straight Dough Baguette or your Pain De Mie, would love to try that out.
magnrod
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 10:42 pm

Re: Baking Bread in Humid Weather

Postby magnrod on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:42 pm

Dear Annie,
Baked my sourdough today, I followed the recipe that you showed me at your house, I added 10 grams of fresh yeast. This is from the starter Marco 2. The weather is a bit hot here, so it took faster to prove. I folded the dough twice every 50 minutes. Then I retarded the fermentation for 16 hours, then I shaped it and let it prove in room temperature for 2 hours and then finally baked it according to how you showed me, this way the bread turn out better.
I did try the other way time, by proving it for 2 hours (folding it twice in between), then shaping it and then proving it in the fridge after it was shaped for 12 hours then bake it but that did not turn out well, the bread did not rise and was heavy and dense.
Anyway the crust for this bread is quite nice and crunchy.
Attachments
VSD Cross Section 1.JPG
Inside the bread.
VSD Cross Section 1.JPG (168.53 KB) Viewed 2168 times
Vermont Sour Dough 1.JPG
Vermont Sourdough Bread
Vermont Sour Dough 1.JPG (181.84 KB) Viewed 2138 times
magnrod
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 10:42 pm

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