Still baking

nina

Hello all!
I haven't posted for ages, been super busy with school. I still bake every week, I just don't get around to taking photographs. Bad me.
For my birthday dinner I baked a white loaf with beer and spelt, recipe from Nørrebro Brewhouse, converted to sourdough. Reading Jeremy's post on Dan's forum encouraged me to run down and get a snapshot before it was gobbled up.
So, here you go:
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/7825-1/x070313bryghus3.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/7823-1/x070313bryghus1.jpg[/img]
It was a fairly big loaf, and the crumb was slightly more open at the ends (this is a shot of the middle).
I was worried that the beer (I used Urquell) would make the bread bitter, but that wasn't the case at all. It was very flavourfull with a notable but pleasant sourness. It worked very well with dinner (lasagna) and the following days with cheese, pate or salami. Not good with chocolate spread though...

This semester I started Home Economics classes (I'm doing 4 years of teacher training college - is that the right word?) and we've been baking quite a lot. Mostly horrible over-yeasted no-time bread, yuck! I'm still pondering over how on earth to introduce the pupils to good bread in 2½ hours...
It's possible for me to make a dough (sourdough or yeasted) and keep it in the fridge overnight and bring it to class for final proofing and baking. But I'd prefer a method that involved the pupils more. Preferably in every stage of the process. Any thoughts or ideas? (I still have 2½ year to experiment before I'll be teaching 'for real')

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SourDom 2007 March 24

Nina,

There is clearly no way to make a pure sourdough bread from go to whoa in 2 1/2 hours. But with a bit of preparation it would certainly be possible to get them involved in the different steps along the way.
To do that you would need to have prepared a number of different doughs that could be at different stages. That would be a fair amount of work...

One interesting experiment would be to bring samples of different types of loaf (simple yeasted, preferment based, hybrid, pure sourdough), and to get the students to try to identify the differences between them.
might be a bit ambitious to start with though...

I think getting them to generate their own starter is a great idea, and they could certainly incorporate that into a hybrid dough. However even then you are going to be struggling to give it adequate time to ferment and then prove and then bake (and then cool and then eat).
Mick was battling something similar when he was actively teaching his students, and I am not sure what solution he came up with.

don't know what else you are planning to teach them in the way of cooking, but if you can find a copy in your part of the world, look up a book called 'Kitchen Garden cooking for kids' by an Australian chef called Stephanie Alexander. It is an inspirational text about taking seriously the task of teaching children to grow, prepare and enjoy good food.

cheers
Dom

nina 2007 March 25

Thanks for the ideas, Dom.
Hybrid doughs is a really good idea. Speeding things up a bit with yeast would also allow for a bit of time for cooling, which has proved to be a problem. (It feels almost like a sacrilege to cut into hot bread But with so few hours it just has to be done... )

Of course there's also a point in letting the pupils know there's no way to bake good bread in 2 hours.
Your post also made me think that lots of other teachers must have struggled with the same problem. Wonder what they've come up with...?

SourDom 2007 March 26

Nina,

the other thing that you could do would be to bake bread that need little or no proving after bulk fermentation (foccacia and pizza come to mind)

cheers
Dom

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2007 March 17

Yum. Hey Nina! Good to see you again and certainly hope to meet you in Wales. Happy Belated Birthday to you and also to Jeremy.

It would be marvellous if you could introduce traditional slow bread to your students. You must show them from scratch. Then bring the bread home to prove. Would be good if the classes are on consecutive days, so you can bring the bread the next day to bake. If not, you could always have a readymade loaf to show how it should turn out and for tasting.

nina 2007 March 24

Thanks TP . I really hope you can make it to Wales.

As for teaching: Usually classes are just once a week, which is a problem. Of course I could have pupils feed the starter one week and bake with it the next, but then it would need feeding all through the week and that would probably be tricky.
I'm thinking maybe I could give them the starter as homework and they could feed it at home and bring it along. Of course not every starter would be good to bake with, but at least they would have handled it themselves, and asseseing which starters were ripe would be a good lesson too.
My second thought is experimenting with yeasted preferments. I've been baking Pain Rustique from Jeffrey Hamelmanns book and it's an exellent bread even though it's only risen with yeast, and once the preferment is ready it's also quite quick to make (for good bread that is).
I think I need to look into motherdough like Teresa does it, maybe that could be do-able too...

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