Tuesday, August 4, 2009

levain in the soaker?

The absolute most gratifying thing about this business, is the fact that I can't stop learning. There are so many different ways to do something, and they are all correct. I suppose the flip side of that is, everyday I see something different. Usually, at least once a day, I'm in disbelief. The old saying "just when you think you've seen it all". I'm trying to make light of the fact, that it's not always a good thing.

One of the items on the CMB test was a grain loaf. Standard formula, Bread, whole wheat, and rye flours. The formula was disclosed on the first day of the test because it utilized a soaker. A blend of five different seeds/grains that were to be soaked overnight using sixty four percent water. It was candidates choice about prefermenting some of the flour. Candidate Petr Jacobs, a very skilled German baker, works for SAF yeast in Montreal. He did something I've never seen before. He added twenty two percent liquid levain to the soaker. It made such a difference. Since liquid levain is equal parts flour and water, he deducted the weight of each from the overall formula. His bread had overwhelming flavour. He went on to tell me about various grain fermentation practices he learned in Germany. Petr also used a star cutter to form his grain loaves. It would be impossible to try to describe it, but it was very cool. Something else I hadn't seen before.

This week will turn out to be more work than I anticipated. Filemon's son, Diego has been working this summer. A few extra hands for the market season. Good little baker. I guess when a guy takes off for a "family" vacation to the Dells, he takes his family. Talk about steppin' on a rake. So now we are four hands short. Oh well, this too, will pass.

Yesterday, we bought a full flat of fresh raspberries. Last night we made brioche dough and today we are going to make fresh raspberry brioche coffee cakes. Gonna be awesome. We roll out the dough spread it lightly with pastry creme, sprinkle on the fruit, roll it up and cut it into pieces and proof and bake it in a round form. I like to use as much fresh fruit as possible in the summer. Won't be long and we will have Italian plums and better peaches. Once the freestone peaches are out, we plan on making peach jam, and making fresh peach topped croissant.

I've reached the point in my morning, where the world won't leave me alone. I'm giving in and heading upstairs. Got a lot to get ready for tomorrow's markets.


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