Artisan Bread Course - Lesson 4 (13/09/09)

Friday, December 25, 2009 Posted by YY on 10:25 AM comments (4)

1 week before lesson 4, we had to start feeding our own levain.
Day 1: Sticky and stiff.

Day 2: I woke up with a shock to see the levain overflowed its own container and it STINKS TOTALLY! Spent a good 15mins clearing up the mess at 7am..crap~ anyhow, I brought the container to my office as the levain had to be fed every 12 hourly.

This is how it looks at the end of Day 3 (after I fed it): It stinks less but it still stinks ~_~

Day 4: It smells much better already, none of the decaying smell exists.

Day 7: The night before lesson 4, there's activity going on =D I will have my own levain to make my bread tmr.

Some of the observations on the smell and the schedule for feeding my levain.
Day 1: Nothing much.
Day 2: Foul smelling, decaying. Lots of activity.
Day 3: Something is still rotting. Lots of activity.
Day 4: Yogurt like smell. Not much activity.
Day 5: Same as Day 4.
Day 6: Sourish. Lots of activity
Day 7: More sour than Day 6. Lots of activity

Before lesson 4 started, we saw several people had levains that looked different from the others. It turned out that some people thought that the mixture was rotting on Day 2/3 and threw it away. Therefore, they went through the process from Day 1 to Day 3 again and again, thinking that something must be wrong...

"How can the levain smell like rotting crap?" Well, the truth is it really did. And all we had in our mind was to just continue feeding it as per instructions haha~

So what did we do right? K and I concluded it could have been due to what we did:
1. Washing the container with detergent before using it
2. Using oxygenated water on Day 1/2 (as we didn't have dechlorinated water)
3. Wash our hands with dettol liquid soap before feeding the levain each time.

In the end, K gave part of his Alkie (the pet name for his levain) to 2 other class members before the start of Lesson 4, so that they have some levain to work with.

Today's breads to be made:
1. Pain Au Levain
2. Flaxseed Rye Bread
3. Ciabatta

We started off with the Pain Au Levain, the recipe is really simple with wheat flour, bread flour, water, levain, yeast and salt. Yeast is used as we do not have 3hours to proof this bread in class.
Each of student is expected to knead the ingredients together with their own levain to produce this bread.

I can truely call this YY's bread. It is made from my levain (hmm~ the dead cells from my hands went into the levain) and I kneaded it on my own. I wonder why my dough looks kind of small compared to others >_<

K's dough.

After 1 hour of proofing, YAY they grew which means the levain worked!

Meanwhile, another group started making the Flax Seed Rye bread.

Dividing time.


And placed in the couche.

Our group of 4 unanimously decided to volunteer for the making of the Ciabatta bread. The words that Judy said about handling Ciabatta dough kept ringing in my ears, "You got to treat it like a baby..." No pics on that cos we were so busy. Finally, the dough was shaped and placed onto the canvas for proofing.

Right before baking, Hafizh told us to use our fingers to make the holes in the Ciabatta dough. This is what gives us the irregular air pockets in Ciabatta.

Freshly baked Ciabattas. This bread is the 2nd reason why K is excited about this Artisan Bread Course =D

Hafizh told us that the irregular pockets are obvious only when you slice a Ciabatta lengthwise across.

Cross sectional look for Ciabatta.

Our hand knead bread, . Look at the height difference, seems like my levain isn't very strong.

My bread smells nutty and sweet and had a sourish after taste. Whereas K's bread smell kinda sourish and tasted like corn flakes. Haha~ the wonders of using your own levain, you produce individual unique breads.

Flaxseed bread, finally done.

Saying goodbye to my levain, sorry you got to go cos I won't be able to feed you everyday and only use you less than once a month.

As for K, his alkie is still surviving as of 31st Dec 2009.