Archive for the ‘Bread Recipes’ Category

Sesame Batard filled with Baek, (white) Kimchi

 

Springtime to me is all in the crunch, the crunch of a fiddlehead fern and the spring ramp, the crunch of the asparagus and don’t forget the crunch of a great crust on a springtime bread.

 Last weekend I baked alot of stuff to sell at the Athens Farmers Market and was unable to take many photo’s because my tent kept blowing away. I was able to carry out a concept based on a wierd idea to introduce crunchy kimchi into some bread that was slit open like a gutted lizard. The problem with this concept is moisture. Any kimchi is bound to soak the hardened gluten strands of any fired-up bread. Enter some fabulous local chevre from the great cheese makers at Integration Acres, like the dollops of chevre on the pizza al metro, (above) with ramps, tomato and provolone.

                 

So along with the “Sunny-side-up” croissants that Jake the baker made with an almond pudding and apricot, (left) and the traditional Pizza Margherita, (right) I crashed forward into the hinterlands of bread sanity, until I found it.

 A great insane loaf of Asian deliciousness! Now, first the kimchi.

    

I first cooked an amazing amount of napa cabbage and kohlrabi with salt. After they became acceptably limp, I rinsed with cold water and rung them out like the laundry. I then introduced some garlic, rice vinegar, pickled Jeruselem artichoke and turnip and the rest of my pears and apples that have been “red kimchi’d” for at least three months- sweet, spicy and naughty- funky to say the least. After one day, this white kimchi didn’t really “have it goin on”, so I added alot of lime and lemon juice, cumin seed and the best thing ever- pickled cayenne peppers from Cowdery Farms! To this I made a dough of black and white sesame, Korean pepper powder and cilantro.

 

Above is the video of our crazy baking and pizza frenzy at 3 a.m. in Athens, Ohio. I do have to endure bumping into delivery drivers and pizza makers at this busy time on a Friday night at Ohio Univerisity.  Here I am rolling up these Asian batards before proofing.  (Don’t worry, I took my hat and beard net off for this video, whatta ya think, we’re some hill-jacks from…Athens, Ohio?)

 

After these great batards were proofed, baked and cool, I slit them and filled them with the Integration Acres chevre, (fresh goat cheese), that I mixed with fresh chopped ramps, mushroom stock and Chinese five spice. This enabled me to stuff the white kimchi in the loaf without turning it to mush.

 I sold out of all forty batards within an hour then thought that I wanted to take one home…dang.

 

Phyllis

First, I do recognize that the term “fanatic” should never follow the words “kind-of,” or “probably kind-of” in any given sentence. These qualifiers, or quantifiers of the degree of fanatisism are a way to leave an “out” or a quick stage-left exit for the person extolling these virtues of being a fanatic. Using this terminology is probably, kind-of wimpy on their part because either you are a fanatic or you are not.

Now, with that messy paragraph over with, I will say that I am infatuated with making ciabatta. I love push the limits of hydration, natural levening, pre-ferments and flours to produce the perfect cell-structure under the crunchiest crust and yank as much of the wheat taste out of the loaf as possible. I guess that makes me a ciabatta fanatic.

I think I’ve  read every book on the subject of ciabatta and all the recipes seem as different as the bakers themselves!  This is why a year ago, I decided to go my own way, take the ciabatta path less travelled, beat the bushes and mix the dough my way and then NEVER WRITE IT DOWN! This may sound utterly insane to the nitpicky and anal-retentive bakers and thier weight-based percentages but isn’t insanity approximately 84 percent of fanatisism?

           

I made the above mushroom pizza with a DOP Montasio cheese and porcini/white truffle pudding with my ciabatta dough fortified to a lesser hydration with some more high-protein flour, (left). My spinach, English Stilton and red pear schiacciata was rendered the same way, (right).

This weekend I kind-of came to the conclusion that my ciabatta fanatisism is deeply rooted in experimental lack of knowledge instead of the tried and true path of absolute, documented knowledge, (the latter path usually begins with; “never…” or “don’t…”). I still don’t understand why some bakers stick to thier mixing and baking routines in such tight parameters. Isn’t that freakin’ boring? Why not just do it by feel? What would the world be like without ugly people and animals?…freakin’ boring!

So I am here to tell anyone who is listening; To hell with negativity, measurments and conjecture, I’m just gonna feel the dough. 

My ciabatta now talks to me in different ways every week when I cut into it. Either with a whimper saying, “I coulda been a contender…” or shouted out with a, “You a badass ciabatta man John!”

Doing bread and pizza dough by knowledged-based feel instead of recipe is so much more exciting because it’s about creation dude!

Crazy huh? Well here’s Phyllis, the ciabatta.