Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Buying hundreds or thousands of sheets of pre-cut parchment from KA or some other source is not in the budget right now, so I'm stuck with what I can find locally for a few dollars at a time.
At Whole Foods (fondly known as "Whole Paycheck" in our family) I found a roll of parchment I like better than the supermarket brand (Reynolds) AND it's more economical.
It's called "If You Care" Silicone Parchment Baking Paper.
What I like:
It's rated to 450 degrees F and doesn't get as "crispy" as the Reynolds brand (which is rated to only 420 degrees). This means 1) i can reuse the sheets a few times, and 2) it's not being noticeably aerosolized so less chance I'm breathing in microparticles of the paper.
It's not as wide as the Reynolds, so there is less wasted paper when I only want a small square to go under a boule or oval shaped loaf. While there are fewer square feet of paper in this package than the Reynolds, there is more length and less width. I'll get more useable parchment than the wider roll. The box claims you will get 50 to 70 sheets. Not bad for around $3.50 a roll.
It can be recycled.
What I don't like:
The cardboard box is flimsy and lacks a cutter. The box is already falling apart and it's hard to tear sheets off.
The box states that silicone used in this paper is non-toxic (still not sure about BREATHING it) but Quillon, used in some other parchment papers, contains the heavy metal chromium which is somewhat toxic when incinerated (baked at too high temps?). I was thinking of splurging on a box of precut Quillon sheets and I'm glad I didn't do that.
Even though we jokingly call the store "Whole Paycheck", I actually find some frugal bargains for bread baking there. They have flours, grains, seeds, and nuts in bulk so that I can buy just what I need and it's quite fresh. Their store brand flour is priced competitively with national supermarket brands.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I was measuring ingredients into the mixing bowl when Wine Guy came home from Trader Joe's with a loaf of Milton's. Grrrrr! The whole idea here is to save money by NOT buying commercial bread! He said he thought I was busy with other breads and wouldn't have time to make his bread.
I also put in a bit of time peeling two large cloves of garlic, pan roasting, and then mashing them on Saturday night. No vampires will be coming to our house!
I was surprised (never having made a levain) how dry it was. I was a bit worried it would not mix well in my dough the next day, but it did.
The next surprise was how WET the final dough was. The recipe promises that it becomes more easy to handle after the stretch and folds at 30, 60, and 90 minutes, but "easy" is a relative term. That dough wobbled around like a bowl full of jello!
The bulk fermentation is 4 hours, but you are kept busy the first 90 minutes with stretching and folding every 30 minutes. Kind of ties up your schedule. Fortunately, I didn't have anything else going on, except for cleaning house.
Wine Guy and the kids went to a music performance, but I stayed home with Baby Bobby (and had more fun). Truthfully, during the 1 1/2 hour rest after the stretch and folds I snuck out and went to the library where I scored with The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I plan to pick out 5 recipes to do allong with the BBA challenge people--I don't think I would make it through the whole book this year (and I've already missed about 4, anyway).
After 4 hours of bulk fermentation, it was time to shape my roasted garlic loaves. That was a challenge with the soft, wet dough, but not too different from handling AB in 5 dough. I did use lots of flour to help.
Four hours of proofing in the bannetons. The oval shaped loaf was a bit of a challenge. It was so soft that when I picked it up to put it in the banneton it twisted a bit. That's why I'm only showing the final product on the round loaf:
OK, so it's not as beautiful as the original, but I'm OK with it for a first effort.
The crust--not so much :o(
It was tough and chewy instead of tender and crisp. I'm not sure why--I followed the directions. The round loaf went in my clay baker, and the oval on the stone, covered with my enamel roasting pan. I wasn't impressed with the rise or the oven spring, either.
The flavor bread was "intense" --to put it nicely--with the layer of roasted garlic instead of chunks dispersed throughout.
A lot of work with a fair result. I think it will be just as happy (perhaps more) with chunks of garlic dispersed in some AB in 5 dough.
That's the next experiment . . .