November 5, 2015

Bread recipe development

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We’re a few iterations into our bread recipe development. And without question it’s the best bread we’ve served at Clover. But I think it can be oh so much better. And now that you’re all rabid for that Brussels Sprout Sandwich (and the Japanese Sweet Potato) I’m antsy for our bread to make that next step.

When I first stepped into the bakery after getting back from my August vacation there was a lot of work to do. We put together a recipe that stabilized our production. The dough was forgiving and the bread really yummy. We landed at about 20% by weight local flour and 80% by weight King Arthur flour. We blew through the supply of available Massachusetts grain very quickly and moved to Vermont grain. That local flour is magic, it’s sifted but not processed like commercial flour. And it’s milled to order so it’s super fresh.

The biggest change I want to make to our recipe would be bringing in a mother, a sourdough ferment. I don’t think we can do a full sourdough bread, I don’t think the taste would match what we’re aiming for. But I think we could supplement the fresh yeast with some mother and end up with a deeper flavored bread. The Lactic acid in sourdough can also lead to better preservation qualities. We’re not talking days, but the bread might be better over the 12-24 hours after it comes out of the oven.

Before we can make any changes to the recipe we need to stabilize the baking process. So that’s the focus right now. We’re trying to get the day to day very stable, so that when we start fine-tuning the recipe we know that the bulk-fermentation is the same every time, and that the proof is the same every time, etc.

Any bakers out there that want to join us? The oven we’re running is a thing of beauty.

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