Pan de Reina

Fit for a queen

BreadLab is honouring all mothers; Pan de Reina, a coffee bread fit for a queen Crownshaped and sprinkled with maple diamonds for extra oohs! and aahs! at the coffee table. Loaded with freshly crushed cardamom, coriander seeds and cinnamon, this bread is dressed to impress on Mother’s Day, or any other given day of the year mothers need impressing.

Enjoy!

For all of you who can’t find the pause button to write things down:

550 gr./19.4 oz. bread flour
250 gr./8.8 oz. whole milk
57 gr./2 oz. unsalted butter
3 eggs (1 for egg wash!)
7 gr./0.2 oz. instant yeast
65 gr./2.2 oz. white caster sugar
1 heaped Tbs coriander seeds
crushed seeds of 5 cardamom pods
2 heaped Tsp of cinnamon
pinch of salt & pepper
maple sugar for sprinkling

Beat the eggs and set aside. Heat the milk until it forms bubbles around the edges of the pan (scalding the milk). Cool back to 40°C/100°F. Combine the eggs with the milk (make sure the milk is not too warm!) Melt the butter into the mixture.

Stir in the yeast and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine 3 cups of the flour with the other dry ingredients; cinnamon, coriander seeds, sugar, salt, pepper, cardamom.

Pour in the egg-milk-yeast mixture little by little and make the dough come together. Mix for about 5 minutes on low speed until well combined. The dough is very sticky and won’t clear the bowl!.

Put the remainder of your flour on the table, take out your dough and knead in enough of the remaining flour for the dough not to be sticky any more. Don’t overwork your dough at this point.

When the dough is smooth and silky, let it proof until almost doubled in size (about one hour at room temp).

Divide the dough in half. Divide one half in two, and the other half in three equal pieces. Preshape the pieces of dough to be rolled into strands after a short rest.

Roll out the two biggest pieces of dough into strands. Make a twist-braid and place it carefully in your well oiled pan.

Roll out the three smaller strands into a three-braid. Make it nice and even for extra oohs! and aahs! at the coffee table. Place the braid on top of the twist. If you have baking rings or anything that could serve as baking rings (an empty tin will do just fine), use them for support.

Cover the dough to prevent drying out, and proof it at room temp until again doubled in size
(about one hour on room temp).

Half an hour before baking, preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.

When fully proofed, give the dough an egg wash and royally sprinkle it with maple sugar.

Bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown. Don’t forget to rotate halfway the bake for even browning.

Enjoy!

Julia doing it one more time

The Croissant Weeks

Putting the word out here and on The Fresh Loaf that the BreadLab is scrutinizing croissants for the coming weeks has resulted in a nice batch of suggestions, pointers and “what-definitely-not-to-do’s in the BreadLab’s inbox. Thank you so much for that input.

Combine all those with what’s here on the kitchen bookshelf and you have mixed together a virtual bake-off between established formulas by well respected bakers. Go get it!

Hitz, Kayser/Leader and Child are in the first heat.

Media

Last Friday, Dutch NTR radio-cooking show Mangiare was visiting the BreadLab kitchen. Just in time to see a batch of truly humongous croissants going into the oven. To give you an idea; there were only 6 croissants on a sheet, and still they were in each other’s way. They were luscious, with a smooth and silky crumb and a flaky buttery crust. Hitz’s formula works! (duh) Next time a less dramatic flour than manitoba, and they might turn out just perfect.

One successful bake is by no means an early end to the Croissant Project though.

Paris – Amsterdam

To make a croissant is to feel and taste Paris. So let’s go to Paris! To taste M. Eric Kayser’s famous sourdough croissants, and see what else is baking in the ovens of bakers like Poilâne, Cohier and Boulangepicier.

But; in true European spirit (yes, it does exist!) France, and the wonders of their bread baking has come to Amsterdam some years ago. Le Fournil de Sebastién has quickly become the best bakery in Amsterdam, and when you see this video it is easy to understand why.

Check out the latest uploaded video’s here, if you haven’t already, and come back for more on croissant techniques soon!

And just because it’s always a joy seeing her doing her thing; the godmother of American Baking doing it one more time.

Happy Baking!

Sidestepping – Forming a Couronne Bordelaise

Although up to my knees in sour dough starters and liquid levains and with a whole bunch of formulas to scrutinize for my croissant project that is going to be unfolding (as it were) the coming weeks, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to share this video on how to form a “couronne bordelaise“.

I like this shape a lot, because it doesn’t involve slashing and usually yields a nice ear.

It’s a bit of extra work to form the crown, but the effect at the dinner table more than makes up for that.

The dough traditionally used for this form is a pain de campagne but I used a 10% rye sourdough, which works just as well.

To add extra effect to the loaf; dust it with rye flour right before putting it into the oven; the rye flour stays nice and white and contrasts with the dark crust. After cooling the individual rolls can be easily broken of the couronne.

Back to the formulas and my belching and farting sourdoughs for the croissants!

Happy Baking!