Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Triple The Fun, Triple the Flours

The October bread for the always-up-for-something-new Bread Baking Babes, an awesome carrot bread brought to us by the adventuresome Heather at Kitchen of the Month Girlichef was a fun bread to make. It has three kinds of flour (rye, wheat and rice), and overnight sleep to add flavor, and a crunchy, crackly topping that I've heard called a tiger bread finish. Inside there are grated carrots, carrot juice, sunflower seeds (and, n some, parsley) so there is a lot going on with this bread. I love the texture of the topping and really love the tight crumb and mellow flavor. It is not overwhelmingly rye in flavor, nor carrot, nor wheat, just a nice combination of all those with some warmth and texture from the sunflower seeds. Great fresh from the oven and just lovely toasted. Have not tried it yet for grilled cheese, but I can see that it would be an excellent sandwich bread, especially grilled.
I only made half the recipe, using the measurements from Astrid. That was a great help having the measurements already halved, but I found that I needed a whole lot more water both for the poolish and for the dough. When I put together the rice flour topping, I decided that it was too thin with the measurements given, so I added more rice flour. I like how the topping turned out that way. It stayed on the loaves just fine and crackled when the shaped loaves rose, too. Baked, it was nice and crunchy.

I'll bet you want to be a Bread Baking Buddy this month and try out this wonderful, unusual bread, right? Once you do, send Heather an e-mail with your take on it, plus a photo or two. We'll be looking for you. While your are surfing the Internet, be sure to visit the other Bread Baking Babes. The links to their blogs are at the bottom of the post, and on the sidebar, too. Happy baking!

Carrot Bread, Half Recipe
adapted from Artisan Breads: Practical Recipes and Detailed Instructions for Baking the World's Finest Loaves by Jan Hedh
makes two medium loaves

3/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
118 grams lukewarm water (I used 200 grams, but start with less and add enough to make it a thick batter) 189 grams rye flour

85 grams toasted sunflower seeds (I'm avoiding sesame seeds at the moment for health reasons, so I did extra sunflower seeds instead. Try not to almost burn them when toasting them as I did) 1 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
118 grams carrot juice lukewarm (I used a mixture of carrot baby food and water) 50 grams lukewarm water (I found I needed more liquid in order to have a decent dough) 85 grams grated carrots (about one large carrot)
450 - 500 grams bread flour (I used part bread flour and part whole wheat flour...which might be why my dough needed extra liquid!) 15 grams honey
2 tablespoons sunflower oil (I used canola oil)
1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
Crackle Glaze (Topping)
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
100 grams lukewarm water
65 grams rice flour (I used a lot more, but didn't measure it, just kept whisking some in until I liked the texture)1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sunflower oil (I used canola oil)1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Day 1: Make the Poolish

Dissolve the yeast in the water, and let sit a few minutes to bloom. Whisk in the flour until smooth - if it is very thick, continue whisking in more water until it is the consistency of a thick batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours; at this point it should be a bit bubbly.

Day 2: Baking Day

In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment), dissolve the yeast in the carrot juice and additional water, let sit a few minutes until it looks creamy (bloomed). Add the grated carrot, the lesser amount of bread flour, and the poolish to the bowl. Knead on low speed for 3 minutes. If the dough doesn't seem too sticky, then don't add any more of the flour; it will firm up as it is kneaded (plus you have more to add to it).

Add the oil to the bowl and knead for another 8 minutes. Add the salt, increase the speed, and knead until elastic, about 7 more minutes. At this point, the dough will not be sticky any longer. Use the extra flour, a tiny bit at a time, to remedy the dough if it is as you knead. Add the toasted seeds, and gently mix in.

Place the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl or container and cover. Let sit for 60-90 minutes, knocking the dough back halfway through. To knock the dough back, remove it from the bowl and set it on a work surface. Use your hands to knock the air out of it. Fold the edges towards the center to form a cushion. Replace in the container, seam side down.

Day 2, later: Making the Crackle Glaze (Topping)
While the dough is rising, dissolve the yeast in the water in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. It should be spreadable, but not runny, (which might mean whisking in more rice flour as I did). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before using.

Day 2, even later: Shaping and Baking
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 equal parts. Form the portions into two round balls, and cover them with a clean tea towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.

After the rest, shape each circle of dough into an oblong loaf, by gently pressing ball down into a circle and then tucking/rolling into shape. Set loaves, seam side down, onto a lightly floured bread peel or thin cutting board. Glaze the loaves generously with the crackling glaze (you'll have a lot of leftover glaze), and leave to rise at room temperature for 60-75 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size and the surface is crackled.

Place a baking stone into the oven, and preheat to 475° F during last 20 minutes or so of rise time.
Slide the loaves onto the stone (let them rise directly on a baking sheet or two if you don't have a stone - slide that into preheated oven) and spray generously with water. Close oven door. Lower the temperature to 400° F after 5 minutes. After another 10 minutes, open the oven door to let in a little air. Repeat two more times (every 10 minutes).(I skipped the spray of water and only opened the oven once, about halfway through baking to turn the pan in the oven. Crust was still awesome this way.) Total baking time will be about 45 minutes. Remove bread from oven (loaf will sound hollow if bottom is tapped) and cool on a wire rack.

Bake My Day - Karen
Blog from OUR Kitchen - Elizabeth
Girlichef - Heather
Life's a Feast - Jaime
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies - Natashya 
Lucullian Delights - Ilva 
My Kitchen in Half Cups - Tanna
Notitie van Lien - Lien

Thyme for Cooking - Katie - our Round-up Babe   


  1. Your bread looks beautiful. What a good idea to put in more sunflower seeds.

    Mmmmmm! Grilled cheese sandwiches!! Why oh why didn't I try that? How brilliant are you?

  2. I love it with grilled cheese! And I'm happy that you enjoyed it :).

  3. Yes wasn't that a lovely topping texture!
    More water for the poolish! that was an understatement but at least we had a description of "thick batter" that will get you there. Funny you found the topping to thin, I found it too thick ... but then I used barley flour so maybe it doesn't compare.
    Half, yes I started out thinking I'd do half ... but then I mixed all the polish and just went with it. Now I'm glad I did because it made such lovely toast, went with the split pea soup oh so well, made glorious grill cheese ... and tomorrow the last loaf will make stuffing for roast chicken!

  4. You're so inventive! Using baby carrot food with water, I would never have thought of that, wonderful. Love your loaf.

  5. What a great idea to use it for stuffing for roast chicken, Tanna!

  6. One can never have too many sunflower seeds - IMHO! Lovely bread.

  7. So funny we all had our things with the poolish. Measurements are great but this time the description was better right?
    Never thought to use baby carrot food. Smart thinking. Wish I had sunflower seeds, love what they add in flavour and crunch.

  8. Your bread sure does look great and more of an orange tint that Heather's. I still have to make mine so seeing what you and Astrid did to adjust it is perfect. Definitely a great bread as part of a savory dinner.

  9. How beautiful! What great adaptations!