Category Archives: cooking

cooking (category auto created by Wordpresser)

The midnight bread

I just baked a mixed flour bread, using a Panasonic machine.
The recipes that come with the now 3+ years old machine are very good in general, except for the “mixed” flour I can buy at the local supermarket.
The risk with most flours is that they might come with undeclared already pre-added ferment, and/or pre-added sugar, and/or pre-added salt, and the unknown quantities of those components can greatly interfere with the bread-making algorithm! Panasonic (or the industrial group that owns it) has one of the very first patents on the process of bread making: among other details, it describes the shape of the blade that will work on the mass and the times (start and duration) of crucial events, namely when to drop the ferment and for how long to spin the blade.
I get very good results with the original recipe for bread from wheat flour (“rapid white bread”), very good results with the original recipe for bread from rye flour, but not so good results with the recipe for bread from a mix of wheat and rye.
If I follow the original recipe strictly, either the bread grows too much or it collapses at the top; in both cases, it ends up being much softer than I would appreciate.
I suppose that part of the complication with “mixed” flour is not knowing the relative parts of wheat and rye in the composition, or even not knowing which cereals at present at all! In my case, I know that the mix if from wheat and rye, but I cannot find the distribution, so I just trust that it is 50%/50%.

After many experiments, my best results are achieved like this:

  1. put 220 grams of mixed flour into the volume that will enter the machine;
  2. add three spoons of olive oil (no butter);
  3. no sugar at all;
  4. one teaspoon of salt, or no salt at all;
  5. on top of that add another ~220 grams of mixed flour;
  6. add 330 ml of water;
  7. put the volume inside the machine;
  8. pick the right program number for bread from mixed flour (program 07 in my case);
  9. close the machine’s cover;
  10. put 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of ferment into the ferment compartment;
  11. start the program;
  12. it will end in 3 hours and 30 minutes.

It worked for me. Now I am going to bed – tomorrow morning I’ll have fresh bread and the kitchen will smell great 🙂