dinsdag 29 april 2008

English Muffins

Yes! I installed the new hard drive in my MacBook and Time Machine did it's job. The backup was like 14 days old and I lost some pics and music. But, we are baking again and I made the English Muffins on request. It has been a while since I made these but like I said, the youngest member of the family requested these and told me she wanted to help. So it was real fun to make these together.

maandag 28 april 2008

Hard disk crash...

Today my hard disk crashed... I've lost all my pics, and a ton of data. I had taken no backup in like two weeks... I am about to losing my mind... Will be back asap.

zaterdag 26 april 2008

Pain Rustique (variation) - Hamelman

Last night I baked the pain rustique for the second time. I did make a variation though, I used some spelt flour and some white rye as well.
I love to work with this dough as it does not need any shaping, also the way the crust looks with the flour on top is very nice.
Holes in the crumb were large and irregular and I really enjoyed eating it.

dinsdag 22 april 2008


I just came home from spending this weekend in Barcelona. I was lucky to hang out with some of the coolest and nicest people on this planet. And I have been talking bread to guys from France, Brasil, and locals.
Before I left I made a couple of Olive levain loaves, Brioche, and Raisin bread.
As soon as my schedule is back to normal, I will start baking again.

donderdag 17 april 2008

New Scale

Yesterday I got the scale in the mail that I purchased on line. I got it from a site similar to eBay. I thought it was a great deal because I paid a hundred Euro including postage. The scale arrived in good condition. I did clean and disinfect to kill all the germs because you never know for what this second hand scale has been used for. It looks like it's brand new even though there is a sticker on that has the year 2004 on it. It works perfect.
This got me thinking about the fact that when I buy something for our kitchen it is most of the time not professional equipment. This scale is used in industries and looks like it is going to last forever. I could not say this about my previous scale which started to annoy me so much that I have purchased this one.
My experience is to get good equipment if you have the budget for it, or do as I did, search on line for a good deal to get pro tools.
I'd better start making bread right now, and use the thing where it is made for :-)

dinsdag 15 april 2008

Whole Wheat Levain - Hamelman

Whole wheat levain bread. I love formulas that can retard overnight in the fridge. It makes planning to have a fresh loaf easy. Besides that long fermentation is key. I usually bake two loaves and let one retard overnight.

Slice Pain Rustique

donderdag 10 april 2008

Pain Rustique - Hamelman

I picked up the Hamelman book again as you might already have noticed and there are a bunch of loaves that I did not make yet. This pain rustique was one of them. No shaping required, I just cut the dough in half and let it proof. I did bake in my die cast pot, so that might explain why the shape is round. Anyway, the result is beautiful I think.

Baguette with poolish - Hamelman

So this is my attempt to try and make a baguette. It is made with a poolish described in the 'Bread' book by Mr. Hamelman. I admit, I was scared to make it, scared to fail. I think this simple bread is one of the most difficult to make. It is far from perfect, but the result is less bad than I had expected. I don't have a pic of the crumb, but it had large and small holes in it. Not that many large ones, but more than I expected, so I will have to try and make it again. Practice, practice, practice...

Pain Provençale - Bloch 50% Whole Wheat

I have made the Pain Provençale loaf again (see previous posting) but instead of using all white flour I replaced half of it with whole wheat.

woensdag 9 april 2008

maandag 7 april 2008

6 BBS b

I have been reading my school manuals and found this pic. On the left side you'll see me, you will also see a very young chef Stef (see previous posting.)
Culinary school was great, I cannot believe this is more than 20 years ago.

Let's see, what are some of them doing nowadays? 4 Of them (including me work in chocolate), one is a steward on a plane, one owns a bakery, one works in a super market... That is about all I know about some of my old school friends. I hope to meet them again someday.

zaterdag 5 april 2008

Pain Provençale - Bloch

Bloch closed down. A sad day for the city of Ghent. This bakery has been there since April 30,1899 and has closed down for good on March 28, 2008.

When I was a child, I got to know this bakery trough an aunt of mine who used to bring delicious bread with her every time she visited. When I grew up I became a costumer there and every time my wife and I were in the city we would have a tea or coffee there and enjoy some good pastry. It is sad to know that we won't be able to do this any more. Make sure you check the pics. Sorry for the English readers of this blog, but the site is in my native language Dutch.

To ease the pain a bit I find comfort in the fact that all recipes should be on line shortly and available for every one. I made the Pain Provençale which I found in the local news paper.

Here's the recipe :

370 grams water
660 grams bread flour
15 grams fresh yeast
10 grams salt

Mix the cold water and yeast. Add the flour and mix, add the salt.
The dough should be still sticky, not too dry. Knead for about 15 minutes by hand.
Bulk ferment for an hour.
Fold and make a boule. Proof for 2 hours.
Shape the loaf without degassing too much and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Bake : 220°C - 45 minutes

Tarte Tropezienne

Ah! This tart brings back lots of joyful memories of the many travels we made to South France. I love it there so much I would buy a house there if I had the money. Hope I win the lottery some day or any wealthy reader would be kind enough to sponsor me. :-)
Google for the recipe on line and try this one, you can't go wrong with brioche dough and pastry cream!

Sunflower Rye - Peter Reinhart

This bread was not so good, mainly because I added not enough water into the dough.
The taste was good though, but I wonder if the crumb would have been less dense if I added the correct amount of water. Did enjoy it even though it was not perfect.
No coronne shape, maybe next time.

dinsdag 1 april 2008

Old friends

I went to Europain in Paris today and ran into some old friends who where in the same class in culinary school back in '89. Geez, am I that old already?
Both of them are chef and that I awesome I think. I work in chocolate too being an operator, so we all have in common that we work with chocolate daily.
Here's a pic and we try to track down the rest of our friends for a class reunion, that should be fun!