Reflection Journal for Artisan Bread

Last four weeks, we made artisan bread. As we learned, artisan bread is handmade, no chemical additives, fermented dough and traditional production. Now, I want to talk about different kinds of pre-ferments.

Four weeks ago, I learned pre-ferments and sourdough starters from our text-book. At that time, I did not understand pre-ferments and sourdough starter well. I got confuse with the poolish, biga and sourdough starters. Now, I know that they are different. Poolish is much more sticky than the biga, because it made from equal part of flour and water. For example, ciabatta is made from poolish, so the dough is runny and sticky. On the contrary, biga is really stiff. For example, spelt bread (organic) is made from biga. Spelt bread is not sticky, so it easier to handle. Usually, bread which is made from poolish, biga or sour starter tastes sour. Overnight bread taste sourer.

When I made bread, I found that shaping and proofing skills are important which have an effect on the final product. I made walnut raisin bread today; the final product looked not that nice because of the poor shaping. Customer may not want to buy it because of its irregular appearance, so good shaping skill has a nice impact on our final product. What’s more, proper proofing is important as well. Yesterday, oven station over proofed the spelt bread, so the spelt collapsed. If the bread has sufficient proof, it will have excellent volume and appearance. Those two skills can improve the appearance of bread, because I think the first sight of the product is the most important factor that we should consider.IMG_3381

The overnight ciabatta that I made was successful. I put one ciabatta on fridge overnight and baked next day. Compare to another one that I bake on the same day, the overnight one had more sour. Also, it was lighter, had more air bubble and the color was darker. The dough was overnight so that it produced more CO2 and alcohol which made the ciabatta taste sourer. Using lye solution is a funny experience too! At the first time, I did not understand why we need to dip pretzel into the lye solution. After doing an experiment, I realized the effect of the lye solution. The mainly reason is to give pretzel more color, because pretzel do not need a long time to bake. If we just egg wash the pretzel and bake it, it will not have any color on it! Is totally white! It is a quite interesting experience.


At the end, I want to take something about my brand new Artisan Bread receipt. I made two different flavors. One is bacon and cheese, and another one is cumin and nuts. For the first receipt, I put  shredded cheese, 5g parmesan cheese, 2 g paprika, 2g salt, 20g onion and 25 g bacon. The final product taste scrumptious and I like it very much. It gave the bread more flavor and more color. Because of the paprika, the bread had more red color. The reason why I put cheese and bacon is that I want my bread taste not like bread, but more like a delicious meat. I learned that we could try to break the rule, let customer do not judge bread by the appearance. Artisan Bread not just a bread



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