Archive for July 2010
According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung German bakers have filed a lawsuit against Aldi Süd. Officially it’s about their false declaration of Aldi’s “Roggenmischbrot”, which needs to have at least 50% of rye in it, but apparently has not.
But of course the emergence of Aldi’s new baking shop system with fully-automated ovens that produce warm bread and rolls by a customer’s press of a button, is bound to make some German bakers unhappy as well.
That is a no-brainer. If the customer can have oven fresh bread for a lower price and does not find that the “German craft bakery” produces better bread, German bakers need to act, but not by going to court, in my opinion. If they cannot compete with an Aldi roll, it’s not Aldi’s or the market’s fault. Quite a few bakers are following the “light, quick, profitable” trend and have already taken it to pathological extremes. An “ordinary breakfast roll” from the typical “craft bakery” has never been produced quicker, has never been bigger and fluffier and has never weighed less. And it never tasted worse.
The site of the Association of German bakers sports the slogan “Besser, wir backen das Brot” – “You’re better off if you let us do the bread baking”. It seems to me the proof for that assertion needs to be rewritten again.
Either I was getting too close to the inner secrets of true artisan baking and the gods had to punish me or it was just a matter of time before it had to happen. Either way, my oven cratered. It blew the main fuse and now it can reach 150°C maximum.
Hey, I still can reheat rice and lasagne. Stay tuned for recipes on how to transform food from the fridge into a perfectly warm dish.
If anyone wants to know, the oven was a low-end Siemens, probably built in late 90s. Considering that it was used for things it wasn’t designed for sometimes twice a week for the last couple of years…thumbs up! Parting with it would be a sad thing.
I still have my pizza oven. Woot!
In a brave effort to achieve the results of a professional bread oven, I have tried numerous approaches to make better baguettes, the last one being brushing the tops of the loaves with water in the first minutes of the bake. The results were quite flat loaves with a gray, dull and soft crust. The loaves flattening is an indicator for reduced surface tension, so that was something useful, because baguettes tightening up and becoming almost perfectly round is a common problem in domestic ovens.
The latest change made the difference. Apply water along the slashes of the baguettes for about 4-5 times for the first 5-8 minutes of the bake. Overdoing it will result in unattractive crusts, but using a brush that has only touched the surface of water and wetting only the inside of the slashes, i.e. the dough that is rising out of the center of the uncooked dough, turns even slack doughs into fluffy baguettes. I never had success with yeasted poolishes until now, first picture is such a dough.
Well, ideally. there are fine points because nature is not cheap like that and it’s not self-working. I admit this is not pretty nor elegant, either, it’s a trick. But since I found the results so remarkable I had to inform everyone.
(Probably going to add to this post over the next days or weeks.)