54gwhole wheat levain (starter)try this recipe — you'll need to make it at least a week ahead of time.
2gmalted barley flour
Activate your levain (sourdough starter) 12 hours before you plan to mix the dough. Let it ferment at a warm room temperature (72-80 degrees) for 12 hours. (To check if your starter is ready to use, place a tablespoon of it into a glass of water, if it floats happily on top, then it is active and ready to go).
To mix the dough, have all the ingredients weighed out beforehand. Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl until they are well combined.
Hold back about 10% of the total water and save for later. Add the whole wheat levain (sourdough starter) to the remaining water and mash it into smaller pieces.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and incorporate for a couple of minutes until it is a uniform consistency. Slowly add the (remaining) 10% water as you are incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet. It may still be clumpy.
Once all the water has been added, it is time to develop the dough. If you are using a stand mixer (fitted with a dough hook), turn the speed up a little (medium-high) and mix for 3 minutes. If you are mixing by hand, develop (knead) the dough for about 5 minutes. At the end of development, the dough should be smoother and stronger. Place the dough into a closed container and let rest for 20 minutes.
At 20 minutes, “fold” the dough by (pulling up the edge of the dough and gently overlapping it. Turn the bowl and repeat until all the edges have been folded over the middle). Do this once every 20 minutes for the first hour of fermentation (resting). This stage is called bulk fermentation (it is when the dough develops flavor and gluten strength). Let the dough ferment for 3 hours at about 80 degrees.
Once it is well fermented, it is time to divide the dough. Let the divided dough rest for 45 minutes, (covered in plastic, so it won’t dry out), and then shape it into your desired final shape. Here are some ideas for shaping the dough: boule, baguette, Epi (wheat stalk).
You can either let the dough continue to ferment (rise) at room temperature for about 4 more hours and then bake, or you can cool the shaped dough in the refrigerator overnight and bake in the morning. An overnight rest will give you more depth of flavor.
Just before baking, you will want to slash the dough, to create a beautiful crust. You can use a sharp serrated knife or a bread Lame. Here is a video on how to slash the dough. If you don’t slash the dough it will break open in an uncontrolled and very rustic way.
Baking the loaf: Depending on the shape you have chosen, the temperature and timing will vary, so check the recipe links I provided for baking.
Best Desserts of 2020. These are the most popular sweets I posted on Instagram in 2020. Some of them are old favorites (crepe cake, pavlova and butterscotch pot de creme) and some of them are actually “recipes” I repurposed as I tested the cakes for my upcoming book, Zoë Bakes Cakes! I took the cake fillings (sticky coconut, milk chocolate mascarpone mousse, caramel and bittersweet chocolate ganache) and layered it into a pavlova meringue pie shell to create the Kitchen Sink Angel Pie. I just never know where inspiration will come from! 😉 Other recipes I made from my friends books, like the pumpkin pie with my homemade marshmallows from Erin McDowell’s Book on Pie. The cheesecake was inspired by the little blue berry, but you can make it with any fruit. You’ll find the recipes below.
Baker’s Against Racism Cake Decorating Class with Zoë – THIS EVENT WAS HELD IN JUNE
Racism is an issue that I’ve thought a lot about. I am part of a mixed-race family and the things I’ve seen and heard directed at the people I love most just shouldn’t happen to anyone, ever! Systematic racism is real and no matter the socioeconomics of a person, POC are treated differently. We should all have the same rights, the same freedoms, the same ability to walk down the street without fear or anxiety. The same access to protection from police, access to education, health care, healthy food, clean air and safe drinking water. Those things are not afforded to all people in equal measure and that is not right or just and needs to change. I have decided to donate the money we raise together to the NAACP, which works to advance all of these issues for POC. For my children and all children of color, we need these changes and we need them NOW! So, thank you for donating and I am looking forward to creating this cake and a whole bunch of change with you.
During this moment in history when there is a shortage of national flour brands on the grocery shelves, it is an amazing time to learn about the smaller wheat growers and to try their flour. Below is a Flour and Grain Resource Guide to Upper Midwest growers, millers, and some of the bakeries who use them. I have personally baked with Baker’s Field and Sunrise Mill flours and I’m excited to try many of the others.
For more information about the benefits of baking with flour from small scale growers, both from a personal health and for the health of our planet visit the Artisan Grain Collaborative website. In these strange times, this is a moment for us to change the way we eat and we may end up supporting our farmers at the same time.
After a week in Naples, with its lawless streets and swoon-worthy pizza (see my Naples post here) we were headed to Rome for a few days of art, architecture, gelato and gladiator school. We got so much more than we bargained for and loved every second of it. The boys even tolerated our need to visit as many of the ornate churches the vast city has to offer, with the understanding that there would be plenty of sword fighting gladiator moments, soccer games, pizza and gelato to balance the days. A Mass with the Pope was a bonus to this fabulous stop, one we had never dreamed of. Read More