Saturday, 27 October 2012

In Which Herman Is Frenchified

You may remember that some months ago I be given the starter and recipe for a Herman German Friendship cake. (See here for that post.) Not to be outdone I do persevere in experimenting with the recipe for the cake: soya milk instead of dairy in the starter, less sugar in the starter, less baking powder and less sugar in the cake, sour cherries, white chocolate, prunes, apricots, crystallised ginger.... you name it, I poke it in. The cake always tastes good but I never never have found the right baking time and temperature. It has nice sourdoughish holes in it but it always ends up solid and undercooked in the middle.

Some things in the recipe don't seem to conform with the principles of sourdough baking.... which The Old Man do frequently educate me in.... The original recipe uses baking powder in addition to the "starter" and allows no time for proving. So what is the point of the sourdough starter?

During all of this frantic Herman experimenting time... my sugar-restricted-soyamilk-instead-of-dairy "starter" be getting feistier and feistier. Instead of smelling of alcohol it starts to smell of yeast. And it do start to bubble away with vigour. So I decide that my next "cake" will be a kugelhopf and I will be brave and rely on the starter alone to raise the cake.

Looking around the internet for some guidance I do find a very helpful site - "Sourdough Companion". And there I do find, instead of a kugelhopf, a recipe for sourdough brioche. I do nerve myself up and commence the long.... very long... process for to make this French beauty... with my startled and somewhat altered Herman the German starter jollop. And here is the result.

OK. Not in dainty French shape or in buns... I's too much of a beginner to fully master the shaping process so I just about manage eventually to tiff the dough into loaf tins. I bake them at around 200C for ten minutes then down to around 185C for 30-35 minutes. Here is the original recipe from "Graham" at Sourdough Companion.

I have never baked or eaten brioche before. But whatever this is.... it be nice.
Ooh-la-la! Sugar-free Herman enjoys things French.

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