February 16, 2010

Almond White Bean Lean Loaf Made With A Biga (B&P38)

Quest, circa 1303, "a search for something" (esp. of judicial inquiries or hounds seeking game), from O.Fr. queste (Fr. quête), prop. "the act of seeking," from M.L. questa "search, inquiry," alteration of L. quæsitus, pp. of quærere "seek, gain, ask" (see query). Romance sense of "adventure undertaken by a knight" is attested from c.1384. The verb is first recorded c.1350.

Modern Language Association (MLA): "quest." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 16 Feb. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/quest>.

Each morning, most of us rise, get dressed, guzzle down a cup of coffee or tea and begin our search. We seek income, food, housing, safety, love and more. Each of our quests might not be along the lines a romantic grand tradition, however each one is necessary.

Every day, my husband goes out and seeks to do his best for employer and his clients. Each day, I seek to do my best for my family, whether it is through loving my family, caring for our home, cooking nutritious gluten free food, meeting our Sheltie's canine needs and working on my own endeavors.

Currently at Gluten A Go Go, I seek to bake artisan gluten free bread, and blog my adventure. Each conversion of a bread recipe from the CIA's Baking and Pastry tome, is a new challenge. A new opportunity to find the best artisan gluten free bread, a loaf that is airy, nutritious and doesn't fall apart when you eat it.

My quest can be broken down into smaller pursuits. Each one providing me an opportunity for the thrill of victory, such as getting the yeast to rise or the bread not to crumble. Yet, each of pursuits has the opportunity to fail and each one has at various times. Sometimes these failures have been pretty spectacular and others not so much. Each time I fail, I try again. Although quite honestly I think these basic lean bread recipes have it in for me. I have to remake these recipes more than any of the others in my baking project. This version turned out beautifully and has a fabulous slightly fermented taste. It's reminiscent of ciabatta, a recipe that is coming soon.

I'm slowly working my way through Baking and Pastry. My life doesn't quite accomodate the speed that  Julie Powell was able to generate while cooking through, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It took Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, years to create Mastering the Art of French Cooking. They didn't give up. They kept seeking the best recipes. They kept cooking until they got it right.

I keep at my quest.  Some days, I find the romance (see my next bread, Cracked Rice and Roasted Potato Baguette). Other days...well...dadgum...if it could go wrong...it did.

At that point, I take a break and think on things. I work on my other pursuits, such as photography. I'm working on adding to my camera equipment, learning how to use it better and acting like bird paparazzi. I'm after a really nice image of a male cardinal and red hawk that are gracing the land around us.

Do you have a quest?

Protein Content

Original: 11.05 g
Gluten Free: 12.23 g

Original: 16.7 g
Gluten Free: 16.65 g


16 g brown rice flour (1.44 g)
16 g sweet rice flour (0.96 g)
16 g arrowroot starch (0.03 g)
19 g almond meal (4.32 g)
18 g white bean flour (4.08 g)
12 g instant dry yeast
50 ml water
15 ml agave syrup

Final Dough

22 g brown rice flour (1.98 g)
22 g sweet rice flour (1.32 g )
24 g arrowroot starch (0.07 g)
30 g almond meal (6 g)
28 g white bean flour (6.02 g)
6 g chia seed meal (1.26 g)
6 g sea salt
4 g agar agar powder
15 g instant dry yeast
126 g biga (from above)
20 ml agave syrup
128 ml water (120 - 130 degrees F/48 - 54 degrees C)

Biga Directions

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flours, water, agave syrup and yeast. Mix together, making sure the mixture is smooth. Cover the mixture or transfer to a container and allow to ferment at 75 degrees F/24 degrees C for 18 to 24 hours.  When the biga is ready to use, it will have risen and receded, yet also look bubbly.

Final Dough Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients with the exception of the salt.  Hold the salt out, so it can be added later in the mixing.  Add the biga, water and agave syrup and blend together, just before the dough comes together, sprinkle in the salt and then continue blending until a soft ball forms. If the dough is still too soft, add arrowroot starch by the tablespoon (1 Tb/15 ml) until the dough firms up.
2. Place the dough in the center of a sheet of parchment paper that has been sprinkled with arrowroot starch. Gently roll the dough into a cylinder about 10 in/25 cm long and taper the ends. Take a sharp knife and slice a cut across the center of the cylinder at a slight angle. Place matching cuts on either side of the center cut, so there are three cuts altogether. Slide the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and place in a warm location to rise for 2 hours.
3. Place an oven proof bowl filled with water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Then place a baking stone on the top shelf. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/232 degrees C. Place the loaf in the oven and spray water over the oven box and the top of the loaf. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes. Prop the oven door open and continue to cook the bread for another 10 minutes. Remove the loaf and allow it to cool before serving.
What's Going On?

I was a very lucky woman and received a copy of the Culinary Institute of America's Baking & Pastry book along with their DVD's from my family for my birthday. After watching all the DVDs, I decided to work my way through the CIA's Baking and Pastry book - of course making it gluten free. There were so many skills that I wanted to develop and work on. I hope you will be interested in sharing my journey with me.

Want more?

You can follow me on Twitter and on Flickr.

Other Baking & Pastry Project Posts

Baking & Pastry Week 18 - Poolishes
Baking & Pastry #34 - Almond Buckwheat BatardBaking & Pastry #33 - Stollen
Baking & Pastry Week 17 - A Sponge and a Poolish
Baking & Pastry #32 - Gugelhopf
Baking & Pastry #31 - Panettone


Anonymous said...

Yes ... my quest is trying to build up my own business through creating handmade things. I often fail, make mistakes and then remake. Sometimes want to stop because I feel alone in my quest. But I keep going because I want to succeed.

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

Hi Lily - I hear you about the desire to make beautiful things, plus the need to keep trying when it doesn't quite work the first time. Your dedication to gorgeous crafts is obvious from your blog...I'm in love with your silver Danni Lariat. The 1 meter length would be simply stunning.

Thanks for visiting!


Anonymous said...

Thank YOU, Natalie. But it is exactly YOUR amazing determination to find the right recipes/ingredients which struck a chord with me. Your work is admirable!