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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Laurel's Kitchen Black Turtle Raisin Bread

Laurel's Kitchen Black Turtle Raisin Bread

The next loaf of Reinhart's that I am going to bake is a Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  I had it in the back of my mind that I ought to bake someone else's Raisin Bread, for taste comparison (the way I did with the Reinhart's Anadama Bread recipe by testing out various others, here, there, and elsewhere).  I had a look through my recent cookbook acquisitions, and found nothing appropriate in Viet's book ('No More Bricks'), and I thought, from looking at the index, that there was nothing in the 'Laurel Kitchen's Bread Book', either.   But after looking at the index, I thumbed through the book and found a rather different raisin bread, and one that I thought I might try for our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend.  This is not a cinnamon raisin bread, and it sounds so different, I was unsure of how it might taste.  But it was intriguing enough to try.  This is the first loaf I have made from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.


Black Turtle's Raisin Bread from Laurel's Kitchen uses Black Turtle Beans.  Now, frankly I don't know a black turtle bean from a black garbanzo.  But I did find some black beans when I was out shopping the other day, and here I've used those.  They fit the description.  But have you ever noticed that no one ever puts the scientific name, e.g. Phaseolus vulgaris, on their packaging? 

 Beans come to a boil
 Raisins are steamed
Raisins left to cool after 5 minutes of steaming

Dutifully, I boiled the beans for an hour; I could have used more than the 3 cups of water as suggested on the bean pack, because after the pot had simmered for an hour, there was not even 1 cup of liquid left over.  I had to add to the amount, to bring the liquid up to the 2 cups that was needed.  During the boiling of the beans, I steamed the raisins over the pot for 5 minutes.

Reserve all the liquid that's left over from boiling the beans

I made a mistake and added 60 g of molasses and 30 g of oil -- grams rather than millilitres -- but it didn't seem to matter to the recipe too badly.  I didn't have enough raisins, so I added about 17 g of currants to bring the total of dried fruit to 145 g.

I blended the beans and the reserved water together when it had cooled slightly, mixed in the oil and molasses, and poured it over my flour mixture.  I wasn't sure if I should just stir the mixture or use my hands to mix it.  I opted to keep my hands out of it for now.  But it didn't really entirely mix until I poured it onto the counter and started kneading.

Dutifully, I kneaded the dough for 20 minutes.  Frankly, I find it difficult to rationalize that length of time kneading.  When you are kneading that long, it is, however, interesting to feel the changes that take place within the dough -- and within yourself.


 Kneaded about 17 minutes -- about to add the raisins

Dough at 20 minutes: stop, already

The Changes in the Dough -- and in you -- as you knead for 20 minutes
1 minute -- there is still flour that needs to be incorporated, from the initial mixing in the bowl.
2 minutes -- I think I've got all that flour incorporated, but I still see blobs of material.  Are those beans?
3 minutes -- Really, the dough is just being mixed still.  The flour in the dough is just being hydrated.
4 minutes -- Okay, this thing under my hands could now be named, it is one thing rather than a conglomeration.
5 minutes -- The dough is starting to cooperate.
6 minutes -- I could stop now and be happy.  Can I stop now?
7 minutes -- I don't perceive I'm doing anything more here.  How much time is left?  Crap.  I've barely started.
8 minutes -- The dough is getting sticky.  Wet your hands.
9 minutes -- It's sticking to the counter.  It's sticking to my hands.  Yuck.  Oh well, keep going.
10 minutes -- The dough feels like it is getting tight, the gluten acting like gravity.
11 minutes -- okay, better get the scraper to take this stuff off your hands.
12 minutes -- some of the books say to rest the dough.  Maybe I should rest... the, uh, ... dough.
13 minutes -- better use the scraper to knead with.  When it sticks to your hands or the counter, it just makes things worse.
14 minutes -- glad I had that bowl of water nearby to dip the scraper into periodically so it doesn't gum up.
15 minutes -- this dough felt stronger at 10 minutes.  Now it is feeling worn out, flaccid.
16 minutes -- gee, I think I 'zoned out' there for a little bit.  Where was I?  Better add the raisins.
17 minutes -- now the dough is getting stronger again - but not as strong as at 10 minutes, curiously.
18 minutes -- What time is it?  How much time do I have left?
20 minutes -- Done already?  I was just starting to get into this.

 Dough after kneading and before the first rise

 Dough following the first rise, or bulk fermentation

The first rise was accomplished at 95 degrees F. in my Excaliber Dehydrator.  I was really happy with the results.  But I was running out of time, and I wouldn't be able to do the second rise and bake it before we had to get to the party.  I was amazed at how long this loaf takes to make, and I think it is primarily because the beans have to be boiled and then cooled somewhat, and you just can't rush that.

Dough is about to be divided

 The divided dough is formed and placed into some baskets

After 30 minutes, they've fluffed up a bit: time to preheat oven.

So I followed the recipe fairly strictly until I got to the 2nd rise.  Since I was running out of time, here, I just divided my dough and shaped it after the first rise.  I was making 2 free-form loaves, so I placed them in some baskets in which I had placed a couche that was sprinkled with some whole wheat flour.

The dough smells pretty darn good when baking, but my dough experienced more sag than I thought it should.  Both loaves turned out pretty flat. Come to think of it, most of my free-form loaves have this sag.  Maybe they are just too hydrated.

I took one of the loaves to our friends' house for a Thanksgiving Dinner celebration.  David cut the slices thick, and then we cut those in half.  I think it was well received, by those who tried it.  The bread was quite tasty, not at all what you might expect from beans.  I forgot my camera for the crumb shot, though.  I will have to try to remember to take a picture of the next loaf.

Fresh from the oven, cooling on racks

Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada.  The temperature was 25 degrees C., and the sun was shining.

Notes to Myself
  • Leave yourself enough time to let the dough perform a second rise before dividing it.  The dough might rise nicer if you follow the recipe methodology.
  • Get an Iron Pot in which to boil these beans, so you get more iron in your diet!
  • Try using slightly less hydration, next time.  Use more than 3 cups : 1 cup beans in the initial boiling, so you have more beanwater for the recipe, but use slightly less than 2 cups in the recipe.  Oh, wait: I just realized that I used 475 g of hydration, not 475 ml.  So now I have to figure out the hydration that I used in the recipe, and next time, cut back on it a bit.
  • Although I didn't measure the weight of the fully boiled beans (which surely took on some water and weighed more?), here is the baker's formula for the recipe based on my experience (your mileage may vary):

    Ingredient weight % Next time try
    Flour 750 100% 100%
    ID Yeast 14 1.87% 1.87%
    Beans 200 (raw) 26.7% 26.7%
    Hydration (Bean water) 475 63.3% 60% or 450g
    Water for Yeast 60 8% 8%
    Salt 16.5 2% 2%
    Molasses 60 8% 8%
    Oil 30 4% 4%
    Raisins & Currants 145 19.3% 19.3%

    If you add up the water percentages, you see that this dough is at 71.3% hydration.  I would suggest backing this off to 68% for a free-standing loaf next time.  Keep the yeast water at 8%, and reduce the bean water slightly - to 60% or 450g.

1 comment:

  1. Hi.

    1) I don't understand why Laurel offers to take so much yeast. In garbanzo bread (page 159), she takes a half.

    2) "When my beans were done I had almost exactly 2 1/4 cups liquid left."