Saturday, 4 February 2017

Pain de Savoie - Miniatures - Attempt 3

Everyone loves a trier!

I've been putting a lot of thought into these, and decided to go outside the tin, and rather than do a loaf, do a bun. I was still keen to make it look fancy, so I went for a single knot roll (which is simpler than it looks). One issue I've had previously is cheese leakage (I clearly worry about serious items!). A traditional pain de savoie has layers, which cheese in-between, however this is not really viable for a knotted bun.

After some consideration, I decided to nix the layers, which moves a bit away from the original concept, but I think it maintains the flavours and textures. There were other changes I did as well;
  • Previously I've used lardons or pancetta, which was already in chunks. Going smaller meant these chunks were too large, so instead I used smoked bacon (180g of wet weight, or half a pack), which I chopped and fried, giving me smaller chunks, making it easier to shape.
  • I chopped the cheese (still comte) into small chunks (5-6mm cubes). Grating forms too much lamination,  while large chunks would be out of scale.
  • I went for 9 rolls, which meant each had ~100g of dough, and fitted well onto a single baking sheet. After some experimentation, about 15-18g of cheese per roll was about right.
Leakage was still an issue, though I think this was partially about how I formed the dough sausage. I took the dough, hand-rolled a sausage about 30-25cm in length, then flattened it with the palm of my hand. I then sprinkled the cheese down the middle, and tightly rolled the dough around this. I then (and I'm not sure why, it seemed a good process at the time) folded it in half and re-rolled it out to about 35-40cm, which gave me a decent length to form the knot. The folding caused seaming in the bread, which displayed during the baking. I also had some leakage, probably due to dough being too tin in areas.

What I will do next time is initially roll the dough to a shorter sausage, then add the cheese and roll back into a sausage...I'll then roll it out to 35-40cm (no folding over). Hopefully this should also limit thin spots for the cheese to break out!.

Having the bacon in there made the bread slightly saltier, so I shall reduce the amount of salt in the dough.

Finally came the decoration. As a general rule of thumb, I have 3 ways of dressing bread;
  • Black poppy seeds
  • White sesame seeds
  • water and flour
There is also egg washes, however I've tried this previously, and wasn't keen on the effect. This time I did 3 of each of the above decorations. I was happiest with the poppy seeds (which I think on balance is my favourite generally). Before they went in the oven, I brushed each with water, a couple of times, then stuck on the dressing. There was a small amount of water put in the oven (1 ramekin) to help a bit of crust form, however I didn't want too much.

Finally, the baking time was 20 minutes at 210'C, but I rotated them at 12 minutes to allow them to bake evenly.

I think I'm nearly there with these...hopefully one more batch and I'll have a final recipe