La Tabatière du Jura Sourdough Bread

I've made a similar recipe of this bread 6 years ago and posted it on my blog at La tabatière du Jura, so I am quite familiar with it.

This is a classic French regional bread, coming from the East of France, from Jura. The recipe itself is not specific, usually, this is made from white bread flour sometimes with a small inclusion of rye or wholemeal wheat flour. But what is specific for this bread is the shape. It has a flap that raises nicely when you bake the loaf.

Unlike my classical bread, for this one, I do not do a cold retard overnight in the fridge. There is a reason for this: the longer it stays, the bigger the chances for the flap to stick to the main boule. So, the final fermentation is only 1-hour while maintaining the dough temperature at 26ºC.

Berry Tart

From all the fruits, I like the most the berry fruits. Each with its own taste and when you combine them it becomes a cocktail of aromas. 
This time I went for a bigger raspberry layer and I do not regret it at all.
I usually do this tart in steps. The crust I bake the day before and put it in the fridge. The curd follows and the decoration is just for fun and diversity when the tart is totally settled.
I have to recognise that I struggled with the raspberry juice. I usually strain the juice by hand, using a strainer but this time I wanted to use a forgotten extension of my standing mixer specially made for extracting juice, Oh, what a disaster. I made a mess and little to no juice went out. I went then back to my old fashion way to extract the juice with a strainer. It took me a while but I managed.
The decoration part was pure relaxation. I didn't match the perfect rows from the start so I had to move some pieces around. But for that, the already jellied layer of raspberries helped a lot. 
The tart of course can be served with no decoration, and in this case, the gelatin sheets are optional. But you have to recognise that the visual impact is quite big when fruits are covering a flat red layer.

The Sun Tart (with mango and kumquat)

My journey with decorated tarts continues.

For this one, the filling is similar to the previous one I made, Mango-kiwi tart but the decoration is with the little orange fruits called kumquat.


Mango - kiwi tart

I never tried this combination of exotic fruits in this way. A curd from mango and fresh kiwi make a wonderful match. Put all this into a pie shell, add some decoration and a bit of love and you'll impress anyone with such a tart.

55% Hydration Sourdough Bread

If you wonder why you should bake bread at such low hydration, I can tell you that testing the extremes comes with a lot of lessons learned. Learning how the dough behaves in extreme conditions provide you with the knowledge to apply the appropriate techniques when needed for other recipes.

I challenged myself to bake bread using the same great flour at different hydrations:

- at 85%, the dough was tricky but managed to get a good result

- at 75%, I felt being the most comfortable and the loaf turned as expected.

- at 65%, I've got a bit out of my preferred hydration range but I was totally impressed by the capabilities of the flour to relax.

I continued the challenge, at 55% hydration. This is way out of my comfort zone and it is far from being a preferred way of doing bread. 

Testing it was an interesting experience and these are my observations:

- after the initial mixing, the dough was that stiff that I could certainly break a window with it

- after the saltolyse, it became manageable and I've reached a great windowpane test

- relaxation time between steps is essential for such hydration

- at the shaping phase, although at 75% increased volume, the dough felt slightly under proofed in my hands so, I left it to grow to 100% after shaping. I used an aliquot jar to measure the increase. 

- shaping needs to be kept minimal to preserve the bubbles inside.

- dough didn't have a huge oven spring, although it was not surprising for such low hydration. However, even if it wasn't a real open crumb, I found it very fluffy and delicious.

- adding a lot of steam in the oven (ice cubes in my case) helped to avoid a hard crust, that on top of the improved oven spring. I knew this from previous bakes but such a thirsty dough I think it benefits more from extra steaming. The downside of extra steaming is that the flour on top tends to disappear. Stencilling works for me with only one ice cube in the Dutch Oven to preserve the pattern. For 2+ cubes, the flour absorbs the steamed water and only scoring can be used as design.