Posts Tagged ‘Chefs’ Warehouse’

When our friend Craig came over for dinner recently, he brought a stunning loaf of whole wheat and walnut sourdough with him.  It was so good that I was keen to try something similar.

I’d recently purchased wholemeal spelt flour from Weston Milling and decided to make a hybrid dough with walnuts.  The finished bread was very moreish –  Pete and I ate half a loaf standing up in the kitchen, slice after slice – it was that delicious. Spelt flour has a nutty flavour which complements the walnuts particularly well.

Here’s the formula…

  • 300g active sourdough starter (166%, fed at a ratio of 1 cup flour to 1 cup water)
  • 600g water
  • 500g bakers/bread flour
  • 500g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 200g walnuts
  • 18g fine sea salt

The finished dough is at 70.5% hydration.  If you’re using a 100% starter, increasing the water to 660g should do the trick.  I wrote a little about dough hydration here.

These quantities made one 900g and two 600g loaves…

It was a great opportunity to try out the new, smaller bannetons I’d  recently bought from Chefs’ Warehouse

I hadn’t tried the Weston Milling spelt before, and was very chuffed with how well it baked up. I bought it at Southern Cross Supplies in Marrickville – from memory, the 10kg sack cost me $28, which is much cheaper than spelt flour has been in previous years.  I might need to buy some more, as I can see this becoming a regular loaf at our place!

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Edit: Since starting this post, I’ve made the walnut loaves again…

…as well as a batch of sourdough rolls, made to the same recipe minus the walnuts, and shaped using our easy fold and cut method shown here

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What you see here is the culmination of a long quest.

For years, we’ve searched high and low for a jam funnel with a narrow enough aperture to fit into our hexagonal jam jars.  The one we’ve been using fits perfectly into our fat salsa jars, but its 6cm opening is too wide for the smaller ones.

Lovely Manuela even sent me an email last week with a link to a Canadian supplier.  Before I got around to ordering from them, we strolled into Chefs’ Warehouse to pick up a bag of Fairtrade Callebaut chocolate.  Pete emerged from one of the aisles triumphant, brandishing his holy grail of funnels.

The brilliant Christopher, purveyor of intriguing kitchenware, has recently sourced and imported these from Italy. The funnel costs $19.50 and divides into two parts – the smaller section narrowing the opening from 6cm to 3cm…

It fits easily into our smaller jars…

Chefs’ Warehouse have just started their own blog, and if you’re a Sydneysider with an interest in cookware, I’d strongly recommend subscribing.  They won’t be selling via mail order nor do they have an online store, but they will be providing regular updates on any new stock that comes in. It makes for fascinating reading!

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Another recent find for jam makers, this Tala canning kit cost just $12 at the Peters of Kensington sale.  It includes bits and pieces widely available in the US, but very difficult to track down here.  The tongs, magnetic lid lifter and plastic funnel are all useful…

…but the real find is the jar lifter. With it, you can remove hot jars from boiling water baths without risking serious scalding…

We’ve just used up the last of Pete’s raspberry jam, so it might be time to make a fresh batch.  Especially now that we have all the equipment at hand!

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Tah-dah! Here are the first two loaves made with my new bannetons!

I still need to work on my slashes – I’m yet to master controlling the oven spring with my razor cuts.  But overall, I’m pretty happy with how these turned out!

I dusted the proofing baskets like a mad woman – there was about half a cup of excess rye flour after the loaves were turned out…

I tried slashing a cross on the top of one loaf…

…and a fancy star shape on the other.

The cross-slashed loaf rose tall and round, bursting a little in the middle…

…whereas the star-slashed loaf expanded in a more controlled, but less vigorous fashion.

I tweaked my usual sourdough recipe to lower the hydration slightly, and added in a little semolina flour.  The dough was bulk proved overnight on the kitchen bench (it’s late autumn here, and quite cool at night), before being shaped first thing this morning.  Each loaf had a starting dough weight of just under 1kg.

  • 300g sourdough starter (fed at a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 cup flour)
  • 550g water
  • 50g olive oil
  • 200g semolina flour
  • 600g bakers/bread flour
  • 250g white spelt flour
  • 16g fine sea salt

More loaves to come!

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On Friday morning, the Australian Tax department sent me a small tax refund for the last financial year.  That was a good thing.

On Friday afternoon, the lovely Melissa from Chefs’ Warehouse rang and said, “Celia, the bannetons are here.”  That was a very good and serendipitous thing!

So I drove into Surry Hills and happily handed over my refund in exchange for these gorgeous proofing baskets. If you’re a breadbaker in Sydney, race in as soon as possible – they have a wide range of sizes available, at about half the price I’ve seen them for anywhere else!

These 1kg round bannetons (not 500g as I originally thought!) were just $19.95 each (retail price, if you’re in the trade, there’s an extra 25% discount).  They’re imported from Europe and made from cane.  There were larger ones for a few dollars more, but this size is the closest to the plastic baskets I’m using at the moment.

The oval bannetons, 500g sized, were a tiny $18.95 each.  They’re sturdy and well assembled…

I was so excited with these that I had to show them to you straight away – I haven’t even had a chance to bake in them yet.  If you need any more information about sizes or pricing, do give Chef’s Warehouse a call – they really are the nicest people to deal with!

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Chefs’ Warehouse
111-115 Albion St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9211 4555

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