Monthly Archives: January 2012

Croissant ( Test: Book fold )

I tested to see how the crumb turned out when I folded the dough using Book fold method.

At first, I fold my rolling-butter like this: This is the best way for me to fold the rolling-butter neatly. One of my friend told me this method. I am very happy with this.


Book fold is like this: ( I did this book fold 2 times instead of  a letter fold 3 times that I always use)


Here is the result of 2 x a book fold↓

Here is the result of  3 x a  letter fold ↓

I thought that the book fold one would have more open crumb  than the letter fold one, however,  all of the book fold croissants had more open crumb to compare to the letter fold croissants that I made.     It is too early to judge which is better for me to use. I will continue to test and practice this book fold method.

By the way, I also tested the way how to stretch the croissant dough before shaping . I always use a roling-pin to stretch a croissant dough.

Here is the picture of the croissant that I stretched it by hand before shaping. I stretched it lightly only once.

Pulling the dough by hand seems having a bit of problem to have nice honey crumb.


Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Croissant


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Croissant ( Test: Retarding or not )

I was wondering how different  a croissant came out between the one was not retarded and the other one was retarded. So, I tested it and here is the result.

The crumb that was not retarded (Final proof: 2 hours at 50-55F/ 2 hours at the room temperature)

  • Clear crumb
  • Sweeter ( taste)
  • the crust was flakier.

The crumb that was retarded ( 8 hours in the refrigerator / 2.5 hours room temperature )

  • Frosty crumb
  • Saltier ( taste)
  • Little dry
  • The crust was harder.

I took a picture of them were frozen.

I can’t confess the difference of the crust.. but I can taste the difference from them.

I like croissants that were not retarded in my opinion, which will be difficult to make croissants in the summer.


Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Croissant


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How to get the windowpane for soft bread

I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and hand to knead the dough for soft bread,however, I always knead the dough by hand for hard bread. I tried this method for hard bread, the crumb turned out weird.  It didn’t taste right.
How to get the windowpane for soft bread
For instant yeast bread

Divide 1/3 flour and the 2/3 flour in separate bowls and add the all other dry ingredients in the 1/3 flour bowl.
Add all the liquid and mix at 6-8 speed for 2-3 minutes until very smooth.
Add little bit of flour from the 1/3 flour…
And mix again at speed 4-6 for 2-3minutes until elastic…
Add the rest of the flour into the bowl…
Mix the flour and the dough and take it out…
And put the dough on the work bench…
9and knead for 15-20 minutes until….  * The dough gets gassy while kneading, which is a good sign ( the dough is fermenting) to know that you can go to next step.
you can see the windowpane.
For Levain bread:
Mix  the levain, liquid and 2/3 flour in a mixing bowl.
Speed at 4-6 for 2 minutes until…
the dough gets very elastic.
Add the 1/3 flour and mix it until..
incorporated… and Autolyze for 30 minutes. The salt and fat set aside.
Knead by hand for 10 minutes until …* The dough gets gassy while kneading, which is a good sign( the dough is fermenting) to know that you can go to next step.
you can see the windowpane.
If  the dough or your hands get too cold, I warm my hands using hot water.

I have a Professional 600 Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

I have a story of my Kitchen Aid mixer.

 How small the teeth are!

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Koubo by Akiko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Posted by on January 19, 2012 in How to get the windowpane for soft bread



Rustic bread with raisin yeast water Ⅰ

I have tried to make sourdough bread with raisin yeast water without sourdough using Jump Start to have sour flavor for a month. I was wondering if I could make sourdough bread.  I can make non sour sandwich bread or bagels or English muffins with raisin yeast water because I use a lot of raisin yeast water for these levain.  What if I use a little amount of raisin yeast water for the levain?

Rustic bread with raisin yeast water

you can click on it↓ if you can’t read well.

* When I used 1.8% salt as to 100% flour including preferment flour to make this bread that was retarded, I tasted little bitter than the original one.  I also made this bread without retarding with 1.6% salt as to 100% flour including preferment flour. It tasted right, too.   It is up to your taste.


1. Mix the levain  and ferment it for 12 hours at the room temperature.

After 12 hours: the dough rose tripled.

2.Next morning: Mix thoroughly  the levain and the final dough ingredients except the salt and  leave it for 30 minutes at the room temperature ( Autolyze).

3. Add the salt and knead the dough on the surface until it gets gassy and elastic for 5-6 minutes. The dough temperature – 70F after kneading.

4. Bulk fermentation:  About 7 hours until the dough rises close to tripled.

* Note: This is not about the time, it is all about how much your dough rise before you preshape the dough.  If your dough is very slow to rise, just wait until it is ready.  Long bulk fermentation makes flavorful bread! 

Folding: Stretch and fold the dough on the surface once after 45 minutes of bulk fermentation.


             After 7 hours: it rose close to tripled.

5.Preshape and bench time: Preshape lightly into a round ball and rest the dough at the room temperature for 30 minutes.  You can upside down the bowl that the dough was fermented to cover the dough for the bench time.


6. Shaping: 

Stretch the dough into a square gently..

Make a letter fold..

Another letter fold..

And  make a round ball with your both hands..

Place the dough into the banneton and put it in a bigger plastic bag to proof..

7. Final proof  (1):  Ferment the dough at the room temperature for50-60 minutes until the dough started to lose the shape. And Retard the dough for overnight ( keep the dough in the refrigerator).

8. Final proof (2) and  Preheat 465F : Move the dough to the room temperature ( colder place around 67 F) and ferment the dough for 2 hours around. I would bake the dough before the dough gets sticky. It will be difficult to remove the dough from the banneton.

* I use a big stainless steel bowl to make steam.  The stainless steel bowl should be preheated before baking, too.

 The dough doesn’t  rise much but it will be fine.

9. Scoring and bakingBake at 465F for 12 minutes with the stainless bowl. Take the bowl out and lower the oven temperature at 425F  and bake more 8 minutes, then lower the oven temperature at 400F and put *a cooling rack under the bread and  bake more 25-30 minutes until golden brown.  *  I use the cooling rack while baking loaves because I don’t like the bottom of loaves burned.

Score the dough as you like…

Take  the hot stainless bowl out of the oven at first, and slide the dough into the oven and put the hot stainless steel bowl back into the oven USING YOUR GLOVES THAT DON’T SLIP when you hold it.

About the taste1st day: remaining some sweet,but little sour. The sourness reminds me of Apple cider vinegar.

2nd day: little sour at the end after eating. No more tasting the sweetness that I tasted on the first day.

3rd day: Sourer . I tasted sour while eating, but it is very pleasant as much as my 5 year-old daughter enjoyed it. because it has more complex flavor than the sourness.

Very moist ( Not  wet  dough)and light and soft crumb.  The crust was  harder than the one that I baked without retarding, but the crust on the top was very thin and crispy.

This dough acted like Tartine’s country bread and the taste was like the miche that David posted on TFL, but this crumb was softer.


The pictures of  the loaves were used instant yeast. I added 0.3% instant yeast as to 100% total flour including preferment flour. I didn’t retard it.

Bulk fermentation : about 2 hours until the dough rise tripled and the final proof : 50 minutes around.

I gave this loaf ↑to my daughter’s school bus driver as a gift. She told me that the bread was the best bread that she ever had. I am so happy that she enjoyed as much as she ate this bread “Breakfast” ” Lunch” and ” Dinner” on the day. That made my day.

We enjoyed the loaf as much as the loaf that was retarded. These loaves were  also very light too.   The crust was very crispy and thin and the crumb was very soft and fluffy, but it had nice volume.  I tasted sour very slightly, which I was looking for this loaf.

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Croissant ( I tested about shaping)

How do you shape your croissant dough? I tested 2 ways to see how they turned out.

I stretch the dough out before shaping.  But I was wondering which way is the best way to have beautiful crumb?

H)  Stretch it out with my hands.

I  stretch the dough using my both hands only once.

When I stretch the dough 2 or 3 times to expand the dough, The croissant came out like this..

R) Stretch it out with a rolling pin.

I roll the dough with a rolling-pin a couple of times, but I don’t roll the top of the triangle part, which will be too thin if you roll it.  Rolling a couple of times doesn’t affect to the crumb when I use a rolling-pin.

After stretching the dough out,I brush some water on the surface  and  roll the dough very gently.

The result



    I will keep testing this for interest.

When you see your croissant like this before baking,

More likely I get  crumb like the picture below.

To avoid the crumb, I should place the top of the triangle dough under the bottom.

To post this croissant recipe, I need more time. When I took a look at my note,  I am still wondering how thick the dough should be when I fold the dough to have nice layers.

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Koubo by Akiko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Croissant


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How to make sourdough starter ( Start with raisin yeast water= Jamp Start)

I am a big failure for taking care of sourdough starter that I tried before because  the taste of the sourdough starter changed whenever I made bread. It was okay if they turned out good, but 60 % of them were kind of gummy and too starchy sometimes.  I don’t know how many loaves I threw away sadly and I cried for that sometimes . However I learned a lot of things from my failures. My biggest mistake was one thing that I didn’t want to use any instant yeast whenever I made sourdough, even though they were not active.  If I used instant yeast for it, I wouldn’t be so frustrated with my sourdough.  But I have raisin yeast water now, which I really enjoy baking various kind of loaves that I can make non-sour bread and sour bread : Sandwich loaf, English muffin,Bagel,Croissant,sourdough bread and so on.

I can make sourdough starter in 24 hours using a bit of raisin yeast water.

How to make sourdough starter  with raisin yeast water ( Jump start)

(  Total : 60g sourdough starter )


  • 1g  raisin yeast water
  • 29g filtered water ( No chlorine water)
  • 30g * flour

* If you use  30g Whole wheat flour or 30g  rye flour  – Rise faster than white flour and may have very mild sour flavor in the bread without retarding the bread.

* If you use 30g white flour– Probably it takes 24 hours until fully risen and has no sour flavor in the bread if you don’t retard the bread.

* You can combine any flour you like, but the time of fermentation is vary. The taste of bread will be also different.


  •      Mix all the ingredients in a container and leave it at the room temperature until it rises doubled or tripled.

( 1/12/2012) 100% whole wheat flour used.

( 1/13/2012) I took a PH test for this sourdough on the second day. The result was between 5.5 and 5.75.  I fed 1:1:1= Starter:Flour:Water  twice a day during the time. This sourdough starter is tangy but not too sour.

Here is the result of my raisin yeast water’s PH test that I took before. Between 5.5 and 5.75.   This is the same result as the sourdough’s. The taste of raisin yeast water is little sweet with a bit of alcohol.

My recommendation: TO use 0.3 % instant yeast as to total flour including preferment flour

  1. If you like softer and lighter (fluffy) crumb.
  2. If you want less sour in the bread.
  3. If you like crispy and softer crust such as you can eat whole crust easily even it is a sandwich.
  4. If you like lighter bread without retarding or long final fermentation( final proof).
  5. If the starter doesn’t rise well. ( The sourdough is  not  active )

*  I don’t keep this starter for a long time because it will increase acid in the starter.

Note:  Liquid starter ( 1:1=liquid:flour  100% hydration) approximately rises doubled around when it is fully fermented. A stiff starter ( 60% hydration around) rises about tripled  because the gasses can’t  get through from the stiff dough into the air , but the gasses can get through  from the liquid dough into the air.


I made 2 same loaves with raisin yeast water  / sourdough starter.

* I am working on this recipe. I will post when I am satisfied with this bread.

 The raisin yeast water levain — 81g whole wheat / 81g raisin yeast water

The sourdough levain—  162g levain ( 100% whole wheat used)

I also used 0.3% instant yeast  as to 100% flour including the preferment flour for the both loaves.

Left -raisin yeast water / Right – sourdough

( This raisin yeast loaf- Final proof 1 hour 18 minutes.)

( This sourdough loaf – Final proof 55 minutes.)

* I use this method to make steam for baking loaves so that I couldn’t make the 2 loaves in the same time.

Here is the crumb picture.

The raisin yeast water loaf ‘s crumb — slightly sweet

The sourdough loaf’s crumb-  little sour

I didn’t  taste any difference from the crumb texture when I had the day that I made and the next day.


I have a big reason to make this  sourdough


For my precious chicken Bumpy who has been suffering from impacted crop since she was born.  Her crop was fully packed with tall grass or some weird stuff that she couldn’t digest. Luckily one of  chicken ladies offered to help us to emptied Bumpy’s crop. I really thank her saved Bumpy’s life.  When Bumpy came home,which was 2 weeks later,we let Bumpy stay with other 4 chickens outside, then Bumpy’s crop was full and she wasn’t doing well, again.  Bumpy was also  pecked badly by the other chickens.   My husband and I decided to keep her inside the house.   The chicken lady told me to feed Greek yogurt or apple sauce to Bumpy, but I also fed this sourdough to her, which was very effective.   I bathed her after she ate quite a lot of sourdough and hold Bumpy upside down to empty her crop. It worked out very well.


She doesn’t lay an egg everyday like the other white chickens( Leghorn), but she can have an egg!

This Bumpy’s egg is very pointy compare to the others.

This sourdough really helps Bumpy for living.  Bumpy tells me when the sourdough is sour because she doesn’t eat it when it is sour.  Other chickens also love this sourdough even though it is sour. But they didn’t eat sourdough when they were really sour.

* Bumpy stays in a large dog crate mostly. Sometimes I let her free inside the house and I chase after her to pick her mess. She perches on the box near the back door when she sleeps and stays there for all night without any moves until morning.  She is a quite good girl and I love her so much.

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Bagel with raisin yeast water

I have worked on this bagel for a long time until now.  I have a strong thought on Bagel that I really care for.   The crumb should have strong volume not soft one. I used to stomp the dough using my feet to knead the dough because the dough is tough.  But now, I use a food processor to knead the dough, which is easier for me to work with.

Bagel with raisin yeast water


Levain :

  • 107g  raisin yeast water ( The raisin yeast water should be rested in a refrigerator for a day after making or refreshing)
  • 134g  King Arthur bread flour

* Mix them all and ferment it at the room temperature for overnight. The levain rose tripled in 12 hours.

Final dough:

  • 134g cold water (  Ice cold water in the summer )
  • 400g King Arthur bread flour
  • 16g  honey
  • 6.9g salt  ( I use sea salt )

* Some molasses – For boiling water.


1.  Mix all the ingredients except the salt, and 5-10 minutes later, you can add the salt.

* if you use ” Autolyze” for 30 minutes, the bulk fermentation time would be shorten.

2. Divide the dough in a half to knead  by a food processor. I hit ” Pause” several times to soften the dough for 40 seconds each.  

3.  Let the dough rest on the surface for 5 -10 minutes. The dough should be covered with plastic wrap.

4. Repeat No.2 again to knead the dough by a food processor.

5. Put the dough together in one piece on the surface. 

6. Divide it into 7 pieces. Around 112-113g each.  I  make a round ball kneading the dough. the dough is tough.

7. Bench time: Cover the dough with a saran wrap or damp cloth for 15 minutes.

8. Shape:

Using a rolling pin, make a long oval shape.

          Roll the dough very tightly..

Using both hands, stretch the dough to make a long string..

Close the seam very well and flatten the one side..

Cover the other side with the flatten side..

And pinch very well..

Using both hands, make a good circle for your bagels

9. Proof  :  Cover the bagel dough with plastic wrap and proof at the room temperature for 2-3 hours until you pass the this test:       Put a bagel dough in water, and it floats right away, the dough passes the test. So you can bake the bagels now.

10. Boil the water and dipping the bagel dough:  Pour some water just enough cover the bagel in a pan and pour some molasses and boil the water.   Preheat the oven at 410 F.

 20 seconds for one side, another 20 seconds for other side to cook.

11. Place the bagel dough on the clothes or paper towels to drain the excess water. and sprinkle some topping that you like

12. Bake   16 minutes at 410 F until golden brown.

* For the bagels with toppings: Flip them over so that  the topping side should be on the bottom and bake them at 410F for 3 minutes, then open the oven and flip them over again that the topping side should be on the top now and bake them fro 13 minutes until golden brown. ****This method makes the both side’s crust equal and thin, and the topping will stick on the bagel.

My daughter made a funny bagel that is on the right.

This bagel is sweet and the  taste has more flavor from the levain.

I use some whole wheat flour in the levain to make whole wheat bagels sometimes. But my kids prefer this bagels to the healthier ones.

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Koubo by Akiko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Bagel, My recipes, Raisin yeast water bread


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