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Bread with sparkling water

>> Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vichy bread 1

Picture this: you have guests for lunch or dinner and you offer them a drink when they arrive. With the kindness and the greatness that distinguishes you, you offer to prepare some glasses of water with coloring agent, carbon dioxide and tons of sugar or aspartame. Mmm, your guests are sure to salivate at the prospect of tasting this delicious beverage. Well, that sounds exactly like one of the many sodas whose drinking we've come to find normal, though I won't mention its name. Doesn't it sound disgusting? Perhaps it is. You're probably wondering what's this all about. Well, a few days ago a respected Spanish mineral water company offered to send me a bottle of Vichy Catalán. I accepted for three reasons: first because D. and I have been drinking Vichy Catalán for 20 years, the second because I was assured that by the acceptance of this gift I committed to nothing, and the third that this company has the good sense to use glass to bottle the water. And the prospective of talking or not talking about the water in my blog made me reflect on what we drink and why.

At present I only drink water and wine (and gallons of cava when the gods are propitious..., and I don't drink beer because it tastes like pee...). Don't think that this has always been that way, in the past I used to drink that soda whose name I don't remember. Until I started having weight problems and became interested in nutritional issues. And to wonder what foods and drinks are harmful, not only for weight, but for your overall health. I know, many of you will tell me that one can't always stop and think about everything he does. Well, it depends. If I were invited to dinner by George Clooney it wouldn't take me very long to decide if it's good or bad for my body (a few milliseconds, plus it's neither good nor bad, it's sheer science fiction), but when it comes to what I put into my body, you might as well think about it. Others could object that I shouldn't drink alcohol then. Certainly I don't drink it every day, but I take my dose of red wine antioxidant... To cut a long story short, I've been drinking this sparkling water for 20 years because it's delicious, with a nice salty touch of its own. I think it was one of my sisters-in-law who introduced it in the family and her oldest daughter baptized it as spiked water when she was little... It's sad that spring water producers have to fund studies to prove that the mineral water is good for your health... my grandmother knew that. Michael Pollan is right to advise us not to eat anything your grandmother wouldn't consider edible... But it seems that humans have no common sense and we need to be reminded of the obvious.

Vichy bread 2

Stop the musings. This gift seemed an ideal opportunity to test the action of carbonated water in a homemade bread, so that's what I did. I used an organic flour that I brought from my trip to Denmark because it showed some nice little pictures of bread in the package... but had rather little gluten, so I noticed when the time came to use it, at least the package read 10% (mmm, and the Roskilde supermarket was a bit out of my way to return the flour...).

Vichy bread 4

Bread with sparkling water

  • 300ml good sparkling water
  • 480g bread flour
  • 135g sourdough starter 100% hydration (50/50 wt.)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 5g salt
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the salt, leave to autolyze. I used Dan Lepard's kneading system, shaped the dough into a ball and left it to ferment, covered.
  2. After one hour proofing, I folded the dough once and put it in the fridge to retard overnight.
  3. The next day I left it at room temperature to warm up and resume the fermentation (around 3 hours). When doubled, I shaped it into a plump batard.
  4. Once the bread had doubled, I put it into my oven at 250°C. Since my oven is disastrous, as soon as I opened it four or five times to spray water, the temperature dropped to 230° and remained so throughout the baking. The bread took 40 minutes to score an inner temperature of 92ºC.
Vichy bread 3

The result was a fairly densely crumbed bread, very tasty and with a nice crispy crust. As yesterday it wasn't my most brilliant day, my results are inconclusive because in order to check the difference sparkling water can make in a bread I should have used my regular flour, as I haven't the basis to compare, because the Danish flour was a bit weird. On one hand I mentioned it showed a very low percentage of protein in the package, on the other hand while kneading it gave me the feeling that the dough was very strong. Perhaps the density of the crumb is due to not having done a thorough kneading... I should have waited till the next day to eat the bread, but I couldn't restrain myself and half of it disappeared on the midday meal. It was gorgeous, despite its faults...

This one I'm sending to Wild Yeast's Yeastspotting.

21 comentarios:

Valerie Harrison (bellini) October 3, 2010 at 8:55 PM  

It is obviously a method that works Miriam. I wish I had the version of "smellavision" for computers.

Belinda @zomppa October 4, 2010 at 1:04 AM  

Bellini - a smellavision? Haha!! Me too! What a beautiful loaf. I wish I could cut out soda...try and drink natural sodas, but still...I know....

Mari Nuñez October 4, 2010 at 4:01 AM  

I am so curious to try this bread recipe. Looks delicious, and the crust texture is awesome.

Have a fantastic week :D

Torviewtoronto October 4, 2010 at 4:28 AM  

lovely crust
bread looks fabulous

fromBAtoParis October 4, 2010 at 9:35 AM  

Hola Miriam,

Un dia tendré que viajar a Madrid para que me des un curso sobre panes...cosa que no domino en absoluto y de la cual vos sos experta !!! Ademas, desgraciadamente para mi, soy una gran consumidora de pan !!! Pan, queso y un tinto..y estoy hecha!! (creo que a esta altura debes pensar que soy alcoholica! no! pero cenar sin vino, para mi, es un pecado mortal !!!)

Anonymous October 4, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

That is officially the most beautiful photo of a loaf I've ever seen - I just want to reach into the screen and bite into the crust!

Quick question - where you say "135g sourdough" I'm guessing you mean sourdough starter, but what does the "100% hydration" refer to?

Miriam October 4, 2010 at 3:11 PM  

Val: haha, great idea... Maybe that's the next Apple or Microsoft launching...
Belinda: I know, it's not easy when you're literally immersed in soda publicity and they're available everywhere.
Mari: thanks!
Torview: thanks!
Cristina: mmm, con esa combinación no hace falta nada más, verdad? Estoy de acuerdo!
Souperior: you're right, I've ammended the post to show it more clearly, it's a sourdough starter with a ratio of 50 to 50 in weight.

Nancy October 4, 2010 at 3:59 PM  

Wow, I never thought this method could be used. How wonderful. Thanks for all of the tips, they really come in handy to the bread/baking amateur like myself.

Jonny October 4, 2010 at 4:37 PM  

It never fails to amaze me that the slightest variations in bread recipes can account for giant differences in the final product - perhaps more than any other form of cooking. Surprising that the sparkling water led to a denser loaf - though that could well be the flour, as you say. I'm sure I'm not alone in having expected the gas to increase the rise and make for a super-light, airy bread of the kind that makes it impossible to spread with anything because it all falls through the holes. More research necessary, I think. Still, externally it looks stunning, and you shouldn't feel bad about that crust. Anyone achieving a chewy, crisp crust should be very proud of themselves!

Rico October 4, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

The bread looks amazing, definitely a recipe to be tried. Gratz on this amazing achievement.

Rico-Tried and Tested Recipes

Diana Bauman October 4, 2010 at 6:24 PM  

Miriam, what a beautiful loaf of bread, as usual!! Do you use a special boule or pan to rise the loaf in? Or does it rise in that shape just on a flat pan? I tried my hand at a round loaf but instead of rising up, it spread and made a disc. I am loving my sourdough!! Another question, is Spain taking more to the real food movement? Is there a movement going on to go back to how things were done traditionally? I would love to learn more from a community like this.

Thanks so much Miriam, have a wonderful day!


Magic of Spice October 4, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

Excellent recipe and method...The bread looks wonderful :) If I could bake bread with out burning down the house, I would try this :)

joy the baker October 5, 2010 at 12:44 AM  

Man alive! That's a gorgeous loaf!

Asha @ FSK October 5, 2010 at 3:28 AM  

Interesting idea of using sparkling water and the carbonation in forming the bread airy... I am interested in how it comes out when you use normal flour..
as is, the rbead looks perfect!

patissierement-votre October 5, 2010 at 1:58 PM  

COngrats on the top 9!

Veronica Culver October 5, 2010 at 5:37 PM  

Beautiful loaf of bread! I'm glad I found your site as I'm looking forward to starting up my bread baking again now that cooler days are upon us. I'm a novice at it and it's hard to find good sources for inspiration and great recipes. Glad to have found you. Congrats on the top 9, too!


Alina October 8, 2010 at 10:31 PM  

I've always wondered how sparkling water works in crepe batter and bread dough. Does it really make a difference? Anyway, your bread looks gorgeous, I'd love a big slice of it with a lot of butter :-)

Kris Ngoei October 12, 2010 at 12:38 PM  

You are really good with bread. And I have never experienced making any bread with this sparkling water... Just in love with the texture..

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Deeba PAB October 13, 2010 at 4:10 AM  

Gorgeous bread Miriam, just look at that crust. I recently made a rustic loaf using Dan Lepards recipe, and have to say it was fab even though it was 50% wholewheat & 50% white flour. Your pictures are beautiful!!

MC October 22, 2010 at 12:34 AM  

Great post and beautiful bread! How creative to use bubbly water. I don't drink that famous soda either and my mom made us all drink a specific French mineral water when we were growing up as it contained fluoride and was supposed to promote healthy teeth. I have no complaints about my teeth and neither has any of my brothers, so maybe she was right! I envy you your trip to Denmark which has got to be one of my very favorite countries. We traveled to Denmark quite a bit when we still lived in France as my first set of in-laws were mostly Danish and I loved them dearly. I never go to try Danish flour but the baker next to my mother-in-law's house made a rye bread such as I never had anywhere since. Did you have any good rye bread in Denmark during your trip?

Anonymous November 27, 2011 at 5:56 AM  

I was fascinated by a sourdough bread recipe that used 'sparkling water'. This is the BEST recipe...and I've tried many. The method you use for 'kneading' is so easy on the hands and the bread rises to well. I love the texture of the bread and I plan to make your recipe 'the one' I will always use. Thank you so much.


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