The Single Origin

Hello-

When we started baking sourdough it was with local whole wheat. Honestly, it was not easy. Whole wheat presents some challenges when using natural fermentation. The gluten structure is more sensitive than white flour and can break down more easily. The fermentation is more active and it is easy to over proof. But once you taste a good whole wheat sourdough, one with a dark rich finish on the crust that gives way to a rich and moist crumb you will forever be converted. I bake the Single Origin every day; it’s my weathervane. It’s a perfect looking glass into that specific fermentation cycle. It’s simultaneously my best friend and my toughest critic. If something is off it will show itself in the flavor profile of the Single Origin. This trait was a huge asset as we were developing our bread. All the fermentation changes we made started with the Single Origin then spread to our other breads. 

We continue to refine and develop our process of creating Twin Bears breads. We are honored to serve a number of bakers, chefs and food lovers. Our changes are so slight now that most don’t even notice. I think one of the aspects that holds my attention with sourdough bread baking is the concept that you are never really done learning. You are also working to improve and learn. I appreciate the opportunity to share this process with each and everyone of you.   

 

 

Ingredients: Organic or Local Flour, Filtered Water, JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local)

Flour Blend:

100% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat  (MD Local)

 

The Classic

Hello-

I have written about The Classic many times since we have begun our sourdough baking journey. It’s typically the gateway to all our breads and is the one I recommend people try first. The Classic was originally called The SF after our first home, San Francisco. Sourdough has certainly made a home in the City by the Bay. San Francisco is such a part of the sourdough world that one of the main strains of Lactobacillus found in a sourdough culture has been named Lactobacillus Sanfranciscensis.

In our search for more flavor we began to refine the recipe. We experimented with whole wheat and rye additions. As we honed in on the flavor, it was apparent that we were far from a traditional SF sourdough. It was clear we needed a new name. When developing the flavor profile, I was searching for what a classic sourdough should taste like. Naming the loaf The Classic seemed like a perfect fit. Light texture, medium crumb and a pleasant sourdough tang The Classic fits on any breakfast, lunch, or dinner table. 

 

Week 20 Special: Fig & Walnut

Week 20

Fig & Walnut   

Hello-

We love figs at Twin Bears. We have a few varieties that we grow and look forward to midsummer when the fig harvest starts. The figs all ripen slowly and at slightly different times so there are a few months when we are able to grab a fresh fig off the tree and enjoy the sweet summer treat. There are so many different varieties of figs out there. Some taste dark and pungent, others are light and floral. The go-to for baking is the Mission Fig. This fig first arrived in the United States in the 1760s and was planted around San Diego. It was brought here by Franciscan monks looking to bring some of the regional flavors they were used to with them to the US. The fig production boomed in California’s mediteranian climate.  

As I began to research fig varieties I found that Turkey was a large commercial producer of figs and both Turkey and San Francisco lay on virtually the same latitude. I began to research Turkish fig to sample the difference. Though Mission Figs are a wonderful tasting fig I fell in love with the figs produced in the Izmir region of Turkey. The light, delicate and caramel flavor worked so well in the bread that I had to find a good local source for the figs. Luckily it was not too hard. The soft and sweet flavor of the fig pairs perfectly with the tannins from the walnuts. We hope you enjoy this bread as much as we enjoyed making it!   

Be sure to share your delicious creations on Moon Valley’s private Facebook group or by tagging on instagram @moonvalleyfarm & @twinbearsbakery 

 

Ingredients: Organic Flour, Filtered Water, Organic Figs, Walnuts, JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local)

Flour Blend:

60% King Arthur Select Artisan (Organic)

40% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat  (MD Local)

 

Week 19 Special: Swiss Muesli with Flaked Barley

 

Week 19
Swiss Muesli with Flaked Barley

Hello-

Our Oat Porridge loaf is a favorite with many long time customers. Mastering the porridge bread process takes time. You prepare the porridge before hand, allow it to cool to your specified temperature and incorporate into your dough as it is developing. There are many variables within the simple process. After discovering the technique that works for me the door opened for many other breads. Our Polenta and most recently the Country Multigrain are all based on porridge techniques I gained while practicing the Oat Porridge bread.
Developing new loaves can sometimes take you down interesting culinary paths. I decided that a Muesli Loaf would be an interesting twist on the Oat Porridge and I set off to discover the origins of muesli and traditional recipes. Muesli was developed in Switzerland in the 1900s by a doctor and was originally intended to be a dinner appetizer. The traditional way to prepare it was to soak the muesli overnight with shredded apples and cream (or dairy alternatives like homemade oat milk). This traditional preparation is very healthy and quite tasty. The original recipe was adopted in the 1950s by a company and they added a few more ingredients and it became very popular and spread far beyond Switzerland.
There are a number of very passionate voices on the internet proclaiming the way muesli should be prepared and what the ingredients should be. We filtered through as many as we could find and developed a muesli that is healthy, tasty and full of flavor. We hope you love it!
Be sure to share your delicious creations on Moon Valley’s private Facebook group or by tagging on instagram @moonvalleyfarm & @twinbearsbakery

Ingredients: Organic Flour, Filtered Water, Muesli (Rolled Wheat, Dates, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Raisins [Raisins, Sunflower Oil], Whole Grain Rye, Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Triticale [wheat], Almonds, Flaxseed, Walnuts), JQ Dickinson Salt (WV local)
Flour Blend:
80% King Arthur Select Artisan (Organic)
10% Migrash Farms Whole Wheat (MD Local)
10% Arbuzzi Rye (MD Local)

Allergy warning: Our bread may contain trace amounts of peanuts, tree nuts, olive pits and/or seeds.

 

 

Q: What is the best way to store fresh bread?
A: We get this question a lot! We use a few very simple strategies to preserve fresh bread.
The best option we have found is a good quality bread box. it will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to a week!
After cutting the bread keep it cut side down on a cutting board. The crust naturally forms a defense against moisture loss and damage from oxygen. Keeping the cut side covered and allowing the crust to stay dry and open to the air will keep your loaf enjoyable for up to 3 days.
Cut and freeze. If you plan to keep the bread for longer than a few days,cutting and freezing is a great option. Cut thick slices and wrap them individually. You can take them right out of the freezer and pop them into a toaster or oven. The bread comes out tasting like a fresh cut loaf!

Q: What can I do with bread that is past its prime?
A: There are many options, but here are some of our favorites:
Revive a slightly stale loaf by running it under water for about 15 seconds and then baking in the oven until it is warm throughout. You can only use this trick on the loaf once, but it makes it almost like new!
Crostini – Slice the bread thinly (roughly ⅛ inch thick) and bake at 400° until crispy. Brushing with olive oil is optional. Enjoy the crostini with any toppings including hummus or baba ganoush.
Croutons – Cube the bread and toss in olive oil and salt. Garlic powder is optional. Bake at 375° until crispy. Enjoy on salad or in soup, but you may find that the croutons disappear before they make it to a dish!