The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
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sphealey's picture

Well, not really - I can only claim one of them as being anything close to my own recipe.

My younger son and I went out for dinner Saturday and stopped by a used book store on the way home. Whenever we are in a used book store, antique store, garage sale, etc I annoy my wife by saying "why is there never an _Artisan Baking Across America_ or something at a reasonable price?". Saturday there was; I found Glezer's ABAA hardcover in like-new condition for $25. List price new was $40 and ones in average condition go for $40 today on Bibliofind so I snapped it up.

Since I had to feed my King Arthur Vermont sourdough anyway I thought I would try Glezer's Thom Leonard Country French Sourdough. Since I had two other breads to make today (Sunday) I decided to try the Hobart KitchenAid K5-A I picked up on eBay for a fairly reasonable price. This was the first time I had used a stand mixer for bread dough.

I didn't have either high-extraction wheat or a fine-screen sifter, so I just used whole wheat. The overall process went well. The K5-A got very hot on top and the dough kept climbing the hook; I have a lot to learn about using a mixer. But the dough did come out very smooth and silky. After I took it out of the mixer is was a bit sticky so I kneaded it by hand for another minute or so, and for the first time I am fairly sure I made a dough that would "pass the windowpane test".

I folded every 3x 30 minutes per instructions, 90 minutes more. My banneton is not large enough for this much dough so I used our large metal colander which I sprayed with bakers joy and floured (based on previous experience with trying to rise crumbbums' miche in it which did not go well). Proofing was about 4 hours because I had pizza in the oven at the 3-hour mark.

I got the dough out of the colander and onto the peel. It puddled quite a bit but kept it large boule shape at about 14 inches in diameter and looked pretty cool. I even managed to slash it in a diagonal pattern.

Then - what looked like disaster hit: the dough stuck to the peel. Once it was out of shape I figured I had nothing to lose and kept shoveling it forward with my super-sized spatula (gift from younger son). The dough kept folding under itself until what was on the stone was more like a 16" super-batard with a spiral pattern of cuts around it. A cup of boiling water in the cast iron pan. 15 minutes at 500 deg.F, remove the pan, not looking too bad. Then 30 minutes at 450 and 30 at 400. The result:


OK, that is the coolest looking loaf I have ever made. Purely by accident, but I will count it. The slashes that rolled under the loaf ended up making a neat pattern around the full circumfrance of the baked loaf. Oven spring was excellent. Not pictured is the crumb which was reasonably open with a mild sourdough flavor. In the background is my weekly sourdough rye, this one with added sunflower, flax, and poppy seeds.

Two more from previous weeks while I am at it. First a Hamelman Vermont Country Sourdough:


I think Hamelman calibrates his recipes for dramatic oven spring. And a Hamelman Sunflower Seed Bread with Sourdough Rye which I made as two french loaves in my Chicago Metallic french pans for a dinner party:


Even though it was a wet dough lengthwise baguette-style slashing worked nicely.




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