The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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AnnieT

I can remember reading complacently about TFL members whose stones had cracked - while sympathetic I was sure it wouldn't happen to my well used stone. That was then. This morning I opened the oven planning to remove the stone while I proofed a sourdough and found it in two pieces! I have no idea when it happened, no accidental hitting it, no dropping of heavy objects onto it. The only thing I have done differently was to place it on the bottom rack to bake baguettes from the King Arthur recipe last week. I have to bake the sourdough in the morning so I will push the two pieces together and hope for the best. I also have a lot to learn about making baguettes... A.


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AnnieT

Yesterday I made yet another one of Susan's Sourdough with a couple of new (to me) tricks. The dough was much wetter than usual and I kept it warm in between stretch and folds in the oven with the light on. Then it went into the refrigerator for the overnight chilling at about 4.30pm. Then I found out that my DIL and the grandgirls were taking me to eat at an English Teashop, a belated birhday treat, and I needed to leave here at 9.45 am so that we could catch the 10.30 am ferry. So the shaped boule sat in the refrigerator for 24 hours (I don't do early mornings) by which time it had nearly filled the banneton. Glad to report that the loaf had great oven spring and sang like a bird as it cooled! Too soon to check the crumb but I am just happy it wasn't a disaster, A.


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AnnieT

Thanks for the reminder - I finally remembered to go to the hardware store to buy lava rocks. I asked for the ones for barbecues and they produced a fancy box of expensive and large rocks. I had the idea that the lava rocks would be small so I asked for the ones used in landscaping and found a bag for $4.95 + tax. Now I am wondering - did I get the correct ones? I had been thinking of "scrumping" some from the empty house next door but they were pretty grungy. Thanks also for the instructions for cleaning them - I know somebody once mentioned the fumes and I assume this would take care of that problem, A.


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AnnieT

For the fans of Beatrice Ojakangas there is a write up about her in The Heavy Table today. I'm sorry not to be able to give you a link but it's worth a look. For anyone who is interested in Scandinavian recipes her books are the best. (IMHO) Check her out, A.


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AnnieT

Here is my authentic Scottish Shortbread recipe which came from Margaret McLaren, a Scottish friend from when I lived near Atlanta back in 1967.


3 sticks butter (I use Challenge unsalted)room temp.


1 heaping cup powdered (icing) sugar


1 egg yolk


4 cups ap flour


Preheat oven to 300*, cut wax paper circles to fit 8"-9" cake pans. I wonder whether parchment would work?


Sift the sugar into a large bowl and knead in the butter. Add the egg yolk and mix in well. Add the flour one cup at a time. Roll into a lump the size of a jelly roll, cut into 3. Pat onto the wax paper to fit the pans. Prick all over with a fork and crimp the edges, and cut almost through in wedges. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour - mine didn't take that long. The shortbread should be pale in color. Cool on rack, careful, I managed to crack all of mine!


I also forgot that I wanted to add some rice flour because I had read that it gave a nice crunch. Oh well, next year. Merry Christmas from Whidbey Island, A.


 


 


 


 


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AnnieT

I just found an interesting article on The Heavy Table site - Solveig Tofte, the head baker at Turtle Bread Company in Minneapolis answering questions about her career. Might be helpful to anyone wanting to get into the baking business. Check it out, A.


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AnnieT

I'll try again


 



 


 


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AnnieT

It has been too long since I made bread for my neighbors, aka "The Old People", and as I had a large yogurt container of SD discard today was the day. Or rather yesterday evening when I made the dough. I started with a quart of discard and about the same amount of warm water then added old fashioned oats, dried milk, oil, sugar, 1T instant yeast and salt and added KA white whole wheat flour and Wheat Montana ap flour. Like quahtan I lost count of the exact amount - just kept adding until the dough cleaned the sides of the bowl. Oh, I was using my trusty Bosch mixer. Then I added raisins and when they were mixed in I transferred the dough to the biggest mixing bowl I own and put it into a large plastic bag and into the fridge for the night. When I checked at 10.30pm the dough was straining the bag so I punched the dough down and covered it with David's favorite plasti-crap. This morning it was way over the top of the bowl again, time to shape the braids. I divided the dough into 4 pieces but after shaping the first braid I decided that was too big so I did some judicious downsizing, and after baking I think they could have been even smaller. When they were proofed they were brushed with egg and milk and sprinkled with raw sugar befor baking at 375* for 20 minutes. The grandgirls are coming to spend the night so they can be the delivery people, a task they love. Nana is going to take a quick nap! A.


Well, I have my picture all ready to go - and when I click to get "browse" nothing happens! Maybe later...


 


 


 


 


 


 


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AnnieT

I took this loaf to supper with the family and their house has much better natural light than mine which helped the picture. The first slices were really holey but the center of the loaf had a tighter crumb. The flavor was excellent and the crust crisp and it did sing, very slightly. Next time I am going to use my more liquid starter for comparison and of course there is always a next time... A.


 


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AnnieT

Here is a picture of my grandaughter Lily with a slice of my first effort, showing off the holey crumb. I used KA bread flour and KA white whole wheat and my newly converted firm starter, and we all liked the flavor. The second try had better oven spring and I imagine the starter is getting stronger, A.


 



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