The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Beatrice's blog

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Hi bakers, 

I've not posted here in a while because I got graduated and I was very busy, but I didn't stop baking bread and I'm happy to repost here with a new experiment: baguette!

I wanted to challenge myself with a new shape and new shaping techniques and I have to admit that all the process was challenging but far from impossible! 

I used Trevor's recipe, I found it on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLXeV_R8Y3s&t=4s) and it is an easy take on the process of making baguette but, as he said, the results are pretty decent and very close to a more difficult one!

I shaped them after I watched some videos on youtube and after staring at Tartine bread book for hours and hours to get the movements right and to develop a tight dough with a regular shape!

As you see from the pre-bake and pre-resting photo, the size is good and I managed, in some way, to shape it quite right...but my tray isn't big enough to contain a baguette this long (so maybe next time I'll divide the initial dough in three parts in order to have three little breads instead of two longer ones).

The final result (the photo on the cover of this post) is surprising to me because I wasn't expecting bread like that: with crunch but at the same time tender and with the right ratio between the external crust and the crumb inside. 

I'm really happy and I can not wait until the next bake because I'm in love with the idea that every time I learn something new and that I can feed me and my family and friends with bread but also with love and passion!

I would really appreciate your advices to improve my techniques and your thoughts on my first ever baguettes!

Hope all of you are doing well, keep baking!

Beatrice, X

 

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Well, I'm back with a new loaf of bread! This time I wanted to experiment something new and I decided to mix two of my favorite flours to create what I thought would be the perfect loaf to me.

I choose to go for 20% whole rye flour (that I think it's the same thing as dark rye in US) and 15% whole khorasan flour and all the process was smooth and relatively easy. 

But...there is a but! 

I over proofed even this loaf, I think due to the fact that the temperature, as I said in previous posts, is high up here and it is so difficult to adjust to this humidity, too. I tried to proof it less at ambient temperature (let's say 5 hours in total, counting also the earlier stages) and then I let it sit in the fridge for about 8 hours! But when I looked at it it was going over the basket and it was full of air as a balloon. 

I'm still really happy with the result because I love this type of crumb and the flavors are fab! I really love this mix.

I, indeed, have to better my skills in reducing the proofing time because sometimes I think that the retarding time in the fridge it is the most important thing but in reality it's the bread that decides and you have to go with it and not to fear changing your timings. 

As I said previously this is a learning process and I love to make mistakes that allow me to better and to think about this fantastic art!

Now the formula:

100gr whole rye flour

50gr whole khorasan flour

350gr type 1 flour (here in Italy)

410gr water

10gr pin hymalaian salt

100gr leaven (20gr type 1 starter, 40gr water, 40gr type 1 flour)

handful of poppy seeds for the top

The process was the same as the last post I did, so I don't want to bother you!

This is the crumb shot: as I said, I love the texture and the crust is crunchy due to the fact that I added poppy seeds (they are a burst of flavor and texture and they are super cute). It is the perfect bread to make sandwiches and bruschetta with and for this reason I can't complain. But next time I really want to have the proof right and to get a nice spring in the oven: in order to get a taller loaf but also to try to achieve a good open crumb (it is a challenge at this point).

I hope to read your feedbacks soon and I thank you in advance for reading me!

Happy baking, Beatrice XX

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Hi bakers, I'm back with one of my favorite formula ever: 20 % rye. I have to admit that the last few baked breads weren't very good, and I think that a reason for it could be the fact that I have to adjust the timings with the hot temperatures that are going on here in Italy.

But finally I think I made it, with this rye dough I stared at every passage and I managed to gain the right times almost in every passage; the only issue being the fact that maybe the bulk fermentation could be pushed a little bit further.

I'm going to write all the passages in order to let you know the details and to have a feedback about some advices or suggestions to be a better baker the next time.

Formula:

100gr whole rye flour

400gr type 1 flour (here in Italy we call this way a semi-whole wheat flour with a good power, circa 12% protein)

410gr lukewarm water

10gr pink himalayan salt

100gr leaven (built the night before with 20gr type 1 flour starter, 40gr water, 40gr type 1 flour)

 

Process:

8 PM: built the leaven and let it sit overnight covered with a clean towel

5 AM: mix the leaven with the water first and then add all the flour. Let it sit for one hour covered

6 AM: add the salt and mix well with the pinch tecnique and let it sit for half an hour coverd

6.30-8 AM: fold three time, one time every half an hour

8-9 AM: bulk fermentation without foldings, during this time the dough should rise a lot and form some bubbles

9 AM: preshape phase where I tried to develop more gluten strength by moving the dough onto a very lightly floured surface, then I let it rest on the bench for 20 min

9.20 AM: I shaped the dough and put it into the proofing basket and let it rest covered for circa one hour 

(in the photo you see how active it was at this stage)

10.20 AM: I put the dough in the fridge for the retarded fermentation and let it rest there for eight hours

18.20 PM: baked the bread: 20 minutes covered at 245 degrees C and the 25 minutes uncovered at the same temperature.

 

I am very satisfied with this bread because I was so in tune with all the passages of the process that I feel more connected to it then with the other breads I baked in the past. It is a learning process and I am amazed about how easy it is to forget how important the art of adaptation and adjustment is.

I put in also a crumb shot: this is the perfect pattern for a toast or for a bruschetta, right amount of holes but not so many that the filling would fell down (you know what I mean).

I hope to read your feedback and I really thank all of you for the constant inspiration I gain from this community!

Happy baking, Beatrice! X

 

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Hi bakers,

few days ago I posted a khorasan loaf and I wasn't totally happy because of the lack of spring!

Today I tried again with the exact same recipe and I am proud to say that I now have a ear :)

The spring isn't the biggest but, since khorasan is not a very strong flour (as some of you pointed out), I am happy with it.

The crumb is good and I think that the aromas and flavors of khorasan can compensate this lack of spring, I'. in love with its chamomile taste and smell and with its mildly yellow color.

I have to point out that here in Italy the temperature has gone up quickly (we have 27-30 degrees in the middle of the day), and for this reason I think I have to look after the dough even more accurately and to adjust the proving time over the feelings. It's amazing to see how external elements can determinate the bread and how you have to be the best observer you can to have the same result in different conditions.

Let me know what you think of this second khorasan experiment of mine!

Happy baking, ciao!

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Hi bakers!

I'm experimenting with sweet sourdoughs and I arrived at this formula after testing another one with less sugar. 

This loaf has 100gr of fine unrefined cane sugar and 150gr of toasted walnuts and I think that the sweetness now is on point.

I used half wholegrain flour and half white bread flour, the fermentation was a little bit slower than my normal schedule due to the presence of the sugar (I asked Maurizio Leo and he said so, I thought it was the opposite! Silly me). 

I think I obtained a good spring in the oven even if there were the walnuts but I'm not so satisfied with the openness of the crumb, it seems a little bit denser than other experiments I've done.

Have you ever baked a sweet sourdough, if so what was your experience? Have you got any advices for me?

Thanks in advance for your feedbacks and happy baking!

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Hi bakers!

Today I come here half happy and half unhappy. I'm happy because I baked my first loaf of sourdough using 50% of khorasan whole wheat flour (and I think that this flour is aromatic in such a particular way that reminds me of chamomile) but I'm not so happy because maybe I let the fermentation process gone too far and the bread came out a little bit flat :(. 

The crumb is still there and there are some holes but the spring didn't happen at all and I think it's because it's overprofed.

What do you think? Have you ever baked with khorasan?

PS the ingredients of my loaf were:

100gr leaven

250gr khorasan whole wheat flour

250gr white bread flour

400gr water

10gr salt

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Hi bakers! 

Today I want to share with you a completely new experiment of mine, a loaf that was in my mind for a long time but I have never had the opportunity to bake it. 

I tried to create a formula for a slightly sweet bread but I was so scared because of the sugar I had to add: will it speed up the fermentation process? will it ruin the texture of the final result? Those two questions were all I could think of.

I decided to give it a go, merging different formulas from the internet and from different books because baking is something that helps me with my anxiety as you have to be precise, gentle, determinate but also emphatic.

The ingredients:

115gr chocolate leaven

400gr water

400gr white bread flour

100gr whole wheat flour

40gr cacao

125gr raisins

50gr sugar

cinnamon

The method is the same as a normal country bread, I added the sugar and cinnamon when I added the salt and the raisins at the first round of stretch and fold during the bulk fermentation.

I am really happy with the result, the crumb is open even if there are the raisins and the sugar, the flavors are mild but you can recognize all of them; it is a perfect breakfast bread with some almond butter :)

Thanks a lot for reading, grazie!

Happy baking, Beatrice!

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Hi bakers!

Today I want to share with you my first experience with a loaf made with the "sift and scald" method; here it is the recipe:

150gr whole wheat flour (you have to sift it 12 hours before starting to mix the other ingredients, the bran that remains has to be soaked in 75gr of scalding water 12 hours)

350gr white bread flour

350gr water

10gr salt

100gr leaven (I made mine with 20gr starter, 40gr white bread flour and 40gr water and let it sit overnight)

 

I prepared the soaked bran the night before and in the morning I mixed water and leaven, than flour (both the white and the sifted one)
and let it sit covered for 1 hour.

I added salt and the soaked bran and worked the dough until all the ingredients were well incorporated; I let it sit for 3 hours and an half for the bulk fermentation and did 4 round of stretch and folds (as this dough was really wet).

Than I let it rise until it nearly doubled in volume, and I started the preshape. I let it rest on the bench for 20 minutes after the reshape and than shaped in a boule shape.

I put the dough in a proving basket and let it sit at room temperature covered for 1 hour and an half.

I then transferred the dough in the fridge for the retarded fermentation until the next morning (circa 18 hours).

I baked it with my Lodge: 20 minutes covered and 35 minutes without the lid.

I am happy with the result and the crumb but I have to admit that it was very difficult to work with and that the oven spring didn't happen. I think that maybe my bran was less dry than I thought (or it was less in quantity) and I added too much water to it, and than this amount of water (350 for the dough and 75 for the bran) was too much to handle properly (as I am a beginner). 

Let me know if you had some experience with this method or if you try my formula!

Keep baking,

Beatrice

Beatrice's picture
Beatrice

Hello, I'm new here but I love the fact that we could share our passion around baking!

I've baked this loaf with the formula from the book called Sourdough. I followed all the instructions and I think it's very good (as this is one of my first experiments). 

The flavors are amazing due to the toasted oats that bring sweetness and complexity, the crumb is airy but at the same time very moist, and I think this bread is perfect both for lunch and breakfast!

I have one question: I let this loaf ferment for 3 and an half hours at room temperature and then I transferred it into the fridge; but it was fermenting at an high pace so at one point I decided to bake it even if it has only 5 hours of colf proofing. Do you think it is wrong to do so? The speed of the fermentation could have been modified by the presence of the oats?

 

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