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breadforfun

A few months ago I made Tom Cat's Semolina Filone from Glezer's "Artisan Baking."  It was a really tasty bread, but I wanted to try something different.  This week, I made it again, but substituted sourdough starter for the poolish to get another dimension to the flavors.  The results were pretty good.  After cooling, the crumb had a smooth mouth-feel, while there was some chewiness to the crust.  I probably could have baked the loaves a few minutes longer to get a crispier crust.  The next morning, the sour had increased as expected, but it was not overwhelming by any means.  It toasted up great.

I used two different types of Durum flour.  Extra fancy is what is normally called for in the recipe.  Since I had it, I also used whole wheat durum.  The total of the durum flours was about half of the total flours with AP flour the balance.  2/3 of the AP was from the large amount of sourdough starter that I used (about the same amount of starter as there was poolish in the original recipe).  The mixing technique was a little different.  Last time I found an error in the book that increased the total hydration.  Even after correcting for this, the recipe produces a very wet and hard to work with dough at 81% hydration, so I cut it back to 75%.  I added the last 50 grams of flour along with the salt, about halfway through the mixing.  The gluten developed by the third stretch & fold, but it was still a very slack dough.  I think they may be a bit overproofed as the oven spring was less than last time.  I also clearly shaped one loaf with a tighter surface and it shows in the scoring.  Overall, though, I am quite happy with the loaves.

Here is the formula and technique:

-Brad

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breadforfun

I was traveling last week and when I returned home I needed a fix of bread baking.  Since my starter needed to be refreshed and built up, I went for a poolish preferment, and Tom Cat's filone was high on my to-bake list.  I read Franko's write up from last year, and he referred back to David's description from 2008, so I was prepared for a "pretty gloppy" dough.  I closely followed the recipe from Glezer's "Artisan Baking" that David wrote up.

The dough was autolysed for 1 hour.  Mixing the final dough, similar to what others described, I had to add quite a bit more flour.  In fact, I increased the amount of flour by 25% (additional 75 gm per recipe) in order to get the dough to resemble anything like workable.  However, after the third stretch & fold the gluten was very nicely developed and easy to work with.  I made a double batch (because one loaf is never enough!) using Central Milling Extra Fancy Durum flour and a mixture of their Beehive AP and Hi Gluten flours.  The dough gets very puffy and has to be handled very gently to retain the gas bubbles that develop.  The results are worth it, with a beautiful golden crust, tremendous oven spring and fairly open crumb with holes of varying sizes throughout (including some large ones resulting from gentle shaping). And it is a flavorful loaf.

Here are a couple of observations: There may be an error in Glezer's recipe that resulted in the gloppy dough.  The poolish calls for dissolving 1/4 tsp IDY in 1 cup of water, then using 1/4 c of this mixture plus 135 gm water and 150 gm flour.  Here's the discrepancy: the listed baker's %-age for the water in the poolish is 110%, which would be 165 gm total.  My measurement for the 1/4 c of yeast-water is 60-65 gm, and when added to the 135 gm of water, using the more conservative 60 gm, this comes to 130%.  The leap of faith here is that the bakers %-age is more accurate than the ingredient measure.  Given the consistency of the overly wet dough described by other TFL-ers, this 30 gm more water could account for it.  I plan to make the bread again and will try this modified formula.

The second observation is that the amount of water used to autolyse the final dough was (in my case) not quite enough to hydrate all the flour.  As pointed out in the book, it could be due to the freshness or the fineness of the durum flour, but because of the wet dough I didn't want to add more water.  In retrospect, I should have.  Next time I may steal a bit of water from the poolish and increase the amount in the final dough, keeping the overall hydration the same.

The crumb came out a bit too chewy for this type of bread.  My wife loves this, but it needs to be toned down just a notch.  I used the high gluten flour because I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough gluten if only AP was used, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Lastly, the final proofing is really short.  I proofed it about 45 minutes after shaping, and it seems a bit overproofed.

Happy Baking!

-Brad

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breadforfun

That is not the question.  But how to steam?  Ah, there's the rub (with apologies to the Bard).

As many  a home baker, I have struggled with getting enough steam into the oven during the initial bake period.  There are many suggestions on the topic in these TFL pages, and I think I have tried them all.  I've used lava rocks, pouring water into a hot pan, soaking towels, ice cubes, etc.  This past weekend I made two batches of Tartine bread recipe, one of which I used the lava rock method of steaming and the other I used the book's recommended method of a dutch oven.  It is pretty clear which worked better (steamwise).  The boule has much more bloom and grigne, though not as much as I have seen by other posters here.  The oval loaf is much more subdued (although not without its own charm).

The crumb of this bread is exquisite.

What steaming methods work for you?

-Brad

 

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breadforfun

I baked several loaves in anticipation of the holiday weekend.  These are all from published sources, so no recipes, but wanted to share the photos anyway.  Happy holidays to all and happy baking.

-Brad

Sourdough walnut from Reinhart's BBA (his basic SD recipe with addition of toasted walnuts).

 

PiP's Hybrid Ciabatta that I modified slightly to use a biga instead of starter. I need some practice shaping, but it is relatively easy ciabatta dough (relative is the operative word) to work with.

 

Sunflower Seed Coronne, also from BBA with the addition of a "string of pearls" gleaned from "Baking with Julia." There was also enough dough left to make a small pan loaf.

 

Lastly, Semolina bread with soaker and fennel seeds from Hamelman's "Bread."

 

 

 

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breadforfun

I like experimenting with different flours to see the nuances they bring to breads.  Here is a recent bake using a small amount buckwheat flour.  It is a large batch that I built for the amount of starter that I had made the night before using the Hamelman method for Vermont SD.  It made 4 loaves that averaged about 750 gm after cooling.  Besides the beautiful color it brings to a loaf, it adds a nutty flavor that, it turns out, works surprisingly well with brie and camembert cheese spread on it.  The crumb is moist and chewy and the crust has a great crunch.  If you like dark baked loaves, this one's for you.

Recipe:

Scored and ready to go:

Finished loaves:

Crumb:

 

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breadforfun

Like a number of other Bay Area bakers on TFL, Della Fattoria is one of my favorite bakeries.  I have always loved their Rosemary Meyer Lemon bread, although it can be hard to get from this small local operation. Inspired by onceuponamac on this post http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23378/rosemary-meyer-lemon-80-hydration, I tried my hand at making something that approaches their bread.  Of course, without a WFO it can never be the same, but this bake came out pretty good.

I used a fairly high percentage (almost 30%) starter, and mixed it with predominently T85 flour from Central Milling and a small amount of light rye.  It is 76% hydration (including the starter), and it got a fairly dark bake.  Here is a photo of the finished loaf and the formula.  Next time I will probably double the rosemary.

-Brad

 

Crumb:

Recipe:

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breadforfun

Hi fellow bakers and thanks for reading.

I have been reading and learning a tremendous amount about bread baking from many TFL posts in the past year or so.  I have been hesitant to take the plunge and start a blog until now since I have mostly been following recipes rather than coming up with new ideas to share.  The past month I have been experimenting more with developing my own recipes, inspired by all the knowledge shared by others.  I am self taught and have followed the advice to practice, practice, practice.  I live in San Francisco where there is no shortage of great breads, but (and this is nothing new to anyone here) there is great satisfaction in eating a loaf you just made.  I have kept a starter for about 18 months and have experimented (although not systematically) with variations on its feed and care.

Last month I made an Olive Sourdough loaf with rye and spelt, and I'd like to share it.  A note about the recipe format: there seem to be a couple of different standards for calculating percentages and hydration.  I have chosen to include the preferment in my calculations, although I'm not sure this is the accepted way, so I am open to suggestions.  

I hope I can contribute to other bakers enjoyment half as much as I have gotten out of TFL.  Good baking!

Brad

 

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