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breadsong

Hello, I recently purchased the Tartine Bread book, by Chad Robertson, when I had an opportunity to visit the Bakery.
I was there for breakfast, so alas, did not get to taste Mr. Robertson's bread, but did get to enjoy a lovely croissant & have a good look at his book... 


I really liked how Mr. Robertson described his journey as a baker and it's beautifully written and illustrated.
I especially liked what he said about fermentation...I had to have this book to add to my collection back home!

My dear father-in-law celebrates a milestone birthday this weekend, so I wanted to bake this special Country Bread for him.
I really tried to make sure I was fermenting the dough in the right temperature zone...ensuring a cool enough environment for the leaven and then a warm enough environment for bulk fermentation...requiring some woodstove management as I tried to control temperature in the house!


I retarded the loaves in the fridge for 7 hours before baking. I don't have the combo cooker that is recommended in the book so just baked my usual way.  The first loaf went in straight from the fridge, and I had an interesting blow out on the bottom of the loaf, that actually made the loaf sit up pretty for pictures! The second loaf proofed for about 45 minutes prior to baking, and I scored it differently, hoping that would help control how the loaf expanded.


I scored the tops with an "F" for Father-In-Law...the aroma of the baked loaves is heavenly...the loaves sang nicely and the crust crackled!
I don't have a crumb shot yet because the bread's for the 'big day' tomorrow...I hope father-in-law likes his bread!!!  
Regards, breadsong

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breadsong

Hello,  I recently attended a weekend workshop at SFBI where we made six different kinds of baguettes. This workshop was a lot of fun and we benefited from excellent instruction from our talented, organized, extremely knowledgeable and hard-working teacher Frank!
On day 1 we made three kinds of baguettes (straight dough, sponge dough, poolish dough).
On day 2 we made teff, then wheat germ, then sunflower seed baguettes.
All were good, with the poolish, teff and sunflower seed baguettes being my favorites flavor-wise.
We were using an 11.8%, hard winter wheat flour for these baguettes.


I tried to take pictures showing what the dough looked like as it developed, and showing how the dough was shaped, as we progressed.
Some pictures are a bit blurry due to my poor photography skills, and the speed at which our instructor's hands shaped those baguettes. 
There are some really nice pictures for this baguette class from an earlier post by txfarmer:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18489/sfbi-baguette-weekend-workshop-photo-report


This was our very well-equipped working area (those OVENS!):


 


The hand mix, gluten developed after hand mix, gluten developed after machine mix (Frank demonstrated machine mixing for us on the second day)


 


The dough after 3 stretch and folds


 


Dividing the dough into square shapes, for preshaping


 


Preshaping (after gently degassing, first roll, then three pictures showing the second roll)


 


Shaping (after gently degassing, first roll, reversing the roll, second roll, then five pictures showing the last roll & seal)




 Extending (Frank's hint: press down and move hands outward while rolling, but don't stretch the dough sideways)


 


Frank's expertly shaped baguette


 


Proofed baguettes


 


Frank demonstrating scoring and my straight dough baguettes ready to bake


 


My first baguettes out of the oven!, the results of day 1 and a crumb shot



The results of day 2 and a crumb shot (this was a teff baguette)



While the dough fermented and proofed, Frank taught us about ingredients and fermentation among other things, upstairs in the classroom.

Frank also demonstrated how we might produce the same baking result in a home oven:


Cast iron pan with cast iron ball bearings heating in the bottom, fire bricks for top and bottom radiant heat, 550F temp!
Load bread, place perforated pie pan filled with ice cubes over cast iron pan, close the door, watch the steam pour out!
(I think Frank tried to plug the oven vents with tin foil but lots of steam escaped from the oven anyway, as the ice melted and dropped onto the hot cast iron)





This was a really, really good class. My classmates were all super nice people and enthusiastic learners who all made lovely baguettes!
The quality of Frank's instruction was superb, and thanks too to the bakers who took care of us and spoiled us with beautiful breads and pastries at breakfast, and wood-fired oven pizza for lunch on our last day!  
I hope you like the pics everyone.  Regards, breadsong 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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breadsong

Hello,

This bread is from Artisan Breads at Home by Eric Kastel. The original recipe calls for walnuts, but this is Hazelnut weekend in my kitchen.

These are hearty little loaves, loaded down with lots of goodies, and the sweetness from the apple-cranberry pairs nicely with the sourdough.

I want to try making crisps with some of the bread, as described by farine-mc on her blog:
http://www.farine-mc.com/2010/09/hazelnut-cranberry-whole-wheat-crisps.html

I wanted to try and get a cracking crust, and went for a hot bake which is reflected in the 'colorful' crust.
I didn't get cracking crust, but the loaves did sing to me a little bit!   Regards, breadsong



 


 


 

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breadsong

Hello, To celebrate the Hazelnut Harvest which happens this time of year, I wanted to make some sweet rolls, using hazelnuts.

These are rolls made with Basic Sweet Dough. with Nut Filling, from Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads by Ciril Hitz.
This is a nice sweet dough recipe and includes some lemon zest for an added dimension of flavor.

Hazelnut flour was used in the filling, and the rolls were glazed (icing sugar + a decent measure of Frangelico liqueur
+ a bit of cream + a bit of pure vanilla extract + a teeny-tiny pinch of salt).


This recipe produced 12 decent-sized rolls, baked in a 9x13 pan, with some extra dough left over; 
the roll ends were baked in small ring molds.

These rolls were good and tasty (I really like the liqueur-spiked glaze!).    Regards, breadsong



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breadsong

Hello, This Ciabatta is made using a double flour addition/double hydration technique, with thanks to SteveB - breadcetera!
Here's a link to SteveB's recipe and technique: http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=162

I did three stretch and folds during bulk fermentation (not following SteveB's instructions here!), thinking it might help add some air bubbles.
Apart from these S&F's and "gently" rolling the dough over onto the peel I tried not to handle the dough, for fear of degassing it. 
SteveB's instructions are to divide the dough but I baked it as one big ciabatta.
The bread puffed up nicely in the oven. I was hoping to find beautiful holes like Steve's when I sliced the loaf, but I still have room for improvement. I love how the bread looks and smells. Tasting will have to wait for another day.




Regards, breadsong


 


 


 


 

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breadsong

Hello, I've been wanting to make croissants for years. hansjoakim's recent post and getting a copy of Ciril Hitz's Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads spurred me into action.
I tried using a tutove rolling pin for the first tri-fold. I had some dough/butters layers happening, then unhappening, as the pictures show - poor temperature control & butter likely being too cold. For final shaping, I don't think I rolled the dough thin enough; triangles were cut somewhat unevenly; this all shows up in the final proof and bake. The kitchen was warm this morning due to other baking - I don't think this helped things either so the final proof happened in a cooler part of the house...but I still had butter leaking out during the bake.
I'll call these "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly".  Husband happily munched away anyway!  Regards, breadsong


 






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breadsong

Hello, I tried Mr. Hamelman's Baguettes with Poolish (half-recipe) again today. A big thank you to khalid who gave me some very useful comments after my first baguette post, which were a great help this time around. This time the baguettes were easier to score.
I am still hoping for more holes:
 
Ciril Hitz has a baguette shaping video ( http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18968/baguette-shaping-ciril-hitz ) (thanks to dmsnyder for posting this!); in this video Mr. Hitz demonstrates, by stretching the dough, what development should be before shaping (my dough wasn't quite that developed)...will try for better gluten development next time & see if this improves the crumb...   
Regards, breadsong

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breadsong

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating this weekend!
I tried shaping breads as Pumpkins for the occasion.


I tried this recipe first:
http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/10/16/world-bread-food-day/
substituting 75% stone-ground whole wheat and 25% bread flour for the high extraction flour,
substituting canned pumpkin for the sweet potato,
substituting flax seed for pumpkin seed


When mixing I found it really hard to get the dough to develop & also didn't give it enough time to proof; there was very little oven spring.
I'm positive the wildyeastblog.com formula is wonderful given the lovely result pictured with the formula on the wildyeastblog site...I certainly didn't do this recipe justice.
My flour substitution might not have been ideal either, but welcome any thoughts anyone might have on this!

These little pumpkins are like bricks as a result of my efforts, so I stacked them like bricks for the photo!
Crust was tasty, crumb very moist, and a subtle pumpkin flavor.




Not feeling good about the first dough was shaping up for me, I started a second...Rose Levy Beranbaum's French Country Sourdough, with pumpkin puree swapped in for some of the water in the recipe. In The Bread Bible, Rose writes canned pumpkin puree is 90% water; using this as a guide, I used 200g of pumpkin puree for a triple recipe of this bread and then topped off with some additional water. These came out lighter with more oven spring - and will be shared with family tomorrow!



To shape these breads, I shaped boules and slashed starting at the bottom and up to the top, almost to center, trying to make "pumpkin lines". I took a small round cookie cutter, floured it, then twisted and gently pushed down, twisting back and forth, until I'd cleanly cut a "stem".
This idea I got from hanseata (Tyrolean Pumpkin Seed Mini Breads - thanks hanseata!)


Hope the second batch tastes OK tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving from breadsong

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breadsong

Hello, Here are my impressions of IBIE, attending as a "tourist" and non-professional. I was able to attend at the end of Tuesday and some of Wednesday and am overflowing with enthusiasm for the whole experience!


Thanks to proth5 for the exceptional day-by-day reporting on IBIE 2010, and to Sam Fromartz for his comments and photos:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/blog/proth5
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19889/pictures-team-usa-lesaffre-competition


This exhibition was BIG and mainly focused on professional bakery installations, but I was happy to find lots of interesting things for a home baker like myself. I wouldn't hesitate to attend one of these exhibitions again!

Upon arrival, I headed straight for the SFBI booth, where one of the SFBI instructors, Miyuki, was in action carefully measuring ingredients and preparing to mix, and others were loading the deck ovens. I'd never seen a deck oven up close before - how they loaded and steamed! A thing of beauty! (My eyes may have misted over for a moment or two). There lots of breads on display, and some for tasting - I tasted Ethiopian teff for the first time, delicious (dark brown bread on the left, in the bottom right picture below). Mr. Suas was within arm's reach but I was too shy to talk to him but did get to chat with others there.




Next up was the BBGA booth, where I overcame my shyness to shamelessly plug the virtues of Vancouver, BC or Seattle, WA as great locations for Guild classes (much closer to home for me!).  By the time I found out about IBIE, the workshops I was interested in were sold out - but the lady at the BBGA booth said more spots had been opened up (a measure of luck for me in Vegas, to be sure!!!). I rushed back to registration to sign up for Ciril Hitz's Breakfast Breads and Pastries seminar the next morning.
There was another BBGA baking area where one of the Team USA members, Mr. Michael Zakowski, was serving up tastings of rye breads made by Mr. Hamelman himself. I regret that I didn't know Mr. Zakowski was competing for Team USA (I didn't get a chance to read the competition program until today), or I would have congratulated him on his achievement in the Lesaffre competition. I did talk to him for a few minutes about the Amazingly-Good (and I mean Amazingly-Good) 40%-rye-with-walnuts bread Mr. Hamelman made that I got to sample (a bread master like Mr. Zakowski having to listen to comments of mine such as "Really? You mean I'm actually eating bread made by Jeffrey Hamelman?!").
Total tourist.
Michael advised that Mr. Hamelman was on the exhibition floor, and not too long after that Mr. Hamelman walked past me and I got the chance to introduce myself and tell him how much I loved his book and the opportunity to taste his bread!!! Here's a picture of the Amazingly-Good bread!:


BBGA also had book signings, and I got the opportunity to meet Eric Kastel, whose book I just purchased. I was so happy I'd actually made some of his breads and was able to talk to him in person about them!!! Mr. Kastel graciously autographed and gave me the display book cover he had set up for his book signing.


Well, that was Day 1. Huge. I never thought in a million years I'd get a chance to meet such great talents in the bread world.


The next morning Ciril Hitz presented "Breakfast Breads & Pastries: An Artisan Approach". The writeup by proth5 on this seminar was spot on.
The seminar was an incredible learning opportunity for me, to be able to hear firsthand about these doughs from a baker of such calibre.
I didn't have either of Mr. Hitz's books and was able to purchase both that day (kindly autographed of course! :^) ). 
The seminar was so informative - Mr. Hitz covered laminated and enriched doughs, ingredients, mixers (on friction factor: "Heat is not your friend in any of these doughs"), freezing, mixing, gluten development, preferments, hydration percentage, preparing butter and dough for lamination and the lamination process, his recommended sequence of events for controlling dough and butter temperature ("Work the dough colder than 64F"), tips for shaping, filling and proofing, and baking. I look forward to reading his books while referring to the notes I took and putting it all together when baking!!!

I enjoyed Mr. Hitz's teaching style, and his voice of experience combined with photos and video. Some other things he suggested were:
- Laminating with compound butters, sweet or savory, for varied flavors.
- For those of us without sheeters!, and to maximize evenness in the lamination, Mr. Hitz recommended creating a very even butter block (even suggesting you could weld up an aluminum butter block frame for rolling! Now that's an idea!), trimming the ends of the dough trifold to expose the butter so the trifold is very rectangular before elongating the dough, to be very gentle with the folds and don't create tension, and to do every layer the same way (direction of rolling and turns).
- For adding inclusions to enriched doughs, to add them after proper gluten development is attained so the dough membrane coats the inclusions. This helps proper distribution of inclusions in the dough, so shaped pieces have even distribution of inclusions for consistent heights when proofing, and also protect the inclusions from being exposed and burning during the bake. For wet inclusions, to roll the dough thin, spread inclusions over and jelly roll to distribute the inclusions, to maintain a clean dough state.


What a morning!!!


I toured around the Coupe Louis Lesaffre competition area and took some pictures of the pieces but in my haste in capturing images didn't capture every country's artistic piece, and in some cases missed the country's name in the shot:


As a Canadian, I hope you'll forgive me for wanting to put Canada's picture first, although Team USA is the very worthy team moving on!!!


Here is Team USA:
 

Argentina:


Brazil:


Peru:


Chile, Costa Rica, or Mexico???



I am very grateful for the opportunities to meet the bakers, industry and association representatives and vendors, who were also very generous with samples and other goodies, and distribution/supply information. I left the exhibition hall loaded down with all sorts of good stuff, nut flours especially, and was also grateful for the opportunity to buy some things from exhibitors. And special thanks too to Lesaffre, for giving me a precious brick of SAF Gold osmotolerant yeast. With the knowledge gained from Ciril Hitz, and some good yeast...I can't wait to get my hands in some sweet dough.

Regards, breadsong


 

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breadsong

Hello,


I tried a half-batch of Hamelman's Baguettes with Poolish, to make four half-size baguettes. I'm fairly certain these don't qualify as baguettes, due to appearance! as well as size...!
I tried Richard Bertinet's mixing technique and found this made a good strong dough.
I don't have a couche cloth, so proofed on a floursack (tea-type) towel. I didn't flour it enough and the dough stuck a little bit when trying to move the loaves to the peel.
I also wasn't careful enough when transferring one of the loaves to the peel so two of the loaves ended up sticking together, for their complete length! That was dicey, trying to separate them without deflating them.
I found my dough to be hard to score this time, with a lot of pulling and dragging on the dough. After shaping, the loaves proofed for one hour, loosely covered with plastic wrap, and the room may have been a bit on the warm side.
I don't think they were overproofed though but this is something I'm having a difficult time judging.

I look forward to any suggestions regarding what went wrong!  They taste good though; we tucked in for breakfast.


Regards, breadsong


 

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