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breadsong

Hello,  


I've seen so many beautiful loaves here on TFL, with beautiful open crumb. When making dough by hand I know I'm adding too much flour to overcome stickiness when kneading. Guess what? No holes. I have shied away from the really wet doughs not really knowing how to handle them.


I recently saw a video by Richard Bertinet where he demonstrates his method for working sticky dough:
http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough


I found this video very encouraging, and now want to give a wet Ciabatta dough another try.  I read through various formulae and methods, to see how they meet the following criteria (what produces big holes in the crumb, as written by Rose Levy Beranbaum in The Bread Bible):


a) acid dough (use of a dough starter and a long cool rising)
b) underdeveloped gluten (from less mixing time)
c) high water percentage, to create a very wet dough
d) a slow rise
e) gentle shaping
f) an overnight rise of the shaped dough in the refrigerator (not applicable to Ciabatta?)


I decided to try Eric Kastel's Ciabatta formula as I've liked some of his others, and because there are similarities to Hamelman's formula, which gives me comfort (any Hamelman formula I've tried, so far, has produced really good results for me).
Kastel also writes about a double-hydration mixing technique that sounded interesting (discussed below).
Instead of 100% bread flour as Mr. Kastel's recipe indicates, I substituted 50% bread flour and 50% Type 00 Italian flour, to mimic 'ciabatta' flour, as shown in Mr. Bertinet's Ciabatta formula.


I saw different methods in different books, and tried to take bits and pieces from a few, to try to address the conditions needed to create big holes in the crumb:

a) Kastel's Ciabatta uses a poolish that ferments for 12-14 hours prior to mixing the dough.

b), c) Kastel's Ciabatta uses a double-hydration mixing method, using only 80% of the final dough's water for the initial mix (in the bowl, by hand for 4 minutes), then adding the remaining 20% of the water in thirds, continuing to mix by hand until each addition of water is absorbed before adding the next. Kastel writes the purpose of this is to allow some gluten to develop, while the dough is firmer and before the dough is completely hydrated. (Water is ultimately 81% of flour weight in Kastel's formula). 
Kastel advises that Ciabatta is a delicate dough and shouldn't be worked too much; Bertinet instructs to work the dough until it is supple and elastic; Hamelman says after mixing there should be some 'muscle' to the dough. I decide to go with Bertinet's more vigorous working method, partly because I want to see if it works, partly because I'm using some lower-protein flour, and not 100% bread flour, and because I trust Hamelman and his mixing recommendation. I turned the very wet, soupy dough onto the counter from the bowl and tried to do as Mr. Bertinet instructs. I mucked around (literally) for 10 minutes or so and got the dough to a stage where, while still very soft and sticky, had a bit of spring to it and would leave the counter in a cohesive mass when I picked it up. I am hoping that stretch and fold will make up for any deficiencies in my mixing or working of the dough.

d) Hamelman's bulk fermentation, at 3 hours, is longer than Kastel's instruction. I decide to wait it out for the 3 hours. When preparing for mixing, I made some formula adjustments as I was planning to let the dough bulk ferment for longer -  I wanted to slow down the rising - so used 1/3 less yeast (why 1/3? Only a guess). I also adjusted the salt to be equivalent to the percentage used by Hamelman as I really like how Hamelman's breads taste (I think they're nicely salted, and Kastel's recipe had a higher salt percentage).


Both Hamelman and Kastel indicate 2 stretch and folds during bulk fermentation. Peter Reinhart's stretch and fold video on Amazon instructs 4 stretch and folds for Ciabatta:
http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Reinharts-Artisan-Breads-Every/dp/1580089984
I will split the difference and go with 3 stretch and folds, at 45-minute intervals.  For the stretch and fold, Kastel says to flour the counter, Reinhart says to oil it. I'm going with Reinhart on this one, as I really want to preserve wetness in the dough.
I can feel the dough responding to each stretch and fold, and see air bubbles, which is exciting!

e) All the authors recommend using lots of flour and being really gentle with the dough when shaping.
I sifted a heavy coating of flour on the counter, gently turned the dough out of its rising container, and sifted more flour on top. I cut the dough into three strips. Shaping one dough strip at a time, I pushed the sides together as Rose instructs (to create the wrinkled look on top of the loaf), then inverted bottom side up. Then I gently picked the loaf up and stretched to lengthen it slightly while placing on parchment paper.


f) Kastel's final proof was for 20-30 minutes, and Hamelman's was for 1-1/2 hours. I chose the longer timeframe for proofing.


I followed Hamelman's baking instructions, 460F then 440F, and baked on a baking stone with steam.
I found the loaves were really browning so reduced the oven to 400F after about 18 minutes in the oven.


Here's how they turned out:


When I sliced the bread, the crust sort of splintered.  It's a very crisp crust. I am eating a piece of the bread right now as I finish this post...and the bread is good!
I am not sure if the crumb is as open as it could or should be, but it's more open than anything I've made yet, so for that I'm grateful!

Regards, breadsong


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, My 20th wedding anniversary is this week so I wanted to bake something special for my husband!

guro baked a Caucasian loaf recently on thefreshloaf which I thought was so beautiful. I tried guro's method for shaping, with Ciril Hitz's Basic Sweet Dough (I added a butter, cinnamon & brown sugar filling).  Ciril Hitz's sweet dough rolled out like a dream - I think my dough rectangle stretched to 30"x20" & was very thin.  After shaping, I nestled the dough into a heart-shaped springform pan which was set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I cut strips of parchment to line the insides of the heart pan too, so the dough wouldn't stick to the sides - this worked quite well and the pan released easily. I think the shaping method is similar to a Russian Braid and it was fun to try.


I've been wanting to try making Jeffrey Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain so I thought this would be a good occasion! Yesterday I started preparing, building the liquid levain and soaking grains. I mixed the dough this morning, shaped it (with thanks! to dmsnyder for his Boule-shaping tutorial, and Floydm for his batard-shaping video), and retarded the dough for about 5 hours prior to the final proof. I wanted to try stenciling the boule prior to baking, and was inspired by farine-mc and her technique she describes well on her blog:
http://www.farine-mc.com/search/label/Stencil


To try and mimic farine-mc's technique, I cut two hearts out of a piece of parchment paper and set this aside. I placed a round plastic lid on top of a boule and sprinkled flour around the edges. I removed the plastic lid, carefully misted the center, and centered the parchment paper with the heart cut outs over the loaf, sprinkled flour to fill in the hearts, then carefully removed the parchment paper, trying not to spill any flour onto the loaf. I tried to slash the loaf like farine-mc did for her Stenciled Miche. Here's how the Five-Grain Levain loaves turned out:


I was really happy with the Five-Grain Levain's oven spring and look forward to making this one again. I don't have crumb shots yet because it's "not quite" our anniversary but will cut into the loaves soon. It's so hard waiting!  With thanks to the authors and breadmakers, whose ideas and knowledge shared are so appreciated!


Regards, breadsong


 

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breadsong

Hello,


I was looking a library book this past long weekend - Amy's Bread - and this one piqued my interest. We've had some drizzle and it looks like we're going to have a wet week ahead here in the Pacific Northwest - I thought it might be nice to bake a little sunshine.






This recipe actually made three loaves. I took pictures of two of the three baked loaves; I think the last one turned out the nicest as I got some foil on top before it browned too much. The dough has a nice yellow color from the durum flour. The boules are misted then rolled in medium-grind yellow cornmeal before shaping. Love all that yellowness, and the apricots that taste like sunshine to me... I'm also thinking of Daisy_A's Sourdough Wholemeal Lemon Bread and wondering how this dough might be with lemon zest and other fruits and/or herbs.

I am learning so much reading other people's posts on this site and am grateful to all of the writers and the website manager who contribute so much.  Regards, breadsong


 


 

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breadsong

Hello everyone,


This bread is Whole Wheat Bread, from Eric Kastel's Artisan Baking at Home with the CIA.


This is a straight dough which includes whole wheat and honey. After shaping the boule, it was sprayed with water, gently picked up, turned over & rolled around in a bowl full of sesame seeds; then gently placed seam side-up in a cloth-lined banneton for final proofing.


After proofing & turning out onto a parchment-lined peel, the boule is misted & left to sit for a few minutes, scored, then misted once more before loading into the oven. (When misting, be careful not to get the parchment wet - I learned tonight that damp parchment doesn't slide well when trying to load the stone!).


I think the sesame seed crust is kind of pretty - and the loaf smells sweet and wheaty. We're going to slice it tomorrow for breakfast so I'll try to take a crumb shot then.




Regards, breadsong

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello everyone,


These buns are from CIA Artisan Breads at Home by Eric W. Kastel.
I replaced some bread flour with whole wheat and topped with sesame seeds.
The egg glaze gave them a nice shine! ...mmm...burgers...can't wait!



Regards, breadsong


 


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,


Here are today's efforts (gifts for a friend, so I can't cut them to take a crumb shot!):
Rose Levy Beranbaum's French Country Sourdough Boule
Jeffrey Hamelman's Oatmeal Bread (straight dough)


Mr. Hamelman's Oatmeal Bread is delicious! But I wanted to make special mention of the French Country Sourdough - I really like the flavor provided by the combination of sour and flours in this loaf. The recipe is also spiked with instant yeast, so when I have planned poorly or am otherwise rushed for time and want to complete a sourdough loaf in a shorter timeframe, this is the recipe I turn to. 


Rose's original recipe was created for those without their own sourdough starter, and so calls for a powdered sourdough starter by Lalvain called "Pain de Campagne". Rose's formula for Liquid Sourdough Starter is:
100g bread flour
.4 grams Lalvain Pain de Campagne starter
100 g water, room temperature (70F-90F) 
Stir together for 3-5 minutes until very smooth (will be very liquid). Cover bowl tightly with greasted plastic wrap (or place starter in a 2-cup food-storage container with a lid) and place it in a warm spot (70F-90F); let sit for at least 12 and up to 20 hours. It will be full of bubbles and will have risen by about one third. It is ready to use to make the dough, or it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

I have substituted an equal amount of my sourdough starter and this has worked out OK. The formula below is identical to Rose's recipe, except for the type of starter and my adjustment to the amount of instant yeast used. The formula I use is:
200g sourdough starter
300g water
flours: 312g bread , 80g rye, 58g whole wheat
2g instant yeast
11.6g salt


I find this makes just over 2 pounds of dough - about right for my 9" banneton.


I feed my sourdough the night before, and when it is risen, I begin making the bread. As it is a very sticky dough, Rose's instructions are to combine starter and water in Kitchen Aid mixer bowl, sprinkle on the flours and yeast, mix on low (#2 speed) until a rough dough is formed, cover bowl and autolyse 20 minutes.


Sprinkle on salt and mix on medium (#4 speed) 10 minutes. (I found my mixer gets warm! so I stop a bit earlier, about 8 minutes. The weights given above are double her original recipe so I'm sure that's why my mixer is working hard!). I've also mixed and kneaded by hand, trying to be careful about adding too much extra flour (usually if I'm making two boules at once - too much dough for my Kitchen Aid to handle).


Scrape the dough into a greased dough-rising container; cover; rise until double (75F-80F), 1.5 to 2 hours. Stretch and fold (2 business letter turns). Rise until double (about 1 hour).


Shape into a boule. Line banneton with a floured cloth*, and place boule inside, smooth side down. Cover. Let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour. When the dough is pressed gently with a fingertip, the depression should very slowly fill in. The center of the loaf should come to the top of the banneton sides or a little above.
*Alternatively, flour the banneton with 50% white rice flour/50% all-purpose flour. I found some good tips and really helpful information on preparing bannetons here:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3656/banneton-sticking-problems


Preheat oven to 475F one hour before baking, with baking stone on lowest level. Preheat a pan for steam.
Place parchment paper on a peel (or flat baking sheet). Place parchment-lined peel over banneton and gently invert banneton onto peel. Gently set peel on countertop, lift off banneton and gently remove the floured cloth. Slash the bread (1/4" deep), slide bread and parchment onto baking stone, steam the oven by pouring hot water or tossing ice cubes into the preheated steam pan.
Bake 5 minutes, and reduce heat to 450F. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bread is deep brown, 212F internal temperature. Remove bread to wire rack to cool completely.


With many thanks to Rose Levy Beranbaum, for her wonderful recipe and for granting permission to give formula and method details here.
Friends and family love this bread and if you make it, I hope you do too!

Regards, breadsong

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,


I've enjoyed the lovely bread served at the Grand Lux Cafe; I think this bread has outstanding flavor and a gorgeous crust.
I was wondering if anyone had ever tried reproducing it at home.
If yes, I would just love it if you were willing to share what you did, and how it turned out.


Regards, breadsong


 


 


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, This is from Eric Kastel's "Artisan Breads at Home". I baked this bread and froze it, and we tasted it tonight with dinner. YUM. With many thanks to the author!!! I tried slashing the bread in a starburst, as I saw someone else do quite beautifully on this site. I wish I could remember who that was, so I could go back and take a look at their handiwork and pay them a compliment here - I will keep trying until I can make mine look as nice!

For 48 ounces of dough, there were 6.6 ounces drained, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 3.2 ounces cubed asiago cheese, tossed with 1.3 ounces whole wheat flour, kneaded in by hand after the final mix.


I am so pleased with how tasty this loaf is, and how pretty the crumb is, marbled with tomato.


Regards, breadsong

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,


I picked up the CIA book "Artisan Breads at Home" by Eric Kastel from the library and was delighted to find a recipe for Chipotle Sourdough, using pureed chipotle chiles in adobo as an add-in.


For 48 ounces of dough, the recipe calls for 2.6 ounces of pureed chipotles combined with 1.3 ounces whole wheat flour as the add-in; I kneaded this in by hand at the end of mixing.


This bread is spicy and so, so tasty. I think it will be perfect to serve with an al fresco Mexican dinner and Margaritas!

The author advises the reader to "use it to create your most memorable grilled cheese sandwich" - a great idea I can't wait to try.


It's too bad the crumb shot doesn't show any pieces of chipotle chile - but they're in there, trust me!


Regards,
breadsong


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong


I was inspired by a Banana bread featured on farine-mc.com (link: http://www.farine-mc.com/search/label/Banana). This lady makes loaves that are works of art!


This humble loaf is a single recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum's Banana Feather Bread, and when I slashed the top I tried a slight, reversed S-curve - to see what might happen.
I thought the result looked kind of like a banana!


We are looking forward to toasting and tasting.


Regards,
breadsong


 


 

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