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CB85

Ok, so they didn't turn out as pretty as I was hoping: (but see how I took them into natural lighting for you :))

Clearly, I had no plan for shaping them, but i wanted to try without a basket this time because I wanted longer loaves than I have baskets. The smaller looking one turned out better. I haven't cut them yet, but I gave the better looking one to my neighbor so no crumb shot of that one. 

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CB85

are really hard. Wow. Just attempted them. Maybe I shouldn't have tried something challenging with my first ever effort at a poolish, too. They aren't baked yet, but they look pretty terrible. I added extra flour to the dough and it was still ridiculously soft and wet. I was using the poolish baguette formula from Hamelmn's "Bread". I think I will have to give it another go...but now I am even more apprehensive than before.

In happier news, I made a really delicious semolina sesame sourdough the other day. The dog got to it before I could take any photos but I am making it again sometime this week. 

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CB85

I am just so pleased with this bread, so I had to share. It is the Vermont Sourdough recipe, only I switched it up a little. I used spelt for the starter, and added semolina, rye, and spelt to the mix in the final dough. I probably would leave out the semolina next time, but maybe not. I also added 1 1/2 oz oats, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. And a little extra water after I mixed it up and it was a little stiff. About 1 1/2 oz. I haven't sliced this particular batch yet, but I made it yesterday too and the dough performed pretty much the same so this is what I assume the crumb will look like, as this is yesterday's loaf. :

I like the taste and texture of the bread. I have never baked with seeds before so I was surprised how strong their flavor was in the loaf. I will always love white bread best, but variety is the spice of life. heh. For some reason I have an urge to add golden raisins or dried apricots to this, but I will resist for now. Anyway, I am so excited that reading this site and all my books has finally helped me improve a bit!

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CB85

Ok, I know pretty much everyone here has made this bread before...but here I am posting another. This isn't my best loaf so far but I just decided to post it anyway because I am pretty excited about this recipe. (Please ignore the sad, sad scoring job :))

The crumb in this one is obviously a little uneven, but I feel more on the right track. I am so glad I got Hamelman's book. It's been really inspiring so far. 

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CB85

I did bake a lot of bread in the past week, but nothing impressive...not sure what my problem was. The weather was a lot cooler so I did have to play around with the proofing times but nothing was really right. I did make sourdough rye with light rye flour yesterday, which was my first experience using any rye other than whole rye. I was pleased with that but I got a little carried away with the seeds in it. I liked it but I think i would have to tone it down for others. Today I made bagels. Me and my friend, who lives in another state, decided to make the same recipe this weekend just for fun. The measurments were in volumes and it was not a sourdough recipe so I was a little out of my element but a little excited to make something that would be done in about 2 hours! I did play around a little and add a firm starter I had in the fridge because I wasn't going to bake anything else and I didn't want to waste it, but it was just a flavor thing not for any leavening power. Because of that I should've increased the salt in the recipe, but I didn't think of that until after. The starter also meant that there was a bit of semolina added. 

I topped a few with sesame seeds, a few with black onion seeds and a few I left plain. The crust turned out ok, but I should've given them a little more space on the baking sheet. They actually puffed up a lot better than I expected. 

They were ok inside too, and I think they would be better toasted.  I was not wowed by this recipe but I think that was a combination of me changing a couple things not so accurately, and probably just wishing it was sourdough. :) I would like to try bagels again, maybe a recipe with an overnight step or maybe a sourdough version. 

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CB85

Here is the pizza I made for my friend's birthday! The crust is pretty much just a modified basic sourdough from BBA, with semolina. I topped it with homemade pesto, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and red onions. It turned out pretty delicious! :)

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CB85

Today I made the basic sourdough from BBA with 50% semolina. I also did an extremely long autolyse and increased the hydration about 1 oz. 

The dough was pretty hard to handle so i was not thrilled with my shaping job, but the crumb turned out pretty well. 

 

I have been increasing my proofing times as well, because my loaves have seemed pretty tight crumbed and I thought it was probably because of the relatively cool temperatures here. I was proofing about 6 1/2 hours before, not counting any time in the refridgerator, but I've been slowly increasing to today I let it go for a little over 7 1/2 hours and I still think it possibly could've waited longer. Anyway, the crust. It's really dark, bordering on burned. Darker than it looks in the picture here. Now I do like to bake to a relatively dark crust so it doesn't get soft too fast, but this crust seems like it is browning really quickly. And one of the bottoms is getting pretty close to being too dark too. I am baking on a stone and I even moved the rack up one space and doubled up the parchment. I guess I will just have to watch it closer and take it out a little sooner. And maybe get a thermometer....:)

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CB85

Ok...so I might have been a little carried away while playing around with hydration. This was actually a normal looking proofed loaf a few seconds before I attempted to score it, and got it stuck to the counter, and got it stuck to my arm, when I opened the oven and there was an unruly oven rack in the way. Anyway, hopefully the crumb makes up for this silly crust. The second loaf is still circular at least!

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CB85

Well, here they are..the results of my "bread day". Not perfect, especially the scoring, but hopefully an fun gift for someone who doesn't really bake. They are all based on the basic sourdough recipe in BBA. I replaced 25%-33% of the flour with rye, spelt, or semolina, and increased the hydration by about 1 oz.. I also proofed these a little longer than called for, about an extra hour total, as it is only about 67 degrees here, inside and out.

The finished loaves. The three you can see in this picture are the semolina loaves, which I think turned out the best. 

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The rye loaves. I think the biggest one to the right turned out best. Also, I tried to make the crusts on all of the loaves a little softer because I wasn't sure if the recipients would appreciate the extremely chewy crust I usually make with steam. It turned out ok, but the crust on the rye seems a little odd to me. Too smooth or something. 

 

No picture of the spelt exterior for some reason...thought it was pictured in the groups but I guess not. It was not very impressive anyway. Probably the worst scoring I have ever done. Here, though, is the crumb, which is the best I've managed so far. The flavor was also delicious, and more sour than I would've expected considering I did not retard for more than an hour. 

 

The inside of the rye. It was nice, but not as open as I expected. I only went for 25% rye because I can only find whole rye around here. I did add a little caraway seed, but not a whole tablespoon because I didn't want it to take over the whole flavor. That probably wasn't the greatest choice because it only seemed to muddy the flavor a bit. I will taste it again later. 

 

And the semolina. The lighting here is horrible, because it was starting to get darker out and I can't figure out how to get very decent pictures with indoor lighting. Anyway, it was relatively open. Haven't tasted it yet. I cut one of all the loaves in the center to look at the crumb because previously I have had really open crumb on the edges and tighter in the center.

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CB85

I was wondering what that burning smell was when I tried to preheat the oven...I couldn't find anything! But then, up in the back corner, I found the basket of bread I had put in there (cold!) to proof. In my defense, I am making 9 loaves so there was a lot to keep track of! Anyway, I have been meaning to start a blog here, and I had a whole long introduction planned out, but I think this says it better: Overachiever messes up in a REALLY dumb way. :)

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