The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dabrownman's blog

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That Lucy is a pistol.  She has been working very hard for weeks on her app to replace every job people do, just like Silicon Valley is doing, thinking they were going to beat her to it and the next thing you know she stopped working on that, thank goodness, and started working on her new even more important app.

This one will make all food be invisible and have no smell.  She was worried that people get hungry and want to eat more food mainly because it looks and smells good and most of us are already too fat and need to back away from the food bag as it is.

She says it is for our own good plus the food we can’t see or smell to eat, that we don’t need in the first place, because we already have too much, can be sent to the starving people of the world who need it and never get to see or smell food in the first place so they won’t miss it like we would.

She thinks it is a huge win win; the fat people of the world will be thinner and the thin people of the world will get fatter and she will get really, really rich somehow and everyone will be happier.   I told her that I would be happier if I could afford to buy better wine because I think I’m going to be drinking a lot more of it as time goes on. 

I went on to say that I would really appreciate it if she would start working on a wine app where all wine was great and was free.  She got pretty upset with me when I also told her that I thought her first app would have made us thinner anyway because, without jobs, none of us could afford to buy food anyway.

Chicken Noodle Veggies and Shiitake soup makes a great lunch on bale day

She reminded me that thin starving people would not get fatter with the first jobs app and it wasn’t a win, win for everyone.  I reminded her that thin starving people couldn’t even find the food to eat it if they couldn’t see or smell it.  After that it started getting nasty so I made her start working on this week’s bread recipe instead.

A mixed fruit and melon breakfast starts of bake day on the right foot

Oddly, there is one of many parallel universes, where everything is exactly the same as this one, you and I are all there, except what we call food is already invisible, has no smell and the people there eat colors instead.  Oddly, the people there are all very fat, you look huge!  there are no thin people at all, but there are no dogs or baking apprentices to be found anywhere either.   Maybe they are eating them too?  We are getting off track here - on to bread and other stuff.

Your Mom made this for you for lunch if she was like my Mom but this one is a fresh Albacore Tuna, colby jack, Swiss, pepper jack and Parmesan cheese an Poblano pepper, bechamel casserole.

This one puffed itself up nice in basket and then sprang well too with lots of little blisters

 It was starting to open at the seams before it went in,

Lucy knew full well that we had plenty of white bread and wanted to do another one after our freaky, friendless fracas of words about her apps just out of spite so I had to set he straight telling her I was working on an app to make all dog food look and taste exactly like bricks – not that the stuff I feed her doesn’t already, so she got the hint and came up with a 50 percenter.

It is a 6 grain 50% whole grain, bran levain bread using our usual spelt, oat, Kamut, rye, red and white wheat with all of the remaining dough flour being LaFama AP.  All of the bran was in the 100% hydration, 7.5% pre-fermented, single stage levain.  When it had risen 75% we retarded it for 24 hours.

When we took it out of the fridge we stirred it down and let it warm up on the counter until it had risen 50% as we autolysed the high extraction and LaFama dough flour for 2 hours on the counter with enough water to get the overall mix to 78% with 2% Kosher salt sprinkled on top.  Then we mixed in the levain and did 100 slap and folds to get the gluten started.

Here it is before it was toasted for bruschetta

We let it sit for an hour before doing another set of 30 slap and folds.  We then did 2 gentler sets of 10 slap and folds and 4 slap and folds on 30 minute intervals and let it again all on 30 minute intervals.  Then we shaped it as a boule and placed it into an oiled SS bowl, covered it in plastic wrap and into the fridge it went for 12 hours of cold retard

We took out this morning, gently removed it from the bowl and immediately pre-shaped it and 10 minutes later final shaped it into a boule.   We forgot to lightly dust the basket so we did plopped the dough into it naked, seam side down…… so we could bake it seam side up un-scored and something different for a change.

Once unmolded onto parchment on a peel and slid into the 500 F combo cooker we spritzed it well, even tough it probably wouldn’t do much for blistering a 50% whole grain bread.  We turned the oven down to 450 F immediately for 20 minutes of steam.  We took the lid off, turned the oven down tp 425 F convection and baked it for 8 more minutes before removing it from the bottom of the combo cooker to let it finish baking on the bottom stone for another 8 minutes. 

At 208.5 F on the inside we called it done enough.  It bloomed sprang and browned up well enough and the blisters were well muted compared to a white bread but there were way more of them for sure. 

It smelled great when the lid came off  and we expect the bread to have a decent crumb perfect for bruschetta later tonight! We were right and the toppings were tasty too with the balsamic glaze and Parmesan to top it off.

Lucy has a salad fettish for sure

This bread came out just liked we had hoped.  Not too open and the perfect platform for bruschetta which was terrific.  This bread is really tasty with 50% whole grains when compared to 20%  and it was even better toasted plus it was still crispy on the outside for a change just a few hours after baking..... it has softened this morning like normal.  The crumb was still soft and moist

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This time it wasn’t just Kamut but 6 different grains that added up to 10% of the grains in this bread but there were other differences ….nearly too many to mention.   Well not too many.  The 6 grains were rye, spelt, oat, red and white wheat plus Kamut.

 The hydration for this loaf was only 72% instead of 75% because all of the dough flour was La Fama AP instead of half being high gluten.  The whole grains were all in the one stage leavin just like before but this time 10% instead if 7.5%.

We did a 30 minute autolyse with the PHSS sprinkled on top like last time.  Instead of doing 300 slap and folds to start we only did 200 with 2 sets of 20 and 10 slaps before switching to 2 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points - all on 30 minute intervals.

IF you ever get a piece of grilled salmon like this - enjoy!

he other difference was that this one was slashed T-Rex style and baked under the lid for 18 minutes and then 16 minutes of dry heat.  This one browned, bloomed and blistered neatly as well as the last one because it too was spritzed before the lid went on and hit the heat at just the right time.

Nice crumb!

These are pretty breads for sure.  But they have to taste as good as they look or they would huge failures but they taste grand.  This one would have to be pretty close to one of our favorite SFSD style breads – if it tastes right.  We will know tomorrow at breakfast.

I tastes great.  The crumb is soft open and moist with that killer crust.  Made great breakfast sandwiches.  Lucy is always pitching her healthy sandwiches.  Floyd to the rescue!

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After last Monday’s bread was puddle mooshed and refused to spring making ciabatta into sandwich thins, Lucy wasn’t going to have another failure if she could help it so she took another route with a similar recipe to make sue she got a nice loaf of bread this time.

She has been working hard, for some time now, to develop her app to replace all human jobs and she is not happy about it one little bit.  So far, she figures she can only replace 40% of all jobs over the next 10 years and this is driving her crazy. 

I reminded her that probably 50% of people still want to work so wiping put 40% of the jobs was a huge step in the right direction for the 50% that don’t want to work anyway.  I told her there had to be other people working on this and they could handle the other 10% no problem. 

She said that just wasn’t good enough and that all humans had to be unemployed before she would be happy.  I told her that half the folks would love her forever and the other half will be looking very hard for her to pay her back for ruining their lives forever…..and that wouldn’t end pretty.

She is not giving up though and will keep working to make half the world happy and piss off the other half – probably about the best one can do … that I think about it.  Lucy figures half the world is already pissed off but only 10% are happy so making another 40% happy is quite an improvement for mankind – she might be right about that.

Her recipe for Friday’s bake was also spot on for a huge change from Monday.  This is a big loaf of bread – over 1,255 g baked weight.  It is about twice as big as our normal loaf.  This one is twice as white too but only has half the levain at 7% pre-fermented flour.  The levain was a single stage whole grain Kamut one at 80% hydration for other huge changes plus that only used 5 g of NMNF starter to set it off.

You would think after being a baking apprentice for many years Lucy would know how to shape a loaf of bread!  She will probably never make it to a first class baking apprentice.

All of the whole grains were in the levain with the rest of the flour being half Smart and Final high gluten and the other half LaFama AP. to approximate sine kind if bread flour.  We backed off the hydration to 75% too.  It was still wet but easy enough for us to handle.  We autolyzed the white patent dough flour for half and hour with the pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.

Even though the Kamut was small you can see the yellow tinge.

Once the levain hit the mix we did 300 slap and folds right off the bat. Going way back years to an earlier process and about 10 times our usual overall amount we usually use today.  Then we did 2 sets of 50 sla[ and folds and 2 sets of 4 stretch and folds from the compass points – all on 30 minute intervals.  Then we let it rest for half and hour before shaping it into a huge boule.

Once you got away from the very center the two large holes were replaced with a better looking crumb for sure  Whew!

2 hours later into the hot 500 F DO it went after being slashed hop scotch style and then spritzed with water.  If you spritz white bread well before it goes into the steam environment, it will blister like crazy just like this one did.  It doesn’t work as well for whole grain breads for some reason but it always works for white ones.


So camera shy.

When the DO went in, we turned the oven down to 450 F and steamed the bread for 20 minutes.  The lid came off, the temperature went down to 425 F convection and we baked it for another 16 minutes until it browned up well.  It sprang and bloomed exceptionally, became as crispy as can be and hit 210 F on the inside.

Can’t wait to inside of this one.  With the outside looking so good we expect the inside to be the same.  See ya tomorrow morning after breakfast toast. My wife said 'This is really good bread'  It made some great toast for sure.  We were transported right to San Francisco by the bread that made the city famous and we didn't have ti dodge all the homeless beggars and used heroin needles on the ground - a triple yea!

This bread goes perfectly with Shrimp. Andouille Sausage and Chicken Gumbo - Just killer!

I tried to get a Navajo weaver to make me this rug in 1999 but they weren't that willing and I couldn't afford it. I still want one though and the Navajo need to get their designs into the 21st century.  Tradition is one of the 3 things that can just kill you! along with fear and ego!

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After one loaf of 50% sprouted and whole grain bread she went back to a white bread this week.  Yeah, she picked one that we don’t do very often at 83% hydration, it had some whole grain in it that was semi-related to durum semolina, we needed something to put pork inside with cheese and then into the panini press and at least it was SD.

 it was perfect after the last set of folds.  Should have put it in a basket right them and there:-)

I think she was swayed by Abe talking about doing a ciabatta and Able giving her some history on the bread straight from Italy via Mexico that said the hydration shouldn’t be more than 80% and why I think she picked one more a few percent more than that:-)

Rather that do a big ciabatta, she picked to do individual ones that would fit perfectly in the panini press and be the right size to split in half for a sandwich.  But Lucy didn’t want to follow the rules about ciabatta either but I forced her to at least try a little bit. 

Green Chili Stuffed Pork Carnitas Enchilada with Crema, Pico and Guacamole

Most ciabatta is made with commercial yeast but she wanted sourdough with a bran levain.  Most ciabatta is made with a mixer for good reason but, she wasn’t having any of it. The 21 % pre-fermented flour mostly La Famea AP, bran levain was retarded for 48 hours also not a norm of any kind.   We made it using a 30 minute autolyse, slap and folds and stretch and folds, 2 each on 30 minute intervals.

I tried to mooch down this Irish Swiss cheese, caramelized onion, Poblano peppers, mushroom,bacon burger with lettuce, avocado and make it mouth size but no luck.

After letting the dough rest for half an hour, we divided it into roughly 100 g pieces and let them proof for an hour and half before firing up the oven to 450 F.  Right before they went into the oven I refused to flip them over ,as they are traditionally done, and then Lucy pulled put her Mom’s blade and threatened to cut me up good if it didn’t do a flip.

So I did, right onto parchment on a baking sheet.  But I did spritz the heck out of them and also put 2 C of water on the Mega Steam Lava rocks before closing the door and steaming them for 10 minutes.  We then too the MS out of the oven and continues to nae them at 425 F convection until they browned up well.

These came out like a Joe Va SD sandwich thin which we make all the time.  Since we just proofed them on the counter with a little bit of flour, when we picked them up and flipped them onto parchment they instantly deflated to little puddles.

They made a fine toasted one face sandwich with butter, apple cider jam, Swiss cheese, sausage and bacon.

We didn't have time to let them proof again but we hoped that they might really spring in the heat of the oven.  Spring they did but not nearly enough to compensate!  They taste great and will be great in the panini press  but they don't look like a ciabatta on the inside at all.  Maybe next time.

Miso Teriyaki Grilled Pork dinner and Lucy says nit to forget the salad to go with...any dinner or lunch.

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Lucy was feeling pretty good this week and spent some time coming up with this bread.  She got back to her roots with a 50% whole grain bread where half the whole grains were sprouted. The 6 grains she used were red and white wheat, Kamut, spelt, rye and oat.


She started sprouting the grains on Monday dried them on Tuesday night and started the sourdough bran levain on Wednesday night.  She took the bran from the sprouted and non-sprouted grains and used that for the only build using 12 g of NMNF rye starter as the base.  A few hours of a cold retard followed to bring out the tang instead of just the sour.

The entire levain was 10% pre-fermented bran and flour at 100% hydration and the process took 8 hours for the levain to double.  Then into the fridge it went for a 24 hour retard.  While the levain was on the counter, Lucy dug around her secret pantry to find some figs and walnuts -10% each.

We did a 30 minute autolyse for the non-sprouted high extraction flour only with 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Sprouted, high extraction flour just needs to get hydrated since it is pre-auotlysed during the sprouting process. 

Overall hydration was 72% because we used the lower protein Lafama AP for the dough flour and the re-hydrated figs would bring some extra moisture to the party.   A relative 75% would be about right for this kind of bread.  Once everything hit the mix we did 100 slap and folds to get everything incorporated and the gluten forming started.

The left-over fig soaking juice, with some of the re-hydrated figs, were used to feed the Fig YW … nothing at all went to waste.  After a 3 minute rest, we did 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points also on 30 minute intervals.

Grilled Tuna is a must have meal around here...It was Mom's request for Mother's day.

Can't have Mother's Day without flowers either.

The walnuts and figs went in on the first set of stretch and folds.  We then let the dough rest for a half an hour before shaping the dough into a squat boulot and plopping it in the rice floured oval basket.  Straight away, as the English would say, it went into the fridge for and overnight proof, sort of self a reflection of the way the world is …..depending on what is, is of course….and is never was most of the time.

Whatever is was, it wasn’t quite proofed, so we let it warm up a bit, about and hour, before starting the heat of the Underworld itself contained by the magic of General Electric - at 450 F in Lucy’s kitchen.Yes, the Combo Cooker was used this time instead of Mega Steam and we brushed the loaf with water before it went into the Gaping Maw of Big Ole Betsy II for 18 minutes of steam.

Once the lid came off, we baked it for another 12 minutes at 425 F convection to finish it off and get to 208 F on the inside.  It browned, blistered, bloomed and sprang nicely but we will have to wait on the crumb, just like always because we are creatures of habit around here.

OK, Lucy is just a plain creature …. so be it - we still have to wait for this loaf to cool and for Lucy to decide when she wants a piece to taste.  The crumb came out chock full of goodness.  It was fully proofed so there wasn't big bloom but it is soft and moist with tons of flavor.  All around this is a pretty good fig and nut bread with 50% whole grains - half of them sprouted.  You won't find one that tastes better or even one to buy for that matter - all the reason to make one yourself even better than this one.

She reminds us to always have a great salad with dinner


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She's got a gray face now but she is still pretty spry for her age!

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A year ago, I found some smoked pastrami hanging out in the freezer so Lucy came up with a modern twist for an old classic, Jewish Deli Rye, to compliment the smoked meat in a slightly non traditional style of bread.


This week I found so smoke brisket in the very same freezer so Lucy, true to her nature, came up with another slightly non-traditional JDR that is much closer to the traditional one than last year.  Dan Baggs really let us have it trying pass that one off as a Jewish Deli Rye when he grew up in New York Surrounded by the real thing.

So, this time we are calling it New Age Nearly Jewish Deli Rye hoping Don Baggs doesn’t put a Dough Contract out on us with his Miami Bread Baking Mob – The MBBM!  This one really is pretty close to the real thing -n a new age way.

First off JDR breads have a higher amount of pre-fermented flour in the levain so we doubled it to 20% about twice our usual for this time of year when it’s 104 F outside.  But, Lucy bought some rolled oats to make a porridge, or gruel, bread as she likes to call it and that meant 50g of ground rolled oats ended up in the levain – 10% or half the flour in the levin mix.

It also had 5% high gluten flour and 5% rye bran in the 100% hydration 3 stage levain as well.  Now Jewish Deli rye doesn’t have oats in it but Lucy could care less about these technical things or anything for that matter – pretty much just like me.

The dough had 25% high extraction rye, the left over from the bran sifting, making for a bread that has 30% total whole grain rye – very much the JDR standard amount.  The rest of the dough flour was had 55% high gluten flour making for 60% HGF overall.

It pays to have a good breakfast on bake day!

With so much rye and oat in the mix, high gluten seemed like a reasonable remainder even though it too isn’t really a JDR flour.  We chucked in 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt and enough water to bring it up to 71% hydration – pretty low for one of Lucy’s fake JDR breads.  She had planned ahead for once though.

We love noodles for lunch. Especially with an apple galette chaser

She planned on adding a soaker of 5% dehydrated onions and 3% caraway seeds to the mix on the first set pf stretch and folds and that would bring some extra liquid, at least 5% to the overall hydration.  Both of these add ins are traditional for a JDR bread so she was back to being normal.

It was still 90 F when I sliced into it.  Was a little dense toward the bottom.

Once everything except the add ins were brought together we did 100 slap and folds to get it all mixed and the gluten working.  30 minutes later we did 10 slap and folds and 10 minutes later we did the first of 3 stretch and folds to get the onions and caraway evenly distributed.  All the stretch and folds were on 30 minute intervals.

After the last set of S&F’s we let the dough rest for 10 minutes before shaping it into a tight batard and plopping it into a very large, rice floured, batard basket that was way too big for this bread.  We immediately bagged it and placed it into the fridge for a 12 hour retard.

Some BBQ sauce poking through this sandwixh.

The next morning we noticed that the batard didn’t do too much in the fridge overnight so we let it worm up and finish proofing on the counter for 2.5 hours before firing up the oven to 450 F with the Mega Steam Lava Pan under the bottom stone.

We unmolded the batard onto parchment on a peel, brushed it with water, a very traditional thing indeed, sliced it twice lengthwise, a non-traditional score, and slid it onto the bottom stone.  Right before the oven door was closed we put 2 cups of water on the lava rocks for 18 minutes of Mega Steam. 

A free loaf of Sourdough my wife got at the Farmers Market that she received in gratitude for donating to the baker's emergency oven fund to replace his oven that went Kaput a few weeks before.  Remember the 3 G's of character attributes so hard to master for success in all things - graciousness, gratitude and generosity.

Killer Red Pork Enchiladas for Cinco De Mayo.

Once the steam came out we lowered the oven to 425 F, convection this time, and baked it for another 12 minutes until it reached 205 F on the inside.  It sprang bloomed and browned nicely.  The smell was outrageous.  We brushed it with water again as it came out of the oven.

A slice of that apple gallete.

We will wait for our lunch brisket sandwich to see what the crumb looks like – can’t wait.  This bread is just plain delicious.  The caraway and onion really come through.  The crust is crispy but the crumb issoft and moist.  This bread is what JRB bread is all about.

Lucy says to have that salad every night with dinner

and that Apple Galette!

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We know how much Lucy loves her Mexican food so she went all in to make a bread that would hold up to our planned Red Pork Enchiladas.  I have to admit she relay came up with a Duesy this time.  It is way different than her normal bran levain, some portion whole sprouted fare.


This one has no whole grains at all but that doesn’t mean that it lacks flavor.  The 12% re-fermented flour levain was begun with 10g of our NMNF rye starter but it was a 2 stage affair.  The first stage was equal parts semolina and Lafama AP flour at 66.66% hydration.  This was left out overnight to ripen and double.

Now that is some kind of folding.

The next morning we added an equal portion of Smart and Final high gluten flour, to make 4% for each flour and added enough water to get it up to 81% hydration.  There was no autolyse this time either.  The dough flour was also a strange combination - 22% Lafama AP, 11% Masa Harina, 11% corn meal and 44% S&F high gluten.

We added 1.5% Pink Himalayan sea salt, 2.5% powdered chicken soup base that has salt in it and enough water to get the whole shebang, with the levain, up to 73% hydration.  We weren’t going for holes since this was going to be a pan bread with a lot of add ins.

The add ins went in at 3 different stages.  We did 100 slap and folds to get everything mixed initially and let the dough rest for 1.5 hours.  We did 10 more slap and folds and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Then we added 20% hot pepper jack cheese for the first set of folds.  On the 2nd set of folds we added 2 chopped scallions and some chopped cilantro.

Grilled Salmon and Black Rice Salad

Before the 3rd set of add ins and folds, we browned 1 thick strip of peppered bacon and then sautéed some white onions until they started to caramelize before adding 1 seeded jalapeno and half a cob of fresh corn kernels to the sauté and finished caramelizing the onion.  We chopped up the crispy bacon and added it before deglazing the pan with a bit of water to get every last bit of goodness out of the pan.

That is a shatter crisp crust even after sitting in the fridge overnight wrapped in plastic.

All of the folding was done on 30 minute intervals and we let the dough rest for half an hour before shaping and putting it into ta pan sprayed, tall oriental Pullman pan for final proofing.  After about 3.5 hours of proofing the dough had risen 1” above the rim in the center of the pan and it was ready for the 25 minutes of Lava Rock Mega Steam at 425 F.

Then we baked the bread for 20 minutes at 425 F convection with the steam removed.  Then we took the bread out of the pan and baked it right on the oven rack for 5 minutes until it hit 207 F on the inside.  This bread smelled awful good as it baked,  it just has to be yummy but we will wait till tomorrow.

Yes it is tall and the direct sun really brings out the yellow tinged crumb. 

This bread is delicious!  Not too much heat from the jalapenos, cheesy, with a hint of bacon, cilantro and onion in the background with the surprise of corn.  The crumb is soft and really moist!  This will go great with the pork and cheese enchiladas on Saturday.  We have changed it to a 7 dried pepper red sauce.  With the bacon, fresh veggies and cheese in this one we decided to refrigerate it. 

Lucy says have a salad with that sunset

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We have sausages and hamburger burning a hole in our freezer but we needed buns for both. This recipe makes the best buns especially if you make it like Lucy does.


She starts with Floyd’s recipe that you can find by searching Hokkaido Milk Bread on The Fresh Loaf.  Her changes are few but important.  First, she cuts the recipe in half because we don’t need buns for an army.

Second where ever you see water or milk in the recipe we substituted Half and Half.  The 2 T of butter was increased to 3 T.  we had to put in quite a bit more AP flour, 25% more (100 g), because the dough was just way, way too liquid.  Floyd said his was too dry using the original water and milk.

This was the guy that drew this picture 40 years ago in Drawing 2 class as a 2nd semester freshman

  We changed the process.  We made a 100% hydration poolish with H&H, 75 g of AP flour and pinch of instant yeast and let it percolate on the 85 F degree counter for 4 hours.  We also held back the butter, egg and sugar until the rest of the ingredients were mixed for 10 minutes on KA 4 using the dough hook.

We want the gluten to be at least partially developed and the flour hydrated well before adding fats and sugars to an enriched dough.  Once the egg, sugar and butter went in we beat the heck out of for another 5 minutes and noticed it was way too wet.

We added the extra flour and continued beating it for another 10 minutes – 25 minutes total before it pulled a nice windowpane.  Highly enriched breads are the only ones I ever make sure can pull a windowpane.

Tall, Taller, Tallest  bread

ever!The final changes were that we divided the dough by eye into 3 parts for final proofing in my favorite pan - the tall Oriental Pullman.  Last time we proofed it lid on Pan De Mie style so this time we proofed it lid off to see how much it really would rise and spring.  We did brush it with H&H before going in and coming out of the oven.

Jalapeno double thick double apple wood smoked bacon. 1 year aged hard Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, lettuce and tomato hamburger on an onion bun. 

When it had cooled we noticed when we took it out of the pan that the part touching the pan was damp.  As luck would have it the oven was still 200 F because of the 2 stones so we out the loaf back in on the rack between the stones to dry it off.  It worked great

The last change was that we baked the bread for nearly 1 hour at 350 F with steam for the first 30 minutes.  It took longer to bake this bread to 196 F – the perfect temperature for a bread like this one.  It rose sprang and browned beautifully but one has to ask…… what happened to the buns you needed?

This bread is shredably soft, moist sweet and delicious.  It toasts perfectly.  Yummmmm....

I went to the grocery store today and low and behold they had bakery 8 count, Hot Dog and Onion Hamburger buns on sale for 99 cents each – day old.  Lucy can barely make them for that!  We had hamburgers tonight on onion buns and we have some great sandwich bread that is half Chinese, half Japanese with a little French in there somewhere.

Can’t wait to see the inside.

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Abe and others this past week have been posting about doing a bread that can take many hours on the counter with little baker help so that you can go off to work or play and not worry about the bread.  Trailrunner also did a series on her No Touch bread which this one relies on.  Lucy wanted to make one so that she could play and sleep all day and all night.

The key is getting the temperature and the size of the levain correct to allow 12-18 hours on the counter.  We chose to do the bulk ferment outside where it was in the high 50’s and low 60’s last night and to do the final proof in the kitchen where it was in the mid 70’s.  We picked 4% for the pre-fermented flour where 5 g of NMNF rye starter was used to inoculate 20 gr of bran and high extraction 6 grain flour.

This was a 100% hydration bran levain that took 8 hours to ripen.  We also decided that since we are retired and lazy that we would do as little as possible to make this bread so we chose it do an autolyse and use a no knead method.  In order to mix the dough; levain, salt, flour and water we started out doing 40 slap and folds.

That was it.  We oiled a SS bowl, rounded the dough ad plopped it inside, covered in plastic and put it on the patio table for 12 hours overnight.  It looked like it rose about 30% while we were sleeping.  We did 4 folds from the compass points to shape it and placed it in a rice floured basket inside a plastic grocery bag where it final proofed on the kitchen counter for 6 hours.

Grilled Salmon is almost as nice as Shu Mai and Pot Stickers

We slashed it T-Rex style after un-molding it on parchment on a peel and then baking it in a 425 F DO with the lid on for 25 minutes. of steam.  We felt bad about slashing it.  If we had put it in the basket seam side down we wouldn’t even have had to do any work to slash it either.  Being retired, keeping all work as far from Lucy and I as possible is the main theme and unofficial goal of every day. 

OK, we had to mill the 11% whole 6 grains and sift out the bran but we wanted a bread that tasted as good as it looked, at least tasting as good as an 11% whole 6 grain bread made with a bran levain.  The 6 grains were our usual, oat, red and white wheat, rye, spelt and  Kamut.

 Once the lid came off we baked in at 425 F convection this time for another 16 more minutes until it was 210 F on the inside.  This bread took a long time but it was hassle free, nearly no work at all and it sprang, bloomed and browned nicely.  It also smells great.  We will have to wait till tomorrow to see what is under this lovely crust though.  For sure you can do almost nothing making this bread and fit it into anything you are doing without having to worry one iota.

Here is what it look like out of the sun and sliced farther from the middle

It came out fairly open for being about and hour under-proofed even after 6 hours of proofing.  The crumb was very soft moist and sour and tangy.  Amazing how sour this bread came out.  Long proof and bulk really brought out the best in this bread.

Salad and Sunset go together



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