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News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dabrownman

I didn't want to cut into it. Not then. I thought that there might be something purple or green or both inside. It could easily have been a purple people eater or even something much, much worse. I had to wait until the morning light - didn't want to be crippled by darkness if it was something horrible ........and emerged very hungry. I would have needed every advantage to escape if it had attacked. I contained it in a brown paper bag so it stayed nice and comfy, unperturbed...... and had no reason to attack anyone ......until it was too late......and the bread knife struck when it was least expected. Sleep well my friends in bread. We dealt with this purple menace on the morrow.  We lived through the night.

The brown bag containment field worked overnight I am pleased to say and once under the bread knife, it was purple after all!!! The cell phone camera just doesn't do it justice. This is one handsome round of bread and the smell is unique but nice as well. Even when using the home ground whole meal wheat berries, the crumb is not dense, but slightly open, soft and moist too. The home grown sage comes through well and the walnuts, which I thought would be too many and too much, are also very tasty and in balance. What a great concoction Phil has pulled from his Hulking bag of tricks!  Have had it plain, toasted and with goat cheese this morning and it just grows on you subtely. Before you know it - its nearly gone - but I did freeze half of it. I cut your formula in half and got a small round. It didn't spring as much as I thought it would in the cast iron enameled pot I used but I think the pot was too big and I should have used a smaller one. It did rise well in the basket during final proof. I did let it go 1 and 3/4 hours instead of the 1 hour in Phils formula until it passed the poke test. This is a sophisticated, fined and elegant yet rustic kind of bread that is in a new class - the purple one.....a bread that people want to eat. Very nice indeed Phil.

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dabrownman

I take my standard Banana Nut Bread recipe and add, bourbon soaked dried fruits (cranberry, sultana,raisin, apricot) and chocolate chips.  The cupcake is topped with cream cheese icing, shaved chocolate and a half a strawberry in the shape of a heart.

Very romantic, sweet and delicious for the ones you love.

 

 

 

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dabrownman

I love the smell of this bread. This is what makes it so alluring and eventually delicious. Stunning toasted. I cut the recipe in half.  My Mandarin, Minneola, Apple Yeast Water (don't ask) was used to build the levain over 2 days with 12 hour feedings.  It was eventually ready at 250 g and I used a like weight of flours but added 5% WW and 5% spelt to the 5% rye and lowered the white flour a like amount.  I had a 5 hour bulk ferment with 3 S&F's at each of the first 3 hours and a 9 hour retard with a 4 hour final proof.  The bulk and final proofs could have each been 2 hours longer but I got impatient and the rise was not a high as it could have been.  This is a very fine bread with open crumb, chewy texture, aromatic and  delicious.  The varied citrus YWwent went well with the Minneola juice that was part of the liquid for the dough.  It was great to be able to find a bread where the YW was so perfectly matched to it.  Lucky indeed.  I will make this bread often - and be more patient....... since patience comes to those who wait ........a long long time.

My lentil soup used homemade chicken stock and the leftover caramelized onion and smoke pork jowl from isand66's bacon, cheese and onion bread I baked this morning. I also added some whole Thai chilies for heat. No chicken required because of the hog jowl.. The soup was so simple and delicious. A perfect foil for the beautiful yellow bread. A very fine combination. Thanks Shiao-Ping

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dabrownman

This bread is great! I didn't have any semolina left after my Semolina yeast water bread so I subbed 5% rye, 5% WW and 5% spelt.  for isands66's semolina. No wheat germ around either, but I left it out with no sub since I put in so much whole freshly ground grains. Instead of mashed potatoes that Ian used,  I put in potato flakes (just the flakes about 4 T worth - no added water). I used caramelized onions, aged white cheddar cheese and smoked pork jowl to replace the other like items in Ian's recipe. I like the smoked pork jowl because it has a real apple smoked flavor, almost no fat compared to streaky bacon and it is thicker too. I baked this to 210 F because I thought the add ins would moisten the crumb. I'm glad I did.

The crust on this small batard was exceptional with nice ears and crunchy - yet chewy later. The crumb is moist and slightly open but it is the taste that makes this an outstanding bread. Toasted with butter is just the best. Nice recipe Ian. It is a keeper.

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dabrownman

Mebake mentioned that I seemed to be a very busy baker of late and I knew that I had been caught with my dirty little secret.  I confess it isn't all me in my kitchen.  For the past 7 years, nearly 8 now, I have been fortunate enough to have a full time German Baker's Apprentice.  She is well trained and has an especially fine (if big) nose for what is good and has become my go to tester and taster for everything I make in the kitchen.  She is sort of short legged, so I have to get things down for her from the high cupboards, but that is small price to pay for the depth of skill and experience that she brings to my baking and cooking in general.

Yeah, I know!   Most posters don't have the luxury of being able to find such a well trained kitchen cohort much less be able to afford one from their ancestral homeland.  But, I think an apprentice is key to perfecting one's culinary skills.   You should consider getting one of your own, regardless of cost and resuting hassles and complications an apprentice brings to the kitchen.  Plus, you need to train the next generation in the culinary arts.  Teaching is pure generosity at its base and generosity is by far the hardest good character attribute one must have to be successful at anything, along with about 100 other ones that are slightly easier to have to hold dear. 

So don't be too hard on me for not exposing my little secret from the beginning .  I consider it a character flaw too, just like you should, but I'm the one that has to live with it and her. I hope to be forgiven by the good folks at TFL over time and wish each of you an apprentice of your own that is even better, and hopefully less sour dough and longer legged than mine.......Happy Baking ....... here's some picks of my little SD

 

Here she is after a hard day of baking - and full tummy.

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dabrownman

I took isand66's SD Avocado Bread, cut it half for one mishapen and poorly double Y chicken foot slashed loaf and then gussied it up even more than isand66 managed.  I didn't have enough bread flour so I subbed the missing with AP instead.  Since isand66 said the dough was very wet I cut 15 g from the amount in the recipe.  I also added 1 clove of minced garlic, 1/2 of a chopped fine green onion 1 tsp of finely chopped rosemary and 1 T of  finely chopped sun dried tomatoes packed in oil  - just like I do in  Focaccia Romana or Pizza Dough.  Also added about 20 g of sunflower seeds, holding  some back for the crust and also milled all the other grains from whole berries and used Pink Himalayan sea salt because ...eeerrr....pink is this year's cool bread color in case you didn't know and I do try to be cutting edge even if I can't take one and slash a loaf half decent for the life of me.  Since I got started late due to levain near death experience when it reached 1000 F for most of overnight and had to refresh it in the morning hoping for the best, I used PiPs easy half day bread technique for this bake instead of isand66's overnight retard.  No time!

Oddly, you would think that the avocado and yogurt would come through, at least tint the crumb a tiny bit green, but you can't taste or see them at all in the baked bread.  For some unexplained reason the bottom 1/2" of the crumb was closed but the rest was OK,  more open and fluffy.

The crust was crispy and crunchy when it came out of the oven due to leaving it in the oven for 10 minutes after turning the oven off and leaving the door open.  It softened and was chewy later.  The taste was very subtle, nicely savory.  The bread was baked on a stone and steamed the normal way with a Pyrex loaf pan half full of water and a 12" cast iron skillet heating up for 45 minutes at 500 F.  When the bread went in to bake a cup of hot water was tossed into the skillet.  The oven was down to 450 F for steaming 15 minutes.   Then the steaming apparatus was removed, the oven turned down again to 400 F,  the convection was turned on to bake until the center of the loaf was 208 F. 

A nice bread that I will make again.  I like breads with barley, WW and spelt taking up some room with the white but, I will skip the avocado next time.  I guess I will keep the yogurt to help wit the sour which was medium for this bread and pleasant.  It toasted nicely and was, of course, even better.  This is a good sandwich bread for sure.

Thanks to isand66 for the recipe and inspiration.   Check his blog for the other recipe details. 

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dabrownman

As a follow up to a previous post here is how I make non fat Greek yogurt.  You can make it with any kind of milk you want but I am into non fat where ever possible.  Make your  yogurt cozy for 12 hours at 110 F by placing 2 folded in half kitchen towels over a heating pad set to high which is covering a wooden cutting board.  Get a large bath towel folded in half to cover the kitchen towels. 

Take 1/3 cup of non fat dry milk powder and put it in a 2 quart sauce pan.  Add 1 quart of milk and stir until the powder dissolves.  Turn on high heat and stir constantly with a SS spoon until temperature hits 140 F then turn down heat to medium and cook to 185 F.  Then turn off heat.

Move pot to an ice water bath.  Stir until milk goes doen to 120 degrees.  Remove from ice water and dry the bottom of the pot.  Wait until temperature hits 115 then strir in 2-3 T of plain yogurt that has active cultures listed on the label.  Make sure the yogurt is well disolved.  The temperature will now be around 110 f.  From now on, for the next 12 hours,  you want to keep that temperature as much as possible.

Put the lid on the pot and move it to its warm cozy home for the next 12 hours.  lift off eh large bath towel, place temperature probe on teh top kitchen towel and place the pot on top of the probe.  Cover the pot with the doubled up bath towel and turn the temperature control of the heating pad down to medium.  Do not move the pot or jostle it for the next 12 hours.  Your heating pas may be better or worse so monitor the temp to make sure that it stays in the 105 to 115 F range.   I've had it 5 degrees lower and higher  with no problem. 

After 12 hours, transfer the yogurt to a colander that is lined with a couple of paper towels and set the colander back into the pot you made the yogurt in and  cover the colander with plastic wrap.  Let drain from 1 to 4 hours in teh refrigerator.  I have let it drain overnight too.  The longer, the thicker the yogurt will get.  See previous blog entry for picture of that.  Save the drippings to replace some of the water when you make SD bread to depen the flavor and sour.  Happy Yogurting & Baking!

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dabrownman

I liked these much better than the blackberry one's last week.  Yummy!

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dabrownman

Ran out of deserts, (a real no no) so quickly whipped up this whole wheat, apple galette.  It is based on the winning pie recipe at the very first pie contest I ever saw in Clearwater, Florida around 1990 something.  Dried fruits, (apricot, cranberry, raisins, sultanas) are soaked in bourbon until they are ....softly, puffed up drunk.  The fresh ginger always adds a subtle flavor that causes people to ask 'what makes this taste so differently delicious?' Used Jazz and Ambrosia apples this time.

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dabrownman

After having such good luck with Phil's no stress recipe for 40% Rye and Caraway, I was additionally inspired by hanseata's seeded loaf's.  So, I thought I would try to marry up the two and take on my requirement for more whole grain and less white flour.  I was hoping that by adding some spelt and farro home ground berries to the rye replacing some of the white and adding some anise and fennel to the caraway, this new concoction would be a decent bread.  Plus, another important test, I could try out for the first time my new 'double Y chicken foot' slash!!!!

I also got a new way to final prove these ill shaped breads with a new bamboo containment thing-a-majig that has some doohickey handles for the containment challenged like myself.  Don't laugh.  This thing, what ever it is,  cost a buck.  We can't sleep at night worrying about these contraptions and they are real issues for us !!!  The used, so much better than new,  parchment paper is the crowning achievement of getting the loaves out of the trash bag and into the oven without disfiguring oneself unnecessarily - by hot oven.

The loaves sprang nicely.  The crust was crisp, crunchy yet chewy.  The taste of the bread was more earthy and more to my liking as expected.  The crumb wasn't quite as open as before probably due to the extra 20% whole grains in place of the white - but still OK.  The slash produced a wide flatish gash where the loaf pooled through lazily.  No ears - so fancy pants still needs some work before the double chicken foot slash is a keeper.

The disappointment was that I replaced some of the caraway seeds with the anise and fennel and the resulting seed taste was too slight and muddied.  I was too chicken to go for a bold taste with these seeds.  Don't you be !!! It would be much better just adding the same grams of anise and fennel as the caraway.  I think it would be perfect that way - if it didn't kill you of course ;-) 

Here are some more pics...

I really like it that you can make these breads in half a day if you have some decent rye sour built all the time.  Next time, and there will be one if only the for the double Y chicken foot slashs' sake, More seeds will be boldly incorporated.  I think I am still making progress.

Thanks again Phil and hanseata.

 

 

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