The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Danni3ll3

 

 

CedarMountain posted this recently and it looked absolutely delicious so I pretty well followed his recipe aside from reducing the hydration and adding a tiny bit more levain just to use it all up. He makes a batard and a boule but I made 3 boules out of the one batch of dough. 

Dough

80 g sifted rye (90 g of rye berries)

170 g sifted Selkirk wheat (190 g wheat berries)

750 g unbleached flour

700 g water

20 g salt

250 g levain (100% hydration)

whole wheat and bread flour to feed the levain (procedure explained below)

Add-ins #1

50 g ground sesame seeds

100 g hemp hearts

150 g boiling water

Add-ins #2

50 g chia seeds

50 g flax seeds

50 g toasted hemp seeds

250 g boiling water

 

A couple of days before

  1. Mill rye and wheat berries. Sift out the bran and reserve the bran to feed the starter. Measure out the necessary flours and reserve. 
  2. At the same time, I measured out all my seeds and reserved those as well in separate containers.
  3. Remove 10 g of starter from the fridge and feed it 20 g of the bran and any left over flour from the rye and Selkirk wheat. Add whole wheat flour if needed to make up the 20 g. Add 20 g water and mix well. Continue to stir this every 12 hours and keep at room temp (73F).

 

The night before going to bed

  1. Feed the levain 100 g of bread flour and 100 g of filtered water. Let sit at room temp overnight.

 

Dough making day

  1. The levain should have doubled and since I wasn’t ready for it, I simply stirred it down and let it rise again.
  2. Grind the sesame seeds and the hemp hearts. I did this in a bullet and had to do it in small batches as the seeds clumped. CedarMountain suggested adding a bit of the water to help get a finer grind. Add the boiling water. Mine ended up looking like soup but it did thicken a bit over time.
  3. Add the boiling water to the second set of seeds and let sit for at least a couple of hours. After an hour or so, I combined both sets of seeds because I was so concerned about the soupy first mixture. That helped a lot and produced a fairly thick mixture. 
  4. Autolyse the flour and the water and let sit for an hour. After the hour, add the salt and the levain. Let sit in a warm spot (82F) for a half hour and do a set of folds. 
  5. Let sit another half hour and add the seed mixture to the dough. This was not fun! The best way I found to do this was to spread the dough out on a wet counter, spread the seed mixture on the dough, roll it up like a jelly roll in one direction, then rolll it up like a giant snail in the other direction, do a few more of these, squish all the dough together to force the seeds into the dough and finally, I resorted to doing French slaps and folds. This was a bit of a mess with seeds flying through the air and sticking to everything within flying distance. Thank goodness, hubby was in house cleaning mode and he kindly waited till I was done for the day and he took care of the floors (I cleaned up the counters. I am not that cruel after all.) Now I remember why I usually mix in the add-ins at the autolyse stage rather than waiting till the second fold. With one batch, you just get through it but when making 4 batches, you get to resent the dough a bit when you get to the fourth batch of dough. I will have to try making this again putting in the add-ins at the beginning and see if it makes a difference in the results.
  6. Do another 2 sets of folds a half hour apart and let rise 80-90%. I didn’t know this when I was making the dough but CedarMountain let his rise 30%. I checked out my dough at 30 and 50% rise but felt that my dough was not ready so I let it go till just under doubled.
  7. Flour a counter heavily as this is one wet dough! Flour the top of the dough and scrape it out on the counter. Divide into 3 equal portions (or 2 one boule and one batard as per CedarMountain) and preshape into boules. Now this was a lot of “fun”. The dough was sticky, sticky, sticky and slack. I must have done 2 or 3 reshapes before I got the dough in some semblance of a boule. Picking up the dough in the middle and letting it fold itself in half really helped give it some structure. I did that probably a couple of times before doing the preshape. I kept thinking of Trevor who says to keep your fingers moving and use a light touch. Well, this woman still ended up with major dough fingers!
  8. Let rest 10-15 minutes (Cedar let his rest 30 minutes) and do a final shape. This was a quick, flip over, make into a boule and flip back. Then I lightly floured the top of the boule and twisted it round and round (like a top) until I got a decently taut skin (Pulling it towards me on the counter would just have added to the layers of dough on my hands). Then I quickly dropped them seam side down into rice/ap floured bannetons and covered them with bowl covers.
  9. They went into a very cold fridge for overnight proofing. 
  10. The next morning, I baked them as per my usual: Preheat pots and oven to 475F, place parchment rounds in the bottom of the pots, flip the boules seam side up on a cornmeal sprinkled counter, quickly place the boules seam side up in the pots, cover, bake for 25 minutes at 450F, remove lids and bake for further 25 minutes at 425F. The dough stiffened up nicely during the cold proofing so it wasn’t too floppy when I was placing it into the dutch ovens.

I got awesome oven rise out of these and they smell heavenly! This is a great recipe! Thanks for posting it, CedarMountain!

 

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Danni3ll3

 

Time for Easter so that means a fruit bread is “de rigueur”. I tweaked and adapted a version that I made for Canadian Thanksgiving back in October.

Makes 3 loaves

Levain

148 g bread flour (I used a combo of spelt bran and sifted flour as well as bread flour)

118 g water

30 g starter

Porridge

125 g large flake oats

25 g oat bran (combo of oat bran and spelt bran)

345 g water

75 g plain yogurt

Main dough

633 g unbleached flour

17 g vital wheat gluten

302 g freshly milled and sifted spelt flour from 347 g Spelt berries

50 g freshly ground flax seeds

75 g dried cranberries

75 g candied mixed peel

75 g toasted sunflower seeds

50 g honey

300 g apple yeast water

250 g water

22 g sea salt

266 g levain

A couple of days before:

  1. Mill 347 g of Spelt berries and sift to obtain ~302 g of sifted flour and ~45 g of bran. Use 302 g of the sifted flour for the main dough and reserve the bran and the remaining few grams of sifted flour to revive or feed the starter. 
  2. Revive or feed your levain every 12 hours or so for a day or two to have it very active. Use the bran from milling the Spelt to feed it.

The night before:

Porridge

  1. Toast 125 g of large flake oats. When toasted, add 25 g of oat bran to the oats. I ran out of oat bran so I added some Spelt bran to top up to the right amount. Mix together 345 g of water and 75 g of organic plain yogurt. Pour 3/4 of the water/yogurt mixture into the oats and cook on medium heat until water is absorbed. Add the remainder of the water/yogurt mixture and cook on low heat for a few minutes. Cover and cool overnight. (This can be done in the morning of but I prefer doing the night before and leaving it to cool overnight to room temp.)

Levain

  1. Mix 30 g of starter with the 148 bread flour (I used up the remainder of the bran and the sifted spelt flour and topped up with bread flour. Ratio ended up being about 1/3 bran/sifted flour to 2/3 bread flour.) and 118 g of water. Let rise overnight.

Final Mix and Bake:

  1. In a large bowl, place 633 g of unbleached flour, 17 g vital wheat gluten, 302 g of freshly milled spelt flour, and 50 g of freshly ground flax seed, and stir well to distribute the vital wheat gluten. Add the 75 g of dried cranberries, 75 g of mixed peel, 75 g sunflower seeds (toasted in a dry frying pan), mix again and then add all of the oat porridge, 50 g of honey, 300 g of apple yeast water  and 250 g of filtered water. Mix well and let the mixture sit for a couple of hours.
  2. Add 22 g of sea salt and 266 g of 80% levain. Mix in well using folding and pinching until you see some gluten development which takes about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Let rest 30 minutes and do a set of folds. Repeat two more times 45 minutes apart and then let sit in a warm place until risen 50-60%. There should be irregular sized bubbles visible through the walls of your container (hopefully it is transparent or translucent, otherwise, this may be a feat for Superman. ;-) ) and the dough should feel very aerated or billowy. This took about 5 hours. It probably took that long because the ayw was right out of the fridge. 
  4. Divide into 3 equal portions of about 890 grams and do a loose pre-shape. Let rest 15-20 minutes and then shape fairly tightly into a boule. Place boules seam side down in rice/unbleached floured bannetons and cover with a plastic shower cap or bowl cover. Place into fridge overnight.
  5. In the morning, heat oven and Dutch ovens to 475 F for at least 45 minutes. Place parchment rounds in the bottom of the pots and put the loaves directly out of the fridge into the pots. You may choose to score them but this is not necessary since they are being baked seam side up. Bake at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove lids, drop temperature to 425 F and bake a further 25 minutes.

 

And since we are having Easter dinner with family, I said I would be bringing dessert: Carrot cake and sticky buns. The carrot cake still needs to be iced but it’s a good start. 

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Danni3ll3

I loved the taste of this bread so decided to make it the way it was originally written by Hamelman as much as possible (except for the addition of yogurt) since I am doing this by hand and he used a mixer. I also used some vital wheat gluten to replace his high gluten flour which I am guessing is around 15% protein. To do this, I found the niftiest online calculator. 

http://flourmath.bradfordrobertson.com

Hamelman calls for wholewheat flour and I used sifted freshly milled Red Fife flour. The bran was used in feeding my starter to get it up to speed before making the final levain.

Makes 3 loaves

Liquid Levain build 

272 g Bread flour 

343 g Water 

55 g Starter (liquid)  

Soaker

100 g Rye berries

100 g Flaxseeds 

85 g Sunflower seeds 

85 g Oat groats

484 g Water, boiling 

6 g Salt 

Dough

533 g Unbleached flour 

15 g Vital Wheat Gluten

274 g Sifted freshly milled Red Fife flour  

303 g Water 

30 g yogurt 

21 g Salt 

All of the Soaker 

650 g Levain 

A couple of days before

  1. Soaker prep: Crack the rye berries and the oat groats by putting through a very coarse setting on the Komo mill. I turned the dot right to the back to get the texture I wanted. Reserve. Grind the flax seeds coarsely in a Bullet or spice grinder. Add to the rye and the oats. Toasts the sunflower seeds and add to the rye, oats and flax. Add the 6 g of salt. Cover and reserve.
  2. Main dough and levain prep: Mill 320 g of Red Fife berries and sift to obtain ~278 g of sifted flour and ~36 g of bran. Use 274 g of the sifted flour for the main dough and reserve the bran and the remaining few grams of sifted flour to revive or feed the starter prior to making the final levain. 
  3. Main dough prep: To the 274 g of sifted flour, add the unbleached flour, the vital wheat gluten, and the salt. Cover and reserve.

The night before making the dough

  1. Levain: Twelve to sixteen hours before the the final mixing of the dough, put all of the ingredients together for the levain and keep covered at room temperature (73 F).
  2. Soaker: Add the boiling water to the soaker ingredients and cover. Leave to cool overnight at room temperature.

Final mix and bake

  1. Put the water and the yogurt for the dough in a bowl and add the soaker. Mix well to loosen the mass. Measure 650 g of the levain, add to water and soaker, and mix again. Add this mixture to the reserved flour mix. Mix well to integrate all ingredients and do several series of folds to begin developing the gluten.
  2. Place the dough in a warm spot (oven with the lights on and the door cracked open) and do 2 sets of folds a half hour apart. Do another set 45 minutes later. Let rise 50%. My dough rose more like 60-70% by the time I got to it. This took 3 hours at about 82 F. 
  3. Divide the dough into 3 loaves of ~900 g and pre-shape gently on a lightly floured counter. Let rest 15-30 minutes. Do a final shape by cinching and pulling the dough to make a fairly tight boule, but without deflating the dough. Place seam side down in rice/ap floured bannetons and cover. Put to bed in the fridge for the night.
  4. The next morning, pre-heat the oven and the Dutch ovens to 475F. Place parchment rounds in the bottom of the pots and place the dough in seam side up. Score if desired. Cover and bake for 25 minutes at 450F. Remove lids and bake for another 25 minutes at 425F or until the inside temperature is 205 F or or more.

They came out of the oven looking very nice!

 

 

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Danni3ll3

Leslie made some fantastic loaves with this recipe and since it was something that I had seen a number of people try and produce amazing loaves, I decided to give it a shot. Of course, I had to go and change the way the dough was put together. 🙄

 

I went ahead and used Trevor’s premix method but when it came to mix the soaker with the water and flour for the main dough, I realized that this was not going to work because a lot of the hydration came from the levain, and with the pre-mix method, the levain doesn’t go in till the next morning. So at first, I thought, no biggie, I will just steal some water from the levain and it will be all good. Well, uh! No! If I stole enough water from the levain to be able to mix the soaker with the flour, I was left with only 46 g of water to hydrate the 225 g of flour. So that wasn’t going to work. 

I was going to need to add a lot more water to the whole recipe. So I went with 70% hydration for the dough flour (the soaker had sucked up all of the water and didn’t look like it was about to give any back, it was that firm) and 80% hydration for the levain which came out to 13% more hydration than what Leslie posted in her recipe without the extra bits she added while making her dough. I crossed my fingers and hoped I didn’t end up with soup when I mix the levain in with the main dough in the morning. 

I also did one more change and that was to use the wholewheat flour in the levain instead of the a/p flour it called for. I wanted the bran to be softened by the acid in the levain. So the pre-mixed dough was all a/p flour. Our Canadian flour is ~13% protein (if you can believe the company’s claims) so I didn’t use any vital wheat gluten or high gluten flour.

And the last thing to note is that I scaled this for 3 boules of about 750 g.

Here is what I did:

Soaker:

80 g rye chops

80 g flax seed

70 g sunflower seeds

70 g oat groats

7 g sea salt

367 g boiling water

Main dough:

665 g unbleached flour

16 salt

465 g water

Levain:

46 g starter

180 g water

225 g Selkirk wheat

  1. Soaker: Mill the rye chops and the oat groats very coarsely. It ended up looking a bit like coarse salt. Coarsely grind the flax seeds. I did this in a magic bullet as the Komo mill people don’t recommend using oily seeds in their mill. Combine the above with the sunflower seeds and toast the entire mixture in a dry frying pan. Add the salt and the boiling water. Cover and set aside for a few hours.
  2. Premix: Measure out the water for the main dough, throw in the soaker and loosen it so there are no lumps. Add the salt for the main dough and then the flour. Mix well and put in the fridge for a few hours. Before going to bed, take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit overnight on the counter at room temperature.
  3. Levain: Mill the Selkirk wheat and sift out the bran. Remill the bran to make finer particles. Reserve. Before bed, dissolve the starter in the water for the levain, add the bran, stir well, then add the flour and mix. It will be a thick mix as this is 80% hydration levain using whole grain flour. Leave to rise in a warm place overnight.
  4. In the morning, add all of the levain. Mix well using folding and rolling until the levain is well distributed in the dough. Dough felt pretty sticky and loose, but the Levain mixed in easily. 
  5. Place in a warm place and do 3 sets of stretches and folds one hour apart. The dough came together nicely with the folds even though I could feel that the hydration was a lot more than what I usually work with. I had a gap of a couple of hours between the second and third fold because I had a lunch date with friends. I probably would have done hourly folds otherwise. I let it rise to 40-50%.
  6. Divide the dough and pre-shape gently by rounding the dough on a lightly floured counter. Let rest one hour, covered. Do a final shape by cinching and pulling the dough to make a fairly tight boule, but without deflating the dough. The dough felt quite soft but did support its own weight as a boule. Place seam side down in rice/ap floured bannetons and cover. Let proof on the counter for an hour and a half, and then put to bed for the night.
  7. The next morning, pre-heat the oven and the Dutch ovens to 475F. Place parchment rounds in the bottom of the pots and place the dough in seam side up. Score if desired. Cover and bake for 25 minutes at 450F. Remove lids and bake for a further 22 minutes at 425F.

 

Well the results were very little oven spring. I wonder if I should have added that vwg after all. I also wonder if the gluten in the Levain  degraded during the overnight rise. It did feel sort of very loose when I used it. Hopefully, the taste makes up for the appearance. I need to make this again but following Leslie’s procedure this time. 

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Danni3ll3

 

Making sprouted flour is something that I have been curious about so I slightly adapted one of Dab’s recipes from last summer. And since I used Trevor’s pre-mix method earlier this week and had good success with it, I decided at the last minute to use the same method for this bread. 

That wasn’t my original plan since I was going to use part yeast water, dump everything together except for the salt and the levain, let sit while the levain did its thing and then mix in the last two ingredients. I had to give up the yeast water since I wasn’t sure what would happen having it sit overnight and then adding the levain and the add-ins. The yeast water will have to wait for another time. 

Makes 3 loaves

29 g each of Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Red Fife and Selkirk wheat berries (to be sprouted and milled into flour)

26 g each of Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Red Fife and Selkirk wheat berries (to be sprouted and used whole)

957 g unbleached flour

50 g freshly ground flax seeds

100 g dried cranberries

100 g shelled pistachios

30 g yogurt

735 g filtered water

22 g salt

305 g of 100% hydration levain (method is included in recipe)

  1. A few days before making the dough, weigh out 29 g each of Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Red Fife and Selkirk wheat berries for a total of 145 g. Soak them for 4 hours and then drain. Rinse and drain every 8 or so hours until the berries show three little white rootlets buds. This took 30 hours. Spread a thin layer of sprouts evenly in a dehydrator lined with window screen (so the berries don’t fall through while drying) and dry for 3 hours. Weigh the dehydrated berries to ensure that you have roughly 145 g which let you know that they are dry enough to be milled. Mill the berries and reserve for the levain. 
  2. Use the same method to sprout 26 g each of the same grains (Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Red Fife and Selkirk wheat berries). I sprouted these a little bit longer but I try not to have the rootlet grow longer than the berry itself. Refrigerate until dough making day. Bring to room temperature before using in the dough.
  3. A day or two before making dough, revive your starter so that it is active. I did several feedings 10 - 12 hours apart.
  4. Early in the evening before, mix the water with the flour, ground flax and the salt into a shaggy dough. Put into the fridge for a few hours.
  5. Toast the pistachios in a dry frying pan and reserve along with the dried cranberries. The pistachios toasted really quickly so they really to be watched closely. 
  6. Before going to bed, take the dough out of the fridge and let warm up to room temperature overnight on the counter. 
  7. Also before going to bed, feed 25 g of your starter with 140 g filtered water and all of the sprouted 5 grain flour. It doubled overnight and was ready in the morning (8 hours).
  8. First thing in the morning, mix the levain and yogurt with the dough. With the first batch of dough, I did a few minutes of slaps and folds to mix in the levain and then the add-ins but I felt like I was tearing the dough, so the next 3 were all done inside the bucket using folding and rolling. I let the dough rest a few times to let it relax and allow me to continue without ripping it. Once the levain is well mixed in, add the pistachios, cranberries and sprouts, and continue the folds to get everything integrated. Let rest for an hour. 
  9. Then do 2-3 sets of stretches and folds an hour apart. Place the dough in a warm spot and let it rise about 50% or maybe a tad more. 
  10. To release the dough from the bucket, I wet my hand and ran it all the way around and under the dough, rewetting as necessary. Then I made sure one side of the bucket was wet and slid the dough out on that side. The whole thing stayed intact without deflating. 
  11. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the mass and divide into 3 boules of about 840 g. Pre-shape gently into rounds without deflating the dough. Let rest 1 hour and then shape using the cinching method. Tighten and round out the boules by pulling the dough on the counter.
  12. Place seam side down into rice/ap floured bannetons, cover, proof on the counter for another hour, and put to bed for the night in the fridge.
  13. The next morning, about 15 hours later, heat up the oven and the Dutch ovens to 475 F for 45 minutes to an hour. Place parchment rounds in the bottom of the hot pots, score and place the dough inside and cover. Scoring isn’t usually my thing but I found my lame and scored the loaves even though they were seam side up. 
  14. Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes. Uncover and then bake for a further 20 minutes. I usually bake at 450F for the first part but thought I would try a lower temp to bake a bit less dark as often the loaves with fruit in them end up with an almost burnt bottom. It worked like a charm!
  15. Cool and enjoy!

 

I got pretty decent oven spring considering all the add-ins in these loaves. They sure smell heavenly! Crumb shot when we cut one open. 

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Danni3ll3

I loved Trailrunner’s “Look ma, almost no hands…” bread method and decided to give it a shot. This bread is almost the same recipe, but scaled to making three loaves and with the addition of some flax.  The ingredient list is similar to Trevor’s European Peasant loaf so I decided to have some fun with names and call this a Canadian Settler loaf because of the inclusion of maple syrup in it. Carolyn, I hope that you don’t mind me renaming your bread!

 

So to start off, I began by following Carolyn’s method but I just couldn’t resist throwing in a few folds during the bulk fermentation and I ended up doing my usual pre-shape, rest and final shape. I also took her advice and did the proof in the fridge rather than the bulk fermentation. I did have to add more water than her original recipe because of my very thirsty flour and I couldn’t get things mixed using just a spatula. I ended up diving in using my hand to be able to first get the flour wet enough for the autolyse and then later, to mix in the salt and the levain. 

 

I really think that my Canadian flour absorbs a lot more water than others around the world as my dough never seems to be as wet as what I see in pictures here, especially at the autolyse stage. It takes a lot of squishing and working to get all of the flour wet and I often have to add 50 or so grams of water to be able to get that shaggy dough.

 

And I almost forgot, this is my first foray back into yeast water since baking a few bricks a couple of years ago. I made two yeast waters, one with raisins and one with apples. The raisin yeast water seemed to activate more quickly than the apple but I am unsure of what it is supposed to look like when you use it. Is it carbonated like pop or soda? All the raisins were floating and there were some bubbles but the liquid itself did not look carbonated at all when I used it. The apples floated the whole time so hard to tell when that one was ready. I figured that it was good enough after a week in a warm spot. I didn’t have time to do a test with flour and figured that with almost 18% prefermented flour, it wouldn’t be a disaster if the YW wasn’t ready. Both smelled amazing though with that piece of orange peel in it. One wouldn’t think that using a bit of orange peel would make such a difference but it does.

 

So here is what I did:

 

210 g spelt berries

113 g kamut berries

63 g rye berries

825 g unbleached flour

50 g freshly ground flax (got this idea from one of Mutantspace’s recipes)

25 g maple syrup

30 g plain yogurt

425 g yeast water (I did about half raisin and half apple)

200 g filtered water

22 g salt

430 g 2 stage 100 % hydration levain (method follows below)

  1. Mill the spelt, gamut and rye berries separately. Sift the bran out and reserve the bran and all of the spelt for the levain. Place the sifted kamut and rye flour in the dough bucket or bowl. As an aside, I received the Komo sifter as a belated Valentine’s Day gift and had a blast using it to sift out the bran. I used the middle screen but next time, I will use the finer screen. It sure beats sifting by hand.
  2. Prepare a two stage levain (à la Dabrownman) by using 23 g of active starter, 210 g of filtered water and 210 g of bran/sifted spelt flour making sure that all the bran makes it into the first build. I left this overnight. The next day, feed again 210 g of filtered water and 210 of spelt flour. This doubled in less than 3 hours.
  3. Right after the second feed, place the remaining ingredients except for the salt and the levain in the dough bucket. Mix well to a shaggy dough and let rest while the levain is rising. I placed both in a warm spots, the dough in the oven with the light on and the levain in the microwave where I had heated a cup of water. Carolyn said that her dough got puffy while autolysing but I didn’t really see any activity with mine.
  4. Once the levain has doubled and is starting to recede, mix in the salt and the levain. This is where I tried doing this with the spatula but it wasn’t mixing in well so I just dove in with my hand and mixed it as per usual. 
  5. I put the dough back into its warm spot and gave it two sets of folds each an hour apart. Then I let the dough rise only 25 to 30% which took about 3 and half hours. I didn’t let it go to 50% or double because I was trying to repeat my success with oven spring when I made my version of Trevor’s European Peasant loaf. 
  6. Just before turning out the loaf, I gave it one final set of very gentle folds and turned the dough out on a lightly floured counter. I am definitely using a lot less flour than in the past. Divide into 3 loaves or 2 larger loaves. I preshaped the dough very gently into a boule by bringing the edges to the middle, turning it over and then gently shaping into a round with the dough scraper. I let rest about 15 minutes and then did a final shape by cinching the dough “à la Trevor” and tightened the boules’ skin by pulling on a dry counter surface.
  7. The boules went seam side down into floured bannetons and were covered with plastic bowl covers. Then into the fridge for the night. 
  8. The next morning, they were baked as per usual (thanks to LazyLoafer for her method): Oven and pots heated to 475 F, parchment rounds in the bottom of the pots, and boules baked covered and seam side up at 450 F for 25 minutes and then uncovered and baked for a further 22 minutes at 425 F. 

 

I was very pleased to see great oven spring! I think I might have been over fermenting my dough since I seem to be getting much better oven spring when I let it go only 25 to 30%. We will see what the crumb looks like when I cut them open.

 

This write up is already long enough but unfortunately, I am not done, in case you made it down this far. Ha ha! Only four loaves out of the 8 that I have for sale were spoken for and I do have a friend that only buys bread if it has fruit in it, so since it was her birthday on Friday, I decided to make one batch with fruit. In addition to the above recipe, at the autolyse stage, I threw in 25 g poppy seeds, 25 g hemp hearts, 75 g chopped medjool dates and 75 g cranberries as well as an additional 50 g of water since the add-ins absorbed a fair bit of the hydration. Otherwise, the recipe and method is the same as above. Here it is fresh out of the oven.

 

I tried to give credit for techniques and ideas so that we can see how much we influence each other in our baking. There are many others such as Minioven, CedarMountain, Ian, Bread1965, Rue, Icedemeter, and Leslie just to name a few that I haven’t mentioned in this post but have definitely impacted my thinking and practice. Pretty amazing really! 

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Danni3ll3

 

This is my attempt at the loaf that Bread1965 was trying to recreate quite a while ago. I was able to get my hands on the real version of this bread and it is delicious! In this recipe, I tried to be faithful to the order of the ingredients listed on the package. The last 4 ingredients always puzzled me because they were after the salt until I clued in one day that they are used for the topping and are not in the bread. That would explain the tiny amounts.

 

Recipe:

 

100 g of rye berries

968 g of unbleached flour + 37 g

75 g golden raisins

75 g dark raisins

50 g canola oil

25 g ground brown flax seeds

25 g toasted brown flax seeds

50 g toasted golden flax seeds

50 g honey

25 g dried apples

25 g raisin juice concentrate (recipe follows)

650 g water + 20 g

22 g pink Himalayan salt

250 g levain (80% hydration)(Instructions included below)

 

Topping

10 g rolled oats

10 g sunflower seeds

10 g brown flax seeds

10 g poppy seeds

  1. A couple of night before making the dough, mill the rye berries and sift out the bran. Mill the bran again on a finer setting. Reserve all of the bran and the sifted rye flour for the levain. Add the 37 g AP flour to the sifted rye flour. 
  2. Make the raisin juice concentrate (recipe below) and reserve. 
  3. The morning before making the dough, start building the levain as follows: Build #1: 10 g starter, 18 g water, 18 g bran. Let rest 7 hours. Build #2: 36 g each of water and rye/AP flour. Let rest 7 hours. Build #3: 60 g of water and 83 g sifted/AP flour. Let rest overnight. I used it after 12 hours. 
  4. The next day, mix the unbleached flour, all of the raisins, the ground flax seeds, the brown and golden flax seeds, the honey, the dried apples, and the raisin juice concentrate and the water. Mix well until all of the flour is hydrated. Let autolyse for an hour or so in a warm spot. 
  5. Add the salt, the oil and 250 g of levain to the dough. Mix well using the folding and pinching method. Add the 20 extra grams of water and continue folding until the dough feels cohesive. Let rest 15 minutes and then do more folds to make sure that the levain is evenly distributed. Rest 15 minutes and repeat as this is a fairly stiff dough. Place in a warm spot and do 2 sets of folds 1 hour apart. Let rise until double. This took forever (7 or so hours).
  6. Divide into 3 round loaves (~765 g each) or two larger batards and do a loose pre-shape. I pulled all the outside edges to the middle and rolled the boule over on top of the seam. Let rest for 15 minutes. While the dough is resting, lightly sprinkle rice/AP flour in the bannetons and then sprinkle the topping mixture on top of the flour. Do a final shape by cinching the dough and shaping tightly into a boule or a batard.  Place seam side down in the bannetons and cover. Retard overnight in the fridge (10-12 hours).
  7. The next morning, heat the oven to 475 F with the Dutch ovens inside for at least 45 minutes. Place parchment rounds on the bottom of the pots, score the loaves and gently drop the boules inside seam side up. I usually don’t score loaves especially since I bake them seam side up but these looked like they were going to need some help. Cover and drop the temperature to 450 F, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove lids, and bake for another 20 minutes at 400 F or until the insides measure 205 F. 
  8. Cool for at least a couple of hours before cutting and enjoying!

 

Raisin Juice 

 

2 cups (260 g) raisins

4 cups boiling water

 

  1. Coarsely chop the raisins and place in a large glass bowl. Pour the boiling water over the raisins and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow the raisin sugars to seep into the water for at least 3 hours.
  2. Strain the raisin water through a fine mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it boil gently until the mixture has thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup.

 

The loaves really did not rise very much in the fridge and the oven spring was adequate, but not impressive. I am sure that a lot of this was due to the stiff dough. Next time, I will definitely increase the hydration as the raisins and flax absorbed a lot of the liquids. 

 

And just for Bread1965 who insisted I stay true to the original in shape and otherwise, I did make one batard by cutting one batch in half and I followed Trail Runner’s method of baking in a granite wear roaster. I also added a bit of water under the parchment paper. This whole method worked very well. 

 

Overall, the loaves have a nice colour to them and feel lighter than I expected considering how much stuff is in them. I am very curious to see the crumb. I suspect it might be fairly closed but then, that is what the original is like. Hopefully, it tastes as good as the original. 

And this is what we woke up to this morning!

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Danni3ll3

 

I felt it was time to revisit some of the recipes that I have made in the past and Ru’s Polenta Sourdough was one that I really liked and wanted to play around with a bit. So this is my second version of her recipe.

 

Recipe:

 

330 g of Selkirk wheat berries (this is a 1950s hard red spring wheat variety)

110 g of cornmeal

300 g of boiling water 

770 g of unbleached flour

50 g ground flax

100 g raw sunflower seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan

100 g raw pumpkin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan

575 g water

22 g pink Himalayan salt

35 g kefir

360 g levain (100% hydration)(Instructions included below)

 

  1. A couple of night before making the dough, mill the Selkirk wheat berries and sift out the bran. Mill the bran again on a finer setting. Reserve all of the bran for the levain. Remove 143 g of the sifted flour for the main dough and reserve the rest of it for the levain.
  2. The morning before making the dough, start building the levain as follows: Build #1: 16 g starter, 31 g water, 31 g bran Let rest 8-10 hours. You won’t see any activity, so don’t worry. Just leave it alone. Build #2: 62 g each of water and sifted flour. Let rest overnight.  Build #3: 94 g each of water and sifted flour. Place in a warm spot. It is ready to use once it doubles. Mine doubled in a couple of hours but I used it after about 4 hours.
  3. The night before, soak the 110 g of cornmeal in 300 g of boiling water. Let rest covered overnight.
  4. A couple of hour before the levain is ready, mix the the 143 g of sifted Selkirk flour with 770 g of unbleached flour, 50 g ground flax seeds, 100 g each of toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
  5. Pour 575 g of water into the the soaking polenta and loosen the whole mess with a whisk. This will take some time. There may be a few little lumps left but keep at it until it is all loosened. If you don’t, you will find huge lumps of cornmeal in your dough. Don’t ask me how I know that!
  6. Pour the cornmeal/water mixture into the flour/seed blend and mix well until all of the flour is hydrated. Let autolyse for a couple of hours until the levain is ready.
  7. Add 22 g salt, 35 g kefir and 360 g of levain to the dough. Mix very well and then do 100 stretches and folds in the bowl/bucket. This really is more like kneading in the bowl rather than true stretches and folds but it helps develop the gluten and it distributes the levain and the salt.
  8. Place in a warm spot and give two sets of folds one hour apart. Let rise until 50-60% risen and you can see bubbles at the edge of the bucket. The dough should feel solid but full of air.
  9. Divide into 3 loaves and do a very loose pre-shape. Do not degas the dough. Let rest for 30 minutes. Do a final shape by cinching the dough. Once again, do not degas the dough. Place seam side down in rice/AP floured bannetons and cover. Let rise on counter at room temperature for 45 minutes and then put to bed for the night in the fridge.
  10. The next morning, heat the oven to 475 F with the Dutch ovens inside for at least 45 minutes. Place parchment rounds on the bottom of the pots and gently drop the boules inside seam side up. Cover and drop the temperature to 450 F, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove lids, and bake for another 20 minutes at 400 F or until the insides measure 205 F. 
  11. Cool for at least a couple of hours before cutting and enjoying!

The oven spring wasn’t what I would wish for. I am guessing that it was slightly over proofed. The photo is deceiving. The loaf doesn't look like that in real life.

 

Next time, I think I would reduce the rest time to 15 minutes and then skip the room temperature proof and put directly into the fridge. I also retarded it for longer than usual (about 13-14 hours) and the amount of prefermented flour was more than usual as well. So live and learn. I know it will taste good. Crumb shot to come later.

 

This is a more accurate photo of the oven spring.

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Danni3ll3

 

This is a repeat of the Spiced Raisin Sourdough that I did a few weeks ago with a few changes, of course. ;-) I switched out half of the golden raisins for cranberries and I changed up the method quite a bit. It was a pain in the neck and made for a very long day (I started at 7:30 am and finished at 8 pm) but I think the results are worth it!

 

Recipe:

 

112 g red fife wheat berries

1000 g unbleached flour (split into 880 g and 120 g portions)

50 g freshly ground flax

179 g cranberries

179 g golden raisins

670 g water (split into 620 g + 50 g portions) plus another 10-15 g or so.

35 g kefir

2 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp mixed spice (4 tsp cinnamon, .5 tsp ginger, .5 tsp cloves, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp coriander)

22 g salt

465 g levain (building this is included in the instructions below)

 

 

  1. A couple of night before making the dough, mill the red fife berries and sift out the bran. Mill the bran again on a finer setting. Reserve both the bran and the sifted red fife flour for the levain. Since I need a total of 234 g for the levain, measure out 120 g from the 1000 g of unbleached flour and reserve that.
  2. The morning before making the dough, start building the levain as follows: Build #1: 17 starter, 33 g water, 33 g bran/sifted flour. Let rest 8-10 hours. There was not a lot of real rise or activity. Build #2: 66 g each of water and sifted flour. Let rest 8-10 hours. It rose about 75%.  Build #3: 134 g each of water and sifted/unbleached flour. It was ready after 4 and half hours. This almost doubled but the activity was very evident. It was bubbling so much it looked like slow motion boiling water. You should have 465 g levain
  3. The night before making the dough, soak the cranberries and the golden raisins in 620 g cool water. Make the mixed spice by combining the ingredients in the brackets. Set aside. Remember you will not be using all of this, just 3 teaspoons as stated. 
  4. A couple of hours before the levain is ready, place the 880 g of flour and the 50 g ground flax in a bucket or bowl. Pour the mixed fruit with the water into the mix and mix as well as you can. Add the 50 g of water and work into the dough until all the flour has been hydrated. This was a pain in the neck when you are making 4 batches. Keep at it though and it will hydrate. Let rest covered until the levain is ready.
  5. Mix in 465 g levain and incorporate well. Another pain in the neck trying to integrate liquid levain into a stiff dough. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
  6. Mix the cinnamon, mixed spice, salt into the kefir and set aside.
  7. After the dough has rested, spread water onto a counter and scrape the dough out of the bucket onto the counter. Spread it out into a large rectangle and spread out the kefir/spice/salt mixture onto the dough. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll and then roll it up the other way. Do a 150 French slaps and folds on the counter to distribute the salt and the spices. My hubby just loves hearing me slapping dough on the counter about a half hour with those four batches. He asked me on the fourth batch if I was done beating the dough! 
  8. Place back in the bowl or bucket, cover and place in a warm spot to rise. Do 3 sets of stretches and folds one hour apart. I wet my hand for each fold to add a little more hydration as I felt the dough was pretty stiff. Adjust how much water you use, if any, according to what you are comfortable with. Then let rise until the dough has risen 50-60%.
  9. Scrape dough out gently onto a lightly floured counter and divide into portions of ~830 g. Gently fold the portion in half and round out the dough with a scraper and your hands. Let rest covered with a tea towel for an hour.
  10. Do a final shape by gently cinching the dough à la Trevor (gently pull one side and fold to the middle, pull the other side and fold over the first side, roll the top towards you and gently pinch into place and continue rolling until the seam is underneath). Do not deflate the dough at all. 
  11. Place seam side down into floured bannetons, cover and put to bed in the fridge for the night (~12 hours).
  12. The next morning, heat the oven to 450 F with the Dutch ovens inside for at least 45 minutes. Place parchment rounds on the bottom of the pots and gently drop the boules inside seam side up. Cover and drop the temperature to 425 F, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove lids, admire the huge ears on the loaves and then bake for another 20 minutes at 400 F or until the insides measure 205 F. This is a change from my usual temperatures since the bottoms of my first batch were borderline burnt when using those.
  13. Cool for at least a couple of hours before cutting and enjoying!
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Danni3ll3

European Peasant Loaf

 

I am continuing my quest, as one of many others, for getting better oven spring and open crumb. This is my adaptation of Trevor’s European Peasant Bread.

 

Recipe:

 

150 g freshly milled spelt

150 g freshly milled rye

150 g Arva Mills whole wheat flour

820 g unbleached flour

50 g freshly ground flax

850 g filtered water

23 g Himalayan pink salt

30 g kefir

280 g 100% hydration levain (procedure for this is in recipe)

 

  1. Mill spelt and rye and sift out the bran to feed the levain (as per Dab). Sift out the bran from the whole wheat flour. As an aside, I am surprised that I sift out much more bran out of the commercial flour than out of my own home milled. Weigh the bran and set aside. Mine ended up weighing 35 g. Reserve the sifted flour in a large bucket or bowl.
  2. Weigh out the unbleached flour and remove enough from this amount to add to the bran in order to equal 140 g. In this case, I removed 105 g and set it aside for the levain. The rest of the flour joined the sifted flours in the bucket.
  3. After refreshing my starter 2 or 3 times, I build the levain in 3 stages: Stage 1 - 10 g starter, 20 g water, 20 g bran. Stage 2 - 40 g water, 15 g bran/25 g flour. Stage 3 - 80 g water, 80 g flour. Each stage took about 8 hours except for the last one that I used after 6 hours. Once again, the first build with only bran in it, had no rise but the levain rose just fine once unbleached flour was added in. 
  4. Autolyse the mix of flours, the ground flax and the water for about 4 hours. Add in the pink salt, the kefir and the levain and mix well. Use folds and in bucket kneading to make sure that everything is well integrated. Let rest for a few minutes and do another set of folds.
  5. Fermentation was 3 sets of folds 30 minutes to 45 minutes apart and one last fold an hour later. Bulk fermentation took 4 and half hours and the dough rose about 30%. This is where I began to doubt myself. I had lots of bubbles on the edges right from the beginning but there didn’t seem to be a lot of large bubbles through the wall of the container. I traditionally have waited until the dough doubles but that was before doing folds right through the bulk. The last few weeks, doing folds through the bulk, I still waited till the dough had risen almost to 50%. My dough is usually like a bowl of jello. Stopping the bulk earlier gave me a dough with air in it but not what I am used to so I almost put it back in the bucket. I went back and checked out Trevor’s videos and mine was still poofier than his so I decided to just forge ahead.
  6. Lightly flour the counter. Now that was a change for me as well. I normally use lots and lots of flour for shaping. I am trying to cut back on this habit.
  7. Do a very light fold and remove the dough gently from the bucket. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Preround the dough with a scraper. Trevor, if you are reading this, I have to say I hate you for making it look so easy. Imagine trying to round 6 boules on a counter that is 24 by 30 or so and part of that counter has a built in trash container. Oh and I forgot, the scale has to have a spot too on here. Well the dough was sticking to the scraper, to me, and to the counter! I tried to be twinkle finger like Mr. Trevor but I am sure he would be killing himself laughing at my ineptitude. Well long story short, I did get them somewhat rounded. Nothing like those nice little boules he gets but at least, they weren’t pancakes AND I didn’t deflate the dough.
  8. Let rest for 20 minutes and then do the final shape. I did Trevor’s cinching method which is something I hadn’t tried before. I usually end up degassing the dough quite a bit. This time, there was no degassing whatsoever except for the part where you roll over and pinch the dough gently to hold it. Check out Trevor’s videos on cinching on Instagram. That seemed to go a lot better for me than the rounding. I plopped the boules into the bannetons seam side down even though they were not perfectly round. I figured it was better to preserve the air in the dough than worry about perfectly shaped boules. 
  9. Then cover and put to bed in the fridge for the night. The next morning, the dough had risen a bit but had flattened out somewhat. I was sure that I was in for some flat, flat, flat loaves. 
  10. Heat the oven to 475F with the dutch ovens inside for at least 45 minutes. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots and gently place the dough seam side up inside. My feeling of getting flat, flat, flat loaves was reinforced when I turned out the dough and picked it up to put into the pots. It was definitely not firm like I am used to. It was soft enough to bend in the middle when I picked it up by the edges. So it was a quick movement from the counter to into the pots. I resigned myself to 12 flat, flat, flat loaves. Did I say that they were going to be flat? 
  11. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids…. and surprise!!!!! I got great oven spring, great ears and just awesome loaves! Wow, who would have guessed that! I dropped the temperature to 425F and baked for another 22 minutes.
  12. Cool, admire, do a happy dance, decide that Trevor knows what he is talking about and enjoy!

As a side note, the second batch of 6 loaves (I make 12 total for those who don’t know and one batch makes 3 loaves), the bulk ended up much closer to a 50% rise by the time I got to it. I remembered reading that if you get closer to 50%, do not do a fold to remove the dough. Just remove it as gently as possible, with a scraper in order to not deflate it. The second batch turned out just as well as the first.

 

Batch #2

 Batch #1

I am very curious to see what the crumb looks like but the loaves are still hot. Crumb shot to come later.

 

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