The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

David Esq.'s blog

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David Esq.

I love hummus and thought it was time to try my hand at pita.  Using the recipe from serious eats, I met with great success.  The formula called for more yeast than I like. I set the oven at a higher temperature (baked at 550 though I did not check the thermometer, I just baked shortly after it came up to temperature.

The pitas were very soft.  Made six of them. Ate two fresh out of the oven. Just cut them up and dipped them in homemade hummus.  It was a real treat.

I will try this with sourdough next and then with more whole grains. I may also try cooking on the stove top and see how that goes.

 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

This weekend I made some of my best loaves yet.  I actually made enough for four boules, and had proofed them and intended to bake all four, but something came up and I baked only 2.  I stuck two in the fridge and baked them up the following morning. Those are the two that are pictured here. No crumb shot for these but I did eat from one of them.  The verdict -- one of my best breads to date.  

The loaves were  63.8% AP, 26.9% Whole Wheat and 9.3% Whole Rye. The reason for the odd numbers is simply that I used all of the milled wheat I had on hand, and for the rye berries I intended to weigh out an even number but wound up with 5 extra grams and then made up the difference with the All Purpose Flour (I was looking for 2000 grams of flour and wound up with 491 grams of whole wheat, 205 grams rye and 1304 grams of All Purpose, plus the flour in the levain).

 The crust,crumb and taste were outstanding in every way.

 

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David Esq.

It has been more than a year, I believe, since I last tried my hand at an enriched bread.  For this one, I pulled out my trusty 13" USA Pullman Pan, and used the recipe that came with it.  Reproduced here:

 

PULLMAN SANDWICH BREAD

Pan: Pullman Loaf Pan - Large

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) milk
    1 cup (8 ounces) water
    6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
    2 1/4 teaspoons salt
    3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
    1/4 cup (1 1/8 ounces) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
    3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) potato flour
    4 3/4 cups (20 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    2 teaspoons instant yeast

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the milk, water, butter, salt and sugar. Add the dried milk, flours and yeast, stirring till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 5 to 8 minutes, or until it's smooth and supple. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. 

Lightly grease a 13 x 4 USA Pan™ Pullman Loaf Pan. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, shape it into a 13-inch log, and fit it into the pan. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until it's just below the lip of the pan, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Remove the plastic, and carefully place the cover on the pan, let it rest an additional 10 minutes while oven preheats to 350°F. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully remove the lid, and return the bread to the oven to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until it tests done; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Yields 1 loaf

http://www.usapans.com/cgi-bin/recipes.cgi?Pullman+Loaf+Pan

http://www.usapans.com/cgi-bin/recipes.cgi?Pullman+Loaf+Pan

This is not my traditional bread, but it was fun and fast to make, and my wife loves the toast it makes.  I tried a PB&J sandwich on it and was very pleased with how it came out.  However, I can't say that it will be replacing my boule any time soon.  It is simply not a remarkable bread.

 
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David Esq.

This is among my best tasting breads, alla Tartine.

Levain was mixed Friday night using 1 tablespoon of starter from the fridge (last fed one week prior).

Saturday morning, about 15 hours later, I mixed the levain with 700 grams of water, 700 grams AP flour, 205 grams whole wheat and 95 grams whole rye.

Forty minutes or so later, I added 20 grams of salt and some extra water, enough to incorporate the salt into the dough, and enough to keep my hands from sticking. (Tartine suggests 50 gram but I find that to create a dough that is a bit too wet/pasty).

The dough was very easy to handle, was not at all sticky, and I let it proof at room temperature (around 68 degrees) for 3 hours 45 minutes, in a basket (with a lint free towel rather than in the basket directly).

Baked covered for 20 minutes at 450 (after preheating to 500) and uncovered for 25 minutes at 450.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Decided to bake a loaf of bread for a colleague, and decided I ought to make two different versions, just in case one didn't turn out properly.

I made the whole wheat country loaf, without any modifications except that I reserved 50 grams of water to mix with the salt (he says to do that for the basic country loaf, but makes no mention of it in the whole wheat version), and, rather than mix the flour, water, and starter all at once, I opted to hydrate the flour and water overnight, while my levain was building.  The next morning I added the salt to the reserved water, let it sit for few minutes and then poured the mixture into the hydrated flours and added the levain.

For the rye bread, I did exactly the same thing, except that I used added whole wheat.  I have to check my notes to determine how much, and will update this post when I do so.

So, with four loaves of bread proofing, I decided to bake 2 same day, and 2 after overnight stay in the fridge. I baked one of each variety on each day.  I baked the rye in an 8" banneton and the whole wheat in a 9" banneton.  I also lined the rye baneton with a cotton towel because I was worried about sticking dough.

So, the same day bake (which was really a 2 day bake because I made the leaven the night before) had a long proof in the fridge - don't recall how long, but probably close to 10-11 hours.  It bloomed very nicely.  I can't be sure that the scoring was not the key here, but the next day's dough did not look as pretty to my eye. 

I gave away the same-day rye, froze one of the whole wheat, and am currently eating the second day rye for lunch.  It is very good.

The loaves with the oats on top are whole wheat. The ones without, rye. The photo up top is the Day 1 and Photo below is Day 2.

Here is the Rye Day 2 Crumb

The rye dough was a huge challenge.  A stick mess that I avoided by handled by using a lot of flour and by shaping with the bench knife.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I took the plunge a month or so ago and bought a pizza oven for our patio. I am still "dialing it in", as it were, but I was able to make some outstanding pizza with it this weekend.

The photos are on my phone and I've never had much success posting from my phone to my fresh loaf blog, so you'll have to just take my word for it.  Or, if you are so inclined, you can read a review and see some photos on my word press blog.

The neighbors truly raved about the pizza. But more important than what they thought, I thought it came out great. I am already looking forward to next weekend's guests.  I made the pies with sourdough; some 30% whole wheat, some 100% Caputo 00 flour. Next week I will likely make the 30% whole wheat again, as I cannot, in good conscience, make 100% refined white flour pizza.

If you're thinking of getting a Pizza Party wood-fired oven, despite its cheesy name, I can say that it is a very worthy oven for making pizzas.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I decided to make the "Sesame" bread from Tartine Bread, which is basically the basic country loaf formula with a cup of toasted sesame seeds added after the first turn.

For this formulation, I used 300 grams of home ground white whole wheat instead of the 200 grams of whole wheat flour.

I took the old starter out of the fridge on Thursday night, fed it, then fed it again in the morning and it was nice and lively Friday evening when I created the levain using 200 grams white whole wheat and 200 grams all purpose flour.  By the next morning the levain was much expanded and looking very much alive.  (I made two whole wheat loaves and two sesame loaves with my levain).

The dough for the sesame loaves were mixed Saturday morning and baked Saturday evening. The bread is absolutely delicious. The crumb is very soft despite being loaded with sesame seeds.  I assume this is because the seeds are soaking in the dough for over four hours before baking.

Here is a close-up on the crumb:

Closeup crumb

And the boule's which had great oven spring:

 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Deja vu.  This weekend I decided to make the Tartine Country rye bread again, this time I made four loaves.  The formula in the book:

Leaven  200g

Water    800 g

Whole Rye 170 g

Bread Flour 810 g

Salt 20g.

++

My "modifications" to the formula:

Leaven                      200 g.

All Purpose Flour     500 g

Whole White Wheat 330 g

Whole Rye                170 g

Water                          818 g

Salt                                20g

Because I took the starter out of the fridge on Thursday evening, I was able to feed it 3 times before using it in the levain, and it did nicely by Saturday morning when it was time to mix the dough.  So, no yeast added this go around.

For me, the most interesting thing about this loaf is being able to taste the wheat, the rye and a mild tang of the sourdough.  Usually my bread is not this complexly flavored, or I can't usually taste so many things in each loaf.

I also added a smattering of sesame seeds which I think make the bread all the more delicious.

And a blurry  "bottom shot" since a lot of people seem to burn the loaf.  I avoid that, I think, by nesting the pans after the first 20 minutes, removing the deep top and putting it under the shallow bottom pan.

I really do love this bread.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

This weekend I decided to make the Tartine Country rye bread again.  The formula in the book:

Leaven  200g

Water    800 g

Whole Rye 170 g

Bread Flour 810 g

Salt 20g.

++

My "modifications" to the formula:

Leaven                      200 g.

All Purpose Flour     500 g

Whole White Wheat 330 g

Whole Rye                170 g

Water                          800g

Salt                                20g

Yeast:                            1g

My leaven was not looking sufficiently potent, perhaps because the starter needed to be refreshed one more time before use.  So, rather than cross my fingers, I added 1/4 tsp of yeast.

Also, rather than disperse the leaven in water before mixing the dough, I mixed the flours and water, and after 30 minutes, pinched in the leaven, yeast and salt alla Forkish.

The loaves came out great. The crumb shot is from the smaller loaf, and the bread was absolutely divine.  I also through some sesame seeds in the basket to help with the release and to add to the flavor of the crust.

 The bread is delicious. The crumb is very soft. It was almost too soft to cut easily, but I suffered through it.

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