The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Yesterday, I made Chicken Cacciatore for tonight, when my sisters would be at our house for dinner. It seemed to me I should be serving some sort of Italian bread with this dinner. I didn't really feel like tackling a brand new recipe, although there are a number of Italian breads on my “to bake” list. I thought about the sourdough version of Reinhart's Italian bread from BBA which I have made many times and enjoyed. However, once the idea of formulating an “Italian version” of my San Joaquin Sourdough occurred to me, I knew that's what I was going to make.

I was delighted with the result, although I don't know that anyone more knowledgable than I regarding Italian breads would recognize it as in any way “Italian.” 

Ingredients

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

400

80

Fine durum flour

100

20

Water

350

70

Salt

10

2

Sugar

14

3

Diastatic malt powder

5

1

Active Liquid levain

100

20

Olive oil

14

3

Total

993

199

 

Method

  1. In a large bowl, disperse the levain in the water.

  2. Add the flours, sugar and malt to the liquid and mix to a shaggy mass.

  3. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Add the salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. (Note: I squish the dough with my hands until it comes back together, then do stretch and folds in the bowl until it forms a smooth ball and the oil appears completely incorporated.)

  5. Transfer the dough to a 2 quart lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl tightly.

  6. After 30 minutes, do 20 stretch and folds in the bowl. Repeat 3 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  7. Refrigerate for 12-36 hours.

  8. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to warm up for 1-2 hour.

  9. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape as rounds. Cover with a clean towel or plasti-crap and let rest for one hour.

  10. Shape as boules or bâtards and proof en couche or in bannetons for about 45 minutes. (Note: Optionally, if proofing en couche, roll the loaves on damp paper towels then in a tray of sesame seeds. Alternatively, you can brush the loaves with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. If proofing in bannetons, you would use the second method but after transferring the loaves to a peel, just before baking.)

  11. One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  12. Transfer the loves to the baking stone. Steam the oven, and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  13. After 12 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. (Note: What I actually do at this point is switch to convection bake and turn the oven down to 435ºF for the remainder of the bake.) Continue baking for another 12-15 minutes or until the loaves are nicely browned and the internal temperature is at least 205ºF.

  14. Turn off the oven, but leave the loaves on the baking stone and the oven door ajar for another 5-10 minutes to dry the crust.

  15. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

  

The crust was chewy except for the ear and bottom crust which were nicely crunchy. The crumb was nice and chewy-tender. The crust flavor was sweet and nutty with the sesame flavor we always enjoy. The crumb was sweet and nutty. Absent the rye flour and with the addition of the oil, sugar, malt and durum flour, the flavor was delightful but very different from that of the San Joaquin Sourdough.

The four of us consumed 2/3 of a loaf with dinner. When I was going to slice some more, sister Ruth told me she would prefer to save it for breakfast toast. Her proposal prevailed.

I'm sure this will make delicious toast, even competing with the Hamelman 5-grain Levain I also baked this afternoon.

 

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

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Three months ago, I made pizzas using Maggie Glezer's recipe for the dough. (See Pizza Napoletana) It made the best thin, crisp pizza I'd ever had. My blog on that pizza elicited many useful comments and suggestions. I incorporated some of them into the pizza I made this weekend. Thanks to Ross for the prompt to make sourdough pizza dough and to Sylvia for the mention of using a combination of bread flour and durum flour in the dough. I have taken Stan's noting the lower hydration of authentic naples-style pizza dough under advisement. I would note that, using bread flour rather than Italian Typo 00, my effective hydration is lower. (Higher protein flour absorbs more water than lower protein flours like Typo 00.)

Final Dough Ingredients

Wt.

Baker's %

KAF Bread Flour

375 g

88

KAF Fancy Durum

50 g

12

Active Firm Starter (50% hydration)

75 g

18

Instant yeast

1/8 tsp

0.1

Salt

10 g

2

Water, lukewarm

305

72

 Note: Since I calculated baker's percentages the “old fashioned way,” with the levain factored in as just another ingredient, the numbers are misleading. There is a total of 500 g of flour, really. Fifty grams of the flour is in the starter. The starter also contains 25 g of water, so the total water equals 330 g. Thus, the true hydration level of the dough is 66%. And, therefore, the durum flour and the pre-fermented flour are each 10% of the total flour.

So, a true representation of the Total Dough (ignoring the fact that the 50 g of flour in the starter consists of 35 g of AP, 10 g of WW and 5 g of rye flour), would be:

Total Dough Ingredients

Wt.

Baker's %

KAF Bread Flour

450 g

90

KAF Fancy Durum

50 g

10

Instant yeast

1/8 tsp

0.1

Salt

10 g

2

Water, lukewarm

330 g

66

Total

840 g

168.1

Method

  1. In a 6 qt mixing bowl, disperse the starter in the water. (Suggestion: Break the starter into marble-sized pieces and let them soak in the water for a few minutes to soften them. This will make dispersing the starter a lot easier.)

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flours, salt and yeast.

  3. Add the dissolved levain to the dry ingredients and mix with the paddle on Speed 1 for 1-2 minutes until the dough forms a shaggy mass on the paddle.

  4. Cover the mixer bowl and let it stand for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Switch to the dough hook, and mix for 3 minutes at Speed 2. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom. The dough will be tacky on the verge of sticky but will form an early window pane.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Do a stretch and fold to strengthen the gluten a bit more, if needed. Round up the dough then flatten it into a rectangle.

  7. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, and form each piece into a ball.

  8. Smear about a tablespoon of olive oil on the inside of four 1 qt. ZipLoc bags or other containers that can be sealed air-tight, and place a ball of dough in each. Close the containers tightly.

  9. At this point, the balls of dough can be refrigerated for 1 to 3 days before use or frozen for later use.

  10. If refrigerated, the dough balls should be allowed to warm to room temperature (about an hour) before use. If frozen, they should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator the day before use, then warmed on the bench for an hour before shaping.

  11. An hour before baking, preheat the oven to 500ºF (or hotter, if your oven goes higher). Have your baking stone in place.

  12. Remove one ball at a time from its container and shape it into a 10 inch round by your method of choice. (Optionally, brush the entire surface of the dough with olive oil. This will protect it somewhat from sogginess from wetter toppings.)

  13. Top the pizza as desired. (Note: Very light toppings will result in a crisp crust. Heavier toppings will result in a soft center crust. Yet heavier toppings will result in a soggy center crust.)

  14. Immediately transfer the pizza to your pre-heated baking stone and bake for 8-10 minutes, more or less until done.

  15. Remove the pizza from the oven to a cutting board. (Optionally, brush the exposed crust with olive oil to make it shiny or drizzle olive oil over the pizza for flavor.) Cut as desired and serve.

  16. Repeat steps 12-15 for additional pizzas.

I made substantially the same pizza as last time – olive oil, slivered garlic, chopped rosemary, sliced tomato and parmesan cheese added half way through an 11 minute bake at 500ºF on a pizza stone.

Ready to bake

Ready to slice and eat

The dough stretched thin enough to see through without tearing. It baked crisp with more chewiness to the crust than the original version. The center was crisp and rigid enough to support the toppings. It was delicious.

 Thanks to Ross, Sylvia, Stan and all the others who offerred suggestions the last time I made this pizza dough.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting 

 

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The Basic Country Bread from Tartine Bread is among my favorites, but I haven't baked it in a while. After my positive experience with Central Milling's "Organic Fine Whole Wheat" flour used to make the whole wheat bread from BBA, I wanted to try it in the Tartine BCB. In summary, it was wonderful.

I shaped the loaves as bâtards and proofed them in cotton-lined brotformen. They were baked on my baking stone with my usual steaming method, rather than in cast iron dutch ovens. My starter was very frisky this weekend, and the loaves got somewhat over-proofed. The bloom suffered, but I got great oven spring and the crumb structure was nice. The crust was crunchy, and the flavor was delicious as always. 

I have made Maggie Glezer's "own" challah in the sourdough version several times. (See Sourdough Challah from "A Blessing of Bread") I really like the mild sourdough tang on top of the honey sweetness and eggy richness of this bread. Today, for the first time, I baked the challah as pan loaves. I decided to do this both to save a little time - this recipe requires a good 9 hours all together on the day the bread is baked - and because my plan was to use the bread for toast and french toast.

I divided the dough into six equal parts and shaped each as a round. Each pan got three rounds. When I was a child, the local Jewish bakery made what they called "egg bread" in this shape. I don't know if they used the same dough they shaped as braided challot, but the recipe for egg bread in Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker is less enriched than his challah.

The 470 g of dough in each pan turned out to be too little to fill the pans after the dough had tripled in volume. Consequently, the profile of the loaves is less high than what I had intended, even with very good oven spring. Otherwise, I count this a success.

Happy Baking!

David

 

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Besides the Whole Wheat Breads, I also baked a SFBI Miche and Hamelman's "Pain au Levain with Mixed Sourdough Starters" this weekend. 

As I have for the last few bakes, I used 50% Central Milling "Organic Type 85" and 50% Central Milling "ABC" flours for the "bread flour" in the final dough. I haven't tasted it yet, but when I sliced it 24 hours after baking it has a lovely wheaty and sour aroma with toasted nut notes from the boldly baked crumb.

When I last made Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Mixed Sourdough Starters, Andy (ananda) suggested using a more firm wheat levain and a more liquid rye sour for this bread. For this bake, I did that. I just put the amount of water called for in the rye sour into the wheat levain and the amount of water called for in the wheat levain in the rye sour. (Both call for the same weight of flour.) I can't say this accounted for any difference in the final product, although this batch was denser than usual and had a more pronounced rye flavor. This is a delicious bread, in any case. I had it for breakfast, untoasted, with just a little butter and Santa Rosa plum jam (very tart) and for lunch with Toscano salami in a sandwich.

Happy baking!

David

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The 100% Whole Wheat Bread from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice has been one of my favorite breads for years. I love it for it's delicious honey-wheat flavor. However, it often comes out with a dense, cake-like crumb. In April, I tried making this bread using a more intensive mix, as demonstrated by txfarmer. (See Light and fluffy 100% Whole Wheat Bread) I did, indeed, achieve a less dense, more open crumb. But I felt there was some loss of flavor due to oxidation of carotenoids. 

It is difficult to make a 100% whole wheat bread with a light, airy crumb. The pieces of bran in the flour act like little knives, cutting the gluten strands that give bread crumb its “structure.” I had heard of flour mills that grind the bran to a finer consistency after it has been separated during the normal milling process and then add the fine-ground bran back in, along with the other wheat components that re-constitute “whole wheat” flour. The smaller bran particles do less damage to the developing gluten during mixing.

Central Milling makes such a flour, and brother Glenn recently got some for me at CM's Petaluma warehouse. Today, I used CM's “Organic Hi-Protein Fine” whole wheat flour to make the Whole Wheat Bread from BBA. I followed the formula and procedures in my April 2, 2011 blog entry with one exception: I only mixed the dough for 12 minutes at Speed 2.

 

The first difference in the bread was the wonderfulness of its aroma. I can't say it was different in quality, but it just filled the house as never before. When the bread was cool and sliced, the crumb structure was even more open than I got with intensive mixing. The bread is chewy like a good white loaf and not at all cakey or crumbly. The flavor is delicious. I can't really say it is better than the flavor I've gotten with either home-milled flour or KAF Organic Whole Wheat flour, but the combination of crumb structure, texture and flavor was remarkable.

 

I am now eager to try using this flour with other breads, for example the Tartine "Basic Country Bread." Stay tuned.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

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Pain au Levain from Hamelman's Bread (So what if I baked it umpteen weeks in a row? It's really good!)

Pain au Levain Crumb (the real reason I'm posting on this bread again) 

They say "Man cannot live by bread alone. You need side dishes."

A bit of petrale sole, a stuffed baked tomato and some Italian broad beans. Navarro Reisling, not pictured. (Tomato is stuffed with bread crumbs from Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Two Starters, garlic, etc.)

And, to clear the palate and fill any empty corners ...

Susan baked a plum cake.

Hmmmm .... I think I need another slice.

David

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dmsnyder

We have my sister and brother-in-law and my younger son's two daughters staying with us this week. This morning, we had a traditional Sunday brunch with bagels, smoked salmon, farmers' chop suey and sourcream coffee cake. My neighborhood bread tasters joined us.

The bagels were made with the Krakow Bagel formula I tested last Summer for Inside the Jewish Bakery. The bagels are supposed to be twisted, but I shaped them in the more usual manner. They are very chewy with a crisp crust and delicious flavor. They received rave reviews. If you want the formula, you will have to buy Stan and Norm's book when it's released in the next few weeks.

I also baked a couple loaves of my San Joaquin Sourdough to have with our dinner of proscuito and melon and fettucine with ragu.

I loved five year old Naomi's comment on the bloom as I took the loaves out of the oven: "Ooooo .... They got so big, they broke!"

Hope you all are having as much fun this weekend as I am!

David

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dmsnyder

This weekend, I made two of the pains au levain from Hamelman's Bread - The Pain au Levain, which Hamelman says is typically French, and the Pain Au Levain with Mixed Starters, which is made with both a white liquid starter and a rye starter. This bread also contains some whole wheat flour in the final dough.

Pain au Levain

Pain au Levain crumb

Pain au Levain with Mixed Starters

Pain au Levain with Mixed Starters crumb

Both of these are delicious breads. The Pain au Levain is mildly sour. The Pain au Levain is more sour, due to both the increased rye and an overnight cold retardation. It has a delicious, complex flavor.

Both these breads are highly recommended.

David

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dmsnyder

Two months ago, after enjoying Phillipe Gosselin's “baguettes tradition” in Paris, I attempted to replicate this delicious bread in a sourdough version. (Baguette Tradition after Phillip Gosselin) My wife and I actually preferred my version to the original. In fact, I felt they were the best tasting sourdough baguettes I'd ever made.

 Yesterday, I made them again. This time, I omitted the little bit of instant yeast I had used with the first bake. Interestingly enough, my fermentation time was just about the same as with the added yeast.

The other difference was I used a new (to me) flour from Central Milling. According to brother Glenn, Nicky Giusto told him this is the flour Acme uses for their much-admired baguettes. I hesitate to generalize from a single bake with it, but it made a very chewy baguette crumb with good flavor. I'm looking forward to using it on some other breads with which I am more experienced.

Ingredients

Wt.

Baker's %

Central Milling Organic “ABC” Flour

400 g

100

Ice Water

275 g

69

Salt

8.75 g

2

Liquid Levain

200 g

50

Instant yeast (optional)

¼ tsp

 

Total

883.75 g

221

Note: Accounting for the flour and water in the levain, the total flour is 500 g and the total water is 375 g, making the actual dough hydration 75%. The actual salt percentage is 1.75%.

Method

  1. The night before baking, mix the flour and levain with 225 g of ice water and immediately refrigerate.

  2. The next morning, add the salt and 50 g of ice water to the dough and mix thoroughly. (I did this by hand by squishing the dough between my fingers until the water was fully incorporated.)

  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl with a tight cover.

  4. Ferment at room temperature until the dough has about doubled in volume. (3 hours for me) Do stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first two hours.

  5. An hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF, with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  6. Divide the dough into 4 more or less equal pieces and stretch each into a 12-14 inch long “baguette.”

  7. Score and bake immediately at 460ºF, with steam for 10 minutes, and for about 20 minutes total.

  8. Cool on a rack before eating.

David

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dmsnyder

Well, I'm back from a lovely week at the beach with family. I surely enjoyed the week, including Glenn's fabulous pastrami and corn beef with his and my rye breads. Glenn's Tartine BCB and my SFBI miche were also appreciated. 

Yesterday, I thawed dough made for pizzas 4 and 6 weeks ago and frozen. I made a couple of pies, one with each of the doughs made with Maggie Glezer's and Jeff Verasano's recipes.

 

Pizza using Maggie Glezer's dough

Pizza made with Jeff Verasano's dough

Glezer's pizza dough retained its distinctive crispness. Verasano's dough was still more elastic than Glezer's but not as chewy as it had been before freezing. I would say that neither was quite as good, but both were better than any you could get at the chains.

Today, I baked a couple bâtards of Pain au Levain from Hamelman's Bread. This has become a favorite. Today's tweak was to shape the loaves using the method portrayed on the KAF videos but proofing the loaves in cotton-lined oval brotformen rather than on a couche.

 

The loaves assumed a rounder/less elongated shape during baking. I wonder if, en couche, with lateral support but no support at the ends, the loaves spread longitudinally more. Hmmmm ….

 

I have dough for my version of Gosselin's Baguettes Tradition in the fridge to finish tomorrow. I'll update this entry accordingly.

David

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