The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Last week's successful experiment making an “Italian” bread with bulk retardation has made me want to try other types of bread using that technique and other Italian-style breads.

I've been thinking about making a Pugliese bread ever since I first read about it in Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Have you noticed that some thoughts take longer than others to get translated into action? Well, this one has taken about 4 years. In the interim, I have accumulated a sizable number of other bread books, and several have formulas for Pugliese. Consulting these, I find amazing variation, particularly in the flours used. Some use part or even entirely Durum. Some use partly whole wheat. What they have in common is 1) Use of a biga, 2) Relatively high hydration. Most recipes specify shaping as a round loaf with no scoring. The lone exception is The Il Fornaio Baking Book which shapes and scores Pugliese like a French bâtard. None of the formulas in the books I consulted use a sourdough biga.

The formula I ended up using is my own notion of a good rustic bread baked as a large round loaf, with a nod to Puglia. I suppose I could call it “Pugliese Capriccioso.”

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

375

75

Fine durum flour

125

25

Water

360

74

Salt

10

2

Active starter (100% hydration)

100

20

Total

970

196

Note: For greater authenticity, one would use a firm starter. If you do, the water in the final dough should be increased and the flour decreased to keep the hydration the same in the formula.

Method

  1. Refresh your sourdough starter 8-12 hours before mixing the dough.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, disperse the active starter in the water.

  3. Add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass.

  4. Cover the bowl tightly and let it rest (autolyse) for 20-60 minutes. (Note: There is no harm in autolysing for longer, but do not decrease the time to less than 20 minutes. I often go out and run errands for an hour or more during the autolyse.)

  5. Add the salt to the dough and mix it in thoroughly.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, clean bowl and cover tightly.

  7. After 30 minutes, do a “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 15-20 strokes. Repeat 3 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  8. When the dough has expanded by 75% or so (about 30 minutes more), transfer it to a floured bench.

  9. Pre-shape into a ball and let the dough rest for 20 minutes to relax the gluten.

  10. Shape the dough as a boule and place it seam-side down in a floured banneton.

  11. Place the banneton in a food-safe plastic bag or cover with a damp towel. Proof the boule until the dough springs back slowly when you poke a finger into it.

  12. 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 490ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  13. Transfer the loaf to the baking stone, seam-side up, steam the oven and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  14. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the loaf is done. The crust should be nicely colored. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  15. Leave the loaf on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for another 10 minutes to dry the crust.

  16. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

 

Pugliese Capriccioso crumb

The crust was crunchy, and the crumb was quite chewy. The flavor was remarkably sweet, especially given that there was no sweetener in the formula. The nutty flavor of the durum flour came through and was even more present than in the breads I've baked with a higher percentage of durum. There was little sourdough tang, although that might increase by tomorrow.

This is a bread I will be making again. I think it could stand an increase in hydration, maybe even up to 78% or so.

I also made a high-extraction miche today. This followed my formula and procedures for the San Joaquin Sourdough. The only changes were 1) I used Central Milling's “Type 85 Unmalted” organic flour for the final dough, 2) I added 5 g of diastatic malt powder to the mix, 3) rather than pre-shaping and resting for 60 minutes, after cold retardation, I let the dough ferment at room temperature until almost doubled, then pre-shaped and rested for 20 minutes, and 4) I made one large boule with the entire dough.

 

The crust was quite crunchy with a sweet, caramelized sugar flavor. The flavor of the crumb was sweet and earthy with moderate sourness. It was quite delicious 3 hours out of the oven, and I think it will have a long shelf life and make wonderful toast.

This is another bread I expect to be making again.

 

I enjoyed a slice of each with our dinner of Proscuitto with melon and Fedelini with roasted San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, bread crumbs and fresh basel.

David

 Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It has been almost a year since I first made the “80% Sourdough Rye with Rye-Flour Soaker” from Hamelman's Bread. At the time, I said it was my new favorite high-percentage rye bread, and I can't say its status has changed. Actually, it's been a while since I have made a high-percentage rye bread. I've been thinking about it, but Codruta's lovely bake of this bread finally inspired me sufficiently to do it.

There are some surprising things about the dough for this bread. Hamelman describes it as “loose and sticky,” but the last time I made it, I now recall, both the hot rye soaker and the final dough were less loose and less sticky than I thought they should be. Looking back at my notes of last November, I said I would double check the numbers in the “Home” version of the formula, which I used, against the formula Hamelman provides for a larger production. Well, the numbers check out okay. I also looked at the Errata Sheet Hamelman made available in May, 2010, and there are no corrections to the formula for this bread.

Hmmm … Maybe my whole grain rye flour is thirstier than Hamelman's. In any case, I did add an extra 1/4 cup (2 oz) of water during the mixing of the final dough, which took the total dough hydration from 78% to 84% hydration.

 

Overall Formula

Wt. (oz)

Baker's %

Whole-rye flour

25.6

80

High-gluten flour

6.4

20

Water

27

84

Salt

0.6

1.8

Instant Yeast

0.16

1.5

Total Yield

59.76

187.3

 

Rye Sourdough

Wt. (oz)

Baker's %

Whole-rye flour

11.2

100

Water

9.3

83

Active levain

0.6

5

Total

21.1

 

 

Soaker

Wt. (oz)

Baker's %

Whole-rye flour

6.4

100

Boiling Water

6.4

100

Total

12.8

 

  

Final Dough

Wt. (oz)

Whole-rye flour

8

High-gluten flour

6.4

Water

11.3

Salt

0.6

Instant Yeast

0.16

Soaker

12.8

Sourdough

20.5

Total

59.76

 

Procedure

  1. Mix the rye sourdough and ripen it for 14-16 hours at room temperature.

  2. Mix the soaker at the same time as the sourdough. Weigh the rye flour into a 6 cup mixing bowl, and pour the boiling water over it. Cover tightly immediately and let it cc sit at room temperature with the sourdough. (Note: Hamelman says the soaker will be thick and will have absorbed all the water. On both occasions I made this bread, there was dry flour left in the soaker, even when I mixed it. I think, for future bakes, I will add extra water to the soaker – maybe 2 or 3 oz.)

  3. Add all the Final Dough ingredients to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and combine using the paddle (2 minutes). Then, switch to the dough hook and mix at Speed 2 for about 6 minutes. There will be little if any perceptible gluten development. (Note: I combined the soaker, sourdough and water and mixed thoroughly. In a large bowl, I weighed the two flours, salt and yeast and whisked them to distribute the ingredients. I then added the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and mixed with the dough hook. I added the additional water mentioned above during this step, but, in the future, I think I would add it to the soaker, as noted above.)

  4. Scrape the dough together. Cover the mixer bowl tightly and bulk ferment for 30 minutes.

  5. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured or a wet board. With wet hands, shape it into a ball, as smooth as possible on the top side, gathered on the bottom side. (Note: I made one large round loaf. Alternatively, you could divide the dough into two equal pieces to make smaller loaves, and shape as above.)

  6. Place the loaf (or loaves) seam side down into a well-floured brotform (or two). Place in a food-safe plastic bag.

  7. Proof for 50-60 minutes at 80ºF. (Note: I heated a mug of water in the microwave for two minutes, then put the bread in the microwave to proof.

  8. 45 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 490ºF with oven stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  9. When it is proofed, transfer the bread to a peel, seam side up, and then to the baking stone.

  10. Turn the oven down to 470ºF. Steam the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

  11. Remove the steaming apparatus. Turn the oven down to 430ºF, and bake for another 45-50 minutes, or until the bread is nicely browned and the internal temperature is at least 205ºF.

  12. When the bread is done, transfer it to a cooling rack. When it is completely cooled (2-4 hours), wrap the bread in baker's linen or a clean kitchen towel and leave it on the cooling rack for at least 24 hours to stabilize the crumb texture before slicing.

 

The crumb was dense and a bit sticky. My analysis is that the dough was under-fermented, and the loaf was under-baked. This loaf is larger than what Hamelman specified, and, in hindsight, should have baked longer, probably with an additional lowering of the oven temperature for the last portion of the bake.

The flavor, on the other hand, was assertively sour with a delicious earthy rye flavor. I'm hoping that toasting can salvage this bread. Otherwise, I have an abundant supply to use as altus in future rye bakes.

When well-made, this bread is best, in my opinion, sliced thin and eaten with smoked meats or fish, pickled fish, strong or smoked cheeses and dark, braised meats. It has amazing keeping qualities and also freezes well.

Enjoy!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

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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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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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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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