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This is the “80 Percent Rye with Rye Flour Soaker” from Jeffrey Hamelman's “Bread.” It's a wonderful bread about which I've blogged before. (Sweet, Sour and Earthy: My new favorite rye bread) These loaves were made applying a number of tips and tricks contributed by a number of TFL members, and I have to say, I was pleased with the results of every tip I used. So, a big “Thank you!” to MiniO, hansjoakim, nicodvb and the other rye mavens who contributed them.


I followed the formula and methods according to Hamelman, with the following techniques added:




  1. Rather than dividing and shaping on a floured board with floured hands, I wet the board, my hands and my bench knife. I kept all of these wet, and experienced much less sticking of this very sticky dough to the everything it touched.




  2. I shaped the boules “in the air,” rather than on the board. Again, less dough sticking to the board, and I think I got a smoother loaf top without tears.




  3. I proofed the loaves in brotformen, floured as usual with a rice flour/AP mix, with the seams down. This results in the loaves opening at the seams, yielding a lovely chaotic top to the loaves and no bursting of the sides.






I am very happy with these loaves. I'll continue to use these techniques and recommend them to others struggling with high-hydration, high-percentage rye breads.


David


 


 


 

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Tre Franceses


 


“Pan Francese” simply means “French Bread” in Italian. It is a long, thin loaf that is the Italian version of a baguette. Daniel Leader has a formula in Local Breads which he titles “Italian Baguettes” and says are called “Stirato,” which means “stretched” in Italian. Michel Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry includes a formula for “Pan Francese,” and we made this bread during the Artisan II workshop at SFBI.


The differences between Leader's and Suas' formulas are relatively minor. Leader uses a biga at 60% hydration, and the biga is 61% baker's percentage of the total dough. Leader's dough hydration is 70%. Suas' hydration is 76% - a significant difference. Suas uses a poolish (100% hydration), and the poolish is 50% baker's percentage of the total dough. Leader uses all AP flour, while Suas' formula uses 13.6% whole wheat flour, the rest being AP. Leader's mixing instructions, as usual for his high-hydration doughs, call for an intensive mix (10-12 minutes at Speed 4). Suas specifies a short mix but 2 or 3 folds during bulk fermentation. Their shaping instructions are also significantly different: In spite of pointing out that “Stirato” means “stretched,” Leader tells you to shape the loaves like you do baguettes. Suas has you simply cut long strips of dough and stretch them to shape.


Of course, there is no end to variations with breads. The Il Fornaio Baking Book, from the bakery chain of the same name, has a recipe for “Sfilatino” which they call “Italian Baguettes.” Theirs are made with a biga. They are shaped as demi-baguettes, then stretched to about 15 inches long.


The “Pan Francese” I made followed Suas' formula and method from AB&P.


 


Poolish

Baker's %

Wt. (oz)

AP flour

100

3 5/8

Water

100

3 5/8

Yeast (instant)

0.1

1/8 tsp

Total

200.1

7 1/8

  1. Mix all the ingredients until well-incorporated.

  2. Ferment for 12-16 hours at 65ºF.

     

Final dough

Baker's %

Wt. (oz)

AP flour

79.52

11 7/8

WW flour

13.48

2 3/8

Water

70

10

Yeast (instant)

0.35

¼ tsp

Salt

2

¼ oz

Malt

0.98

1/8 oz

Poolish

50.03

7 1/8

Total

223.36

2 lb

 

Total dough

Baker's %

Wt. (oz)

AP flour

86.4

15 1/2

WW flour

13.6

2 3/8

Water

76

13 5/8

Yeast (instant)

0.3

1/2 tsp

Salt

1.6

¼ oz

Malt

0.78

1/8 oz

Total

178.68

2 lb

 

Method

  1. Prepare the poolish the evening before mixing the dough.

  2. Measure all the Final dough ingredients into the bowl. (I used a KitchenAid mixer.)

  3. Mix with the paddle until ingredients are well mixed – 1-2 minutes -then switch to the hook and mix at speed 2 or 3 for about 5 minutes. There will be some gluten development, but the dough will not clear the sides of the bowl. It will be like a thickish, glutenous batter.

  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for 3 hours with 2-3 stretch and folds on a well-floured board.

  6. Prepare your oven with a baking stone and your steaming apparatus of choice in place. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF about 30 minutes before the end of fermentation.

  7. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board. De-gas the dough and stretch and pat it into a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches. Dust the top with flour.

  8. Using a bench knife, divide the dough into 3 strips. Stretch them to about 15” long and place them on a well-floured linen couch. (I suppose parchment paper would serve.). Cover with linen or a towel.

  9. Proof for 30-45 minutes.

  10. Transfer the loaves to a peel and then to the baking stone. Turn the oven down to 460ºF and steam it.

  11. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

  12. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Francese cross section crumb

Francese longitudinal section crumb

The loaves had a thin, crisp crust that got chewy as it cooled. The crumb was very open with some chewiness. The flavor of the whole wheat was present when tasted still slightly warm. I expect it to meld by tomorrow. The flavor was similar to ciabatta, not surprisingly. The bread was nice as a chicken salad sandwich for dinner.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

 

 

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I made some banana breads tonight. They were delicious – better than ever before with some tweaking the baking temperature. As I was tasting it, I got to thinking about the book from which I got the recipe.



Banana Bread from Crust & Crumb



Banana Bread crumb


Peter Reinhart's Crust & Crumb was one of the first two baking books I acquired when I started baking again after a 25 year lapse. (The other was George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker.) While my baking library now contains some two dozen books, C&C remains one of my favorites, and, as I look at it today, the reasons are clear. First, it contains a couple formulas I return to again and again – the best formula for San Francisco-style sourdough bread I know and the formula for Banana Bread.


This book was my introduction to so many basic concepts, including the orderly steps in bread baking, from mis en place to tasting, and the function of each in achieving “a loaf of bread that is rhapsodically beautiful and exceptionally delicious.” Reinhart's amalgamation of science, art, craft and philosophy, all expressed in beautiful and lucid prose, captured me. He emphasized the rigorous application of knowledge and technique but also the ultimate importance of “feel” for the dough, acquired through disciplined and reflective practice. That is the path he defined to become a “bread revolutionary.”


Crust & Crumb was published in 1998. Reinhart's introductory chapter is titled “The Bread Revolution.” It is of particular interest now, given our recent discussion of that topic. Reinhart's perspective is of special interest because of the role he has played in this phenomenon. He reviews the recent history of bread baking in America and the influences of various people and events and also delves into his personal history, albeit briefly. He concludes the book with a chapter on The Bread Baker's Guild of America and how it nurtured the young bakers who ultimately put the USA on the world bread map through victories in the Coupe du Monde, notably the second place finish in 1996 which included Craig Ponsford's winning first place in the bread division.


I love this book. Many newer books have advanced “the bread revolution” since Crust & Crumb was published, but it continues to have an unique place in my bread baking library, and I think it remains a valuable resource to anyone striving to make great bread.


Happy baking!


David


 

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Basic Country Bread from Tartine Bread



Basic Country Bread from Tartine Bread crumb


I made this following the recipe in the book. The whole wheat flour was freshly milled. The bread was delicious.


I always end up with a couple hundred grams of extra levain when I make the Basic Country Bread. I hate throwing it away, so, this week, I made a batch of baguettes with it. The 70% hydration dough was hand mixed and fermented for 2 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes, then fermented for another 90 minutes with stretch and folds on the board at 45 and 90 minutes. I retarded the dough in bulk overnight. This afternoon, I divided the dough, pre-shaped it and let it rest for an hour. Then, the baguettes were shaped, rolled on wet paper towels then in mixed seeds and proofed en couche for 45 minutes before baking at 450ºF for 20 minutes.



Seeded baguettes



Seeded baguette crumb


The flavor was very much like the Tartine Basic Country Bread except more sour. Very nice.


David

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Biscotti di Greve in Chianti


 


Carol Field is probably best known as the author of The Italian Baker. While it was first published in 1985, twelve years after Beard on Bread, it was certainly at the leading edge of the artisan bread movement in America. It is still frequently cited as the best book on Italian baking ever published in this country. I have never seen The Italian Baker, and my searches for it found it to be out of print with used copies selling for high prices. I'm delighted to have discovered, just yesterday, that it has been revised and is currently scheduled to be released in November, 2011. (The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside--Its Breads, Pizza, Focaccia, Cakes, Pastries, and Cookies)


Carol Field has written several other cook books, an Italian travel book and a novel. I checked out her book, Italy in Small Bites, from the library this week. It is a book of Italian between meal snack foods, although many are considerably more substantial in both calories and nutritional value than what we think of as “snacks” in the US. Field's writing about the place of these foods in Italian culture is quite fascinating for anyone interested in food and culture. (DaisyA! If you haven't read this book, you must!) But, no more about that now.


I had the afternoon off and looked for something from Italy in Small Bites I could bake before dinnertime. I chose “Biscotti di Greve in Chianti.” I've never met a biscotto I didn't like, but my wife has a dislike of anise flavored cookies, so the type of biscotti with which I was most familiar was out. These biscotti, which Field had from a bakery in Greve are flavored with almonds, vanilla and orange zest, all of which we like. The recipe was also attractive in that it is mixed in a food processor and seemed quick and easy.


Biscotti di Greve in Chianti


Ingredients


2 cups (280 g) unbleached AP flour


1 cup sugar


1 tsp baking soda


Pinch salt


2 eggs, room temperature


1 egg yolk, room temperature


1 tsp vanilla extract


2 tsp grated orange zest


1 ½ cups dry roasted almonds


1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water for glaze


Procedure




  1. Measure the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade and pulse to mix thoroughly.




  2. Mix the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and orange zest in a two cup measuring cup.




  3. With the processor running, pour the liquids over the dry ingredients through the feed tube. Mix to a shaggy mass, not until a ball forms.




  4. Pour half the almonds into the ball and pulse a few times. Repeat with the rest of the almonds.




  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and press it into a coherent mass. (This is the hardest step. I used my hands and a bench knife to fold the dough, which started out as discrete granules of dough mixed with nut fragments, into something that stuck together after folding and pressing repeatedly.)




  6. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.




  7. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 parts and form each into a log, 2 inches across. Brush each log with the glaze. Place the logs, at least 3 inches apart, on a buttered and floured sheet pan or on sheet pan lined with parchment.




  8. Bake 25-30 minutes until light golden brown.




  9. Remove from the oven to cool, but leave the oven on.




  10. Once the logs are cool enough to handle, slice each at an angle into ¾ inch thick cookies, using a serrated knife, and lay them on a lightly buttered cookie sheet.




  11. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes on each side until golden.




  12. Cool (and dry) before eating (If you can. I found that snacking on the log ends during the second baking assisted with this step.)








These biscotti are very tasty. They are less sweet than most, with a nice almond flavor. The orange flavor is very subtle. I haven't tasted them yet dipped in cappuccino or in wine, but I think that's how to enjoy them best.



David


 


 

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This weekend, I returned to my roots, tweaked a new favorite and baked a new bread.


When I started baking bread again after a 25 year hiatus, my motive was to make two favorite breads I was unable to obtain locally – Jewish Sour Rye and San Francisco-style Sourdough. My initial achievement of these goals was with the Sour Rye formula from George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker and with Peter Reinhart's Sourdough Bread from Crust & Crumb. These remain among my favorite breads.



Yesterday, I baked Greenstein's Jewish Sour Rye. The “authentic” NY-style deli bread is made with a white rye sour and first clear flour. As my taste for heartier rye breads developed, I began using whole rye flour rather than white rye and found I preferred it. For this bake, I used KAF Medium Rye though, and found it a very good.


Greenstein's recipes all use volume measurements. Some time back, I converted a couple of my favorites from his book to weights. (See Sour Rye Bread from George Greenstein's “Secrets of a Jewish Baker”) Although I'm a firm believer in weighing ingredients and do so even when feeding my stock sourdough starter, I have to confess I feed my rye sour by feel. The sour I built for this bake must have been firmer than usual or the medium rye thirstier than the BRM dark rye flour I've been using, because the dough ended up drier than usual. The effect was the cuts opened up much more than they usually do. The loaves were also under-proofed, and they had major bursting.



The flavor of this bread is wonderful. When tasted right after cooling, it was intensely sour. It was less sour on the second day. I believe I'll stick with medium rye for this bread for a while.


 


The miche we baked during the SFBI Artisan II workshop (This miche is a hit!)  is a new favorite. I've made it four times now, I think, each time with a different flour mix. Today, I picked up on brother Glenn's bakes using half Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” flour and half one of CM's baguette flours. I used CM “Organic Tye 85” flour to build the levain and KAF AP flour for the final dough. This results in 13% high-extraction flour and 87% white flour in the total dough. I scaled the miche to 2 kg for this bake.



I was inspired by Breadsong's scoring of her Teff miche (SFBI Teff Miche - 1.5kg) and attempted to do something similar. I bow to her superior artistry, but I'm not unhappy with my result.



SFBI Miche crumb



SFBI Miche crumb


I left the miche wrapped in baker's linen overnight before slicing. The crust remained crunchy. The crumb was moist. The aroma was quite wheaty. The flavor of the crust was dark and sweet. The crumb was moderately sour but with a complex wheaty, sweet flavor. 


Recall that all the high-extraction flour in this bread was pre-fermented. I really like the effect. The higher ash content results in more active fermentation and acid production, both of which I appreciate. The impact of the Type 85 flour on the flavor profile was greater than one might expect from its 13% presence in the total flour. In the original SFBI formula, the whole wheat flour is also in the levain, and constitutes only 3.33% of the total flour. This bread was very good made entirely with high-extraction flour, but, at least at the moment, I believe I like it best using the original formula. It's a hard call, because all the flour mixes I've used have made delicious breads.


 


The new bread I baked was the “Vienna Bread” with Dutch Crunch from BBA. The TFL members' bakes of this bread (Latest Bake: Dutch Crunch) really inspired me, especially the rolls, since we planned on making hamburgers for dinner.




Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch Bâtard



Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch Rolls


Reinhart's Vienna Bread formula makes a lovely dough, and the Dutch Crunch topping is visually striking on both larger loaves and rolls. I really had no idea how thick to apply the topping, so I “laid it on thick.” From the results, I think I got it about right.



Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch at start of proofing



Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch at finish of proofing



Vienna Bread crumb


As advertised, the crust is crunch and slightly sweet. The crumb is very light, delicate and tender with a lovely balanced flavor. The flavor is like brioche but much more subtle. Words like "delicate," and "finesse" come to mind. I anticipate that this will make outstanding toast and French toast. Actually, I think I could just sit down right now and eat the whole loaf as is.


So, would "delicate" and "subtle" bread be your choice for a hamburger bun? No?



Caramelized red onion with balsamic vinegar and roasted New Mexico Green Chile hamburger on Vienna Dutch Crunch roll


David


 


 

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The “Miche, Pointe-à-Callière” from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread has been one of my favorite breads and was my favorite miche for a long time. It's been quite a while since I last baked it. Since then, I've been doing more hand mixing of doughs I formerly machine mixed. I've found a new and wonderful high-extraction flour, Central Milling's “Organic Type 85.” And last, but my no means least, I've baked miches according to the formula we used in the SFBI Artisan II workshop last December. Many TFL members have baked this marvelous miche since I posted the formula, and they know what a wonderful bread this can be.


After these months of enjoying the SFBI miche, as well as Chad Robertson's somewhat similar “Basic Country Bread” from Tartine Bread, it seemed time to revisit the “Miche, Pointe-à-Callière.” I made it using Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” flour. I followed Hamelman's formula. I altered his procedures only by mixing the dough entirely by hand.


 


Overall Formula

Wt.

Baker's %

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

2 lbs

100.00%

Water

1 lb, 10.2 oz

82.00%

Salt

0.6 oz

1.80%

Total

3 lb, 10.8 oz

183.80%

 

Levain Build

Wt.

Baker's %

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

6.4 oz

100.00%

Water

3.8 oz

60.00%

Mature culture (stiff)

1.3 oz (3 T)

20.00%

Total

11.5 oz

 

 

Final Dough

Wt.

 

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

1 lb, 9.6 oz

 

Water

1 lb, 6.4 oz

 

Salt

0.6 oz

 

Levain

10.2 oz (all less 3 T)

Total

3 lb, 10.8 oz

Procedure

  1. Make the levain about 12 hours before you want to mix the dough. Dissolve the mature culture in the water, then mix in the flour.

  2. On the day of the bake, mix the Final Dough flour and water to a shaggy mass and autolyse in a large covered bowl for 20-60 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and add the Levain in several chunks. Mix thoroughly.

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

  5. Ferment the dough for 150 minutes, with stretch and folds on a floured board at 50 and 100 minutes.

  6. Form the dough into a tight boule and transfer it, seam side up, to a floured banneton. Place the banneton in a large plastic bag or cover with a towel or plasti-crap. (Note: Hamelman recommends the usual pre-shaping and resting before the final shaping. I did not do this, since the dough was rather slack, and the gluten did not require “relaxing,” in my judgement.)

  7. Proof for 2-2 ½ hours.

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

  9. Transfer the miche to a peel. Score it with a single square, “tic-tac-toe” pattern or diamond pattern. Load the miche onto the baking stone.

  10. Steam the oven and turn it down to 440ºF. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 420ºF, and bake for about another 45 minutes.

  11. When the miche is fully baked (internal temperature is 205ºF), turn off the oven. Leave the miche on the baking stone with the oven door ajar for another 10-20 minutes to dry the crust.

  12. Transfer the miche to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly. Then wrap it in baker's linen and let it rest for at least 12 hours before slicing.

Note: All times are approximate. Watch the dough, not the clock.

Miche, Pointe-à-Callière: Profile

Miche, Pointe-à-Callière: crumb

I rested the loaf for about 18 hours before slicing. The crumb structure was similar to that pictured in “Bread,” but I think I slightly under-fermented the dough and over-proofed the loaf.The crust was chewy. The crumb was rather dense and chewy. The flavor was not really sour but was very wheaty – more intense than I recall from other bakes with this flour.

Next time I make this miche, if I hand mix it, I'll add some S&F's in the bowl during the first part of the bulk fermentation and lengthen the fermentation, hoping to increase flavor complexity.

David

 

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This weekend, I baked a couple of breads I have enjoyed, but both were made with variations.


I have made the 100% whole wheat bread from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Baking a couple of times before with fresh-milled flour (100% Whole Wheat Bread from WGB, made with fresh-milled flour). I think it makes a delicious bread. This weekend, I wanted to make it with finer-milled flour and with a whole wheat starter, rather than a yeasted "biga."


The flour was milled from hard red winter wheat using the KitchenAid grain mill attachment. I milled the berries once on a medium setting and then twice on the finest setting. The result was a fairly fine flour, but still not as fine as KAF Organic Whole Wheat flour, for example. The levain had a somewhat gritty consistency. It ripened quite a bit faster than the yeasted biga does for this bread. The dough was quite soft and very manageable, but while quite extensible, had little elasticity. It was difficult to judge the proofing because the dough never was really springy. The modest oven spring I got suggests I may have over-proofed somewhat. The crumb was quite a bit more open than I got with previous bakes of this bread. I attribute this partly to the finer-milled flour and partly to the levain.



100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread from WGB, made with fresh-milled flour



Loaf profile



Crumb close-up


My wife liked the flavor of this bread. It has a rather pronounced sourdough tang over a sweet, wheaty flavor. It confirmed my aversion to this combination of flavors, sadly. I will make this bread again, but I will stick to the yeasted version.


Franko's gorgeous 80% rye with rye flour soaker ( See 80% Sourdough Rye Bread- adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's 'Bread') reminded me how much I loved this bread from Hamelman's Bread (See Sweet, Sour and Earthy: My new favorite rye bread). I had expected to make it again sooner, but got distracted by other baking projects. Franko's bake in a Pullman pan was so lovely, I thought I'd use mine, but, at the last minute, decided to bake it as one large, almost 2 kg boule.


For this bake, I omitted the instant yeast. The dough was raised by the rye sour only. Also, for this bake, I used fresh-milled rye, milled as described above.



80% Rye with Rye Flour Soaker from Hamelman's Bread, made with fresh-milled rye flour


After cooling, I wrapped the loaf in baker's linen to rest for 24 hours before slicing.



80% Rye crumb (Note: The uneven color is an artifact of the lighting.)


After unwrapping the loaf, the crust felt very hard, but it was delightfully crunchy. The crumb was soft and moist. The flavor had a nice caramelized tone from the crust. The crumb flavor was mildly sour, sweet and very earthy - just a good whole rye flavor. Delicious. I had some with dinner, without any topping. I have some cream cheese and smoked salmon to eat with this for breakfast. 


This remains my favorite high-percentage rye bread. I just love the flavor and the texture of the crumb.


David

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Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel


Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread – a Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes is highly esteemed by TFL members. Which of his formulas is most commonly baked is unknown, although the Vermont Sourdough would be my guess, especially if you include SusanFNP's “Norwich Sourdough” version of it. There is little question regarding which of his several stories from the bakery is the favorite. It has to be the story of Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel, found on page 221 of my printing. This tale has an almost mythic quality that truly touches the heart, as it says so much about the age in which we live, the culture of the artisan baker and the character of the pastor, Horst Bandel, and that of Mr. Hamelman himself.


Hamelman's “Home” formula for this bread makes 3 lb, 12 oz of dough. The bread is to be baked in a covered Pullman/Pain de Mie pan. Hamelman specifies 4.4 lbs of dough for the most common (13 x 4 x 4 inch) size Pullman pan, so the formula needs to be re-calculated accordingly. I decided to bake in a 9 x 4 x 4 inch Pullman Pan, which I figured would take 3 lbs of dough. The weights in the following tables are for a quantity of dough just under this.


 


Overall Formula

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Rye meal (pumpernickel flour)

206

30

Rye berries

137

20

Rye chops

172

25

High-gluten flour

172

25

Old bread (altus)

137

20

Water

481

70

Yeast (instant)

4.6

1.3

Salt

14

2

Molasses, blackstrap

27

4

Total

1350.6

197.3

 

Sourdough

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Rye meal

206

100

Water

206

100

Mature sourdough culture

10

5

Total

422

205

Note: I used KAF Pumpernickel flour.

 

Rye-Berry Soaker

Wt (g)

Rye berries

137

Water

Enough

Total

137

 

Old Bread Soaker

Wt (g)

Old bread (altus)

137

Water

Enough

Total

137

Note: I used Hamelman's “80 percent Rye with a Rye-Flour Soaker” as altus. I did the soaking the day before the bake, wrung out the altus, saving the water, and refrigerated them. I believe it was George Greenstein from whom I learned that altus will keep refrigerated for a few days.

 

Final dough

Wt (g)

Sourdough

412

Rye berry soaker

137

Rye chops

172

High-gluten flour

172

Old bread (altus) soaker

137

Water

275

Yeast (instant)

4.6

Salt

14

Molasses, blackstrap

27

Total

1350.6

Note: I made the rye chops by coarsely grinding rye berries with the grain mill attachment to a KitchenAid mixer.

Procedures

This bread has multiple components, and the sourdough and the two soakers require advance preparation. Counting the minimum rest time between baking and eating, the procedures can easily stretch over 4 days. They did for me. I weighed out the ingredients and fed my starter on Day 1, milled the grain, made the altus, fed the sourdough and soaked the soaker on Day 2, mixed and baked the bread on Day 3 and 4 (overnight) and let the bread rest on Day 4.

The procedures as listed below assume you have already gathered the ingredients and have a mature sourdough culture. Where my procedures deviated from those specified by Mr. Hamelman, I have added parenthetical comments or notes.

  1. Feed the sourdough and ripen it for 14-16 hours at 70ºF.

  2. Soak the whole rye berries overnight. The next day, boil them in about 3 times their volume of water until they are soft and pliable, about an hour.

  3. Cut the “old bread” into cubes, crust and all, cover in hot water and let soak for at least 4 hours. Squeeze out as much water as possible, and reserve the water for use, if needed, in the final dough. The bread can be sliced, dried and browned in the oven before soaking, which Hamelman says provides a “deeper flavor.”

  4. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer. Hamelman says to not add the reserved altus soaker water unless needed, but it is not clear whether the Final Dough water includes this or not. The dough description is “medium consistency but not wet, and it will be slightly sticky.” Mix at Speed 1 for 10 minutes. DDT is 82-84ºF. (I mixed the dough for about a minute with the paddle without adding any additional water. The ingredients mixed well and formed a ball on the paddle. I felt the dough was about the right consistency, but I did add 10 g of the altus water. I then attempted to mix with the dough hook. The dough just went to the side of the bowl, leaving the hook spinning without grabbing the dough. After about 5 minutes of this, with multiple scrape-downs of the dough, I gave up. I tried kneading on a floured board with little effect. This was the stickiest dough I've ever encountered. I finally formed it into a ball and placed it in an oiled batter pitcher.)

  5. Ferment in bulk for 30 minutes.

  6. Prepare your pullman pan by lightly oiling the inside, including the lid, and dusting with whole rye or pumpernickel flour. (I'm not sure this was necessary, since my pan is “non-stick.”)

  7. Form the dough into a cylindrical log and place in the pan. Slide the lid onto the pan.

  8. Proof for 50-60 minutes at 80ºF.

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. If you have a baking stone, pre-heat it, too. You will be doing most of the bake with the oven turned off. The baking stone will act as a heat buffer, so the oven temperature falls more slowly.

  10. When the dough has risen to within about ¾ inches from the top of the pan, place it in the oven, covered.

  11. Bake at 350ºF for one hour. Then, turn the oven down to 275ºF, and bake for another 3-4 hours. Then, turn the oven off, and let the bread continue to bake for another 8-12 hours. The range of times given is due to the variability in ovens, specifically how well they retain heat, and how quickly their temperature falls once they are turned off. Hamelman says, “You will know when this bread is baked: The aroma will fill the entire room.” (The aroma of the baking bread was very present 2 hours into the bake. At about 4 hours into the bake, I turned the oven off. The next morning, the aroma in the room was not discernible. When I took the pan out of the oven, it was still warm, but not so hot I couldn't hold it in my bare hands. When I opened the pan, the bread was very aromatic, with the molasses smelling most strongly but the rye very much there as well.)

  12. When the bread is baked, remove it from the pan, and let it cool completely. It should then be wrapped in baker's linen and let rest for a minimum of 24 hours before slicing.

As you can see from the domed top of the loaf, it did not spring enough to fill the pan. I don't know if there was not enough dough, not enough water or whether it was inadequately mixed or proofed. Comments on this would be more than welcome.

Addendum: I sliced the pumpernickel about 36 hours after it was baked. It was very firm and sliced well into thin slices without any of the crumbling I feared. The crust is very chewy. The crumb was moist but extremely dense. The flavor was molasses and rye - very strong flavors.

Discussion and comments by more experienced pumpernickel bakers convinced me that I should have added much more water to the dough, but this bread is not bad as baked. Here are a couple crumb photos:

David

 

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dmsnyder


 


One of the breads we baked at the SFBI Artisan II Workshop last month was a miche. Everyone thought it was one of the best breads we baked. I made it at home for the first time two weeks ago, but used “Organic Type 85” high-extraction flour from Central Milling rather than the mix of white and whole wheat with the addition of toasted wheat germ we had used at SFBI. (See This miche is a hit!)


This bread was delicious, but I did want to make it at least once using the formula we had used at the SFBI, just to see how it turned out at home compared to baked in a commercial steam injected deck oven. Certainly the several TFL members who have baked this miche in their home ovens since I posted the formula have found it to be good. Also, at the SFBI, we had found that miches scaled at 2.5 to 3 kg somehow had an even better flavor than those scaled at 1.25 kg. So, today I baked a 2 kg miche using the original SFBI Artisan II formula.


For those who would like to make this larger version, here is the formula for a 2 kg miche:


 


Total Dough

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

96.67

1087

WW Flour

3.33

38

Water

73.33

824

Salt

2

23

Wheat germ toasted

2.5

28

Total

177.83

2000

 

Pre-ferment

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

75

112

WW Flour

25

38

Water

100

150

Salt

0

0

Liquid starter

50

75

Total

250

375

 

Final Dough

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

100

975

Water

69

675

Salt

2

23

Wheat germ toasted

2.5

28

Levain

31

299

Total

204.5

2000

The procedure used was the same as in my previous blog entry about this bread with one exception – shooting for a slightly lighter crust, I baked with steam for 20 minutes at 450ºF, then turned the oven to convection bake at 425ºF for another 40 minutes. I did not leave the miche in the turned off oven to dry out before removing it to the cooling rack. I did leave it in the oven while I heated the oven back up to 460ºF conventional bake for the next loaves (about 5 minutes).

I was concerned about over-proofing this loaf, and it was lined up ahead of a couple San Joaquin Sourdough breads waiting to bake.

Miche after baking 20 minutes with steam at 450ºF

The blowout I got suggests the loaf was a bit under-proofed. I also shaped the boule really tight, which may well have been a second factor.

The miche sang loud and long while cooling. The crust had some crackles, but not like the last miche.

Crust crackles

Loaf profile, cut through the middle

Crumb

Crumb close-up

2 kg miche beside 514 g San Joaquin Sourdough bâtards

The crust was crunchy-chewy - much thinner than the last bake. It was much less caramelized, and this was apparent in the less wonderful crunch and flavor. The crumb was nice. It was quite noticeably denser in the center of the loaf. I think this is expectable with a miche of this size. I thought the crumb structure was pretty consistent from the center of a slice to the crust.

6 hours after baking: The aroma of the crumb had a pronounced whole wheat grassiness. The crumb was moderately chewy. From past experience, I expect it to be softer tomorrow. The flavor was good - mildly sour with a nice wheaty flavor - but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the miche made with Central Milling's "Type 85" flour. I think the flavor would have been better had I used fresh-milled whole wheat. That's what I will do the next time I bake this miche.

24 hours after baking: The aroma and flavor have mellowed and melded. The grassy aroma is gone. It just smells like a good sourdough country bread. The flavor is now delightful - very complex - nuttier and sweeter. A very thin smear of unsalted butter makes this bread ambrosial.

I froze half the miche. The other half will be croutons for onion soup gratiné tonight, breakfast toast with almond butter and crostini with ribollita for dinner tomorrow. (The ribollitta was my wife's all-morning project.) That should leave another quarter loaf for sandwiches, panini, French toast ... 

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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