The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dmsnyder

I was visiting the King Arthur Flour web site last week and, as I usually do, wandered into the "Professional" section of the site to see what might be new. There, I found a new formula for "Harpoon Miche." You know, with a name like that, I had to check it out. It sounded like a bread that would stick in your ribs ... if you weren't careful.

It turned out the "Harpoon Miche" is a sourdough bread made with both wheat flour-based and whole rye-fed starters, and about half the liquid in the final dough is dark beer. Well, "Harpoon Miche" fizzed its way right to the head of my "to bake list." Now, I assume the "Harpoon" refers to the brewery from whence the KAF bakers get the dark beer they use. Not being in Northern New England but in Northern California, I used a favorite dark beer from San Francisco's Anchor Steam brewery. So, let's call what I baked today " Brekle's Brown Miche."

Here is a link to the KAF "Harpoon Miche" formula:       Harpoon Miche   

This is an 80% hydration dough, and it is downright gloppy. Even with good dough strength, it spreads like crazy. So, I decided to bake my loaves in cast iron Dutch ovens à la Tartine Bread. I think it worked quite well.

Cooling miches

 

Cut loaf profile

Crumb close-up

Slice

 I cut one of the loaves about 4 hours after they were out of the oven. The crust was still crunchy. The crumb was moist but well-baked. The bread had a definite aroma of dark beer. I tasted it first plain. The crumb was tender-chewy. The flavor was typical of mixed flour sourdough breads, but with the added winey flavor of the Brekle's Brown beer. I then had a slice with some lovely Cotswold cheese, and that was a fabulous combination. We had some more with dinner (baked salmon, chard, potatoes roasted with aglioni and roasted beets in mustard vinaigrette.) 

This is a delicious bread with a complex and somewhat novel flavor. I'll see how an overnight rest changes it. As of now, I think it is best suited to accompany cheeses, smoked meats and winey beef or lamb braises. I wonder how it will be with my usual breakfast almond butter.

Happy baking!

David

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dmsnyder

This morning, I baked two loaves of Pane Tipo di Altamura (1kg each) and one loaf of my Pugliese Capriccioso (1 kg) in my friend J.S.'s Wood-Fired Oven. The breads were baked for a potluck lunch for about 25 most of whom are Italian-Americans.

Both breads were cold retarded in bannetons after final shaping for about 18 hours.

First, the bad news. We forgot an important lesson learned last year: You have to take the hot coals out of the oven before loading bread into it. Consequently, although the oven floor was a reasonable temperature for baking bread (around 500 dF), the heat from the fire resulted in a seriously charred crust. After the loaves cooled, I took a knife to them and scraped off most of the char. What was left still looked pretty nasty, but did not impart any bitter or otherwise off flavors to the bread.

The good news - and most of the news was good: First, I got the Altamura shaping right, finally. (Thanks to mwilson for his very helpful advice after my last bake of Pane di Altamura.) Second, there was terrific oven spring, and the final loaf shape was close to the classic folded Altamura shape. Third, (and most important) the bread was fabulously delicious! The flavor was more complex than any of my previous bakes, with nutty, sweet and tangy notes. The crust was crunchy. The crumb was cool, tender and chewy.

The bread was greatly appreciated by all, including the one attendee whose opinion I value most, a woman who immigrated from Apulia as a young adult. She and her husband had a very good Southern Italian restaurant and pizzeria in town until they retired some years ago.

So, here are some photos of the Pane di Altamura. The loaf is ugly as sin to look at. You will have to take my word that it was delicious to eat.

J.S. and I have already discussed our next bake in her WFO when we will remember to sweep out the coals before loading the bread. I also want to bake Pane di Altamura with an overnight retardation again in my oven. I think the retardation  enhances this bread's flavor a lot.

By the way, the Pugliese Capriccioso was also (charred but) delicious.

David

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dmsnyder

Pane Tipo di Altamura

20 April, 2016

David Snyder

 

This is the latest bake in my series of attempts to produce a good looking and good flavored Pane Tipo di Altamura. I have continued to make modifications based on my experience to date and the experience and resources shared by other TFL members who are also working on this style of bread.

  

Total Dough

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

559

100

Water

391

70

Salt

11

1.8

Total

961

171.8

  

Lievito Naturale Madre Build 1

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

25

100

Water (80-90ºF)

17

70

Semola Rimacinata mother

10

40

Total

52

210

 

  1. Place the mother in a medium bowl.

  2. Add the water and mix well.

  3. Add the flour and mix until there is no dry flour and the lievito feels like a bread dough.

  4. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for about 8 hours at 77ºF.

     

 

Lievito Naturale Madre Build 2

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

25

100

Water (80-90ºF)

17

70

Semola Rimacinata lievito madre

10

40

Total

52

210

  1. Place the mother in a medium bowl.

  2. Add the water and mix well.

  3. Add the flour and mix until there is no dry flour and the lievito feels like a bread dough.

  4. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for about 12 hours at 80ºF.

 

 

Lievito Naturale Build 3 (Final)

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

60

100

Water (80-90ºF)

42

70

Semola Rimacinata lievito madre

12

20

Total

114

190

  1. Place the mother in a medium bowl.

  2. Add the water and mix well.

  3. Add the flour and mix until there is no dry flour and the lievito feels like a bread dough.

  4. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for about 6 hours at 77ºF.

  6. Refrigerate overnight.

 

Final Dough

Wt. (g)

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

500

Water

350

Salt

11

Lievito Naturale

100

Total

961

 

Procedures

  1. Mix the Lievito Naturale and water well in the bowl using the paddle. (I used a KitchenAid mixer.)

  2. Add the flour and then the salt. Mix at Speed 1 for 20 minutes. The dough should (nearly) clean the walls of the bowl. It will form a medium windowpane.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly.

  4. Ferment for 90 minutes at 76dF.

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and pre-shape as a moderately tight boule.

  6. Cover with a cloth and rest for 30 minutes at 76dF. (I covered the dough with baker's linen and placed it on a quarter sheet tray which fits nicely into my proofing box.)

  7. Pre-heat oven to 500dF with steaming apparatus in place.

  8. Return dough to the board and pre-shape again as a moderately tight boule.

  9. Cover with a cloth and rest for 30 minutes at 76dF.

  10. Return dough to the board.

  11. Using the sides of your two hands, make a wide groove down the middle of the loaf. Dust the top of the loaf lightly with durum flour.Then fold the loaf at the groove so that the upper half over-laps the lower half 3/4 of the way. Do not seal the seam between the upper and lower layers. Rather, seal the fold at the “back” of the loaf.

  12. Transfer the loaf to a peel.

  13. Turn the oven down to 460ºF, steam the oven and transfer the loaf to the baking stone.

  14. Bake with steam for 15 minutes.

  15. Remove the steam source from the oven. Turn the oven temperature down to 435ºF (or 420ºF convection bake).

  16. Bake for another 18-22 minutes. The loaf should be nicely browned. It should sound hollow when the bottom is thumped with a knuckle. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  17. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

 

Picture Gallery

Windowpane after mix of 20 minutes at Speed 1 

 

Dough at start of bulk fermentation 

 

Dough after bulk fermentation. Ready for first pre-shaping

After first pre-shaping and 30 minute rest

Baked loaf

A Slice

Crumb close-up

Tasting Notes and comments

I knew this bake was different as soon as I took the bread out of the oven. The aroma was heavenly! It was nutty/wheaty. It was an archetypal “Fresh-baked Bread” aroma. The two previous bakes both had had a yeasty aroma.

The crust was soft, right from when it came out of the oven. (Maybe I really should try not steaming the oven at all.) I left the house to do some errands. When I came home about 3 hours later and got the groceries put away, the loaf was cool, and I cut a slice from the middle.

The crumb was a bit less yellow than my first bake. Maybe this was due to the longer mix, although that was entirely at low speed. Maybe it was the different flour (Central Milling versus KAF). The crust was chewy with a nice nutty flavor. The crumb was pleasantly chewy but not dense-feeling. There was absolutely no sourdough tang, just a remarkably sweet, wheaty flavor that was quite delighful. I ate most of a slice plain, then a bit with some fresh Cotswald cheese. I will have some more with dinner dipped in EVOO and some toasted for breakfast with almond butter.

Clearly, Durum flour obeys a different set of rules than “regular” hard Winter wheat and soft Winter wheat. As mwilson has been saying, the flavor depends on the starter even more than with other flours, and a full fermentation is needed to develop flavor complexity. I am also struck by the absence of acidity. If I fermented my usual mixed flour starter as I did this lievito naturale, the resulting bread would be extremely sour. In fact, perhaps I should try an overnight cold retardation with my next attempt. Before the first pre-shaping? After the final shaping?

The lievito naturale full fermentation also has enormous benefits for dough consistency and, especially, extensibility. This lesson was reinforced greatly by several of the videos of Altamura bakeries at work in which you can really appreciate the expected dough consistency and how it is handled.

At this point, while my loaf shaping still has a lot of room for improvement, the most significant area I want to improve is crust consistency. I have been reluctant to forgo oven steaming for fear of reducing oven spring, but maybe that is what I should try next. A hotter oven is probably worth trying as well.

So, I am very pleased with the improved taste of today's loaf. I still have a lot to work on to get this bread as I believe it should be.

David

 

 

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Pane Tipo di Altamura

14 April, 2016

David Snyder

 

My bake of Pane Tipo di Altamura on March 31 yielded a good looking loaf with very nice texture. However, the flavor was unexciting, except when the bread was dipped in olive oil. I thought it should be more flavorful.

 Since then, I have read over the reports by other TFL members of their attempts to make this bread. I was intrigued particularly by several of the online resources shared by mwilson. These included documentation of the DOP specifications for Pane di Altamura, including the timing of fermentation and shaping steps. I have never made this bread following that schedule, and I though I should do so, at least once.

There are two important factors I cannot replicate. First, I am using Fancy Durum flour from King Arthur. I really have no idea how that flour compares to flour milled from durum wheat grown in Puglia. The second factor is that I don't have a wood-fired oven, so I need to attempt a bake that achieves the target crust and crumb best I can with my electric oven.

  

Total Dough

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

495

90

AP flour

55

10

Water

385

70

Salt

10

1.8

Total

890

161.8

Note: The inclusion of 10% AP flour occurred because I ran out of durum flour.

 

Biga Naturale

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

50

100

Water (80-90ºF)

35

70

Semola Rimacinata starter

20

40

Total

105

210

 

  1. Place the starter in a medium bowl.

  2. Add the water and mix until the starter is in pea-size pieces.

  3. Add the flour and mix until there is no dry flour and the biga feels like a bread dough.

  4. Place the biga in a clean bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for about 12 hours at 65ºF.

  6. Refrigerate overnight.

Note: I did two builds, starting with all-durum biga that had been refrigerated for 3 days.

  

Final Dough

Wt. (g)

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

445

AP Flour

55

Water

350

Salt

10

Biga Naturale

105

Total

965

 

Procedures

  1. Mix the Biga and water well in the bowl using the paddle. (I used a KitchenAid mixer.)

  2. Add the flours and then the salt. Mix at Speed 1 for 9-10 minutes.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly.

  4. Ferment for 90 minutes at 76dF.

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and pre-shape as a moderately tight boule.

  6. Cover with a cloth and rest for 30 minutes at 76dF.

  7. Pre-heat oven to 500dF with steaming apparatus in place.

  8. Return dough to the board and pre-shape again as a moderately tight boule.

  9. Cover with a cloth and rest for 30 minutes at 76dF.

  10. Return dough to the board.

  11. Using the sides of your two hands, make a wide groove down the middle of the loaf. Then fold the loaf at the groove so that the upper half over-laps the lower half 3/4 of the way. Gently seal the seam between the upper and lower layers.

  12. Transfer the loaf to a peel.

  13. Turn the oven down to 450ºF, steam the oven and transfer the loaf to the baking stone.

  14. Bake with steam for 15 minutes.

  15. Remove the steam source from the oven. Turn the oven temperature down to 420ºF (or 400ºF convection bake).

  16. Bake for another 18-22 minutes. The loaf should be nicely browned. It should sound hollow when the bottom is thumped with a knuckle. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  17. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

 

Tasting Notes and comments

This bake compared to my last bake altered the dough hydration – increasing it from 60 to 70% - and the procedure was closer to that specified by the DOP definition of Pane di Altamura. The dough had a very different consistency. It was much more soft and extensible than previously and seemed very much closer to what I have seen in the videos of bread making in Altamura. How much of this change was due to the increased hydration, how much to the mixing difference and how much to the cold retardation of the biga is uncertain.

My shaping was much closer to the traditional Altamura folded loaf, but the final loaf shape after baking was not ideal. I believe I know how to fix this. I see it as a minor problem.

The crumb was less open than my last bake, but I think it was “in the ballpark” of the Pane di Altamura crumbs I have seen in photos. The bread was soft and mildly chewy once cool. The crust could have been thicker. The flavor was improved over my last bake. It had a slight sweet wheaty flavor with the barest suggestion of a creamy tang. It was good bread, but not in the same league as a good French-style Pain au Levain in my opinion.

Today, after I had the dough fermenting, I took delivery of 10 lbs of fancy durum flour from Keith Giusto's Bakery Supply (Central Milling). I believe my next bake of this bread will be in a wood-fired oven, with which I have a May Day date!

Photo Gallery

 

 

David

 

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Pane Tipo di Altamura

31 March, 2016

David Snyder

 

Back in 2011, several TFL bakers worked on trying to replicate Pane di Altamura at home. I participate with one bake (see: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24139/pane-tipo-di-altamura-quotlocal-breadsquot), but did not work to refine it and have not baked this bread since. Abe's (A BakEr on TFL) recent efforts have inspired me to give this bread another go.

Since my prior attempt, I have had a little experience baking in a wood-fired oven, which is how Pane di Altamura is baked. I realize how different that oven is from my home electric oven. I have further amended Abe's amendment of the Italian DOP specification based on this experience. Most significantly, almost all instructions for baking this bread omit steaming the oven. My thinking is that, in a wood-fired oven, generally there are multiple loaves baking at once, and the water that evaporates from them, in effect, steams the oven without the addition of any water by the baker. This effect is much less with a single loaf in an electric oven. Therefore, I did steam my oven for the first part of the bake. That said, the formula and procedures I used are largely based on the information Abe kindly shared with us.

 

Total Dough

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

550

100

Water

330

60

Salt

10

1.8

Total

890

161.8

  

Biga Naturale

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

50

100

Water (80-90ºF)

30

60

Semola Rimacinata starter

20

40

Total

100

200

I already had a biga naturale from a previous bake in my refrigerator. So, the biga used in the Final Dough was fed three times with about 12 hours' fermentation of each build.

  1. Place the starter in a medium bowl.

  2. Add the water and mix until the starter is in pea-size pieces.

  3. Add the flour and mix until there is no dry flour and the biga feels like a bread dough.

  4. Place the biga in a clean bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for about 12 hours at 70-76ºF.

  6. Repeat twice more.

 

Final Dough

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

Semola Rimacinata (Fine Durum flour)

500

100

Water

300

60

Salt

10

2

Biga Naturale

100

20

Total

910

182

 Procedures

  1. Mix the flour and water well in a large bowl. (There should be no dry flour in the bowl.)

  2. Cover the bowl tightly and let it rest at room temperature for an hour.

  3. Add the salt and the biga to the bowl. Mix thoroughly using the French “pinch and fold” method.

  4. Knead in the bowl or on an un-floured board for about 10 minutes.

  5. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  6. Knead for another 10 minutes.

  7. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl. Cover the bowl tightly.

  8. Ferment for 6 hours at 76ºF. (I used a Brød and Taylor Proofing Box set to 76ºF.) The dough should be expanded to double its original volume and feel soft and puffy.

  9. Transfer the dough to a board lightly dusted with durum flour and pre-shape as a boule.

  10. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  11. Place the boule on baker's linen and cover well. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  12. Transfer the dough to the board and pre-shape as a bâtard, taking care to de-gas the dough as little as possible. (Note: Pane di Altamura is traditionally shaped as a boule. I elected to shape it as a long loaf. If shaped as a boule, the bake time should be increased, since the loaf would be thicker.)

  13. Place the bâtard on the baker's linen and cover well. Let it rest for another 30 minutes.

  14. Transfer the bâtard to the board. Gently stretch it by grasping the two long sides and pulling it into a flat oval.

  15. Using the sides of your two hands, make a wide groove down the long axis of the loaf. Then fold the loaf at the groove so that the upper half over-laps the lower half 3/4 of the way. Gently seal the seam between the upper and lower layers.

  16. Transfer the loaf to a peel.

  17. Turn the oven down to 450ºF, steam the oven and transfer the loaf to the baking stone.

  18. Bake with steam for 15 minutes.

  19. Remove the steam source from the oven. Turn the oven temperature down to 420ºF (or 400ºF convection bake).

  20. Bake for another 15-18 minutes. The loaf should be nicely browned. It should sound hollow when the bottom is thumped with a knuckle. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  21. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

 

Tasting Notes

When fully cooled and first sliced, the crust is thin and chewy. The crumb is amazingly open for such a low-hydration bread, and a most attractive yellow color. The slices show that the multiple shaping steps did not over-de-gas the dough. The profile shape is pleasing. On tasting, the crumb is mildly chewy. There is a slight yeasty aroma. The flavor is balanced and mild with some nutty, some sweet and very little if any sour tang. When eaten toasted the next morning, the crust becomes pleasingly crisp. The crumb is a bit more tender. The flavor is similar to that of a couple hours after baking.

When tasted dipped in a local, low-acid, fruity EVOO, this bread is transformed into something ambrosial. Of course, Puglia is famous for both Pane di Altamura and for its ancient olive groves, so it is no surprise. The neutral flavor of the bread allows the full, complex flavor of the oil to come through, and the oil brings out the sourdough tang that was otherwise faintly present in the bread. Delicious!  

Photo Gallery

Fully fermented dough, on the board prior to first pre-shaping (Step 9) 

Pre-shaped dough, wrapped in baker's linen for a rest

After first pre-shaping and a 30 minute rest wrapped in linen

Dough after second pre-shaping as a bâtard (Step 12)

 

A helpful illustration of shaping I found on the agradolce.it web site (Pane di Altamura | Agrodolce)

 

My loaf, after final shaping. On a peel, ready to bake. (Step 15)

Pane Tipo di Altamura

A slice

Crumb, close-up

 

 

Final Notes

This bread is fun to make. The dough is easy to mix and enjoyable to handle. Shaping is a challenge. I am pleased with the result. The baked loaf is attractive.

 I do not find the bread provides outstanding eating by itself or with butter, however, dipped in olive oil as is traditional, it is transformed into a wonderful food. It is not merely a vehicle. The olive oil and the bread each compliment the other. (See "Tasting Notes," above.) I still need to taste this bread grilled then rubbed with garlic, another traditional way of eating it.

The obvious necessity is a trip to Altamura to calibrate my expectations.

 David 

 

 

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Semolina Capriccioso

DMSnyder

March 25, 2016

 

This bread combines many streams of inspiration – my own Pugliese Capriccioso and San Joaquin Sourdough, Hamelman's Semolina Bread and Tom Cat's Semolina Filone, as described by Maggie Glezer in “Artisan Baking.”

 This is a high hydration dough that is a challenge to mix and shape. Because it was so gloppy, even after machine mixing and multiple stretch and folds in the bowl, I decided to retard the dough in bulk and use the techniques and timing of the San Joaquin Sourdough for shaping and proofing. I had intended to coat the loaves with sesame seeds before proofing, but – again because of how loose the dough was – opted to load onto parchment after proofing and apply the seeds by brushing with water and sprinkling the seeds onto the loaves.

  

Total Dough Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

223

40

Fine durum flour

334

60

Water

446

80

Salt

11

2

Sesame seeds, toasted

29

5

Sesame seeds (un-toasted) to coat loaves

 

 

Total

1043

187

20% of the flour is pre-fermented.

 

Biga Naturale Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Fine durum flour

97

100

Water

48

50

Active starter (50% hydration)

21

22

Total

166

172

  1. The day before baking, mix the biga.

  2. Ferment until doubled in volume at 76ºF.

  3. Refrigerate overnight

  

Final Dough Ingredients

Wt (g)

AP flour

223

Fine durum flour

223

Water (Warm - 80-85ºF)

391

Salt

11

Biga naturale

166

Sesame seeds, toasted

29

Total

1043

 

Method

  1. Take the biga out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for about an hour.

  2. Mix the water and flours to a shaggy mass, cover and autolyse for 20-60 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle the salt on the dough and add the biga in chunks.

  4. Mix at Speed 1 for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients are well-mixed.

  5. Mix at Speed 2 for about 10 minutes. The dough will be quite slack. It will not clean the sides of the bowl but will form a ball on the dough hook,. A large portion of the dough will still be on the bottom of the bowl.

  6. Add the toasted sesame seeds to the dough, and mix on low speed for a couple minutes to distribute them.

  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl with a tight-fitting cover.

  8. Ferment at 76ºF for 2 1/2 to 3 hours with a stretch and fold in the bowl every 30 minutes.

  9. The dough will not expand much, but, if fermented in a clear container, tiny bubbles should be seen throughout it.

  10. Cold retard the dough at about 40ºF until the next morning (8-18 hours).

  11. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Pre-shape into balls, cover, and let the dough rest for 50-60 minutes.

  12. Shape the pieces as boules or bâtards.

  13. If bâtards: Place the loaves on a linen couche seam-side up and cover. If boules: Place the loaves in a well-floured banneton, seam-side up, and cover.

  14. Proof at room temperature until the dough springs back slowly when you poke a finger into it. (About 40 minutes)

  15. 45-60 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  16. Transfer the loves seam-side down to a piece of parchment paper the size of your baking stone and slide a peel under it.

  17. Brush the loaves with water and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Score the loaves as desired.

  18. Steam the oven and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  19. Transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

  20. After 12 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. (If you have an electric convection oven, switch to Convection Bake and turn the temperature down to 440ºF.) Bake for another 14 minutes or until the loaves are done. The crust should be nicely colored. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  21. (Optionally) Leave the loaves on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for another 10 minutes to dry the crust.

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

 

After the loaves had cooled, the crust was soft. On slicing, the crumb was moderately open. The crust and crumb were quite chewy. The flavor was sweet and nutty.

I cut a bite-sized piece for my wife who was up to her elbows in washed lettuce for our dinner salad. “Mmmmm ….,” says she. “Why are we making all this other food?”

 This is a delicious bread. It has earned top ranking among my Italian-style sourdough breads. I may try making it with a somewhat lower hydration. Might try “shaping” this dough as Ciabattas. It should be tried as rolls as well. Gonna be a fun set of experiments!

 Happy baking!

David

 

 

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dmsnyder

Hamelman's 5-Grain Levain is always a delight with a crunchy crust and moist crumb full of seedy goodness. Highly recommended. Specifically, take the no-added-yeast/cold retard overnight option. It truly does make an enormous difference in flavor - for the better.

The exuberant oven spring and bloom is characteristic of this bread.

 

The Dried Fig-Toasted Hazelnut Levain is a bread I made during the San Francisco Baking Institute Artisan II (Sourdough baking) workshop. Well, that was a Raisin-Walnut bread, but every combination of a dried fruit and a toasted nut I have tried so far has made a delicious bread. Here's the formula and procedures:  

Total Formula

Baker's%

Wt. (g)

AP Flour (11.7% protein)

71.57

383

Whole Wheat Flour

19.77

106

Rye Flour (Medium rye)

8.66

46

Water

67.62

362

Yeast (Instant)

0.08

1

Hazelnuts (toasted, peeled & chopped)

15.81

85

Dried Calmyrna figs (diced and rinsed)

19.77

106

Salt

2.13

11

Total

205.41

1100

 

Firm Levain

Baker's%

Wt. (g)

AP Flour (11.7% protein)

95

77

Rye Flour (Medium rye)

5

4

Water

50

40

Active firm starter

60

48

Total

210

169

  1. Dissolve the firm starter in the water.

  2. Add the flours and mix and knead until there is no visible dry flour.

  3. Shape into a ball. Place in a clean bowl. Cover tightly.

  4. Allow to ferment overnight (12 hours at room temperature).

  5. Toast hazelnuts, at 300ºF Convection (or 325ºF bake) for 16 minutes. Allow to cool then peel and place in a jar or bowl and cover.

  

Final Dough

Wt. (g)

AP Flour (11.7% protein)

275

Whole Wheat Flour

106

Rye Flour (Medium rye)

42

Water

305

Yeast (Instant)

1

Hazelnuts (toasted)

85

Dried Calmyrna figs (diced)

106

Salt

11

Firm Levain

169

Total

1100

Procedures

  1. Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer.

  2. Add the flours and mix with the paddle attachment at slow speed until a shaggy mass is formed. The dough should be medium soft.

  3. Remove the paddle. Scrape the dough together. Cover the mixer bowl and let it rest for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Cut the hard stems off the dried figs. Cut the figs into medium dice (about the size of raisins). Place the diced figs in a fine sieve and run water over them, mixing them with your fingers and separating the pieces stuck together. Place the sieve over a bowl to drain until ready to mix the figs into the dough.

  5. Sprinkle the salt and the yeast over the dough. Add the firm levain in several pieces. Mix with the hook attachment at slow speed for 1 or 2 minutes, then increase the speed to Speed 2 and mix for 5-8 minutes. D.D.T. is 78-80ºF.

  6. When moderate gluten development has been achieved, scrape down the dough. Add the figs and nuts to the mixer bowl and mix with the hook at slow speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Transfer the dough to a floured board and knead it for a couple minutes to better distribute the nuts and figs. Then transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and cover.

  8. Ferment for 2 hours at 76ºF with a stretch and fold at 60 minutes.

  9. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape as boules. Cover and let the gluten relax for 20-30 minutes.

  10. Shape as bâtards and place, seam-side up, in floured brotformen or onto a linen couche.

  11. Cover and proof for 90 to 120 minutes at 80ºF.

  12. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place for 45-60 minutes before baking.

  13. Transfer loaves to a peel. Turn down oven to 460ºF. Score the loaves as desired. Steam the oven. Load the loaves onto the stone.

  14. After12 minutes, remove the steam source. If you have a convection oven, switch on the fan and reduce the temperature to 435ºF. Bake for 12-14 minutes more. The loaves are done when nicely browned, they sound hollow when thumped on the bottom and the internal temperature is over 205ºF.

  15. Optionally, leave the loaves on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for another 8-10 minutes to further dry the crust.

  16. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Happy baking!

David 

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dmsnyder

Sunday, I baked a couple loaves of Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat. This is a wonderful everyday bread for me. It's a favorite player in a host of bread roles. (No pun intended.) I see that alfanso has nominated it for some prestigious post - I can't figure out which one, but we definitely share an admiration for this bread. Here's mine:

  

Monday, I baked a bread that is new to me - The Berliner Landbrot about which Stan Ginsberg blogged recently (See: Berlin Rye/Berliner Landbrot). This is a 90% rye with an extremely simple and fast procedure, especially if you already have a rye sour sitting in the fridge, waiting for gainful employment.

This came out of the oven early yesterday afternoon. After it had cooled, I wrapped it in baker's linen. I resisted cutting it for breakfast this morning, but I had some for lunch, spread with cream cheese and topped with gravlax. The crust was chewy. The crumb is cool, surprisingly light and creamy. The flavor is mildly sour, but very assertively RYE. I love it, and I am pleased to say that my wife has finally come around to enjoying high-rye percentage breads too.

This is very definitely a bread I will add to my long list of breads to bake often, which is clearly a prescriptive list, not a descriptive one.

Happy baking!

David

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dmsnyder

Recently, some one posted a comparison of the Tartine breads and those of Ken Forkish. This reminded me how long it had been since I had baked a Tartine Basic Country Bread. I can't find that TFL entry now, but it doesn't matter ... even if it was just in my imagination. Here's what happened:

These loaves are still cooling. I will post a crumb photo and tasting notes when I slice one.

I also baked a couple of San Joaquin Sourdough bâtards. These were cold retarded 36 hours and have been frozen to eat later.

Looking through Tartine: Bread, I am reminded that there are a number of breads there that look wonderful and that I have never  made. I guess I will add them near the top of my "to bake list."

Happy New Year, and Happy Baking to the TFL community!

David

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dmsnyder

Walnut-Fig Sourdough Bread: Variation on a favorite from SFBI Artisan II

David Snyder

7 December, 2015

This blog entry could have been titled “So many breads, so little time.” Or “time flies when you're having fun.”

One of my favorite breads from the San Francisco Baking Institute sourdough workshop I took in December, 2010 was a sourdough Raisin-Walnut bread. I made it at home a couple weeks after I got home from the workshop, and it was really delicious, even without a deck oven bake. I wrote about it back then and said I expected to make it often. Ha! I not only haven't made it since then, I couldn't even remember that I had made it at home. All I remembered was that brother Glenn and his wife particularly liked it.

Well, I suppose I could also title this entry “Better late than never,” because I made this bread again yesterday, only substituting diced dried figs for the raisins, and all I can say is, “I should have been making it often,” because it is truly a delicious bread – I think my favorite of the many combinations of sourdough-dried fruit/toasted nut breads I have made.

 

Total Formula

Baker's%

Wt. (g)

AP Flour (11.7% protein)

71.57

383

Whole Wheat Flour

19.77

106

Rye Flour (Medium rye)

8.66

46

Water

67.62

362

Yeast (Instant)

0.08

1

Walnuts (toasted)

15.81

85

Dried Calmyrna figs (diced)

19.77

106

Salt

2.13

11

Total

205.41

1100

 

Firm Levain

Baker's%

Wt. (g)

AP Flour (11.7% protein)

95

77

Rye Flour (Medium rye)

5

4

Water

50

40

Active firm starter

60

48

Total

210

169

  1. Dissolve the firm starter in the water.

  2. Add the flours and mix and knead until there is no visible dry flour.

  3. Shape into a ball. Place in a clean bowl. Cover tightly.

  4. Allow to ferment overnight (12 hours at room temperature).

  5. Toast shelled walnuts, broken or chopped coarsely, at 300ºF for 8 minutes. Allow to cool then place in a jar or bowl and cover.

  

Final Dough

Wt. (g)

AP Flour (11.7% protein)

275

Whole Wheat Flour

106

Rye Flour (Medium rye)

42

Water

305

Yeast (Instant)

1

Walnuts (toasted)

85

Dried Calmyrna figs (diced)

106

Salt

11

Firm Levain

169

Total

1100

Procedures

  1. Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer.

  2. Add the flours and mix with the paddle attachment at slow speed until a shaggy mass is formed. The dough should be medium soft.

  3. Remove the paddle. Scrape the dough together. Cover the mixer bowl and let it rest for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Cut the hard stems off the dried figs. Cut the figs into medium dice (about the size of raisins). Place the diced figs in a fine sieve and run water over them, mixing them with your fingers and separating the pieces stuck together. Place the sieve over a bowl to drain until ready to mix the figs into the dough.

  5. Sprinkle the salt and the yeast over the dough. Add the firm levain in several pieces. Mix with the hook attachment at slow speed for 1 or 2 minutes, then increase the speed to Speed 2 and mix for 5-8 minutes. D.D.T. is 78-80ºF.

  6. When moderate gluten development has been achieved, scrape down the dough. Add the figs and walnuts to the mixer bowl and mix with the hook at slow speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Transfer the dough to a floured board and knead it for a couple minutes to better distribute the nuts and figs. Then transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and cover.

  8. Ferment for 2 hours at 76ºF with a stretch and fold at 60 minutes.

  9. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape as boules. Cover and let the gluten relax for 20-30 minutes.

  10. Shape as bâtards and place, seam-side up, in floured brotformen or onto a linen couche.

  11. Cover and proof for 90 to 120 minutes at 80ºF.

  12. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place for 45-60 minutes before baking.

  13. Transfer loaves to a peel. Turn down oven to 460ºF. Score the loaves as desired. Steam the oven. Load the loaves onto the stone.

  14. After12 minutes, remove the steam source. If you have a convection oven, switch on the fan and reduce the temperature to 435ºF. Bake for 12-14 minutes more. The loaves are done when nicely browned, they sound hollow when thumped on the bottom and the internal temperature is over 205ºF.

  15. Optionally, leave the loaves on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for another 8-10 minutes to further dry the crust.

  16. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

The crust was quite crunchy. The crumb was light and quite tender. (I think the tiny bit of instant yeast really contributed to the nice crumb texture.) The flavor is complex with clear elements of sourdough, with a lovely, creamy lactic acid predominating, toasted walnuts and sweet, chewy figs.

This bread is probably a pretty well-balanced meal eaten plain, but it is wonderful with sweet butter, toasted or not, and with almond butter. All the sourdough breads with nuts I have made are great with cheese. Walnut breads with thin slices of Cotswold cheese is a great combination. I am thinking this bread might make extraordinary French toast. Breakfast tomorrow?

Yesterday, I also made a couple loaves of Hamelman's “Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour.” They were retarded overnight and baked today.

Today, I made Hamelman's “5 Grain Sourdough” which is now retarding to bake tomorrow. (You know, I was out of town for Thanksgiving, which brother Glenn and his wife hosted this year. So my baking itch needed serious scratching this week. By the way, that “Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour” makes pretty wonderful Thanksgiving dressing. My wife makes the 3-onion stuffing from a 1995 Gourmet magazine.)

Happy baking!

David

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