The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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The Honey Whole Wheat pan loaf from Advanced Bread and Pastry is made with a white levain, more as a pre-ferment for flavor than for leavening. It also uses instant yeast. It is otherwise 100% whole wheat. I used KAF Organic WW.


Suas' formula calls for a "double hydration" method, where most of the water is mixed with the other ingredients and the remainder is added gradually, after the gluten is moderately developed. The dough is rather high hydration - quite gloppy at the finish of mixing. Suas doesn't call for any stretch and folds during fermentation, but I added some to strengthen the dough. By the time it was ready to shape, it was surprisingly manageable.


This dough was so different from the whole wheat breads I had made before from Reinhart's BBA and whole grain baking book. His doughs are quite dry in comparison. This dough had me kind of spooked until after fermentation was complete. But the results were quite satisfactory, some cosmetic issues aside.



The spots on the crust are from oil I sprayed on the loaf before proofing it. Not pretty.



The crumb was not dry, but less moist than I expected. It was somewhat chewy. It has a wonderful wheaty flavor with none of the grassiness that I find in some 100% whole wheat breads and even in some white breads with as little as 10% whole wheat. It was slightly sweet, but not so sweet as to detract from the wheaty flavor. 


This is pretty close to my personal ideal for a whole wheat sandwich/toast bread. I'll be making it again, probably with a bulgur soaker and maybe some sesame seeds.


David

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Fresno Sunrise January 11, 2010


When I was a little boy, my mother sang me a song. My understanding is that it was learned from a Scottish tenor who was performing when she was very young ....



Ohhhhh, it's nice to get up in the mornin'


When the sun begins to shine


At four or five or six o'clock 


In the good ol' summer time.


But when the snow is snowin'


And it's murky overhead,


Ohhhhh, it's nice to get up in the mornin',


But it's nicer to lie in your bed.



Just to keep it on fresh loaves, here's my San Joaquin Sourdough baked last night, when I should have been in my bed:




Made with 5% dark rye and 5% whole wheat. Crispy, crackly crust and chewy crumb. Quite delicious with almond butter and orange blossom honey for bedtime snack.


David

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A couple weeks ago, I made Greek bread (Horiatiko Psomi) for the first time (See: Greek Bread - I finally make it with my Greek daughter-in-law). I based it on this recipe, which my Greek daughter-in-law said seemed closest to the bread she had had in Greece. It was good, but I felt it could be improved. I had intended to make the bread with some durum flour, but forgot to use it. Although everyone enjoyed the bread, I felt the crumb suffered from slight under-development of the gluten. Everything I'd heard or read said this was supposed to be a dense bread, but I felt it would be better, even if less authentic, with a more aerated crumb.


Today, I made another batch. I remembered to use some durum flour this time. I used a combination of mechanical mixing and stretch and fold to develop the gluten. I had planned on making it as a sourdough, but, because of time constraints, I did spike it with some instant yeast. I think it turned out well.



Horiatiko Psomi (pronounced hoh-ree-AH-tee-koh psoh-MEE)


 


Liquid levain

 

Ingredients

Amounts

Mature sourdough starter

28 gms (2 T)

Bread flour

85 gms

Water

113 gms

 

Final Dough

 

Ingredients

Amounts

Durum flour

200 gms

Bread flour

775 gms

Water

600 gms

Milk

2 T

Olive oil

2 T

Honey

2 T

Salt

1 T

Levain

All of above

Instant yeast (optional)

½ tsp

Sesame seeds

About 1 T

 

Method

  1. To make the liquid levain, in a medium bowl, dissolve the mature starter in the water. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl tightly and ferment at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

  2. To make the final dough, mix the water, instant yeast (if used), milk, oil, honey and levain in the bowl of a stand mixer.

  3. Mix the salt with the flour and add 2/3 of it to the liquids. Mix until smooth. Add the rest of the flour and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover and allow to rest for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Mix at 2nd speed until you have an early window pane. (About 4-6 minutes in a Bosch Universal Plus mixer.)

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and do one stretch and fold. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Roll the dough in the oil. Cover the bowl.

  6. Ferment the dough until doubled in bulk with one stretch and fold after an hour. (About 2-2 ½ hours)

  7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape as balls.

  8. Cover the pieces and let them rest to relax the gluten for 10-15 minutes.

  9. Shape the pieces into boules and place them in floured bannetons.

  10. Proof the boules until they have expanded to 1.5-1.75 times their original size.

  11. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and your steaming method of choice in place.

  12. Pre-steam the oven.

  13. Transfer the loaves to a peel or to parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Brush the loaves with water and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Score the loaves with 3 parallel cuts about ½ inch deep.

  14. Transfer the loaves to the baking stone. Immediately steam the oven. Close the oven door, and turn the temperature down to 450ºF.

  15. After 12 minutes, remove the steam source. Continue baking for another 20-25 minutes. Check the loaves every so often, and, if they appear to be darkening too fast, turn the over down to 430-440ºF. (Note: I did not turn the oven down from 450ºF, and the loaves turned out a bit darker than I wanted.)

  16. The loaves are done when the bottom sounds hollow when thumped and their internal temperature is 205ºF.

  17. When the loaves are done, turn off the oven but leave the loaves on the stone with the oven door ajar for 10 minutes to dry the crust.

  18. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

  19. Cool thoroughly before slicing and serving.

As noted above, the breads turned out a bit darker than I had wished. Next time, I'll bake at a lower temperature or turn the oven down a bit half way through the bake.

The crust was thin and chewy with a nice flavor from the sesame seeds. The crumb was quite open, considering the low hydration. It was very pleasantly chewy but did not have a dense mouth feel. The flavor was marvelous! It had a mildly sweet flavor from the honey and nuttiness from the durum flour.

I'm not sure I'd change anything, other than baking at a lower temperature and having my daughter-in-law here to tell me how far I'd strayed from Greek authenticity.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting.

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Two old friends ...



Vermont Sourdough


My scoring was inspired by Shiao-Ping's most recent miche.



Vermont Sourdough Crumb



San Joaquin Sourdough



San Joaquin Sourdough crumb


Now, the difficult decision: Which to use for our dungeness crab sandwiches for dinner. Aha! My wife has spoken: "Both!"


David

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In addition to the Greek bread, about which I wrote yesterday, I made a couple of pizzas while visiting with family this week. I used the pizza dough formula in Hamelman's bread, but used Pivetti typo 00 flour from nybakers.com, made the dough with sourdough rather than commercial yeast, and did all the mixing by hand. 



Ham & Pineapple Pizza 



Chanterelle, Crimini, Leek, Olive, Mozzarella and Parmesan Pizza



Slice



Jonathan & Glenn watching Pizza TV


The chopped veggies were for the fab barbecued turkey gumbo brother Glenn made for dinner. The pizzas were just an appetizer.


David

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My wife and I are spending a few (too few!) days with my brother and his wife at their get-away home near Fort Bragg, California. My older son, his wife and our grandson were able to come down from Portland. 



Our room with a view


I brought along sourdough starter and bread making paraphernalia, and three recipes for Greek bread. My daughter-in-law and I chose the recipe that seemed to her closest to the bread she remembered from Greece. We converted it to sourdough rather than a yeasted sponge, and I used mixing and fermentation techniques I thought would yield a better result than those in the recipe.


Did I say we made bread to go with a barbecued turkey and fixings for 11? Or that we had a Vermont Sourdough with Walnuts with the cheese and wine before dinner?


Stephanie had never made bread before, but she's a really good cook and a quick study. After watching me form one boule she proceeded to form one better than mine.



Stephanie with boules ready to proof


I had ordered a baking stone, kneading board and some other bread essentials from nybakers.com, and Stan shipped them directly to Fort Bragg, kindly arranging that they arrive at exactly the right day. We baked the loaves on the stone, with steam.



Greek Breads 



Greek Bread crumb


Stephanie said the bread was a pretty good approximation of bread she had had in Greece. (It would have been closer, if I had remembered to use the durum flour I brought along.)  It was a very good white sandwich bread flavor and texture with the added flavor of the sesame seeds. It was enjoyed by all, but, I think, most of all by the new bread baker.



Greek bearing Greek Bread


David

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“The Cooking of Parma,” by Richard Camillo Sidoli is the kind of cookbook I most enjoy. It has many marvelous recipes from one of the greatest food regions of one of the greatest food countries in Europe. It also presents a culinary history of the region, integrating the history of local foods and their preparation into the broader history of Northern Italy.


Alas, I have hardly scratched the surface of the delightful repertoire of this Italian province's cucina, but I have repeatedly made one recipe: “Torta di Patate.” This open-faced, rustic savory tart was for me an instant comfort food – perhaps because it's what a potato knish really wants to be when it grows up.



 


Torta Dough


Ingredient

Amount

Flour

2 cups

Salt

½ tsp

Water

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon

Olive oil

4 tablespoons plus ½ tsp

 

Basics of torta preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Then add the water and 4 tablespoons of olive oil.

  3. Mix to form a dough, but do not over-mix. The goal is not to develop the gluten.

  4. Let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes. It can be left refrigerated overnight.

  5. On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough thinly. (About the thickness of 2 sheets of paper)

  6. Spread the remaining ½ tsp of olive oil in a 15 x 11 inch baking pan, and put the dough in the pan, leaving a 3 inch overhand on all sides.

  7. Spread the filling over the dough, and fold the overhanging dough over the edges of the filling, leaving most of the center open.

  8. Brush the torta with a beaten egg.

  9. Bake until golden brown (about 25-35 minutes.)

Parma-style torta's can be filled with a variety of vegetable mixtures, and this cookbook gives recipes for several, including squash, rice and savoy cabbage. I've made them all, except for the torta di riso. We like the torta di patate best.

Filling for potato torta

Ingredient

Amount

Potatoes (russet or yukon gold)

2 ½ lbs

Butter

6 tablespoons

Onion, chopped

½ medium

Leek, chopped

2/3 cup

Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated

2/3 cup

Milk

¾ cup

Salt & pepper

To taste

Eggs

2 large

Torta dough

1 recipe

Procedure for preparing potato filling

  1. Prepare torta dough, as above.

  2. Boil, bake or microwave the potatoes until just tender.

  3. Sauté the onions and leeks in the butter until soft but not browned.

  4. Peel the potatoes and put them through a ricer into a large bowl.

  5. Add the sautéed onions and leeks, the cheeses, milk and salt and pepper to the bowl and mix.

  6. Beat the eggs. Add ¾ of them to the potato mixture, reserving the remaining quarter to brush the torta.

  7. Assemble the torta as described above.

This mixture can be used immediately or kept , refrigerated, for use the next day.

Tortas are often eaten as antipasti, but we ate this as our main course for dinner, along with a green salad.

For dessert --- Well, what should follow a rustic savory tart? It has to be a rustic fruit tart!

Rustic sour cherry tart

Happy baking!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting on SusanFNP's Wildyeastblog

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I baked a couple boules of Susan from San Diego's "Original" favorite sourdough today.



I used BRM Dark Rye and KAF Sir Lancelot high-gluten flours. The bread was delicious - even better than usual - with our dinner of Dungeness Crab Cakes and a green salad with mustard vinaigrette. My wife even cut herself an extra slice after she'd finished her dinner. I gotta tell you: That's unprecedented. Still, not surprising. The bread was exceptionally yummy.


The surprise was that the crust, while fairly thick and wonderfully crunchy, developed crackles like crazy.



I'd convinced myself that this kind of crackly crust was achieved (at least by me) only when using lower gluten flour. But there it is. Another theory shot to heck!


I wish I knew how I did it. 


David

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I'm rather fond of challah, but my wife isn't. Most challah is too rich and too sweet for her taste. The closer to brioche it tastes, the less she likes it. So, when I made “My Sourdough Challah” from Maggie Glezer's “A Blessing of Bread,” and both my wife and I loved it, I was delighted.


Of course, all challah was made with sourdough before the introduction of commercial yeast. Since then, according to Glezer, challah has tended to be made sweeter and richer. Sourdough challah has a “moister, creamier texture” and stays fresh longer that the yeasted variety. Glezer's version has a delightful sourdough tang which lends it an almost “sweet and sour” flavor. It is wonderful plain, as toast and as French toast.


 


Ingredients

The starter

Amount (gms)

Active firm sourdough starter

35

Warm water

80

Bread flour

135

 

 

The final dough

Warm water

60

Large Eggs

3 eggs + 1 egg for glazing the loaves.

Salt

8

Vegetable oil

55

Mild honey

65

Or Granulated sugar

60

Bread flour

400*

Sourdough starter

All of the above+

    * I added an additional 3 tablespoons or so of flour during mixing, because the dough seemed too wet. This may have been needed due to my using more starter than Glezer specifies. See below.

    + Glezer says to use only 200 gms of starter, but I used all of it (250 gms)

Procedures

  1. The night before baking, mix the starter and ferment it at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

  2. In the morning, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the starter in the water, then mix in the 3 eggs, salt, honey and oil until completely combined.

  3. Mix in all the bread flour until it forms a shaggy mass.

  4. Knead the dough on the bench or in a stand mixer until it is smooth and there is moderate gluten development. Add small amounts of water or flour to achieve the desired consistency. The dough should be quite firm.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it tightly. Ferment for about 2 hours. It may not rise much.

  6. To make two 1 pound loaves, divide the dough into two equal portions, and divide each portion into the number of pieces needed for the type of braiding you plan to do. (I did 3-strand braids.)

  7. Form each piece into a ball and allow them to rest, covered, for 10-20 minutes to relax the gluten.

  8. Form each piece into a strand about 14” long. (I like Glezer's technique for this. On an un-floured board, flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece to about ¼ inch thickness. Then roll up each piece into a tight tube. Using the palms of your hands, lengthen each piece by rolling each tube back and forth on the bench with light pressure. Start with your hands together in the middle of the tube and, as you roll

    it, move your hands gradually outward. Taper the ends of the tube by rotating your wrists slightly so that the thumb side of your hand is slightly elevated, as you near the ends of the tube.)




  9. Braid the loaves.




  10. Place each loaf on parchment paper in half-sheet pans (I used a quarter-sheet pan for each loaf.) Cover well with plasti-crap or place the pans in a food grade plastic bag, and proof at room temperature until the loaves have tripled in volume. (Glezer says this will take “about 5 hours.” My kitchen was rather cool. I proofed for 6 hours.)




  11. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF with the rack in the upper third of the oven.




  12. Brush each loaf with an egg lightly beaten with a pinch of salt.




  13. Optionally, sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds.




  14. Bake until done – 25-35 minutes for 1 pound loaves.




  15. Cool completely before slicing.





David


Submitted to YeastSpotting on SusanFNP's Wildyeastblog


 

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Jewish Sour Rye, eh?



Hmmmm ....



Say, this isn't bad!



You did say there's more, didn't you?


Who asked why I bake?


David

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