The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dmsnyder

We're back from 5 days in Fort Bragg with family. I took along 7 breads and, because of menu compatibility and dining out, I only baked once while there. I made a couple loaves of Sourdough Italian Bread which went well with baked coho salmon and grilled veggies.



We did breakfast one day at the Fort Bragg Bakery. They make very good bread and pastries, as well as pizza. They do the pizza's in a gas fired oven built with bricks salvaged from the bakery that was on the same site a couple generations ago and eventually torn down.



On the drive home, Susan and I stopped for lunch at the Costeaux Bakery in Healdsburg. Along with our bill, the waiter left us a 2 lb sourdough epi to take with us. It was outstanding with a comfort food coming home dinner of scrambled eggs and tomatoes from our garden.



On a non-bread note I just have to share, I found myself taking all but a couple photos with my new iPhone 4. It's pretty amazing, especially the macro capability.



Begonia at the Fort Bragg Botanical Gardens



Fly on Begonia petal


So, we're back home, doing laundry and re-packing for my week at SFBI.


David

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dmsnyder

I'm getting ready for a sizable family gathering in about 10 days. We are descending on my baby brother, who has a vacation home on the Northern California coast. We expect 15-20 hungry Snyders. I'll be baking while I'm up there, but we'll need something to snack on while the levain is ripening. So, I baked a few things to fend off starvation ... 



A couple Gérard Rubaud sourdough bâtards



Some San Joaquin Sourdough, of course



To go with appetizers, a few San Joaquin Sourdough mini-baguettes with seeds



I'm promised corned beef, if I bring the Corn Rye


And, if there's room, for dessert ...



Sour Cream Spritz Cookies, a New York Baker's test recipe (They go well with tree-ripened peaches.)


Lucky there's another day left to bake this weekend!


David

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dmsnyder

 


I made my San Joaquin Sourdough today with a couple of modifications.



 


The last few bakes, I have substituted a liquid levain for the the firmer levain and also have used a higher percentage of levain, although, since I've used a liquid levain, the percentage of pre-fermented flour in the dough is actually lower. Also, note that, while the “final dough” hydration is 72%, the total dough hydration is actually closer to 78% because of the high-hydration levain. This is actually a somewhat higher hydration than my original formula for San Joaquin Sourdough.


The second modification was to cold retard the dough for a longer time – 36 hours as opposed to the 16-20 hours I have generally used. This was for my convenience, but I've also been curious about the effects of longer cold retardation on this dough.


 



Liquid Levain:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

Flour

100

60

Water

125

75

Starter

25

15

Total

 

150

Final Dough:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

90

450

Whole Rye Flour

10

50

Water

72

360

Salt

2

10

Pre-Ferment

30

150

Total

 

1020

Procedure

  1. Mix the liquid levain (1:5:4 – Starter:Water:Flour). Let it ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.

  2. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Add the starter and dissolve it in the water.

  3. Add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let it sit for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix thoroughly using the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  5. Repeat the “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 30 strokes 2 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, and do a stretch and fold.

  7. Return the dough to the bowl and cover.

  8. After 45 minutes, repeat the stretch and fold on the board.

  9. Reform the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl.

  10. Allow the dough to continue fermenting until the volume has increased 25%.

  11. Cold retard the dough for about 36 hours.

  12. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and immediately transfer it to a lightly floured board.

  13. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape them into logs or rounds, depending on whether you want to make boules or bâtards. Cover the pieces with plasti-crap and let them rest for 60 minutes. (Give them a shorter rest if the kitchen is very warm. You don't want them to expand very much, if any.)

  14. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and your steaming method of choice in place.

  15. Shape the pieces and place them in bannetons or on a couche. Cover the loaves and proof them until they have expanded by 50-70%. (30-45 minutes)

  16. Pre-steam the oven. The transfer the loaves to a peel (or equivalent). Score them, and load them onto your baking stone.

  17. Steam the oven. Turn the oven down to 460ºF.

  18. After 12 minutes, remove your steaming apparatus. Turn the loaves 180º, if necessary for even browning.

  19. Continue to bake the loaves for another 15-18 minutes or until their internal temperature is 205ºF.

  20. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

  21. Cool the loaves completely before slicing.

Because I was planning on a longer cold fermentation, I refrigerated the dough sooner than I would have otherwise – when it had expanded about 25%. In the refrigerator, the dough continued to expand, but very slowly. At 24 hours, it had expanded to 150% its original volume. At 36 hours, it had doubled in volume.

The dough was of about the same consistency as usual. This is a sticky dough, at 78% hydration, but it was easy to handle with lightly floured hands. The dough had nice extensibility but excellent strength. The pre-shaped pieces and shaped loaves held their shapes very well. I could not say that the longer cold retardation resulted in any problematic gluten degradation.

The crumb was as expected with this bread. There was no evident effect from the longer retardation. The flavor, on the other hand, was distinctly tangier. The initial flavor was the lovely, complex flavor of the San Joaquin Sourdough. The moderate sourness came through a bit later, and the flavor lingered on the palate for an exceptionally long time.

I would certainly recommend trying this version to any who have enjoyed the San Joaquin Sourdough before and favor a more assertive sourdough tang to their bread.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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dmsnyder

We're back from Portland after a relaxing week in the city and at the beach. 


It's really hard to decide where to have breakfast - at Stumptown Downtown for the best espresso (and good bagels or decent pastries) or the Pearl Bakery for the best bread and pastries (and decent espresso). We opted for the Pearl Bakery.



Gibassier and Cappuccino at Pearl Bakery


We then visited the Clear Creek Distillery and had a guided tour by the proprietor, Steve McCarthy, with whom I had gone to college. We tasted the most extraordinary pear liqueur and pear brandy and cassis liqueur and grappa and ... I can't remember what else, for some reason.



The pot stills are imported from Germany and are the same as have been used for hundreds of years to distill eau de vie, except for the modern electronics, of course.



Barrel aging room with Steve, my wife (on the left) and DIL (in the middle). Steve's the one with the beard.


We had lunch after this at the St. Honoré bakery-café. Yummy bread and a smoked duck breast salade. Bakery in action for entertainment.



Scoring boules at the St. Honoré Bakery


My grandson had just finished a week at "Rock and Roll University." We attended the final concert.



Theo's the vocalist.


Then, off to Neskowin for 4th of July fireworks (viewed from our terrace).



We did some wonderful day hikes.



Cascade Head


I got in a bit of baking. An unfamiliar oven is always a challenge. This Italian Bread was baked using Susan's Magic Bowl technique.




We had a wonderful time. It was hard to leave. It always is.



Mt. Hood from PDX


Now to try to catch up with the NYBaker recipe tests.


David

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dmsnyder


 


These rolls are a riff off the test recipe called "Seven Sisters" from Norm Berg and Stan Ginzburg's much-anticipated New York Jewish bakery history/cookbook. I cannot divulge the whole recipe, but I think it's okay to say those are basically cinnamon rolls made with babka dough and baked in a cluster.


After eating some (I'm not telling how many.) of the Seven Sisters, my wife made a number of suggestions: 


1. Make them again!


2. Make them less sweet.


3. I like them more nutty. (That's why she sticks with me. It's not 'cause I'm so sweet.)


4. Make the rolls separated. The browned outside is the best.



Made up, egg washed and ready for the final proof


I had found that, at least in my oven, the rolls' tops browned too quickly, while the sides were still quite pale. So, in addition to complying with request #4, I also baked them at 25ºF cooler than the Seven Sisters.


I used the same filling, except I used over twice as much pecans. I borrowed a trick from SusanFNP and left half the pecans in large pieces and finely chopped the other half.



Just out of the oven. Ready to rack and glaze.


In compliance with request #2, I glazed the rolls much more sparingly after baking. In fact, I left two un-glazed, as specified by Version 1.1 of the above fix list.


I think both versions - "Seven Sisters" and "Eight Distant Cousins" - are pretty darn good. My wife loved the less sweet and more nutty version, even with the glaze.


 


David


 

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dmsnyder


The boules are Vermont Sourdough from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." I made these using a San Francisco Sourdough starter from Sourdo.com that sat, without being fed, in the way back of my refrigerator for at least 6 months. It had been a firm starter, and while looking kind of gray on the surface, came back to life after 4 feedings at 125% hydration. And by then, was really, really happy to be making bread.


The Vermont Sourdough has a crunchy crust and chewy crumb. The flavor is just about perfect - moderate sourdough tang but not so sour as to mask the complexity of the wheat flavors. 



Vermont Sourdough Crumb


The bâtards are my San Joaquin Sourdough. No crumb shots or tasting notes on these. They are being frozen to take on a family vacation next week.


David

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dmsnyder

Davesmall's recent postings of his Fougasses (Fougasse with refrigerated dough ) inspired me to finally make this bread from Provence and the Côte d'Azur. I first had this bread in Lourmarin, in the Vaucluse. My wife and I visited an old high school French teacher of mine. His French wife has a family connection with that village going back generations. We spent a delightful day on a motor tour of the area, including several stops at bakeries, because each had different specialties. We ate the fougasse with a delicious daube de boeuf for lunch that day.


I made these fougasses from the formula in Michel Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry. it uses a levain but is also spiked with a small amount of instant yeast. Per Suas' formula, I added some rosemary to the dough, fresh from the garden. We dipped it in EVOO with a bit of balsamic vinegar and had it with salmon cakes and a salad of tomatoes, cucumber and radishes with a mustard vinaigrette. A lovely Navarro Pinot Gris was a perfect accompaniment, although a rosé would have been more traditional with this bread.



Fougasses proofing



Proofed, ready to bake (450ºF for 20 minutes with steam)



Fougasses


Fougasse is a crust-lovers' bread. It is very crunchy but with enough tender, highly aerated crumb to absorb dipping oil. I enjoyed dipping it in the salad dressing more than the oil and balsamic. I ate 3/4 of one myself at dinner, demonstrating my customary restraint.


David

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dmsnyder

This is a bit of a tease. I can't share the recipe for these bagels, because the recipe is from a yet to be published book for which I'm one of the recipe testers. But they were so beautiful and so delicious, I just can't not at least share some photos.



Kraków (twisted) Bagels 



Crumb (coronal section)



Crumb (transverse section)



Bagels after overnight cold retardation and before boiling



Special equipment for boiling bagels: Wide pot and slotted spatula



Other special equipment for boiling bagels: Cappuccino (enhances baker's attention to procedures)



Sesame and poppy seeds for topping the bagels



This is a real bagel!


The crust is crisp. The crumb is very chewy. The flavor is delicious. What's not to like? Guaranteed to elicit comments from bagel cognoscenti (That's Italian for "mavens.") like, "I haven't had a bagel like this since .... " (with tears in their eyes).


I apologize for not being able to share the recipe at this time. You'll just have to watch out for the book about New York Jewish bakeries and baking by Norm Berg and Stan Ginsburg when it's published.


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting


 

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dmsnyder

I usually don't get to bake during the work week, but this was a slow week so I got some afternoon time at home. Last night, I made pizza with dough I froze a couple weeks ago.



I had used Peter Reinhart's formula from BBA. I'm going to get the hang of stretching pizza dough yet. My wife generously consented to eating pizza once a week or so, providing me more opportunities to work on it. She is so supportive ... at least in agreeing to eat one of her favorite foods.


Yesterday afternoon, I also mixed the dough for San Joaquin Sourdough and baked it this afternoon.



San Joaquin Sourdough with peaches and nectarines from this afternoon's farmers' market



Crumb


 I made this with a firm (50% hydration) starter that had been refrigerated for 6 days. I did not refresh it before mixing the dough. It was plenty active.


Because I used a firmer starter than my usual 75% hydration, I increased the water by 10 gms to get my usual dough consistency. I kept the same ratio of starter to flour by weight, so the actual amount of pre-fermented flour was higher than usual. The flavor that resulted from these variations was slightly but noticeably more sour.


It's been fun, but I'm back to my customary work schedule for the rest of the week.


David

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dmsnyder

 


I've been baking the San Francisco Sourdough from Michel Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry frequently over the past few months. It's very good. This weekend, I decided to try a couple of his other sourdough breads.


Right after the formula for “San Francisco Sourdough,” Suas gives two other formulas for Sourdough Bread, differing in the levain used. One uses a 100% hydration levain and the other a 50% stiff levain. Both differ from the San Francisco Sourdough in using a smaller starter inoculation for a levain that ferments for 24 hours. This week, I chose to make the one with the stiff levain, which Suas calls “Sourdough Bread One Feeding.”



 


Levain Formula

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

3 1/4

95

Medium rye flour

1/8

5

Water

1 ¾

50

Starter (stiff)

7/8

25

Total

6

175

 

Final dough

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

14 7/8

100

Water

10 7/8

72.8

Yeast (instant)

1/8 tsp

0.1

Salt

3/8

2.53

Levain

6

40

Total

2 lb

215.43

Note: The over-all hydration of this dough is 64%.

 

Procedure

  1. Mix levain thoroughly.

  2. Ferment for 24 hours at room temperature.

  3. Mix the dough ingredients to medium gluten development. DDT 75-78ºF.

  4. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover tightly and ferment for 2 hours.

  5. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape into balls.

  6. Rest for 20-30 minutes, covered.

  7. Shape as boules or bâtards.

  8. Proof in bannetons or en couche for 90-120 minutes at 80ºF.

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

  10. Pre-steam oven. Transfer loaves to the peel. Score with “chevron” or “sausage” pattern, and transfer to the baking stone.

  11. Steam oven and turn temperature down to 440ºF.

  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

  13. Remove loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Note: My oven has a convection mode and a conventional baking mode. My actual baking procedure is to pre-heat the oven on Convection-Bake to 500ºF. After the bread is loaded and the oven steamed, I turn the oven to the recommended temperature using conventional (non-convection) baking. When the bread has started to color and has had full benefit of the steam, I switch to Convection-Bake again and lower the temperature by 20-25ºF. (This assumes I'm not baking with “falling temperatures,” as with some rye breads.)

The loaves were proofed at 80ºF for 2 ½ hours and expanded by 50-75%. I was concerned about the long proofing. One of the boules did deflate slightly with scoring, but I got very nice oven spring and bloom.  

The crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft - not very chewy. (I made this bread with KAF AP flour.) The flavor was sweet and wheaty with the barest hint of sour, and that was of the lactic acid type ... I think. Frankly, I missed the tang and the flavor tones of whole grains, which my preferred breads all have. On the other hand, this may approach the French ideal of a pain au levain, which is not sour in flavor. 

For those who prefer a not-sour-sourdough, I would recommend this bread without hesitation.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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