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News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dmsnyder

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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dmsnyder

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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dmsnyder

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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dmsnyder

 


“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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dmsnyder


 


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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dmsnyder

We're going away for Thanksgiving for the first time in over 30 years. The good news is that we will be with both of our sons and their families for the first time in several years. And we'll be together for nearly a week, which will be wonderful.


If we were at home, I'd bake differently, but I need to take breads that travel well and keep well. I am not planning on baking there. So, here's the plan:



Polish Cottage Rye (from Daniel Leader's "Local Breads")



San Joaquin Soudough (2 lb bâtards)



San Joaquin Sourdough crumb (I cut the one that's "staying home")


And, just in case we get tired of turkey and really crave a corn beef sandwich ...



Jewish Sour Rye (from Greenstein's "Secrets of a Jewish Baker")


David

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dmsnyder

We're invited for dinner tomorrow at the home of one of my favorite high school teachers. He and his wife have become our good friends over the years. I offered to bring bread and decided to bake two different breads that I think they will enjoy: The Miche, Pointe-à-Callière from Hamelman's "Bread" and my own San Joaquin Sourdough. (This version)


My wife thought the miche would be just too much, so I divided the dough and baked two boules of 820 gms each.



Boules, Pointe-à-Callière


Rather a "bold bake" of these, but I expect the caramelized crust to be very tasty. 



Boules, Pointe-à-Callière crumb


Here's another photo of the boule that's going to dinner.



 


And the San Joaquin Sourdough. I think it was a bit under-proofed. The oven spring was ... exuberant. 



San Joaquin Sourdough 


David


Submitted to Yeast Spotting


 

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dmsnyder

Today, I baked Hamelman's "Normandy Apple Bread" for the first time. This bread is a pain au levain spiked with instant yeast. It uses a firm starter and bread flour and whole wheat in the final dough. The apple flavor comes from chopped dried apples and apple cider.



Jeff (JMonkey) posted the formula and instructions for this bread May 19, 2007, so I won't duplicate them here. For those interesting in making this bread, Jeff's entry can be found here: Hamelman's Normandy Apple Bread


I followed Hamelman's instructions pretty much to the letter. I machine mixed for about 7 or 8 minutes and did a French fold before bulk fermentation. I did one more fold after one hour of a 2 hour bulk fermentation. I had to refrigerate the formed loaves for about 3 hours to work around an afternoon outing. I then let them proof about 60-75 minutes at room temperature before baking.


The loaves smelled wonderful while baking. The crust was crunchy. The flavor was somewhat disappointing. The apples do give pleasant little bursts of sourness, but the crumb flavor was not my favorite. It was basically like a light whole wheat levain, and that is not a type of bread I particularly like.


Your taste (undoubtedly) varies, and you may enjoy it more than I.


Then again, the Vermont Sourdough had such spectacular flavor, anything else would be hard to compare. Again, that's my taste.



 


David

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