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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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dmsnyder

 

I have some experience baking Jewish Sour Ryes and German-type rye breads. Suas' formula for “Sourdough Rye Bread” (Advanced Bread and Pastry, pp. 212-213) seems to me to be for a French-style “Pain de Seigle,” although Suas does not label it as such. It uses a stiff levain identical to the one Suas uses for his “San Francisco Sourdough,” but then the final dough is 60% rye flour. Overall, the rye content is 52% of the total flour. The overall dough hydration is 70%.

 

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Levain Formula

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

2 1/2

95

Medium rye flour

1/8

5

Water

1 1/4

50

Starter (stiff)

2 1/8

25

Total

6

230

 

Final dough

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

6

40

Medium rye flour

8 7/8

60

Water

10 7/8

72.8

Yeast (instant)

1/8 tsp

0.12

Salt

3/8

2.53

Levain

6

40

Total

2 lb

215.43

 

Procedure

  1. Mix levain thoroughly.

  2. Ferment for 12 hours at room temperature.

  3. Mix the dough ingredients to achieve some gluten development. DDT 75-78ºF. (I mixed for 7 minutes at Speed 2 in a KitchenAid stand mixer.)

  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 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 as desired, and transfer to the baking stone.

  11. Steam oven and turn temperature down to 450ºF.

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

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

This dough does develop some gluten from the 12.7% protein bread flour used, but it otherwise handles like a high-rye bread. The dough is clay-like and sticky, although less so than if it had had higher hydration. It was easy to shape with a light dusting of flour on the board.

The loaves expanded by no more than 50% after over 2 hours proofing at 80ºF on a couche, and they had modest oven spring. The cuts opened up nicely, considering.

 

The crust was hard and crunchy. The crumb was soft and moist. This is a pretty thin loaf - marginally bigger than a baguette. The ratio of crust to crumb is relatively high with a marked contrast in texture, which makes it quite interesting in the mouth.

The flavor is mildly sour with a sweetish, earthy rye flavor. Very nice. The French prefer this type of bread with smoked meats, soft cheeses and fish. We are having salmon for dinner tomorrow, and I have a nice Laura Chanel Chevre in the fridge. This rye should be delicious with both.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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SD Psomi after Greenstein's "Psomi Bread"

On page 151-153 of Greenstein's “Secrets of a Jewish Baker,” there is a recipe for what he calls “Psomi Bread.” He says he had this from a bakery in New Hampshire and made his own version. His formula is as follows (The weights are my estimates. Greenstein only provides volume measurements.):

Sponge (150% hydration)

½ cup warm water (120 gms)

2 packages active dry yeast

1 ½ cups buttermilk or sour milk at room temperature (357 gms)

3 cups whole wheat flour, preferably stone ground (384 gms)

 

Dough (67% to 82% hydration, depending on am't of AP flour added)

4 tablespoons honey (84 gms)

2 tablespoons butter or shortening (24.5 gms)

2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (266-399 gms)

2 teaspoons salt (9.24 gms)

½ cup toasted sesame seeds

Flour, for dusting work top

Oil, for greasing bowl

Additional sesame seeds, for topping (optional)

Shortening, for greasing pans

Procedures

  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Add other sponge ingredients and mix. Cover and ferment for 45 minutes.

  2. Mix dough ingredients into sponge using 2 cups AP flour. Mix and add more flour as necessary. In stand mixer, dough should clean bowl sides. Mix 8-10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.

  3. Transfer dough to oiled bowl. Cover and ferment until double.

  4. Divide dough into two equal pieces and preshape. Rest 10 minutes.

  5. Shape into pan loaves or free form.

  6. Proof until doubled. Score with 3 diagonal cuts and brush with water.

  7. Bake in pre-heated 375ºF oven 35-45 minutes.

  8. Brush again with water and cool on a rack.

 

Now, over the past year, I've been trying to find recipes that would produce the kind of Greek bread that my daughter-in-law has described having in Greece. About the first thing I learned is that the Greek word for bread is … Psomi. So, Greenstein's formula surely was for a bread of Greek origin. I gather he had no clue that he was making “Bread Bread.”

I also learned that the typical Greek village bread was always made with a sourdough and that it used whole-grain flour. Inclusion of fat – either lard or olive oil – was common, as was the addition of honey. Sesame seeds and at least some, if not all, durum flour were also commonly used.

So, looking at Greenstein's formula, I see he uses a yeasted sponge made with buttermilk or sour milk. I think it's safe to assume this was to acidify the dough to taste somewhat like sourdough would. I see Greenstein uses both AP and WW flour, but all the WW is pre-fermented. I decided to take Greenstein's recipe a step back towards it's presumed origin. More steps may follow in the future.

I also decided to apply some of what I'd learned about whole-grain bread baking from Peter Reinhart's books and used both a soaker and a levain and pre-fermented 25% of the total flour. Following Reinhart's formulas in “Whole Grain Breads,” I divided the whole wheat flour equally between a soaker at 87.5% hydration from milk and a levain at 75% hydration, with the seed culture 20% of the flour. I used my stock sourdough starter which, as it happens, is kept at 75% hydration. I also followed Reinhart's guidance and used 1.8% salt for the total dough, with some of the salt in the soaker (to inhibit enzymatic activity).

So, this is the formula I developed:

 

Levain

Wt. (gms)

Baker's %

Whole wheat flour

192

100

Water

144

75

Active starter (75% hydration)

38.5

20

Total

374.5

195

 

Soaker

Wt. (gms)

Baker's %

Whole wheat flour

192

100

Milk

168

87.5

Salt

3.35

1.7

Total

363.35

189.2

 

Final dough

Wt. (gms)

All of the levain

374.5

All of the soaker

363.35

Bread flour

384

Water

241

Honey (4 T)

84

Olive oil (2T)

24.5

Salt

10.45

Toasted sesame seeds

½ cup

Total

1481.8

 

Procedure

  1. The night before baking, mix the soaker. Cover the bowl and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (If not then ready to mix the final dough, the soaker can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

  2. Mix the levain and allow to ferment until ripe (at least doubled and volume, with a domed top) – 4 to 6 hours. (This can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

  3. If either (or both) the levain and soaker were refrigerated, take them out to warm to room temperature (about 1 hour) before mixing the dough.

  4. Cut the levain and the soaker into about 12 pieces and put them in the bowl of a stand mixer together with the other ingredients. Mix with the paddle until they form a shaggy mass (1-2 minutes at Speed 1).

  5. Switch to the dough hook, and mix to achieve moderate gluten development. (7 minutes at Speed 2)

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl, and ferment until increased 50% in bulk with folds at 50 minute intervals. (About 2 ½ hours)

  7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape into balls. Let the dough rest, covered for 10-15 minutes.

  8. Shape the pieces into boules, batards or pan loaves and place them in bannetons or pans or on a couche.

  9. Proof until increased 50% in bulk. (2 hours, 15 minutes in my kitchen at 72ºF)

  10. While the loaves are proofing, pre-heat the oven to 425ºF with a baking stone in place and your steaming method of choice. (If baking pan loaves, the stone and steaming are not necessary.)

  11. When the loaves have proofed, transfer them to a peel. Pre-steam the oven. Optionally, brush or spritz the loaves' surface with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Score the loaves. Traditional scoring for a boule is 3 transverse cuts. Transfer to the oven.

  12. Steam the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 40-50 minutes.

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

 

The crust was chewy and the crumb chewy but tender. The flavor was "sweet and sour whole wheat." It was actually pretty sour - more than my wife liked. I have made sourdough whole wheat breads before and did not enjoy the combination of whole wheat and sour flavors, but I did like this bread. This tasting was when the bread was just ... well ... almost cool. It will no doubt mellow by morning. I'm eager to taste it again after a good night's sleep.

Enjoy!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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