The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dmsnyder's blog

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My usual sourdough starter is semi-firm. I make it at a 1:3:4 ratio of starter to water to flour. Many of the sourdough bakers on TFL favor a 1:2:2 ratio, but fewer seem to use a true "liquid levain" which is more like 125% hydration. I was curious to try a pain au levain using a liquid starter and found the Pain au Campagne recipe in Leader's "Local Breads."


This recipe calls for a 50% hydration dough to which you add 62% (baker's percentage) liquid levain, ending up with a moderately tacky dough. The levain is added after the flour and water are mixed and allowed a 20 minute autolyse. The autolyse mixture is very, very stiff, and it takes a lot of mixing to get the very liquid levain incorporated into the dough. 


The resulting bread has a very nice flavor, but not significantly different from the pains de campagnes I make with my usual starter.


Of greater interest was the final shape of the loaves. They are formed as boules, and I proofed them in round, linen-lined wicker bannetons. I scored them with 3 parellel cuts, as Leader recommends. The loaves took an oblong form even before I could load them in the oven. This is a graphic illustration of the effect of this pattern of scoring on loaf shape, as described by Suas in "Advanced Bread and Pastry" and referenced in my Scoring Tutorial. (See the TFL Handbook.)


http://tfl.thefreshloaf.com/handbook/scoring




David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

SusanFNP of www.wildyeastblog.com fame posted a photo of her "Semolina bread with fennel, currants and pine nuts" on TFL in November, 2007. She provided a link to the recipe on her Wild Yeast blog. I immediately added this bread to my "to bake list." Well, my wife could tell you, I seldom throw out anything, and that includes my to do lists. Sometimes it takes me a little while to get around to a particular item, and today I got around to baking this bread.


Mine didn't turn out as pretty as Susan's, but this is a delicious bread. The combination of flavors and textures is wonderful - The contrasting sweet currents and savory fennel seeds and the soft crumb and chewy pine nuts and currents. Wonderful bread. 


This is snacking bread. I ate a couple slices while I was making dinner and could have finished the loaf right then and there. Yummy!




The recipe can be found at:


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/11/06/semolina-fennel-currants-pine-nuts/


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


Today, I baked SusanFNP's Currant, Fennel and Pine nut levain, Pain de Campagne from Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" and another batch of proth5's baguettes (with cold retardation).


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Some time ago, Pat (proth5) posted her formula for baguettes. This was in the context of our "great baguette quest" of some months back. We were playing with higher hydration doughs and cold fermentation à la Gosselin and Bouabsa.


Pat's formula is levain-based and employs a 65% hydration dough. She has insisted repeatedly that, while higher hydration is one route to a more open, holey crumb, fermentation and technique in shaping the baguettes are at least as important and that good technique can achieve the desired open crumb even with a dryer dough.


Okay. It was past time I tested my own technique against Pat's claim.


Pat's formula is as follows:




This is for two loaves at a finished weight of 10.5 oz each


.75 oz starter


1.12 oz flour


1.12 oz water 


Mix and let ripen (8-10 hours) 


Bread


All of the levain build


10.95 oz all purpose flour


.25 oz salt


6.6 oz water 


Dough temperature 76F 


Mix to shaggy mass (Yes! Put the preferment in the autolyse!) – let rest 30 mins


Fold with plastic scraper  (30 strokes) – repeat 3 more times at 30 min intervals 


Bulk ferment at 76F for 1.5 hours – fold


Bulk ferment at 76F 2 hours


Preshape lightly but firmly, rest 15 mins


Shape.  Proof 1 hour or so


Slash


Bake with steam at 500F for about 20 mins


 



I followed this except I baked at 480F. I used Whole Foods 365 Organic AP flour. The result was an excellent, classic baguette with a crunchy crust and cool, creamy crumb. It was slightly sweet with imperceptible sourness when eaten just ... well, almost ... cooled.


Here's  the crumb:



I'll let you draw your own conclusions.


Thanks, Pat!


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

These were baked yesterday ...


I wanted to try some variations on a couple of breads that I have baked a lot - The "San Joaquin Soudough," which is a pain de campagne that has an overnight cold retardation at the bulk fermentation stage and the Sourdough bread from SusanFNP's Wild Yeast blog.


My San Joaquin Sourdough (SJSD) derived from Anis Bouabsa's baguette formula, as related to Janedo. See this blog entry: 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8454/pain-de-campagne 


I used KAF European Style Artisan flour with 5% each Giusto's whole rye and KAF White Rye. I also add 100 gms of firm sourdough starter. For this variation, I added to 500 gms total flour (not counting the starter) 3/4 T barley malt syrup and 3/4 T toasted wheat germ.


The malt probably resulted in the darker crust color. I really could not perceive a distinct effect from the wheat germ. In any case, this was a very tasty, wheaty, mildly sour bread. The bâtards were somewhat under-proofed, resulting in exuberant oven spring and bloom, as you can see. 



San Joaquin Sourdough Variant



San Joaquin Sourdough crumb


SusanFNP's Sourdough bread formula has proven to be a reliable and easy bread to make. Her formula can be found here: 


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/08/my-new-favorite-sourdough/


I used a mix of high gluten and bread flour with 10% Giusto's whole rye flour.


 The boule was formed and cold retarded overnight, proofed for 5 hours in a cool kitchen.


Susan's formula calls for 68% hydration. For this variation, I made a 70% hydration dough, trying for a somewhat more open crumb, which is what I got. I plan to boost the hydration even higher next time.


The cold retardation results in a somewhat more sour flavor in this bread compared to the SJSD. The bread was fully proofed, so I got decent oven spring and bloom, but less than with the under-proofed SJSD pictured above.



Sourdough boule



Sourdough boule crumb


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This weekend, I baked a couple sourdough baguettes and a bâtard using the mixing and fermentation methods described in the posts about Anis Bouabsa's baguettes. For these breads, I used 90% AP four, 5% WW and 5% rye. Interestingly enough, the flavor of the bâtard seemed much better to me.




These were nice, but the real star attraction was the Cherry Pecan Pain au Levain. I made it according to the formula and method recently posted by mountaindog. (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10313/cherry-pecan-pain-au-levain)


This is a spectacular bread. The flavors are wonderful and, at this point when the first batch is just cooled (well, almost just cooled), the bread dough, the cherries and the pecans each sings its own sweet tune.


This bread would be good with butter, cream cheese or a fresh chevre. In fact, it is pretty darn good just by iteself.


My wife's verdict is: "This is wonderful bread!" Now, she says such things fairly often, but this afternoon, she said it twice, separated by a minute or so. In Susan Speak, this indicates "I want to be certain my judgement has gotten through to you.  You will make this bread for me again!" To which I say, Amen!




 


Happy baking!


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Ever since Jane prompted me to add levain to the Bouabsa baguettes, I've wondered what this bread would be like raised by wild yeast entirely, without the small amount of baker's yeast it calls for. And, more recently, I made the best tasting ever Miche with the first clear flour Norm sent. I wondered how much of its wonderfulness was the method, and how much was the flour.


So, today I explored both questions by baking a couple loaves with Norm's first clear as 100% of the flour and used Anis Bouabsa's technique of a long cold bulk fermentation. This is a 75% hydration dough, while the Hamelman Miche is 82% hydration.


The result was a really nice, moderately sour bread with the distinct flavor of first clear flour. The crust was crunchy, but it needed 10 extra minutes in the turned off oven to crisp up. The crumb was quite open with a lovely cool feeling and chewy texture.


I will use this technique again, but with the same AP/WW/Rye flour mix I have liked best with Bouabsa's baguettes.



 



 


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I made cinnamon rolls for the second time today. I used the recipe from SusanFNP's "Wild Yeast" blog, a wonderful site for bakers. The recipe is adapted from Michael Suas, with whom Susan has taken classes at the San Francisco Baking Institute, I believe. The link to Susan's recipe is:


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/10/13/cinnamon-sticky-buns/


I modified the filling by using a "only add water" cinnamon bread/roll shmear from KAF and added some plumped up raisins and lightly toasted, coarsely chopped pecans.


The rolls were a pleasure to make. Susan's instructions are always so good. I'm sure these rolls would be a delight to any cinnamon roll lovers. Sad to say, I've decided I just don't like pastries this sweet. 



 



 


I must return to my quest for the Cheese Pockets of my Dreams.


David


Addendum (1/12/09): This recipe makes 16 rolls, which is a lot. In "Baking with Julia," the recipe for sticky buns says you can freeze the dough right after rolling it up, i.e., before cutting the rolls and proofing them. So, I divided my dough into two parts, filled and rolled up both, baked one and froze the other. Good to know. I'll probably not bake the frozen roll for at least a week. I'll let you all know how those turn out.


DMS

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I haven't blogged about this bread for a while. We have lots of new members, and they should be aware of this wonderful bread. The recipe is in Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." Like Poilâne's Miche, it is an attempt to replicate the bread of the common folk in the 17th and 18th century in France and Quebec. A "Miche" is a very large boule. This recipe makes 3.6 lbs of dough.


This is a pain au levain made with 100% high extraction flour. I used the first clear flour that Norm got in December and shared with some of us. This flour is more finely milled than KAF's First Clear. It is slightly gray in color and acts like a high-gluten flour.


This dough is higher in hydration than Reinhart's Miche in BBA. It is quite slack. It makes a very moist and open crumb. The taste is wonderful and gets better for several days after baking. The bread stays moist for nearly a week. 



Miche, Pointe-à-Callière





Miche, Pointe-à-Callière Crumb


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

pain à l'ancienne


Rustic baguettes and ciabatta from Gosselin's formula (as described by Peter Reinhart)


pai


Pain à l'Ancienne baguette crumb


I made these baguettes and ciabatta from the formula Reinhart says he got directly from Phillipe Gosselin. The version in "Bread Baker's Apprentice" is a modification.


This is a very high hydration dough (about 80%), and I made my dough with KAF's "French Style Flour," which is their T55 clone. This is a low-gluten flour, by American standards. The dough started out like a batter once the additional water was added. I mixed it in my Bosch Universal Plus for something like 15 minutes before it was smooth and shiney. It still flowed like a batter. For the next hour, I did Hamelman's folding in the bowl. It then doubled over the next 90 minutes. (This technique was improvised. I thought about chucking the whole project as a lost cause at several points, but I'm glad I didn't. I learned a lot.)


The loaves were divided and stretched onto semolina-dusted parchment. The baguettes were baked without further proofing. The Ciabatti were folded in the usual manner and allowed to rise for about 30 minutes before baking.


Note: No attempt was made to score these loaves.


The baguettes had the sweet taste and cool, silky mouth-feel of ciabatta. I count them a success. Whew!


David

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - dmsnyder's blog