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Banana Bread
Banana Bread

In addition to all the yeast breads, including sourdoughs, Peter Reinhart has also provided us with recipes for other types of baked goods. In Crust&Crumb, he has a Banana Bread recipe I tried for the first time yesterday.

Reinhart gives two methods of mixing: one if you use butter as the fat("Creaming method"), the other if you use oil ("Batter method"). I had an attack of self-restraint and used oil. I also cut down the sugar by about 1/3, because most recipes call for more sugar than I like, and cut down the walnuts by 1/3, because I didn't have as much walnuts as I thought I did. Reinhart does not call for toasting the nuts, but I did - 5 minutes at 350F.

Next time, I am going to try using less oil (Canola).

The past and future tweaks aside, this made a very nice quick bread. It is very moist and tastes delicious.

David

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Miche, Ponte-a-Calliere


Miche, Ponte-a-Calliere


Miche, Ponte-a-Calliere crumb


Miche, Ponte-a-Calliere crumb

 

I have made Hamelman's Miche, Ponte-a-Calliere several times. It has been one of my favorites. My previous breads have used 100% First Clear flour from King Arthur.

Several other bakers had enthused about Golden Buffalo flour from Heartland Mill, and their description made it sound ideal for this Miche, so that's what I tried for my first baking with this flour.

Golden Buffalo is more coarsely ground than most bread flours, other than pumpernickel. It absorbs lots of water. I followed Hamelman's formula however, resulting in a dryer dough than using First Clear. It was quite tacky, but not really a slack dough.

The crust color is really nice, I think. The crumb, while not as open as it is meant to be, is still nice and the chew is wonderful. It tasted really good 2 hours after baking. I bet it will taste even better today.

 Next time, I'm going for higher hydration and, if I remember, I will make a soaker with at least part of the flour, as suggested by bwraith.

David

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Cheese pockets 1

Cheese pockets 1

Cheese Pockets cooling

Cheese Pockets cooling

When I was growing up, there was a Jewish bakery in town. It was quite excellent, and it really set my standard for Jewish breads and pastries. My favorite pastry was what they called "cheese pockets." I have found these in Jewish bakeries in L.A., and, in searching for recipes on the web, I found one on an Israeli food blog. http://momsrecipesandmore.blogspot.com/2007/06/bookmark-using-any-bookmark-manager_28.html.  There, it is identified as Hungarian in origin. In Hungarian, they are called "Turos Taska." It turns out there is a similar Czech pastry, but all the links I could find were in Czech, which I don't read. I made the recipe I'd found a few months ago. I liked the filling, but the pastry just wasn't right.

 So, I described my memory of cheese pockets and asked our resident "Baker for over 25 years-----Ret," Norm (nbicomputers) if he had a formula that might resemble what I remembered. He generously responded in http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6159/coffee-cake-yeast.

Today, I undertook to make cheese pockets. I used Norm's formula for the dough and his procedure. I made a few substitutions because of the ingredients I had on hand with less than satisfactory results. To my good fortune, Norm was there for me, offering fixes and very gently explaining where I had gone wrong and exactly why. I highly recommend reading that topic to anyone who is still learning to bake better, which is, hopefully, everybody on this site! You can find a running account of my struggles and errors and how Norm bailed me out at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6195/hi-norm-please-look.

Here is the formula and procedures:

 Cheese Pockets

Coffee Cake Dough (Formula thanks to Norm)
Sugar                                     4 oz (1/2 cup)
Sea Salt                                  1/4 oz (1 1/2 tsp, or table salt 1 tsp)
Milk Powder (skim)                   1 oz (3 T)
Butter or Shortening                  4 oz (8 T or 1/2 cup)
Egg yolk                                  1 oz (1 large egg's yolk)
Large eggs                              3 oz (2 eggs)
Yeast (fresh)                            1 1/4 oz (or 3 3/4 tsp instant yeast = 0.4 oz)
Water                                      8 oz (1 cup)
Vanilla                                     1/4 oz (2/3 tsp)
Cardamom                               1/16 oz (1/2 tsp)
Cake Flour                               4 oz (7/8 cup)
Bread Flour                              13 oz (2 3/4 cups)

Other flavors can be added such as lemon or orange rind grated

Note: Using other size eggs or other flours will result in substantial changes in the dough consistency require adjustments in flour or water amounts.

Cheese Filling
Hoop cheese or Farmer's cheese 12 oz
Sour Cream                              1/4 cup
Sugar                                       2 T
Flour                                        2 T
Egg                                          1 large
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours.

Egg Wash
Beat 1 egg with 1 T water

Streusel Topping
Sugar (all white, or part brown) 2 oz (4 T)
Butter                                    2 oz (4 T)
All purpose flour                     4 oz
Cinnamon                              1/2 tsp. 

1. Cream the sugar and butter.
2. Add the flour and mix with your fingers, rubbing the ingredients to a coarse crumb. (This can also be done entirely in a food processor.)

Mixing and Fermenting the Dough
1. Mix the sugar, butter or shortening, salt and milk powder to a paste.
2. Add the eggsbeaten with the vanilla and cardamom and stir.
3. If using powdered yeast, mix it with part of the water. If using cake yeast, crumble it in with the flour.
4. Add the water (the part without the yeast, if using powdered yeast, otherwise all of it),  cardamom and vanilla.
5. Add the flour. (If using powdered yeast, add the yeast-water now. If using cake yeast, crumble it on top of the flour now.)
6. Mix well into a smooth, soft dough. (10 minutes in a KitchenAid using the paddle.) The dough should form a ball on the paddle and clean the sides of the bowl.
7. Cover the dough and let it rise to double size. (2 1/2-3 hours at 60F.)
8. Punch down the dough, and allow it to rest 10-20 minutes.

Making up the Pastries
1. Divide the dough into 2.25 oz pieces and roll each into a ball. (My dough made 18 pieces weighing 2.35 oz each.)
2. Place dough pieces on a sheet pan or your bench. (I used a lightly floured marble slab.)
3. Stretch or roll out each piece into a square, 4 inches on a side.
4. Take each dough piece and press the middle with a round,  hard object such as the bottom of a small measuring cup to form a depression in the center.
5. Place about 1 T of cheese filling in the center of each piece.
6. Take each corner of the square pieces and fold 3/4 of the way to the center, pinching the adjacent edges of the folded dough together to seal the seams. (See Note)
7. Cover and allow to rise to 3/4 double. (30-40 minutes at 70F.) Do not overproof!
8.  Brush the top dough of each pastry with egg wash. Do not get egg wash on the exposed cheese filling.
9. Sprinkle streusel over each pastry.

Baking
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Bake pasties on parchment lined  sheet pan until golden brown. (25-35 minutes)
3. When pastries are cooled a little, sift confectioner's sugar over each, if desired.
           

Note: The pastries can be refrigerated overnight or frozen at this point. If refrigerated, allow them to rise at room temperature to 3/4 double, and proceed as above. If frozen, thaw at room temperature, allow to rise to 3/4 double, and proceed as above.

 David

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Norm (nbicomputers) has generously posted his (scaled down) formula for Sour Rye Bread. I made this bread this morning.

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Loaf

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Loaf

 

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Crumb

Sour Rye Bread (Norm's formula) Crumb

 

Here is Norm's formula with my annotations and the procedure I followed.  

Formula

  • Cake Yeast ...... 1/2 oz. (I used 1 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast.)
  • Water ............. 8 oz
  • Salt ................ 1/4 oz (About 1 1/4 tsp.)
  • Sour (rye) ....... 8 oz (about 1 cup)
  • First clear flour  1 lb
  • Caraway seeds   1 T (not in Norm's formula)

Procedure

  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached and mix at Speed 1 until all ingredients  are mixed in a ball. Scrape dough off the paddle into the bowl. Remove the paddle.
  • Knead the dough with the dough hook at Speed 2 until the gluten is well-developed. About 10 minutes. Scrape dough onto lightly floured board (I use a Silpat.) and hand knead very briefly. Form into a ball.
  • Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover. Let the dough rest 20 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into two equal parts. Form into long loaves or round loaves. Place the loaves onto parchment paper, placed on an inverted jelly roll pan and sprinkled with coarse corn meal then folded in the middle to form a "wall" between the loaves, so they do not touch when risen. (Essentially, a parchment couche.) Spray the loaves lightly with spray oil and cover them with plasti-crap.
  • Let the loaves rise until doubled in size (or 90% doubled). This took about 100 minutes at 69F.
  • An hour before baking, place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack. Heat the oven to 450F.
  • When loaves have doubled in size, pull the parchment out flat to separate the loaves by at least 3 inches, spray (or brush) them with water, score them with 3 slashes across the long axis of the loaves and slide them, still on the parchment, onto the pizza stone. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water into the skillet, and close the oven door.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the skillet using a hot pad, keeping the oven door open as briefly as possible. Pour out the water and put the skillet where it won't burn anybody!
  • If the bread seems to be getting dark too fast, turn down the oven to 440F (I did this after about 10 minutes.)
  • Continue baking until the loaves are done. The crust is well browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. This was a total of about 25 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
  • While the loaves are cooling, brush them with cornstarch solution. (Whisk 4 tsp cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water. Pour this slowly into 1 cup of slowly boiling water, whisking constantly. When the solution is (precisely) somewhat thickened, take off the fire. It can be used while still hot. It can be kept for a few days refrigerated for later use.)

Review of the eating will follow, but I have to eat some first, tonight along with krupnik, a very traditional soup made with beef (tonight, with lamb shank), various beans, barley, lentils (and usually potatoes).   

David

 

 

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Nury's Light Rye

Nury's Light Rye

Nury's Light Rye - Crumb

Nury's Light Rye - Crumb

My first attempt at this bread resulted in a delicious-tasting loaf, but it did not have the open crumb that I expected. This was my second attempt. There has been much discussion of the difference the flours used might be making in the crumb.

This time my dough consisted of:

Water - 400 gms

Guisto's high gluten flour - 100 gms

KA Bread flour - 350 gms

KA White Rye - 50 gms

Levain - 45 gms

Salt - 10 gms

I kneaded about 16 minutes in a KitchenAide at Speed 3-4 to achieve windowpaning. I folded twice. The dough doubled in 3 more hours and rose a bit further while retarding for 24 hours. I warmed it 2.5 hours and baked it with steam at 450F for 5 minutes then at 425F with convection for another 25 minutes. I left it in the turned off oven with the door cracked for another 5 minutes.

As you can see, I achieved the more open crumb I wanted. However, the white rye resulted in a less sour and less tasty bread. It is merely delicious, but not as delicious as the one I made with whole rye flour. This small percentage of the total flour sure makes a difference.

I'm not that convinced the diffent flours used accounts for the differnce in the crumb, at least not all the difference. I also handled the dough much more gently in dumping it on the counter, patting in out and placing the cut "loaves."

I must have more data!

Fortunately, this is an easy and fun bread to make, so, until next time ...

David

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Nury's Light Rye Bougnat

Nury's Light Rye Bougnat

 

Nury's Light Rye Bougnat Crumb

Nury's Light Rye Bougnat Crumb

 

I was inspired by zolablue's photos of her baking of this bread and the enthusiastic comments of all the others who made it. So, this was my first attempt. I say "first attempt" because, while this bread is absolutely delicious, it did not have the gorgeous big holes that zola's did and that this bread should have.

 

I used whole rye flour and Guisto's Baker's Choice. I developed the gluten well, I think. Either the whole rye required more water be added or the Guisto's flour wasn't quite strong enough, or both. Maybe I "patted" the dough a little too firmly and busted too many of the big bubbles.

 

Any other thoughts or suggestions for improving my next attempt will be appreciated.

 

And, by the way, I wouldn't want to encounter these slugs crawling out of my garden, either. They are kinda cute, though, in a way.

 

David 

 

 

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SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb

 

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb Crumb

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb Crumb

 

When I started baking bread again after a 20 year lapse, it was to make two types of bread I loved but I could not get locally: Jewish Sour Rye and San Francisco Sourdough. The first bread book I purchase was Peter Reinhart's "Crust & Crumb," and I made his (prize winning) version of SF SD several times. It has been a while since I baked from this formula, and my understanding of bread making has advanced considerably. The Fresh Loaf community deserves most of the credit.

 

Well, it was time to return to my personal starting point and try again. In the meantime, I had made many sourdoughs, most of which in recent months have been with higher hydration doughs. So Reinhart's SF SD dough seemed really stiff to me. This time around I followed Reinhart's formula exactly, adding the diastatic malt for the first time. 

 

I fed the starter with KA Bread Flour. I used the same flour for the chef and the dough and added about 1/2 cup of whole rye.  The firm starter was retarded overnight before mixing the dough, and I also retarded the loaves after they had risen to 1 1/2 times their initial volume. I baked them after warming them at room temperature for 2 hours. I had forgotten how much I liked the flavor of this bread. The taste was quite sour, which I happen to like, and the crumb, while not quite as open as I wanted, was moist and chewy. 

 

Next time, the only change I'll make is to increase the hydration slightly.

 

David 

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 Silesian Light Rye 1

Silesian Light Rye 1

Leader's "Local Bread" has three formulas for Polish ryes. I have made the Silesian Dark Rye once and the Polish Cottaqe Rye many times. Today, I made the Silesian Light Rye for the first time.


Leader describes these "glossy golden loaves" as having "a delicate rye flavor, a spongy crumb, and a thin, chewy crust." That about sums it up. This rye bread is the farthest you can get from a dense, super-sour, dark german rye. But then, it only has about 100 gms of light rye flour to 500 gms of bread flour. The chew and taste are light even compared to a French levain with a bit of rye flour in the dough. It is more like a (extraordinarily good) sandwich bread. The crust gets very soft, and it is thin yet chewy. The whole loaf feels light and spongy. 
 

I expect it will make lovely toast tomorrow morning to eat with my usual homemade almond butter and apricot jam or marmelade. I also think it would be great for a tuna or egg salad sandwich. I'd want a more substantial rye for corned beef, myself.


silesian Light Rye CrumbSilesian Light Rye Crumb

David

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dmsnyder

I made the Multi-grain levain from Hamelman's "Bread" for the first time about 6 weeks ago on Fleur-d-Liz's strong recommendation. I found it very good, but it didn't blow my socks off. Strangely, it developed a more delicious flavor after having been frozen and thawed. I thought the many flavors of the grains and seeds melded.

 Well, I made this bread for the third time this morning. I did two things differently: The first was that I gave it an overnight cold retardation. The second was that I tried a new oven trick. I steamed the oven (using Peter Reinhart's method), as usual, except, this time, I removed the cast iron skillet with water after 5 minutes and switched the oven to convection baking with the temperature lowered 20 degrees.

 The bread had a really carmelized, crunchy crust and the flavor was ... well, I can't think of a better word than the one Hamelman used ... delectable.

 Liz, now I get it. This is a fabulous bread! It has definitely made my favorites list.

 

Hamelman's Multi-grain levain

Hamelman's Multi-grain levain

BTW, the really dark loaf up front is the one we ate with dinner. That very dark crust had a marvelous taste.

Hamelman's Multi-grain levain - Crumb

Hamelman's Multi-grain levain - Crumb

David

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dmsnyder

I made the Whole Wheat Levain from Hamelman's "Bread" this weekend. It turned out just okay. The taste and texture are fine, but, although there was pretty good oven spring, there was disappointing bloom.

 I score the loaves as I would a mostly white flour batard but didn't get the result I expected. I'm wondering if one needs to score a whole wheat loaf deeper. I haven't found any advice in this regard in any of my bread books. However, looking at the photos in Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads," it does appear he is scoring those loaves deeper than he does a white flour loaf.

 Hamelman's Whole Wheat Levain

Hamelman's Whole Wheat Levain

Whole Wheat Levain - Crumb

Whole Wheat Levain - Crumb

Any advice regarding scoring whole wheat levain batards would certainly be appreciated.

David.

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