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Leader's Baguette a l'ancienne


Leader's Baguette a l'ancienne


Baguette a l'ancienne crumb


Baguette a l'ancienne crumb

In my ongoing quest for delicious, home-made baguettes, I baked the "Baguettes a l'ancienne" from Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" today.

 Unlike the "Pain a l'ancienne" in BBA, Leader's is a sourdough baguette made with a (very) liquid levain - about 125% hydration. I started refreshing and activating the starter with my usual (these days) firm starter: 50 gms starter, 130 gms water, 100 gms Guisto's Bakers' Choice (T55-style) flour, then fed it twice more with 130 gms water and 100 gms flour at 12 and 8 hours. The starter was incredibly foamy. Leader says it should have a "mildy tangy aroma." Mine smelled strongly of acetic acid!

 The dough is made with 150 gms water, 300 gms flour (I used 50gms whole rye and 250 gms Guisto's Bakers' Choice), 310 gms liquid levain and 10 gms sea salt.

Mix the flour(s) and water and autolyse for 20 minutes. Then add the salt and levain and mix to window paning. This is a very slack dough. It is fermented for 3 hours, with one folding after the first hour. Form the baguettes and place on a parchment paper couche, well floured, and refrigerate 12-24 hours.

Warm at room temperature for 2 hours, then bake at 450F on a stone in a well-heated oven with steam for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from the oven still on the parchment, and let cool 5 minutes before removing from the parchment. Eat warm.

 I had some of the bread for lunch with a salad and some Laura Chanel chevre. The crust was crisp. The crumb was chewy-tender with a nice, complex flavor. It had a pronounced sour tang, especially as an aftertaste. 

 David

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100% Whole Wheat boules


100% Whole Wheat boules


100% Whole Wheat boules Crumb


100% Whole Wheat boules Crumb

 

I had made the whole wheat bread from Reinhart's BBA a couple of time. i liked it a lot. It was, for me, the perfect bread for a tuna fish sandwich or a BLT.

 

I bought Reinhart's newer book, "Whole Grain Breads" a few months ago and read, with interest, the introductory chapters right away. Following his "journey" and the evolution of his thinking has been really interesting. But I had not baked anything from the new book until today. I decided to start with his "foundational loaf," the "100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. As you can see, I decided to form 2 boules of around 1 pound each rather than making one sandwich loaf. 

 It's interesting that Reinhart's instruction have you hand knead this bread, even after a 2-3 minute machine kneading. This is a relatively dry dough. I hand kneaded it as instructed, maybe with an extra minute or two, and actually achieved window paning. That was a kick! 

 This bread is not really that different from the BBA version. The new formula uses milk (I used buttermilk.) in the soaker. The BBA whole wheat uses water. The BBA bread has an egg in it which the WGB bread does not. The end result is actually quite similar. I suspect that baking boules rather than pan loaves made as much difference as the different ingredients.

 

The crust felt a little soft, even after an extra 10 minutes left in the oven, but it crunched nicely when I bit into it. The bread has a pronounced whole wheat flavor but with many layers of flavor including sweetness that are lovely.

 

I bet this will make delicious toast for breakfast, even with competition from the banana bread from Crust & Crumb that I also baked today. 

 

David 

 

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Baguettes


Baguettes

Baguettes crumb


Baguettes crumb


The latest episode in my ongoing quest for a classic baguette.

 Today's attempt was with the Poolish Baguette formula in Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." I made the poolish last night and made the dough and baked the breads this afternoon. I used Guisto's Baker's Choice flour, which makes a dough with a lovely, silky, soft, extensible quality. It's a pleasure to work with this dough.

 While I ended up with a wonderful tasting bread - crunchy crust and sweet tasting crumb, I was disappointed in the lack of bloom. I do believe my scoring of the loaves was good. I believe I was overly concerned about underproofing the loaves and ended up over-proofing them. If anyone with more baguette experience (and success) than I has other thoughts and suggestions, I would really appreciate them sharing. Making "the baguette of my dreams" remains a dream for now.

Here are photos of the baguette just after forming and placing on the couche and when proofed, just before baking:

Baguettes shaped

Baguettes shaped

Baguettes proofed

Baguettes proofed

Minor frustrations aside, today's breads were thoroughly enjoyed with dinner.

Baguette and Sunflower Seed Rye slices

Baguette and Sunflower Seed Rye slices

David

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Sunflower Seed Rye


Sunflower Seed Rye


Sunflower Seed Rye Crumb


Sunflower Seed Rye Crumb

The Sunflower Seed Rye from Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice" is made with a pumpernickle rye soaker, bread flour and toasted sunflower seeds plus yeast, salt and water. It is shaped in a couronne and marked with a square around the hole with a dowel.

 Reinhart's instructions are to make a boule from the divided dough and, after resting, punch a hole in the middle and enlarge it. I shaped these couronnes by rolling them into a 24" "rope" and joining the ends. My technique in marking the loaves apparently didn't work. I did dust the grooves with rye flour, which was supposed to keep them from closing, but they sure disappeared! I don't know if I didn't make the grooves deep or wide enough or I just got too much oven spring. Whatever.

 Visual aesthetics aside, this is a very tasty bread. My wife ate a slice with apricot preserves as soon as it was cooled and declared her approval. We had some with a crab louie for dinner.

 Gotta work on that groove, because I sure like the couronne shape. It makes for a great crust to crumb ratio for crust guys like me.

David
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Polish Cottage Rye

Polish Cottage Rye

Polish Cottage Rye - Crumb

Polish Cottage Rye - Crumb

Multigrain Sourdough

Multigrain Sourdough

Multigrain Sourdough - Crumb

Multigrain Sourdough - Crumb

 

Both of these are breads I've baked several times before and enjoy a lot. This weekend, I ran out of King Arthur bread flour and substituted Golden Buffalo flour in both breads. We had some of the Multigrain Sourdough for breakfast. As I came out for breakfast, my wife, who was just finishing hers, greeted me with, "That's amazing bread." 

David

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Bread awards

Bread awards: Grandaughter, Naomi, really likes my SF Sourdough Bread.

You can have your James Beard Prize and your Coupe du Monde. This is enough of a reward for me.

David

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SF SD with WW from C&C


SF SD with WW from C&C

SF SD with WW from C&C - crumb

SF SD with WW from C&C - crumb

Having been raised on San Francisco Sourdough, if for no other reason, I prefer sourdough bread that is ... well ... sour.

 Peter Reinhart's formula from "Crust & Crumb" was the bread with which he won the James Beard prize, and it is my favorite SF-style sourdough. There are two overnight cold fermentations - One with the chef, which is a very dry levain, and the other of the formed and partially risen loaves.

 I have been adding some rye flour most times I bake this. This particular time, I left out the rye but used KA Organic Whole Wheat flour entirely for the levain. Then I used a mix of 1/3 high-gluten and 2/3 bread flour for the dough.

 There are two 690 gm boules retarding in my refrigerator, but I wanted to bake one loaf without the cold retarding, just to compare. I made this loaf into a batard, as you can see.  I baked it at 475F with steam for about 7 minutes, then at 425F with convection for another 25 minutes. I think it could have come out a couple of minutes sooner.

 The crust is still crisp and crunchy. The crumb is quite chewy from the high-gluten flour. (I think I'll use less next time.) It has a lovely taste. I like what the whole wheat does to the flavor. I'll use more next time I bake this bread. The sourness is less than usual, probably because i skipped the overnight cold retardation. You know, I like it either way. This is just good bread!

 

David

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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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