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dmsnyder

In a way, today was “really” the first day of my retirement. Our granddaughters are back in their parents' keeping. I'm not teaching this week. I discovered a couple of changes in my cooking and baking, compared to my approach pre-retirement.

The only quasi-business items on my to-do list involved phone calls only. So, I had lots of discretionary time. On Saturday, at the farmer's market, we had decided ratatouille omelets sounded like a great dinner for Monday night. I have always made a somewhat shortcut version in the past. Today, I did it “right,” following Julia Child's recipe to the letter - the eggplant, zucchini and onions/peppers/garlic mix each sautéed separately. No canned tomatoes, but a mix of vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and hand cut in strips. No need to compromise to save time.

This morning, it occurred to me that our omelets really needed to be accompanied by fresh-baked baguettes. If I'd thought about it last night, I'd have made a poolish, but I didn't, so they needed to be “straight dough” baguettes. No need to run errands or prepare for the next work day. No problem at all.

I had made some surprisingly good straight dough baguettes before. They had lovely flavor but not very good crumb structure. Today, I made the version from Advanced Bread and Pastry. It is 70% hydration and calls for a very short mix and (for a yeasted baguette) a long, 3-hour bulk fermentation with 2-3 folds.

 

Ingredients

Baker's %

Wt (g)

AP flour

100

262

Water

70

184

Yeast (instant)

0.3

0.8

Salt

2

5

Malt (powdered, diastatic)

0.5

1

Total

172.8

452.8

 

  1. Mix flour and water to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 20 minutes.

  2. Add the yeast, salt and malt to the dough. Mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes, then on Speed 2 for 3.5 minutes.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover.

  4. Bulk ferment for 3 hours with folds at 50, 100 and 150 minutes.

  5. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape as logs.

  6. Rest, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

  7. Shape as baguettes.

  8. Proof en couche, seam-side up, for 45 to 60 minutes.

  9. Bake at 460 dF for 22-25 minutes, with steam for the first half of the bake.

 

The loaves sang loudly when they were taken out of the oven. The crust was very crisp and thin. The crumb was somewhat open, more so than the other straight dough baguettes I've made. The flavor was quite good with noticeable sweetness. Really a classic baguette taste.

In hindsight, I think two folds would have been sufficient.

The ratatouille omelets were just delicious.

 

 A good day.

David

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dmsnyder

Many TFL baker's have blogged on this bread, and for good reason. It is delicious. I haven't made it since last October. Today, I made three 568 g boules. I started with a liquid starter which I converted to a firm starter and fed twice before mixing the final dough. The formed loaves were cold retarded for about 16 hours then proofed at 85 dF for 2 1/2 hours before baking.

I have been making Hamelman's Pain au Levain frequently for many months and enjoying it a lot. This week, I just felt like something with more of a whole grain flavor and recalled this bread. Looking back at my earlier blog, today's bake was significantly better when tasted after a couple hours' cooling. There was none of what I had described as a "grassy" flavor. This bread was simply delicious with a sweet, nutty, crunchy crust and a  chewy crumb with a nice wheaty, mildly sour flavor. 

I'm going to stick with this one ... except I do want to try the mixed levain version again.

David

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dmsnyder

I am retired. This is the first full week since I retired, July 31. Already I see big problems. I no longer have to limit my baking to weekends and vacations. In principle, I could be baking bread any day ... or every day. But, I do not need to be eating more bread than I have been eating. I will certainly be gifting more loaves, but I have to find a new equilibrium. Ah, well. Life is good.

Anyway, this explains how I happen to be baking bread mid-week. 

My San Francisco-style Sourdough quest of last Spring was a ton of fun. Of the various tweaks I tried, my favorite version was "Take 4." (For the formula and procedures, see: My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 4.) I believe I have baked this version about 5 times now, and, for me, it has been pretty consistant in producing my personal ideal bread of this type. Today was no exception. Crunchy, sweet crust and moist, chewy, complex-flavored crumb with moderate sourness. Excellent keeping quality.

It's been very hot in Fresno. My fermentation times for the levain builds were shorter than those indicated in my methods. "Watch the dough, not the clock" applies to levains as it does to final doughs. The times were not so short I felt I had to refrigerate any build, but I would have done so if the times to maturity were so short I thought flavor would be compromised.

Diamond scoring pattern

Cross-hatched scoring pattern

Crust close-up for the bubbly crust lovers

SF-Style Sourdough crumb

I also made the Sourdough Seed Bread from Hamelman's Bread today. In the past, I have generally made this as 500-600 g boules. Today, I shaped two bâtards of 1 kg each.

Sourdough Seed Bread cross section

Sourdough Seed Bread, crumb close-up

This particular bread profits greatly from overnight cold retardation. It is not bad baked the day it's mixed, but it is fantastically delicious if allowed those extra hours of flavor development. 

There are some gastrointestinal conditions for which the standard advice is to avoid eating seeds. If you have the misfortune to suffer from one of these, I suggest you not eat this bread. However, the heavenly aroma of this bread when it is sliced still slightly warm from the oven is not to be missed. So, bake it even if you can't eat it. Give it away ... but only after cutting a loaf and taking a few deep breaths. 

Happy baking!

David

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dmsnyder

Our granddaughters, Naomi (6 years old) and Sasha (3 years old), have been staying with us for two weeks. Making bagels was in our contract. We saved this activity until just before their parents return, so they could have them fresh-baked. The parents return late tonight, so we made bagels today to bake for their brunch tomorrow.

Naomi had had an introduction to bagel shaping by her great Great Uncle, Glenn, a few weeks ago. She was a quick learner. Now, little sister wanted to make bagels too.

Sasha got to shape the first bagel, before going for her nap. Naomi provided support. 

Naomi really remembered everything Glenn had shown her. She needed minimal help - like keeping the board damp enough to give the dough some traction.

Naomi really shaped most of the bagels, but she did let me make a couple.

From the "It's never too late to learn" department: When she saw how much fun we were having, Grandma Susan had to grab a piece of the action. She received excellent instruction and did pretty well, for a beginner.

Since I had so much help with the bagels, I was able to get a couple bâtards of pain au levain baked this afternoon as well.

While they lacked something in symmetry, these were the best tasting bagels I've every baked. I used the Krakow Bagel formula from ITJB recipe testing. It is the same as the New York Bagel formula in the book, except it adds a 60 minute bulk fermentation step before dividing and shaping. I tried brother Glenn's flour mix - 25% KAF Bread Flour and 75% KAF Sir Lancelot Flour. Also, the bagels were eaten within an hour of baking. The crust was crisp. There was just the right amount of chewiness. The flavor was perfect, with a bit more sweet flavor than usual.

My apprentices each ate ate two whole bagels with cream cheese and cold smoked salmon. (Their parents wouldn't let them eat more.)

Naomi eating her "twisty bagel."

Sasha could hardly wait to eat her bagel

Sasha and Naomi's parents were given a copy of ITJB. I am pretty sure they will be baking bagels in Las Vegas.

David

David

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dmsnyder

Miche, Pointe-à-Callière

I haven't made this one in a while. It is still a favorite. I made it with Central Milling's "Type 85 Organic, unmalted" flour. I retarded the firm levain overnight, but the bread was baked on the same day the final dough was mixed.

Episodic supervision and taste testing were provided by granddaughter, Naomi.

Miche, Pointe-a-Calliere, crumb

Tasting notes

Crunchy-chewy crust. Chewy crumb. Sweet, nutty, wheaty flavors with moderate sourdough tang, tasted 18 hours after baking. Naomi, who doesn't eat the crust on bakery bread, 1. Asked for a second slice. 2. Finished both slices to the last crumb and said the crust was her favorite part. 

David

Happy baker/grandfather

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dmsnyder

We are back home (as of last weekend) from a week with 18 Snyder family relatives in Ft Bragg, a few days in Prague and 4 days  with 62 of Susan's family members, coming from 7 countries, in Warsaw, Poland.

At Glenn's Ft Bragg house, we had Glenn's home-made pastrami on my sour rye breads and many more yummy breads from Glenn's and my ovens. And Glenn's pastries, which were delicious. In Warsaw, we were so involved with socializing and with events the reunion organizers had scheduled, there was no time to explore bakeries. However, the fresh-baked bread assortment for breakfast at the Warsaw Marriott was almost "worth a journey." There were both French-style breads and pastries and Eastern European-style multi-grain and whole grain breads. Every one I tried was excellent. 

Back home, I refreshed my stock starter last weekend, revved it up Thursday evening and baked a couple loaves of San Francisco-style Sourdough yesterday. It was good.

David

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dmsnyder

I just had to share: Brother Glenn teaching granddaughter, Naomi, to shape bagels.

David

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dmsnyder

This was my second bake of Phil's (PiPs) Desem. His beautiful blog entry on this bread can be viewed here: Honest bread - 100% whole-wheat desem bread and some country bread. As with my first bake, I modified Phil's procedure somewhat, using CM fine ground organic whole wheat flour rather than fresh-ground white WW flour and machine mixing. While I baked directly on a stone last time, today I baked in Lodge 4 qt. Cast Iron Dutch ovens.

Desem crust close-up

The general appearence of the loaves was pretty much the same between the two baking methods. I understand that Phil is contending with the special challenges of a gas oven, but, for me, baking on the stone directly is easier than wrangling hot and heavy DO's. 

Desem crumb profile

Desem crumb close-up


I cut the desem loaves 3-4 hours after baking. The crumb structure was very satisfactory, but it was somewhat gummy. Hansjoakim (see below) raised an excellent question: Would the desem benefit from a 24-36 hour rest before slicing, like a high-percentage rye does? I wonder.

The flavor of the desem, tasted when first sliced was very assertive - sweet whole wheat with a moderate sour tang. The sourness had decreased the next morning when I had it toasted for breakfast. It was very nice with butter and apricot jam.

I also baked a couple 1 kg loaves using the SFBI Miche formula. (See Miche from SFBI Artisan II - 2 kg) I altered the flour mix. The final dough was made using half KAF AP and half CM Organic Type-85  flour.

We had some of this bread with dinner. The crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft but chewy. The flavor was complex - sweet, wheaty and mildly sour. I have made this bread using the original SFBI formula, with all CM Type-85 flour and with the mix I used today. I'd be hard pressed to say which I prefer. They have all been delicious.

I'm happy with today's bakes.

David

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dmsnyder

 

One of my thoughts in purchasing a Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer was that I would be able to make Three-Stage Detmolder rye breads with more precise temperature control than I could otherwise achieve. After using this device for fermenting other starters, fermenting doughs and proofing loaves over the past couple of months, I my first rye by the three-stage Detmolder method employing the Folding Proofer this weekend.

My one previous bake of a Detmolder 3-stage rye was almost 3 years ago. (See: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12742/hamelman039s-70-3stage-rye-sourdough) I do recall that bread as having a delicious, sweet, earthy, complex flavor. The bread I baked this weekend was the very similar 80% Three-Stage Rye from Bread. This bread has an hydration of 78%. 37.8% of the flour is pre-fermented.

As described by Jeffrey Hamelman in Bread (pg. 200), this method, developed in Germany, “develops the latent potential of a mature rye culture through a series of builds,” each of which optimizes the development of yeast growth, lactic acid and acetic acid production, respectively. The builds differ in hydration, fermentation temperature and length of fermentation.

Hamelman calls the three stages or builds “Freshening,” “Basic Sour” and “Full Sour.” The first build encourages yeast multiplication in a moist paste fermented at a moderate temperature. The second build is much firmer and is fermented for a long time at a relatively cool temperature to generate acetic acid. The third build is, again, moister, and it is fermented at a warm temperature for a short time. This build is to increase the lactic acid content of the sour. After that, the final dough is mixed.

 

Freshening

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Medium Rye flour

8

100

Water

12

150

Mature rye culture

4

50

Total

24

 

Ferment 5-6 hours at 77-79º F.

 

Basic Sour

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Medium Rye flour

100

100

Water

76

76

Freshening sour

24

24

Total

200

 

Ferment 15-24 hours at 73-80º F. (Shorter time at higher temperature.)

 

Full Sour

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Medium Rye flour

270

100

Water

270

100

Basic sour

200

74.1

Total

740

 

Ferment 3-4 hours at 85º F.

 

Final Dough

Wt (g)

Medium Rye flour

422

High-gluten flour

200

Water

422

Salt

18

Instant yeast (optional)

8

Full sour

740

Total

1810

Procedures

  1. Mix all ingredients 4 minutes at Speed 1 then 1-1 1/2 minutes at Speed 2. DDT=82-84º F. (Note: Hamelman's times are for a spiral mixer. If using a KitchenAid, I double these mixing times.)

  2. Bulk ferment for 10-20 minutes.

  3. Divide into 1.5-2.5 lb pieces and shape round.

  4. Proof about 1 hour at 85º F.

  5. Dock the loaves. Bake for 10 minutes at 480-490º F with steam for the first 5 minutes, then lower temperature to 410º F and bake 40-45 minutes for a 1.5 lb loaf and about 1 hour for a 2.5 lb loaf.

  6. Cool on a rack. When fully cooled, wrap in linen and let rest for at least 24 hours before slicing.

These loaves scaled to 807 g. After baking and cooling, each weighed 700 g.

Crumb and loaf profile

Slices

I sliced the bread after it had sat, wrapped in linen, for 24 hours. The crust was chewy, and the crumb was moist and tender. The flavor was very mellow and balanced. It was not as sweet as I remember the 3-stage 70% rye being, but that was 3 years ago(!). The sourdough tang was present but subdued. A lovely flavor.

I had been planning on leaving the loaves unsliced for another 12 hours, but my wife decided she wanted rye with smoked salmon as an appetizer for dinner. How could I refuse such a tempting proposition?

Delicious!

I also made a couple loaves of Hamelman's Pain au Levain today. As simple and straight-forward as it is, this is one of my favorite breads.

Pain au Levain bâtards

Pain au Levain crust

Pain au Levain crumb

 David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

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dmsnyder

Exactly 3 years ago tomorrow, I blogged about a batch of straight dough baguettes I had made rather impulsively. (See: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11925/baguette-surprise-and-challenge) They were surprisingly good being yeasted, not sourdough, and having no pre-ferment. Several other TFL members tried my formula with pretty good success. I attributed these baguettes' very nice flavor to the flour mix I used – 90% AP and 10% white whole wheat.

Although I had intended to make these again, three years have gone by … somehow. Last week, TFL member adrade posted a reply to that 3 year old blog, having made these baguettes and finding them good enough (or maybe just fast enough) to make repeatedly. This has prompted me to make some straight dough baguettes again, this time with a somewhat different flour mix and different dough mixing method.

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

KAF AP flour

435

87

Central Milling Organic T85 flour

65

13

Water

350

70

Sea salt

10

2

Instant yeast

4

0.8

Total

864

172.8

 

Method

  1. Mix flours and water to a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and let sit for 20-60 minutes.

  3. Add yeast and salt and mix at Speed 1 for 1-2 minutes then at Speed 2 for 7 minutes.

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Form it into a ball, and put it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for 2 hours at 75º F with a stretch and fold on the board at 45 and 90 minutes.

  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Pre-shape as rounds or logs.

  7. Cover the pieces with a towel and let the gluten relax for 10-20 minutes.

  8. Shape into baguettes.

  9. Proof on a linen couche, smooth-side down, covered, for about 45 minutes.

  10. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  11. Transfer the loaves to a peel, making sure the smooth side is now facing up, and score them.

  12. Turn the oven down to 480º F. Steam the oven and load the baguettes onto the baking stone.

  13. After 12 minutes, remove the steam source. Continue to bake for another 8-10 minutes.

  14. When the baguettes are fully baked, turn off the oven, and transfer the baguettes to a cooling rack.

  15. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

These are not the most beautiful baguettes I've ever made. The two on the left were too close to each other on the stone and stuck together. I am not sure why the cuts didn't open better. The prime suspect is under-steaming. Yet the crust was thin and very crisp. The shininess suggests adequate steam, so I'm not sure what happened.

The crumb was rather dense, as it was when I made straight dough baguettes the last time. Maybe they needed a longer fermentation. Maybe I de-gassed the dough too much in shaping. The crumb was pretty chewy but not to excess.

On the other hand, the flavor of these baguettes was totally classic – very sweet and a bit nutty. I enjoyed some with my dinner omelet and more this morning with butter and a tart plum jam. Tonight, another baguette will serve for hamburger buns. French toast Sunday is possible, if I don't make sourdough pancakes.

I think baguettes made with a straight dough are worth tweaking. It's a good tasting and versatile bread that can be whipped out in 4-5 hours. Next time, I'll increase the whole grain flour content some and extend the bulk fermentation. And get a new velvet glove.

 David

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