The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yippee's blog

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Yippee

 

 

 

My first rye loaf in four years...It's got to be special!

 

 

 

 

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Yippee

Record long bulk fermentation (10 days, I was extremely busy during that time) and final proof (24 hours ) were done in the fridge.  And this loaf turned out just fine... 

 

 

 

Portobello Mushroom Bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got these huge, but not very flavorful mushrooms from Costco out of convenience, it saved me a separate trip to the market...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though not very flavorful, they are quite meaty...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of freshly ground black pepper for stir frying the mushrooms and the dough...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushrooms are stir-fried with black pepper, salt, and olive oil...

 

 

 

 

 

Both rye and whole wheat starters are used in this bread...

 

 

 

 

 

Also some wheat germs, and some liquid (the inky one) from the cooked mushrooms as well...

 

 

 

 

 

Adding salt after dough is developed; most of the time I don't really care and add the salt with everything else, one less thing on my mind...

 

 

 

 

 

Pulse the cooked mushrooms in a mini food processor...

 

 

 

 

 

Incorporating chopped mushrooms in the dough. In hindsight, should've added them with everything else and held back any other liquid to be used, then gradually adding the liquid in the dough. 

 

 

It's a record long bulk ferment - this dough stays in the fridge for 10 days; then another 24 hours of cold retardation for final proof. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it turned out just fine...Preheat oven to 500F, lower to 465F after loading, 15 minutes w/ steam; then 30 minutes without, dough weight about 600g.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bread flour 76%; pre-fermented WW and rye flours 12%, respectively;  65% hydration; Portobello mushrooms 36%; wheat germ 4%; salt 2%; and freshly ground black pepper to taste...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecting the dots...

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Yippee

A loaf made for my son...

 

 

 

About seven, eight years ago, I was busy tending a bread dough and did not meet my younger son's demand. He was in kindergarten then and just learned how to write. He  stuck this note on my bedroom door to protest being ignored. So I became the "Evil Mom".

I've kept the note on the door ever since...

 

 

 

 This loaf is made especially for him, he likes raisin breads...

 

 

 

 

Start by making "candied" orange peels...

 

 

 

 

Done in a vacuum crock overnight,  re-boil the syrup-peel mixture a couple times;  syrup = sugar:water by volume 1:1; stacking bowls on top to weigh the peels down...

 

 

 

 

 

The aroma of orange syrup permeates the air - so festive, fragrant that it's almost unreal. Orange syrup is used in place of sugar...  

 

 

 

 

Infuse and plump the raisins in orange syrup, and this is the key to success of this loaf...

 

 

 

 Not "candied" all the way, but good enough to get rid of the bitterness in pith...

 

 

 

 

 

Mixing the peels, Zo gets busy these days...

 

 

 

 

Mixing the plumped raisins in the dough...

 

 

 

 

A relatively short bulk ferment this time - 48 hours...

 

 

 

 

Using the taping knife in shaping almost every loaf,  I'm loving it...

 

 

 

 

Panned...

 

 

 

 

Nudging the dough down and in the wine cellar it proves, temperature set @ 55F...

 

 

 

 

Dough after 6.5 hours, a bit under proved - exactly what I want.  Continue to prove at room temperature while oven preheats, and off I go to swim...

 

 

 

 

Back from swimming, both the dough and the oven are ready, perfect...

 

 

 

 

Applying egg wash...

 

 

 

 

Prepping the scissors...

 

 

 

 

First time cutting a dough like this...Baked @ 400F for 45-60 minutes, cover the top with foil if needed...

 

 

 

 

 

Bread flour, 30% pre-fermented with starter; 30% hydration (from starter); 8% orange syrup; whole egg 25%; butter 15%; salt 2%; diced "candied" orange peels 10%; orange flavor infused raisins 30%

 

 

 

 

Early morning light paints the rosy hue...

 

 

 

 

The aroma from this bread brings the holiday "feel" to the house...

 

 

 

 

Crumb shot...

 

 

 

 

 

Having fun playing with cameras...so you know, you don't need expensive cameras/lenses most of the time; a cell phone will do...

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for breakfast, it's not just any raisin bread...It's raisin bread made with mommy's love ❤❤❤

 

 

 

 

 

I like having bread with soup - roasted red pepper with potatoes on top, roasted tomatoes on the right, and okra on the left...

 

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Yippee

French style milk loaf... If you prefer milk bread that's less fluffy, this one is for you.

 

 

 

 

French style  milk bread.  Chess table painted by my kids...

 

 

 

 

 

This milk loaf has more bite than the Japanese ones.  If you prefer milk bread that's not fluffy, this one is for you.

 

 

 

 

 

74% hydration baguette dough....

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lebanese Roasted Tomato Soup - ran out of fresh basil, garnished with cilantro instead.  It feels wonderful when I see my family enjoying my bread and soup...

 

 

 

 

Coral bells...

 

 

 

 

 

Going through the usual marathon bulk ferment - 5 days this time

0% pre-ferment, liquid 100% yeast water

70% bread flour, 30% cake flour, egg yolk 5%, yeast water 65%, butter 8%, salt 2%, sugar 8%, milk powder 16%

 

 

 

 

 

Using my new tool in shaping...

 

 

 

Applying egg wash...

 

 

 

 

 

Scoring BEFORE the final proof...

 

 

 

 

 

My oven is being used, so proving in the proofer my husband built me years ago.  Having used it mostly for making yogurt these days...

 

 

 

 

Looks kinda spooky and smells stinky,   especially when it heats up, all because of the dairy spilled before. No matter what I do, still can't get rid of that smell

 

 

 

 

Covering with a rainbow blanket for additional insulation...

 

 

 

 

 

SteveB's ingenious design using a reptile thermostat...

 

 

 

 

Done proving...

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 15 minutes following loading is "ShowTime".  I'd turn off all the lights in the kitchen and sit in front of the oven to stare at the dough, "nervously" waiting for that oven spring...

 

Preheat oven @425F; dough weight about 1200g, bake @365F x about 60 min, first 15 minutes w/ steam 

   

 

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Yippee

Have made an important decision about baking...

 

It rained...

 

 

 

 

 

 Bought a new tool, a taping knife, for my next baking project - this is going to take a while...or I should say it's ongoing.  I need to keep baking, otherwise I'll walk away from it once again.  It's so easy to give up...

 

 

 

 

  

The instruction that came with my stones specifies certain side up.  I had it reversed because the foil covered up the surfaces.   I found a better solution while I was shopping for the taping knife.  Now it's much easier to move these overweight babies in/out of the oven.  BTW, I use Fibrament Stones.  No complaints so far. I saw the lava rocks while I was at the store.  But I can't remember why I need them.  Additional thermal mass? I'll buy them when I figure it out...

 

 

 

 

 

Now my oven is officially set up for baking hearth breads...

 

 

 

 

 

Taking baby steps to reacquaint myself with the process...

Progress today:  made a high hydration boule (76% baguette dough) with my new tool, no sticky hands.  I'm so excited... 

 

 

 

 

See how "clean" my hand is...

 

 

 

Putting another gadget, the wine cellar, back in service. I need all the help I can get to overcome my "hardship" in baking, but nothing compares to your baking conditions. I'm embarrassed of thinking about quitting Thinking of you, Pal...

 

 

Only these babies and swimming  can get me out of bed at dawn these days...

 

 

 

This is what I usually see when I come home from work - a mess. Bread crumbs everywhere, on the table, on the floor...but I'm not mad.  Because I know my older son has eaten my bread again when he's home from school.  He loves my bread and he loves dipping it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. He can devour the entire loaf by himself.  As a mom,  one of the happiest moments is when I see my kids taking that extra bite, and growing that extra inch; and I don't mind at all to have become the shortest person in the family...

 

 

 

  

Fresh bread for breakfast, unbelievable...but where there's a will, there's a way...and I've been baking EVERY DAY.  With practice, each loaf improves, and the senses and memories of baking have returned...

 

 

 

 

 

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Yippee

 Hey, Stu, here you go...

 

 

 

 

  I love spring, the flowers are blooming in the garden... 

 

 

 

Trying something new today - making a "porridge" for bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your porridge is nothing like the porridge I have in mind...

 

 

 

 

This is my kind of porridge - pork and preserved duck egg porridge (皮蛋瘦肉粥),  my favorite...

 

 

 

 

Following your measurements...

 

 

 

 

 

Grinding millet flour in a coffee grinder...

 

 

 

 

Just fed these babies the day before. They are hyper-active...

 

 

 

 

Only yeast water is used, no starter this time...

 

 

 

 

Extra YW outside your formula, I'll find out if my speculation is right...

 

 

 

 

I don't have your fancy wheat flours, only have my good old Giusto's:  WW on the left, AP equivalent on the right...

 

 

 

 

Meet Zo, my "first love" baking partner.  It mixed all my beloved loaves of Hokkaido Milk Bread.  It's semi-retired now and only takes on R&D job like this...邏

 

 

 

 

Just as I speculated, your dough is too dry.  It lacks the extensibility that Zo needs to work with...

 

 

 

 

So I added about extra 8% of YW, little by little, they call it the "double hydration" method. Now your dough hydration is about 76%.  As usual, I pinch. It's ready for the millet porridge...

 

 

 

Adding millet in the dough...

 

 

 

 

 

Done mixing the millet in the dough...

 

 

 

 

Pinch again, it feels right...

 

 

 

 

Using a "fancier" container this time, just for you 

 

 

 

 

Standard procedure... To be honest, it doesn't really matter...

 

 

 

 

No flour in this dough is pre-fermented.  Bulk fermentation is going to take a LOOOONG time. Now it's Monday night/Tuesday morning.  In the morning when I go to work, the dough goes back to the fridge. It doesn't seem to have any activities at all at that time. But once it gets over a threshold, the activities pick up.  In the next few days, the dough is going in and out between the proofer and the fridge to complete bulk.

 

 

 

 

Dough on Wednesday night - coming out of fridge to continue...

 

 

 

 

Dough on Friday night - looks ready.  But I'm tired So wait one more night till Saturday...

 

 

 

 

What the dough looks like on Saturday...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now comes the challenge.  I haven't made a free-form bread for almost more than four years.  Totally out of practice, my mind just goes blank when I stare at the dough.  I can tell you, from this point forward, I mishandle the dough in ALMOST every step - not tightening the skin, not sealing the bottom seam, not scoring right, and ...the list just goes on... 

 

 

 

  

But I do ONE thing right...and I have Dabrownman to thank!

 

 

 

 

 

While the dough is proving...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scramble to find my stones and set them up...Use foil just to keep my husband quiet, don't ask me why.

 

 

 

 

Can't find my lava rocks, must have tossed them when I thought I'd never use them again.  So a pie pan in a rimmed baking sheet on the oven floor for steam...

 

 

 

1.6x, it's time!

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at this "flat disc", you wouldn't believe the oven spring I'm going to see.  The dough wobbles and stretches in front of my eyes as it expands upward, you know, like those crazy air dance tube man you see at a car wash! I think I'm hallucinating!

 

 

 

 

See how puffy it is...

 

 

 

 

WW flour 55%, AP flour 39%, millet flour 6%, 20% millet porridge; NO pre-fermented flour; 76% hydration, salt 2% - Stu's formula with hydration modified

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The crumb shot...

 

 

 

 

Mango coconut salad with goji berries, walnut, pecan, tomatoes etc.- my usual dinner...

 

 

 

 

Ahhhhh, flowers in the office....

 

 

 

 

and millet bread for snack... Simple pleasures in life...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yippee

I feel so lucky that I can eat regular bread because the gluten-free breads on the market are so expensive! I hope those of you who suffer from gluten intolerance don't ever have to be ripped off again - you can make your own delicious gluten-free sourdough bread!

 

Only used raisin yeast water for hydration of the dough.  Soon this whole jar of YW would be gone...

 

 

 

 

 

The main ingredient...

  

 

 

 

 

The success of this loaf is counting on this ingredient - a LAXATIVE!!!

  

 

 

Found a better deal after the shopping of all my ingredients was done: WF Market carries psyllium husk powder (bulk section) at a lower price than the online vendors.  What a surprise to find a deal there!

 

 

 

"Dinging" garlic oil in the microwave...Mind you, this loaf ain't low fat...

  

 

 

 

 

My un-refreshed buckwheat starter...

  

 

 

 

Refreshed, ready for use...

  

 

 

 

  

First, there's laxative; then there's this... Ewwww, not a pretty picture...

  

 

 

 

  

Whatever starter left in the jar is refreshed with new buckwheat flour, YW, and psyllium husk powder...

  

 

 

 

  

Whisking the "laxative" with YW...

  

 

 

 

Done whisking...A gel formed.

 

 

 

  

Using paddle to mix the gel, the starter, and the rest of the YW...

 

 

 

Now adding buckwheat flour...

 

 

 

Switching to dough hook, not to develop gluten, but because the mass was getting too cumbersome for the paddle...

  

     

Pinching again...The dough felt pretty elastic, it seemed very promising...

 

 

 

Panned...

  

 

 

 

Start proving...

  

 

 

 

Meet my other bread making partner...

 

 

 

 

Done proving...

  

 

 

 

 

The dough was ready...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first sign of readiness...

  

 

 

 

Not bad...

  

 

100% buckwheat flour (30% pre-fermented by raisin yeast water), 4% psyllium husk powder, overall dough hydration 140% (all yeast water)

 

gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, gum-free, and sugar-free...Is that good enough for you?   I can eat almost anything, but I realize not everyone is so lucky...

 

 

P.S. I probably will decrease the % of psyllium husk powder used next time because I keep getting this funny food-stuck-in-my-chest kinda feeling after eating this bread.  May be there's too much fiber in the bread.樂 And it took almost two days for that feeling to go away! Scared the hell out of me! That's why I don't use additives in my breads unless there are no better options.  You just don't know what damage they would do to your body. And I tend to be very aggressive/heavy-handed when trying out the additives for the first time.  But then I find out right away where my limit is...

 

 

 

 

 

Baked at 430F for 75 minutes, the smaller loaf came out perfect...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pullman loaf was a bit too moist to slice, almost like a rye loaf...

  

 

 

 

Still a bit too moist on day 2...

 

 

 

Can't be staring at bread all day, need to see some colors - my Valentine's gift...

  

 

 

 

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Yippee

Mission accomplished!!!  Thank you all for your input!!!

 

 

 

 

 

The winner! 

 

  Made with wheat bran levain, inspired by Dabrownman's great idea...

 

 

The wheat bran levain.  I know, that's a lot of it.  I usually make my breads with 50%+ of pre-fermented flour.

 

 

Mixing the bran levain in the dough...

 

 

 

 

Adding sprouted grains to the dough...  For this bread, the sprouted grains were mixed and cooked together before adding to the dough; there was no specific proportion for each grain.  

 

 

 

 

Testing for gluten development. Imagining myself pinching my kids' cheeks.  In a way, the dough is my baby too, isn't it?

 

 

 

 

Done mixing.  Looking good...

 

 

The wheat bran whole wheat bread 

 

100% whole wheat flour, 50% of which and 16% wheat bran were pre-fermented by starter and raisin yeast water.  I decreased the % of sprouted grains to 24% because the dough was not as strong, and I didn't want to take any chances in my first bake of this bread.  It's very likely that I'll test and change the proportions of wheat bran and sprouted grains in the future.

 

 

The crumb shot...

 

 

 

Ready to serve...

 

 

 

The runner-up... 

 

I call it "the guys' loaf" because I used ingredients suggested by the guys: 10% cracked wheat soaker, 20% sprouted wheat berries (plus 10% of other mixed sprouted grains), and 2% vital wheat gluten. 

 

Thank you for helping me out!

 

 

 

 

Getting ready for the "chewy crumb" challenge... 

 

 

 

 

No more collecting dust, the grain mill is now being used...

 

 

 

 

Cracked wheat soaker - cereal-like, tastes sweet, very nice; microwaved for 2 minutes, all the water had already been absorbed.  Even though I used about 160% hydration in the soaker, the cracked wheat berries still turned out a bit too tough in the baked loaf.  Have you ever had similar problem with your soaker?  

 

 

 

Sprouted grains for this bread were cooked and weighted separately... 

 

 

 

Mixing the base dough... 

 

 

 

 

Adding cracked wheat soaker first...Used only 10% because I was worried about the hydration in the soaker would make my dough too wet.  

 

 

Testing for gluten development again.  Pinching cheeks... 

 

 

Sprouted grains with specific proportions... 

 

 

 

Start mixing... 

 

 

  

Final testing of gluten development...

 

 

    

All set... 

 

 

Bread made with VWG comes out taller... Wheat bran WW on the left, without VWG. 

 

 

 

Crumb shot of the "guys' bread". It's not as chewy as the wheat bran WW bread. Even though only 2% of VWG was used, that bland hollowness, which masked the flavors of all the other ingredients,  shocked my taste buds one more time. It suddenly dawned on me why the store-bought whole wheat breads taste like "cardboard".  The VWG used in those breads must be one of the culprits! 

 

 

 

 

The "just for fun"...

 

Bread on steroids - made with 4% vital wheat gluten. Don't tell me what you're thinking!!!

 

 

 

 

With 4% vital wheat gluten added, yes, the bread is less airy and it gives a more substantial mouth feel. However, I still don't find the bread "chewy" and it tastes bland, which I suspect is caused by the (over use of) VWG...

 

 

 

 

 but the loaf is indeed much taller... 

 

 

 

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Yippee

 

Custom made for someone special...

100% whole wheat (Giusto's organic high protein) flour, 50% pre-fermented with starter and raisin yeast water; 60% sprouted grain mix: lentils, millets, soy beans, corns, and wheat berries. 

 

 

Whole Wheat Protein Bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful weather on Game Day.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yippee

Hello, everyone,

 

Long time no see!   Hope all is well and Happy New Year!  I have been away from TFL for quite a while.  During this time, I stopped baking bread, got rid of all the starters and bags of grains that I had accumulated,  and devoted my very limited free time to pursue other hobbies. 

 

A turning point came during this past holiday season, when I received a new oven as a Christmas gift from my husband. When I found out this oven has a new feature - proofing, I said to myself:  Maybe this is a sign that I should start making bread again.  So I "fired up" this new oven and baked my first loaf of bread in years on Christmas day. This day became the happiest and the most memorable Christmas ever!

 

Since that day, something related to bread is always in the works, either nurturing my starters, designing a new formula, spouting the grains, or pre-fermenting the flours, the bread making process has been non-stop, so has the flow of joy that overwhelms me.  Everyday is happy day, as long as my bread making is going well, and I have not been disappointed so far. 

 

For the first time, I have systematically utilized all the equipment I had acquired to produce bread.  Every mixer, from my Zo to KA to SP5, has been put to use either to test a formula, mix a sizable preferment, or to mass produce bread dough.  In this one month following Christmas, I probably have produced more bread than the few years combined when I was active on TFL.  I not only provide a steady supply of varieties of breads for my family, but I also have plenty to share with my friends and colleagues.  From scratch, I create a dream, a love story, a gift,  a memory that will be etched in minds as heartwarming moments. Sharing has made bread making one of the most rewarding experiences in life.  I hope you'll feel my joy when seeing the pictures of my bread.  Happy Baking!

 

 

 

I call them "super" breads because they are made with super foods: quinoa, flax seed meal, chia seeds and more...

 

 

 

The sprouted wheat berries are a well-liked ingredient...

 

 

 

 

 

 From scratch, I create a dream, a love story, a gift,  a memory that will be etched in minds as heartwarming moments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thoughtful gift,  one memorable Christmas...

 

 

 

 

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