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Floydm

I, too, had a doughy disaster today. I was trying to make a simple French/Italian bread using both a poolish (a wet, yeasted, overnight pre-ferment) and an autolyse (a flour and water quick pre-ferment). The poolish was too wet, the autolyse too dry, and when I tried to mix them together I could not get the chunks of autolyse dough to combine with poolish. It ended up having the consistency of chicken and dumplings. I ended up throwing the batch out and starting over.

The next batch turned out better.


16 oz. bread flour
11 oz. water
1 heaping teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt

I combined the flour and water in a bowl and mixed just until the flour was full hydrated. I covered the bowl and let it hydrate for 20 minutes. Then I mixed in the yeast and salt, mixed for about 3 minutes, and placed the dough in covered bowl. I gave it 45 minutes, then folded, another 45 then a fold, and a final 45 before shaping into rounds, placing in my floured baskets, which I covered, and let them rise for a final 75 minutes.

I baked them at 475 with initial steam. They were in for about 25 or 30 minutes. They turned out quite nice:

We had a pot of vegetable soup and a bottle of Chianti with them. You couldn't ask for a better meal on a wet, wintery day.

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Floydm

Today I baked the baguettes with Pâte Fermenté and the Roasted Potato Bread from Hamelman's Bread book.

many breads I baked today

The potato loaves are the round ones with the fendu style crease.

I love how Hamelman gives advice on how one should shape hundreds of fendu style loaves, but very little advice for the home baker. Typical of him: great recipes, but he rarely bothers helping out the novices.

I'll try to post more photos and a recipe soon.

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Floydm

We had the buttermilk rolls on the Thanksgiving table. They were wonderful.

I'm trying to finish our can of coffee as quickly as I can so that I can use it to try baking a Panettone. In the meantime, I'll probably bake another batch or two of stollen and some of my family's Christmas cookies.

We going to visit family in Texas in a couple of weeks. Supposedly Texas is where fruit cake originated. I may have to pick up a couple of authentic Texas fruit cakes while I am there. If anyone knows of a particularly good place to get fruit cake from, please let me know.

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Floydm

mixed breads

Banana Bread, Struan Bread, and Rustic Bread.

The banana bread was plain and simple, not even with nuts or chocolate chips. With the holiday's coming on, it didn't seem necessary.

For the Struan Bread, I used a sample packet of Bob's Red Mill's Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal as my soaker instead of mixing together my own grains. It worked well, tasting slightly different than normal Struan Bread but quite good all the same.

For the Rustic Bread I used the same dishwasher proofing technique I used last weekend. I was so wiped out after a long week that I crashed at 9 o'clock last night before I had a chance to start a sponge. Alas.

I haven't tried the rustic loaves yet, but I shall for breakfast. I kept the dough slack again and proofed them in a flour covered basket. Hence the rings. I expect them to be quite good.

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Floydm

I baked pitas for lunch today. They were great. I did 1/2 cup of the flour whole wheat, which is 1/6th of the total flour in the recipe. That is just about right for my taste.

Making them fit very nicely into my morning schedule: had breakfast, prepared the dough, ran errands while it rose, came home 11:15ish and shaped and baked them. Simple, cheap, and totally rewarding.

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Floydm

I forgot to mention that when I made the Couronne this weekend I found myself without a poolish, something I rarely forget to do.

I decided to start one at 8 AM. I used 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast, which is a bit more yeast than I'd do in an overnight pre-ferment. I then placed the covered bowl in the just-run dishwasher which, being warm, moist, and clean, is about as close to a professional proofbox as one can find in one's household.

I left the pre-ferment in the dishwasher for 4 hours or so, then I used it as the base for my final dough, which had a tablespoon of salt, 3 more cups of bread flour, another teaspoon or two of instant yeast, and a cup or so more water. I totally winged it, adding more flour and water until it felt right. The dough was quite slack, but I didn't want to end up with a whole grain brick, so I decided to push my luck.

I gave it 3 folds a la the Hamelman method, then a final shape and rise. It was probably the tastiest wheat bread I've baked. I definitely will be trying the dishwasher method again.

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Floydm

I tried baking a Couronne this weekend:

The bad news: the dough was too slack for me to shape very well, so it didn't turn out terribly pretty.

The good news: the slack dough made wonderful bread. Even with a quarter of the flour whole wheat, it was light and airy. We gobbled it up.

The recipe was roughly the rustic bread I've baked many times. I think I went a little heavier on the whole wheat than usual, but I wasn't paying close attention.

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Floydm

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Floydm

I usually wouldn't include something like this in the bread feed, but what the heck... it is Halloween.

Be careful in the kitchen, everyone.

Happy Halloween!

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Floydm

I made Melon bread for the first time today using the recipe posted by minako. We loved them.

I followed her directions with only I few adjustments. One adjustment I made was to put no egg in the bread dough and 1 whole egg in the cookie dough. I also didn't happen to have any pastry flour in the house, which I assume is what she meant by "soft flour", so I used all-purpose unbleached flour in both doughs.

Here are the doughs when they were ready to shape. The cookie doughs had been chilled and the bread doughs had already risen once.
melon bread

After rolling out one of the cookie dough circles, I placed a ball of bread dough inside and wrap it up.
melon bread

Then I flipped them over, score them gently with the back of a butter knife, and sprinkled on a little sugar.
melon bread

Ready to bake!
melon bread

Here they are done. It looks like I should have scored them a bit more, because the melon-y pattern completely disappeared.
melon bread

Up close.
melon bread

No matter, the kids loved them!
melon bread

Yum yum.
melon bread

Thank you again for the recipe, minako!

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