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News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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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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Floydm

I baked oodles of quick breads today. Pumpkin bread, scones, popovers, and this weird potato-apple pancake from Country Breads of the World, which I recently got from the library. A good book it seems so far.

They all turned out well. The pancake kinda fell apart because I didn't use enough flour, but it tasted excellent. Want to see?

apple potato pancake

Tomorrow I bake with yeast. In fact, I need to get some sponges going right now.

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Floydm

I baked a pumpkin french bread this weekend:

Pumpkin French Bread Makes 2 loaves Poolish: 8 oz. water 8 oz. all-purpose unbleached flour 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

Final dough:
All of the poolish
16 oz. all-purpose unbleached flour
4 oz. pumpkin puree
4 oz. water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar


At least I think that is right. I'm putting it down from memory, so if something seems drastically off, adjust it!

The standard approach here: the poolish sat out overnight, two rises before shaping, baked at 465 for about 25 minutes in an oven with steam. Take a look at the rustic bread recipe if you want more info.

I did a decent job scoring them:

The pumpkin loaves are on the outside, a rustic bread I baked in the center.

I think if I try it again I'll bump the amount of pumpkin up to 6 ounces. You really can't taste the pumpkin much. But you catch a whiff of it pulling a slice of it out of the toaster.

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Floydm

Sunday is my birthday. Sunday is also World Bread Day.

Coincidence? I think not.

After my excessive baking spree last weekend, I had said I wasn't going to bake this weekend. But I may just have to celebrate World Bread Day by putting together a loaf or two.

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