The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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inkedbaker

Rendered my first ever batch of leaf lard, and baked 2 loaves of white bread with it........I will never use butter or store bought lard again.....cant wait to use it in a pie crust. Such a simple thing to do, a little hard to find mind you, but well worth the foot work. If you're interested in making your own lard, here is how I did it!

3 pounds of leaf lard

1/2 cup of water

heat dutch oven or pot over medium low heat, add 1/2 cup of water (this prevents lard from burning and will evaporate as the lard renders).Cut the leaf into 1/2 inch cubes. Simmer until you start to hear popping sounds, which is normal, it's just the water leaving the meat bits in the lard. I removed mine immediately and strained it thru a cheese cloth. The left over bits of browned meat are a really good treat, so do not throw them away, I used my left over bits to make a traditional potted French Canadian meat called Cretons (if you'd like the recipe i'd be happy to share it with you). The entire rendering process took roughly an hour and I stored mine in Zip lock tuperware containers when it cooled slightly, this lard needs to be stored in the refrigerator or frozen. 

Happy rendering!

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inkedbaker

now that i've become fairly decent at baking bread, I would like some suggestions on bread storage and freezing loaves. How long will a loaf keep in the freezer, and what is the best way to store my bread to maintain freshness? Any takers?

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inkedbaker

this whole bread thing gets more fun by the day!!

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inkedbaker

makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf(680g)

1 cup sourdough starter

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

pour starter into mixer mixing bowl, add salt, sugar, milk, and butter to the starter and mix well with flat beater attachment. Switch to dough hook.  Add whole wheat flour and mix well. Add all purpose flour 1 cup at a time, finish adding flour on lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and satiny roughly 15 minutes. Proof dough overnight at room temperature in a lightly greased bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Allow dough to double, 8 to 12 hours. When dough has doubled, gently ease ball onto lightly floured surface. Let rest for 30 minutes. If flattening occurs, knead in extra flour before shaping. After 30 minute rest, shape the dough into a ball. Place in well floured brotform and cover and allow to proof, 2 to 4 hours at room temperature. Preheat La Cloche in oven at 500 degrees fahrenheit. Remove dough from brotform and cut an x in the top of the loaf at a 45 degree angle roughly 1/2 inch deep. Place loaf in La Cloche and bake for 20 minutes. Remove La Cloche cover reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees fahrenheit and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes until loaf is dark brown and a temperature of 205 to 210 degrees fahrenheit is reached when using a thermometer inserted into center of loaf. Allow to cool completely on cooling rack.

 

I used a whole wheat sourdough starter for this recipe, but any starter will work just fine as long as it's VERY active. 

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inkedbaker

playing with my new favorite flour, very nutty tasting flour, makes fantastic bread loaves.

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inkedbaker

made with a rolled oat and honey preferment....i'll post the recipe in a bit..

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inkedbaker

made these for the first time, a bit of work goes into them, but well worth the work!! fork split and toasted with a lot of butter......UHHHHHH!

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inkedbaker

anyone have a good recipe I can try my new sourdough starter on, that doesn't use any unbleached flours? want it to be 100% whole wheat!

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inkedbaker

just baked my first loaf in La Cloche that I made yesterday from items purchased at my local hardware store......I am a true believer in La Cloche....what a beautiful crispy chewy crust..

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