The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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joc1954

This is another experiment in preparation for bread evaluation this Friday. 15% whole grain spelt, 15% whole grain rye, 70% AP flour,  8.5% of starter from AP flour @100% hydration, allover hydration 72%. Rye and spelt grains were freshly milled at home. BF for 3.5 hours at dough temperature 28dC. After adding 2% salt after 30 minutes from initial mix I used Trevor's "stretch and scoop” method for about 8 minutes with a short brake and then S&F at 30 minute interval. Preshape, 30 minutes bench rest, final shaping in a boule and immediate retard for 16 hours and then usual baking straight from fridge. The crust was just perfect as I wanted to be, the crumb was extremely soft and very open for 72% hydration. Due to used AP flour the crumb was really fluffy and not chewy at all.

Happy baking, Joze

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joc1954

Just want to share the result of one of the experiments I have recently done.

I was testing what kind of bread I get if I take 1000g of wheat grains and mill them and then sift out only the bran. I got about 86% extraction flour. Recipe was simple: 15% mature levain from same flour, 2.5 hour BF with S&F every 30 minutes, dough temp 28dC, , divide, preshape, 30 minutes bench rest, final shape and immediate retard, baking after 8 hours direct from fridge. Seeds: crushed flax and sesame added one hour in BF,  85% hydration.

I was very pleased with result. The crumb was extremely well opened, oven spring and bloom were great for this kind of flour and the bread was really tasty. The flour was milled few hours before mixing the dough.

Happy baking,

Joze

 

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joc1954

After a long time I used 100% kamut white flour for making this bread. 76% hydration,3 hour bulk ferment, divide,preshape, bench rest for 10 minutes, shape, immediate retard, baked after 16 hours.

Crumb is very soft and not too much opened, crust is just great and brings a big contrast to relatively wet crumb. I have baked this bread today for my grandchildren.

Happy baking, Joze

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joc1954

I am presenting at many IT conferences and other speakers know me for baking bread. Yesterday evening we had a welcome reception dinner for a conference in Bulgaria and I proposed to the organizer that I will provide all bread for the dinner.

To pair the bread with the menu I prepared 3 loaves:

- Butternut Squash bread with pumpkin seeds

- Oat porridge sourdough with flax, sunflower and sesame seeds

- Olive bread with Mediterranean spices

So for the butternut squash I used my Hokkaido squash bread  recipe this time without sage YW and cinnamon. I used just spelt whole grain flour and according to my wife's wish I haven't added any seeds.

There was no difference in the procedure how to make the dough, but this time I was really amazed with so opened crumb which was extremely fluffy.  I am sure this bread was the softest one I have ever made. This boule was reserved for home consumption while I am traveling around.

All three loaves just came out perfect and people really liked them. Mission accomplished!

Happy baking, Joze

 

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joc1954

Every autumn we have abundance of pumpkins in our garden. Most of them are Hokkaido pumpkins which have an orange skin and more yellowish meat. I usually use Hokkaido pumpkins for preparing pumpkin soup or pumpkin gnocchi with brown butter and sage leaves (one of the recent recipes is published here with a nice video), but this year I decided to make Hokkaido pumpkin bread with SD and sage yeast water combo.

Hokkaido pumpkin from our garden.

I almost never do completely white bread so also for this bread I decided to use 15% of wholegrain spelt flour and 15% wholegrain rye flour. The flour was freshly milled few hours before mixing the dough.

Procedure is quite straightforward:  First prepare SD levain and sage (if you have) YW levain and let them ferment for about 8 hours. The levain should be bubbly and active. If you don’t have sage YW or any YW just skip preparation. The final bread will be great without that as well. In this case put 5-10 fresh sage leaves in the butter used for preparing pumpkin puree. My sage yeast water was not very active so the majority of raising power was gained by SD levain. YW levain actually added just the sage taste and probably just a little bit raising power.

Preparing pumpkin puree.

Then prepare Hokkaido pumpkin puree.  You can use canned one (any pumpkin puree if you don’t have Hokkaido puree at your hand), I prepared fresh one from Hokkaido pumpkin from my garden. I rarely use preprocessed ingredients if I can use fresh one either from my garden or bought fresh on the farmer’s market. Wash it, remove all seeds and slice the pumpkin to 1/3” (8mm) thick pieces. Deliberately I didn’t peel the pumpkin as the skin gives so much color to the puree.   I used about 40g of butter and sautéed until they became soft. Instead of using sage yeast water you can put sage leaves after butter has melted while preparing pumpkin puree and remove them when the pumpkin slices become soft and start browning. Season that with salt or increase the amount of salt in the dough recipe. At the end use hand blender to prepare puree. I added 50 g of water to make blending easier (see the recipe ingredients specification).  I started with about 450 grams of sliced pumpkin and a lot of water evaporated so the estimated quantity of puree was about 250 to 300 grams.

Adding pumpkin seeds and puree to dough. In my first attempt the seeds were not cut.

The initial dough hydration is pretty low because the puree brings a lot of additional moisture. Estimated final hydration is between 73-78% - depends on the quantity of added puree. I was using AP flour, but you can use also stronger bread flour. AP flour makes the crumb really soft. There is lot of place to play with the taste of this bread - it depends on the quantity of added pumpkin puree, sage and cinnamon. In my next bake of the same bread during this weekend I added a little bit more cinnamon but found later on that it was just a little bit too much. So be cautious with the cinnamon (unless you would like that cinnamon taste would be the prevailing one).

Dough at the end of bulk fermentation

Dough preparation:

1.) Mix levain (SD and YW if you prepared it), water and flour with hand to get a shaggy mass and let it rest from 20-60 minutes (autolyse). Desired dough temperature is 27 to 29 dC (80 to 84 dF)
2.) Add salt and mix thoroughly with hand.  
3.) Do stretch & fold every 30 minutes. Add toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin puree one hour into bulk fermentation (at second stretch & fold).
4.) After 2.5 to 3 hours of bulk fermentation (watch the dough, not the clock) divide the dough, preshape it and let it rest for 15-30 minutes on the bench.
5.) Do final shaping and let it rise for about 1.5 - 2 hours or retard immediately and bake it direct from refrigerator after 6-12 hours. Use finger poke test to estimate when the dough is ready to be baked.
6.) Bake in Dutch oven – for 10 minutes at 240 dC (460 dF) and then reduce to 220 dC (435 dF). Open the lid after 30 minutes and bake for another 10-20 minutes.   Alternatively bake with steam for 15 minutes, after that continue with convection bake.
7.) Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Another two loaves - one with curved scoring and on another one I was just playing with scoring.

 

The crumb is yellow, very soft and tastes heavenly.

 

The crumb was pretty much opened due to YW combo and relatively high hydration due to added pumpkin puree.

After adding the puree the dough becomes very silky due to used butter. Be careful when adding cinnamon and sage leaves as both have quite strong taste so you can quickly add too much. My goal was that cinnamon and sage add just enough taste to enrich the pumpkin taste in bring it to a completely new level. Of course it is up to you how much of cinnamon and sage taste you want in this bread.  

My wife and neighbors evaluated this bread as the best bread I have ever made. It is very soft bread with pronounced yellow crumb, not sweet but with warm note of cinnamon and sage spice. Topped with some butter brings you straight to heaven.  

Happy baking, Joze

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joc1954

In the spirit of my latest experiments with yeast water/SD combo and because I had some wholegrain kamut flour leftover this was my last bake before a 10 days trip to San Francisco for Oracle Open World event.

Actually nothing special, like any other bread. 77,5% hydration, relatively low due to bad experience with the kamut flour that I had some time ago. The recipe is below. YW levain was over 24 hours old and was very  bubbly, the SD levain was young - about 4 hours after inoculation. 30 minutes autolyze, 3 hour bulk fermentation with S&F every 30 minutes at 27dC,, 30 minutes bench rest , about 2 hours final raise, baked in iron-cast skillet.

  Happy baking, Joze

 

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joc1954

Just wanted to share the results of today's baking for two afternoon parties that my wife and me will be attending.

The dough for all loaves is the same and today for the first time I have used garden sage yeast water which adds a special taste. I could not resist to give another try to Danni3ll3 pears, walnuts and gorgonzola bread (the long loaf on the above picture). The dough was retarded for 18 hours before bake. The big loaves were baked in my pizza wood fired oven, the small one and the pears & walnuts & gorgonzola bread was baked in normal kitchen oven.

Last two or three weeks I am running experiments with YW - either raisin, home grapes, basil, pears, and also garden sage. Actually the sage YW has a very strong flavor so I just used about 50g of it to prepare the starter. Another two levains were poolish and my regular SD starter.

Because I was baking for parties this afternoon I wanted to do it in the morning. Unfortunately the dough was rising too much after being in fridge already for several hours so I had to reshape it otherwise I would end up with only over-proofed loaves.

 

 

 

 

Happy baking, Joze

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joc1954

I started to experiment with yeast water made from raisin or pears and wanted to test if it is possible to make 100% buckwheat flour bread that is actually gluten free. Buckwheat is quite popular here in Slovenia. "Ajdovi Žganci", the Slovene word for buckwheat maize porridge, is a typical Slovene food prepared by farmers. 

The recipe is simple: in my case I used 900g of freshly milled buckwheat flour (milled on my own mill at home), added 1000g of water, 20g of salt and 3 tablespoons of psyllium and 30g of olive oil. A day before I have used 30g of raisin yeast water and 30g of buckwheat flour to prepare the levain. After doubling I added another 100g of water and 100g of buckwheat flour and waited about one hour that the levain started to raise rapidly. Then I have mixed everything with handand put in a model covered with parchment paper. The dough was proofing in my oven at 35 dC until it doubled. Then I just turned on my steam oven with max amount of steam and baked at 230 dC (the maximum available temp) for 45 minutes (the oven had to warm up within this time) and then without steam for next 15 minutes at 210 dC.

The bread turned out great and was quite soft although still quite dense, but much better what I was actually expecting. The raisin YW performed a great work.

I am eagerly waiting for any comments and suggestions for improvement.

Happy baking, Joze

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joc1954

There are several posts on TFL for bread with cranberries but there are almost no posts using tarragon and nothing about a combination of tarragon and cranberries. In Slovenia, where I live, one of very popular national dishes (cakes) is tarragon cake ( in Slovenian language “pehtranova potica” ). In this cake, which is made for different holidays, we mostly use fresh (green) tarragon. “Potica” is made from dough typical for Italian panettone. The dough is spread after bulk rise and topped with a mixture of fresh tarragon, young or cottage cheese, crème fraiche or something like this with some sugar added. Then everything is usually rolled together and put in a typical model for the final raise. For a while I had idea to combine cranberries and tarragon and make special kind of bread which would not be as sweet as a cake, but would be an ideal one for eating at breakfast topped with butter and cranberry jam or with some camembert cheese.

Tarragon Plant

My wife likes cranberry jam and her birthday was just a perfect occasion to put my idea in practice. The dough recipe is following the idea for a Tartine County Loaf. The additions are dried but rehydrated cranberries, chopped fresh tarragon (one can also use dried tarragon) and 2 teaspoons of honey. I used fresh tarragon from our garden. If you don’t like sweet bread you can omit completely two teaspoons of honey.

The recipe calls for using milk but one can use water instead. However, be prepared that the taste in this case will be quite different.

Several hours before you start mixing the dough you should soak the cranberries in the water and dry them before you put them in the dough. However, soaking them in the water will cause that a lot of their juice will be dissolved in water so it is good to use the water from the soaker for mixing the dough. Alternatively what I do is soaking cranberries in milk which is used in the recipe and strain that milk away before mixing the dough. It might happen that the milk will coagulate a little bit due to the acid in the cranberries but when you add cranberries to the dough you will not notice this at all. If you are using milk then after straining add missing quantity of milk to have 200 grams of milk for mixing the dough. Sometimes cranberries can be quite thirsty and you have to correct this by adding more milk.  One can also use re-hydrated cranberries. In this case there is no need for soaker.

Dough after bulk fermentation before divide

 

Cranberry Soaker

  

Ingredient

Grams

Baker's %

dried cranberries

200

20%

Milk/water

200

20%

Total soaker

400

 
   

Levain

  

Ingredient

Grams

Baker's %

AP flour

200

20%

water

200

20%

SD culture (SD starter)

50

5%

Total levain

450

 
   
   

Final Dough

  

Ingredient

Grams

Baker's %

bread flour

400

40%

AP flour

400

40%

milk

200

20%

levain

450

45%

butter

70

7%

2 eggs

130

13%

salt

20

2%

honey

20

2%

tarragon fresh

100

10%

cranberry soaker

400

40%

Final dough weight

2190

219%

   

Totals:

  

Ingredient

Grams

Baker's %

flour

1000

100%

milk/water

730

73%

hydration

73,00%

 

 

Preparation:
 
1.) Mix with mixer 2 eggs, butter (leave it on room temp for a while to soften), honey, about 100g of the flour and some milk to get a thick batter. Then add strained milk from cranberries, levain, rest of milk/water and rest of flour and mix with hand to get a shaggy mass and let it rest from 20-60 minutes.
2.) Add 20 grams of salt and mix thoroughly with hand.  
3.) Do stretch & fold every 30 minutes. Add cranberries and tarragon one hour into bulk fermentation (at second stretch & fold).
4.) After three to four hours of bulk fermentation (watch the dough, not the hour) divide the dough and let it rest for 15-30 minutes on the bench.
5.) Do final shaping and let it rise for about 2 hours or retard immediately and bake it direct from refrigerator after 8-12 hours.
6.) Bake in Dutch oven – for 10 minutes at 240 dC (460 dF) and then reduce to 220 dC (435 dF). Open the lid after 30 minutes and bake for another 10-20 minutes.   Alternatively bake with steam for 15 minutes, after that continue with convection bake. CAUTION: As this dough contains more sugar it will brown faster so it is a good idea to reduce the baking temperatures for about 10-20 degrees. 
7.) Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Tarragon  & Cranberries Bread
 
Taste of this bread is really great in if you like tarragon you will love this bread. One can use dry tarragon for the recipe as well; however in this case use only 30 grams of dry tarragon. Actually the quantity of tarragon in this bread is completely arbitrary and depends on your taste.
 

 

Update 4.8.2016

Today I was baking this bread for my mother who turned 91 and also for our neighbor who turned 61. I took several pictures which I am publishing now. My today's baking is with excellent Italian "00" flour.

Italian flour type "00"

Italian flour type "00"

 

 

Adding tarragon to the dough

Adding tarragon to the dough

 

Adding cranberries soaked in milk

Adding cranberries soaked in milk (see some milk coagulation around berries)

 

Dough with added tarragon and cranberries

Dough with added tarragon and cranberries

 

Dough after 8 hours in fridge

Dough after 8 hours in fridge before going into DO

 

Scored dough

Scored dough in LODGE skillet

 

After removing lid

After removing lid 30 minutes later

 

 Final result

Final result

 

 Final result - details

Final result - details

 

 After slicing

After slicing - crumb was very soft, not too open (this was my intention), the crust was not too strong. This bread amazes me every time I eat.

 

Happy baking!

 

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