The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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CaptainBatard

I never tasted a Stollen let alone thought I would make one! I first got the notion to bake one when I was reading a blog about French folds and hand mixing of breads. I followed the link which led me to a video by Richard Bertinet of sweet doughs (I highly recommend it for those of you that have not seen it yet) and a recipe for stollen.  I really liked the way the recipe and the finished product looked and I really was into the hand mixing technique. That would of been too easy....instead I made the mistake of Googeling Stollen. I had no idea how many different variations there are on a stollen....from Germany to Poland...they all have a little different take...the very traditional Dresdner Stollen.....another @Hefe und Mehr- german blog....and a mouth watering recipe at Bakers Süpke `s World......the one that got my attention was a chocolate stollen @Domestic Goddess in training......an American version with a German influence @Joe Pastry and a Mohn Quark Stollen which is a poppy seed and fruit stollen which I am going to try next week....eventually I found my way back to Chef Bertinet recipe with a recipe from the United Kingdom by Chef Madalene Bonvine-Hamel @British Larde. I gathered all my material together for the Stollen and e-mailed Susan at Wild Yeast with a question about osmotolerant yeast.....She said "I made the SFBI stollen in class and it is a good one!" Ok ...that would make it easy which one to choose, it is a proven recipe and I just got the book.


I read the SFBI recipe and it said add all to bowl and mix…I thought I knew better…and in the back of my head from all the post I read I thought I had to  develop the gluten before adding the ton of butter....I threw in the sponge,eggs and started to mix...the flour barely formed a ball....panic set in...I added some water...I reread the formula to make sure I didn't leave out something...and realizes that Baby Jesus threw me a curve....I should of realized it at first... most of the moisture came butter. After a good while of mixing the dough came together with a good gluten structure. I was very relieved that is was able to save it...I divided the dough in six pieces and gently spread them into ovals....I applied the filling of Creme' d'almond that Chef Bertinet used along with the cut up pieces of marzipan to the bottom layer and also applied the filling under the top fold....the stollen was finished with a drunken butter wash and plenty of sugar topping.





This is being sent to MaMa Claus @ Yeastspotting  HoHoHo....


 

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CaptainBatard

I have been getting my stiff starter ready to make Pandoro and Panettone....and decided to not throw out the extra starter and make  Pain au Levain. I started in the morning with coffee and  got every thing together and realized that I didn't have any heat in the house....burrrr.....threw my coat on...mixed and shaped the dough in record time and put the breads to proof in the warmest place in the house...my oven. Believe it or not i just had a new gas heater installed and this is the second time this week they had to come over work on it...first it was a bad water pump...today they put in a new gas regulator....not much else can go wrong! That is what I thought...the heat went on and the repair guy left and I huddled around the radiator to get warm....and with minutes it cut off again....before to long the repair guy was back and the breads (which I thought were way overproofed) were in the oven. The good news is I have heat again...and from the way they look....I think I have a strong starter.





Pain Au Levain  (Hamelman) page 158


 

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

When you have a lot of time on your hands and want to test yourself....this a good bread to try. I originally saw this bread posted at Wild Yeast when Susan was having a giveaway for the SFBI book Advanced Bread and Pastry. I was very taken by those beautiful pictures of Caramelized Hazelnut Squares. I entered the giveaway (twice) and counted the days till I would have the book in hand to start those beautiful hazelnut pillows....well....you know the ending...I did not win....but Susan was nice enough to send me a lengthy excel sheet with the formula and a few mixing notes. I had no idea what I was getting into! I started with the preferments which consisted of 2 stiff levain and 2 stiff sponges that eventually got added to a very wet dough....I was totally over my head on this one! I did not have the detailed instructions that were in the book but I proceeded to work my may through her excel sheet and put it together following her advise "think of it as  ciabata with nuts". After several folds with wet hands and a scraper and lots of flour on the bench...I managed to get it off the bench and into the oven...what you can not see is the part that oozed off the hearth and formed on the oven rack!


When I finally pulled them from the oven, a smile came to my face and patted myself on the back! The flour encrusted loaves reminded me of the snow that had just dusted the ground. I have to be honest...I could not wait for them to cool...The first taste I had was with a smear of Nutella ummmm. It does not get much better than that...except for the second tasting which was a slice of brie on the still warm bread. I have to add...I  just broke down and ordered the book today to see what the recipe really said...



CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

I wanted to make this Cranberry Walnut Bread for Thanksgiving but the timing did not allow me to do so. This is basically the same bread as seen at Bread cetera  and a slightly different version at WildYeast. The bread went together with out any real hitches. I did deviate from my usual methods...I mixed the bread by hand using the French fold method seen at Steve's site and here. It worked very nicely until I added the walnuts and presoaked cranberries. The dough got very sticky from the extra moisture on berries even though I did blot them dry. It was just a temporary setback...the dough absorbed it in a short time. I shaped the loaves and tried the fendu method for the first time and was very impressed how much they opened compared to the slashed one. The bread had a nice crumb and taste.



 



 

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CaptainBatard

When my sister-in-law invited me up to NY for Thanksgiving diner for family and friends...I thought to myself...oh S--- I am going to get stuck in traffic for hours...and then she said and bring one of your breads. OK....my first thought was to make the very festive two tier Celebration Loaf with nuts and cranberries. It would make a nice centerpiece for the table and be very festive. When I thought it out....I needed a bread I could retard overnight and throw in the oven first thing in the morning so I could leave before noon on Wednesday to run the gauntlet to the city. Since I had only one chance to get it right... the bread had to be reliable, stay fresh for a few days and make a good a sandwich. The choice was a real no brainer..... Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread....the tastiest, most reliable bread you ever want to make. If you have never made this bread before...you must try it...it will become your favorite too...




This is being sent to Susan at  Wild Yeast for  Yeastspotting

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

I was given Maggie Glezer's book Artisan Baking many years ago from a friend  who received it from the publisher to review. She is chief with too many books on her shelf already....she knew i was interested in bread, so she passed it along to me. I was a closet  baker for many years...but never touched the white stuff. I liked the idea of bread but that is a far as it went. I read the book from front to back and then started over again and then it sat on my shelf for a many months more. I don't know what the turning point was ...but i took the book off the shelf and made my first starter and haven’t looked back since! Every week I go through the same dilemma....what shall I bake this time? This process starts early in the week and then a decision must be made to wake up the starter. The bread of week was going to go to one of my all time favorite loaf...Thom Leonard's Country French Bread with a twist... from Glazer's book. So i took out my liquid levain and mixed up a 1:3:5 stiff starter. I haven't worked with a stiff levain in many months...and i forgot how much like it. There is no question if it is active....none what so ever. It gives me a lot of confidence to see a lemon sized piece of dough transform and fill a bowl. Now the twist was I had purchased a bunch of cheap over ripened apricots at the produce market that I had dried in the oven and were ready to be put to use along with some roasted hazelnuts. With the exception of using 175 grams of white whole wheat flour and not sifting out the bran from the 100% extraction whole wheat flour the rest of the recipe stayed the same. After letting it cool, which was very hard to do, I was left wanting something more from the loaf. I am not sure what exactly that is.... I guess I will have to tinker some more!



 



This is being submitted to Yeast Spotting


 

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CaptainBatard

This is my first attempt to post a blog. I have been baking bread and looking at the site for many years....here it goes.


I try to make a bread at least once a week especially when the weather is agreeable. I was looking for a bread to make over the week-end and saw the Cherry Pecan sour dough recipe posted by Mountaindog....and thought...that will work! I did tweak the formula a bit, I used 35% white whole wheat, 5% rye and increased the hydration to 73%. (my flour tends to be thirsty). It was not fussy at all and had a nice oven spring. Next time I might try leaving out the ww and up the rye.


I like a bold bake......




That was touch and go tring to get the photos in....


Being sent to Yeast Spotting


Cheers


 


 


 


 


 

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