My starter finally kicked into gear yesterday afternoon (started, Sunday 26th, March). It looked ready so I had a go at a lunch loaf. After a nice and quick first rise I shaped the dough and let it sit for a couple of hours before putting in my little proofer thingy. It didn't seem to be going well so I decided I was going to put in the fridge before going to bed. I forgot about it until I was on my way to bed when I noticed it was ready to bake, so on goes the oven at 12:30 at night. I took it out of the oven around 1:30 wrapped it in a tea towel and went to bed. A little small but I didn't have enough starter which also went into the fridge for the first time last night.
This morning I took the starter out of the fridge put some in a coulpe of containers and then fed them. And late this afternoon I was ready to go again. This was also my first use of my new vienna trays. I'll post a picture of the crumb later when I cut one.
All up not bad results for my first go at artisan bread. I used a 1:1 bakers flour and water starter which was fed irregulary, once or twice a day. I used the following formula and did not take any notice of the various temperatures.
I had a go at baked yeast doughnuts that were not very good. The baguette here is from some dough left in the fridge on Sunday and baked Friday, it was not good.
Today I thought I'd have a crack at a chocolate sponge roll using the recipe from my cake class I missed last Thursday. The roll didn't work out so I cut it in half and stacked it with some cream in the middle. I think my baking powder might be a little strong I got much more rise then I was expecting.
I made some bread today too in preparation for a test next week part of which means making some bread rolls. Mine usually are not very good so I need the practice, they came out very well. There was another loaf and a cob but my wife run off with the cob before I could get a photo. I'm sure she and her parents are enjoying it as I type this ;-)
I started today with a generic sponge that I used to make my standard white loaf & baguette, flax seed plait and some choc-chip hot cross buns. I wasn't sure at first if it was going to work out today trying a sponge and bulk ferment. So no bread improver and less yeast than usual. I started mixing the sponge at 12:30 and the first loaf was into the oven at 4:00. Now that I'm using two cast iron trays on the bottom of the oven to which I add a tray of ice between them, I'm getting a very nice bloom. Despite the ugliness of the buns they were quite nice. I couldn't post a picture of the loafs crumb, I've used up my monthly quota at flickr :-(
I started out on Saturday morning creating a fresh starter using 75% water to flour.
I moved on to a lunch loaf and a couple of baguettes.
On Sunday it was a four strand platt, a lunch loaf and a couple more baguettes, however when proofing the platt dropped on to the baguettes. One baguette survived and the other was put aside to use for pizza later on in the day. The little bread roll was by my two year old daughter. I forgot to take a photo of the finished platt, I took it to my parents place to eat while watching some football it only lasted 15 minutes. I also forgot to take a photo of the finished pizzas, they were thoroughly enjoyed as well :-)
I also added some malt to my starter in the morning which resulted in quite a lot of activity by the afternoon. (Images deleted...)
I suppose it doesn't look like much but I spent all weekend making and eating bread...
I started making bread about six months ago, I've been enjoying making bread so much that I've started TAFE to become a baker. My goal when I started was to produce a soft white sandwich bread in as short a time as possible. Now that I can do that I'll share what I've learnt. The first thing that I think is important is to use percentages and weight I do not measure by cups etc, I also keep an eye on time and temperature. Since approaching breadmaking with an engineers hat on so to speak my bread has improved considerably. So here is how I make a rapid bread from start to finish in about two hours.
First I work out how much dough I need, today I'm going to do two baguettes at 450g and a lunch loaf at 550g which is about the maximum capacity of my oven, using two oven shelves never seems to work. So I need a dough of 1450g and I'm using the following formula.
2% Olive Oil
Total -- 164%
I would usually use bakers flour and 1% bread improver however I wanted to test a cheap all-purpose flour with a protein content of 10.8% (Savings Brand in Austraila) and to see the result of no improver.
For my weights I do the following.
1450g / 1.64 = 884g -- dough weight divided by our 164% gives the required flour weight.
884 * 58% = 513g -- All other percentages are relative to the flour.
884 * 2% = 18g -- Salt
884 * 2% = 18g -- Olive Oil
884 * 1% = 9g -- Sugar
884 * 1% = 9g -- Yeast
I weigh my flour then add other dry ingredients to the flour and give it a good mix with a spoon. Next I start mixing slowly with a stand mixer whilst adding the liquids, once all is mixed I let it sit for anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes to let the dough relax.
On a higher speed I work the dough for roughly 8-10 minutes. At this point I want a dough with temperature of about 28°C, I usually get the water temperature(20-22°C with the current warm weather) set by adding a couple of ice cubes(tap water is about 26°C here) to a jug of water before weighing the water off. Kneading the dough will warm it up a bit which is allowed for in the water temperature.
I pull the dough out and give it a "window check" if it's not up to scratch I'll give the dough some hand work. I've seen mentioned here somewhere not to tear the dough but this is exactly what I've been taught at TAFE and hence what I do which rapidly develops the gluten. I suppose there are many schools of thought on kneading :-)
I then let the dough sit again for 10 minutes to again relax the dough before shaping. I split the dough into the required weights and shape. For the lunch loaf I would usually punch down and roll a baguette shape, cut in half and put in the tin with pointy ends in the middle. But today I tried splitting the dough in half and putting 2 balls in, my loaf suffered as I didn't degas it before balling it (almost no oven spring).
For the baguettes I punched down the dough folded the sides in and then rolled it whilst maintaining tension. I slice the baguettes before prooving as doing so afterwards can be difficult. For prooving I use a plastice storage container to which I add boiling water for steam. The rise takes about 30-60 minutes and may sometimes need more boiling water added to keep the heat up if the weather is cooler.
A spray of water and some seeds and into the oven at 220°C. I pour some water onto an oven tray on the bottom of the oven for steam. I turn the temperature down to 210°C and bake for approximately 25 minutes, a bit shorter for baguettes and rolls sometimes and usually a bit longer for loaves.
From todays effort I can say I rushed a bit and should have left the dough in the proover longer and the gluten was a little under developed. But not a bad result considering my mistakes and cheap flour and it still tasted good with some brie ;-)