Have taken a three year break from baking. Now have two young boys and spent two years in Europe, so not much need for baking. But now I am back in a less-crusty-bread-loving place, lonely without my family, so I am turning back to my old love. Starting with a simpler recipe - Saturday Bread from Ken Forkish.
Have not posted any of my baking results recently, so I thought that I would share a photo of the 75% whole Wheat Bread from Ken Forkish's book. It was pretty darn good, but since it was more healthy, not as much of a hit as the white. :P
This weekend, I baked Pain de Campagne from Flour Water Salt Yeast. I used my own levain, which I have been keeping alive for a few months now and which comes from Chad Robertson's Tartine recipe. I dont understand why Ken Forkish uses so much flour in his starter, so I figured that I would just stick to my own levain without trying to emulate his recipe. I only use about 150 grams of flour mix (50/50 AP and whole wheat), 75% levain, and 150 grams of water. to keep my levain going. I was realle excited to try out this recipe because my past attemps at baking Tartine sourdough has yielded bread that was somewhat dense, though still delicious. Since this Pain de Campagne uses commercial yeast in addition to the levain, I was expecting a nice fluffy sourdough bread.
As you can see, I was relatively succesful. I really worked hard on degassing the dough a bit so I would not get the cavernous holes that I got last time, when I baked the Tartine sourdough. The bread was nice and fluffy, and the only serious problem that I encountered was when the dough got stuck to my wicker basket during the proof.
Decided to start with one of Ken Forkish's easier recipes and made the Saturday Bread. It turned out pretty good and I would say it is probably the nicest looking bread that I have made on my short journey to bread geekdom. Finally got the nice rings from my wicker basket (you should have seen some of my past disasters). I used a czech flour to flour the basket - it was a coarse wheat and I think that made it less sticky than the previous AP I was using (didnt have to add rice flour).
For the holidays, I decided to move away from the typical four ingredients and go with somethimg richer. I remembered that when I was perusing the BBA book, I found a recipe that caught my eye - Portuguese Sweet Bread. I hope you enjoy some of the pics tha I took along the way. The bread turned out great, even though I was missing some of the key ingredients, like shortening and lemon and orange extracts.