The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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linder

We've moved to Orcas Island, Washington and while our house is being built we are living in a 16 ft diameter yurt.  it is cozy to say the least.  Here is my bread kneading station set up in the yurt on top of our clothes dresser.

I'm baking the bread in a Coleman oven that sits on top of the propane camp stove burner.  In the oven I have unglazed tiles on the bottom to equalize and retain heat.  The thermometer on the front of the oven is unreliable so an over thermometer inside the oven is a must to know what the temperature is in the oven.

The bread came out really well.  The recipe I've been using is Peter Reinhart's whole wheat bread from Whole Grain Baking.  Next step - San Francisco Sourdough baked in a dutch oven over charcoal in a firepit.  

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linder

After baking 80 dozen Christmas cookies, I switched to buttermilk rolls for my husband's potluck and some San Francisco sourdough bread for us and one loaf to my son-in-law, Paul.  Paul lives in Rio Rancho, NM so I'll be sending his loaf tomorrow via UPS. 

 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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linder

Today, I took out a portion of the spent grain in the freezer that was leftover from making beer last week. (The beer is resting comfortably for another week after being decanted from the carboy into a second carboy).  The bread made from the spent grain along with a wild yeast starter and whole wheat soaker is rising right now - soon to be baked. 

Linda

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linder

I finally got around to making Eric's Rye Bread.  I've been wanting to try out this formula ever since I saw it posted here on TFL.  It is a wonderfully fragrant loaf of rye with sourdough, onions and caraway.  I sauteed two medium sized onions in about 2 TBSP of olive oil and added them to the final dough along with all the other ingredients.  The dough smelled sooo good even before it was baked.  The bread is light and fluffy.  I baked the second loaf about 10 minutes more for a total of 50 minutes since it was a 2 lb. boule.  The batard loaf could have stood a little more time in the oven but it still is baked enough in the middle. 

I made this bread to take to a potluck on Thursday.  There will be a hearty soup as part of the potluck so I thought this rye bread would work well.  I'm definitely making this again for us to have with some pastrami and homemade sauerkraut.

 

Crumb close up

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linder

We ran out of whole wheat sandwich bread and there is only a crust of sourdough left.  Yikes!  Time to start baking.  Actually I started the San Francisco sourdough three days ago per David Snyder's formula, a very reliable go-to loaf of tangy goodness.  Those were baked first. 

Yesterday I also put together a wild yeast starter and soaker for the Peter Reinhart 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf from Whole Grain Breads (I'm really enjoying this book, got it for my Kindle now too).  That loaf was baked next and almost had a disaster, but hopefully caught it in time.  I was merrily going along doing other things when I happened to look at the oven temp reading and realized I hadn't reset the oven to 35oF from 425F per the recipe.  Uh-oh the bread spent 25 minutes in the oven at 425F.  I quickly turned the oven down and tented the loaf with aluminum foil, baked it another 10-11 minutes and took it out of the pan to give it a look/see thump.  It was done.  It looks none the worse for wear. 

Today's bakes (one SF SD went to work with my husband) -

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linder

I had to use up the rest of the ricotta I made so it was time to make an sweet Italian Easter pie to match the savory one, which we have almost completely devoured.  The recipe I used is from the website http://www.ciaoitalia.com  The only 'change' I made was to use wheatberries in place of the rice as indicated in the recipe.  Otherwise the pie was made per instructions.  I tasted some of the filling as I was making the pie and it is very flavorful with vanilla, orange zest, orange juice and cinnamon.  I have seen some pies that add chocolate bits as well, maybe next year.  Will be having some of this pie with a cup of tea later this evening.

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linder

Okay, I got rid of the baking soda in the bread.  It doesn't taste like baking soda anymore.  I added 1/4 cup honey to the bread instead of diastatic malt, added zest of one orange and one more cup of oatmeal substituted for about that much flour. 

Results- better but still not a loaf to write home about, rather bland in flavor.  My husband says it's not near as flavorful as the 100% whole wheat bread from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.  Hmmm, what to do next? 

A little more salt? I'm using about 2 tsp. for 2 loaves.  I'm thinking of uping the whole wheat flour and doing a preferment of wild yeast starter like the WGB bread and putting together an oats soaker as well a la Reinhart.  Is it the oats that make the bread so ho-hum?

Or maybe just forget this recipe, because it seems like by the time I've tweaked it there won't be much left of the original.  Any ideas for improving the flavor profile of this loaf gratefully accepted.

Linda

 

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linder

Here's my first go at the sourdough oat bread recipe I received from a friend of mine.  I made half a recipe and made note of the weight of each item as I went along.  The formula can be found in grams by following the original posting of the recipe at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/32444/sourdough-oat-bread

 

The crumb -

 

Oh no, I just tasted a slice of this bread - it takes like Bisquick!  I'm so disappointed, but maybe I can try a second batch WITHOUT the baking soda and replace the diastatic malt with honey too.

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linder

Today's bake was a loaf of Peter Reinhart's 100% whole wheat sandwich bread.  The soaker and wild yeast starter for this loaf used home-milled hard red winter wheat.  In the final dough, I added Sonora white wheat flour milled by Eatwell Farm in Dixon, CA.  The combination produced a loaf of bread that easily filled the 8 1/2 by 4 inch loaf pan. 

We enjoy this bread toasted for breakfast and topped with orange marmalade alongside a cup of hot tea. 

 



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linder

I am continuing to practice my baguettes.  This latest iteration shows some promise .  It seems my oven bakes slow.  I turned up the heat to 480F on the second batch and got some better results.  I also steamed and steamed for the first 10 minutes of the bake, then switched to convection bake, hoping the increased air flow would help to vent the steam.  One other thing I did was use 10% whole wheat flour in the formula from Txfarmer for straight baguette dough.  I also let the loaves proof a bit longer.  I will continue my quest.  I've ordered a good oven thermometer from Amazon to check the oven's temperature.  Better steaming apparatus is also in the cards - with a trip to Home Depot for some lava rocks. 

 

Baguette crumb -

 

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