The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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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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linder

We have a big pot of borscht to eat and wanted some hearty rye bread to go with it, so last night I mixed up the soaker and wild yeast starter for Rye Sandwich Meteil.  I had read on TFL that the bread had come out quite sweet for some, so I used only half the sweeting called for in the formula.  The bread 'rose' more sideways than anything else, but is still very tasty. 

I'm also wondering if some of the lack of rise was not letting it proof long enough (45 min instead of the full 60).  In any event - here is the loaf.  Any comments on how to achieve a better rise upwards are appreciated.  (Maybe I really do need to add some vital gluten?)Thanks.

 

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linder

A month ago, the three gmas baked a great looking lemon anise seed tea loaf from Dan Leader's book 'Bread Alone'.  Having lots of lemons and being a lover of all things anise (including anisette), I decided to bake a loaf for us to have with tea in the evenings.  I up'ed the lemon flavor by adding a teaspoon of limoncello to the lemon and simple syrup glaze.  Haven't cut into it yet, but it makes a very big loaf of tea bread.  It is baked in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and rises in the oven to fill the loaf pan to the very top.  In baking this, however, I did find the 30-40 minute baking time quite optimistic, mine wasn't done until an hour had passed in the 350F oven. 

 

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linder

Today, I made another run at David Snyder's San Francisco Sourdough.  Gosh, I love that bread  and it just gets tastier the longer it sits (although it doesn't sit too long).  I made two loaves today in order to bring one to share with my quilt group.  The ladies have commented on the bread I've been having with my lunch, so I thought that might be a broad hint to share a loaf or two.  We'll see how it goes over - if they enjoy it as much as we do at home there won't be much left.  Two large boules -

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linder

Today, I decided to try Txfarmer's straight dough baguette formula on this post http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/31945/straight-method-baguette-good-starter-baguette-practice 

OK, I'm hooked.  I am now, along with many others, on a quest to make a good baguette.  I made a bunch at the SFBI class Artisan Bread I and it was so much easier to get a nice brown crust on those baguettes with the professional oven.  Now I'm with my home oven and the browning just isn't happening.

Here is a picture of my baguettes to date -

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Close up of the scoring (which could improve but getting better)-

 

I would like to get the bread to have a little more color.  Not sure what the issue might be.  I have a  gas oven. I used the towel steaming method that SylviaH explained in detail(thank you).  It helped open the scoring. Perhaps I didn't have the steaming loaf pans in the proper positions?  I also used quarry tiles on the top shelf over the baguettes in hopes of creating more of a brick oven effect.  Was that a mistake?  I would like more color on the baguettes.  Should I add some diastatic malt to the mix?  I was using KAF Bread flour not AP, would that do it?  Any and all ideas welcome

 

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linder

In keeping with my practice and hopeful improvement, I baked some more of David Snyder's SF Sourdough(using the 4th iteration of the formula).  Today, I got some great oven spring on the batard even with my awful scoring -

Here's the bread after its bake with steam in the oven -

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linder

My stove oven is finally fixed and working again after 10 days without it!  First bake for 2013 - potato bread from the Tassajara Recipe Book.  We had leftover mashed potatoes that morphed into this bread, a light airy loaf ready for toasting as part of tomorrow's breakfast.  I tested out the Brod and Taylor proofer I got for Christmas and it works like a dream, especially good during the colder winter months. 

 

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linder

Today, I had some cheese curds leftover from making a gouda cheese, along with some recently dried dill weed.  It was time to make cottage cheese onion dill bread from The Tassajara Recipe Book.  The recipe makes two light and airy loaves.  We enjoy a slice toasted and buttered at breakfast along with some scrambled eggs.

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linder

Today, I baked 2 loaves of New York Deli Onion Sourdough Rye from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  They look ALOT better than the previous attempt.  It's amazing what can happen when you watch the bread and make sure it doesn't overproof.  I'm still getting used to my make-shift microwave proof box.  The temp in there is about 80F so proofing loaves goes really fast.  I also reduced the amount of yeast in the bread to 1 1/2 tsp. instead of 2 tsp. which had seemed pretty high considering there is also a good amount of rye sourdough starter in the bread as well.  Here are my pretties -

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