The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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loydb

Last week I finally found the elusive box that had my DLX bowl & paddles in it. Although my KA makes an appearance here for its whipping prowess, it has now been relegated back to the pantry until I next need it for grinding meat or extruding pasta. I've really been enjoying Hanne Risgaard's Home Baked: Nordic Recipes and Techniques for Organic Bread and Pastry. It has some great looking recipes, many of which use grains other than the standard wheat. The first one I've tried is her Spelt-Durum bread.

I had durum flour on hand, and got some of Bob's Mill's spelt. This is the first time I've milled it. The recipe calls for both sifted and whole spelt flour. For the sifted, I used a #30 mining seive. I don't know if the spelt grinds differently, or if I just had the stones set further apart than normal, but instead of the 15% extraction I get with wheat, I got right at 20% extraction with the spelt.


The bread uses a poolish, and calls for it to be "whipped." When I think whip, I think Kitchenaid (well, I actually think Catwoman, but that's a whole 'nuther thing). I used the KA wire whisk to beat the hell out of the 100% hydration starter. When it was done, it was like pancake batter. I poured it into a small bucket to sit overnight.





Fortunately, about 6 hours later, before going to bed, I happened to glance at it to see how things were going... Good thing I did, the top was swollen up and it was about to explode. After enduring the Great Homebrew Cherry Stout Kitchen Explosion of 1997 (a debacle that sent fermenting stout spraying across the ceiling, blinds, and cabinets -- stout that we still found traces of 5 years later when we moved out), which nearly led to murder and/or divorce, I was happy to catch this one before it decorated our new kitchen. I dumped it into the DLX bowl, covered it with a damp cloth, and went to bed.


The next morning, it was nice and bubbly. I added the rest of the water and the dry ingredients and began to mix the final dough. As you can see, it was very dry at the end, and I added just enough water with a spray bottle to get it to come together. First takeaway from this batch is that I need to add more water, as you'll see later.

As per instructions, I proofed for an hour, did a stretch and fold, and proofed for another hour. The dough felt pliant, but a little dry, and was prone to the type of small surface tears I get when I do a whole grain challah.



Finally it was time to shape. I had a really hard time getting the bottom of the bread to seal -- it just didn't want to form a homogenous mass. With the long loaf, I put the seams on the bottom and hoped for the best (and it ended up working. For the round loaf, the seams went up, which didn't work too well.

When I lifted the cloth in the proofer, I was greeted with this:

I decided to try and use its own weight to work it together (which worked with the long loaf), and inverted it on the board to finish rising.

The long loaf did well. I scored it and stuck it in the oven.

I let the other loaf continue to rise for the 25 minutes of cooking, but still had this to deal with:

Here are the final results. One good, one not so good. Fortunately, the taste is fantastic -- I'm just not entering the second loaf in the county fair :). The bread almost tastes like it has cornmeal in it to me, and doesn't need any butter at all. I'm going to try this again in a couple of weeks, but this time make a spelt sourdough starter to use instead of the poolish, and then spike it with yeast in the final dough. I'll also add more water...



loydb's picture
loydb

I subbed Karo syrup for malt extract in my sourdough pizza dough. It came out good, but I feel dirty. :)

 

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loydb

I just ran across http://www.localgrain.org/csa, and have signed up for a share. I'm excited to try out some of the heirloom wheats. More info in December when I pick it up.

 

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loydb

The oven that was in our new house was pretty much the cheapest exposed-element electric that they could find when they did the kitchen remodel pre-sale. We replaced it with a Frigidaire FPEF3081MF, from their 'professional' range. It's my first glass-topped unit, and my first convection oven (sadly, no steam). While I still can't find the (in a box somewhere) stuff I need for breadmaking, I used it last night to roast some potatoes and carrots and a pork tenderloin. 

I am now in love with convection. I wish I'd gotten some picture (camera -- in a box somewhere).  These were - by far - the best roasts I've ever produced. The potatoes were well-browned and slightly crunchy on the outside. The carrots were sweet and caramalized. The roast had a perfect crust.

I don't know how much use it will be for bread, but I'm in love with the feature so far...

 

 

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loydb

Just to prove that I still do actually bake -- here's a sourdough-only version of PR's whole wheat sandwich bread from WGB. Instead of using yeast, I let the sourdough take over. The initial fermentation was 4.5 hours, the final banneton proofing was 3 hours.

And let me just say I really, really, like the Brod & Taylor proofer. 

 

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loydb

My wife has an offer for a tenure-track position in Providence. Anyone from there that can tell me a little about it? We'll probably be moving in June/July...

 

 

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loydb

I'm not dead, I've just been hiding from the temptations of the current ITJB items...

Plus, I haven't done anything interesting other than my usual weekly sourdoughs that we live off of, with maybe the following exceptions:

I made a bunch of marbled, braided loaves for people that I didn't get pictures of. At the end, I had a handful of strands left over and I was tired of braiding, so I shoved them into a lidless pullman pan...

The second picture is my new favorite condiment. Sourdough with toasted sunflower seeds, toasted, a little bit of garlic butter, sprinkle with parmesan, then toast. Top with the cherry pepper mix. I am drooling thinking about it. I normally don't go in much for pre-prepared condiments, but this was under $3 and looked good, so I gave it a shot. Yum.

 

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loydb

It's week 8 in the Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge - Semester 1. This week is Onion Rolls. Sadly, I'll be sitting out the next few dessert-heavy weeks.

Once my confusion over how to deal with the onion mix was clarified (thanks all) this proved to be an easy, fast bake (in terms of actual prep). My notes follow:

  • I used 1 oz of the onion water and 9 oz plain water
  • My egg was almost a full ounce heavier than called for
  • I used 100% milled wheat, a 50/50 mix of hard red and hard white.
  • My cooking time ended up being around 25 minutes.

These are tasty and the outside is crunchy. They aren't overpoweringly onion-y, which I'd been concerned about. I think the flavor would be improved if I make a soaker with the whole wheat next time and let it sit in the fridge overnight prior to adding yeast. I'll make them again for sure.

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loydb

There seems to be some missing information in the Onion Rolls recipe on p. 114.

  • In Step 2, you spread out 1/4 of the onion filling, and push out the discs of dough. This is the last mention made of the onion filling, leaving me with 3/4 of the recipe unused. 
  • In Step 3, do you put them onion-y side up or onion-y side down to proof? 
  • In Step 4, we poke down a hole in the center. Is this when we add the rest of the filling? If so, I assume we leave the onion-y side down during the proof?

Thanks,

Loyd

 

 

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loydb

Had a physical yesterday, I've gained 18 pounds since Thanksgiving, and my blood pressure is up as well. I'm going to have to pass on all the sweets baking scheduled for ITJB I think, just out of self defense...

 

 

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