The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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loydb

Over on Fitocracy, we're having an Iron Chef Apple challenge. This is my entry.

This is based on the Basic Sourdough recipe from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. BBA also contains the instructions for making your very own sourdough starter particular to your local environment.

Day 1: The Preferment

Start with a mixture of 45% hard red wheat, 45% hard white wheat, and 10% rye. Mill fine. (Alternately, any combination of unbleached bread flour, whole wheat flour, and rye flour that you like, just maintain the 10% rye ratio by weight.)


Take a few ounces of your sourdough starter, and mix in an equal weight of water and flour. Let it rise covered for 5-8 hours (it will double roughly), then put in the fridge overnight.



Day 2: The Dough

Dice up 3-4 apples. I used three Braeburns and a Granny Smith. Also weigh out 5 oz. of pistachios and 4 oz of blue cheese. Chop the apples up last, as they'll immediately start to oxidize and turn brown.



Add the water and preferment to the mixer and start it up.


Alternate adding the apple and your flour until all the apple (and about 2/3 of the flour) has been incorporated, then alternate adding in the pistachios and the rest of the flour, adding the blue cheese at the very end.


Turn the sticky mass out onto a well-floured cutting board and, using a dough blade and your hands, continue to knead and incorporate flour until it forms a fairly stiff, non-sticky dough.


Put it in a large bowl or tub and let it rise for 4-6 hours, until nearly doubled. Refrigerate overnight.


Day 3: Shape n' Bake

Remove the dough from the fridge at least two hours before shaping. It will have slowly risen more overnight.

Gently divide the dough and shape it, then allow to proof covered until nearly doubled.


Score loaves and bake!


The result makes great sandwich bread -- no cheese is needed, just a couple of pieces of ham. It's also good toasted with honey for breakfast.

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loydb

This is my take on Bon Appétit's Thyme Gougères. I subbed chives for the thyme, and used finely milled hard white wheat for the flour. I also hedged my bets with 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder. These are cheesily delicious, and are begging to be filled with something (duck liver patè maybe?)


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loydb

This weekend produced a sourdough with candied orange peel, cranberries and pecans, and rye sourdough crackers.

 

 

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loydb

Inspired by GermanFoodie's Sourdough Whole Wheat Crackers I used up some extra starter last night with a batch. I added 1/4 teaspoon caramel color to the dough, rested for 5 hours, and sprinkled with oregano, basil and kosher salt prior to baking. They came out tasty, really crispy and surprisingly sour, and are a way better deal than the  'gourmet' crackers available at the store. The only change I'll make next time is to incorporate the dried herbs into the dough rather than sprinkling on top.

 

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loydb

Much like the planets, my need to refresh my 100% rye starter aligned with the arrival of Inside the Jewish Bakery. I've tried to do a 'traditional' yeasted rye in the past using commercial flour, but the results weren't particularly great, and neither my wife nor I like whole caraway seeds. When I read the recipe for the Old School Jewish Deli Rye, and saw the ground-up caraway, a little light went on, and I knew that was going to be my first bake from the book.

My home-cultured rye starter is kept at 100% hydration (and I'm pretty sure can be used as superglue in an emergency). It had been 11 days since it had been fed, so I started out with 1.5 ounces I turned into 4.5 overnight, then turned that into the 21 oz needed for the preferment with another step up and overnight fermentation.

I followed the recipe with the these alterations:

  • 0.5 teaspoon caramel coloring
  • 1.5 oz of the final flour was blue cornmeal left over from last night (see Blue Corn Cornbread)
  • The remaining flour was a 50/50 mix of hard red and hard white wheat. I sifted it to 85% extraction (#30 seive) then re-milled and re-sifted the bran, giving me a final extraction of 93% WW at a fine texture.
  • I didn't add any yeast. Instead, it got a 4.5 hour bulk fermentation and a 2.25 hour final proof
  • I made four miniloaves (plus a large roll)

The result is a crunchy exterior with a great caraway nose that enhances the subtle caraway taste. After chewing for a few seconds, the sour hits with the best flavor expression I've gotten out of this particular starter. This one is definitely going to go into my regular rotation.

Thanks for a great book guys!

 

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loydb

I broke out the metal 'stones' for my Retsel and made cornbread tonight. The corn was organic blue corn from Heartland Mill. The wheat flour in the recipe was a mixture of hard red and hard white wheat from Pleasant Hill. These, plus some butter and jam, were all we needed for dinner tonight.




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loydb

Mini-loaf madness continues! This is Reinhart's basic sourdough, made from sourdo.com San Francisco culture that's been fed only with KA bread flour. With the addition of 5 oz of chopped dried figs and 4 oz of walnuts, the bread is excellent, but has no real sour. I'm not sure I'm continuing with this particular starter...

 

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loydb

Here goes another pasta experiment. This time, I went with 100% durum wheat (other than a little KA that I used to flour the board and the pasta as it went through the machine). To make the dough, I combined 3 egg yolks (yolks only, trying for a very yellow noodle), the zest of 6 lemons, 1T each dill and basil, and 1.5t kosher salt in a blender, then mixed it into two cups of fresh-ground durum wheat (no sifting, 100% WW).

The dough sat for around four hours, then half was cut into fettucini. The other half is sitting in my fridge, and will be used tomorrow probably...

For the final dish, roast 2/3 cup of pine nuts and reserve. The chicken breasts had been coated in olive oil and kosher salt that morning, then stuck in the fridge in a plastic bag that I flipped every couple of hours during the day.  Rough chop 2 small onions, 8 oz mushrooms, and 5 cloves of garlic. I browned the chicken in a mix of butter and olive oil, then dumped the onion mixture on top and hit with some kosher salt. After most of the water cooked out of the veg mix, I added chicken stock to a 1/4" depth in the pan, put in a bunch of lemon slices, covered and simmered for 15-20 minutes. The pasta cooked for 4 minutes. I added a few tablespoons of half and half to the pan, combined for a minute, then added the noodles and cooked for another 90 seconds or so. Yum. The noodles weren't quite the bright yellow I was hoping for, maybe I'll add a few drops of food coloring next time :)

 

 

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loydb

This is my take on Peter Reinhart's whole-grain struan. Instead of adding yeast, I made the firm starter using sourdo.com's San Francisco strain that I've been feeding nothing but home-milled wheat.

For the flour, I milled a mixture of 45% hard red wheat, 45% hard white wheat and 10% rye.



For the soaker I used 2.5 oz roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds, plus .5 oz each of black seasame seeds, two different kinds of flax seed and two different mustard seeds. These are combined with flour and a little water, then left out overnight.




The firm starter was left out overnight to rise.


The next day, the firm starter and the soaker were worked together on a cutting board, then chopped up into a dozen pieces and mixed with the wet ingredients in my DLX. You can see it come together as I mix the preferments with oil, honey, and agave nectar. I also added in 2T of espresso-ground coffee beans that I'd finished roasting earlier in the day (Costa Rica La Legua Bourbon taken just into the beginning of second crack, for you sweetmarias.com fans), plus a teaspoon of caramel color from KA.




After the dough came together, it got a 15-minute autolyse.


Here's the final dough after another 10 minutes of hand kneading.


For the first 2 hours, I did a stretch-and-fold every half hour. Afterwards, it was left to rise for another 3 hours.


The risen dough was broken into four pieces and shaped for mini-loaves. They proofed for another 2.5 hours.



The loaves were cooked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  



The result is a dense, but not at all heavy, bread that is fantastic sliced thin and served with cheese and fruit.

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loydb

This is the BBA basic sourdough to which was added 2 diced granny smith apples, 4 oz of toasted walnuts and 3 oz of small-dice parmesan and asiago cheese. The starter was KA New England that had been fed 50/50 with KA bread flour and home-ground hard red wheat. The final flour addition was 15% WW, 5% Rye and 80% KA. It got a stretch-and-fold at 15, 45, 90 and 120 minutes, then proofed for another 3 hours. The final shaped loaves proofed a little over two hours before being glazed with egg yolk and baked. Baking time was a total of 45 minutes to get the internal temp up -- I'm sure there was a lot of moisture from the apples. It's yummy. Yes, it really is slightly purple (from the walnuts I believe).

 

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