The Fresh Loaf

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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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loydb

This is my latest endeavor in home-milled grain pasta. I began by milling 5 oz durum wheat, 2.5 oz hard red wheat, and 2.5 oz hard white wheat. I didn't do any sifting this time.



To the ground wheat I added:

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground annato powder



In a blender, I combined

2 room temperature eggs
One whole chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

I poured this into the mound of flour and began working in. Overall I added probably 2 tablespoons of warm water as I worked everything into a cohesive whole, then kneaded by hand for 12 minutes. The dough was really, really stiff.





The dough rested for 3 hours, then I rolled it out and ran it through the spaghetti cutter on my Atlas.



While the noodles hung to dry, I had three thick-cut pork chops to which I'd applied a dry rub that morning. They were cut into cubes and browned in a mix of olive oil and butter. After the were nicely browned, I dumped the following into the pan on top:

8 oz. sliced mushrooms
Diced red, yellow and orange sweet peppers (1 large ea)
1 diced onion
3 finely diced cloves garlic

This cooked down on the stovetop for 20 minutes. I stirred in an 8 oz can of tomato paste, then added a cup of stock (I used chicken because that was what I had open in the fridge. Beef would have been fine, as would vegetable for that matter). A pinch of kosher salt and a healthy grind of black pepper, then into a 350 degree F oven with a lid on for an hour. When done, cook the dried pasta for 4 minutes in boiling water, then add to the pan and mix for a couple of minutes. Chop some fresh cilantro and add at the last minute.

The result was great -- I'd been a little worried that the noodles were going to be too strongly flavored; I didn't want it to taste like chile powder. Apparently my guesses on quantities worked out, because they had an obvious taste without being overwhelming.



 

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loydb

I got some of the San Francisco sourdough culture from http://www.sourdo.com/. I decided to make two different starters -- one that was fed nothing but King Arthur Bread Flour, the other fed nothing but home-milled hard red and hard white wheat. Both produced extremely active cultures within 4 days of 12-hour feedings. I used the basic sourdough bread recipe from BBA, using KA Bread Flour for one, and an 85% extraction sifting of hard red wheat (13%) for the second. Both were given a light wash of egg yolk whisked with milk before the seasame seeds were sprinkled on. They had a 5 hour bulk fermentation and a 2.5 hour final proof.

The KA rolls were crunchy on the outside, but were very much 'white bread'-like on the inside. My wife likes them, I'm thinking about turning them into french toast. They have almost no sour flavor at all, and not much depth. The whole wheat rolls, on the other hand, have a more assertive sour flavor (but still nowhere near King Arthur's New England sourdough). They also (unsurprisingly) have way, way more flavor overall.

I'm going to keep both alive and separate and try again in a few weeks. I'll also try a much longer bulk fermentation.


King Arthur Bread Flour 


Whole Wheat

loydb's picture
loydb

Last night was my second attempt at homemade pasta using home-milled flour. While my first attempt (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25340/experiments-pasta-milling-my-own-flour) was delicious, I tried a few new things based on comments there and reading elsewhere.

 I started out milling a 50/50 mix of durum wheat (14%) and hard white wheat (13%). After milling, I used a #30 mining pan (yes, as in 'gold mining.' It fits perfectly on 5 gallon buckets and large containers like the one shown) to sift out some of the bran, ending up with 85% extraction by weight. I ended up with a little more than 2 cups of flour.

Next, I medium-chopped three cloves of garlic and sauted them in a tablespoon of butter for 5 minutes or so, then added 6 oz of fresh spinach, sprinkled lightly with kosher salt, and cooked 3-4 minutes, until nicely wilted. Moved to a seive and let drain and cool a bit for 20 minutes.

After draining, I put the spinach/garlic mix into a blender, added two room-temperature eggs, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil (remember there's butter and salt from the spinach). Blended up, and poured into a well with the flour.

I worked this in with a fork until it became too much to stir. After ending up with an excessively wet dough last time, I was determined to sneak up on the proper hydration this time. I dumped the still-dry mixture onto my board, and began working in water by hand until it just came together.

After about 12 minutes of kneading, it came together into a nice dough that felt like Play-do. It wasn't at all sticky, nor was it noticably dry. I sprayed it with olive oil, put the lid on the container, and then went about my day. I got back to it four hours later. I put it on a lightly floured board, rolled it out to about the thickness of a pencil, and fired up the Atlas.

This time, I only had to add a tiny, tiny bit of flour to the sheets between setting 3 and 4, and they cut perfectly. They got to dry for right at an hour while I worked on everything else.

Here's the final dish. Toasted almond slivers, mushrooms, onions, garlic and green peas with shrimp. The pasta was cooked for around 4 minutes, then mixed in with everything for a couple of minutes in the pan. It had a great flavor, and was sooooo soft, almost like udon.

 

loydb's picture
loydb

The first batch of sourdough biscuits I made (see below in the blog) were fantastic. So, of course, I had to wildly tinker with the recipe. This time, I decided to mill soft white wheat (3%) to use for the dry flour portion of the recipe. I figured there would be enough bread flour in the sourdough starter. 

I was wrong.

I got no oven spring at all. They taste good, but are dense. I told my wife they were flatbread. I don't think she bought it...

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