The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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mcs

This past week The Back Home Bakery had guest intern Greg (gcook17) visiting from Mountain View, CA.  He brought his extensive bread and pastry skills to the workbench and got to try his hand at using the sheeter too.  Thanks a lot Greg for all of your help - we hope to see you again up here!


-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery.com


 



stretch and fold on a 10 loaf batch of Rustic White


 



lining up the puff pastry bear claws


 



Here's Greg with his new found favorite toy.


 


 

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Callie (calliekoch) came from Fort Collins, Colorado to the Back Home Bakery last week (Sept 5-13) for her one week internship.  Although new to sourdoughs, Callie's been baking and cooking for a while, and it showed in her meticulous work and attention to detail.



striking a pose while sheeting puff-pastry dough


 




Apfelstrudel, shaping Buckwheat Flax boule, croissants, finished Buckwheat Flax loaves

I'm sure you'll agree everything looks absolutely perfect!

Thanks for all of the help Callie, hope to see you again up here.


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com


 

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At the end of August, Diane came from Vancouver Island, BC for a week long internship at the Back Home Bakery.  During her stay we made everything from puff pastry dough to baguettes with everything in between.  Although both she and Sharon (aka 'the wife') are a bit camera shy, I did manage to snap a couple of photos of the elusive two during the course of the week.
Thanks a bunch Diane for helping out with the farmers' markets, daily deliveries, wholesale accounts and even dinner too.  Hope to see you again next time around.


-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery.com



Sharon and Diane working on some pain au chocolat


 



Diane putting them together


 



This is us pretending to have a good time

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mcs

This past week was the first anniversary of our bakery's opening.  Of course this wouldn't have been possible without the help of  a few people. Here they are in order of appearance:



This is Mom about to sample a bear claw or two fresh out of the oven.  She's come out a couple of times to help us with both special events and our busy farmers' market season.  We must be doing something right if she keeps coming back.


 



Here's my "76 year-old migrant worker" and I posing for a picture.  John came up from Spokane, Washington last fall to help me for a week.  We both got a lot out of it and his visit was the inspiration for the 'bakery internship' idea.


 



Thomas came here from the Chicago area at the beginning of this summer to help out during a very busy 10 days.  Here he is posing with an impromptu sourdough loaf he made with rye starter, flax seed, and other goodies.


 



This is Sharon a.k.a. "the wife" setting up for our first farmers' market this year back in April.  When things get really busy, she's the one making the Apfelstrudels, doing the stretch-and-folding, and keeping me in line.


Although this is technically a 'one man operation'  we all know that there are people along the way who make any business plan successful.  Here they are.


Thanks everyone for making this past year a success.  I'll keep you Fresh Loafians posted on new developments over here.


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

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mcs

OK, I know you're out there.  Maybe those Birks are getting dusty or they're hidden in the closet along with your beaded vest and shrunken tie-dye, but you're really hankerin' for some good ol' fashioned hippie bread.  Just like the kind you used to eat while working on your macrame choker and groovin' to Cat Stevens before he became public enemy number one.  Here you go.
A friend of mine was looking for something all-too-healthy, and I came up with this recipe.  It is primarily whole wheat with buckwheat flour, flax seeds, toasted almonds, and other goodies.  It's not exactly airy like ciabatta, but it sure has a lot of flavor.  Plus, if you need to, you can put some loaves over your wheels in the bed of your truck in the wintertime to get some extra traction.  I've tried a few different shapes, and the boule seems to help the loaf out the most because you can give it some height in the shaping for a boost of confidence in the proofing stage.  Try it out and hope you like it!  This is a link to the recipe in PDF format.


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com


PS, I'm about 2 weeks from finishing a couple of instructional DVDs. If you're interested, I can email you when they're ready, or you can stay tuned here since I'll be posting about it on TFL when they're done.



 

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mcs

Sometimes when you find a recipe, it takes a little adjusting to make it turn out how you would like.  Sometimes after lots of adjusting, you come back to the original recipe and find out it was great how it was.  This is the latter.  If you'd like to find the recipe, and method, both Jane (janedo) and David (dmsnyder), among others, have written about it quite a bit here, and have both had much success with this recipe and variations of it.  Anyway, using that as a baseline, I'll mention the adjustments I made to the method, and/or explain the pics.  Oh, and just as a reference, i made (4) 16 oz baguettes in 24" wide pans.
-pic 1 during the first 60 minutes when it is mixed/folded 3 times, I left it in the mixing bowl for the entire period.  After the initial mix, I scraped the hook and bowl and covered them to rest for 20 minutes.  At 20 minutes, I put the hook back on and let it 'mix' for 5 seconds to allow the machine to do the folding.  I repeated this process for all 3 folds.  I was trying this in an effort to avoid adding any extra flour late 'into the game'.
-pic 2 shows the 4 baguettes after scaling and 23 hours in the fridge
-pic 3 directly after preshaping, they were placed on a canvas, seams up,  for 45 minutes and into the proofer (78 degrees, low humidity)
-pic 4 final shaping them 45 minutes later.  I shape them the same way I shape my loaves with the seam away from me.
-pic 5, 6  To experiment, I final proofed two on a canvas and two directly in the pans.  All 4 were placed in the proofer together and all 4 baked on the baguette pans at 415 for 23 minutes (convection).


-pic 7 The top two rose in the canvas, the bottom two in the pan.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but the bottom two are slightly wider with flatter bottoms, the top two look a little more 'uncontrolled'.  Probably could've used a longer final proof to mellow them out a little more.


 



 



Anyways, the flavor is great with these baguettes and they have replaced my previous recipe as 'The Back Home Bakery' baguette.  Thanks to Anis, Jane, and David for making this possible.


-Mark


http://thebackhomebakery.com


Pre Shaping and Final Shaping


 


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mcs

Most of us make more bread than we can eat.  And hey, why not when it's takes just as long to clean up after making 2 loaves as it does after making 4 loaves.  Anyway, for those of you who give away (or sell) your extras, these bags might be of interest.  I use them for our bakery packaging because they keep things crisp and allow me to package the loaves while they're still warm.  Plus, as you can see, they enable the customer to pick up the loaves and see them from top to bottom.   I print the labels on a single color laser printer (no smudging), which makes them easy to edit.  The ingredient labels on the back are standard name tag size, the main labels on the front are slightly larger.  I use brown ones for the bread and silver ones for the pastries.  

bag closeupbag closeup

assorted bagsassorted bags

-Mark

 

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I thought this might be a nice idea for those of you looking for different ideas for your bread shaping.  I made these three breads into 12 ounce rolls.  It's a great size for freezing as it thaws relatively quickly, and also it's nice because you can eat the whole loaf before it gets stale since it's 'half sized'.  It'll also work well as a dinner loaf - just thaw, wrap in foil, then toss it in the oven during the last 10 minutes with whatever you're baking and you have a 'fresh baked' loaf to enjoy. From left to right, Multigrain, Eric's rye, Rustic White.  All three final proofed for 45 minutes and baked for 22 minutes at 410 (convection).  No bannetons were used, just free form loaves on parchment paper.
-Mark
12 ounce rolls12 ounce rolls

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