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mse1152

Greetings, bakers,


Tonight for dinner we had salad and the 'Rosettes of Venice' rolls from Carol Field's The Italian Baker.  I don't know why I never tried them before, but they were fabulous!  The recipe wants 500g of biga, and I had 486g of biga in the freezer, so I declared that was enough biga to attempt these.  They take about 5-ish hours from start to finish.  They look like hole-less bagels or kaiser rolls, but are much softer than either of those...maybe the 1/2 cup of olive oil had something to do with it.  The recipe said you should get 12 to 14 rolls, but I made only 8.  At that size, they'd make wonderful sandwich rolls, which I intend to verify tomorrow.


 



 


Soft and tasty, with just enough sugar to notice.  They're glazed with egg white, and I decided they also would benefit from a sprinkle of sesame or poppy seeds, and just enough kosher salt to give them a little bite.


 



 


To make the biga:


Mix by hand, mixer, or food processor:


1/4 tsp. active dry yeast


1/4 cup warm water


3/4 cup plus 1 Tb. plus 1 tsp. room temp. water (weird measurement, I agree)


330g unbleached all-purpose flour


Let the yeast stand in the warm water about 10 minutes.  Add remaining water, then the flour, a cup at a time.  Rise the biga in a covered bowl at room temp. for 6 to 24 hours.  Then you can refigerate or freeze it till you need it, or you could use it immediately after it's risen, I suppose.


 


To make the rosettes:


1 tsp. active dry yeast


2 Tb. warm water


1/2 cup olive oil (the recipe wants 1/4 cup lard and 1/4 cup olive oil)


3 Tb. sugar


500g biga


300g unbleached all-purpose flour


5g salt


1 beaten egg white for glazing


Combine yeast and 2 Tb. water in a large bowl.  Let stand about 10 minutes.  Add oil, sugar, and biga.  Mix by hand or in a mixer till biga and liquids are fairly well blended.  Add flour and salt and mix or knead until dough comes together.  Knead by hand (8-10 minutes) or mixer (3-4 minutes on low speed) until dough is moist and elastic.  I used a Bosch mixer, and on low speed, the dough really didn't come together well.  After a couple of minutes, I finished kneading it by hand.


Put the dough in a bowl rise, covered with plastic or whatever.  Let rise about 2 hours, at approx. 75 degrees F.


 


Shaping:


Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and pat or roll to 3/4 inch thick (mine were thinner, maybe 1/2 inch).  Use whatever you have to cut out a circle of dough, about 3-5 inches in diameter, depending on whether you want small rolls or sandwich buns.  Here's the tricky part, so read it a few times:


Assuming you're right handed, place your left thumb at the 9 o'clock position of the dough circle, with the end of the thumb in the middle of the circle.  Use the other hand to roll the dough from the 12 o'clock position down to the thumb.  Rotate the dough clockwise until the left 'point' of the roll that you just made is at the 12 o'clock position.  Place your left thumb again at 9 o'clock and roll that section of the dough down again toward your thumb.  Rotate and repeat the rolling until you have a sort of kaiser-type of roll shape, with leaves or petals of dough on top of the roll, or whatever you can describe them as.  Press down the middle of the roll to ensure the 'leaves' stay put.  I decided that as long as the rolls weren't flat, I was in the ballpark.  I didn't take photos of this step, since, not knowing how yummy they'd be, I had no idea I'd be posting anything!


Place the rolls on a lightly oiled or parchment covered baking sheet.  Cover with plastic or a towel, and let rise till doubled, approx. 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.  In the last 15-20 minutes of the rise, turn the oven on to 400F.  When the oven is ready, brush the rolls with beaten egg white.  Add any toppings you desire.  Bake about 20 minutes.  I rotated the pan halfway through baking.  Mmmmmmmmmm!!!


Sue


 


 

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mse1152

Hello all,


Most of you will not recognize my username, since I last posted here in March of 2008.  But I've been reading TFL daily for years now, since I first searched online for a good pretzel recipe, and found this one.  The combination of TFL, BBA, and Glezer's Artisan Baking Across America got me to the point where I could bake bread that I was proud of.


This evening, I pulled two loaves of Thom Leonard's Country French bread out of the oven, and they looked like this (shouldn't I have brushed off that little speck of flour on the near loaf?):


 



 


But when I first posted about this bread, I was disappointed (see blog entry here).  I goobered up some of the process, and thought the crumb was not what it should be, etc.  Back then, I sweated every line of instruction, every minute that some step of the process went too long, and was almost afraid to handle the dough for shaping.  Tonight, I called in a take-out order from a local pizza joint, loaded the bread in the oven, went to pick up dinner, got back home with 45 seconds to spare till I had to rotate the loaves.  Hey, just another day in the kitchen!


After all these years, and many dozens of loaves of all kinds of breads, it has become relatively easy to produce really nice stuff.  But as soon as I typed that, I remembered that a few weeks ago, I attempted the Polish Cottage Rye from Leader's Local Breads.  It had a cavern big enough for half the bakers on TFL, and a gummy crumb.  Yecch.  But usually, I'm quite happy with my results.


I just wanted to post this to encourage all you newbies to keep at it.  Find a bread you're interested in, and make it many times till you'd be glad to give it as a gift.  There's so much common sense and wisdom on this site, you can find any information you need.  And really, an investment of time will definitely yield a satisfying reward!


Happy Baking,


Sue


 

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mse1152

We subscribe to a local CSA group (community supported agriculture), so we get a box of veggies, fruit, and herbs every two weeks. We got some dill last time, so I thought of dill bread...something with cream cheese or sour cream, or even cottage cheese in it. I wanted a break from making lean artisan(al) breads. Gotta go back to the roots every now and then. I modified James Beard's Sour Cream Bread from Beard on Bread, and it came out beautifully. This smelled so good, it was hard to keep from cutting it while it was hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sour Cream Bread (with my mods and comments in italics)

 

1 pkg. active dry yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup warm water (100F-115F)

2 cups sour cream, at room temperature

~ 1/3 cup minced onion

~ 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill

1 tablespoon salt (too much. Try a scant 2 t.)

1/4 tsp. baking soda

4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour (I substituted whole wheat for one of the cups)

 

Combine yeast, water, and sugar. Let sit till foamy. Put sour cream, salt, and soda in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, onion, and dill. Gradually mix in 4 cups of flour to make a wet, sticky dough. Dump the dough onto a moderately floured surface and continue mixing/kneading (use a dough scraper) for at least 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, to make a workable, less sticky dough. (My hands ended up pretty coated with dough. I used about 2/3 cup above the initial 4 cups). Shape into a ball, and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot till doubled. (I set it at room temperature for one hour, then used my proofing cycle at 85F for another hour).

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 loaves. (I rounded each piece and let them rest about 15 minutes before shaping). Shape into loaves and put into greased loaf pans. (The book calls for 9x5 pans; mine were 8.5x4.5, which may account the the tops exploding.) Cover and let rise again. (I used the proofing cycle for about one hour, at which time the dough crested over the edges of the pans).

Heat oven to 375F. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (I rotated the pans after 15 minutes, and baked for another 15. The internal temp. was at least 200F.) Remove from pans immediately to cool on racks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yum! The bread is soft and flavorful, but just a bit salty. I found that to be true of most of the recipes in this book, but I just forgot to adjust this time. I also think I'd replace more of the AP flour with whole wheat, just to firm up the loaf a bit.

This dough would make great rolls too.

Sue

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mse1152

Happy weekend! I made baguettes for the first time in a long time today. BBA's poolish baguettes. One mistake...the recipe, er formula, calls for 7 oz. of poolish. I made half a recipe of poolish from the book, which is really more like 11 oz., and dumped it all into the final dough. ooooops. But what are you gonna do with 4 oz. of leftover poolish?

This dough gets 4 hours of fermentation and about an hour of proofing. The baguettes came out sorta pretty, I thought:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I describe the flavor as 'clean', not at all yeasty, just wheaty. Very nice. PR recommends sifting 1.75c of whole wheat flour to replicate the ash content of the European flour used in the original formula. When I sifted my KA whole wheat, almost none of the bran was left in the sifter, so I used his second suggestion: using only a few tablespoons of WWF, and unbleached for the remainder of the dough. The bread still had plenty of identifiable bran in it. The bread is very lightly salted. I'm really happy with the flavor and texture.

But here's my question. As you can see, my slashes filled in to bring the exposed dough up to the level of the crust. There are no 'ears'. This has been the case with most of my breads. I did the PR technique of pouring 6-8 oz. of boiling water into a cast iron pan in the bottom of my oven, but no other steaming or spraying beyond that. If you look at some other baguettes on TFL, like these or these, there are definite sharply-defined ears. It's a minor thing, since I'm happy with the way this bread turned out, but I'm just curious as to what is keeping this from happening on my breads. Any ideas?

Sue

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mse1152

Hi, it's raining here in San Diego, how about where you are? Here are some photos of things I've made in the last couple of weeks. Last weekend, we had our neighbors over for dominoes, and I made a king cake. They're from New Orleans (pre-Katrina), so I thought I'd bake the traditional Mardi Gras cake and see how close it got to the real thing. They said, 'yep, that's it'. I thought it came out rather dry, but I guess that's why you dump a box or so of powdered sugar icing on it. The recipe I used is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend, I finally made Essential's Columbia, which so many people here have done. I read lots of the previous posts to glean all the helpful hints first. This was a real lesson in letting the dough get ready in its own sweet time. Almost five hours fermenting, and about four hours in the brotforms (my Xmas presents!). I came upon a method to help getting the loaves out of the forms when they're sticking a bit. I put parchment on top of the brotform, then the peel on top of that, and quickly flipped it over. Then I tapped briskly on the bottom of the basket several times to loosen the dough. It really helped.

The flavor of this bread is wonderful! Just enough whole wheat and rye to deepen it...very satisfying, and pretty too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue

 

 

 

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mse1152

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi everyone,

Here in San Diego, we're working on our third inch of rain since Friday, the Chargers played on TV (and won, big whoop), so it's a good day to stay inside and bake something! I've blogged before about the filled bread from The Artisan site here, but it's such fun to make, and so pretty, that I'm doing it again. The dough is nice and soft (almost sticky), made with just the basic four ingredients. It stretches out very easily to make a bed for the filling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time, the filling is a one-pound bag of frozen spinach sauteed with olive oil, lots of garlic, oregano, basil, and chunks of red bell pepper. After spreading the filling on the dough, I sprinkled it with crumbled feta and folded it into the 'book' shape described on The Artisan's bread site. Look for 'Pane Ripiene' on the left hand menu.

I brushed the loaf with olive oil, then sprinkled it with sesame seeds (the best tasting seeds in the world, IMO). Halfway through baking, I rotated the loaf and sprinkled pecorino-romano on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's something wonderful about a complete meal you can carry around in one hand...leaves the other hand free to hold the wine glass. It's even good the next day at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try this bread with your favorite filling.

Sue

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mse1152

Hello everyone,

I have never made the French bread in the BBA, so I thought I'd try it. After trying so many unusual or specialty breads, I wanted to go back to a classic. This version uses pate fermentee (sorry, I'm not conversant enough in HTML or whatever it'd take to include the correct French accent marks), risen a bit at room temperature, then put into the fridge overnight. The dough is made the next day. I did three stretch and fold cycles at 30 minute intervals during a 2-hour fermentation. The proof after shaping was about 50 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This made about 950g of dough, and I got two smallish batards out of it. PR suggests using diastatic malt powder if you are using organic flour, but I forgot to add the malt. The color didn't suffer any, though. It's crusty, and only moderately open in the crumb. The vertical opening in the bottom part of the loaf is where I stabbed it with the thermometer! The crumb is strong and moist, fairly elastic (at least on the first day). Flavor is OK, but not a Wow. But maybe my tastebuds have gotten used to sourdough.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the dough was fermenting and proofing, I frosted a bunch of Christmas cookies I made yesterday. I'm glad I don't make stuff like this often, because I can inhale six of them before the sugar woozies get me.

Of course, I had some help...including Mabel, the cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue

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mse1152

Well, now that the World Series is over, I can post...

This weekend, I made the Power Bread from PR's new book. It's the third bread I've made from that book, and I think I like it best. It's dense and heavy, with a definite sweetness and lots of crunchy bits, thanks to sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. It's like a trip back to the whole wheat 70s, if you remember that time...and if you don't, I don't want to hear about it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's a choice of milk, buttermilk, yogurt, soy or rice milk for the biga. I used nonfat yogurt. The sweetener in the final dough was brown sugar. Just reading the list of ingredients makes you feel nutritionally virtuous. I really liked the idea of a puree of raisins and flaxseeds. The loaf is literally heavy, but not like a doorstop...there's just so much good stuff in there! I baked it a full 50 minutes before it reached 195 degrees, and I think it could have gone a bit longer. The crumb looked just a bit moist in the middle when I cut into it more than an hour later. You can see the sunflower seeds in the crumb, and a looser section through the middle.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added around 2/3 to a full cup of extra flour during mixing and kneading. It was still pretty sticky in keeping with the 'no fun to knead' nature of the three breads I've made from this book. The dough rose very well in the bulk and pan proofs, but got no oven spring. Overall, I really like this bread.

Sue

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mse1152

Hello,

There are a few of us living in San Diego. Susan (of upside down Pyrex bowl cloche fame) and I (of no particular fame that we can talk about here) have gotten together a couple of times. Last week, we did a field trip to a place called Lakeside Poultry that no longer sells poultry (???), but does sell restaurant supplies, including 50 pound bags of flour. Susan bought a bag of Gold Medal Harvest King, and I bought a bag of Eagle Mills organic bread flour (from ConAgra, not exactly your old time mill).

I have been using Bob's Red Mill flours for years, so I decided to do a side-by-side bakeoff, making one loaf of sourdough from Bob's (BRM) and one from the new Eagle Mills (EM) flour. BRM is organic unbleached flour with a protein percentage of 11.75. The EM flour has 11 percent. Neither is malted. I used the recipe I've posted earlier here, except I used all unbleached flour in the sponges. I started a sponge for each batch of dough with one teaspoon of my 100% hydration white starter, created from the BRM flour. Due to yet another brain lapse, I neglected to photograph the sponges. For the record, BRM looked a bit more robust, thicker, but both had very good bubble populations. Here are pics of the two doughs just after the initial mix (BRM is on the left):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did four stretch and folds, with 45 minutes between each (and before the first one), for a total fermentation time of about four hours. Both doughs were a bit tacky, and the EM dough rose a little more throughout than the BRM. After the fourth S&F, the dough rested for about 25 minutes before shaping. The BRM dough looked and felt smoother after shaping, as seen here (BRM on the left):

 

The loaves rested 30 minutes after shaping, then went into the oven at 425F (convection). I poured boiling water into a cast iron pan at (well, almost) the same time. I wasn't happy with the look or feel of the BRM loaf; it didn't take the scoring well, and the knife just dragged through the dough. It was also flatter looking than the EM. But the oven spring fairies were on duty! Here's the BRM loaf:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the EM loaf:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven't used that center slash before, and I think I like it better than 2 or 3 diagonal ones. Both loaves had very good oven spring and color. They had decently open crumb for a 65% hydration bread.

Here's the BRM crumb:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the EM:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I'm not seeing much difference so far, are you? The biggest difference is the price; I order the organic Bob's Red Mill flour online, and the shipping doubles the cost of the flour ($12.00 for 20 lb. of flour plus $14.00 shipping). The 50 pound bag of Eagle Mills cost just over $18.00. Duh...

After all this, how did they taste? Well, in a side by side tasting, the clear winner is...um, well I think I liked...er, uh, actually, they tasted very similar! And this is actually good news, because I don't have to spend so much on flour anymore.

It was a fun experiment, and I was even able to keep track of which dough blob was which throughout the whole thing.

Sue

 

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mse1152

Hi everyone,

I've been wanting to find a sandwich bread that my son will eat, other than white bread. This week, I made some Cornell bread straight from the Cornell University site. I like the idea of it because it has extra protein in the form of soy flour, dry milk, and wheat germ -- the three ingredients you have to have if you call it Cornell bread. I substituted whole wheat flour for 1/3 of the total amount; otherwise, I followed the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dough remained a bit sticky even after shaping, and it didn't rise to great heights. But it has a mildly sweet flavor from the honey, and a moist texture. My son still won't eat the crusts, though! I've never offered to cut crusts off his bread, so I don't know where he came up with that. I just tell him it's the handle of the bread.

The recipe wants a 400F degree oven, which, midway through, I lowered about 50 degrees. I think you shouldn't have to use a temp. higher than 375F for this bread. All in all, it's pretty nice, and I'll probably make it again...after I make the 172 other breads on my 'to bake' list!

Sue

 

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