The Fresh Loaf

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mse1152

Oh well...

After reading so much about people's love of the Thom Leonard country French bread, I decided to try it, following the steps in mountaindog's post. Here's the breakdown:

Starter: Early Thursday, I began the rye starter with a generous teaspoon of my active white starter, 1 T. dark rye and 1 T water; fed it the same rye and water amounts almost 6 hours later - had good bubbles at that point. Just before bed, discarded half of it, and fed same amounts again. Friday at about 6:45 a.m., I fed it 50g each of rye and water, without dumping anything. It doubled in 3 hours and was very bubbly!

Rye Starter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Levain: I mixed the levain at 7:00 p.m. Friday. The starter had not moved up or down, and I wonder if I should have feed it once more; the instructions say you can feed the starter up to 12 hours before mixing the levain, so I thought I was in the ballpark. Next morning, Saturday, the levain looked like this at about 6:40 a.m. (no such thing as sleeping in with a toddler in the house):

 

TL Levain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, looks good! I began mixing the dough around 7:00. I added no extra flour to knead, which I did for 10 minutes, then 5 more minutes after adding the salt. The dough was pretty firm, not sticky at all. I think mountaindog said it felt like piecrust dough to her, and I agree. Rested the dough for 30 minutes, then did the 3 S&F cycles with 30 minutes between each. The dough was easy to stretch out, but it felt like nothing much was happening until the 3rd cycle, when it began to feel like there was some growth going on. Then it sat in the bowl for the remaining 90 minutes, at about 69F.

 

Resting and Shaping: I divided the dough into 2 balls, and rested them for 15 minutes, then further shaped into boules and set them on parchment to proof (I don't have bannetons), on a baking stone. Heard plenty of bubbles popping as I tried to gently increase the tension.

 

Proofing: OK, here's where I deviated a little (busted!). I wanted to make sure the bread was baked before we went to a friend's house for dinner (pizza, go figure). So I used the proofing cycle in my oven, set to 85F. Covered the dough with oiled plastic, and set timers to check once an hour. After two hours, a small tragedy began to unfold:

whoops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dough had outgrown the stone; it felt nice and light, though. The top one in the picture is mangled because I had started to try to rescue it, then (in true Fresh Loaf fashion) thought to grab the camera for posterity. At first, I had dough damage panic, then I started to chuckle sort of oddly, and thought "Wait, I really meant to make oblong loaves...yes, that's right! Oblong!"

 

TL reshaped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...show's over, go on about yer business, folks...back in the warm oven they went for another hour (3 hours total proof).

 

Bake: Since mountaindog has posted about baking this bread from a cold start, I did that too. Set the oven to 425F and made some of the ugliest slashes I've done recently...too ugly to photograph in the raw. Here's how it all turned out:

 

TL loaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They rose, and they look edible, but in a sorta grocery-store-ish way. Well, let's see what's inside, shall we?

 

Aw, RATS!

 

TL crumb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holes were left on the cutting room floor! Though I think that any degassing during the reshaping didn't affect the interior of the loaves; I don't think the crumb would have been open even if the boules had proofed fully untouched. The flavor is mild and it's quite edible, with a slight tangy aftertaste, but I was disheartened at this result. Sounds pretty civilized, eh? Actually, I pouted a bit and exercised my vocabulary, if you know what I mean.

So I'd like to ask the Leonard veterans if anything I described in the procedure sounds like the culprit...other than extreme dough-handling mid-proof. Maybe that's the only problem, who knows?

Now I'm off to go check on TT and JMonkey's starter escapades...

Sue

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Funny how the rye discussions have popped up in the last couple of days. I'd been planning to make the New York Deli Rye from the BBA this weekend. I couldn't find white rye flour locally, and had to mail order some. The bread turned out very different from those I've made with dark rye. Looks great for sandwiches. The book calls for sauteed onions in the starter (which I'd probably like), but I chose to omit them to see what the straight bread is like.

NY Deli Rye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe starts with a rye starter, based on Peter Reinhart's barm. Well, to get a barm, you have to go through 4 days of building what he calls a seed culture, then another day or so to turn it into a barm. I've read the instructions several times, and I still don't really get the difference between the two. Years ago, I made the barm, and ended up with several pounds of stuff. So I used my own well-refreshed starter instead. Neener, neener. The barm is equal weights of flour and water, with seed culture added, which is not quite equal weights of flour and water. So I figured that refreshing my starter to equal weights would get me close enough.

Overall, I think it came out well, but I may have let the starter cook too long... I made the starter at 2:30 one day, put it in the fridge at 7:00, took it out next day at 9:30, and didn't use it till 1:00. hmmmm...it was bubbling very nicely though, and the final dough got 2 more teaspoons of instant yeast. I glazed the dough with beaten egg white before slashing.

The flavor is quite mild. If it weren't for the caraway seeds, it wouldn't taste very rye-ish, though the flavor is good. Maybe I'm just too used to dark rye breads. The crumb is moist and feels good, and the loaf is really surprisingly soft, easy to flatten while slicing. I'm going to make it again (sometime) with the onions added to the starter.

Sue

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mse1152

I just finished baking the Cinnamon Raisin bread from BBA. It had no oven spring at all. The only changes I made to the recipe...oops, formula, were to omit the walnuts and use whole wheat flour for 25% of the flour.

 





























 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It tastes great, but looks sorta brickish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read recently on this site that cinnamon is supposed to suppress yeast activity. Maybe that's so. The photo of this bread in the BBA is not especially lofty either. Has anyone made a cinnamon bread with really good rise? This bread has 2 tablespoons of cinnamon in the dough, plus about 1.5 tablespoons in the swirl. The yeast is 2 tsp. (instant).

Sue

 

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mse1152

I've been wanting to make this recipe for a couple of weeks, and finally made time for it tonight. The recipe is at:

http://www.theartisan.net/bredfrm.htm

I can't create a link to the exact recipe, but you can click on 'Pane Ripieni' in the left column to see it. It's really versatile...you can create any filling you want. I made it with Swiss chard, garlic, and broccoli, and mozzarella here and there. I sprayed it with olive oil and sprinkled sesame seeds on, but most of them jumped off as soon as I touched a knife to the loaf. Hmmm, maybe an egg wash next time. I meant to include crumbled feta as well, but was overcome by toddler-induced brain damage, and just forgot. It's Friday, after all...

oooooohhhhhh!

oooooohhhhhh!

 

A Little Slice of Heaven

A Little Slice of Heaven

Give it a try. It's easy and very satisfying, especially with your favorite wine. mmmmmmmmmmm...!

Sue

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Hello there, flour-heads,

This weekend I made my usual sourdough, but added the extra step of retarding it in the fridge after 4 stretch & fold cycles. It was in there for 19 hours. Then I let it warm up for 2.5 hours, shaped it, rested it for 30 minutes, slashed and baked. It's a two sponge recipe that I began on Friday morning and finished baking about midday Sunday. It has the best tang of any I've made so far -- wouldn't really call it sour, but a nice lingering aftertaste.

The first sponge usually begins with just one tsp. of starter, but for some reason this time, I thought 1/4 cup would be good. So now I have introduced two new variables: more starter, and the refrigeration. Oh well, now it's hard to say which change affected the flavor. Guess I'll have to do it again, playing with more variables. It's hard to limit myself to just one change each time I bake this!

The Blob after 19 hours in the fridge

The Blob after 19 hours in the fridge

 

I only recently figured out how much to slash the dough to avoid blowouts in the oven. I go over the initial cut a time or two to make sure the dough has room to expand. Who cares if it's not traditional? Neither am I!

Slashed just before baking

Slashed just before baking

 

Ta-daaaaaaa

Ta-daaaaaaa

 

This recipe/formula claims to be about 65% hydration, so I guess I won't get the big holes unless I increase that. But it sure tastes good!

I use Bob's Red Mill flour exclusively right now. The sponges contain some whole wheat and some rye, thus the tan color. The rest of the flour is organic unbleached, protein approx. 11.75%.

The un-holey crumb

The un-holey crumb

Now as a last note, I must thank Susan for suggesting that I resize my photos to 640 x 480 in order to post. I was at my wits' end trying to post pictures. They just would not appear. So resize those buggers and start posting! Susan, I owe you a loaf of bread....someday....just not one of these...you understand....!

Sue

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mse1152

Last night I baked this bread for the first time. I started the biga on Thursday after dinner and made the final dough Friday around 5 p.m., finishing the bake around 9:15. The biga spent the night in the fridge (in a bowl covered with plastic wrap), and developed a skin. The skin seemed to get incorporated into the final dough alright, but next time, I'll wrap the biga in oiled plastic and zip it into a bag as well before refrigerating.

It's a soft bread with tight crumb. Since I've never made it before, I don't know if that's what Italian bread is supposed to be or not. Tastes pretty good though. I think it would be a good bread to make into individual sandwich-sized rolls.

I'm not yet able to post a photo here, so I'll include a link to my Webshots album:

http://tinyurl.com/ywlfrc

Sue

 

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