The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ohc5e

I decided to bake a version of the "Norwich" Sourdough I found on the Wild Yeast blog and think it turned out pretty well.  Obviously I need some practice slashing but I was happy with the taste and crumb.  I substituted 150 grams of whole wheat flour for some of the white and an extra 70 grams of water to compensate. I'm going to have to try making it with all white flour, I just can't make myself like whole wheat bread no matter how hard I try.  I followed her instructions for the most part but I think my refrigerated fermentation went a little longer, more like 20 hours rather than 16.  The loaves weren't overproofed nonetheless.  The crust had great blisters all over it and stayed very crispy.  I divided the loaves into one double-sized batard and two smaller batards.  I'm just getting used to using a lame; as you can see, I butchered the slashing on the large loaf.  I was actually pretty happy with the slashes on the smaller loaves.  Anyone have any good tips for using the lame?

Whole Wheat Norwich SourdoughWhole Wheat Norwich Sourdough 

 Shot of the Crumb

Shot of the Crumb

 

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ohc5e

On Thursday of last week, I made pizza dough using my 100% hydration sourdough starter. I let it ferment at room temperature for a few hours before putting it in the fridge for 3 days to ferment.  After the long wait, I am happy to say the pizza turned out great.  I found a great site on the web for pizza dough run by a serious home pizza-maker.  Its got a lot of great information about Neapolitan style pizza, not all of which I followed. (i.e. I ignored the advice to cut off the door lock of my oven so that I could use the self-clean function to bake my pizzas at 700 degrees--I guess I just don't have enough commitment to the home-pizza making cause!).  I heated my pizza stone for an hour at 550 and used my broiler on high to cook the pizzas, which were cooked in roughly three and half minutes.  The crust was chewy and soft in the middle with a crispy, lightly charred outer crust.  The sauce was made from imported San Marzano tomatoes that I pureed with an immersion blender, two gloves of smashed, raw garlic, and a handful of torn fresh basil.  I used mozzarella that I bought today at a great Italian specialty store in Brooklyn (Caputo Fine Foods) that makes the mozzarella fresh every morning and salts it in a brine right in front of you--amazing.  I'm sure the pizza would have been almost the same using some good, fresh mozzarella from the grocery store but this was especially good .  I added a couple of tablespoons of fresh grated parmigiano cheese and when the pies came out, a healthy dose of olive oil.  I'm stuffed and can definitely say the pizza was worth the wait.  The link to Jeff Varasano's pizza site is http://slice.seriouseats.com/jvpizza/  He gives very detailed instructions on kneading, etc that makes for an interesting read...

The dough was really wet compared to most pizza doughs I've made before which resulted in a failed first effort at stretching the dough.  But I did much better on my next try and by the third and fourth, I had the process down.  I just had to turn the dough much faster than I'm used to. I used a mixture of KA bread flour and imported Molino Caputo Tipo 00 pizza flour from Italy.  I used roughly three-quarters "00" and one-quarter KA bread flour, if I remember correctly.  The finely milled flour has a gluten percentage of about 11.5%.  I'm interested to try it in a ciabatta recipe.  You can buy it from www.fornobravo.com.  Shipping was pretty reasonable considering.  I bought 5, 2.2lb bags for about $30, including shipping.  

Hot PizzaShot of the CrumbShot of the Crumb

Underside of the PizzaUnderside of the Pizza 

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ohc5e

Just made this bread for the first time with a mixture of KA bread flour and Sir Lancelot High gluten (I can't remember exactly but I think i used 1/4 of the total weight).  It turned out pretty well; I tried to shape them similarly to Zolablue but to no avail...

I used Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour.  It doesn't say anywhere on the package whether or not it is medium or whole rye flour.  It is pretty fine but it has flecks of bran mixed in. Next time I will track down some finer rye to see if it makes a difference in the crumb.  It was pretty open but not as much as I was hoping.  The dough was clearing the bottom of my Viking mixer after 10 minutes, maybe I will also add extra water to see if I can get the crumb more open.  The flavor reminded me a lot of Leader's Pain au Levain.  Seeing as how this bread is to be made over 3 days (from refreshing to baking), I will probably make the pain au levain more often in the future.  Ate it tonight with some French goat cheese...

Pierre Nury's Light Rye

Pierre Nury's Light Rye 

Pierre Nury Crumb

Pierre Nury Crumb 

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ohc5e

Uncooked Focaccia Dough with garlic, rosemary toppingUncooked Focaccia Dough with garlic, rosemary topping 

Baked, Whole FocacciaBaked, Whole Focaccia 

Leaning Tower of Focaccia...check out the crumbLeaning Tower of Focaccia...check out the crumb

So I posted a few days back about good recipes for focaccia.  Thank you all for your suggestions.  I did a little research and developed a hybrid formula of my own.  I baked it for the first time tonight and I am very happy with the results.  It came out with a very crispy, browned crust and a chewy, open crumb.  It was delicious and just what I was looking for...

The recipe is below...

500 g of KA bread flour

150 g refreshed, starter (100% hydration, also KA bread flour)

4 g of SAF instant yeast

11 g of sea salt

25 g of olive oil

15 g of rendered, liquid pork fat (40 g of olive oil is probably okay)  * I used guanciale (a cured Italian cut of pork) that added great flavor to the bread.  I sauteed it on low heat and discarded the solids, reserving the liquid fat

345 g of water

 

Mix all ingredients in bowl of the mixer, except for the salt, until it forms a loose dough.  Mix on a slow speed for 5 minutes.  Add the salt and mix on medium high speed (8 on my viking mixer) for 8-10 minutes until it clears the bottom of the bowl and passes the windowpane test.  

Let it rise in an oiled container for 2 hours of bulk fermentation, turning and folding it every 45 minutes, a total of three times.  Gently turn out the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet and gently stretch it out about half way to the edges. Let the dough rest for a half an hour covered with plastic wrap.  Stretch the dough again to the edges.  I used an almost pizza-like technique lifting the dough up and letting the weight of the dough stretch it out.  Try not to force the dough or degass it very much. Let it rest for another thirty minutes covered.  If you need to stretch it out a few more inches do it now before you top it.

 

I took two large cloves of chopped garlic, a tablespoon of sea salt and 2 tbsps of chopped rosemary and ground it up to a paste in a mortar and pestle.  Mix two tbsps of water and two tbsps of olive oil with the garlic-rosemary mixture.  Brush on top of the dimpled surface of the dough.

 

Bake for 25 minutes in a pre-heated, 450 degree oven.  Let it cool on a rack for 20-30 minutes and cut into desired shape...ENJOY! 

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