The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ross

last night i made use of some of a pumpernickel soaker/starter i had going last thursday that was intended for a large batch of what i call my light rye levain, among friends i call it a sourdough but it's not usually very sour, so it really is happier under the umbrella of levain....as i was saying, the intent was to turn the starter into about 20lbs of dough that would become six loaves of bread to be used for bartering with vendors at my local farmer's market, but that didn't happen and i was left with a lot of this pumpernickel stuff. so i turned most of it into a heavy rye, it's made from organic pumpernickel and organic whole rye with the inclusion of maybe 1/4 high-gluten flour for a little more structure/mellowness, i threw in some caraway too, just for kicks. the boule is below. the flavor is complex, the texture is chewy and moist, and the bread is dense the way it ought to be. oh, that crust is thick.

 

 heavier rye w/caraway 9/4/07

heavy round rye: heavier rye w/caraway 9/4/07

 

a few weeks ago i baked my light wheat levain, it's based on the same recipe as my light rye except i don't use pumpernickel and about 50% whole wheat flour, it's a much easier dough to work with, i'll trade gluten for pentosans anyday if i'm mixing by hand. these loaves had great spring and some of them produced great a grigné which is always welcome. the photo below is of the first two to come out of the oven (the loaves weigh at least 3lbs after cooled and about 18" long) and the two baguettes made from leftover dough (after scaling), i made six large loaves that night. i'd include a photo of the crumb but i don't know what it looked like...all the loaves went to the farmer's market uncut, sometime i'll post a crumby photo, but i know that it's fairly open and wonderfully moist and chewy. happy baking y'all!

 

wheat soldiers

wheat soldiers

ross's picture
ross

what i refer to as 'rye light', naturally leavened, organic, and 100% hand made...
i baked seven of these yesterday, 3 lbs each. pictured are half-loaves.

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ross

i'm not really sure where to begin. i'm not sure of much, really. how about here:

i'm 26 and living in maine, working on a ph.d in physics with a very small bread business out of my kitchen. i only sell once a week and have about a dozen customers each time. and though i baked bread the first time when i was in my teens i have only been baking seriously (frequently) for about five years. it's only been in the last eighteen months that i've delved into the science of it all and quit simply throwing ingredients together as i had been doing for far too long. anymore, i find myself contemplating the possibility that my passion will one day cross into the realm of obsession. regardless, that possible reality i suppose i could easily accept, it is the fear of developing a gluten allergy that haunts me. we all know those shadows of fear, silent and looming, but for a young man, aged 26, to fear the onset of a gluten allergy his passion for bread surely has long been an obsession...

while i was riding my bicycle the other day i tried to imagine what an interview at a bakery might be like for me, answering questions about formal training and professional experience i might seem unskilled and unknowledgable, just let me run through a list of breads and descriptions, dough profiles and chemical processes, techniques and ingredient choices, etc...

oh, i am accepting it as obsession: my eyes, my hands, my nose, my mouth, with these tools i always, always critique the bread i come across.

ahhhhh, bread, let it be the body of every man.

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