The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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rushyama

Hello, TFL'ers!

One of my new year's goals was to take a stab at sourdough baguettes and I finally had the chance to give it a try. I followed the recipe / method here with a few modifications:

  • Substituted 10% red fife flour
  • Used a mix of AP and bread flour for the white flour
  • Increased the water by about 10%
  • Autolysed the flour and water overnight in the fridge (per TXFarmer's 36-hour baguettes method)
  • Shaped the baguettes like the Hamelman demonstration here (starts around 2'30")
  • Put the shaped baguettes in the fridge for the last 30 minutes of the second proof (to make scoring a little easier)
  • Baked directly on a baking stone with steam

Overall, I'm quite happy with how they turned out. They're not top-level artisan baguettes but honestly they taste better than most of what I can find in the supermarket. The crumb was quite open considering the relatively low hydration (sorry, no crumb shot as they were gobbled up for family dinner; I'll have to be faster next time). I really liked how approachable this method was and I think I can use this recipe as a basis for more experimentation. Next time I'll probably increase the hydration a tad more and maybe add some seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

rushyama's picture
rushyama

We've been visiting my parents in the Pacific Northwest over the holidays, and naturally I wanted to bake bread. A friend of mine gave me some of her starter so I've been having some fun experimenting in a different environment using the tools available.

Normally I like to schedule my baking to a certain degree. But since it's vacation and I don't have a thermometer to measure water / dough temperature it's been a good lesson in "watching the dough, not the clock." My parents' place is quite a bit cooler than mine, so fermentation has been leisurely (usually 5-6 hours instead of my typical 3-4). I got a couple bags of Central Milling flour to use as a base (Baker's Craft and Type 85), plus little bits of einkorn, whole wheat, and rye to mix in. All loaves have been baked in a Lodge combo cooker. For the most part I've also been using a very long autolyse (~6 hours), simply for convenience: I mix up the levain and start the autolyse at the same time so I'm freed up for a longer portion of the day. I may do this more back home as I haven't noticed an adverse effect, at least with these flour types. Any thoughts / experiences with the long autolyse?

No specific formulae to share this time -- just a few thoughts and photos (many taken by my brother, an amateur photographer with a fancy camera).

Some basic loaves, ~25-30% whole grain, 75-80% hydration. I experimented once with bulk fermenting in the fridge and final proofing at room temperature (the opposite of what I normally do). I didn't let it final proof long enough, so the middle of the loaf was a little dense; but the flavor was great. I may do more fiddling with this in the future as it's nice to have that timetable as an option. No lame so scissor scoring it was!

Country loaf, scissor score

 

 

 

 

This loaf (and the top photo) was honey-lavender, about 15% whole grain / 80% hydration. I really liked the flavor of this one so it's a formula I'm going to work on back home. I broke down and bought a razor blade to practice some scoring.

 

This was a potato loaf that had some leftover roasted potatoes mixed in, along with a couple turns of olive oil. About 30% whole grain; not really sure about the hydration but probably in the lower 70's (wasn't sure how much water the potatoes would release, so started out conservatively). Didn't get a photo of the outside as it got torn into too quickly. Another formula I want to develop further; the potato really makes for a nice soft loaf!

 

It's not vacation without some sourdough waffles!

Happy new year and happy baking, TFL'ers!

 

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rushyama

I've been thinking of making a fig and walnut loaf for awhile and finally got around to trying it this week. It turned out very well and it's a formula I'd like to tinker with again.

 

Notes:

  • I build a little extra levain as a bit gets stuck to the side of my container. I end up adding as much as I can scrape out easily.
  • I held back about 75 grams of water to help with the addition of the levain and salt. In the end I probably left out about 15-20 grams, though a little got added with the turns when I wet my hands. The dough probably could have handled the full amount, but I wasn't sure how the figs would play into the mix so I decided to be conservative.
  • This made two loaves (the batard shown here and a boule not pictured -- being gifted.

The result:

 

This is probably one of my favorite loaves to date, hearty and flavorful. I really like the purple color walnuts bring to the game, and there's just enough figs to bring a touch of sweetness. If anything I'll add a touch more figs next time. The crust is crackly and thin, just how I like it. The loaves did color quickly, so I ended up dropping the oven temp to 425F for the last 10 minutes or so.

Hope you all are enjoying the Christmas season!

 

rushyama's picture
rushyama

In the spirit of the holidays I've been experimenting a little with enriched sourdough breads. A couple months ago I adapted a TFL formula from txfarmer for sourdough pumpkin hokkaido milk bread. I really love the texture of this style of bread, and have found that if I use the stiff levain quite young (6-8 hours), the resulting tang is barely distinguishable. (If I want more of a tang I'll use the levain when it's around 10-12 hours old.)

I've been wanting to make some babka-style twisty breads, so I used the dough to make an Asian-style pork floss bread (above, based on a popular Chinese bakery item) and a cinnamon raisin loaf.

They both turned out great! I need to work on packing a bit more filling in there, but the flavors worked quite well. (Both were taken for parties / dinners so no crumb shot yet; will update when I get one). My next loaf will likely be a coconut bun loaf, also based on a popular Chinese bakery item.

We had an early "Thanksmas" family dinner a couple weekends ago as quite a few of us are traveling over the holidays. We ended up with a decent amount of leftover turkey, which was just begging to be put into a sourdough crust:

The flavor of the crust was excellent! Will definitely be my crust of choice at least for savory pies at least.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you American TFL'ers!

 

 

 

 

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rushyama

It's that time of year when I get a little too squash happy and buy more than I should, so naturally some of it had to be baked into bread. I used Sarah Owens' butternut squash and cherry recipe as a general formula to make one sweet and one savory loaf.

The sweet loaf used roasted butternut squash puree and dried cranberries (I would like to try it with the cherries; I just didn't have any on hand). I just love the color:

For the savory, I used roasted hubbard squash puree, a couple small heads of roasted garlic, and a handful of chopped sage. I omitted the honey and subbed in about 20g of maple syrup. The color of the hubbard is not quite as vibrant as the butternut, but the garlic + sage combination made the house smell just wonderful.

As with the other recipes I've tried from this book, I subbed out half the bread flour for AP flour and increased hydration about 5%. I also autolysed everything except the levain and salt for about an hour, then mixed in the levain, and rested for another 20 minutes or so before adding the salt. Bulk ran about four hours with 3-4 S&F. Preshape and bench around 20 minutes before final shaping, a 20 minute rest at RT and an overnight proof. I baked directly from the fridge.

These were all baked on a preheated stone at about 500F for 20 minutes covered and 450F uncovered for another 20 minutes or so.

I absolutely love how squash gives bread a soft, moist texture. I can't really pick out the flavor (the butternut is more prominent than the hubbard), but it definitely adds something. We still have quite a bit of puree left so I'll likely bake another batch up before Christmas. I will probably try another savory version with more garlic and maybe some toasted walnuts -- yum!

 

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rushyama

I recently found some fresh semolina flour at a local market so I decided to try out the semolina formula in Tartine Bread. This was my first time baking with semolina and I found it to be very pleasant -- the dough smelled almost buttery and was very easy to handle despite the relatively high hydration (~80%).

I stayed fairly true to the recipe, with the following changes:

  • Lowered the levain percentage from 20% to 15%
  • Swapped out about 10% total flour for spelt / WW
  • Autolysed the flours and water for about 2 hours before adding the levain
  • Omitted the fennel (just used sesame seeds in the dough, and poppy/sesame to coat the exterior)
  • Scaled the recipe to make 1 600-gram batard and 1 850-gram sandwich loaf in a pullman pan

Bulk went for about 4 hours with 5 S&F. The dough was quite strong so it just got a quick 10 minute bench rest before shaping and an overnight (~12 hour) cold proof.

I also played around with a new steaming method -- I used a large foil roasting pan to cover the batard for the first 20 minutes (15 min at 500F, 5 at 450F), then continued baking uncovered for about 25 minutes at 450F on my pizza stone. It seemed to work well, so I think I'll continue to try this. I like this option because it'll accommodate batards and I can bake directly on my stone (I find the bottom crust gets too thick when I use a dutch oven, though I haven't experimented as much with those as I'd like). For the sandwich loaf I baked for the first 20 minutes with the lid on, 20 lid off, and finished directly on the stone for about 10 minutes (all at 450F).

 

I loved the flavor of this loaf. The sesame isn't too overpowering but provides a nice nutty flavor. I will certainly return to this formula again. I'd like to try....

  • Upping the whole grain percentage (I'm thinking 15-20% spelt)
  • Playing around with the right dough size for my pullman pan. I don't care too much about getting a "pullman" shape -- more interested in using the cover as a steam method. Pretty sure I can push the loaf size another 100 grams or so without danger of the top getting thrown off

 

 

rushyama's picture
rushyama

Hello, TFLers -- I'm a longtime lurker and relatively new sourdough baker. I've learned a lot from this site and am hoping to start logging some of my bakes here to learn even more from some of you!

This is my most recent bake, the honeyed spelt and oat from Sarah Owen's Sourdough cookbook. I've tried a few of her breads and have been quite pleased with the results. I mostly stayed true to the recipe, though I swapped out half the bread flour for AP just because I prefer the texture. I also autolysed the flours, soaker, honey, and water for about half an hour before adding the leaven. Overall I probably added an extra 3-5% water.

This made two small-ish loaves; the first I cut into about 5 hours after baking and it was still a little gummy. This one I waited a full day and the texture had set up quite nicely:

Things I would do differently for the next bake:

  • Try to stretch bulk a bit longer. The dough felt aerated but I think I could have stretched it another 1/2 - 1 hour. I had quite massive oven spring, which I think is from slight underproving (?); please correct me if I'm wrong!
  • Let dough sit at room temperature a little longer before refrigerating overnight. I'm finding I prefer to bake straight from the fridge because scoring is much easier.
  • Bake a bit hotter. I should also take the internal temperature just to see where I'm at. These were 5 minutes at 550 dropping to 500; 20 minutes at 450; 15 at 430. Next time I'll keep it at 450 the whole way, I think. 
  • Definitely wait the full day to cut! I was surprised at what a difference it made.

Overall I very much like this bread, particularly toasted with jam!

 

 

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