The Fresh Loaf

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Second Cooking

I've made Bialys before using high-gluten flour that I purchased via mail order. The cost with S&H for a 3lb bag is $13. That's OK for something I only make once in a while, but still I wouldn't be opposed to getting the price down. I don't know anyone that I could order commercial flour through, but even if I did I am not interested in a 50lb bag. What I want is something I can buy off the self at my local chain grocery store.

I live in the Detroit metro area. All of the major stores in this area carry KA flour. According to their website King Arthur's bread flour is 12.7% protein. Their high gluten flour is 14.2%, which they claim is the highest available retail. The bagel place in NJ where my sister used to live uses Pillsbury high gluten which is also 14.2%. I've heard this number before on some other bread sites, so this is the target I was shooting for.

Most of the stores in this area carry Gluten. I've been using Bob's Red Mill brand, but I've seen other brands too. I assume it's commonly available in most urban areas. The nutrition label on the Gluten I was using indicated 23g of protein per 30g serving or 76.67% by weight. To get to 14.2% with the flours I was using would put it at 97.65% BF and 2.35% Gluten. I went with 3% instead just to be safe.

The formula I used for the Bialys was Hamelman (p262). The only modification I made was to use 33.3% of the flour as a Poolish preferment. I made a 300g total flour recipe. This divides into six rolls at about 80g each.

Hamelman recommends 8 to 10 minutes at 480°. I was making these the night before, so I par-baked them for six minutes.


Actually they looked and smelled so good I finished a couple off right then for me and the wife.


My idea was to freeze a couple and see how they would hold up to a par-bake/freeze/thaw/re-heat method. If I can get that down on Bialys, I was thinking maybe I can transfer it over to a similar method for Bagels as well. The Bialys are simple enough to make anytime and I was pleased with results from my grocery store purchased high-gluten flour equivalent. Bagels aren't too much more work, but more than I am going to do regularly for small batch baking. If I can get a par-bake/freeze method down, I wouldn't mind having Bialys and Bagels as a regular weekend breakfast routine.

I didn't end up freezing any this time. The par-bake was a little darker then I had intended and after having couple, I knew there was no way we would want to be short any in the morning. Gives me a good excuse to try again sooner than later anyway. Next time I will shorten the par-bake to 5 minutes and see if I like that better. I think I need to work my pocket size out a bit too, but that's not a big concern for me.

The thing I like about these Bialys is I've never had one before making them myself. Unlike a Bagel, I don't have any preconceived notion of what they should take like. If they taste good, I like them. Simple as that. With Bagels I am always comparing them to an ideal. Even if I make a decent tasting doughnut shaped bread, if it doesn't have just the right chew and texture, it's always a little disappointing. That and my wife prefers a Bialy a bit more now, than a Bagel actually. I still favor a real Bagel more myself, but these are still darn good breakfast rolls.

Happy baking everyone.

Take care, Todd

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Second Cooking

The loaf shown below used the same formula as the rolls I posted last week. The only difference is I increased the cheese to 50% of the flour percentage and increased to 650g total flour for a loaf size batch.


I was quite pleased with the results. The cheese was oozing quite a bit at that percentage, but that's OK by me. I had a seam on the one side that I didn't seal real well, also. I was hosting the meeting for my boy's Adventure Guides club this month and rushed it a bit. My one son made a batch of chili and I made pot of beans to go with. My other son made some chocolate chip cookies to serve the other kids for desert, so was quite a good meal. It was very tasting sopping up a bit of chili with some good bread in hand.


I made a batch of pretty standard rolls to go with the dinner, as well. With kids and mixed crowd it make since to have a safe choice.


I made an 800g flour batch with the following percentages:

Bread Flour 100%, Water 65%, Salt 2%, Instant yeast ~0.7%

Mix to incorporate, rest 20 minutes, stretch and fold twice, retard in refrigerator 24 hours, bring back to room temperature (about hour and and half), divide in 75g portions, preform into 6” logs, rest 10 minutes, form into knot rolls, proof about two hours, bake 15 minutes at 400°, serve warm.


I had a room full of hungry people when the rolls were done baking, so they went straight out. I didn't actually have any warm myself (I did have a couple pieces of the cheese bread, but that I had let rest a couple hours). I had some of the rolls over the next couple days and they were pretty good. I'm thinking to make some white bread crumbs up for the filling in some Bialys this weekend. Have to check what our plans are though, to see if I'll have time to get it in or not.


Happy baking everyone,

Take care, Todd

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Second Cooking

I made some rolls a few weeks ago with bits and pieces of left over hard cheese. I just grated them and added to the dough. I also had just a scrap of Gouda, that I cut in chunks and threw in as well. They came out fine. Mostly a shrap taste from whatever the predominate hard cheese was. I liked the occasional smoked smoked bite from the Gouda.

When I saw a Smoked Gouda at the Costco last weekend from a local dairy, I decide I would give some cheese rolls another try. I tend to more whole grain when cooking only for myself. Figuring everyone would want some cheese bread, I decided to go with mostly white flour. Since my starter is on a white whole wheat, I went with a country style mix on the dough.

 Overall Formula:

300g Bread Flour* 60%

150g White Whole Wheat 30%

50g Rye 10%

325g Water* 65%

10g Salt 2%

0.5 Tablespoon Instant yeast ~0.5%

180g Smoked Gouda 36%


*I used a 20% of the flour as a preferment sourdough at 100% hydration.

100 g White whole wheat

100 g Water

 Mix all ingredients, except for the cheese. Knead by hand for minute or so, and fold into the dough. I cut these a little uneven in size so they would give different size pockets in the rolls.


 Stretch and fold 3 times 20 minutes apart. Let rest another 20 and divided.


 I was a little pressed for time when I started on these. My starter was at room temperature (approx. 70°), but I used warm water to bring the dough temp up a little quicker. I also kept everything in a warm oven the whole time (approx. 85°). I had formed these all as rounds. They proofed in about an hour and a half.


 Bake at 400° for just under 20 minutes. I checked at 15 originally and they were pretty much done by then, so I covered with foil. I didn't want them to brown up much more, but wanted to be sure to have the cheese melt.


 I let them rest about five minutes.


 They came out pretty good, I thought. I had two right then.

I've made similar versions before with other semisoft cheeses, as rolls and bread loafs.  With rolls you tend to get a little more seeping out the sides or you could used a little less cheese, I suppose.  I have plenty of cheese left.  I may try this as a loaf next and squeeze a little more cheese in.

Take care, Todd

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Second Cooking

I received an assortment of chocolates in my Christmas stocking this year. I prefer dark chocolate exclusively, but an 82% cacao is too much even for me, as an eating chocolate. I have couple desert recipes I could have worked it into, but they were all a little too sweet for my mood. I like to make rolls with a piece of chocolate in the center, from time to time. I figured I would play around a little bit with something like that and see how it turned out.


I knew I had to add some additional sweetner and decided to go with honey. I wanted to use some walnuts and figured that would be a good binder as well for the filling. I'd made some cookies the other day for the boys, and chopped up one of the 60% cacao chocolates instead of chips. I liked the way that kind of blends into the dough, so want to do something to that effect with the rolls. I've been using white whole wheat a lot lately, so that's what I went with for the flour. The last time I refreshed my starter, that's what I used as well, so this is basically a 100% white whole wheat recipe, with some added gluten for better rising power. This is what I made:


Overall Formula:

360 g White whole wheat 90%*

40 g Gluten 10%

260 g Water 65%*

30 g Honey 7.5%

15 g Walnut oil 3.75%

8 g Salt 2%

1 teaspoon Instant yeast ~0.5%

45 g Walnuts 11.25%

45 g Dark chocolate (82% Cacao) 11.25%


*I used a 25% of the flour as a pre-frement sourdoughed at 100% hydration.

100 g White whole wheat

100 g Water



45 g Walnuts 11.25%

45 g Dark chocolate (82% Cacao) 11.25%

30 g Honey 7.5%



Mix together first seven ingredients, including pre-frement and knead for 2 minutes. Chop walnuts and chocolate for the dough into consistancy of meal. Fold them into the dough and knead another 30 seconds. Stretch and fold the dough twice at 30 minute intervals. Let rise approximately two hours @ 80° F. For the filling chop walnuts and chocolate coarsely and combine with honey in a small bowl.


After the dough has risen, punch down lightly and divide evenly into eight pieces. Shape each piece into small rounds and place a spoonful of filling on the middle of each, dividing the filling evenly. Fold the edges inward to cover the filling and pinch to seal the seam. Shape quickly into rounds and place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise approximately 45 minutes @ 80° F.


Preheat oven to 400° F. Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes on wire rack and serve while still warm.


I was actually quite pleased with the results. With the honey and nuts it had a pleasant taste overall and didn't leave a bitter after taste. If I make these again, I would probably choose a different chocolate though, just to be safe. These re-heat well covered in foil. I just pop them in the toaster oven for about eight minutes.

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