I was a little frustrated with my baking yesterday and went back to my basic yeasted white bread. I used my KA unbleached white flour and the resulting loaf restored my faith. Here are the pictures I just took. Gonna let it cool then have a nice sandwich. Yummy!!
I got home this morning from work and decided to refresh my wet starter in preparation for making some more bread. I had 140 gms of starter in the refrigerator that I mixed with 150 gms of water and 150 gms of organic white flour after letting it warm up. Popped it into the closed oven with the light on and 6 hours later I had a nicely bubbled starter. Divided that to do 2 different breads. I am doing the Vermont Sourdough with added whole grains (rye flour) from Hamelmann's book and am trying the Pane Siciliano again. My first attempt there was less than successful so this time I am going to try to be more diligent with it. I now have good semolina flour as well as the organic white flour. I have both preferments in the closed oven right now. Last I looked the temp was about 78-82 degrees. The Pate fermente' is rising nicely and the Vermont sourdough is just beginning to bubble. I plan to retard the sourdough to bake late tomorrow in the evening. I think it will also be that way with the Siciliano but with a bake earlier in the day. I will have to check the temperature in my laundry room. It is very cold outside (18 degrees here in Delaware) and supposed to get into the single digit temps so my laundry room may be just right to retard the dough tonight.
I will try to remember to get pictures along the way with these loaves. I don't go back to work until Wednesday at 7pm so I should have lots of time to get these loaves done.
Here is my second attempt at NK bread, but the first that was successful. I did it in my mini baker from Pampered Chef that was like a La Cloche. It gave a decent crumb and flavor. I used my starter instead of yeast with this loaf.
The last picture is the yield of the day on Jan 25, 2007. I baked in preparation of going to see both of my sisters and taking them fresh bread. The NK was split between my kids so I did not get to taste a lot of that one. The rye is Hamelmann's 66% sourdough rye. It was a pretty compact but moist loaf. I think I need to get my starter better for that loaf. But in a few weeks I will be taking his Rye bread class and will learn from him how he does his loaves. I am sure my results will improve.
These are my first attempt at bagels. They were a little cakey at first but after they set for 24 hours they got that chewy texture. My daughter really enjoyed them. Next time I will not use as many sesame seeds and will maybe try an everything bagel eventually.
A few months ago I took a class with Jeffery Hamelmann in Vermont on Naturally Leavened Breads. There were 11 of us in the class and suffice to say, it was amazing. I learned so much. But translating what you do in class to the home environment is not always as easy. It has teken me 2 months and many tries to finally start getting breads that resemble what we did in the classroom. I have done 2 recipes of pain au levain and they have truned out wonderful. I would like them a little more sour and think that I will try to retard my next loaf to see if it will be more acidic. I have a few pictures but they are blurry but I will try to get a better shot soon. The one problem is that my crust seems to be getting over done, darker than what I want. I have cut down the time a bit but next time will drop the temperature. I have checked my temperature of the bread and it is over 205 degrees when I take it out of the oven.
A question concerning the bake. I have been using the convection setting while doing my breads. Could that account for the darker crust and is it better to use the basic bake setting. I also have a special bake sertting that is supposed to decrease the over browning of bread. Are there any thoughts on the use of regular bake versus convection bake. I do steam well with my breads (cast iron pan and hot water) so that is not the problem.