The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Skibum's blog

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Skibum

Well somehow the photo and text did not post the first time. I will try again. I have baked a couple of bricks in a row at 80 and 82% hydration using P. Reinhart's suggested dough handling technique, which involves a gentle letter fold.

I found a different technique on youtube, (breadhitz) which does not use the fold, but trims a small scrap of dough from the side and places the scrap on top to proof. Once proofed the loaf is inverted to trimmed bits down and baked. I loved the way this loaf turned out and love the way it tastes! I have eaten most of the loaf in less than a day.

Recipe: 50g liquid levain, 35g durham semolina, 240g bread flour, 7g salt, 6g evoo, 230g H20.

Happy baking! Ski

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Skibum

Can I call this loaf a ciabatta? Well that was the original plan and I shaped according to P. Reinhart, sort of. I only did one letter fold. Well things bloomed beautifully along the letter fold seam and this made a nice sandwich loaf. Gave half to my neighbours and made their little girl's day.

Total flour 350g. I used 35g durham semolina and the balance strong bread flour. I mixed this at 78% hydration using 7g coarse sea salt and 6g EVOO.

the proofed loaf.

Crumb.

This bread made for a great BLT sanny with roast chicken. YUMM!

Ahhh!  A couple of sanny slices.

Happy baking! Ski

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Skibum

Well I now have baked through a bag of 00 flour and absolutely love the pizza crust it makes! Of course the two grocery stores in my small mountain town no longer carry 00 flour. Fortunately I found an on-line source here in Canada to mail order 00 flour: gourmetwarehouse.ca.  Whew!

The dough for this pizza had been refrigerated for at least 5 days and still made an excellent result. I have taken a page out of Ken Forkish's book and finish baking the pizza under the 500F broiler which chars parts of the crust and finishes things off nicely.

I start rolling the crust out with a rolling pin, then shape the crust edge by hand, working the dough on baker's parchment. I start with extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil, followed by home made tomato gravy, prosciutto, Hungarian salami, cooked and diced bacon, chunks of fresh mozzarella and grated Reggiano parmigiana. Bella!!!

The bad thing is that there is a pizza joint in my neighbourhood making pizza I really liked.  Sadly with the results I have been getting, they won't see much of me again. 

I am frankly amazed at the difference 00 flour makes in pizza dough and crust!

Happy baking! Ski

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Skibum

It has been a while since I have baked something from Inside the Jewish Bakery -- too long.  Beigle or Hungarian filled rolls as described in the book are still one of the BEST things I have ever taken out of my oven!

Walnut and almond you say? Well I made a 1/4 batch of walnut filling and it was only good to cover half of the rolled out dough. Out of walnuts, I made a second batch of filling using almonds, so the inner part is walnut and the outer rolls almond. YUMMY!!!

I have frozen most of it, but there is still a slice on my cutting board and as my chicken dinner is cooking in the smoker, I sneak small slices of this beigle heaven!

Happy baking! Ski

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Skibum

This was my first pizza using Italian 00 flour. It was noticeably more slack and extensible than the strong bread flour I am used to working with. Boy did it make great pizza crust! Home made tomato gravy topped with fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, Hungarian salami, (my favourite!), prosciutto and Reggiano parmigiana.  Great pizza!  I need to start another dough batch.

Total recipe was 350 g flour @ 73% hydration.  I used 50g liquid levain, 30g durham semolina and 295g 00 flour, and 7g salt.

I can see why 00 flour is prized for pizza crust!  In my small mountain town a 1kg bag of 00 is $2.95. This compares to the 20kg bags I buy out of the bakery back door for $25. Sigh! I may have to take a drive into the big city.

Happy baking and happy eating!  Ski

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Skibum

I read here on a post one day that a pain du campaign must be at least 10% rye flour. This is a mini boule really with just 300 grams total flour at 74% hydration, 10% each rye and whole wheat flours and strong bread flour for the rest. I used 50 g liquid levain and 7 grams salt. I shaped as a boule taking care to get a very tight skin and baked Forkish style, proofing seam side down and baking seam side up. Wonderful oven spring on this loaf. I am tempted to call it oven spring! The final loaf is about 51/2" in diameter and has bloomed to 5" in height!

I haven't cut into it yet and will update when I do.

Crumb:

Happy baking! Ski

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Skibum

I tried posting this one yesterday and tfl blew up on me when I pressed save. I got a black screen with lettering in white saying page not available. Will try this again.

I bake a loaf of pulla roughly each week and have used the same recipe and methodology for at least two years, perhaps three. Using a vigorous levain I found my braid strands blowing apart at inappropriate places, so I set out to remedy this.  First I thought either the gluten is underdeveloped or perhaps I have been too aggressive with my stretch & folds and have torn the gluten strands. I made a couple of small changes. Fist I used more of a kneading process, say a knead & fold and I upped the hydration a couple of points: from 180 g of milk to 189 grams.

I have always divided the dough and pre-shaped into boules, then rolled out into tubes for braiding by hand. The flaws in my blown apart braid strands appear to have been caused by my roll out method. I googled "rolling out dough for braids," and found that some bakers use a rolling pin, then jelly roll up the strands. Here is where I made big changes in the way I roll out pulla dough. First I pre-shape into a tube instead of a ball -duoh!

I then use the rolling pin to roll out the dough into a long rectangle.

The dough rolled out to 1/4" or so is then rolled up. I brushed the tail end with a little water to get a tight seam.

I pinched and patted the seams down as tight as I could and gently rolled the dough into a uniform tubes.  This is the second time I have used this technique and need to be careful I don't roll the braids out too long. First time I ended up with a 16" braid to bake on a 15" baking stone . . .

The longer, more uniform strands were easy to braid. this technique of rolling out is faster and easier than my traditional technique and actually resulted in a more open crumb and a better loaf! Here is the proofed braid, egg washed and sprinkled amply with sugar.

Who knew an old skibum could learn new tricks? Here is an updated recipe:

Sponge:

80 g liquid levain

alternately use 40 g each flour and H2O and 11/2 tsp instant yeast

189 g scalded milk

1/4 c sugar

2 Tbs raw sugar

8 cardamom pods,, hulled and ground

75 g egg, beaten, (2 eggs, use remains for egg glaze)

Let this mixture get happy and bubbly. I usually mix at the end of the day and leave in on the counter overnight.

Final mix

120 g bread flour, mix well

50 g melted butter, beat in until the dough is smooth and glossy

7-8g salt

120 g bread flour, mix in well and rest 10 minutes

I did 4 sets of knead & folds with 10 minutes rest, then a bulk rise of 2 hours. Divided, shaped, braided, coated with egg wash and sugar and baked 400F 14 minutes with steam and 12 minutes without steam. the result has been an improvement in both taste and texture. It is never too late to learn new tricks!

Happy baking!  Ski

 

 

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Skibum

Left to right a tag end of a pulla braid, some soft pull apart dinner rolls and in front NY style deli rye take three. I love the deli rye and this time I used barley malt syrup instead of brown sugar and used more onion and caramelized them down. This has made a wonderful sandwich bread.

On this rye bake, I brushed the excess flour from the banneton from the loaf with a soft brush and applied an egg wash to give the crust gloss. Perhaps my best take yet on Peter Reinhart's great recipe!

Happy baking! Ski

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Skibum

Peter's NY deli rye recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice remains my favourite sandwich loaf and second favourite loaf, second to my beloved pulla.

I did a half batch and pretty much followed the formula to the letter. The last time I made this bread, I chopped the onions so finely they pretty much disappeared in the crumb. For this bake, I sautéed a much coarser chop of onion. You can see some of the chunks breaking through the crust and can both feel and taste the herbaceous notes in the crumb. For the final water add I used potato water. Nice crust and very soft crumb. Yummmm!

This bread is ideal for piling on smoked meat. Today pastrami with nuclear mustard, tomorrow, smoked moose or elk butt . . .   This has been my first full loaf for months. It has been a most satisfying bake.

Happy baking! Ski

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Skibum

Well I finally got what I was looking for with this bake!  Pretty much the same mix as the last two bakes of this recipe, but somehow with the first two, I got lazy and used a muffin tin. Buns were fine, but not pull apart shred able.

This bake I  placed the formed boules on a parchment lined sheet pan about 1/2" apart, confident that after proof and bake, they would actually stick together. Mission accomplished! Baking them in the middle of the sheet pan allowed the buns to bloom to maximum size. The crumb is pull apart an shred able, delicious without butter. Just what I was looking for.  An egg wash gives the gloss.

For sweetener I used 15g barley syrup and 25g honey. The barley syrup gives a nice note to the sweet flavours.  I also used more of a knead and fold, rather than the stretch and fold method of dough development I had been using. Perhaps I was a little too lax on the S&F's, perhaps too aggressive and tore the gluten strands.. In any event I have had a couple of pulla bakes blow apart, but using the knead and fold things worked out better.

Happy baking!  Ski

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