The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tommy gram's blog

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Tommy gram

Early in my bread career I would get up at midnight or 3 am to take the dough out or put it in or mix it or whatever I thought the baker needed to be doing. Have not done that in many years.  Nice and easy now. Proceeding at the speed of yeast.

I use the unwashed container that held my last dough ball to kick off my next starter as it is "infected" with the wild yeast and gets the next batch going no problem. 

The starter I feed the rough grains, oats, Whole wheat, semolina, Graham, or whatever. Put it in by eye add plenty of water by now I know what 50 50 looks like and 400-600 grams. I can start with a little bit of flour and plan to feed it again one or two times depending on whats going on and when I want the full frothy starter.

When it comes time to make the dough I then use mostly the fair grains All Purpose, Durum, Bread flour. 

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

Weekends I mix 1200 grams of flour at 69-74% hydration, 2% salt.

Its fermented, all my bread is made without commercial yeast. The first dough goes in on sunday afternoon and the other part of the dough stays in the fridge till thursday when we make pizza or saturday when I make a loaf that ends up looking like this. Getting on in age it tastes so good. 

No flour is thrown away in my process, I use the same bowl the dough rises in to get the new starter going. Just add flour and water and keep the ball rolling.

Same strain of starter since 2009. Grams of flour thrown away to feed this starter-zero. One summer when I got real busy with work I put a cup of the starter in the freezer and in fall when I got back to the bread biz I woke it up. It took a while to get the rhythm going again. If you dont have bread going all the time its hard to hit the marks when you start from zero or almost zero.

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

Anybody have any experience re just rolling up some plain old dough into small balls and putting it on a stew that you were about to put in the oven? I have wanted to do it a few times but got a little cowardly and didn't.

I mix the dough once a week and carve off hunks for pizza and or bread as the week goes by and depending on what we need, so I usually have some hanging around. If the dough is gone then I have the starter developing. Looking for more fun things to do with the stuff besides bread and pizza. 

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

I Had a dilemma about what to do with an approx 400 gram dough ball which was part of a batch 5 or six days old. The dough had served well -as usual-and was getting on the sour side. No problem except that its too small amount to warm up the oven. I have this situation when I interrupt the second half of my two loaf weekly cycle and make pizza. Three pizzas leave me that extra lump from what would have gone in as a loaf.

So I tried something. I mixed this 400g with the first half of my new cycle. I rolled it into the nearly fully proofed fresh dough ball before the fresh loaf final shape/rise of I thnk it was an hour and half before it went into the oven via fully heated Dutch oven. 

Some old dough and some new dough gave me end result a dense loaf, very nice. I'm very happy with the result.

 

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

I Learned a lot from Tartine- so much, but I think I need a little departure, a little space from Chad.

Today I learned by taste what I started to suspect. Bump the starter, use more starter.

This loaf is 700 grams starter And 900 grams flour (500 bread flour and 400 all purpose) tastes great, tastes killer. 70% hydration. 

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Tommy gram

Going on year nine of making bread. 2000 grams a week, roughly. One batch. Each time during the week I bake from the batch it has a new flavor.

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

I dont do much but I can bake a loaf of bread. It's because you helped me, and for TFL I am thankful. 

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

In the swing of the bread thing now.  

i Kick these babies out like clockwork.

It's really very simple, so simple that I tended to overthink it.

70% h2O

2% NaCl (salt)

to bring the flour to 100%, depending on what I have in the drawer:

30% semolina -I try never to run out of semolina love it 

40% All Purpose - AP makes a fine loaf if thats all that's around.

10% rye - this is kinda nice when it's available,

20% bread flour- this fluctuates. 

A 20% starter at 100% hydration kicks things off. 

King Arthur is the cream of the crop. I every now and then go for the Gold Medal 50# bag, but I always come back to the King.

 

 

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Tommy gram
Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

Natural tearing; let nature do the work --it looks better.

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