The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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trailrunner

What an easy wonderful bread. I went to your blog for your "original " version as I didn't have time to do the soaker. I have been impressed by breads but this one is WAY at the top. Sweet and tender and oh the crust ...it sang and sang. 


Changes I made...I am sorry but time was of the essence. I used my starter which is going " great guns" for the whole levain build . I followed everything else to the letter, well almost. I baked it in a 500 degree cast iron  pot for 30 min, with top on and then 15 min top off. Oh my...it is so pretty. I had to cut it...I'm sorry again. My dear husband had his meatballs ready and my sauce was begging for your bread. more pics of crumb to follow tomorrow. I We sat by the pool with a light rain falling...picture the candles and the sound of the rain  drops on the pool  and the fountain...and the scent of this bread. 


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another crumb pic: Photobucket

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trailrunner

The request for a good Challah recipe that was not sourdough had me posting my recipe that I have used since the 70's. I haven't been making it weekly as I did for decades since I have been working with wild yeast and have been exploring artisinal breads and formulas. It felt wonderful to have my hands in the dough and to knead and develop with only 10 min. of effort. None of the 3 days that I have been spending lately with a minute or 2 here and there. Different but nice in its own way also.  Crumb later when it cools. c 


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trailrunner

I followed the detailed postings and the bread was a success. It is very easy to handle and the shaping /scoring are a cinch due to the texture after all that chilling. I loved the crust and crumb. It exploded with crumbs when we broke into the loaf....just as the New Orleans French bread used to do before they ruined the way they make it. I will definitely be making this again and again. I used the 1/2 tsp yeast and didn't get much rise in the  fridge over the 24 hr period. I was a little worried but it did great in the oven. Here are pics.


pasta making: Photobucket fresh tomato topping for pasta and baguette: Photobucket finished with some lovely aged parmesan and a chunk of bread...broken  not sliced :Photobucket

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trailrunner

I was preheating the 2 Dutch ovens I use for the San Joaquin  Sourdough. All was great and the oven was at 500. I took out the 2 pots and placed a loaf into each one and misted lightly with water. When I placed the covered  pans back into the oven the oven had a new code F06 and it cut off. Oh NO !! I quick turned on the upper oven to preheat to 460 and left the covered pots in the lower oven while I waited and swore and worried. I moved the pots to the top oven as soon as the temp was up . Then I waited...how long to wait??? When to remove the lids...more worry and swearing LOL. After 20 min. in the upper oven I decided to peek...OH wow...they looked wonderful. I left them in till they were good and brown and then checked internal temp...210. Done. Probably the prettiest I have made and they sang to me when they came out.


 


Moral of this story. If I hadn't been using the preheated pots I would not have had any success at all in averting a disastrous failure . The pots are the best. Here are fresh out of the oven loaves. Crumb to follow much later :)  I am waiting now for the Miele repair folks to come. Thank goodness for extended warranty. This is the 1st time I have needed service in the 4 years of use. 


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trailrunner

We have had this ravioli plate for decades. My mother-in-law had it and when she and my father-in-law passed we inherited it. We have never used it. I often thought about tossing it but never did. The other day David mentioned ravioli on my pasta post. Well that started the wheels turning...no pun intended :) My DH made his usual pasta dough and then I looked up a few YouTube videos on ravioli and we were off. Three dozen later I can honestly say this is VERY easy. I took photos to show step by step. The filling is 4oz of baby bella mushrooms sauteed with 1/2c chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves till dry. salt and pepper to taste. Cool and add 1 c ricotta and 1/2c grated parmesan and some minced fresh basil. This will fill 3 dozen ravioli. 


filling: Photobucket ravioli plate, dust lightly with flour: Photobucket shape indents with plastic plate: Photobucket fill with 1 tsp filling...don't overfill and brush lightly w/water between and around eachPhotobucket top sheet of pasta: Photobucket roll over HARD with the rolling pin: Photobucket pull off extra and save to reroll: Photobucket turn over plate and drop onto semolina dusted pan: Photobucket 3 dozen : Photobucket Things to do differently. It says everywhere to use the finest setting, which is 6 on our machine. In the future we will use 5 for the first layer that the filling goes into and 6 for the cover. The reason is that I know a couple of these are going to burst. Leading to the next thing I will NOT overfill next time. Other than that it all went beautifully. It helps to have 4 hands...as David pointed out he and his DW ( dear wife) do this together. So harness a helper and get started. c

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trailrunner

My husband is a master at pasta making. He retired on May 14th 2010 and we have been indulging pretty often since then. I made the sauce and the bread...my starters survived my 3 months away on my bicycle ride across the US. He made the lovely pasta you see below. It is 1/2 semolina and 1/2 reg old AP. It is delicious...


 




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trailrunner

I left home on Feb 19th to ride across the US on my bicycle. I started in St. Augustine FL on Feb 26th and  I completed the ride on April 28th in San Diego CA. It was a wonderful time of hard work and fun and finding out how strong I am in lots of different ways. I was doing this to raise awareness of hunger in this country and called my ride Pedaling for Food. My local food bank was the recipient of all the money and food that was donated locally . They placed bins in the local Kroger stores and at my Golds gym. The local newspaper wrote up my ride and helped to increase awareness . The Facebook page for the food bank also carried info as I went along the 3100 miles. I raised almost 1400.00 and 3700 # of food. They will be able to buy 14# of food for every dollar that was collected so that makes it over 22,000 # of food. It makes my heart feel so good to be able to help in this way. I had friends around the country donate to their local food banks as well so there were far-reaching effects . 


 


I left my wild yeast starters Alto and Sax in the hands of my husband. He fed them a couple times....well he did try to remember. He even washed out their plastic storage boxes a couple times LOL. Anyway I got them out and fed them a couple times and voila they were back with a vengeance. I made the San Joaquin sourdough yesterday and left it overnight to retard in the fridge. I  decided to bake it in a boule shape in my heavy pots.I preshaped on the counter for 60 min. and then final shaped and placed in linen lined baskets for 45 min. I use rice flour as nothing ever sticks to it...it is a fool proof way to release bread from the couche. This is one of  the prettiest breads I have made . I will have to reserve judgement on crumb and taste till they cool but wanted to post these pics since I am so happy with them. They snapped and crackled and the fragrance is wonderful. I love the grigne and the lovely colors from 2 different kinds of pots. I sprayed the loaves lightly before I put them in the 500 degree preheated pots. I turned the oven back to 360 when I placed them in.They baked 30 min with lid on and 15 min with lid off to 210 degrees. I will post further pics later. I am glad to be home and baking again. c


SJ San Joaquin sourdough SJ SJ


crumb: Photobucket Photobucket

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trailrunner

We are taking a day off . YEAH. This is the first one so far.


day 7--- rode 45 mi avg speed 11 mph. we spent the night in Chipley after stopping in Marianna FL. This is a funny story...we asked in Marianna how far to a motel and the lady in a store said " oh it is just on the other side of that bridge...about a mile". Well it was on the other side of the bridge but....let's say her idea of a mile and ours are different LOL. This is a good lesson to learn when you are on a bike and asking directions. What seems like a "little piece up the road" in a car is usually a LOT further when you are on a bike. Pete had a flat today. A great use for tweezers...pulling out the tiny metal strips from steel belted radial tires...they are cyclists nightmare. The day was sunny and not much wind , very pretty. Another funny..we stopped in Careyville. I sang my "worm song" for everyone in the little store. Noone had ever heard it before...you know the one...Nobody loves me everybody hates me , I'm gonna eat some worms...So we get back on our bikes and the VERY next town has the distinction of being Westville FL...the worm fiddlin' capital of the world ! How auspicious. We all had a good laugh...should have gotten a pic. Look it up if you don't know what it means :)We are on our way to DeFUNiak Springs FL. Again we stopped ( usually every hour to hour and a half). I asked a lady in the little gas station "where is the FUN in DeFUNiak?" she said" oh darlin it is at the VFW on Karioke night ! AH....well maybe NOT ! Stayed the night in DeFuniak , very pretty town ! Took pics of the lake and baby ducks.


Day9--- rode 59 mile avg 11 mph. to Milton FL. Went to a bike shop. He stayed open for us , usually closes at 4 PM. Believe it or not I have done this many days w/o padded bike shorts OH NO! Got a pair as my A&* is sore. Had bike tunes and greased...my A&* too ! Sent home another 3 1/2 #. Boy do I feel lighter :) I have lost about 5 # body weight so far too. Stayed in Milton.


Day10--40 miles today avg 11.5 perhr. Rode to the far side of Pensacola. This is one guys last night. He had planned to ride with us and then he is going to Cheaha in AL and hike with friends. He is selling me his great tent...it is a tarp tent, single wall 2 person and only weighs 1 1/2 # !!! Look into it if you want a great light tent. Another funny...you remember Laugh In the old TV show. Do you remember the little fellow on his tricycle pedaling very very fast and then falling over ? Well I was going up a huge long hill on Escambia River Bridge and started thinking of this...I began to laugh as I was the perfect image of this guy....very low granny gear...I DIDN'T fallover though. We ate lunch at Hopjacks in Pensacola. Great place. We met up with the new woman who is joining us. She is AMAZING. Two time breast cancer survivor, 45 yrs old and a powerhouse of inner and outer strength. We stayed the night at the Black Warrior River campground. Attacked by Killer Raccoons...(that is my story and I'm stickin to it ! ) The got a pbj bagel and made a mess of our campsite.


Day 11 ( Monday) - you will note that I put the number of the ay and the name and the date...and still Pete and I were laughing that we can't keep them straight. The usual comment is " are you SURE that was yesterday?". It all becomes a blurr. Due to the new shorts I bought and Butt Butter, which is EXACTLY what you would think it is, my riding is perfect. 62 miles avg 12 MPH !! WOW. Took the ferry from Pensacola to Dauphin Island. A pretty ride. $5 w/ bike. Got pics. We stopped at Smokey's for a $1 bbq slider...boy are they great. Smokey also has a cool way to keep all insects and bugs away. Take gallon press and seal plastic bags. Draw wavy lines on them with Magic Marker. Fill them half full with water. Hang them where the sun will shine on the moving water...all insects including mosquitoes hate it. What a terrific and safe way to help your environment. Rode the Intercoastal Bridge...remember the image...pedal pedal faster faster ! Saw a flyswatter on the bridge...why is it here haha ? Staying the night in Bayou la Batre LA.Got a great pic of an oysterman coming in with his haul....don't want to start here about the failure of the U.S. to support the efforts of the coastal people to save the marshes etc. It hurts too much to see the loss of approx 25 acres a DAY from coastal LA. Did laundry in a laundromat owned by a very funny Vietnamese man...had Mexican food as the BEST seafood restaurant was " a little way up the road over the bridge" uh...nope not going to fall for THAT again. sigh.


Day12----what a day. 63 miles 11 mph. We left Bayou la Batre ( it is pronounced battry) and headed for a campground in Vancleve MS. All was well till we got the 50 miles to the campground...what a pit...filthy and nasty and I got got dog doo all over my bike shoes. So we asked where the nearest place was with a motel. We were watching the sky get heavier and heavier...we were in for a "po'down" as we say in AL. Several folks pointed us to Seaman road and said head to the coast...well we booked it on down to Ocean Springs MS exit 50 off of I10. Whew a horrible scary and unsafe ride if ever there was one. Narrow 2 lane, dark and rainy and the trucks...whew...how close was that truck? He was so close I could have reached through the passenger window and taken the cigarette out of his mouth ! So here we are. We are doing laundry and catching up on rest.


************ We have ridden approx 620 miles so far and no day off. I am amazed. I am not beat up at all. Huge difference from the trailrunning and road running. After a 50 mile trail race I was ready for a week off and my feet would be worn out. As we say in the South...I would be stove up ! Not the case with cycling. My trailer is perfect, my load is light and as the little man in a store in Gretna FL said " you people on bicycles, I see you all the time....riding by...you just leave all you cares behind..." well sorta. If it were not for my sweet Robert holding down the fort and loving me every day like it was the first after 39 years I would not be here...on the journey of my life. Thank you Robert for knowing...you were right...we were always meant to be. c


 

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trailrunner

I am biking from St. Augustine FL to SanDiego CA. I am using this as an opportunity to raise awareness of hunger in this country . My local Food Bank, Food Bank of East Alabama, is helping me by placing barrels in local spots in my town of Auburn/Opelika AL. I am trying to raise 3100# of food as well as $ 3100 since the trip is 3100 miles. We will take about 60 days to do this so it is also a personal celebration of my 60th year on this earth. I am in Day 7 today and we are in Marianna FL. at the library. I will check in periodically. Here is my log so far . If you want to follow my progress you can get on Face Book for the Food Bank of East ALbama and see the updates. It would be wonderful if any of you would like to make donations to your local food banks in honor of my "Pedaling for Food". Caroline Donnelly


 



here are the updates to today. We decided that since it is so cold and windy STILL we would take a short day and a break. Only 22 miles today. Here is the log. 

Day1 Feb 26th-44 miles/avg 11 mph with loaded trailer from St Augustine to Palatka FL. windy and cold. camping in the cold.

Day 2 Feb 27th -61.34 miles/avg 10.7
wind and cold for the first part till the last 14 miles and then the sun came out and we hit the lovely bike path into Gainesville. What a treat. The overlook of Lake Alachua was beautiful. Stayed at the Zen Center Hostel.

Day 3
Feb 28th we in rode from Gainsville to a campground Ichutucknee Springs.. instead of Live Oak.
Was 45 miles/avg. 10.2. mph w/ trailer loaded. Head wind was 20 again to today with gusts.

Day4 March 1st----Great ride 57.69 miles/11.8 mph avg.we are staying Perry Fl/Days Inn.


Day 5---First 1/2 of day was wanderful heading out of Perry then HILLS/RAIN/ WIND WIND...50 miles/avg 10.7....it was a very hard day into Tallahassee. Days Inn again as it is supposed to get very cold again at night. What happened to warm flat Florida !!????? Had Sonny's BBQ and it sure tasted good.


Day 6 --started so hard as we took ONE HOUR to cross Tallahassee...there is a wide shoulder for part of but not all of it. T..hassee drivers DO NOT like cyclists. I "took a lane" and Pete and I simply made them stay over and out. It worked great as they can't crowd you to the curb. It is an essential riding technique I learned in NYC...thank goodness. WIND WIND all day and hills and more hills...50 miles and only 8.8 avg. It was so bad for one of our riders she gave up and went back to the hotel and called her husband to come from KY to get her...sad sad day. We didn't find this out till we were at the end in Sneads FL. . I had been carrying her tent and drop cloth ( 9#) she had the poles and so I abandoned the tent in the post office w/ the drop cloth ( postmaster said someone will want it) and I emptied and sorted and mailed 7.5 # of stuff home ! I am so LIGHT now. Yeah! Motel Seminole Inn in Snead FL.


Day 7---- decided to have a short day today . It is COLD and WINDY and HILLS....huh...have I said this before !!??? Ah well 22miles to Marriana FL avg 10 mph. We are at the library catching up on emails etc. Will probably Days Inn again. It is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend and into next week. We are all still bummed by Diane's leaving the group. We are adding a gal in Pensacola. So rest and regroup today. Pretty little town. c

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trailrunner

I have had a busy but very productive day . I made the decision to do a large bake of the Nury so that I could really study the wet dough and make adjustments as the day went by rather than having to wait 1-2 weeks to bake again. We have a large party coming up so the bread will be perfect for that. Gotta watch my Saints win the Super Bowl !


I took a lot of pics in sequence so that you can have an idea of how the dough should look at different stages. I know this has helped me a lot in dealing with the artisinal breads . I hope it will help others too. I didn't get picks of the levain or the dough during folding...sorry..I will get the amazing windowpane next time I promise.


I made enough levain so that I could make 3 double batches. I then made 3 large loaves from each double batch so the loaves came out really nicely sized for sandwiches etc.  You will also see that I used rice flour on the counter when cutting the wet dough. The first batch this was an experiment since I don't like the way flour works at all on a counter under wet doughs. After seeing how splendidly this worked I will use it always. Almost none of the rice flour sticks to the dough but the dough , in turn ,doesn't stick to the counter at all so transfer to the parchment is simple . I sprayed the dough cutter with water and wet my finger tips. This prevented anything from sticking to anything else. I had semolina on the parchment because we like the taste so much with the rye bread. I also learned that the dough cutter makes an ugly straight sided loaf so after the 1st one of those I took my wet fingertips and reshaped the cut sides/ends of the loaves after transfer.


Here are the pics...starting with the dough as it came out of the fridge. You will note there are 3 buckets. I took one out waited 45 min and took another out and waited again 45 min and then took out the last. You will see the difference in the dough as it bubbled up while attaining room temp. The 45 min wait between each batch gave time for the 30 min bake and then upping the temp in the oven to 500 again and allowed time to cut and transfer the dough. The formula says to bake at 350 but if you preheat to 500 and then immediately turn back to 460 it allows for misting the bread w/o cooling the oven too much.


just out of fridge after 24 hr. retarding: Photobucket after 1 hr: Photobucket all three buckets--45 min. lag between them starting from left to right : Photobucket dough poured out onto rice flour : Photobucket cut with wet dough cutter--note straight sides of dough...didn't make this mistake again :) Photobucket into the 500 degree oven and quick spritzt with water several times and turn back temp to 460: Photobucket great oven spring ! Photobucket first 3 finished loaves: Photobucket gorgeous open crumb: Photobucket my reward: Photobucket

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