The Fresh Loaf

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Reading through SylviaH's long blog (Oven-Steaming My New Favorite Way) I decided that I have to give this steaming technique a try.



I always felt uncomfortable with spraying my hot oven and I don't know how many times I burnt myself in pouring water on the hot bottom. Even though it is still working I believe I've done a lot of damage to the oven and this is probably also the source of all the issues I have with it not holding the temperature correctly.


Like others I was pretty amazed with the result!


 


The oven spring was so strong that I had blow-outs in my baguettes.



I don't think this happened because of poor shaping. (I'm Sinclair trained!  The Back Home Bakery) On the other hand it shows nicely how big irregular holes in the crumb are created and that scoring plays a big role.


 


Of course a very strong sourdough starter is very helpful too!!




 


Happy baking!


Thomas


www.tssaweber.com/WP


 

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About a year ago when my in-laws from Switzerland visited, they brought a crown and plastic doll with them, accessories necessary for a "Drei Koenigs Kuchen" (3 Kings Cake).



Of course it was their expectations that I would miraculously produce one of these cakes. Even though never done before, I survived this challenge, but of course was not totally satisfied with the result. As my last consulting gig just ended and nothing new is ahead, this was now the time to tinker with this recipe and finalize it.


From my childhood memory I knew what I wanted to achieve, a "Wybeeribroetli" (raisin roll/bun) style roll, nicely brown and soft on the outside, with a nice yellowish spongy, regular, open and moist crumb. 7 of these buns with a large one in the middle would give then a 3 kings cake.



After only two trials I was happy with the result and my younger son approved the buns to be ready for prime time. 


Happy baking!


Thomas 



 



 



Have a look at the formula here: Rosinenbroetchen

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tssaweber

I just finshed my blog entry about our trip to the US Virgin Islands. Nothing bread worthy happend during this week, but I still would like to share one picture:


 


The story behind this sugar plantations is not that great, here the Danish played the exploiters, but to have something like this in my backyard... well on a island like this dreaming is permitted!! BTW they still use this WFO.


Thomas


(Click here to see more

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tssaweber

Yesterday my bread baking world got a strong hit! My wife dragged me in a nutritional health presentation. With most of the advice and recommendations presented I have no issue and I'm ok to eat raw vegetables, fruit, add parsley and cilantro to everything and drink green smoothies.


What really bothers me was that the presenter said that wheat is an extremely harsh food and the gluten in wheat is very bad for your health. Even my beloved sourdough multigrain rolls and bread she considers as bad.


I would be interested in what we as artisan bread bakers should answer to such an opinion.


 


Thomas

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tssaweber

To give my old KitchenAid a break I normally prepare two smaller batches of dough in a row, instead of one large batch. Unfortunately I forgot to account for the flour of the sourdough starter and adjust the flour of the first batch accordingly. No problem lets adjust the water with the second batch. What a stupid idea!! But with the slap and fold method of Bertinet (http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough) I was able to get myself out of trouble and the result was pretty good. But let the pictures talk:  


Everything is looking good the starter is doing its work




What a mess



Ok a little more work than planed but the dough is coming together



And I begin to like it again



Perfect.....



And the result, it smells and tastes so good.....


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tssaweber

This is the best song ever, The Bread Song:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFuhWnHtWWQ


 


Thomas

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Just a little sign of life to say hello and to show that I'm still happily baking, not as much as I would like too but still enjoying it very much.


The pictures show a freshly egg-washed Zopf and my spelt multigrain boule.


Thomas




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tssaweber

It has been quite some time since I posted on my favorite website. But (un)fortunately the business and consulting world is holding me up from blogging and bread baking. But before I disappear again in the offices of the corporate world in upstate NY, I wanted to share this picture I found by accident in one of my old bread books today.


 


My in-laws from Switzerland have celebrated New Year with us here in the super cold Midwest and brought a crown for the 3 Kings Day (1/6/2010) with them. Of course it was their expectation that I bake the traditional "Drei Koenigs Kuchen". I had to find a recipe for this to happen, but I guess I was successful.


 




I still have to work on the formula to fine tune it, but it is more or less an enhanced Zopf dough. If done I will post the formula. If some of the Swiss TFLer have their own it would be great if they could share. During the search for this recipe I found the page shared above. Of course now my quest begins to find all this cantonal formulas, bake and adapt them to the US environment.


 


Happy New Year to all.


Thomas

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tssaweber

Lady (most of the time) Oreo and I



are back home from our hunting trip. Looking in the freezer my return was needed (and hopefully appreciated) because that thing was empty, not a single piece of bread to be seen. Luckily I brought a frozen loaf of my simple cabin bread with me, so the next morning sandwiches for my older son and my wife for their lunches were possible. As I will be busy the next couple of days I decided to simulate a small bakery day and try to process 9kg or 20lb dough at once. On the plan I put Cabin Bread, Zopf or Swiss Sunday Bread, Farmers Bread (Ruchbrot) and Multi Grain Rolls (Vollkorn Brötli). I started in that order as my calculation indicated that this would work with available space, bulk fermentation, proof and oven times. This morning I finished the Multi Grain Rolls as I retarded fermentation of the dough in the fridge, this retardation ads to the tremendous flavor of this rolls.





These rolls are the favorite of my wife and developing the formula took some time. I'm very happy with the result and I have to make sure there is always a batch in the freezer for Sylvia's lunch sandwich. I also believe that the rye sourdough starter (St.Clair) I got from Mark Sinclair at the Back Home Bakery in Montana gave the rolls the additional flavor and that "something special".


 


Thomas


To print or download the formula go here and you can also listening to their "singing" when they come out of the oven: http://tssaweber.com/WP/thomas-bread-secrets/multi-grain-rolls-or-vollkornbrotli/

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tssaweber

 


I was ready to leave for our hideout in Wisconsin when I realized that I forgot to prepare bread to take with me. Now a week without my bread was not an option. I decided to (mis)use my rye sourdough starter St.Clair, just refreshed two days ago, and mix some dough together for my simple sourdough bread, take this dough with me and bake it in the cabin. To make the story short, I overestimated the strength of this Montana baby and the bread came out as a brick. Not too happy, I was still without bread, I looked at my options. What I found was a plastic bowl, 2 lb or 907 grams of Gold Medal AP flour, of course bleached etc., a package of active dry yeast and salt.



Well that should be enough to create a cabin bread. I mixed all the ingredients together in the bowl, measured the water with the empty root beer bottle (591ml) and stirred it together for a 65% hydrated dough. I took it out of the bowl and slapped and stretched it (Méthode Bertinet: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough) till it was a nice and firm dough. After an hour I stretched and folded (s&f) it once like Mark Sinclair (Méthode St.Clair) and then left it alone for 3 hours (had to go hunting). The cabin temperature was only 60°F so it worked out well and after this time the dough was ready for another s&f. In the meantime I heated the cabin to its normal 70ºF and after another hour, a s&f I shaped it into two loafs, let it proof for 30 min and put them in the 30 year old oven at 450ºF (more or less?). I added a little bit of water, I was afraid to much would kill this oldie, for steam, and 35 min later, tadaaa I had my simple cabin bread.




A little bit under proofed but ............ and was it good.


 


Und die Moral der Geschichte: sometimes simple things taste as good as the complicated stuff and of course I will not take bread with me from home anymore when I go up north.


 


Thomas


More pictures you find here: http://tssaweber.com/WP/2009/10/the-simple-things/

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