The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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txfarmer

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About 2 years ago, I made a mochi cake recipe for the first time (formula here), the rest, as they say, is history. The unique chewy texture from glutinous rice flour is what makes this cake stands out. As an extra bonus, it's very quick to put together.

My husband fell in love with this cake immediately, so much so that he asks for it all the time. No other desserts can compare in his eyes. The problem is that I HATE to repeat recipes. Usually I keep making something until I am satisfied with the result, then I move on -- which makes no sense because that means most of time we are eating my "failures". To compromise between his taste and my baking interest, I kept making different variations of this mochi cake, differ furthur and futhur from the original formula, making use of ingredients I have on hand.

-- Cocoa Mochi Cake
glutinous rice flour, 200g
cocoa powder, 25g
baking powder, 1tsp
sguar, 130g
evaporated milk,187g
butter, 85g, meltd
egg, 2, beaten
chocolate chips, some

-- Matcha Mochi Cake
glutinous rice flour, 220g
matcha powder, 5g
baking powder, 1tsp
sguar, 130g
evaporated milk,187g
butter, 85g, meltd
egg, 2, beaten
Chinese red bean, cooked, some

-- Pumpkin Mochi Cake
glutinous rice flour, 226g
pumpkin puree, 400g
baking powder, 1tsp
sguar, 100g
condensed milk,198g
butter, 113g, meltd
egg, 2, beaten
vanilla extract 1tsp

-- Sesame Mochi Cake
glutinous rice flour, 220g
black sesame powder, 40g
baking powder, 1tsp
sguar, 155g
milk,140g
heavy whipping cream, 47g
butter, 85g, meltd
egg, 2, beaten
black sesame, 2tsp

-- Banana  Mochi Cake
glutinous rice flour, 220g
baking powder, 1tsp
banana puree, 150g
sguar, 155g
milk,75g
heavy whipping cream, 47g
butter, 85g, meltd
egg, 2, beaten

-- Lemon  Mochi Cake
glutinous rice flour, 220g
baking powder, 1tsp
sguar, 165g
lemon juice,75g
heavy whipping cream, 50g
lemon zest, 10g
butter, 85g, meltd
egg, 2, beaten

For all the formulas above, the process is the same: mix together the dry ingredients (flour, powder, and baking powder), the wet ingredients (everything else), mix together wet and dry, pour into molds and bake at 350F until done. I like to bake them in cupcake molds. As you can see in the photos, sometimes I get inventive, and bake them in broiche molds, or something similar.

Glutinous rice flours are not created equal. If you use Koda Sweet Rice Flour (link here, which can be found in most grocery stores), the liquid amount should be about right, however if you use another brand (there are many brands of such flour in Asian market), liquid amount may have to be adjusted.

Now these days I use whatever diary/liquid I have on hand and add enough until the batter looks "right". Mochi cakes are supposed to be a bit sticky, but the crumb shouldn't be too wet. If cakes sink during cooking, they are most likely undercooked. For normal muffin tins, I usually bake them for 25-30min at 350F.

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Got a new hot dog pan recently, and found the attached recipe here. Reading through the comments, many people noted that the buns were a bit too dense. Going back to the formula, I noticed that the flour amount was much more than I would expected (I measured the volume comparing to the usual sandwich tin), and the dough was not kneaded that much. As I have posted before, for soft light volumious breads, intensive kneading to achieve a thin but tough windowpane is the key. After adjusting kneading process and flour amount, the rolls turned out to be very soft and light, not dense at all.

Note: fit one new england hot dog roll pan
Note: total flour is 250g

-levain
starter (100%), 13g
water, 22g
bread flour 41g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (75F) for 12 hours.

- Final Dough
bread flour, 153g
all purpose flour, 50g
butter, 20g (softened)
egg, 50g
sugar, 20g
salt, 5g
milk, 147g
levain, all

1. mix until stage 3 of windowpane (-30sec), see this post for details.
2. rise at room temp for 4-5 hours until double.
3. punch down, round, rest, roll out to the size of the pan, put into pan, rest for 20min, completely stretch out to fill all corners of the pan.

4. proof until 70-80% full, about 5 hours at 78F.

5 take an oiled cookie sheet, cover the pan with it, put something heavy on top, bake at 375F for 15min, take away the heavy thing and cookie sheet, bake uncovered until golden, about another 10-15min.

Flip over and we get the rolls

Light and soft, with even crumb, the flour used is 250g, comparing to the 400g in provided formula.

With lobster salad

Classic NE lobster roll, super yummy

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 By now, you all know that I never get bored with 36 hour sourdough baguettes, just keep making and eating them -- with a bit of variation each time

1) Rye sourdough, with dried lavender. Lavender adds a subtle herby fragrance to flavor profile.

 

AP Flour, 425g
ice water, 315g
dried lavender, 1TBSP
salt, 10g
rye starter (100%) 150g

-Mix flour, dried lavender, icewater, and autolyse for 12 hours.
-Mix in salt, starte, then follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here.


2)Rye sourdough, with caraway seeds. Such a classic combo, can't believe I just got to it now.

AP Flour, 425g
ice water, 315g
caraway seeds, 15g
salt, 10g
rye starter (100%) 150g

-Mix flour, caraway seeds, icewater, and autolyse for 12 hours.
-Mix in salt, starte, then follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here.

3)Rye sourdough, with millet for extra crunch and nutrition.

 

AP Flour, 425g
ice water, 315g
millet, 50g
salt, 10g
rye starter (100%) 150g

- soak millet in enought water overnight, drain
- Mix flour, drained millet, icewater, and autolyse for 12 hours.
- Mix in salt, starte, then follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here.

4) White starter, 20% spelt flour. Extra earthy flavor from spelt.

 

AP Flour, 325g
spelt flour, 100g
ice water, 315g
salt, 10g
white starter (100%) 150g

- Mix ap, spelt, icewater, and autolyse for 12 hours.
- Mix in salt, starte, then follow the basic 36 hour sourdough baguette formula here.


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No, I am not exaggerating. I took a trip to Antarctic earlier this year. At the end the voyage, we had a charity auction benefitting envirnment research groups for Antarctic. I set my eyes on this bottle of 10,000 old glacier water, $200 later, it's mine. How would I use it? Making a bread of course!

What's better than a traditional miche to complement the history of this water? The formual is based on the SFBI Miche posted a while back by David (here). I have made it before (here) with my own twist, this time I did the following:
1) I used all splet flour(150g) in levain, then some of it in final dough (75g spelt) to make spelt ratio to be about 20%. For the rest of flour in final dough (900g), I used Golden Buffalo High Extraction Flour.
2) Used my usual 100% white starter
3) Baked it in my large Staub cast iron pot. Preheated at 500F for nearly one hour, slash, load the loaf, cover, bake at 450F for the first 20min, remove lid, lower temp to 430F, bake for another 40min, turn off oven, open the oven door a little, leave the loaf (in the pot) in oven for another 20min before taking out.
4)My cast iron pot is oval so I shaped the dough into a batard, which is not the "usual" shape for miche.
5)The scoring was at the request of my husband: he want something that looks like "glacier", that's the best I could do.
Everything else remained the same, including the 2KG size, wheat germ amount, as well as fermentation/proofing schedule.

This formula never fails me, and this time it's no exception. A good thing, otherwise I would be wasting some very pricy water.

Wheat germ is the highlight of this formula, but this time, I can taste the spelt adding more layers of flavor.

Very meaningful and delicious bread. That bottle of glacier water was sacraficed for a good cause.

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Being slightly lactose intolerant, I usually drink soy milk and don't have fresh milk stocked. However, I do often make desserts with cream, so there's always a carton of heavy whipping cream in my fridge (BTW, I highly recommend the 40% Darigold Heavy Cream from Costco, insanely rich).

I have been trying to make a soft 30% rye breads with cream as the only liquid for a while now. Starting from previous similar recipes such as this one, I simply replaced milk with more cream and adjusted ratio to get the same dough consistency. While buns with such method have turned out great, sandwich loaves usually lack volume. Even when I knead the dough to perfection and watch the proofing process very closely, the loaves either don't rise as high as expected or collapse/tear during the final stage of proofing or baking. It seemed that the dough lacked support and structure. Remembering my previous experiences with such soft sandwich loaves, I increased the ratio of eggs in the recipe and that made a big difference. The sandwich loaf turned out to be very tall, and kept shape well throughout.

30% Rye Sourdough Cream Loaf with Arugula
Note: 15% of the flour is in levain
Note: total flour is 280g, fit my Chinese small-ish pullman pan. For 8X4 US loaf tin, I suggest to use about 300g of total flour. For KAF 13X4X4 pullman pan, I would suggest using about 480g of total flour.

- levain
rye starter (100%), 6g
water, 25g
medium rye flour, 36g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- final dough
bread flour, 196g (I used half KAF bread flour)
medium rye, 42g
sugar, 20g
heavy cream, 202g
salt, 6g
egg, 70g

1. Mix everything until stage 3 of windowpane (-30sec), see this post for details.
2. Rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.
3. Takeout, divide, round, rest for 1 hour. shape as instructed here for sandwich loaf.
4. rise at room temp for about 5-6 hours. For my pullman pan, it should be about 80% full; for US 8x4inch pan, it should be about one inch above the edge. The dough would have tripled by then, if it can't, your kneading is not enough or over.

5. bake at 375F for 20min, then 350 for 25min.

Tall and proud, even after cooling

Incredibly shreddy soft, cream made the loaf richer, but not overwhelmingly.

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For the rest of the heavy that's about to expire, I made butter+buttermilk out of it!

Who knew it's so easy, recipe can be found here.

Then made this very summery peach cobbler scone using the homemade buttermilk/butter.

Recipe can be found here

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The key to successful baking is ... not to misread the formula and add too much water. For the first try, I got a batter out of the 100%+ hydration "dough". Had to do some really intensive kneading to keep any kind of shape. After grated zucchini was added, it was even more wet and sticky. Turned out edible at the end, but not something I would recommend repeating.

The 2nd try was much better with ingredients correctly measured, phew...

bread flour, 283g
semolina flour, 100g
starter (100%), 135g
water, 245g
salt, 7g
grated parmesan, 100g
grated zuchhini, 150g, mixed in some salt and soak for 10min, squeeze out water as much as possible

2. Mix everything together but parmesan and zucchini, autolyse for 20 to 60min,mix @ medium speed for 3-4 min until gluten starts to develope.
3. Bulk rise at room temp (~75F) for about 3hrs. S&F at 30, 60, 90, 120min, 150min, 180min. At 60min, mix in parmesan and zuchini.
4. Shape, put in basketes smooth side down, put in fridge overnight. (I divided the 900g+ dough in two, the 650g one was shaped into batard, the other shaped into triangle.)
5. Next morning take the dough out to finish proofing, about 20min for me. Score.

6. Bake at 450F with steam(batard was put in preheated cast iron pot and cover with lid, the other triangle dough was put on preheated baking stone and pour water in another cast iron pan to create steam) for the first 15min, take out the pan with water, reduce to 420F keep baking for another 30-35min. Turn off oven and crack the door open a bit, and leave the breads inside for 10min before taking out.

Both the batard baked in pot, and the triangle loaf baked directly on stone, had good expansion.

Nice, moist, open crumb. Parmesan cheese really adds a lot to the flavor.

No idea why green zucchini became yellow specks in the bread

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Got some Mexican red chili powder and red pepper flakes, holy moly, are they hot. Made some nice stews, then my thoughts automatically turned to bread...

Spicy Light Rye Sourdough
Note: make a 900g loaf

- levain
whole rye, 77g
water, 61g
rye starter (100%), 8g

1. Mix and let rise 12-16hours.

- final dough
bread flour, 456g
water, 300g
salt, 11g
Mexican red chili powder, 1TBSP
Mecican red pepper flakes, 1TBSP
all levain

2. Mix everything, autolyse for 20 to 60min,mix @ medium speed for 3-4 min until gluten starts to develope.
3. Bulk rise at room temp (~75F) for about 2.5hrs. S&F at 30, 60, 90min.
4. Shape into batard, put in basketes smooth side down, put in fridge over night.
5. Next morning take the dough out to finish proofing, about 70min for me. Score.
6. Bake at 450F with steam(either put in preheated cast iron pot and cover with lid, or put dough on preheated baking stone and pour water in another cast iron pan to create steam) for the first 15min, take out the pan with water, keep baking for another 30-35min. Turn off oven and crack the door open a bit, and leave the breads inside for 10min before taking out.

Nice ears

REALLY nice crackling crust. Apparently steaming and baking temp/time hit the right combo this time, the crust is heavenly.

Since the chilis are potent enough, flavor is noticably spicy, which is just fine with me.

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4S stands for Semolina Spelt Sourdough with Sesame, courtesy of Wild Yeast's wonderful formula here. I stuck pretty close to the original, but eliminaed commercial yeast and increased hydration ever so slightly. The batard turned out well.

The S shape was... vague :P

I used white sesame instead of black ones, wonderfully fragrant just the same.

Even the S shape, without any scoring, had pretty open crumb.

-----------------


These blueberry scones are from Wild Yeast also, see link here. A very delicious, yet easy way to use up leftover starters.

 

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Got a lot of whey left after making ricotta (see here), which I used to make this sourdough bread. In addition to softening the crumb, whey also brings a very subtle sweetness to the flavor.

Whey Sourdough

bread flour, 325g
ww flour, 100g
starter (100%), 150g
whey, 296g
salt, 10g

2. Mix everything together, autolyse for 20 to 60min,mix @ medium speed for 3-4 min until gluten starts to develope.
3. Bulk rise at room temp (~75F) for about 3hrs. S&F at 30, 60, 90, 120min.
4. Shape into boule, put in basketes smooth side down, put in fridge overnight.
5. Next morning take the dough out to finish proofing, about 60min for me. Score.
6. Bake at 450F with steam(either put in preheated cast iron pot and cover with lid, or put dough on preheated baking stone and pour water in another cast iron pan to create steam) for the first 15min, take out the pan with water, reduce to 420F keep baking for another 30-35min. Turn off oven and crack the door open a bit, and leave the breads inside for 10min before taking out.


The dough wasn't that wet (only a part of whey is water), but crumb turned out to be very moist and open. Mouth feel is softer than usual hearth loaves, and slightly sweeter.

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Who knew it's so easy to make cheese at home? Followed instruction here, honestly effortless, and ricotta tastes so much better when made fresh at home with the best ingredients.

Made quite a few things with these cheese. First an asparagus ricotta tart with homemade puff pastry:

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Then a brioche-like rich sourdough bread roll, with red bean filling:

Note: makes 8 rolls
Note: total flour is 250g

-levain
starter (100%), 13g
water, 22g
bread flour 41g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- Final Dough
bread flour, 128g
whole wheat flour, 75g
butter, 50g (softened)
egg, 70g
sugar, 13g
salt, 5g
ricotta, 125g
water, 60g
levain, all

1. Mix everything except for butter , knead until moderate level of gluten developement, add butter, knead until the dough is even stronger. A relatively thin windowpane can be stretched, but holes can appear.

2. Rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.
3. Roll out flat, rest at room temp for one hour.
4. Roll into rectangle, smear on red bean filling, roll up, and cut into 8 portions. Put into molds.

5. Proof at room temperature until almost fully. About 5.5hours at 80F. When pressed the dough should slowly spring back a little bit.
6. Bake at 375F for 20-30min.

Soft, rich, and melt in the mouth delicious.

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Lastly, some ww savory ricotta chive knots with a plainer dough.

Note: makes 9 rolls
Note: total flour is 375g

-levain
starter (100%), 20g
water, 33g
bread flour 61g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- Final Dough
bread flour, 191g
whole wheat flour, 113g
egg, 105g
sugar, 11g
salt, 8g
ricotta, 75g
chopped chive, 20g
water, 109g
levain, all

- For Brushing
mix together some chopped chive, salt, and olive oil, heat then soak for at least one hour


1. Mix everything, knead until moderate level of gluten developement. A relatively thin windowpane can be stretched, but holes can appear.
2. Rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.
3. Divide into 9 portions, round and rest for one hour.
4. Roll into a rope, tie a knot.
5. Proof at room temperature until almost fully. About 5.5hours at 80F. When pressed the dough should slowly spring back a little bit. Brush with the chive & oil mixture.

6. Bake at 375F for 20-30min.

Very frangrant and soft

Perfect dinner rolls

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