The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I downsized from a 1500sq ft house with a 60s style kitchen best used for 60s style TV dinners. You know, no counter space. I am now in a small apartment with even less counter space and I'm still searching for storage space.

I have solved the counter space problem. A friend spoke highly of the John Boos JNS09 Maple Wood Top Stallion Work Table, Galvanized Legs, Adjustable Lower Shelf, 1-1/2" Thick, 48" Length x 30" Width (as Amazon lists it).

This is a heavy, ~100lbs, maple bench top on sturdy legs that hold an undershelf. I am not done finishing the top, only having applied four coats of penetrating oil. I apply three coats, then scrape the surface back to bare wood. This allows succeeding coats to further penetrate the wood without building up a thick surface coat which, when it cures, could chip off.

It is an absolute pleasure on which to work my dough. I wish I had got this when I first started baking. The top picture shows the bench top and a couple of sourdough, panned sandwich loaves cooling.

Back in the late fifties or early sixties, there was an oil well service company whose tag line for their ads was something like, "You don't have an oil well? Well, buy one." If I may steal, if you don't have a proper work surface for bread making, buy one. You won't regret it.

cheers

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

This weekend was a "disaster" in terms of baking waste. I don't even recall what I was trying to bake, but I got distracted and used the wrong quantity of water.  I determined this because the autolyse was very dry and when I weighed my container it was short by a whole lot.  Unfortunately, it was not possible to incorporate the missing water at this point. I tried to overcome the problem with time, and eventually the pools of water in my dough bucket began to subside and I had a crappy looking dough that felt awful.  More time passed and it seemed almost passable except for the tumors of hard matter which I can only assume were clumps of drier dough in the mix.

At this point, I had already started down the path of making the Forkish Double Fed Sweet Levain bread and given the huge quantities of discard that he calls for, I had enough to make four loaves by the end of the second feeding. (I did not do a full forkish feeding for the first one, but did so for the second).  When I got to adding the salt to the Sweet Levain dough, I realized I forgot to add it to the first dough disaster I had created, so I just dumped the mess into the trash and said, good riddance.  I promise to have my notebook nearby next time I bake so I can keep better track of things.

Anyway, back to the double fed sweet levain bread -- his process calls for 1/2 tsp of yeast, he says, because the levain he uses is not particularly active, having been recently fed before mixing.  I decided to experiment and skip the yeast for the first batch and then add the yeast for the second batch.  The second batch also contained rye and more ground white whole wheat.

The dough is supposed to grow 2-2.5 times in size, and the one with the yeast, which was started nearly an hour after the one without, rose admirably and allowed me to shape and put in the fridge before bed.  The second set of dough started an hour earlier and without the yeast was barely budging, I think it came to just above 1 liter in the cambro container when it started just below 1 liter. I had no idea how long it would take to get to nearly 3 liters, but I put the bucket in the pantry which is a bit cooler than the kitchen this time of year, and went to bed.

In the morning, my shaped and yeasted dough had grown quite a bit in the baskets and were ready to bake first thing (6:30 a.m.).  I had added rolled oats to the proofing baskets and even sprinkled them around the perimeter of the dough, in addition to using rice flour.  These babies dropped out without leaving any bits behind FINALLY!

Scored Dough

The loaves baked up very nicely though they did not open up much.

And, as you can see, the crumb is beautiful.  It is very soft. No sourness at all. Just lovely to eat.

Even though it was baked fresh that day, I decided to make some grilled cheese for dinner.  I have been using my cast iron skillets to grill my sandwich, using the second skillet as a panini press. This makes the bread toast up beautifully.  I am using coconut oil and cheddar. Yum!

Pedro Azambuja's picture
Pedro Azambuja

After a few days struggling with baking ciabattas with low-protein flowers sold here in Brazil (trying to achieve an open crumb), I took a one-day break from bread baking and tried this olive oil, orange, pound cake. It turned out pretty good. 

emkay's picture
emkay

I was in a Chad kind of mood this week, so I baked an 80% whole wheat boule ala Tartine.

Tartine 80% Whole Wheat

80% whole wheat flour
20% all purpose flour
5% wheat germ
85% water
2% salt
20% levain

  • 5 hours of bulk fermentation at room temperature (about 69 F) with S&F at 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 min.
  • Preshape and bench rest for 20 minutes.
  • Shape retarded in the refrigerator (about 38F) for 16 hours.
  • Baked in an enameled cast iron combo cooker at 450F for 45 minutes (cover on during the first 20 min).

The whole wheat bread tasted great, but it was a bit dense from being overproofed. 16 hours in the refrigerator is long time for 80% whole wheat, but my schedule didn't allow for baking it sooner. No biggie.

I bought some Cup4Cup, a gluten free baking blend made by Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry). I made cornbread muffins for a GF friend who would love to have cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving. She loved the muffins and so did I. I couldn't tell that they were gluten free, but I think cornbread is something that can be made with mostly cornmeal/polenta and no wheat flour and still taste just fine.

GF_Cornbread_Muffins

Macarons

macarons

I took a macaron class on Saturday. I have been making macarons on and off for a few years now. Sometimes they turn out perfectly, and other times not so much. I wanted more consistent results so I signed up for the macaron class at the San Francisco Baking Institute. I highly recommend the SFBI. Whether it's one of the week long courses or weekend workshops, it's a treat to learn from the talented and knowledgeable instructors in a facility with high quality equipment.

macaron_fillings

During the 8 hour class, the 24 students along with our instructor, Miyuki, made 15 different flavors of macarons. We learned the French meringue method (uncooked sugar) as well as the Italian meringue method (cooked sugar) for the shells. She exlained the differences between the two methods as well as the pros and cons. Most of the fillings were premade for us, but the students made variations on a 64% chocolate ganache. There was chocolate, chocolate orange, chocolate strawberry and chocolate cherry ganaches. The other flavors were peppermint, eggnog, chocolate praline, raspberry, pistachio, lemon, passionfruit, cassis, rose, vanilla, and mocha. Each student took home a big box of macarons.

macarons_box

CeciC's picture
CeciC

Recipe name

Pain De Mie

Revision

20% Wholewheat Condensed Milk

Revision notes

 

Product yield

529.00

Portions

1.00

Portion weight

529.00

Recipe's summary

Ingredient

Baker's %

Weight

Main ingredients

100.00%

203.00

Starter (100%)

6.40%

13.00

Flour

80.00%

162.40

Milk

59.11%

120.00

Condensed Milk

32.02%

65.00

Butter

12.32%

25.00

Salt

1.48%

3.00

Wholewheat Flour

20.00%

40.60

Egg (2 Yolk and 1 Wholeegg)

49.26%

100.00

Totals

260.59%

529.00

Add here general directions for the recipe

Stage1: Levain

Ingredient used (%)

25.25%

Ingredient

Usage%

Baker's %

Weight

Main ingredients

152.08%

26.96

Starter (100%)

100.00%

48.22%

13.00

Flour

25.25%

152.08%

41.00

Milk

18.33%

81.60%

22.00

Time required: 12:00:00

Totals

281.90%

76.00

Add here any specific directions for this stage

Stage2: Final Dough

Ingredient used (%)

79.80%

Ingredient

Usage%

Baker's %

Weight

Main ingredients

119.90%

135.11

Flour

74.75%

89.85%

121.40

Milk

81.67%

72.53%

98.00

Condensed Milk

100.00%

48.11%

65.00

Butter

100.00%

18.50%

25.00

Salt

99.97%

2.22%

3.00

Wholewheat Flour

100.00%

30.05%

40.60

Egg (2 Yolk and 1 Wholeegg)

100.00%

74.01%

100.00

From: Levain

100.00%

56.25%

76.00

Time required: 02:00:00

Totals

391.53%

529.00

Add here any specific directions for this stage

Got a question from my boss asking can sourdough be something else other than crunchy and chewy bread last week. I told her OF COZ we can sourdough can work it magic and transform a bread beyond our imagination like cake, biscuits and of coz different style of bread. Then I baked a batch of bagel and this Pain de Mie, just to show her that sourdough can be not sour and it can also be fluffy soft. 

This formula is adapted from Our well respected friend on this forum, Txfarmer, I have reduced the percentage of Condensed Milk and substituted wholewheat flour for some of the bread flour. It gives me full and complete flavor of wheat. I can proudly say that this is one of the best sandwich bread you will have. 

 

Untitled Untitled

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

A secret turning in us
makes the universe turn.
Head unaware of feet,
and feet head. Neither cares.
They keep turning.

Rumi - The Secret Turning

And so it came to pass that I ended up on "gardening leave" from my job, waiting for a release date so that I could start my new job.  It was, in fact, "baking leave" but only a handful of my colleagues understood this!!  On my first day home, as I tried to read through the overnight posts on TFL while recovering some sort of humanity via a cup of coffee, The Husband was wandering around the house in his sports kit, minus a sock, frantically looking for said sock, as one does.  I take comfort in the hope that I am not alone and that somewhere, out there, live many happy ladies whose beloveds run around looking in kitchen cabinets for a missing sock.  I have also wondered whether, perhaps, my parents pay The Husband a monthly stipend to do things like this.  Maybe he even has a blog somewhere called "Inexplicable Oddities and Bizarre Behaviours I have invented to drive my wife nuts".  Having duly ascertained that no stray socks lurked in our kitchen (cabinets or elsewhere), he stopped to ask me whether I really planned to spend my entire time off work making bread.   Hearing the answer, he nods briefly and says "OK.  Have you considered that you may need some form of counselling when you pick up your new job, I am worried about the withdrawal symptoms when you have to sit at your desk instead of baking…..".   It was too early for a glass of wine, so I gave him That Look and had another coffee.

I loved the SJSD so much, I wanted to try again.  Between the odd calls from "old work" and from "new work", mainly trying to find out what my news was, I pulled out my large mixing bowl and flour and set to it.  At this point, Mother calls.  After establishing that I am not at work, she offers up: "I hope you're not going to spend the whole time making bread!"  In lieu of an answer, I ask if she has been paying The Husband to do weird stuff around the house.  Silence.  More silence.  "Do you want to speak to your father?" she says.   And so, on with the SJSD.


A few small changes in the formula below, what with the Great Sock Palaver, I was distracted and added 50g each of rye and whole wheat, as opposed to 25g each.  As a result, I winged it a bit and added some more water to a total of 390g.  I also didn't have 100%n hydration levain to hand, so used the 80% hydration I had ready.

Bread Flour  450g
Rye  50g
Whole Wheat  50g
Water  390g
Salt 12g
Levain 150g (80% hydration, 50% bread flour, 50% whole wheat, 8hrs build)

1. Autolyse all flour and 350g water, 2hrs
2. Mix 40g water, 12g salt and 150g Levain
3. S&F 4 times at 30min. intervals, total time on counter is 3.5hrs
4. Cold Bulk Ferment - set in fridge for 22hrs
5. Preshape and bench rest for 20min
6. Shape and proof for a wee snippet over 1hr
7. Bake in DO, oven at 250C for 20min then reduce temp to 230C and remove lid at 25mins and continue to bake for another 15-20min

 


I got my courage together and decided to try for a swirly whirly scoring pattern, which led me to think of whirling and dervishes and therefore Rumi again, hence the turning poem.  This one was slightly more sour than my first attempt at SJSD, and again a delicious "universal" bread.  As expected, it passes The Husband test, and is declared to be tastier because it has a bit more tang.  He was terribly nice all evening, there was no mention of socks and he even offered to wash the dishes.   He got a little reward by way of a stray sock (discovered in the sock drawer, of all places), rolled up and tied with a big red ribbon, on his pillow.   

The lover's food is the love of the bread;
no bread need be at hand:
no one who is sincere in his love is a slave to existence.

Rumi - The Interest without The Capital

nmygarden's picture
nmygarden

Okay, so I'm here often, looking, reading, comparing, commenting, but mostly, mostly learning as much as I can as quickly as I can, and putting that knowledge to work. I'm grateful for the skill and generosity of the members - even when thoughts or advice presents differing experience or opinion, even controversy, it's offered in good faith and helpful to so many. Thank you all.

My work and commute combine and leave me with mere shreds of time in the evenings, so practicing and baking are pretty much confined to the weekends. But I'm making progress in a real way, learning to feel the dough, sensing its development, understanding the science and applying principles, judging and adjusting to influence the outcome. Among my most challenging lessons are gluten development and assessing proofing status. I struggle with each of them.

 Like so many here, my focus is artisan style breads made with natural sourdough starter, and though I truly respect those who dedicate themselves to mastering one or a few recipes before expanding to others, I can't do it... must experiment, must create, must make mistakes along the way. It's my nature.

This past week's bake was a two-fer, with one of them revisiting a past failure and the other following inspiration gathered here.

The revisit involved incorporating brown rice in bread. Not so exotic, except rather than cooking the rice, I soaked it in boiling water for a couple of hours. Oops, not good. So this time, the rice was fully cooked and incorporated into a multigrain dough, including 40% BF, 25% each Dark Rye and WW, 5% Polenta and 5% Oat Bran. I paid extra attention to developing the dough and not over-proofing. Made both progress and edible bread!

Here are the bottom and crumb...

With that one in process, it was time to satisfy my creative urge. After seeing a series of fruit-and-nut themed breads here, I wanted to take a turn and assembled my version, Fruited Earl Grey Tea Bread, with dried apricots and cherries soaked in strong Earl Grey Tea (also used as the liquid for the dough), plus toasted walnuts in a dough that included 60% AP flour, 30% Spelt and 10% WW, This one felt risky with all the fruit, so watched closely as it baked, and reduced the temperature in several increments to get a richly colored crust and have it baked through. Alas, the tea is a very faint afternote, but I'm happy with how the bread turned out, far from perfect, but acceptable and encouraging.

Thanks for looking and for your input, they are much appreciated.

Cathy

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It's been a busy week. I baked these loaves Monday and took some to my Italian class Tuesday evening where it was appreciated. I have tried this bread untoasted plain and with butter and with goat cheese and toasted with butter and with almond butter. All were very nice. The formula is from Hamelman's Bread.

Although my wife and I both enjoyed this bread a lot, among the various dried fruit/toasted nut sourdough breads I've made, I think we liked the sour cherry-pecan San Francisco-style Sourdough the best. But all have been really enjoyable.

Happy Baking!

David

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

I am testing this to see if this image looks better than my earlier blog.  ElPanadero mentioned that my photos are faded and yellow (I have been resizing them, as I have struggled to post multiple photos), so I just want to see if this photo looks better than the one I posted on my earlier blog, which has the recipe and other photos.  Phyllis

sunnybunnybread's picture
sunnybunnybread

  The recipe is from Peter Reinhart's <Whole Grain Breads>.

 

    I use wheat berries, millet, three colors quinoa.

 

 

    This is my first time baking sprouted grain bread, is it normal the crust likes paper thin?

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