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SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I baked this panettone for the first time last year HERE  and loved it so much I'm baking it for family and friends again this year.  No matter what formula you choose...do make a panettone, you will love it and want it everyear...and it's really not as difficult as it seems...really! 


It was done a little different from last years...mixing was done both KA and hand, toppings, fruits, brandy, liqueur and extracts.  I won't have a crumb shot, maybe in about 3 days.  I know the flavor really comes through with a little time...it just gets better and when it does begin to dry a little...Oh what delicious bread pudding..that is if there's any left.  Last year I used the chocolate topping from Susans wildyeastblog and this year a delicous plain Almond Paste topping.  I used all dried fruits.  I made 2 large panettone and 3 smaller ones..my new smaller panettone molds were found at Sir La Table and just arrived this afternoon...in time for the second batch.  I made double formula this year.


 


                                          


                                              Dried fruit blend with a little brandy, Disaronno, Fiori de Silica and extracts of orange, lemon


 


                                                                        This is a double batch of fruit.


 


                                The babysat, pampered for hours and for days now ready sponge.


                        


 


                                                  Cooling  -  I inserted the wooden skewers after they were baked - It can be done before the batter goes


                                                   into the paper molds...which is better...I forgot to do it before baking.  The bread is hot and you don't want


                                                   to squish it while inserting the skewers.


                                  


 


                                                      Cooled Panettone with Almond Paste Topping


                                                                        Almond Paste Topping Recipe


                                                                         1/2 Cup of good quality Almond Paste, room temperature


                                                                          3 Tablespoons of Bakers Sugar - I use bakers sugar in most of my pastry baking


                                                                           you can use regular granulated sugar.


                                                                            2 Egg Whites. 


                                                                  Beat until creamy and smooth consistancy from spreading, being careful not to deflate your


                                                                   panettone.  Add sliced almonds and pearl sugar.  Or you can use powdered sugar.  It can be


                                                                   also be refrigerated and rewhipped smooth before using.  I applied it very thick, love the crunch


                                                                   and flavor.


 


                                         


                                           My Italian neighbors lovely oranges, I use for citrus peel and zest.  Oranges in exchange for Panettone!


                                           They are delicious, their Cara Cara Oranges have the lovliest pinkish tinge and make gorgeous colorful peel.


 


                                                                 ADDED: Crumb shot, Mike couldn't wait another day! Just delicous addicting! 


                                                         


                                                                     The almond slivers seem to dissappear into the crumb but are a wonderful addition.


                                                          I had forgotten to purchase some and was so relieved when I found a new bag in my


                                                          freezer.


 


                                      


                                                         


                    Happy Holiday Baking!


                            Sylvia


                                                      


 


                         

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


Some of the breads I baked on Day 2



The second day of the Artisan II workshop was spent mostly baking the breads for which we had fed the levains and scaled the ingredients yesterday. We also mixed levains and scaled for tomorrows bakes. Classroom time was bits and pieces between dough foldings and during fermentation, but the content was very good.


The instructional goal of today's baking was to see the effects of different types and proportions of levains on flavor. We baked four breads which differed only in these respects.




  1. Bread made with a levain fed once a day. (All the others were made with levain fed twice a day.) This bread was notably more sour than any of the others.




  2. Bread made with liquid levain at 100% hydration. (All the others were made with firm levain at 50% hydration.) This bread had notably less acetic acid tang and a noticeable milky lactic acid flavor – very pleasant.




  3. Bread made with 40% firm levain.




  4. Bread made with 70% firm levain.


     




The last two were not very different from each other in sourdough tang, but the 70% levain bread had a less pleasant, “metallic” after taste, according to some. I didn't perceive the after taste myself. The main take away lesson was that the frequency of starter feeding has more impact on bread flavor than the amount of levain used in the final dough and that the use of liquid versus firm starter really does make a difference in the balance of acetic versus lactic acid flavor in the bread.



Preparing to taste the breads


In the classroom today, Frank reviewed the application of baker's math to breads made with levains and the SFBI's recommendations for levain maintenance for home bakers. I won't go over the baker's math topic, but I'm sure the recommendations for levain maintenance are of interest to many.


The SFBI staff clearly favors keeping liquid levains and twice a day feedings. They also favor keeping your mother/stock starter at 400-500 g. They say smaller amounts result in poorer flavor. However, they also favor feeding your starter in a manner which minimizes the amount of starter you end up discarding. This is accomplished by determining exactly how much starter to feed to get the amount of levain you need to make your dough and not making too much excess.


For a liquid levain feeding, the recommended formula is:


Flour 100% (75% AP flour + 25% WW)


Water 100%


Starter 40%


Again, it is recommended that you feed every 12 hours and that you do two feeding prior to mixing your final dough.


For a firm levain feeding, the recommended formula is:


Flour 100% (same mix as above)


Water 50%


Starter 50%


For the weekend baker, it is recommended that you feed your levain (liquid or firm) as follows:


Flour 100%


Water 50%


Starter 25%


And refrigerate this immediately after the feeding. Activation prior to baking should done with 2 feedings (as described above) at 12 hour intervals. In other words, to mix a dough on Saturday morning, the refrigerated starter should be fed Friday morning and Friday evening.


Frank told us that all of these recommendations derived from extensive experimentation with different formulas and schedules. SFBI staff believes that they result in the best tasting bread. (Need I say that, if your taste differs, you come out of this workshop knowing just what you need to change to get the flavor you prefer?)


At the lunch break, I asked Frank about the formula for miche in AB&P which violates almost all these recommendations. I have described this previously in my TFL blog. He thought this was interesting enough to provide the answer in the next class session.


Michel Suas' intension with his miche formula was to reproduce a bread as close to the traditional miche as possible, and that required knowledge of traditional French village home baking. In the old days – say 150 or more years ago – home made bread was mixed at home but taken to a communal oven or to the village baker to bake in a wood fired oven. The loaves were huge, by today's standards, because baking was a once-a-week chore. So, after the dough was mixed (before adding salt), a portion was removed to perpetuate the culture. This was fed through the week every day, without discarding any of the growing levain. On baking day, some additional flour and water were added, as well as the salt. But, the bulk of the dough consisted of the built up levain. Little additional fermentation was needed. The resulting loaf was very large, very dense and very, very sour. (Frank describes this with a look of disgust on his face.)


While today's breads were baking, we mixed the levains and scaled ingredients for tomorrow's bakes. We will be baking a variety of breads with levain that were made with commercial yeast during the Artisan I class: A whole wheat bread, multi-grain bread, rye bread and challah. We also fed our “from scratch” starters with which we will make breads Friday.


David


Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A


Thanks to all who encouraged me with this project. I baked my trial run in a case made out of parchment, with a card and parchment bottom, moulded around the outside of a coffee tin, glued with flour and water paste. This was enough to take 500g of dough. The homemade case lasted the test run but got a bit battered. The high shape was also a bit hard to bake out.  It has a Shakerish charm when spruced up with ribbon but was coming apart at the seams a bit after the bake. However, It did the job and I have now ordered some of the Italian cases.

I looked at a range of formulae for panettone but knew that I wanted to use natural leaven. I was also keen to use an Italian recipe. The formula was an adaptation of a natural leaven panettone milanese from an Italian pastry chef, suggested by Nico. (Putting the URL in Google translate gets an English version for just over 2kg). I scaled this down to slightly less than 500g, reduced the fruit content a little and added lemon zest and a glaze. I reduced the fruit content in line with other formulae because I thought too much fruit would make a dense cake. However I didn't anticipate how much the cake would rise in the oven so will consider scaling it up again slightly. 

I also watched quite a few videos of Italian versions of panettone making posted by TFLers over the years, to get some idea of technique. The main difference was that I would be mixing by hand and most bakers I saw used a dough mixer or special kneader to mix the dough. Nevertheless, one of the videos described the kneader as mimicking the movement of 'a man's hands' so I guess the dough must have been trough needed originally? Well that was it - I could do this with 'a woman's hands' LOL. Andy suggested air kneading, which I use regularly for sourdough. It proved to be a very efficient way to develop the dough: More on that below. 

Below I've given my scaled down formula plus notes on method, particularly when I did things slightly differently from the original. Most departures were to make the dough easier to hand mix, in ways that were meant to keep the integrity of the formula.

This is a beautifully balanced formula. It is not particularly sweet or buttery, which I think makes the dough easier for a beginner to handle. This also suits our tastes, although other bakers may prefer a more enriched formula. Nonetheless, it is shot through with beautiful, intense burst of flavour due to the peel, limoncello coated raisins, zest and essences. It is possible to make more enriched dough with this formula. Nico reports that up to 120g of both butter and sugar per kilo may be added. As the fruits give a lot of the flavour it’s worth making your own or going for a flavoursome store brand. I was wary of overdoing the essence this time and making the dough too 'perfumey': However I will try slightly more next time. Now I’ve kneaded it once I may try a bit more butter, to compare, but will keep the sugar content low, particularly as using the raisin yeast adds subtle fruit sugars.

Do try this formula if you can. It's time consuming but I also found it soothing to just be rhythmically mixing and forming the panettone. Fills the house with gorgeous scents too! When cut into it had an airy crumb (phew), and tasted delicious. This formula suited us down to the ground and was a great find – thanks Nico!

Some notes on initial preparation.

3-4 days before baking: strengthen your leaven.

Many of you probably know this already, but it was interesting for me to learn how traditional Italian artisan panettones use a special stiff, sweet leaven. Instructions for making this are on the original link. Susan at Wild Yeast, whose detailed post on panettone baking was a great help, also gives a way of preparing a leaven, based on a regular sourdough.

Such leavens have strong raising power but are not particularly acidic. They can take a sweet dough through a long fermentation without being broken down and without giving too sour a tang to the final dough.

This type of leaven is traditionally refreshed every 4 hours for several days before being used. However as I have to be away from the starter for several hours at a time I did what Susan did and refreshed it at least twice a day over several days, stepping up feeds the day before baking.

Over the last few weeks I have been using a leaven refreshed with raisin yeast water. This has proved to have very strong raising power. I also thought that as the yeast had grown strong in the presence of a lot of sugar from the raisins, it would cope well with enriched dough. This proved to be the case :-). More about making a raisin yeast water leaven plus much more on fruit and vegetable yeasts is on this thread, started kindly by RonRay, with great additions from Akiko and Karin.

Following Susan's method I also used a gram of fresh yeast in Dough 1. I'm not sure I'd do that again as the power of the raisin leaven was awesome. I know from baguette making that over 12 hours even 1 g of yeast can produce a good rise. However the dough only needed to treble and it quadrupled on an unheated bench! Next time I think I will rely on the raisin yeast alone.

The Italian instructions are for a leaven of about 44% hydration, fed with the flour used in the final dough. There is much debate about what flour to use for panettone. For the second dough I used only Waitrose Canadian Very Strong White Bread Flour at 15% protein. This indeed lives up to its name. I used a mixture of 66% of this flour and 34% of Italian Alimonti Organic Type 00 at 11% protein in the first dough, to give me a little bit extra extensibility as well as strength.  I do have to say though, following advice from Nico, that I think using a strong flour in this formula is key to getting a strong dough and good aeration.

My first test leaven for this project was around 50% hydration, fed with raisin water and the 66/34 flour mix. However in the end I did not use this but went back to my usual leaven. I’m not sure if it was because the Canadian flour is so strong and my yeasts had not been fed it before, or b

ecause low ambient temperatures slowed fermentation, but this mix produced a leaven that rose but which was so strong that it tended to ping in on itself. In the end it fermented less well than my normal leaven.

Since my normal leaven had shown great rising power when used in sourdough, I switched back to that. This is a mix of existing starter, raisin water and 50/50 Waitrose Own plain white and plain wholemeal flours in 1:1.5:2 ratio (approximately 64% hydration?) I refreshed this over 3 days, moving as close as I could to 4 hourly feeds in the day before baking.


Day before baking


Dough 1 is prepared and ingredients are laid out for the next day.


Although raisins traditionally go into panettone dry, as Nico pointed out they also benefit from being soaked in limoncello overnight!


Had only a limoncello miniature :-( so shook raisins in enough limoncello and grappa to just coat them and left them in an airtight container on the bench. This made the limoncello flavour less intense but also meant that they were drier when used and so easier to work into the dough. The limoncello did provide a beautiful flavour, nonetheless. 


One panettone baker on video stresses setting out all the ingredients for the next day, the night before. I guess in bakeries you need to keep to this discipline. I was doing panettone after hours of paperwork for a Friday deadline, so finished first dough at 2am. and was reeling. I prepared the raisins but really wish I had done it all, even down to breaking eggs and keeping them in containers in the fridge. Had spare white but not yolk. Would have saved me up to 3/4 of an hour the next morning, while the leaven was fizzing like a volcano. Didn't help that we arrived to buy candied peel after the super-organised bakers who made their fruitcakes in September had bought the best of the bunch and that I decided that what had been left at the store was too wan. I then hastily threw my own together with organic orange peel, honey, grappa and sugar syrup while I did other things! Was yum, though.


Baking day


Sees the addition of Dough 1 to Dough 2, any decoration you might care to do and the baking and hanging of the panettone. Have been told it's better after 2 day's curing. Oh no…I was like a child at Christmas. Can I open it yet?


The formula and method are below, with notes at the end about where my method was an adaptation of the original and what I might do differently another time.


Have to say the first thing is I would do differently is have a good breakfast!  My husband sat down to sourdough toast and eggs and would gladly have done some for me. However the leaven had risen so high that I just grabbed a bowl of muesli and ran! Several hours later I felt a bit giddy and realised I hadn't had very much to eat all day. Worth having a hearty breakfast, as although it is pleasurable mixing this by hand, it also demands endurance. Well worth it, however!



As a beginner baker, normally baking alone, one of my key needs has been to know more or less what the dough is meant to look like at different stages. When dealing with sweet dough for the first time, I was really helped by the detailed pictures and write up of such doughs given on txfarmer's blog. Many thanks for that tx.


I have included some pictures below, hoping they might be of some value to others. My apologies if some are dim as they were taken in low light in short time gaps between baking stages. Row 1 is Dough 1 and after that Dough 2. Dough 1 also had egg in it but that stage was so messy no photos were taken! Dough 2 pictures on Row 2 start after egg has been added. Air kneading is on this link. Be forewarned, however, the video can take up to 10 minutes to load. 









Below is more information on formula and method. Have done my best with this, but maths is not my strong suit. I would be glad to be told of any errors. Spare column is for any bakers who want to add baker’s percentages. I’ve also kept this column in case I have a sudden upsurge in maths skills and want to add them myself!

Hydration of total formula: (71 water 23 raisin water) 94/153 (97+38+9+9) = 61% (Please note raisin water also contains sugar and yeast but I couldn’t estimate how much. Working hydration might therefore be slightly lower.)

Updated: Just trying this again and noted 9g more butter has to be added to final dough so added this to chart for Dough 2. Is already in Total Formula. Apologies for inconvenience!

Total Formula: Dough

Weight

 

Waitrose Very Strong Canadian White Flour (15% protein)

97g

 

Italian Alimonti Organic Type 00 (11% protein)

38g

 

Waitrose plain white flour (in leaven)

12g

 

Waitrose plain wholemeal flour (in leaven)

12g

 

Water 

71g

 

Raisin yeast water (I added an extra 10g of raisin water to Dough. This is not included here)

16g

 

Fresh yeast

1g

 

Salt

2g

 

Sugar

39g

 

Honey

5g

 

Egg yolk

40g

 

Softened butter

39g

 

Raisins (coated with grappa and limoncello)

50g

 

Orange peel

50g

 

Mixed natural vanilla and orange water essences

2g

 

Lemon zest

2g

 

Total

476g

 

 

Initial leaven

Weight

 

Plain and wholemeal starter at approx. 64% hydration

9g

 

Raisin yeast water

13g

 

Plain white flour

9g

 

Plain wholemeal flour

9g

 

Total

40g

 

 

First Dough

Weight

 

Flour mix (66% Canadian, 34% Italian 00)

111g

 

Water

71 g

 

All leaven

40g

 

Fresh yeast

1g

 

Sugar

30g

 

Egg yolk (1 egg plus little extra)

20g

 

Softened butter

30g

 

Total

303g

 

 

Final Dough

Weight

 

First Dough all, from above

303g

 

*Canadian flour only*

24g

 

Egg yolk (1 egg this time!)

20g

 

Butter

9g

 

Sugar

9g

 

Honey

5g

 

Salt

2g

 

Liqueur coated raisins

50g

 

Orange peel

50g

 

Lemon zest

2g

 

Natural vanilla and orange flower water oils (1 coffee spoon)

2g

 

Total dough

476g

 

Glaze

Weight

 

Almond flour

10g

 

Bread flour

2g

 

Sugar

12g

 

Lemon zest

2g

 

Cocoa powder

1g

 

Egg white (see note below)

16g

 

Total glaze

43g

 

Total panettone weigh, pre-baking, with glaze

519g

 

 

Stage

Method

Preparing panettone leaven

Started to strengthen at least 3 days before, feeding at least twice a day.

Left the leaven covered on the bench.

Day before baking fed it as close to every 4 hours as possible.

Mixing of first dough

Weighed the leaven into a large mixing bowl.

Mixed fresh yeast with sugar, added water at 40C (ambient temperature was only C19. Adjust as necessary).

Poured this solution over the leaven and mixed with a dough whisk to a milky consistency.

I then added the flour and autolysed for 30-40 minutes.

In the bowl, mixed in egg by folding over into the dough with a spatula until there were no visible liquid bits on the outside to fly off when air kneaded.

Then air kneaded dough with oiled hands until the egg seemed well incorporated but the dough was not overworked.

At this stage it looked like a glistening, thick mayonnaise.

Put dough back in the bowl, folded in softened, cubed butter and air kneaded again, until butter was well incorporated.

The dough seemed a bit dry so I added 10g more raisin water, which effectively added more yeast. However please see note below and be led by your own dough. :-)

Temperature

Milanese formula suggests most of the preparation for baking be done at an ambient temperature of 20-22C.

First proof

The first dough was then left on the bench at room temperature for 12 hours, as in the Milanese recipe. Adapt as needed.

Mixing of final dough

First ingredients added to Dough 1, in the order indicated in the Milanese method:

Placed Dough 1 in the bowl: Mixed in flour, honey, salt, sugar

Formed into a ball.

Added the egg and incorporated them in the bowl; Added the butter and began to incorporate it in the bowl.

As I was hand mixing I departed from the Milanese method, at this point and did the following (see notes below for more detail):

Air kneaded in timed 10 minute ‘shifts’, testing the windowpane at each stage.

The dough was coming together well after 10 minutes.

After 20 I could pull and sustain a thin windowpane.

After 30 I could pull the dough to 'latex glove' consistency. 

I then chopped the fruit in using a bench scraper/Scotch cutter.

The dough is then left to rest for an hour.

Shaping

With oiled hands, I shaped the mixture into a rough ball and dropped it into the well-greased panettone ‘case’.

Second proof

Proofed at room temperature until the dough reached just below the top of the case.

Preparation for baking

Glazed the top of the panettone with a glaze based on one used by Nico for colomba and added cocoa. Topped with some blanched almonds. Glaze formula above.

I had heard about forming 'ears' on the panettone, but was not sure how to achieve this. Have since learnt from correspondence between Eric and Nico how this might be done.

Preheated oven to 180C

I left 2 small fajita trays at the bottom of the oven so that I could add some water in the second half of the bake. This does not turn to steam but provides humidity.

Baking

The Milanese method suggests baking for 1 hour at 180C for 1kg. In my oven, the 500g needed about 35 minutes. I suggest you adjust for your own oven. Mine is quite weak.

I added a small amount of water to the small fajita pans for the second half of the bake to aid humidity. The pans were not hot enough to create steam.

I needed to tent the panettone after 20 minutes with aluminium foil, to prevent the top burning.

Advised internal temperatures for panettone range from 185-190-200F. Mine peaked at 187F.

Cooling

Cooled upside down on skewers, overnight. 

Left 2 days before cutting. Note: That bit was hard!

 

Further notes:

Preparing panettone leaven: (See notes at top of blog about how the method in the grid differs

from traditional Milanese preparation).

Mixing of first dough: In one of the Italian videos, I saw bakers start mixing by making a syrup solution in a machine. This seemed a good approach for hand mixing as I find sugar harder to incorporate by hand than either eggs or butter.


I used some fresh yeast, as the raisin yeast was untested in sweet dough. However I think the raisin yeast would have been enough. It is, however, possible to mix fresh yeast with regular sourdough and get a great result, as Susan does.


Very few methods for mixing panettone call for autolysis. Many, and particularly those for mixers, call for all ingredients to be incorporated at once. However I find it hard to imagine making bread now, without autolysis, particularly when the method calls for strong gluten formation, as this one does.


The Canadian flour is very strong and sucks in water. The raisin water is also stickier than filtered water. After mixing the first dough looked a little dry to me so I added 10g extra raisin water.


This was a departure from the formula so be led by your own dough at this stage. In my case adding raisin water also added more yeast.  Also I see on the videos that the traditional Italian first doughs look quite firm.


Temperature and first proof: Ambient temperature in our house was around C19 at this point, falling to 15C at night. The recipe recommends an ambient temperature of 20-22C throughout the whole process. Lower temperatures did not retard the first dough, however, as it quadrupled in 12 hours.


I was worried the dough had gone over and that given the next ‘feed’ only included 24g of flour, it would not have power to do the second rise. This was unfounded as I hope you can see from the pictures above! However, next time I would try to take the dough off when trebled.  I would also try to weigh all ingredients for Day 2 the evening before, if possible so that I could add part 2 straight away if Dough 1 was very well developed.


Mixing of final dough: After adding the butter, I made some strategic departures from the method of the Milanese formula, in order to help the hand mixing. The method recommends that the fruit be added before mixing. When the fruit is incorporated no more kneading is done and the final dough is left to rest for 1 hour.


However I didn’t feel that I could mix a strong enough dough by hand without further kneading.


Thanks to Andy’s great advice I was also going to air knead and I wanted to mix and test the dough to full windowpane without having to bother about bits of orange peel and raisins flying in all directions!


Following Andy’s advice again, I cut the fruit in once the dough had reached a very strong windowpane.


I have never worked a dough to a very strong windowpane before. In fact I’ve never done such an enriched dough before. However I hope you can see from the picture at the start of Row 3 that the dough was very strong and pulled to ‘latex glove’ consistency. (My dh was at the shops at the time I took this picture so I got my friend ET to do the windowpane!). Joking – if ET had been there I would have got him to help with the mixing!


I was a bit concerned about spotting dough readiness but found, once started, that I had a sense of the dough I didn’t have when I started baking. For example, at one point I decided to rest the dough. I checked the timer and it had 4 seconds to go! Uncanny but I guess these skills build up?


However one of the things that helped me the most in terms of judging the strength of the dough was the picture of a strong windowpane that txfarmer gives on this post. Many thanks for giving such a clear illustration. Without it I think I would have stopped too soon.


Second proof: Milanese method suggests ¾ of an hour at 22C for this. However at lower ambient temperature this took about 2 hours, including ¾ final warming under plastic wrap with a bowl of hot water to take the dough from 19C to 24C.


Glazing: I glazed when the dough was just below the top of the case. Egg white was very ‘gloopy’ and hard to measure accurately, so 16g is an approximation. It could have been nearer 19g. I'd say be guided by how well your own mixture holds together. The ideal consistency, following Nico’s colomba method, is that of a ‘dense cream’. I added almonds on top in a star shape. Will place even closer together next time, if I use them, as the panettone rose so much the almonds ended up more like a fringe. Might invest in some pearl sugar next time, although may also use only a simple glaze so that dry ingredients don't risk impeding the crust expansion. (Have done this now in the wider panettone moulds and almonds in a ring in the middle weighed down the fragile dough so I think I would split the nuts and scatter or space them more widely, as seen on Sylvia, breadsong and txfarmer's panettones).


Baking: Thanks to the foil tent, the panettone top did not burn but it was vulnerable because of the abnormally tall homemade case. I think 500g of dough would bake out more evenly in a lower case.


I also greased the panettone case like a mad thing, because I was sure it would stick. In the end I peeled it off anyway, so this may have been superfluous and may have reduced browning? Any ideas on that front welcome.


However, I recommend the tenting technique over turning the oven temperature down to avoid burning the top, as suggested in some methods. I found, with a relatively weak oven, that when I dropped the oven temperature, the internal temperature of the panettone dropped from 186F to 177F.


Checking with a digital probe used outside of the oven that the temperature had climbed again, took so long that the panettone began to wobble on its base like a drunk at the bus stop. Crimped a bit but didn't collapse. Was a close run thing so won't do that again! Will either tent earlier or get a thermometer that can be inserted while the panettone remains in the oven.


My first panettone milanese: notes on the trial run, formula and method, with thanks for all advice! Daisy_A 2010




© Daisy_A 2010 FIrst published on The Fresh Loaf, December 15, 2010 at 12.22 GM time. I love to share bread stories and read other bakers' posts about bread. If you republish this page for 'fair use' please acknowledge authorship and provide a link to the original URL. Please note, however, I do not support the unauthorized and unattributed publishing of my text and images on for-profit websites..

msmarguet's picture
msmarguet

12-12-10 was a big day for me. 


it was the day i mastered the baguette. 

i have spent years trying. i've rolled hundreds of failures. i burned out the heating element in our oven. there were many times when i thought about bagging it. after all, i have big successes with the batard and the boule.

making a baguette is at once simple–flour, yeast, water, salt. and yet baffling–the dough is sticky and wet, more like a thick batter, so it's confounding to roll. and the shape is long and skinny . . . seemingly impossible to get into a blazing-steaming-hot oven. 

          the real deal is only 5-6 centimeters in diameter (a little less than 2.5") and weighs only 250 grams (just under 9 oz.). the crumb is light, airy and full of holes. the crust is crackling-crisp and sends little shards flying when you cut into it with a bread knife. to make baguettes i use a metric scale and a tape measure, a stone, tea towels, a mini-peel, wooden tongs . . . and patience.

i was alone in our kitchen when i got those first two good baguettes into the oven. i saw them spring through the dirty glass window of the oven door, and like so many baking mornings before, my husband and dogs were asleep. it was dark outside and the snow falling looked blue. my kitchen was orderly just like it ordinarily is. after the loaves cooled i cut into one and tasted a center slice to confirm i had done it. there was a quiet gratification in that solitary moment . . . an unexpected flash in a routine day that was significant, if just to me. i've made fresh loaves both mornings since then, and each time i've been happy to pull that same satisfaction from the oven. and i am looking forward to stretches of days out in front of me when i will again find happiness in the craft of something as basic as making bread.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


 


The Artisan II Workshop at The San Francisco Baking Institute is all about sourdough bread. The first day of the SFBI Artisan II workshop is spent mostly in the classroom. The instructor reviewed the content of the Artisan I workshop and then introduced basic concepts of sourdough baking with emphasis on starter elaboration and maintenance. At the end of the first day, there is a quick review of baker's math.


In the bakery, we started elaborating a new sourdough culture with which we will be making bread on Friday. We also scaled the dry ingredients and mixed the levains for 4 different breads we will be making on Day 2


Our instructor for Artisan II is Frank Sally. My classmates are a different mix from that of the Artisan I workshop I attended in August. This group is almost entirely professional bakers who have come from Australia, New Zealand and New Jersey, among other exotic places.



Frank (in the center) and some of my classmates



A couple of my bench mates, both professional bakers from Australia (on the left) and New Zealand (on the right)



Mixing levains and scaling dry ingredients for mixing final doughs tomorrow



Our scaled ingredients awaiting tomorrows mixes


Much of the material presented today was familiar, but Frank touched on a few concepts which, while not completely new to me, I'd never thought much about.


He spoke of the “mass effect,” which occurs during bulk fermentation. He could not tell us the mechanism, but said that there is improved flavor development when the dough weighs more than 2 kg. Most of us home bakers generally work with batches of dough smaller than this most of the time. Evidently, we are missing out on some flavor enhancements by doing so.


Frank described the differing rates of growth of homofermentative and heterofermentative bacteria during sourdough elaboration. The former develop earlier. Moreover, it takes longer for the acetic characteristics to develop in the starter due to the greater volatility of acetic acid compared to lactic acid. This is a factor in the well-known improvement in flavor complexity as a new starter is fed over the first weeks. It takes about 3 weeks for a good stable balance of yeast and the various lactobacilli to develop


These differences also effect the balance of acetic versus lactic acid one can manipulate through differences in feeding schedules. More frequent feedings result favor lactic acid production. So a once a day feeding schedule yields a more tangy starter than a twice a day schedule.


The first set of breads we will be baking will provide comparisons between 1) once a day versus twice a day levain feedings, 2) liquid versus firm starters and 3) breads made with different proportions of starter (relative to the amount of dry flour in the final dough).


Stay tuned!


David


 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

My 30+ year old recipe card says this is Swiss Egg Bread.  I have no idea where I got this recipe, and I have looked it up by name on the web and found many versions that are similar, but none that are exactly the same as mine.  I do know that, whatever it's true name, this is a wonderful bread.  It makes excellent toast, which is my favorite.  It is popular with the neighbors for sandwiches and for French Toast as well.  I have been baking it every year at Christmas time and giving it away, for 30 years, and it has been popular wherever I have sent it.  I won't try to defend the use of Crisco in this recipe.   I bake it as it was given to me, and we like it.  I'm sure other fats could produce acceptable results.  Try them if you are averse to Crisco, or welcome a challenge.


In the original form the recipe below was stated by volume, but I have successfully converted it to weight, and I get much better results than I did when I baked it by volume.  Also, it is a big recipe that makes four 9" x 5" pan loaves if you use the full measure.   The recipe is very reminiscent of Challah and has similar consistency, and while I have never baked this as a stacked-braid loaf I think it would do well that way.


Here is the recipe I use, as converted to weights.


SWISS EGG BREAD
Makes 4 large ( 9" x 5" ) pan loaves


                            WT (grams)
PART I - The Sponge
WARM MILK                    1044  (I use 1 quart of whole milk)
ADY                                           9
WARM WATER                    79
SUGAR                                   24
AP FLOUR                           468


 


PART II - Main Dough
AP FLOUR                            1300
MELTED SHORTENING      188 (I use 1 stick of Crisco)
SUGAR                                       95
SALT                                           12
LG EGGS (6)                           390 (You will have to adjust flour based, at least, on true egg size)


Method
Poolish:
Scald the milk, then cool to lukewarm
If using Active Dry Yeast: Disolve yeast and sugar in the warm water and allow to proof
If using Instant Yeast: Add sugar and water to milk and stir to disolve sugar
                                 Reduce yeast quantity by 20% and mix instant yeast into flour
Combine milk, yeast and flour mixtures and beat with a spoon or whisk till smooth.
Cover and set aside. Allow to rise until light, about an hour or so.


Dough:
Add main dough ingredients, holding back 150 grams of flour. Stir, adding reserved flour, until it
clears the sides of the bowl. When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, transfer it to a well floured
surface and knead in flour till dough is tacky but not sticky. Knead by hand until dough is soft and
smooth, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and
set aside to rise until doubled in bulk.


Shaping:
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Divide each piece into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece
into a rough log. Go back to the first and roll each piece out into a rope about 14" long.
Braid 3 pieces into each loaf, making four loaves. Pinch the ends and tuck them under
and place each into a 9"x5" loaf pan prepared with your preferred release. Cover and set
aside to rise until doubled.


Baking:
Brush each with egg wash of 1 yolk + 1 Tbsp cold water.
Bake in 350F oven for 40-50 minutes, turning after 35 minutes to brown evenly.
Remove from pans immediately and brush tops liberally with melted buter.
Cool on a wire rack.


As I said, this is a big recipe, and it produces 4 big loaves like this:


This bread has a very cake-like crust when you don't put too much flour into it, but it also keeps well.


Here is a crumb shot:


And this is a closeup of the crumb:


 


My personal favorite uses of this bread are for breakfast buttered toast with or without jam, and with cheddar cheese in a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich.


Enjoy!
OldWoodenSpoon

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde


 


After my baking hiatus, I needed to take another try at variations on my “San Francisco Country Sourdough”.  I made three mini-baguettes and a 800 gram boule. 


IMG_1856


I wanted to try this bread with my new favorite flours--Central Milling Co.’s Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft (with malted barley) in place of AP flour, and Central Milling Co.’s Organic Type 85 in place of the whole wheat. Making the BBA Poilane-Style Miche Saturday involved making a larger quantity of liquid levain (what Reinhart calls his "barm") than I needed for the Miche, so I used some leftover levain for the SFCSD.


Once I got all the math done to adjust for the different hydration in the BBA levain, it was all pretty simple.  The mixing, fermenting, dividing, shaping and proofing pretty much followed my previous techniques for this bread. 


The baguettes were proofed on the wondrous linen couche from SFBI, and I’m pretty pleased with the scoring and grigne.  The boule was proofed in a linen-lined banneton.  I tried a different scoring pattern; ok, it ain’t artistic, but it spung.


My main experiment was baking the boule in a cast iron Dutch oven (Lodge 5 quart “Double Dutch Oven”).  I did not preheat the DO, though the oven was pre-heated.  I loaded the loaf on parchment in the lid of the DO.  It didn’t get any color in the first 12 minutes covered, but it sprung some.  Maybe 15 minutes covered would have been better.


IMG_1850


It took almost an hour of total baking time to get the right color and internal temperature. Maybe the longer baking time was due to using a lower shelf in my oven to make room for the DO.


In any case, all four loaves came out well.  The flavor of the baguettes is wonderful, but not noticeably different than with KAF flours.  The malt in the Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft may have added a bit to the dark roan color.


IMG_1851


IMG_1846


IMG_1855


Here’s the whole formula.


 


San Francisco Country Sourdough (12-12-10 variation)


Yield: Two 750g  Loaves or Three Mini-Baguettes (235g each) and one 800g Loaf


   


Ingredients


LIQUID LEVAIN BUILD


140 grams KAF bread flour


140 grams water


26 grams active starter (75% hydration) 


FINAL DOUGH (66% hydration, including levain)


660 grams   Central Milling Organic Artisan Bakers Craft flour (85.7%)


65 grams  Central Milling Organic Type 85 flour (8.5%)


45 grams   BRM Whole rye flour (5.8%)


456 grams   Water at room temperature (59%)


17 grams   Salt (2.2%)


306     Liquid levain  (40%)


   


Directions


1. LIQUID LEVAIN:  Make the final build 8 to 10 hours before the final mix, and let stand in a covered container at about 70°F.  The levain should be bubbly and gluey.  It can be refrigerated once it has activated; if you refrigerate it, make sure you adjust the water temperature in the final dough to compensate.


2. MIXING: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the levain, but not the salt. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary.  Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for an autolyse phase of 30 to 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, and finish mixing 5 minutes. The dough should have a medium consistency.  


3. BULK FERMENTATION WITH S&F:  3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl twice 30-strokes at 45-minute intervals.  Place dough ball in lightly oiled bowl, and stretch and fold on lightly floured board at 45 minutes.


4. RETARDED BULK FERMENTATION (optional):   After second S&F on board, form dough into ball and then place again in lightly oiled bowl.  Refrigerate 8-20 hours, depending on sourness desired and scheduling convenience.


5. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: Divide the dough into two  pieces (or more for baguettes) and pre-shape.  Let sit on board for 30 minutes, and then shape into boules or batards or baguettes.


6. PROOFING: Approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 72° F. Ready when poke test dictates.  Pre-heat oven to 500 with steam apparatus in place.


 


7. BAKING: With steam, on stone. (or in cast iron Dutch Oven)  Turn oven to 460 °F after steaming (or 475 °F if using DO). Remove steaming apparatus (or DO cover) after 12 minutes. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes total (50-60 minutes if using DO).   Rotate loaves for evenness as necessary.  When done (205 F internal temp), leave loaves on stone with oven door ajar 10 minutes.



Happy Baking.


Glenn

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I posted this on the end of Floyd's post on Panettone but I thought better of it getting more readers on its own. I could use some help.

My batch of Panettone smelled heavenly as it baked for nearly 2 hours. I checked every 15 minutes after an hour. i divided the recipe in Floyd's post in half and loaded it in two ornamental paper buckets. It was about 1/4 to 1/3 full. I let them proof for 3.5 hours at around 80F and I did use the osmotolerant yeast. They rose slightly and did dome some where I made a cross cut and plopped a dollop of butter.

I'm pretty sure the reason it took so long to get an internal temp of 185F is that the dough was so dense.

Looking at why it didn't rise well:
I saw on the Italian site that they use only egg yokes. Sooo, I figured that 2 egg yokes would be about the same as 1 whole egg. Later I checked and I see a yoke is around 18g where the entire large egg, minus the shell is closer to 50g. I was a little short of egg product it seems.

Thinking about how the dough felt, I think it may have been a little dry. I added the egg yokes to the booze and whisked them together. I added the butter to the flour and other dry ingredients and broke it up by hand similar to making a pie crust or biscuit. Now I'm thinking maybe I should have added it after the dough was combined and partially developed, similar to a straight brioche.

I just put together a batch of mid level brioche in my old KA mixer to see how it would compare in texture. It is a very nice dough of much better quality than what I did yesterday and I have no doubt it will rise perfectly later today and would be a good base for Panettone with the fruit additions.

I should say that my wife has been noshing all morning at my mistake and thinks I'm nuts. She thinks it tastes great. It's starting to look like the first 2 Lb loaf isn't going to last the day.:>) Yes, I know you are supposed to wait a couple days to cut into it.

Any of you Panettone experts out there, I'd be happy to hear your take on my door stops.

Eric

zoltan szabo's picture
zoltan szabo

Hello to every1!


Hope you guys all ok! I have not posted anything in the past few months now but checked out the blogs almost each day. In main time, I had a busy 5 month to open Glasgow's newst 4* hotel with my executive head chef James Murphy, the Glasgow Grand Central Hotel. Anyway....i dont want you guys to be bored with my story, here is some loafs.


 


The mixed dough.                                      



 A good few hours later in the bannetons.


     


While the sourdough is proov's, I was quickly kneaded a focaccia dough too. I dizzled the dough with confit garlic oil, pesto and then added the tomatoes. Some parts I may pushed the cherry tomatoes in too deep but it was still tasted lovely.


  


The end results. I had the loaf with potted pork and some pickles, recipe here.


 


Happy Baking!


Zoltan

varda's picture
varda

Awhile ago, I tried making Tunisian Flatbread from a sketchy set of instructions, and while the result was delicious it was also a total mess.  I got some extremely helpful comments in the forum, and decided to try again.   This is a lot prettier than last time.   And certainly a quick and easy bread to make if you haven't gotten around to planning the day before.   The loaves are a bit less than 8 inches in diameter and over an inch tall.   I'll serve with lamb this evening for dinner.


 


250g semolina flour


250g bread flour (I used King Arthur All Purpose)


1 tsp salt


2 tsp instant yeast


250 ml warm water


125 ml olive oil


egg yolk for glazing


sesame seeds


Mix flour, water, salt, olive oil, yeast until dough adheres and cleans the bowl - two to four minutes in a stand up mixer at high speed with a dough hook.   Let rise for around an hour until double.   Preheat oven to 400 deg F.  (Around 200 deg C)  Divide and shape into two disks on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.   Brush with egg yolk.   Sprinkle with sesame seeds.    Bake for 40 minutes.   (I turned down oven to 300 after 25 minutes.)    Other version of this type of bread used all white flour, milk instead of water, and an egg thrown in, but I wanted to try to preserve as much of the taste of my last try before moving on to other variations. 

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