The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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kiki's picture
kiki

I enjoy hand-kneed baking, and automn weather is perfect for it!

 

Graham Loaf with strawberry jam.

I was so excited to find that tiny jam bits for baking, and it goes very well with the graham.

 

I also like working with seasonal ingredients.

Pumpkin Bread came out lovely and tasty.

 

 

raqk8's picture
raqk8

Back again! Here's the third installment of my Breadmaking how-to series. In this post I go through the first 3 steps of breadmaking - Prep, Mixing, and Kneading. As always, I appreciate any comments or advice you have to give. Here's the intro - please see my website for the whole post. Thanks for reading!

Welcome back! You’re almost ready to bake some bread. You now understand what bread is (not a stupid question!) and you have all the things you need to start making bread. The last thing we need to do is understand a bit about the process. Bread isn’t one of those spur-of-the-moment type things you can do just on a whim. For the first couple of times, making bread will require a decent chunk of time. While you can go out and do things during the rising or proofing, many novice breadmakers like to sit in the kitchen and watch the bread rise. Let me tell you – it’s not very exciting. But, anticipation can make anything exciting, so watch away!

There are 12 accepted steps to the process of breadmaking. Peter Reinhart goes through them very thoroughly in his book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which I highly recommend. Here I’ve written a quick overview of the first few steps:

Step 1: Preparation

This step is actually extremely important. If you just jump into things without preparing first, you will often find yourself in a bit of a bind – missing ingredients, out of time, or out of (oven) space! It is very important to read the recipe twice before starting – the first time to get familiar with the process, and the second to really think about the timing. Make sure you don’t have to run off somewhere when it’s time to put your bread in the oven.

The next thing you want to do is check your ingredients and make sure you have enough on hand. Half of the amount just sin’t going to do, unless you scale the whole recipe back by 50%.

Lastly, make sure you have all your tools on hand.

Step 2: Mixing...

See my blog at ovenmittsblog.wordpress.com to keep reading! Have a great day!

ananda's picture
ananda

Baking and other October News

The teaching in Leeds did not work out as I found myself very unsettled and unhappy in a place I did not want to be staying instead of being at home with Alison.   There is always opportunity for me to work in Leeds again, but I do not want to be tied to regular delivery of FE baking courses there.   I left at half term, and went on holiday to Sicily having already bagged an interview at Gateshead College for an Associate Lecturer post; that’s tomorrow!

Regarding baking, I have made the following breads at home recently:

1.    Ciabatta

Wheat Levain built from stock wheat levain; no refreshment details available

Material/Stage

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Wheat Levain

 

 

Special CC Flour

34

540

Water

20.4

324

TOTAL

54.4

864

 

 

 

2. Soaker

 

 

Tumminia Flour

18.9

300

Water

47.2

750

TOTAL

66.1

1050

 

 

 

3a. Final Dough - Bassinage

 

 

Levain

54.4

864

Soaker

66.1

1050

Gilchesters Pizza Flour

47.1

749

Salt

1.76

28

3b. Water

12.6

200

TOTAL

181.96

2891

Overall % pre-fermented flour

34

-

Overall % hydration

80

-

 

Method:

    • Build the leaven and set up the soaker in advance
    • For the final dough combine the leaven and soaker with flour and salt for a., then mix the “bassinage” stage to develop the dough.   Let the down with water as in b.
    • Ferment in bulk for 3 hours with “S&F” every 50 minutes.   Scale and divide as required.   I made 3 trays of Foccaccia flavoured with Roasted Onions and Butternut Squash with Rosemary, as well as 3 loaves of Ciabatta.
    • Shape the dough, then final proof for 3 hours.   Bake in the wood-fired oven.
    • Cool on wires.

2.   Pain Siègle de Thezac.

Sour built from stock Rye Sour; no refreshment details available

Material/Stage

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sour

 

 

Bacheldre Dark Rye

18

360

Water

30

600

TOTAL

48

960

 

 

 

2. Soaker

 

 

Tumminia Flour

10

200

Water

38

760

TOTAL

48

960

 

 

 

3. Final Dough

 

 

Sourdough

48

960

Soaker

48

960

Special CC Flour/Marriages

72

1440

Salt

1.8

36

TOTAL

169.8

3396

Overall % pre-fermented flour

18

-

Overall % hydration

68

-

 

Method:

    • Build the sourdough and set up the soaker in advance
    • Combine all the ingredients with soaker and sour for the final dough and mix to develop.
    • Bulk proof time is 3¼  hours, with “S&F” every hour.
    • Scale, divide and mould round.   I made 3 loaves scaled at 650g and one large with the remaining dough at just less than 1450g
    • Final proof for 3 hours in prepared Bannetons
    • Tip out each loaf and score the top with an “S”, and bake in the wood-fired oven
    • Cool on wires

 

 3.    Pane Nero di Castelvetrano with Almost-All-Sicilian Flour

Leaven Refreshment:

1. Monday 10:00   Wheat Levain Stock 20g [flour 12.5, water 7.5], “ODDO” Semola Rimacinato 50g, Water 50g.

2. Monday 15:30   Refreshment 1 above 120g [flour 62.5, water 57.5], “ODDO” Semola Rimacinato 137.5g, Water 62.5g

3. Monday 22:30   Refreshment 2 above 320g [flour 200, water 120], “ODDO” Semola Rimacinato 150g, Water 90g TOTAL 560g, as below, used at 06:00 Tuesday.   Soaker: set up at 22:30 on Monday with refreshment 3.

Material/Stage

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Wheat Levain

 

 

“ODDO” Rimacinata

25

350

Water

15

210

TOTAL

40

560

 

 

 

2. Soaker

 

 

Tumminia Flour

26

364

Gilchesters Organic Coarse Semolina

3

42

Water

35

490

Salt

1.79

25

TOTAL

64

896

 

 

 

3. Final Dough

 

 

Levain

40

560

Soaker

64

896

“ODDO” Rimacinata

46

644

Water

18

252

TOTAL

169.79

2377

Overall % pre-fermented flour

25

-

Overall % hydration

68

-

 

Method:

  • Set up levain and soaker [see above timetable]
  • Combine leaven and soaker with remaining flour and water and develop the dough, mixing by hand.
  • Bulk proof for 3 hours with 1 “S&F” after 1½ hours.
  • Scale and divide as 1 x 700g and 1 larger loaf of just over 1.5kg.   Mould round.
  • Final proof for 3 hours in prepared Bannetons.
  • Bake in a pre-heated and hot electric oven using a baking stone and steam.   I hadn't the time to chop wood for the brick oven today.
  • Cool on wires.

I made the Ciabattas, Foccaccias and Pain de Siègles before we went away on holiday.   A colleague in the village was looking after Shuffles [our cat] for a few days, and she had arranged a “Coffee Morning” on the Saturday to raise money to pay for fitting our new Christmas Lights in the village.   Most of the breads were my contribution to that event.   The bits leftover were for Beverley, my Sister-in-Law and my Niece, Eve, to tuck into when they stayed in our cottage the first weekend.   We have enjoyed the last of the big Pain de Siègle loaf on our return from Sicily.

During the holiday, I quickly found a supply of Pane Nero di Castelvetrano, and took photographs to show what the modern day traditional and local version now looks like.   The label is very revealing.   “L’Antico Forno” means “The Old Bakery”, and it was situated in a smaller town just outside Castelvetrano.   The ingredients are listed as Farina di Grano Duro, Aqua, Sale, Lievito.   30% of the flour is from the “Tumminia” durum.   I do not have good enough grasp of the Italian language to know whether or not the loaf is made using Baker’s yeast only, or if an element of, or even all, natural leaven is used.   From a flavour point of view, I would be inclined to think that Baker’s yeast was the chosen leavener.

However, the rest of the label gives more information to consider.   The price of the bread was €3.00 per kilo, with each of the 3 loaves we bought being half kilo loaves.   The date of manufacture is shown, and recommended consumption within 5 days.   My two main comments: the keeping qualities were superb, and 5 days was a perfectly reasonable shelf life.   So I really do wonder about the source of leavening!   And, the taste of the bread had such a distinct sweetness to it, which Nico advised of when I first got hold of the Tumminia flour.

The day we went to Castelvetrano was a shocker; it rained heavily all day, so we were not tempted in any way to stop and seek out Molina del Ponti [see: http://www.molinidelponte.it/], the recommended milling source for a further supply of Tumminia.   I did, however, locate some Durum flour in a local supermarket which had been grown in Sicily and milled in nearby Valderice.   This is the link to the miller’s website: http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://www.molinooddo.it/prodotti.html&ei=sgiwTq-UL86-8gP88eW8AQ&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCAQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3DODDO%2Bgrano%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26tbas%3D0%26biw%3D1132%26bih%3D448%26prmd%3Dimvns  

I bought a 1kg bag of “Rimacinata” to use to make one more batch of Pane Nero di Castelvetrano, and I also bought a bag of the traditional Cous Cous which is very common in the north west of Sicily demonstrating an Arabic and African tradition.

My final formula for the loaves are given above, and plenty of photos to illustrate the whole post.

The sweet taste is there, and, a huge step forward here; Alison is raving about the crust on this bread!   This is a new and very welcome event.

Happy Baking to you all!

Andy

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

Rendered my first ever batch of leaf lard, and baked 2 loaves of white bread with it........I will never use butter or store bought lard again.....cant wait to use it in a pie crust. Such a simple thing to do, a little hard to find mind you, but well worth the foot work. If you're interested in making your own lard, here is how I did it!

3 pounds of leaf lard

1/2 cup of water

heat dutch oven or pot over medium low heat, add 1/2 cup of water (this prevents lard from burning and will evaporate as the lard renders).Cut the leaf into 1/2 inch cubes. Simmer until you start to hear popping sounds, which is normal, it's just the water leaving the meat bits in the lard. I removed mine immediately and strained it thru a cheese cloth. The left over bits of browned meat are a really good treat, so do not throw them away, I used my left over bits to make a traditional potted French Canadian meat called Cretons (if you'd like the recipe i'd be happy to share it with you). The entire rendering process took roughly an hour and I stored mine in Zip lock tuperware containers when it cooled slightly, this lard needs to be stored in the refrigerator or frozen. 

Happy rendering!

Sheblom's picture
Sheblom

Hi

I am prettty new to baking, i have only been doing it since about January of this year. I am still learning the ins and outs and all the little secrets of making a decent loaf.

Please have a look at some of the loafs that I have here and let me know what you think. I am very open to feedback.

Thanks

Allan

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight

950g

 

Total flour

555g

100%

Total water

400g

72%

Total salt

11g

2%

Prefermented flour

100g

18%

 

 

 

Starter build – 10 hrs 23°C

 

 

Starter

20g

20%

Ryeflour (Kialla Milling)

100g

100%

Water

100g

100%

 

 

 

Final dough 25°C

 

 

Starter

200g

43%

Sifted fresh milled Wheat

227g

50%

 Sifted fresh milled Spelt

227g

50%

Water

300g

65%

Salt

11g

2%

Method

  1. Autolyse 20 mins
  2. Knead 5-10 mins
  3. Bulk ferment two hours with two stretch and folds at 30 mins apart in first hour
  4. Preshape and bench rest for 10 mins
  5. Shape and proof for one and a quarter hours
  6. Bake in preheated covered pot for 10 mins at 250°C then 10mins at 200°C. Remove bread from pot and bake a further 20 mins at 200°C

___

This bread will be taken to work for a lunch gathering so I have no crumb shot to show nor time for photos this morning or I will miss my bus :)

Cheers, Phil

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Click here for my blog index.

I have been experimenting with using rye flour in croissants. To get maximum rye flavor, I at first tried to use rye starter, but the dough became too acidic that the croissants didn't have sufficient rise in the oven, which leads to sub-par crumb. I then tried to make a levain with white starter and rye flour, the rise was better, still not satisfactory. Finally I gave up, substiuted ww with rye in this formula, there's 20% of rye, all in the final dough, leads to a noticable rye flavor yet still keep good gluten strength. I am not going to copy it here again, please click here for formula (just replace ww with equal amount of rye and increase hydration if necessary).

Good even honeycomb crumb structure with good expansion

I roll the dough out pretty thin so the holes are fairly small, but I am glad that the walls are all fairly thin/transparent, showing no sigh of butter leaking and dough layers stuck together

After the successful batch, I decided to try a variation I saw a while ago: before the third(and last) fold, spread a crazy amount of shredded cheese (I used provolone, 42% of total flour) and bacon bits (without frying, 47% of total flour weight) on 2/3 of dough

Do the book fold as usual (the third and last one)

After relaxing in fridge for 2 hours, roll out as usual, cut and shape. Proofing and baking time/temp should be as the same as before. See the bacon bits on crust?

That crazy amount of cheese and bacon would certainly affect crumb structure - sticky melted cheese and bacon would make layers stick and create uneven holes, but OMG, the flavor! Bacon, Provolone cheese, all that roll in butter act together to create this insanely delicious treat. There's no doubt that it's sinfully unhealthy. The smell alone from the oven makes my arteries hurt, but trust me, it's a small price to pay!

I devoured 4 after baking these, and I don't regret one bit.

loydb's picture
loydb

This weekend produced a sourdough with candied orange peel, cranberries and pecans, and rye sourdough crackers.

 

 

codruta's picture
codruta

It seems that days and weeks really flies lately and I don't have enough time to write about all the breads I bake. To get upto date, I'll make a resume with the most important breads I've baked in the last days/week:

1. I made semolina bread, in two different days (first it was a 60% semolina + 40% white flour with 67% hydration, next time it was a 70% semolina + 30% white flour and 71% hydration), inspiread by Hamelman's Semolina Bread and Giovanni's bread. I used a stiff levain and I had to add a lot of water to the dough, and I still think it was not enough. But semolina bread is one of my latest revelations, I love it's flavor so much... too bad I have only one bag of semolina left... :(

The crumb is yellow, but not as opened as it i in giovanni's bread, yet, it is a very tasty formula. It's elastic and chewy and it's wonderful sweet when toasted.

Here are pictures from the first bread:

And from the second one: (I dind't realise before how much they resemble, till I put the pictures together)

2. I make baguettes again, using the same formula as the last time, reducing the hydration to 71%. Better than the first time, but still a long way from perfection.

 

3. I made another rye bread, using a rye soaker and rye chops made from soaked berries, chopped and then soaked again. I started with 90g berries (140g after soaking and draining) and ended with 210g rye chops, soaked and drained.

The bread has more volume than the last time, even if the dough got stucked in the banneton in a couple of places and it deflated a bit while I forced it to come out. (mini, I did not cheat while I sliced the bread, no funny angles while cutting it, and I have 8-9 cm max... well it's better than 6 cm from last time:)

The bigger holes in the crumb are a sign of overproofing, or a sign of air or/and water incorporated in the dough while shaping?

Well, that's about it, for now. Not quite up-to-date, I still have some "san joaquin"s left that I want share with you, but this is already a too long post.

codruta

 

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