The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

 


In the middle of the week,  I decided to make some bread after returning from 2 full days of meeting,  I need to de-stress.  Picked up Bernard Clayton's book and saw this attractive name - Feather Bread.  I wondered if this is the same kind of bread that I had at the restaurant of the hotel that I stayed.  So,  I started late in the night.  Click here for the recipe


 


Well,  it didn't turn out like the bread from the restaurant,  although I shaped it like it,  it turned out tasting really good when it is fresh.


 


Somehow,  I realised that white breads seems to harden fast?  Rye bread taste even better as the days goes by.  I tried heating up the bread,  but it was not the same as freshly baked.


 


My son and I discussed that perhaps I should wait till we want to eat these breads,  have it ready in the fridge and bake it near meal times.  suggestions anyone?



 

DonD's picture
DonD

Background:


I had read about the organic stoneground flours from La Meunerie Milanaise (La Milanaise Mills) in Daniel Leader's Local Breads and through numerous posts on TFL. I was anxious to try them so a few months ago as I was in Montreal visiting friends, I was able to bring back three 20 kg bags of their flours. I had to contact the US Customs to have their blessing before driving back across the border with 132 pounds of white powder.


I purchased their All Purpose T55, Sifted Flour #100(T70) and Sifted Flour #50(T90) Flours. All are Organic and the latter two are High Extraction and Stoneground. The # designation indicates the fineness of the sieve. The T designation indicate the percentage of ash content of the flour and is based on the european model of 11.7% humidity content as opposed to 14% for the US. There was a discrepancy in the ash content listed on the bags and the specification sheets that I got from the distributor so I contacted the Milanaise office and got a detailed explanation from Mr. Robert Beauchemin, the Company's CEO. He explains that there is always a variation in the mineral content of wheat from year to year depending on environment and growing conditions. The key is the degree of "cleanliness" of the sifting to allow a percentage of the epiderm layer and the aleurone layer of the wheat kernel into the flour. The epiderm is the darker and tougher outer layer whose ground particles act as knife blades damaging the structure of the gluten while the aleurone is the lighter inner layer which does not damage the gluten. Based on this variation in mineral content, the two high extraction flours that I got are essentially T70/T80 (73.6% extraction and 12.7% protein) and T90/T110 (81.8% extraction and 12.4% protein). It is interesting to note that these are high extraction but not high gluten flours as the protein level is about the same as white bread flour. The All Purpose T55 has 11.4% protein.


I have been baking some of my favorite breads using different mixes of these flours and have been extremely pleased with the results.


Observations:


The T55 flour is slightly darker color (light cream color) and grittier to the touch than the King Arthur AP Flour. The T70/T80 has specs of light color bran mixed in and the T90/110 is the darkest with bigger and darker specs of bran. There is no Malted Barley Flour added.


 Counterclockwise from left T55, T70/T80 and T90/T110 Flours


All three flours are not as absorbent as the KA flours and I always get a wetter dough using the same hydration. The dough consistently feels less sticky and is more extensible than KA. The dough also feels smoother. 


The breads are very aromatic during and after baking especially with the high extraction flours giving the crust a dark molasses, caramel, chocolate and roasted nuts fragrance . The crumb is always light, open and soft and the taste has a sweet, creamy and toasty wheatiness.


Samples:


 Baguettes au Levain using T55 Flour


 Baguette au Levain Crumb


 Pain de Campagne using T55, T70/T80 and T90/T110 Flour mix


 Pain de Campagne Crumb


Happy Baking!


Don

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

The Perfect Baguette Eludes Me...  My Breads are Getting Worse...


Argh!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Recipe from 'Lorenza De Medici's - Tuscany The Beautiful Cookbook'


Like most Italian Cakes, this sweet Florentine pizza is linked to a religious feast: "Carnival".    At one time lard was used instead of butter, which added to the flavor.


 


    After seeing this recipe in my cookbook,  I searched online for more recipes of this Sweet Carnival Pizza.  The only ones I was able to find were  written in Italian.  This was a frustrating and unfamilar dough for me to handle which resulted in me not following the exact procedures discribed in the recipe.  I was sure I had a total disaster on my hands.  After seeing and tasting my final bake...I may...may attempt it again!  It is a delicate delicious buttery flavored cake, lightly sweet with a lovely hint of lemon and would go perfectly with a glass of wine or a cappuccino or just a big glass of milk.


If anyone is feeling venturesome and care to give this recipe a try I have written it down with just a couple of modifications.


 


 


 


                     


 


                                                                         


 


                     6 fl oz - 3/4 cup - 180 ml        Lukewarm water (105F to 115F)                    


                                              1 oz (30g) fresh cake yeast or 2 packages (1 scant tablespoon each) active dry yeast-  I used the


                                              Gold IDY because of the extra sugar in the recipe.


                                              11 oz/330g  All Purpose (plain flour) flour  - I used KAAP flour


                                              pinch of salt


                                              3 oz/90g  Unsalted butter, plus extra for cake pan  -  I used my round metal pizza pan


                                              3 oz/90g Granulated sugar  -  I used Extra fine baking sugar


                                              grated zest of 1 lemon   -  Large organic off my tree


                                              2 Eggs


                                              1 Tbsp. Confectioners' sugar  -  I used extra for added sweetness


 


      Place the lukewarm water in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let stand until dissolved and foamy, about 10 minutes.


      Heap the flour on a work surface and make a well in the center.  Pour the dissolved yeast into the well and add the salt.  With a fork, gradually work in the flour until all of it is absorbed.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Shape the dough into a ball.  Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.


      Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.  Punch down the dough and gradually work in the 1/3 cup (3oz/90g) butter, granulated sugar, lemon zest and the eggs, one at a time.  Lift the now-soft dough and slam it down on a hard surface several times.  Using the heel of your hand, knead until the dough is no longer sticky.


      Butter a 9-in (23-cm) round cake pan.  Shape the dough in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 400F 9200C).


      Bake the cake until just golden, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the pan and immediately transfer to a wire rack.  Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.  Cool to room temperature before serving. 


Sylvia


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


                                              


 

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Today was a lovely day in Arizona. Still in our little rental RV. The garden is taking off and I'm procrastinating on buying dirt for my new garden area where the tomatoes need to get transplanted. That will be a hard day or two of work. So, I bake and train my dog instead.


I started my PR's whole wheat sandwich bread last night. This has become one of my three "go-to" breads for me. (Eric's Fav Rye and Hamelman's multi-flour miche being a couple of others) I decided to double the recipe as my mother says it was her "favorite" out of all the breads she tried so far and I'm going to see her tomorrow. I substitute soy milk for milk in the recipe which seems to work just fine. This time I also had stone-ground flour from Flourgirl51 which I had never used before. (her rye flour is wonderful!) So, I was wondering how a 100% stone-ground whole wheat would turn out compared to one made with King Arthur's flour. The other changes I made were coconut oil instead of veggie oil (or butter) and barley malt syrup for the sweetener. (he leaves all these substitutions fairly open in the recipe and I have used the soy and coconut oil before but I used honey and King Arthur flour the last time.


Results-taste is excellent. Crumb is surprisingly very open and less dense than with the finer store bought flour!! Perhaps because I was concerned and kept it extra hyrdrated to the point of extreme stickiness? I also did a couple of S/Fs this time as with the double recipe I couldn't use my machine so my kneading was inadequate so this could also have effected crumb? I highly recommend this sandwich bread if you're searching for a solution to the whole wheat "brick" that so many readers complain about (although I have yet to have too much trouble with myself)


Onto other adventures in baking...Hubby begged for more crackers. Being "me" I simply couldn't leave a good thing alone so I changed my original cracker recipe. Thankfully, it came out even better. Here is the recipe. (can you believe I wrote it down?)


1/4 cup cornmeal


1/2 cup rye flour


3/4 cup spelt flour


1/8 cup nutritional yeast (finally found something to do with the stuff!!!)


1 tbsp sesame seeds


2 tbsp flax seeds


1 tbsp poppy seeds


1/4 tsp each of ground garlic, cumin, cayenne, chipolte


1 tsp salt and coarse ground pepper


1/4 cup olive oil


1/2 cup water


Mix into a loose, crumbly dough that comes together in a ball. Put into the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to about 450. These can cook on a stone. (except in the RV, I used a cookie sheet upside down, that's another story) I rolled out about 1/3 the dough as thin as possible on a Silpat. (you may have to kind of put this together with your fingers as you go, it's a bit crumbly) It will look a little rough, try to smooth out the cracks in the middle so that it's all one sheet, don't worry about the edges.


Bake about 6 minutes. Check to see that's it's toasted dark brown but not burned. Take out and cool flat (I used a cool cookie sheet for this while I cooled off silpat for another batch)


Took me awhile to get the timing right in my oven, I'm sure you'll have to do some trial and error to get just the right doneness without being burned.  I think the recipe is very flexible just so long as the oil/flour/water percent is about the same. (I used all spelt last time)


Tastes like an expensive, health food store multi-grain crispy cracker.


To go with-I made homemade hummus with garden fresh parsley/mint and Meyer lemon juice. MMMMMM!Whole wheat sandwich bread

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer


 


Apparently I was in the mood of trying new things, with this bread I used: new recipe (Almond Milk Loaf from Dan Lepard's "A handmade loaf"), new yeast (a natural yeast from Japanese Shirakami-Sanchi region), as well as new bread pans from China, good thing everything turned out well!


 


First, the yeast - it is advertised as "natural yeast" collected from Shirakami-Sanchi, supposedly it's more active in cold environment than normal wild yeast, and it brings nicer flavors to the breads. It's in powder form, packaged in 10g envelopes like following. It looks very much like active dry yeast, and the way to use it is similar to fresh yeast - 2X of the weight of dry yeast in the recipe, needs to be activated by warm water (35C) for 10 to 15 minutes, fermentation speed is comparable to dry yeast also. Since it's not kept in a starter, it doesn't bring any sour flavors to the bread. It needs to be refridgerated after the package is opened. Honestly, while it's easy to use and my bread rose with no problem, I can't taste any special flavor from the yeast. No "subtle sweetness" as advertised, nor any complexity as from my normal starters. It's said that this yeast has special health benefits, which I can't verify either way. These were a gift from my friend in Japan, I don't think it's available in US.



 


Now the recipe - I LOVED it! It's a pretty straightforward lean dough with "quite a lot" of added almond paste. It's called almond milk, but there's no milk in it, just almond grounded with sugar and water. The bread has an even crumb, very frangrant and falvorful from almond. Perfect for both savory and sweet toppings. Highly recommended! Apprently the recipe is online here(http://ostwestwind.twoday.net/stories/5798892/), but you really should get that book, everything I made from it has been great.



Finally the pans. This bread was baked in pullman pans with lids on in the book, my pullman pan is way too big for trying a new recipe, so I used some mini cute pans from China (gifts from friends again). Had to try out different dough amount to get it right, as you can see I put too much in one, had to forget about putting the lid on:



Put too little in another one, which never rose to the lid, but the third one was just right:



As you can see, the shaping method for sandwich bread is a bit different here. It's a common way to shape Asian style sandwich bread. I don't know exactly why, but I suspect two reasons:


1. Asian style dough is usually very soft and enriched, and 2. Asian style loaf pans are long and narrow like the ones I used here. Both tratis mean if we roll the dough into one cylinder and put it in, it's not easy to get it even length-wise, by dividing the dough and roll seperately like following, it's more likely to get an even top. That's my theory anyway. I quite like the result.



Put the leftover dough in my 5X3 mini loaf pan, and it was a beautiful fit



Learned about the new yeast, the new pans, as well as a new favorite recipe, with delicious bread to boot, not a bad day!



 

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


Why not try something different for Valentines Day and give your love ones a real double chocolate treat. These biscotti are perfect and wrapped in a pretty red box with ribbons would be a real surprise when opened. 


 


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com


Big Brick House Bakery's picture
Big Brick House...

My friends thought I was crazy when I started grinding my own flour, but my love of baking I couldn't shake and I open my award winning bakery.  Any one should be able to live their dream!  I get a lot of inspiration from everyone loving the same thing - bread, and the baking of it.  I sell the supplies or my bread I don't care as long as you have a passion for it... 


 The Big Brick House Bakery is a small family bakery in Wabash Indiana.  Freshly milled flour began with Leigh 5 yrs ago; it came to her attention that once a grain has been milled, the nutrients evaporate over time.  She purchased a Stone-mill, a miniature version of the ones that use to set along the rivers, and began on this adventure to incorporate the fresh flour into her bread and pastas.  The Big Brick House Bakery stone mill is used daily to grind small batches to provide you with the freshest and most nutritious whole grain products in Wabash County and the surrounding areas. Their fresh flour makes the integrity and flavor of their Artisan bakery products.   The Big Brick House Bakery now offers 14 different types of grain, some organic, purchase a kit that Leigh has developed for the home bread machine.  Leigh makes several of her breads on a daily basis.  These same breads won her the Indiana Artisan award in October of 2008.  At this time she is now offering flavored breads using cheese, herbs, and vegetables.  Leigh also makes pies and cakes from scratch, just the way they were done for several generations.  Now Leigh is offering Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free items, recreating recipes to work with any dietary needs.  


The quant retail store opened in June of 2008 in the sun room of their Eastlake Victorian home. Locally produced eggs, honey, maple syrup, fudge are also sold here. 


On Facebook you can also interact with Leigh and other fans. www.facebook.com 


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi,

I thought some detail on creating laminated dough for croissants etc may be a popular subject.

 

CROISSANT DOUGH

 

MATERIAL

FORMULA

[AS % OF FLOUR]

RECIPE

[GRAMMES]

RECIPE [GRAMMES]

Strong White Flour

100

600

1000

Salt

1.3

8

13

Milk Powder

5

30

50

Fresh Yeast

6

36

60

Cold Water

63

378

630

SUB-TOTAL

175.3

1052

1753

Butter

41.7

250

417

TOTAL

217

1302

2170

Method:

  • Mix the ingredients for the dough to form cool, developed dough.
  • Put in a plastic bag in the chiller and rest for 30 minutes. Cut the butter into 4mm thick strips and put back in the chiller.
  • Roll the dough out to a rectangle 8mm thick. Put the butter pieces flat onto 2/3 of the rectangle, and fold as below:

 

  • Turn the dough piece clockwise through 90°. Roll out to the same size as before, fold as above, and turn. Repeat once more.
  • Chill the billet for half an hour and give 2 more folds and half turns as described. This gives 168 layers of butter in the croissant dough. Chill again for half an hour.
  • Roll the dough piece out to 5mm and use a croissant cutter to cut out triangle shapes. Stack into piles of 6 and rest covered for 2-3 minutes.   You can use a template made from wood, or, cardboard, to cut out the individual triangle shapes instead.   Please see the video, at 1 min 35secs, for a brief view of the croissant cutter on the left of the screen.
  • Tease out each triangle, fold up the top edge and roll up tightly. Roll out the feet to pointed ends and move round so these feet join up to make the classic shape.   See Vicki demonstrating this in the pictuure below.   For Pain au Chocolat and Pain Amande, cut the dough into strips, 6 x 10 cm; cover with small chocolate chips, or a thin layer of almond paste, and roll up so the seam is well pressed down on the bottom.
  • Place on silicone lined baking sheets and brush with beaten egg.   For the pain amande, dip in flaked almonds
  • Prove at 38-40°C, 80%rH for 40 minutes.

Bake in a hot oven, 235°C for 12-15 minutes; a deck oven should be set at 7 for top heat, and 5 for bottom.   No steam is used, and a damper is not needed.

[Almond Paste to make Pain Amande]

150g Icing Sugar, 150g Caster Sugar, 300g Ground Almonds, 50g Egg, beaten, 1 tbsp Lemon Juice

 

 

Key Principles of successful laminated dough:

  • 1. The dough should not be too wet. If the dough is soft, it will stick to the bench and the pin, and the laminations will quickly be ruined. If the dough is too tight, it will be difficult to roll out without the dough insisting on springing back. Some have advised that the dough need not, therefore, be fully-mixed. This is because all the rolling and folding will continue the dough development. My own thought on the matter is that the dough should be developed to the level allowed by the choice of flour used. So if a top grade flour is used, the dough should be mixed accordingly. If the flour is not so strong, it will not tolerate intensive mixing anyway; by hand, or, machine.
  • 2. The best way to deal with dough which springs back is to allow extra resting time. Allowing plenty rest between turns is the first key principle to grasp. If you compare the folding process to working out bicep muscles in the gym, you should not go far wrong. Bicep curls would be repeated to the point where the muscle is so tensed up it cannot do any more. After a period of rest the same moves are repeated. The moves are designed to strengthen the muscle by continued work. But there has to be rest in between to allow the muscles to relax. It is exactly the same for the gluten-based protein fraction in the dough.
  • 3. The other key principle is to be able to work cold. It is generally cold and raining here in the UK, but I am aware many who write on this site have problems creating cool enough conditions in the kitchen to lessen the burden of making these items; I wish I lived where it was warm too, don't you believe it! Here are a few options:
  • Use a chilled marble slab, or, a refrigerated work surface.
  • Use crushed ice in the dough, or chill the dough water for an extended period prior to dough mixing.
  • A good trick is to chill the dough overnight. Give the dough 3 half turns, then bag and chill overnight. Waken up early the next morning, give the dough its last half turn and process from there. Bake off the croissants and serve straightaway for breakfast. You have just made yourself soooo popular with everyone in the house, forever!
  • 4. What about the choice of laminating fat? Commercial croissants tend to be made with specialised and plasticised fats. This means the final product tends to be just a lot of air! Worse still if the fat is cheap, the melting point will be high, and the product will stick in the roof of the mouth [palate cling] These fats are not exactly renowned for their health-giving properties, either. So they are used on cost and performance grounds. As far as I am concerned croissants are made with all-butter. It is possible to buy a concentrated butter commercially. This is great, because all the water has been removed, so it means the butter block can be rolled out to a sheet, without it melting. Household dairy butter has a water content of 15-20%, so the problem with not working cold, is that the butter can easily start to melt, meaning the death of all the laminations you have worked so hard to achieve. So, performance-wise, butter is not the best, but for flavour, it obviously has no competition. I'm pretty sure concentrated butter is only available commercially; this is definitely the case for the UK and rest of the EU too.
  • 5. Regarding lamination; due care and skill is the 3rd principle. I teach that croissant are given 4 half turns. Danish are often given only 3. Full puff paste employs equal laminating fat to flour used in the dough. This is usually given 6 half turns. The more turns, the more layers created. Above I state 4 turns gives 168 layers. Another 2 half turns works out as follows

168 x 3 = 504   504 x 3 = 1512.   So many layers is incredibly difficult to achieve.   Yet, to commercial bakers it is essential.   The number of layers dictates the amount of "lift" in the product, giving greater volume to weight ratio!   This affects product yield; well-aerated puff paste yield more products.   Given these doughs use expensive ingredients, a baker cannot afford to miss out on achieving correct product yield.

  • 6. In terms of volume and lift, it is important to explain how this works with yeasted doughs like these. When the product goes into the oven, the fat layers melt into the dough layers beneath, creating cavities between the dough layers. These cavities are filled with steam from the water content of both butter and dough. The steam exerts pressure on the dough layer above, causing the product to expand. See diagram below. So, it follows that the more layers, the greater the pastry will rise. So, what of the yeast? Well, the benefit is in terms of a first fermentation for sure, but it has to be achieved in cold conditions, as we have noted. This should mean the yeasts are far from worked through when the croissants are set to prove. Note the yeast level is relatively high. Any benefit has to be derived from rapid expansion as the croissants hit the hot oven. So, testing the dough for evidence that fermentation is slowing down is not a relevant test. We have no need for any sort of complex fermentation at this stage.

7. Lastly, oven treatment tends to be incredibly forgiving to croissants , so long as the oven is hot enough. Although, I think I'd be hedging my bets with items that were becoming tired and spent, in line with the notes just above.   My practical classes last anywhere between 3 and 5 hours.   3 hours is really not very long to make these items with skill from start to finish; and the resting between turns really can be so crucial here.   But I cannot think of a single class I have facilitated on this product where the students have been anything other than delighted by the tasks they have carried out, and the products they have made. It's the colour, and aroma; these items just look and smell great when they are baked. Fabulous!

 See the photos attached below, and the link to the video below that.

 

Here's the video:

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