The Fresh Loaf

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Scoop's picture
Scoop

I'm a northern Californian who now lives in Des Moines and there is little sourdough in this part of the country...at least little GOOD sourdough.  I'm wanting to bake my own and love this site.  Any tricks to getting a really sour sourdough???  I'm not looking for a mild sourdough.


Scoop

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


I baked a couple boules of Susan from San Diego's "Original" favorite sourdough today.



I used BRM Dark Rye and KAF Sir Lancelot high-gluten flours. The bread was delicious - even better than usual - with our dinner of Dungeness Crab Cakes and a green salad with mustard vinaigrette. My wife even cut herself an extra slice after she'd finished her dinner. I gotta tell you: That's unprecedented. Still, not surprising. The bread was exceptionally yummy.


The surprise was that the crust, while fairly thick and wonderfully crunchy, developed crackles like crazy.



I'd convinced myself that this kind of crackly crust was achieved (at least by me) only when using lower gluten flour. But there it is. Another theory shot to heck!


I wish I knew how I did it. 


David

Pablo's picture
Pablo

I've been away from The Loaf for awhile and I thought I'd post an update to my bread-state.


I got away from baking baguettes over the summer/fall.  I became comfortable with the 40% caraway rye bread recipe that I was toying with when last I was here regularly.  But I forgot how to do a basic white bread.  I've remembered/reinventing now.  The last two batches of baguettes have been stellar, for me, after a run of really bad boules and batards.  My old notes were all double and triple fermentations.  I needed something simpler.  In Colorado with a bread machine I used to keep a pate in the 'fridge and I got some really wonderful sour flavours, such as I have never achieved while working at it this past year.  Now I have a substatial pate in the 'fridge, 1,000g right now, that I use to make about 3,000g of dough.  That gives me 6 300g baguettes, prebaked weight.  I can only bake them 3 at a time, so when I preshape the first 3 baguettes I degass the remaining 900g of dough and leave it in a cooler place while the baguettes proof for a little over an hour at about 80 degrees in a heated proofing box.  When they go in the oven I can then preshape the remaining dough for another bake in 2 hours or so.  I'm doing that and keeping track of how long I feel will be optimal for the pate to have been in the 'fridge.


Current baguette routine:  Combine 1000g pate with 790g 105F water, 60g mature starter, and 1212g flour (10% ww or rye).  Couple of stretch and folds at 45 minutes each, ferment until nearly double, divide, preshape etc. steam/bake 550 5min 500 5 min and 470 12 min.  I think the stone is too close to the top of the oven, so I'll lower it one.  The ends of the baguettes are getting a bit burnt, although they're nowhere near as wide as the stone.  I remember this fix from before the summer.


The strangest thing happened while slashing the baguettes last night.  I did one and had my usual drag-the-razor, ripple-cut slash, and then suddenly the slashes were working, smooth, deep, angled, perfect.  That never happened before.  I hope that on the next baguettes that I can do that again.


I've gone through 100 lbs. of Giusto's white flour.  I'm picking up 50 lbs. of Bob's organic white flour in the next couple of weeks.  I'm familiar now with Giusto's so I should be able to tell the difference if I handle the new flour the same as I've been handling the old flour.  I made some bread at my brother's house in Crescent City awhile back using Bob's organic white flour from a local store and it had a wonderful taste.  But then it was an unfamilar kitchen and I didn't really know what I was doing at the time.  So, we'll see.


A little while ago I made my first Danish, since then we've been pursuing the perfect Danish for us.  I liked to make pockets so that I could load plenty of filling inside and not have it run out onto the baking sheet.  The problem was that the pastry didn't puff up under the filling, just the flaps that covered the filling.  Currently we're trying a roll, but that's having problems as well.  I'm going to post that problem to a forum once they come out of the oven today.


I'm so happy to have my baguettes back.  I don't know where the bread journey will lead from here.  I just saw someone's posting of a high percentage rye that looked wonderful.  I may try something like that.


Hi everybody!  I'm happy to be back.


:-Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


 


I'm rather fond of challah, but my wife isn't. Most challah is too rich and too sweet for her taste. The closer to brioche it tastes, the less she likes it. So, when I made “My Sourdough Challah” from Maggie Glezer's “A Blessing of Bread,” and both my wife and I loved it, I was delighted.


Of course, all challah was made with sourdough before the introduction of commercial yeast. Since then, according to Glezer, challah has tended to be made sweeter and richer. Sourdough challah has a “moister, creamier texture” and stays fresh longer that the yeasted variety. Glezer's version has a delightful sourdough tang which lends it an almost “sweet and sour” flavor. It is wonderful plain, as toast and as French toast.


 


Ingredients

The starter

Amount (gms)

Active firm sourdough starter

35

Warm water

80

Bread flour

135

 

 

The final dough

Warm water

60

Large Eggs

3 eggs + 1 egg for glazing the loaves.

Salt

8

Vegetable oil

55

Mild honey

65

Or Granulated sugar

60

Bread flour

400*

Sourdough starter

All of the above+

    * I added an additional 3 tablespoons or so of flour during mixing, because the dough seemed too wet. This may have been needed due to my using more starter than Glezer specifies. See below.

    + Glezer says to use only 200 gms of starter, but I used all of it (250 gms)

Procedures

  1. The night before baking, mix the starter and ferment it at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

  2. In the morning, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the starter in the water, then mix in the 3 eggs, salt, honey and oil until completely combined.

  3. Mix in all the bread flour until it forms a shaggy mass.

  4. Knead the dough on the bench or in a stand mixer until it is smooth and there is moderate gluten development. Add small amounts of water or flour to achieve the desired consistency. The dough should be quite firm.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it tightly. Ferment for about 2 hours. It may not rise much.

  6. To make two 1 pound loaves, divide the dough into two equal portions, and divide each portion into the number of pieces needed for the type of braiding you plan to do. (I did 3-strand braids.)

  7. Form each piece into a ball and allow them to rest, covered, for 10-20 minutes to relax the gluten.

  8. Form each piece into a strand about 14” long. (I like Glezer's technique for this. On an un-floured board, flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece to about ¼ inch thickness. Then roll up each piece into a tight tube. Using the palms of your hands, lengthen each piece by rolling each tube back and forth on the bench with light pressure. Start with your hands together in the middle of the tube and, as you roll

    it, move your hands gradually outward. Taper the ends of the tube by rotating your wrists slightly so that the thumb side of your hand is slightly elevated, as you near the ends of the tube.)




  9. Braid the loaves.




  10. Place each loaf on parchment paper in half-sheet pans (I used a quarter-sheet pan for each loaf.) Cover well with plasti-crap or place the pans in a food grade plastic bag, and proof at room temperature until the loaves have tripled in volume. (Glezer says this will take “about 5 hours.” My kitchen was rather cool. I proofed for 6 hours.)




  11. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF with the rack in the upper third of the oven.




  12. Brush each loaf with an egg lightly beaten with a pinch of salt.




  13. Optionally, sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds.




  14. Bake until done – 25-35 minutes for 1 pound loaves.




  15. Cool completely before slicing.





David


Submitted to YeastSpotting on SusanFNP's Wildyeastblog


 

JoeVa's picture
JoeVa

Wednesday my sister bought a rye loaf at the town market. I remember when I spoke with the guy and asked him more about this bread: this is a true rye they buy from Austria, the frozen dough is baked it in their oven.


What!?!? Frozen and from Austria! Why don't you make it here, it's bread! No comment.
Yes, I know it is not bread if you think at wheat based bread, rye is a different baking world. Here in Italy, with the exception of few small communities in the very north regions, is almost impossible to find a bakery that bake true rye bread. But this is obvious if you think 90% bakers do not have a sourdough culture! And most of the few bakers that have a sourdough got it from a friend, they never started a culture from scratch.


Going back to the market rye, that time I have to admit it was good: I think >=70% high extraction rye, sourdough and some molasse enrichment(?).


Last time it was ...uhmm, so and so. When I tasted a slice I said my sister - this is not rye, do you remember my last rye? She said something (she don't like to speak about bread but she like to eat rye bread), so yesterday I baked it again (and baked also my usual Pain Au Levain, I remember DiMuzio lesson "master one bread"). Now, I can say her - this is rye.


The formula is from J.Hamelman "80% Sourdough Rye with Rye-Flour Soaker", for me just "Pane di Segale". This is my favorite true (>70%) rye bread and the rye flour soaker is a great addition.


                  


And this morning, after a rainy week, we finally see a ray of sun (or a rye of sun?).


 


Overall formula

Whole Rye Flour 80%
High Gluten Flour 20%
Water 78%
Yeast 0.5% (1.5% original)
Salt 1.8%

 

Preferment: 35% of the total flour (whole rye flour) is prefermented at 83% hydration. Remember to subtract the flour and water from the final dough ingredients. I usually build the sourdough with a 5:83:100 ratio and ferment about 14:00 at 21°C.

Whole Rye Flour 100%
Water 83%
Sourdough 5%

 

Soaker: 20% of the total flour (whole rye flour) is soaked with hot (boiling) water. Pour the water oven the flour, cover and let it at room temperature for 14:00. I keep the soaker in a warm spot for the first 02:00. Remember to subtract the flour and water from the final dough ingredients.

Whole Rye Flour 100%
Water 100%

 

Dough consistency: o_O ... it's rye! 

Process

  • Mix all ingredients (desired dough temperature 28°C)
  • Bulk fermentation 00:30
  • Shape
  • Proof 00:50
  • Bake on stone with steam for the first 00:05-00:10 at 240°C, then another 00:45 at 220°C.

The dark dense crumb:                   
Next time I will try with some molasse or brown cane sugar. EDIT: next time I will try a long baking.
La masa's picture
La masa

I thought these ciabattas would make a nice first entry for my brand new blog .



  • 200 gr of  a 100% hydration whole rye poolish (sourdough, of course)

  • 500 gr bread flour (with a pretty high gluten content)

  • 380 gr water

  • 9 gr salt


3 hour bulk fermentation, retarded overnight in the fridge, 1 hour out of the fridge, shape (kind of) and 2 hour proof.


25 minutes in a very hot oven, 10 more with the oven turned off.



 



 



 


It's a great bread for the kind of sandwiches we like in Spain. I'm sure you have seen that chorizo in the background :-)

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I just found an interesting article on The Heavy Table site - Solveig Tofte, the head baker at Turtle Bread Company in Minneapolis answering questions about her career. Might be helpful to anyone wanting to get into the baking business. Check it out, A.


Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Since my last post of Chocolate & Praline Almond Sourdough, I have done two posts at Sourdough Companion:


A Taste of Italy - Chilies, Sundried Tomatoes & Butternut Pumpkin Sourdough Baguette, and


Light Rye, Light Wholemeal Rustic Pain au Levain.


With this post, I am doing a Bread Salad using Five-Grain Levain.    


 


My local fruit and vegetable store recently has a few new varieties of pumpkins. I picked up an attractive looking pumpkin (pictured below) when I was there about a week ago and I asked Con the fruiterer where it came from.  He looked at me as if to say, why, Shiao-Ping, it's Australian-grown!  He tells me the name of it, but how am I going to remember all those foreign names?  I bought one, not knowing what to do with it.  As the week progressed, I felt like making some sort of Bread Salad with it!  What sort of sourdough bread would I make to go with roasted pumpkin?!


Pumpkin - pumpkin seeds - grains & seeds bread!!  Haha!


Here it is, Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain from his Bread, page 174.  My second try (the first try was in Polly, our dog's tummy): 


 


                    


 


Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain is an exceptionally moist bread. Depending on how big you make it, a good long bake is normally a good idea, or the moisture retained in the seeds will make the bread dense in the bottom.  I didn't understand it whenever I read bakers commenting on how moist this bread was.   When I studied Hamelman's recipe all that I could ascertain from his formula was that the soakers take the big chunk of the overall hydration (which may initially appear high at 98%) but the hydration for the final dough flour was only 58%!  Now I know the reason why this bread is moist - it is because the moisture retained in the soakers is not easily baked off, as does the flour.  Have you ever noticed that the weights of your dough before bake and after bake are very different? At least a good 12 - 15% difference. That's what I meant, whereas the pre-soaked seeds and grains seem to be able to retain the moisture in the oven better.


Notwithstanding the above, I made the following changes to my bread: 



  • I increased the overall hydration by 5% to 103% (my final dough flour got 64% hydration instead of 58% as in Hamelman's formula).

  • My starter was 75% hydration whereas Hamelman's formula uses a very liquid starter of 125% hydration.  One purpose of the latter, I gather, is to provide some acetic balance to the sourdough as grains and seeds breads tend to be more sour (ie. acidic acid rahter than acetic acid).  

  • I mixed my final dough without the soaker.  I left it until after the final dough had a chance to autolyse before I combined the soaker with the dough.  I did all my mixing and stretch-n-folds by hand.  And,

  • I retarded my dough overnight and I didn't have to put commercial yeast in the dough.


 


    


 


                                                      


 


This moist bread is perfect for a bread salad because so often the bread dries out once it's out in the open air (unless you smear it with butter or oil, which I don't want to do) but this one stays fresh for a lot longer.  It is a pleasing find for me.  


                               


I toasted these slices, broke them into pieces with my hands, then


tossed the pieces in a balsamic/dark brown sugar/olive oil dressing. 


 


                


 


I made the bread salad for lunch yesterday and had to keep part of it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours for my daughter.  She said it was still very fresh and crispy when she ate it, which shows how moist the bread was. 


 


                               


 


With this post, I would like to bid everyone a Happy Holiday Season!  We are going away on our annual beach holiday in the South Coast of Queensland tomorrow.  Much to my delight, there is no internet connection in the place we are staying.  I was looking forward to some beach sourdough baking, but then again blogging can be an all-consuming exercise, and a break can be a welcome recharge.


 


Best to all,


Shiao-Ping

SumisuYoshi's picture
SumisuYoshi

Walnut Pear Sourdough


Last week a friend brought us a box of Korean Pears (delicious, by the way) and seeing and tasting them, I thought they might make for a really yummy bread. I've never been a big fan of pears, don't like the texture, but I hadn't had asian pears before. The crisper texture, and not quite as sweet flavor was so much better than the pears I'd had previously. The crisper texture also seemed to lend itself better to inclusion in bread, not as likely to get lost. Then it came time for something else to add to the bread, and walnuts seemed like the natural choice. In the future I think I'll consider adding some chunks of blue cheese into the mix as well, but I didn't think some of the intended consumers of the bread would be happy with that.


I also decided to experiment with stenciling a bit with this bread, which was partially foiled by the flour from the couche, but by the time I was baking the third of the three loaves I'd manged to get it working a bit better. These loaves were also a testing ground for what differences using a cloche made. I played around with the slashing on them a bit too, somewhat successfully. The loaves that were baked in the cloche definitely had slashes that opened a bit wider, and somewhat crisper crust. The loaf volume appeared to be very similar, that is likely because they were verging on overproofed from being a little too warm when they went into the fridge overnight as shaped loaves.


I was very happy with how they turned out overall, though. The crust has a nice bite to it, while the crumb is creamy and very moist. The flavor has a lot of depth as well, just the slightest bit sour with some nuttiness and graininess from the rye and white whole wheat flours, yet exploding with bursts of fruity sweetness from the pears and nutty richness from the walnuts.

Walnut Pear Sourdough Recipe

Makes: 1 large loaf, 2 medium, or 3 small loaves (I made 3, just over a pound each)

Time: 2 to 3 days, 2 if you shape and bake the same day, 3 if you retard. First day: Make starter. Second day: Mix final dough, ferment final dough, divide and shape. Third day: Bake

Ingredients:

  Ounces Grams Percent
Starter      
Bread Flour 8 oz 230 gm 100
Water 5.25 oz 150 gm 67%
66% Levain 3 oz 85 gm 38%
Final Dough      
Starter 16.25 oz 465 gm 88%
Bread Flour 15.5 oz 440 gm 84%
Dark Rye Flour 1.5 oz 43 gm 8%
Whole Wheat Flour 1.5 oz 43 gm 8%
Water 9 oz 255 gm 49%
Pear Puree 4.35 oz 125 gm 24%
.25-.5″ Crisp Diced Pears 7 oz 200 gm 38%
Chopped Walnuts 7 oz 200 gm 48%
Vegetable Oil 1 oz 28 gm 5%
Salt .25 oz 7 gm 1.4%
Final Weight      
  63.35 oz 1806 gm 342%

Directions:

  1. Cream your starter with the water (adjusting the flour and water to accommodate the hydration of your starter) and then mix with the flour, it should just come together into a loose ball. Let the dough sit 5 minutes, covered, and then knead or mix it briefly to make sure all the flour is well incorporated. Leave the starter out to ferment overnight, or until doubled if making it earlier in the day.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the salt, bread flour, whole wheat, and rye flours. In another container, mix the starter with the water, pear puree, and oil until it starts to break apart and mix into the liquids. Pour the starter mixture into the bowl with the flours and mix until it just forms a ball. Let the dough sit, covered, for 5 to 20 minutes to allow it to come together.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl to a kneading surface and knead briefly, just enough that everything is evenly incorporated. Have about 2-4 oz of flour close by, and flatten the dough out to provide as large a surface as possible. Leaving a border around the edge of the dough, spread an even layer of diced pears and walnuts across the top of the dough. Fold the dough over itself, trying to seal the pear and walnut pieces inside, give the dough another fold, and then flatten it out again and repeat with more pear and walnut pieces. The dough will start getting very wet as you incorporate the pear pieces, this is where the extra flour comes in. The dough will probably be so wet from the pears that it will become harder to get it to stick to itself, so just keep spreading a bit of flour out over the kneading surface. Be careful not to add too much flour though, you want the dough to still be tacky.
  4. Once you have incorporated all of the pear and walnut (if you are having trouble incorporating everything, you can leave out 1-2 oz of the walnuts, it may seem like a lot in the dough but by the time it has gone through two rises it will be well distributed!) form the dough into a ball and put it in a large oiled container to rise, and cover it.
  5. After the dough has been rising for 1 hour, give it a stretch and fold. Turn it back out onto your kneading surface (making sure what was the top side in the bowl is face down) and gently stretch the dough out to approximately double length left to right, then give it a letter fold (bring each end in to the center). Repeat the stretch and following fold in the opposite direction (the closest edge and furthest edge). Place the dough back into the bowl, making sure the side that was face down on the counter is facing up again in the bowl. After another hour of rising, repeat this process again. Repeat this once more time after another hour of rising.
  6. Allow the dough to double, for me about 3.5 hours at ~70°F, remove from the bowl, and gently degas.
  7. Divide and shape the dough however you desire, I divided it into 3 pieces of just over 1 pound each, and shaped all of them into boules. Round each piece into a ball, and create surface tension by spinning the dough between your hands while applying slight downward pressure. Once each loaf is shaped, place in a banneton, a floured cloth in a bowl, or on a baking sheet. Cover the loaves well, or place inside a food safe bag and leave to rise overnight in the fridge, or on the counter depending on your timing.
  8. In my case, the loaves in the refrigerator were already close to fully proofed, so I only gave them 5-10 minutes to warm up before going in the oven, if yours are not fully proofed allow them to warm up and proof, probably at least 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 500°F with baking stone (and cloche, if you have one) in place. Just before you place the loaf in the oven, score it in whatever pattern you like. A hash mark (#) or a semi circle on each edge works well. If using a cloche, load the loaf into the fully preheated oven and lower the temperature to 425°F. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the cloche lid, rotate the loaf 180° and continue baking 15-25 minutes until the loaf is a bit past golden brown, and sounds hollow on the bottom. If you aren't using a cloche, lower to 425°F and steam the oven using a plant sprayer or by pouring water into a preheated pan when loading the loaf. Again, bake for 15 minutes then rotate the loaf and continue baking 15-25 minutes until a bit past golden brown. Remove the baked loaf to a cooling rack and let cool at least 1 hour before slicing.

Notes: Asian pears are intended in this recipe, although crisp European type pears would probably work well too. Yes, I realize the character on the top of the loaf is missing the top part of the upper left radical, I accidentally brushed it off when moving the loaf. If you want to make this bread with commercial yeast, in the starter dough replace the levain with an extra 1.8(51gm) ounces of flour, 1.2(34gm) ounces of water and 1/2tsp (.055 ounce, 1.5gm) yeast.

I'm happy this recipe turned out so well for me, it really hit what I was envisioning when I came up with it. Hopefully it will work as well for anyone else who decides to try it.

Walnut Pear Sourdough Walnut Pear Sourdough

smasty's picture
smasty

Ever since MerryBaker posted this recipe (from Baking with Julia) in Helend's blog, I've been waiting to try it.  Here it is!  It is really lovely.  I added 1 packet of stevia to up the sweetness w/o additional sugar (I did use the 1/3 c specified).  I made 3 loaves, as directed.  The recipe called for "1 can" of raisins, I used about 3/4 cup.  The loaves are really small.  Next time I'll only make 2 loaves from the batch so each is a little bigger.  It's an incredible holiday bread...love it!!


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