The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hi All,


I just wanted to share with you my final bakes of 2009.  I was unable to post them earlier as I went to Japan for Christmas and New Years...  This was a year of much improvement for me, perfecting my version of baguettes, getting the hang of sourdough, refrigerated bulk fermentation, baking very large loaves, making pizza dough, and kneading large quantities (7-8kg) of dough by hand successfully.


Wishing all of you much baking success in 2010.  Now I'm off to do my first bake of the 2010.


Cheers,


Tim











Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

So here we are...baking again. Thank God. Seriously. Grocery store bread really does suck. Eating that crap through my entire pregnancy almost killed me. Since the bouncing baby boy is now sleeping a lot better than before, baking once again commences.


Eric's Fave Rye


This was a riff on Eric's Fave Rye. I forgot the sugar and caraway so it isn't really right. I plan on making it again.


My Daily Bread


This was my final formula for my everyday, I-need-something-tasty-that-I-can-be-lazy-with bread. The write-up on my new and improved blog is on my new and improved blog.


Next up I'm hoping to tackle San Joaquin Sourdough and some bagels. All this week.


Maybe a little too ambitious?

alabubba's picture
alabubba

My daughter has had a Bun in the Oven for the last nine months, this morning he was done.


My new grandson,


 

rrossi's picture
rrossi

As the elderly grandfather in Moonstruck exclaimed "I'm so confused" pretty much sums up how I feel right now about sourdough starters and levain....


The heart of the question is, what really is levain?   I have read many comments through-out this site that claim starter and levain is the same thing. 


If that is the case, then can someone explain a recipe that calls for levain (1:3:4 - S:W:F) 100 gms or 20%????? 


Assuming "S" stands for starter (therby starter and levain are different) W = water and F = flour... the weight for each would be 12.5 gms of S, 37.5 gms of W, and 50 gms of flour.  What do I do next if my assumption is correct? Do I mix the levain and let it ferment? if so fo how long?  or do I mix it straight into the dough upon mixing?  I don't know the answer to this and I'm having a hard time finding the answer.


I love this site, lots of great info and really skilled bakers.  I hope someone can clear this up for me.


Thanks,


Richard R


 


 

davidg618's picture
davidg618

This morning I baked a variation of Anis Bouabsa baguettes. The changes are minor: 72% hydration vs. 75%; I bulk fermented the dough at 55°F vs. 41°F for the prescribed 21 hours; and I added distatic malt powder. Otherwise, my formula and applied techniques were essentially the same as those in the Anis Bouabsa's Baguettes thread. The changes were made for the following reasons. I don't trust my skills yet with a 75% hydration dough. I'm sneaking up on it. Over the weekend I made a 70% hydration sourdough (or pain au levain), and today's baguettes. Furthermore, my refrigerator maintains a 37°F temperature on the only shelf that will hold my bulk proofing container, and I was concerned that temperature would severely change the yeast's reproduction rate. (That's not a guess, I've got an erudite paper written by a couple of microbiologists on the subject of yeast reproduction rate vs. temperature as a reference.). I have the convenience of a wine closet--its too small to call it a wine cellar--that maintains a steady 55°F. Lastly, I added the diastatic malt powder to give the yeast all the edge available.


However, messing with the hydrations of these doughs got me thinking. If I changed the shape I could pass this bread off as a ciabatta, or a foccacia, or a pain rustique, and no one would challenge me: perhaps criticise, but not challenge what I called it. On the other hand, if I offered the pain au levain, to a reasonably knowledgeable eater, as a slice of boule, or batard they'd raise an eyebrow at least.


So what classifies a dough? Content (Ingredients)? Preferments? Shape? Weight? All of the above? All of the above, but not necessarily everytime?


My curiosity grew when I checked three published baguette formulae (DiMuzio, Hamelman, and Hines), and two for pain au levain (DiMuzio, Hamelman).  Their doughs' hydrations are within 2% percent of each other, as well as similar ingredients, percentages, and techniques. "Is there a "secret" crib sheet these guys aren't sharing with us?" I wondered. Yet I was baking a baguette dough that was essentially a straight dough, with hydration 9% pecentage points higher than prescribed by "common practice", using atypical techniques. Is Anis Bouabsa a rogue baker?


My interest in things that ferment isn't limited to bread baking. I also brew beer, and make wine. Among brewers there is a crib-sheet. It contains approximately two-dozen beers, and describes each of them by the same attributes which are defined both in scientific precision, e.g., specific gravity, International Bittering Units (IBU's); Lovibond (color) rating; and in subjective terms of taste, smell, and appearance. If there are specialty additives or techniques they are also described, e.g., lambics (a beer made sour by lactobacteria). Wines, of course, are mostly defined by their primary varietal (or mixtures of varietals) ocassionally by craft processes, e.g., malolacticfermentation, ice wines; and a subjective vocabulary codified by a Univerity of California at Davis, professor.


Does anyone know if bread types have been classified, or catergorized and written down, and where is it written? How are bread-baking competitions judged? What are the competitive rules, i.e., do they contain de facto categorical or classifying ingredients, technniques, etc.?


David G

bojangles7's picture
bojangles7

My bread - peasant bread gets beautfully brown outside, but heavy and somewhat doughy inside.  Help?

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Thiézac, a village 30 km from Aurillac (260 km north-east of Toulouse, France) has a reputation of pure rye bread.  Just the sound of it is beautiful to me.  When I read about it in Mouette Barboff's Pains d'hier et d'aujourd'hui (page 64 - 67), I felt that had to try it.  I am mesmerized by the rye bread photo and crumb shot in the book, full of soul.  The book has the most beautiful bread photos I have seen anywhere.


What struck me about the crumb of the Thiézac pure rye sourdough bread is its deep caramelized color.  A forum post by Danubian at Sourdough Companion, entitled "Dark" or "Black" colour to rye bread in June 2007 says that the dark rye bread "colour is achieved by method rather than adding an ingredient that imparts 'colour'."   


I had to consult several on-line French translators to get some sense out of the Thiézac recipe and even then I still have puzzles.  For instance, about "5 à 6 kg de levain de 3 jours," to build up the levain over 3 days to 5 - 6 kg?  I guess so; but how many feedings a day, and, more importantly, what is the flour to water ratio for refreshing the starter?  And, stand the levain at room temperature for the whole time?  


There is a knowledge bank at TFL regarding rye sour and rye flour in general, but I am really not interested enough on the subject to study.  My family and myself are not rye enthusiasts.  But anything "pure," as in the case here, I am all for it.  A pure rye bread makes me want to try it and ... dream about it.


So, here it is... the result of my dream:


 


               


  


     


 


                                                       


 


Now, I have to warn you that my result is quite different from what was in Mouette Barboff's book that inspired me.  For a start, from what I can ascertain accurately from the formula figures, the overall dough hydration in the Thiézac recipe is only 53%!  I cannot work on a dough with that hydration!  I kept adding water until a medium soft consistency was obtained and reached 76% hydration.  Further, the Thiézac rye bread has diamond scoring (3 cut on one direction and another 3 cut on another direction).  My dough was too wet to attempt at any scoring.


 


                     


 


This bread is sour, too sour for my family.  Because of the whole rye flour used, it also has a very nutty flavour.  The aroma is simply amazing when it came out of the oven.


           


                     


 


My crumb looked similar to the one in the book.  To my way of thinking, if I had done the dough at 53% hydration, the crumb would have been much denser.  I can only surmise that the village bakers' formula is only a guide - they would add water on the spot if they think the dough needs more water irrespective of the formula.  But I don't know for sure.


Well, as nice as the bread is, my family is not the slightest interested in it.  


 


                      


 


I have to pile up with something else that they like for them to eat it.  And here it is:


            


                          


                             Smoke Salmon & Salad with a Dill Sour Cream Spread on Pure Rye Bread


 


For any one who is interested, my formula of this rye sourdough follows:


Day 1



  • 10 g any ripe starter at any hydration

  • 35 g medium rye flour

  • 35 water


Mix and leave it in room temperature until doubled, then move it into the refrigerator.


Day 2



  • 80 g starter (all from Day 1)

  • 80 g medium rye flour

  • 80 g water


Procedure same as Day 1.


Day 3



  • 230 g starter (all but 10 g from Day 2, reserve 10 g for future endeavour)

  • 230 g medium flour

  • 230 g water


Mix and leave in room temperature for 6 hours or until it doubles.  (Note: I cut short one day here.  The Thiézac recipe does this 6 hour feeding one day 4; ie, using "levain de 3 jours.")


Final Dough



  • 690 g starter (all from above)

  • 345 g whole rye flour

  • 345 g medium rye flour

  • 440 g water

  • 20 g salt

  • 2 g instant yeast (or 2 x 1/3 tsp)


Total dough weight was 1842 g and the overall hydration was 76%.


 


         


 



  1. Mix all ingredients and knead for 2 minutes by hand or by plastic scraper.

  2. Oil a clean bowl and place the dough in there.  Cover.

  3. Bulk ferment for 2 hours at a warm spot of your kitchen.  (My room temperature was 28C.)

  4. Upturn the dough onto a well-dusted surface.  Lightly gather the edge of the dough to the centre, turn the dough over, and lightly shape it into a boule.  Sprinkle some flour on the top. 

  5. Sprinke some flour on a piece of baking paper.  Place the dough on the baking paper.  Cover, preferrably with a big bowl, so the surface of the dough remains untouched.

  6. Proof for one hour (and in the mean time, pre-heat the oven).

  7. Bake with steam at 240C for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200 C and bake for a further 40 to 50 minutes.  


 


Shiao-Ping

breadsong's picture
breadsong


I was inspired by a Banana bread featured on farine-mc.com (link: http://www.farine-mc.com/search/label/Banana). This lady makes loaves that are works of art!


This humble loaf is a single recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum's Banana Feather Bread, and when I slashed the top I tried a slight, reversed S-curve - to see what might happen.
I thought the result looked kind of like a banana!


We are looking forward to toasting and tasting.


Regards,
breadsong


 


 

smasty's picture
smasty

Jason's Coccodrillo Ciabatta just can't be beat!  Especially when you need a loaf and you haven't planned a bake day (i.e. nothing is bubbling on the counter).  I've made this so many times and just love how it comes out.  After a few practice loaves, it becomes foolproof.  If I don't see structure begin to take form at 10 minutes in the mixer I begin adding flour about 1 tsp at a time (being in Denver, I sometimes over-hydrate).  The longest I've ever mixed is about 16 minutes.  This is the first time I made the semolina version...fabulous!  My bulk ferment (to triple) was about 3.25 hours. I needed to make this loaf for my elderly folks today...it was great being able to whip up a loaf relatively fast, that is delish.  Who is Jason, anyway?  Does he know how famous this bread has become? 


Jason's Ciabatta Page


Not tripled yet, using the rubber band marker


Note the "Alton Brown Rubber Band Method" for measuring fermentation growth.  It's not tripled yet....



Susan's picture
Susan

And it's delicious!  The recipe is 100 Percent Whole Rye from Bread Alone.




Mini Oven gave me her Austrian stamp of approval and tells me it will be truly ready to eat in a couple of days. Thanks for looking, and Happy New Year to All!


Susan

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