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proth5's picture
proth5

 Panned loaves (to paraphrase) don't get no respect.


It's the crusty, lean, free standing loaves that we tend to think of when we invoke the term "artisan bread."


But, as others have pointed out - it isn't the bread that should receive the term "artisan" - it is the baker.


I did a lot of bread baking during my "childhood" and that time was spent mostly in the 1960's.  It was a different time.  I learned to speak French early in those years, but Paris was an impossible dream.  It had not yet become the place that I know almost better than the city where I live (or at least where I own property) - where I drop by once a year (barring extraordinary circumstances) to do the chocolate shopping (and take in the sights - I haven't become quite that blasé).


Of course, in those years, the taste of a real French baguette was unknown to me - and to the vast majority of the people around me.


What I baked was panned loaves. They were plump and brown like genial friars with a taste as heavenly as the personages they resembled.


I have eaten my share of sour bread, of terrine with crusty loaf, of peanut butter on baguettes, and even fresh Poilâne miche (not completely sure why people pay vast sums to fly it all over the world, but that's me).  Yes, there are pannini and those things you get from vendors in France with a couple of slices of something on a baguette or ficelle with not much else.  But sometimes you just want a "sammich" - on soft bread.  You know you do. You just won't talk about it in front of your foodie friends.


At the end of last year I was visiting family in Southeastern PA - land of my birth - and found myself adrift in the world of mass produced bread.  Apparently a substantial amount of money is exchanged for this stuff, but I really couldn't eat it.  I could have written up a formula for an enriched loaf using the limited range of ingredients and equipment at hand, but after spending quite of bit of effort working on pre ferments/lean loaves/fresh milled I have become interested in the formulas I remember from my youth.  You know those books (well, some of you do) - the ones from the "Ladies Farm Journal" with their tips on pleasing your man (making yeasted pancakes will do it, so I am told) and their enticing promises that this bread "always sells out at bake sales."  The target audience was rural women - whose major charge in life was the daily feeding of a large, physically active family- with limited resources.  They had to know what they were doing.


The formula I ending up using produced some pretty nice bread and as I returned to the wild West I had to wonder what I could do to goose it up a bit.


Since 2011 is my year to change and develop formulas for lean breads, I thought that I might add this to my baking plan.  I tend to be a patient formula developer - tweaking one factor at a time and evaluating the change.  I bake only once a week, so things take some time.  Since there are many recipes for lean loaves n these pages I have similarly decided that my 2011 blogging project will be to chronicle how I work with this old formula and what it eventually becomes. I have also decided to abandon my ill fated attempts at photography.  I have never been interested in taking pictures as my frustrated friends who are constantly saying things like "You spent three months in Malaysia and Thailand and never took any pictures!" could tell you - and I am singularly bad at it.  These are panned loaves.  They will look like a standard panned loaf of bread.  They will have a fine crumb.  I know that in the world of blogging if there are no pictures the blog is somewhat disappointing.  Well, I'm writing this as much for me as for the one or two people who actually read my blogs.  Perhaps if I get some real "show off" loaves I will find someone to help with the photography, but I just don't have it in me to do it myself.  We all have our limits.


The first step was to bake the formula mostly as written and to get the thing converted to weights so that I could analyze the baker's percents.  So here is the first formula with my notes.


2 loaves.


0% of flour pre fermented (I include this because it may change in future iterations)


Ingredient                           Wt                          Baker's Percent


Rolled Oats                       4.5 oz                      20%


Steel Cut Oats                   3 oz                        13% (The original formula called for all rolled oats.  This variation was mine)


Boiling water                      20 oz                      89%


Shortening                          1 oz                        4% (I used leaf lard)


Non Fat Milk Powder            1.2 oz                       5% (The original called for 2 cups of scalded milk.  This is just a substitute for the scalding process)


Salt                                   0.65 oz                     3%


Molasses                             3 oz                       13% (We "Dutchies" love our molasses!)


Instant Yeast                      .25 oz                    1% (Instant yeast was also my variation.  Of course instant yeast was not available when the original formula was written.  It called for Active Dry Yeast dissolved in 4 oz of warm water which I have included above as part of the boiling water)


KA AP flour                         22.5 oz                  100%


 


Combine the two types of oats, boiling water, milk powder and shortening.  Allow to cool to lukewarm.  (this would be a "soaker" except that it is not hydration neutral - whatever liquid is not absorbed by the oats is very much needed for the hydration of the final dough.  I may rework this in future iterations).


Add the salt, molasses, yeast, and flour.  Mix 5 minutes on the single speed of the spiral mixer. (The original called for adding only "some" of the flour to the oat mixture and beating - by hand - until the mixture was quite elastic.  This is a great technique for getting some gluten development before the kneading process when you don't have a powerful mixer at your disposal and it is what I used when I was away from my toy.  But since I have the big toy - it is a shame not to use it.  Of course, the rest of the flour would be added and the dough kneaded until "smooth and elastic.")


Let rise until doubled - 2 hours at cool room temperature.  One fold.  Let rise again - about 2 hours at cool room temperature.  (The original called for one rise of about an hour at 80F - no fold or punch down.  The fold and the second rise seemed like an obvious change to me, since most of the old formulas I baked called for a punch down and a second rise.)


Shape and place in greased pans.  Proof (1 hour) and bake at 375F for 40 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool on a rack.


So easy.  Honestly.  I haven't put that little effort into baking a loaf in awhile.


There was absolutely nothing wrong with this bread.  It had a mildly sweet taste, was soft and moist with a moderately soft crust.  I was a bit concerned that the steel cut oats would be too hard, but they added a soft crunch to the bread and were very nice. The molasses gave a nice color to both the dough and the finished bread.


But naturally, there were things that could be better.


Bearing in mind that this bread had to stand against an assortment of levain based breads when I was tasting, I missed the kind of depth that a levain based pre ferment brings to even commercially yeasted breads.


I also have a lot of milling products (like bran and high extraction flour) that I could incorporate if they would be an improvement.  Although tempted to do cracked wheat as an inclusion, I am going to stay with the steel cut oats, as oats add not only a subtle sweetness but their own share of healthy oat fiber (not that I am baking for health, mind you, but if it can taste good and be healthy, that's win-win) and really the inclusion of oats is the basis for this variant on standard white bread.


The formula does not leverage any ingredients local to the Western US - other than wheat, of course.


I have all that triticale that I was going to mill, but haven't - yet.  I thought it might perform better in panned breads.  Maybe that can be included.


Looking at the formula, the hydration seems high, but it is offset by the oats (now we know why the BBGA wants the soaker to by hydration neutral - so that hydration is more easily understood by looking at a formula.  There is always a reason...) My "guesstimate" is that the hydration is between 58-68% (remember to add in the molasses!) which is well in the region for panned breads, so I won't be playing with that just now.


Same with the fat content - that's pretty standard for a good old loaf of bread.


The salt and yeast seemed high until those troublesome oats were factored in.  Yeast still seems high to me - there is a real candidate for reduction.


My bread testers tell me not to change a thing - they loved it.  But I still think I can make it better.


So I am considering what to do.  Yes, I could make a whole lot of changes at once, but I gotta be me.  My instinct tells me that working some levain into that formula somehow (without making a pure levain based bread) would make a big change without using a lot of ingredients, but I have a week to think about it.  We shall see.

louie brown's picture
louie brown

There was no KA flour in the house, so I used supermarket ap for this. Along with a fair amount of olive oil, the result was a finer, softer crumb than I am accustomed to. Nevertheless, topped with salt, oil, parmigiano, marjoram and thyme, it made a delicious accompaniment for cheese.


I am partial to the round freeform shape for my foccaccia. 



MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

I came across polenta flour (maize flour) at Oasis Bakery (a middle eastern food store) and thought it would be an interesting ingredient for bread. I use polenta (coarse grind) quite often with my multigrains bread and I like its taste. It make the bread sweeter and give a nice yellow hue to the crumb.



Having no experience working with polenta flour, I had no idea how well it would absorb liquid, what changes it would make to the gluten development when mixed with wheat flour, etc. A search through Google and The Fresh Loaf website didn't give much information either. It doesn't seem like polenta flour is widely used in bread making, at least not from the information I found on the Web. 

The bread turned out quite nicely. The crumb was relatively open. It is denser and slightly chewier than usaul. It's good change from normal wheat bread and works really well with tomato, basil and olive oil.


More details can be found here:  


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2011/01/sourdough-polenta-bread-recently.html


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 



Pat's (proth5) baguettes have been my “go to” recipe for baguettes for quite a while. When she posted a new formula in November  - See Starting to get the Bear  - I promised myself to give them a try. I got around to it today.


These baguettes are made with both levain and a poolish and are spiked with some instant yeast. They still have a relatively long fermentation, for yeasted baguettes. Pat's description of her method included baking some of the dough the day they are mixed and retarding some to shape, proof and bake the next day.


Here is my interpretation of her formula a methods, with some modifications, as described below.


 


Poolish

 

Ingredients

Wt (oz)

AP flour

3.7

Water

3.7

Instant yeast

“generous pinch”

 

Levain

 

Ingredients

Wt (oz)

AP flour

1.7

Water

1.7

Ripe sourdough

0.35

 

Final dough

 

Ingredients

Wt (oz)

AP flour

31.35

Water

19.2

Instant yeast

0.05

Salt

0.55

Poolish

All

Levain

All

 

Total dough

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

AP flour

37.1

100

Water

25

67.25

Instant yeast

0.1

0.25

Salt

0.55

1.5

Starter

0.35

9

Total

63.1

178

     

  1. Mix the poolish and the levain and let them ferment at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

  2. Mix all the ingredients except the salt to a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. (I actually autolysed for 90 minutes.)

  3. Add the salt and hand mix in a large bowl or machine mix for 3-5 minutes at low speed. (I hand mixed the dough.)

  4. Bulk ferment for 4.5 hours with a stretch and fold at 2 hours. (Or, cold retard for up to some length of time, but surely less than 3 days. Or divide some pieces and retard the rest of the dough. This time, I divided the dough in two after the S&F and retarded half.)

  5. Divide into 10 oz pieces and pre-shape as logs. Rest the pieces, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

  6. Shape as baguettes.

  7. Proof en couche for 1.5 hours (Or until ready. Or retard shaped loaves.)

  8. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  9. Transfer loaves to peel. Score them and transfer them to the oven.

  10. Bake with steam for 5 minutes. Then lower temperature to 480ºF (convection, if you have it), and bake for another 12-13 minutes.

  11. Transfer to a cooling rack and cooling thoroughly before eating.

 

Because of the size of my baking stone, I divided half the dough into 4 pieces to make mini-baguettes.The dough handled really nicely, I thought. The baguettes were proofed and baked as above, according to Pat's directions. After 17 minutes, they were rather dark, especially the one at the back of the oven. They sang loudly when removed to cool. They came out of the oven just in time to eat with dinner, for a change, rather than just in time for bedtime snack.

Baguette crumb - torn, not cut

We ate one baguette with dinner – Sautéed petrale sole, leeks vinaigrette and warm Swiss chard salad with olive oil and lemon dressing.

The crust was very crunchy. The crumb was quite chewy and nicely aerated. The flavor was good, but I will use a bit more salt next time. I think I will also bake at a somewhat lower temperature for a slightly longer time. 460-480ºF for 20 minutes would be better for me, I think.

Addendum: I baked the second batch of baguettes today. I baked these at 470ºF for 20 minutes.

Baguettes with varied shaping and scoring

Compared to the first batch, the second had less dark crust. It was very crisp. The crumb was basically the same. The flavor was noticeably sweeter, but it still was under-salted to my taste.

These are very nice baguettes. I'll be following Pat's reports of her continuing bear hunt.

David

 

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,


I've been watching shaping videos, including brand a new one! from Mark at The Back Home Bakery, thanks to freerk's recent post (please see his post here...) and everyone who responded! And many thanks to Mark and those who take the time to make these videos; they are such a great resource.


There was nothing to do except get my hands in some dough!

My husband had a craving for a simple white bread, so I made a batch of Mr. Hamelman's Toast Bread (I snuck in 3% of my Red Fife whole wheat flour for some extra flavor). I made 1.5 times the recipe so I would have a little extra to practice shaping with. 
This quantity made a pullman loaf, a small batard, and two different sizes of couronne bordelaise:


I shaped the small batard trying to use Mark's technique he just posted.
I shaped the couronnes using 1.5 ounce boules for the small one (proofed in a plastic wicker basket), and 2 ounce boules for the bigger one.
I rolled the dough circle for the small couronne a bit thicker, and am happier with the result after baking.






I gave my firebricks (I use these in place of a baking stone) a rest today, and was happy with how the bread baked and rose in the oven in the absence of using a stone. The loaves were nice and crackly too, after baking.

Still having some candied orange peel left over from Christmas baking, I made Gibassier (Ciril Hitz's beautiful recipe).
This is an orange and anise-flavored enriched dough, and the flavor is absolutely-out-of-this-world!!!
I am so glad I made these!:





SylviaH made these too; I found her post today - please see here.
I think she did a much nicer job than I!


Happy baking everyone! from breadsong


 

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! I just wanted to thank you again for your encouraging comments on my bread-baking-project for school. I appreciate your thoughts very much! =]


I made bagels the other day, and wanted to share my post with you guys.


Here it is!


(my brother and i share a blog: http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/ )Originating in Poland in the 1600s, Bagels came along with Jewish immigrants to Ellis Island. Since many people of Jewish descent settled in New York, bagels have since been a tradition in the City.



The word bagel is derived from the German word for "to bend," symbolizing the round shape of the bread. Bagels were thought to bring good luck to the receiver of the bread. Usually, women who just gave birth received them for good luck as well as a symbol representing the cycle of life due to their circular shape.


The bagel gains its distinct chewiness from being first boiled, and then baked at a rather high temperature. A prolonged, cool second rise contributes to the bagels developed flavor, as well as the "fish eyes" on the crust. "Fish eyes" are raised bumps on the surface of the bread.


The first time I made bagels a few years ago, I was foolish and used whole wheat, no-knead dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Although this dough made fine boules, the bagels dissolved in the boiling water, leaving broken lumps of chewy dough. Nevertheless, I was determined to find the perfect bagel recipe.


My brother, Evan, has been baking his own bagels weekly for about a year now. Out in California, each bagel costs over a buck, and they're spongy rolls. Out here in New Jersey, we sometimes get good bagels-but mostly, they're doughy and the size of your face.


Reinhart begins his recipe with a sponge, combining water, yeast, and flour into a thick-pancake like batter. After about two hours, I added more yeast, flour, salt and honey. I tried to mix the ingredients together, but flour flew out everywhere, making a giant mess. I tried to knead the dough in the Kitchen Aid, but the dough was so stiff, I could smell the motor straining.


That's why we have hands, I guess. For about ten minutes, I kneaded the stiff dough until my arms hurt, and the dough passed the window pane test. I measured out the dough into twelve even pieces (thank goodness for a scale). However, 4.5 ounce bagels were a bit too large for breakfast, and I think making about 16 would be a better portion.


After letting the dough rest for a little bit, I shaped them into bagels. I tried both ways, by sticking my finger through the dough and stretching the hole out, and also by forming them from a coil. I found that by poking my finger through, the shape of the bagel was more consistent, but I'm sure with more practice, I could get better at the coil-method.


I let the bagels rest again for about twenty minutes. Reinhart suggests a test for readiness: I placed one piece of shaped bagel dough in a bowl of water and saw it immediately floated.


After the test, I placed them on baking sheets, covered them with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge for two nights.


On the second night, I brought a pot of water to a boil with an added tablespoon of baking soda. I didn't want to crowd my pot, so I only boiled four bagels at a time, for about a minute per each side. Immediately after boiling, I put them on a cooling-rack to drain, and sprinkled over a combination of sesame and poppy seeds, as well as some sea salt.


After boiling all 12 bagels, I baked them in a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes, rotated the pans, and baked them about 7 minutes more at 450, or until they were deep golden brown.


The next morning, I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. Wow. They beat any one of the partially-cooked ones I get from the bakeries in my town. Since there are only three of us living in my house right now, we froze half of the bagels for future use. I also gave my mentor, Mr. Esteban a handful of bagels to share with his family. I hope he enjoyed them!


Besides my finicky mixer, this recipe was super simple and didn't require all that much effort (but more utensils than normal to clean). Rather than spending 12 bucks for 12 bagels on Sunday, I can bake these (better) bagels for a fraction of the cost. Next time, I'll try to find malt barley to make more authentic bagels, but for now, these are awesome!


Olver, Lynne. "Breads." Food Timeline (2011): n. pag. Web. 14 Jan 2011. <http://www.foodtimeline.org>.


 


 

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21


   I’ve been baking bread ever since I stumbled upon my grandfather’s recipe for buttermilk bread.  His bread was a basic loaf but it sparked my love for all things fermentable.  My love grew into brewing my own beer and baking bread was put on hold.  I graduated college in 2010 and finances have become tighter since leaving school.  It is more financially responsible to spend the money on baking bread than brewing suds.  Although I desperately miss the smells that come with brewing a batch of homebrew, the smell of freshly baked bread has been a welcome substitute. 


 


    Last weekend I made a pate fermentee with the intention of baking baguettes.  I made sure to take a portion of the dough and wrapped it tight for storage in the freezer.  Thursday of this week I was struck with the urge to bake once again and withdrew the pre-ferment from the freezer to the refrigerator.  I mixed up the dough on Friday and went through the motions of fermentation.  The dough was shaped and then prepared to spend the night in the refrigerator.  I wanted to develop a nice flavor profile so I retarded the dough over night and baked them today. 


 




I will be sure to keep this blog current with my baking adventures; will soon be moving into sourdough. 


 


Happy baking,


 


-Matthew

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

This is from Hamelman's Bread, under (Yested Preferments). I used a Pate fermentee of my baguette dough. I also added no yeast to the final dough. Mixing was very brief with turning the dough in a bowl every 30 minutes for 3 hours, developed the dough well. This is my first time to underdevelop my dough, and using my hand to fold the dough intermittently.


What i ended up with is developed yet soft feeble dough that jumped to life in the oven. The loaves were quite lighter in mass, and the crumb was soft and holey.


I, however, forgot to add the salt to the final dough, so the flavor was quite lacking.






mcs's picture
mcs

Hey TFLers,
This is a short no-frills video re-visiting some of the parts of shaping that I feel are important.  In the beginning I demonstrate slowly using a damp dishcloth, then I use the same technique with a few different doughs.  Lastly, I use a slight modification on the technique to form a couple of boules.  Enjoy. 

-Mark

http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

 

 

ngleicher's picture
ngleicher

I am looking for input to help me make a purchase decsion.   I have been baking yeast breads for years and am now considering the purchase of a heavy duty mixer to lighten my load viv-a-vis kneeding.  Both the Bosch and the Electrolux products are foremost on my mind.  I tried a KA Pro-600 but it labored under the strain of a 2 loaf recipie that called for a biga.   I want at least some of the versatility that the original Cuisinart provides, so I can avoid buying a separate appliance as opposed to an accessory.


 


Comments????


 


Ngleicher

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