The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

I recently dusted off my old John Coltrane records, and I've been listening to them pretty much non-stop this weekend. Coltrane's one of those artists that I listen to intensely for weeks on end, before I need to pause, put the records down, and breathe a sigh of relief. For me, the intensity of the music itself seems to induce this kind of listening. Even though I'm generally partial to the fire and cinder of his late Impulse! records, "Giant Steps" is probably the record that's closest to my heart. Not only was it the first Trane record I bought, but it also opened my eyes to so much timeless music. It was also the soundtrack to a great, great summer...


After a rough week, I decided to indulge in baking some of "my favourite things". The first was a pain au levain, a bread that I never tire of. It's also one of those formulas that easily fit into my weekday routine. Here's my formula.


I mixed the dough Friday afternoon, and pulled the baked bread from the oven Saturday morning:


Pain au levain


I really like the simplicity of the bread and formula. A crisp crust and a chewy crumb - it's a bread that's flavourful enough to be enjoyed on its own, with some butter, or a slice of Brie de Meaux.


Pain au levain crumb


 


I've mentioned it before, and it's probably not something I'm the only one to think, but as the autumn and winter approach us, my preference swings towards wholesome breads. July's crusty baguette is replaced by a dense, filling rye come late October. Yesterday I baked a dense rye loaf based on Hamelman's "80% rye sourdough with rye flour soaker". I made some small changes to the formula, and you can find my adaption described here.


This is a dense, 80% whole rye bread, where a third of the flour comes from a ripe rye sourdough, and a fifth of the flour is scalded with boiling water. The scalding process increases water absorption, provides the bread with just a hint of sweetness, and lends the crumb a soft and moist mouthfeel. Here's the baked bread:


80% rye with rye flour soaker


... and a "24 hour later crumb shot":


80% rye with rye flour soaker crumb


Just what I'm looking for this time of year.


As the title of the blog post warns: There are no apple tarts this week. I hope all's not lost, and that there's still room for Sunday dinner... Another favourite of mine is quiche. I'm not sure if what I made yesterday qualifies as a quiche - according to Robuchon, there's no onion nor grated Gruyère in a proper quiche lorraine. Adding grated Gruyère is supposedly something the posh Parisians did - and the onion? Well, if you put onion in there, it's an onion tart. It's a minefield, I know, so I'll call this my favourite Sunday bacon-and-onion tart. Below's the mise en place: Prebaked tart shell, a custard (in the white bowl, center-top), cooked onion and bacon, and Gruyère. I like a crisp tart crust, and due to the rather liquid filling, I try to give the tart shell a full 20 mins. prebake before filling it.


Quiche mise en place


Voila! Here's the tart after 35 mins in the oven:


Quiche


Bon appetit!


Quiche

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Sports fans are notoriously superstitious.  Whatever they do on the day of a big win somehow becomes the cause of that win, and must be repeated in order to assure the next win.  So, I guess I have to bake Babka again today, Tuesday and Wednesday or the Giants are bound to face defeat.  Well...if they don't make it to the World Series, I'll take the blame cuz one Babka bake is enough for now. Yesterday, my first attempt at Babka (Chocolate-Cinnamon-Pecan) led to a thrilling one-run win in the Giants first NLCS game against the Phils.


Babka preparation is quite a big deal.  As Emperor Joseph II might have said to Mozart if he were a baker, there are just too many ingredients.  (No, I'm not comparing myself to Mozart; when he was my age, he'd been dead for 20 years).  Flour, yeast, salt, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, grated baker's chocolate, sugar, butter, pecans, flour, sugar, butter....and butter and sugar. There are also lots of steps.  But the results are worth the effort.


IMG_1689


IMG_1694


IMG_1697


Now that I've mashed together themes from Baseball and Classical Music, here's the recipe, an adaptation from Glezer, as told by Stan Ginsburg:



Cinnamon-Chocolate-Pecan Babka (Adapted from Glezer via Stan Ginsburg)


Makes 3 loaves.


Dough Ingredients (measured in ounces)


BreadFlour 36  


WholeMilk 17.25


Unsalted butter 6.75 


Egg Yolks, large 2.5 - approximately 4 yolks


Sugar 9.75  


Instant Yeast 1.0 


Salt 0.25 


Vanilla Extract 0.65 


Ground Cinnamon  .30


Filling Ingredients 


Sugar 11.5  (1 ½ cup)


Unsweetened baker’s chocolate, grated 4.50 (1 ½ cup)


Toasted and chopped Pecans,   8.0 (2 cup)


Unsalted butter, melted (also for greasing pans)   6.00 (1 ½  stick)


Streusel Ingredients


Bread Flour 3.0


Sugar 1.50 


Unsalted butter, room temp 1.50 


Method



  1.   Warm the milk to 105-110 degrees F.  Stir instant yeast into milk. Meanwhile, melt the butter for dough and allow to cool.

  2.  Add half (18 oz) of the flour to milk and yeast and mix until smooth. Allow to ferment about 30 min, until very foamy and volume triples.

  3.  Add remaining ingredients and blend using hands. Knead in the bowl until gluten forms and dough comes away from sides of bowl. This is a very rich, slack dough and it will take time for the gluten to form, but it will happen, so be patient.

  4.  Allow to ferment 45-60 min, until more than doubled in bulk and very gassy. Grease three loaf pans with butter. Turn dough out onto a generously floured board and pat firmly  to degas. Divide the dough into six pieces (two for each loaf).

  5.  Roll the first piece of dough into a very thin sheet, preferably less than 1/4". Using a silicon mat helps. Otherwise, make sure you have enough flour on hand to prevent sticking. When you finish rolling the first sheet, brush it with melted butter and sprinkle it evenly with one sixth of the sugar,  chocolate and pecans. Roll it into a spiral, jelly-roll style. Repeat for other five pieces of dough.

  6.  Preheat your oven to 325 and set rack in lower third of oven. Twist two rolls of dough together to form a double helix, a/k/a a spiral, and arrange in the pan.  Repeat for other two loaves.  Allow to proof for 30-45 minutes, until the dough extends above the rim of the pan.

  7.  Brush top of babka with melted butter. Blend flour, sugar and softened butter into a coarse mixture and sprinkle generously on top. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until loaf is a rich, dark brown and it sounds hollow when tapped with a finger. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before tapping it out onto a rack to finish cooling for an hour.

  8. After cooled, enjoy Babka during final innings of Giants' victory.


These Babkas are a delicious moist coffee cake, not too sweet.  The only change I'd make is to add cinnamon to the filling as well as the dough.


Go Giants!  Go Nuts!


Glenn

Submitted to YeastSpotting (http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/)

Neo-Homesteading's picture
Neo-Homesteading

 


  


 


Recently my family visited quiet valley living historical farm in stroudsburg, pa. Although we went there for the "craft festival" it was the oven that really captured my attention. I talked with the ladies running the oven briefly and had a brief conversation about how I'm in the process of building my own oven. Well actually its been a few years in progress now. I was amazed at how well their oven looked and how well maintained it is. It really motivated me to want to finish my own.


So far, We dug a 4x4 foot hole, filled it back up, made the foundation with cinder blocks... filled the center with sand, purchased fire brick and now its still sitting there. I based everything off of what I read in kiko denzers book but something I really had an issue with was all of the rocks and trying to find the perfect soil to build with. While talking to the ladies at the historical farm I almost got the impression that rocks are ok? It was just a brief conversation however now I'm somewhat baffled. Dont rocks explode when they are heated? Living in the pocono mountains finding the perfect clay to use for my oven just seems impossible. Has anyone else done this in a similar environment? I'm really hoping to finish my bread oven soon, hopefully before the snow hits this season. I'm wondering if a masonry oven might be a better way to go however I did have my heart set on a cob style earth oven. Any helpful advice appreciated! For more on the historical farm please see my blog post. 


 


External Link to post: http://neo-homesteading.blogspot.com/2010/09/quiet-valley-living-historical-farm.html


 
Neo-Homesteading's picture
Neo-Homesteading

 


 



 


Recently I've been on a mission to really try and improve my food photography. Although I make sourdough pancakes quite often i decided to really take a stab at re-vamping my original post. The recipe is still pretty much identical however this time I topped each pancake with some diced lightly seasoned apples. They really reminded me of traditional german Apple kuchen. They came out delicious and perfectly fluffy. We topped some with home made blueberry and cherry compote and I also caramelized some bananas. 


Link to recipe : http://neo-homesteading.blogspot.com/2010/10/sourdough-pancakes-revisit-and-foodie.html

Franko's picture
Franko

 


 


 



Pain de Campagne


 


This weeks bake is somewhat of a hybrid between Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with increased Whole Grain and a formula posted by JoeVa back in January of this year for a Pane a Lievito Naturale con Segale Integrale .


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15474/pane-lievito-naturale-con-segale-integrale


 


The final dough includes a ratio of 20% whole rye flour as well as malt syrup and nondiastatic malt powder. The malt syrup helps provide the natural yeasts with sufficient nutrition during the long fermentation of this dough (30+hrs) and the nd malt powder is used for added flavour, similar to JoeVa's formula. But where Giovanni's posted formula calls for a stiff levain, I used a liquid white levain as per Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with increased Whole Grain because that's what I had active at the time. Since the levain is a wheat based leaven I'll just call this a Pain de Campagne for now unless someone has a better suggestion for it. The bread has a good sour note to it that combines well with the malt for a balanced overall flavour. The crust is chewy and the crumb is even, which makes it a good loaf for sandwiches and everyday use, and a bread I'll be making often. Formula and photos included.


Cheers,


Franko


 


 


Ingredients

%

Kg

Kg

 

 

 

 

Levain

 

 

 

Mature white Liquid Culture

13.3

16

 

Bread Flour

100

120

 

Water

125

150

 

Total

 

286

 

 

 

 

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

Rogers Unbleached Bread Flour

80

600

 

Nunweiler's Dark Rye Flour

20

120

 

Levain

30

286

 

Malt Syrup

0.5

3.6

 

*Non-diastatic Malt Powder

1

7.2

 

Salt

2

14

 

Water

52

380

 

Total

 

1410.8

 

Total Hydration

73.9

 

 

  • non diastatic malt powder can be found online at KA

Procedure:

Mixing Time-5 minutes on 1st speed 7-8 minutes on 2nd speed

Desired Dough Temp-76F

 

Add all ingredients except the salt to the mixing bowl and mix on

1st speed for 2 minutes. Add the salt and mix for an additional

3-4 minutes on 1st speed, or until all the ingredients are combined.

Mix on 2nd for 7-8 minutes until the dough is cohesive but not fully

developed. Turn the dough out onto the counter/bench and work by

hand until the dough is smooth and well developed. The dough

should have a medium feel to it, pliable but slightly resistant to the

touch.

Bulk Ferment -2 1/2hrs at 70F

First stretch and fold after 50 minutes

Second s&f after 50 more minutes

After a full 2 ½ bulk ferment, round lightly, cover and rest for 15 min ,

then shape as desired. Place in floured banneton (if using) and place

in refrigerator or at a temp of 58F or less for 26hrs. After this time bring

the dough to room temp for 4 hrs or until almost fully proofed, slash, and bake at

500F for 10 minutes with normal steam then reduce the temp to 440F for

the remaining bake time of 30-35 minutes, rotating the loaf after 20 min

to colour evenly on all sides. Cool for 8 hrs minimum, wrapped loosely in

linen on a wire rack before slicing.

 

 

 

 

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I've been immobile for the past two months with sciatica. With steroid treatment and physical therapy, it's nearly completely diminished. Fortunately, the freezer was well stocked with baguettes, sourdough loaves, and a couple of Jewish Ryes at the onset--now nearly depleted. 


Yesterday afternoon, after a two month hiatus, I celebrated my new-gotten mobility by mixing dough for my Overnight Baguettes formula; shaped and baked them this morning.


 


Nice to know, I haven't gotten too rusty. Sorry, no crumb shot; these are restocking the freezer.


David G

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I wanted to bake under a pyrex, and an ss bowl this time. The boule on the Right was under a pyrex bowl, and the Batard was under the stainless bowl.


My adapted recipe of Hamelman's Formula:


Total Formula:


Bread Flour: 1lb  (50%)


Whole Wheat Flour: 1lb (50%)


Mixed Grains: 5.8 oz (18%)


Water: 1lb , 10oz (78%)


Salt: 0.7 oz (1 T + 0.5Tsp) (2.2%)


Yeast: (1tsp) instant yeast (1%)


Honey: 1oz (1 T, 0.5tsp) (3%)


Levain:


Bread Flour: 3.8 oz (100%)


Water: 4.8 oz (125%)


Starter: 1.5 T (20%)


Soaker:


Grains (Cracked oates, or wheat or Rye, Sunflower seeds, Flax seeds, Buckwheat): 5.8oz (100%)


Water : 6.9 oz (120%)


Salt: 0.5 tsp


Final Dough:


Bread Flour: 12.2 oz


Wholewheat Flour: 1lb


Water: 12.5 oz


Salt: 1 T


Yeast: 0.1oz  (1tsp)


Honey: (1T + 1tsp)


Soaker: All


Levain: All


 





Neat Results, but the chronic charred bottom remains a challenge i have to put up with in My gas oven.


The loaves could have used more proofing time, but i bet the premature levain i mixed in had something to do with it.


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,

This bread is from Artisan Breads at Home by Eric Kastel. The original recipe calls for walnuts, but this is Hazelnut weekend in my kitchen.

These are hearty little loaves, loaded down with lots of goodies, and the sweetness from the apple-cranberry pairs nicely with the sourdough.

I want to try making crisps with some of the bread, as described by farine-mc on her blog:
http://www.farine-mc.com/2010/09/hazelnut-cranberry-whole-wheat-crisps.html

I wanted to try and get a cracking crust, and went for a hot bake which is reflected in the 'colorful' crust.
I didn't get cracking crust, but the loaves did sing to me a little bit!   Regards, breadsong



 


 


 

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

In this third installment of my weekly attempts to bake a passable baguette, conflict, drama, and a rather too hot oven arise.


Where we last left our heroes:


My weekly goal is to master (sort of) Hamelman's Baguettes with Poolish. Last week's baguette possessed only a so-so flavor and texture, a crumb that was somewhat too tight, crust that was a tad chewy, and irregular scoring.  This week I added a few modifications:



  1. I fermented the poolish for only 9 hours instead of 12.  I'm making only a half batch compared to Hamelman's Home measurements, and it stood to reason that if 1/8 teaspoon of yeast in ~21 oz of poolish is ready in 12 hours, the same yeast in half the poolish would take less time

  2. By accident, I left the oven temperature at 535 degrees (probably more like 515 measured by a more reasonable oven than mine) for the first 6 minutes of the bake.

  3. After the baguettes had finished baking, I turned off the oven, propped the door open, and left them in for another 5 minutes, in hopes of a crisper crust.


The Results: External Shots


Crumb: 

As you can see, the crumb was relatively tight, and the scores very shallow, and so in that respect this batch was pretty disappointing.  On the other hand, at least the slashes were a little more consistent?  However, the flavor was somewhat better, and although the crumb lacked big open holes, it had a creamier texture than past weeks.  The crust was also nicer--although a little chewy on the bottom, the rest was thin and crispy.

As for why this happened, I have a few thoughts, although if anyone else has some I'd love to hear it.  I think the poolish is still over-fermenting.  Although it wasn't as bad, I could still smell the alcohol, which isn't a good sign.  I can't reasonably let a poolish sit overnight for much less than 9 hours, so I'll have to either cut the yeast (tricky when I'm starting from 1/8 tsp), or make extra poolish and throw some away.  I also think that goofing up the oven temperature may have hampered the ability of the cuts to open, although I think primarily I just didn't slash deeply enough.  I also wonder if I might be degassng too much when I shape the baguettes.

I think next week I'm not going to vary anything except to change the yeast proportion in the poolish, and skip the goof on the oven temperature.  If I still get a tight crumb, then I'll examine other factors.

-Ryan

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, To celebrate the Hazelnut Harvest which happens this time of year, I wanted to make some sweet rolls, using hazelnuts.

These are rolls made with Basic Sweet Dough. with Nut Filling, from Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads by Ciril Hitz.
This is a nice sweet dough recipe and includes some lemon zest for an added dimension of flavor.

Hazelnut flour was used in the filling, and the rolls were glazed (icing sugar + a decent measure of Frangelico liqueur
+ a bit of cream + a bit of pure vanilla extract + a teeny-tiny pinch of salt).


This recipe produced 12 decent-sized rolls, baked in a 9x13 pan, with some extra dough left over; 
the roll ends were baked in small ring molds.

These rolls were good and tasty (I really like the liqueur-spiked glaze!).    Regards, breadsong



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