The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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judy and john's picture
judy and john

I was curious if anyone knew how to get that "spiral" look of the flour on top of the bread; would love to give it a try on my artisan breads!

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart


Hi everyone,


 


I just wanted to take a minute and introduce myself. This is my first foray into the world of online baking communities…


 


I completed pastry school and earned my Grande Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris many years ago.  In addition, I hold multiple professional certificates in bread baking and venoisserie.  In other words, I’m a pastry chef.  


 


Like a lot of you, for years I have tried to make high quality venoisserie, brioche, croissants and baguettes using domestic flour, but I couldn’t seem to make it work with the flour we have available to us here in the States.  After all that time and money spent learning how to make them, needless to say, it left me more than a bit frustrated.  I searched and searched the internet and found many people trying “add a little of this or a little of that or try this or that”.  None of it worked to my satisfaction.  Actually, no one posted that they had great success either. 


 


I went to the top of the mountain, Grands Moulins de Paris (GMP), in a little town north of Paris by the name of Gennevilliers.  They are the largest mill company in Europe and arguably the best food and grain laboratory in the world.


 


My good friends and chefs in Paris tried to help me figure it out. The people at GMP tell me the flour that we have now developed is superior to type 45 and 55 French flour in every aspect.  


 


Knowing that there was no real solution for bakers in the States, I decided to turn my passion into my life’s work to provide this flour.  After all, we deserve high quality breads as much as Europeans.

The flour is not bleached.  The protein content is 11.5%.  There is ascorbic acid added as a preservative.  The deactivated enzymes, lipids and proteins, etc., added make the difference.  I believe one of the major benefits is derived from the enzymes that allow the starch to be broken down to complex sugars and the complex sugars to be broken down to simple sugars in the second proof.  Kind of complicated but really simple. The enzymes let the yeast live and the starches work as nature intended. Other than the vitamin C, everything added appears naturally in wheat.  Domestic mill companies buy the wheat and mill it so it has maximum shelf life.  We add the good stuff back. Just take a look at the breads on our website http://www.bdflour.com.  The beautiful color on the exterior of the breads come from the caramelization of the sugars, and of course, a good egg wash.


 


So, for the pastry students returning to the States, the product offers the opportunity to actually recreate what they learned to make abroad.


 


For the professional baker, the product will help you save money while creating a superior product possessing unmatched taste, texture, smell, appearance, and quality. Here’s a good example of how it saves you money: typically, American croissants weigh approximately 100 grams. B & D Croissant Flour creates a stronger dough, allowing for the same size croissant to weigh around 60 grams. This means that you not only use half the flour per croissant, but you use half of all other ingredients as well.


 


And for the at home bakers, well, the product allows you to make the best croissants, brioche and breads that you’ve ever tasted.


 


I’m excited to join the community of online bakers, and I welcome your questions and comments.  I encourage you to check out the website at http://www.bdflour.com, and, of course, hope some of you will venture to try the product.


 


Bart


 

 

Salome's picture
Salome

I've packed all my stuff, cleaned everything, thrown so much out . . . I'm moving to Basel on Sunday and I'm getting read for it! Yeyy. That's why I stayed the whole day at home. I had to get all these rather annoying things done. Now my room looks very clean and rather empty. Well done, Salome!


Still, I had to make my day somewhat more fun, and a full day at home is perfect for bread baking. Unfortunately, I realized this just after breakfast, so I didn't have time to get my sourdough ready.



That lead to the first requirement: I wanted to use a yeast formula with no pre-ferment.


Secondly, I had some buttermilk which had to get used.


Thirdly, I wanted some whole grains - baking white bread is fun, because of all the nice holes you can achieve, but it always causes me bad stomach-sensations, because I end up eating to much. So, third requirement, a whole-grain recipe!


Tadaa tadaa: I found a nice Buttermilk Whole-Wheat Bread formula!



I just had this bread for dinner, and it is a big hit. You've got to try it, it's so incredible light, even though its 100 percent whole-wheat. And the dough is simply a dream to handle, I never had a whole-wheat dough that behaved like this.


But it requires an effort: I kneaded for 30 minutes by hand, using the bertinet technique. during the last ten minutes I added gradually more water, the dough was able to absorb at least 50 ml, I'd guess. After the kneading the dough felt very smooth.


The dough has to rise twice before it gets shaped. It's a pleasantly warm day today, around 75° F - maybe that's the reason why this dough rised so beautifully. It was a real joy to watch it. It rose as high as many white flour doughs do! First rise: ~1 h 45 min, second rise ~1 h. After shaping, I wettened the dough slightly and rolled it in coarse wheat.


The next time, I'll add less honey. (The bread is subtle sweet, which is tasty and you'd think that it's the natural sweetness of the wheat if you wouldn't know better. But I found something about this subtle sweetness disturbing, too.) And more important, I'll bake it at a higher temperature. When I checked the loaves after 30 minutes, it was still incredibly soft on the outside. So I gave it 10 more minutes at 230°C, in order to achieve somewhat of a crust. This worked, but I'd still prefer a somewhat crisper crust. Next time I'll start baking at 200°C, take the loaves out of the pan after 20 minutes and maybe lower the temperature if required.


The recipe is originally from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book and got posted here on thefreshloaf.com. I did the version without a biga. (but I'm planning on trying it with a biga soon as well.)


Jw's picture
Jw

I've been far and away, hence a lot less active on TFL. That will change again soon. I received 'Crust and Crumb' in the mail (wanted to buy it in a store in the US, no such book available). This is a serious book, I really enjoy reading the first chapters. It is the mise-en-place before the actual work start in the rest of the book.


I updated my breadcollage, which I use to ask people to 'read' before they can pick a bread for me to bake.



In case you like to know: the questions I ask:


Which bread is the most 'work'?
Which bread is the easiest to make?
What is the relation between shape (looks) and taste (content, inside)?
Which bread is slowrising, which is multicomponent?
Which type I got right first time around, and which one am I still struggling with?


A few of the questions I get (apart from the 'you got to be kidding you can do this'..)


- what do you do after you knead to bread? (what do you mean with knead?)
- how much does a bread baking machine cost? (I don't know, don't have one).
- is this way too much work? (if time is your only perspective, buy bread in a store)
- what about the costs? (this is actually cheaper then buying quality bread, but don't count the labor costs...)
- why would you do this? (as mentioned before: taste, healthy food, sharable, care for my family, learning experience, 'chemistry')


Happy baking, 'I'll be back' with Pain de Michelle.


Cheers,


Jw

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I just received my book 'Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking' and was looking at the recipe and photos of this bread.  I have been wanting to make this loaf ever since David 'dmsnyder' told me how wonderful it tastes and it's his favorite semolina bread.  He also has the recipe and photo's on his blog.  I have made a few breads using the Semolina and Duram flour'. I love breads made with Duram wheat!


This bread is absolutely delicious!  I love the golden creamy color of the crumb!


I mixed completely by hand.  Baked the loaf on preheated stones...for 10 mins. under my largest dark blue enameled roasting pan...I have 3!


 




Balsalmic Glaze and EVOO.  with tonights roasted chicken dinner.


Sylvia 


 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Shortly after I joined TFL just over two years ago, Susan from San Diego kindly gave me her basic sourdough recipe and it has become my "go to" loaf. When my son was rude enough to ask why I kept making the same loaf I claimed that I needed to get it right so that I could enter a loaf in the County Fair. Well, in a classic senior moment I completely missed the deadline! So in effect I have been practising for two years, and tomorrow is the day to deliver the loaf. The dough is in between stretch and folds and I am cautiously optimistic. Please wish me luck and I will report back with good or bad news, A.

jj1109's picture
jj1109

is the reaction I mostly get at work when I mention that I do actually bake all the bread we consume at home. "We haven't bought bread for, oh, over a year now" I mention. The usual response to that is "oh, you got a bread machine did you? I have one, it's great, etc etc." Then I say no, sorry, I use my hands - the last few months I have returned to the good old hand knead (over my Kenwood mixer), which is why I made bread in the first place - I greatly enjoy the sensation of bread making, the changing of the flour'n'water paste into a smooth, soft dough, wonderful to touch and stretch! Also, given my three year old son likes to help, have this great big mixer going round and round tempts little fingers (he's really very good with it though) and I'd prefer not to go down that path...


One thing I do still use the mixer for is a new (to me) sourdough rye sandwich loaf formula from Peter Reinhart. It calls for the starter to be made wholly with rye flour, with the description of "it should look a little like potters clay" being a little inaccurate - the stuff is exactly like clay, in both colour and texture! At around 67% hydration, it's heavier than I usually use, impossible to stir with a spoon, so the first time I made it I got both hands in there (as is my usual method) and promptly was amazed at just how much stuck to me - I think out of a starter that was supposed to be 250g, there ended up being around 150g left in the bowl when I was finished. After that little effort, I use the Kenwood to mix that every time! This has very quickly become the favourite for sandwiches in my household, overtaking multigrain extraordinaire and marbled rye from BBA. Here's some pics:



 


Whilst I was on leave from work, I had plenty of time to read and bake. Actually, I had very little time, having to prepare my son's new room for him to move into (don't ask me how much I hate painting!) and we spent a week away (luckily there was an oven so I could keep baking!) however on the home page of TFL there's a link to a Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid from Floyd, I made the mistake of looking at that when my wife was over my shoulder... results are below ;) I can now attest that Raspberry Cream Cheese Braid is a resounding success as well!



The bread I keep returning to, however, is the one I first wrote about on TFL - Susan's Original Sourdough, as interpreted by David. I guess this is my "daily bread", the one I know the best, and the one people at work ask me to make for them! It's my most reliable formula, and always yields great results!



880g, no cold retardation


440g, no cold retardation


440g, 24 hours cold retardation



And finally... you should always smile, even when bread making. You can imagine my double-take after dipping this slice in my soup... and the resigned sigh from my ever-patient wife as I grabbed the camera!


mcs's picture
mcs

This past week was the first anniversary of our bakery's opening.  Of course this wouldn't have been possible without the help of  a few people. Here they are in order of appearance:



This is Mom about to sample a bear claw or two fresh out of the oven.  She's come out a couple of times to help us with both special events and our busy farmers' market season.  We must be doing something right if she keeps coming back.


 



Here's my "76 year-old migrant worker" and I posing for a picture.  John came up from Spokane, Washington last fall to help me for a week.  We both got a lot out of it and his visit was the inspiration for the 'bakery internship' idea.


 



Thomas came here from the Chicago area at the beginning of this summer to help out during a very busy 10 days.  Here he is posing with an impromptu sourdough loaf he made with rye starter, flax seed, and other goodies.


 



This is Sharon a.k.a. "the wife" setting up for our first farmers' market this year back in April.  When things get really busy, she's the one making the Apfelstrudels, doing the stretch-and-folding, and keeping me in line.


Although this is technically a 'one man operation'  we all know that there are people along the way who make any business plan successful.  Here they are.


Thanks everyone for making this past year a success.  I'll keep you Fresh Loafians posted on new developments over here.


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

BobS's picture
BobS

 


Fred the starter has come of age, and I've been baking sourdough pretty much weekly. This is a Norwich sourdough with the loaves retarded overnight. I got more oven spring than usual (without retarding); want to try it a couple more times to see if it consistently produces this result.


 



 


Green Tea's picture
Green Tea

After some successfully delicious baking sessions...


Spinach Cheese Boule - made wonderful sandwich bread



Pain de Provence - absolutely amazing!!!  SO good as toast! (but, yes, I really need to work on my scoring, not just my usual complete degassing of a bread as I attempt to slice...)



...I finally decided it was about time (as I started bread baking last November or so?) to try to develop my own recipe.


And I chose the obvious.


With the reference of numerous other bread recipes, I ended up with my Sweet Green Tea Bread.


(The glaze was stolen and slightly altered from Beth Henspengers Sweet Vanilla Challah (so good!!) in her book Bread for All Seasons)


Anyhow, here was how it was supposed to go:



Sweet Green Tea Bread


Preferment
1 tbsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water or milk
1 cup all purpose flour


Dough
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp green tea leaves
1 cup strongly brewed green tea (with or without the tea leaves)
1 well beaten egg
3 tbsp very soft butter


Glaze
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sugar


Sesame seeds (optional)


Preferment: Mix the yeast, warm milk or water and flour together, set aside ½ hour minutes.


Glaze: blend ingredients, set aside.


Dough: In a large bowl blend the flour, sugar and salt. Grind half of the green tea into powder. Blend the (dry) green tea into the (liquid) green tea, add egg and let it sit for a few moments until the (dry) green tea is soft.



Add the green tea mixture into the dry ingredients and then beat in the butter, lastly mix in sponge.  Knead with generously floured surface and hands until smooth and satiny (or until whenever you think it is ready- it was more of a guess on my amateur behalf).


First rise- until double in bulk.
Second rise- mostly degas, shape into one large loaf or two small ones and let the dough rise until double in bulk again.


Bake- Glaze and sprinkle with sesame seeds before putting in the oven preheated to 350ºF (with a preheated pan in bottom). Pour water in the pan and spray the oven walls and bake for around 30-50 minutes.



Looks just like one big cha sui bao! (Chinese barbaque pork bun)



And... here was how it really went.  I forgot to put in the butter and went very much off schedule for near the ending moments of the final rise I ended up having to leave the poor bread on its own for around three hours... although I did pop it in the cellar to try to slow rising!


Despite that it turned out wonderfully and the smell that filled the house was heavenly!


Now if I were to make it again... I think I would cut the ground green tea down to only 2 tablespoons, I have to admit there might have been just a bit too much. 


Please, if you have an advice for improving my recipe please, please reply!  It is probably in dire need of improvement!

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