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Franko's picture
Franko

 


The Last Loaf of 2010


Earlier this month I made a trip down to Cowichan Bay to visit True Grain Bakery and to pick up 30K of Red Fife flour that I'd ordered for breadsong http://www.thefreshloaf.com/user/breadsong a fellow B.C. Resident and TFL member, and myself. Cowichan Bay is a small, rustic seaside village with a fair number of various shops and restaurants lining the sea side of the main drag, and is a popular tourist stop here on Vancouver Island.  The bakery itself has a funky eclectic look to it that is totally in keeping with the general ambiance of the village, with lots of bric a brac and paraphernalia decorating the walls. The staff were all very helpful and friendly, greeting me almost as soon as I walked through the door. When I told them I was there to pick up some flour that I'd ordered, the miller himself came out from the adjacent mill room with our flour and thanked me for the order, and asked if there was anything else he could help me with. Two weeks earlier I'd sampled some of their fabulous Christmas cake at one of our local craft fairs so I asked him to put one of those on the bill as well. After I'd settled the bill I asked if I could take a few pictures of the shop while I was there. He told me that'd be fine and allowed me access to the mill room so I could get a few shots of the mill setup.  I took a few photos of the bread display as well, but by now the small shop was filling up with customers, making it difficult to get any decent closeups of the breads. I can tell you that from what I saw of the breads it's all very good looking product, obviously made with a lot of skill and attention to detail. 


I'm looking forward to my next visit to True Grain,which will probably be in early Spring 2011, depending on how quickly breadsong and I go through our flour. Hopefully I'll be able to get some pics of the production area and the ovens at that time.


 


When breadsong and I were messaging each other to set up the arrangements for shipping and payment for the flour, she raised the question of whether the 75% sifted RF that we ordered would be considered a high extraction flour. At the time I wasn't entirely sure as I've never had occasion to use it either on the job or at home. After a quick search I found that high extraction flour lies between 75% and 100% . The best information I found was on Joe Sloan's 'Hamelman Challenge' Blog where he explains what high extraction flour is exactly and provides a conversion formula so that you can blend your own.


http://hamelmanchallenge.blogspot.com/2010/06/tech-note-high-extraction-flour.html


I've also noticed since then that Hamelman provides a description and formula as well in his side notes to the Miche recipe.


I sent breadsong the link and she ran the numbers through her Exel spreadsheet and sent me the results the next day. Darn good teamwork I thought.


 


Now that I had the information I needed I was finally ready to make a bread from Hamelman's book that I've wanted to make for a long time which is the Miche, Point a Calliere. This mix being a first run of the formula, I stuck as closely to Hamelman's recipe and instructions as possible, the major exception being that I built the levain over a 3 day feeding rather than 2 as the recipe calls for. One thing I've noticed since using the Red Fife is that it doesn't take quite as much water as regular bread flour to get a nice supple dough that's easy to work. In this mix however I stayed with the indicated overall hydration and made some minor flour adjustments during the second phase of the mix to achieve a very soft but cohesive dough that could be further developed through the fermentation and folding to follow. In total, I did a stretch and fold 4x over the course of a 2 ½ bulk fermentation,which gave it enough strength to hold a low profile shape after molding. The final proof was just a little over 2 ½ hrs and the dough weight before baking was 1.654kg /3.6 lbs and 1.371/ 3.0lbs after baking, a difference of just over 17%. The oven was steamed using Sylvia's method, and baked on the stone for 20 minutes @ 440 before removing the steam tray and rotating the loaf. Then another 30 min. @ 420 and 15 more minutes with the heat off and the door slightly open. Big loaf, long bake. I left the loaf wrapped in linen for 20hrs before I took the first slice just to let it settle and for the flavours to ripen. This bread is definitely not lacking in the flavour department, with a good sour tang, but the rich wheat taste of the Red Fife predominating overall. The crumb is chewy with some semi large holes and the crust is nice and crackly. This is one of those breads that doesn't need anything else with it to fully enjoy, but a slice of cheese or sausage, maybe a bowl of soup and a glass of red wine wouldn't take anything away from it either. Hmm, I think I just came up with what I'm having for a light dinner tonight. Some crumb and crust photos below.


Hope everyone at TFL has a Happy New Year, and all the best for 2011!


Franko



 


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, With many thanks to Franko for sourcing this wonderful Red Fife flour for me (so very kind)!
I've now the luxury of baking with this heritage, organic, stone-ground, 75% sifted whole-wheat from True Grain Mill, and I am very grateful.


These breads were made using Mr. Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat (Red Fife) Flour, as Franko had done.
Franko really did a beautiful job on his bread; his post is here.

The Red Fife is a lovely, top-notch flour to work with, and my husband and I were very happy with crust, crumb and flavor it produced in this bread.
We cut into the small loaf, trying to wait a decent amount of time to let it cool off!
The dough was retarded in the fridge for 20 hours before baking.
I included a picture of the Red Fife flour below (on left side of plate; my other stone-ground whole-wheat flour on the right side of plate, for comparison).







Happy New Year everyone! from breadsong

Yolandat's picture
Yolandat

I had to work Chistmas day for the last time before I retire in January. It was a quiet day with lots of empty beds, quite unusual for out ICU. We had a lottery for Boxing Day and I won the day off. I visited with my sister and her husband for a while and went home and set up a batch of bagels for Boxing Day morning. I had some small spots where they spilt and I am not sure why. I couldn't find my timer and guessed on 2 minutes for the boil so that may be the problem. Noone seemed to care though and they tasted great.


salma's picture
salma

hello



breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, I am taking a trip down memory lane in trying to make this sourdough rye with walnuts.
I got to taste a rye bread with walnuts, made by Mr. Hamelman, at the IBIE show in Vegas in September.
His bread was absolutely delicious!!! I'm afraid I'd never had the pleasure of tasting good rye bread prior to tasting his.
Using his formula, I hoped to re-create the flavor here at home. I just tasted a tiny slice and although my bread could never match his, it is good and tangy, and I love the walnut flavor in this loaf.

I did two things differently from the formula/instructions...I added 15g of vital wheat gluten to the mix to try and strengthen the dough, to compensate for the 50% rye; and for some unknown reason, thought I had to proof the loaves seam side up (consequently scoring after proofing, not before proofing).  Also, running behind schedule this a.m., I just caught the sourdough as it was starting to deflate and am not sure if that had an impact on how this bread turned out.  Having never baked with 50% rye before, I didn't know if I should be expecting any oven spring or not, but I didn't get any.


Here are my pictures: First loaf, no blowout; second loaf, side blowout; and a crumb shot


 


Here's Mr. Hamelman's bread from the IBIE show (demonstrating what this bread actually should look like!):


I will definitely try this bread again, maybe at 40% rye overall and see how it goes.
Regards, breadsong


 


 


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, These loaves are to bring to a New Year's potluck (no crumb shot...although the bread smells so good I'd dearly love to cut into one so I can taste it!).

Inspired by louie brown's Olive Leaf scoring to evoke the olives in his bread, I tried to score little garlic bulbs on the tops of my loaves.
They turned out looking more like strange, animal paw prints...!   :^)



This dough fermented beautifully - I hope there will be a nice crumb once it's cut & that everyone likes it!
Happy New Year! from breadsong

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Inspired by LisaL's question  Baguettes by noon? I baked a sourdough version of my overnight baguette formula for the first time.

Beginning with 25g of 100% hydration seed starter I built 310g of liqud levain over a twenty four hour period, feeding 75g each of AP flour and water at the start, and the same again after twelve hours. I scheduled the build to be ready yesterday at 10am. I wanted to bulk ferment for 24 hours, at 55°F. I had an appointment this morning, otherwise I would have preshaped, this morning at 7 AM, to demonstrate I could have finished baguettes before noon: LisaL's goal.

I mixed the dough (1050 g, 68% hydration, 100% AP flour) at 10:00 yesterday using ice water to immediately chill the dough, autolysed for 1 hour, and did four S&F's at 30 minute intervals. The dough was placed in the retarder--my wine closet--at 55°F immediately after mixing, and returned after each S&F.

I removed the retarded dough at 10:15 AM this morning. It had quadrupled in volume! (Note 1 to myself: Don't ferment for so long, or reduce the levain by half.)

I preshaped 3, 350 g baguettes and let them rest 1 hour at room temperature (We've been having a cold spell here, the room temperature was about 67*). After restiing i shaped them, and placed them in a linen couche. I checked the dough temperature after shaping. It was a chilly 61°F.

The loaves proofed for two hours, I baked them in a preheated oven (500°F), on a baking stone, reducing the oven temperature to 450°F immediately after loading with steam for the first 10 minutes. I finished the bake in another 10 minutes at 450°F with the steam source removed.

I finished at 1:38 PM (including taking the first picture) . Three hours, and 23 minutes. Had I started at 7 AM I would have finished about 10:30 AM. The yeasted version of this dough usually proofs in 1 to 1-1/4 hour.

and the crumb

It's doable, Lisa.

David G

jgrill's picture
jgrill

 


Last week I mixed, and baked my first pandoro, the Italian cake, rich with sugar, butter, and eggs, as well as cocoa butter, and a bit of vanilla extract (from Maggie Gleezer's Artisan Baking).





This was much more a batter than a dough, and was not easy to shape into a log, and from that, into a ball…in fact, I was happy to get it into the pans.


I did let it rise from about 6:30 P.M. until  almost 7 A.M., and by then it had still not domed above the tops of the tins. I put both tins in my upper oven, and turned on the oven to "proof," and they did rise a bit more. Then I baked them in my lower oven at 350° F for 30 minutes, rotating the pans at 15 minutes.


 


 


Can't yet comment on flavor as these will be served on Christmas day, but the aroma is wonderful. Hope I don't forget the powdered sugar.


 


Update: I didn't forget the powdered sugar (My wife, Linda, made sure some was placed in a baggie for each cake when we took them to two separate family food events christmas day).


Flavor was excellent—sweet, but not too sweet. Cakes were light, and altogether well received by all who had a slice. I am pleased, and will make these again (as I now have a lot of cocoa butter).


 

freerk's picture
freerk

(scroll down for update and pictures!!!)

My mother passed away long before her time, now almost 15 years ago.

 

She left behind a bread recipe that still goes around by her name; "Renny-bread" Even distant cousins seem to know the recipe; last summer I visited one of them here in Amsterdam, after she had been really helping me out for my wedding (she has THE most wonderful flowershop here in Amsterdam). To thank her I brought her a "Renny-bread", thinking she would see and eat it for the first time in her life...

 

When I showed her what I had made, she shouted out: "Ohh wonderful, a Renny-bread!"

 

That, of course, brought a big smile to my face; she remembered eating the bread when she was a kid, and loved it very much!

 

At the wedding a good friend of mine pointed out that my mother in law shares her name with my mother. She is Venezuelan and her name is Reina. Both names mean "queen", which I think is a wonderful name for a mother, OR a mother in law for that matter :-)

 

After all this (coincedence or fate, we will never know I guess) I played around with the idea to invent a bread in honour of these two wonderful women in my life; a bread fit for a queen!

 

There is one small problem with this bread though.... It's not really bread, it's more like a cake. It's a real simple recipe involving self raising flour, basterd sugar, a mixture of milk and water and some all-spice that makes it taste very X-massy.

 

I have decided that it should be a braided bread, even though the original "renny-bread" always came out of the oven in a shape, that, once cut into slices, resembled the outline of the province that we were all born in, here in the Netherlands. That was completely coincedental, but it always made us laugh.

My mother was good at making braided breads; she never ceased to amaze me with them, so I guess it would be the appropriate shape, all the more because I wouldn't have a clue how to bake the outline of a province into a bread...

 

I'm looking around for a nice sumptuous sweet bread recipe that I can use as a base, and tweak into a loaf that will, most of all, taste like the original. But it has to be special (fit for a queen!)

 

That's why I would like to ask my fellow members here at TFL to help me out. Is there any one out there who can point me in the right direction, or maybe has a better idea that I haven't thought of yet? I would love to hear from you!!!!

 

to be continued!

 

warm greetings from Amsterdam

 

Freerk

01-01-11

Happy New Year every one!

I think the Gods were with me on my second attempt to make a bread in honour of my mother and my mother-in-law:

 

The crownshape is definitely there :-)

 

It is very close to what I had in mind, both visually and tastewise. Here is what I did:

PAN DE REINA

2 eggs

4 cups of bread flour

1 cup of milk

1/4 cup of unsalted butter

7 grams instant yeast

1/4 cup + 2 tbs of white caster sugar

cracked seeds from 9 cardemom pods

1 heaped tbs of coriander seeds

2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

pinch of white pepper

 

Beat the eggs and put aside.

Heat the milk over low heat until bubbles form on the edge of the pan and the milk smells cooked.

Stir in the crushed cardemom seeds and melt the butter into the milk. Let it cool to about 40°C (104°F)

Add the milk mixture to the eggs little by little, constantly stirring. Make sure the milk has cooled enough!

Stir in the yeast into the mixture and let it rest for a few minutes.

Combine 2 1/2 cups of the bread flour, the cinnamon, the coriander seeds, the sugar, salt and white pepper in a coleander.

Pour half of the milk-egg mixture into the dry ingredients to make the dough come together. Add the other half of the mixture and mix for about 5 minutes on low speed. The dough will not "clear the bowl", it is too moist for that.

Flour your work surface with some of the remaining flour. Turn out the dough and work in as much flour to make it kneadable by hand. Don't "overflour" or overwork the dough at this point.

When the dough is smooth, put it in an oiled container, cover it well and let it rise until doubled in size (about one hour).

When the dough has doubled in size divide it in half. Divide one of the halves in two equal parts. Divide the other half in three equal parts.

Thoroughly grease a round pan with high sides. If you have a big baking ring to act as a support during proofing the dough, grease it as well, and place it in the middle of the round pan.

Take the two big pieces of dough, shape them into two strands and make a two-braid (twist) that will fit the inside of your round pan. Carefully place it in the pan, pinching the ends together. Cover to prevent crust forming.

Take the three smaller pieces of dough, three-braid it and put it on top of the two-braid.

Put the pan in a big plastic bag and let the dough proof until fully developed (about one hour). The upper braid will rise over the edge of the round pan, creating a crown effect.

45 minutes prior to baking preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and put a baking stone on the second highest shelf. Clear out any other baking sheets.

Give the dough a thorough egg wash and royally sprinkle with maple sugar.

Bake for about 35 minutes, turning it halfway through the bake to ensure even browning.

Let it cool on a rack before taking the bread out of the pan and remove the baking ring.

 

The taste and texture were perfect. What I suspected happened: the cinnamon gets a little lost in he battle of tastes, so next time I will put in a little extra, to come closer to the tate of the "original" recipe my mother used to make. The peppery crushed cardemom seeds give wonderful bursts of intense flavor, battling with the much sweeter coriander seeds. I left out the vanilla in the end because I thought there was more than enough going on, tastewise.

 

Thank you all so much for your wonderful and inspiring suggestions, ideas and contributions in completing this project. I can't think of a better way to start 2011 than with this wonderful tribute to the two most important women in my life. Couldn't have done it without you guys!!

 

Let me know what you think of the result (picture of the crumb will be added later!)

 

X Freerk

 



 

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

What did I do during the holidays? Baking, of course! (We were invited for Christmas dinner, so no family cooking). I love my newest addition to my evergrowing collection of baking books, Jan Hedh's "Swedish Breads & Pastry". Though I do not follow his technique in every step (I prefer steaming with a steam pan and a cup of boiling water), and, also found the baking times for some recipes way longer than the bread needed in my oven, I think it's a great book.


After my first trials with apple yeast leavened Pain au Levain, I tried my hand with Miche Bread with Sourdough. Jan Hedh suggests rising the shaped loaves on a couche. I own one, but I rarely use it, preferring a perforated baguette pan for my Pains a l"Ancienne, bannetons or simply a parchment lined baking sheet for boules and bâtards. Though I dusted the loaves with flour, and covered them with a towel, after 2 hours (without extra plastic wrap protection) the breads had developed a skin (except for the bottoms). When I tested them with my finger, it felt like poking a rubber ball - the skin didn't allow a small indentation, but folded in somewhat, and then bounced back.


No scoring was required, and I placed my rubber balls in the oven, hoping that their soft belly would let them spring, even if the skin didn't. Fortunately I was forewarned, by my earlier experience with Hedh's bread, not to trust the baking time in the recipe. Indeed, the bread reached the desired 208 F/98 C internal temperature already after 28 minutes, instead of 45! And though they didn't have much oven spring, the crumb was good, my rubber balls had been filled with all the air they needed during the rise. The bottom, as to be expected - not having a "skin" - was less brown, and the crust thinner.


Miche with rye sourdough


Miche crumb shot shows the difference between top (drier skin) and bottom (no skin).


My next bread was, again, an example of The Power of The Apple Yeast. Fed with juice drops from cutting oranges for our cereal, the apple yeast water was peacefully fomenting in the fridge, waiting to become leaven for the next dough. I started building a 3-steps-levain, with my lamp-on-only oven as perfect environment. WhileRising the breads - two large loaves - I had another surprise. With the same temperature in the kitchen, these breads rose much faster than the time given in the recipe, whereas proofing the sourdough miche had taken nearly twice the time. Well, I've heard somewhere that "the dough is always right, not the clock".... This time I let the boules rest on a parchment lined baking sheet, they rose mightily, no skin development - and no bouncing rubber balls.


Because of my earlier experiences with shorter baking times, I checked the breads for done-ness after 30 minutes, but, surprise, this time they needed the full 50 minutes, as stated in the recipe.


Pain de Campagne with apple yeast - spiral scoring inspired by txfarmer.


Pain de Campagne crumb


Both breads had an excellent taste, and kept for 3 days in a brown bag. The large Pain de Campagne loaf (ca. 1200 g) I cut in halves and froze the other half.


After all that serious bread baking - the stollen and lebkuchen being eaten - I needed some peanut butter relief, while a Nor'easter howled around the house and a blizzard promised a great workout with the shovel. Several opened glasses with peanut butter (our daughters tend to dump their kitchen leftovers at our house) provide a never ending supply, creamy or crunchy, organic or less healthful.


Peanut Butter Muffins from "The Muffin Bible".


These muffins are wonderful, moist and, with an additional dose of toasted peanuts , even more peanutty.

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