The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Blogs

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

MelonNet's picture
MelonNet

Hello everyone. My name is MelonNet and I am an amateur baker! Ever since I was a little kid, I've always loved food. I loved watching my mother cook and standing by her side, absorbing every detail (Well at least trying to...) . I loved watching cooking shows on TV and watching Martin Yan wap garlic with a giant cleaver like a martial arts master.


Sadly, in the next ten years after this, I hopped from silly and sadly useless aspirations. I never realized I could actually make a career of the food that I loved. I would sit on my sofa and thumb through cookbooks as a form of night-table reading. 


Baking attracts me most of all because it's my simplest definition of comfort food! Fresh brioche and warm pound cake! Nothing could be better. Well that and I hate chopping onions (-_____-)


I have the knowledge but I sadly lack in the skill department. I can make things like decent brioche, chocolate chip cookies, pound cake; Things like that. I really want to challenge myself more.  


I'm determined to make up for lost time. I want to practice super hard and I'm hoping to gain some friends who are far more experienced than I to help me along. This blog will chronicle my failures as well as my triumphs. 


Now I'll talk a little about myself. I promise it'll be a little! I have a tendency to ramble! I'm 21 years old and obviously I love food. I tend to gravitate towards Japanese food. I fell in love with it around 13 thanks to my equally strong love for anime, manga and I suppose anything to do with the words "Japanese pop culture". Katsudon is my favorite dish of all. 


When I'm not working or watching anime, I'm dutifully trying to master the art of baking to some degree. I live in New York City, my favorite area being Grand Central for sure! 


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I'm prepping a starter, I hope to take some pictures of some rolls! 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs