The Fresh Loaf

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DonD's picture
DonD

Background:


In Eric Kayser's book "100% Pain", the Foreword written by the celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse waxed poetic about Kayser's Tourte de Meule, which literally translates to "Millstone Pie" and which is basically a Country Miche made with High Extraction Organic Stone Ground Flour and a Liquid Levain.


 Eric Kayser's "La Tourte de Meule"


In my last blog, I mentioned that I was able to bring back 3 types of Organic Flour from the "Meunerie Milanaise" in Quebec, the same mill that supplies Daniel Leader's "Bread Alone" bakery in Woodstock, New York. In addition to the basic Type 55 AP Flour, I also bought their Type 70 and Type 90 Organic Stone Ground flours. Having secured the proper ingredients, I decided to give EK's Tourte de Meule a try.


EK's original recipe:


- 700 g T 80 Organic Stone Ground Flour


- 300 g T 65 Organic Stone Ground Flour


- 200 g Liquid Levain


- 2 g Fresh Yeast


- 25 g Sea Salt from Guerande


- 700 g Water


Since my flours have slightly higher extraction, I decided to use half T 90 (83% extraction) and half T 70 (81% extraction) Organic Stone Ground Flour. I also halved the recipe to 500 g total Flour Mix and converted the yeast amount to 1/8 teaspoon Instant Yeast (for 500 g total flour). I used Grey Sea Salt from Guerande and Deer Park Spring Water. My Liquid Levain build was 100% hydration using T 70 Flour.


I modified the procedures slightly from Kayser's instructions. He calls for mixing all the ingredients, fermenting the dough at room temperature for 2-1/2 hours with stretch and fold at 15 minutes and then at 1-1/2 hours, shaping and proofing in banneton for 2 hours before baking.


My Procedures:


- Combine the Flour Mix and Water and autolyse for 30 minutes.


- Add the Liquid Levain, Yeast and Salt and knead with a dough hook on slow speed for 2 minutes.


- Do 10 stretch and fold in the bowl at 45 minutes interval 4 times.


- Ferment the dough at room temperature for 1 hour and retard in the refrigerator for 24 hours.


- Shape the dough into a Boule and let the dough rise in a lined Banneton for 1 hour.


- Bake in preheated 440 degrres F oven for 15 minutes with steam and at 410 degrees F without steam for 30 minutes.


Results:





The loaf had great oven spring. The exterior had a deep amber color and was nice and crusty. The smell was sweet and caramelly. The crumb was open and medium soft with a slight chewiness. The crumb color was beige with fine specks of bran, similar to a whole wheat crumb. The flavor was wheaty, tangy with a touch of acidity. When sliced and toasted, it took on a whole new dimension. The taste of toasty grain came out with an extra dose of sweetness. Overall, I was very pleased with the result.


Don


 


 


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I am not a fan of bananas but every now and then for my kids I make banana muffins, banana bread (quick bread), banana pancakes and cakes, and banana milk shake and smoothie just to remind myself why people like bananas.  Whenever the bananas in my house have gone sesame (ie, growing freckles), the motherly cook's instincts in me start eyeing on them.  I never force my kids to eat any fruit or vegetables.  That's why the house ends up having so many unlikely combinations of chutney and jams.


Now, I have not come across bananas in a savory, or at least non-sweet, combination with flour.  What if I inject that lovely banana flavor (not to me!) into the crumb of a sourdough bread and use it for sandwiches or just toasts?  Would it work?  No harm trying.


Step one:  I started with four very large ripe bananas (475 grams).  My idea was to use bananas as hydration for final dough.  To puree bananas in my blender efficiently, I need to add some sort of liquid, and I chose to add 20% of banana weight in water (95 grams).  I got 570 grams of banana puree.  In addition to that, I had 100 g of diced banana to put in separately.


Step two:  To decide on a dough hydration percentage.  I picked 65%.  For this I needed to make an assumption as to the solids to liquid ratio in the bananas - my guesses were 35% to 65% (like pumpkin). 


Step three:  To calculate how much flour and starter that I would need for the given amount of banana puree.


Step four:  To work back to see if the figures match up before starting on the dough.  


Well, was I in a hurry?  I didn't go through Step Four properly. Immediately after I got the preliminary flour and starter figures, I poured my banana puree over the starter eagerly and began mixing!! 


                                  


The formula that I used is as follows:


Formula for Banana Pain au Levain 



  • 570 g mature starter at 75% hydration (5% rye flour)

  • 570 g flour (5% rye and the balance white flour)

  • 570 g banana puree (made up of 475 g banana and 95 g of water)

  • 100 g extra banana diced

  • 18 g salt


Total dough weight was 1.8 kg and approximate dough hydration was 80% (not 65% as I set out to do)**!! 


**Assuming bananas were 65% liquid, total dough hydration from the above formula was:



  • (475 + 100) x 65% = 374, being hydration from bananas

  • 374 + 95 = 469, being hydration from banana plus water added to make up the banana puree

  • 570 / 175% x 75% = 244, being water content in starter

  • 244 + 469 = 713, being total hydration

  • 570 / 175% x 100% = 326, being flour content in starter

  • 326 + 570 = 896, being total flour

  • 713 / 896 = 80%, being total dough hydration


No wonder the dough felt very wet and sticky and 3 sets of stretch & folds were needed during bulk fermentation for dough strength.  This dough was very difficult to shape.  An ample dusting of flour on the work bench and quick, swift movement and minimalist handling during shaping were necessary.


Procedure



  1. Bulk fermentation 2 + 1/2 hours with 3 sets of stretch & folds of 30 - 40 strokes each, including autolyse of 20 minutes.

  2. Divide into two doughs of 900 g each.

  3. Proof for 2 hours.

  4. Retard in the refrigerator for 10 hours (I found with this recipe that the retarding process was essential because during the first few hours of the fermentation the dough appeared very sluggish.  It was almost as if my starter was finding it tough adjusting to bananas, but in any event, after many hours of retardation in the fridge, the dough rose nicely.)

  5. Bake with steam at 210C / 410F (lower temperature than usual due to sugar content in bananas) for 20 minutes then another 25 minutes at 190C / 375F (Note: I baked one dough at a time. Lower heat and longer baking appear to be the way to go. Under higher temperature, the crust would just burn.)


 


      


 


                                                         


 


       


 


My daughter said this bread smells heavenly-banana.  I don't know if that is possible but I have to admit that, for a person who doesn't like to eat banana, I find this sourdough very delightful.  It is incredibly moist - a slice of this bread on your palm weighs heavily.   The effect of bananas on dough is probably not dissimilar to potatoes on dough.  It is also very chewy and sour (at least medium strength of sourness to me).  There was no trace of the sweetness from bananas left in the bread. 


My son had a great idea - he spread peanut paste on a slice of this bread and grilled it.  It tastes amazing:


                                                       


 


Well, if you are interested to try this formula, I would suggest a lower hydration for easier shaping and handling of the dough.  Below I calculate for you an approx. 72% hydration dough formula for a dough weight of 864 grams:


Formula for Banana Pain au Levain @ approx. 72% dough hydration



  • 285 g starter @75% hydration

  • 285 g flour (5%, or 14 g, rye flour and the balance 271 g white flour)

  • 285 g banana puree (made up of 245 g banana and 40 g water)

  • 9 g salt


If it is done right, I believe the simplicity of this formula allows the natural flavor of fermented flour come through and it is in the spirit of what Pain au Levain is about.


   


Happy baking!


Shiao-Ping

ehanner's picture
ehanner

This story is a confession of humility. Something happened to me a few days ago that is just to good not to share with my friends.


I was mixing a batch of a simple white bread I make all the time. As I looked out the kitchen window at the fall leaves, mixing my dough with a plastic scraper, I was thinking how a couple years ago I would of been thinking "this dough is to dry" and been tempted to add additional water. Then as I continued to push and knead it started to come together better. I was pleased with myself for having had the confidence in my judgment to keep going and not fall prey to the dry dough dilemma. Just about that time as I was feeling good about the knowledge I have gained, I looked across the counter to see the small bowl of 100% poolish that I had forgotten to add into the final dough mix. Ughhh what a moment of humble pie. No wonder it was so dry.


I thought I would share this moment with you all. I have learned a lot about baking while here at the Fresh Loaf. How ironic that the first time I am gloating internally about how well tuned my powers of observation are, the rug is yanked from beneath me. I guess I had it coming. Now I go forward having learned to think about my process and the steps. I'll try to not fall into a complacent confidence that allows me to work mindlessly.


That's my story and I'm sticking with it.


Eric

GabrielLeung1's picture
GabrielLeung1

November 10, 2009 was an auspicious day. It was the second baguette day, and a day I thought would be as interesting and full of questions as I could be hoping for as early in the program as we were. I had my concerns of course, as the product we were finishing and baking was the direct baguette.


A stiff dough with no prefermentation or autolyse mixed in to make it more interesting, all the direct baguette had going for it was a long, cool, overnight proof, and all the hope I could knead into it. Since becoming a bread baker I had always used pre-fermentation and retarded yeast fermentation. More recently my whimsical bread baking techniques have wandered into such techniques as autolyse, flour scalding, and wild yeast fermentation, but today I was returning to my bread baking childhood and would be making an artisan bread without any tricks or mind bending biochemistry.



The crust was a golden yellow color! To say nothing of the crumb, a tight, cottony consistency. Nothing like what I was used to seeing in my own formulas, baguette or otherwise. Which is not to say that they weren't beautiful, there is no higher category of judgement then the grigne of the scores, yet upon seeing the crumb, I just had to shake my head.


But I think this was the definition of the intensive mix method, the dough was at 57% hydration, we used stand mixers to mix up the dough to a perfect window pane, fermented it, punched it down, shaped the baguettes, then let them proof overnight. Retarding the dough had promise, but I think in order to get that nice crumb structure the retarding must occur in the bulk fermentation, rather then afterwards. What the retarding did do was produce a mild, subtle flavor to the baguettes, which I appreciated. 


I look at my loaves, and I see potential. 

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I have had several people ask about this recipe so here it is. Sorry for taking so long.


 


Nicho Bread (Named for my grandson)

19.25 oz Good quality AP flour    
10.65 oz Milk
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Butter
1.5 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp Instant Yeast

This makes up about 2 pounds of dough, I bake it as a single loaf and it makes a TALL loaf. That's the way we like it around here but you could easily make 2 smaller loaves with this recipe.

Place the Flour, Salt, Sugar, and Yeast in a Large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
In a small sauce pan heat milk until very warm. (I do this in the microwave, about 90 seconds) add the butter to the warm milk. Stir until the butter melts. This gives the milk time to cool if you got it too hot.
Dump the milk/butter on the flour mix and stir with a big wooden spoon until it has absorbed all the liquid. Dump onto your counter top and begin kneading by hand for about 1 minute, Just trying to incorporate all the flour at this point. Cover and let the dough rest/hydrate for 5 minutes.
Continue to knead by hand for another 5 minutes. It should not be sticky. If it is, use a little flour to help make it workable. It should form a smooth, soft dough that is not sticky.
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise until doubled, usually takes about 60 to 90 minutes but let the dough dictate the time.
After doubled, deflate and form into a 5 x 9 loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. Again, let the dough set the time.
Bake on the lower rack of a 325° oven until done. I use a thermometer at between 195° and 200°
You may need to place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the loaf to keep the crown from burning.

Notes____________________________________________________
(I often have to cover with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent burning the top crust)
(You can use bread flour if you want, Also, I sometimes use 30% WW flour)
(I use 2% but have used whole, skim and even buttermilk, I have also made this with water in a pinch)
(I have used Honey, brown sugar, Lyle's Golden syrup and molasses)
(I have used margarine, Vegetable oil and olive oil, and lard)


 


Lets make some bread, No fancy Kitchen Aid required





First the dry.



Now the wet



10.65 Ounces is about 1 and 1/4 cups



Nuke it to get it warm. But be careful not to get it too hot.



3Tbsp butter



Melt it in your warm milk, Should look something like this.



Now, Everybody into the pool. and mix with a spoon until the liquid is absorbed.



Dump onto the board and work just enough to get it incorporated.



Then let it rest 5 minutes and then knead for 5 minutes



You should end up with a lovely smooth, soft, not sticky ball of dough.



Proof it



Deflate and pan.




Can you see where I poked it with my finger. It's ready.



Slashed.



Surface tension causes the dough to open at the cut. Can you see the crumb structure even in the raw dough?


Nothing left but to put in a 325° oven. It bakes for about 25 minutes but I don't watch the clock, When it looks done I check it with a thermometer.



This loaf is so tall that I have to cover it with foil for the first 10 minutes to keep it from burning on top. Maybe if I had a bigger oven, but even with the rack on the lowest setting it still will burn if I am not careful.



Wow, Talk about oven spring!


and the requisite crumb shot...


txfarmer's picture
txfarmer


 


The recipe is from Maggie Glezer's " A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking from Around the World" I got the book from the library and just love it! So much fascinating history and background information, along with many recipes, I had no idea challah breads have so many variations. This time of the year, I am in a pumpkin kick, so I immediately made pumpkin challah. Even though there are many interesting braiding techniques in the book, my shaping/braiding was from Hamleman's "Bread", which consists of 20 strands, 6 sets of six strand braids, and one 2 strand braid in the middle. I have been wanting to try this massive braiding project for a while now, so glad it turned out well!





The pumpkin flavor is quite subtle, I would probably increase the amount of pumpkin puree next time, but the spice combo was on the mark, crumb was soft, and crust was slightly hard from the egg brush.



I love the golden color, combined with the star shape, I think it's quite a looker! And I think I will buy the book, a worthy addition to my already huge bread book collection.



 



Yippee's picture
Yippee

Inspired by Nathan's recent post, I made Mr. Dan Lepard's sourdough walnut bread (page 111, The Handmade Loaf).  This was an experience of assimilating existing and new techniques learned, making independent judgment, and testing new gear.  I experienced the one-hour autolyse technique, which worked seamlessly with my spiral mixer to achieve my goal of streamlining home baking procedures in order to minimize hands-on time.   As Nathan mentioned in his post, the dough was well developed after the one-hour autolyse.  It only took additional 4 minutes and 30 seconds of mixing by my mixer to reach the windowpane stage.  This did not only save me the follow-up stretch-and-folds of the dough, but also prevented its temperature from rising too high from over mixing.  It registered 75F when mixing was completed.


I was very relieved to have learned this effective technique-plus-gear combination because it means more flexibility in my schedule. With the added peace of mind, bread baking will be more enjoyable. I did not perform any subsequent S&F to this dough but the crumb still turned out very springy since gluten was sufficiently developed through extended autolyzing and brief mixing.


Like Nathan, I did not use commercial yeast in this bread.  It was leavened by 18% of pre-fermented flour maintained at 80% hydration. My percentages were a bit different from Mr. Lepard's, since my presentation took into account the water and flour content in the starter as well. The weight of all ingredients used (except for water), however, is identical to Mr. Lepard's formula. 


In this bread, I made my favorite water roux starter with all the rye flour called for in the formula. I made sure the rye roux starter had reached 176F, so to destroy the amylase in the flour (thanks again to Mini Oven for the information). In order to achieve a reasonable consistency of the roux starter, I had to raise the final dough hydration to 79%.  However, the dough was not difficult to handle, probably due to the presence of (pre-roasted) nuts and good gluten development.  It just felt very pliable after the 3-hour bulk fermentation.   The dough was then shaped and retarded overnight.  It was baked in the next morning at 500F for 20 minutes, then 460F for 15-20 minutes.


Nathan's beautiful breads in another post also inspired me to purchase Mr. Hamelman's book, which I used primarily as a reference for shaping and scoring this time.  


The taste of this bread was divine.  The crust was crunchy and the crumb was springy, buttery, and fragrant with the walnut paste mixed in the dough.   I enjoyed it very much. I no longer need to dream about Nathan's bread because now I have my own. Thank you, Nathan, for bringing this bread and Mr. Lepard's book to my attention.


And here it is, Mr. Lepard's sourdough walnut bread:


 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/33569048@N05/sets/72157622767229982/show/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/33569048@N05/sets/72157622767229982/


 


This will be submitted to Wild Yeast Yeastspotting!


 


 


 


 


 


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Many years ago I went to South India with a group of Taiwanese friends to attend Dalai Lama's annual congregation.  It turned out to be a bad idea for me as I never liked group activities.  I deflected half way through the event and years' later I still felt embarrassed by it. 


It may sound funny but one of the things I missed about the trip was the Tibetan butter tea that they served throughout the congregation.  Dalai Lama is a very personable leader; he made sure that everyone gets his share of butter tea.  I first read about this strange salty tea from Alexandra David-Neel's My Journey to Lhasa.  She was French and the first Western woman to ever step foot in Lhasa early last century.  When there is nothing else to eat, this butter tea can be a meal on its own.


The second thing I missed about the trip was the vegetarian lentil curry soup that they served for lunch with Nan breads.  It was so delicious that I asked to have a tour at their kitchen facility and see how they cooked this dish.  But it was many years ago now and I have never been able to replicate it.  In memory their soup was a lot more soupy and flavorsome than mine.


Anyway I made a big pot of lentil curry soup with chicken the other day and I was wondering what bread I would make to go with this soup until I saw my husband juicing an orange.  I had decided that I wanted to make some sort of yellow/orange colored bread and so the issue was how to get that color into the bread and what the dominant flavor it would be in the bread.  I have been making Pain au Levain variations and I knew this bread would be no exception.  I thought orange and a mild curry flavor using Turmeric powder would go well together - orange would soften the taste of turmeric and gives it an extra dimension.  Hence, Orange Turmeric Pain au Levain.


 


         


 


My Formula 



  • 465 g starter at 75% hydration (5% rye)

  • 465 g flour (5% rye flour and the balance white flour)

  • 155 g orange juice (about 2 medium oranges)

  • 120 g water

  • 6 g (2 tsp) turmeric powder

  • Very fine zest (from one orange)

  • 14 g salt


Total dough weight 1.2 kg and dough hydration 65%


Bulk fermentation 2 hours with 2 stretch and folds and proofing 2 hours (assuming dough and room temperature around 23 - 25C / 73 - 76F).  Retardation in the refrigerator 9 hours.  Pre-heat oven to 250C / 480F.  Bake with steam at 220C / 430F for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 210C / 410F for another 25 minutes.  


 


                        


 


       


 


                                                 


 


I always love orange zest in baked goods; the aroma is very refreshing.   Turmeric, like ginger, is a root vegetable and is an important ingredient for curry.  Turmeric and coriander go very well together.  Dipping a slice of this Orange Turmeric Pain au Levain into a lentil soup which is garnished with fresh coriander herb, you pick up some beautiful coriander aroma as you bite into the bread.


We were watching the latest series of Great British Menu on TV while we were having our soup dinner.  In this series the chefs in Britain competed to honor the returning soldiers serving in Afghanistan with a homecoming banquet that captured the authentic tastes of Britain.  One of the dishes that were chosen was a curry dish.  What was interesting to me was that one of the judges said that curry is an authentic British taste.  Hmm... how interesting.


 


Shiao-Ping 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Today, I baked Hamelman's "Normandy Apple Bread" for the first time. This bread is a pain au levain spiked with instant yeast. It uses a firm starter and bread flour and whole wheat in the final dough. The apple flavor comes from chopped dried apples and apple cider.



Jeff (JMonkey) posted the formula and instructions for this bread May 19, 2007, so I won't duplicate them here. For those interesting in making this bread, Jeff's entry can be found here: Hamelman's Normandy Apple Bread


I followed Hamelman's instructions pretty much to the letter. I machine mixed for about 7 or 8 minutes and did a French fold before bulk fermentation. I did one more fold after one hour of a 2 hour bulk fermentation. I had to refrigerate the formed loaves for about 3 hours to work around an afternoon outing. I then let them proof about 60-75 minutes at room temperature before baking.


The loaves smelled wonderful while baking. The crust was crunchy. The flavor was somewhat disappointing. The apples do give pleasant little bursts of sourness, but the crumb flavor was not my favorite. It was basically like a light whole wheat levain, and that is not a type of bread I particularly like.


Your taste (undoubtedly) varies, and you may enjoy it more than I.


Then again, the Vermont Sourdough had such spectacular flavor, anything else would be hard to compare. Again, that's my taste.



 


David

DonD's picture
DonD

Background: 


Having a number of high school friends living in Montreal, I have had the opportunity to visit this city quite a few times over the years. I have always enjoyed its cosmopolitan charm and the French influences that have permeated its history and culture especially in the area of gastronomy.


Recently, my wife and I drove to Montreal to visit a close friend. He and his wife always treated us to the best breakfast of baguettes and croissants with farm fresh butter and raw milk cheeses, the kind that came closest to what you would find in France. Being the avid baker that I am, I came up with the idea to do a tasting of the best baguettes that Montreal has to offer.


Setting:


We decided to taste a traditional baguette each from four of the most popular artisanal bakeries in Montreal. The tasting took place within three hours of the purchase and our tasting group consistted of six people.



From the top down, the baguettes were from Au Pain Dore, L'Amour du Pain, Le Fournil Ancestral and Premiere Moisson.


Results:


The results were unanimous and the rankings were as follows


1- Premiere Moisson



Good overall appearance. Nice golden brown crusy exterior. Smell of toasty wheat. Slight flaw with one undercooked side probably caused by the loaves being baked too close together. Creamy color and very soft open crumb with just the right amount of chewiness. Sweet tasting and a little tangy. Overall an outstanding baguette.


Probably the largest bakery in Montreal with multiple outlets throughout the city. The flour comes from Meunerie Milanaise, an organic mill in Quebec that also supplies to Daniel Leader's bakery in upstate New York.


2- L'Amour du Pain



The darkest of all the baguettes with a sweet caramely smell. The crust is a litlle bit hard but the crumb is creamy with huge irregular holes. The taste is sweet with a hint of acidity. A very good baguette.


This is a Retrodor baguette made with flour imported from the Meuneries Viron in France.


3- Au Pain Dore



A close second in appearance to the Premiere Moisson Baguette. The crust has a wheaty smell but is not as crackly. The crumb is nicely open with good balance of softness and chewiness. Overall, a good baguette.


This baguette is made from unbleached, untreated flour and is fermented for 6 hours.


4- Le Fournil Ancestral 



Good appearance but the lightest in color. The crust is on the soft side with no noticeable smell. The crumb is white, tight and cottony probably due to an intensive mix. Although called artisanal, this is a forgettable industrial type baguette.


Epilogue:


Following the tasting, I set out to find the flour from Meunerie Milanaise and was able to buy and bring back three 20 kilo bags of different grades of flour. I have been experimenting with the flours and will publish the results on future postings.


Don


 

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