The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Blogs

  • Pin It
turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


Why not try something different for Valentines Day and give your love ones a real double chocolate treat. These biscotti are perfect and wrapped in a pretty red box with ribbons would be a real surprise when opened. 


 


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com


Big Brick House Bakery's picture
Big Brick House...

My friends thought I was crazy when I started grinding my own flour, but my love of baking I couldn't shake and I open my award winning bakery.  Any one should be able to live their dream!  I get a lot of inspiration from everyone loving the same thing - bread, and the baking of it.  I sell the supplies or my bread I don't care as long as you have a passion for it... 


 The Big Brick House Bakery is a small family bakery in Wabash Indiana.  Freshly milled flour began with Leigh 5 yrs ago; it came to her attention that once a grain has been milled, the nutrients evaporate over time.  She purchased a Stone-mill, a miniature version of the ones that use to set along the rivers, and began on this adventure to incorporate the fresh flour into her bread and pastas.  The Big Brick House Bakery stone mill is used daily to grind small batches to provide you with the freshest and most nutritious whole grain products in Wabash County and the surrounding areas. Their fresh flour makes the integrity and flavor of their Artisan bakery products.   The Big Brick House Bakery now offers 14 different types of grain, some organic, purchase a kit that Leigh has developed for the home bread machine.  Leigh makes several of her breads on a daily basis.  These same breads won her the Indiana Artisan award in October of 2008.  At this time she is now offering flavored breads using cheese, herbs, and vegetables.  Leigh also makes pies and cakes from scratch, just the way they were done for several generations.  Now Leigh is offering Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free items, recreating recipes to work with any dietary needs.  


The quant retail store opened in June of 2008 in the sun room of their Eastlake Victorian home. Locally produced eggs, honey, maple syrup, fudge are also sold here. 


On Facebook you can also interact with Leigh and other fans. www.facebook.com 


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi,

I thought some detail on creating laminated dough for croissants etc may be a popular subject.

 

CROISSANT DOUGH

 

MATERIAL

FORMULA

[AS % OF FLOUR]

RECIPE

[GRAMMES]

RECIPE [GRAMMES]

Strong White Flour

100

600

1000

Salt

1.3

8

13

Milk Powder

5

30

50

Fresh Yeast

6

36

60

Cold Water

63

378

630

SUB-TOTAL

175.3

1052

1753

Butter

41.7

250

417

TOTAL

217

1302

2170

Method:

  • Mix the ingredients for the dough to form cool, developed dough.
  • Put in a plastic bag in the chiller and rest for 30 minutes. Cut the butter into 4mm thick strips and put back in the chiller.
  • Roll the dough out to a rectangle 8mm thick. Put the butter pieces flat onto 2/3 of the rectangle, and fold as below:

 

  • Turn the dough piece clockwise through 90°. Roll out to the same size as before, fold as above, and turn. Repeat once more.
  • Chill the billet for half an hour and give 2 more folds and half turns as described. This gives 168 layers of butter in the croissant dough. Chill again for half an hour.
  • Roll the dough piece out to 5mm and use a croissant cutter to cut out triangle shapes. Stack into piles of 6 and rest covered for 2-3 minutes.   You can use a template made from wood, or, cardboard, to cut out the individual triangle shapes instead.   Please see the video, at 1 min 35secs, for a brief view of the croissant cutter on the left of the screen.
  • Tease out each triangle, fold up the top edge and roll up tightly. Roll out the feet to pointed ends and move round so these feet join up to make the classic shape.   See Vicki demonstrating this in the pictuure below.   For Pain au Chocolat and Pain Amande, cut the dough into strips, 6 x 10 cm; cover with small chocolate chips, or a thin layer of almond paste, and roll up so the seam is well pressed down on the bottom.
  • Place on silicone lined baking sheets and brush with beaten egg.   For the pain amande, dip in flaked almonds
  • Prove at 38-40°C, 80%rH for 40 minutes.

Bake in a hot oven, 235°C for 12-15 minutes; a deck oven should be set at 7 for top heat, and 5 for bottom.   No steam is used, and a damper is not needed.

[Almond Paste to make Pain Amande]

150g Icing Sugar, 150g Caster Sugar, 300g Ground Almonds, 50g Egg, beaten, 1 tbsp Lemon Juice

 

 

Key Principles of successful laminated dough:

  • 1. The dough should not be too wet. If the dough is soft, it will stick to the bench and the pin, and the laminations will quickly be ruined. If the dough is too tight, it will be difficult to roll out without the dough insisting on springing back. Some have advised that the dough need not, therefore, be fully-mixed. This is because all the rolling and folding will continue the dough development. My own thought on the matter is that the dough should be developed to the level allowed by the choice of flour used. So if a top grade flour is used, the dough should be mixed accordingly. If the flour is not so strong, it will not tolerate intensive mixing anyway; by hand, or, machine.
  • 2. The best way to deal with dough which springs back is to allow extra resting time. Allowing plenty rest between turns is the first key principle to grasp. If you compare the folding process to working out bicep muscles in the gym, you should not go far wrong. Bicep curls would be repeated to the point where the muscle is so tensed up it cannot do any more. After a period of rest the same moves are repeated. The moves are designed to strengthen the muscle by continued work. But there has to be rest in between to allow the muscles to relax. It is exactly the same for the gluten-based protein fraction in the dough.
  • 3. The other key principle is to be able to work cold. It is generally cold and raining here in the UK, but I am aware many who write on this site have problems creating cool enough conditions in the kitchen to lessen the burden of making these items; I wish I lived where it was warm too, don't you believe it! Here are a few options:
  • Use a chilled marble slab, or, a refrigerated work surface.
  • Use crushed ice in the dough, or chill the dough water for an extended period prior to dough mixing.
  • A good trick is to chill the dough overnight. Give the dough 3 half turns, then bag and chill overnight. Waken up early the next morning, give the dough its last half turn and process from there. Bake off the croissants and serve straightaway for breakfast. You have just made yourself soooo popular with everyone in the house, forever!
  • 4. What about the choice of laminating fat? Commercial croissants tend to be made with specialised and plasticised fats. This means the final product tends to be just a lot of air! Worse still if the fat is cheap, the melting point will be high, and the product will stick in the roof of the mouth [palate cling] These fats are not exactly renowned for their health-giving properties, either. So they are used on cost and performance grounds. As far as I am concerned croissants are made with all-butter. It is possible to buy a concentrated butter commercially. This is great, because all the water has been removed, so it means the butter block can be rolled out to a sheet, without it melting. Household dairy butter has a water content of 15-20%, so the problem with not working cold, is that the butter can easily start to melt, meaning the death of all the laminations you have worked so hard to achieve. So, performance-wise, butter is not the best, but for flavour, it obviously has no competition. I'm pretty sure concentrated butter is only available commercially; this is definitely the case for the UK and rest of the EU too.
  • 5. Regarding lamination; due care and skill is the 3rd principle. I teach that croissant are given 4 half turns. Danish are often given only 3. Full puff paste employs equal laminating fat to flour used in the dough. This is usually given 6 half turns. The more turns, the more layers created. Above I state 4 turns gives 168 layers. Another 2 half turns works out as follows

168 x 3 = 504   504 x 3 = 1512.   So many layers is incredibly difficult to achieve.   Yet, to commercial bakers it is essential.   The number of layers dictates the amount of "lift" in the product, giving greater volume to weight ratio!   This affects product yield; well-aerated puff paste yield more products.   Given these doughs use expensive ingredients, a baker cannot afford to miss out on achieving correct product yield.

  • 6. In terms of volume and lift, it is important to explain how this works with yeasted doughs like these. When the product goes into the oven, the fat layers melt into the dough layers beneath, creating cavities between the dough layers. These cavities are filled with steam from the water content of both butter and dough. The steam exerts pressure on the dough layer above, causing the product to expand. See diagram below. So, it follows that the more layers, the greater the pastry will rise. So, what of the yeast? Well, the benefit is in terms of a first fermentation for sure, but it has to be achieved in cold conditions, as we have noted. This should mean the yeasts are far from worked through when the croissants are set to prove. Note the yeast level is relatively high. Any benefit has to be derived from rapid expansion as the croissants hit the hot oven. So, testing the dough for evidence that fermentation is slowing down is not a relevant test. We have no need for any sort of complex fermentation at this stage.

7. Lastly, oven treatment tends to be incredibly forgiving to croissants , so long as the oven is hot enough. Although, I think I'd be hedging my bets with items that were becoming tired and spent, in line with the notes just above.   My practical classes last anywhere between 3 and 5 hours.   3 hours is really not very long to make these items with skill from start to finish; and the resting between turns really can be so crucial here.   But I cannot think of a single class I have facilitated on this product where the students have been anything other than delighted by the tasks they have carried out, and the products they have made. It's the colour, and aroma; these items just look and smell great when they are baked. Fabulous!

 See the photos attached below, and the link to the video below that.

 

Here's the video:

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I watched a doco on TV recently on the erratic but – to my mind – much under-rated 60s UK band, The Small Faces. Their 1968 ‘concept’ album Ogden’s Nutgone Flake, a psychedelic rock classic, was one of the first albums I bought. I still treasure this unique work – for the great music, the warped and inspired narrative in “Unwinese” by Stanley Unwin, and the eccentric fold-out tobacco tin cover (in good nick, this album is now a prize collectors’ item fetching $300+ …but I’d never sell mine).



One of my favourite tracks is Song Of A Baker. Strange, but in all the times I’ve listened to this song, I’d never really pondered on the lyrics until the TV doco – even though I know them by heart:


There’s wheat in the field
And water in the stream
And salt in the mine
And an aching in me


I can longer stand and wonder
Cos I’m driven by this hunger


So I’ll jug some water, bake some flour
Store some salt and wait the hour


When thinking of love
Love is thinking for me
And the baker will come
And the baker I’ll be


I’m depending on my labour
The texture and the flavour


Hey!


I can no longer stand and wonder
Cos I’m driven by this hunger


So I’ll jug some water, bake some flour
Store some salt and wait the hour…

 

I found myself greatly moved as I finally properly ‘heard’ those words after all these years of listening to the record. I was moved not only by the lyrics, but because of the beauty of the song, because of the nostalgia it evoked in me, and because of knowing of the tragedies that would befall The Small Faces, both as a band and individually (they were unmercifully ripped off – killed off, effectively – by unscrupulous management; singer/writer/guitarist Steve Marriott subsequently developed schizophrenia and died in a house fire a bankrupt alcoholic without ever receiving a royalty payment for his work in the band, and co-writer/bassist Ronnie Lane died way too young of MS).

But back to the lyrics. Why did they finally ‘speak’ to me this time, and with such emotional impact?

Well, this is the first time I have listened to this song since I discovered sourdough bread baking at home and joined the movement of which all here are part. Spend a moment with those lyrics, and I think you will understand...but also, there are personal aspects to my reaction I will spare you here (if you're interested, see the end of this post for a link that will take you to the full gory details).

Of course, metaphorical possibilities leap out of the lyrics of Song Of A Baker, but there can be no doubt that The Small Faces understood the calling of the baker, the peace to be found in the process, the wonder of conjuring bread from ingredients as simple and seemingly disparate as grain, water and salt. To bake bread is to invite the best of nature to your table. Who would not welcome such a guest?

Then there is the most important element of all – the secret ingredient of all good bread, of all good food. Except that it’s not really a secret. The Small Faces knew it. My mother knew it. All good cooks and all home artisan bread bakers know it. It is that great X factor, love. Anywhere else, I would fear ridicule for that statement, but not here.

Anyone interested in hearing Song Of A Baker can do so via my regular blog, The Boomtown Rap (this post is an abridged version of one I have just uploaded: link here).

Cheers
Ross

 

meadmaker's picture
meadmaker

Almond Biscotti 2/3/2010


I followed one of the recipes on here ( http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13979/king-biscotti-almond-biscotti-%E2%80%9Ccantucci%E2%80%9D ), and it turned out yummy! It was one of the recipes that I had all the ingredients for here at home. As for the almonds, I had a bag if Smokehouse Almonds that I rinsed the seasoning off of, before putting in the oven to roast. (Thanks to Turosdolci for the recipe!)


The one difference in outcome was that mine was a bit darker on the inside due to having added a bit more cinnamon since my cinnamon container is several *cough-cough* years old.


As for what to do with all this, I'll probably pack them up for my husband to take to work tomorrow. They are delicious!

korish's picture
korish

I have baked bread for few times and feel comfertable working with the dough, but sweeets that's another story. This is my first posting sweet cookies here I origenaly had it on my blog http://www.ourwholesomehomes.com


 



One of my favorite cookies that I had as a child were mint cookies with mint glaze on them, it was so refreshing to have a mint cookie with some milk on a cold winter night. With valentine's day just around the corner I decided to find my moms recipe and recreate them with a twist so they would fit more with valentine theme. This is a simple recipe that is easy to make and kids will enjoy helping.


Cookie Ingredients.


2 eggs yolks. (keep the whites for glaze)
2 cups organic sugar.
2 cups sour cream or heavy whip.
5 cups Organic white flour.
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1 table spoon vinegar*
1/2 teaspoon of mint extract. (the amount depends on type of mint concentrate that you are using, here we will assume that this is a basic store bought mint extract).


Glaze Ingredients.


2 egg whites
2 cups of powdered sugar.
Juice of 1/2 a lemon or 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
1/2 teaspoon of mint extract.
food color.


*First we should look at soda and vinegar, take your baking soda and combine it with vinegar in a separate cup.


Combine all the ingredients, add the baking soda and mix with mixer or by hand till the dough is one consistency, the dough is somewhat wet, you might need to oil your hands when working with the dough. Place the dough in a fridge for 1/2 hour to cool.


Glaze instruction.


Combine all the ingredients and mix till the glaze is semi stiff, don't mix the glaze early because it will start drying out and will become hard to work with. The best time to do this is when you start baking you cookies. Add your color to the glaze while mixing otherwise it will be snow white.



Cookies



Take your dough and divide it in 2, oil the surface and roll it out with a roller in to 1/4 inch thick sheets. Cut the dough in to desire shapes, the dough is somewhat sticky so be careful when removing it from the surface, place on cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes till the cookie is golden on the bottom and still light on the top. You don't need to oil the cookie sheet if you are using heavy whip.


When the cookies are ready remove them from the oven and glaze them ether by dipping them in the glaze or by using a brush. I found it easier to use a silicon brush and to apply the glaze while the cookie is still hot, this way the glaze will melt and have a nice and even consistency.


 


 

korish's picture
korish

 


This was first posted on my blog Healthy Living @ http://www.ourwholesomehomes.com



Not to long ago Grand Central Bakery in Portland OR sold raisin panini, but according to my brother in law who drove out to the bakery regularly just to pick them up, they stopped making them, so with that said I decided to create my own version of panini. In the process of my last bake I took 2 kg of the dough that was made for bread and convert it to panini dough. Since I was going for a healthier version of panini I used spelt based sourdough.


Dough recipe.


400 gr 150% hydration rye starter.
800 gr Organic whole Spelt flour.
200 gr Organic dark rye flour.
600 gr Organic white flour.
30 gr Salt.
2 handful of raisins (reason I don't measure these is that you can never have to much raisins and same goes for walnut).
1 handful of walnut.


Soak your raisins in water for about an hour, then pat them dry with a paper towel, the reason for doing this is that they will have lots of water and it will make your dough to moist.


Mix your starter with water, add flour and salt mix, for 3 minutes.


Rest the dough for about 20 minutes in a bowl.



Knead for 5 minutes.


Rest again for 30 minutes.


Take your dough and dump it on a counter add your raisins and walnut to it and knead for about 10 minutes you will have to adjust the dough by adding more flour to it, the best way to do this is by taking your hands and sticking them in to the flour and mixing the dough, this way the flour will be absorbed evenly, you might have to repeat this for few times until your dough is nice and elastic.



Place the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a tea towel and let it rise for 4 to 6 hours or until almost double.


Divide the dough into small rolls, just smaller than tennis ball size and let it proof for 1 to 2 hours. The best way to check if it's ready is if you use a finger press test.


Place in your wood fired oven, spray some water above it to create steam, close the door and let them bake for about 15 minutes. Don't forget that they are smaller and will bake faster than your bread so check on them after 10 or so minutes.


Let them cool and enjoy as a healthy desert, they are perfect with some cream cheese or some jam.


 


You can see more images on my blog.

smasty's picture
smasty

Growing up as the grandaughter of Ukranian immigrants, this was a staple every time we visited.  As relatives have died off, this isn't made in my family (in its true form) anymore.  I have a sister that makes it in a bread machine every so often, but it isn't the same.  I figured I'd make some practice loaves since Easter is coming up.  This is my first brioche since I started baking about 14 months ago.  The bread came out exactly as I remember from my childhood--a wonderful incredible crumb...yeasty, slightly sweet, delicate, tears in nice strands.  However...the crust is yucky.  Way too tough (as it always was growing up!).  The big loaf with the braid was HUGE....4.5 pounds after baking.  It took about 1 3/4 hours to bake (to 200 degrees internal)...I think that's what leads to the tough crust.  I don't know...maybe old-time Ukranians love the tough crust.  I'd like to learn how to avoid that next time---ideas? Oh...due to the overly dry crust, I find this bread tends to go stale really quickly, at which point it makes absolutely wonderful bread pudding.  The recipe is below the pics



Proofed!



Done...what you can't see is the bread split on the other side of the braid due to it's massive size and lack of support, so the braid ended up off-center



Crumb...fabulous


Original Recipe: (Caution...this makes a massive amount of dough! The first step can be done in your mixer, but is too big after that)


1 tsp sugar


1 c lukewarm water


2 packages dry yeast (note: yeasty flavor is desired)


3 c scalded milk


Tons of flour (14 c)


6 eggs, well beaten


2/3 c sugar


1/2 c melted butter


1 T salt


1 c raisins


Scald milk and let cool to lukewarm.  Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in water, add yeast and let stand 10 minutes.  Add milk to yeast and 5 c flour (I used 150 g. of KAF AP per cup). Beat well until smooth.  Cover and let rise in warm place until light and bubbly (for me, in Denver, this only took about 45 min due to high elevation).  Add eggs, 2/3 c sugar, butter, salt, raisins.  Mix well.  Add about 9 cups of flour or enough to make a moderately stiff dough (note: I only used about 7.5 cups).  Knead until dough no longer sticks to hands.  Turn dough out on floured board, knead until smooth and satiny.  Place in bowl to rise until double.  Punch down, let rise again to double.  Shape enough dough into round loaf to fill greased dutch oven about 1/2 full (I baked on my stone).  Let rise until double.  From remaining dough roll out ropes for braids.  After pinching off dough for braids, remaining dough can make another loaf.  (note: you can easily get 3 large loaves from this recipe).  Let ropes for braids rise (covered).  Just before dough is ready to be baked carefully place braids or ropes arranged in a cross on bread.  Use an egg wash over the entire loaf.  Bake in preheated oven--400 degrees for 15 minutes then lower oven to 350 for at least another hour.  Loosely cover loaves with foil to prevent overbrowning.  (I found I needed to move these to the lowest rack due to their height). Let cool in pans about 15 minutes before removing.  To facilitate removing loaf from dutch oven, wrap a damp, cool cloth around pan during cooling period.   


 

occidental's picture
occidental

Today I made Ciabatta Rolls from the formula found in "Local Breads".  This is of course a very wet dough but since there isn't really shaping involved it's pretty fun to work with.  Instead of loaves I stretched the dough out and used a pizza cutter to make rolls. 



 


I placed these on parchment and let rise for about 30 minutes, until they start to get 'pillowy' - yes a very technical state of dough.


 


Pop them in the oven and in a few minutes you have great rolls.



 


Sorry, no crumb shots, these are for a potluck tomorrow.  They are really light though so I'm pretty sure the crumb is as you would expect, open and chewy.


 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs