The Fresh Loaf

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mcs's picture
mcs

Hey there Freshloafers,
I thought I'd poke my head out of the dough and cloud of flour to update you on the bakery's progress.


A few weeks ago I noticed that we had our two year bakery anniversary.  I think it went like this:
Me:  "Last week was two years for the bakery."
Sharon:  "Really?  When?"
Me:  "I don't know, some time last week, I think."


It wasn't exactly a 'stop the mixers and break out the champagne' type of celebration, but it was pretty cool to think of the progress we've made in such a short time.  Rather than summarizing the last two years, I thought I'd let you know what's happened in the past 12 months or so.  (Here's the post I did on our opening day two years ago; This is the post I did on our first year strategy)


During the slow months last year (November through April), I continued the baking for my wholesale accounts while working to finish the construction on the upstairs of our house.  Sharon had been patiently looking at sheetrock screw heads for the past couple of years.


taping


the loft


I also put in a new floor downstairs, which I completed just hours before our first farmers' market in the spring.


bamboo floor


The other goal during the off-season was to take my first days-off with the wife in two years.  If you missed that post, here's the link to my entry about our trip to Vancouver Island.


As far as the Baking Business goes, I continued the first year plan while making a few adjustments like:
1.  Cutting back on wholesale deliveries.  Thursdays is now my prep day which comes in awful handy now that the busy season is here.  It's now my laminating day since the place stays nice and cool without the ovens on.
2.  More special orders and special deliveries.  Last winter I used Friday as my 'home delivery' day to extend my farmers' market season a little bit longer.  I'll continue it this winter as I offer everything that I do at the market for home or workplace delivery ($10 minimum).  The new customers are very excited about this deal.
3.  DVD sales.  Last winter I started selling some baking technique DVDs, and that's definitely helped to supplement the long and slow winter.  Here's my post on them.  The next one will be on croissants.


Other than that, it seems that it's mostly business as usual.  There have been a lot of improvements as far as efficiency goes which have added up to 'a little less work making a little more product'.  I sleep in an hour later each day, but mornings are absolutely filled with baking and/or pastry prep for the busier days.  This leaves my afternoons a little more relaxed.  Funny thing, but the difference between waking up 1 hour later each day and sleeping in on Sundays is a big deal.  Ask any of the interns if they could've used an extra hour of sleep each day!  Plus sometimes we even get to eat dinner before 7.  Hey, not all the time, but every once in a while.


Anyway, that's about it.  I'll leave you with a few pictures of some of the special orders that I've worked on this past summer and spring.


Happy Baking.


-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery.com


mini croissants


mini croissants baked


hot cross buns


burger buns


 


 

Kingudaroad's picture
Kingudaroad

Flour, water, salt and yeast. How can this simple recipe be so hard to perfect. I have been seriously baking bread for about 8 months now and have attempted baguettes with poolish a dozen or more times. The shaping and scoring videos make it look so easy and many on this forum have absolutely mastered the art. 



Usually my loaves are very tasty and I can consistently get a very open crumb, yet the visual appeal, with the beautiful grigne and the perfect bloom from precise scoring, has certainly eluded me.


In my latest attempt, I decided to shape a bit more aggressively and make as long of a loaf as my stone would allow. I got a bit over aggressive and the actually hung off the edge of my baking stone about an inch on each side. It didn't hurt them too much besides having little legs on each side. All in all, the shaping went well. Now see if I can proof and score correctly.


I have been using a home made lame with a double edge razor blade to score, but wanted to try something new. I have a slicing knife with about a 14" blade, made for thin slicing roasts or turkey or whatever. I sharpened it with my steel and used the long blade to have a sweeping cut that hopefully would not snag. I would have to say it was my best baguette scoring yet.


This was just a basic 68% hydration recipe with a third of the flour used for the poolish. It is beginning to get easier and I am very pleased with the results.



Thanks for reading my blog.


 


Keith


 

deweytc's picture
deweytc

Just thought that I would let you all know that at Thermo Works, the Thermapen is on sale at $89 and free shipping.  I have been wanting one for a long time, but did not want to pay $95-$100 and a shipping fee, making it well over $100.  I am excited about getting my new toy.


Duane

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have read so many bread baking books and viewed so many videos on shaping boules, but I didn't really "get it" until I saw our instructor, Miyuki, do it in the SFBI Artisan I workshop I attended a couple weeks ago.


I will attempt to show what I learned in still photos with descriptions. I hope that viewing these and then reviewing some of the excellent videos available might help others who are struggling with this technique.


Mis en place







You will need:



1. a batch of fully-fermented dough



2. a lightly floured "board" on which to work.



3. a scale, if you are dividing the dough.



4. a bench knife or other cutting implement, if you are dividing the dough



5. prepared bannetons or a couche on which to rest the formed boules for proofing



 



 





Procedure



 





1. Weigh your dough






2. Divide it into equal pieces.



3. Pre-shape each piece gently, incorporating any small pieces of dough on the inside. 



4. Rest the pre-shaped pieces, seam side down and covered with plastic or a towel  on the board for 20-30 minutes.







5. Prepare your bannetons or couche for receiving the shaped boules.




 




6. After the pre-shaped pieces have rested, shape each as follows:






* Pick up the piece and turn it smooth side down.



* Gently fold the long ends together under the piece.



* Rotate the piece 90º in your hands, and fold the other two sides together.




* Place the piece on an un-floured board, smooth side up.



 



 




* Cup your hands around the piece, and gently drag it 3 inches or so towards you in such a way that the edge closest to you sticks to the board and is dragged under the dough, thus stretching the top of the piece into a tight sheath containing the dough.




 



Note the position of the markers before stretching



After the stretching, the marker at the apex of the boule is unmoved, but the one that was at about 40º North, is now about at the equator.




* Rotate the dough 90º and repeat. Do this 3-4 times until the bottom of the boule is relatively smooth and the whole boule has an unbroken, smooth sheath.




Note that there are no visible seams on what will be the bottom of the boule, after the procedure described.


 




* Place the boules in bannetons, smooth side down, spray with oil and place each banneton in a food-grade plastic bag to proof. (Alternatively, place the boules seam side down on a couch and cover with a fold of the couche, plasti-crap or a towel.)



 



 


Well, there it is. For me, being able to visualize the stretching of the "skin" of the boule between a fixed North Pole and a point on the side, using the board to "grab" the bottom of the boule as I dragged it towards me was the "aha moment." I hope it makes sense to others.




The goal (to form a tight gluten sheath) in forming other shapes is fundamentally the same, but the method is entirely different.



Comments and questions are welcome.





Happy baking!




David



 



 



 



 


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

This past year has been very interesting for me. I made learning rye breads a goal at the years end, and while I now know enough to understand it's going to take a lot longer, I'm making progress. Recently I did an experiment with scalding rye that worked out well. We have had some great threads here on the benefits of autolyse and mixing patterns. I was reminded of a post from Shiao-Ping where she  made a Gerard Rubaud bread and another one from James Macguire that utilized long cool ferment at high hydration.


One thing that these breads have in common is hydration in the area of 80% and small amounts of yeast. This combination requires longer fermenting times and allows the development of flavorful acids. When handled gently, the bread that develops is airy and moist with great color and nutty after tastes.


I decided to make a single 900 gram loaf at 80% hydration. My plan was to start with a 90/10 ratio of AP/Dark Rye so it would darken well and hold moisture better than a straight white loaf. This is a plan for a small miche (if there is such a thing). Only the basic ingredients of flour, water, salt and yeast.This was a hand mixed dough. Just a plastic scraper, wire whisk, larger bowl and my hands were used. A key element to making this dough behave like I wanted was to control the water temperature so as to end up at a desired dough temperature of 70 degrees F. The natural reaction of the water being absorbed by the flour raises the temp by around 4 degrees F. So it's important to start near 70 at the warmest. My ambient room measures at 75F along with the flour.


The formula for adjusting the variable (water) follows. 215F - room temp - flour temp -5F = Water temp. For me this looks like 215F-75 -75 -5= 60F. When everything is mixed together the dough will be at or near 70F. Prof. Calvel and James Macguire both have made a point to stress that correct dough temp is the MOST important and critical aspect of making the dough you want. You just can't treat that as idle chatter form the masters and expect greatness in your oven. I like this bread because it can be made in a single day. In fact if you start at 11 AM, you should be done by 4ish, in time for dinner. The methods employed are from the old European school. My next batch will be with only 5% dark rye


Ingredients:
450g AP flour
50g Dark Rye flour
1/2 teaspoon Instant Dry Yeast (IDY)
10g Sea Salt
400g Water (cool)


Method:
Start by measuring the room and flour temperature and doing the calculation for the water temp. If you need to use ice to cool the water to arrive at a DDT of 70F, so be it.


Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and make sure the flours are well combined. Add water all at one time and stir with a spoon, switching to a scraper. This should involve no more than 2 minutes and should result in a rough mass with no dry flours in the bowl. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.


After 20 minutes, fold in the bowl for 8-10 repetitions rotating as you go. Alternatively, pour on the counter and fold with a scraper using double letter folds.Return to the bowl and cover.


Repeat the folding process every hour for a total of FOUR folds. That means 4 more folds after the first. When it is time for the last fold, don't fold, dust flour around the seam between the dough and the bowl and using the scraper, loosen the dough ball up so you can pour it out on a floured counter.


Brush any loose flour off the top of the dough and cover it with the bowl for about 20 minutes. Removing the bowl, pull the edges up to the center around the dough to tighten the lower surface and roll the ball over to the seamed side down. Prepare a linen lined basket with flour rubbed into the fabric and lightly dust the top of the dough. Roll the dough into your hands and place it into the basket seems up. Cover with a towel and proof for around 45 minutes. The dough will have become light and puffy and will test with the finger poke test.


Pre heat the oven to 450F when the dough goes into the basket using a stone and steam producer.


Load dough when it is ready and steam normally for 15 minutes. LOWER oven temp to 350F after the 15 minutes and start checking for done around 45 minutes total bake time. The idea is to bake the interior more slowly and not to over do it with color.


I left the loaf in the oven with the heat off and door ajar for another 5 minutes to help draw the moisture out. Remember it was an 80% hydrated mix. Cool and enjoy.


Eric




breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Almond Milk Bread with Dried Cherries



This recipe was inspired by a friend who gave me some dried cherries to bake something with, my recent success with brioche, and a box of unsweetened almond milk that just doesn’t taste very good to drink straight…

Recipe:

1000g Bread flour (Gold Medal)

600g Liquid (3 eggs + almond milk to make up amount)

200g Liquid levain (100% hydration storage starter from fridge)

150g Granulated sugar

150g Slivered almonds

230g Dried cherries

100g Unsalted butter

20g Kosher salt

10g Instant Yeast (3 tsp)

2 tsp Vanilla extract

 

2460g Total Dough Yield


Tools:

Digital scale

Large stainless steel mixing bowl about 15L size

Rubber spatula or wooden spoon

Plastic dough scraper

Bowl of water

Large plastic bag

Plastic tub with cover (4L or larger)

3 loaf pans 9” x 5” loaf pans

Large plastic bag

Baking stone (large rectangular)

Egg+ water for egg wash

Butter for greasing plastic tub and pans

 

Instructions:

Weigh out all ingredients, cut butter in to small cubes, butter plastic tub, toast almond slivers in a pan and let cool.

7:45pm – Place eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract in large mixing bowl.  Then add the bread flour, granulated sugar, Kosher salt, instant yeast.  Mix well using rubber spatula until a shaggy dough comes together.  Knead in bowl using slap and fold method for about 5 minutes.  Then add all the butter and continue kneading using slap and fold method for another 5 minutes.   Then add almond slivers and dried cherries.  Transfer to buttered plastic tub and let rise for  2 to 2 1/2 hrs or until doubled. Turn dough every 30 minutes.  (I put it in the fridge for 1 hour due to scheduling of another bake).

9:30pm – Place plastic tub in fridge for 1 hr if necessary due to scheduling.

10:30pm – Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, divide into 3 equal pieces (800g approx).  Shape into loaf, place in buttered loaf pan. Place all pans in large plastic bag, cover and proof for 90 minutes.

11:00pm – Place baking stone on 2nd rack from bottom, preheat oven with convection to 400F.

12:00am – Brush loaves with egg wash made from 1 egg and a little water.  Turn convection off, place loaves into oven, turn down to 380F and bake for 40 minutes or until internal temp reaches 190F or more.  Cool completely before eating.

Enjoy!

jgrill's picture
jgrill

I baked two sourdough loaves yesterday, using my recently acquired, and fed KAF starter (reported to come from starter that began 250 years ago in New England). 


the bread is the best sourdough I've ever made, and perfect for sandwiches. I followed the KAF recipe that came with the starter, except for to changes. I had the starter in  the fridge, and just used one coup of it, but did not throw out a cup, and refresh the starter before using it in this batch. Also, in the deep south, it is not possible to let a sponge or the dough rise in a room at 68°–70° F. I couldn't afford the power bill if I kept my house tht cool in the sumer. Actual room temperature was more like 78°. So, the sponge  reached its time for overnight refrigeration in less than the anticipated 5 hours (it was more like 3 hours), and likewise, the next day, the dough, and then the loaves did not need as much time to rise as anticipated. 


A photo of the bread and the recipe are here:  http://jeffgrillsblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/kaf-rustic-sourdough_26.html


 

mely's picture
mely

opening up my new bakery...... any suggestions ! very nervous

mimifix's picture
mimifix

We visited Nashoba Brook Bakery in West Concord MA and had a chance to see the oven - up close and personal. It was quite an experience. We do bakery tours for fun but this was the first time I ever got close enough to touch the oven. (Yes, it was hot.)


Mimi

Vermasw1's picture
Vermasw1

Dear friends,


I have tried baking croissants a number of times in the past but just cannot get them right.


- When i bake them for 15 mins- as instructed, they are not golden brown on the surface.


- When i bake them for about 30-40 mins - they are over baked.


I ensure that the temperature of the oven is about 190 degrees centigrade. I also keep a small bowl of water in the oven to generate some humidity.


Please advise where am i going wrong.


Regards,


Swati

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