The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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zhi.ann's picture
zhi.ann

I mixed up the artisan bread master recipe as found online at several news sites. I knew the dough was supposed to be really wet, so I didn't pay much attention. I let it rest 4 hours, then stuck it in the refrigerator. Brought it out to make the next day (that's when this pic is).

dough, still wet

I shaped it into a boule (ball) on a very floured cutting board, let it sit out an hour, preheated the oven, poured in the water and slid my bread onto the back of a pizza-type pan (actually came with my microwave oven.

prepared dough

I'd forgotten to cut the X in it, but it formed a perfect one, anyway, as it rose and tore. The only part of the form I thought was strange was that it mostly rose straight up in the middle - it rose well but was more like a volcano than a half ball, for example. Had to leave it in the oven over an hour to get any brown.

After 30 minutes, the X it split itself was obvious.

after 30 minutes

Eating-wise, it came out mostly amazing - very crisp crust - but a gooey middle even though the bottom was blackened.

finished loaf 

I later found out I should have been using the top and bottom heating elements. The dough didn't rise much pre-oven, but had incredible oven spring (isn't that what it's called?) - I was afraid it would hit the top of the oven! The crumb looked good, but like I said was too gooey.

crumb 

bshuval's picture
bshuval

Hi all,

The third meeting of bread baking enthusiasts in San Diego took place today. 

It was a great meeting, with 7 of us in attendance. I took pictures of all the breads we brought, and wrote about the meeting. You can find it all here:

http://foldingpain.blogspot.com/2008/03/third-san-diego-bread-lovers-meeting.html

Our next meeting will probably be on April 19, with the subject of rye breads. If you are in the area, please come! 

Bushturkey's picture
Bushturkey

Sourdough CiabattaSourdough Ciabatta

I used the recipe from Peter Reinhart "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" - the Biga version.

My Biga was my white sourdough, mixed with an equal amount of organic bread flour and some water to make a firm starter.

I used half the oil given in Reinhart's recipe. I proved it on a couche (well, I got a length of thick cotton table-cloth material from a textile shop and hemmed the edge).

I flipped it onto a polenta-dusted "peel" (actually the off-cut from the ceramic tile I used in my oven) and slid it directly on the hot tile. The bread Ballooned (?does this mean it was under-prooved?) and the top-being closest to the element, almost burned.

ejm's picture
ejm

chapati
A few mornings ago, I imagined that my wild yeast starter was all ready to make bread. I announced I would make focaccia with it to go with that evening's dinner of puy lentils and sausage. Silly me. I should have known this would be a mistake. My failures with my wild yeast are legion this winter. The focaccia dough failed entirely to rise. Not even a glimmer of a bubble. After several hours. So I stuck the slumping lump of dough in the fridge and made another announcement: I would make chapatis with wild yeast (ha) dough the next day, because they're made without yeast anyway. What a brilliant save!! The chapatis tasted faintly sour but they were absolutely wonderful. Especially when you consider that the dough might have been baked into a spectacularly terrible focaccia.
omelette and chapati
bnb's picture
bnb

 I made this recipe with half the amount of yeast called for in the original, keeping everything else the same. I don't like a discernible yeasty taste in bread so this turned out purrrrrrr-fect. No yeasty taste or smell. Moist, soft and delicious.

 

 

DSC04858

DSC04856

 

zhi.ann's picture
zhi.ann

My second attempt at using yeast!

I discovered one packet of my yeast, labeled as 18g, results in more than 35 ml (about 7 tsp or 2 1/3 Tbsp) of dry yeast. Is it okay that I store what I don't use in an airtight tupperware-type container, in a dark cabinet?

storing yeast

I started preparing for the pretzels at 8:10 pm using floyd's recipe here.

I wasn't sure how to activate my yeast, not sure whether to mix in or let it sit on top of the water, but I think it worked correctly; at first, nothing seemed to happen but after a few minutes a thickish layer of tan foamish stuff was on the top.

activating dry yeast

My brown sugar comes in hard blocks I have to chop up to make like a powder. It wasn't as fine as it could of been if I kept chopping, but after quite awhile, I put it in there. Is it okay that my brown sugar wasn't super-fine?

not too fine brown sugar

I had to add a ton of flour, probably 550 ml (2.5 cups) above the original 240 ml (1 cup).

I also didn't know how to knead until satiny. After just a minute or two, it seemed smoother than before, but as I continued kneading it quickly became rougher, and after 8 minutes of kneading and not being sure what I was looking for, I moved on. Also, despite the added flour, it still stuck to the cutting board a lot.

This may be because of the consistency being off, but I couldn't figure out how to "roll" my dough into logs. I kind of squeezed them into the logs, rolling as much as I could (not much) to make them round, and I came out with very inconsistent sizes with loops that didn't want to stick at all.

pretzel logs

I used the eggwash.

I didn't know whether to grease the baking sheet, and whether the salt was needed (I always scrape the salt off my pretzels cuz I don't like the taste). I salted one, put garlic powder on one, and left the others plain.

pretzels, pre-baking

At this point (I know better now) I thought I should only turn on the bottom, not the top, heating element for baking. After 6 minutes, my pretzels were so HUGE, they didn't really have holes anymore. Oh well.

The tops weren't browning at all (obviously since I didn't have any heat up there) but the bottoms were turning yucky black, so I took them out.

pretzels, post-baking

You know what? They tasted really good. They taste to me like breadsticks, not pretzels, but still yummy. My husband melted some butter with garlic powder mixed in, and it made a great dip. I liked the garlic powder pretzel best, and wonder whether I could brush them with the butter/garlic powder mix rather than the egg, or in addition?

pretzel inside - yum!

Looking forward to trying this again:
-with both heating elements on
-rolling the dough out thinner so the pretzels will look more like pretzels
-potentially brushing with butter/onion powder, based on people here's suggestions
-anything else people suggest for me 

siuflower's picture
siuflower

Make you own diastatic malt

You can make your own:  sprout a cup of wheat berries by covering
them with water in a jar for 12 or so hours, dump out the water &
rinse with clean water, and place the jar in a darkish, warmish,
place.  Rinse the berries every day with clean water and return to
their place.

In 2-3 days they will begin to sprout.  When the sprout is as long as
the berries themselves, dump them out on paper towels, dry them off,
and set on a cookie sheet in the sun for a day or so to dry out. Then
put the cookiesheet in a 100F oven for an hour or three.  Do not let
the temp get above 130F or the enzymes will be destroyed.

Then grind the dried malted berries into flour, and use it in your
favorite recipe at a rate of approx. 1t. per loaf.

 

I am new to this blog but I also could not find any diastatic malt in AL, so I search the internet and happened to find a web site to make your own diastatic malt. I did not saved the web address but I did copy the recipe and I did follow the direction and make my own diastatic  malt. I hope it will help some of you  to make your own diatatic malt. I sprout 1/4 cup of wheat berry instead of 1 cup and grounded it and store in the freezer.

 

Siuflower 

slothbear's picture
slothbear

  my standard challah for company.  1/3 King Arthur white whole wheat, 1/4 c dark flax seed meal.

Since my husband is out of town, I fished for a Shabbos invitation at a close friend's house. He was going to be out all day, so I volunteered to bake the challah. I haven't made one for them before, and I always do a six-strand loaf for my debut. It has about 1/3 King Arthur white whole wheat, and 1/4 c dark flax seed meal.

suzanneulrich's picture
suzanneulrich

How do I get good oven spring?  My loaves come out looking just like they did when I put them in.  Am I not letting them rise enough, or too much?  Did I exhaust my yeast?   The crumb is a little dense, but not bad.

carltonb's picture
carltonb

http://www.sfbi.com/events.html

 

Announcing SFBI's First Book!


Advanced Bread and Pastry BookThe San Francisco Baking Institute is pleased to announce the publication of our first book: Advanced Bread and Pastry: A Professional Approach.


Advanced Bread and Pastry: A Professional Approach is a comprehensive guide to bread and pastry, designed as a resource for colleges and universities, private culinary schools, professionals, and dedicated enthusiasts.Balancing a respect for tradition with modern approaches to method and technique, Advanced Bread and Pastry unites appealing presentation and indispensable instruction. It is written to help today's instructor and baker respond to the recent evolution of ingredients, products, and presentation in the baking industry. The recipes (called formulas) are based on a variety of classic methods and processes. With this strong foundation of knowledge, a baker or pastry chef can develop further skills, experiment with new ideas, and understand any formula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carlton Brooks CEBC, CCE

Mesa, Arizona

 

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