The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Blogs

  • Pin It
pandedulce's picture
pandedulce

Hi Everyone!!,

I am really excited to get started baking some breads!  I am studying at a college to become a pastry chef or baker.  I love to bake in my spare time and  I would like to go more into the bread baking area of it.  I know that I will be able to learn a ton of tricks and tips from everyone here!

Adios!!

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I just posted the Semolina Sandwich Loaf ( http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4213/semolina-sandwich-loaf ) and wanted to share my experience making this sourdough version of Maggie Glezer’s.

This was really a nice little loaf with a great crust and also a very moist and beautiful crumb. It surprised me with the nice oven spring it had for such a seemingly small loaf.

The crumb has a beautiful yellow cast as well but the recipe uses AP flour in addition to the semolina (durum patent flour) so it was not as intensely yellow as the sandwich loaf which was 100% semolina flour.

I only proofed these loaves for 4 hours, rather than the 5 estimated by Glezer but I generally have a fast starter or it could have been the room temp that day. They were not large loaves and I goofed and preheated my oven to about 550 as I normally do but would not repeat that. I ended up baking them about 40 minutes but I did cover them at the end to keep them from getting even darker. Preheating the oven to the correct temp for this type of loaf would be much better.

I have to say again, this bread was wonderful. My neighbor who got the other loaf just loved it. I baked this bread the same day (last weekend) as the semolina sandwich loaf and it is still extremely moist. It was delicious last night used to sop up sauce from eggplant parmesan served with juicy grilled chicken (yum!).

This was, again, what I felt was a straight forward and rather easy recipe. Most of the time you spend is waiting but it was really fun to mix up and so easy to make into little loaves. I loved it and it you try it I hope you like it, too.

More photos here:

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3506188#197819612

Sourdough Semolina Bread – Maggie Glezer, A Blessing of Bread

Skill Level: Expert

Time: About 20 hours (about 8 1/2 hours on baking day)

Makes: Two 1-pound (450 gram) breads

Recipe Synopsis: Make a sourdough starter and let it ferment overnight for 8 to 12 hours. The next day, mix the dough and let it ferment for 2 hours. Shape the dough and let it proof for 5 hours. Bake the breads for about 45 minutes.

For sourdough starter:

2 tablespoons (30 grams/1.1 ounces) very active, fully fermented firm sourdough starter, refreshed 8 to 12 hours earlier

1/3 cup (80 grams/2.8 ounces) warm water

About 1 cup (135 grams/4.8 ounces) unbleached AP flour

For final dough:

1 1/3 cups (225 grams/7.9 ounces) fine semolina flour

1 2/3 cups (225 grams/7.9 ounces) unbleached AP flour

1 1/3 cups (300 grams/10.6 ounces) warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons (11 grams/0.4 ounce) table salt

1 tablespoon (18 grams/0.6 ounce) mild honey or 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons (21 grams/0.8 ounce) granulated sugar

Fully fermented starter

EVENING BEFORE BAKING

Mixing the sourdough starter: Rub starter into water until it is partially dissolved, then stir in the flour. Knead this firm dough until it is smooth. Remove 2/3 cup (135 grams/4.8 ounces) of the starter and place it in a sealed container at least four times its volume, to use in the final dough. (Place the remaining starter in a sealed container and refrigerate to use in the next bake.) Let the starter ferment until it has tripled in volume and is just starting to deflate, 8 to 12 hours.

BAKING DAY

Mixing the autolyze: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the semolina and AP flour. With the paddle attachment on low speed, stir in the warm water until well combined. The dough will look very granular and wet. Let the dough rest covered for 20 minutes.

Mixing the dough: Add the salt, honey or sugar, and starter to the dough and mix on medium speed with the dough hook for about 10 minutes, or until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl and becomes very extensible. If you did not weigh your flour to measure it, be prepared to adjust the consistency of the dough. The consistency will also be profoundly influenced by the degree to which the semolina was milled and its freshness. Add at least a tablespoon or two of water if the dough is very firm, or at least a tablespoon or two of flour if the dough is impossibly sticky and does not clean the sides of the bowl. The dough should feel very soft and tacky but be easy to handle and have a smooth sheen; it should clean the bowl at the beginning of kneading.

Fermenting: Place the dough in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for about 2 hours. It will probably not rise much, if at all.

Shaping and proofing: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or oil it, or flour two linen-lined bannetons. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Shape it into simple rounds or long shapes and position the loaves seam side down on the prepared sheet or in the bannetons. Cover well with plastic wrap and proof at room temperature. It should triple in size; about 5 hours.

Preheating the oven: One hour before baking, position an oven rack in the upper third position and remove any racks above it. Place a baking stone on it, if desired, and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C/gas mark 7).

Baking: When the loaves have tripled and do not push back when gently pressed with your finger but remain indented, they are ready to bake. If you have proofed them in bannetons, flip each one onto your hand first, then flip it seam side down onto an oiled baking sheet or, if using a baking stone, onto a semolina-sprinkled peel. Score the loaves with a single-edged razor blade in a decorative pattern. Spray or brush them with water and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until very well browned. After the first 30 minutes of baking, switch the loaves from front to back so that they brown evenly. When the loaves are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a rack.

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I’ve been so curious about semolina flour.I didn’t understand much about it and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information regarding it.After reading as much as I could find in various bread books I decided I had to take a stab at it.So last weekend I baked this yeasted sandwich version along with another sourdough version. (I will post that one separately.)

I found the perfect, fresh durum patent flour at Heartland Mill which has been such a great source so far in providing harder-to-find flours.The shipping and handling is a bit steep but so far I can’t find a local source for this particular semolina or the wonderful Golden Buffalo high-extraction flour that is so perfect for the Thom Leonard Country French.

http://www.heartlandmill.com/

This bread showed the most incredible oven spring that I snapped a couple photos while still in the loaf pan for perspective to show just how high that thing ballooned.The first time I opened the oven to rotate the pan I actually gasped.Then I broke into laughter.You all know that feeling!:o)

It is such a beautiful loaf in so many ways but also very delicious and moist.This is a big keeper recipe for me and I remain intrigued by the nutty, sweet flavor of semolina.If you are looking for a very tender and flavorful sandwich loaf this is a great choice.Another plus is the recipe is quite easy and very quick.I think from beginning of initial fermentation to pulling the baked loaf from the oven was just under 4 hours.

It also makes delicious toast and, for me, the beautiful saffron colored crumb is just outstanding.

Excerpted: Leader told how he received an urgent phone call the night before he left Altamura telling him that his guide had forgotten to show him this bread – a straight dough semolina loaf made by Altamura bakers specifically for sandwiches.A loaf was quickly delivered to his hotel room and he expressed gladness when he saw the gorgeous red-gold loaf with a delicate crust and even golden crumb.He said it was unlike any sandwich bread he’d tasted and how his customers would love its rich wheat flavor and olive oil perfume.The small amount of sugar gives this bread great tenderness. As he mentions this recipe is a great introduction to the unique character of semolina flour.I agree.

More photos can be seen here:

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3505682#197785385

Semolina Sandwich Loaf – Daniel Leader, Local Breads

Time:8 to 12 minutes to knead; 1 1/2 to 2 hours to ferment; 1 to 1 1/2 hours to proof; 35 to 45 minutes to bake

Makes:1 Sandwich loaf (31.2 ounces/885 grams)

300 grams (1 1/2 cups/10.6 ounces) water, tepid (70 to 78 degrees) – 60%

5 grams (1 teaspoon/0.2 ounce) instant yeast – 1%

500 grams (3 1/4 cups/17.6 ounces) fine semolina (durum) flour – 100%

15 grams (1 tablespoon/0.5 ounce) granulated sugar – 3%

50 grams (1/4 cup/1.8 ounces) extra-virgin olive oil – 10%

10 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons/0.4 ounce) sea salt – 2%

Mixing the dough:Pour the water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.Add the yeast, flour, sugar, olive oil and salt and stir with a rubber spatula just until a rough dough forms.

Kneading – By hand:Lightly dust the counter with semolina flour.Scrape the dough out of the bowl and knead it with smooth, steady strokes until it is very smooth, shiny, and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes.

By machine:Use the dough hook and mix the dough on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid mixer) until it is very smooth, shiny, and elastic, 8 to 9 minutes.

Fermentation:Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container with a lid.Cover and leave to rise at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) until it inflates into a dome, reaching double; 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Shaping loaf:Grease a loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2) with oil.Lightly dust the counter with semolina flour.Uncover the dough and turn it out onto the counter.Form the dough into a pan loaf.Nestle the loaf into the pan, seam side down, pressing it gently to fit.Lightly dust the top of the loaf with semolina flour and cover the pan with plastic wrap.

Proofing:Let the loaf rise at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) until it crowns just above the rim of the pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preparing oven:About 15 minutes before baking place rack in middle of oven.Preheat oven to 375°F.

Baking:Place the loaf on the middle rack of the oven.Bake until the loaf pulls away from the sides of the pan and the crust is a deep golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes.

Cooling and storing:Remove loaf from pan and allow to cool, right side up.Cool bread completely before slicing, about 1 hour.Store the cut loaf in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature.It will stay fresh for about 3 days.For longer storage, freeze in a resealable plastic bag for up to 1 month.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Not sure where to post this, but you know you are a baker when you sweep the kitchen floor and all you find is toasted cornmeal which fell out of the oven when you pulled the parchment paper, A

James Cloud's picture
James Cloud

I am looking for a recipe for stholen ( I'm not sure that I have spelled it right but it is made by german nationals around Christmas time if any one has a good recipe please post or forward to james Cloud ( jdcloud5@gmail.com ).

Thanks to you all !

James Cloud

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I baked my first challah last Thursday and wanted to share.

I was unsure what to expect but it was so much fun. I’d been meaning for some time to bake a recipe from Maggie Glezer’s book, A Blessing of Bread, which is a wonderful compilation of traditional Jewish recipes from around the world. Floyd has written a very nice review of the book here.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/bookreviews/ablessingofbread

I decided to start with Glezer’s own personal recipe for sourdough challah. I love making sourdough and was interested to see what the texture of this bread would be compared to a yeasted challah which I have eaten only a couple times.

The recipe seemed easy to me despite the fact Glezer calls it expert. I’m not sure why but, again, I’m new to challah. The dough was so easy to mix together and then, as Glezer puts it, the time involved is mostly waiting after that.

She says to bake it to a dark brown which I did. I’m not sure if it is considered too dark or not but it was really a beautiful color and I do typically bake my bread darker as she instructs in Artisan Baking.

The crumb was amazing to me. It was very creamy and soft and almost reminded me of an angel food cake. It has remained moist to this day (5 days later) as there are only two of us to eat and can’t quite get rid of all the bread I bake. I am going to cut very thick slices of what is remaining to freeze and later use to make French toast.

I decided for my maiden voyage into challah bread I would make an elaborate braid. I used the six-strand braid version and got a lot of help from the video Glezer did showing how to do it. Gosh, the internet is awesome! Just as she said it makes a beautiful, very high loaf.

Braiding ChallahFine Cooking Video, Maggie Glezer

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/videos/braiding-challah.aspx?

I’m posting the recipe so those of you who are new to challah as I am can have a chance to make it and perhaps will be inspired to buy this lovely book. For those who have made challah for years I’d love it if you tried the recipe and let me know your thoughts on it compared the some of your favorite traditional recipes.

More of my photos can be seen here:

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3500289#197395950

Thank you to each and every one of you on this site that have been such inspirations in baking such as Floyd, Bill Wraith, Susanfnp, Mountaindog, JMonkey, Browndog, Bluezebra, Eric, SDBaker, Mini Oven, Dolf, Qahtan, Zainab and so many others. All you wonderful bakers have helped me incredibly along the way over the past few months that I have been baking so many thanks to all.

My Sourdough Challah - Maggie Glezer's personal recipe from her book, A Blessing of Bread

Sweet sourdough breads are delicious and well worth the time (which is mainly waiting time) if you are a sourdough baker. The sourdough adds a subtle tang to my challah, and the crumb has a moister, creamier texture that keeps even longer than the yeasted version. While it’s true that challah or, for that matter, all bread was at one time sourdough (the Hebrew word for leaven, chametz, means “sour”), challahs have definitely gotten sweeter and richer since the introduction of commercial yeast. To convert such recipes back to 100 percent sourdough, the sugar has to be cut back in order for the dough to rise in a reasonable length of time (sugar that is more than 12 percent of the flour weight inhibits fermentation), so this version will taste slightly less sweet than the yeasted one, a deficit completely overridden by the rich complexity of the sourdough. I have also changed the all-purpose flour to bread flour, which has more gluten, to counteract the starter’s propensity to loosen the gluten (the acids in the starter change the proteins, a natural part of sourdough baking).

Skill Level: Expert

Time: About 20 hours (about 8 1/2 hours on baking day)

Makes: Two 1-pound (450-gram) challahs, one 1 1/2-pound (680-gram) challah plus three rolls, or sixteen 2-ounce (60-gram) rolls

Recipe synopsis: Make the sourdough starter and let if ferment overnight for 12 hours. The next day, mix the dough and let it ferment for 2 hours. Shape the dough and let it proof for 5 hours. Bake the breads for 15 to 40 minutes, depending on their size.

For the starter:

2 tablespoons (35 grams/1.2 ounces) very active, fully fermented firm sourdough starter, refreshed 8 to 12 hours earlier

1/3 cup (80 grams/2.8 ounces) warm water

About 1 cup (135 grams/4.8 ounces) bread flour

For final dough:

1/4 cup (60 grams/2 ounces) warm water

3 large eggs, plus 1 for glazing

1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams/0.3 ounce) table salt

1/4 cup (55 grams/1.9 ounces) vegetable oil

3 tablespoons (65 grams/2.3 ounces) mild honey or a scant 1/3 cup (60 grams/2.1 ounces) granulated sugar

About 3 cups (400 grams/14 ounces) bread flour

Fully fermented sourdough starter

Evening before baking - mixing the sourdough starter: Knead starter into water until it is partially dissolved, then stir in the flour. Knead this firm dough until it is smooth. Remove 1 cup (200grams/7 ounces) of the starter to use in the final dough and place it in a sealed container at least four times its volume. (Place the remaining starter in a sealed container and refrigerate to use in the next bake.) Let the starter ferment until it has tripled in volume and is just starting to deflate, 8 to 12 hours.

Baking day - Mixing the dough:

In a large bowl, beat together the water, the 3 eggs, salt, oil, and honey (measure the oil first, then use the same cup for measuring the honey — the oil will coat the cup and let the honey just slip right out) or sugar until the salt has dissolved and the mixture is fairly well combined. With your hands or a wooden spoon, mix in the bread flour all at once. When the mixture is a shaggy ball, scrape it out onto your work surface, add the starter, and knead until the dough is smooth, no more than 10 minutes. (Soak your mixing bowl in hot water now to clean and warm it for fermenting the dough.) This dough is very firm and should feel almost like modeling clay. If the dough is too firm to knead easily, add a tablespoon or two of water to it; if it seems too wet, add a few tablespoons flour.

The dough should feel smooth and very firm but be easy to knead.

Fermenting the dough:

Place the dough in the warm cleaned bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for about 2 hours. It will probably not rise much, if at all.

Shaping and proofing the dough:

Line one or two large baking sheets, with parchment paper or oil them. Divide the dough into two 1-pound (450-gram) portions for loaves, one 1 1/2 pound (680-gram) portion for a large loaf and three small pieces for rolls (the easiest way to do this without a scale is to divide the dough into quarters and use one quarter for the rolls and the rest for the large loaf), or sixteen 2-ounce (60-gram) portions for rolls. Braid or shape them as desired, position them on the prepared sheet(s), and cover them well with plastic wrap. Let proof until tripled in size, about 5 hours.

Meanwhile, 30 minutes before baking, arrange the oven racks in the lower and upper third positions if using two baking sheets or arrange one rack in the upper third position if using one sheet, and remove any racks above them. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/gas mark 4). If desired, preheat one or two baking sheets to double with the baking sheet(s) the loaves are on. Beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt for glazing the breads.

Baking the loaves:

When the loaves have tripled and do not push back when gently pressed with your finger but remain indented, brush them with the egg glaze. Bake rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, the 1-pound (450-gram) loaves for 25 to 35 minutes, or the 1 1/2-pound (680-gram) loaf for 35 to 45 minutes, until very well browned. After the first 20 minutes of baking, switch the loaves from front to back so that they brown evenly; if the large loaf is browning too quickly, tent it with foil. When the loaves are done, remove them from the oven and let cool on a rack.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Since the unfortunate demise of my starter and the jar of leftovers I have been busy making new ones. SourdoLady's pineapple juice one and the yogurt one I started out with originally. SourdoLady, the pineapple one started out well but hasn't done much of anything since I changed to ap flour and water. I have stirred like crazy, added a spoonful of rye, even tried the apple cider vinegar. I am now to day 11 and there are bubbles on the surface but no sign of rising. What do you think - should I keep on repeating day 4 or toss it and start again? I really want it to work. On the other hand, the yogurt one is pounding his chest and pawing the ground and today I made some of the best sourdough bread so far, using Susan's recipe with the overnight sponge. Could it be sibling rivalry? Should I sit them side by side to encourage the timid one? If you think I should continue I will, but I still have more pineapple juice so I could try again. Thanks in advance for any suggestions, A

Floydm's picture
Floydm

We had a nice get together this afternoon. Had four regular TFL participants show up (leemid, myself, JMonkey, and crumb bum) and one other reader whose screenname I didn't catch. We had a pretty decent spread:

table full on bread

table full on bread

table full on bread

If memory serves me right, the breads were (starting at 9 o'clock) JMonkey's whole wheat raisin bread and a whole wheat desem bread, my whole wheat sourdough and the honey whole wheat bread with sunflower seeds, crumb bum's miches (one with 15% whole wheat flour and one with 15% rye flour), and leemid white sourdough (made with Carl's starter, I think, or was it Otis?) and a rye he made.

miche

All of the breads were good, but crumb bum's miches (pictured above) blew me away. His formula and techniques can be found scatter around the site, but what I jotted down was:

20 grams starter
1000 grams flour (up to 15% whole grain)
750 grams water
20 grams salt

Mix in the evening, fold 4 or 5 times, then cover and leave out at room temperature overnight. Shape early the next evening, let rise for 2-3 hours, then put in an unheated oven (more on that here). Crank it up to 500 for 10 minutes, then reduce temp and bake until complete.

I will be trying this soon, probably tomorrow.

Thank you to the folks who showed up. And for those of you who wanted to but couldn't, we'll definitely do it again.

wholegrainOH's picture
wholegrainOH

Finally got around to activating a sourdough starter I got at least two years ago from Ed Wood's Sourdough International; did both baguettes and a no-knead loaf. A couple of photos; more at www.alan-ohio-bread.blogspot.com

no knead baked
the no-knead loaf baked

nn-knead texture; didn't let it rise long enough

the baguettes

debbieh's picture
debbieh

Need a recipe for parmeaan herb bread,  anyone got one?

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs