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susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

I used to make these bread sticks all the time, before I knew how to make bread. My husband put in a request for them last week, and it reminded me how good they are, and a snap to make.

Also fun if you have little ones who love to roll dough snakes.

Recipe here.

Grissini

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I baked this very large, rustic Italian loaf (pagnotta) a couple weeks ago from Daniel Leader’s wonderful new book, Local Breads, page 197.  He states that it is to bake until almost black or charred for the most authentic loaf.  I didn’t go quite that far but you can see it developed a lot of color which I always prefer in my loaves.

 

 

I generally don’t bake the large boules since there are only two of us rather I prefer to divide a larger recipe and make more loaves so I can share them.  At any rate, I wanted to try the large boule and it was quite an impressive loaf.  (It reminded me of a fully expanded Jiffy Pop for those of you that can relate to that visual.) 

 

 

It is renowned in Italy for its great keeping quality, staying fresh up to 7 days.  Unfortunately, ours was not entirely eaten, I hate to admit, but it did allow me to see just how long it stays moist and fresh as is its reputation.  Nearly 10 days after baking it I was shocked to see that the bread still appeared very moist and had no signs of mold having been kept at room temperature in a KAF bread bag.

 

The recipe uses a biga naturale which Leader calls “Italian sourdough” and also uses a very small amount of commercial yeast.  I’m not sure why the instant yeast is there but that is the recipe.  I do not add commercial yeast to my sourdoughs but I wanted to bake it the first time following the recipe.  I would really like to try it again without the addition of the instant yeast to see what happens.

 

The flour in the recipe, except for the sourdough, is all high gluten for which I used Sir Lancelot high gluten flour.  The bran sprinkled on the top makes a really beautiful loaf although it is very messy to cut but very well worth it.  I would like to incorporate that in other loaves for the beautiful texture it creates. 

 

 

The crumb had a beautiful color and texture.

 

 

The Genzano Country Bread was a lot of fun to bake, wonderful tasting and seems an easy recipe for a great boule.  I hope you give it a try.

 

More photos can be seen here:

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3585722#203734681

  
handsonleaven's picture
handsonleaven

  I recently read this on the Fresh Loaf as a "non-member" of the site. 

     Here and there Hamelman makes a nod to the home baker, but it doesn't take long for the amateur baker to realize that Hamelman is not all that interested in his or her plight. The continual references to steam injectors and oven vents, proper posture when lifting 75 pounds of dough, and potential injury from improperly holding 7 to 8 foot long peels while unloading dozens of loaves of bread quickly make the amateur realize this book was not intended for him.  

I decided after reading this: "Maybe I should join "The Fresh Loaf" and see if people are struggling with Natural Leaven in bread dough because books are written without the intentions of including the homebaker." 

   As a homebaker, artisan baker , and author of a natural leaven primer, I could relate to this statement very well. my publicaton is intended  primarily for the HOMEBAKER  and artisan bakers who want a simple approach to teaching the home baker about natural leaven and its use in bread dough.  I thought, "I wonder if anyone is having difficulty with the basic rudiments of natural leaven due to the fact that in a comprehensive baking book on bread; natural leaven may be covered, but not in simplicity for the "no experience' to "some experience" person who is struggling with personally discovering making and managing natural leaven and its use in bread dough.  While my study of natural leaven has been over a twenty year period of time and I don't cross the knowledge of a professionals, I thought maybe there are some "out there" who need help.I did at one time, but have mastered the skill and sympathize with homebakers who can't get the answers for Natural Leaven Bread they are looking for.

My primer is sold wholesale, so I suppose one person doesn't need 100 ( my minimum order); but perhaps I could get a feel for those who are reading books that are not intended for them and make conversation in personal discovery of makng and managing  natural leaven and its use in bread dough. I tried bloggin elsehere but the set up was irritating and this seems to be going good for the first time now that I have been set up correctly

Don't communicate on The Fresh Loaf your interest our farm publcation: "Each One By Hand": A Natural Leaven Primer; this 24 page full color gloss magazine style handbook can be discussed else where; but is anyone  struggling with natural leaven and needs some questions answered.  E-mail: dcf2005@kaltelnet.net with Subject: Question about Natural Leaven. 

I am new to Fresh Loaf, I think I am supposed to sign my user name so ,

handsonleaven

   

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Susan, I can't remember where you posted this recipe - and I have scrolled back without success trying to find it. You were suggesting someone give it a try and of course I had to jump right in as well. I have to say the dough didn't look very promising and it was rock hard after a night in the frig. However, after sitting on my little propane stove for 2 1/2 hours it had finally warmed slightly and I decided to bake. It really didn't look like much, but I went ahead and slashed it and covered it with the ss mixing bowl as directed. I have to tell you I was totally gobsmacked when I removed the bowl! Fantastic oven spring and when I took it out (205*) the crust was shiny and crisp with lots of lovely "freckles". I have to keep going into the kitchen to check it out. I have a question: why couldn't I use my stone instead of the cookie sheet? I'm not complaining, just curious. Can't wait to check out the crumb, thanks again, A.

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

Nice to be back baking :)

 Here's some challah from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  My first try at challah, they're as tasty as they are nice to look at.  The inside is soft, sweet and light.  Exactly what I think of when I think challah.

 

 

 

-Joe 

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Here is a miche that uses a large proportion of high-extraction flour. Heartland Mill's Golden Buffalo is great for this. This is probably the heartiest bread I have ever made.

The recipe is here.

High-extraction miche Sliced miche

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I have done a lot of scattered baking the past two months. These are pics of most of it. OK, so only one loaf was actually bad. That was the one where I thought I forgot to add the salt to the evening mix, so I added it the next morning. That was one of Peter Reinhart’s epoxy sandwich loaves. Not only was it too salty, but as you can guess it also didn’t rise very well. It still had a very nicely textured crumb. That loaf went in the freezer for use as breadcrumbs. I just hope I remembered to label it!

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07/29/07 This was a wonderfully flavorful multigrain loaf, based on the NYT/Lahey No Knead Bread. Thanks Cooky for the grains combination! I couldn’t find my cornmeal, so used corn grits instead. I didn’t presoak any of the grains, but with the 18 hour ferment they did fine. I didn’t get well-developed gluten, but for the minimum effort involved, I was happy, and the taste was great.

A few days later, I diced up the remainder and used it for a cheesy bread pudding. Topped with the bacon/tomato/onion flavors of bluezebra’s mulligan stew it made a very nice light supper.

 

1/3 cup rye flour

1/3 cup steel cut oats

1/3 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup WW flour

1-1/2 cup bread flour

1 Tbsp gluten

1.5 tsp table salt (or 2 tsp kosher salt)

1/4 tsp yeast

1.5 cups water (more?)

 

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09/27/07 This is the cinnamon oatmeal raisin bread that so many of us know and love. I could have done a better job of mixing the raisins in, but am otherwise very happy with it. I’ll be making this often, freezing it in half-loaf portions. Eventually I hope to have large volume formulas I’m happy with for other breads, so I can keep the freezer stocked with a variety of breads. Yes, three loaves is large volume for me! The Delonghi/Kenwood mixer handled the full recipe just fine.

I subbed in 214 gr sourdough starter for corresponding amounts of flour and water, and added 1 Tbsp. granular lecithin to the dough. Both of these were to enhance the keeping quality. I also took the dough for the third loaf, and made cinnamon rolls from it. They were baked with more butter, sugar and cinnamon, and topped with icing. But I thought the plain bread was better.

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09/15/07 The loaf on the left is Peter Reinhart’s transitional rye sandwich loaf on page 119. I did increase the content of whole wheat flour relative to bread flour just a bit. The loaf on the right is a quickly thrown together NYT/Lahey no-knead rye bread. I wanted to try the King Arthur deli rye flavor, but didn’t want to adulterate the taste of the rye sandwich loaf. I don’t think I quite got the perfect formula for the no-knead! But it was still a good bread.

The taste comparison was interesting. A few hours after the bread was baked, we thought the PR loaf was a bit sweet, and preferred the flavor of the other one. The next day, we noticed more complex flavors in the PR loaf, and preferred it. Next time I may try the PR loaf with the King Arthur flavor enhancer.

The flat no knead rye made a nice hearty sandwich

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08/11/07 I played around a lot with the NYT/Lahey no knead. This one has kalamata olives, parmesan and marjoram. Unfortunately, there was no rosemary in the house. The bread was still good, and eaten with an Italian chicken dish. I also love it for tunafish sandwiches.


The bread additions were decided on rather late in the process, so I spread out the dough, topped with the additions, and rolled it up. I then did a few folds. This was NOT a good way to get the olives evenly distributed!


The result was a dough that wasn’t developed quite enough. As you can see, it has a lot of puff at the top.

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09/??/07 One of my uses for some leftover starter was some sourdough biscuits. I didn’t get the formula right – and my starter was probably too old to use.

So they weren’t perfect biscuits, but were definitely tasty!

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09/08/07 I think this is the Loaf for Learning from Laurel’s Kitchen. It was a good effort, with a nice soft crumb but my version still has room for improvement. Definitely worth a 2nd try.

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08/20/07 This is the sandwich loaf from Reinhart’s new book, Whole Grain Breads. Too bad about that salt!

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08/09/07 This is my earlier attempt at almost the same loaf. This time I had used JMonkey’s version.

I will try this one more time. Sure hope the third time’s the charm!

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08/30/07 I took a basic NYT/Lahey no-knead, gave it a few extra folds, and tried a sandwich-loaf shape. It didn’t have quite enough structure. You can see it pushed out the rolling pins I used to hold my “couche” in place.

It still made a very tasty loaf, and was good for sandwiches. You can see how it laughed at my slashes! More than likely I won't try this formula like this again - either go with the utter simplicity of the original, or make a bread designed to hold up to shaping. But I had fun finding out if it would work.

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08/06/07 This is about a half recipe of the NYT/Lahey loaf, small enough to fit easily in my toaster oven.

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08/04/07 This is my first whole wheat sourdough. I started following instructions for a mixer far less powerful than mine, and way overkneaded the dough.


I thought I had great ovenspring, but just had these huge baker’s caves (Surely some bakers lived in caves sometime.) Anyway, you’ll find a discussion of much that went wrong HERE.

 

400 g starter (about 100% - mostly WW with some rye & AP)

480 g WW flour

420 g water

1.25 teaspoons table salt

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Well, that’s all the pics. We also had pizza a few times, but I always forgot to snap a photo. Some of the breads were also consumed without benefit of camera. ;~) Extra starter went into cornbread and a few batches of waffles. The cornbread tasted about the same as normal. I don’t know how the waffles compared, because I hadn’t made them in years! The desire to use extra starter triggered all sorts of things. I may do pancakes next weekend.

I’ve had a very chaotic summer, and baked way more than we need to eat. Yes, we gave some away, but also ate too much. Time for me to get back to doing some things I’ve been ignoring and bake a little less. Both my office and my waistline will appreciate it!

ejm's picture
ejm

hand kneading

When people hear that I make virtually all our bread, they nod in approval and invariably ask what kind of bread machine I have. Here is how the conversation generally continues:

Me: No, I make it by hand. I don't have a bread machine.
They: No bread machine??
Me: No, all by hand.
They: (awestruck) Wow... that must be hard... and take a long time...
Me: No, not at all!
They: (incredulous) ...really?

Yes, I always knead by hand (except once when I made the mistake of using our food processor to make $35 bread ...not a good idea...). The choice to hand-knead is not necessarily because I'm a luddite. I just don't happen to have an electric mixer large enough to accommodate the amount of dough. And I'm too cheese-paring with counter space (and my wallet) to get one. Besides, it's much easier to wash my hands than it would be to wrestle with a mixer to take it apart, clean off sticky dough and then wrestle it into its storage area.

When I first started baking bread on a regular basis, my favourite book was The Italian Baker by Carol Field (it's still one of my favourite books...). In almost every recipe, Field has instructions for preparing dough by hand, by food processor, by electric mixer. But for one of the rustic breads in her book, pane Pugliese (p.122), Field suggests not to even try to knead by hand as it's just too sloppy. Don't even try?? But we WANTED that bread!! We NEEDED that bread!! (no no, don't worry. I won't say it... I just can't bring myself to say "so I knea...")

So I took the plunge and started hand kneading even the slackest of dough. Not only was it exhiliariarating, but it worked out just fine. More than fine. That bread is one of our favourites.

And then T gave me Maggie Glezer's wonderful book Artisan Baking Across America, in which she describes a fantastic way to deal with slack dough (Acme's Rustic Baguettes). She suggests to knead for a short time initially, let the dough autolyse and then finish developing the dough by stretching and folding three times after the initial kneading. The method is slightly more time consuming because you have to be available to do the stretching and folding. But it makes hand-kneading slack dough much much easier AND the resulting bread turned out better too.

I use Glezer's method to knead all slack doughs now, including the wild yeast bread I have just recently started making.

Anyone who has hand-kneaded regular bread dough would agree that it's pretty easy to knead using only your hands. But slack dough requires a slightly different trick. And it isn't as difficult as it might seem....

Use a wooden spoon to stir the wet dough until it looks like porridge; cover the bowl and let it rest for about 20 minutes to allow the dough to autolyse*. Scatter a dusting of flour on the board (I use a flour wand) and pour the dough onto the board. Don't worry that it still looks like porridge. Wash and dry the rising bowl.

A dough scraper is very helpful - read "essential" - when kneading slack dough. Use it to clean the board, fold the dough in half and give it a quarter turn as best you can. Use your other hand to stretch the dough upwards, give it a twist as you are lowering the dough and using the scraper to turn the slop over. A big advantage is that the hand holding the scraper stays quite clean. (And if you put a tea towel under the board, the board won't slip around on the counter.)

kneading slack doughkneading slack dough

Slack dough still resembles porridge after hand-kneading for 5 to 10 minutes. Fear not. Just use the dough scraper to maneuvre the sloppy mess into your clean rising bowl (please do not oil the bowl; it is unnecessary). Scrape your hand off as best you can and cover the bowl. Let it rest on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes. (Note how the dough scraper has pretty much completely cleaned the board.)

After the dough has rested, it's time for its first turn. From now on, your motto should be "gently, gently".

Scatter a dusting of flour on the board (I use a flour wand) and pour the dough onto the board. Don't worry that it still looks like porridge. Wash and dry the rising bowl.

dough scraper and slack dough1st turning

Slip the dough scraper under the right side of the dough in preparation for gently folding the dough in half. After it is folded, gently pat away any excess flour. Slip the dough scraper under the bottom side of the dough in preparation for gently folding the dough in half again. Fold and continue to the left and top of the dough. (four folds) Use the dough scraper to maneuvre the dough back into the clean rising bowl. You'll see that it looks a little less porridge-like and that the dough scraper has pretty much cleaned the board. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in a draft-free area on the counter for another 20 to 30 minutes.

just before 2nd turning
After the dough has rested, it's time for its second turn. Scatter a dusting of flour on the board and pour the dough onto the board. You'll see that it already looks less like porridge. Wash and dry the rising bowl.

Gently fold the dough in the same way as before starting at the right side and working around all four sides. Gently pat the excess flour off. Put the folded dough back in the clean rising bowl to rest for another 20 to 30 minutes.

second turningpat off excess flour

One more time, after the dough has rested, it's time for its third turn. Scatter a dusting of flour on the board and pour the dough onto the board. It is still quite loose but looks much more like dough. Note how the dough just pulls away from the bowl as you pour it onto the board. If it sticks, use a (clean) finger or rubber scraper to gently pull the dough out onto the board. Wash and dry the rising bowl.

Gently fold the dough in the same way as before starting at the right side and working around all four sides. Once again, gently pat the excess flour off.

third turningafter 3rd turning

By now the dough will look smooth but will still be quite soft. Use the dough scraper to gently put the dough back into the clean rising bowl (you really don't want to disturb the bubbles that are beginning to form). Cover and allow it to rise in a draft-free area on the counter to about double (another couple of hours or so, depending on the temperature of the kitchen).

Once the dough has doubled, gently (but I didn't really have to say "gently" again, did I?) release the risen dough onto the, this time, generously floured board. Use the dough scraper to divide the dough into two and shape into two rounds. Place on parchment paper covered peel. Placing cookie cutters on the shaped dough as it is rising etches a design on top of the bread. Flour the rounds and cover with plastic. The cookie cutters also help to keep the plastic from sticking to the dough. Allow to rise in a draft-free area on the counter til just doubled.

wild bread
When the shaped bread has doubled, liberally spray with water and bake at 400F in a preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes. To make sure the bread is fully baked, check that the internal temperature of the bread is 210 to 220F - around 100C. (I use a meat thermometer.) Place the baked bread on a footed rack and allow to cool completely before cutting. The bread continues to cook as it cools.

* According to Merriam Webster, autolyse (also autolyze) is "to undergo autolysis". And autolysis?

autolysis [...] breakdown of all or part of a cell or tissue by self-produced enzymes -- called also self-digestion

On answers.com, there is an entry from Food and Nutrition (Oxford University Press):


autolysis The process of self-digestion by the enzymes naturally present in tissues. For example, the tenderizing of game while hanging is due to autolysis of connective tissue. Yeast extract is produced by autolysis of yeast.

And here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Autolyse is a period of rest allowed for dough to relax. After the initial mixing of flour and water, the dough is allowed to sit. This rest period allows for better absorption of water and allows the gluten and starches to align. Breads made with autolysed dough are easier to form into shapes and have more volume and improved structure.

And finally, in Artisan Baking Across America, Maggie Glezer wrote:


The term autolyse [...] was adopted by Professor Raymond Calvel, the esteemed French bread-baking teacher and inventor of this somewhat odd but very effective technique. During the rest time, the flour fully hydrates and its gluten further develops, encouraged by the absence of: compressed yeast, which would begin to ferment and acidify the dough (although instant yeast is included in autolyses lasting no longer than 30 minutes because of its slow activation): salt, which would cause the gluten to tighten, hindering its development and hydration; and pre-ferments, which would also acidify the dough. The flour's improved hydration and gluten development shorten the mixing time, increase extensibilty (the dough rips less during shaping), and ultimately result in bread with a creamier colored crumb and more aroma and sweet wheat flavor.

 (edited 2 October 2007 to fix spelling error)

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Entertaining my little boy again tonight, so time for another easy baking project he could help with. He loves pineapple and we had some a couple of days old, so time to do something with it. Recipe from The Joy of Cooking (I've always had good luck with the basics from there). Took about 20 minutes to prep and get in the oven, bake at 350F for a little over 35 minutes.Pineapple upside down cakePineapple upside down cake 

This was made with fresh pineapple bought in chunks so no "disks" or circles (from the can) with cherry's in it.

 

Recipe:

  • Drain and place one paper towel in 1 layer to absorb excess juice: 7 slices canned unsweetened pineapple (or equivalent fresh)
  • Melt in a 9x2" circular cake pan: 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. Tilt to coat sides with butter.
  • Sprinkle evenly over bottom of the pan: 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar 
  • Place 1 pineapple ring in the center, and arrange 6 more around it, and place in the centers of the rings, and in between, 19 maraschino cherries, or pecan halves (or just fill with chunks, like I did)
  • Whisk together in bowl: 2 large eggs, 2 tablespoons buttermilk (I did not have any so I used just under 2 T of regular milk and a little lemon juice because some acidity is needed for the baking poweder to work), and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mix together in a mixing bowl: 1 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until everything is just moistened: 6 tablespoons of unsalted, softened butter, 6 tablespoons of buttermilk (I again used regular milk, and this time some pineapple juice).
  • Increase speed to high and mix for 1.5 minutes.
  • In three steps, add 1/3 of the egg mixture, mix high speed for 20 seconds, and repeat until all incorporated.
  • Scrape batter on top of pineapple, spread evenly and smoothen out. 
  • Bake in 350F preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and tilt to all sides to loosen cake from sides of pan. Let cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Place serving plate on top of cake pan, upside down, and using oven mitts hold the combination and flip over and remove cake pan.
  • Let cool a little more and serve! 

 




--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures
AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I had to babysit tonight and was invited to eat supper with the family - I work cheap. There was a very nice little loaf on the cutting board, crisp crust and holey tender crumb. Imagine my surprise when my d-i-l told me it was one I had baked and she had retrieved from the freezer! I didn't recognize it and I'm still not sure which bread it was. Could have been Will Wraith's baguette, judging by the crumb. Also heard from my friends who received their loaf today in the mail. It was the whole grain sourdough from Breadtopia and got rave reviews. Pretty spendy to mail it so it will only be a special treat once in a while, A.

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