The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Daily Breads

  • Pin It
ehanner's picture
ehanner

My Daily Breads

 

Last Friday I had the privilege of starting the pilgrimage to the Upper peninsula of Michigan to watch my Niece graduate at the top of her HS class. Wanting to add something to the celebration I offered to bake the bread for what turned out to be a fairly large party (100+-). In an earlier post I have talked about my preparations and plans for this bake of what turned out to be 16 loaves.

I am following up with this post so that any of you who feel compelled to undertake a larger group party perhaps will garner some insight into the details of the challenge.

After consulting with Mike Avery, I decided to take his advice and use a recipe that uses a Poolish with a 12 hour ferment at room temps. I mixed the 20 loaf batch of Poolish in three equal smaller batches in my 5 quart KA mixer the morning of departure. Starting at 6:00AM I dumped each successive batch into a new, clean 5 Gallon paint bucket. It started out at roughly 1/4 full which I marked on the side of the bucket. I should say I used cold water to give myself a little breathing room in the projected 12 hour ferment time. Thinking if I started with cold water I would slow down the fermentation while the temp slowly raised. Arriving in Houghton MI some 10 hours later, the Poolish was expanded 300% and was still active after 10 hours. I was glad I hadn't bought the 3 gallon bucket which seemed like it would be large enough :>)

I had premeasured the flours, yeast and salt into plastic zip lock bags that was the correct amount for 4 loaf batches. I decided to make a more complex mix than straight white French bread by using a blend of WW and a small amount of rye. Since my sister lives in the City (boy that's a stretch) I guessed that she has chlorinated water so I brought a gallon of my well water, just in case. There are many possible variables and I was trying to trim the possible calamities down to a minimum.

I tried to time the final dough assembly to one hour intervals to match the baking intervals. That is, 2 loaves baked for 30 minutes, times 2 equals 4 loaves per hour and each dough batch gave me 4 - 770 gram loaves. Gee, it looks so good on paper! Mike suggested that I do final proofing on parchment and skip the couche all together, which I did. I didn't do a long bulk ferment due to the fact that the Poolish is in itself a long ferment so I started forming my Batards after the first batch had fermented for 1 hour. Next, I sprayed the Batards lightly with olive oil and covered with plastic film for the final proof of about 1 hour. Preheated the oven/stone to 425F and into the oven for 30 minutes. I checked the first batch for temp just to be sure and they were 207F at 30 minutes and nicely browned.

Managing the production flow from mix/ferment/form/proof and bake was more of a challenge than I would of thought. I kept up with the timing but after the first batch was in the oven I was busy continuously for the next 4 hours. The last batch came out at around 3:AM my time and was the end of a long day which had started at 5:30AM the day before. I had taken 2 of my own cooling racks along since most people only have need for one. By the time the 3 racks were full, the first 4 loaves were mostly cool and I turned them over on the table to continue cooling.

I might of been able to bake 4 loaves on 2 shelves using the convection settings on this oven and shortened my time up by half. Honestly I wasn't willing to experiment and possibly not get get the expected results which would result in slowing me down. I don't have any experience using convection and I know there are changes that must be made in temp and time also some people have mentioned that they only use the fan for a short time. Some day I would like to play around with this method but this time I'll stick to what I know works.

 I also took along 2 loaves of Sunflower Seed bread (thanks sourdough-guy) and a loaf of my basic Sourdough for the family to munch on the night we got in. The Sunflower was a huge hit as usual. Later that day (Saturday), throngs of hungry party guests arrived and consumed mass quantities of carbs and ribs and such. The bread was a big hit since there isn't much in the way of artisan bread available in the way far North of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Mini- I did get a chance to drive through Ontonagon and wave HI to your old stomping grounds. Also my sister ordered Pasties for lunch one day that were the best I've had. The crust was perfect and delicious, mmmm good! I may have to try my hand at that one of these days.

Over all, my efforts were appreciated not so much for the cost savings but for the unusual and delicious flavor of fresh baked bread. I shared with several people how I learned to bake here at The Fresh Loaf and invited them to join us in the pursuit of good bread. Most everyone was surprised that I have only been baking for a few Months and in fact, so am I. This forum is like a fast paced college course where nobody gets irritated if you raise your hand to ask a question. Thanks to everyone who has helped me get as far as I have in such short order!

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

What a great gift and what a great success. I've been a nervous wreck about this since you first posted your intentions. :) What a relief! The bread looks wonderful and I'm very happy for you. Will the next post tell us about the bakery you plan to open? The fact that you have only been baking a short time is amazing. Great Job!!!            weavershouse

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Eric,

That's a gutsy undertaking and it turned out great!  I hope you got to sleep in the following morning.  Good work!

One of my reasons for being back in Michigan last week was to see my nieces (twins) graduate from HS, too.  Never did make it to da UP, but I got pretty close at Mackinac Island.  And, yes, we picked up some pasties, too.

You are right about not finding much artisanal bread in the Copper Country.  There are some good bakeries there, but that isn't the type of stuff they deal with.  Of course, there are the Wonder Bread clones, too.  Wasn't it Our Own Baking Co. in Marquette that produced the Bunny brand breads?

My MO for the week had more to do with whittling down the to-do lists at my parents and in-laws places and then enjoying other peoples' baking.  Glad to see that you pulled off such a challenging effort.

PMcCool

Susan's picture
Susan

Knew you'd tell us all about it when you recovered your equilibrium. That was quite a feat!

Susan from San Diego

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Wonderful, Eric!  That was a great way to honor your niece on her special day.

(I haven't mentioned it here yet, but once I baked 12 loaves of sandwich bread to be taken to shut-ins at our church.  Thank goodness for freezers, because there is no way I could have done that all in one fell swoop!)

Katie in SC 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I appreciate all the kind words. Mike Avery pointed out to me more than once that you can get more bread in pans than free form. Katie, your project sounds like a worthwhile effort also. If I could find a commercial oven to use I might just look at that for our area. Baking 2 at a time is a long day.

Eric

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Hi Eric, I usually bake 4 loaves at once.  I have two KA mixing bowls, so I mix one batch and set it to rise, then mix the other.  Through some miracle, they are always ready at the same time to shape into loaves.  The 4 pans just barely fit on one rack in the oven, but they do, and there's enough room for air circulation and they brown nicely.  So I actually made 12 loaves in three bakes, but still...too much for one day, esp. when I have two small children with me all the livelong day.  =)

Katie in SC 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 Your loaves look great,  that truly was a labour of love,,,, thats why they all turned out so well.   qahtan

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I bet you are thrilled that things went according to plan and without a hitch! The loaves are truly beautiful and I know your efforts were appreciated and savored by your sis and family!

And um...maybe the upper MI penninsula needs an artisan baker to move there and open shop??!! Wink Wink Nudge Nudge, say no more!

:D

Glad you're back and the trip was successful!

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Im glad everything worked out for you.  You did a great job, and on unfamiliar ground to boot.  Very well done..

TT

ShirleyT's picture
ShirleyT

Where might I find the recipe for the Sunflower Seed Bread? I did a search for sourdough-guy and Sunflower Seed Bread but came up empty handed.

Susan's picture
Susan

Here's the recipe you wanted. The sunflower seeds were folded in at the end. I have not made the sunflower version, but Ehanner has. Maybe he'll be able to fill you in later.

Susan from San Diego

P.S.  Thanks, Ehanner, that was really quick! Hehehehehehe  Great minds.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

 

ShirleyT,

All this is, is adding toasted (not salted) sunflower seeds to a basic french bread dough at the end of folding or kneading. I buy a 1# bag from the health food department at my local grocery store and use about 1/3 of a pound for each loaf. After kneading and incorporating as many seeds as you can into the bread, pour some in the bowl. After you have a boule formed as best you can, place the ball into the bowl and roll it around, covering all of the outside of the ball. I think you are supposed to subtract flour in the amount of weight of seeds but I never do. I generally make my basic 90%AP, 8% WW and 2% rye sourdough formula for 2 loaves, divide and add the seeds. Be sure to let it rise well which will take longer than usual or the crumb will be dense. Bake at 400F for about 35-40 minutes or internal of 205F. This is a nice treat! You can see in the image that I chickened out and didn't add as many seeds as I could have. Now I put more in and it's better. :>)

Eric

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Gosh, that's gorgeous!

Katie in SC 

xma's picture
xma

Hi Eric, could you please post the recipe of your sunflower seed bread in the photo?  It looks wonderful! I also like predominantly white but with a mix of whole grains, so I'd like to try your recipe.  Please include the procedure when you post--my rye sourdough is only a couple of months old. :)  I'd really appreciate it.  Thanks!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Basic one step Sourdough Bread With SeedsMakes two large loaves. 65% Hydration. Take 15 - 30 grams of active starter. (It should be fresh and active.) Use filtered or chlorine free water and ordinary bread flour ±11% protein. NOTE: If you want to speed the rise time up, increase the starter to 200 g and reduce the flour and water appropriately. Expect a 6 hour rise if using 200 g of starter at room temps.To this add:

  • 1090 g of flour, (I use a mix of mostly AP and a little WW and Rye.)
  • 705 g of water
  • 20 g of salt.
  • (Temperature ± 70°F / 21°C for ±24 hours)
Put the starter into a bowl and add all the water. Whisk to mix the starter into the water then add the flour and salt, stir till all the flour is wet, then cover and set the dough aside covered with film. After an hour or so, tip the dough out onto a clean work top and divide the dough into two balls, gently push it out into a large circle and do a stretch and fold. Repeat this stretch and fold 2 more times every 30 to 60 minutes. On the 3rd stretch, scatter a few hands full of seeds across the top surface and gently work the seeds into the dough as you carefully knead and work more seeds in. Fold the ends into the center and again sprinkle seeds on open areas. Keep this up until most of the seeds are incorporated into the dough. Place the ball in the seed bowl and roll the dough around to completely cover the outside of the boule. Use as many seeds as you can get to stick on the surface. As you complete the forming keep in mind that you need to create surface tension on the outer surface of the dough. With all the seeds this isn’t an easy task but make an effort by pushing the bottom in while rotating with your hands. This isn’t a very good description of creating a tight boule so I’m hoping you know what I mean here. Let me know if not.Place the boule on a sheet pan covered with parchment and place loaves in the oven with a small 2 cup bowl of hot water (depending on the room temp, you may turn the light on also) and allow the dough to double in volume. This will take around 12-16 hours unless you used 200 g of starter.   Once the loaves have risen remove the water bowl, make a single curved slash gently on the side and turn on the oven to 425F or 215 C.Bake until dark brown and the internal temp is between 93-97C, 200-207F or tap the loaf to see if it sounds hollow. Allow to cool completely on a rack. I keep an eye on the browning during the first 30-40 minutes and adjust the heat down if necessary and turn the loaves for even browning.

This formula and most of the procedure was shared with me by a fellow who is no longer a member here. His original post is just above the image of my Boule.

 

Eric

xma's picture
xma

Hi Eric, thank you for your patience--I didn't realize the recipe you used was the same as the link given by Susan above. I was thrown off by the flour ratio you gave and thought you used a different recipe. Yes, I understand folding and surface tension. Sorry I didn't explain that the details I wanted were on the starter part, because as I inferred from your previous entry, this is a one-step sourdough which I haven't tried before. But yes, it's clear now. In fact I just tried to figure out whether I could fit this into my schedule this weekend, and I'm sad I couldn't.

Last question: did I understand it right that this uses no-preheat? This is also what I understood from the link but I just want to confirm. Thanks again!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Because it is so dense with all the seeds I prefer to start from cold on this. The seeds will brown up rather quickly so the cold start helps to get a more even heat I think. The image I posted is a straight white french bread, which is very good also and rises better. I hope you enjoy it. It's not much trouble really and is such a party pleaser it's fun to make.

Eric

xma's picture
xma

Hi Eric, one last question about the sunflower bread -- did you use just 65% hydration?  I've read in one of the exchanges that hydration could be adjusted to achieve desired crumb so I'm wondering if you increased it. 

Thanks again, I'm definitely going to do it this weekend for a brunch get-together with friends.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I didn't adjust the hydration but you probably could. I figured the seeds don't really absorb much water and so don't decrease the hydration. Let me know how it turns out.

Eric

xma's picture
xma

Hi Eric,

I was finally able to try the sunflower bread recipe. It turned out well, with a mild sourdough flavor and very nice chewing quality. It also turned out a tall boule because it rose high. However, the holes on my bread were not nearly as big as yours on the photo, which leads me to something I want to clarify.

On the link given by Susan above, the 12-16 hour proofing time is for bulk proofing (which I followed, because I was afraid of the dough spreading if I do the final shaping without bulk proofing), whereas yours go straight to baking after the 12-16 proofing time. Do you do this method specifically if putting sunflower seeds? I'm wondering if I degassed the dough too much or tore the gluten strands by going through a final shaping.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

XMA, Glad to hear your sunflower seed bread was a success. When this idea was passed along to me SDG just said " I just add the seeds to my basic bread at the end". I took that to mean after the ferment and I waited to add the seeds after the 12 hour ferment. The loaf did rise OK but the next time I added them before and I got better hole structure. The dough is stronger because of the seeds and didn't spread badly. I have on occasion re-tightened the boule AFTER the final proof, very gently rotating the dough while on the parchment, just a little.

Hope this helps but it sounds like you already have the idea.

Eric

xma's picture
xma

Hi again Eric, I tried the sunflower seed bread again following your method. I got slightly better hole structure, although the loaves were flatter, but this may be because I only encrusted the dough in sunflower seeds instead of incorporating it in the dough.  I noticed a stronger sourness in it too, but probably because it was much warmer when I proofed the dough but followed roughly the same overall length of time.  What I loved about your method though is that I can let it rise overnight and put it in the oven when I wake up, and have freshly baked bread for breakfast without having to wake up at 2 am or something.  In fact I'll try this method on Hamelman's Vermont sourdough this weekend.  I'm also planning to try spelt for the first time, and I wrote you another entry on your blog on spelt.  Thanks for all your help.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

XMA,

Glad to hear you are enjoying experimenting with bread. I have found that every type or style of bread brings it's own challenge and the knowledge learned from the last will guide you in the future.

Eric

ShirleyT's picture
ShirleyT

Thanks for posting the Sunflower Seed Bread recipe. I am looking forward to making this bread this weekend!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You are one big Holy Wah!  I knew you could do it.  You probably inspired someone else too without ever knowing it.  A toast is in order:  "To you, oh great inspiring big holy wah!"  "klink"   :) Mini Oven

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You are breaking me up Mini!

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I am so very impressed!  Wow.  Listen, it makes me tired just reading this. I could never possibly imagine baking on such a grand scale.  You are really something else for taking this on and how wonderful to share with family and friends. I'm sure you made the special occasion even more memorable. 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

 well done! That was a huge undertaking and you did a great job..WOW!!

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Eric, I'm so impressed!  To me, figuring out the logistics would be half the fun - and half the battle!

 I'm curious about your sourdough formula "my 90%AP, 8% WW and 2% rye sourdough." Why the small amounts of WW and rye?  Are they necessary to get the starter going, or do they serve some other purpose?  I haven't looked much at sourdough, so apologize if this is be an obvious thing to most people.  Sometime this summer I hope to try some sourdough, so am reading about it here and there.

xma's picture
xma

Hi Eric, I know this is an out-of-place entry here, but I did not want to create a new forum or blog entry. I chose this forum topic because this is where we've had previous exchanges, and I don't mean any offense by doing this.

I'm not sure if what you wanted me to do was to delete the forum entry on Breadtopia, which I now did.

We are indeed belaboring the point, but I also feel it is unfair to be told I was being factually incorrect when what I did was relate my experience. I was not defacing Pay Pal either, because as far as the credit company could tell, the charges were indeed from Pay Pal, and the only way they'll reverse the charges is if I could get an official communication from Pay Pal telling them to do so. I replied to the email I got from Pay Pal but got no reply. And really, for $10, I'm not going to go to any greater length than I already have.

Anyway, I hope we can put this behind us. Peace?

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I feel I have to defend ehanner.  Case of mistaken identity.  :)  Mini Oven

xma's picture
xma

I got the wrong Eric?  Hehehe... this is getting ridiculous.  Anyway, just give me a bop on the head and let's move on.  Today is a momentous day for me, and it may not be an acceptable excuse but I really haven't been myself lately...