The Fresh Loaf

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This week project JR's Poolish Ciabatta - sort of

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Skibum's picture
Skibum

This week project JR's Poolish Ciabatta - sort of

Well three and a half month’s of steady baking have been an interesting journey. My biggest influences have been this website, Jeffrey Hammelman's pro baking videos, thanks to a link on this site and Peter Reinhart's (PR) the Bread Baker's Apprentice (BBA) also found from a link on this site!  Also of influence has been Mr. Lahey's no knead bread, though I note that he does stretch and fold.  Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day also provided some food for thought but I like the idea of structured dough development.  The version of this book also advocates using 2 Tbs 2 1/2 yeast for a 6 cup flour recipe where I use 3/4 tsp . . .
I wanted to test the principles of using time and temperature to extract maximum flavour from the flour. PR says dough will keep for 3 days in the fridge, while the 5 minute folks advocate keeping dough for 2 weeks. I have also discovered that lean breads don't keep very well nor have I been happy with the results of freezing. My plan is to do a full recipe batch, but bake daily or so in 1/4 batches, so every day is fresh bread.
My formula is based on PR's Poolish Ciabatta from BBA. After 3 rounds with this, I have consistently added more water than the recipe calls for and still do not have a dough resembling the book photos. I have had however consistently great bread!
I have been using JeffryeyHammelman's stretch and fold technique: s&f rest 30 minutes, rinse and repeat for 2 hours, followed by a 2 hour bulk ferment at room temperature, then into the fridge for the night.  In this batch I added 1/4 cup wheat germ and 1/2 cup semolina for a bit of a flavour kick, all in the poolish.

The next day I divided about 1/4 of the dough and pre-shaped a ball. The rest of the dough was re-shaped into a ball and returned to the fridge.
Here is day 1's bake:

This was good bread.

Day 3's bake:

The crumb is getting better and the flavour is better.

Day 4's bake:

Well we seem to have found the holy grail.  I thought I had ruined this loaf by scoring too deeply and too often, but I loved the result!

Is it normal to be excited about what is coming out of your oven?  I think so.  I guess I have become a baker.

I still have 1/4 of the dough which I will bake on day 6 or 7.  As Jeffrey Hammelman the use of time and temperature will improve your dough, to a point.

So far the results are delicious!

Regards

SS

 

FrenchNyonya's picture
FrenchNyonya

Dear SS,

Thank you for sharing. Love the idea of having fresh bread everyday. They sure come out great..can't wait to see Day 6's photo. I am just wondering how long can the dough actually keep in the fridge. Day 6 actually sounds very old to me.. the dough might just turn grey??

Regards,

Sylvia

FrenchNyonya's picture
FrenchNyonya

Bonjour Brian,

Thanks for your reply and very informative details.. I am running out of flour and it's Sunday. Shops are close so have to wait til tomorrow to be able to run to the shop for flour!! Basically, I just can't wait to try out your idea of having fresh bread everydayyyy :)

Wish you a Sunny Sunday,

Sylvia

carblicious's picture
carblicious

Thanks for sharing your tests.  Definitely interesting to see.

Skibum's picture
Skibum

The last piece of dough will have to wait until day 7 now.  I completed a transitional whole grain bread from Mr. Reinharts's book yesterday and simply can't keep up eating the bread I am producing.  

At day 6 the dough still looks and smells wonderful and perhaps there are a couple of key process points to this.  First of all I use 1/2 tsp yeast in the final mix vs 21/2 tsp. in the original recipe.  However PR planned to bake on the day and I was content to wait for flavours and rise to develop slowly.  Second, each time I returned the dough to the fridge, I re-shaped into a ball and as the weeks bake went on, into smaller oiled plastic bowls, turned to coat the dough and left seam side down.  The plastic bowl is covered with wax paper, which I spray with cooking spray.  The plastic lid is laced loosely over this.  Then, into the fridge.  It is working so far.

I hope to bake the last bit tomorrow and am actually excited anticipating the results!

Regards, Brian

SS

ps SS is my keyboard attempt to duplicate the shape of ski turns in powder snow.  No other reference intended.  b

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

idea to bake a portion every day and let the rest sit to get better the next day or day 5 :-) Looks and sounds delicious too! 

Skibum's picture
Skibum

After dividing the dough on day 5, I reshaped the last bit of dough into a ball and again placed into an oiled container.  I guess I dould have used a larger container, but the dough only occupied about 1/3 of the space on day 5:

The dough still smelled and looked great after 7 days in the fridge -- encouraging!

Day 7 bake:

Day 7 crumb:

I had been using a serrated bread knife to do the scores, but Sunday before I baked this I found a wonderful video on scoring using a lame.  It was a very good, silent tutorial posted by dmsnyder and if I can ever find the link again I will post it.  I tried the technique today using a matt knife blade which I honed on a leather strop charged with honing compound.  My other hobbies are fine woodworking and carving, so I have learned to make a very sharp edges over the years.  My wet blade worked , cutting and not tearing, but I need to find the pro lame used in the tutorial:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10121/bread-scoring-tutorial-updated-122009

Lessons learned for this week are that I can mix and prepare on one day and bake fresh the rest of the week.  The bread flavour and crumb peaked on day 4, but there was no deterioration of either flavour or crumb on day 7.  I would repeat the experiment again this week, but I just received my copy of Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart.  I tried his transitional rye which is about 50/50 light rye and bread flour, but is enriched with honey and other goodies.  It is the BEST bread I have ever eaten, so kudos to Mr. Peter!  My next focus will be on more book recipes.

What an interesting, absorbing, inexpensive and yummy hobby!

Regards, Brian

SS

Skibum's picture
Skibum

I received my copy of Artisan Breads Every Day today and had to chuckle as the master is now advocating very much what I tried.  I guess my instincts were good on this one.

I am most interested in trying out the recipes and techniques outlined in this excellent title!

Regards, Brian