The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A thought and a modest suggestion

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pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

A thought and a modest suggestion

Maybe it is just me but I am becoming convinced that we are in the beginning stages of a home-baking movement that I think has some legs and will be around for a long while. I am refering to the use of the standard 1kg flour, 2 loaves, dutch-oven recipes. Sure, there is a lot of other kind of bread to be baked and many other shapes and sizes than the 1kg boule but the Robertson/Forkish model for hearth loaves yields a consistantly fine product for the home baker and it is flexible enough in ingredients to keep us all busy and satisfied for a while. So, here is my suggestion, especially to Floyd. Why don't we build a forum category for DO Recipes.  If we assume that they have to follow the 1000 gm standard then we can all develop and/or convert, test and share recipes that use that format.

This weekend, for example, I worked on converting one of my favorite breads to this format. I went back to the Essential Columbia recipe in Glazer's book and worked on converting it to 1000 gm total flour, yielding 2 boules and baked in the DO. I am just now working through the time and temps issues when you use the DO baking technique. My first attempt was about 90% of what I want. Are others doing this with old favorite recipes? If so, let's collect them. Are others inventing their own using these methods? If so, let's collect them. My next project after this one is to work on a sesame encrusted durham flour recipe.

What do you all think of a DO fourm?

 

Paul

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I don't know how much I'll have to contribute right off, as I have been sharpening my skills on the basic Tartine recipe for several months now, but I do have a small list of favorites that shouldn't be that hard to convert. I've had enough success with this technique to boost my confidence a little, so I'm game.

B

 

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

I have been doing something similar but perhaps a bit different.

I have a wood fired oven that I bake with so in order to obtain a proper crust I need to have a full oven. So we are talking 10 1-1/2 pound loaves on average.

What I do is convert the formula to a single loaf and everything in grams. Through the magic of Excel I put in the number of loaves desired. With a single entry I have all the amounts adjusted for that number of loaves. For things like croissants I set for pounds.

I think that setting everything to 1000g total flour and reworking bake times and such is a bit like reinventing the wheel

Perhaps I need an example of what your talking about.
Sounds interesting

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm happy to if there is interest.

Thoughts on a short name and description?  "DO Recipes" isn't terribly helpful or descriptive.  

-Floyd

ldavis47's picture
ldavis47

How about "Container Baking" to include bakers using Pyrex, other types of lidded pots (clay, stone)' and simply covering dough placed on a baking stone and then covered with anything like broiler pans?

Zoologuy's picture
Zoologuy

Having used deck ovens at SFBI and found cast-iron DOs the best home oven approximation of that baking experience I have resigned myself to a life of boules. Communing with like spirits has a certain draw to it.

As noted in an earlier post, keeping formulas in a spreadsheet format—I use the iOS app Numbers on iPhone and iPad for kitchen convenience—makes using any recipe written from Baker's % or even just in metric weights an easy conversion to any desired amount of dough. The outline format used in Michel Suas' text Advanced Bread and Pastry is easily adapted to inclusion in the spreadsheet layout. I can post a PDF-converted-to-JPEG example as soon as I figure out how to load images here without subscribing to some online photo service.

Fortunately I had followed the Tartine lead and gotten the Lodge DO with the flat lid (and "ear" handles) before watching Ken Forkish's asbestos fingers lower a high hydration loaf into the depths of a 450° enameled pot. I cringe every time I watch the video on YouTube. Putting a loaf onto the preheated lid of a Lodge Combo Cooker (named because the lid can double as a fry pan?) and then inverting the pot álà cloche over it is a much less risky enterprise.

So, yes, I would follow a DO thread. Especially if someone figures out how to do baguettes in them. ;-)

Michael 

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

Thanks for the comments Michael.

If this gets big, maybe Lodge will come out with a cast iron baguette cloche :-)

One observation on loading a DO with high hydration dough. It is like slashing ... if done, best done quickly. I do the flouring of the counter top, get the DO out of the oven and set it on the adjacent stove top, quickly snatch up the dough with my fingers spread under it and gently let it plop down into the pan. Never a burnt finger ... ok, yet. I have also used Barb's floured towel technique (below) and that works well too but, as she says, you loose the nice markings.

One thing my baker son taught me is that all of this is easier with cold retarded dough. It is just stiffer and holds its shape better/longer. When the dough is cold, you also can gently pull the edges away from the banneton a bit to ease the dough's final release (the last bit of anxiety ... did I dust it enough and with the right flour/grain? Will it stick like crazy glue?).  With retarded dough that you turn out first,  you can even see the seams where the crust will eventually split and have time to give them an extra slash or two for a more definitive or decorative bloom.

Paul

 

Paul

sunyfun's picture
sunyfun

I recently bought a Pullman Loaf Pan (13x4x4) for baking soft sandwich loaves, but I usually bake the Tartine Country loaves in a DO weekly.  Well, to justify my expense for the new loaf pan, I used half the Tartine dough in the Pullman Pan (I retard the shaped dough on parchment in the loaf pan overnight).  I baked it right out of the fridge into a 450 degree oven with the cover on for 20 minutes and 10 without the cover.  The loaf came out great and it actually makes a handy sized slice of bread.


Pullman Country Loaf by sfwooss, on Flickr


Pullman Country Loaf by sfwooss, on Flickr

 

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

I too have a pullman pan. I'll have to try this.

 

Paul

carblicious's picture
carblicious

For weeknight (and even weekend) bakes, the DO is my preferred method.  For converting recipes, I use Excel (one day I will write an iPad app). I can see the allure of 1000g of flour standard, and would be game.

About a year ago, I stopped preheating the lid (which is used as the bottom).  Made minimal impact to the final product, and I didn't have to deal with hot pan when I transfer the dough.

I too like baguettes.  Thinking of doing an epi wreath in the DO.   Just havn't gotten around to trying.  If someone has done this already, please do share.

-Don

ldavis47's picture
ldavis47

I have been converting many of my recipes to grams and since buying the Lodge Dutch oven, I now do 2 breads at a time, one in the Lodge and the other in an older DO, and scale my flour to 1000 gms.

Lloyd

lumos's picture
lumos

Almost all of my large loaves are baked in lidded Pyrex. Would it count? And all those recipes are based on 600 g main dough flour to fit my bannetton & pyrex. ( makes 2 loaves) So it won't be too difficult to convert it for 1 kg flour 'standard' .....as long as the 1 kg doesn't include the flour in starter. If that's should be included, it'd take a bit more time and effort (and incentive: p) to convert it...

 

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

I'll have to think of a more clever name but will be glad to take suggestions. But I am drawn to the descriptive "Standardized Dutch Oven Recipes"

As for the recipes, the conversion of weights, thanks to baker's percentages,  is kinda trivial even without Excel.  I am more interested in rising times and, as Robertson and Forkish point out and has been too little attended to, dough temps.  I am also interested in baking times in the DO. One of the reasons my Essential's Columbia was less than perfect is that the malt syrup in the dough makes it too easy for the loaves to have scortched bottom crusts if you follow the normal 475 temps and  30/20 baking times in the DO. I have decided that the loaves should come out of the DO when the lid comes off to keep them from scortching. These are the kind of things that need to be tested.

 

Paul

 

Mukoseev's picture
Mukoseev

I bake my bread in 4 qt. oval dutch ovens which allows me to bake six at a time.

 

carblicious's picture
carblicious

To prevent the scorched bottom, and you tried not preheating the bottom pan?  Oh.. In a classic dutch oven instead of a combo cooker, you want do that.  My bakes are 20/20-25 @ 450 depending on the color I want on the bread.  Preheat to 500 but drop to 450 when the DO is in the oven.

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I'd also be interested in techniques that are germain to this style of baking. For instance, how do you transfer your proofed boules to the DO? Do you steam the domed part of the DO before baking? How much longer do you bake if you are not preheating your DO? And finally, to score or not to score...

My favorite way of transferring boules was showned to me by a friend. I proof my dough in a banneton or collander that has  been lined with a well-floured tea towel. When it's time to transfer, I take all four corners of the towel and lift, with my other hand underneath the dough, supporting it. I let the corners of the towel fall, then quickly invert the dough into the DO. I then score and bake. I don't get the beautiful track lines from the banneton, but that's the price I pay for an easy and safe transfer system.  

I sometimes do mist the dome of my DO, though I have to say I haven't seen a lot of difference if I do or if I don't. 

And if I'm not preheating my DO, I'll add about 20 minutes to the covered bake time. This is what seems to work for me.

ldavis47's picture
ldavis47

I proof on a square of parchment paper. This allows minimal handling and minimum dough deflation. To place in the oven, I preheat 50 degrees above baking temp since opening the oven drops the temp, pull out the Dutch oven onto a nearby rack, lift the parchment paper with the dough and lower into the pot, cover, and place back into the oven, and finally reset the oven to the desired baking temp. Works great. Only problem is the expense of the paper, which can usually be used twice if the temp is kept to 450 or below. 

Lloyd

sunyfun's picture
sunyfun

I have been using reuseable parchment sheets to proof and lower my boules into the hot dutch oven.  I have used the same sheets for 2 years for this purpose and they are still good to go (though they do darken due to the high temperature.) They are inexpensive, flexible, and you can also cut them to size.


Tartine 1/18/13 by sfwooss, on Flickr

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

I like to preheat for maximun oven spring and for breads that are pure (flour, water, salt and yeast to steal from Forkish and german beer makers) I get great results. It is just the sugar from the malt syrup that causes me a bit of trouble. I also like to try to get dark top crusts that are not too thick and tough. So, I could reduce the temperatures but that means that in getting a dark crust I get more thickness. Everything seems to be a series of trade-offs, eh?

I'mTheMami's picture
I'mTheMami

A section/sub forum based on a standardized DO method. Mostly due to my love of all things cast iron, the idea of baking our daily bread in it appelas to me.

 My contribution would be pathetic compared to everyone elses, since I am just now venturing away from quick breads and instant yeast usage, but hey! I could be the new gal perspective ;)