The Fresh Loaf

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Spring and Summer Baking

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Franko's picture
Franko

Spring and Summer Baking

I thought I should clear out some old bread photos from the last few months that I never got around to posting, along with some more recent ones as well. All but one were taken this year, most have crumb shots, but some don't. Many of these breads were made with a yeasted preferment of some kind, either a poolish, biga, or Pate Fermentee. My starter had been put to bed for a few weeks, mainly to change things up a bit and to play around on the other side of yeasted leavening for a while. To keep this post from being even longer than it already is I've opted to leave out detailed formulas and procedures, so think of it more as a photo update than what I'd typically post.

 This Margueritte was made for a family dinner late in 2012 when I was still deeply entrenched in baguette mode. Being a first for me, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to shape compared to a baguette and that everyone at the table thought it looked cool. 

In a somewhat random chronological order, below are a few collages of various bakes done since the beginning of the year. 

After weeks of eating nothing but baguettes, my need for something with whole grains and seeds was first and foremost on my mind when this loaf was made. It seems to me it had rye, barley, whole wheat and a 7 grain soaker in it and was made with a Pate Fermentee. I do remember that it didn't last too long, starved as I was for a bread with flavour other than wheat. A very tasty loaf it was. 

Next up is a series of four Semolina loaves that were made with varying degrees of hydration, all of which were made with a yeasted preferment, either poolish or a biga that included a portion of the total semolina in the formula.

By the time this next bread was made I'd taken my starter out of hibernation and revved it up to deliver some tang to the mix. It's a very similar formula to the one above made with Pate Fermentee and the 7 Grain Soaker, but has toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds included as well. Two slightly different versions of this bread were made and I liked em both!

A Multigrain enriched sandwich loaf made the day before leaving for the UK and EU. A thank you! loaf for the nice lady who dog sits for us when we're away on vacation.

Bruschetta was the inspiration for the loaf below.

 A naturally leavened mix of polenta, AP flour, roasted/grilled corn and Parmigiano, with some roasted garlic paste thrown in for good measure, it sounded like a nice combination of flavours for grilling and topping with fresh tomatoes and herbs. Made just a few weeks ago, this was easily the most difficult loaf to deal with of all the ones in this post. It's impossible for me to say what the true hydration of this loaf was because of the polenta. How much it actually contributed to the final mix I have no idea, but my best estimate for total hydration is somewhere between 80-85%, with wheat and cornmeal at 80 and 20 percent respectively. Much kneading, many, many slap and folds, andat least 4 stretch and folds were needed just to achieve some semblance of development in the dough. Let's just say expectations were not running high when I finally got it in the oven. The result was not what one could call a lofty loaf by any means, but hey, waaay better than I ever expected. Far from being thrilled with it, I was relieved it was at least useable, and in fact it was well suited for grilling. Soft, with a nice chew and mild smoky flavour from the roasted corn, this bread has some definite potential for future mixes. When I sent a photo of the crumb to my friend breadsong she encouraged me to post it, I'm sure because of the holey crumb. At the time I thought I'd wait and do a second bake to see if I could get something closer to what I'd had in mind. After a bit of deliberation I decided to include it in this photo post. It may not be the loaf I wanted at the time but perhaps someone would enjoy taking the basic polenta & flavour idea of the bread and bring it to it's full potential with their own interpretation.

The last bread to show is one made with some organic rye flour I brought back from last months vacation in the Czech Republic.

Since visiting the Czech Republic two years ago I've been trying to reproduce a bread I'd had there that had been served alongside a huge portion of delicious smoked ham from one of the street vendors.

The flavour of that bread was OK, like a typical light deli rye with a hint of caraway, but it was the spongy texture of the crumb that appealed to me the most. I've made several attempts at duplicating it since then but the texture I've wanted has eluded me till now.

 With the inclusion of a rye scald in this latest mix I finally have something I'm very happy with in terms of crumb texture and mouth-feel, with the added bonus of having a much better flavour than the vendor bread because of the 3 stage sour used in this mix. Now that I have the inside of the loaf the way I want it, I'll see if I can't shine up the outside a bit as well. After that it's just a matter of brining and smoking a fresh ham in the Prague style, and a cold Czech Pilsener to wash it all down with. That should tide me over till the next time I can return to that lovely city of spires.

 Although my wife Marie is the one who makes almost all of the desserts and sweet things around our house, sometimes I like to get into the pastry side of things as well, especially when our backyard berries are ready for picking. This year the raspberries arrived first, due to our early warm Spring temperatures here on Vancouver Island. Nothing inspires me more to roll up my sleeves and get busy making pastry, cakes and confections more than raspberries do. The tart below was made with a few of the berries from the first picking.

A few scraps of frozen puff pastry, thawed, stacked and rolled out to a disk then cut to size. Baked blind, then baked briefly again with a flour thickened lemon curd in the center and topped with raspberries dusted with confectioner's sugar. Quick, easy, delicious. 

The next one, a Lemon and Raspberry Charlotte Royale is a bit more involved.

With all the various components and their separate procedures, I wont go through them all here. Briefly, it's made with a sheet of almond spongecake divided in four, spread with seedless raspberry jam on three of the cake pieces then all four stacked one on top of each other. The jam sandwich is divided in half then stacked together to make a total of eight layers. Freeze, then slice off 3/8” strips of the sandwich lengthwise to line a ring mold. 2 disks of biscuit culierre (ladyfinger batter) for the base and middle layer, a lemon curd flavoured mousse stabilized with gelatin to fill, and a raspberry gelee for part of the top decoration. Leave overnight in the fridge to set the mousse, then finished the next day with stabilized whipped cream piped around the edges and garnished with glazed fresh raspberries. The nice thing about making this type of cake is it can be done in stages over 2-3 days, or longer if you like. On the whole the cake is deceptively light and not overly sweet, the lemon mousse helping to balance out the sugar of the berries and jam. A delicious way to use some of the backyard harvest we've been waiting for all these months.

Best of the Summer or Winter to TFL'rs around the world.

Cheers,

Franko

 

 

 

Comments

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

What a fantastic array of baked goods ! Beautiful bakes and I love your commentary. You have had an exciting year. I would love to see the formula for the wonderful rye that you made...if you have time. I haven't done one like that with a "scald" and would appreciate the info. Thank you . c

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks for the very nice comments trailrunner, greatly appreciated!

Below is the formula for the Czech Rye. At the bottom of the formula you'll find a link to the procedure that I used for the bread. Hope you give it a try.

Best Wishes,

Franko

50% Czech Rye Bread with 3 Stage Sour%Kilos/Grams
Ingredients  
   
Freshening  
Dark Rye Flour100.00%2.36
Mature Rye Starter -100%50.00%1.18
Water-75F150.00%3.54
Total weight300.00%7.07
% of full Sour3.24% 
DDT- 77-79F 5-6 hrs  
   
Basic Sour  
Light/ Medium Rye Flour100%29.48
Water76%22.41
Freshening Sour24%7.08
Total weight200.00%58.97
% of full Sour27.02% 
DDT 73-80F 15-hrs  
   
Full Sour  
Light/ Medium Rye Flour100.00%79.62
Water100.00%79.62
Basic Sour74.10%59.00
Total weight274.10%218.25
DDT 85F 3-4hrs  
   
Scald  
Dark Rye Flour100.00%29
Water-boiling200.00%58
Total 300.00%87
   
   
Enter desired final weight in yellow cell 1000
Final Dough  
Bread Flour63.00%275
Light/Medium Rye Flour37.00%162
Sour50.00%218
Rye Scald20.00%87
Sea Salt2.80%12
Water55.00%240
Caraway-toasted-ground1.30%6
Total weight229.10%1000
DDT—80-84F BF-90-120 minutes  
Final Proof—80-F 45-55 minutes  
   
Overall Formula Kilos/Grams
Total Flour100.00%578
Bread Flour47.61%275
Light/Medium Rye Flour46.85%271
Dark Rye Flour5.55%32
Caraway-toasted-ground0.98%6
Sea Salt2.12%12
Water70.01%404
Total weight173.11%1000
Total Prefermented Flour19.40%112.05
   
Procedure for 50% Czech Sour Rye  
dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

The flat loaf has an open crumb and has to be delicious.  Breadsong is right.  I get the same thing (and a lot more of them),  when the hydration gets away from my apprentice - nice holes with a resulting flattish loaf. I post them anyway out of spite to pay her back for her ankle biting,   The Charlotte is the real killer though.

Happy baking Franko!

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi dabrownman,

Many thanks, very kind of you to say!

The Polenta bread was pretty tasty just on it's own, but much better when brushed with olive oil and toasted on the grill. I'll have another go at it before the Summer is over and try out the revised formula for a higher profile. My intention with the Charlotte was to give half to my son and daughter in law...but somehow I think I'll have to make another one just for them,this one is going fast!

All the best,

Franko

ananda's picture
ananda

There is so much going on in this post Franko,

 and it is all very fine indeed.

Favourite bread is the Rye...because the formula is so well thought through, and because you found and used local rye flour.   Fabulous.

Desserts made with raspberries and lemons...top marks too; they look divine!

And some great images of Prague too.

Let's hope for a bit more summer yet; bar already set very high!

Very best wishes

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Andy,

There is a lot going on in this post, I know, but it was my attempt at catching up on things I never got around to at the time of baking. As you know my free time has become somewhat limited in the past year with a new schedule at work. I decided a while back that I should bake more and post less, then try to do one or two posts every 3-4 months. Glad you like the rye formula, the soaker really turned this one around in the right direction for me, I just wish I'd thought of using it before now. Thanks for your always generous comments Andy!

All the best,

Franko

isand66's picture
isand66

Great Post Franko.  That's a wonderful collection of breads and those pies and cakes look absolutely to die for.

i have made a few breads with polenta that came out me out pretty good.  I think if you lower the hydration you will get it the way you want it.  

Regards

Ian

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Ian, 

Thanks very much for stopping by and reading through this long post, and of course for your kind compliments on the breads and sweets. I've made some polenta breads myself in the past (link) that have turned out nicely but this time I made the polenta quite a bit wetter than in the past and it caused some issues. The formula has since been revised down to a total hydration of just under 70%, so that should do the trick. When the time comes to do a 2nd bake I'll try to get the results up as soon as I can.

Cheers,

Franko

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Franko.  Very impressive baking!  The sweet stuff too, wow.  I can only imagine the amount of work that all took to put together.  Very inspiring.  Very appetite inducing as well!

Thanks for posting us such amazing baked goods!

John

Franko's picture
Franko

Hey John, good to hear from you.

Hope you were out today soaking up some of this fabulous sunshine we've been having here on the South Coast. That's what I call impressive! I do appreciate your kind comments on the baking though John, thanks so much my friend! The Charlotte does have a number of components that go into it but none of them take much effort individually, it's just a matter of putting together your mis en place before assembly, same as for bread, just more stuff to deal with.

All the best,

Franko

varda's picture
varda

of the Raspberry cake which you later described as being easy to make.   I'm doubting that.   But I'm sure incredibly delicious.   Among the breads that seeded sandwich loaf looks very appealing.   But it's hard to choose of course.  -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda, 

The first photo is just a wee raspberry tart. Some scrap puff rolled out, lemon curd, and raspberries....that's it. What you do on regular basis with your lovely breads is far more involved than what went into this tart. Glad you liked the seeded sandwich loaf. Next to the Czech Rye it was one of my favourites. Thanks for your comments Varda, always a pleasure to hear from you.

Franko

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Franko,

Very impressive posting!  I love the Marguerite loaves….had never heard that name used before only the crown type of breads baked in a similar fashion.  (The technical name of that one slips my mind at the moment.) I love the shapes of the small loaves which look like petals making the whole 'loaf' look like a flower…

When I first glanced at your entry i instantly assumed that you have been baking up a storm since returning from your trip.  When I slowed down and read I learned these have been produced over time.  I am always impressed with people who not only bake beautiful breads but other delicacies as well.  Needless to say all here, including Prague, caught my eye.

THanks for sharing all your wonderful bakes here.

Take Care,

Janet

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Janet,

Well it's been really nice to see how diverse the responses have been to the various breads and pastry items in the post, including your preference for the Marguerite. It was inspired by one of Larry's (wally) excellent posts from a while back. Thank you Larry! I must admit that by the time I made it I was maxed out on baguette dough, but the kids really enjoyed the look of it I think as much as the flavour. My pleasure to be able share some of the last few months bakes with you Janet, thanks so much! 

Best wishes,

Franko

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Thank you for the link.  I bake rolls on a weekly basis for my daughter's Sunday morning ballet class.  I am always looking for fun new ways to shape the 'dough-of-the-week'.  You have just given me the shape they will get next week.

*- )

Take Care,

Janet

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Thanks for letting us see what you've been up to when not jet-setting around the globe.

Paul

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you Paul, glad you liked the post!

We have done a fair bit of travelling this year but now it's staycaction time for the both of us in the foreseeable future, although I wouldn't mind taking in the baking Expo during October in Las Vegas for a couple of days if I can swing it.

Cheers,

Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Beautiful bakes, Franko!  

You have a wonderful skill for making devine pastries.. as you do for your breads.   

Beautiful pictures of Praque.  Looks like you've had a grand summer : ) 

Sylvia

 

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Sylvia,

It has indeed been a grand Summer, in fact the first 6 months of this year have been pretty special. Between our 2 weeks cruising in the Caribbean during February and my 4 night visit with Andy in the UK , followed by 8 days in the Czech Republic with Marie, I've seen a lot of territory and have had some wonderful experiences so far this year.

I'd like to get back into doing more pastries, and sweets, particularly cakes and dessert plates. There is so much more room for creativity and expression in that medium that I'd like to explore over the next few years. Some of the   young Pastry Chefs of today are taking the craft in new directions with some amazing, and simply stunning results that I've been keeping a close eye on lately.

So nice to hear your very kind comments on the pastries and breads Sylvia, thank you!

Very best wishes,

Franko

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Wow, overwhelming lineup, Franko! All top grade, naturally... no exceptions.

The desserts are excellent, no doubt.

Such an inspiration!

-Khalid

Franko's picture
Franko

Many thanks my friend, a pleasure as always to hear from you!

All the best,

Franko

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Quite amazing ... all of it ...

The bruschetta loaf looks divine! ... perfect!

Cheers,
Phil

Franko's picture
Franko

Hiya Phil,

Glad you like the polenta/bruschetta loaf, clearly a case of beauty in the eye of the beholder it seems. I wasn't too thrilled with it looks-wise, but when you, breadsong and dab say you like it I'm compelled to take notice. Maybe it has it's place after all. Good to hear from you Phil, thanks for your kind comments!

Cheers,

Franko

bruneski's picture
bruneski

This incredible collection of mouth-watering pix almost made me drool all over my notebook!!!

In one month, I'll be traveling thru the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Eslovenia and Austria, with a side trip to Venice.

Would you have any suggestions on which types of local breads we should not miss trying?

Any tips on interesting ingredients we should buy (like the organic rye flour above)?

Have a great week!

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks bruneski!

The drool thing has almost trashed my keyboard on more than one occasion looking at some of the posts on this site as well. ;^)

Sounds like a fantastic trip you're about to take, hope you have a great time! It's funny, but I never really found any small, artisan type bakeries during our daily walks around Prague. There are quite a few chain bakeries, Pauls being one I saw fairly often but to tell the truth I was more interested in the beer and the Czech cuisine than seeking out bakeries. I do remember a very good bakery from a previous visit though that you might like to visit. It's very near the Intercontinental Hotel, on Bilkova St. in Prague 1 district. Here's a * link* to their site . If you can find an authentic Chleba bread of some kind that's one to try. As far as ingredients go much of what I saw is what you can get anywhere, but definitely try to pick up some local flour. The flour I bought was from a health/organic store located in the main Prague Rail station of all places, but one of the supermarket chains (Albert's I think it was called) carry a good variety of flours as well. Keep an eye out for some of the street markets that are a few blocks away from Old Town Square, some will have bread stands and the ones I saw had some nice looking hand made breads in them. Here's another *link*  that describes some of the various types of bread you might find in Prague much better than I could. All the restaurants we tried except for one served pretty ordinary white rolls or slices of pretty ordinary baguettes, although the menu items were usually very good. If you like pork you're going to love Prague or any of the countries on your itinerary.

Thanks again for your compliments on the breads and pastries bruneski, and I hope I was able to answer some of your questions. 

Best wishes,

Franko

bruneski's picture
bruneski

... Danish bakery! We`ll surely pay it a visit!

The article from www.expat.cz is great, with lots of info. Actually, from the same site, I got a list, in Czech, with the types of flours available in Prague markets: jemná/jemně mletá (fine/finely ground) and hrubá (coarse); mouka (flour); celozrnná (wholemeal/wholegrain) pšeničná (wholewheat) mouka; špaldová (spelt) mouka; žitná (rye) mouka; ječná (barley) mouka; kukuřičná (coarse cornflour/cornmeal) mouka; cizrnová (chickpea) mouka.

I`ve just found a recipe of Cesky chleba Sumava, a Czech bread that includes cooked and smashed potatoes in its dough. Seems very interesting!

Would you have any suggestions concerning our quest for great Czech beer and great Czech cuisine, taking into account that will visit only Prague and Cesky Krumlov!

Yes, we love pork! Any suggestion?

Thanks for your help. Have a great week.

Franko's picture
Franko

The very best beer I had in Prague was from a restaurant that brews it's own, located across from or near the square from the nearby monastery, within walking distance from Prague Castle, sorry can't recall the name. Once up at the castle ask at a tourist info booth for directions to the monastery and they'll put you on the right path. The Summer beer if they still have when you're there is likely the best beer I've ever had, and well worth the trek. For restaurants the two that I liked most were U Bulinu  and another called Kornirna. Both seem to be pretty popular with the locals and the food was excellent. U Bulina is kind of a casual neighborhood spot with mainly Czech cuisine. Lots to choose from for main courses but if you fancy dessert the fried plums stuffed with marzipan accompanied with a Baileys caramel sauce is ridiculously tasty, and a good one to share as it's very rich. If you try Kornirna, which specializes in wild game, try the wild boar with rose-hip demi glace, served with savory gingerbread dumplings. I had this the 1st time we were in Prague and I'm kicking myself I didn't order it again on our latest visit. The sous vide pork that I had was very good, but the roast wild boar was up on an entirely different level. Out of all the beers I tried my least favourite was the Pilsener Urquell,other than that they were all great beers. When you get to Cesky Krumlov the local beer is Eggenburg which is excellent. Cesky Krumlov was the highlight of my visit to CR, and so picturesque it takes your breath away. We were only there for one night but if we ever get back to the Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov is where I'd like to spend a few more days. Before I forget, a cautionary note regarding the street vendors that sell the smoked ham pictured in one of the photos in the post. They have stands in Old town Square and Wenceslas Square. If you order from them specify how much meat you want in grams otherwise they'll plunk down a huge chunk of it that'll cost you a bundle. It's one of those unfortunate scams that takes advantage of tourists unfamiliar with the local currency.Just walk away if the try to pull this on you. I had to once, so just a heads up for you. The smoked ham is really good by the way!

Best,

Franko

bruneski's picture
bruneski

... for all the tips!

All info already tranferred to our "Trip Planner" file!

Have a great day!

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Enjoyed looking at all you've been making and following the stories (backyard berries, polenta loaf).  Agree that the charlotte is magnificent.  Thanks so much for the happy time spent reading your post :)

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks so much Julie, I'm glad you enjoyed the post and the baking.

All the best,

Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko,
What a trip! through your recent months' baking - and the Prague photos are beautiful, too!!!
Such a varied selection of wonderfully-made breads and pastry - all so gorgeous.
:^) breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi breadsong,

Thanks so much! I know at least a few of the photos you've already seen, but hopefully some ones you haven't as well.

Cheers,

Franko

varda's picture
varda

you could post formula for the seeded sandwich loaf?   I am looking at the one with an oatmeal finish.    Thanks! -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,

Sure no problem, now let me see....rummage, rummage...ah! here it is!

I'm pretty sure this is the formula for for both of the breads pictured Varda. The second bake using the same recipe only topping it with barley flakes. Any questions, you know where to find me.

Cheers,

Franko

Sour Loaf with Mixed Grains & Seeds%Kilos/Grams
Ingredients  
   
Leaven  
Organic AP Flour60.00%58
Medium/Dark Rye Flour40.00%38
Mature Starter -rye 100%8.00%8
Water65.00%62
Total weight173.00%166
Ripen for 12-15 hours @ 70F/21C  
   
Grain & Seed Soaker  
5-7 Grain Cereal Mix100.00%100
Barley Flakes25.00%25
Water-boiling125.00%125
Total weight250.00%249
soak overnight  
   
Toasted Seeds  
Sunflower Seeds50.00%62
Pumpkin Seeds50.00%62
Total weight100.00%125
toast at 350F for 10-15 minutes-cool before adding to mix  
Final Dough -enter desired dough weight in yellow cell 1200
Organic AP Flour60.0%249
Whole Grain Spelt Flour15.0%62
Barley Flour15.0%62
Leaven40.0%166
Honey3.0%12
Sea Salt2.6%11
Grain Soaker60.0%249
Toasted Seeds30.0%125
Water63.0%262
Total weight288.6%1200
DDT-76-78F  
Mix in soaker and seeds when the dough has medium development  
Bulk ferment for 45 min @80-85F  
   
Overall Formula Kilos/Grams
Total Flour100.00%474
Organic AP Flour64.77%307
Medium/Dark Rye Flour8.92%42
Whole Grain Spelt Flour13.15%62
Barley Flour13.15%62
Honey2.63%12
Grains & Seeds21.04%100
Barley Flakes5.26%25
Toasted Seeds26.31%125
Sea Salt2.28%11
Water95.53%453
Total weight/yield253.06%1200
Total Pre-fermented Flour21.08%100
Hydration69.23%328

 

varda's picture
varda

Now where am I going to get those barley flakes and flour?   Hmmm.   I'll have to work on that.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

Since you asked I just thought I would pop in and suggest:

Do you have a health food store near by?  If so, they probably sell barley - you do not want pearled barley - and you can grind it just like your other grains.  

To make the flakes just grind it on a coarser setting.  Not like you would get out of a real flaker but close enough.  Your health food store might sell barley flakes too.  I know ours does.

~Janet