The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

This week in bread

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This week in bread

Last week, my breads had a more or less "command performance" in the Italian language class my wife and I are taking. I've been a bit uncomfortable taking food since the class meets in  a deli/cafe/wine bar. Anyway, I decided to let it be on the teacher's head. I took a large wicker basket with half slices of 3 breads - a seeded sourdough Italian bread with 20% durum flour, a walnut-dried fig bread based on my San Francisco-style sourdough and a "Overnight Country Brown" from Ken Forkish.

Everyone seemed to enjoy all the breads. I was most delighted by the reactions of a fellow student who is a professor of art at the local State University. He was munching on the Forkish bread and carrying on about how even the local "French Bakery" (which is pretty good) puts "too much air" in their breads. He was talking, I'm sure, about the fluffiness you get when you spike sourdough breads with yeast. He thought the Country Brown was a lot like the breads he had had in France. (It is very similar to some pain de compagne I've had in the Dordogne Valley.  And we had a "guest" sitting in, which we often do. Clara is a native Italian -  an older woman who was the cook/owner of an Italian Restaurant/Pizzaria that is now closed. I understand she still has her old commercial mixer at home and bakes her own bread and makes pizzas and calzones. Her compliments meant a lot to me. 

Speaking of Forkish's breads, Fresno is now in our version of "Fall." My kitchen temperature is running right around 70 dF. I've made a couple FWSY formulas in the past 2 weeks - one is fermenting now - and they are keeping to the timings in the book more closely. I'm still not able to let an "overnight" dough bulk ferment at room temperature overnight.  I'm not too unhappy about this. The cold retardation makes the breads more sour, which i don't mind.

The breads at the head of this blog entry are some San Joaquin Sourdough baguettes and San Francisco-style Sourdoughs with 20% whole wheat I baked yesterday. 

We're having Thanksgiving at our house for the first time in several years. Our sons and their families and one of my sisters and her son will be with us.  I'm looking forward to it. It's time to start planning baking for the holiday weekend. Some breads for stuffing, some for morning toast and sandwich rolls for sure. 

David

Comments

chouette22's picture
chouette22

What great compliments you got from your classmates (and real connoisseurs it looks like), very well deservedly, I am sure! I have told you before, but my search has stopped at your SJSD baguettes - they are my go-to recipe for that style of bread and I couldn't be more delighted. I just love them! 

How wonderful that you are learning Italian! I speak (and teach) it too and it is my favorite language. I will spend Thanksgiving with three Italian families (all arrived in the US as adults) and part of my responsibility will be bread. I need to start planning too!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It is especially nice to get positive feedback from people who I think are (literally) connoisseurs.

I speak French fairly well and understand a lot of Spanish. Italian had always frustrated me. My brain processed it like music rather than language. After over a year of weekly classes (with Summer breaks), my comprehension of Italian is not bad, and I can carry on a simple conversation. Of course, my vocabulary is best for bread and cooking words. :-) We are planning a trip to Italy for next May (The Veneto, Lucca, Cinquaterra).

Our teacher is from Palermo. She followed an educational track for teacher preparation from age 16 years through university. It shows. She teaches at the State University but also at a Catholic high school and also in a Kindergarten class at a Catholic church with a large Italian-American congregation. She is a pleasure to observe for her pedagogical sophistication and a privilege to have as an instructor. 

I'm so glad you are enjoying the SJSD baguettes! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! It sounds like it should be fun.

David

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne

David,

 

You are still the master at scoring.  I like your San Francisco-style Sourdough.  I plan on trying your recipe in the near future. 

 

It is always nice to have someone REALLY taste and evaluate your bread. 

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

Dwayne

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

usual David.  Love the SJSD as baguettes - they are particularly well done and the bold bake makes them all look crunchy and tasty.

Happy baking

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The baguettes are indeed crunchy and tasty!

David

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I always enjoy your stories even more :) Have a wonderful holiday with your family. c

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've had a lot I wanted to share over the past few weeks, but other things keep eating up my time. Thanks for the holiday wishes, and the same to you!

David

Floydm's picture
Floydm

As everyone else said, very nice, as always, David.  

I hope your Thanksgiving comes together well.

Best,

Floyd

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Let's see ... 11 people of whom 3 are vegetarians and 1 who keeps kosher and is allergic to some foods. No problem. We just need 3 menus for each of 3 meals over 5 days. 

David

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I think I smell a Tofurky in the oven there. 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi David,

I know how it is to approach a 'new' crowd with fresh breads in tow - especially in the setting you were in but how nice it all worked out.  You never know where what you offered might lead to in the future….

Your loaves are beautiful.  I especially like the colors and shapes that your scoring created.  Very inviting.  THe crusts look so crisp I can almost imagine the sensation of biting into one.

THanks for sharing.

Janet

Darwin's picture
Darwin

Beautiful bread, something to strive towards.  Your friends are lucky to have you in the kitchen.  ;)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

Have a great time over Thanksgiving holidays.  I'm looking forward to Christmas now. :)

Happy Thanksgiving from down under.

Annie

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

David

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

your beatiful, delicious breads or your combo of Italian classes and trip.  Great to see your breads, and I look forward to maybe also seeing a post-Italy blog entry :)