The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

greetings from yet another newbie

  • Pin It
palaeoindian's picture
palaeoindian

greetings from yet another newbie

greetings

like many others i too have been visiting/lurking ' The Fresh Loaf' for over a year and several weeks ago became a member. I really love this site, enjoy reading everyone's helpful insights and comments. When in doubt go to 'The Fresh Loaf' !

having been reared mostly on unleavened bread (I am from India) and terrible white bread, my affair with leavened breads really started only two years ago when we lived in Germany and had three bakeries within walking/smelling distance of our house. Not satisfied by just eating I got hooked to bread baking. Now we live in Columbus Ohio and although there are several good bakeries which we frequent, I still enjoy baking at home. I have been rather successful in baking simple breads with whole wheat, rye, spelt, oats etc.. and packet yeast so far (partly because if nothing else most Indians can knead dough).

Last weekend I tried the soaker/biga method for the first time and certainly the bread was far tastier than my ususal loaves. I like adding seeds or herbs to my breads - my question is when should I add the seeds etc.. - in the dry flour of the soaker or biga or later on the second day?

I am so glad to be a part of this happy family!

 

 

 

mcs's picture
mcs

 I think it depends on how you like your seeds in your bread.  For things that I want to soften up,  I add  to a  soaker and  let it sit for a few hours.   Then it gets added to the initial mix with the rest of the ingredients.  For  things that I want to keep whole (raisins) or seeds that will tear up the dough (caraway), I add after all of the mixing is done.  For instance, for rye, the dough is mixed on speed 1 for 3 minutes, speed 2 for 3 minutes, then I add the caraway seeds and mix it on speed 1 until they are incorporated.  I use the same process for raisins although this time it's so they don't get pulverized.  

-Mark 

http://thebackhomebakery.com

palaeoindian's picture
palaeoindian

thanks  Mark

wanted your opinion about flax and pumpkin seeds - do you prefer to soften them up or add them later? 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mark has a point with the seeds cutting up the dough.  So look at your seeds and herbs and determine if they benefit from soaking or not (stuck in the dough is also a form of soaking them).  

Dried herbs can get stronger and develop flavor (better or bitter) over time but I tend to add them (both dry and fresh) on the bake day.  Generally, I throw my crushed seeds into the preferment, so they can soak and get soft.  When making a faster dough (same day), I soak whole caraway in a shot glass with water to soften the seeds ahead of time.  Caraway is a very hard seed.  Not too uncommon here to store caraway in a pepper grinder. 

Roasted seeds and nuts are good in a recipe when they are inside the dough and protected from too much heat.  Seeds on the outside of a loaf benefit when unroasted because they will roast with the bread in the oven. 

I like to soak pumkin seeds, they hold up to roasting better.   Melon seeds are also the rage now, they get really roasted and puffy on the outside of a loaf.  They look almost like pine nuts or puffed rice.

Mini O

palaeoindian's picture
palaeoindian

thanks so much Mini Oven - that was very very useful

jacjietom's picture
jacjietom

I just got a new Wondermill and am excited about milling our own wheat into flour for our bread.

I have read various claims about the breakdown of commercial flours that we have been buying for generations at the store. It is said that flour loses it's nutritional value after 72 hours and that it is not a good source of the natural vitamins that are to be had with fresh milled flour.

Whaddaya think?  Surely would like to hear back from you veterans of the process.

Jackietom

jacjietom's picture
jacjietom

I need to change user name from jacjietom to jackietom