The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dmsnyder

In a way, today was “really” the first day of my retirement. Our granddaughters are back in their parents' keeping. I'm not teaching this week. I discovered a couple of changes in my cooking and baking, compared to my approach pre-retirement.

The only quasi-business items on my to-do list involved phone calls only. So, I had lots of discretionary time. On Saturday, at the farmer's market, we had decided ratatouille omelets sounded like a great dinner for Monday night. I have always made a somewhat shortcut version in the past. Today, I did it “right,” following Julia Child's recipe to the letter - the eggplant, zucchini and onions/peppers/garlic mix each sautéed separately. No canned tomatoes, but a mix of vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and hand cut in strips. No need to compromise to save time.

This morning, it occurred to me that our omelets really needed to be accompanied by fresh-baked baguettes. If I'd thought about it last night, I'd have made a poolish, but I didn't, so they needed to be “straight dough” baguettes. No need to run errands or prepare for the next work day. No problem at all.

I had made some surprisingly good straight dough baguettes before. They had lovely flavor but not very good crumb structure. Today, I made the version from Advanced Bread and Pastry. It is 70% hydration and calls for a very short mix and (for a yeasted baguette) a long, 3-hour bulk fermentation with 2-3 folds.

 

Ingredients

Baker's %

Wt (g)

AP flour

100

262

Water

70

184

Yeast (instant)

0.3

0.8

Salt

2

5

Malt (powdered, diastatic)

0.5

1

Total

172.8

452.8

 

  1. Mix flour and water to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 20 minutes.

  2. Add the yeast, salt and malt to the dough. Mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes, then on Speed 2 for 3.5 minutes.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover.

  4. Bulk ferment for 3 hours with folds at 50, 100 and 150 minutes.

  5. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape as logs.

  6. Rest, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

  7. Shape as baguettes.

  8. Proof en couche, seam-side up, for 45 to 60 minutes.

  9. Bake at 460 dF for 22-25 minutes, with steam for the first half of the bake.

 

The loaves sang loudly when they were taken out of the oven. The crust was very crisp and thin. The crumb was somewhat open, more so than the other straight dough baguettes I've made. The flavor was quite good with noticeable sweetness. Really a classic baguette taste.

In hindsight, I think two folds would have been sufficient.

The ratatouille omelets were just delicious.

 

 A good day.

David

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dmsnyder

A couple weeks ago, I blogged on my attempt to make a San Francisco-style sourdough bread that  had a crunchy crust, moderate sourness and a nice, complex flavor. (See My San Francisco Sourdough Quest).

My quest  continued this weekend. The formula and method were amended in these ways:

1. Rather than activating my starter at 100% hydration and building my 50% hydration levain from that, I activated my stored 50% hydration starter at 50% hydration. In other words, I did two firm starter elaborations. These were fed at 12 hour intervals.

2. The levain was then fermented at room temperature for 16 hours and was not retarded.

3. The final dough was mixed substituting 10% whole wheat flour for some of the AP flour.

Otherwise, my formula and method were as described previously. I should point out that, with these changes, the only differences from the formula and method for San Francisco Sourdough found in Advanced Bread & Pastry were:

1. The substitution of some WW for AP flour,

2. The longer fermentation of the firm levain, and 

3. The higher fermentation and proofing temperatures or the final dough and formed loaves. 

The results were very similar, but the bread was substantially more sour. I'd rate it as moderately to very sour. The crumb was a little less open, presumably because the WW flour absorbed a little more water. I loved it. My wife loved it. I recommend it.

David

 

 

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dmsnyder

This 2+ kg miche is for an upcoming family gathering. Eighteen of us - most of 3 generations - will be getting together at the Central California beach town where my generation vacationed with our parents in the 1960's and '70's. There are lot's of wonderful memories of those Summers.

The formula for the miche is from the SFBI Artisan II workshop I took last December. I have described the formula and methods here: This miche is a hit! Since then, many TFL members have made this bread and seem to have enjoyed it as much as I. That includes brother Glenn, who has promised to bring along a matching miche.

The only modification of the original formula for this bake was to use half WFM Organic AP flour and half CM Organic Type 85 flour.

 The crust has lots of lovely crackles.

No crumb photos, since I'm taking it intact to the gathering.

I also baked a couple 1 pound loaves of the San Francisco Sourdough from AB&P today. The formula can be found here: Crackly Crust & Shiny Crumb: San Francisco Sourdough from AB&P

I think the "group photo" puts things in better perspective.

David

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dmsnyder


Tre Franceses


 


“Pan Francese” simply means “French Bread” in Italian. It is a long, thin loaf that is the Italian version of a baguette. Daniel Leader has a formula in Local Breads which he titles “Italian Baguettes” and says are called “Stirato,” which means “stretched” in Italian. Michel Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry includes a formula for “Pan Francese,” and we made this bread during the Artisan II workshop at SFBI.


The differences between Leader's and Suas' formulas are relatively minor. Leader uses a biga at 60% hydration, and the biga is 61% baker's percentage of the total dough. Leader's dough hydration is 70%. Suas' hydration is 76% - a significant difference. Suas uses a poolish (100% hydration), and the poolish is 50% baker's percentage of the total dough. Leader uses all AP flour, while Suas' formula uses 13.6% whole wheat flour, the rest being AP. Leader's mixing instructions, as usual for his high-hydration doughs, call for an intensive mix (10-12 minutes at Speed 4). Suas specifies a short mix but 2 or 3 folds during bulk fermentation. Their shaping instructions are also significantly different: In spite of pointing out that “Stirato” means “stretched,” Leader tells you to shape the loaves like you do baguettes. Suas has you simply cut long strips of dough and stretch them to shape.


Of course, there is no end to variations with breads. The Il Fornaio Baking Book, from the bakery chain of the same name, has a recipe for “Sfilatino” which they call “Italian Baguettes.” Theirs are made with a biga. They are shaped as demi-baguettes, then stretched to about 15 inches long.


The “Pan Francese” I made followed Suas' formula and method from AB&P.


 


Poolish

Baker's %

Wt. (oz)

AP flour

100

3 5/8

Water

100

3 5/8

Yeast (instant)

0.1

1/8 tsp

Total

200.1

7 1/8

  1. Mix all the ingredients until well-incorporated.

  2. Ferment for 12-16 hours at 65ºF.

     

Final dough

Baker's %

Wt. (oz)

AP flour

79.52

11 7/8

WW flour

13.48

2 3/8

Water

70

10

Yeast (instant)

0.35

¼ tsp

Salt

2

¼ oz

Malt

0.98

1/8 oz

Poolish

50.03

7 1/8

Total

223.36

2 lb

 

Total dough

Baker's %

Wt. (oz)

AP flour

86.4

15 1/2

WW flour

13.6

2 3/8

Water

76

13 5/8

Yeast (instant)

0.3

1/2 tsp

Salt

1.6

¼ oz

Malt

0.78

1/8 oz

Total

178.68

2 lb

 

Method

  1. Prepare the poolish the evening before mixing the dough.

  2. Measure all the Final dough ingredients into the bowl. (I used a KitchenAid mixer.)

  3. Mix with the paddle until ingredients are well mixed – 1-2 minutes -then switch to the hook and mix at speed 2 or 3 for about 5 minutes. There will be some gluten development, but the dough will not clear the sides of the bowl. It will be like a thickish, glutenous batter.

  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment for 3 hours with 2-3 stretch and folds on a well-floured board.

  6. Prepare your oven with a baking stone and your steaming apparatus of choice in place. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF about 30 minutes before the end of fermentation.

  7. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board. De-gas the dough and stretch and pat it into a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches. Dust the top with flour.

  8. Using a bench knife, divide the dough into 3 strips. Stretch them to about 15” long and place them on a well-floured linen couch. (I suppose parchment paper would serve.). Cover with linen or a towel.

  9. Proof for 30-45 minutes.

  10. Transfer the loaves to a peel and then to the baking stone. Turn the oven down to 460ºF and steam it.

  11. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

  12. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Francese cross section crumb

Francese longitudinal section crumb

The loaves had a thin, crisp crust that got chewy as it cooled. The crumb was very open with some chewiness. The flavor of the whole wheat was present when tasted still slightly warm. I expect it to meld by tomorrow. The flavor was similar to ciabatta, not surprisingly. The bread was nice as a chicken salad sandwich for dinner.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

 

 

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dmsnyder

 



 


 


I have made miches from Peter Reinhart's BBA, from Daniel Leader's “Local Breads” and the Miche, “Pointe-à-Callière” from Jeffrey Hamelman's “Bread.” All were good breads. Reinhart's was the closest to the Pain Poilâne I remember from my single tasting in Paris some 25 years ago.


This weekend, I baked the miche from Michel Suas' “Advanced Bread and Pastry” for the first time. Suas references Pain Poilâne as the best known miche, but he does not say his formula is an attempt to replicate it. His “miche” is a 2 lb boule. This is smaller than my notion of a miche, but what do I know? I'll ask M. Suas the week after next when I'm at the SFBI for the Artisan II class and report back.


Suas' formula and procedures are quite unusual in several respects. It uses 3 builds and specifies a mixture of high-extraction, bread and medium rye flours. The final dough has 50% pre-fermented flour from the levain, and almost all the water comes from the 120% hydration levain. Even more remarkable is the very brief bulk fermentation of 15 minutes. I assume this works because of the very high percentage of pre-fermented flour. After shaping, the miche is retarded overnight before baking.


 


First levain feeding

Wt.

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

1 3/8 oz

100

Water

1 ¾ oz

120

Salt

1/8 tsp

0.6

Starter (stiff)

1/8 oz

10

Total

3 ¼ oz

230.6

  1. Mix all ingredients well with a DDT of 70ºF

  2. Ferment 16 hrs at room temperature.

 

Levain formula

Wt.

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

8 1/4 oz

100

Water

9 7/8 oz

120

Salt

1/4 tsp

0.6

First feeding

3 1/4 oz

40

Total

21 5/8 oz

260.6

  1. Mix all ingredients well with a DDT of 70ºF

  2. Ferment 8 hours at room temperature.

Note: I fermented at room temperature for 6 hours, then refrigerated overnight. I allowed the levain to warm up and ferment another 2 hours before mixing the final dough

 

Final dough formula

Wt.

Baker's %

Bread flour

5 5/8 oz

60

High-extraction flour

1 7/8 oz

20

Medium rye flour

1 7/8 oz

20

Water

7/8 oz

10

Salt

3/8 oz

3.8

Levain

21 5/8 oz

230.6

Total

21 5/8 oz

344.4

Note on ingredients: I used "Organic Type 85" flour from Central Milling for the high-extraction flour, KAF Bread Flour and KAF Medium Rye flour.

Process

  1. Mix water and Levain

  2. Mix flours and salt. Add to water/levain mixture and mix to medium gluten development. (I mixed this dough in a Bosch Universal Plus for 3 minutes at first speed and 6 minutes at second speed.)

  3. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and ferment for 15 minutes.

  4. Pre-shape the dough into a light ball and rest it for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Shape into a boule. Place it in a banneton and cover well with plastic or place in a food grade plastic bag.

  6. Retard overnight in the refrigerator. (Suas specifies a temperature of 48ºF, actually.)

  7. The next morning, pre-heat your oven to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  8. Pre-steam the oven. Transfer the miche to a peel. Score the miche. (Suas specifies a diamond pattern.) Transfer it to the baking stone. Stem the oven. Turn the oven down to 440ºF. (See Note, below.)

  9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is 205ºF and the bottom gives a hollow sound when thumped. (Note: I baked this in a Lodge Combo Cooker – Convection bake for 20 minutes covered at 460ºF, covered then 25 minutes at 440ºF, uncovered.)

  10. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Suas doesn't mention it, but most authors recommend waiting 12 to 24 hours before slicing this type of bread.

The miche

Miche crumb

I sliced and tasted the bread after it had cooled for about 4 hours. The crust was crunchy. The crumb was chewy. The aroma and flavor were unlike any bread I've ever tasted. It did have a mild sourdough tang, but the flavor was uniquely wonderful. It had some nuttiness I associate with wheat germ and sweetness I've only tasted before in some baguettes that have had a long, slow fermentation or were made with pâte fermentée. I assume the wonderful flavor can be credited to the combination of the "Type 85" flour and the unusual process commented on above.

I'm looking forward to baking some other miches using this flour. It's wonderful.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

 

 

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dmsnyder

 


I've been baking the San Francisco Sourdough from Michel Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry frequently over the past few months. It's very good. This weekend, I decided to try a couple of his other sourdough breads.


Right after the formula for “San Francisco Sourdough,” Suas gives two other formulas for Sourdough Bread, differing in the levain used. One uses a 100% hydration levain and the other a 50% stiff levain. Both differ from the San Francisco Sourdough in using a smaller starter inoculation for a levain that ferments for 24 hours. This week, I chose to make the one with the stiff levain, which Suas calls “Sourdough Bread One Feeding.”



 


Levain Formula

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

3 1/4

95

Medium rye flour

1/8

5

Water

1 ¾

50

Starter (stiff)

7/8

25

Total

6

175

 

Final dough

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

14 7/8

100

Water

10 7/8

72.8

Yeast (instant)

1/8 tsp

0.1

Salt

3/8

2.53

Levain

6

40

Total

2 lb

215.43

Note: The over-all hydration of this dough is 64%.

 

Procedure

  1. Mix levain thoroughly.

  2. Ferment for 24 hours at room temperature.

  3. Mix the dough ingredients to medium gluten development. DDT 75-78ºF.

  4. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover tightly and ferment for 2 hours.

  5. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape into balls.

  6. Rest for 20-30 minutes, covered.

  7. Shape as boules or bâtards.

  8. Proof in bannetons or en couche for 90-120 minutes at 80ºF.

  9. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF for 45-60 minutes, with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  10. Pre-steam oven. Transfer loaves to the peel. Score with “chevron” or “sausage” pattern, and transfer to the baking stone.

  11. Steam oven and turn temperature down to 440ºF.

  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

  13. Remove loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Note: My oven has a convection mode and a conventional baking mode. My actual baking procedure is to pre-heat the oven on Convection-Bake to 500ºF. After the bread is loaded and the oven steamed, I turn the oven to the recommended temperature using conventional (non-convection) baking. When the bread has started to color and has had full benefit of the steam, I switch to Convection-Bake again and lower the temperature by 20-25ºF. (This assumes I'm not baking with “falling temperatures,” as with some rye breads.)

The loaves were proofed at 80ºF for 2 ½ hours and expanded by 50-75%. I was concerned about the long proofing. One of the boules did deflate slightly with scoring, but I got very nice oven spring and bloom.  

The crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft - not very chewy. (I made this bread with KAF AP flour.) The flavor was sweet and wheaty with the barest hint of sour, and that was of the lactic acid type ... I think. Frankly, I missed the tang and the flavor tones of whole grains, which my preferred breads all have. On the other hand, this may approach the French ideal of a pain au levain, which is not sour in flavor. 

For those who prefer a not-sour-sourdough, I would recommend this bread without hesitation.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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dmsnyder

 


I have some experience baking Jewish Sour Ryes and German-type rye breads. Suas' formula for “Sourdough Rye Bread” (Advanced Bread and Pastry, pp. 212-213) seems to me to be for a French-style “Pain de Seigle,” although Suas does not label it as such. It uses a stiff levain identical to the one Suas uses for his “San Francisco Sourdough,” but then the final dough is 60% rye flour. Overall, the rye content is 52% of the total flour. The overall dough hydration is 70%.



 


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Levain Formula

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

2 1/2

95

Medium rye flour

1/8

5

Water

1 1/4

50

Starter (stiff)

2 1/8

25

Total

6

230

 

Final dough

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

6

40

Medium rye flour

8 7/8

60

Water

10 7/8

72.8

Yeast (instant)

1/8 tsp

0.12

Salt

3/8

2.53

Levain

6

40

Total

2 lb

215.43

 

Procedure

  1. Mix levain thoroughly.

  2. Ferment for 12 hours at room temperature.

  3. Mix the dough ingredients to achieve some gluten development. DDT 75-78ºF. (I mixed for 7 minutes at Speed 2 in a KitchenAid stand mixer.)

  4. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover tightly and ferment for 2 hours.

  5. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape into balls.

  6. Rest for 20-30 minutes, covered.

  7. Shape as bâtards.

  8. Proof in bannetons or en couche for 90-120 minutes at 80ºF.

  9. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF for 45-60 minutes, with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  10. Pre-steam oven. Transfer loaves to the peel. Score as desired, and transfer to the baking stone.

  11. Steam oven and turn temperature down to 450ºF.

  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

  13. Remove loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

This dough does develop some gluten from the 12.7% protein bread flour used, but it otherwise handles like a high-rye bread. The dough is clay-like and sticky, although less so than if it had had higher hydration. It was easy to shape with a light dusting of flour on the board.

The loaves expanded by no more than 50% after over 2 hours proofing at 80ºF on a couche, and they had modest oven spring. The cuts opened up nicely, considering.

 

The crust was hard and crunchy. The crumb was soft and moist. This is a pretty thin loaf - marginally bigger than a baguette. The ratio of crust to crumb is relatively high with a marked contrast in texture, which makes it quite interesting in the mouth.

The flavor is mildly sour with a sweetish, earthy rye flavor. Very nice. The French prefer this type of bread with smoked meats, soft cheeses and fish. We are having salmon for dinner tomorrow, and I have a nice Laura Chanel Chevre in the fridge. This rye should be delicious with both.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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dmsnyder

The Honey Whole Wheat pan loaf from Advanced Bread and Pastry is made with a white levain, more as a pre-ferment for flavor than for leavening. It also uses instant yeast. It is otherwise 100% whole wheat. I used KAF Organic WW.


Suas' formula calls for a "double hydration" method, where most of the water is mixed with the other ingredients and the remainder is added gradually, after the gluten is moderately developed. The dough is rather high hydration - quite gloppy at the finish of mixing. Suas doesn't call for any stretch and folds during fermentation, but I added some to strengthen the dough. By the time it was ready to shape, it was surprisingly manageable.


This dough was so different from the whole wheat breads I had made before from Reinhart's BBA and whole grain baking book. His doughs are quite dry in comparison. This dough had me kind of spooked until after fermentation was complete. But the results were quite satisfactory, some cosmetic issues aside.



The spots on the crust are from oil I sprayed on the loaf before proofing it. Not pretty.



The crumb was not dry, but less moist than I expected. It was somewhat chewy. It has a wonderful wheaty flavor with none of the grassiness that I find in some 100% whole wheat breads and even in some white breads with as little as 10% whole wheat. It was slightly sweet, but not so sweet as to detract from the wheaty flavor. 


This is pretty close to my personal ideal for a whole wheat sandwich/toast bread. I'll be making it again, probably with a bulgur soaker and maybe some sesame seeds.


David

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