The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

artisan baking

  • Pin It
heidet's picture
heidet

Living in southern Japan, where even the most basic of ovens, beloved from childhood , are rare and extraordinarily expensive makes a baker's life challenging, and a home baker's more than just a bit frustrating. In need of crusty, heavy, unsweet breads, my sweetheart of a husband purchased  an 'oven' for me quite a few years ago. At least he thought it was an oven. Really its internal measurements are about double of an oven toaster, and it can- microwave, top and bottom electrically heat, convection heat but only if the round microwave ceramic plate is used, top toast, grill, heat sake to the exact temperature required, proof bread, and yes, talk to you. I never would have believed then how comfortable and devoted to this bizarre machine I have become. Together, we have baked as many as 20 loaves in a day, a therapeutic response to having left my work in Europe and wanting to keep my skills on par, I sent my spouse to work with paperbags full of breads almost every week for months .


And then I found them, after weeks and months and constant vigilence lest they close suddenly; bakeries making quite good baguettes, whole grain malt breads, rye breads. The sad part was they closed often, unable to find a wide enough market willing to part from supersoft, superwhite supersquare 'bread'. Those that did not close modified their recipes to meet the taste and texture that would sell better and in some cases, simply stopped making the breads I craved. I special ordered one bread in particular- Pan d'Fruilli was their name, pronounced as padufrui.And I experimented at home, until I got it almost exactly as remembered,but not perfect. And then, one day, I went to order and they had closed. In its place was a German bakery, which often made one or two very nice creations but! not my rye bread that barely rises and is filled with chopped nuts, cherries, peel and spices.


Unable to give up my morning ritual of thinly sliced and toasted bread with butter and a cup of tea, I set out to recreate it once again, only half the standard size so it might fit inside my oven. I searched recipes high and low, Laurel's KitchenRustic European Breads to name a few of many,  and hours on the internet. I even wrote my fellow bakers overseas,and finally I sat down with my very first bread book I ever used, Tassajara's Bread Book and significantly modified their recipe . I cut the measurements in half so it would fit in my little oven and waiting for the results. After much tampering with the recipe, and allowing for vast variations in the supplies of flour and ingredients  that were available, I am happy to say, I now have my bread and tea again.



  •  3c.warm water            

  • 1tsp yeast

  • 1/4c.corn syrup/honey mixture

  • 1/4c. dry milk powder

  • 2-5 cups unbleached white flour

  • 2-4 cups rye flour

  • 1/4 cup melted butter or oil



  • extra white and rye flour for kneading

  • 1 cup dried marinated mixed fruits(cherries, raisins, orange and lemon peel)

  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts-walnuts

  • orange liquer/rum as soaking agent for fruit

  • cinnamon

  • 1tsp salt


Dissolve the yeast in water. Stir in sweetener and dry milk. Stir in enough white flour  mixed with salt until a thick batter is formed. Beat well (I use the kitchenaid mixer).Let rise 60 minutes until frothy and spongey.


Fold in salt and oil and additional flour-rye, until it comes away from the bowl. Knead in machine or on a board until smooth. Alternatively, the throwing method works well. Let rise until double,about 50 minutes. Punch down.


take 3/4 of the bread and flatten, mix fruits and nuts with cinnamon, spread on dough and roll up. Make a round shape and wrap remaining dough around it.


Let rise about  until 2/3rds about 25 minutes.


Bake at 175 c.350f. Bake until hollow sound and hard tapping, nicely browned, about one hour.


rest and cool.


 


 


 


 

shawnamargo's picture

When and how to add onions to artisan breads

December 28, 2009 - 11:29am -- shawnamargo
Forums: 

I'm interested in adding onions to my sourdough bread and/or noknead bread recipes. I live in the Boston area, and a number of high end restaurants serve delicious, big hole artisan breads with onions. It's clear the onions are cooked with fairly large pieces. When do you think these are added, and how are they cooked? Any ideas out there?

wally's picture

My Excellent Adventure at King Arthur Flour

July 27, 2009 - 3:00pm -- wally

In response to a prior post where I mentioned my recent experience at King Arthur Flour, David (dmsynder) kindly suggested a fuller account of the class, and was even kind enough (at my urging) to provide a list of topics I should include. I've attempted in what follows to touch on all of them, if in revised (and perhaps stream-of-consciousness) order.

bshuval's picture
bshuval

I've been doing quite a bit of baking this weekend. In addition to the Grape Harvest Focaccia I've blogged about yesterday, today I made the potato pizza from Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Baking". The recipe calls for a very wet dough -- more water than flour, actually. You knead the dough using the paddle on your stand mixer for 20 whole minutes. In the process it miraculously transforms from this:

Kneading the dough

To this:

It really is a quite unbelievable transformation. However did anyone figure it out? This dough, albeit wet and sticky, passes the windowpane test:

 I liberally oiled (although, in retrospect, not liberally enough, as a bit of pizza stuck to the pan) a half-sheet pan, and shaped the wet dough onto it, carefully as to not burst any bubbles. I had to let the dough rest several times in order to stretch the dough to fit the entire pan. Each time, using some more olive oil. I added the potato-onion-rosemary topping (the potatoes were thinly sliced using a mandoline, and then salted and squeezed from the liquid before mixing with the onion and rosemary). I added some more olive oil on top of the topping. 

I put the pizza into a preheated oven for 40 minutes. Shortly after the pizza began baking, the house filled with a wonderful aroma of onions and potatoes. It really got those gut juices going! Halfway through the baking I took a peek to rotate the dough, so I used that occassion to take a picture of the partially baked pizza:

40 minutes later, the pizza was ready:

 The pizza is done

I removed it from the pan (as I said above, I didn't oil the pan well enough, so it stuck in a couple of places.) The crust rose nicely; here is a side view:

This was a fun baking project!  

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Still working on the nuances of oven temperature. It’s really a comedy of timing between two ancient processes—bread making and fire building. It seem like if I get it over 600 degrees at the start, it takes a good 45 minutes to reach a more comfortable 550 for bread baking, but then it holds the temps nicely for hours. Handy if you have multiple batches, less handy if you were hoping to cook your dinner at 350 degrees anytime soon. I do crack the door to bring the temp down a bit quicker.

 

Common occurrences when firing your mud oven:

  • If you think the fire is not hot enough, it will be MUCH hotter than you think.
  • If your oven is ready, and your bread is not, it will only get HOTTER if you wait to pull the coals out, and you will spend even more waiting for it to cool down. Fortunately, this will give your bread plenty of time to catch up!
  • By the time your oven cools to 350 degrees, you will be too tired and/or stuffed with bread and other roasted goodies to bake that last batch of cookies that you had planned.

Improvised proof box: Sunshine + moisture to keep it from getting a skin. Worked fine in a pinch...

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1260/1425173125_fb0d261355.jpg

 

Like opening a package, it’s always a thrill to open the door and discover loaves like these:

 

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1129/1426058300_6a233fae2d.jpg

 

I guess there’s always this thought in the back of my mind that the loaves will be charred black, or pale little lumps with no oven spring. Even though it’s not that much different in the end than using my indoor oven, there’s something magical about baking in my little mud hut. It also smells better. Also? The low-angled sunlight of fall doesn’t hurt the aesthetics.

 



http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1311/1426057062_b5f6f233a1.jpg

 

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1311/1426056540_4941d7432f.jpg

 

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1038/1426057642_e30d6f40cb.jpg

 

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1124/1426057916_bf9ab49a10.jpg

I just did a bit of bread this time--a batch of Columbia and some Multigrain loaves. After the bread came out (well actually, while the last multigrains were still in—I was hungry) I made a pot roast and some baked potatoes. Also roasted a butternut squash to make soup out of the next day.

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

After many starts and stops in bread making, I have found a passle of information in the community of The Fresh Loaf.  In less than a week of perusing bakers postings, I have confirmed that my softer doughs do indeed perform better and for good reason.  I have figured out how to keep my sourdough alive and kicking and am inspired to grow another using rye flour and fresh grapefruit juice.  I've read through all of the baking lessons and chosen to start with the last lesson and see where that goes!

zolablue's picture

Firm Sourdough Starter - Glezer recipe

March 24, 2007 - 8:43am -- zolablue

I’m finally getting around to posting Maggie Glezer’s firm sourdough starter recipe.  For those of you having problems with your starters you might wish to give this a try.  Most people here are using batter-style starters so it might be interesting to see if there is any discussion on firm starters.  Plus I need help in learning to convert properly for use in recipes which don’t use a firm starter and there are always questions that come up.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - artisan baking