The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baking

MISSiShrimpi's picture

Baking on Grill without charbroiled mess

September 25, 2009 - 7:39pm -- MISSiShrimpi

Hi Everyone!

I have tried and tried and tried again to bake on my gas grill and

all I get is a charred piece of nothing. I only have two burners set

as low as they will go. I have tried with and without my baking stone

with same results. I'm even using a cast iron Dutch oven set on top

my stone. Guess the real question might be what the temperature

inside should be, any one know? Seems like the big difference between

an oven and a grill is the oven has a thermostat and turns off whereas

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I went to a really interesting bread-making course about 10 days ago, and have simply not had time to write it up yet. One thing I did want to share though, was a film we were shown. It is called Les blés d'or, and was made by ADDOCS, a French film-making organization.

The film is about peasant bakers (and the word peasant is used as a badge of pride, with no pejorative undertones) who have rescued several old varieties of wheat and who bake in the traditional manner. The commentary is all in French (although the DVD for sale has other languages, including Italian but not English (yet)). I found it fascinating, especially the sequence that shows the mixing of the dough.

The recipe is very simple: 33 kg of flour, 22 litres (i.e. 22 kg) of water and half a bucket (maybe 5 litres?) of starter. And the entire mass is mixed by hand. It is absolutely glorious to watch, and if you've never seen a baker stretch and fold 55 kg -- more than his own body weight, I'm sure -- of dough, you have a real treat in store.

You can watch the video streaming in reasonable quality from the ADDOCS site. It is the second film down in the list on the right. I hope you enjoy it.

In view of an earlier post I was thrilled to see a loaf made from Touzelle what flash up on screen, albeit very briefly.

Jeremy

mcs's picture
mcs

This past week The Back Home Bakery had guest intern Greg (gcook17) visiting from Mountain View, CA.  He brought his extensive bread and pastry skills to the workbench and got to try his hand at using the sheeter too.  Thanks a lot Greg for all of your help - we hope to see you again up here!

-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

 


stretch and fold on a 10 loaf batch of Rustic White

 


lining up the puff pastry bear claws

 


Here's Greg with his new found favorite toy.

 

 

Elagins's picture
Elagins

it seems to me that one of the biggest hurdles beginning bakers face is the idea that because something shows up in a book, that's necessarily the way things have to be.

take sourdough culture, as in this thread. Peter Reinhart says, "..." and therefore that's how it has to be. Nothing against Peter Reinhart: he's an extraordinarily great baker and and extraordinarily talented teacher. the problem is simply that a lot of beginners, in their eagerness to "get it right," don't trust themselves.

fact is, we're dealing with a complex set of interrelated physical and biological processes here, and to insist that all sorts of unfamiliar (to those starting out) living organisms *must* conform with one person's observation or experience is, to me, a reversal of reality. we should be paying more attention to what actually goes on and then adjust our expectations.

so consider a starter. so much depends on the original source of the yeast (plum/grape skins? rye? capture from the air? yogurt?). yeast and lacto-/acetobacteria are everywhere and are location specific. then again, what about the flour? rye? wheat? organic? treated? high or low gluten? or the hydration ... acetobacter likes it dry; lactobacter likes it wet. ambient temperature will affect the rate of yeast and bacterial action. cold slows yeast and lactobacteria, but acetobacteria thrive in cooler temps.

reducing all this stuff, not to mention all the other random factors that may come into play, to a timetable is laudable and useful -- in fact, i've done it myself in a baking book i'm writing -- but one person's experience of the interactions among a complex set of factors and events shouldn't ever constitute a sole and immutable truth.

baking, like so many other things in life, is experience-based, and no book -- no matter how experienced the author nor how careful the research -- should ever become a substitute for observable reality.

when i use organic dark rye flour to start a culture, i usually get activity within 24 hours. like the spark from a flint, that germ of a culture needs to be nourished and nurtured over a couple of weeks of regular feedings before you can consider it a finished sourdough starter ... so what matter if the yeasts go active in 12 hours or 72? all that matters is that we capture the spark and nurture it into a flame.

baking formulas are great because they organize information and they convey an experience or set of experiences that generally work within a relatively broad set of limits. but within those limits are infinite variations of time, temperature and the interplay of ingredients ... and controlling those is the art of baking, as opposed to the science.

feedmittens's picture

focaccia success! thanks to Reinhart... and question about parchment paper.

August 11, 2009 - 6:51pm -- feedmittens

I followed The Bread Baker's Apprentice's instructions almost to a T and it came out really well.  Just wanted to post a couple quick pics and look for suggestions for improvement.  Oh yeah, and I did not use parchment paper or a slipat or anything.  Was this a bad thing?  I think the bottom came out great.  I baked it at 450 for 12 minutes, then let it cool for 20mins before cutting into it.

Mitch550's picture

Errors in Hammelman and DiMuzio Bread Books

July 31, 2009 - 10:39am -- Mitch550
Forums: 

Hello to all,

I've read book reviews here, on Amazon, and other places about apparent errors that were noted by readers in Jeffrey Hammelman's and Daniel DiMuzio's otherwise wonderfully rated books. Both of these books are published by Wiley, and I was surprised and bothered that Wiley hadn't posted Errata pages for either of these books.  Dan's book only came out this past February so one can possibly excuse the fact that there isn't an Errata page for that one, but Jeffrey Hammelman's book was published in 2004, so it's hard to find an excuse for that.

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I was inspired by David (dmsnyder) and his 5 hour baguettes. I needed a sandwich bread that was as lean as I could get it but was still very much soft crusted and soft of crumb. I've found it, I think, by slightly modifying the 5 hour baguette idea and adding one enrichment: olive oil.

Stephanie’s Simple Bread
Makes 1 small loaf

225g AP or bread flour
10g rye flour
15g white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
170g water

Mix ingredients in the bowl for your stand mixer until you form a shaggy mass. Mix, on low, for 5 minutes, then increase speed to medium for 3 or 4 more. I left this in a clean bowl for 75 minutes for a first rise, folding at 25 and 50 minutes, and 60 minutes for a second rise. Shaped carefully and proofed for 40 minutes, scored, and spritzed with water. Baked for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.

I posted the recipe on my blog, too.

So thank you David. Thanks also have to go out to Susan of Wild Yeast for inspiration due to the fact that I was browsing the Wild Yeast Blog when I thought about how good a simple bread would be with the locally homemade ham salad I bought today.

AW's picture

Baking Schools

May 20, 2009 - 10:02pm -- AW
Forums: 

Hi all,

I recently lost my job and am doing a lot of soul-searching for what i might next do. I've been a writing in the healthcare advertising industry since 1988 and love my job, though am also passionate about baking and am wondering if it's time to switch gears. I understand the life to be difficult and not particularly high-paying.

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

Baked Potato Bread Photo

There'll be a better write-up on my blog,
mentalexperimental.org, but I wanted to thank Floyd for a good starter recipe. I'm still working on modifying this one. I think that I have the general consistency of the bread down that I want, but I want a bit more tang. I think that there may have to be a sourdough component to really get it where I want it to be. But that's a completely new bread.

This is Floyd's recipe with a few modifications. The first is adding a bit more sour cream. The second was adding cheddar cheese instead of chives. The third is the addition of half & half in the dough and the mashed potatoes.

I think that getting a stand mixer will help me with this type of bread the most. I mixed for 8 or so minutes on speed 2 and then folded twice during the bulk fermentation, giving it an hour at the end to come to full bulk. The crumb is light, fluffy, and very tender.

I'm writing the recipe on the blog now. I wanted to share the photo because I'm so proud of how this one turned out. :)

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