The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

On Friday night I baked the ciabatta from Rose Levy Beranbaums's The Bread Bible (TBB).  On Saturday I decided to try Peter Reinhart's recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice (BBA) for comparison.  I am glad I did.  My results were success-failures.  I failed to properly shape the loaves from TBB, and as a result I ended up with broad, flat, spreading loaves with little or no loft/spring.  As a consequence of that I nearly over-baked them, although by appearance you would not think so.  I should have pushed the hydration more in the BBA loaves, because they ended up a bit "bready".  Here are my results.


First, Friday night from The Bread Bible:


 



 



As you can see, there was little true "spring" in these loaves, but the crust came out thin and crisp as it should, and the crumb is filled with holes both big and small.  I especially like the gelatinization of the starches that is evident here.  This bread is not perfect, but it is good to both the eye and the palate.  We have been slicing it big, then splitting it crosswise, and making very tasty sandwiches from this.


After these results I decided to try a comparison to broaden my experience, so I let Peter Reinhart challenge me.  Saturday night I baked the ciabatta from the BBA.  I have a couple more pictures from that bake than I do of the TBB bake above.



The shot above attests to how wet this dough was, although after the bake I concluded it needs to be wetter still.  Below are the (very) rustic loaves proofed, loaded on my "Super Peel" and ready for loading into the oven.



I baked these on my unglazed quarry tiles, as exactly according to direction as possible, even spraying the oven repeatedly during the early 90 seconds of the bake.



These loaves were not shaped perfectly, but they live up to "rustic" in character.



The folds are quite evident in my loaves, not that I think that is a bad thing.  It adds to the rustic character, and does not detract from the taste at all in my opinion.  The overabundance of flour, however, is another thing entirely, as the next shot shows.



This dough needed to be wetter, and the crumb attests to this.  The directions specify a variable amount of water from 3 to 6 ounces.  I used most of the 6 ounces.  In a sidebar Mr. Reinhart advocates raising the hydration even more, so long as the dough will sustain the stretch and folds needed to develop the gluten.  My loaves indicate this is not only a good idea, but necessary to achieve truly good results.



This closeup of the crumb shows how truly "bready" the crumb turned out.  It very much needed more water/less flour.  In addition, the small white "scrolls" in the crumb disclose my excess in flouring the dough between stretch and folds, and in shaping.  I was a bit too enthusiastic in "generously" flouring the dough between operations.  Controling this, too, will help me improve next time.


These recipes are for the same bread, but as I turned them out they seem to be from different planets.  Despite the lack of loft in the RL version I think I did the bestjob of that bread.  I got a much more true result, albeit altitude challenged!  The BBA recipe bears repeating as well, because with still higher hydration, and more moderation in that "generosity" between operations it will, no doubt, turn out a beautiful loaf.  I much prefer the bBA approach to shaping, and I like the rustic nature of the loaves once they are baked.


Two pairs of slippers: Two different ciabattas.  Too much fun!
Thanks for stopping by.
OldWoodenSpoon


 


Footnote:  For those not aware:  ciabatta is Italian for "slipper" and the shape of this loaf is supposed to evoke the image of a slipper when done correctly.  Hence the name.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


 


 


 


This is the Miche from Peter Reinhart's “The Bread Baker's Apprentice” (BBA). I followed the instructions Reinhart provides, with the following modifications:


 



  1.  I used “Organic Type 85”flour from Central Milling as the high-extraction flour.

  2.  Rather than using 100% high-extraction flour, I substituted 10% Whole Spelt flour in the final dough.

  3.  I did two S &F's at 1 and 2 hours into a 3 1/2 hour bulk fermentation  

  4.  I pre-heated the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and the oven steaming apparatus recommended by the San Francisco Baking Institute. I bake with steam at 450ºF for 25 minutes, then turned the oven to convection bake, set the temperature to 425ºF and baked for another 40 minutes. (This is a higher effective temperature than Reinhart calls for, because of the convection setting.)


 



 


It produced a boldly baked, high risen loaf with a dark, crackled crust. It has a wonderful aroma.





The crust stayed crunchy as the bread cooled. The crumb was dense, which was not surprising at this hydration level, but it was not as well aerated as I had hoped. The crumb was somewhat chewy, and the flavor was wheaty and moderately sour. There was no grassy-bitter flavor.


Poilâne said that the flavor of his bread was best on the third day after baking. I'm taking some of this loaf to San Francisco for a taste comparison to the Miche that brother Glenn baked today, and we'll see how the flavor develops over a day.


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting


 

yy's picture

how to incorporate dried fruit into a braided loaf?

November 24, 2010 - 4:31pm -- yy

Hi everyone. I'm planning to bake the bba Cranberry walnut celebration bread (minus the walnuts), and I'm looking to modify the procedure a bit. The original recipe has the dried cranberries mixed in with the dough, which I've found results in a bumpy, rough looking loaf. I'm looking to make a 5-strand braided loaf that looks like challah - nice and smooth, without any "stretch marks" or dried fruit sticking out on the surface.This has nothing to do with flavor, but I'm a stickler for presentation.

rockcreek's picture

Bake-Ahead Baguettes

October 21, 2010 - 8:01am -- rockcreek

Hi everybody: first time posting here, so I hope I'm putting this in the appropriate forum. I'm trying to make a lot of BBA poolish baguettes for a Saturday morning bake sale, and as much as I'd philosophically like to stay up all night Friday baking, that's not happening. Can anyone suggest what I can do tomorrow to help preserve as much freshness and flavor as I can until Saturday morning?


80% bake? Oven refresh on Saturday morning? (I will be getting up early on Saturday, so I'll have some to get the oven going.)


Thanks in advance!

pith's picture

BBA Bagel Recipe - Sponge problems

June 19, 2010 - 10:45pm -- pith
Forums: 

I've just recently purchased the BBA book by Reinhart and I was wanting to make some bagels. I've tried making the sponge three times and seem unable to get the right texture. Reinhart describes it being like pancake batter and my sponge looks more like a thick lumpy mass. It doesn't foam up or double in size within two hours. Does anyone know why the constancy of the sponge appears to be substantially thicker then pancake batter?


 


-k

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'd bought some smoked salmon to have with Greenstein's sour rye which I baked last week. My wife's comment was, "It's too bad we don't have bagels." It happens I had a couple bags of Sir Lancelot (KAF's high-gluten flour) in the pantry, as well as all the other necessary ingredients, on hand. I also had a lecture to prepare, and I was running out of excuses to delay finishing it. So, I made bagels.



I used the formula from Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice." This entailed making a sponge, then a final dough which is mixed and immediately divided, then shaped and retarded overnight before boiling, topping and baking. I'd used this formula before, but never with high-gluten flour.


The dough was a pleasure to work with, and my shaping method "clicked" with this batch. I shaped each piece as I would to make challah, using Glazer's method of flattening the pieces then rolling them up into tubes. I then rolled each tube as if I were making baguettes to about 9 inches, shaped them over my hand with the ends together in my palm. I gave the ends a gentle squeeze and then rolled the sealed ends on an un-floured board to seal them. Then, I gently stretched each resulting ring gently to enlarge the hole and placed each bagel on a sheet with oiled parchment paper for retarding.


The next day, after boiling the bagels in water with baking soda, I topped them with sesame seeds or re-hydrated onion flakes and baked them.



Onion bagel



Sesame bagel



Bagel crumb


Although the crumb was very well aerated and looked "fluffy," the bagels were delightfully chewy. They had a delicious flavor plain, without any topping, and were even better with cream cheese and smoked salmon.



Bagel with cream cheese and lox


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting

Smita's picture
Smita


Easily the best non-sourdough loaf I have ever made. Followed instructions to the letter.


What surprised me the most was how incredibly light the loaf was. Very good for morning toast. Best within 3-4 days. Thank you Peter Reinhart and BBA!


 

Royall Clark's picture

Missing book!!

January 19, 2010 - 12:15pm -- Royall Clark
Forums: 

Bummer Dude!  Lost my copy of BBA!!!!! I'm not sure but I think it MAY have been taken out of my car when I parked it to go into the reastraunt supply store. I hope I'm wrong but I've turned the house upside down.... no BBA. Just had to unload to somebody.. Lucky you guys!

Mason's picture

Reinhart: BBA vs. Whole Grain Breads?

January 1, 2010 - 6:45pm -- Mason
Forums: 

Hi all,


I have been baking (mostly whole grain) breads for many many years, but need to add some variety to the repertoire.  My sourdough is almost perfect, and I can adjust timing I'm going to buy one of Peter Reinhard's excellent looking books.


I'm tempted to buy the Brea Baker's Apprentice, but Reinhart's "whole Grain Breads" is also tempting me.  Which is better for an experienced enthusiastic baker looking for a deeper understanding and more inspiration?


Is there much replication of content?  Is it worth having both?

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