The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

beard on bread

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wayne on FLUKE

My wife told me this morning that we were having Italian Sausage on pasta for dinner. I said "But I don't have any bread!" I decided to make Italian Feather Bread (which I have made quite a few times, but not lately) and try the steaming technique SylviaH described since I felt my previous steaming attempts were pretty weak. I am also using Better for Bread flour for the first time. (It is Buy One Get One Free at Albertson's this week.)


Beard on Bread - Italian Feather Bread original recipe here.


SylviaH steaming technique is described here.


Here they are in the oven, almost done.


Almost Done!


Here are the ingredients I used.



  • Better for Bread Flour  700 grams

  • Water (room temp) 414 grams (about 60%)

  • Sugar 15 grams (about 1 Tbs)

  • Instant Yeast 13 grams (about 3.5 tsp)

  • Salt 14 grams (about 2 tsp)

  • Olive Oil (EVOO) 66 grams (about 1/3 cup)


Process



  • Combine flour, water, sugar, yeast, autolyze 20 min

  • Add salt and EVOO, then knead (I did about 6 min in Bread Machine dough cycle)

  • Rise in oil coated bowl with 3 stretch and folds on the counter every 30 min.

  • Divide in half, pre-shape, rest 10 min, shape into something (see pics).

  • Place in couche, seam down. (Couche is Chicago Metalic Italian Bread Pan lined with flour coated microfiber kitchen towels.)

  • Proof for about 45 mins, preheat oven to 425 with quarry tiles in place.

  • Heat wet towels in baking dish in microwave.

  • Put dish with hot towels in oven 10 mins before bread. Add 1 cup hot water.

  • Roll loaves, one at a time onto peel, slash, mist with water and put on quarry tiles.

  • Bake at 425 for 10 mins, remove pan with towels, rotate bread, bake for another 20 min.

  • Turn off oven, leave bread in another 5-8 min.

  • Let cool on racks.


At least that is what I intended. The 2nd loaf to go in the oven stuck a little to the peel (rimless sheet pan) and was half on/half off of the tiles. I got a couple of metal spatulas and got it back on, but not very straight. Decided to leave well enough alone. Good call.


I was very happy to see the nice oven spring and opening of the slashes when I removed the towels. I am also very pleased with the look of the crust. Much better on all counts than previous attempts.


The main change I made to Sylvia's steaming method was to put all four towels in the baking dish in the microwave at once, and then tranfer the entire dish and towels into the bottom of the oven just before taking the loaves out of the couche. I added the 1 cup of steaming water when I put the bread in. I never saw much steam, but that may because it was warm and humid today in Florida.


Towels ready to go in oven


Ear and the required crumb close up, I would guess this is typical for 60% hydration?


Ear


Crumb


Sylvia, thanks for this technique, I will do it again for sure.


wayne


Submitted to YeastSpotting.

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

I baked this bread for the second time and made a couple of changes. Here is the ingredient list as printed.


Buttermilk White Bread
Recipe By: James Beard in Beard on Bread



  • 2 packages active dry yeast

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115, approximately)

  • 4 cups unbleached hard-wheat flour

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 3 tablespoon melted butter

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup buttermilk


Changes I made were to use instant yeast and reduce the quantity to 1 tablespoon, next time I'll use even less.


I left out the 1/2 cup warm water and used 3/4 cup buttermilk (made from Saco "Cultured Buttermilk Blend" powder) plus 3/4 cup of non-fat milk. My 4 cups bread flour at 120 grams per cup with the 1.5 cups liquid was plenty wet enough without the water. I couldn't find anywhere that Beard defined what a cup of flour should weigh.


I also cut the salt in half and used canola oil for fat instead of butter.


I did a 20 min autolyze, then mixed in the oil and salt for a few minutes, then did a couple stretch and folds after 30 and 60 minutes and shaped after another 30. The dough more than doubled in the first 30 min. (I took out 75 gr of dough to make a small roll since last time the quantity (about 920 gr) seemed to much for my 9x5 pan.)


Dusted top with some sifted flour and proofed about 45 min which may have been a little too long as dough had not only domed above pan but was starting to hang over the edge. Fortunately that sprung up in the oven to make a nicely shaped loaf.


Baked at 375 for 40 min, removed from pan and left in the cooling oven for 8 min (on its side, as recommended by Beard).


After cooling I sliced this and I can tell you it smells wonderful.


Here is the loaf cooling.


Beard Buttermilk cooling


And here is the crumb close up shot. Looks good to me! Note the knife dragged some of the flour from the top down into the crumb. I didn't notice this until uploading the pic.


Beard Buttermilk crumb


I'll add a taste update after I have some for lunch.


UPDATE: Really enjoyed a sandwich at lunch. This was better with the half buttermilk half non-fat milk. I think I'll cut back the salt a little more to 1 tsp and reduce the yeast a little as well.


Submitted to YeastSpotting

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