The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Baker's Apprentice

  • Pin It
OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I thought:  I have just enough time to bake one more goodie.  With both our son and daughter coming home for Christmas, what could be better than a celebration?  Since I just got the BBA off the bookmobile, why not use Peter Reinhart's celebration loaf, the Cranberry Walnut Celebration Loaf to be exact?  Well, mostly exact.  I did not have any real buttermilk, but we have some powdered buttermilk in the refrigerator, so I substituted that instead.  I bought the orange extract for this loaf, deciding I would like that better than the lemon, and I am sure I made the right choice there.  I also decided to soak the dried cranberries before making this up, so I put them in a bowl with about 1/3 cup of brandy and enough hot water to cover them, for about an hour.  I mostly drained them before adding them to the dough.  I should have drained them a little better.


This was not a overly difficult formula but I had some trouble with the hydration.  At first the dough came out quite dry and I added several (4 or 5) tablespoons of water before it seemed right. I later realized this was because I used powdered buttermilk, and failed to adjust the water.  At least I failed to acknowledge the water required, but I did add it since I got to the prescribed dough consitency.  Then I added the cranberries that I should have drained more thoroughly and it got too wet.  A scant tablespoon of flour brought it around and made me happy.  The cranberries and walnuts were a little trouble to get well distributed too, but in the end it seems to have turned out well.


It took several minutes longer than the recipe called for to reach the internal temperature target, but the loaf developed beautiful color by the time it was finally done.  The aroma while cooking was redolent of oranges and cranberries mixed in with that "There's bread in the oven!" smell I imagine we all love so much.  It was a great house to go to bed in last night while this loaf cooled.  Here it is:


Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Loaf


And of course, the crumb:


We could not resist trying a couple of slices this morning.  It has a delightful texture with a tender and creamy crumb, plenty of fruit and nuts, and if anything, a bit too strong an orange overtone to it.  I think I will reduce the orange extract next time, or at least measure extra carefully to see if it was my mistake.  It is not overpowering, but it is a bit strong to our taste.  Regardless, we are planning to make sure there is enough left over for turkey sandwiches on Sunday.


Merry Christmas to all
OldWoodenSpoon

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.

SumisuYoshi's picture
SumisuYoshi

Bagels


I've never been a big fan of bagels, which is part of why I skipped this recipe at first, but I know a lot of people who like them so I finally decided the time was right. First step of the recipe is easy, making a sponge, just water, flour and yeast left to expand for a few hours.


Bagel Ingredients (for sponge)


Mixed Sponge


Bagel Sponge


Once the sponge is ready, time to (attempt) to mix in the rest of the flour, the yeast, and malt powder. I say try, because bagel dough is really low hydration so I ended up needing to add a fair portion of the flour during the kneading. There was just no point in adding more to the dough while it was still in the bowl. And boy did it require a lot of kneading...


Flour, Salt, Malt Powder


Once kneaded I let the dough rest for a bit and started dividing it into roughly equal balls. Followed by a bit more resting, and shaping into bagels (I used the thumb punch shaping method shown in the book, it worked really well). Then the shaped bagels took a trip to the fridge for retardation overnight.


Divided Bagel Dough


Preshaped Bagels


Shaped Bagels


I wasn't really sure of the taste in bagels of the people I was making these for, so I stuck with plain, poppy seed, sesame seed and cinnamon raisin (trying to make 1/4 of the dough cinnamon raisin after the dough is already mixed is VERY tricky, I do not recommend it, but it was the only way I could see to easily divide it so). The boiling process before topping the bagels was easy, a little bit of baking soda and malt powder added to the water (they really make it foam up!) and away they went. I didn't notice I had no cornmeal or semolina left before I started, and the semolina flour worked less than perfectly when placing the boiled bagels back on the sheet pan, which definitely reminded me to pick up cornmeal the next time I was at the store.


Boiled and Topped


I followed the suggestion in the book to top the cinnamon raisin bagels with brushed on butter and a cinnamon sugar topping, looked delicious! As did the rest of the bagels. Note, I say looked, I made this first batch to take in to people at school and since I only made the single batch of 12 I didn't actually get to try any(I did the next time I made them though)! One thing I was surprised by during the baking process was the blast of steam/water vapor when you open the oven to turn them around, I'm not sure if it is because of all the water in the crust from the boiling or the baking soda... But when I opened the oven to turn them around it felt like some sort of chemical weapon assault! Never experienced that when baking bread before.


Cinnamon Raisin Bagels


Plain Bagels


Sesame Seed Bagel


Poppy Seed Bagel


Sliced Bagel


Another post submitted to YeastSpotting , having that available to submit posts to really keeps me inspired to bake, and I love seeing what other people have made each week, thanks so much Susan! Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge

jj1109's picture
jj1109

I have been aching to bake this bread since I first encountered the recipe months ago. However, I'm sure you all encounter the little things that fill your weekends and make well, a big mess of those best laid plans you make Friday evening. I set myself quite a task this weekend - two loaves of multigrain, and this new recipe!


OK, perhaps not such a large task. Especially considering how I have perfected the multigrain recipe... maybe. I'm yet to slice this batch and I have that slightly worried feeling that they aren't quite done in the centre...


(edit to add: I sliced them, and they're... OK. not great, right in the very middle they were very soft, but I think I just passed the test. Won't proof them so long next time ;) eg. err 4 hours instead of 45mins - 1hr.)


This turned out pretty darned nice. OK, I ignored the recipe that said this made two one pound loaves. That was a mistake... this turned into a monster, a good 30cm across. The dough wobbled like a jelly as I put it into the oven - I think I added a fraction too much yeast, the recipe called for 1 1/4 tsp, which I think it said was about 3 or 4g, I tipped some yeast in straight onto the flour (why? I never do it this way for this exact reason) tip tip tip I still have added 0g. That sure looks like a lot more than 1tsp. I must remember never to do that again!


Onto the results:


The loaf came out of the oven beautiful and crisp, however shrank a little whilst cooling and the crust softened - I've never mastered a nice crunchy crust with my oven without using the "magic bowl" technique. This was the softest loaf of bread I have ever felt, and had good spring in the loaf itself. Sliced into nice inch thick slices, dipped in tomato and kidney bean soup, devine. Another recipe to add to the repertoire.




 


 

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama


This is from a recipe in Peter Reinhart’s Bread Bakers Apprentice and I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, being the first try at it. 


Well, ok, one or two very minor changes: he asks for fresh rosemary, I only had dried which I soaked for an hour while the dough was warming up. He says to mix in roasted garlic - didn’t have any. I guess next time I’ll have to make that ahead of time along with the extra mash. 


Anyway… here’s the final product, first try (slashed a bit too deep) and the loaves are still cooling so I haven’t cut or tasted yet but boy-oh-boy, does the house ever smell wonnnnnnderful!!


Potato Rosemary Bread


Full post on the blog:
Potato Rosemary Boules

 

gaaarp's picture

Starting a Starter - Sourdough 101, a Tutorial

January 12, 2009 - 4:29pm -- gaaarp

(The following started as a blog, but I've had enough questions and comments about it that I thought I'd repost it as a forum entry so it would be easier to find.  Of course, if Floyd wants to add it to Lessons, that would be OK, too.)


Like many people, I found TFL in my quest to learn how to make sourdough.  I had a starter going and was sure I had killed it.  The advice I found here gave me the knowledge and confidence to make a starter that I've been using for months now, with ever-better results.

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Happy weekend! I made baguettes for the first time in a long time today. BBA's poolish baguettes. One mistake...the recipe, er formula, calls for 7 oz. of poolish. I made half a recipe of poolish from the book, which is really more like 11 oz., and dumped it all into the final dough. ooooops. But what are you gonna do with 4 oz. of leftover poolish?

This dough gets 4 hours of fermentation and about an hour of proofing. The baguettes came out sorta pretty, I thought:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I describe the flavor as 'clean', not at all yeasty, just wheaty. Very nice. PR recommends sifting 1.75c of whole wheat flour to replicate the ash content of the European flour used in the original formula. When I sifted my KA whole wheat, almost none of the bran was left in the sifter, so I used his second suggestion: using only a few tablespoons of WWF, and unbleached for the remainder of the dough. The bread still had plenty of identifiable bran in it. The bread is very lightly salted. I'm really happy with the flavor and texture.

But here's my question. As you can see, my slashes filled in to bring the exposed dough up to the level of the crust. There are no 'ears'. This has been the case with most of my breads. I did the PR technique of pouring 6-8 oz. of boiling water into a cast iron pan in the bottom of my oven, but no other steaming or spraying beyond that. If you look at some other baguettes on TFL, like these or these, there are definite sharply-defined ears. It's a minor thing, since I'm happy with the way this bread turned out, but I'm just curious as to what is keeping this from happening on my breads. Any ideas?

Sue

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Bread Baker's Apprentice