The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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BKSinAZ's picture

My very first loaves of french bread & some lessons learned.

February 20, 2011 - 8:29am -- BKSinAZ

I finally decided to break free of my bread machine and hand make my bread for the first time. I really never liked the look of the loaves that came out a bread machine and felt more of a reward for doing it all by hand. I did use the same machine recipe (3 cups of Flour, salt, sugar, yeast, shortning, water)

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! it's been a while! i've been posting a lot on my blog, but not much on here!

anyway, my brother and i made english muffins, which happened to be one of the most fun breads i've made so far. i hope you guys enjoy my post on them!

you can read all the posts on our blog, http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/ i've been interning at a bread bakery as well as a bagel shop! this project has definitely been the highlight of my high school career.

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My brother, Evan, came home from his trip to Antarctica and New Zealand a few days ago. We had a lot of family events that filled the entirety of the weekend, and we had no time to really even see each other. Even though I had school today, I took the morning off to bake bread and hang out with my brother before he flew back to California. English muffins were the next on deck-and I couldn't have asked for a more interesting bread to make with Evan.

English muffins, despite their name, are not like the typical muffins we are familiar with. Yeast-risen, English muffins are cooked atop a griddle, giving it its classic, flattened shape. Once browned on the outside, the muffins are baked fully in the oven. English muffins are usually eaten for breakfast, or for sandwiches. However, to retain the texture of the crumb, English muffins are split open with a fork, revealing the trademarked "nooks and crannies" inside.

English muffins are very similar to crumpets, which are yeasted breads baked in a mould on a griddle. However, crumpets have their defining holes on the top of the bread, while English muffins have holes on the inside.

Cooking yeasted breads on a griddle was nothing new- it has been documented that in 10th century Wales breads were made like this. In the 19th century England, yeasted griddle-breads were sold door to door by a muffin man. He would come around every day, and deliver fresh breads.

English muffins were popularized by Samuel Bath Thomas, who marketed them in New York City in the late 1800s. English muffins gained their identifying trademark "nooks and crannies" in the mid-1920s.

The English muffins that I've unfortunately been exposed to are rubbery, store bought Thomas' ones. The only positives about these are that when their split with a fork, toasted, and buttered, they do not taste half bad. However, I'm sure English muffins have the potential to be a delicious breakfast and sandwich bread.

English muffins are enriched bread, with butter and milk. They are a direct bread, meaning they do not have a preferment or retardation. However, I believe that these would be great using a sourdough starter, adding a more complex flavor. Evan and I decided that we would make two batches because it only makes six at a time. If we doubled it, we would have enough to feed our bread-hungry brother, Will, and freeze some for future breakfasts.

Evan and I began mixing the dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt and yeast- together. Since we didn't have any buttermilk, we clabbered milk with vinegar to make a buttermilk substitute. We added the "buttermilk" and butter to the dough, and kneaded it until it made a soft, tender dough.

We let the dough proof until doubled, for about two hours. The dough was so soft and supple; It was surprised that it would be used for English muffins. We scaled it into 3 ounce portions, and shaped them into balls. We sprinkled them with a really coarse cornmeal, and a finer one. Then, we let them proof for about 2 hours until they puffed up significantly.

We originally were going to use a cast-iron skillet, but the one we own is only about 8 inches in diameter. We settled on our electric-griddle which we use for pancakes. They cooked on the first side for about 5 minutes, or until they were very dark brown, but not burnt. Then, we flipped them, and baked them on the last side.

Once cooked on both sides on the griddle, we baked them in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until they were fully cooked.

They were on the big side, and a little thicker than the ones were used to. Evan and I split one open (with a fork!) and tried it. They tasted real, and delicious. Unlike store bought ones, they didn't taste chemically or rubbery, but were soft with a crunchy corn crust.

Next time (and I promise there will be a next time), I think I'll scale them into about 2.5 ounce balls rather than 3 ounce ones. It might have been Evan's presence in the kitchen, but English muffins were probably the most fun and most interesting bread I've baked so far.

 

 

johannesenbergur's picture
johannesenbergur

So... time to try something new and the pictures of the pita breads on the right side of TFL has always appealed to me.

Being European, I had to use some other measurements and didn't bother getting the exactly like the recipe, so here's what I did, inspired by http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pitabread.

Ingredients: (Made 8 pita breads á 50g)

 

  • 1 dl tepid water
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • ½ dl plain natural yogurt (I can't seem to stop using this in my creations)
  • 5g sea salt
  • 5g honey
  • 10g olive oil
  • 50g durum/semolina flour
  • 150g regular wheat baking flour + some for dusting and adding as nessecary.
  • Optional: Spices (I used a tiny bit of ground chilli, smoked paprika and ground cilantro)

 

Mix the yeast with the water, add the yogurt, oil, salt and honey, mix well with a fork, till it's a greyish, oilish mixture.
Add the flour, a little at a time (100g) and stir with the fork as long as it makes sense.

Knead for around 10 mins or so. Let it rise under a luke warm tea towel in a warm place for 30 mins.

Carefully fold and strech the dough, and make a sausage. Cut the dough-sausage into appropriate size lumps, I weighed them and made them 50g. Let the pieces rest and rise for 5 mins.

Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough and hopefully you'll succeed in making them circular as well. Just make it really thin, not paper thin, but 3-5mm thick.

By this time your oven should be really hot (max. heat) and if you have a baking stone (which helps), it should be hot as well. Place the pancake lookalike dough onto the stone and bake them for 3 mins in 200°C or to taste. The breads should blow up like balloons.

Cut them up sidewise and enjoy your pitas.

Filling suggestion:
Garlic and herb roasted shoulder of lamb, sweet corn, tomato, cucumber, salad leaves and hot salsa.

...I'm going to quit blogging now and eat some more...

cranbo's picture
cranbo

So in a recent thread I posted a recipe that I based on a bread someone had seen on TV. I just did my best guess, based on provided ingredients and my own experience. 

I figured I should post the results, because it was mostly theoretical, but I believed it would work. The goal was yeasty, soft, fluffy bread, and use of a preferment. 

Here's the recipe, makes eight (8) 92g rolls/buns, or one good-sized loaf of bread...hence BreadBuns!

  • 100% hydration starter (sourdough or not) 100g (26.50%)
  • All purpose flour 375g (100%)
  • Water 218g (58%)
  • Brown sugar 38g (10%)
  • Salt 10g (2.65%)
  • Yeast (instant) 12g (3.30%)
  • Melted butter 26g (7%)
  • FINAL DOUGH WEIGHT (g) 778g

First, make a 100% hydration starter with 50g flour, 50g water and a pinch of yeast, mix, cover and leave at room temp for at least 6 hrs (or use some existing sourdough starter). In this case, I used some starter that I had around. 

Combine starter with remaining ingredients. This is after 1 minute of mixing at low speed. 

Mix with dough hook for 6 minutes total at KitchenAid speed #2 (low speed); this is the end result: soft, supple, quite smooth and satiny. 

Flatten, then roll into log and/or shape into ball and let rise for 1 hr in warm place, covered. 

Shaped and ready for rising...

In the bucket, ready to rise

After a 1 hour rise, it's doubled.

I decided to shape into 92g rolls, placed in a greased 9x13 pyrex dish:

Cover and let them rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, til doubled. Preheat oven to 400F

Bake for 23 minutes at 350F on middle oven rack.

Here's how they look after 10 minutes, just starting to get a hint of browning.

After the full 23 minutes, they're looking nice and brown. 

Remove from oven, carefully remove from pan and let cool on rack about 10 minutes before devouring. 

Crust and crumb are soft, light, tender and fluffy as expected. I think they could use a bit more brown sugar though, a touch more sweetness for this kind of bread. 

I like to store these in a Ziploc plastic bag to maintain that fluffy softness. Enjoy!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 

Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel

Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread – a Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes is highly esteemed by TFL members. Which of his formulas is most commonly baked is unknown, although the Vermont Sourdough would be my guess, especially if you include SusanFNP's “Norwich Sourdough” version of it. There is little question regarding which of his several stories from the bakery is the favorite. It has to be the story of Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel, found on page 221 of my printing. This tale has an almost mythic quality that truly touches the heart, as it says so much about the age in which we live, the culture of the artisan baker and the character of the pastor, Horst Bandel, and that of Mr. Hamelman himself.

Hamelman's “Home” formula for this bread makes 3 lb, 12 oz of dough. The bread is to be baked in a covered Pullman/Pain de Mie pan. Hamelman specifies 4.4 lbs of dough for the most common (13 x 4 x 4 inch) size Pullman pan, so the formula needs to be re-calculated accordingly. I decided to bake in a 9 x 4 x 4 inch Pullman Pan, which I figured would take 3 lbs of dough. The weights in the following tables are for a quantity of dough just under this.

 

Overall Formula

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Rye meal (pumpernickel flour)

206

30

Rye berries

137

20

Rye chops

172

25

High-gluten flour

172

25

Old bread (altus)

137

20

Water

481

70

Yeast (instant)

4.6

1.3

Salt

14

2

Molasses, blackstrap

27

4

Total

1350.6

197.3

 

Sourdough

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Rye meal

206

100

Water

206

100

Mature sourdough culture

10

5

Total

422

205

Note: I used KAF Pumpernickel flour.

 

Rye-Berry Soaker

Wt (g)

Rye berries

137

Water

Enough

Total

137

 

Old Bread Soaker

Wt (g)

Old bread (altus)

137

Water

Enough

Total

137

Note: I used Hamelman's “80 percent Rye with a Rye-Flour Soaker” as altus. I did the soaking the day before the bake, wrung out the altus, saving the water, and refrigerated them. I believe it was George Greenstein from whom I learned that altus will keep refrigerated for a few days.

 

Final dough

Wt (g)

Sourdough

412

Rye berry soaker

137

Rye chops

172

High-gluten flour

172

Old bread (altus) soaker

137

Water

275

Yeast (instant)

4.6

Salt

14

Molasses, blackstrap

27

Total

1350.6

Note: I made the rye chops by coarsely grinding rye berries with the grain mill attachment to a KitchenAid mixer.

Procedures

This bread has multiple components, and the sourdough and the two soakers require advance preparation. Counting the minimum rest time between baking and eating, the procedures can easily stretch over 4 days. They did for me. I weighed out the ingredients and fed my starter on Day 1, milled the grain, made the altus, fed the sourdough and soaked the soaker on Day 2, mixed and baked the bread on Day 3 and 4 (overnight) and let the bread rest on Day 4.

The procedures as listed below assume you have already gathered the ingredients and have a mature sourdough culture. Where my procedures deviated from those specified by Mr. Hamelman, I have added parenthetical comments or notes.

  1. Feed the sourdough and ripen it for 14-16 hours at 70ºF.

  2. Soak the whole rye berries overnight. The next day, boil them in about 3 times their volume of water until they are soft and pliable, about an hour.

  3. Cut the “old bread” into cubes, crust and all, cover in hot water and let soak for at least 4 hours. Squeeze out as much water as possible, and reserve the water for use, if needed, in the final dough. The bread can be sliced, dried and browned in the oven before soaking, which Hamelman says provides a “deeper flavor.”

  4. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer. Hamelman says to not add the reserved altus soaker water unless needed, but it is not clear whether the Final Dough water includes this or not. The dough description is “medium consistency but not wet, and it will be slightly sticky.” Mix at Speed 1 for 10 minutes. DDT is 82-84ºF. (I mixed the dough for about a minute with the paddle without adding any additional water. The ingredients mixed well and formed a ball on the paddle. I felt the dough was about the right consistency, but I did add 10 g of the altus water. I then attempted to mix with the dough hook. The dough just went to the side of the bowl, leaving the hook spinning without grabbing the dough. After about 5 minutes of this, with multiple scrape-downs of the dough, I gave up. I tried kneading on a floured board with little effect. This was the stickiest dough I've ever encountered. I finally formed it into a ball and placed it in an oiled batter pitcher.)

  5. Ferment in bulk for 30 minutes.

  6. Prepare your pullman pan by lightly oiling the inside, including the lid, and dusting with whole rye or pumpernickel flour. (I'm not sure this was necessary, since my pan is “non-stick.”)

  7. Form the dough into a cylindrical log and place in the pan. Slide the lid onto the pan.

  8. Proof for 50-60 minutes at 80ºF.

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. If you have a baking stone, pre-heat it, too. You will be doing most of the bake with the oven turned off. The baking stone will act as a heat buffer, so the oven temperature falls more slowly.

  10. When the dough has risen to within about ¾ inches from the top of the pan, place it in the oven, covered.

  11. Bake at 350ºF for one hour. Then, turn the oven down to 275ºF, and bake for another 3-4 hours. Then, turn the oven off, and let the bread continue to bake for another 8-12 hours. The range of times given is due to the variability in ovens, specifically how well they retain heat, and how quickly their temperature falls once they are turned off. Hamelman says, “You will know when this bread is baked: The aroma will fill the entire room.” (The aroma of the baking bread was very present 2 hours into the bake. At about 4 hours into the bake, I turned the oven off. The next morning, the aroma in the room was not discernible. When I took the pan out of the oven, it was still warm, but not so hot I couldn't hold it in my bare hands. When I opened the pan, the bread was very aromatic, with the molasses smelling most strongly but the rye very much there as well.)

  12. When the bread is baked, remove it from the pan, and let it cool completely. It should then be wrapped in baker's linen and let rest for a minimum of 24 hours before slicing.

As you can see from the domed top of the loaf, it did not spring enough to fill the pan. I don't know if there was not enough dough, not enough water or whether it was inadequately mixed or proofed. Comments on this would be more than welcome.

Addendum: I sliced the pumpernickel about 36 hours after it was baked. It was very firm and sliced well into thin slices without any of the crumbling I feared. The crust is very chewy. The crumb was moist but extremely dense. The flavor was molasses and rye - very strong flavors.

Discussion and comments by more experienced pumpernickel bakers convinced me that I should have added much more water to the dough, but this bread is not bad as baked. Here are a couple crumb photos:

David

 

johannesenbergur's picture
johannesenbergur

Been experimenting a little lately, and so far this is the recipe I'm most satisfied with. Baked it twice already and it's been amazing both times.

 

200g wheat flour
200g durum/semolina flour
40g wheat flour - for dusting and adding if it's too sticky.
15g fresh yeast
200g water
15g sugar
5g sea salt
100g plain natural yogurt
25g oil (preferably olive)
40g carrots.

Peel the skin off the carrots and use your peeler to finely slice bits of the carrot. Chop the carrot slices to reasonable pieces, quite small.

Mix the yeast with the tepid water as usual, add the sugar and salt and mix everything. Add the yogurt, make sure it's about room temperature, if it's too cold, microwave it for a few seconds, add the oil as well.

Get your flour in the bowl, add around 100g at a time and mix with a fork for as long as it makes sense. Get your hands in and start the kneading. The entire dough needs to be kneaded for approximately 10 minutes. While kneading add the carrots, little by little, so they get into the dough.

Get the dough into a bowl and let the dough rise for 6 hours (should quadruple). Get the dough out and handle it really carefully, shape it into loaves or rolls and let it rise under a moist lukewarm clean towel for around 2 hours.

Get your oven to maximum temperature, place the bread in and turn the heat down to 200°C. Bake it to taste or until golden brown. If possible spray milk on the loaf/rolls every once in a while. If possible, use steam while baking.

Expect incredibly light, fluffy and tasty bread.

 

*They are not supposed to be this burned

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

My family is not so much in to football, but we are into bread.  This post will give you an idea how much.  You see, my mom taught me the basics of making bread when I was a kid.  However, she never went much beyond a basic white bread pan loaf (although these were always excellent).  Although I got her The Bread Baker's Apprentice for Christmas a couple years back, she never got into the artisan baking thing, with pre-ferments and all, and found the whole process a little intimidating.  But this year, for Christmas, she asked for a baking lesson from me.  Today was the day.

The plan: to bake three types of bread in one day, making two batches of each so that I could make one and demonstrate, and then she could make one.  Limitted to her standard (but quite good, as I discovered) home oven, this required staggering the batches over the course of the day.

On the roster: Italian Bread (from BBA), Potato Rosemary Bread (also from BBA), and French-style rustic bread (Pain Rustique from Hamelman's Bread). All solid players that I can do in my sleep at home, and felt like ought to go fairly smoothly, while showcasing different flavors, shaping and slashing styles.

Let the games begin!

We showed up at my parents' place at 9am, bringing with us a pre-game miche:

Another Mighty Miche, ready for toasting

At 9:30 my dad took the baby, my wife went out shopping with her mom and sister, and my mom and I got to work.  First up was mixing Italian Bread--not much teaching there, although I demonstrated the power of the 5-minute rest for helping along gluten development

Italian Bread #1, in between the remaining biga and the poolish

From there, the day proceeded in an almost-orderly fashion, alternating mixing, stretch-and-folding, dividing, and shaping with one bread and then another.  Mostly things proceeded smoothly, although there was a moment of panic when we realized that I'd dumped out, pre-shaped and final shaped Potato-Rosemary Bread #2 instead of #1, while #1 sat happily bulk fermenting for an extra half an hour.  Some improvisation was required (we pretended batch #2 had never been shaped, quickly shaped batch #1 without a pre-shape and pretended it had already been proofing for 10 minutes.  It worked.)

Mom kneading Potato Rosemary Dough

Italian Breads Proofing - "Mine" are on the left. (All on my new TMB/SFBI couche!)

 

Potato Rosemary Breads in the Oven

 

Rustic Breads in Bulk Fermentation - "Mine" is on top (Also my lovely SFBI/TMB proofing board)

Italian Breads, Finished. Mine on the left (clearly under proofed!)

 

Rosemary Potato Breads (I don't even know whose are mine!)

Rustic Breads  (Mine on the Right)

The hardest part of the whole business (besides being up on our feet all day baking), was teaching the shaping techniques.  I had the principles clear in my head (surface tension, surface tension, surface tension), but conveying the actual physical motions (which are just plain tricky anyhow) was quite difficult.  Practice was useful -- except on the Italian bread, I had my mom shape and slash one of "my" breads after I demonstrated the technique so she'd have an extra chance to get the hang of it.  What proved invaluable, however, was employing a dish towel a la Mark of Back Home Bakery to demonstrate.  I already thought that video was great when it was posted, but now I'm really grateful to Mark for making posting it! I only wish I'd thought to do that before we'd already shaped the Italian breads, rather than after.

The other main challenge was the oven--it was just too good!  My parent's gas oven held it's heat remarkably well, which meant that turning the temperature up before was actually unnecessary, and indeed counter-productive since amidst the chaos I forgot to turn it down after loading the breads.

The fruits of our labors

The bakers and their breads

 

After we were done baking, we brought three choice loaves over to my in-laws for dinner (it was my father-in-law's birthday, by coincidence), and had a lovely meal.

Clockwise from left, Rustic Bread, Italian Bread, and Potato Rosemary Bread

 

 

It was a fun, busy, bread-ful day.  I'd do some things differently if I were to do this again (like use a bigger oven and do three batches instead of six!), but my mom and I had a great time.

Happy baking, everyone,

-Ryan

Terrell's picture
Terrell

Back in the fall I promised my niece-in-law that I would make kolaches for her birthday at the end of November. Which I did, using the recipe from the point of departure. They were OK, but not quite right. Too dry, a little doughy and the flavor was not quite the same. Wait a minute, you say, not the same as what? What the heck are these kolaches of which you write?

 Apricot Kolaches       Apricot Kolaches

Right smack in the middle of Texas there's an area that was populated by people of Czech descent. Well, a bunch of Germans, too, but right now we're interested in the Czechs. They brought a number of traditions from the home country that have worked their way into local culture, most prominently the sweet roll that makes a true Texan's heart do a little extra thump---the kolache. When I was little, the ladies from the Catholic church in Ennis would come up to our church in Dallas to fundraise by selling home-baked kolaches to the big city folks. We didn't get quite as excited as we would for Christmas that weekend but it was right up there with, say, Easter. Mom would buy six dozen and freeze five of them to be brought out for special occasions during the year. We got to eat one box that morning. Now, you have to realize that there are nine kids in my family. Add two parents and that meant that we each only got one kolache. And I still remember those five or six bites as a highlight of my year.

After a couple of my brothers moved to Austin to go to the University (no need to qualify which university in Texas) our kolache supply got a little steadier. Anyone who made the drive between Dallas and Austin was required to stop in West, Texas (the name of a town, not a region that is in central, not west, Texas) and pick up a couple dozen. It was a regular enough occurrence that we could request certain fillings instead of just grabbing whatever was available. I always went for apricot first, cream cheese second. Or maybe prune. And then, I grew up. Moved away. Lost my source and only ever got a kolache fix if my visits to Dallas happened to coincide with an Austinite's. Joined that community of expat Texans who could only dream. Now and then I'd find a bakery that claimed to make them but they were never anything close to what I remembered. You know, if it's not right, it's just not right.

Now you probably think I'm crazy, just wierd to feel this way about a pastry, but I am not alone. My niece who requested them for her birthday isn't even a Texan, just married to one. When I went looking for a recipe on the internet, the passionate postings about dough and fillings were everywhere. They all seemed to point one direction, however. The recipe posted on The Homesick Texan blog seemed to be the place to go for the real thing. There were 138 comments on the post that all say pretty much the same thing, "Oh my god these are amazing, just the way I remember them." So I used her dough recipe exactly. I subbed in some other fillings since I was out of apricots but that's not important. It's the bread that matters. And now there are 139 comments on that post including mine which says, "Oh my god these are amazing, just the way I remember them."

I'm not going to reprint her recipe. You can go see it for yourself. I will just tell you that I found I had to bake them a little longer than her timing states, more like 20-25 minutes. It may just be that I need to check my oven temp. There are some tiny details that she leaves out that make them even more perfect like you should put them close enough together on the baking sheet so that the oven spring makes them just kiss each other and you wind up with a slightly squared off, not perfectly round finished product. I found the Posypka recipe needs either more butter or less flour/sugar to make it clump properly. She only includes a recipe for apricot filling but it seems more authentic to have a variety so I made three kinds. I used some Trader Joe organic strawberry preserves for some which, while cheating, still came out well. I took some plum conserve my brother made from his home-grown red plums, drained out most of the liquid and mashed up the plum bits. Those, too, were pretty successful. And I really wanted some raspberry ones so I just tried some raspberry jam I had in the fridge. This was way too watery and made a mess on the cookie sheet. They also got the 'best taste' vote from all my testers so I'm going to work on how to make a drier version next time. I also have a request for the cottage cheese/cream cheese filling from my nephew. Can't wait to try it.

Homesick Texan Kolaches

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! Here's my post about Casatiello, an enriched bread with cheese and meat. I'm doing the BBA Challenge for a project in my high school. My brother and I share a blog (he's going to start writing soon) where we document our journey through the Bread Baker's Apprentice. Here's the link: http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/

 

Casatiello, a Neapolitan Easter bread, is also known as Tortano in other parts of Italy. The word casatiello is derived from the Neapolitan word for "cheese." Casatiello is enriched bread, much like brioche, with the addition of cured meat and cheeses. Traditionally, Italians add salami and pecorino-romano and/or provolone cheeses.

Like many other breads, casatiello has religious significance. The rising dough represents the resurrection of Christ on Easter. The traditional circular shape represents Christ's crown, and the eggs on top signify His rebirth.

To incorporate the meat and cheese, Reinhart kneads in these additions. However, while researching other recipes, they call for the dough to be rolled out flat, sprinkled with meat and cheese, and rolled up like a sandwich loaf. The traditional casatiello is topped with raw eggs, covered with dough crosses. When baked, the eggs atop the casatiello are similar to hard-boiled eggs. Reinhart bakes his bread in tall mold, like a coffee can, lined with a paper bag. However, many traditional recipes call for the dough being shaped in ring and baked in a tube pan.

In comparison to many of Reinhart's recipes, this bread can be made in one day, rather than retarding overnight. However, he does use a sponge to add more flavor to his bread. I began by mixing flour and yeast, which I added warm milk to. I let this ferment for about an hour, until it collapsed when tapped the bowl.

Meanwhile, I shredded some provolone cheese, and diced some salami. I sautéed the salami for a few minutes, and it rendered some fat and became slightly crispy.


Next, I mixed flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid. Next, I added eggs and the sponge to the flour mixture, and mixed until it became a ball. After resting a few minutes, (known as autolyse), I added ¾ cup of room temperature butter in 4 additions. The dough was sticky and soft, and I kneaded it for about 5 minutes until it became slightly tacky and smooth.

I sprinkled the meat over the dough, and tried to knead it in the mixer. However, the salami just whizzed around the bowl, so I decided to knead by hand. After the meat was incorporated, I added the cheese, which mixed in much easier than the meat. I let the mixed dough rest for about an hour and a half, for the first rise.

Since I didn't have coffee tins, and I didn't want to stray from Reinhart's recipe, I chose to bake the casatiello in two loaf pans. I shaped it like I would sandwich bread- I flattened it into a rectangle and rolled it into a tight cylinder. Remembering my mishap while shaping the brioche, I made sure to seal these loaves extra tight. After being shaped, I let the dough rise for the final time for about 90 minutes.

The loaves baked in a 350 degree oven until they were golden brown, and the insides reached about 190 degrees. Unlike the brioche, they were not glazed, but the top was speckled with dark bits of cheese.


When I cut into the loaf, I could see the bits of melted cheese, which made this cool, web-like structure in the bread. Maybe because I'm not a fan of cured meats is the reason that I didn't really find this bread to my liking. Although I liked the rich and soft texture of the bread, I didn't like the bits of salami. I probably should have cubed the meat finer, so it was more evenly distributed. I made this bread with my mentor, Mr. Esteban, in mind. He does not like sweet breads and casatiello is the epitome of the savory kind he would enjoy.

Esposito, Mary Ann. "Neapolitan Stuffed Easter Bread/Neopolitan Casatiello." Ciao Italia. PBS, 2011. Web. 18 Jan 2011. <http://www.ciaoitalia.com/>.

Reinhart, Peter. The Bread Baker's Apprentice. 1st ed. . New York, New York: Ten Speed Press, 2001.129-132. Print.

 

sustainthebaker's picture

Powdered Dry Milk vs. Scalded Milk vs. Reconstituted Dry Milk

January 17, 2011 - 8:56am -- sustainthebaker
Forums: 

I have not had time to run any tests, but thought I would throw out the question.

Is reconstituted dry milk any better than milk?

Is it better to use dry milk powder mixed straight into the flour?

Should I scald the reconstituted dry milk to break down the yeast inhibiting enzymes (I forget the name at the moment) before baking?

Has anyone used King Arthur's Baking Dry Milk? How is it?

 

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