The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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jessicap's picture
jessicap

I just got Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and intend to make many of his breads over the next few weeks. It's slightly unfortunate timing, since it'll be Passover in a month and then summer in a few more weeks (I'll wait, impatiently, until fall to put up a sourdough starter), but that just means I need to make as much bread as possible each weekend.

My first loaf was the pane siciliano, made with semolina flour. The nine-year-old promptly dubbed it "the best bread I've even tasted;" he'll be getting sandwiches made from the batard loaf this week. I'm going to try adding some whole grain flour to the recipe in the future.


I made a triple batch of his pate fermente on Thursday. One pound went into this bread; the other two are frozen for future use. The bread dough is made with the pre-ferment, high-gluten bread flour, semolina flour -- the nubby kind you make pasta out of -- a little honey and olive oil, salt, yeast and water. I kneaded, fermented, and shaped on Friday. It was an extremely flexible dough, stretching out like a baguette with no springing back at all. It went into the fridge overnight to proof. (I was out of sesame seeds, and the nine year old doesn't like them anyhow.)

I baked it this morning in a very steamy oven. (I preheated the oven to 550 degrees, with a cast iron skillet on the floor. I poured in simmering water and closed the door quickly, twice. The oven was incredibly steamy, despite no additional misting of water). When the bread went in, I turned the heat down to 450. After 15 minutes, I separated the breads, because they were touching; ten minutes later, they were done (205+ on the thermometer.)

Unanimous verdict? Yum.

For next time:

  • Try replacing about a third of the flour in the pre-ferment with King Arthur white whole whole wheat.
  • The batard loaf is a little small for sadwiches;maybe make one large batard and one spiral next time? It also should probably be slashed; it split some on the side.
  • After 15 minutes in the oven, take the bread off the pan entirely and put them directly on the rack. The middle load stayed white and soft on the sides because they didn't get enough direct heat.
lbw648's picture
lbw648

The following are the ingredients that are used in my recipe for 1 batch (3 loaves) of homemade sourdough bread:

6 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ cups warm starter
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 envelope regular yeast

Today, I purchased a 1lb. block of Fleishman's Instant Dry Yeast. I need to know how much of the IDY to use that would be the equivalent of the single envelope of regular yeast. Also, is IDY the same thing as the rapid rise? If so, after the bread dough is blended, do I go ahead and divide it into 3 loaf pans for only one rising? Please respond to lbw648@hotmail.com. THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!

martinah's picture

ARTISAN BREAD- what exactly is artisan bread? what qualifies it as artisan?

March 25, 2008 - 2:32pm -- martinah


I'm from Germany and have always made my own bread. Since I moved to America 3 years ago I have always wondered what exactly Artisan Bread is? What makes bread Artisan?
It's just a question that's always foated through my mind. Maybe you can help me out.Martina

martinah's picture

Student Needs Your Help

March 25, 2008 - 7:14am -- martinah

Hi everyone,I am an avid baker and lover of anything baked. Currently I am writing a paper on the advent of artisan bread within America for one of my Journalism. I was wondering if you could just message me with:
-WHAT 1ST INTERESTED YOU ABOUT ARTISAN BREAD? -HOW HAVE YOU INCORPORATED THIS INTO YOUR LIFESTYLE?-WERE YOU ALWAYS INTERESTED IN BAKING? -WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO COME UP WITH NEW RECIPES or DO YOU PREFER TO STICK WITH THE TRIED AND TRUE? (please add your name, state and the bakery you are affiliated with- just so that I can get all my sources right)

jswching's picture

Dough -Simple Contempory Bread by Richard Bertinet

March 23, 2008 - 7:21am -- jswching
Forums: 

This is my first bread book and I find his way of making the dough is really easier and make the bread softer by giving more air to it comparing to the conventional way of kneading. It is less tiring too.

I have just started baking bread for over 2 weeks and now addicted to it that I am almost baking every other day. I even baked in the chalet after a day of skiing.

Happy Baking! 

Janet

QueenBof6's picture

Non-Stick Kitchenaid Mixer Bowl

March 22, 2008 - 2:56pm -- QueenBof6

Ok, I have an idea and I'm looking to see if anyone else agrees. I have a KA mixer and make alot of wheat breads from my fresh milled grain. My dough has a tendency to stick to the sides of the bowl but, the same recipe won't stick in a breadmaker pan while kneading. My idea is to convince KA to make a mixing bowl with a non-stick coating inside like a breadmaker or rice cooker pan. I think that this would benefit MANY recipes and I want your opinions. I think if enough people liked the idea I may be able to get somewhere. Thanks.

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Today I made Norm's recipe for Irish Soda Bread. Discussion here and elsewhere has me convinced that his Americanized version is more appropriately called Spotted Dog.

Norm's Spotted Dog (Soda Bread)
Norm's Spotted Dog (Soda Bread)

I made 4 loaves. Two loaves were in 7" cake pans, but I used 1 lb 5 oz of dough instead of Norm's suggested 1 lb and 2 oz. The other two were in square pans a little larger and I guesstimated 1 lb 10 oz each. Otherwise I followed Norm's formula to the letter. Mixing was done by first mixing the shortening with the flour, and then adding the remaining dry ingredients, mixing again, and finally the buttermilk and water. I did this by hand using a dough whisk. Since I had 4 pans in the oven at the same time I baked at 350 convection (my oven's thermostat is on the low side so this is not as bad as it seems). Towards the end I even cranked it up to 375F convection to get some more browning. Start to finish (cooling time not included) a little over 1 hour.

Norm's Spotted Dog (Soda Bread) Crumb
Norm's Spotted Dog (Soda Bread) Crumb 

Never made this before, nor tasted it before. The crumb came out really nice and soft, but I think it could have used a little more raisins. Tasted delicious with a little (lot) of butter on top! Thanks Norm. 

 

 




--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 

dolfs's picture

"Bread and baker: From the Source" - podcasts

March 12, 2008 - 2:11pm -- dolfs
Forums: 

For a while now I've known about the existence of a set of three VHS tapes: "Bread & Baker: From the Source". It is a 3 tape set (VHS) which has Prof. Raymond Calvel teaching, in detail, the production of various types of bread as part of his visit to the Culinary Institute of America. It was co-produced by the BBGA (Bread Bakers Guild of America).

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