The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I am lazy sometimes. Well, most of the time in the last few weeks. Family still has to eat, though, and after fajitas were a hit last night, I threw the rest on a basic 75% hydration pizza dough thusly:

Yay for chicken, bell peppers, onions, and cheddar pizza. :D

nadira2100's picture
nadira2100

After my sorry attempt at shaping my Pain de Campagne loaves I was itching to try again. After a suggestion from a fellow bread baker, I watched Jeffrey Hamelman and Ciril Hitz in video tutorials on how to make basic shapes. This helped more than looking at a series of pictures in a book! So this time, instead of tackling 3 different shapes, I just stuck to 1....the Batard. 

I also stuck with the same recipe for Pain de Campagne but I made my own version by adding some roasted garlic and cheddar to the dough....for something a bit different (and because I had these items in the house and wanted to use them up!). 

The day before baking, I made a preferment as follows: 

Preferment

 

  • 5 oz AP flour
  • 5 oz unbleached bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c water

 

I mixed and kneaded for about 4 minutes and then let it rest on the counter for 1 hr. Before...

After... 

I then punched it down, gave it a quick knead and put it in the fridge overnight. 

The next day I took out the preferment 1 hr before mixing the final dough. 

During this time I roasted 2 small heads of garlic at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. 

I must say the aroma in my kitchen was phenomenal! Until recently I had never roasted garlic before, just sauteed it and I have to tell you....it gives garlic a whole other dimension that is best described through the smell of it than words alone! So seriously...try it sometime...or maybe you have and I've just fallen way behind. 

Anyway....back to my lovely bread. I let the garlic cool on the counter, then mashed it up and set it aside.

I then put together the final dough as follows:

Final Dough

 

  • all of the preferment (about 16oz)
  • 8 oz unbleached bread flour
  • 1.5 oz rye flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 c water
  • all of the mashed garlic
  • about 1/3 to 1/2 c shredded cheddar (about a handful)
  1. Cut the preferment into 12 pieces.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flours, preferment, water, yeast, garlic and salt until a rough dough ball forms. Let rest for 15min.
  3. Knead or stretch and fold for about 10 minutes. Towards the end of kneading, add in the cheddar until it's all uniformly incorporated.Let rest in an oiled bowl for 30 minutes.
  4. Perform 2 stretch and folds and return it to the bowl and let it rise for about 30min to 1 hr or until it's doubled in size.
  5. Preshape the loaves by cutting in half and then forming these halves into 2 boules. Let rest for 20 minutes before the final shaping.
  6. Shape into batards and let proof seam side up for 1 hr.
  7. Flip onto a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal, score, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake at 500 degrees for 2 min with a steam pan at the bottom of the oven.
  8. Reduce the temperature to 450 and continute baking for 10 minutes. Rotate the loaves and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let cool completely before devouring!

 

Truely, this is garlic bread at it's best without all the butter. The flavor also matures over time so it was heavenly the next day! I was pleased with both my shaping and flavor profile of the bread....the garlic was there but not overpowering and the cheddar paired beautifully with it....although it may have used a bit more for color throughout the loaves, but you could at least still taste it. And the crumb.....well, light and creamy and OH! so delicious! 

wmtimm627's picture

Jalapeno cheddar loaf

March 2, 2012 - 3:12pm -- wmtimm627

A local chain of bakeries here in Chicagoland makes specialty loaves a couple days a week and there are some that you have to reserve in advance to get any sometimes. My favorite is a whole wheat with (literally) chunks of cheddar and jalapeno pieces all throughout the loaf. They used to make them like a regular sandwich loaf, but now it's more of a round hearth style.

I've tried for the last 13 years to duplicate it, but it always seems to come out too dense. What I really like about the loaf is that you can actually see the cheese and peppers throughout.

jgrill's picture
jgrill


As I was paging through BBA to find the various sourdough and other rye bread recipes, I discovered two recipes, with great photos, that I had somehow missed in my many, many trips through that wonderful bread book—Potato Cheddar, and Chives Torpedos, and Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche. Both recipes are from bakeries in Sonoma County, CA, one of my favorite places, home to great wineries, and great wines, and home to some astounding artists, among them, Ginny Stanford, whose portraits of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the late, wonderful food writer, M.F.K. Fisher can be found in the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery.


In fact, my first exposure to Sonoma County, in 1981, was under the guidance of Ginny Stanford, who led me on a day tour of some of Sonoma County's wineries, including what immediately became my favorite, Kenwood Winery. To this day, the 1978 Kenwood Zinfandel remains one of the best wines I have ever tasted. After the tour, I baked some baguettes at the home of one of Ginny's friends, to accompany a fine dinner of lemon chicken and pasta with pesto. And, though I'd love to be counted among the fine Sonoma County bread bakers, I can at least say I have baked bread in that county that is loaded with all kinds of talent—in art, food, wine, and more.


But, I digress—let's get back to today's bake.


I knew when I saw the two recipes and the accompanying photos, that I would soon bake both—it was just a matter of deciding which one to bake first. My wife, Linda, solved my dilemma. She suggested saving the miche, a three-pound wonder that should be presented on as pictured in BBA, on a pedestal, for a festive occasion (and the recipe yields two of these hefty loaves).


Of course, that festive occasion will be here soon. As I'm sure you know, Mardi Gras originated here in Mobile, AL, and we'll begin the two weeks of parties and parades in the city on January 29. So, yesterday I tried the Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedos, reserving the miche for sometime in the next few weeks. And the results were just great—so great that I will submit this bread to Susan at her wonderful blog, Wild Yeast, for her regular Friday feature, Yeast Spotting.The recipe, slightly abridged, follows. Immediately following the recipe, you'll see what I did, some of which digressed from the recipe (mostly because of my ability to carefully read and then to follow directions).


 


Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedos from Bread Baker's Apprentice




Ingredients


For two 1.5 pound loaves


 


8 oz. un-peeled potatoes, coarsely chopped, boiled in 3 cups water until soft, and cooled.


4 to 8 oz. potato water, lukewarm (from above)


10.5 oz. barm


18 oz. unbleached bread flour


.22 oz (2 tsp.) instant yeast


.5 oz. (2 tsp.) salt


1 oz (one-fourth cup) chopped fresh chives


6 thin slices (about 4 oz.) sharp Cheddar cheese


 


Directions


1. Prepare potatoes in advance and allow time for potatoes and cooking water to cool. Remove barm from fridge about one hour before making bread, to take off the chill.


 


2. In a 4-qt. bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the barm, half of the flour, the yeast, the cooked potatoes, and one half cup of the potato water (or, use paddle attachment with the mixer). Let this sit uncovered for 30 minutes.


 


3. Add remaining flour and the salt, and mix until ingredients form a ball adding as much or remaining water as needed.


 


4. Sprinkle some flour on counter, transfer the dough to the counter and knead the dough for about 6 minutes (or mix on low speed with the dough hook). Add flour or water as needed. Add the chives and continue kneading until they are evenly distributed (about two minutes). In a mixer, the dough should clear the sides and bottom of the bowl. The dough should pass the window pane test, and be very tacky, but not sticky, and should be about 77° to 81°F. Lightly oil a large bowl, and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat all sides with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.


 


5. Ferment art room temp for about 90 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.


 


6. Transfer the dough to the counter and cut it into two equal pieces. Press each piece into a rectangle about 6 inches wide by 8 inches long. Lay three slices of cheese on each rectangle, covering the surface, but leaving about a half inch border uncovered around the edges. Tightly roll up the dough from bottom to top, jelly-roll style, creating a spiral with the cheese. Seal the ends of the rolled dough, which should look like a log , into points by rolling them more forcefully with your hands. this will give the dough a torpedo look, plump in the middle and tapered at the ends. As you roll down the ends, be sure to squeeze out all the trapped air pockets to avoid separation of the layers. Seal the bottom seam closed with the edge of your hand.


 


7. Line a sheet pan with parchment, mist the parchment lightly with spray oil, then dust with cornmeal or semolina flour. Lay the two loaves across the width of the pan, mist the tops lightly with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.


 


8. Proof at room temp. for about one hour or until the dough nearly doubles in size.


 


9. Prepare the oven for hearth baking (i.e., have your stone in place) and be sure to have an empty steam pan in place. Pre-heat the oven to 500°F. Score the the top of each loaf with two diagonal slashes, making sure to cut through the first layer of cheese.


 


10. Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or corn meal and very gently transfer the loaves, with or without the parchment to the peel or the pan. Slide the loaves onto the baking stone, or bake directly on the pan. Pour one cup of hot water into the steam pan and shut the door. After 30 seconds, spray the oven walls with water and close the door again. Repeat twice more at 30 second intervals. After the final spray, lower the oven temp. to 450°F and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the loaves 180 degrees, if necessary for even baking. The loaves should register 200°F in the center, be nicely browned all over, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. the cheese will bubble up out of the cuts, crisp up, and also brown.


 


11. Transfer the finished loaves to a wire rack for cooling for at least 45 minutes before slicing and serving.


 


As I said, I didn't follow the recipe exactly as presented in BBA, but I am happy with the results.


 


 



 


I have learned the value of mis en place and adhere to this basic principle at every bake.


 


 

 

As it happened, I didn't need to take my barm from the fridge, as I had refreshed it twice over the past two days, and it was already en place in a covered bowl on the counter.

 

 

I had also previously (about 45 minutes earlier) cooked the potatoes and saved and measured out the cooking water.

 

 

 

 

Next, I mixed half the flour with the yeast (and it appears that I was about a tenth of an ounce over, on my flour)

 

 

 

I mixed the barm, flour, yeast, potatoes, and a half cup of the potato water…

 

 

and added the remaining flour, and the chives (which were to be added just a bit later, according to the recipe)

 

 

 

 

and a bit more water. Then I kneaded the dough with the dough hook until it cleared the sides of the bowl.

I then, transferred the dough to an oiled bowl, and covered it with its own lid.

 

 

 

It seems I have a tendency to use a bit more oil than what might be considered "lightly oiling a bowl."

 

After the dough had fermented for about 90 minutes,

 

 

 

 

I divided it into two rectangular pieces, and placed the cheese strips as directed. However, I had a narrow brick of white sharp cheddar cheese, and so, I used about 10 strips for each rectangle, and then, because I didn't carefully read the directions, I rolled the dough up on the eight inch side, making for rather longish torpedos that would not fit across the pan, but would only fit lengthwise.

 

 

I realized that it seemed silly to proof the loaves on a half-sheet pan, and then transfer them to a peel or to the back of another pan,so I quickly pulled out my new SuperpPeel™ (again without the cloth conveyor belt) and gently moved the loaves, on the parchment to the peel for proofing. that worked really well and the loaves on the parchment slipped perfectly onto the stone when it was time to bake. I much prefer the SuperPeel™ to my aluminum peel—it's bigger, and can easily accommodate loaves crosswise, which helps getting them into the right position on the stone. Now I use the aluminum peel mostly for removing loaves, one at a time from the oven when they are finished baking.

After proofing for a bit more than an hour, I scored the loaves (at this point on parchment on the Super Peel)…

 

 

 

but, as you can see, I scored the front loaf three times instead of two (because my placement of the first score was too near the end of the loaf).

 

Nonetheless, and despite my mis-steps, the loaves turned out well, with a soft crumb, an astounding aroma and flavor, and a pretty decent crust.

 

 

 

My guess is that I didn't roll the dough tightly enough, and that caused the holes you see (and that is where the cheese is).

All in all, this was bread that was fun to bake, and once again, I learned a great deal (especially about reading directions).

I can tell you that after the requisite cooling period, the first slice was not enough, and my wife and I happily (but with some guilt) ate about a third of that loaf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I have a problem. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?


So here I am, 7 weeks after giving birth to a wonderful baby boy...and I have 12 loaves of bread in various stages of becoming tasty, crusty goodness.


I am not a professional. I do not have one of those nice ovens that will fit all this bread. I have no couche for the insanely wet rosemary potato bread other than the piece of thin natural linen that I picked up at the fabric store for half off. I have to bake loaves 3 at a time, part of the time on a half sheet pan, so that they all get done at the right times.


The smell wafting through my house, though...heaven. Really. The smell of bread baking makes up for the hours of hard work I've put in over the last 24 hours.


Really, the hardest part was making the dough last night. My husband works second shift, meaning he's gone from about 2:30 until about midnight, so during the time I was mixing up doughs I had both kids to take care of, some laundry to do, dishes to keep up with, and dinner to make for Rinoa and I. Not only did I get everything done, but I figured I'd have time to do not only the baked potato and rosemary potato breads that I planned to take to Christmas as gifts, but also a loaf or two of real gingerbread to have with lightly sweetened whipped cream.


I think I've renewed my confidence in my ability to successfully multitask. I quit baking while I was pregnant because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to spend enough time with my daughter after having the new baby and that she'd be forever scarred by my inability to play with her constantly. I can't believe I thought that now, but pregnancy does strange things to you. I now know that I can do my baking, which is something I do for myself as much as to provide my family with the best food possible, and still not neglect my family.


I have to admit that this crazy baking spree was most likely not the best way to reacquiant myself with my rational mind.


I'll share pictures when I'm done. Just thought I'd share my brain today. :)

rick.c's picture

Can I just make a recipe up?

September 10, 2009 - 8:45pm -- rick.c

OK I am pretty sure I can...  I do have a couple questions, (at the end)


So, I have been eyeballing the BBA Potato cheddar & chive recipe, as well as some sourdough recipes and beer & cherddar recipes from this site.  So, I am trying to combine all 3.  I got a Saranac Brown Ale, nice dark & hoppy flavor and mixed it with enough flour and inactive starter, now called "hoochie momma" to get the sourdough cultures going.  I keep Hoochie starved until I want to use her, she works harder for the food that way.  OH YEAH!!! but that's another story.

naughtyprata's picture
naughtyprata

My sourdough starter had been doing quite fine the past few days,as I had been paying closer attention to refreshing it lately. It was so lively yesterday morning I decided to make one of the recipes in Reinhart's BBA. 


I was driving like a mad-man to get home from office (as best a mad-man Singapore's traffic laws would allow) anticipating my bread-baking adventure. I had to make a quick stop-over at the grocery as I had wanted to get some sharp cheddar cheese.


My wife was wondering why I had gone into the kitchen and started to mise en place in my shirt and tie. I brought out my starter from the fridge to take off the chill before I changed clothes. After which, I dove into my baking.  And here is the result...


I was so pleased with the results, I nearly ate half as soon as they cooled. I brought one to the office today and  was quickly consumed by my team with a few gulps of coffee. Seeing how my staff enjoyed it was even far better than great taste of the bread itself.


Very satisfying indeed!

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