The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

combo cooker vs la Cloche

longhorn's picture

Today's bake involved my interpretation of the Tartine Semolina loaf along with baking the boules simultaneously in a Cloche and in a Combo Cooker. The finished loaves follow! The black crumb is primarily a combination of poppy seeds and black sesame seeds. The Combo Cooker loaf is on the left and the Cloche loaf is on the right.

Tartine Semolina Loaves

Last fall I bought some durum flour and I have been intending to try it in bread. Since I have been working on the Tartine Country loaf I decided to try the Tartine Semolina recipe. I pretty much followed the recipe except that I use a higher dose of starter in my levain for my starter is rather mild. This recipe is very similar to the Country loaf in my opinion except that it uses 70% semolina/30% AP in the building the final dough AND it uses seeds (fennel, sesame, poppy) both in the dough and as a finish to the crust. I normally do a double batch of bread (around 5 pounds) and usually make four loaves. Time constraints today led me to divide the bulk ferment at 2 1/2 hours and retard half to finish tomorrow. As a result this posting will have a follow-up report tomorrow on the retarded dough.

My key comments involving the recipe would be that the recipe is not fully written. It has you roast fennel and sesame seeds in a skillet and grind them. Then add poppy seeds to the roasted seeds (and poppy seeds are not listed in the ingredients). This seed meal is added after the second S&F. The recipe needs to be read carefully for it is confusing.

I used very fine durum flour and it was lovely, and the resulting dough was strong and easy to work with. I will be using durum flour more often, I think.  I also found the roasted fennel and sesame seeds very appealing for the aroma they gave the loaves. (The poppy seeds were not roasted and didn't smell.) 

As usual, even though today was cold, my yeast was faster than allowed for in Chad's book. When I applied the poke test it indicated the dough was ready (even though I felt it was still a bit early). The results seem to suggest I should have given the bulk ferment another 20 minutes or so. The Cloche and Combo Cooker were heated for 1 hour at 475. The oven was turned down to 450 for baking. The loaf in the cloche was naked on the ceramic, the loaf in the Combo Cooker was on a layer of parchment. The bottoms of the loaves are shown below.

The Combo Cooker loaf on the left is a bit darker. I personally prefer the cloche loaf on the right, but as in the case of the oven spring and loaf baking the results are close enough that either is acceptable or can be with minor tweaking.

The crumb on these loaves was not as open as I am used to from the country loaf. I suspect that results from the introduction of the seed and seed flour but underproofing is also a suspect. It is worth noting that the Eric Kayser Pain aux Cereales has seeds and huge uneven holes so that tends to point the finger at timing or handling or even water absorption from the dough by the seeds. I would welcome comments by others regarding the influence of semolina on loaf volume. Flavor is delightful. I really like the subtle anise flavor from the fennel. 

Subscribe to RSS - combo cooker vs la Cloche