The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

jeffrey hamelman

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Brother Glenn coerced me into making Challah over Thanksgiving. Prior to that, the only Challah I'd made in recent years was Maggie Glezer's sourdough challah, which I like a lot, but it does have a distinct tang. So, we made the yeasted version of Glezer's own challah, and it was good. Trying a different formula prompted me to try others.


Today, I made the Challah from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." It is made with high-gluten flour. I mixed this very stiff dough in a Bosch Universal Plus. The mixer rocked and rolled, but it didn't "walk." I don't think my KitchenAid could have handled it. The ropes were a challenge to roll out. They required several rests to relax the gluten enough to permit sufficient lengthening. It braided nicely. I wish I could say the same for the braider! I'm sure I didn't lay out the ropes correctly. Back to the books.


Anyway, this formula makes about 3 1/2 lbs of dough. I made two Challot. They had huge oven spring, and I think they turned out pretty well, in spite of my ineptitude in braiding. Most important, they have a delicious flavor. This challah is less sweet than Glezer's. The crumb is more open but much chewier - no surprise given the high-gluten flour. I'm betting it makes wonderful toast and French toast!


Addendum: The challah did make wonderful toast. The crumb was quite tender. The chewiness is no longer there.




David

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Plain sourdough is not something I make often, though I intended to  but I seems to easily get distracted by multigrain and/or fruit breads. Somehow, I feel like one last weekend and I picked the Pain au Levain with whole wheat from jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook.



The recipe uses stiff levain build which is also a good timing that I can convert my liquid starter (100% hydration) to stiff starter (60% hydration) before I am going away in the next two weeks for a month and won't have chances to feed my lovely pet starter, Jerry. I was afraid that he would be starving (for flour and water) and pass away while I'm away.



Thanks to a post on The Fresh Loaf about the sourdough starter feeding. Apparently, stiff starter is more resilient than liquid one. It is more likely that it will survive after not being fed for a while. I only need to feed Jerry a few times when I'm back from holiday to wake him up and come back to his cheerful and active self.


This bread has a pronounced sour flavour, which I believe is the result of stiff levain build with mixed flour in it (mixed of rye and bread flour). The crumb is soft, open and chewy. It's a good complement to olive oil with a bit of dukkah.  



For more details, you can visit ;  


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2010/11/sometimes-all-you-need-is-plain.html


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

This bread was meant to be brought to the picnic with my girlfriends and their kids. It was raining for the whole weekend and we had to cancel it. So, the bread ended up being my breakfast and weekend snacks...a happy weekend for me.


I used Jeffrey Hamelman's berne brot recipe from Bread cookbook. I made it once before and loved it. It is a buttery rich bread, without being too sweet. I figured it probably complement well with the chocolate filling...and it did. I never really like chocolate bread before. Now, I'm a convert, a chocolate bread lover.  Because the recipe is for the braided bread, it also worked well as a twisted bread.


You can find recipes and more details here http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2010/11/chocolate-twisted-bread-twisted-from.html



The crumb is soft and tender with the chocolate filling twisted throughout.



It made a perfect breakfast while I checked TFL out as my weekend morning routine:)



Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

I haven't made the fruit loaves for a while. Not that I don't like them, I do love fruit toast (a lot actually), but I've been obsessed about making grains, seeds, whole wheat breads recently and kind of overlooking my old-time favourite, sourdough fruit toast. 


Sometimes, one needs a reminder or a nag. My boyfriend just mentioned the other day what a great fruit toast from the Dench Baker (artisan bakery and café in Fitzroy, Melbourne) he had. It sorted of giving me a signal that maybe I should be baking other breads apart from grain and seed breads. 


I picked Golden Raisin Sourdough recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook. It's one of my favourite recipes from the book. The bread has 20% whole wheat flour, 10% rolled oats and 25% golden raisins.



 


Hamelman's recipe is 69% hydration which I found the dough to be very stiff. I adjusted the hydration to 72% (the dough still feel stiff with 72%). I guess that the hydration can even go higher to 75% as the oats, raisins and whole wheat flour absorb more water.


 


The bread is very moist and sweet due to substantial amount of raisins in it. The oats seems totally blend-in with the dough and disappear altogether. The bread is great toasted with butter. It makes a fantastic breakfast.


 


More details, photos and recipes can be found here :> http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2010/11/golden-raisin-sourdough-bread.html 


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder



It's been quite a while since I've made a rye bread, and I've been missing it. I've been admiring the ryes other TFL members have been making, especially those with a very high percentage of rye. I've also noted the comments about the special sweet flavors reported when hot rye soakers or mashes have been included.


This weekend, I made Hamelman's “80% Rye with a Rye-flour Soaker” from “Bread.” This is the first time I've made a bread with over 70% rye flour and the first time I've used a hot rye soaker. The results were just astonishing. This is my new favorite rye bread.


I proofed the loaves seam side down, so the seam side was up when the breads baked. I did not score or dock the loaves but let them “burst” willy nilly. As occurred the last time I did this, I'd sealed the seams too well, and the loaves didn't burst as much as I'd hoped. None the less, I got really good oven spring, and the loaves had a high profile when sliced.




After the loaves were baked and cooled, I wrapped them in a spare raw linen couche for about 24 hours before slicing. The crust had softened and was nice and chewy. The crumb was pretty much as expected.



The flavor was notably sweet but with a nice tang and earthy rye flavor. It is delicious just plain and made a wonderful sandwich with smoked turkey breast. I'm anticipating great enjoyment when I have some with cream cheese and smoked salmon for breakfast tomorrow.



David


MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

First rule of baking - KNOW YOUR OWN OVEN.


I think I did until a couple of weeks ago when I finally found out that I have been baking my breads in a not-so-correct oven mode for the past 6 months.


Instead of pre-heating my oven with fan+top & bottom heat, I pre-heated my oven and baked in a fan-assisted (with some heating elements) mode. The result after using the correct baking mode is significantly improved.


The loaves are more open with nicer ears and crumbs. Finally, I have a decent looking loaves.


This is my latest bake, Sourdough Seed Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook, more details are here:(http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2010/11/sourdough-seed-bread-finally-nice-and.html).


This bread is also one of our favorite. It has a lovely texture and nuttiness taste from sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. I used black sesame seeds as I find them tastier than the white one and they're more nutritious, I believe. Generally, I like breads with a bit of texture, being it grains, seeds, nuts or fruits.


I also put some sesame seeds onto the loaves just before putting them into the oven. I spray the loaf surface slightly with water before pressing sesame seeds onto it.


  Latest bake with correct baking mode


 


 Previous bake of the same loaves, but in a not-so-correct baking mode


 Always had some troubles with the diagonal scoring.


 The crumbs


Yes, I had suffered from the oven mishap. I'm hoping that my loaves will be prettier in the future bakes.


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


 


I've been thinking about baking a sourdough nut bread for some weeks. They are so nice plain and with cheese. With lots of family expected for several days around Thanksgiving, I'll want a variety of breads I can take out of the freezer to serve with meals and for snacks. I like to serve sourdough nut breads with hors d'oeuvres.


I thought over the breads with nuts I've made before but decided to try something new: a French-style (not too sour) Pain au Levain with hazelnuts and currants.


I based the bread on Hamelman's Pain au Levain from “Bread.” I added about 25% nuts and currants to the dough at the end of mixing and followed Hamelman's procedure for bulk fermentation, proofing and baking.


 


Levain build

Wt.

Baker's %

KAF AP flour

4.6 oz

93.50%

Medium rye flour

0.3 oz

6.50%

Water

3 oz

60.00%

Mature (stiff) starter

1 oz

20.00%

Total

8.9 oz

 

 

Final dough

Wt.

KAF AP flour

1 lb, 9.8 oz

Medium rye flour

1.3 oz

Water

1 lb, 1.8 oz

Salt

0.6 oz

Levain

7.9 oz

Roasted hazelnuts

4 oz

Zante currants

4 oz

Total

3 lb, 13.4 oz

Procedure

  1. Mix the final levain build 12 hours before the final mix. Cover the bowl and let it ferment at room temperature (about 70ºF).

  2. Mix all the ingredients except the salt and levain to a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest (autolyse) for 20-60 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and distribute chunks of the levain over the dough. If using a stand mixer, mix with the paddle at Speed 1 for 1-2 minutes to incorporate the added ingredients and then with the dough hook for about 6 minutes at Speed 2. There should be moderate gluten development. Add the hazelnuts and currants and mix for another 2 minutes or so at low speed. Desired dough temperature is 76ºF.

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and knead briefly to evenly distribute the nuts and currants. Then round it up and place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Bulk ferment for 2 ½ hours with two folds at 50 minute intervals.

  6. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and preshape as rounds or logs. Let the pieces rest for 20 minutes.

  7. Shape each piece as a boule or bâtard and place en couche or in a banneton. Cover with plastic or a towel.

  8. Proof the loaves for 2 to 2 ½ hours.

  9. Preheat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place 45 to 60 minutes before baking.

  10. When proofed, transfer the loaves to a peel, score them and transfer them to the baking stone.

  11. Turn the oven down to 440ºF and bake with steam for 15 minutes, then in a dry oven for another 25-30 minutes.

  12. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool completely before slicing.

     

    Notes on my baking procedure

  • To steam the oven, I use a cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks. This is pre-heated along with the baking stone. Right after the loaves are loaded on the stone, I place a perforated pie pan with 10-12 ice cubes on top of the lava rocks.

  • I start my bake with the oven at conventional setting. At the end of the steaming period, I switch the oven to convection bake and lower the temperature 25ºF.

  • For this bake, when the loaves were fully baked, I turned off the oven and left the loaves on the

    stone with the oven door ajar for 10 minutes.





We tasted the bread when (almost completely) cooled. The crust is very crunchy. The crumb was denser than I had hoped, although this is a rather low-hydration bread. My experience with nutted breads has always been that the crumb tends to be less open than expected, so now I expect it.


The crumb was very chewy. The flavor of the bread was lovely, with no perceptible sourness, except for the sweet-sour flavor of the currents. At this point, the bread, nuts and currents each contributes its distinctive flavor. Quite nice.


I'm looking forward to having this bread toasted for breakfast. 


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting


 

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Finally, I got over my procrastination of making baguettes and got on with making one.


My first attempt wasn't great and wasn't too bad either. There are things that I've learnt and will take them to my next bake. There were no issues with the taste and the dough strengths and extensibility. 


The issues I had with this bake were scoring, underestimation of the baguette size when it's fully-proof (i.e. it extended beyond my baking tray), baguette transfer from couche to baking tray.


 


 



 My home-made couche from an off-cut of IKEA curtain:)



Garlic and parsley baguettes with a mussels in white wine, yummy dinner!


You can also fine more details and photo in the below links.


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2010/10/first-time-making-baguettes.html


Sue

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


When I took the Artisan I workshop at the San Francisco Baking Institute last August, Miyuki demonstrated the method of oven steaming they recommend for home bakers.


The oven is not pre-steamed (before loading the loaves). A cast iron skillet filled with steel pieces (nuts and bolts, rebar pieces) is pre-heated in the oven along with two baking stones. One stone is placed on a rack above the stone and rack on which the loaves will be loaded.


When the loaves are loaded, a perforated pie tin filled with ice cubes is set atop the skillet. As the ice melts, water drips through the perforations and turns to steam when it hits the metal pieces.



I had a hard time finding the perforated pie tins, so I hadn't been able to try this method until today. I did two bakes: One was two loaves of a very familiar bread – Hamelman's “Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain” from “Bread.” The other was a new bread to me - Chad Robertson's “Basic Country Bread” from “Tartine.” I made two large boules of the Country Bread. One was baked using the “Magic Bowl” technique and the other with the SFBI steaming method, minus the second baking stone and using lava rocks in place of metal pieces.


My current baking method is to pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with the baking stone and skillet in place. When I load my loaves, I turn down the oven to whatever temperature the recipe specifies, using the conventional bake setting. After 10-15 minutes (depending on the total length of the bake), I change the oven setting to convection bake but 25ºF lower. I find, in my oven, conventional baking retains steam well, but convection dries the crust better.


Using the SFBI steaming method, the Vermont Sourdoughs came out substantially similar to how they come out with my previous method – pouring boiling water over the lava rocks. I could not detect any difference in oven spring, bloom, crust color or the texture of either the crust or crumb.



Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain



Crust Crackles



Vermont SD with Increased Whole Grain crumb


The Basic Country Breads were different from each other. The one baked in under a stainless steel bowl was a bit shinier. The crust softened quicker with cooling. It did not sing when cooling. I don't think there was any real difference in oven spring or bloom.



Basic Country Bread baked with the "Magic Bowl" method



Basic Country Bread baked with the SFBI steaming method



Basic Country Bread crumb


My conclusion is that the SFBI method is effective. It does not require that water be boiled and poured into the hot skillet. To me, it seems a bit easier than the method I've been using. That said, the breads baked using the SFBI method for steaming the oven seem pretty much identical to those I get using my previous technique.


I don't have the kind of covered cast iron skillet/shallow dutch oven that Chad Robertson recommends be used to bake his Basic Country Bread. I do have enameled cast iron ovens that should perform similarly. Perhaps I should try one of them, although my expectation would be that they perform similarly to the "Magic Bowl" method.


David


 


 


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 



I can't believe six months have gone by since I made Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grains. (See Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, from Hamelman's "Bread") I liked it so much the first time, I promised myself I would bake it again soon to see if was consistently so good. So, I forgot about it. I'll blame the NY Baker's test baking pre-occupation of the Summer.


A few days ago, I was thumbing through “Bread,” deciding what to bake this weekend, when I re-discovered this formula. A happy moment.


My second bake of the Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain confirmed the wonderfulness of this bread and my personal preference for it over the basic Vermont Sourdough.



OVERALL FORMULA

 

 

Bread flour

1 lb 11.2 oz.

85.00%

Whole Rye

4.8 oz

15.00%

Water

1 lb 4.8oz

65.00%

Salt

.6 oz

1.90%

TOTAL YIELD

3 lbs 5.4 oz

169.90%

 

LIQUID LEVAIN BUILD

 

 

Bread flour

6.4 oz

100.00%

Water

8 oz

125.00%

Mature culture (liquid)

1.3 oz

20.00%

TOTAL

15.7 oz.

 

 

FINAL DOUGH

Bread flour

1lb 8 oz

Whole Rye

4.8 oz

Water

12.8 oz

Liquid levain

14.4 oz

(all less 3 T)

Salt

.6 oz

TOTAL

3 lbs 5.4 oz

 

METHOD

  1. The night before mixing the final dough, feed the liquid levain as above. Ferment at room temperature overnight.

  2. Mix the final dough. Place all ingredients except the salt in the bowl and mix to a shaggy mass.

  3. Cover the bowl and autolyse for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix using the paddle of a stand mixer for 2 minutes at Speed 1. Add small amounts of water or flour as needed to achieve a medium consistency dough.

  5. Switch to the dough hook and mix at Speed 2 for 6-8 minutes. There should be a coarse window pane.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and ferment for 2.5 hours with one stretch and fold at 1.25 hours.

  7. Divide the dough into two equal parts and form into rounds. Place seam side up on the board.

  8. Cover with plastic and allow the dough to rest for 20-30 minutes.

  9. Form into boules or bâtards and place in bannetons or en couch. Cover well with plasti-crap or place in food safe plastic bags.

  10. Refrigerate for 12-18 hours.

  11. The next day, remove the loaves from the refrigerator.

  12. Pre-heat the oven at 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  13. After 45-60 minutes, pre-steam the oven. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score them.

  14. Load the loaves onto the stone and pour ½ cup boiling water into the steaming apparatus. Turn the oven down to 460ºF.

  15. After 15 minutes, if you have a convection oven, turn it to convection bake at 435ºF. If you don't, leave the oven at 460ºF. Bake for another 25 minutes.

  16. Remove the loaves to a cooling rack.

  17. Cool completely before slicing.

I got the same crackled, crunchy crust and moist, chewy crumb as I did the first time. The flavor was more assertively sour than I remember, which is fine with me. The overall flavor was delicious. The sourness did not detract from the lovely complex wheat-rye flavor that is my favorite.

This is indeed a wonderful bread, and I promise to not let so much time go by between bakes again! I heartily recommend it to those seeking a “more sour sourdough.”

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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