The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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jefklak's picture
jefklak

 

One picture says more than a thousand words, right? 
Today I've practiced making bâtards using Mr. Leader's "pain au levain" from local breads. Compared to Mr. Hamelman's classic "pain au levain", this one contains a lot more wholewheat (26%, compared to 5%) and the preferment amount is also increased (25% compared to 15%). A stiff levain was used with 50% hydratation. The final dough contained 70% hydratation. 

You can gaze at more nice pictures at:

http://www.savesourdough.com/pain-au-levain/

I discovered the joy of using a proper amount of steam injected into the oven, since my other scores always seemed to close. Today, I bought a compressed mister which uses air to create a wider angle of water and makes it easier to create some steam in a conventional oven. I've also uploaded a picture of the new "baking device", see link above.

Did like this version a lot and I'll try it again sometime soon. It created a remarkably authentic crumb structure which looks like the "pain de campagne" loaves I've bought from some bakeries. The increased wholewheat flour was not a problem - it's finely stone-ground and I french folded for about 5 minutes. What Leader calls "turning the dough" looked too complicated, I did a single stretch & fold instead. The result is the same. 

Can anyone spot the yeasted version of the bâtard? 
I also made 2 straight versions which took me 4 hours in total. The result was a bland tasting loaf but the crumb was amazingly great for a yeasted bread - moist and nice mouth feel. As you can see, it's also very holey (thank you mister & high water percentage!). It contained about 40% wholewheat flour and no rye, so it's a bit less heavy, it was not exactly the same recipe.

I might have cheated though, as I added 2 tablespoons of the preferment to the yeasted version. It did not get enough time to develop some flavor and it's nowhere near the 25% preferment of the pain au levain version.  

baybakin's picture
baybakin

Oakland sourdough:

This is the basic sourdough that I keep around the house. Nearly every sourdough bread that I do is an edit on this basic recipe, which is sort of a combination of Daniel Leader's Pain de campagne and Chad Robertson's Country Bread.

Ingredients:

310g Sourdough Starter (130% hydration)
250g Water
440g Good quality unbleached AP/Bread Flour
60g Whole Grain Flour (I use whatever I have, WW/Rye/Spelt, etc)
12g salt (I use course grey sea salt)
(50g boiling water)

Method:

In a large bowl, mix sourdough with water and flours until a shaggy dough forms. Let autolysis.

Measure out salt into a small bowl, pour boiling water over the salt to dissolve it. let the salt water come to room temp.

After 45 mins mix the salt water into the dough. (I do this all by hand within the bowl, ala tartine)

S&F the dough a few more times over the course of the rising time (about 2-4 hours, depending on the temp of the house). At this time I either retard the dough in the fridge (on a weekday, so I can go to work), or proceed to pre-shape.

Pre-shape the dough into a round (If removing from fridge, let dough reach room temp before pre-shape).  Let pre-shaped dough bench rest for 15 mins, then shape into a round and place in a cast-iron dutch oven to rise.

30 mins before bread is proofed pre-heat oven to 500F.  Place lid on DO and put into pre-heated oven.  Bake for 20 mins covered.  Remove lid, turn down to 450F and bake for 15 mins.

Take bread out of DO (carefully) and let cool on a rack. Enjoy!



The pictured bread is cracked wheat/White Whole Wheat as the whole grain part.

baybakin's picture

Hello from oakland

June 4, 2012 - 6:33pm -- baybakin

Hello from the Oakland hills!

 

Long time follower, first time poster.  Though it's about time that I made an introduction post on here before I start making blog entries.

 I started this bread hobby (obsession?) after being fed-up with paying $4 for a good loaf of crusty bread at the market.  I'm a bit of a fermentation enthusiast, making beer, wine, mead, sauerkraut, pickles, sodas, along with syrups, bitters and general "make everyone from scratch" mentality. Bread baking was a logical step. 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

The second bread on my "Equal Opportunity Baking" list (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/26944/fair-baking-my-equal-opportunity-pledge) got its place near the top because of my curiosity.

In the past I had read several comments on the many errata in Leader's books, and, therefore, decided not to buy it. But Christmas came, and, being blessed with three daughters (2 step and 1 own), I found several baking books under the tree, among them "Local Breads".

With my fair baking pledge in mind, I searched for the errata posts in TFL again, and saw Mini's (MiniOven) comment on a translation error, a mixup between the German term for caraway = Kümmel (a typical German bread spice) and cumin = Kreuzkümmel (a spice used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes). Both taste totally different, and cumin has no part in traditional German cuisine.

I looked at the German bread section in the book, and found that Mini was right. Somebody had posted Sharon Burns-Leaders' contact address, and I emailed her about Mini's and mine observation. She answered me promptly:

"Thanks for the correction! Since it was pointed out it seems quite silly that we never questioned it! I do try to answer all of the queries from readers personally myself,  though reading through some of the posts on The Fresh Loaf was, I have to admit, a bit frightening.  We did work very hard on that book and I personally tested every recipe so the personal and passionate comments were a little hard to hear when they were critical, however, I am amazed, as always, at the dedicated and talented bakers that are out there!"

That was a very gracious answer, and I decided to cut Leader's book some slack, and find out for myself how his recipes are working. Because I like breads with walnuts, I chose a variation of his Whole Wheat Sourdough Miche, French Walnut Bread.

I have a lively 75% hydration starter in my fridge, so I didn't have to make a levain from the scratch. Leader's stiff levain contains a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour, so I started with feeding my whole wheat mother starter with AP flour, adjusting the water to make the stiffer levain.

Since I had decided to give my new KA 600 Pro a chance, I mixed the dough with it,  again regretting my jump at Amazon's "Black Monday" bait, when the bowl started wobbling and would have jumped out of the holders if it wasn't held down with brutal force.

Long experience with nut additions told me not to wait until the dough had fully formed (it's a real big pain to work the nuts in at this stage - I really don't know why all baking books, from Reinhart to Hamelman insist on doing that!), so I fed them slowly to the dough while kneading.

I basically retard all my doughs, so I did the same with the French Walnut Bread, placing it in the refrigerator after an hour of rising, and a brief kneading. The dough was, as expected, a bit sticky, but not too difficult to handle.

Overnight the dough had almost doubled, and, after it came to room temperature, behaved exactly as it should. Instead of steaming, with ice cubes I used a steam pan and boiling water - why lower the oven temperature unnecessarily?

The result was a good tasting bread, with the typical purple-ish color (walnut "dye") and a nice airy crumb.

Next time I might just use S & F as in Peter Reinhart's "Artisan Bread Every Day", instead of a long, slow knead.

 

 

 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

With few exceptions, most of my baking in the past weeks has been, well, pedestrian.  One of the exceptions would be Bernard Clayton's Pain Allemande Aux Fruits.  There's no way a bread like that can be pedestrian, even if the baker's efforts aren't stellar.  There was also the treat of introducing a young South African friend to the simple joys of a Southern-style breakfast featuring buttermilk biscuits, sausage gravy and fried apples.  We initiated him into the Kansas City fellowship of barbecue with lunch at Jack's Stack on another day.  He is also now a fan of key lime pie.  But I digress.

A little more bluntly, I've been baking but haven't invested much of myself in the effort.  And it has showed in some rather medocre, if still serviceable, breads.  So I tried to do something about that this weekend and I'm pleased with the outcome.

Back in April 2009, I blogged about the Whole Wheat Genzano Country Loaf from Leader's Local Breads.  I said that it was so good that I would make it again.  Now, almost three years later, I have.  Almost.

The almost refers to three departures from the formula and process presented in the book.  The formula calls for 250g of whole wheat flour in the final dough.  There were only 140g left in my whole wheat flour container.  How did that happen?!  Faced with a hurried trip to the store or improvising, I improvised by subbing in 60g of whole rye flour and another 50g of bread flour to make up the difference.  So, technically, this is no longer Leader's Whole Wheat Country Loaf.  Rather, it is Paul's Now What Do I Do? Loaf.  The second variation is in the mixing regime.  As with my previous bake, I just don't see the purpose or value of the extended high-speed mix that Leader recommends.  After 10 minutes at speed 6 on my Kitchen Aide mixer (note that he recommends 8-10 minutes at "medium speed" which he defines as speed 8, followed by an additional 10 minutes at speed 10), the dough was already clearing the sides and bottom of the bowl and I was able to pull a windowpane.  That, of course, was after switching off the machine which I had been forcibly holding down on the countertop so that it didn't launch itself.  The third and final variation is that I preheated the oven at 500F and then turned it down to 450F after steaming and loading the bread.

In terms of being more purposeful with this bake, I made sure to pull my starter from the refrigerator and refresh it in ample time for it to be fully active.  The biga naturale was prepared and allowed to fully ripen.  I maintained the prescribed fermentation temperatures.  With the exceptions noted previously, I hewed to the formula and process, only deviating where necessity dictated or experience suggested.  Most importantly, I paid attention to what I was doing.  When it came time to shape the loaves, which is an exercise in minimalism, I was very careful to be gentle.  As a result, most of the gas in the dough was retained in spite of this being a sticky dough that wants to latch onto whatever it touches.  I even did a mini-hearsal of what movements I would need to take to get the shaped loaves onto the stone in the oven, which led to my reorienting their position on the peel.  Based on the loaves' development in the oven, I chose to pull the steam pan at about the 9-minute mark.  That seems to have been a good call, based on their coloring.

Given all of that, was the outcome perfect?  Of course not.  But I'm pretty happy with the bread.  Here's why:

The color on these loaves is much closer to what Leader describes in the book than what I achieved with my previous bake, so my decision to preheat to a higher temperature paid off.  Although the loaves sang softly while cooling, the crust retained its integrity instead of crackling.  Here's a closer look:

The higher preheat temperature had a couple of other effects.  One was to boost the amount of oven spring.  The loaves are probably almost twice as tall as they were when they first hit the baking stone.  The second effect is that the crust is thicker and chewier this time around.  I'll take that, given the richness of the flavor that comes with the bolder bake.

The crumb from one angle:

And face on:

One loaf exhibited slight tearing along the bottom, which suggests that I could have let the proofing run another 10-15 minutes.  However, the dough was so gassy that I was concerned more about overproofing.  

This is a good bread.  The rye doesn't stand out distinctly but it definitely adds another layer to the flavors.  The crumb, a day after baking, is moist, cool and firm.  The crust requires a definite bite and some deliberate chewing.  It went very well with today's dinner of brined pork loin. This week's sandwiches should be good.

My advice (mostly to myself) is to pay attention to the details because every detail matters and good bread is worth the extra effort.

Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Franko's recent blog about his project to bake Pane tipo di Altamura (Pane di Altamura...my ongoing project) reminded me that this bread had gotten lost on my “to bake list.” I have baked a number of breads with semolina and a couple with durum (finely milled durum flour) my favorite of which has been Tom Cat's Semolina Filone from Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Breads".  However, I've never before baked an 100% durum bread. My reading about the Pane di Altamura and Franko's blog inspired me to attempt this bread, finally.

I have three books with formula's for Pane tipo di Altamura: Carol Field's “The Italian Baker,” Franko Galli's “The Il Fornaio Baking Book” and Daniel Leader's “Local Breads.” The first two use a yeasted biga and additional commercial yeast. They also use a mix of bread flour and semolina. Leader's formula uses a biga started with yoghurt and semolina flour. Leader's formula also differs from the other two in specifying a higher dough hydration. Based on my bias in favor of wild yeast and my past positive experiences with breads from Leader's book, I based my formula on his.

I deviated from Leader's formula and method in a number of ways which I will describe. I converted my stock starter to a durum biga and did not use yoghurt. The major compromise was that I only fed my starter once with durum flour. I had planned on three refreshments before the final mix, but the weather forecast is for temperatures over 105ºF for the rest of the weekend. Since it is only expected to get to a chilly 98ºF today, it seemed prudent to bump up the baking schedule and try to avoid using the oven when it's 105 or 107ºF. So, what's described is what I actually did, with notes indicating significant deviations from Leader.

Semolina biga

Wt.

Baker's %

Active sourdough starter

50 g

71

Fancy durum flour

70 g

100

Water

57 g

81

Total

177 g

252

  1. Disperse the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.

  2. Ferment at room temperature for 12-14 hours.

Notes

1. Ideally, one would add one or two additional builds to convert the biga to 100% durum.

2. Leader's formula for the final dough calls for 200 g of semolina biga, but his formula for the biga produces only 177 g. If you follow Leader's formula, you need to build more biga than this.

Final dough

Wt.

Baker's %

Semolina biga

170 g

34

Fancy durum flour

500 g

100

Water

350 g

70

Salt

15 g

3

Total

1035 g

207

Notes

  1. Leader's formula calls for 200 g of biga. I was only able to use 170 g. Given the very warm kitchen temperature today, using less starter is probably reasonable.

  2. Accounting for the flour and water in the biga, the final dough hydration is actually 71%.

  3. Leader specifies 3% salt in his formula without indicating why this bread has more salt than the usual 2%. Note that, if you calculate the baker's percentage of salt accounting for the flour in the biga, 15 g is actually 2.6% of the total flour

Method

  1. Mix the final refreshment of the biga 8-12 hours before the final dough mix and ferment it at room temperature.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, disperse the biga in the water. Add the flour and mix with the paddle for 1 minute.

  3. Cover the bowl and autolyse for 20 minutes. (Note: Leader does not call for an autolyse, and, as far as I can tell, this is not used in Altamura.)

  4. Add the salt, and mix with the dough hook at Speed 3 for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and pass the window pane test. (Note: Leader says to mix at Speed 4 for 10-12 minutes. However, my dough was very smooth and passed the window pane test after 5 minutes at Speed 3. Perhaps this was a benefit of the autolyse.)

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled 2 qt container.

  6. Ferment with the bowl tightly covered for 3-4 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume. Stretch and fold in the bowl at 30 and 60 minutes. (Note: Leader does not call for the S&F's.)

  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Shape into a boule.

  8. Dust the boule with semolina flour and place it in the center of a clean, dry kitchen towel dusted with semolina. Bring the corners of the towel to the center and tie them, “to make a snug bundle.” (Note: Leader describes this procedure being used in the Altamura bakery he visited and by the village women who brought their own dough to the bakery for baking. However, the videos I've seen of Altamura bakeries in action show the loaves being proofed en couche.)

  9. Proof the loaf at room temperature until it “balloons inside the kitchen towel” - 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The loaf is ready to bake when an indentation made by poking a finger into it springs back slowly. (Note: My loaf was proofed for 90 minutes in a 78ºF kitchen. The surface of the loaf was quite dry at the end of proofing. I imagine this contributes to the famously chaotic blooming of the folded loaf during baking.)

  10. About an hour before baking, preheat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  11. Transfer the loaf to a lightly floured board.

  12. Stretch the loaf into a rectangle about 6 x 16 inches, with a narrow side nearest you. Fold the near edge all the way up to meet the top edge, and seal the seam. Now, bring the folded near edge 3/4 of the way up towards the far edge, and seal the seam all the way around so the lip of the far part of the loaf is flattened. The loaf should now be shaped as a half-circle. (Note: An alternative, shape, which is also traditional, called a “priest's hat” is made by cutting a very deep cross into the boule with a bench knife and pulling the corners well apart. The opening is then dusted with semolina flour to keep it from sealing during oven spring.)

  13. Transfer the loaf to a peel dusted with semolina flour and dust the surface of the loaf with flour.

  14. Turn the oven temperature down to 400ºF. Transfer the loaf to the baking stone . Steam the oven lightly.

  15. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the loaf is “mahogany-colored all over and golden where it splits open.” (I removed my steaming pan after 15 minutes and switched to convection bake at 375ºF for the remainder of the bake.)

  16. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

    Initial mix before autolyse

    Dough mixed, ready for bulk fermentation

Pre-shaped boule, ready for proofing

 

Proofing 

Proofed and ready for the final shaping

Dough stretched out. First step in final shaping.

Shaped loaf, ready to bake

Pane tipo di Altamura

Pane tipo di Altamura crumb

Pane tipo di Altamura crumb close-up

The aroma and flavor of the bread are most remarkable for a prominent sourdough tang. The flavor otherwise is very nice, but I cannot identify distinctive flavors I would associate with durum, as opposed to other wheat flours. The crust is chewy over the fat part of the loaf but quite crisp over the flatter part.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

ThreeToedSlothLuke's picture

Dan Leader's Ricotta Bread - a débacle and a couple of questions

December 27, 2010 - 1:50pm -- ThreeToedSlothLuke

 


I decided to make this bread today. I had already purchased the ricotta so I had everything on hand.


First off, when I opened the ricotta tub I found mold between the lid and the plastic paper covering the cheese. The lid had cracked at some point; whether before I bought it or after I don't know but had I been at all superstitious (which, touch wood, I am not) I would not have continued. But I cleaned off the mold and replaced the paper with cling film and continued.


 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I've taken a bit of a break from ryes in the past couple of weeks, baking Honey Lemon Whole Wheat from Clayton's Complete Book of Breads and the Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book.  This weekend, though, I went back to rye again, baking the Soulful German Farmhouse Rye from Daniel Leader's Local Breads.


Leader's Soulful German Farmhouse Rye


I've blogged about this bread previously, so I won't repeat what I've said previously.  


The most obvious difference this time is that I proofed the boules smooth side up and then baked them with the seam side up, allowing the natural weaknesses in the dough to be the expansion points.  I like the effect, particularly since the darkness of the crumb contrasts with the lighter-color flour on the crust.  Not so evident, but still different this time is that I did not add any of the instant yeast called for in the formula (I had all day at the house anyway), nor did I "dust" the banneton with rye flakes.  That did nothing for my enjoyment or for the bread, so I just used a light dusting of rye flour on top of the rice flour already embedded in the fabric.


If I remember the next time that I make this bread, I'll double the quantities but still shape it into just two boules.  That might give a bit more height to the loaves, which would make them more serviceable for sandwiches.  Despite the diminutive size of the loaves, this is a delicious bread and well worth the making.


Paul 

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