The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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MissyErin's picture
MissyErin

main pain 3

 

Hello Everyone, and happy Tuesday!

I was in Cancun over the weekend and brought with me a few bread books to read, and was really hyped to get back into the kitchen as soon as I could.  It only (only! ha!) took two hours to get through customs and immigration.  Woe to regular international travelers! 

I decided to make the Pain au Levain (with flax seeds) out of Daniel Leader's Local Breads, and I also made a sourdough off of Susanfnp's blog (wildyeastblog.com) which is the one I've been messing around with lately. 

When I got home I refreshed my 100% starter (and is now actually a 100% - not the 170% that I was stupidly keeping it at, and barely rising!  Weight, not volume, silly!) and mixed up the 50% starter that I would need for the pain au levain.  Both rose quickly and beautiful placed on a heating pad on medium in my chilly kitchen (~65F) overnight.  I mixed up both batters this morning, and let them both ferment at room temp for about 4.5 hours while I was out.  This is where I really deviated from Daniel Leader's recipe... I didn't turn the bread until I got home, and then shaped the loaves about 15 minutes later.  Then I let them sit at room temp for about another 3 hours, slashed and baked at the prescribed temp, with steam in a baking sheet rather than a cast iron skillet (I have one that has been passed down and don't feel like rusting that one out, and I haven't yet been by the store to grab a fresh one).  

main pain

My makeshift couche!  Water bottles instead of kitchen towels... laundry had yet to be done!  :) 

 

 

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Wanted to practice my slashes... they look decent here but the straight line one just ballooned up!  

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Yummy!!! 

 

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 Looooving the crumb! And the texture was out of this world! 

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I'm infatuated with the crumb!  The crust was really nice too.  I'm not sure that the flavor of it is my all time favorite, I think I'm just not used to the flavor of that much flax seed.  I use ground flax seed in the "broom bread" that I make from PR's WGB and that's only 1/3 cup... the flavor was much more pronounced.  My husband said that this was his favorite bread yet.  *pat on back*  I think I'll play around with a Kamut Pain au Levain next, of course after I try the Pierre Nury's Rye that I've been dreaming about since Zolablue had me mesmerized.

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Then I upped the oven heat to 475 for the sourdough.  It also had a 4.5hr room temp ferment, then folded, and then shaped about 15 min later.  Sat again at room temp for about 2 hours then into the fridge to retard for about 5 hours.  Went straight from fridge to slash to oven. 

The recipe I used was this:

(from Susanfnp's wildyeastblog.com, *verbatim*)

Norwich Sourdough
(adapted from Vermont Sourdough in Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman)

Yield: 2 kg (four or five small, or two large, loaves) ---- I did only one loaf.

Time:

    Mix/autolyse: 35 minutes
    First fermentation: 2.5 hours
    Divide, bench rest, and shape: 20 minutes
    Proof: 2.5 hours (or 1.5 hours, then retard for 2 – 16 hours)
    Bake: 35 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 76F 

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flours, water, and starter on low speed until just combined, about one minute.
  2. Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and continue mixing on low or medium speed until the dough reaches a medium level of gluten development. This should only take about 3 or 4 minutes. 
  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled container (preferably a low, wide one so the dough can be folded without removing it from the container).
  5. Ferment at room temperature (72F – 76F) for 2.5 hours, with folds at 50 and 100 minutes. 
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide it into 400g – 500g pieces. I usually make four 400g loaves and refrigerate the rest to use for pizza dough later. Preshape the dough pieces into light balls.
  7. Sprinkle the balls lightly with flour, cover loosely with plastic, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Shape into batards and place seam-side-up in a floured couche or linen-lined bannetons.
  9. Slip the couche or bannetons into a large plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap and proof at room temperature for 2 – 2.5 hours. Alternatively, the loaves can be proofed for about 1.5 hours at room temperature, then refrigerated for 2 – 16 hours and baked directly out of the refrigerator; this will yield a tangier bread with a lovely, blistered crust.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 475F. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now. 
  11. Turn the proofed loaves onto a semolina-sprinkled peel or parchment. Slash each one with two overlapping cuts that are almost parallel to the long axis of the batard.
  12. Once the loaves are in the oven, turn the heat down to 450F. For 400g loaves, bake for 12 minutes with steam, and another 15 – 18 minutes without steam. I leave the oven door cracked open a bit for the last 5 minutes of this time. The crust should be a deep brown. Then turn off the oven and leave the loaves in for 5 minutes longer, with the door ajar, to help them dry. Larger loaves will need to be baked longer.
  13. Cool on a wire rack. Don’t cut until the loaves are completely cool, if you can manage it!

 

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I thought this had a nice crust to it... I'm still trying to get that "ledge"!  I really think I need to get a lame. 

 

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Sorry for the sideways picture!  I tried messing with it, but there isn't a way to resize this pic on this computer (these were all taken with camera phone)

See... this crumb looks great above... but below its not open at all. 

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*Much* happier with Pain au Levain than the sourdough today as far as appearance, but ***very*** happy with the taste of both.  

Can anyone give me some suggestions as to why the sourdough starts out with a nice (moderately) open crumb and then turns into more of a sandwich bread crumb? 

Also, has anyone else that has made a *primarily* flax loaf felt like it had a bit of an "unfamiliar" taste?  Maybe its just me... It was great, just different than what I was expecting.

~Melissa in Atlanta 

bshuval's picture
bshuval

This weekend I decided to bake a couronne. I used my sourdough for it. I am not entirely happy with the shape, but the crumb and taste were great. I've written about it at length here.

For now, here's a picture of the finished couronne:

And here's a picture of the crumb:

bshuval's picture
bshuval

Today I decided to bake the Grape Harvest Focaccia from Daniel Leader's new book, Local Breads.

Since I prefer my doughs to be lean where possible, I decided to make it without the 1/3 cup of olive oil in the dough that the recipe calls for. I only used about half a tablespoon of olive oil for spreading over the dough before baking. I also increased the amount of red grapes. The amount called for in the recipe didn't seem to be enough. 

I was very happy with the result. I don't miss the oil at all, and the focaccia is moist and flavorful. The rosemary gives a delightful taste (and fragrance) to the bread. This bread is recommended. 

I am including three pictures:

The whole focaccia, just out of the oven:

  Grape Harvest Focaccia, whole

 Here is a close-up of the focaccia:

Close-up of Grape Harvest Focaccia

And here it is, sliced: 

Grape Harvest Focaccia, sliced

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I baked this very large, rustic Italian loaf (pagnotta) a couple weeks ago from Daniel Leader’s wonderful new book, Local Breads, page 197.  He states that it is to bake until almost black or charred for the most authentic loaf.  I didn’t go quite that far but you can see it developed a lot of color which I always prefer in my loaves.

 

 

I generally don’t bake the large boules since there are only two of us rather I prefer to divide a larger recipe and make more loaves so I can share them.  At any rate, I wanted to try the large boule and it was quite an impressive loaf.  (It reminded me of a fully expanded Jiffy Pop for those of you that can relate to that visual.) 

 

 

It is renowned in Italy for its great keeping quality, staying fresh up to 7 days.  Unfortunately, ours was not entirely eaten, I hate to admit, but it did allow me to see just how long it stays moist and fresh as is its reputation.  Nearly 10 days after baking it I was shocked to see that the bread still appeared very moist and had no signs of mold having been kept at room temperature in a KAF bread bag.

 

The recipe uses a biga naturale which Leader calls “Italian sourdough” and also uses a very small amount of commercial yeast.  I’m not sure why the instant yeast is there but that is the recipe.  I do not add commercial yeast to my sourdoughs but I wanted to bake it the first time following the recipe.  I would really like to try it again without the addition of the instant yeast to see what happens.

 

The flour in the recipe, except for the sourdough, is all high gluten for which I used Sir Lancelot high gluten flour.  The bran sprinkled on the top makes a really beautiful loaf although it is very messy to cut but very well worth it.  I would like to incorporate that in other loaves for the beautiful texture it creates. 

 

 

The crumb had a beautiful color and texture.

 

 

The Genzano Country Bread was a lot of fun to bake, wonderful tasting and seems an easy recipe for a great boule.  I hope you give it a try.

 

More photos can be seen here:

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3585722#203734681

  
zolablue's picture
zolablue

Also known as Baguette aux lardons.

 

This is fabulous bread!  I baked it yesterday from Daniel Leader’s new book, Local Breads.  It is a very easy recipe, absolutely delicious fresh from the oven and today it made incredible toast.  The incorporation of slightly browned bacon and his recommendation to retard the shaped loaves overnight to infuse the dough with more of that great smoky bacon flavor is a winner.

 

His recipe calls for making four 316g baguettes but for some reason I only ended up with about 1100g total dough so I made 3 roughly 366g baguettes.  The dough was supple and slashed really well which I was concerned about with the bacon.  No problem though.

 

His method of using floured parchment and then making your own couche worked really well for this.  I was able to fit all three baguettes perfectly on a quarter-sheet restaurant style pan with rolled up dish cloths on each side to keep the loaves from spreading.  You make the troughs for the dough creasing the parchment between each loaf and then tuck the rolled cloths against them and the rim of the sheet pan. 

 

The next day I removed from the fridge and slid the entire thing onto the counter, took off the plastic wrap and covered with a cotton flour-sack towel.  I let them warm up and finish proofing for about 2 hours and then baked.  Even in my small oven all three loaves fit perfectly on my smaller-than-normal baking stone.  I steamed the oven and baked them about 25 minutes at 450°F and was really happy with the way they rose and actually grew ears.  (chuckle)  That is always welcome and always surprising for my breads, it seems but I’m getting better. 

 

I have not typed up this recipe yet.  I encourage you all to go buy Daniel Leader’s new book.  This is the first of his two books I have purchased so others are way ahead of me in the knowledge of his great breads and first book.  Mountaindog is lucky enough to live close to his bakery – wow!  That would be a treat.  So far in what I’ve read I’m very impressed with this book although since I use a firm starter I do have a couple thoughts that may differ from what his instructions are only by means of my own experience.  All in all it is a wonderful book and I’m thrilled to have it.  Can’t wait to try more new recipes.

Baguettes aux lardons

Great crisp crust and you can see how the bacon bits on the exterior crisp when baked. (yum)

Crumb was creamy with bacon infused throughout in little bits.  He doesn't show a photo of the crumb so I'm hoping this is how it is supposed to look.  He does have you beat the tar out of the dough and with a mixer it does break down the already small cooked pieces.  I didn't mind. :o)

Rosalie's picture

Baking from Leader's new Local Breads

August 12, 2007 - 10:26am -- Rosalie
Forums: 

Well, I decided to just dive right in and try a recipe from Daniel Leader's new book, Local Breads.  I haven't had a chance to read much of anything in it - I'm reading Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads, and he tends to be absorbingly chatty.  My freezer is full of breads to last another week or two, but I had to bake something.

Rosalie's picture

New Reinhart and Leader Books

August 9, 2007 - 3:22pm -- Rosalie
Forums: 

I'm kinda excited.  I'd ordered Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" and Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" from my local bookstore (sorry, Floyd, I don't do business with Amazon).  Both were due out in September, but I had a message on my answering machine today (early August) that they were BOTH in.  Sometimes they get books in early and are not supposed to sell them before a certain date, but they had no such directive.  So I have them right this very minute!  Too bad I have to attend to other things right now (make crackers for an event tomorrow

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