The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

peter reinhart

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adamkopp's picture
adamkopp

Making a Panettone - using recipe from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker Apprentice.  Have my seed starter going for 5 days, getting ready to make the Barm.  Panettone to follow in a few days.  

Any pointers / suggestions from the group is appreciated.

Adam

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The 100% Whole Wheat Bread from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice has been one of my favorite breads for years. I love it for it's delicious honey-wheat flavor. However, it often comes out with a dense, cake-like crumb. In April, I tried making this bread using a more intensive mix, as demonstrated by txfarmer. (See Light and fluffy 100% Whole Wheat Bread) I did, indeed, achieve a less dense, more open crumb. But I felt there was some loss of flavor due to oxidation of carotenoids. 

It is difficult to make a 100% whole wheat bread with a light, airy crumb. The pieces of bran in the flour act like little knives, cutting the gluten strands that give bread crumb its “structure.” I had heard of flour mills that grind the bran to a finer consistency after it has been separated during the normal milling process and then add the fine-ground bran back in, along with the other wheat components that re-constitute “whole wheat” flour. The smaller bran particles do less damage to the developing gluten during mixing.

Central Milling makes such a flour, and brother Glenn recently got some for me at CM's Petaluma warehouse. Today, I used CM's “Organic Hi-Protein Fine” whole wheat flour to make the Whole Wheat Bread from BBA. I followed the formula and procedures in my April 2, 2011 blog entry with one exception: I only mixed the dough for 12 minutes at Speed 2.

 

The first difference in the bread was the wonderfulness of its aroma. I can't say it was different in quality, but it just filled the house as never before. When the bread was cool and sliced, the crumb structure was even more open than I got with intensive mixing. The bread is chewy like a good white loaf and not at all cakey or crumbly. The flavor is delicious. I can't really say it is better than the flavor I've gotten with either home-milled flour or KAF Organic Whole Wheat flour, but the combination of crumb structure, texture and flavor was remarkable.

 

I am now eager to try using this flour with other breads, for example the Tartine "Basic Country Bread." Stay tuned.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

ieaston's picture
ieaston

I have baked my very first loaves of bread today....a pain au levain and san francisco sourdough bread from Peter Reinhart's Artisan breads every day.

The crust is nice but dissapointed that the crumb is not as open as I would have liked. I suppose that will come with more experience. The crumb of the pain au levain looks a little bit better, but they both taste very good. Any advise on how to obtain the desired open crumb?

 

kayle75's picture
kayle75

This is my first attempt of Peter Reinhart's whole wheat heart bread. I have surely some improvement to do but now I am happy with this result. For a 100 % whole wheat bread, the crumb is not dense and the flavor is here.

Some pictures to share :

Kayle

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It's much nicer to live with my wife, along with San Joaquin Sourdough, than alone. And if there is any bread that makes her happier than San Joaquin Sourdough, it's the Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread from BBA. So I baked some today.

One of these days, I will try Glenn's variation with pecans and dried cranberries. See Another Spice-Fruit-Nut Bread

And, for those who are wondering, Glenn and I did not discuss what we were baking this weekend. It's just one of them synchronicity things.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


100% Whole Wheat Bread from BBA


I've been admiring the whole wheat pan loaves txfarmer has shown us in recent weeks. Her use of intensive mixing to achieve a higher rise and airier crumb has particularly intrigued me. (See SD 100% WW sandwich loaf with bulgur (cracked wheat) - discovered a new favorite ingredient). When I read her blog, I decided to make the same bread. However, on further reflection, I changed my plan. I have a favorite 100% whole wheat bread – that in BBA – and I really don't like the combination of sourdough tang and whole wheat flavors. So, I decided to fiddle with Peter Reinhart's formula for 100% whole wheat bread using some of txfarmer's techniques to see if I could get a lighter-crumbed version of a bread I already know well and love. The crumb texture I have gotten with this bread is moist but rather dense and crumbly, following Reinhart's suggestions for mixing time. This is not at all unpleasant to eat, but is very different from the airier crumb txfarmer and khalid have shown.


Reinhart's formula calls for a soaker with a coarsely-ground grain and a whole wheat poolish. As usual, I used bulgur for the soaker, and I used fresh-milled whole wheat flour for the poolish. The flour in the final dough was KAF Organic Whole Wheat. The procedures described are those I used. They deviate from both Peter Reinhart's and txfarmer's in significant ways.


 


Soaker

Baker's %

Wt (oz)

Medium bulgur

100

4.25

Water

141

6

The day before baking, measure the bulgur into a 3 cup bowl. Pour the water over it and cover tightly. Leave at room temperature until used.

 

Whole Wheat Poolish

Baker's %

Wt (oz)

Whole wheat flour

100

6.75

Instant yeast

0.41

0.028 (¼ tsp)

Water

88.9

6

The day before baking, mix the poolish ingredients. Cover the bowl tightly. Allow to ferment until bubbles start to form (2-4 hours), then refrigerate.

 

Final dough

Baker's %

Wt (oz)

Whole wheat flour

100

9

Salt

3.7

0.33

Instant yeast

1.2

0.11 (1 tsp)

Honey

16.7

1.5

Vegetable oil (optional)

5.6

0.5

Egg, slightly beaten

18.3

1.65 (1 large)

Seeds to garnish (optional)

 

2 T

Soaker

114

All of above

Poolish

142

All of above

 

Procedure

  1. Mix the soaker and poolish, as instructed above, the night before mixing the final dough.

  2. One hour before mixing, take the poolish out of the refrigerator to warm to room temperature.

  3. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.

  4. Using the paddle, mix at Speed 1until a ball forms on the paddle and the ingredients are well-mixed (1-2 minutes). Note that the dough should be quite tacky – neither dry nor sticky. Adjustments can be made by adding either water or flour during this step or during the next mixing step. (I added about 15-20 g additional water.)

  5. Let the dough rest, covered in the mixer bowl, for 20-40 minutes.

  6. Switch to the dough hook and mix at Speed 2 until a medium window pane can be made. (20-25 minutes) Note: Reinhart's instruction is to knead for 10-15 minutes, “less” if machine kneading.

  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl.

  8. Ferment for two hours or until the dough has doubled in volume, with a stretch and fold on the board at 60 minutes.

  9. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form them into pan loaves.

  10. Place the dough into lightly oiled medium loaf pans and place the pans in food-grade plastic bags or cover well with a towel or plasti-crap.

  11. Proof until the loaves have almost doubled and are peaking above the rims of the pans. (About 90 minutes)

  12. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle.

  13. Optionally, spray the loaves lightly with water and sprinkle on seeds or rolled oats.

  14. Optionally, score the loaves.

  15. Bake for 45-60 minutes. At 30 minutes, rotate the pans 180º, if necessary for even browning. The interior temperature should be at least 195ºF, and the crust should be firm on the top and on the sides of the loaves. If necessary, return the loaves to the oven and bake longer. (My loaves were done in 45 minutes.)

  16. Immediately transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

  17. Cool thoroughly before slicing.

I noticed two significant differences in this dough, compared to my previous bakes of this bread. First, the dough was less sticky than usual. Second, the loaves achieved significantly greater volume during proofing. I attribute this to the more intensive mixing, but also the S&F which serves to further strengthen the dough but also equalized the dough temperature and redistribute the products of fermentation.

Once baked, the loaves felt much lighter than usual. When sliced, the reason was quite obvious. Rather than the cakey, somewhat crumbly crumb this bread has always had in the past, the crumb was airy and, in txfarmer's words, “shreddable.”

Crumb from a previous bake of the BBA 100% Whole Wheat Bread, made following Reinhart's mixing time instructions

Crumb of the 100% Whole Wheat Bread from BBA mixed as described above

"Shreddable"

The flavor of the bread is basically unchanged, but the mouth feel is entirely different - light and mildly chewy. I was amazed.

I'm looking forward to having toast for breakfast.

Thanks, txfarmer, for your inspiring and informative postings!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


I made some banana breads tonight. They were delicious – better than ever before with some tweaking the baking temperature. As I was tasting it, I got to thinking about the book from which I got the recipe.



Banana Bread from Crust & Crumb



Banana Bread crumb


Peter Reinhart's Crust & Crumb was one of the first two baking books I acquired when I started baking again after a 25 year lapse. (The other was George Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker.) While my baking library now contains some two dozen books, C&C remains one of my favorites, and, as I look at it today, the reasons are clear. First, it contains a couple formulas I return to again and again – the best formula for San Francisco-style sourdough bread I know and the formula for Banana Bread.


This book was my introduction to so many basic concepts, including the orderly steps in bread baking, from mis en place to tasting, and the function of each in achieving “a loaf of bread that is rhapsodically beautiful and exceptionally delicious.” Reinhart's amalgamation of science, art, craft and philosophy, all expressed in beautiful and lucid prose, captured me. He emphasized the rigorous application of knowledge and technique but also the ultimate importance of “feel” for the dough, acquired through disciplined and reflective practice. That is the path he defined to become a “bread revolutionary.”


Crust & Crumb was published in 1998. Reinhart's introductory chapter is titled “The Bread Revolution.” It is of particular interest now, given our recent discussion of that topic. Reinhart's perspective is of special interest because of the role he has played in this phenomenon. He reviews the recent history of bread baking in America and the influences of various people and events and also delves into his personal history, albeit briefly. He concludes the book with a chapter on The Bread Baker's Guild of America and how it nurtured the young bakers who ultimately put the USA on the world bread map through victories in the Coupe du Monde, notably the second place finish in 1996 which included Craig Ponsford's winning first place in the bread division.


I love this book. Many newer books have advanced “the bread revolution” since Crust & Crumb was published, but it continues to have an unique place in my bread baking library, and I think it remains a valuable resource to anyone striving to make great bread.


Happy baking!


David


 

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! it's been a while! i've been posting a lot on my blog, but not much on here!


anyway, my brother and i made english muffins, which happened to be one of the most fun breads i've made so far. i hope you guys enjoy my post on them!


you can read all the posts on our blog, http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/ i've been interning at a bread bakery as well as a bagel shop! this project has definitely been the highlight of my high school career.


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My brother, Evan, came home from his trip to Antarctica and New Zealand a few days ago. We had a lot of family events that filled the entirety of the weekend, and we had no time to really even see each other. Even though I had school today, I took the morning off to bake bread and hang out with my brother before he flew back to California. English muffins were the next on deck-and I couldn't have asked for a more interesting bread to make with Evan.


English muffins, despite their name, are not like the typical muffins we are familiar with. Yeast-risen, English muffins are cooked atop a griddle, giving it its classic, flattened shape. Once browned on the outside, the muffins are baked fully in the oven. English muffins are usually eaten for breakfast, or for sandwiches. However, to retain the texture of the crumb, English muffins are split open with a fork, revealing the trademarked "nooks and crannies" inside.


English muffins are very similar to crumpets, which are yeasted breads baked in a mould on a griddle. However, crumpets have their defining holes on the top of the bread, while English muffins have holes on the inside.


Cooking yeasted breads on a griddle was nothing new- it has been documented that in 10th century Wales breads were made like this. In the 19th century England, yeasted griddle-breads were sold door to door by a muffin man. He would come around every day, and deliver fresh breads.


English muffins were popularized by Samuel Bath Thomas, who marketed them in New York City in the late 1800s. English muffins gained their identifying trademark "nooks and crannies" in the mid-1920s.


The English muffins that I've unfortunately been exposed to are rubbery, store bought Thomas' ones. The only positives about these are that when their split with a fork, toasted, and buttered, they do not taste half bad. However, I'm sure English muffins have the potential to be a delicious breakfast and sandwich bread.


English muffins are enriched bread, with butter and milk. They are a direct bread, meaning they do not have a preferment or retardation. However, I believe that these would be great using a sourdough starter, adding a more complex flavor. Evan and I decided that we would make two batches because it only makes six at a time. If we doubled it, we would have enough to feed our bread-hungry brother, Will, and freeze some for future breakfasts.


Evan and I began mixing the dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt and yeast- together. Since we didn't have any buttermilk, we clabbered milk with vinegar to make a buttermilk substitute. We added the "buttermilk" and butter to the dough, and kneaded it until it made a soft, tender dough.


We let the dough proof until doubled, for about two hours. The dough was so soft and supple; It was surprised that it would be used for English muffins. We scaled it into 3 ounce portions, and shaped them into balls. We sprinkled them with a really coarse cornmeal, and a finer one. Then, we let them proof for about 2 hours until they puffed up significantly.


We originally were going to use a cast-iron skillet, but the one we own is only about 8 inches in diameter. We settled on our electric-griddle which we use for pancakes. They cooked on the first side for about 5 minutes, or until they were very dark brown, but not burnt. Then, we flipped them, and baked them on the last side.


Once cooked on both sides on the griddle, we baked them in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until they were fully cooked.


They were on the big side, and a little thicker than the ones were used to. Evan and I split one open (with a fork!) and tried it. They tasted real, and delicious. Unlike store bought ones, they didn't taste chemically or rubbery, but were soft with a crunchy corn crust.


Next time (and I promise there will be a next time), I think I'll scale them into about 2.5 ounce balls rather than 3 ounce ones. It might have been Evan's presence in the kitchen, but English muffins were probably the most fun and most interesting bread I've baked so far.


 


 

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