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News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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booch221's picture

No Knead Bread Baked in a Skillet

April 23, 2011 - 1:14pm -- booch221

No-Knead Bread

Makes two small loaves*

This bread gets its great flavor from a long, slow overnight rise, using only a scant 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. If you use more yeast the dough will rise too quickly. Refrigerating the dough further improves the flavor and texture of the bread.

Volume

Weight in Ounces

Metric Measure

steelchef's picture

Has anyone used or considered wine/beer yeast as a sourdough starter?

April 21, 2011 - 11:44pm -- steelchef

Curious!


I used to make wine in the basement and had great success with natural sourdough starter. It has been six years since moving the wine making to a U-Brew. Now I can't get a natural starter happening.


So, has anyone used a wine or beer yeast to start a poolish?  Any info would be appreciated. I intend to give it a try regardless.


 

honeymustard's picture
honeymustard

My partner's father and sister are here to visit. They each occupy one of the downstairs rooms that I meticulously cleaned before they arrived, so much so that I drove myself into hand-wringing worry over each minute detail in their rooms. Then the cobwebs in the other corners of the house laugh at me.


Bread calms me down, I think. There's something about nurturing it into life (and--in the oven--subsequently killing it, I suppose, but I don't think about that) that I find calming. I rekindled this years-long love of bread-making while sitting in a cramped hostel room in Taipei right before Christmas.


There was literally no floor space save for a two-by-three foot area where the door swung open in on our tiny apartment. We'd just had our Christmas Day supper. We'd found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant where the owner spoke just enough English and we spoke one or two food words in Mandarin to get across that we'd like chicken soup. He brought us two different kinds. He gave Dave his bowl and said, "Good for man." A minute later, he brought me mine, and said, "Good for woman." He smiled, waited for our reactions. Dave loved his while I didn't like his, and I loved mine while Dave wouldn't touch mine. What a wise man that had served us. He offered us zong: spiced rice with pork wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. The spices were just reminiscent enough of Christmas that I didn't miss the overwhelming bright lights, electronified versions of Christmas carols, or ads delivering guilt trips about not giving your loved ones enough presents. But let's be serious, I didn't miss it anyway.


Chicken Soup & Zong


Besides, I had already gotten all my relatives and friends presents, and now it was my turn. To be there when I first arrived back in Nova Scotia, I ordered the Tassajara Bread book. It seemed only fair that as an amateur bread baker, I have a cookbook focused on bread alone.


I feel selfish, because with that bread book, I gave myself more than I had anyone else on my Christmas list. Breads were springier and lighter, tastier and more beautiful. I felt in control of the bread for once, and I fell in love.


I set about to Google many times thereafter, finding more recipes, wanting to find more people who wrote books like Edward Espe Brown, those who seemed to understand the art much more than Betty Crocker. Eventually I found many sites, and it's almost overwhelming. I'm learning how to make bread all over again.


Poolish Baguettes


So for my first trick, I made poolish baguettes. From this recipe. Schmiechel is not amused because she cannot eat it.


Unamused Schmiechel


But my visitors can eat bread. And they will eat all of it.

Franko's picture
Franko

 



Late last week my wife and I were invited to my step-son and fiance's new home for a 'get acquainted' Sunday dinner with her parents and grandparents, so I thought it might be a good idea to bring a loaf of something or other to contribute to the meal. We've met them all previously but not knowing their tastes I decided to go with a bread using poolish rather than a sour levain style bread, settling on Hamelman's Pain Rustique which uses 50% prefermented flour in the formula. The poolish was made on Saturday night and sat for almost 12 hours before being mixed with the other ingredients after a 30 minute autolyse, producing a very slack dough similar to Ciabatta. After 40 minutes of bulk ferment it needed some stretch and folds in the bowl before being able to develop it on the counter using the slap and fold technique. The dough had two stretch and folds over the course of the next hour with a small addition of flour to tighten it up to a point where it could hold a loose shape, then divided into 2 unmolded rectangular shaped loaves, placed seam side up on floured linen for a final rise of 30 minutes. I had a bit of difficulty flipping the first on to the peel and it deflated slightly, but the second loaf held it's shape during the transfer. The loaves were given a single slash and baked at 460F for 35-40 minutes with a spray or two of water during the first 5 minutes. It's been a while since I've baked an all wheat dough and I'd almost forgotten how wonderful it can smell while it's baking, especially when it has a good percentage of poolish in the mix. The first loaf came out the way I expected it would, looking worse for the poor handling during transfer, but the second made a nice loaf with a bit of an ear along the slash. Everybody seemed to enjoyed it for it's open airy crumb, chewy crust, and that it paired so well with the delicious saucy braised short ribs our future daughter in-law had made for the main course of the meal. I've been eating sour rye bread of one type or another since the beginning of the year so this was a welcome change for it's fresh wheaty flavour and light porous crumb, and one that I'll be making again in the months to come.


I'm afraid the crumb shots are a bit too yellow due to light conditions and the flash on my phone camera. The actual colour was a creamy off white.


Best Wishes,


Franko



basbr's picture

Amount of poolish in Hamelman's baguette and pain rustique

April 10, 2011 - 7:17am -- basbr

Dear all,


This weekend I received my copy of Hamelman's "Bread" and it's fantastic. I made a boule from his poolish baguette recipe and his pain rustique.


I was completely surprised by the difference in taste between the two breads. Both were terrific, but the pain rustique tasted like no yeast bread I have ever tasted. I was blown away.

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Really?  Week 24?  Something like that, anyway.


Ahem.


Yesterday I made yet another batch of Hamelman's Baguettes with Poolish, continuing my baguette quest.  For those of you who have been following along, two weeks ago I made a batch which I didn't get around to blogging about, and last week I was busy on Saturday and forgot to make a poolish for Sunday.  In past weeks, I've gotten good results in crust, crumb and flavor, and decent to excellent grigne, but my scores keep bursting in the oven.  This week I was influenced by the video BelleAZ posted of Cyril Hitz slashing baguettes.  Hitz says in the video that the scores should overlap by a full third of their length, something I don't think I was doing very well, or at least not very consciously.


Ahem.  To the breads!


Exterior



Crumb



Y'know, I think I could be pretty happy with this. It's not perfect.  There's still some bursting, especially on the baguette on the bottom.  But that one just wasn't scored very well in general.  No bulging in between scores like some past weeks. Flavor and mouthfeel were quite good, as they've been for several weeks.  Crust was a little chewy, although I think this has more to do with the fact that the baguettes came out of the oven at noon, rather than later in the after noon.  Longer sitting seems to correlate to chewier crust.  No biggie.


I'm going to stick with this formula a few more weeks (I'd like to try it as two mini-batards or one large batard, just for yucks), but I think this quest is nearing completion.


Happy baking, everyone.


-Ryan

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

I do believe I am closing in on my goal of a tasty, presentable and above all reliable baguette, folks.  At the very least, the results have been reliably tasty of late, which will do for a start!


Anyway, here was last week's bake.  Still a lot of bursting between cuts despite loading the steam pans a couple minutes before loading the loaves.  Great ears though.


Exterior



Crumb (For the loaf on top, I believe)



Moments Later, as BLT


 


 


For this week's bake I switched over to the King Arthur Bread Flour (instead of AP), primarily because my wife did the shopping last week and that's what she picked up.  Worth a try, anyway.  I also threw a cup of water onto the floor of the oven after loading the baguettes, to get some extra steam.  Also, by accident I forgot to take the steam out of the oven, so I had steam for the full 26 minutes of the bake.  Oops!


Exterior:



 Crumb



 


Not bad, eh?  Not as much ear as past weeks--probably at least in part because of the flour.  But only a little bit of bursting.  The baguette on the bottom is just about perfect (this one is pictured in the crumb shot).  Though I'm also quite proud of the one in the middle.  It won't win any beauty contests, but the plastic wrap stuck to the top of that one during the proof, leaving a sticky, slack surface.  The fact that I got any kind of regular looking score on it is a victory I wouldn't have had a few months ago (this victory brought to you by TMB baking ).


Crust was good although a little...leathery, for lack of a better word (this sounds worse than it was).  Probably because of the excess steam during the second half of the bake.  Crumb was fantastic: open, creamy, flavorful.  If I could bake baguettes just like this every time, I'd be happy.  I could bake them like this but with the ears from last week, I'd be in home bakers' heaven.


Happy baking, everyone.

Scott Grocer's picture

Preferment: Would milk be OK?

February 18, 2011 - 12:03am -- Scott Grocer
Forums: 

I've got a sandwich loaf recipe here that calls for a preferment that uses all of the water and a final dough that includes powdered milk, which I never have on hand.


The preferment is supposed to be very slack, batter like and fermented for up to 24 hours at room temp before use.


I know that the higher the hydration the faster a sponge develops, but would there be any obvious problem (enzyme action, black magic, bad juju?) using whole milk in the sponge instead of water and omitting the final dough's dry milk?


Thanks!

cranbo's picture
cranbo

In researching another thread, came across this interesting article on preferments from Lallemand, in PDF format.


One interesting morsel:



The preferment minimizes the lag phase by providing an optimum environment for the yeast. The result is higher gas production later inthe process, especially in high-sugar doughs.



The lag phase is the "ramp up" phase that occurs before yeast reach their maximum productivity. The article has a nice chart. 


Here's another interesting one:



Yeast activation takes place during the first 30 to 60 minutes in all types of preferments. Longer preferment times are not necessary for yeast activation, and can have a negative effect because yeast start to lose activity once the available sugar has been consumed. The only reason for longer preferments is for flavor contribution or dough development.



I think they're referring to the activation of commercial yeasts here (Lallemand is a commercial yeast producer, after all). Yeast activation is sourdough I think is different altogether. 


 

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

My first baguettes are in their second rise under a canopy of dusted linen and plastic. I'm glad they're under wraps. They are undeniably ugly. Instead of rolling out slender columns of dough, I created things that look like squat electric eels, large cucumbers, chubby rolling pins. I hadn't allowed the dough to rest long enough after pre-shaping. Darn.


Well, we'll see what I end up with in two hours.


Sylvia


Bronx-to-Barn Baker

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