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Ghobz's picture

P. Reinhart ABED Pain au Levain - I think I failed again

September 6, 2011 - 8:01am -- Ghobz

Hi,

I'm at my second attempt making pain au levain following the recipe and instructions from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day. I went easily through building the seed starter and then the mother dough. Every thing went very well, although the activity in the seed starter happened faster than what PR indicated in his bood, sometimes rose and bubled in as little as 4 hours.

ph_kosel's picture
ph_kosel

I made a loaf of SF Sourdough for an Easter brunch, following Peter Reinhart's recipe in his book Artisan Bread Every Day.  In the past I've had extremely good luck with Reinhart's SF  Sourdough recipe in his other book Crust and Crumb but my supply of "mother starter" was a bit low and the recipe in Artisan Bread Every Day only calls for two ounces while the one in Crust and Crumb asks for .  Besides, I've been wanting to try the recipe in Artisan Bread Every Day anyway.


I mixed up the intermediate"wild yeast starter" Friday, the dough Saturday, and baked the loaf Sunday morning (keeping the starter and dough each overnight in the fridge between times). When I mixed up the dough it seemed too wet (perhaps I messed up the weights, I was working under pressure); the recipe says adjust consistency as needed so I added more flour until it seemed about right.  I fridged the dough up in a stainless bowl with a tight plastic lid.  I was a bit worried it might rise too much and pop the lid off but fridge space was limited.  In the morning the lid was, indeed, bulging a bit but it hadn't popped off.


I chose to just use all the dough to make a single big "miche" loaf because I didn't want to risk degassing the dough too much by dividing it.  It was probably the biggest loaf I've ever baked.


Here are photos of the result:



Loaf^



Crumb


The loaf looks pretty good, and my wife and our guests seemed to like it quite a bit, but I found the taste and texture less satisfactory, less "yummy", than loaves I baked back in January using the recipe from Reinhart's Crust and Crumb.


 


Here's a photo from back in January:



Loaves and crumb from January 2011^


The more varied and irregular holes in the crumb of the January loaves is fairly obvious.  Not visible is a difference in taste and mouth-feel.  The January loaves as I recall were a bit moister, more tender perhaps, and had better taste.


I'm a bit bemused by the difference and curious about the cause.  The recipes are very similar, and the "mother culture" is the same.  One thing different is that in January I used King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour while in the current loaf I used a less expensive generic unbleached bread flour I got at the local Food Maxx market - both have the same labeled protein content.  The loaves in January included a bit of brown sugar in the dough per the Crust and Crumb recipe while the current loaf did not.  The January loaves were made exactly by weight according to the recipe while the latest included additional flour which I "eyeballed".  I'm not sure but I think there was a tad more salt in the January loaves.  Finally, the January loaves were retarded overnight "uncontrained" under plastic wrap while the current dough was retarded in a bowl with a tight fitting lid which restrained it's expansion.


Anyway, the two sourdough bakes tasted quite different to me, although others say they found the current effort highly satisfactory.  Go figure!

Azazello's picture

A miche

March 8, 2011 - 2:34am -- Azazello

Hello everyone.


Great community here - I've been lurking for a little while and have learned a great deal from people's posts, so thanks - many people on here have (unwittingly) helped me improve my bread.


I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of a miche I baked last night and cut open this morning. I followed the Reinhart formula in BBA, although I think I used a mix of brown and wholemeal flours and did a couple of stretch and folds instead of kneading for a more open crumb.


I could lose the rye flour coating, but I think it looks good.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I love beer breads, so when I saw the Team USA formula featured in Crust and Crumb (Reinhart) I had to try it. 


Reinhart points out that this formula is a bit unusal because it utilizes two distinct preferments (three, actually, as Reinhart says in the notes, when you include the beer).  It uses a firm starter made up from a barm as well as a pate fermente (old dough).  I used Beck's beer, which I had on hand instead of an amber ale.  I made the barm/firm starter and pate ferment from scratch using the formulas in the book. I also roasted my own diastatic malt powder to deactivate the diastase enzymes since I do not have non-diastatic malt on hand and don't have much call for it.  Toasting worked out just fine, but I was not prepared for all the smoke.  (Maybe I over-toasted it just a bit.)


I baked this bread with Pendleton Mills Power, home-milled hard white winter wheat, and Wingold Dark Rye flour.  I substituted 1 ounce of coarse rye meal for an equal amount of rye flour.  I found the formula produced too dry a dough on just the water called for (1/2 Cup) and had to increase that to roughly 1 1/4 Cup total.  Some of this is probably due to the home-milled whole wheat flour, which I find to be pretty thirsty in all cases.  More of it is probably due to the coarse rye meal.  The dough balanced out at a very nice texture with the additional moisture and my old Bosch mixer never broke a sweat on the four-loaf load, even with the several extra minutes of heavy work it had to put in while I adjusted the hydration.  Total mixing time came out close to 13 minutes.


After fermenting, degassing and fermenting again I shaped the dough into free-form oval loaves and proofed them in pairs on parchment.  They were scored and baked in pairs on parchment on my baking tiles under a roasting pan lid preheated with the oven to 475F.  I misted the loaves liberally before loading them into the oven, and again just as I lowered the roasting pan over them.  I found baking times somewhat shorter than called for in the book, but that is expected given the shape I used.  Boulles would probably have taken the prescribed amount of time.


This formula produces four loaves of bread.  I could not find a pleasing way to fit all four into my basket, so here are three of the four.



The crumb looks like this:


 


 


Calling this "beer" bread has a point, in that the addition of a nice fully hopped brew should add an additional flavor dimension of hoppy bitterness that is subtle and enhancing rather than strong and overpowering.  Perhaps I should have gone and bought the amber ale called for and drank the Beck's with lunch.  In any event that flavor dimension was not very prevalent in these loaves.  They are good, but I think these would be more accurately called whole wheat and rye.  I accept responsibility for that, for both the beer selection, which weakened that flavor component, and for the inclusion of the rye meal, which gave the bread a stonger rye flavor.  I'm certain this combination of divergences does not do justice to the original flavor.  The beer does add a softness to the crumb however, that is an excellent offset to the chewiness (IMHO) of bread flour.  The crust is not a crispy french bread crust that shatters when you cut into it, but has a very agreeable chewy bite that is also very flavorful.  Overall this is better than average bread, and I will make it again.  Next time I will get the proper amber ale and leave out the rye meal to see what difference it makes.


Thanks for stopping by
OldWoodenSpoon

em120392's picture
em120392

Challah Bread


Hey Guys! I've been baking my way through The Bread Baker's Apprentice for a high school project. Here's my entry for Challah from a blog about bread which my brother and I share!  http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/


There are two Hebrew words for bread: lichem is an everyday bread and challah is the bread eaten on Sabbath, the day of rest. Challah is an enriched bread with oil, sugar and eggs, while Lichem is a basic lean dough. Before the bread is baked, the baker sacrifices a piece of the dough to the Gods. At any event, two challahs are two challahs must be blessed to prevent the breads from being shamed. To do so, the bread is placed under a challah Cover while the wine is being blessed. At Sabbath dinner, before the bread can be broken, the family must say in Hebrew, "Blessed are you, Lord Our God, king of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth."


Traditionally, challah is braided into a long loaf and lacquered with egg wash on the Sabbath. On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, challah is circularly shaped to represent the coming year and long life. Sometimes it is shaped like a ladder, to symbolize the ascent to God after death. In comparison to the regular Sabbath Challah, the holiday bread is sometimes enriched with raisins or saffron, which were considered prized ingredients.


In comparison to his other recipes, Reinhart does not use a preferment in his challah recipe. Since it's an enriched bread, most of the flavor and texture comes from the eggs and sugar.


I began by mixing together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In another bowl, I mixed together eggs, egg yolks, water and oil. Using my new dough whisk, I stirred the wet into the dry until it made a shaggy dough. I added more flour so the dough was not sticky, and kneaded it for about 6 minutes, until it passed the windowpane test.

I let the dough rise for the first time for about an hour. At this point, Reinhart suggests to punch down the dough and knead for a few moments. Then, I let the dough rise for another two hours, until it doubled in size. Then, divided the dough in six equal pieces (making two loaves), shaped them into balls, and let the gluten relax for about 20 minutes.

With a dough ball in hand, I pressed the dough against the counter, slightly elongating it. Next, with two hands, I pushed the dough outwards in order to make it into a long strand. When I thought I reached my desired length, the dough shrank back slightly. So, I let the dough relax for a few minutes, and then stretched each section into a foot and a half length strand.

Next, I began braiding the strands. I opted to make two 3-strand braids so I wouldn't have one gigantic loaf that we'd never be able to finish. Beginning at the midpoint of the strands, I laid the three strands next to each other, and placed the right strand over the middle strand. Then, I placed the left strand over the middle strand, and continued braiding like I would hair. When I reached the end, I turned the loaf around 180 degrees, and braded the other side. Then, I rolled the ends together by pushing the dough against the counter with the heel of my hands. I tucked the ends underneath the loaf so it would have a finished look.



When I looked at the time, I realized it would be past midnight by the time the challahs proofed and baked. I was silly and didn't think ahead, and egg-washed the dough before refrigerating it (it was late!). I let the dough proof in the fridge until the next afternoon. After resting on the counter for about 2 hours so it warmed up, I baked the bread loaves in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes. As it was cooling, I realized that I forgot the second egg wash. This resulted with the loaf having an uneven, semi-shiny, semi-crackly surface. The braids looked nice, but it didn't have the lacquered crust.

When I ate a piece, I remembered how much I love challah. I love the tender, almost cake-like texture of the crumb, and the soft crust. Like the brioche, challah with raspberry jam made breakfast (and dessert!) delicious. I brought a loaf to my mentor, Mr. Esteban. I explained to him that I was disappointed in the crust, but I don't think he minded all that much. It's still bread, right? I also brought a half loaf to my Jewish grandparents. We always have challah on Rosh Hashanah, and it reminded me of the holidays. Nothing beats a good loaf of challah bread.


 


 

strick's picture

My First Shot at Bagels

January 26, 2011 - 9:25am -- strick
Forums: 

This is my first post on Fresh Loaf, but I have been reading posts for months now. This is my first try at Bagels and I consider it about 50% success. They look better than they taste. Not to say they taste bad, just not "bagelly".They actually taste a whole lot like my soft pretzels...sorta. They are 100% bread flour which I was not too happy to do, but I usually follow recipes very closely the first time around and then modify. I like whole wheat bagels the best so that is coming next.

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! I just wanted to thank you again for your encouraging comments on my bread-baking-project for school. I appreciate your thoughts very much! =]


I made bagels the other day, and wanted to share my post with you guys.


Here it is!


(my brother and i share a blog: http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/ )Originating in Poland in the 1600s, Bagels came along with Jewish immigrants to Ellis Island. Since many people of Jewish descent settled in New York, bagels have since been a tradition in the City.



The word bagel is derived from the German word for "to bend," symbolizing the round shape of the bread. Bagels were thought to bring good luck to the receiver of the bread. Usually, women who just gave birth received them for good luck as well as a symbol representing the cycle of life due to their circular shape.


The bagel gains its distinct chewiness from being first boiled, and then baked at a rather high temperature. A prolonged, cool second rise contributes to the bagels developed flavor, as well as the "fish eyes" on the crust. "Fish eyes" are raised bumps on the surface of the bread.


The first time I made bagels a few years ago, I was foolish and used whole wheat, no-knead dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Although this dough made fine boules, the bagels dissolved in the boiling water, leaving broken lumps of chewy dough. Nevertheless, I was determined to find the perfect bagel recipe.


My brother, Evan, has been baking his own bagels weekly for about a year now. Out in California, each bagel costs over a buck, and they're spongy rolls. Out here in New Jersey, we sometimes get good bagels-but mostly, they're doughy and the size of your face.


Reinhart begins his recipe with a sponge, combining water, yeast, and flour into a thick-pancake like batter. After about two hours, I added more yeast, flour, salt and honey. I tried to mix the ingredients together, but flour flew out everywhere, making a giant mess. I tried to knead the dough in the Kitchen Aid, but the dough was so stiff, I could smell the motor straining.


That's why we have hands, I guess. For about ten minutes, I kneaded the stiff dough until my arms hurt, and the dough passed the window pane test. I measured out the dough into twelve even pieces (thank goodness for a scale). However, 4.5 ounce bagels were a bit too large for breakfast, and I think making about 16 would be a better portion.


After letting the dough rest for a little bit, I shaped them into bagels. I tried both ways, by sticking my finger through the dough and stretching the hole out, and also by forming them from a coil. I found that by poking my finger through, the shape of the bagel was more consistent, but I'm sure with more practice, I could get better at the coil-method.


I let the bagels rest again for about twenty minutes. Reinhart suggests a test for readiness: I placed one piece of shaped bagel dough in a bowl of water and saw it immediately floated.


After the test, I placed them on baking sheets, covered them with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge for two nights.


On the second night, I brought a pot of water to a boil with an added tablespoon of baking soda. I didn't want to crowd my pot, so I only boiled four bagels at a time, for about a minute per each side. Immediately after boiling, I put them on a cooling-rack to drain, and sprinkled over a combination of sesame and poppy seeds, as well as some sea salt.


After boiling all 12 bagels, I baked them in a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes, rotated the pans, and baked them about 7 minutes more at 450, or until they were deep golden brown.


The next morning, I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. Wow. They beat any one of the partially-cooked ones I get from the bakeries in my town. Since there are only three of us living in my house right now, we froze half of the bagels for future use. I also gave my mentor, Mr. Esteban a handful of bagels to share with his family. I hope he enjoyed them!


Besides my finicky mixer, this recipe was super simple and didn't require all that much effort (but more utensils than normal to clean). Rather than spending 12 bucks for 12 bagels on Sunday, I can bake these (better) bagels for a fraction of the cost. Next time, I'll try to find malt barley to make more authentic bagels, but for now, these are awesome!


Olver, Lynne. "Breads." Food Timeline (2011): n. pag. Web. 14 Jan 2011. <http://www.foodtimeline.org>.


 


 

breadman_nz's picture

Artisan Bread Every Day - Errata for Bagel Recipe

January 15, 2011 - 12:53pm -- breadman_nz
Forums: 

I have just bought Peter Reinhart's ABED and made the bagel recipe (which turned out fantastically well, by the way).


However there is an error in the recipe (pages 75 & 77, first edition). The correct volume of water for the poaching liquid is 1814-2721g, which is the equivalent of 64-96oz. The book says 181g-272g, being out by a factor of 10!


I couldn't find this errata notified after searching here and elsewhere, so trust it's not a duplication.

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