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Cafemich's picture

Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads - do the techniques make better bread?

September 21, 2008 - 10:16am -- Cafemich
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I bought this book a couple of months ago because the recipes looked so enticing. I've used Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book for many years and have always achieved very good results from her recipes and techniques. But, I wanted some new whole grain recipes and got pretty excited after reviewing the table of contents in the Reinhart book.

lolo's picture
lolo

Pain de Campagne

 

This is my second bread from BBA.  I decided to stick with boules even though Reinhart says this is the perfect dough for all kinds of fancy shapes.  Everything went really well until the slashing.  I bought a lame from a local kitchen store and it just was not slashing the dough.  At all!  I tried wetting it, oiling it, using the other side of the blade... nada.  Finally I touched it with the tip of my finger and realized that it's fairly dull.  Sad!

I grabbed a semi-sharp serrated tomato knife to do the slashing instead.  While that actually cut into the dough, it did so with a fair amount of drag, so I didn't get the cleanest slashes.  Ah well.  Time to go to the hardware store to buy a package of razor blades, I guess. 

Pain de Campagne, boule

 

The recipe said it made three loaves.  They turned out to be rather small loaves, so next time I think I'll split it into two if I'm going to do the same shape.  But there is something nice about these little boules, though.

Pain de Campagne

 

The crumb on this is decent.  The taste is good, but I think I like the taste of the pain de l'ancienne better.  My husband liked the taste of this, but halfway through a big slice said there was an "aftertaste."  I don't know if he's tasting the whole wheat component (hard red winter wheat berries I ground in my vitamix) or what.  I don't think I let the bread overproof, and he said it wasn't an alcohol flavor, so I'm not sure what he's tasting.

Overall a fairly successful bake.  It was my first time using a pate fermente.  I even considered making two loaves and keeping the other third of the dough for a loaf tomorrow, but I haven't baked with a poolish yet so that might be my next project. 

lolo's picture
lolo

Pain a l'Ancienne

I've decided it's time to jump into breads, and what better way than BBA?  After reading most of the book I decided that this would be a great first bread to try.  I was SO happy with the flavor and the crumb; I've never ever made bread that tasted so good or had such a nice texture.  It really was "creamy and cool" just as it should be.  The crust even crackled as it was cooling!  How fun!!  Not bad for my first shot at "real" bread.

Pain a l'Ancienne - Crumb

 

I think I could stand to make a slightly less hydrated dough next time (I think I added too much water, then was adding flour like mad to compensate) and gain some height without giving up the overall quality of the bread.  The bread spread out while shaping, causing me to curl it under a little, which created veins of uncooked flour on the undersides of some of the loaves.  A stiff brush removed most of it, but still, who wants a mouthful of flour?  If I can figure out how to use less flour without the dough sticking like crazy, I'd be set.  The excess flour burned up in the oven and I nearly smoked myself out of my kitchen.  I also need a much larger baking stone, as I could only fit two loaves at a time, which really lengthened the whole process.

 

 

"Shaping" the "loaves" "Shaping" the "loaves"

I made the dough around 11 pm and took it out of the fridge at 9 am.  I put it in the oven a little after 12 (even though I wasn't sure it had actually doubled yet... I didn't want to overproof it and end up with even flatter dough...)  I tried to score the first two loaves with a lame, but that was hopeless.  I moved on to sharp scissors like the book suggests, and while that worked better, you could hardly see the cuts on the final loaves.  I skipped that step altogether on the last two loaves and it seemed to work out fine.  Maybe if I make the dough a little drier next time the slashing will work out as well.

Overall I'm really, really happy with these, especially since it was my first try.  It was absolutely the best tasting bread I've ever made.  I can't wait for my whole wheat starter to be ready so I can get going on some of the recipes in his Whole Grains book as well!

Pain a l'Ancienne
obrien1984's picture

Whole Wheat Sourdough

April 30, 2008 - 3:13am -- obrien1984

For several months now, I have been baking whole wheat breads based on recipes in Peter Reinhart's latest book. For the most part, I have met with success.

 I am now attempting to modify these recipes to accomplish two goals: to eliminate commercial yeast from my breads, and to simplify the baking schedule (which includes using less equipment, making less mess, and adjusting the rise times to occur while I'm at work).

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Banana Bread
Banana Bread

In addition to all the yeast breads, including sourdoughs, Peter Reinhart has also provided us with recipes for other types of baked goods. In Crust&Crumb, he has a Banana Bread recipe I tried for the first time yesterday.

Reinhart gives two methods of mixing: one if you use butter as the fat("Creaming method"), the other if you use oil ("Batter method"). I had an attack of self-restraint and used oil. I also cut down the sugar by about 1/3, because most recipes call for more sugar than I like, and cut down the walnuts by 1/3, because I didn't have as much walnuts as I thought I did. Reinhart does not call for toasting the nuts, but I did - 5 minutes at 350F.

Next time, I am going to try using less oil (Canola).

The past and future tweaks aside, this made a very nice quick bread. It is very moist and tastes delicious.

David

balabusta's picture

Reinhart's Master Formula

February 9, 2008 - 8:09pm -- balabusta
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Today, I made Peter Reinhart's master formula whole wheat bread from his new book Whole Grain Breads.  According to the text, soakers "change the way the dough performs, usually sweetening it and creating a richer more golden crust."

Normally, I never add sweetner to my sourdough recipes. Interestingly, I see that most of the recipes in the book call for a whopping 2 - 3 Tablespoons of honey or agave nectar; sugar or brown sugar, so I wonder if that is the reason why the bread is sweetened ....

Diane

Upstate NY 

 

 

Doughboy's picture

Peter Reinhart's Chicago Deep Dish

January 26, 2008 - 10:27am -- Doughboy

Hey, I was wondering if anyone has tried Peter Reinhart's Chicago Deep dish? I was wondering if you should use a deep dish pan or not, and if so what size. I want to try it but I don't have a deep dish pan and wasn't sure if I could do it. Also if you have tried it can you give me some recommendations and tips and it. Photos are always welcomed as well. I love his other pizzas. I'm working on getting a thicker/chewier crust for the New-York Style, but maybe I'll try the Pizza Americana since it has milk and that always helps thicken a bit. Thanks for any informaiton.

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