The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

The last few weeks have sucked TREMENDOUSLY around here. Good bread is how I cope. In order to stop the current round of chaos that was the wind down for bedtime last night, I offered to the kids that we should mix up dough.

400g flour

2 pinches of yeast

8g salt

300g water

I wanted a wet, tasty dough that would be ready in time for dinner the next day. I woke up today and at 3 or so punched it down and shaped it. A couple hours later I put it in the oven. Half an hour at 425 later, this is what I pulled out of the oven:

The loaves are almost round. ROUND. Can't believe it.

Basic things can make you so happy.

ralphyo's picture

Mottled Appearance

September 16, 2012 - 3:07pm -- ralphyo
Forums: 

Below are pictures of the upper crust and bottom crust of a rustic bread I've been making recently.  These pictures illustrate a problem I've been fighting for some time with many of my breads.  I can't figure out why the upper crust has a mottled appearance versus being nicely browned.  The bottom crust which was on parchment paper against the baking stone shows no such issue.

bryoria's picture
bryoria

Today's bread was a rustic sourdough using my wild yeast starter:

I was out of aged whole wheat, so used all white flour instead (the recipe usually calls for 13% whole wheat).

  • 300 grams starter (100% hydration)
  • 725 grams white flour
  • 495 grams water
  • 1 tsp malt powder
  • 17 grams salt

Mixed all together with a 30 minute autolyse before adding the salt, then let it sit for 4 hours with one stretch and fold halfway.  Made fairly freeform loaves, being careful not to de-gas the dough, and let them proof at room temperature (on parchment on the back of a cookie sheet) for 45 minutes while the oven preheated.  I cover them with a smooth kitchen towel tucked around the well-floured loaves and put a paper towel roll between the loaves to keep them from spreading into each other.  Very high tech!

After proofing I slashed them and baked them at 425F for 45 minutes, putting a cup of hot water into a hot cookie sheet in the oven at the same time to make steam.  I think the slashes should have maybe been deeper.  When the loaves sprung (?) up the oven they just sort of flattened.   But other than that, I have no complaints. 

I've made the rustic sourdough a few times since I developed the starter last fall and I am always amazed and thrilled when the loaves rise so beautifully in the oven, with no added commercial yeast.  It's very magical.  Also extremely chewy, sour and delicious!

It was dark by the time we sliced it for supper, but I managed to get an okay photo of the crumb:

And as a bonus, while the bread dough was sitting for most of the day in between stretch and folds, I used the rest of my starter to make sourdough english muffins using the recipe from Wild Yeast blog.  This was my first time making english muffins, and I was really pleased. 

My only modification was to use all white flour due the aforementioned whole wheat flour shortage in the house.  The dough was very, very sticky and stayed that way, so I did add a little more flour as I mixed.  I cut them out with a 3" crumpet ring, and proofed them on the back of a baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap.  I baked them on my Oster griddle set to 275F, 8 minutes per side. The griddle is known to stay pretty cool, so I can't guarantee that the 275 setting is really 275, but whatever it was, it worked well.

They ended up looking pretty close to the storebought Costco ones my kids devour when they go to their grandparents, but taste so much better!  And I recognize all the ingredients!  I'll be doing this recipe again, with the whole wheat flour next time.

 

PeterPiper's picture

Retarding Dough How-To

June 29, 2009 - 8:26am -- PeterPiper

I had great success with overnight retarding of my ciabatta dough.  The flavor was sweet and nutty, the crust turned to a beautiful golden brown, and I got great big holes.  I thought that trying an overnight stay in the fridge for my rustic bread would yield similar results.  But I tried it this Saturday and my dough ended up with small uniform air pockets, and lacked in the rich develoepd taste of the ciabatta.

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

It's been a bit since I've baked. Bread has been bought at our house lately, which I'm not that happy with, and therefore I figured I should get in gear again. I wanted a bread that was relatively low fuss, so I decided on a reduced amount of yeast in a normal, slightly wetter dough.

I started with 2 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, and 1 cup water. Those were mixed and left in my oven for 5 hours. By this time the mass had tripled and was looking quite good. I mixed in 1/2 cup more water and 1.5 teaspoons salt, then flour 1/2 a cup at a time until I came to the right consistency for me...ended up being about 3.75 cups. It was a rather wet, sticky mass. I kneaded it in the bowl until it formed itself into something vaguely resembling a ball and stashed it in my refrigerator until morning. Woke up, took it out, let it come to room temperature. Once there, I shaped the dough into as nice a ball as I could manage and placed it into a bowl bottom up. I let that double. Baked at 425 for 20 minutes covered, and then 10 minutes uncovered, until the middle reached 200 degrees. I think it needed a little longer in the oven, but it turned out pretty well.

Photo of the 20 hour bread, whole loaf

Photo of the 20 hour bread, close-up of crack

Photo of the 20 hour bread, crumb

I think the next time I make this I'll not do a preferment at all. I really don't think it changed anything. I'll just mix up the ingredients, knead for a little while, and then stash in the fridge for a long fermentation. It'll probably turn this into 36 hour bread, but that's quite fine with me if the results are this tasty.

mcs's picture

the latest video from The Back Home

August 29, 2008 - 7:10pm -- mcs
Forums: 

The Fresh Loafers, This is the latest video where I'm working with some higher hydration (68%) doughs. Both of the breads are 'originals', and if you'd like to see the recipes you can probe around here for them or email me at the bakery. Anyway, I hope you like it. I decided to forego music this time and just add commentary. Nothing witty, strictly business.

-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

 

 

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