The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I've been baking a lot, I've just had no time with work and home life to post. Here's a quick update of what I've been making over the past few weeks.

The sticky buns have been a big hit, but I only make them when we've got company staying over -- otherwise, I eat far too many. Photos and the recipe are here.

Oatmeal bread has made a come-back. I've tried a bunch of recipes, but pre-ferments never work for me because, since I prefer to use cooked steel-cut oats, the water in the oatmeal and the pre-ferment together make the dough too wet. I've finally settled on the recipe from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book which relies on the oatmeal alone for liquid, but I took a cue from Hammelman and added an overnight retarding in the fridge. I love the warm, sweet flavor of the oats -- this might be my favorite sandwich bread.


I've also been making sourdough whole-wheat pizzas (60%). Here's the recipe I use for the dough, though lately I've been scaling back the water to 75% so that I can be sure I won't have any trouble with the dough sticking to the peel.



Here's that Ponsford Ciabatta that was giving me such fits a few weeks ago. It turned out OK, but, surprisingly, the flavor was not as yummy as the Poolish Ciabatta from Hammelman's Bread. It also started to go stale just a few hours after I made it. All I can figure is that I overproofed the thing.



Here's a funny one. Just a simple loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread, made with yogurt, from Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. I have no idea why the oven spring was so lopsided. Odd.



Last, I've been playing around a lot with rye, since I revived my rye starter from a massive attack of stinky black mold. I've tried breads with 40% rye and 60% whole wheat, but unless they're panned, I've never gotten the kind of volume I like. So I've been going with a 40-30-30 mix of whole rye - whole wheat - strong white flour that I've been very pleased with. I also add caraway. Yum.

ehanner's picture

Lunch in Afghanistan

January 29, 2008 - 10:22am -- ehanner

As some of you will remember, I shipped a care package to a family member who is serving his 4th tour in the Middle East that included rye bread. The idea was to send the components to have the men be able to have a ham and cheese sandwich with all the fixings. There was much discussion about the best way to ship the Sour deli style Rye bread. In the end I bucked up and tried everything, not wanting to put all my eggs one basket. I made 3 loaves to be shipped in a paper bag wrapped loosely in plastic and I made 4 loaves sealed then puncture the seal in plastic.

ejm's picture
ejm

I made these loaves for Bread Baking Day #6.

wild bread with rye and sesame seeds © ejm January 2008

When shaping freeform bread, I usually shape it in boules because that's what I know how to do. But there is a request for shaped breads, specifically NOT "batard, boule or baguette" for Bread Baking Day #6.

I took a look through our bread baking cookbooks to find some traditional shapes for bread. Lo and behold, there was that same sideways "S" shape in Pane Sicialano in The Italian Baker by Carol Field.

Considering the difficulties I've been having with our wild starter and bread making lately, there's no way I was going to try that particular recipe again right now!

Then I remembered reading (where WAS it?!) that any bread can be put into any shape. How handy is that?

So I mixed up our wild bread recipe, but this time, added just a little bit of dark rye flour and sprinkled sesame seeds on top of the loaves just after shaping the loaves. I also added a tiny bit (1/16 tsp) of active dry yeast to the bread, because I'm so nervous that our starter isn't strong enough.

I formed one of the loaves into a crescent and one into the sideways 'S' shape Lucia shape sideways 'S', one of the traditional shapes for Lucia bread.

Happily, the occhi shaped dough expanded nicely. I had to assume that the crescent shaped one was risen enough too. Both were rather flat when I put them in the oven. But I was very happy (read "very relieved") that both did get some oven spring and turned out to be relatively presentable.

The results? Delicious!

I'm amazed at how the flavour of the rye comes through. The bread was quite firm in the crust with lots of un-uniform holes. In the somewhat chewy crumb, there was just a hint of sourness.

Here is the recipe I used:

If you would like to participate Bread Baking Day #6

The deadline for BBD#06 is 1 February 2008. For complete details on how to participate, please go to:

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And finally, if you haven't already, don't forget to read about

Floydm's picture

Jeff Hertzberg's Deli-Style Rye

January 25, 2008 - 6:48pm -- Floydm

Jeff Hertzberg, the co-author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day writes in his introduction that the quest for an authentic deli-style rye bread like what he grew up eating was what started his obsession with bread baking. The result is an extremely tasty rye bread that even the most inexperienced baker ought to be able to bake successfully.

weavershouse's picture

LIZ, I finally used some home milled rye

January 20, 2008 - 6:53pm -- weavershouse

I did but it was a very small amount, 10 grams for two medium loaves. Not much but I really think it made a difference. I used the rye whole in zolablue's PIERRE NURY'S RUSTIC LIGHT RYE. I posted pictures under zolablue's post for this bread. If you have time give it a try. Next time I'm going to increase the rye some but I don't know how much yet.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I was concerned that my success with the whole grain hearth bread that I posted about early last month was just a one-hit wonder. Thankfully, it seems I can repeat it. Here's a few loaves that have come out of the oven in the past weeks:







I've also used the same technique for a 60-40 whole wheat to whole rye batard, and it, too, turned out well, though the crumb was, naturally, much tighter than in the loaves pictured here. I'd have taken pictures, but the camera was full and, by the time I got around to downloading them off of the camera's video card, the loaf was just a little nubbin.

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