The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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BerniePiel's picture
BerniePiel

I have really become enamored of late with Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread, particularly his basic country loaf which is a combination of APF or BF and WWF.  I had to experiment with some raisins and pistachios that I had on hand.  The methodology was identical to Robertson's given in the text, same proportions, same times and so forth.  My only variation is that I use spring water, I mill local Oklahoma winter hard red wheatberries, and perhaps my method of folding the bread and the number of times that I fold versus the text.  I fold 4 or more times depending on what kind of structure I see developing; Chad states he folds three times every 25 minutes during the bulk rise.  I add one of two extra folds.  Also, I do not use all of the 50 g of water that he calls for when addiing the 20 g of salt after the inital 20 minute autolyse.  I usually just end up adding 25 g rather than the entire 50 because I feel it makes my dough to wet.


I have also discovered that his temps of water and air environment called for at various locations in the recipe should be adhered to.  He states using water at 80 degrees and he's right.  I tried using my ambient temp water at between 65 and 72 and the dough behaved differently.  The bulk rise and final rise temps should also be between 78 and 82 which is conducive to good yeast activity and providing a proper amount of time for the flavors to be created in the dough.


In this bread I added 1 1/2 cups of currants (a smaller dark raisin) and 1 1/2 cups of unsalted pistachio nuts, added at the first folding following  the 20 minutes autolyse or rrest.  It took several minutes to incorporate these two items evenly throughout the dough.  If you skimp here, the raisnins and nuts will be along the inside of the crust edge rather than scattered throughout the loaf.


Also, as the recipe states, it will make two loaves.  During this bake, I cooked the first loaf immediately ater the final rise.  The second loaf I allowed to ferment in the fridge for 12 hours just to see if  there was a difference in taste.  There is and its quite good.  But, even without that fermentation period, the bread was also very good.  But, the time in the fridge did improve the flavor.


Finally, I baked these two loaves in a round clay couche that I soaked before puttiing into the oven and I added  them as tthe oven was heating.  The oven was up to 360 degrees when I added the couche (normally I put my cooking vessel in when I fire up the oven, but I forgot this time.)  The clay vessel had been soaking in water for 15 minutes just prior to going in the oven to preheat befoe i added the boules.


I put the loaves in when my temp reached 515, put the top on and after 10 minutes, turned the oven down to 450.  After a total of 20 minutes had elapsed from the time I first put the dough in the clay pot, I took the lid off and baked for another 20 minutes at 450.  The crust becomes harder, good carmelization, and the interior crumb is chewy and flavorful.  I really, really like this bread.


Here are the pix:


 


from the oven couche


 


EvaB's picture

Welsh cookies and other things

May 25, 2010 - 11:16am -- EvaB
Forums: 

Ok shall try this again, I spent the past weekend without power for most of it. We had a freak snowstorm which took down all the trees the hydro company hasn't been taking off right of ways etc. We spent from about 8 am on the 22nd to 5:40pm on the 23rd without power. Fortunately I have a gas stove which while I couldn't use the oven (one of those electric start things) I could light the burners and cook.

emunab's picture
emunab

Everyone wants to make the perfect challah. It's easier than you think. Try this recipe:


Perfect Challah with Sweet Crumble Topping


I make them in twisted rolls and bake them in a 12 cup muffin tray and they come out shaped well and with great height. You cannot eat just a bite so make a lot of them!


Makes 32 rolls


Topping:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
16 - 19 tablespoons oil
Mix flour and sugar. Add oil (start with 16 tablespoons) and add until consistency is crumbly.


Challah Dough
5 lbs sifted flour (sometimes need to add 2 or 3 more cups)
1 cup sugar
4 packets RAPID RISE yeast
2 tablespoons salt
3 eggs
5 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil


Put 5 cups of flour in mixer. Add yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix in water, oil and eggs. Mix until well combined and it has no lumps. Add remaining flour one cup at a time. Knead in the mixer for 12 minutes.


Let dough sit in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The dough should have at least doubled in size. Punch down dough and braid into loaves or use a few pieces and knot for rolls. Place in challah pans or in large muffin cups. Let rise 45 more minutes. Sprinkle generously with crumble topping. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.


For more great challah recipes, check out www.gourmetkoshercooking.com 

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