The Fresh Loaf

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potato rosemary rolls

Thanksgiving in the States is coming up soon. These rolls would make a wonderful accompaniment to the banquet table, though they are simple enough that they can go along with any night's dinner. They make amazing hamburger buns too.

Potato Rosemary Rolls Makes 18 small rolls or 12 hamburger sized buns 1 potato, cooked and mashed 1 lb (3 1/2 cups) bread or all-purpose unbleached flour 3/4 - 1 cup water 2 teaspoons instant yeast 2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon dried rosemary or 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground sage leaves

Cook the potato until soft, either by boiling or baking in the oven or microwave. For this batch I chopped up and boiled the potato. I then reserved a cup of the potato water to add to the loaf, figuring it had additional nutrients and starches that would help my loaf.

Mash the potato. Removing the skin prior to mashing is optional: if you are using tough skinned potatoes like russets I would suggest removing them, but with soft skinned potatoes such as yukon gold or red potatoes I typically leave them on. The chopped up skin add nice color and texture to your rolls.

Combine the flour, mashed potato, yeast, salt, pepper and herbs in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cups water and knead or mix for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more water or flour until a consistency you are comfortable working with is reached. I added close to a full cup of water and ended up with an extremely sticky dough that was difficult to work with. I was only able to shape the rolls by repeatedly dipping my fingers in flour. The end result was wonderful though.

(I encourage amateur bakers to push the limit of what they think they can handle, moisture-wise. More often than not you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results, though you can go too far and end up baking a pancake, which I've done more than once.)

potato rosemary rolls

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a moist towel and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, typically 60 to 90 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl, gently degas it, and shape it. For rolls or buns you can weigh them if you like or just eyeball them. I cut racquetball sized chunks of dough (larger than golf balls, smaller than tennis balls) then rolled them into balls in my well-floured hands. I placed them on a baking sheet covered with parchment, placed the entire sheet in a plastic trash bag, and set it aside to rise for approximately an hour again.

While the dough rose, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees.

If you have a spritzer, spray the top of the rolls with water right before placing them in the oven. Place them in the center rack and bake them for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake them for another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size. My large hamburger bun sized rolls took close to half an hour to bake. You'll know they are done when the bottom of the rolls is solid and slightly crispy. If you have a probe thermometer, check the temperature inside one of the rolls. When the internal temperature is approaching 200 degrees F, they are ready to pull out of the oven.

potato rosemary rolls

potato rosemary rolls

Allow the rolls to cool before serving. They keep very well too, so you could bake them a day or two ahead of time and still serve them for Thanksgiving.

Related Recipe: Kaiser Rolls.

Potato Rosemary Rolls

Floydm's picture
Floydm

English Muffins

Today I tried making English Muffins for the first time. They turned out pretty good:

I think I made the dough a little too dry, so I didn't get the big holes inside that you want, but they still tasted good.

I used the recipe from Beth Hensberger's Bread Bible. I may try another next time, but no complaints about this recipe.

Traditional English Muffins

1/4 cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon (1 package) active dry yeast (or a little less than a tablespoon of instant yeast)
Pinch of sugar
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 1/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Cornmeal (for dusting)

If using active dry yeast, combine the water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. If using instant yeast, as I did, you can just mix the yeast in with the flour and omit this first step and the sugar.

Combine 2 cups of the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in egg, milk, butter, and yeast mixture. Mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring in each time, until you have a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Return the dough to a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

Sprinkle a work surface with cornmeal. Pour the dough out of the bowl and onto the surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with cornmeal and then roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Use a large round cookie cutter or an upside down drinking glass to cut the muffins out of the dough.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the muffins onto the skillet and let the bake for 5 to 10 minutes until quite dark before flipping.

An optional step, if you are concerned about baking them all the way through (which I was), is to have your oven heated to 350. After baking the muffins on the griddle for 5 minutes on each side, place them on a cookie sheet and place them into the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. This assures that they are baked through.

Enjoy!

emkay's picture
emkay

Mexican buns aka coffee cookie buns aka rotiboy buns

The Chinese like soft and fluffy white breads. The whiter, the better. It might explain why something called Hong Kong flour exists. The HK flour is bleached and low in protein so that the resulting bread is super white and super soft. I don't really mind if my Chinese breads turn out white or not. So I just use what I have on hand which is Central Milling's Artisan Bakers Craft, a 10.5% protein, organic, malted, unbleached flour. The results are definitely more off-white than white. Soft and fluffy is easy. Enrichments such as butter, egg and milk will do the trick. Using a tangzhong aka water roux helps with the softness and keeping quality.

mexican_bun_crumb_1

This bun is a purely Asian creation. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with Mexico although buns with a cookie-like topping are reminiscent of conchas. I don't know who invented it first and I have no idea why the Chinese like topping breads with a cookie batter, but it's pure genius. The cookie melds with the bread dough and creates a thin, crispy, cookie-ish layer. Depending on the ingredient ratios in the cookie batter, the layer can be fused with the bread and cannot be peeled off. Or if the cookie batter is stiffer, the baked layer can be peeled or flaked off the bread and eaten separately which is the way I did it as a child when eating boh loh bao aka pineapple buns (which have no pineapple in it at all).

I used instant espresso powder in my cookie topping, but instant coffee powder can be used instead. You can leave out the coffee and have a plain vanilla topping. I used a tangzhong milk loaf for my buns. They turned out super soft, fluffy and shreddable. The topping was crisp on day one, but softened considerably by day two.

mexican_bun_proof

mexican_bun_swirl

mexican_bun_baked

I left a few without topping. The topping weighs down the bun a bit so the topped ones spread out instead of up.

mexican_bun_crust

The bottom of the bun.

mexican_bun_bottom

The crumb.

mexican_bun_crumb_2

mexican_bun_crumb_3

Bakers' percentages for the bun dough

100% flour*, 75% whole milk*, 10% sugar, 12.5% egg, 1% instant dry yeast, 1.5% salt, 10% butter

[* 5% of the total flour was used in the tangzhong. TZ ratio was 1:5 flour to milk.]

Bun dough recipe

To make the tangzhong: In a saucepan whisk 20 g AP flour into 100 g whole milk until it's pretty smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 149F/65C. It should be pudding like. Allow the tangzhong to cool before using it in the dough.

380 g AP flour

200 g whole milk, 85-90F

40 sugar

50 g egg

4 g instant dry yeast (SAF red)

6 g salt

40 g unsalted butter, softened

all of the tangzhong

  1. In a KA stand mixer, mix everything except the butter on speed 1 for 3 minutes.

  2. Add the butter and mix on speed 2 until all the butter is incorporated, about 2 -3 minutes.

  3. Bulk ferment at room temp until doubled, about 1 hour.

  4. Scale each bun at 55 grams. (I got 15 buns.)

  5. Proof on sheet pans at room temp for 30-45 minutes.

  6. Pipe cookie topping onto each proofed bun.

  7. Bake buns at 375F for about 15 mins or until golden brown. Best served warm.   

Coffee cookie topping

50g unsalted butter, softened

50g granulated sugar

50g egg, lightly beaten

70g AP flour

1 tsp instant espresso powder

1 tsp water

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  1. Dissolve the espresso powder in the warm water and mix in vanilla extract. Set aside.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Beat in the egg until well combined.

  4. Beat in the espresso mixture.

  5. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated.

  6. Transfer topping to a pastry bag fitted with a round pastry tip.

  7. Store in the refrigerator until needed. (Can be made 2 day in advance.)

  8. Allow the topping to soften a bit at room temp for about 5 or 10 minutes before piping it onto the proofed buns.

 :) Mary

holds99's picture
holds99

Dutch Oven Baking - Atta Durum Flour and K.A. Bread Flour

This bread is made using 50% Golden Temple Atta durum wheat flour (not semolina) and 50% King Arthur bread flour.  In the past I have used King Arthur durum flour.  For this bake I decided to try Golden Temple Atta.  The main difference I noticed between the King Arthur and Golden Temple durum flour, is King Arthur durum gives a yellowish color to the crumb, whereas Atta gives the crumb a light- golden tan color.  Other than color, I think the flavor of the two flours are comparable in taste/flavor.  After I finished baking this bread, I was putting away the Golden Temple Atta, it dawned on me that Varda had written a blog a while back on Atta durum flour, where she discussed some problems, options for mixing and hydration.  Using the TFL search function I found Varda’s: “Atta Durum Hearth Loaf” and read her excellent post on the characteristics of this flour and how she dealt with “taming the beast”.   The comments on the post were also interesting.  Varda used 100% Atta durum in her loaf, where I used only 50% Atta.  Incidentally, Varda’s loaf was beautiful.  Next time I will try using 100% Atta durum flour for this formula to see what results I get.

As can be seen in the photos, I used the Dutch oven method, which works well with this high-hydration dough.  In fact, I bake about half of all my bread in a Dutch oven.  As for shape, my personal preference is oval, rather than round Dutch oven.  The main reason is the oval (except for each end of the loaf) allows the slices to be fairly uniform in size/shape; nice for sandwiches.

After shaping, the loaves were retarded overnight in bannetons inside a plastic bag.  I preheated the oven to 500 degrees.  The temperature of the Dutch oven were room temp., not preheated.  I turned the shaped loaves from the bannetons into the Dutch oven, put the lid on and set them on the stone in my oven (see photo).  As can be seen in the photo, these Dutch ovens are large; the pair span the entire oven rack. 

I made slightly less than 8 pounds (7.85 lbs.) of dough and divided it equally into 2 – nearly four pound loaves.  The formula can be halved to produce approximately 4 pounds of dough, which can then be divided equally to produce 2 – approximately two pound loaves.  I also used a double-levain build.  The first build takes 12-14 hours (overnight), the second build, because of the yeast activity, takes much less time, 2-3 hours.  The final-dough flour and water was mixed together and allowed to autolyse for 30 minutes before adding the levain to the final dough mix.  After the autolyse, the levain was mixed with the final dough mixture for approximately 8 minutes (DLX Attendent - 10 qt. stand mixer - low speed) before the salt was added.  After adding salt it was then mixed an additional 4 minutes on low speed.  The dough was given 4 stretch and folds; one at the beginning of bulk fermentation, 3 more at 20 minute intervals for a total of one hour.  The dough was allowed to bulk ferment for an additional hour after the stretch and folds.  At the end of the 2 hour folding and bulk fermentation process the dough was divided, pre-shaped and allowed to rest on the work surface, covered, for 30 minutes.  Then the final shaping was done, after which the dough was placed into bannetons (seam side up) and retarded in the fridge overnight in plastic bags.

Note 1:  Before turning the dough into the Dutch oven, generously sprinkle the top of the dough in the bannetons with semolina.  After the dough is turned out of the banneton(s) into the Dutch oven, the semolina will act as an insulator and keep the bottom of the loaf from scorching.

Note 2: After 20 minutes of baking at 500 deg. F, reduce the oven temperature to 480 deg. F.  After an additional 10 minutes further reduce the oven temperature to 470 deg. F.

Also, turn the Dutch ovens around every 20 minutes.  Remove the lids approximately 10 minutes before the end of the baking cycle.  These 4 lb. loaves were baked for 58 minutes, the final 10 minute with the lidsoff the Dutch ovens.

Note 3: A few months ago I started experimenting with Chad Robertson’s technique for high-hydration dough.  He uses warm water in his final dough mix.  After final dough mix, Robertson places the dough into a plastic tub and over a 3-4 hour period he thoroughly turns the dough back on itself at half hour intervals (see Chad Robertson’s Masters Video clip on YouTube).  This method is really effective for developing strong gluten and really gets the yeast cranking.  So much so that when you try to retard the dough the yeast keeps on cranking/fermenting in the fridge, and when it is taken out of the fridge the following day the dough is over-proofed.  This results in the dough degassing when it is scored, before going into the oven.  This happen to me three times, with two different types of dough.  So, I asked David Snyder what he thought about solving the problem?  He suggested using cold water in the final dough mix and lowering the fermentation temperature.  Thank you, David.  That’s what I did.  In short, I used cold water for the final dough mix, shortened the total bulk fermentation time to 2 hours and retarded it overnight for about 12 hours.  The combination of cold water and shorter bulk fermentation time kept the yeast activity suppressed during retardation.  After removing the bannetons from the fridge I was able to leave the dough in the bannetons for close to two hours, allowing them to nearly double in volume, at room temperature, before putting them onto the D-o, scoring them, covering them and placing them in the preheated oven.

Note 4: If you are not retarding your loaves, then you don’t need to use cold water in the final dough mix.  You can use room temperature water.

Overall, the final dough mix has: 71 oz. flour, 53.25 oz. water and 1.42 oz. salt.  These ingredients make 7.85 lbs. of dough. The final dough is 75% hydration. 

Levain build No. 1  (12—14 hours)

2 oz. ripe sourdough starter (heaping tablespoon)

8 oz. water

8 oz. bread flour

Levain build No. 2  (2-3 hours)

All of levain build no. 1

8 oz. water

8 oz. bread flour

 

Final Dough Mix

 19.5 oz. bread flour

35.5 oz. Atta durum flour

37.25 oz. cold water (keeps the dough from over-proofing during retardation)

1.4 oz. salt

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 4

I almost decided not to bake this past weekend, but I activated some starter, thinking I might make some sourdough pancakes for breakfast Sunday. But, then, there was this starter, and I thought maybe I'd bake something or other. Well, I might as well have some fresh-baked bread for Sunday dinner, and it had been a while since I'd given a loaf to my next door neighbor who really appreciates my breads. I guessed I'd make some San Francisco-style sourdough to share.

I didn't want to be completely tied to the time-demands of my dough, so I relaxed the rigorous procedures with which I had been working to accommodate the other things I wanted to do. I expected the bread to be “good” but maybe not quite as good as last week's bake.

To my surprise and delight, the bread turned out to be the best San Francisco-style sourdough I had ever baked. So I am documenting what I did and hope it's reproducible. And I'm sharing it with you all. The modifications in my procedures were determined by convenience of the moment. This was sort of “a shot in the dark that hit the bullseye.”

So, here are the formula and procedures for this bake:

I started with my stock refrigerated 50% starter that had been fed last weekend. This feeding consisted of 50 g active starter, 100 g water and 200 g starter feeding mix. My starter feeding mix is 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% whole rye flour.

I activated the starter with a feeding of 40 g stock starter, 100 g water and 100 g starter feeding mix. This was fermented at room temperature for 16 hours, then refrigerated for about 20 hours. I then mixed the stiff levain.

Stiff levain

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

for 1 kg

Wt (g)

for 2 kg

Bread flour

95

78

157

Medium rye flour

5

4

8

Water

50

41

82

Stiff starter

80

66

132

Total

230

189

379

  1.  Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.

  2. Ferment at room temperature for 16 hours.

Final dough

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

for 1 kg

Wt (g)

for 2 kg

AP flour

90

416

832

WW Flour

10

46

92

Water

73

337

675

Salt

2.4

11

22

Stiff levain

41

189

379

Total

216.4

953

2000

Method

  1. In a stand mixer, mix the flour and water at low speed until it forms a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and autolyse for 120 minutes

  3. Add the salt and levain and mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium (Speed 2 in a KitchenAid) and mix for 5 minutes. Add flour and water as needed. The dough should be rather slack. It should clean the sides of the bowl but not the bottom.

  4. Transfer to a lightly floured board and do a stretch and fold and form a ball.

  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  6. Ferment at 76º F for 31/2 to 4 hours with a stretch and fold at 50 and 100 minutes.

  7. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. (Note: I had made 2 kg of dough.)

  8. Pre-shape as rounds and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

  9. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in bannetons. Place bannetons in plastic bags.

  10. Proof at room temperature (68-70º F) for 1-2 hours.

  11. Cold retard the loaves overnight.

  12. The next morning, proof the loaves at 85º F for 3 hours. (If you can't create a moist, 85 degree F environment, at least try to create one warmer than “room temperature.” For this bake, I took two loaves out of the fridge and started proofing them. I took the third loaf out about an hour later and stacked it balanced on top of the other two. I did one bake with the first two loaves and a second bake with the third loaf.)

  13. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  14. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score the loaves as desired, turn down the oven to 460º F, steam the oven, and transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

  15. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus, and turn down the oven to 435º F/Convection. (If you don't have a convection oven, leave the temperature at 460º F.)

  16. Bake for another 15 minutes.

  17. Turn off the oven, and leave the loaves on the stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 15 minutes.

  18. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

 

Note: Because these loaves were smaller than those baked in “Take 3,” the oven temperature was hotter , and the baking time was shorter. I also wanted a slightly darker crust, which this modification accomplished.

The crust was thick and very crunchy but not “hard.” The crumb was more open than my last bake. The crust had a sweet, nutty flavor. The crumb had sweetness with a definite whole grain wheat overtone and a more pronounced acetic acid tang. It had a wonderful cool mouth feel and was a bit more tender than the last bake.

This bread was close in flavor and texture to the best tasting bread I've ever had which was a half kilo of pain de campagne cut from an absolutely huge miche in Les Eyzies, France some 15 years ago. It's a taste I've never forgotten and often wished I could reproduce.

I need to make me a miche like this!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

How I make and maintain raisin yeast water

  You can jump to  http://raisinyeastwater.com/category/how-to-make-raisin-yeast-water/

  Because all of the pictures below are broken. Very sorry for this inconvenience, that my computer crushed and lost all pictures I had.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Once I had made my raisin yeast water, I really didn't care about methods to make - I had mine, and that was all I cared about. After I was asked by some TFL members about yeast water, I realized that I really didn't know what the nature of raisin yeast water was. I 'd like to leave my recent research and thoughts here for anyone who is interested in for reference.

How to make raisin yeast water

Ingredients:

  •   45 g    Raisins( * I use organic Thompson raisins. they are NOT coated with oil, I recommend to use organic one)
  •   Water  ( I used purified this time, I also use filtered water from a refrigerator. NO using chlorine water .
    •  A jar ( I use emptied jelly jars all the time.)
Method    

Day1:

 1) Sterilize your jar:   put the jar in the boiling water for a few minutes and take it out .     Leave it until it is dry. 2) Add the raisins and the water as to 1:1 ratio like the picture below.
(No chlorine water! It kills yeast!) 3)    Shook the jar vigorously  * Tighten the lid Before shakingAfter shaking vigorously  /   Close up4) Keep the jar at 82 F / 28℃. * Tighten the lid ( The right one is correct. the left jar is the other way to make yeast water )5) 4-5 hours later :  * Keep the jar at 82 F / 28℃. Tighten the lid  Before shaking After shaking vigorously * The raisins are soaked with the water. Now it is the time to add more water.6) Add  some purified water until double the raisins.  After shaking vigorously,* Keep the jar at 82 F / 28℃. Tighten the lid 




Day 2  7)  Shake the jar vigorously as many as you can. * Keep the jar at 82 F / 28℃. Tighten the lid

----   I did that was 6:30 am ~  8:20 pm ---    shook  the jar vigorously 13 times. * Tighten the lid* All of the raisins stayed up to the top of the water.     6:20 am  Before shaking 
 After shaking vigorously   * Tighten the lid



8) At the night *Close the lid not too tight not too loose. 
* I think that the yeast needs to get some little oxygen to breath to activate for over night so I didn'tclose the lid tight anymore because the raisins stayed up to the top of the water for a half day.Day 39) In the morning  Shake the jar vigorously.     *Close the lid not too tight not too loose Before shaking    close up After shaking vigorously      Close up10)   Refrigerate it when you hear shwwwwww... sounds while it was fermented at 82 F.).  *Close the lid tightly  after shaking vigorously.Day 411) in the morning: *Close the lid tightly after shaking vigorously andPut it back in the refrigerator . Before shaking  Close up After shaking vigorously     Close upDay 512) In the morning: Shake the jar vigorously.   Tighten the lid and put it back in the refrigerator.   Before shaking   * I smell a bit strong alcohol smell which means fully fermented but it needs more rest before baking bread.     After shaking vigorously  * The alcohol smells was weaken.( mild level)13) At the night( Approximately 12 hours later)-- READY TO BAKE!To make levain for my sandwich loaf with raisin yeast water.Levain:
  • King Arthur all purpose flour   149g
  •  Raisin yeast water                          107g
----------------The day before-----------1. Pour 107 g raisin yeast water into the container. The taste:  Sweet and little bit of alcohol.The result of the PH level test Between PH 5.5 and 5.75.Added 149 g KA AP  and made the levain.Viscosity: Hard. I had to knead by hand.* "Hard " means that there is a lot of sugar in the dough.------------------------------------------------------------------------------Next day--- Final dough
  •  King Arthur bread flour                       281g
  • 1 egg yolk + Whipping heavy cream=58g
  •  Water                                                            144g
  • Sugar                                                                 13g
  • Butter                                                                29g
  • Salt                                                                    6.8g
Method
  1.  Mix all the final ingredients and the levain except the butter and salt.
  2.  Autolyze 30minutes.
  3.  Add the salt and butter and knead until you pass a window pane test.
  4. Bulk fermentation at the room temperature until triples.
  5. Preshape
  6. Shape
  7. Bake  35 minutes at 410F until golden brown.    *Cold oven method:  Spray a couple time  in the oven and put the loaf in.  Set up 284F for 20 minutes. increase the temperature to 410F for 10 minutes, lotate 180 degree the loaf pan and bake 10 more minutes until golden brown.
The levain rose tripled ( 9 hours later)Bulk fermentation: The final dough rose almost tripled in 5 hours at 72-73F.Final proof: The dough rose over the top of the tin in 2 hours at 82F.Baked for 35 minutes at 410 F.( I couldn't use " cold oven method" because I was using the oven a hour ago before )When I ferment the final dough at colder temp, I can see the cracks.          The taste was really good. nice volume.  The crumb was not wet, it was nice texture.I smelled a bit of fruity smell from the raisins when I sliced it after 5 hours I baked, but the smell was very slightly and very pleasant.-------------------------------------------------------------  Comparison:5/267 :00 am--   From left: No lid / Vigorous shakes/ my old one - generous shakes10:30 am--  From left: No lid/ Vigorous shakes/ my old one5/27 5:50 am  From left: No lid/ Vigorous shakes/ my old one (I just refreshed)Comparison of the crumb:   ( 12 g sugar not 13g  used in the final dough)  Vigorous shakes    No lid* I didn't like No lid bread because I smelled strong yeast like Active dry yeast when I put it in my mouth.No lid raisin yeast water itself  has no strong yeast smell neither taste , which gave me a surprise.Our taste gives us more details than this PH test in my opinion.----------------------------------------------

For reference,  I want to mention about yeast water that I found from some Japanese sites  and the others from winery .

"Yeasts will activate in two different ways:
1. with oxygen:
{Sugar -C6H12O6+Oxygen--O2}→{ Carbon dioxide-Co2+Water -H2O} 
(* We call it " Breath" which means the yeast is active. )

2. with no oxygen:

{Sugar-C6H12O6 }→{Carbon dioxide gas 2(CO2) + Alcohol(Ethyl alcohol)-2(CH3CH2OH)}

(※ We call it "Alcohol fermentation")When there is no sugar in, it turns to acetic acid ( quite sour), except apple and raisin which contain malic acid. ( milder )

When we make raisin yeast water using a jar, The yeast water will activate with the oxygen in the jar first ( Breath), and occur alcohol fermentation when it is no oxygen in the jar. Alcohol has bactericidal action which prevents to have mold and unwanted bacteria. Natural yeast is tolerant to alcohol so that they live together, however, he doesn't grow without new oxygen.While alcohol fermentation is working, natural yeast stops growing, therefore, it is not time to congratulate yourself yet because of the bubbles ( carbon dioxide gas) , you have to get more oxygen to have your yeast water activate by loosing a lid to access air ( oxygen) into your yeast water.

To make non sour bread, grow Saccharomyces cerevisiae ( S.ellipsoides) in the raisin yeast BEFORE Lactic and acetic acid bacterias grow at proper temperature. Saccharomayces cerecisiae will be tolerant to them. ( Saccharomayces cerecisiae >Lactic acid and acetic bacteria)

*Lactic bacteria and acetic bacteria are in the air. Especially acetic bacteria increases in summer. They exist in the air and grow in all kind of fruit and vegetables and other kind of food that they contain glucose. To make kimchi, we use the power of lactic bacteria that is in the Chinese cabbage. Japanese sake is also used the power of lactic acid bacteria that is in the rice. Acetic bacteria will really activate at over 30℃. To make sweet raisin yeast water ( or other fruit yeast), We should fully grow Saccharomyces cerevisiae ( S.ellipsoides) in the raisin yeast ( or other fruit yeast) BEFORE lactic and acetic bacteria grow. Lactic bacteria is not bad when we make yogurt yeast to make sweet bread. When Lactic bacteria is fully grown in yogurt yeast, Other unwanted bacteria can't grow in the yogurt yeast because the lactic bacteria is tolerant to them at proper temperature. * Exception: Sourdough

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*How I maintain my raisin yeast water: *Use a sterilized jar and filtered water. (no chlorine water) 

*And the raisins are NOT coated with OIL. Organic ones taste much better.


* I don't measure the water actually but by volume like the picture above.

Ingredients:This volume will be about
  • 13-25g raisin yeast water (5-7% -in the summer  10-11% in the winter) *  The temperature by the snake light differs from all season so that I adjust the raisin yeast water amount by the room temperature.
  • 45 g raisins                   (20%)
  • 225 g water                   ( 100%)
Method:1) Shake the jar vigorously after putting all the ingredients in the jar.2) Close the lid not too tight /not too loose and keep it at 76-82F around for overnight.3) Shake the jar vigorously and store it in the refrigerator. ( I don't discard the raisins in the jar)* It is very important to keep some sugar in your yeast water not to get your yeast water hungry. I use the refreshed raisin yeast water after 12 hours I store it in the refrigerator to stabilize.

4) Shake the jar vigorously every morning 1 time to get some f your raisin yeast water.     I shake it vigorously every morning and night which is  2 times in total  now.  (September,20011)

If you store it more than several days, I will  *refresh it before baking.*Using this maintain raisin yeast water method.

Here is the link that you might be interested in:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeast--------------------------------------------------------------Other methods that I found in Japanese sites1)http://levadura.exblog.jp/12421595/

I read one of Japanese home baker’s method of making raisin yeast water: To make non sour (sweet) and well risen bread, she tighten the lid and shake the jar gently once or twice a day during the process, and she said" if you make bread with this yeast water, you will have dense bread because the yeast didn't get enough oxygen while it was fermented although the taste is wonderfully sweet. In according to make bread that has volume, she add mashed mixed fruit in the yeast water to ferment it again in a bowl that is covered with plastic wrap at room temperature .It sounds good, but it will give me more work. I rather make raisin yeast simply in good condition.

2) No lid method:

http://cookpad.com/recipe/543057 She tested 2 kind of methods between with lid and no lid like me.  She said that No lid doesn't have any alcohol smell and rise very well. She is right but I had a different result after baking. I smelled alcohol from the crumb and the crumb remains wetter in the crumb but I also think that no lid one rise well in the oven.

This is the result:

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s46/sh/aae4b7bd-4181-42f3-b4fd-af43f60b70d7/bfbb002b43291f87240bb662ec67d05e

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Q & A:

Q:  Does the taste of yeast water affect to the bread?

A: I say " Yes" That is why I smell and taste my raisin yeast water if it is fine. My raisin yeast water is  sweet with mild alcohol generally. When the raisin yeast water is just made, You may smell strong alcohol, but it will be milder and read to bake in the next day.  If you smell sour or funny, I strongly recommend you to throw away all of your raisin yeast water, and make a new one.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Q : Why do you shake it vigorously during the process?

A: I have two purposes. I can squeeze more sugar to feed the raisin yeast water by the vigorous shakes, which also activate the raisin yeast.I don't recommend this technique for fresh fruit yeast water which have bitter skins because the bitters remains in the yeast water and the bread.

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Q:  Can I use a water bottle to make raisin yeast water ?

A: I prefer a jar. It depends on you.  However, I highly recommend not to use a weak water bottle like "Walt-mart" brand.I tested it before. On the second day, I smelled some chemical from the bottle. Although I noticed that the raisin yeast water in the bottle had a lot of bubbles and very active, which reminded me of  the process to make beer.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSrbukazO_Q

Day 1                   Day2 ------------------------------------------------------------Q:  How do make bread with raisin yeast water?A:  I use my yeast water like sourdough I used to have.Example: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23726/thank-you-syd I also use my raisin yeast water as sherry wine or mirin ( sweet Japanese sake for cooking) to make teriyaki sauce, orange sour chicken sauce, and so on. I also keep my alcoholic raisins that are fermented in the jar for home made rum raisins. So I can make Daisy's Panettone.http://www.thfreshloaf.com/node/21104/my-first-panettone-milanese-notes-trial-run-formula-and-method-thanks-all-advice Once, I used 2 tbsp this rum syrup to fix the sour flavor when I made David's miche:http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23593/david039s-miche-raisin-yeast-water ( NO.5) Home made rum raisins.I add some sugar in whenever I add more alcoholic raisins.I discard the raisins that I make raisin yeast water from beginning because they are smashed and less sugar left in them.-------------------------------------------------

Q :  Is it okay to smell strong alcohol from my raisin yeast water?

A: Yes. When the raisin yeast water is just made, You may smell strong alcohol, but it will be milder and read to bake in the next day. Also,If your raisin yeast water is kept in the refrigerator for a couple days only, It will be fine. If you smell it strong, I will shake the jar vigorously. The smell will be weaken.   It is very important to see how active your raisin yeast water is. Very healthy one is the raisins keep floating  around the top of the water, and you can hear strong pops ( shwwww..) when you shake it and open it up.Here is the result of a sandwich loaf when I used my old raisin yeast water that was little strong alcohol smell.https://www.evernote.com/shard/s46/sh/039147ff-264d-4fa4-959d-65cf8cab1c3c/94659bd4a5655d3db0b0b2d4ddc79392------------------------------------------------------------Q:  How is it different from between non organic and organic raisins?

A: I have some experiments using Sun-maid raisins ( golden and regular ones)

Regular one is okay, but I tasted weird flavor in the bread a little bit when I compare to organic one.I strongly recommend not to use sun-maid golden raisins. It smelled and tasted very weird.

------------------------------------------------------------Q: Is it okay that my raisin yeast water sank on the bottom in the refrigerator?A: This is depends. If  all of the raisins doesn't float back up to the top of the water within a day after shaking vigorously, I think that the yeast is weak or some unwanted bacterias are in it.  I did throw it away and  made a new one when I had the problem. It happened when I didn't take care of the raisin yeast water for a couple weeks.------------------------------------------------------------Q; What temperature is better to make bread for raisin yeast water?

AFor Levain bread:

In the summer, I  use colder temperature around 70-73 F for bulk fermentation, 70-76 F around for final proof   .

In the winter, The temperature is around 76F for Bulk fermentation, 70-76F for final proof.

I think that raisin yeast water bread is not sour unless you retard it for a long time.  But it differs from what king of flour you use.  Rye and Whole wheat flour give it more acid or earthy flavor.

Happy baking,

Akiko

flax seed wheat bread

I finally got my copy of Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf, a book that the Brits on this site have been recommending to me for a while. Occasionally imported copies will show up on Amazon for a reasonable price, but I found it cheaper to order a copy from a bookseller in Ipswich via Abebooks. It is a splendid book, with great photos, easy to follow instructions, and excellent recipes; well worth the cost of admission for a baking fanatic. His website is also worth checking out.

Of the recipes I've baked so far, the Linseed and Wheat Bread has been my favorite. The first loaf I baked we ate in under an hour. I was forced to bake it again the next day. The horror.

The recipe I'm posting below is based on his Linseed and Wheat Bread. I modified it some to match the ingredients I had on hand and my personal taste.

Flax Seed Wheat Bread
makes 1 one pound loaf

200g bread flour
50g whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
100g flax seeds
2 teaspoons malt powder
150 grams water
1 teaspoon instant yeast

Combine the flours, salt, seeds, malt, and yeast in a bowl. Stir in the water and mix until thoroughly combined. This dough is not a terribly moist one: it should be slightly tacky but not sticky. When shaped into a ball it should easily hold its shape.

The seed and bran from the whole wheat prevent a high level of gluten development in this dough, so extensive kneading is not necessary.

Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, place the ball of dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour to an hour and a half.

Shape the dough into 1 large or two small loaves, cover the loaves with plastic, and give them another hour to rise. In the meantime, preheat the oven and baking stone to 425 degrees.

Brush the top of the loaves with water, score the loaves, and place them in the oven. Bake them at 425 for 20 minutes, rotate them 180 degrees, then bake them another 20 to 25 minutes. When done, they will be nicely browned on the outside, make a hollow sound when tapped upon, and register approximately 205 degrees in the center when measured with an instant read thermometer.

flax seed wheat bread

These loaves remind me of yams.

flax seed wheat bread

Related Recipe: Five Seed French Bread

Flax Seed Wheat Bread

pretzel shapingThe other day I was reading Jeffrey Hamelman's recent book Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes when I came across his pretzel recipe. His recipe requires a pate fermente overnight, a long fermentation, and a bath in a solution of water and lye, which means rubber gloves and goggles are required.

"Rubber gloves and goggles and caustic fluids to make a batch of pretzels?!? You've got to be kidding me," I thought.

The next day I found myself flipping through another baking book when I stumbled across another pretzel recipe. No caustic bath. No preferment. Not even an initial fermentation: simply mix everything together, shape the pretzels, and bake them; beginning to end, under an hour.

So which is it? Is it necessary to make the preferment and use lye to make decent pretzels at home? Do you even need to ferment the dough to make passable pretzels, or can you just jam them into the oven?

Find out below.

By the way, the other baking book I was looking at was Breaking Bread with Father Dominic 2. Not a bad little book. I gather that it is out of print, but if you see a cheap used copy at the local bookstore it might be worth picking up.

I didn't follow his recipe exactly, but it provided a nice balance to Hamelman's recipe.

The Experiment

There was no way I was going to try the lye bath at home. Maybe to make world class, authentic German pretzels that is necessary, but for a half dozen pretzels at home? Forget about it.

I decided to try make pretzels with an initial fermentation and without. I also tried boiling them briefly in water, egg washing them, and just baking them dry. If any of those methods could produce something reasonably like the soft pretzels I've had before I'd be happy.

The Recipe

I buy my yeast in a jar so that I can measure out as much or as little as I want (well, that and it is cheaper when you bake as often as I do). If you are using yeast from a packet, you can either use half a packet or double the recipe and use an entire packet (at least the packets they sell in the grocery stores in the US... international bakers will have to do their own conversion).

If you are using instant (AKA Rapid Rise or Bread Machine) yeast, you can just mix the yeast in with the rest of the dry ingredients before adding the warm milk and it'll activate fine. If you are using active dry yeast, mix it into the warm milk along with the malt powder (or brown sugar) and give it 5 to 10 minutes to activate before incorporating it into the dry ingredients.

Pretzels

Makes 6 large pretzels
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon malt powder or brown sugar
2-3 cups all-purpose unbleached or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees, which is 1 minute in my microwave)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until it forms a ball. I start with 2 cups of the flour and mix it together until it forms something like a thick batter, then add more flour a handful at a time until it'll form a nice ball that I can knead by hand.

Either use an electric mixer to mix the dough for 5 minutes or remove it from the bowl and knead it by hand for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough begins to get smooth and satiny.

If you are going to ferment the dough (more information on whether this set is necessary below), return the ball of dough to a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately an hour.

If you fermented it, degas the dough gently before moving on to the next step.

Before shaping, start preheating the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the dough into 6 pieces. Roll each one into a short log, cover with a towel, and let the dough relax for 5 to 10 minutes. After it has relaxed you should be able to roll it out and stretch again fairly easily.

pretzel logs

After taking this photo, I let them relax again and then gave each a third roll and stretch session before they were as long and thin as I wanted (about 15 inches long and about as big around as my index finger). They'll nearly double in width while baking, so it is ok to roll them out quite thin.

pretzel shaping

Shaping pretzels is simple, once you get a hang of it. Place a rope of dough on the work surface in front of you. Take each end in a hand, loop the dough away from you, and bring the ends back toward your stomach, crossing them about an inch above the rope. Apply a little bit of pressure to make the loops stick together, but not too much because you don't want then to flatten out.

Pretzels don't appear to need to rise again before baking, so you just need to figure out how you want to prep them for the oven. Here are the options I tried:

To boil them: If you want to boil them, bring a pot of water to a boil. Dunk each of the pretzels into the boiling water for 5 seconds, then place them onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt (I use the kosher stuff that is easy to find at the grocery store) or other toppings.

pretzel shaping

I used a pair of spatulas to hold the pretzel in place while holding it under water.

To eggwash them: Simply place them on a baking sheet, brush them gently with an egg that has been whisked, then sprinkle with coarse salt or other toppings.

To bake them (mostly) dry: Sprinkle or spritz them with a little bit of water so that the toppings will stick, then sprinkle with coarse salt or other toppings.

Place the baking sheets into the oven. It took around 15 minutes for my pretzels to get golden and brown. Remove from the oven and eat immediately.

Results

pretzels done

We definitely thought the boiled pretzels (on the left) were better than the pretzels that had just been spritzed with water (on the right). The spritzed ones were dry and had a slightly french bread like crust. Crust like that is good on french bread but not so good on soft pretzels.

I liked the boiled pretzels more than the eggwashed pretzels, my wife preferred the eggwashed pretzels better. The eggwashed ones rose considerably more in the oven than the boiled ones, so they were quite soft and fluffy. The boiled ones were still soft, but they were a little denser and chewier.

Truthfully, I couldn't tell the difference between the batch that I let ferment for an hour and the batch I baked immediately. If I were tasting them side by side with no toppings I probably could detect a slight difference. But at least when I eat soft pretzels they are a medium for other flavors (salt and mustard), either method produces an adequate pretzel.

pretzel alone

And the lye bath? At least for the home baker I can say with confidence that you can skip it.

Defender of the lye bath? Or have any other insight into proper pretzel making? Please comment!

Pretzels

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DanAyo

Community Bake - Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain

This Community Bake will feature Jeffry Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain. The formula and instructions are taken from his very popular book, "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes". Many bakers consider this bread a favorite of theirs and I am in that group. The portion of whole grain along with the seeds makes this bread stand out among the best. The book can be Seen HERE.

For those not familiar with our Community Bakes see THIS LINK. The idea of a Community Bake is for those interested in baking and learning to bake with us and post the results. This way we can all learn together. This is not a bread baking competition, everyone wins!

I chose to post the bake today in order to give everyone time to gather the ingredients since there are 4 grains and/or seed add ins. It is not necessary to go out of your way to get the specified seeds or grains. I substitute all of the time and the bread is always great. Hopefully the bake will get into full swing by next weekend, but feel free to start right away.

I've included an additional image of the spreadsheet for those that want to bake a smaller batch. The formula is for 1000 grams, but you could easily divide each ingredient by 2 in order to make a 500 gram loaf.

Here are the instructions from Hamelman's book. If you don't already own the book, I suggest you give it some consideration.

Five-Grain Levain
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Resource --- Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes    Pages 182 - 183

1.    Liquid Levain   --- Make the final build 12 to 16 hours before the final mix and let stand in a covered container at about 70°F. Mix Levain and Soaker at the same time.

2.    Soaker   --- Pour the boiling water over the grain blend and salt, mix thoroughly, and cover with plastic to prevent evaporation. Make the soaker at the same time as the final build of the levain and let stand at room temperature. If grains that don't require a hot soaker are used (such as rye chops in lieu of the cracked rye listed here), a cold soaker will absorb less water, and therefore it's likely that slightly less water will be needed in the final dough.

3.    Mixing   --- Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes, adjusting the hydration as necessary. Mix on second speed for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. The dough should have a moderate gluten development. Desire dough temperature 76°F.

4.    Bulk Fermentation   --- 1 to 1 1/2 hours (if yeast (.008%) is used). Otherwise see Step 7 for clarification.

5.    Folding   --- the bulk fermentation should be 2 hours with 1 fold

6.    Dividing and Shaping   --- Divide the dough into 1.5 pound pieces; shape round or oblong. Large loaves of several pounds are also a beautiful sight. And good rolls can be made from this dough. NOTE – I like to make 3 pound boules and place them into the Dutch Ovens and then refrigerate. After they are shaped I place the ball upside down on a water soaked towel and then put the wet side on a towel that is floured and filled with pumpkin seeds. This gives the bread an excellent flavor and also makes it more attractive.

7.    Final Fermentation   --- The dough can be retarded for several hours or overnight, in which case the bulk fermentation should be 2 hours with 1 fold and the yeast should be left out of the mix.

 

8.    Baking   --- With normal steam, 460°F for 40 to 45 minutes. There is a great deal of water retention in this bread, so be sure to bake it thoroughly.

Danny

 

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DanAyo

123 Sourdough No Knead - Do Nothing Bread

123 Sourdough, No Knead - Do Nothing Bread   Originated by Flo Makanai and submitted by dabrownman 

 A simple recipe with simple procedures. Did you know that you don’t have to knead dough to get great bread. And you don’t need a mixer or really any other tools. But an inexpensive digital scale that weighs grams would be a worthwhile investment. HERE is an example.

 The bread is called 123 Sourdough because the ratios are 1 part Levain, 2 parts water, 3 parts flour, and 2% salt. Let’s choose 100 grams of Levain for this example. So if the Levain is 100g then 2 parts water would be 2 X 100 or 200g water. The flour is 3 parts (remember 123) so 3 X 100 is 300g of flour. Now a tiny bit of math to calculate the required salt. Since the formula calls for 2% salt, you would multiply 0.02 X 350 and you get 7. So 2% times the total weight of the flour, which is 350g equals 7g of salt. Now, if you are paying close attention you should be questioning the 350g of flour. 3 parts of flour is 100 X 3. Where did the extra 50g come from? The Levain is 100% hydration, meaning equal parts of flour and water. Therefore 100g of Levain contains 50g of flour. Salt is calculated as 2% of the total flour in the formula, which is 350g. 

 These instructions assume that you already have an established starter that is active and ready to go. If you don’t have a starter and would like to make one HERE is link that might interest you. Teresa Greenway takes you through the day by day experience of making a starter.

 Make the 1 part levain (for this example of 100g) by taking 10g of starter and mixing equal weights of 45g flour (either All Purpose or Bread Flour) and 45g water in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 12 hours or until it doubles .

 Put 2 parts water (200g) in a large mixing bowl.  Add the prepared 100g of levain and mix with a spoon until levain dissolves in the water - about 15 to 20 seconds.   Add in 3 parts flour (300g) and 7g of salt.  Mix everything together for about a minute or two in large bowl with a spoon or hands making sure there is no dry flour and everything looks Kosher even if you are not Jewish :) There is no need to knead this dough, thus the name “No Knead - Do Nothing”

 Place bowl in plastic grocery bag.  Make bag air tight by closing with a simple knot.  Let dough double in volume - an estimate of 4 to 6 hours.  Watch the dough not the clock.

 Turn the dough out on counter, gently pat out big bubbles, round into ball with hands and cover with the over turned mixing bowl. 15 minutes later, round into tight ball again and put ball into a proofing basket (a bowl will work) lined with a smooth floured cloth with seam side of the dough facing down.  Place container back into the plastic grocery bag again and tie as before.

 Let it proof 1-2 hours till it reaches 90% increase in volume.  Watch the dough not the clock again.  Click HERE for a video showing how to perform a finger polk test. Preheat your oven to 450F with the Combo Cooker inside 45 minutes after you place your dough in basket to proof.

 Gently dump the dough into the preheated cast iron combo cooker, (optional - Spritz dough with water from spray bottle),  cover with the deep lid and put in the 450F oven for 15 minutes of baking with the lid on.

 After 15 minutes remove lid and bake about 12-15 more minutes until bread is nicely browned, cracked open and blistered.  NOTE - since the seam was placed up in the cooker, you should have beautiful, natural looking cracks. Remove bread from Cooker and move it to a wire cooling rack. Let it cool for 2 hours before slicing on a cutting board with a serrated bread knife or just tear off hunks to eat.

 Optional - You can check temperature if you want with instant read thermometer.  When it reads 208 F- 210 F on the inside it is done. If you don’t have a thermometer you can tap the bottom of the loaf and it should make a hollow sound.

 Exercise caution when placing the dough in the hot cast iron pot.  Most of all, enjoy a nice loaf of bread that you made and was easy as pie.

 It you don't have a combo cooker preheat a baking sheet or jelly roll pan.  Dump dough out on parchment paper on a peel and transfer to the pan.  Cover with the stainless steel bowl or some other oven proof large pot.  If you have a baking stone use that in place of the baking sheet. If you choose to bake your bread without a cover (Dutch Oven, Combo Cooker, etc) you can get outstanding results using a technique called Mega Steam. Click HERE to to learn more.

 

Fully documented 123 SD bake with images can be seen HERE.

 

 Happy baking

 

Nice tools to have, but none are necessary. 

Digital Scale

Dough Knife

These links are examples, and not an endorsement for a particular item.

 

 

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