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zolablue's picture
zolablue

Sourdough Challah (photos & recipe)

I baked my first challah last Thursday and wanted to share.

I was unsure what to expect but it was so much fun. I’d been meaning for some time to bake a recipe from Maggie Glezer’s book, A Blessing of Bread, which is a wonderful compilation of traditional Jewish recipes from around the world. Floyd has written a very nice review of the book here.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/bookreviews/ablessingofbread

I decided to start with Glezer’s own personal recipe for sourdough challah. I love making sourdough and was interested to see what the texture of this bread would be compared to a yeasted challah which I have eaten only a couple times.

The recipe seemed easy to me despite the fact Glezer calls it expert. I’m not sure why but, again, I’m new to challah. The dough was so easy to mix together and then, as Glezer puts it, the time involved is mostly waiting after that.

She says to bake it to a dark brown which I did. I’m not sure if it is considered too dark or not but it was really a beautiful color and I do typically bake my bread darker as she instructs in Artisan Baking.

The crumb was amazing to me. It was very creamy and soft and almost reminded me of an angel food cake. It has remained moist to this day (5 days later) as there are only two of us to eat and can’t quite get rid of all the bread I bake. I am going to cut very thick slices of what is remaining to freeze and later use to make French toast.

I decided for my maiden voyage into challah bread I would make an elaborate braid. I used the six-strand braid version and got a lot of help from the video Glezer did showing how to do it. Gosh, the internet is awesome! Just as she said it makes a beautiful, very high loaf.

Braiding ChallahFine Cooking Video, Maggie Glezer

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/videos/braiding-challah.aspx?

I’m posting the recipe so those of you who are new to challah as I am can have a chance to make it and perhaps will be inspired to buy this lovely book. For those who have made challah for years I’d love it if you tried the recipe and let me know your thoughts on it compared the some of your favorite traditional recipes.

More of my photos can be seen here:

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3500289#197395950

Thank you to each and every one of you on this site that have been such inspirations in baking such as Floyd, Bill Wraith, Susanfnp, Mountaindog, JMonkey, Browndog, Bluezebra, Eric, SDBaker, Mini Oven, Dolf, Qahtan, Zainab and so many others. All you wonderful bakers have helped me incredibly along the way over the past few months that I have been baking so many thanks to all.

My Sourdough Challah - Maggie Glezer's personal recipe from her book, A Blessing of Bread

Sweet sourdough breads are delicious and well worth the time (which is mainly waiting time) if you are a sourdough baker. The sourdough adds a subtle tang to my challah, and the crumb has a moister, creamier texture that keeps even longer than the yeasted version. While it’s true that challah or, for that matter, all bread was at one time sourdough (the Hebrew word for leaven, chametz, means “sour”), challahs have definitely gotten sweeter and richer since the introduction of commercial yeast. To convert such recipes back to 100 percent sourdough, the sugar has to be cut back in order for the dough to rise in a reasonable length of time (sugar that is more than 12 percent of the flour weight inhibits fermentation), so this version will taste slightly less sweet than the yeasted one, a deficit completely overridden by the rich complexity of the sourdough. I have also changed the all-purpose flour to bread flour, which has more gluten, to counteract the starter’s propensity to loosen the gluten (the acids in the starter change the proteins, a natural part of sourdough baking).

Skill Level: Expert

Time: About 20 hours (about 8 1/2 hours on baking day)

Makes: Two 1-pound (450-gram) challahs, one 1 1/2-pound (680-gram) challah plus three rolls, or sixteen 2-ounce (60-gram) rolls

Recipe synopsis: Make the sourdough starter and let if ferment overnight for 12 hours. The next day, mix the dough and let it ferment for 2 hours. Shape the dough and let it proof for 5 hours. Bake the breads for 15 to 40 minutes, depending on their size.

For the starter:

2 tablespoons (35 grams/1.2 ounces) very active, fully fermented firm sourdough starter, refreshed 8 to 12 hours earlier

1/3 cup (80 grams/2.8 ounces) warm water

About 1 cup (135 grams/4.8 ounces) bread flour

For final dough:

1/4 cup (60 grams/2 ounces) warm water

3 large eggs, plus 1 for glazing

1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams/0.3 ounce) table salt

1/4 cup (55 grams/1.9 ounces) vegetable oil

3 tablespoons (65 grams/2.3 ounces) mild honey or a scant 1/3 cup (60 grams/2.1 ounces) granulated sugar

About 3 cups (400 grams/14 ounces) bread flour

Fully fermented sourdough starter

Evening before baking - mixing the sourdough starter: Knead starter into water until it is partially dissolved, then stir in the flour. Knead this firm dough until it is smooth. Remove 1 cup (200grams/7 ounces) of the starter to use in the final dough and place it in a sealed container at least four times its volume. (Place the remaining starter in a sealed container and refrigerate to use in the next bake.) Let the starter ferment until it has tripled in volume and is just starting to deflate, 8 to 12 hours.

Baking day - Mixing the dough:

In a large bowl, beat together the water, the 3 eggs, salt, oil, and honey (measure the oil first, then use the same cup for measuring the honey — the oil will coat the cup and let the honey just slip right out) or sugar until the salt has dissolved and the mixture is fairly well combined. With your hands or a wooden spoon, mix in the bread flour all at once. When the mixture is a shaggy ball, scrape it out onto your work surface, add the starter, and knead until the dough is smooth, no more than 10 minutes. (Soak your mixing bowl in hot water now to clean and warm it for fermenting the dough.) This dough is very firm and should feel almost like modeling clay. If the dough is too firm to knead easily, add a tablespoon or two of water to it; if it seems too wet, add a few tablespoons flour.

The dough should feel smooth and very firm but be easy to knead.

Fermenting the dough:

Place the dough in the warm cleaned bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for about 2 hours. It will probably not rise much, if at all.

Shaping and proofing the dough:

Line one or two large baking sheets, with parchment paper or oil them. Divide the dough into two 1-pound (450-gram) portions for loaves, one 1 1/2 pound (680-gram) portion for a large loaf and three small pieces for rolls (the easiest way to do this without a scale is to divide the dough into quarters and use one quarter for the rolls and the rest for the large loaf), or sixteen 2-ounce (60-gram) portions for rolls. Braid or shape them as desired, position them on the prepared sheet(s), and cover them well with plastic wrap. Let proof until tripled in size, about 5 hours.

Meanwhile, 30 minutes before baking, arrange the oven racks in the lower and upper third positions if using two baking sheets or arrange one rack in the upper third position if using one sheet, and remove any racks above them. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/gas mark 4). If desired, preheat one or two baking sheets to double with the baking sheet(s) the loaves are on. Beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt for glazing the breads.

Baking the loaves:

When the loaves have tripled and do not push back when gently pressed with your finger but remain indented, brush them with the egg glaze. Bake rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, the 1-pound (450-gram) loaves for 25 to 35 minutes, or the 1 1/2-pound (680-gram) loaf for 35 to 45 minutes, until very well browned. After the first 20 minutes of baking, switch the loaves from front to back so that they brown evenly; if the large loaf is browning too quickly, tent it with foil. When the loaves are done, remove them from the oven and let cool on a rack.

mariana's picture
mariana

100% sourdough bread from The Taste of Bread by R. Calvel


 


 


 



 


Formula for bread made with natural levain


(French Pain au Levain)



 


This formula gives very regular and extremely good results, said Calvel. It includes two successive cultures: a refresher culture and a fermented sponge, and thus is termed ‘work from two leavens’. The volume of refresher should reach at least 3.5 times the beginning volume. Add 5% of light rye flour to the second sponge to improve the taste and keeping quality of bread.



 


Refreshed Culture


52g starter


67g flour


40g water


 


Mix at low speed for 10 min until smooth dough stage. Dough temperature should be 77-79F. Proof for 5-6 hours. In my case, this particular batch, tripled in volume in 3 hours and I proceeded to mixing sponge.



 


Sponge


160g refresher culture


176g flour


15g light rye flour


115g water



 


Mix on low speed for 10 min until smooth dough stage. Dough temperature should be 77-79F. Proof for 5-6 hours. It will rise to 3.5 times starting volume. Again, it took only 3 hours this time.



 


Bread made from a naturally fermented sponge


465g sponge


1900g flour


100 g light rye flour


1280 g water


35 g salt


4 g fresh yeast (occasionally)



 


Mix wheat flour and water for 5 min on low speed. Autolyze for 30 min. Knead for 6min on low speed, add salt, yeast (if using), rye flour, and sponge and finish mixing for 6 more minutes. Dough temperature will be 77-78F.



 


Primary fermentation will take 50 min. Take 10 min for division and rounding of loaves, 30 min for bench time and 10 min for molding. Naturally leavened loaves have better oven spring when shaped in round or slightly oblong loaves.



 


Proof for 4 hours; loaves will increase in volume 3.5 – 4 times. Oven spring is slower with naturally leavened breads, so it is important to get maximum rise before crust formation. These loaves took exactly 4 hours to quadruple in volume before baking.



 


Bake at 445F for 30-40 minutes.



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 

meedo's picture
meedo

chocolate faces

For the dough:

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon yeast

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup milk powder

1/2 cup butter or 1/4 cup oil

1 cup water

For Filling:

chocolate chip (each face take about 6 pieces)

For Glaze:

 One egg yolk + 2 tablespoon milk + 1 teaspoon vanilla

And some melted chocolate chip to drew the eyes and mouth .

1-Make the dough by mixing all the ingredients , Turn out on to a floured surface ,Knead it to get a nice smoth and elastic (about 8 to 10 minutes). Place in a bowl ,Cover ,let rise in a warm place till double ( about 1 hour).

2-Cut the dough to 64 equal pieces , Flat each one with your hand , And fill it with 6 pieces of chocolate chip , close it and shape it to a nice round ball. Place it in a baking sheet ,Brush it with the Glazed , then take a small piece of dough to make round nose.

3-Let it rise about 30 minutes, Bake in 350 Oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.

4-Let it coll for 10 minutes ,Then drew the eyes and mouth . And serve 

Makes 63 faces.

Saffron Buns

saffron bun

The first time I saw this recipe in Linda Collister and Anthony Blake's Country Breads of the World I nearly threw the book out the window. The recipe, called "Daniel's Saffron Bread," shows a 6 year old all decked out in an apron happily baking this Saffron Bread.

"A six year old??? Baking with saffron?!? The stuff costs as much, by weight, as gold!!!" I thought.

A month or so ago my mother-in-law returned from a trip to Portugal and brought me a souvenir: saffron. So I decided to try it. I have to admit, they are good.

The recipe in the book includes a bit more butter and skips the initial rise. He also bakes it in a loaf pan, whereas I baked them as little buns. I was happy with the way mine turned out, so I'm posting the recipe my way.

Saffron Buns
Makes 1 dozen buns.

1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
1 1/4 very warm milk
4 cups (500 grams) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
2/3 cup dried fruit

Stir the saffron strands into the hot milk and set aside to infuse for half an hour at the minimum or as long as overnight (in the refrigerator).

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cube the butter and cut it into the flour with a fork or a pastry cutter so that the mixture resembles course crumbs.

Stir in the sugar. If using active dry yeast, heat a half cup of the milk to room temperature, then stir in the yeast and allow to activate for 10 minutes. Otherwise, add the instant yeast directly to the flour mixture and stir in all of the milk.

Knead by hand for 6 to 8 minutes or in a stand mixer for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the dried fruit and knead some more until the fruit is distributed throughout the dough.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Shape the rolls by hand and place on a baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with plastic and set aside to rise another 45 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the rolls at 350 for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through. The buns should be nicely brown.

saffron bun

Serve immediately.

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

 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

SF Country Sourdough – My Best Ever…Not Sure Why

They say everything happens for a reason, and I believe them.  But I can’t always identify the reasons some things happen.  Why was this bake of the San Francisco Country Sourdough (my version of pain de campagne) the best ever?   This was probably the 7th or 8th time I’ve baked it, but this one had that je-ne-sais-what like my best bakes of Tartine BCB and last week’s bake of Hamelman’s pain au levain.  Beautifully caramelized, golden brown, crispy crust; moist, airy-but-substantial crumb, with nicely gelatinized membranes; complex wheaty flavor with a hint of rye.

I guess I should compare this to other bakes of the same formula.

Here’s what was the same:

  • The ingredients and the basic technique (described below).

Here’s what might have been different:

  • My starter was very active (after last week’s near-death experience).
  • Both the primary ferment (3 ¼ hours) and the proof (2 ¼ hours) were on the long side.
  • My handling/shaping skills are improving, and I got a nice taut sheath.
  • I made a recipe-and-a-half so I could cold retard one loaf’s worth to bake tomorrow for some friends.

Whatever factor(s) made the difference, I hope I can do it again.

And excellent with some early Autumn barbecue.

San Francisco Country Sourdough (Sourdough Pain de Campagne) version 10-8-11

Yield: Two 750g Loaves; or Three Mini-Baguettes (235g each) and one 800g Loaf; or One 1000g loaf and two 250g baguettes; 0r Three 500 gram loaves; or…   

Ingredients

LIQUID-LEVAIN BUILD

100 grams   AP flour

24 grams  Whole Wheat flour

12 grams  Whole rye flour

170 grams   Water, cool (60 F or so)

28     Mature culture (75% hydration)

FINAL DOUGH (67% hydration, including levain)

640 grams   All-Purpose flour (83%)*

85 grams  Whole wheat flour (11%)**

45 grams   Whole rye flour (6%)

435 grams   Warm water (80 F or so) (56%)

17 grams   Salt (2%)

306     Liquid levain  (48%)   

* used CM Artisan Baker’s Craft (malted)

** used CM Organic Hi-protein fine whole wheat

Directions

1. LIQUID LEVAIN:  Make the final build 12 to 15 hours before the final mix, and let stand in a covered container at about 70°F

2. MIXING: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the levain, but not the salt. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Correct the hydration as necessary.  Cover the bowl and let stand for an autolyse phase of 30 to 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, and finish mixing 5 minutes. The dough should have a medium consistency. 

3. BULK FERMENTATION WITH S&F:  3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl twice 20-strokes at 45-minute intervals.  Place dough ball in lightly oiled bowl, and stretch and fold on lightly floured board at 45 minutes.  If the dough has not increased in size by 75% or so, let it go a bit longer.

4. RETARDED BULK FERMENTATION (optional):  After second S&F on board, form dough into ball and then place again in lightly oiled bowl.  Refrigerate 8-20 hours, depending on sourness desired and scheduling convenience.

5. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: [Note: if bulk retarded, let dough come to room temperature for 30-90 minutes before pre-shaping.]  Divide the dough into pieces and pre-shape.  Let sit on board for 30-45 minutes, and then shape into boules or batards or baguettes.

6. PROOFING: Approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours at 72° F. Ready when poke test dictates.  Pre-heat oven to 500 with steam apparatus in place.

7. BAKING: Slash loaves.  Bake with steam, on stone.  Turn oven to 450 °F after it hits 500F after loading loaves.  Remove steaming apparatus after 12 minutes (10 for baguettes). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes total (for 750g loaves; less for smaller loaves).   Rotate loaves for evenness as necessary.  When done (205 F internal temp), leave loaves on stone with oven door ajar 10 minutes.

Happy baking!

Glenn

Submitted to http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

illustration: Stretch and Fold in the Bowl

I thought i'd share my piece of illustration on the Stretch and fold in the bowl technique:


 


Khalid 

Overnight Sourdough Pizza Crust (with 60% whole wheat)

JMonkey



This recipe makes four doughballs, each of which will make a pizza that's about 12" in diameter. They freeze well, and will keep for at least a month. To use a frozen doughball, just transfer it to the fridge the night before you want to bake. Then follow the baking instructions as written.


If you wish to make this as a 100% white flour pizza, reduce the water to 510 grams.




Formula


* Whole wheat flour: 60%
* All-purpose white flour: 40%
* Water: 80%
* Olive oil: 5%
* Starter accounts for 2% of the flour at 60% hydration


Ingredients


* Whole wheat flour: 420 grams
* AP flour: 290 grams
* Water: 570 grams
* Salt: 15 grams
* Olive oil: 36 grams
* Whole wheat starter: 25 grams


The night before, dissolve the starter into the water, and then add the salt and the oil. Finally, mix in the flours, until everything is nicely mixed. Then, let it rest for about an hour, and then do three stretch and folds with about 20-30 minutes between each. Cover the dough, and let it rise all night.


The next morning, see whether the dough has risen enough (8 - 10 hours is usually enough) and then divide it into 4 doughballs of about 340 grams a piece. Two dough balls go into the plastic baggies in the fridge, while the others go in plastic baggies in the freezer.


Remove the fridge doughballs two hours before baking, and shape them into tight balls. Then cover each with a cereal bowl. While they warm up, prepare the toppings.


Tomato sauce (for two pies -- makes more than you'll probably need)



  • 1 14 to 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes

  • Oregano: 1/2 tsp

  • Basil: 1/2 tsp

  • Garlic: 2 cloves, diced

  • Lemon juice or red wine vinegar: 1 Tbs


Mix this up, and set it aside, adding salt if it needs it. Some canned tomatoes are already well salted. With the brand I use, though, I usually have to add 1/2 tsp or so.


Cheese blend (for two pies)



  • Whole fat mozzarella, grated: 4 oz.

  • Parmesan, grated: 2 ounces

  • Feta, crumbled: 2 oz


Other toppings are, of course, up to you. I like chicken sausage, black olives and mushrooms, myself. Roasted red bell peppers are awesome. Fresh tomatoes are great (under the cheese), when available, as are fresh basil leaves, added just after the pie comes out of the oven.


Shaping the pie
First, an hour before I'm ready to bake, insert a stone and set the oven as high as it will go. When you're finally ready to shape, generously dust a peel with semolina flour or cornmeal. Then, make a small pile of AP flour next to where you'll shape. Coat your hands in flour, take a dough ball, coat it in flour on both sides, and then place it on your knuckles. Bounce the dough on your knuckles in a circle, gently stretching the dough with each bounce. When it's halfway there, place it on the peel, and stretch it all the way out. Mmake sure you stretch the edges apart -- don't stretch across the dough, because the center will be fairly thin and will tear.


Before adding the toppings, make sure that the pie will move on the peel. Then add sauce, cheese and toppings, and bake on the stone for 9-11 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes on a rack before cutting into slices.


 

Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

JMonkey

This is another of my favorite breads. Slightly sweet, but also tangy, it’s perfect for sandwiches, but also stands well alone, with just a bit of butter.

Formula:
Whole wheat flour: 100%
Salt: 2%
Water or milk: 75%
Honey: 4.2%
Unsalted butter: 2.8%

30% of the flour is in the whole-wheat starter. (I’ll give two options, one for starter at 100% hydration and another at 60% hydration)

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour: 500 grams or about 4 cups
Salt: 10 grams or 1.25 tsp
Water:
•    Using a wet starter: 225 grams or 1 cup
•    Using a stiff starter: 285 grams or 1.25 cups
Whole wheat Starter: Two options
•    Wet starter (100% hydration) 300 grams or 1 ¼ cup
•    Stiff starter (60% hydration) 240 grams or 1 cup
Honey: 21 grams or 1 Tbs
Unsalted butter: 14 grams or 1 Tbs

Mixing
Dissolve the starter into the water, and then add the salt. Melt the butter and stir in the honey – add both to the water. Finally add the flour and mix until all is hydrated.

Dough development and the first rise

However you develop the dough, from the time you mix until the time you shape the dough, it’ll take about 3 to 4 hours for the first rise at room temperature.

Shaping
Shape into a sandwich loaf and place it in a greased 8.5”x 4.5” pan.

Second rise and retarding

Sourdoughs benefit quite a bit from retarding – they often taste better. You can simply cover the shaped dough and place it in the fridge or, if you’re lucky and the overnight temperature will be between 45 and 55, you can simply place it outside, in which case the bread will probably be ready to bake when you wake up.

If you put it in the fridge, it’ll need to warm up for 3-4 hours to complete its rise.

If you don’t want to bother with retarding, you can let it rise for another 3 hours at room temperature. You can also speed things up (and increase sourness) by placing the dough on an upturned bowl in the bottom of a picnic cooler, throwing a cup of boiling water in the bottom and covering it quickly. After an hour, throw another cup of hot water in. The rise should only take a couple of hours this way.

Baking
There’s no need to score the bread, but I often do anyway. Bake for about 55 minutes at 350 degrees F. No steam or pre-heating required.

Poolish Baguettes

JMonkey

I don’t make white breads often, but there’s nothing quite like a few homemade baguettes to accompany an elegant meal. This recipe was adapted from “Bread” by Jeffrey Hammelman.

Overall formula:

    * White flour: 100%
    * Water: 66%
    * Salt: 2%
    * Instant yeast: 0.36%
    * 33% of the flour is pre-fermented as a poolish at 100% hydration with .07% yeast

Poolish:
    * White flour: 160 grams or 1.25 cups
    * Water: 160 grams or ½ cup + 3 Tbs
    * Instant yeast: Just an eeny-weeny pinch (about 1/32 of a tsp)

Final dough:
    * All of the poolish
    * White flour: 320 grams oz or 2.5 cups
    * Water: 160 gram or ½ cup + 3 Tbs
    * Salt: 9 grams or 1.25 tsp
    * Instant yeast: 1 to 2 grams or 1/2 + 1/8 tsp

The night before: Preferment
The night before, dissolve the yeast into the water for the poolish, and then mix in the flour. Cover and let it ferment at room temperature for 12-16 hours. Once the poolish has bubbles breaking on top and has started to wrinkle, it's ready. It'll also smell really nice - sweet and nutty. Mmmm.

Mixing and dough development
For the final dough, measure out the water and pour it into the poolish to loosen it up. Then pour the entire mixture into a bowl. Mix together the salt, yeast and flour, and then add it to the bowl as well. Mix it all up with a spoon and, once everything is hydrated, knead it the traditional way, until it passes the windowpane test. Cover and let it ferment for two hours, giving it a stretch-and-fold at the one hour mark.

Shaping
If you’re making baguettes, divide the dough into three pieces, and preshape into rounds. Cover and let them rest about 20 minutes. Then shape into baguettes about 12 inches longg and cover, letting them rise for about 1 hour to 90 minutes.

Score and bake on a preheated stone in a 460 degree oven with steam for about 25 minutes.

If you want to make a round or a batard, you’ll need to bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.

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