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msgenie516's picture
msgenie516

The PERFECT bread recipe for the beginning baker! Think Wonder Bread!

Hi,


First, I want to mention I'm not talented enough to be able to claim I created this recipe.  I found it on another forum and I really don't know who the original author is, but whoever it is, created a WINNER!  This bread has a soft crust and interior (somewhat like store bought white but much tastier with a nicer texture) so for those of you who only want to tackle a crusty bread, this one is not for you.   The crust also does not get very dark, but you could probably mist it with a bit of water if you want it darker.


But, if you're even a little like me in that you desperately want to be successful in making ANY kind of bread, you will LOVE this recipe!  After I struggle for days to get a more complicated recipe to work for me, this one is a RELIEF to work on.  I have never had a failure, even when I threw it together in a hurry.  And EVERYONE here loves it!   My grandson, who never asks for seconds of anything, asked me for a second slice of this tasty bread.  My husband, who is difficult to please to say the least, is very happy when I use it to make his sandwiches to take with him to work in the morning.  He's actually so proud that I can make it that he shares his sandwiches from time to time so his associates can sample it.


This is the recipe:


Combine in the slightly preheated bowl from your stand mixer (you can also do this entirely by hand, but it's a lot more work):


2 cups of 110-112 degree water


1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon instant yeast (a total of 4 teaspoons)


1 tablespoon sugar


Cover and let rise in a warm place for 5 minutes (to create warm place, I put my oven on 350 degrees for about 10 seconds and shut it off)


Add to the yeast mixture:


¼ cup oil


5 cups bread flour (I find the best way to measure flour for this recipe is to scoop it, as recommended by the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.  I have tried weighing it--which really should work--and spooning into the measuring cup, as recommended by the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, but with both methods the dough was too slack and I had to add flour.)


2 teaspoons salt


Knead until smooth and elastic.  I use the dough hook to combine it for a couple of minutes (while scraping down the sides to help combine the ingredients) and knead for at least an additional 5 minutes on speed 2.


Place the dough (sometimes you have to aid it with a scraper to release it from the bottom of the mixer bowl as it doesn't seem to hold the ball shape on the hook each and every time) in a greased bowl, turn it, and cover it with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with a nonstick coating, such as Pam.


Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20-25 minutes.  I use the minimum time for both the first and second rise.  Punch the dough down and divide it into two equal portions.  Then roll each piece into two rectangles that each measure approximately 10" by 14".  Starting from the long end, roll each rectangle up in jelly roll fashion and tuck in the ends slightly.  Pinch the seam together and place each loaf with the seam to the bottom on a greased 12" by 16" (or similar size) cookie sheet or shallow baking pan.  I find the two loaves work fine on one pan.  Diagonally slash each loaf about 3 times with a sharp, floured knife.


Lightly spray the loaves with nonstick spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let the loaves rise for 20-25 minutes in a warm place.  Since I will have to preheat my oven while these loaves are rising, I cannot let the loaves rise in there and I turn on my toaster oven and leave it on for several minutes.  After I shut if off, I check to see how hot the top has become and layer the appropriate amount of kitchen towels on top of it so that the bottom of the cookie sheet I will be placing on it doesn't get too hot.  I then place the loaves on top of the towels on the toaster oven, making sure they are situated to the back (under the cabinets), where I believe the most heat would be trapped.  Your situation may be different so I am only offering this as a suggestion.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the bread for 20-25 minutes.  I use the maximum time as this bread does not get a very dark crust.  Let the bread cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing--it will still be warm.


ENJOY!  (Bread is pictured below)

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Baking this pound cake since 1964

I have decided to give the recipe for this wonderful pound cake I have been baking since 1964 and only given the recipe out to family in the past 45+ years.  It is very close to the same recipe given by Paula Deen called mama's pound cake.  I think only the milk and salt differs a little.  I have referred to this recipe always as 'Grandma Turners Pound Cake'.  It was given to me by my mother in law Elsie Turner in 1964 and was given to her by her daugter in law from Atlanta, GA.  What is so great about this pound cake and the reason I don't turn it upside down out of my large bundt pan or angle food cake pan is it has a cookie crunchy crust that is fabulous and I think very desirable on a pound cake.  It is a very large cake and can be made nicely also in loaf pans.   We love it with fresh sliced strawberries, sprinkled with a little sugar to bring out some juices...yumm.  A real family favorite for over 45 years.


1.  2 sticks of butter


2. 1/2 cup vegetable oil


3.  3 cups all purpose flour


4. 3 cups of Sugar


5. 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder


6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla -Added-vanilla extract used 


7. 5 Eggs


8. 1 1/4 cup whole milk


Bring your eggs and butter to same room cool temperature - so the butter is fairly soft -this helps prevent the curdling effect you get when mixing the batter together at different temperatures.


By hand or electric mixer


Grease and flour pans - Preheat oven to 325F - I use convection oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 min. for my 10+ cup large non-stick bundt pan.  Testing with a spagetti noodle poked down into the cake and coming out dry.  The crust will be a nice dark golden brown. 


Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl '3 times' now I just shake it though a wire sifter once.  In a large bowl or mixer, Cream butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy - Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture ' I lightly beat them - Add milk and flour to creamed mixture alternately. I end with the flour.  Add vanilla extract.  You can also use lemon extract. 


After the cake is baked.  Cool for about 5 minutes.  Lay a cooling rack on top of the pan and invert.  Lay another cooling rack on top of the bottom of the cake and flip back over to see the cookie crust side...try not to eat it all!


                  ADDED - These freeze great.  I wrap them up in plastic wrap and then foil.


      


                                       


                        


 


                                                                 Gets crunched a little more when removing but you can see why I prefer this top to the


                                                                  molded bundt top.  It's hard not eat this delicious crunchy cookie crust top.


 


                                  


                   Sorry we didn't have any whipped cream today.  The strawberries make a nice juice when sliced with a bit of sugar sprinkled over them.  Or you also make a lovely puree strawberry sauce to go with some sliced strawberries. 


Sylvia                            


 


 

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

Gordon Family Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Clone Recipe

I found several postings mentioning their recipe, but their website is down(for good?).


Hopefully we can preserve it here at TFL.


 



Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Clone Recipe

Cinnabon's® World Famous Cinnamon Roll


Recipe By: Ron and Shallen Gordon
Serving Size: 15 Rolls
Preparation Time: 3 to 4 Hours
Categories: Baking, Bread, Muffins, Rolls, Sticky-buns

We've worked very hard over the past several years to develop an accurate clone or copy-cat recipe that you can prepare at home for Cinnabon®Cinnamon Rolls. The recipe below is not their recipe, but one we've engineered through extensive research, careful tests and much experimentation.We've improved upon our earlier recipe and after many test batches, we're convinced that this revised copy-cat recipe will enable you to recreate that wonderful taste!

You may wish to visit their Web site, The Cinnabon Experience, and review their wonderful presentation, The Cinnabon Story. There's some interesting information at their site, but alas, no recipe since the actual recipe is proprietary. Although several other Web sites claim to have the real recipe, we hope that you'll find that the one presented here provides the most accurate taste and appearance. We've made every effort to closely reproduce their results and clone that great cinnamon roll flavor!Judging from the many letters we've received from readers around the world who have used our recipe and achieved great results, we've evidently succeeded!

This recipe has been sized so that the dough may be prepared using a large capacity (2 pound) bread machine.

 

Dough

Amount Measure Ingredient and Preparation Method
1/4 Cup Water (2 oz)
1 Cup Whole Milk (8 oz)
1/2 Cup Butter, unsalted sweet cream, melted (0.25 lb, i.e. 1 stick)
1 1/4 ea Egg, Large Grade AA, well beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Flavor (preferably alcohol free)
1/2 tsp Salt (0.0075 lb)
1/2 Cup Sugar, preferably Superfine Granulated (0.224 lb)
4 1/2 Cup Unbleached White Bread Flour (1 1/4 lb)
1 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten (0.021 lb)
1/4 oz SAF Perfect Rise® Gourmet Yeast (1 envelope, 7 g)

Remove a large egg from the refrigerator and permit it to reach room temperature. Gently melt the butter. Add the Water and Whole Milk. The resulting liquid mixture should be permitted to cool so that it is between 75°F (24°C) and 85°F (30°C) before proceeding further. Then add the remaining ingredients, in the order listed above, to the bread machine and prepare using the dough setting. (Follow your bread machine instructions for dough preparation.)

To help you achieve the very best results, see also our additional notes on ingredients and preparation.

 

Filling

Amount Measure Ingredient and Preparation Method
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed (0.4255 lb)
5 Tbsp Cinnamon, Korintje Grade AA (0.0745 lb)
1/2 Cup Margarine (0.25 lb, i.e. 1 stick)

Remove the margarine from the refrigerator once you've started the dough cycle and allow it to reach room temperature. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon.

After the dough cycle has completed, roll and stretch the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 15" by 24" (38 cm by 61 cm) rectangle.

Cinnabon Rolls, ready to slice!Mark off 1" along the 24" edge of the dough, closest to you. You will not spread any Margarine or Sugar-Cinnamon mixture on this edge so that you can seal the roll. Spread the softened Margarine over the dough with a rubber spatula and then evenly distribute the Sugar and Cinnamon mixture.  Be careful to leave your 1" edge clean. As a final step, use your rolling pin to lightly roll the Sugar and Cinnamon mixture.

Starting at the far edge of the dough, roll it up tightly.  Begin at the far edge and roll up the dough toward the 1" clean edge. The clean 1" edge is used to seal the finished roll. Trim the left and right ends of the roll. The result will be a 24" roll. Trim off the left and right ends of the roll so that you have a flush end at each end of the roll. Then mark the roll every 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm).  Cut the roll into 1 1/2" long portions. This may be done with a knife, as they do at the store. However we've found it easier to use dental floss. (We use cinnamon flavored dental floss just for dramatic effect!) Cutthe roll by placing the thread under the roll at your mark, crisscross over and pull it to cut. You should get 15 rolls.

Line your baking pans with parchment paper. Place 5 rolls into 8" square baking pans 1" apart. (One roll in each corner, and one in the center.) Cover with a lint free cloth and let rise in a warm, draft free place until almost double, approximately 1 hour. After rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan. This is important for best results. This gives the resulting rolls the soft, moist outer edge that most people prefer.

After rising, bake in a convection oven at 310°F for 15 minutes. If you are using a conventional oven, bake at 335°F for 20 minutes. The resulting rolls should be only lightly browned. We bake only one 8 inch square pan of rolls at a time to obtain uniform results.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Amount Measure Ingredient and Preparation Method
4 oz Cream Cheese (0.25 lb)
1/2 Cup Margarine (0.25 lb, i.e. 1 stick)
1 3/4 Cup 10x Powdered Sugar (or Sugar Fondant) (1/2 lb)
1 tsp Vanilla Flavor (preferably Alcohol Free)
1/8 tsp Lemon Flavor (preferably Alcohol Free)

There are several steps involved in the preparation of the frosting. But it is not difficult, and you'll be surprised at the wonderful results you achieve. For the fluffiest frosting, use Vanilla and Lemon flavors that do not contain alcohol. A total of 50 minutes is required to prepare the frosting, from start to finish. We normally prepare the frosting while the rolls are rising.

Generally, we use 10x Powdered Sugar. However, Sugar Fondant yields a smoother frosting. Please refer to our notes.

Remove the cream cheese and margarine from the refrigerator and place it into the mixing bowl. Leave it for about half an hour so that it will not be too cold.

Use the Flat Beater (or Paddle) to blend the cream cheese and margarine for 6 minutes. Use a speed of 65 RPM, or the "slow mixing" speed on your machine. We use setting #2 on our KitchenAid Mixer.

Switch to the Stainless Steel Whip and whip the cream cheese and margarine mixture for 10 minutes. Use a speed of 150 RPM, or the "medium fast whipping" speed on your machine. We use setting #6 on our KitchenAid Mixer.

Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix for 1 minute using the Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and mix for an additional minute.

Lastly, add the Vanilla Flavor and Lemon Flavor and whip for 1 minute using the Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM.

Here's an easy to follow table for the preparation of the frosting:

Add Cream Cheese and Margarine to mixing bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.
Mix using Paddle at 65 RPM for 6 minutes
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM for 10 minutes
Add 1 Cup Powdered Sugar.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM for 1 minute
Add 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM for 1 minute
Add Vanilla and Lemon flavors.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM for 1 minute

Transfer the finished frosting to a convenient covered container and refrigerate it. Once the rolls are finished baking, frost them while they're still very warm and serve them immediately. Yum, yum!

 

AW's picture
AW

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

After much searching for a whole wheat sandwich bread that would be soft yet nutritious, my friend Ben shared this recipe with me. Ben and his mother have perfected over the years and given us some choices on substitutions for ingredients, which is so nice.


I think the texture and crumb are simply perfect. The dough can also be nicely worked up into individual soup rolls, though I have to say that I much prefer it as a sliced loaf. If you'd like a step-by-step show of this friend me on FB.


___________________________________________________________________


Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread


From Ben Chaffee


Makes 2 loaves (8-1/2" by 5-1/2")


1 package active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast (2-1/2 tsp)


1/4 cup water


2-1/2 cups hot water


1/2 cup brown sugar (can interchange honey or molasses 1:1 for brown sugar)


3 tsp salt


1/4 cup shortening*


3 cups (374 g) stirred whole-wheat flour


5 cups (663 g) stirred all-purpose white flour           

 

  1. Soften active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (110°) or compressed yeast in 1/4 lukewarm water (85°). Combine hot water, sugar, salt, and shortening; cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir in whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of the white flour; beat well.
  3. Stir in softened yeast. Add enough of remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface; kneed till smooth and satiny (10 to 12 minutes).
  4. Shape dough in a ball; place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
  5. Cover; let rise in warm place till double (about 1-1/2 hours). Punch down (or fold). Cut in two portions; shape each in smooth ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  6. Shape into loaves.† Place them in greased 8-1/2" by 5 2-1/2" loaf pans. Cover with a damp towel. Let rise till double (about 1-1/4 hours).
  7. Bake 375° for 45 minutes. When tapped, the bottoms of the loaves should have an almost hollow sound. Cover with foil last 20 minutes, if necessary.

 

*Other fats, such as vegetable oil or butter, can be used 1:1 for the shortening.

Place dough on counter. Press out large bubbles and gently form each dough ball into a rectangle. Ensure the shortest side of the rectangle is approximately the longest size of your loaf pan (8-1/2"). Roll up the dough. Pinch the seam closed. Tuck open sides down and under. Place in loaf pan.

 

Whole Wheat Sandwich

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Chocolate Sourdough - Chad Robertson's way

Chad Roberson's Tartine Bakery doesn't do chocolate sourdough (if they do, I haven't had the fortune of tasting it).  We did Pane Cioccolata (chocolate bread) at Artisan III, SFBI, and it was very good.  Everybody loved it but at the time I was thinking to myself if I were to make it at home I would make some changes for the following reasons: 


First of all, I feel really uneasy about "double hydration" method, which is supposed to be good whenever you have any "add-ins" for your dough, be it dried fruits, nuts, seeds or soakers, or in this case, chocolate chips.  The procedure is: you mix your dough with only 80 - 85%% of the recipe water in the first and 2nd speed as usual until a slightly stronger than normal gluten development has achieved, then turn the mixer back to first speed, slowly incorporate the reserved water and finish off on 2nd speed, then, add the seeds and nuts (or whatever add-ins you have) in the first speed initially for incorporation, and finish off, again, in 2nd speed.  The reasoning for this method is it is easier to develop dough strength with a stiffer dough than a wet dough and so the purpose is to build up the strength before you incorporate any add-ins.  Because of the longer mixing time, the temperature of water you use with this method is lower than for other doughs. 


I remember we mixed the dough for nearly 20 minutes in the spiral mixer.  I am not confident that I could do such a long mixing time with the mixer I have at home.  I always feel "traumatized," looking at the dried fruits or nuts being beaten up and chopped up while they try to be mixed in to the dough after the latter's gluten structure has already been formed; it really takes time to break the gluten bond.


Secondly, after the dough was bulk fermented, it was scored then proofed. One other type of bread where we scored first then proofed was rye bread.  It was said that because of the delicate gluten structure in both of these cases, if you were to score after the dough is proofed, you may destroy the gases that were produced.  While this makes sense to me, I don't care for the look when it's baked.


Thirdly, the Pane Cioccolata formula we used at Artisan III has only 20% levain (in baker's percentages) and therefore it also has a small percentage of dry instant yeast (DIY).  If I increase levain to 100% I wouldn't have to have DIY!  Also, chocolate chips used were only 12% of total flour, I know my son would just LOVE more chocolate chips. 


So here is my Chocolate Sourdough inspired by Chad Robertson's method all by hand (timeline as described in Daniel Wing and Alan Scott's The Bread Builder) in my previous post.


                


 


                              


 


                   


 


Formula for My Chocolate Sourdough 


Two nights before bake day - first stage of levain build-up



  • 61 g starter @ 75% hydration

  • 121 g bread flour (i.e. two times starter amount for me; I do not know what ratio Chad Robertson uses.)

  • 91 g water


Mix and ferment for 6 - 8 hours at 18C / 65 F (depending on your room temperature, you may need shorter or longer fermentation time for your starter to mature)


The morning before bake day - second (and final) stage of levain expansion



  • 273 g starter @ 75% hydration (all from above)

  • 273 g bread flour (I use one time starter amount in flour but I do not know what amount Chad Robertson uses)

  • 204 g water


Mix and ferment for two hours only


Formula for final dough



  • 750 g starter (all from above)

  • 650 g bread flour

  • 100 g cocoa powder (8.5% of total flours*verses 5% in SFBI recipe)

  • 86 g honey (7% of total flours verses 15% in SFBI recipe)

  • 250 g chocolate chips (21% of total flour verses 12.6% in SBFI recipe)

  • 433 g water (note: with every 12 g extra water, your total dough hydration will increase by 1%. If you wish, you can increase up to 5% more hydration. See step 10 below.)

  • 1 to 2 vanilla pods (optional but really worth it)

  • 20 g salt


Total dough weight 2.3 kg and total dough hydration 73%


*Total flour calculation takes into account the flour in starter. 



  1. In a big bowl, first put in water then put in the starter.  Break up the starter thoroughly in the water with your hands.

  2. Then put in honey; scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods and put it in, and stir to combine

  3. Put in all the remaining ingredients except choc. chips

  4. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine for 1 - 2 minutes. (Take down the time when this is done, this will be your start time.  Starting from this time, your dough is fermenting.  From this start time to the time when the dough is divided and shaped, it will be 4 hours; i.e., bulk fermentation is 4 hours.  The preferred room temperature is 18 - 21C / 65 - 70F.  You may need to adjust your dough temperature by using cooler or warmer water.)

  5. Autolyse 20 - 30 minutes

  6. Sprinkle half of the choc. chips on a work surface (spreading about 30 cm by 30 cm) and stretch or pad the sticky dough thinly to cover the choc. chips.  Then sprinkle the other half of choc. chips over it; press the choc. chips into the dough so they stick.

  7. Gather the dough from the edges to the centre and place the choc. chip dough back into the mixing bowl.

  8. Start the first set of stretch and folds in the bowl by pinching the edges of the dough and fold onto itself to the centre (10 - 20 times).  Rotate the bowl as you go.  As the dough is quite stiff, you may need both hands for the folding.  The hand folding serves as mixing.  I used my left hand to press down the centre, so my right hand can pinch an edge of the dough and fold it to the centre.  As you stretch and fold, try not to tear the dough; only stretch as far as it can go.

  9. After 45 minutes, do a second set of stretch and folds.  At the end of this stage, the dough will already feel silky and smooth.  As the dough is quite stiff, its strength develops very fast.  Be mindful that the bottom of the dough is the right side of the dough; and the right side of the dough always remain at the bottom in the bowl.

  10. After another 45 minutes, do a final set of stretch and folds.  As the dough feels quite strong, no more folding is necessary (unless you choose to increase total dough hydration, in which case, you may need one more set of stretch and folds).

  11. At the end of the 4 hour bulk fermentation, divide the dough to 3 - 4 pieces as you wish.  Be mindful that the bottom of the dough is the right side; sprinkle some flour on your work bench, and place the pieces right side down.

  12. Shape the pieces - gather the edges to the centre, flip it over (so the right side is now up) and shape it to a tight ball with both hands.  (As I find the dough is quite strong, I did not think pre-shaping is necessary.)

  13. Place the shaped boules in dusted baskets or couche, right side down and seam side up to encourage volume expansion.  Cover.

  14. Proof for 2 hours in room temperature of 18 - 21C / 65 - 70F.

  15. Into the refrigerator for retardation at the end of the 2 hour proofing (minimum 8 hours; I did 18 hours).


                                                                    


Bake Day



  1. Bake the boules cold for best result (ie, straight out of refrigerator).  Just before baking, sift flour on the dough and score it.  Bake at 190C / 380F (not higher due to honey) for 40 minutes.  Once the dough is loaded onto the baking stone, steam the oven with no more than 1 cup of boiling hot water.

  2. Note: I find better result when baked cold.  One boule was left at room temp while others were being baked, and it became quite puffy so when I scored, it deflated quite a lot and there was no noticeable oven spring with this bake.          


                


 


I sliced one of the boules and went down to the back yard to water the plants.  When I came back up, my son said to me, Mum, the chocolate sourdough was epic.  How I love his choice of words.  Well, you know how to please a growing boy - make a chocolate sourdough!


This is the first time that I made a chocolate sourdough - it is not sour at all because of the chocolate and honey, but it is very chewy.  And the crust!  Very crispy.  The crumb?  Very more-ish.


I don't imagine you find chocolate sourdough made this way in the shops - they would go bankrupt if they do - too much work (but absolutely worth the trouble for home bakers)!


Shiao-Ping

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Greenstein's Sourdough Rye (Rye Sour) care and feeding, illustrated

Eagleswings' struggles with a rye starter and the current interest in Jewish sour rye and corn bread have prompted me to re-post my response regarding the care and feeding of rye sour. After making sour rye breads last weekend, I took some photos of my rye sour refreshment which might be helpful to those undertaking rye bread baking for the first time.

 The photos that follow illustrate the progression of each stage's ripening. The volume of the sour is, of course, increased with each stage.

 

DMSnyder's adaptation of Greenstein's Rye Sour:


There are 3 "stages" to make a sour ready to use in a rye bread recipe. You can refrigerate overnight after any of the stages. If you do refrigerate it, use warm water in the next build. The mature sour will probaby be okay to use for a couple of days, but I try to time it to spend no longer that 12 hours since the last feeding. If you have kept it longer under refrigeration, it should be refreshed.

 

Stage 1:

50 gms of Rye sour refreshed with 100 gms water and 75 gms rye flour

50 gms of Rye sour refreshed with 100 gms water and 75 gms rye flour, mixed into a paste, scraped down and smoothed over.

 

 

Refreshed rye sour with 25 gms (1/4 cup) rye flour sprinkled over the surface.

Refreshed rye sour with 25 gms (1/4 cup) rye flour sprinkled over the surface. This prevents drying out. Cover airtight (more or less) to ripen.

 

 

Ripening refreshed rye sour, starting to rise and form a dome, spreading the dry rye flour.

Ripening refreshed rye sour after 3 hours or so, starting to rise and form a dome, spreading the dry rye flour. Keep covered. Be patient.

 

 

Ripening refreshed rye sour. Expanded further with more pronounced spreading of dry flour.

Ripening refreshed rye sour after 4-5 hours. Expanded further with more pronounced spreading of dry flour. 

 

Fully ripe rye sour. This should be used immediately. If you are not ready for it, I have refrigerated it overnight. What you don't want is for fermentation to continue until the sour collapses.

Stage 2:
All of the Stage 1 starter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup rye flour

Mix thoroughly into a thick paste. Scrape down and smooth the surface.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of rye flour all over the surface. Cover the bowl and let rise for 4-8 hours or untile the dry rye on the surface has spread into "continents" and the surface has domed. Don't wait until it collapses.

Stage 3:
All of the Stage 1 starter
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of rye flour.

You may have to transfer this to a larger bowl. Mix thoroughly into a thicker paste - It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as you mix it. If it is too thin, you can add more rye flour until it is more "dough-like." Cover the starter and let it rise 4-8 hours. It should nearly double in volume and be bubbly.

It's now ready to use to make rye bread.

Greenstein advises to keep the starter refrigerated and stir the starter every 3-4 days and refresh it every 10-12 days by throwing out half of it and mixing in "equal amounts of flour and water."

Greenstein says, if you are going to refrigerate the sour for any length of time, keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator and float a layer of water over it. (I don't generally do the water cover trick.)

I hope this helps some one.

David

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Concord Grape Focaccia

 

Fall is in the air and beautiful blue-violet grapes are in the market and I could not resist the cartons of gorgeous, sweet scented concord grapes.  What better to do with them than to bake a grape focaccia.

 

The only other focaccia I’ve baked so far is Bill W’s wonderful sourdough raisin focaccia which I highly recommend.  I wanted to do a sourdough version of this one but being a bit inexperienced in this area I was unsure of how the sugar and oil may impact the sourdough so for this first grape focaccia I decided to use a small amount of starter and treat it more as an added ingredient for extra flavor.  (Me too chicken…?)  I also wanted to use some spelt flour and turbinado sugar so here is the recipe.



Concord Grape Focaccia

 

255g Concord grapes, seeded

310g water

76g liquid levain

300g bread flour
150g spelt flour
8g instant yeast
4g salt

1 tablespoon honey
2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1 tablespoon sanding sugar



Add sourdough starter to the water and dissolve.  In a mixing bowl, add the flour, instant yeast, honey, salt, and water (with starter mixed in).   Mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes.  Place in container and let rise until double.

Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and press into a round a little bigger than the oven form you will be using for baking.   I used a 9” x 2" round cake pan.  Pour 1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan and swirl around to cover the sides.  Dump any excess oil onto the top of the dough in the center and spread to cover.  Pick up the dough quickly and place it over the baking pan allowing some of the dough to overflow the sides.  You will use this to flap over the grapes inside.

Place roughly 2/3 of the grapes into the form and press slightly into the dough.  Gather the edges of dough hanging over the pan and bring them together over the top of the grapes and slightly pinch together pressing down on the dough in the pan to make sure it is against all the sides.

 

Add the remaining grapes over the top slightly pressing them into the dough.  Drizzle about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over the top.  Then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar followed by 1 tablespoon of sanding sugar over the top of that. 

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F while the dough begins to rise again – about a half hour.  The dough had reached the top of the cake pan. 

 

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown on top. 

 

Remove from oven and take focaccia out of pan to cool on rack.  Cut into wedges and serve.

   

This was as if I’d filled it with grape jelly and it smelled amazing.  The dough was very soft and I suppose that was due to the sourdough starter I added.  I’m not sure if the spelt had anything to do with that as I’ve only baked with spelt a few times adding it to other sourdough loaves.  It was really gooey and delicious.

 

 

I am going to make this again later in the week but try and press the dough out flatter and bake on a stone so the bottom gets nice and browned as well.  I also think I’ll add more spelt and reduce the bread flour just to see how that tastes.  This was almost like a cake bread, very spongy and soft and moist.  Not too sweet either even with the sugars sprinkled on top. I think for the size and shape I baked the amount of grapes was perfect although I think if I flatten it into a larger shape I will increase the amount of grapes used just to make sure it covers the dough adequately.  Ugh, they’re so much fun to seed…not.  But it is well worth the effort. 

 

This was really fun and I don’t know how I can improve on the flavor of it but we’ll see. I think it will be a fun recipe to experiment with.  I’ll post more results here as I tweak and see what works best because the concord grapes won’t be here forever.

 

  

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3648690#208178433

   
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.

meedo's picture
meedo

Ataif bil ashta

This recipe from the Middle East, we eat it especially in Ramadan or any time of the year, cause it's so tasty.

For the dough:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoon yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 cup fat free milk

1 1/2 cup water

For the filling (ashta):

2 cups fat free milk

7 1/2 tablespoons corn starch

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons thick cream (qaimar which is an Iraqi cream) but you can use the regular thick cream  

2 tablespoons rose water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Chopped pistachio

 

To make the dough:

1-Mix all the  ingredient and let it rest about 40 minutes.

2- cook about 2 tablespoon of the dough mixture in a hot pan until it bubble (just cook one side).

After finishing ,let them cool then fold half round then fill them with the filling ( using a pastry bag ) then dip them in the chopped pistachios.

To make the filling:

Mix corn starch with milk and sugar then bring it to boil in a medium pan, stir until thickens, then add the rest of the ingredient.

Spoon mixture into a bowel, refrigerate until cold.

Pastry bag:

qaimar (Iraqi cream):

Serve with honey or syrup

 

http://arabicbites.blogspot.com/

meedo

When Yeasts Attack: A First Experience with Naturally Leavened Bread


The ambitious home baker inevitably gets the urge to try baking Sourdough. It's like... like... well, I'm not sure what it is like, but it brings a whole new level of of experimentation to the baking process. It's fun. And it tastes amazing.

I've tried it once before, a few years ago, but ended up abandoning my starter when my son was born. There were only so many organisms I had the time to nurture, and, alas, my starter did not make the cut.

I tried creating another starter a few weeks ago. This time I had more luck.

I'm sharing my experience, some pictures, and a bit of background on sourdough below.

I believe this article includes enough information for even an inexperienced baker to take a crack at creating a starter. But I invite more experienced sourdough bakers to share their tips in the comments section below (or submit their favorite links or books, or even to write an advanced sourdough article to post here.). I do not pretend for a minute to be an expert on sourdoughs or to have mastered this process, but I am having fun learning.

Background

Commercial yeast is a relatively recent phenomenon. For hundreds of years bakers have had to capture the wild yeast that lives in the environment in a starter and use that to leaven their breads.

Different regions in the world have different strains of yeast in the air. Hence the famous "San Francisco Sourdough": there is a strain of wild yeast that thrives in California which produces an excellent, extremely sour bread.

Dried commercial yeast is the most important development in baking in hundreds of years: home and professional bakers today can create a loaf of bread in a fraction of the time their ancestors were able to. And commercial yeast allows the baker to assure a consistency of quality that until recently was impossible for all but the most skilled. Its importance should not be underestimated.

But there is something wonderful about getting away from even that bit of modernization and baking the way past generations had to. For one thing, the wild yeast impart an entirely different flavor to your bread. And, because it is not as concentrated as commercial yeast, wild yeast also forces you to slow down and enjoy the process. The baking experience begins to have less to do with mass production and more to do with true artisanship.

The Basic Process

The basic process of creating sourdough is pretty simple. You start by mixing together flour and water to create a medium for yeast to live in. Over a series of days, you replenish your starter. This continues until you build up enough yeast activity in your sponge that it will support baking. Then you use it by creating a larger batch of starter. A portion of this you can bake with immediately, but another portion of it should be refrigerated for later use. In fact, the starter won't really peak in flavor for a few weeks, so it is worthwhile keeping it going. As long as you feed it more water and flour once a week, the starter should stay alive indefinitely.

There are many different recipes for sourdough starters. Some of them use a bit of commercial yeast to get things started. Others use raisins, honey, or potatoes, and different flours. They all share the same goal: to produce a lively starter capable of leavening a loaf.

My Experience

To start out I decided to loosely follow Peter Reinhart's Seed Culture formula from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. When my starter appeared to be suffering, I gave up on following his formula and followed my own intuition. Happily, doing so worked out well and my bread turned out excellent.

I began my starter Wednesday evening. I mixed together:

one cup rye flour
3/4 cup warm raisin water

Raisin water is just warm water that had been poured over a handful of dried raisins and allowed to sit for half an hour or so (I used the raisins in another loaf of bread I was preparing to bake). The white stuff you see in the folds of raisins is actually a yeast, so using raisin water is one method of increasing the likelihood your starter will take off.

I covered tightly with plastic wrap the Pyrex container with the starter and left it in our cupboard overnight.

Thursday evening I took a look: my starter had risen to the top of the container it was in! I definitely was off to a good start. I mixed:

1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup water
1 cup of the previous day's starter

The remainder of the starter I threw out (yes, I have a hard time throwing food out too, but it is necessary).

I noticed that, although Peter says "the dough will be somewhat softer and wetter than the Day 1 sponge," mine was definitely harder and drier than day one. Perhaps my flour was packed a bit too tight. No big deal.

Once again, I covered tightly with plastic wrap the Pyrex container with the starter and left it in our cupboard overnight.

Friday evening when I checked out the starter I was disappointed with the rise. It had risen some, but considerably less than after the first day. Hm. Well, I stuck with the program and mixed up:

1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup water
1 cup of the previous day's starter

and once again covered it tightly and put it in the cupboard.

Saturday I decided something was not going right. By this point, Peter suggests, you should be getting at least a doubling of the dough, with each day the dough getting softer, wetter, and more risen. I was seeing exactly the opposite: my dough was getting denser, drier, and rising less and less each day. Time for a few changes.

I did a few things: first, I added considerably more water and switched to whole wheat flour:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup water
1 cup starter

Then, instead of tightly covering the Pyrex measuring cup with plastic wrap, I covered it loosely. Many sites/books I've read have mentioned letting the starter breathe. I believe some of them even said to leave the starter totally uncovered. Well, at this point I was willing to try anything to rejuvenate this one. If it wasn't looking more lively in the morning, I was going to give up.

Good news when I came downstairs Sunday: my starter was moving again. It didn't double or anything, but it definitely appeared to be coming back to life, as you can see in the photo (the black mark is the level it was at the evening before). I'm not sure if it was the water, the whole wheat flour, or the air, but something worked.

It was now time to bake a loaf!

Before doing so, I removed one cup of the starter and add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water to it. This I put in a jar and stored in the fridge to bake with the following week.

At noon I mixed together:

1 cup starter
1 cup bread flour
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

I mixed this together for 5 minutes. It started to feel really tight, so I set the dough aside to rest and relax the gluten for five minutes. Then I poured the dough onto a heavily floured surface and kneaded it for 10 minutes. I had to add quite a bit of flour and keep my hands floured to keep from sticking, as I appear to have gone from one extreme, an extreme tough, dry dough, to the other, a very soft wet dough.

After kneading, I returned the dough to a bowl and let it rise for
around 3 hours. It takes longer to rise because we aren't spiking it with commercial yeast. The yeast in the starter needs time to eat, reproduce, and grow.

(Rising time, obviously, vary based on how lively your starter is and what the temperature is. So just keep an eye on your dough and adjust accordingly!)

When the dough had doubled in bulk, I poured it onto a floured surface and prepared to shape it. Because it was a soft, Ciabatta-like dough, I decided to simply cut it in half and stretched them to make the loaves. I set them aside to rise for 90 minutes.

When they looked risen, I threw them in the oven, which had been preheated to 500 degrees. I also did the pan of water trick which I discussed in Lesson Three: just after putting the bread in the oven I poured a cup of hot water into a brownie pan which I had placed on the lower rack of the oven. This produces a steam cloud which improves the quality of the crust.

I baked these loaves at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. I then reduced the temperature to 450 degrees, rotated the loaves, and baked them for twenty minutes more, until a probe thermometer inserted into the center read right around 200 degrees.

Results
Yum, the bread was wonderful! It had a great crust, beautiful crumb full of irregular sized holes, and nice sourdough bite.

Last weekend I baked a second batch using the starter (one cup start, one cup water, and one cup of flour is all it takes to wake it back up). I had a pretty bad cold and couldn't really taste whether the flavor had gotten any better, but the starter was definitely still going strong.


The End and The Beginning
Here ends my totally subjective first article on naturally leavened breads. As I said at the beginning, I am still learning the terminology and the process too.

If you want to try baking sourdough for the first time on your own, I urge you to take a look at some of the sourdough links I'm putting together. Or read a cookbook: most bread baking books have at least one chapter on sourdoughs, and there are a number of books dedicated to them (such as Crust & Crumb).

If you are experienced with sourdoughs and want to share some of your wisdom, I'd love to hear it (as would other site visitors). Please add comments below.

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