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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

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Soft, white-ish sandwich bread

There was a request recently for soft sandwich bread, and I actually have been baking my own soft sandwich bread for several years now. It began as a recipe from my MIL, but I have made some changes to suit our family better. It's a white bread, but there is a pretty hefty amount of wheat bran in the dough, which gives it a pretty appearance and also boosts the fiber content.  Anyway, here it is. If you try it, I'd love to hear how it went for you.

Katie's Sandwich Bread

Makes two 1.5 pound loaves

2 C water
1/4 C butter
2 TBSP sugar
1 package active dry yeast, or 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast, or 2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 C wheat bran
2 tsp kosher salt
about 6 C bread flour

Warm water and butter in a glass bowl or measuring cup in the microwave until just warmed.  The butter doesn't have to be completely melted--it will mix just fine into the dough later on. (My microwave warms the water and butter just enough in 1 minute and 10 seconds on high power. You can also do this in a pan on the stove, if you don't have a microwave.) Place yeast in bowl of stand mixer with 3 cups of flour, wheat bran, sugar, water/butter mixture, and the salt. (See note.) Combine thoroughly with the dough hook. Begin adding remaining flour in 1/2 C increments until a cohesive dough forms. Knead for 5-6 minutes with your stand mixer using the dough hook (mine kneads in this time at speed 2). The dough is fully kneaded when it passes the windowpane test.  Round dough out, then place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  I place my bowl in the oven with the light on.

When dough has doubled, punch down dough, divide in half, and form into loaves. I just flatten each piece of dough out to a rectangle, then roll it up, being sure to seal it tightly while rolling to increase the surface tension on the final loaf.  Pinch the seal, turn under the ends, and place loaves in greased pans (I use 9 x 5 heavy metal pans).  Cover (I use the same oiled plastic wrap from the first rise) to rise for another 35 minutes. Bake at 375 for about 27 minutes, or until browned and hollow-sounding when thumped.

Note:  when using active dry yeast, I put it in the mixing bowl with the water/butter and sugar and let it proof for a few minutes, till it gets foamy.  When using instant yeast, I just mix it in with the first addition of dry ingredients and then go on from there.

I have found that greasing my loaf pans with Crisco (I know, but what can I say, it works) provides the best release after baking.  Also, I use a Misto olive oil sprayer to oil the bowls and plastic wrap.

Here are the two batches of bread I baked today:

sandwich1

sandwich3

 

sand2

For some reason these loaves rose a little higher than usual.  The highest one was 5.5 inches!  I don't know what causes the "blowouts" on the sides of the loaves, but I don't mind them.  The bread is mildly-flavored, soft, and moist.  Only caveat is that it stales quickly, so I slice and freeze the loaves on the same day I bake them.  Then we just pull off slices as needed.

Enjoy, Katie in SC 

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.

eatalready's picture
eatalready

Borodinsky Supreme -- Old School -- 100% Rye

Borodinsky bread is my childhood staple food.  We had it practically every day and never grew tired of it. The aroma, the well balanced sweet and sour, the substantial “meaty” crumb and thin glossy crust — should I go on listing all the wonderful things that put this loaf in the bread hall-of-fame?

Nowadays, it seems that every dark rye bread sprinkled with caraway or coriander seed claims the name Borodinsky.  I tried those sorry numbers from stores that carry Russian foods… Half of them are too dry and too fluffy, others are missing that signature tang that only wild sourdough can lend, others still, generously “enhanced” with chemicals resemble very little of the bread we used to eat instead of chocolate.

Over the years, I’ve seen scores of recipes of Borodinsky and, having tried more than enough of them, came to a grim conclusion that the true Borodinsky has become a myth, an urban legend, an elusive unicorn — many claim to have seen one, but none actually delivered the goods.  However, I knew that somewhere out there in the world of used books, there should be an old school formula from soviet bread factories, a so called GOST (Government Mandated Standards) recipe, or even an older one, which, if done right with good ingredients and a bit of careful planning, could yet bear the right results.

Making 100% Rye Borodinsky Supreme

I was right.  There are still some serious bread enthusiasts, both in Russia and otherwise, who dug up the old textbooks and technologies and rendered very good step-by-step instructions accompanied by beautiful photos explaining the process in modern terms and in great detail. Some even dared to adapt for available flour types in each country via many a trial (and, no doubt, some error).  Exciting!

Now to the business of the actual Borodinsky.  Majority of us who grew up with Borodinsky, consumed the part rye/part wheat bread.  It was delicious and we loved every bit of it.  There is, however, a version of Borodinsky of a higher grade, called “supreme”, which is 100% rye.  It blends whole rye and white rye flours in 85/15 proportion.  No wheat to be found. The formula of that bread is cited in the book by Plotnikov called 350 Varieties of Bread (4th Edition, 1940). Some of the formulas in the book existed before government standards were established (1939).  See, many GOST formulas were streamlined for mass production, sometimes simplified, cheapened, etc., while many of the pre-GOST formulas upheld the old school best traditional methods and standards of bread making, thus yielding superior (albeit more labor and time consuming) bread.

Making Red Rye Malt Flour

Sprouting organic rye berries to make red rye malt

Making Red Rye Malt Flour

Final product — red rye malted flour, milled moderately fine

When I stumbled upon the pre-GOST formula, and soon thereafter a detailed blog post with illustrations, I was beside myself. The only thing that stood between me and 100% rye Borodinsky loaf was red rye malt, more precisely, the lack of the above.  Now, that one I still can’t get over.  Possibly due to differences in product naming, and partly due to the fact that I can’t reliably get the true organic red rye malt anywhere in quantities less than 100 kilo (190 lbs), I finally decided to make red rye malt flour at home.  I entrusted myself to the detailed set of instructions I found on this site (THANK YOU!!!), and made my first batch the other day.

Making 100% Rye Borodinsky Supreme

I have to say that the aroma that permeated my house during the roasting process has brought back some serious childhood memories, and for that alone I will be forever grateful.  It also brought the first promise of true Borodinsky in the future, because it smelled exactly like our USSR bread shops filled with still warm unwrapped bread loaves.

Anyway, I am getting distracted here, as my bread is almost done baking and the entire house is now smelling unbearably beautiful.

The process is quite lengthy, but the actual hands-on time is minimal. Good ‘ole “good things come to those who wait” has never been more true (well maybe beat by the famous Pumpernickel). The most important thing here is to plan your pre-baking stages, so that they don’t disrupt your busy schedule.

My impression of the bread: for me it turned out a bit sweet and under-salted, even though I weighed everything quite precisely. The aroma and visual appeal were definitely there. The crumb and crust are both as I remember them. Thin, slightly crunchy crust and substantial, lightly moist, uniformly porous crumb. Color is about milk-chocolate shade. I feel I could have given it a bit more rise and it could be baked at a higher temperature — the top didn’t come out quite as dark as it should be, but the bread was at 180F throughout and baked uniformly through.  I will definitely try this recipe again with the above adjustments.  Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend this formula, especially if you like your bread with a touch of sweetness.  It passed the ultimate test of schmaltz with cracklings and coarse salt, the sweetness of the loaf was just perfect for this.

References/Sources:

- Detailed blog post with superb step-by-step photo of rye+wheat Borodinsky 1939 version (in Russian) http://registrr.livejournal.com/16193.html

- Blog post with excellent photos  of 100% rye Borodinsky Supreme (in Russian) http://mariana-aga.livejournal.com/152489.html

Borodinsky Supreme

Makes a small loaf in a 1-1/2 quart (1.4 liter) pan.
From start to finish (with some steps going simultaneously) – 14-16 hrs

Step 1: Rye starter

Refresh your 100% hydration rye starter (6-8 hrs), you will need 125 g of it

Step 2: Scalding (5-6 hrs)

  • 200 g boiled water at 150F (65C)
  •   50 g whole rye flour
  •   25 g red rye malt flour

Step 3: Pre-ferment  (3-4 hrs or until doubles or more)

  • all of the scalded batch
  • 125 g refreshed starter
  • 125 g whole rye flour
  • 125 g water, room temperature

Step 4: Final dough — soft and very sticky (30-90 min bulk fermentation or until doubles or more)

  • all of the preferment
  • 200 g whole rye flour
  •   75 g white rye flour
  • 5 g salt
  • 30 g sugar
  • 25 g molasses (I used Blackstrap)
  • 2.5 g ground coriander (best if freshly ground for more intense flavor)
  • 0.5 g dry yeast activated in 75 g water and 3 g sugar (20 minutes)

Step 5: Shaping and final proofing (60 min or until tops the pan)

Grease 1.5 quart loaf pan. Pack the dough nicely into corners at first and then the rest. Smooth over with wet hands. Cover with plastic and let rise until reaches the top of the loaf pan.

Step 6: Flour washing (1 min)

Mix 1 tbsp AP flour with 50 ml water, shake well. Brush the bread right before setting into the oven. Sprinkle the top sparingly with whole coriander or caraway seed, if desire

Step 7: Baking (60 min)

Preheat to 400F (200C). Bake 60 minutes.

Step 8: Kissel (custard) washing (1 min)

Mix 1 tsp corn or potato starch with 150 ml water. Bring to a boil.  Brush the bread as soon as it finishes baking. Remove the loaf from pan and cool on rack.

Flour wash before baking and custard wash after baking are needed for creating that famous beautiful glossy, almost lacquered looking crust on top of the loaf, which also prevents the bread from going stale too fast.

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 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Miche from SFBI Artisan II - 2 kg


 


One of the breads we baked at the SFBI Artisan II Workshop last month was a miche. Everyone thought it was one of the best breads we baked. I made it at home for the first time two weeks ago, but used “Organic Type 85” high-extraction flour from Central Milling rather than the mix of white and whole wheat with the addition of toasted wheat germ we had used at SFBI. (See This miche is a hit!)


This bread was delicious, but I did want to make it at least once using the formula we had used at the SFBI, just to see how it turned out at home compared to baked in a commercial steam injected deck oven. Certainly the several TFL members who have baked this miche in their home ovens since I posted the formula have found it to be good. Also, at the SFBI, we had found that miches scaled at 2.5 to 3 kg somehow had an even better flavor than those scaled at 1.25 kg. So, today I baked a 2 kg miche using the original SFBI Artisan II formula.


For those who would like to make this larger version, here is the formula for a 2 kg miche:


 


Total Dough

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

96.67

1087

WW Flour

3.33

38

Water

73.33

824

Salt

2

23

Wheat germ toasted

2.5

28

Total

177.83

2000

 

Pre-ferment

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

75

112

WW Flour

25

38

Water

100

150

Salt

0

0

Liquid starter

50

75

Total

250

375

 

Final Dough

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

100

975

Water

69

675

Salt

2

23

Wheat germ toasted

2.5

28

Levain

31

299

Total

204.5

2000

The procedure used was the same as in my previous blog entry about this bread with one exception – shooting for a slightly lighter crust, I baked with steam for 20 minutes at 450ºF, then turned the oven to convection bake at 425ºF for another 40 minutes. I did not leave the miche in the turned off oven to dry out before removing it to the cooling rack. I did leave it in the oven while I heated the oven back up to 460ºF conventional bake for the next loaves (about 5 minutes).

I was concerned about over-proofing this loaf, and it was lined up ahead of a couple San Joaquin Sourdough breads waiting to bake.

Miche after baking 20 minutes with steam at 450ºF

The blowout I got suggests the loaf was a bit under-proofed. I also shaped the boule really tight, which may well have been a second factor.

The miche sang loud and long while cooling. The crust had some crackles, but not like the last miche.

Crust crackles

Loaf profile, cut through the middle

Crumb

Crumb close-up

2 kg miche beside 514 g San Joaquin Sourdough bâtards

The crust was crunchy-chewy - much thinner than the last bake. It was much less caramelized, and this was apparent in the less wonderful crunch and flavor. The crumb was nice. It was quite noticeably denser in the center of the loaf. I think this is expectable with a miche of this size. I thought the crumb structure was pretty consistent from the center of a slice to the crust.

6 hours after baking: The aroma of the crumb had a pronounced whole wheat grassiness. The crumb was moderately chewy. From past experience, I expect it to be softer tomorrow. The flavor was good - mildly sour with a nice wheaty flavor - but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the miche made with Central Milling's "Type 85" flour. I think the flavor would have been better had I used fresh-milled whole wheat. That's what I will do the next time I bake this miche.

24 hours after baking: The aroma and flavor have mellowed and melded. The grassy aroma is gone. It just smells like a good sourdough country bread. The flavor is now delightful - very complex - nuttier and sweeter. A very thin smear of unsalted butter makes this bread ambrosial.

I froze half the miche. The other half will be croutons for onion soup gratiné tonight, breakfast toast with almond butter and crostini with ribollita for dinner tomorrow. (The ribollitta was my wife's all-morning project.) That should leave another quarter loaf for sandwiches, panini, French toast ... 

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Converting starter hydrations: A Tutorial. Or through thick and thin and vice versa

 


Questions regarding how to convert one kind of starter into another are frequently asked on The Fresh Loaf. The easy answer is to just take "a little bit" of seed starter and add enough flour and water to make a mixture of the desired thickness. This is fine and it generally works very well. However, sometimes a recipe calls for a precise hydration level levain and changing this, even a few percentage points, will make the dough consistency quite different from that intended by the formula's author. For those times, one needs to be more precise in making up the levain. 


To convert a starter of one hydration to a starter of another hydration - For example, if you have a 50% hydration starter and want to build a 100% hydration starter from it. 


 


Here's a general method for a precise conversion:


First, you need to know four things:


1. What is the hydration of your seed starter?


2. What is the hydration of your final starter?


3. How much of the total flour in your final starter comes from your seed starter?


4. How much (weight) final starter will you be making?


Second, you need to calculate the total amount of flour and the total amount of water in your final starter.


Third, you need to calculate the amount of flour and the amount of water in the seed starter.


Fourth, you can now calculate the ingredients of your final starter. They will be:


1. Seed starter


2. Flour (from seed starter plus additional)


3. Water (from seed starter plus additional)


 


So, let's see how this method works with some specific assumptions. 


The four things you need to know:


Assume you have a 50% hydration seed starter that you want to use. Assume you want to make 100 g of a 100% hydration starter. And assume you want the seed starter to provide 25% of the total flour in the final starter.


Note: Using "Baker's Math," Flour is always 100%, and all other ingredients are proportionate to the flour. So, in a 50% hydration mix, the water is 50% (of the flour, by weight). If hydration is 125%, the water is 125% (or 1.25 times) the flour.


To calculate the total amount of flour and water in your final starter:


Flour (100 parts) + Water (100 parts) = 100 g


So, the 100 g of starter is made up of 200 "parts." The weight of each part is calculated by dividing the total weight by the number of parts. So, 100 g /200 parts = 0.50 g.  This number is sometimes called "the conversion factor."


Then, since there are 100 parts of flour, its weight is 100 parts x 0.5 g = 50 g.


The total water in the final dough is 100 parts x 0.5 g = 50 g.


To calculate how much flour will come from the seed starter and how much will be added to make the final starter:


We now know that the total flour in the final starter will be 50 g. But we decided that 25% of this flour is going to come from the seed starter. This means that the seed starter must contain 50 g x 0.25 = 12.5 g of flour, and the flour added to this to make the final starter will be 50 g - 12.5 g = 37.5 g.


To calculate the total weight of the seed starter and the weight of water in the seed starter:


We now need to calculate how much seed starter it takes to provide 12.5 g of flour, and how much water is in this amount of seed starter.


If the seed starter is 50% hydration, it contains 100 parts of flour and 50 parts of water. We know then that the amount of water is 50 parts water/100 parts flour = 0.5  parts of the flour.  Since we already know that the flour has to weigh 12.5 g, then the water must weigh 12.5 x 0.5 = 6.25 g and the total weight of the seed starter is the sum of the water and flour or 12.5 g of flour + 6.25 g of water = 18.75 g.


To calculate the weight of water that must be added to the seed starter to make the final starter:


Now we can calculate how much water must be added to the seed starter to make the final starter. It is the total water in the final starter minus the water in the seed starter or 50 g - 6.25 g = 43.75 g.


 


Now we know "everything!" To make 100 g of 100% hydration starter, beginning with a 50% hydration seed starter, we would mix:


1. 18.75 g Seed Starter.


2. 37.5 g Flour


3. 43. 75 g water


 


This method can be used to build any amount of starter of any hydration using a seed starter of any (known) hydration. 


 


David


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Shaping a boule: a tutorial in pictures.

I have read so many bread baking books and viewed so many videos on shaping boules, but I didn't really "get it" until I saw our instructor, Miyuki, do it in the SFBI Artisan I workshop I attended a couple weeks ago.


I will attempt to show what I learned in still photos with descriptions. I hope that viewing these and then reviewing some of the excellent videos available might help others who are struggling with this technique.


Mis en place







You will need:



1. a batch of fully-fermented dough



2. a lightly floured "board" on which to work.



3. a scale, if you are dividing the dough.



4. a bench knife or other cutting implement, if you are dividing the dough



5. prepared bannetons or a couche on which to rest the formed boules for proofing



 



 





Procedure



 





1. Weigh your dough






2. Divide it into equal pieces.



3. Pre-shape each piece gently, incorporating any small pieces of dough on the inside. 



4. Rest the pre-shaped pieces, seam side down and covered with plastic or a towel  on the board for 20-30 minutes.







5. Prepare your bannetons or couche for receiving the shaped boules.




 




6. After the pre-shaped pieces have rested, shape each as follows:






* Pick up the piece and turn it smooth side down.



* Gently fold the long ends together under the piece.



* Rotate the piece 90º in your hands, and fold the other two sides together.




* Place the piece on an un-floured board, smooth side up.



 



 




* Cup your hands around the piece, and gently drag it 3 inches or so towards you in such a way that the edge closest to you sticks to the board and is dragged under the dough, thus stretching the top of the piece into a tight sheath containing the dough.




 



Note the position of the markers before stretching



After the stretching, the marker at the apex of the boule is unmoved, but the one that was at about 40º North, is now about at the equator.




* Rotate the dough 90º and repeat. Do this 3-4 times until the bottom of the boule is relatively smooth and the whole boule has an unbroken, smooth sheath.




Note that there are no visible seams on what will be the bottom of the boule, after the procedure described.


 




* Place the boules in bannetons, smooth side down, spray with oil and place each banneton in a food-grade plastic bag to proof. (Alternatively, place the boules seam side down on a couch and cover with a fold of the couche, plasti-crap or a towel.)



 



 


Well, there it is. For me, being able to visualize the stretching of the "skin" of the boule between a fixed North Pole and a point on the side, using the board to "grab" the bottom of the boule as I dragged it towards me was the "aha moment." I hope it makes sense to others.




The goal (to form a tight gluten sheath) in forming other shapes is fundamentally the same, but the method is entirely different.



Comments and questions are welcome.





Happy baking!




David



 



 



 



 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough

The "San Joaquin Sourdough" is my own recipe. It evolved through multiple iterations from Anis Bouabsa's formula for baguettes. Most of my deviations developed in discussion here on TFL with Janedo, who first suggested adding sourdough starter and rye, and, then, leaving out the baker's yeast and making it as a "pure" pain au levain.



I got a pretty nice ear and grigne on this one.



 


 


Ingredients

 

Active starter (67% hydration)

100 gms

KAF European Artisan-style flour

450 gms

Giusto's whole rye flour

50 gms

Water

370 gms

Salt

10 gms

Note: Whole Wheat flour or White Whole Wheat flour may be substituted for the Whole Rye. Each results in a noticeable difference in flavor. All are good, but you may find you prefer one over the others.

 

Procedures

 

Mixing

In a large bowl, mix the active starter with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough. Using the plastic scraper, stretch and fold the dough 30 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 3 times more at 30 minute intervals. 

 

Fermentation

After the last series of stretches and folds, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. (I use a 2 quart glass measuring pitcher with a tightly fitting plastic lid manufactured by Anchor Glass.) Ferment at room temperature for an hour, then place in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours. (In this time, my dough doubles in volume and is full of bubbles. YMMV.)

 

Dividing and Shaping

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Divide as desired or leave in one piece to make a 980 gm loaf. To pre-shape for a bâtard, fold the near edge up just past the center of the dough and seal the edge by gently pressing the two layers together with the ulnar (little finger) edge of your hand or the heel of your hand, whichever works best for you. Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal the new seam as described.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams facing up. (The time will depend on ambient temperature and how active your starter is. The dough should have risen slightly, but not much.)

To shape a bâtard, fold the near edge of the dough and seal the edge, as before. Now, take the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you all the way to the work surface and seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Rotate the loaf gently toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam you formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, with minimal downward pressure, to further seal the seam. Then, with the palms of both hands resting softly on the loaf, roll it back and forth to shape a bâtard. Start with both hands in the middle of the loaf and move them outward as you roll the loaf, slightly increasing the pressure as you move outward, so the bâtard ends up with the middle highest and the ends pointed .

 

Preheating the oven

One hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack and both a cast iron skillet (Mine is filled with lava rocks.) and a metal loaf pan (or equivalent receptacles of your choosing) on the bottom shelf. Heat the oven to 500F. Put a kettle of water to boil 10 minutes before baking.

 

Proofing

After shaping the loaf, transfer it to parchment paper liberally dusted with semolina or a linen couche, liberally dusted with flour. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel or a fold of the linen. Proof until the loaf has expanded to about 1-1/2 times it's original size. (30-45 minutes) Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!

 

Baking

Put about a cup full of ice cubes in the loaf pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and close the door.

Slip a peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper holding the loaf or transfer to a peel, if you used a couche. Score the loaf. (For a bâtard, hold the blade at about a 30 degree angle to the surface of the loaf. Make one swift end-to-end cut, about 1/2 inch deep.)

Transfer the loaf and parchment paper to the baking stone, pour one cup of boiling water into the skillet, and close the oven door. Turn the oven down to 460F.

After 12-15 minutes, remove the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is browning unevenly. Close the oven door.

Bake for another 12-15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place on a cooling rack. Check for doneness. (Nice crust color. Internal temperature of at least 205F. Hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the loaf.) If necessary, return to loaf to the oven to bake longer.

When the loaf is done, leave it on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for 5-10 minutes to dry and crisp up the crust.

 

Cooling

Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.

Enjoy!

David

 

Submitted to Wild Yeast Spotting on Wildyeastblog

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Formula - Japanese Style White Sandwich Bread - Water Roux Starter / Sponge

Formula - Japanese Style White Sandwich Bread - Water Roux Starter / Sponge

 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/49353374@N06/sets/72157623866998940/show/


 



           
           
From 'The 65 C Bread Doctor" by Yvonne Chen        
           
           
Water Roux Starter          
           
any amount is fine bread flour 50 g    
as long as the 1:5 ratio is followed water  250 g    
           
  Whisk both until well mixed        
  Heat it up on stove, keep stirring         
  until temperature reaches 65 C or 149 F        
  (Yippee uses the microwave, about 4 minutes, stir halfway.)     
  (Final product should leave a trail when stirred.)      
  Put a plastic wrap directly on top to prevent forming a 'skin'.    
  Must be cooled to at least room temperature before use.    
  Refrigerate up to 3 days.          
  Do not use if turns grey.        
           
           
Makes 2 loaves          
Original recipe uses water roux starter only, sponge not necessary.         
Yippee threw in an additional step of developing the sponge out of the total, see side column for her portions.    
           
          Yippee's Sponge
A. bread flour 540 g   400
  sugar 86 g    
  salt 8 g    
  yeast 11 g   8
B. whole eggs 86 g   86
  whipping cream (can substitute with either half n half or milk) 59 g   59
  milk 54 g   54
  milk (recipe calls for flavor enhancer but Yippee uses milk instead) 9 g   9
           
  water roux starter 144 g   2 TBSP out of the 144g
C. butter 49 g    
           
Mix: Combine A. and B. until a ball is formed.         
  Add C. and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test.    
  (Yippee says:  use your judgment, each machine is different)    
  (Yippee kneads her dough in her Zojirushi breadmaker for 30 minutes.   
           
1st Fermentation: About 40 minutes at 28 C or 82.4 F, 75% humidity    
           
Scale:  into 4 pieces if making twin loaves, each at 265g      
  (Yippee makes 2 log loaves, each at 530g)        
Rest:          
  15 minutes at room temperature        
           
Shape: For twin loaves:        
  Degas        
  Roll into an oval        
  With the long side facing you:        
  Fold 1/3 from top to bottom, press to seal        
  Fold 1/3 from bottom to top, press to seal        
  Turn seam side down        
  Roll and elongate the dough to about 30cm or 12 "     
  Upside down and roll into a cylindrical shape      
  Seam side down, into the loaf pan        
           
  For log loaves:        
  Shape like regular sandwich bread        
           
Final Proof: About 40 minutes at 38 C or 100.4 F, 85% humidity     
  (Yippee lets the dough rise for 20 more minutes to get a taller loaf)    
           
Bake: Whole egg wash, no water added        
  350 F, 35-40 minutes        

 

 

Sponge preparation:

 

a.                   Use the ingredients listed on the side column, mixed until all are well incorporated

b.                  Leave at room temperature ~ 76-80F for an hour

c.                   Grease a food grade plastic bag, pour dough in, leave enough space to allow the dough to expand to about 160% of its size, reinforce the bag with double or triple bagging before tightening it, retard overnight

d.                  Subtract the above ingredients from the main formula, whatever remaining will be mixed at the 'Mix' stage with the sponge.  Follow the rest of the formula. 

 

However, if your dough feels cold after mixing due to the refrigerated sponge, instead of following the time suggested in the formula, watch your dough:

 

1st Fermentation:           Completes when the dough has risen to about 180% of its size

 

Final Proof:                   Completes when a dent is formed and very slowly bounces back

                                    when dough is poked with a floured finger

 

 

To make rolls:

Scale: 60g each

Bake: 350F, about 15 minutes

rest of the procedures unchanged

Choice of fillings, if preferred: bacon, roast chicken, cheese, red bean, pork, curry and custard cream.

Pictures of assorted buns I made before:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33569048@N05/sets/72157617619002761/show

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