The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Carrots and Peppers and Olives Oh My

This morning my refrigerator looked like it should be in a chemistry lab. Decided I only really needed one starter as a base so I gathered up the rest and made two loaves of bread. Since the Carnival season that culminates in Mardi Gras starts next week, I thought it would be fun to use the leftover olive salad from making Muffaleta sandwiches. I chopped the salad which basically consists of a jar of Italian Gardenia (pickled cauliflower, carrots, celery, onions and peppers) drained and mixed with olive oil. The colors of the vegetable bits look like little pieces of confetti. Not the big holes and deep flavor of a long fermentation but the olives make up for some of that depth of taste. The crust is crispy and the crumb is soft. All in all, a pretty tasty bread for half a day. Have to admit I couldn't quite winnow the number of starters to just one-but did get it down to one Tartine and one Silverton.

Mardi Gras Bread2 cups starter1 1/2 cup to 2 cups room temperature water (depending on how thick your starter is) 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk (I used the non instant type)5 cups all purpose flour1 Tablespoon sugar1 Tablespoon salt2 teaspoons instant yeast1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary2/3 cup chopped olive salad mix with some added Kalamata olives, with its oil left on (about one tablespoonful)                 (This is basically well drained Italian garden mix with added olives, well drained and then covered in olive oil)Place starter and water into mixing bowl with dough hook, slosh around until mixed. Add rest of ingredients and mix until the dough cleans the bowl and reaches around 75 degrees F. By then it should no longer be sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for a minute or so. Place in oiled bowl, cover with damp towel or plastic wrap. Let ferment until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Gently degas, turn dough over in bowl and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Divide, shape and let proof for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled. Slash and bake at 475 degreesF with steam for about ten minutes, remove steam, turn oven down to 450 degrees F and continue baking until browned. For my oven, that was about 22 minutes total baking time. Interior temperature should be around 200 degreesF.
ars pistorica's picture
ars pistorica

Breaking Bread, an exploration of bread and its many facets.

Timing is everything.

Good timing makes a joke work, as bad timing does the same for tragedy.

For bread, though, it means nothing.  Bakers who brag about using long fermentation times puzzle me.  I mean, I know what they mean, but do they?  I, too, am guilty of using this idea when discussing bread.  Why?  It's convenient.  Everybody knows it.  It's an available reference point.

And yet it all means nothing.

Handmade things that take a long time to make are usually thought of as being of a higher quality than a similar product made fast and cheaply on an industrial scale.  Why?  The answer to this question will help us a bit further on.

First, let's talk about time.  What is it?  For our purposes, it's the same thing as dough rheology, the progression from one physical state of being into another, with the possibility of never returning to the previous state.  The tricky thing to pin down, though, is the rate of change, which is consequently affected by the hows and whys of the physical transformation attempting to be measured.

For us, as bakers, time is merely a very long string connecting together a series of snapshots of a dough's state of being.  And, no, I am not about to get Heideggerian.  For me, this offers a better framework by which to understand time.

Some bakers view time as an ingredient.  This is silly.  It is okay to have one cup of thyme, but not one cup of time.  Others, still, insist it is a procedural parameter, which it certainly is.  In a real-world environment, we all have busy lives.  There are only so many hours in the day, and this might dictate our baking schedule.  It is much easier to control time when it is viewed as an outcome, and not as an independent variable.

Fermentation is the change in the physical state of being from a dough and into bread.  There are simply so many controllable variables available to a diligent baker that she might be able to make two loaves of bread, both with nearly identical results, but with vastly different times it took to achieve that end result.  This tells us that time is irrelevant to understanding fermentation.

So, how to we better measure the physical state of our would-be bread?  What tools are available to us to better understand and measure the rate of metabolic activity, the degradation of the dough?  There are many methods already available to the baker (e.g., measuring pH, CO2 production, and so on).  What other data points can we find to build a better, more robust model?

And why does taking a long time by hand necessarily make something better?  Because:  there's simply more time to interact with the substance to be measured, and thus more available data points for an astute baker to collect (with or without her consciously knowing).  Good bread is not about time; it's about doing the right thing at the right time.  It is in our, the baker's, interaction, when and how we handle the dough, from which good bread emerges.

So, let's take our time and find more reference points.  Answer why and we discover how and when.

Leslie B's picture
Leslie B

KA Pro 600 Speed and length Q for bread

I got the KA Pro 600 for christmas.  It's a big deal.  I have been holding off getting a mixer because I want one for bread, specifically.  And, we couldn't afford one especially since I wanted the DLX.  But, I guess I have the Pro 600 now.  I hope it will be fine. And who really knows when I could afford a better machine...

I made all my breads by hand before.  I stopped for a while because I just didn't have the time.  Since I didn't have a mixer, I never paid any attention to the questions, details.  I am confused about speed and lenght of mixing.  KA says that I should only use the dough hook on speed 2 for 3-4 mins.  But, when I've read some recipes on TFL, I see all kinds of variations- start slow, once mixed, increase speed and mix for 8 mins, etc.  In the standmixer world, is it all relative to the machine you have?  So, even though others are mixing for 5-8 mins, I would stop around 3?  It's been almost a year since I made bread so I guess I'll try to go by feel, but I'm starting with less traditional- using herbs and oils because I feel it's an easier way to get back into things, especially when I wasn't so great at it to begin with.  But, I made mostly traditional stuff with no added oils so I"m not sure if the oil affects the kneeding? 

I guess I'll find out as my preferment is waiting for my attention.  Just wondering if anyone can comment.

Thanks.

 

linder's picture
linder

Cottage Cheese Onion Dill Bread

Today, I had some cheese curds leftover from making a gouda cheese, along with some recently dried dill weed.  It was time to make cottage cheese onion dill bread from The Tassajara Recipe Book.  The recipe makes two light and airy loaves.  We enjoy a slice toasted and buttered at breakfast along with some scrambled eggs.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Any Suggestions For a Poolish Baguette with Added Whole Grain?

Does anyone have a good poolish baguette recipe with added whole grain flours such as rye and whole wheat?

Something similar to JH Poolish Baguette recipe.

Thanks!

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Christmas Sourdough Chacon - Figs, Pistachios and Seeds

We were struggling with our normally robustmRye sour and Desem mixed SD starter.  It had been left for dead after its last feeding and storage about a month ago.  I had baked 4 loaves of bread from the 80 g stored and had 40 g left and it was looking the worse for wear.

 

We tried building a levain using 5 g and 1:10:10 but after 20 hours there was no visible change.  The kitchen temperature was 65 F and we though the low temperature might be the problem.  So, we added 5 more grams of starter, put it in a 78 F environment that the microwave provided with one of Sylvia's steaming cups.

 

Sure enough 6 hours later, the levain and finally nearly doubled.  You for get how nice the AZ summers are for over proofing just about anything and everything.  Now with winter temps of 65 F yeast just doesn’t like to be aroused and put to work.

  

We took the remaining 30 g of starter and fed it but kept it on the counter to double which it nearly did in 24 hours.  We decided it and feed it again to get it back up to speed and saved the other half for some panettone bake possibly for Christmas but more likely for New Years.

  

We decided to use our revived starter to make a variation of one of our favorite breads; fig, pistachio, sunflower and pumpkin seed bread.  But, we decided to try and bake it like you would pumpernickel - long, slow and low and see if the crust and crumb would turn a dark brown color like pumpernickel does baked this way.

 

The question was which way to do this; the Norm Berg way, the Andy way, the Mini Oven way or the Jeffrey Hamelman way - or some combination which could be a dangerous meeting of the ryes.  My apprentice wanted to use our Wagner Ware Magnalite Turkey roaster since nothing puts a dark brown crust on bread like it does – nothing even close.

  

The trivet on the bottom allows extra water to be placed in the roaster so that it doesn’t touch the bread itself.  We hoped that the steam in the roaster with an oval shaped chacon would substitute for the aluminum foil covered tins normally used for pumpernickel. 

It was worth a shot and, if it wasn’t turning out right, my apprentice could always save the day, as she has taught herself to do in out kitchen, by taking the lid off and bake the bread to 205 F on the inside at a higher temperature – none the worse for wear - if you are like my apprentice and will eat anything.

The levain was build with one build over and agonizing 26 hours.  Everything except the levain, barley malt syrup, figs, pistachios, seeds and salt were autolysed for 2 hours.  Once the levain, barley malt syrup and salt were added to the autolyse, we did 10 minutes of French slap and folds which were nice to do at 75% hydration.

The dough was rested 20 minutes in an oiled, plastic covered bowl when 3 sets of S& F’s were done on 20 minute intervals.  The figs, pistachios and seeds were added in during the 2nd set of S& F’s.  Half the seeds were held back for a ringed topping around the knotted roll.

Inside at the crack of dawn you can see the holes in the crumb better.  Haven't had lunch with it yet but the sunset was nice.

Once the S&F’s were complete, the dough was allowed to ferment and develop on the counter for 1 hour before being shaped into a single knot chacon and placed in a rice floured basket.  The basket was placed in a nearly new trash can liner and allowed to develop for another hour before being retarded in the fridge overnight for 8 hours.

The next morning the dough basket was retrieved from the fridge and allowed to come to room temperature and final proof for 4 hours when it had doubled.  Now came the time to decide which way to bake it – what turned out to be a difficult decision.

After much thought, careful deliberation with my apprentice and talking to rye experts worldwide we decided that Mini Oven’s way of baking it was the way to go.  Baking in the specialized turkey roaster at 320 F until it registered 205 F on the inside was the simplest most efficient way to go in order to have the oven empty by 2 PM when the girls needed it to bake Christmas cookies.

After a half and hour the bread has spread out rather than up probably due to the low temperature but it was a slightly darker color.  We put it back in the oven for another 50 minutes at 320 F.  When we checked the temp was at 203 F and the color was still pale.

So we cranked up the oven to 425 F, convection this time and took the bread out of the turkey roaster and baked it directly on the oven rack for 15 more minutes.  At that time it registered 205 F and it was a blistered weird brown color not usually associated with this kind of bread.  So off went the oven and we let the bread crisp on the oven rack with the door ajar for 10 minutes.

This has to be the strangest and longest way to make a Frisbee that my apprentice has ever managed.   Thank goodness she is a professional! Can’t wait to see what it looks like on the inside.  Hopefully it will be a darker brown color than it would otherwise be and taste way better too - or this bake will go down as total and complete apprentice failure, if well meaning.

The bread, while flat, had a nice open crumb for so much stuff in it.  The crumb was much darker than normal and it was moist and soft.  The taste was enhanced like a light caramelization on anything will do.  I was really shocked how deep the flavor was and how nice this bread tasted - toasted it was outstanding.  Can't wait to try some pate on it.   When we do this again, we will start the bread baking at 450 F for 20 minutes so it wouldn't spread out and spring instead.  Then turn the oven down to 230 F like Andy does for his pumpernickel and get in the low portion of the bake until 205 F registered on the inside. 

You learn from each bake, like we did this time, so this one was not a total loss - and the bread that came out of it was quite unlike any we managed to bake to date.

Formula

SD Levain

Build 1

Total

%

 

Rye Sour and Desem Starter

10

10

2.72%

 

WW

5

5

1.63%

 

Spelt

5

5

1.63%

 

Kamut

5

5

1.63%

 

Dark Rye

13

13

4.25%

 

AP

28

28

9.15%

 

Water

56

56

18.30%

 

Total Starter

122

122

39.87%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starter

 

 

 

 

Hydration

100.00%

 

 

 

Levain % of Total

15.66%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dough Flour

 

%

 

 

Spelt

14

4.58%

 

 

WW

14

4.58%

 

 

Dark Rye

26

8.50%

 

 

Toady Tom's Toasted   Tidbits

10

3.27%

 

 

Red Malt

2

0.65%

 

 

White Malt

2

0.65%

 

 

Kamut

14

4.58%

 

 

Potaoto Flakes

10

3.27%

 

 

Oat Flour

10

3.27%

 

 

AP

204

66.67%

 

 

Dough Flour

306

100.00%

 

 

Salt

7

2.29%

1.91%

Total   Flour

Water

209

68.30%

 

 

Dough Hydration

68.30%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour

367

 

 

 

Water

270

 

 

 

Total Dough Hydration

73.57%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hydration w/ Adds

74.93%

 

 

 

Total Weight

779

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Grains

34.06%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add - Ins

 

%

 

 

Figs Adriatic and Mission

50

16.34%

 

 

Pistachio, Sunflower   & Pumpkin

75

24.51%

 

 

Total

135

44.12%

 

 

 

linder's picture
linder

NY Deli Onion Sourdough Rye

Today, I baked 2 loaves of New York Deli Onion Sourdough Rye from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  They look ALOT better than the previous attempt.  It's amazing what can happen when you watch the bread and make sure it doesn't overproof.  I'm still getting used to my make-shift microwave proof box.  The temp in there is about 80F so proofing loaves goes really fast.  I also reduced the amount of yeast in the bread to 1 1/2 tsp. instead of 2 tsp. which had seemed pretty high considering there is also a good amount of rye sourdough starter in the bread as well.  Here are my pretties -

christine_s's picture
christine_s

Liquid Bun Spice

Does anyone knows where in Canada I can purchase Liquid Bun Spice?

I've been searching and no one seems to know where I can get it.  Usually you'll find it in the caribbean stores such as Nicey's in Ontario, but no luck.

It's what gives hot cross buns that unique taste.

HELP.

Christine

 

jimrich17's picture
jimrich17

BREAD Volume 4

I do not remember seeing any posts to the well-written and illustrated emagazine BREAD written by a Finnish enthusiast, Jarkko Laine. Volume 4 has just been issued and you can access it -as well as the three previous volumes at his website: wwwinsanelyinterested.com

Enjoy!

 

tropicalelder's picture
tropicalelder

Questions from newbies

Hello All,

We're new bread makers and have realized some successes over the past couple of months in creating the perfect sourdoughs.

We have made some great French bread -- light sourdough flavor -- but only recently have been able to kick it up. Our solution was to go from 2 to 4 rises in cooler environments.  Actually, the first 2 rises were retarded by 6-8 hours in the fridge. Anyway, it worked incredible.  [I had intended to take some pictures, but "poof" that loaf was gone. We're still licking our fingers.]

My question concerns the exactness of the bread recipes.

1.  All of the recipes that we have read have very precise recipes. We've found that each loaf we make is indistinguishable from others except for notable changes. How precise should we hold to the recipes (as novices)?

2. Our original starter and processes are based on volumetric amounts (e.g. cups) and most of the recipes here are in weights (e.g. grams). What is/are the advantages?

We really want to master the art of sourdough bread making and appreciate any comments or assistance.

tropicalelder
aka John

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