The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Heather B's picture
Heather B

Tartine Starter Issues

After endless reading of other peoples’ struggles with the Tartine bread recipe to attempt to figure out my issues….I am breaking down and asking for help. 

Last April I bought the Tartine Bread book…I followed the starter and bread recipe exactly and came out with amazing loaves of bread.  I can’t quite remember the details…but after a few months the loaves were getting a bit denser and then  I veered from my feeding schedule and managed to kill my starter. 

So this is where I am at….on Jan. 1rst, I started a new starter.  My loaves of bread are flat dense bricks.  After reading other similar situations….I have varied bulk rise/proof times and temperatures….each time I think the dough feels pretty good and is behaving correctly…yet they come out the same.  I am totally overwhelmed.  I don’t feel like I am on the right track….my gut feeling is that my starter is not where it needs to be.  I feel like my old starter had more activity and smells.

Key Info:

I use Gold Medal bread flour and KA ww flour.  (Last year I think I was using mainly KA bread flour instead of Gold Medal).

I feed my starter 1x/day in the morning.  I mix 30g of starter/ 60g of 50/50 blend/ 60g of water.  

I live in northern California…my kitchen temp is 60-65 degrees.  I initially had my starter on the counter but thought the lack of activity was related to cold temp.  So I have moved it to the oven where I use the light to warm it up to 78 degrees then turn it off and let starter sit in there.

The starter is only increasing 20-30%.  There are a few bubbles on the surface. It has more of a floury smell than anything. 

What does it need???  I appreciate any feedback on how to get my starter healthy and happy. 

Heather

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Baguettes made with firm levain

I wanted to make some baguettes today. I had some excess active firm starter. I usually make sourdough baguettes with a liquid starter, and my best sourdough baguettes take two to three days to make, but why not try a formula for one day baguettes with firm starter?

I decided

  1. To make 3 ficelles weighing 200 g apiece.

  2. At 70% hydration.

  3. Using 25% pre-fermented flour.

  4. And to use a bit of instant yeast to have the baguettes done before dinner time.

 

Total dough

wt. (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

323

93

WW flour

17

5

Medium rye flour

9

2

Water

245

70

Salt

7

2

Instant yeast

1/8 tsp

0.5

Total

601

172.5

  

Firm levain

wt. (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

46

70

WW flour

13

20

Medium rye flour

7

10

Water

33

50

Firm starter

33

50

Total

132

200

 

Final dough

wt. (g)

AP flour

262

Water

201

Salt

7

Instant yeast

1/8 tsp

Firm levain

131

Total

601

 

Procedures

  1. Mix the firm levain and ferment for 12-14 hours at 70º F.

  2. Mix the flour and water in the final dough to a shaggy mass and autolyse for 30 minutes.

  3. Add the salt, yeast and the firm levain is 12 pieces to the dough and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  4. Ferment at 70º F for 2-2 1/2 hours with folds at 40 and 80 minutes. The dough did not double but showed many tiny alveoli. (Visible through the walls of my glass bowl.)

  5. Divide into 3 equal pieces and pre-shape as balls or logs.

  6. Rest for 20 minutes.

  7. Shape as baguettes.

  8. Proof at 70º F for 45-60 minutes.

  9. Transfer the loaves to a peel and score as desired.

  10. Bake at 460º F with steam for 12 minutes then in a dry oven for another 8-10 minutes. Note: These are light and thin loaves. For larger baguettes, the baking time would need to be increased to a total of 22-25 minutes. If a lighter-colored crust is desired, the oven temperature should be decreased to 450º F.

  11. Cool for 30 minutes (at least) before eating.

 I treated each of my three baguettes differently, as seen. I made one into an epi de blé, one into a seeded baguette and one was made as a traditional baguette.

 

The crust was crisp and the crumb was tender – just a bit chewy. The crumb structure was nice and open. The flavor was good, but not great. There was no perceptible sourdough tang and less sweet flavor and less complexity than I want in a baguette.

I think this formula, with the added yeast, resulted in a short fermentation that did not allow for full flavor development. In addition, the levain I used had been taken from my refrigerated stock starter and only fed once. 

My judgement is that this formula is worth playing with. Next time, I will use a starter that has been fed at least twice and will omit the instant yeast.

David

 

 

 

kap1492's picture
kap1492

Mure-Peyrot Boulange Lame

I am interested in purchasing Mure-Peyrot Boulange Lame from brotform.com. I know you can make your own version but would rather have one that has a solid body and a curved blade. Does anyone have this particular item? If so what is your feedback, good/bad? 

http://brotform.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=47

Does anyone know if you would have to purchase the replacement blades made for this specific model or can you purchase doubled-edged razors from a pharmacy/Wal-Mart? Buy the looks of it, it looks like the replacement blades have a universal design to razors used for shaving?

http://brotform.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=39

punkchef77's picture
punkchef77

sweet french bread

So this is my first post on this site. First I just want to say this site and all the members of the community are awesome. I am a school trained pastry chef and things have changed quite a bit sense I was last in the industry. Things like stretch and folds and autolysing were not used a decade ago when I was in school or in a commercial kitchen. This site has brought me up to date on quite a few things and for that I am thankful.

So on to my bread. I live in Sonoma County CA and also have lived in San Francisco. Growing up in the North Bay I have been very fortunate to have great bread everywhere. There are several great boulangeries in the area that produce what they call a sweet french bread. Being school trained I know that such a thing might be misnamed (and in France might get you some stern talking too). Normally french bread is a basic four bread ie flour,water,salt and yeast and sometimes starter. The bread in particular I am trying to re create also contains malt and shortening listed as ingredients. So in following with two of my favorite boulangeries I am also going to call this sweet french bread (all my chefs are probably going to yell at me for this lol). 

Cheers

Punkchef77

Note-I know I am going to catch flack for this but all my measurements are in volume (my scale is busted and I'm kinda broke)

Also I am super lucky to have Keith Giusto baking supply within 10 minutes of my house. Centeral Milling flour is awesome and if you have a Costco in your area I suggest picking up some of the organic APF. Its the same as the Bee Hive lightly malted organic APF and about half the cost.

Sponge 

1-1/2 c High mountian (bread flour 14%)

1/4 tsp Instant yeast.

1/2 tsp Diastatic malt

1 c cool water

Mix the above and let it do its thing for at least 4 hours 

Main dough

All of the sponge

1-1/2 c High mountian

2 tsp Shortening (melted and sloghtly cooled)

2 tsp Non Diastatic malt

1-1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

Mix all but the salt yeast and salt autolyse for 30min.

Add salt and yeast knead for 7-8 min speed 2 on KA

Let retard overnight in the fridge.

Shape into baguettes let proof in a couche then bake at 525F with steam for the first 10 min then lower the oven to 450F for about 15 more minutes.

I will post photos ASAP.

 

 

 

 

 

dazzer24's picture
dazzer24

Uk Flour

I'm baking crazy now. A few colleagues are buying loaves off me at work too so I'm considering buying in some larger sacks of flour-16kg seems to be the usual. I'm absolutely bewildered by the choice available. I've been using a very strong canadian white for my sourdough loaves which I like very much but its only available in the supermarket in 1.5kg bags. I recently ran out and used Allinsons very strong. It seemed less flavoursome but a little softer crumb. So perhaps I should be cutting one with the other to get the best of both worlds?

So I'd welcome any feedback from Uk based contributors on whom they use. I'm looking for someone whom I can order from online-unless someone knows a miller in North West England I can visit.

Marriages?Wrights?Doves?Shipton?Bacheldre? and there are many more I'm sure!

Help!(many thanks in advance for any contribution;)

Darren

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Romertopf Clay Baker

Hi

I was wanting to try baking in a cast iron dutch oven, but cannot find one here in Sth Aust under $250 odd, so purchased a Romertopf instead.  However, when I got it home, I noticed the inside lower part is glazed.  Is this suitable for baking sourdough loaves at high temp and do I need to soak, line or otherwise treat it against sticking?  I have noticed on this site some people place it with the bread in a cold oven, and I have also noted some who heat the whole baker in a hot oven and then place loaf inside, which is what I would prefer.  Instructions say the safe baking range is from 180-220deg C.

This is the only supplier of this baker that I could find, so my options are limited in finding an alternative.  I have a Le Chasseur enameled cast iron casserole (similar to Le Creuset) but I believe the black handles on the lid melt at high temps?

Would appreciate any help or suggestions.  Oh to live somewhere where I could access good bakeware and tools!

Sondra

Boboshempy's picture
Boboshempy

Pascal Pinaud Baguettes

Pascal Pinaud's baguettes in Paris are killer and I am wondering if anyone knows if his recipe/method is written up anywhere?

Here is a link to a picture of his baguettes:

 

Thanks!

Nick

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Multigrain SD/YW Brown Bread with Aromatic Seeds and Multi-Grain Scald

This is yet another bread, and one still to go,  that resulted from the panettone bake where huge excesses of levain waste was required to build the Italian starter.  In this case we had some YW and SD levain hanging around in the fridge.  But the first thing we did was boil the scald for 5 minutes stirring all the time before covering and allowing it to cool on the counter.

  

The levain build was like a French casserole where any veggie in the fridge goes into the pot.  The two leftover levains, some more AP flour and some more YW and SD seed went into this levain casserole.   We’ve never zombied a levain like this before so it was fun, if not eventful, from a risen dead perspective.

 

The levain sat on the heating pad as we autolysed everything including the cocoa and instant coffee, except the scald and seeds, with the Guinness Black Lager- a beer we hadn’t tasted before.  This ended up being a 58% Whole grain loaf not including the whole grain scald and soak.  After two hours we deemed the autolyse ready for its zombie levain.

 

After mixing with a spoon to get things acquainted, we did 10 minutes of French Slap and folds to develop the gluten sufficiently.  After a 20 minute rest we incorporated the multigrain scald using a few S&F’s and a few slap and folds to get the dough back into shape.

  

The addition of the wet scald, that took the hydration up to what felt like about 82% or more, made the dough much slacker than its old self.  After another 20 minute rest, the aromatic seeds were incorporated into the dough with some more S&F’s and a few slap and folds which were more interesting with seeds and wet dough flying all over the place.

  

After another 20 minute rest we did one last set of slap and folds to get some shape into the dough and immediately  panned it into a large loaf pan that had been de-stickified with spray. We coverd the top with wheat adn oat bran and let it sit on the heating pad for about 3 hours until it had grown 3/4th of the way up the tin and then we retarded it for 12 hours.

When we retrieved it from the fridge it had risen to within ½” of the top of the tin rim.  We let it sit on the counter, no heating pad this time, for 2 1/2 hours before heating up the mini oven with Sylvia’s steaming cup.

 

The dough had risen to the rim by the time it went into the mini for 12 minutes of steam at 450 F.  It sprang about 1/2 “under steam.  Then we removed the steam and turned the heat down to 375 F, convection this time.

We continued to bake the loaf until it reached 205 F on the inside rotating the loaf 180 degrees after 10 minutes and also de-panning it to ensure even baking.  After 10 minutes we rotated the de-panned loaf again.  A total of 45 minutes and the loaf was done.

It browned up nicely but we will have to wait for the crumb shots.  Once cooled we will let this bread sit for 24 hours before cutting into it for lunch tomorrow.  Here it is the following morning and I couldn't wait for lunch since there was breakfast first :-) 

Plain, toasted with butter or with cream cheese... this bread is tasty - just plain delicious.  The crumb is open, glossy and very moist with chewy bits.  The crust went soft overnight which allowed for very thin slicing without crumbling.   I could eat this bread every day and if stranded on a desert isle, it would be one of the 50 breads my apprentice would lug along.  Can't wait to try it toasted with pate.

Formula

Starter Build

Build 1

Total

%

Rye, Spelt & WW SD Starter

25

25

5.61%

Whole Wheat

12

12

2.69%

Dark Rye

13

13

2.92%

AP

50

50

11.22%

Yeast Water

38

38

8.53%

Water

37

37

8.31%

Total

175

175

8.53%

 

 

 

 

SD Starter Totals

 

%

 

Flour

87.5

19.64%

 

Water

87.5

19.64%

 

Starter Hydration

100.00%

 

 

Levain % of Total

18.88%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dough Flour

 

%

 

Rye

25

5.61%

 

Spelt

25

5.61%

 

Oat

25

5.61%

 

Quinoa

25

5.61%

 

AP

150

33.67%

 

Kamut

25

5.61%

 

Red Malt

5

1.12%

 

Toadies

5

1.12%

 

White Malt

3

0.67%

 

Whole Wheat

25

5.61%

 

9 Grain Cereal

25

5.61%

 

Potato Flakes

10

2.24%

 

Ground Flax Seed

10

2.24%

 

Total Dough Flour

358

80.36%

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

8

1.80%

 

Black Guiness Lager

250

56.12%

 

Dough Hydration w/ Starter

69.83%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scald & Soak

 

%

 

Kamut

15

3.37%

 

Spelt

15

3.37%

 

Rye

15

3.37%

 

Whole Wheat

15

3.37%

 

9 Grain Cereal

10

2.24%

 

Toadies

5

1.12%

 

Red Malt

5

1.12%

 

Flax Seed

5

1.12%

 

Total Scald & Soak

85

19.08%

 

 

 

 

 

Add - Ins

 

%

 

Anise & Coriender

5

1.12%

 

Instant Coffee & Cocoa Powder

20

4.49%

 

Barley Malt & Molasses

20

4.49%

 

Black & Brown Caraway

6

1.35%

 

Total

51

11.45%

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour w/ Starter

445.5

 

 

Total Water w/ Starter

337.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hydration w/ Starter & Adds

78.00%

 

 

Total Weight

927

 

 

% Whole Grain Not Including Scald

58.47%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cman710's picture
cman710

Chorizo-Asadero Bread

Hi all,

This past weekend, I made Chorizo-Asadero Bread from The Homesick Texan cookbook.  I enjoyed the recipe, but I would like to make some changes. Since I am a novice bread baker, I wanted to get some opinions from those of you!

The recipe is as follows (I plan to convert the recipe to all weight measurements, but have not done so yet):

    • 1 packet active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup warm water
    • 4 tbsp butter (I think...may have been 5)
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 large egg
    • 3 cups AP flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 8 oz. Mexican chorizo, cooked
    • 8 oz. Asadero cheese, grated
    • 1 chipotle in adobo, diced

 First, I added the yeast to water.  Then, I melted the butter and then added the milk and egg.  I then added that mixture to the yeast, along with the the flour and salt. I stired with a wood spoon and the dough remained very wet, so I added some additional flour.  After kneading a relatively short time, I put the dough in an oiled bowl and left it 2 hours untl it doubled in size.

After two hours, I slowly incorporated about 4 ounces of the chorizo and about 3 ounces of asadero. Then, I shaped the loaf as a sandwich loaf and put it in a 9x5 loaf pan, and let it rise for about 2 hours, after which it had crested above the edges of the pan.  I baked the bread for 35 minutes, and misted the oven at the beginning of the bake.  When I took out the bread, its internal temperature  was 190. 

We really enjoyed the bread, but we found that it was too sweet. Do you think the sweetness is coming from the egg or the milk, or both?  I would like to eliminate the sweetness and perhaps make the texture a little bit tougher, too.  My thoughts for possible changes are as follows:

  • Add more chorizo (definite change)
  • Make half the flour KASL to improve texture
  • Use water instead of milk (?)
  • Eliminate egg (?)

What do you think? I only took one photo of the finished bread, but will post it later tonight.  Thanks!

 

kap1492's picture
kap1492

Multiple Starters

Is there any benefit of having two different starters? I have a AP and WW, from what I have read is eventually they will become the same over time. Any difference in taste? Both are doing extremely well in the 10 days that they have been alive.

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