The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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BNLeuck's picture
BNLeuck

In search of a wooden bread slicing guide...

Someone, somewhere, please by the love of all that is holy, tell me you know where to procure a wooden bread slicing guide! LOL My boyfriend is about as proficient at slicing straight as a lead balloon is at flying. :\ I love him to pieces, but a loaf of bread is mangled in his hands. I've looked at the slicing guides available on Amazon and a few other places, but all the ones I've seen are plastic of some sort. They seem, well, flimsy. This thing will get ungodly amounts of use, so I don't want anything even remotely flimsy. I want good, solid wood. Or metal, but I've never in my life seen a metal one. I've looked at the bread knives that have the wooden piece next to the blade to prevent the bread from going any farther, so that slices are uniform, but I'm not really a fan. I like the bread knife I have now, so I just want a guide. Preferably one with multiple slice slots so I can cut a bunch of pieces at once without having to move the bread, but I'll take just about anything at this point. :P Thanks in advance, TFLers!


~Brianna

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Interesting Experiment with Sourdough Starters

I just tried my first recipe from Hamelmann's "Bread" - the Mellow Bakers September challenge: Sourdough Rye with Walnuts. Since I had enough mature rye starter I decided to experiment a bit. I made two sourdough starters, one following Hamelmann's instructions to the letter, ripening the starter for 16 hours at 70 F. The other got the 3-steps treatment (3 feedings at falling temperatures, from: M. P. Stoldt "Der Sauerteig-das unbekannte Wesen").


After 16 hours the 3-stage starter looked more developed and hat a very pleasant sweet, almost fruity, smell. The "Hamelmann-starter" looked a little less smooth and its aroma was much less pronounced. Both starters went into the fridge overnight. The next morning they looked about the same, the Hamelmann one smelled stronger, but still less than the 3-stage one.


Mixing the doughs I realized that Hamelmann's instruction pertains only for industrial mixers, no way a regular stand mixer could incorporate a cup of walnuts at the end of the mix, when the dough is almost fully developed, at low speed. Because I wanted to see the difference, I nevertheless followed the instruction with the "Hamelmann-dough", and, as expected, had to mix some more by hand in order to avoid the dough getting too warm. To the other dough I added the nuts slowly and continuously through the feed, and had no problem incorporating them without additional time or hand work.


Both doughs were then treated exactly the same, proofed in bannetons and baked together according to the recipe. When they came out of the oven, they looked pretty much the same. But when I cut them there was a remarkable difference: the "Hamelmann-Loaf" was denser and had an oddly marbled look - the nuts being basically in one layer - , whereas the "3-Stage-Loaf" was less dense and had a more uniform look - the nuts being evenly distributed.


But the most amazing difference showed when we tasted the breads. 3 people found unanimously that the 3-stage Sourdough Rye with Walnuts tasted better than Hamelmann's one stage version!



Both breads looked like this one: Sourdough Rye with Walnuts


 



Crumb: Sourdough Rye with Walnuts (following Hamelmann's instructions)


 



Crumb:Sourdough Walnut Rye (3-stage version)


 



Comparison - the upper slice is the "Hamelmann-Loaf", the lower one the "3-Stage-Version"

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

What's the deal with malt syrup?

Question.  What does malt syrup add to bagels, except for sweetness?  Is there something else?  I have been making bagels for a little while now, and they turn out great.  thanks!

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Richard Bertinet baking bread - video

Here is a recent video of Richard Bertinet's bread baking technique, making a plain white dough.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/video/2010/jul/20/how-to-cook-bread


 


Ruralidle

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Seeds and apples

As days grow shorter and colder, I tend to opt for more wholesome breads in my baking. This week, I've enjoyed a wonderful rye loaf, studded with seeds and heavy on flavour. The dough for this bread is wet, and the baked loaf keeps well and improves as days go by. Here's a copy of my formula. Please note that proofing time will vary according to your starter activity and your final dough temperature.


Try to fill your loaf pan about 2/3 - 3/4 the way up: About 1100 gr. dough should be ideal for a 1L loaf pan. Here's what I'm looking at after a 1hr 45mins proof, seconds before the pan is placed into the oven:


Proofed Schrotbrot


 


Give it a bold bake, and wait at least 24hrs before slicing into it:


Schrotbrot


 


Apples are great for dessert this time of the year, so this weekend I prepared some apple tarts. The apple tarts are similar to the hazelnut tarts I blogged about some time ago, with the addition of poached apples. Key ingredients below: Poached apples (left) and hazelnut frangipane (right):


Swedish Apple Tart


 


Although the frangipane is a thick filling, I recommend blind-baking your tart shell to ensure that it stays crisp. Below are my blind-baked shells, filled with frangipane and apples, just before baking:


Swedish Apple Tart


... and the finished tarts:


Swedish Apple Tart


 


A simpe and delicious autumn treat: Yum!!


Swedish Apple Tart

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Today's Breads: Sweet and Sourdough

Today was my best baking day yet, and not just because it was a gorgeous day on the Mendocino Coast. It was a sweet and sourdough day.  Last night the San Joaquin Sourdough dough was mixed, stretched, folded, grown to 150% size, and refrigerated.


This morning, I complied with a spousal edict: Make Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread! One is well advised to comply with such insistence from The Loved One. Using the BBA recipe, and hoping it came out somewhere near as good as Brother David’s, I found the recipe to be simple and satisfying. I admit, I hadn’t eaten anything but an apple all day when the C-R-W Bread was cut at 12:30, but it was about the best bread I ever had (ok...I was really hungry). Just a bit sweet, great moist texture. totally delicious. And kinda pretty.


IMG_1589


IMG_1593


The two loaves were baked in different types of pans. The bigger poofier one was in Pyrex, the other in a non-stick metal pan. The two loaves were exactly the same weight and formed the same way. Interesting difference. The first loaf is half gone. The second went into the freezer for next time.


By 2 p.m., it was time to pre-shape the SJ SD. After my last (repeated) batard-shaping mistakes, I used the technique in Floyd’s video (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1688), and the batards came out more or less the right shape. Not so symmetrical as to make me feel like perfection was anywhere in reach, but generally ok.


IMG_1591

The real question this weekend was whether my recurrent lack of oven spring and grigne and the blond bottoms my loaves usually had were due to a bad stone in our San Francisco house.   Our some-day-retirement house up the coast has a newer and better oven and a pizza stone that David ordered for us from NY Bakers. The answer is Yes! The SJ SD got nice spring and by far the best grigne I’ve achieved yet. And the bottoms are toasty brown. As you see, one was scored a lot better than the other.

IMG_1599]

IMG_1600

I guess I’m going to have to retire the SF stone and get another from NY Bakers.

Crispy crust, moist chewy crumb with good hole structure. Totally delicious. You can see this dough would make great baguettes. Maybe next time.

IMG_1607

The SJ SD was great for BLTs (another spousal edict…don’t you just hate that?!) . She calls BLTs the perfect food. And who can argue. You got the most delectable form of carbohydrates, Bacon (“The Candy of Meats”) and lots of Vitamin Red.

IMG_1611

I might some day find a sourdough formula I like more than this, but I’m not in a hurry to start looking.

Happy Baking!

Glenn

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

9/23/10 - Tourte Auvergnate with Rye Sour

Hey all,


Just wanted to share with you this bake from 9/23/10.  It is a Tourte Auvergnate inspired by the recipe in Le pain, l'envers du décor by Frédéric Lalos.  His version is basically 80% rye, and the rest in white flour, which is made into a stiff levain.  I decided to make mine with 75% rye flour, and 25% AP flour.  I made the AP flour into a stiff levain, and then with some of the rye flour, I made a rye sour.  Here's the formula, process, and pictures.  Enjoy!


Overall Formula


750g Whole Rye Flour


250g AP


720g Water


18g Kosher Salt


1738g Total Dough Yield (approx)


 


Stiff Levain


250g AP


150g Water


50g Storage Sourdough Starter at 100% hydration


450g Total Stiff Levain


 


Rye Sour


150g Rye Flour


150g Water


8g Storage Sourdough Starter at 100% hydration


308g Rye Sour Total


 


Final Dough


600g Rye Flour


420g Water


18g Kosher Salt


450g Stiff Levain


308g Rye Sour


1796g Total Dough Yield Approx


 


Process:


9/22/10


6:30pm - Mix rye sour and stiff levain, cover and let rest on counter.


7:00pm - Put stiff levain into refrigerator.


9/23/10


9:00pm - Weigh out all ingredients, and place into large mixing bowl in the following order, water, levain, rye sour, rye flour, salt.





9:15pm - Mix for 5 minutes starting with a rubber spatula and switching to wet hands as the dough gets harder to stir.






Switch to wet hands and knead dough.



9:20pm - After mixing and kneading, cover and let bulk ferment for 1:30...



10:50pm - Dough after bulk ferment.  Notice the poke in the top part.



10:55pm - Divide and shape.  I made 3 relatively equal size boules.






Place in floured bannetons seam side down.



Cover and let proof for 1 hour.  Place 2 baking stone/stones in oven with steam pan filled with lava rocks and water.  Preheat to 550F with convection.


11:55pm - Turn off convection. Turn boules on to floured peel/flipping board and place in oven directly on stone.  When last one is in, pour 1 more cup of water into steam pan, close door and turn oven down to 500F no convection.  Bake for 10 minutes at 500F.



9/23/10



12:05am - Take out steam pan, turn oven down to 420F.  Bake for 20 minutes.


12:25am - Rotate loaves around, or between stones.  I am baking on 2 stones, starting them off on the bottom, transfering them to the top.  Bake for another 20 minutes.


12:45am - Take one loaf out to check weight and internal temp.  Should be at least 15% lighter than prebaked weight, and internal temp should be about 210F.  Turn oven off, and leave loaves in for another 10 minutes.



12:55pm - Take loaves out and let cool at least 24hrs before cutting and eating to let the crumb stabilize and dry out a little.



8:00am - I was a little impatient so I cut into one so I could see the crumb...  Slightly gummy as I had expected, but after a little toasting and butter, it was all good...  Enjoy!


Tim

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Kings of Pastry Theatrical Trailer...

So my friend sent me this link to check out: http://vimeo.com/13181134


I need to figure out if this will make it to the theaters here in NYC...

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Calculating Baker

Calculating Recipe File 


(update 100928-4 PM *** I finished and sent out copies to those who had made a request - Ron)


After posting the Conversion Calculator Example - http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19720/conversion-calculator-example -
I thought that there seemed to be some who would find an expanded version helpful, as well. At my age, it is easy to have great ideas - the trick is remembering them tomorrow. I find that my computers are my most reliable reminders of the ideas I have been fooling with. So, quite naturally, I have accumulated a lot of computer aids to my baking activities. Without a doubt, the way I "think" about any bread formula that I'm interested in, would be considered overkill by most others, but hey, it is my kitchen and my time, and yes, my pleasure. The result of this line of thought was a watered down version of what I use to think through a bread's formula. I cut out some - like calorie considerations and overall percentage calculations - and added in aids for those who are not that used to baker's percentages and hydration levels. I hope it may help in seeing how they fit into the overall recipe/ formula.


Here is a peek at what I came up with as a "Calculating Recipe File". The first image is an example of how someone might use it to examine bread formula. The second image is what they could maintain as their Master file, from which they would use a copy for creating recipe files.


For me, one of the greatest benefits is that I can have two, or more different files on the screen at the same time for comparisons (not true in Excel) because the spreadsheets in the free Open Office program permits multiple spreadsheets to be open at the same time. Not only can they be open, but you can copy material from one into another. For example, the last time you baked a loaf, you were less that totally pleased. You save a copy with a new name "2nd try" and open that beside the original. Make your considered changes in the new file - even note what your reasons were. Print a copy out and go start the your bread making efforts.


The 1st 4 columns permit you to indicate which of 4 categories the ingredient belongs in - Ref. Only, Flour, Water, Other. Notice that this allows you to parse the sourdough into the flour and water categories for hydration level information by only referencing the total strater entry. The 4th and 5th columns are where you name the ingredient and provide its weight reference - in grams per cup. The cup, Tbs, and tsp columns are where you play to create the value you want in the M (grams) and N (ounce) columns - Note ounces are only for info, and not used. As you run down the ingredient entries, the last 6 columns and the Percent Hydration Level (%HL) are calculated for you so that when the last entry is made, you already have the categorized amounts columns and the Bakers percentages in two sets of 3 column pairs - the 1st 3 by in grams, and the last 3 in Baker's Percentages. I think I would have been very pleased to have some tool like this when I was first trying to wrap my head around all of these considerations.



These images have been updated 100926 15:05 to show the Excel version after modifications.


This is just an example of what one might enter into a file.  The Master Blank is shown below, and that is what one would start from in using this form of Calculating Recipe File.  The Master Blank should have its [Properties] option changed to set the [Read Only] option as ON. Then one opens the Master and saves it with different "new work" file name. If you forget and attempt to modify the Master, you will be reminded that it is Read Only. Thus, you are much less likely to find that you have accidentaly destroyed your only Master Blank.



 


These images are in the Excel screen format, but if viewed in Open Office, there would be still be horizontal lines in the areas with background shading. For anyone using the free Open Office Spreadsheet, this program is available Open Office as well as Excel, and preferred by me, as it permits multiple files to be opened at the same time for cross referencing.


********* Updated 100928-4PM


I have finished the "Getting Started" write-up for "Calculating Recipe File". For those wishing a copy, send an e-mail with "TFL-CRF" in the subject line to - Ron@ronray.us .



I will send you the following collection of files:


1/ [Excel] "Ounces per Cup Baking Calculator": It just might be useful with the others - at times, so it is included.


2/ [Excel] "Grams per Cup Baking Calculator": It just might be useful with the others - at times, so it is included.


3/ [Word] "Getting Started with Calculating Recipe File": Hopefully with enough information to get you on your way in using the Calculating Recipe File.


4/ [Excel] "Excel_Master Calculating Recipe File": This is the Excel version of the Bread Formula program. It differs from the next file only in some additional background colors not being used in Excel.


5/ [Open Office] "Open Office_Master Calculating Recipe File": This is the Open Office version of the Bread Formula program. It differs from the previous file only in some additional background colors being used that are not in the Excel version.


end update ========== 100928.


Ron


*** Next blog:  101010


       http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20032/1-little-2-little-3-little-chia-rye-loaves


 


 

ErikVegas's picture
ErikVegas

Anyone ever made a sausage-cheese bread?

Hi all I am looking for a sausage cheese bread recipe.   I would like to make a loaf that contains a mix in of sun dried tomatoes, italian sausage and mabye some provalone or mozzerella cheese.  If anyone has a recipe I would appreciate it.


 


Erik

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