The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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BLHNYC's picture
BLHNYC

Raisin Challah

Hi Everyone-


With the Jewish holidays right around the corner, I am wondering if any of you have a raisin challah recipe that you recommend. In the past I have made Nick Maligieri's braided challah but I am looking for something new- and with raisins. Suggestions for the round-shaping are welcome too!


Thanks!
Beth

dvuong's picture
dvuong

Another Stretch and Fold Technique post

I decided to try PR's Pain a l'ancienne recipe from ABED last night.  I noticed in this book that he introduced the S&F technique (I'm not sure if it was introduced in any of his other books).  From reading the forums, many of you suggest S&F at least 20 minute intervals but in PR's book, he suggests 10 minute intervals.  Is there any logic behind this?  It would be great if I could S&F all doughs at 10 minutes since it would save a lot of time.


I apologize if this question has been asked before - I am very new to bread baking!  I've searched the forum and couldn't find an exact answer to my question.  Also, would S&F work on all types of doughs or would hand kneading be a superior method for some?  In the past, I kneaded in my mixer but have now switched to hand manipulating my doughs.  I find it much more satisfying and therapeutic!


TIA!!

JoPi's picture
JoPi

Bread from 1918

Here you will find a Government issued Bread book from October 1918  titled "Victory Breads".  It's just a few pages with some WWI info in there.  


 


http://www.archive.org/stream/victorybreads00unit#page/n1/mode/2up


 


JP

fastmail98's picture
fastmail98

Anyone Use a French Bread Pan?

Good Morning, Fellow Bakers...:)


Perhaps this question has been asked, but when making baguettes yesterday I was cuious about another kitchen gadget: French bread pans. Does anyone use them? My baguettes come out fine, but I would like a more tubular shape. Perhaps if I added more surface tension on the dough I would get it, eh? The pans available through Chicago Metallic, etc. are coated with a non-stick coating that, like all of the coatings, release chemical fumes at 500 degrees or so (depending on whose tests you read). I pre-heat my oven to 500 degrees to get my baking stone really hot and to use a steam pan for a firmer crust. Any suggestions for a non-non-stick French bread pan? Thanks!




Russ

mcs's picture
mcs

Two Years and Running

Hey there Freshloafers,
I thought I'd poke my head out of the dough and cloud of flour to update you on the bakery's progress.


A few weeks ago I noticed that we had our two year bakery anniversary.  I think it went like this:
Me:  "Last week was two years for the bakery."
Sharon:  "Really?  When?"
Me:  "I don't know, some time last week, I think."


It wasn't exactly a 'stop the mixers and break out the champagne' type of celebration, but it was pretty cool to think of the progress we've made in such a short time.  Rather than summarizing the last two years, I thought I'd let you know what's happened in the past 12 months or so.  (Here's the post I did on our opening day two years ago; This is the post I did on our first year strategy)


During the slow months last year (November through April), I continued the baking for my wholesale accounts while working to finish the construction on the upstairs of our house.  Sharon had been patiently looking at sheetrock screw heads for the past couple of years.


taping


the loft


I also put in a new floor downstairs, which I completed just hours before our first farmers' market in the spring.


bamboo floor


The other goal during the off-season was to take my first days-off with the wife in two years.  If you missed that post, here's the link to my entry about our trip to Vancouver Island.


As far as the Baking Business goes, I continued the first year plan while making a few adjustments like:
1.  Cutting back on wholesale deliveries.  Thursdays is now my prep day which comes in awful handy now that the busy season is here.  It's now my laminating day since the place stays nice and cool without the ovens on.
2.  More special orders and special deliveries.  Last winter I used Friday as my 'home delivery' day to extend my farmers' market season a little bit longer.  I'll continue it this winter as I offer everything that I do at the market for home or workplace delivery ($10 minimum).  The new customers are very excited about this deal.
3.  DVD sales.  Last winter I started selling some baking technique DVDs, and that's definitely helped to supplement the long and slow winter.  Here's my post on them.  The next one will be on croissants.


Other than that, it seems that it's mostly business as usual.  There have been a lot of improvements as far as efficiency goes which have added up to 'a little less work making a little more product'.  I sleep in an hour later each day, but mornings are absolutely filled with baking and/or pastry prep for the busier days.  This leaves my afternoons a little more relaxed.  Funny thing, but the difference between waking up 1 hour later each day and sleeping in on Sundays is a big deal.  Ask any of the interns if they could've used an extra hour of sleep each day!  Plus sometimes we even get to eat dinner before 7.  Hey, not all the time, but every once in a while.


Anyway, that's about it.  I'll leave you with a few pictures of some of the special orders that I've worked on this past summer and spring.


Happy Baking.


-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery.com


mini croissants


mini croissants baked


hot cross buns


burger buns


 


 

JoPi's picture
JoPi

Cookbook from 1895

I came across this cookbook which has some very interesting 'ways' from 1895.   


http://www.archive.org/stream/smileyscookbooku00smil#page/256/mode/2up


 


The name of the book is "Smiley's Cookbook and Universal Household Guide: A Comprehensive Collection.


Take a look at the section on bread which starts on page 256 (you can move ahead in the book by typing the page number in the little box on the top of the page on the right).  


There is info on how to test the oven for the right temp. and something called 'steaming' for several hours and then baking for an hour???


My favorite was the section on page 261 titled "Eating Hot Bread".  


Enjoy!


 


 


 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

8/26/10 - Almond Milk Bread with Dried Cherries

Almond Milk Bread with Dried Cherries



This recipe was inspired by a friend who gave me some dried cherries to bake something with, my recent success with brioche, and a box of unsweetened almond milk that just doesn’t taste very good to drink straight…

Recipe:

1000g Bread flour (Gold Medal)

600g Liquid (3 eggs + almond milk to make up amount)

200g Liquid levain (100% hydration storage starter from fridge)

150g Granulated sugar

150g Slivered almonds

230g Dried cherries

100g Unsalted butter

20g Kosher salt

10g Instant Yeast (3 tsp)

2 tsp Vanilla extract

 

2460g Total Dough Yield


Tools:

Digital scale

Large stainless steel mixing bowl about 15L size

Rubber spatula or wooden spoon

Plastic dough scraper

Bowl of water

Large plastic bag

Plastic tub with cover (4L or larger)

3 loaf pans 9” x 5” loaf pans

Large plastic bag

Baking stone (large rectangular)

Egg+ water for egg wash

Butter for greasing plastic tub and pans

 

Instructions:

Weigh out all ingredients, cut butter in to small cubes, butter plastic tub, toast almond slivers in a pan and let cool.

7:45pm – Place eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract in large mixing bowl.  Then add the bread flour, granulated sugar, Kosher salt, instant yeast.  Mix well using rubber spatula until a shaggy dough comes together.  Knead in bowl using slap and fold method for about 5 minutes.  Then add all the butter and continue kneading using slap and fold method for another 5 minutes.   Then add almond slivers and dried cherries.  Transfer to buttered plastic tub and let rise for  2 to 2 1/2 hrs or until doubled. Turn dough every 30 minutes.  (I put it in the fridge for 1 hour due to scheduling of another bake).

9:30pm – Place plastic tub in fridge for 1 hr if necessary due to scheduling.

10:30pm – Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, divide into 3 equal pieces (800g approx).  Shape into loaf, place in buttered loaf pan. Place all pans in large plastic bag, cover and proof for 90 minutes.

11:00pm – Place baking stone on 2nd rack from bottom, preheat oven with convection to 400F.

12:00am – Brush loaves with egg wash made from 1 egg and a little water.  Turn convection off, place loaves into oven, turn down to 380F and bake for 40 minutes or until internal temp reaches 190F or more.  Cool completely before eating.

Enjoy!

baker daniel's picture
baker daniel

Baking Bread above 3000 Feet above Sea Level

I am having a problem.  I live 3000 feet above sea level.  I have been baking sourdough bread with a starter that is well over 100 years old.  The flavor of my sourdough bread is awesome, but the texture of the actual bread (inside) is too dense and finely textured.  I have tried everything to create more gas inside the bread, but to no avail.  What am I doing wrong?  If my altitude is too high, how do I compensate?  Suggestions are welcome!

evmiashe's picture
evmiashe

How to grind your own all purpose flour - recipe

Since I have a wheat grinder and lots of wheatberries (hard red, white and soft), I want to grind my own all purpose flour - not buy it in the store.  I have been searching and searching for a real recipe on how to grind your own all purpose flour for baking (not bread baking).  So far I have found out that it is a mixture of soft wheat and hard winter white wheat.  Is it 50% / 50%???  Can someone share their recipe?  And do you then sift out the bran with a hand sifter to make a lighter flour for pastry and cake? 


Thank you so much!


evelyn

wally's picture
wally

Variations on Breads by Hamelman and MacGuire

    


This past weekend I decided to continue my experimentation with ryes and hot soakers. After my experience spending 7 hours making a mash for my last rye, I took Hamelman's comment on my attempt to heart: "it's always seemed to me that historically people would have been grateful to be able to make a simple manipulation of ingredients and wind up with a little sweetness in their bread."


So I decided to trade-in further chemistry experiments in favor of seeing if greater simplicity could still yield greater flavor. I selected Hamelman's 66% rye in Bread because I wanted a sandwich loaf and this seemed like it would fit the bill - sufficient rye content to provide a flavorful loaf, yet not so much as to yield a dense crumb.


The variation on his recipe was to add a hot soaker as well as toasted sunflower seeds. To create the soaker I took his rye levain, which accounts for a little over 40% of total dough weight, and halved it, creating a soaker with equal portions of flour and water that would have gone into the levain. This also raised total hydration from 75% to 80%. I then upped the percentage of yeast slightly to account for the smaller amount of levain used.


The night before my bake on Sunday I mixed my levain, and then poured boiling water over the rye. According to Hamelman this is called brühstück (a scalded soaking) in Germany. Using equal parts water and flour you end up with a very dense mixture. Both levain and soaker were covered and left overnight.


The next morning I mixed levain, brühstück and water, and then added the remaining ingredients. My toasted sunflower seeds were salted, so I gave them a quick rinse in a sieve.


Because I wanted sandwich bread - and because the hydration was so high - I air shaped the loaf and placed it in a somewhat smaller than standard bread tin. After 55 minutes proofing it was baked at 460 F initially, after which the temperature was decreased to 400 for the remainder of the bake. I wrapped the loaf in a tea towel after it cooled, and allowed it to rest 24 hours before cutting.


                  


This, it turns out, was a good move, because it was quite moist, and over the past few days while it has dried somewhat, it remains moist. The soaker did in fact impart a noticeable sweetness that balanced nicely with the nuttiness of the sunflower seeds. Not as sweet as a mash soaker, but much simpler. This is bread I'll bake again.


    


While waiting for the rye to finish baking I was reading through old articles I've accumulated related to bread, and stumbled upon James MacGuire's wonderful The Baguette, printed in The Art of Eating in 2006 (Number 73 + 74).


                                                         


I've read a number of times his wonderful accounting of the history of the baguette, how French baking underwent near ruination after World War II with mechanization, and of the pivotal role played by MacGuire's friend and sometime collaborator Raymond Calvel in resuscitating the art of baking through the introduction of autolyse. James MacGuire is a master baker, but he is as well a masterful narrator and commentator on the history of bread - particularly in France. I cannot too highly recommend this article to anyone unfamiliar with it. (Reprints may be obtained from The Art of Eating.)


The surprise for me, however, was that I had neglected to ever look at his recipe for a pain tradition at the article's end. And I delighted in what I found there. MacGuire is keenly aware of the challenges baguettes present to the home baker, starting with the fact that most home ovens will not accommodate a true baguette's length, and including the travails one confronts with steaming, especially in gas ovens.


And then there too is the fact that his pain tradition is a super-hydrated dough at 80%, meaning that for the vast majority of bakers it would present formidable obstacles in shaping and slashing.


MacGuire says, in effect, Ok, you want a baguette but it is very hard to do. Here instead is a baguette dough which we'll shape to an easier profile (more like a miche), and through this achieve basically the same crumb to crust ratio a baguette has.


Again, simplicity is chosen over complicated schemes. (A theme is emerging I think).


His recipe calls for hand mixing and hand folding over many hours. Because I machine mix dough at work I'm inclined to do so at home - it just seems easier. But as I followed his process I was struck by how much more in touch you become with the gluten development of the dough. It is truly fascinating to experience over many hours what transpires in mere minutes in a mixer.


My one variation on his recipe was to give it a bulk retarding overnight in my refrigerator to develop more flavor since it is a straight dough.


Next day, after 16 hours in the fridge, I preheated my oven, and turned the dough out on a floured counter. Shaping, such as it is, is equally simple: MacGuire advises patting it out to a diameter approximating that of the bottom of your floured banneton or mold, and then plopping it in for final proof. That's easy.


Final proofing was about 75 minutes. The secret to this bread is a long bake which dries out the loaf so that its crust does not go soft after coming out of the oven. And to accomplish this means an initial bake at a fairly high temperature, followed by a long bake at a much lower temperature.


    


The loaf, just under 1 lb., was in the oven for 70 minutes. The trick is to achieve bread that has dried sufficiently, but not in the process developed a dark crust which overwhelms the delicate flavor of the crumb. The profile in terms of height is comparable to that of a baguette and it has a crisp crust and an amazingly light, airy crumb.



I love baguettes, but I tend to avoid baking them at home because the results are never as good as what I get in a commercial steam oven. And that is frustrating. But here, in this marvelous little recipe that MacGuire tucked at the end of his article, is a simple and enjoyable method of enjoying everything good in a baguette with the exception of its form.



Not a bad compromise!


Larry


 

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