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em120392's picture
em120392

Rich Man's Brioche/ High School Project

Today, I made Peter Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche from BBA. I've never made such a rich, buttey bread, but it was delicious. I could only eat one slice, but with raspberry jam, it made the best breakfast.


I posted this on the blog my brother and I share ( http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/ ) We're both trying to complete the Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge, and also, I'm completing a high school project about artisan breads.


Anyway, here's the post!



Nowadays, we know brioche as a rich bread, enriched with enormous amounts of butter and eggs. The name brioche is derived from the Norman verb, "to pound." The Norman region of France was well known for the butter which they produced, and excessive kneading was required to incorporate all the butter into the dough.


Brioche came to Paris in the 1600s as a much heavier and far less rich bread than the one we know today. Supposedly brioche became well known with Marie Antoinette's famous quote, "qu'ils manget de al brioche" during the 1700s, which translates to "let them eat cake." This referred to the peasants who rioted because there was a lack of bread. The different butter contents of bread were baked for different classes-even the food reflected the social-class divides in 18th century France.


In the Bread Baker's Apprentice, Peter Reinhart provides three different recipes which vary in the butter content. Rich Man's Brioche has about 88% butter to flour ratio, Middle-Class Brioche has about 50%, and Poor Man's Brioche has about 20%. Since I had never made brioche, I splurged and made Rich Man's-why not? The recipe makes three loaves- In my head, the idea of three loaves somehow justified the pound (?!) of butter in the bread.


Traditionally, brioche is baked in molds as brioche a tete, which are formed with two balls of dough. Served with jam, brioche makes a perfect breakfast, and topped with meats and cheese, it can be served for lunch or dinner, thus making brioche a truly versatile bread.


I began the brioche with a sponge of flour, yeast, and milk. After the sponge rose and collapsed, I added five eggs. Next, incorporated the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and sugar), and mixed until the flour was hydrated.


After a few minutes, I mixed in a stick of butter at a time, making sure they were fully incorporated before the next addition. The dough looked smooth, and almost icing-like, because of the butter. I had never worked with such a fluffy, light bread dough, so I felt kind of intimidated in new waters.


After all the butter was added, I mixed for a few more minutes until the dough was soft, and tacky, but not sticky. I spread the dough onto a cookie sheet and put it in the refrigerator to firm up and retard overnight.


Since I don't have brioche molds, I used three loaf pans. I cut the dough into three even pieces, and with a rolling pin, I formed a rectangle. Like sandwich bread, I rolled the dough up, and placed them seam-down in the pan, and let it rise for about two hours. After it had risen for the second time, I brushed it an egg wash, to form a shiny crust.


In a 350 degree oven, I baked the bread until it was golden brown, and the internal temperature reached 190 degrees. However, when I tried to take the bread out of the pan, it kind of stuck to my not-nonstick pans, which I didn't grease. With some slight prying, I got the bread out, but slightly crushed and deflated a loaf. Also, when forming the loaves, I didn't seal the seam well, and when baked, it split on the sides.



Once cooled, I cut the bread, which flaked like a croissant, and tasted so rich and delicious. Since there is so much butter, one slice is more than enough, but every bite was so delicate and smooth. I'm glad I splurged for Rich Man's brioche, but I'm not sure how often I'll make it because of it's richness. With raspberry jam, it honestly made the best breakfast.


 

Elf's picture
Elf

Sourdough rising & baking issue!


Hello I'm new to the forum & new to baking bread!


 


After having some success & a lot of enjoyment baking with dried yeast for a few months I decided to look into bread baking more seriously & recently bought Crust by Richard Bertinet.


 


I started by baking some simple baguettes with a fermented white dough & then a Poolish ferment which went well. I have to say I was intrigued by sourdough having not previously understood what sourdough was (I think I had it confused with Soda bread).


 


So using the very clear instructions in Crust I made a ferment starter which seemed to go like clockwork with my ferment matching the pictures in the book every step of the way. I have to say I didn't find the smell of the ferment pleasant but my fiance did & once it had been fed & left in the fridge I really liked the smell.


 


I then made up a dough working it in the French style outlined in the book. Again this went very well & my dough appeared as the pictures & demonstration video for every step right up to its entry to the oven.


 


However at this stage everything appears to go rather badly.


 


My loaves don't rise very well, often being misshapen & uneven, however the biggest issue is that where they do rise they leave a large pocket at the top of the bread with the dough at the bottom an inch high a rather rubbery.


 


I have now baked 4 loaves all of which have gone wrong, I was convinced that the issue lay with my using the fan setting on my oven baking the loaf too quickly however today I used the conventional setting & had the exact same issue!


 


On the bright side when sliced very thinly & toasted the bread tastes great, with a nice nutty flavour coming through, perhaps from the spelt flour.


 


I can't help but think I'm missing something obvious & that my lack of experience is the issue. 


 


At this stage any ideas would be welcome as I'm drawing a blank!


 


Please could you advise me?


 


Cheers


Tim


 


Here is a photograph of todays effort.



expatCanuck's picture
expatCanuck

sourdough - second rise ??

Greetings -


After a couple of years' hiatus, it appears that I'm (getting) back on the sourdough treadmill.
(The sourdough starter in question is my home-grown, Brookline-based starter.)


Today's loaf is shown below (behind the remnants of last week's undercooked (but wonderful toasted) loaf):


Today's sourdough


After filling the pan about half full, I got (I think) a reasonable (single) rise,
which took 3-4 hours (which took it to the top of the pan), and another inch
or so with the oven spring (a 500 degree F oven, reduced immediately to 400,
for 35-40 minutes):



Here's the crumb:



 


It tastes delicious.


My question - should I be trying a second rise?  My experience has been that the dough
starts to get awfully 'fragile' after 3 hours, starting to disintegrate.  I'm wondering --
if I flipped it halfway through, might I get more uniform crumb? (One can see from the
image above that the top half of the loaf is 'airier' than the bottom half).


Or is that more trouble than it's worth?


And any thoughts on how might I avoid that dip in the middle at the sides of the loaf?


Insight welcome.


Thanks,


 - Richard

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Desired Dough Temperature (DDT): further considerations

Desired DoughTemperature (DDT), at best only a gross-estimate of the temperature of a dough at the beginning of bulk fermentation (ref.: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11719/ddt-calculation-question-daniel-t-dimuzio ) is too often ignored, or given only a brief word or two of non-specific, and often ambiguous explanation. (See, for example, BBA's Pain a l'Ancienne: this is the best I've found, and still, in my opinion, using ice-water is ambiguous in specificity, and lacks complete explanation, of effects and side-effects.) 


Within the usual range of factors, i.e., the newly mixed dough's temperature, Ph, hydration, and ingredients present; dough temperature, more than any other factor, controls yeast and bacteria activity. Secondly, dough temperature is hard to change, and especially hard to change in a controlled way. Thirdly--and not an issue, but a reality--the home baker has more direct control over temperature than any other factor. (Ingredients is, of course, the second, but you can't turn a brioche into a ciabatta.)


Addressing the latter issue first, having recently built a proofing box, early experiences supported my concern that a dough's initial temperature would dominate the dough's average temperature for hours. Stated differently, the heat energy in a light bulb, or heating pad--typical heat sources in homemade proofing boxes--is low. Furthermore, the transfer of heat into a dough mass (a complex function of the dough's mass, surface area, temperature differences, and its specific heat) is slow.


This is not a bad thing. If the heat source is cranked up too high, undesired side-effects will likely occur; e.g., the dough's surface will dry out, yeast cells at or near the dough's surface will produce gas at a reduced rate. The solution to avoiding both these problems is straight forward: Set the DDT to the temperature desired for bulk fermentation. If your going to proof at 76°F (the most common temperature invoked by bread book formulae), 80*F (Tartine Bread). 82.5°F (Zojurishi bread machine pre-heat, and proof temperature most favorable to yeast growth and activity), or 90°F (best temperature favoring bacterial vs. yeast growth in most sourdough cultures.) adjust the mixes' water temperature to reach a DDT as close as possible to the intended bulk fermenting temperature. Conversely, 40°F if you're going to retard the dough in the refrigerator, and finish proofing at room temperture, or 55°F if your using a wine cooler--my preferred retarding temperature. Then your proofing box (or chiller) is maintaining the dough's initial temperature: a much less energetic job.


The first issue, also stated in a different way: why? What's the reason for a specific DDT? Flavor, Scheduling, or Texture? I can't think of a fourth reason, and texture is the most tenuous.  Nonetheless, know why you've chosen a proofing temperature, and choose accordingly. And, if your writing a breadbook, fully explain why you chose a specificied initial dough temperature, including its benefits and downers.


David G

saltandserenity's picture
saltandserenity

Torie Cookies (oatmeal toffee cookies)

In the last dessert of my dried fruit dessert series, I offer you Torie cookies.  I think I am cheating a bit by calling this a dried fruit dessert, as in addition to dried cherries, it contains chopped up Skor bars, bittersweet chocolate chunks and oatmeal.  But they are yummy.  I only ate one and sent the excess off to my son in Montreal and my daughter in Boston.  My third son, still at home, complained that he has to move away if he wants cookies.  I told him to pack his bags!


http://saltandserenity.com/2011/01/16/torie-cookies-oatmeal-toffee-cookies/


Torie Cookies

sparklebritches's picture
sparklebritches

Finger poke test problem

I've been baking every couple of days for about a month and a half now--mostly working on whole wheat/blend sandwich loaves.


When in their final proof, I've been noticing that my loaves are always overproofed according to the finker poke test.   So, of course, I rush to get the oven warmed and the loaves in.  Most of the time it yields a very reasonable sandwich loaf.


Today I used Peter Reinhart's whole wheat formula (overnight refrigeration) from ABED.  Lo and behold, I did a poke test 30-minutes after shaping (about 40-42 minutes after being pulled from fridge) and the indention stays.


This has also happened with the Laurel's Kitchen recipes that I have started with.....


What's going on here?  Why does the indentation I make never fill in?


I've got today's loaves still proofing in the microwave....any input would be much appreciated! :)

em120392's picture
em120392

BBA Challenge Bagels/High School Project

Hey guys! I just wanted to thank you again for your encouraging comments on my bread-baking-project for school. I appreciate your thoughts very much! =]


I made bagels the other day, and wanted to share my post with you guys.


Here it is!


(my brother and i share a blog: http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/ )Originating in Poland in the 1600s, Bagels came along with Jewish immigrants to Ellis Island. Since many people of Jewish descent settled in New York, bagels have since been a tradition in the City.



The word bagel is derived from the German word for "to bend," symbolizing the round shape of the bread. Bagels were thought to bring good luck to the receiver of the bread. Usually, women who just gave birth received them for good luck as well as a symbol representing the cycle of life due to their circular shape.


The bagel gains its distinct chewiness from being first boiled, and then baked at a rather high temperature. A prolonged, cool second rise contributes to the bagels developed flavor, as well as the "fish eyes" on the crust. "Fish eyes" are raised bumps on the surface of the bread.


The first time I made bagels a few years ago, I was foolish and used whole wheat, no-knead dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Although this dough made fine boules, the bagels dissolved in the boiling water, leaving broken lumps of chewy dough. Nevertheless, I was determined to find the perfect bagel recipe.


My brother, Evan, has been baking his own bagels weekly for about a year now. Out in California, each bagel costs over a buck, and they're spongy rolls. Out here in New Jersey, we sometimes get good bagels-but mostly, they're doughy and the size of your face.


Reinhart begins his recipe with a sponge, combining water, yeast, and flour into a thick-pancake like batter. After about two hours, I added more yeast, flour, salt and honey. I tried to mix the ingredients together, but flour flew out everywhere, making a giant mess. I tried to knead the dough in the Kitchen Aid, but the dough was so stiff, I could smell the motor straining.


That's why we have hands, I guess. For about ten minutes, I kneaded the stiff dough until my arms hurt, and the dough passed the window pane test. I measured out the dough into twelve even pieces (thank goodness for a scale). However, 4.5 ounce bagels were a bit too large for breakfast, and I think making about 16 would be a better portion.


After letting the dough rest for a little bit, I shaped them into bagels. I tried both ways, by sticking my finger through the dough and stretching the hole out, and also by forming them from a coil. I found that by poking my finger through, the shape of the bagel was more consistent, but I'm sure with more practice, I could get better at the coil-method.


I let the bagels rest again for about twenty minutes. Reinhart suggests a test for readiness: I placed one piece of shaped bagel dough in a bowl of water and saw it immediately floated.


After the test, I placed them on baking sheets, covered them with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge for two nights.


On the second night, I brought a pot of water to a boil with an added tablespoon of baking soda. I didn't want to crowd my pot, so I only boiled four bagels at a time, for about a minute per each side. Immediately after boiling, I put them on a cooling-rack to drain, and sprinkled over a combination of sesame and poppy seeds, as well as some sea salt.


After boiling all 12 bagels, I baked them in a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes, rotated the pans, and baked them about 7 minutes more at 450, or until they were deep golden brown.


The next morning, I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. Wow. They beat any one of the partially-cooked ones I get from the bakeries in my town. Since there are only three of us living in my house right now, we froze half of the bagels for future use. I also gave my mentor, Mr. Esteban a handful of bagels to share with his family. I hope he enjoyed them!


Besides my finicky mixer, this recipe was super simple and didn't require all that much effort (but more utensils than normal to clean). Rather than spending 12 bucks for 12 bagels on Sunday, I can bake these (better) bagels for a fraction of the cost. Next time, I'll try to find malt barley to make more authentic bagels, but for now, these are awesome!


Olver, Lynne. "Breads." Food Timeline (2011): n. pag. Web. 14 Jan 2011. <http://www.foodtimeline.org>.


 


 

breadman_nz's picture
breadman_nz

Artisan Bread Every Day - Errata for Bagel Recipe

I have just bought Peter Reinhart's ABED and made the bagel recipe (which turned out fantastically well, by the way).


However there is an error in the recipe (pages 75 & 77, first edition). The correct volume of water for the poaching liquid is 1814-2721g, which is the equivalent of 64-96oz. The book says 181g-272g, being out by a factor of 10!


I couldn't find this errata notified after searching here and elsewhere, so trust it's not a duplication.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Whole Wheat Bread from (BREAD)

This is from Hamelman's Bread, under (Yested Preferments). I used a Pate fermentee of my baguette dough. I also added no yeast to the final dough. Mixing was very brief with turning the dough in a bowl every 30 minutes for 3 hours, developed the dough well. This is my first time to underdevelop my dough, and using my hand to fold the dough intermittently.


What i ended up with is developed yet soft feeble dough that jumped to life in the oven. The loaves were quite lighter in mass, and the crumb was soft and holey.


I, however, forgot to add the salt to the final dough, so the flavor was quite lacking.






Eli_in_Glendale's picture
Eli_in_Glendale

Starter from Tartine Bread Book

Hi all, newbie here.  I am about 5 days into getting my starter going using the technique from "Tartine Bread." What an awesome book by the way.  I've got bubbles with each feeding, and a mildly foul aroma, but not much rise/fall as he describes.  Should I really be feeding it 100 grams of both water and 50/50 flour mix?  I feel like it's a waste, and not much seems to be changing from one feeding to the next.  I am feeding daily now.  Anybody else followed this technique with much success?  Thanks a million.

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