The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Ju-Ju-Beads's picture
Ju-Ju-Beads

Durum flour handled too much?

Can I handle the dough too much?  I am working on a much larger batch of bread than I've ever done before--about 8 loaves of a rustic Italian loaf with durum flour acpunting for about 2/3 total flour content.  It's about 66% hydration. 


My concern is that it got to be too much to finicsh last night--sick dog, etc.--so I put it in the refrigerator to retard overnight.  Because I didn't think to divide it last night, the whole mass of dough cooled slowly, so I turned it several times.  Same thing this morning, trying to return it to room temp.  Now my once glossy surface is rather rough looking.  Could it be that that much handling, with a high percentage of delicate durum flour, has broken the strands?  Should I start over?? I've committed to bread for the church bake sale tomorrow and the clock is ticking.

amolitor's picture
amolitor

Rye Sourdough with Roasted Cracked Wheat - Take II

I'm working on this recipe.


My current state of the art is:


Evening of Day 0



  • 1/4 cup WW flour

  • 3 T water

  • 1 T WW starter


(this approximates 100% hydration starter mix). Let rise overnight.


Morning of Day 1



  • starter from last night

  • another 1/4 cup WW flour

  • another 3 T water


Let rise until about noon (6 hours). Should be Quite Active at this point.


Noonish of Day 1


Toast 1/4 cup + 1 T cracked wheat in dry skillet until Dark Golden Brown, mix with 1/4 cup + 1 T boiling water. Let rest/soak/cool.



  • starter

  • 1/2 cup rye flour

  • 1/2 cup WW flour

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon water

  • 2 tsp salt

  • toasted cracked wheat mixture

  • sufficient bread flour to hit a moderately high hydration dough


Knead dough until it starts to develop. The dough will be moist and sticky, if you form it into a blob and grab one end you can lift the blob up off the working surface. Holding it there, it will sag, eventually pouring slowly out of your hands over a minute or two. It's as thick as a Very Thick muffin batter, and somewhat springy due to gluten development. Mine was starting to windowpane, weakly -- I didn't want to overdevelop since the ferment goes on a while.


Bulk ferment for 5 hours, S&F every hour.


Into the fridge around 6pm.


6 am Day 2


Remove from fridge, place somewhere warm. S&F after an hour. Form up a loaf after 2 hours. Proof until done (2 hours in this case). Bake at 450 with steam for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 425 for another 25 minutes. Results:




 


I had good development going in to the fridge in the evening, but it seems to have started to vanish by morning. I feel like the dough was starting to fall apart. The next test will be to follow the same pattern, but aim for mixing dough about 3-4 hours later, so there's only 8-9 hours in the fridge instead of 12. This experiment went off rather better than the previous run (the dough was less sticky, and much more willing to stand up, but the surface gluten network wasn't quite what I want it to be). The flavor and texture are very very similar to the previous result, and the loaf is more staisfying to me, but I feel I have more work to do.


Previous experiment is here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19856/rye-sourdough-roasted-cracked-wheat

breitbaker's picture
breitbaker

Mission: Perfect Flour tortillas..

I've made these flour tortillas for the past year or so...and with the approach of fall, and things beginning to slow a bit, I'm on a mission to find my "perfect" version.....take a look and give me your ideas....Thanks!


http://www.brightbakes.wordpress.com


Cathy B.

paulm's picture
paulm

First Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

As I was feeding my starter (Ralph), rather than discarding I fed the discard and used it to make my first sourdough cinnamon rolls.  I'm up to my ears with sourdough pancake mix and just couldn't bear to flush half of Ralph.  I happened on the following recipe in COOKS.COM and with only very minor adjustments, I made the cinnamon rolls shown below.



SOURDOUGH CINNAMON ROLLS
Printed from COOKS.COM


1/2 c. starter
1 c. evaporated milk
2 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
3 tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour (approx.)
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. chopped nuts
Melted butter


Combine starter, milk and flour (2 cups) in a large bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight. Next morning, beat together the butter, sugar, and egg. Blend into sourdough. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, soda, and baking powder and mix with other mixture. Turn out on floured surface and knead until shiny. Add flour as needed.


Roll out to an 8 x 16 inch rectangle. Brush surface with melted butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and nuts. Roll up dough, cut roll at intervals, dip in butter and place in 9 inch square pan. Let rise about 1 hour and bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.


 



 


I eliminated the nuts (allergies) and used granulated white sugar rather than brown sugar (pantry deficiency).  I made an orange glaze using the zest of one orange,  juice of 1/2 orange and 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar.  Waiting for them to cool before I can report on the taste but they smell devine.


 

busymate's picture
busymate

pizza dough

Hello,


        I have just made some dough for pizza. The same as i would a standard white loaf dough mix, using 100% bread flour.


I let it double in size, then knocked it about to deflate it, divided it in to portions and have frozen it..


What i would like to know is, after i defrost it, do i shape it then let it rise and then put toppings on?


or do i defrost let rise then shape and let rise again? Im a little confused being new to baking..


surley if i let rise then roll out ready for toppings, the yeast will deflate as i roll it, or flaten it into pizza shape?


Thankyou Phil

ruckerz's picture
ruckerz

excessive hooch after a week in the fridge == bad sign?

I'm thinking that I need to refresh my levain more than once a week. This particular one had great rise for a boule a week ago, but after refreshing that batch and letting it sit for a week in the fridge, I found a layer of hooch on the top, tried to mix it in and raise another batch but it didn't raise (it was very liquidy/foamy instead of bubbly). What's happening here? Did I kill off all the good yeast in that week with excessive acid?


 


Also, when people say 'feed' do they mean simply add flour and water to an existing batch and then let it sit at room temperature? Or do they pinch off a bit of the existing batch and add flour/water to that (while throwing away the parent batch).


 


 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Sourdough dog bisuits - and a dog food public announcement


 


This is Ruby. Whenever people ask me what kind of dog he is (yes, he's a boy, with a girl's name, what? he is man enough to be OK with it! :P), my answer is "a yellow running dog". While we have no idea what breeds are mixed in his blood (probably a lot),  it doesn't take long for anyone to notice that Ruby loves to run. He is always ready to take off running, any time, any place, any weather. I am a marathon runner, and he is my running partner - 45 to 55 miles a week, but that's merely a trotting warm-up for him, he really lives for the trips to the dog park, where he can be unleashed and just SPRINT forever. So far he's can run faster and longer than any other dogs we know, and even some slower cars. :P



 


There's one thing he loves ALMOST as much as running - eating. Ever since we adopted him 5 years ago, he has always INHALED his kibbles in minutes. Sometimes I don't even think the kibbles actually hit the bowl, I think he intercepts them midair and just swallow. He also eats anything that resemble, or don't resemble food - the most memorable one was half of a Gatorade bottle lid, which then scratched his inside and caused bloody diarrhea, even that didn't affect his appetite. Whenver my friends tell me about their dogs that don't eat, I simply don't undersand, what a foreign concept - until 10 days ago.


We had just picked him up from doggie daycare (I know I know, we are the worst kind of spoiling doggie parents, but he loves to run and it's a all day play kinda place...), stopped on the way to pick up a new bag of dog food (Iams minichunk in green bag, the same kind he has eaten for all 8 years of his life). Got home in time for dinner, opened the bag, poured kibbles to his bowl, he sniffed and WALKED AWAY! We were stunned, was he having a heat stroke? Sometime wrong with his teeth? Did he eat something bad in the daycare? For the next 3 days, he simply refused to eat his food during the day, before bed, he would slowly chew a few kibbles and walk away again. He would take some treats we gave him, but we don't usually give him people food, just some plain bread slices. With so little food, he was not as energetic as usual, still wanted to run in the morning, but slower and slower. During the day, he would just lay there and look weak. We were seriously concerned.



Finall got in a vet appoinment, the exam and blood test showed no problems - until we mentioned about the food. My vet said Iams had switched production facility and ingredient formula 3 months ago, ever since then there have been a lot of problems. Many of the foods are being recalled, the ones are not recalled (including the one Ruby was eating) also have some bad feedbacks. A lot of dogs would not eat the food, even though they have been eating the same brand/formula for their entire life. Some would get seriously sick after eating, a few older/smaller/weaker ones even have to be put down. We returned the Iams food immediately and got Hills Science dog food instead, Ruby immediately started eating - really immediately because we opened the bag right outside of the store and he started inhaling the kibbles on the sidewalk! Even since then, we have been feeding him part homecooked food (bland rice + chicken), part new dog food, by yesterday, he is eating all dog food, and doing very well. We ran 10 miles this morning, let's just say he's not the one that slowed us down. :P


 


I am beyond livid about Iams, how can they change ingredients without warning the customers? And what poisonous ingredients are they putting in the food that makes Ruby refuse to even get close?! What about those dogs that got seriously ill or even died? Who's going to take responsibility for them? So here's the PSA: if your dogs/cats are eating Iams, be very careful about feeding them food that's bought after July, if they eat less or get sick, it's very likely the food! In the mean time, check out this link: http://www.aspca.org/blog/pet-food-recall-iams.html , especially the comments.


 


Anyway, now that the scary episide is behind us, I made these sourdough biscuits this past weekend for the poor little guy to make up for what he had to go through. They are full of human grade nutritious ingredients, as well as added benefit of sourdough. I adapted the formula from Nancy Silverton's "Breads from LA BREA Bakery", but Wild yeast has a similar adaption here. I did add one extra egg in the dough since Ruby runs a lot and needs the extra protein. The dough is very easy to handle, and the process is straightforward. It's a great way to use up extra starter!



I made sure to bake them long enough so they remain crispy for a long time. The recipe does yield a whole of cookies, so I froze a lot of them.



Ruby LOVES these, look, he's practically cross-eye-ed.



Pleeeeeeeeeeease...


GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Questions about Sourdough Shaping and Sizing

I plan to bake two batches of San Joaquin Sourdough this weekend--one for batards and one for ficelles.  I will mix both at the same time, and bulk retard one batch an hour longer for consecutive bakes.  A couple questions:  


(1) Should I mix them in one double batch and retard the double batch as one, or do them separately?  Maybe it doesn't matter. I'm inclined to do them separately because of my bowl capacity (I think the largest is 6 quart) and the effort of hand-mixing a dough ball of such size.  If I do a double batch, what stage would be optimal for dividing the ball into two ?


(2)  What weight should each ficelle be?  Will a batch of the SJ SD (1020 grams total dough weight) yield four or five? My constraint is the size of my baking stone (16" x 14").


Thanks for any advice.


Glenn

ww's picture
ww

bakeware in NY

Hi all,


I'm going to NY soon. Any must-go shops for baking equipment or bakeries? I've been mostly improvising with whatever I have at home but feel ready to splurge on some material, esp. bannetons.


Your recommendations are welcome!

proth5's picture
proth5

IBIE - Tuesday

 After a martoonie or two and an early night, Tuesday  8:30AM found a very large crowd of bakers and imposters ready to listen to Craig Ponsford and Jeffrey Yankellow talk about the science and application of sourdough based pre ferments.  Both seemed somewhat subdued and I was reminded of a quote about folks in another party town who made an early morning appointment.  When they rolled into the restaurant for breakfast they remarked to the waitress that their counterparts were late and they could have used that extra few minutes to gently recover from the previous evening's festivities.  The waitress said (to paraphrase) "You're in Las Vegas, boys, those people you are meetin' are expectin' a mess."


No, no, it was nowhere near that bad. In fact speaking about sourdough is always a little less precise than speaking about commercial yeast and I think most of us who work with sourdough know this.


What surprised me was the number of professional bakers at the lecture who had never worked with sourdough.  Here on TFL it seems that "everyone" is a sourdough baker, but maybe not so much in the commercial baking world.


Again, there was a lot to the lecture, but there were some high points worth discussing.


Mr. Yankellow made a distinction between a "culture" - which he defined as a newly formed mixture of flour, water, and organisms and a "starter" ("chef" or "mother") that is a mature culture strong enough to use for baking.  The transition, to his thinking usually takes 3 or 4 weeks (not many years) and, he emphasized, it is important to take the time to let the culture mature.  He did discuss that a type of bread (similar to salt rising bread) could be made from a young culture, but he expressed that it would have a very strong taste (from all the random bacteria) and be a very heavy bread.


Then both Mr. Yankellow and Mr. Ponsford held forth on the myth of special sourdough starters being grown from grapes or raisins or any number of odd things.  This is where I tread carefully because there is much emotional energy attached to the origins of starters.  I'm just saying that both of these distinguished bakers were convinced that the yeasts in the flour used to feed the culture and later the starter will always be the yeasts (and bacteria) in the starter.  Yeasts from grapes (for example) - and grapes are a fruit with a lot of yeasts - will not thrive in the flour and water environment and eventually be out competed by the yeasts in the flour.  Mr. Ponsford told the tale of a starter that was grown in a wine cave that gave the bread a particular flavor - until it was removed from the cave.  He also told the tale of a unique apple cider starter - but which was refreshed each day with apple cider.  I'm not taking sides.  I'm just saying.


Both similarly felt that after passing from the culture phase to the starter  phase there is no advantage (in terms of actual bread making) to the "150 year old starter carried across the Rockies."  They are both convinced that the starter will take on the characteristics of your locale and promised that if you went to their bakeries and asked for a bit of starter (now, don't everyone rush to do this!), they would gladly give you a piece because it will eventually come to reflect your locale and your level of care and itself was not the secret to their great breads.  Again, I'm just saying what I heard.


They presented some fun facts, among which were:



  • One gram of commercial yeast contains 8-10 billion yeast cells

  • One gram of regular flour contains 13,000 wild yeast cells and 320 lactic bacteria cells, and

  • One gram of whole-wheat flour contains 320,000 yeast cells and 62,000 lactic bacteria cells.


Now, that's something to think about...


Moving on the starter care, I couldn't help but think of the hard hearted way many home bakers treat their starters - leaving them to languish in refrigerator for weeks at a time and reviving them only when they are needed.  Starter care as discussed was for professional bakers, as feeding suggestions were given for feeding once, twice, or three times a day.


Well, that stirred up some hard feelings.  However I'll give you two quotes. 


Craig Ponsford "There is no shortcut to caring for your starter" and Jeffrey Yankellow "Treat your starter right."


I don't have the qualifications to argue.


They both also emphasized consistency - claiming that every time you see a problem with sourdough, the issue is consistency (feeding routine, temperature, etc.)


I am not making this up.  (Even though it is what I have been preaching on these pages for some time.)


In terms of the impact of sourdough on the final dough itself, they reminded us that the acid in the sourdough will strengthen the dough considerably and that more gentle mixing with the objective of somewhat under developing the dough would be something to consider with sourdoughs - allowing the dough to develop during the first fermentation.  Mr. Yankellow expressed that he preferred to retard sourdough doughs after shaping as the acidity and long fermentation would strengthen the dough to the point where it would be difficult to shape.


Well, that's enough controversy for today.


I then toddled off to the Bread Bakers Guild of America booth to hear a presentation from a representative of the California Wheat Board.  Apparently I've been studying about wheat a little too much, but one interesting fact is that California produces a particularly fine durum wheat called "Desert Durum" which is used in great quantities by the Barilla pasta company.


Swinging by the LeSafre cup, I was able to see yesterday's creations.  I was quite impressed by Costa Rica's colorful artistic piece.  Argentina's and Brazil's pieces were also very nice, but I did have to ponder if they would regret their bland color schemes.  We will know tomorrow.  Once again the breads were lovely.  Although I am completely unbiased, I still think Team USA rocked - but this is one tough competition.  I can't wait to find out the results.


Attracted by the sight of free dough scrapers, I spent some time at the Retail Bakers of America booth.  This organization, whose website is  www.retailbakersofamerica.org ,is an organization for professional bakers to aid them in connecting with other bakers and suppliers. Not an organization for most of us, but the very nice lady who chatted with me was happy to swap a mention for some plastic scrapers.  We talked a bit about my "retirement business" and she gave me some very good advice about not spending my retirement on a bakery business (which I knew, but it was nice of her anyway.)


I'm beginning to enjoy this "resting up and not pushing myself to the limit" thing and so left the show early, blowing off the Ciril Hitz book signing.  Although I like him very much because unlike "my teacher" he doesn't yell at me and doesn't give me homework assignments that take years to complete (he was also the first person to introduce me to a sheeter - and he even remarked to me about the love light in my eyes), but I just wasn't up to beating off the vast throngs that would no doubt be there.  I also don't want to lose that air of "I'm so cool I can hang with famous bakers and never even consider getting a book signed or a picture taken."  Once you give in to that, well, you lose your street cred.  Anyway, I have a lecture with him tomorrow.


And I hear those martoonies calling (Hey! It's vacation!)


Happy Baking

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