The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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yaunae1432's picture
yaunae1432

More Bread Fun

Okay so my first starter was stolen. But, whoever thought there were goodies or some money in that bag were highly mistaken and very disappointed :) they got a healthy, 3-month-old, fermented sourdough starter and probably didn't even know what it was.  I've started another but this time I added milk. It called for half a cup but since I'm vegan I did 1/4 c dairy milk and 1/4 c almond milk.  I was scared almond milk wouldn't do what dairy does and might ruin the recipe. It's moving along very slowly and I'm worried it won't turn out but patience will tell. Since then, I've experimented with different recipes.  I got one of Paul Hollywood's books and made a brioche the other day.  It turned out pretty good but now how I wanted it to. Practice makes perfect! I'll just have to try it again. I want to try out a saffron bread and maybe invest in mastika or mechlebe but I'm hesitant because it's so expensive! Has anyone ever baked with mastika or mechlebe?

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

The Fruit-fed Yeast Adventure/Madness

Over the last couple of weeks I've been experimenting with the properties of fruit based yeast waters. Starting with a strawberry water, I've so far transformed Txfarmer's 36+ hr baguette  from a standard sourdough to one fed strawberry yeast water.  The result was as to be expected, crunchy crust, moist crumb, not a hint of sour, and interestingly, a surprisingly dark color despite the exclusive use of AP flour in the dough.

Strawberry Yeast Water Baguette, and one with Peach Yeast Water - Same recipe, same flour.
  

I have also created a number of boules using Ron Ray's Darling Clementine recipe.  I've used that same boule recipe to create a strawberry, cherry and blueberry boule.  From these loaves I have come to some conclusions.

Once out of the oven, these boules are virtually indistinguishable in terms of color, crust, and crumb. The only distinguishing feature was the strawberry loaf aroma while it was still baking. So, my conclusions are that it matters little exactly what kind of fruit one uses to cultivate yeast (except of course for those containing actinidain or actinidin), only that the yeast exist. Fruit based yeast from these types of waters will alter the color and consistency of the bread but will not impart any fruit essence upon baking.  The reddish/purplish fruits that I tested will significantly alter the color of the crust and crumb, and the relative amount of sugar present in the water will also affect the taste (the blueberry water, made from a quantity of dried blueberries was quite sweet to begin with).

 Strawberry, Cherry, Blueberry Boules: Beauty Shots, Profiles, and Crumbs

   

   

   

 I think after this experiment, I'll retire all but the strawberry water, as it is the most pleasing in terms of aroma, at least when it comes out of the oven.  So, in conclusion, choose your favorite fruited yeast water and keep only one type. Also, don't forget to feed your sourdough starter too because what is life without a little tang?

Happy Baking!

-Pamela

 

 

 

bencheng's picture
bencheng

Sun-dried tomato and cheese loaf with sourdough leaven

My sourdough starter has been in the refrigerator for a week and decide make some good use of it by making a loaf. I used the Basic Savoury Bread Dough from  Andrew Whitely's book Bread Matters.

The original recipe call for a sponge using fresh yeast but I decide to use my sourdough starter to make a leaven. I also added a little bit of instant yeast to my final dough because I don't think I have time to wait for the final rise without the help of yeast. I was pretty happy with the final result.

The sponge
1 tablespoon of my sourdough starter
125g Water
75g Strong White Flour
50g Standard Flour

I made this sponge early in the morning before I go to work and leave it on the counter for 10 hours.

The final dough
225g Sponge
225g Strong White Flour
4g Salt
15g Olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
105g Water

The filling.
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
pizza paste
grated cheese

 

http://afterhoursbaker.blogspot.com/2011/05/sun-dried-tomato-and-cheese-loaf-with.html

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Thank you JoeVa

Joe,

Thank you so much for your terrific formula: Pane con Semola Rimacinata di Grano Duro.  The only thing I did different than your formula was raise the hydration level to 68 percent.  I made 7.62 lbs of dough and divided it into two equal pieces of 3.81 lbs each, bulk fermented each in seperate containers, which minimized the handling of the dough during shaping. 

Howard

Here are some photos.

 

 

gingersnapped's picture
gingersnapped

Reinhardt’s Poolish Baguette

[crossposted to my general baking blagsite, yeastvillage.com!]

The day you find yourself laboring over a fine grained sieve sifting the bran out of otherwise a-ok whole wheat flour: might as well admit it you’re addicted to yeast.

relax piggybank, it's turkey

open up; sandwich time

Personal success: half batch + stretch and fold + autolyse with a hella wet dough and shaped! appropriately! neatly!  It looks like bread when it came out of the oven! (this is perpetually delightful and surprising)

Personal failure: forgot to score and got ants in the pants and pulled it out before the crust could fully harden.  The biggest advantage I’ve found to cooking in someone else’s oven — I tend to walk away and leave well enough alone (perhaps an important life lesson there).

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

SD walnut & raisin spice loaf (beats compost!). Thanks to Sylvia for inspiration.

One of my experiments went awry a couple of days ago. I had some leftover buttermilk and decided to sub that for milk in my usual SD pancake mix. I've used buttermilk in traditional pancakes and it was good, but I found it wasn't prepared to socialise properly with the SD leaven. No matter how much buttermilk I added, the batter refused to thin to the consistency I like. Added milk in the end, and that made things runny, but alas - the batter refused to behave in the fry pan. While browning to a nice golden finish, it was like custard inside. No amount of extra heating would remedy this.

Moving right on, I decided against pancakes. Crepes were the go! So, swirled the batter quickly around the pan to keep it thin...fail.

Time to quit, so I sulkily dumped the bowl of batter on the kitchen shelf and left it there for the rest of the day. It could get as sour and nasty as it liked. Only one place that mess was bound - the compost.

Towards evening, I returned to the scene of the crime and made off out the back to dispose of the evidence. Then a thought struck me - wasn't this fermenting mess a sort of starter, or sponge, or whatever...? And if so, why couldn't I add flour and attempt to bring off a disaster rescue? I hate throwing out anything edible, especially starter, so promptly rationalised my way back inside with my bowl of trouble and set to work.

I left my premium bread flours alone, not wanting to waste them on something that was likely to be mediocre at best, and grabbed some plain (AP) supermarket flour. Threw in enough to get a good consistency.  Thought better of ignoring my good flours, and tipped in a bit of organic wholemeal. And some milk powder - why not?

Since there was sugar in the batter, I figured sweet(ish) and spicy was the way to go. Chucked in some cinnamon, and lesser quantities of mixed spice, ginger, plus a bit of dry-roasted coriander/caraway mix left over from a cooking venture some days earlier. The dough was a bit sticky.  A sprinkle more flour... Nice.

Recalling Sylvia's tantalising recent pics of her walnut and raisin bread, I chopped up some walnuts, then raisins (not golden ones - the large flat relatives) and a bit of candied spice. Folded them into the dough. Didn't worry about pre-soaking.

And so it went. No weighing, no recipe, working only by the light of instinct and experience - and it dawned on me that I was enjoying the freedom of it all! In fact, it was exhilarating!

Bulk proofed 3 hours with 3 S&Fs, rolled the dough in on itself lengthwise, bunged it into a bread pan, and retarded in the fridge overnight.  Baked straight out of fridge next morning: 40 mins @ 185C (365F), no steam. I didn't even bother with a glaze.

The result was thrilling! A rustic-looking loaf that rose well and when sliced for a sampling 2 hours later had my partner and I raising our eyebrows. The crumb was even and soft, but well-structured and elastic. The only thing I might have done differently with the benefit of hindsight was brush a bit of milk on the top before loading the dough to slow down the browning of the crust. Got away with not pre-soaking the fruit - it wasn't at all hard or too chewy, possibly because I cut the raisins into smaller pieces. And the taste test? An A-grade pass!

 

 

 

 

So, what began as a failed experiment ended as an unlikely triumph. I'm a bit regretful I won't be able to duplicate this bread exactly, but letting go of recipes and weighing was a liberating experience. I do firmly believe in exercising some precision in bread baking as a general procedural principle and will continue to tweak and take notes, but winging it every so often is a buzz. I do that all the time in cooking, but for some reason have not felt safe removing the safety net with bread baking until now. Will be living a little more dangerously in future!

Best of baking!
Ross

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

The Unrepeatable Loaf

Have you ever made a loaf of bread that turned out really, really well, better, in fact, than you ever would have thought possible, and then find yourself utterly incapable of making it again?  This is that loaf.

 

It was a revelation.  Shocking, actually, because of how different it was from previous attempts at the same basic bread.  It was a long, cold fermented 100%WW sourdough – just flour, water and salt.  But the crumb was open, soft, and fluffy like no other WW sourdough I’ve baked.  The crust, too, was remarkable – thin, yet toothsome.  It even stayed fresh for an uncanny length of time.

I am not including the formula here.  Whatever happened that day clearly had nothing to do with what was on the page, because, try as I might, I haven’t baked anything like it since.  And, oh, how I’ve tried.  The original formula doesn’t really even exist anymore, because I eventually I grew frustrated and began tinkering with it to try and find the elusive x-factor.

In time I managed to move on.  I hardly think about it anymore, really.  When I stumbled across this photo I felt I should share the tale, as I can’t be the first and won’t be the last person to go through this.

But occasionally I still wonder… what happened that day?  An exceptional bag of flour?  An accidental flour mix-up?  An extra ingredient that was meant for the other thing I was making that day (whatever that may have been)?  Pixie dust in my starter?  Maybe someday I’ll know, maybe someday…

Marcus

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Cinnamon Buns Hawaiian-Style

Since we got back from Hawaii a few weeks ago, we’ve been craving Hawaiian sweetbread.  When we were there we bought a local bakery’s cinnamon sweetbread, pull-apart buns coated with cinnamon sugar--not gooey sticky buns, just barely sinful.

When there, I tried the Hawaiian sweetbread recipe in this post (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21175/hawaiian-portugese-sweet-bread#comment-148186).  It was very good, and totally true to the local sweetbread we’ve often enjoyed.  Very much like the “poor man’s brioche” in Reinhart’s BBA.

Today, I decided to go for Hawaiian-style cinnamon buns.  I used the same dough recipe.  I divided the dough into pieces of about 85 grams each.   I made seven of them into plain sweetbread buns without cinnamon sugar.

They are soft, tender, shreddable and delicious.  They will make good teriyaki chicken sandwiches tomorrow.

The other 12 buns were brushed with water, rolled in cinnamon-sugar, and placed in a buttered baking pan, each with a dollop of butter-cinnamon-sugar glaze on top.  They were baked at 375 F for about 25 minutes.  The glaze was too dry to run down the sides of the buns, but it makes a nice crispy sugary crust on top.

They are delicious!  And not as guilt-inducing as “real” cinnamon rolls.

Tasha, of course, snoozed through the whole thing.

Hope you all enjoyed the day the world didn’t end.

Glenn

amolitor's picture
amolitor

Corn Muffins

 

I am on a quest to duplicate, or at least create a reasonable facsimile, of the Arizmendi/Cheese Board corn-blueberry muffins. I have The Cheese Board Collective Works which does not contain this recipe, to my irritation, but which can serve as a useful guide! My most recent attempt is documented here:

Preheat oven to 425. Thoroughly oil or butter a muffin tin. This makes 6 large or 9 medium muffins.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (relatively fine stuff)
  • 1 tsp salt (scant)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 T white sugar
  • 1 T brown sugar

In a separate smaller bowl, mix these:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2T milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Cut in to the dry ingedients:

  • 4 T unsalted butter

Whisk in to the milk/yogurt combination:

  • 1 egg

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the well-stirred liquid ingredients. Mix gently, just to moisten the dry ingredients evenly. Portion evenly between the greased muffin tins, bake for 25-30 minutes.

NOTES:

These are not the Arizmendi corn muffin, but they're not far off. They're slightly salty, and not short enough. Next time: reduce salt to 1/2 tsp, and increase butter to 6T and/or use sour cream instead of yogurt. The yogurt used was low fat, which probably did not help. Anyways, go up to 5-6 tablespoons of butter, depending on how fat your yogurt/sour-cream is.

Also probably increase leavening a little to compensate for increase shortening, say 3/4 tsp soda and 2 tsp powder.

Also, 2T sugar, 2T brown sugar.

 

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Why did I stray so long? Shiao-Ping's 'House Miche' Revisited

I have a must-try list of sourdough breads and other goodies that I'm constantly working my way through, yet the list never seems to get any shorter. Trouble is, you guys on TFL keep posting irresistible pics, and the recipes go straight on to my list (and waistline).  O the trials of the home artisan bread baker! And of course, we wouldn't have it any other way...

When I'm not trying new breads, I fall back on my trusty repertoire of favourite breads that I do again and again. I'm sure we all have these, tweaked to personal taste. Every so often, I realise I haven't done one of my faves for way too long. So it was with Shiao-Ping's 'House Miche': I baked this again recently after somehow neglecting it for months, and it was like revisiting an old friend - familiar, but stimulating as well. I couldn't quite remember how it turned out (too many loaves ago), but I just knew it was a standout. Well, memory duly refreshed, felt I wanted to share this one with y'all. Blame it on the crumb:

 

And yeah, it's not a miche. I prefer batards - and the beauty of home baking is that you are free to customise as you please. I also like to take the option of adding a proportion of rye to the dough.

This crumb is spongy, which I really like, with a cool mouthfeel, nice structure and elasticity, a lovely creaminess about it, and nutty flavour tones that develop in depth and complexity the day after the bake. The crust has character, but is not so robust as to be tooth-endangering (conscious of this at the moment, having recently needed a crown due to chomping over-zealously on a pizza and breaking a back molar that had been sending me warning signals that all was not right for many months...dental phobics have unlimited capacity to ignore such signals).

This 'House Miche' - er, batard -  is an old friend that I'm going to make more effort to stay in touch with from now on. Well worth inviting to your table, if you haven't already.

Thank you again, Shiao-Ping!

Cheers
Ross

 

 

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