The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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varda's picture
varda

Tuscan Bread

Recently my husband announced that he needed to cut way back on salt in his diet, and after quizzing me about the bread I've been baking, determined that he needed to cut way back on my bread.   Given that he's my principal guinea pig (I mean recipient, I mean,... oh forget it)  I viewed this as a setback.   After some thought though I realized it was an opportunity.   And so ...  Tuscan bread.



I used the recipe from King Arthur http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/tuscan-bread-pane-toscano-recipe with a few tweaks.  There is no salt in this whatsoever.   I was expecting it to taste drab and dull, and to sag and look awful.   But no - just a nice simple white bread, and tasty too, with a distinctive taste, that I wouldn't necessarily have attributed to lack of salt without knowing that was the "missing" ingredient.   The crumb is nothing to write home about:



but the crust is very crisp and nice (I don't recall ever making anything like it before) and I even got a visit from the crackle fairy who has been boycotting me no matter what I do:


jschoell's picture
jschoell

Sweet Wort Bread

This is my second experiment with using beer brewing methods to make a bread.


This time I wanted to see how the flovor of hops would taste in a baked loaf. 



barley flour soaker. Leave at room temp overnight.


 



1 lb of malted barley of your choice... I used 90% special B and 10% chocolate malt. Place grains in a large pot and cover with water (no more than 2 cups) Slowly raise temp until it reaches 160F, then turn off heat, cover, and let sit for an hour. strain the liquid into a new pot. Save the spent grain for other fun stuff. 


 



add whole hops to the strained wort, and begin the boil. Boil for 30 minutes, keeping a loose cover on the pot to prevent evaporation. Allow to cool to room temp. Strain out the hops and your wort is ready to add to the dough!


 


Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Whisk together. Tear up the soaker and add to the flour mixture. Add oil, wort and water. Mix until you get a ball, then transfer to stand mixer.



knead for 5 minutes, rest for 2 minutse and knead 2 minutes more.


Place dough in oiled bowl and refrigerate at overnight or longer if needed. 



On baking day: Remove dough from fridge and allow to reach room temp, about an hour. Stretch and fold and place back into bowl. After 30 minutes, do this again. ferment until dough reachews 1.5x original size. Divide into 2-3 pieces depending on size of loaves desired (I made two, but I think smaller loaves would be better for a more open crumb). Allow to proof for and hour. Preheat oven to 500F. Add water to steam pan, insert the loaves and reduce temp to 450. After 15 minutes, rotate and reduce temp to 350. Bake for 30 minutes or until center of dough reaches 200f. 




The finished bread had a moist, chewy sandwich bread texture. It is not very sweet. I does have a nice malt flavor and i can detect a little of the hop bitterness and flavor. I think I'll add more hops next time!


NOTE: all these amounts are approximate!


SOAKER


2 cups barley flour


a few grains of instant yeast


enough water to make a sticky paste (about a cup... I didn't take exact measurements.)


FINAL DOUGH


about 3 cups bread flour


2 tsp salt


3 tsp raw sugar


1 tsp instant yeast


1 tbsp canola oil


about 1 cup of cooled wort


about 3/4 cup water 


 

dig512's picture
dig512

problems with retarded bread

I own a small Italian bakery. I recently installed a retarder. I am having problems with my bread and rolls. I mix my dough, rest it for 1 1/2 hours with a punch. I cut it, form it, stretch it then put it in the retarder with no proof. That night I take it out of the retarder, let it sit on the.floor for a few hours to rise, then in the oven it goes. The final product tastes very good, but does hardly get any oven spring. Also, the bread goes somewhat flat. Any suggestions?

dwfender's picture
dwfender

Weights of Breads

Just out of curiosity. Does anyone have a reference for average weights of portioned doughs that will yield a certain sized loaf etc. Basically I'm looking for some average numbers to produce a normal sandwich loaf, a Large Boule and some dinner rolls. 

yam's picture
yam

Cracker recipe with only rye flour

I've been looking for a recipe to no avail for a Rye Krisp or Wasa cracker.  All the ones I see have mixed flour (graham, whole wheat or white) and rye while the ingredients on the packages of crackers state only rye, water and salt.  Does anyone have a clue on how to bake these with only these ingredients?


Thanks in advance


 - chris

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Sprouting Barley

Can hulled barley be sprouted, or does it have to have the hull intact? I tried to sprout some hulled barley last year and was unsuccessful. I want to try this again because I would like to make some diastatic malt. Can anybody give me some pointers? I followed instructions that I found on TFL and as far as I know I did everything right.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Artos - Greek Saints' Day Bread from Kassos


 



Artos - Greek Saints' Day Bread from Kassos



Artos - Greek Saints' Day Bread from Kassos crumb


“Artos” is the ancient Greek word for leavened bread. (“Psomi” is the modern Greek word.) However, “Artos” has come to refer more specifically to various enriched celebration breads, particularly those baked for Easter.


I found the recipe for this version of “Artos – Greek Saints' Day Bread” in Savory Baking from the Mediterranean, by Anissa Helou (Harper-Collins, NY, 2007). This is a lovely and quite comprehensive book. Unlike many cookbooks covering ethnic cuisines, it does not seem to be “dumbed down.” There are no ingredient substitutions, and the original techniques for mixing, fermentation, shaping and baking are given. Well, the author does give instructions for American/European home ovens, whereas many of the items in the book are authentically baked in wood-fired ovens or tandoors or the like.


Helou tells us that she found this bread while visiting the island of Kassos which is a small island at the southern end of the dodekanese chain. There, it is baked for many saints' days. It is baked at home, then taken to the church to be blessed by the priest before being cut and shared with the congregation at the end of mass.


Helou recommends this version of Artos for breakfast or tea with Greek-style yogurt and honey or with “very good butter.” She also says this bread makes delicious toast.


The recipe is similar to others I've seen for Artos in that it is spiced, but it is less enriched than most and is very simply shaped. The technique of baking in a 9 inch pan is one I've seen for other Greek breads but never tried before. Helou provides all her measurements in volume, and that's how I made the recipe.


Artos: Greek Saints' Day Bread


Ingredients


4 ½ tsp (2 packages) active dry yeast. (I used 2 tsp instant yeast.)


3 1/3 cups AP flour, plus extra for kneading and shaping.


1 ½ tsp kosher salt or sea salt.


2/3 cup sugar. (I wonder why not honey?)


1 T ground cinnamon.


1 tsp ground cloves.


2 T anise seeds (I substituted fennel seeds, not having anise seeds on hand.)


2 T EVOO, plus extra for greasing the baking dish.


1 ¼ cup of warm water.


2 T red wine.


1 ½ T white sesame seeds


1 ½ T nigella sees (optional)


 


Procedure




  1. If using ADY, dissolve it in ½ cup warm water and stir. (I just mixed the instant yeast with the dry ingredients.)




  2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and anise seed (and instant yeast, if used) in a large bowl and make a well in the center.




  3. Add the olive oil and, with fingertips, rub the oil into the flour until well incorporated.




  4. Add the wine and water (the yeast water plus ¾ cup or, if instant yeast was used, all the 1 ¼ cups). Mix to make a sticky dough.




  5. Spread 2 T water over the surface of the dough. (I did this, but think 1 T would have been plenty.) Cover the bowl and allow to ferment for 1 hour.




  6. Grease a 9-inch round deep baking dish with olive oil. Sprinkle half the seeds over the bottom of the dish.




  7. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board. With wet hands, fold the edges of the dough to the center to make a round loaf. Wash and dry your hands, then transfer the loaf to the baking dish, seam side down. (I used one hand and a bench knife for the transfer.)




  8. Gently pat the loaf to spread it evenly in the dish. Wet your hands and spread more water over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the rest of the seeds all over the top.




  9. Cover with plasti-crap and proof until doubled in volume. (I proofed in a warmed microwave oven for 75 minutes.




  10. Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.




  11. Uncover the bread and place in the oven (in the baking dish). Bake for 20 minutes, then turn down the oven to 350ºF and bake for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown all over.




  12. Turn the loaf onto a cooling rack and cool thoroughly.




  13. Serve when cooled or wrap in a kitchen town. It will keep up to two days.





Dough, mixed



Proofing in Pyrex baking dish



Artos, proofed and ready to bake


The bread gave off a most powerful, exotic aroma while baking and cooling. The cloves and nigella aromas were most potent, to my nose. When sliced, the crust was crisp. The crumb was soft and tender. The flavor was very spicy and very exotic. In my limited experience of spiced breads, it was closest to a French pain d'epice, but different because of the fennel and nigella flavors. I enjoyed it, but I don't think I could eat a lot of it at a time. I'm looking forward to trying it toasted and with some Greek yogurt, as recommended.


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting


cobourger's picture
cobourger

Kinds of flour to use

Has anyone baked bread using red fyfe?  Also if you have, did you use all red fyfe or did you do half fyfe and half all purpose or even whole wheat?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Rye bread tips and tricks applied


 


 


This is the “80 Percent Rye with Rye Flour Soaker” from Jeffrey Hamelman's “Bread.” It's a wonderful bread about which I've blogged before. (Sweet, Sour and Earthy: My new favorite rye bread) These loaves were made applying a number of tips and tricks contributed by a number of TFL members, and I have to say, I was pleased with the results of every tip I used. So, a big “Thank you!” to MiniO, hansjoakim, nicodvb and the other rye mavens who contributed them.


I followed the formula and methods according to Hamelman, with the following techniques added:




  1. Rather than dividing and shaping on a floured board with floured hands, I wet the board, my hands and my bench knife. I kept all of these wet, and experienced much less sticking of this very sticky dough to the everything it touched.




  2. I shaped the boules “in the air,” rather than on the board. Again, less dough sticking to the board, and I think I got a smoother loaf top without tears.




  3. I proofed the loaves in brotformen, floured as usual with a rice flour/AP mix, with the seams down. This results in the loaves opening at the seams, yielding a lovely chaotic top to the loaves and no bursting of the sides.






I am very happy with these loaves. I'll continue to use these techniques and recommend them to others struggling with high-hydration, high-percentage rye breads.


David


 


 


 

proth5's picture
proth5

Cleaning it up

Remember when I said "linen is the exact right fabric for a couche"?  Yep - you all laughed.  Until you bought a linen couche and found that bread wouldn't stick.


Remember when I said "save yourself the pain and blow just a couple bucks on the blade holder from TMB" - I know - you just thought I was a shill - until you bought one.


So - here we go, again.


I hate the feeling of dough on my hands (after I am done working with it, of course) and there's always something to clean up in a bowl (or the bowl of My Precioussss)


Scrubber sponges just get gummed up.  Apparently in my region of the country the net onion bags have become obsolete - and the few times I have tried they get gummed up with dough.


So I was once again thinking about the whole issue when I spotted the nail brush that hangs about my kichen.


Cleans dough right off my hands.  Came clean itself pretty easily.  Great as a nail brush, but also as a vegetable or mushroom brush.  Cheap.


I have a demanding personal schedule and I take great joy in tools that work well.  And when one is not only a great multitasker, but inexpensive - well - where's the downside?


The folks from whom I buy these claim they are used for surgery prep...  I actually buy them by the dozen because I garden, clean ponds, and then take those same little hands and bake bread.  I like to scrub up pretty well.  Just never occurred to me that they would be superior dough scub off tools (never said I wasn't a bit slow on the uptake.)


So here is the link (or put Lee Valley Tools into your favorite search engine and then search for nail brush.)  Made in the USA.  Money back guarantee.  Just try them.


http://www.leevalley.com/US/garden/page.aspx?p=10259&cat=2,42551,10259


Happy Cleaning!


 

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