The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

GM New Organic AP and Croissants

I was in Walmart last week and noticed a new green bag on the shelf next to the bright yellow Bread Flour from Gold Medal. It could be that this isn't a new offering from GM but it's the first time I have seen the Green package. I thought I would try a bag and see how it like it compared to other AP flours I use. First, the price made me take a second look. It was priced at $4.74 for a 5 pound bag. The Bread flour next to it is $2.65.


I have been wanting to make a batch of croissants so I thought his would be a good recipe to try my new organic AP on. A better test for me will be a French bread since I'm struggling with my laminated dough skills. Next time. Some people use a stronger flour for croissants than AP. I like the tender crumb I get from the AP. I used SteveB's recipe and procedure which I have enjoyed for some time. My croissants don't look any where as good as Steves or Larry's or Andy's and probably everyone else but they are delicious! Every time I make these  I swear I'm going to buy a sheeter even if I have to put it in the garage.





Proofing after 1st egg wash, under the cover. These half sheet covers are just terrific for these.



After 1st egg wash



A little crowded for good browning:>(



A small sample with my name on it :>)



Reasonable crumb and very nice flavor!

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Granite countertop

It's time I replaced my old laminate countertops and everywhere I look, granite seems to be the material of choice.


I wanted some comments from people that have granite now..are you happy with it? Would you change to something else if you could? Does it still look 'nice' after a few years use? Is it nice to knead on ... :) Oh, and are the darker brown/black colours difficult to keep clean looking...


Thanks to anyone that responds!

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Apology to all who have used my spreadsheets

To all TFL members that have used my spreadsheets.


A diligent member found the posted spreadsheets on glitzandglitterboutique.com has a mistake in the conversion factor used to convert grams to ounces, and oz. to grams. I discovered the error many months ago, and thought I'd fixed it. Obviously, something went wrong, with repairing the web site copies.



To put it in perspective, the error results in about a 1.5oz error for each kilogram of weight if you start with metric, and about 20g error for each pound of weight if you begin with English units. Converted formula remain viable, only a little bigger, or smaller. Nonetheless, I apologize for any inconvenience its caused others.


I've removed the web page containing the spreadsheets, rather than correct them.


Again, I'm sorry if this has caused anyone problems.


David G


 


 


 


 

breadinquito's picture
breadinquito

100% rye bread?

Hi all, friday a aunt will be visiting us from Italy and bring some rye flour..it's my very first experience with rye cause in Ecuador have not found so...what do you suggest: 100% rye or a mix with plain flour? How "strong" is rye bread compared with a "white bread"?


Thanks for any advice and happy baking from quito. Paolo

EvaGal's picture
EvaGal

Seeking More SD Loaf Height

Thanks to TFL, my sourdough loaves are more uniform, tender,  and consistently tasty. Now I'm raising the bar, and want taller loaves.  My daughter says, "Mom, these loaves are so flat!" (I think she wants more surface area for honey and butter:>)


I currently let the dough rise in a ceramic bowl covered with a dishtowel in the warming drawer for 1.5 hrs, then shape the 10" long loaves with a minimum of flour, slash and place them on a gray cookie sheet, cover with the same dishtowel, and let rise for another 1.5 hrs, then bake at 450.


I'm happy with the flour and starter and oven and warming drawer and dishtowel, but highly suspect that old cookie sheet could be the nemesis of loaf height. What do you think?


EvaGal


(Wednesday) Once again, thanks for the great advice.   I have lots of linen-type dishtowels (thanks to numerous long-deceased ancestors) and will try to imitate the pictures I've seen. I used to have a "w" shaped baguette pan, but it rusted and dented during my 11 years without an oven.  If I can dig it out of the "Yard Sale" pile, I wonder if I could line it with parchment for baking?  


The warming drawer setting is just above 90degrees. I don't think I can set it any lower...I need a "no-fuss" system where I can set the dough and forget it for at least 90 minutes so I can do the critical tasks of the day. Next bake: Saturday morning for a 9 guest family luncheon before a piano recital.


EvaGal


copyu's picture
copyu

Still searching for my 'flute ancienne' formula...

Instead, I found this:


http://www.chezjim.com/books/baguette/


Interesting stuff. Lots of links, photos, etc. Just a look at how things used to be...


Cheers,


copyu

sharonk's picture
sharonk

Happy Accident-25 lbs of Teff Flour-Part 1 and 2

Part 1:

I thought I was ordering Teff Whole Grain but I obviously made a mistake somewhere along the line because when my order arrived I opened a 25 lb. bag of Teff Flour! I went back to my original order slip and saw that, indeed, I had ordered 25 lbs. of flour. I just looked at this massive amount of flour and wondered how long will it take to use this up. Ugh.

I usually buy whole grain teff and grind it up as I need it. Teff is a potent high protein seed grain and has been a blessing after learning I had to go off gluten. I also use whole grain teff for a power breakfast. I soak the teff grain the night before, 1 cup teff to 3 cups water, add a little water kefir to boost the enzyme activity, cover and let it sit overnight. The next morning I simmer it for about 15 minutes to cook. Mixed with chia gel, flax seed oil and soaked nuts, I'm off and running. I'll often pour the leftovers into a loaf pan where it becomes like polenta. I'll slice it and toast or saute it. Using spices and herbs it could be made sweet or savory.

Since I was missing my teff breakfasts I ordered some more whole grain, this time only 10 lbs. To my horror, I opened a box of 10 lbs. of teff flour, again! I really must slow down, I'm making way too many mistakes.

Anyway, what to do with my 35 lbs. of teff flour?
My book, The Art of Gluten Free Sourdough Baking, is based on brown rice flour starters. I'd begun to experiment with buckwheat sorghum starters and have had some great results. I figured I better move on to Teff starters so I wouldn't have pounds and pounds of teff flour either stuffed into the freezer or sprouting critters with legs.

I began a new starter using only teff flour and water in a ratio of 1 to 1. I chose this because teff absorbs a lot of water. I usually use teff to thicken and give structure to some bread recipes. I was surprised that this starter was actually very soupy but I continued along with my 1 to 1 experiment, feeding it every 8 hours or so for a couple of days.

I used the bubbly starter to make Teff pancakes and was pleasantly surprised that they were as good as or even better than the rice pancakes! They were naturally slightly sweet with a great cake-like texture. The leftovers were great toasted the next day. Since I can't eat sweet stuff I used them as an accompaniment to a bean stew. I'm sure they would be great with maple syrup or fruit.

Starter Recipe:
Make a starter by mixing equal amounts of teff flour and water. Add a tablespoon of water kefir or other fermented liquid.
Feed every 8 hours or so with equal amounts of teff flour and water.
After 2 days it should be ready to use.

Pancake Recipe:
One cup of starter makes about 4 pancakes.
Add a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoons of any oil or fat and 1 tablespoons ground flax seeds.
Mix let it sit about 10 minutes and cook.
The pancakes will not show bubbles so flip it when it starts to dry out around the outer third.
Sometimes I cover it while it's cooking. It cooks faster and more thoroughly.

My next experiment will be making breads using this teff starter. I'll keep you posted.

Part 2:

After last week’s fabulous teff pancakes I continued building the starter even though I sorely needed a break from bread baking. I was busy and thought it would be a good opportunity to practice growing starter in the fridge as this would cut the feedings from 3 times a day to twice. 

 

The starter grew beautifully with a mild aroma. I would take it out for about an hour in the morning, feed it, let it sit another hour or so and put it back in the fridge for 12 hours. I’d repeat the sequence at night before bed. I noticed some thickening and some small bubbles but nothing dramatic.

 

I had been thinking about creating bread that was mildly sweet without any sweetener beyond 1 teaspoon of stevia powder. I used small amounts of carob and maca (a malty flavored root) and used buckwheat flour for one loaf and shredded coconut for the other. I also used coconut oil for the fat. The batters were rich looking, like cake batter. The aroma in the kitchen was heavenly and the resulting breads were fabulous. Sweet without any added sugars, no blood sugar spikes and no yeasty itching.

 

My daughter, who named Sourdough Bread #1 “Mommybread” said this Teff Carob bread was the best ever and I should make it exclusively. Forever.

 

 

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

WFO variation on Sandwich Buns

Today I fired up my wfo oven to make pizza and this morning I made the recipe for my 'Sandwich Buns'.  I needed hot dog buns for Mondays cookout and since the wfo was hot I retarded the shaped hot dog buns in the refrigerator until tonight when the oven had reached a temperature of apx. 400F and falling.  I removed them for about one hour to finish proofing and placed them into the wfo for 20 minutes to bake.  I wanted to get them into the oven right away because they had proofed a little more than I wanted, so as I brushed them with an egg yolk glaze and asked my husband to sprinkle on the seeds..I think he actually enjoyed it and I enjoyed watching him enjoying it ;)  I will post a crumb shot later. 


                           


                                      


                                                     Beginning to brown


 


                                                   20 minutes baked


 


                                    


 


                                                         Added crumb photo   


                                                      Ready for tomorrows hot dogs...I haven't had a hot in ages and looking forward to toasting these on the grill!


                                              


             Sylvia


 


                                

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

retirement pasta...

My husband is a master at pasta making. He retired on May 14th 2010 and we have been indulging pretty often since then. I made the sauce and the bread...my starters survived my 3 months away on my bicycle ride across the US. He made the lovely pasta you see below. It is 1/2 semolina and 1/2 reg old AP. It is delicious...


 




Photobucket

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Sourdough Psomi after Greenstein's "Psomi Bread"


SD Psomi after Greenstein's "Psomi Bread"


On page 151-153 of Greenstein's “Secrets of a Jewish Baker,” there is a recipe for what he calls “Psomi Bread.” He says he had this from a bakery in New Hampshire and made his own version. His formula is as follows (The weights are my estimates. Greenstein only provides volume measurements.):



Sponge (150% hydration)


½ cup warm water (120 gms)


2 packages active dry yeast


1 ½ cups buttermilk or sour milk at room temperature (357 gms)


3 cups whole wheat flour, preferably stone ground (384 gms)


 


Dough (67% to 82% hydration, depending on am't of AP flour added)


4 tablespoons honey (84 gms)


2 tablespoons butter or shortening (24.5 gms)


2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (266-399 gms)


2 teaspoons salt (9.24 gms)


½ cup toasted sesame seeds


Flour, for dusting work top


Oil, for greasing bowl


Additional sesame seeds, for topping (optional)


Shortening, for greasing pans


Procedures




  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Add other sponge ingredients and mix. Cover and ferment for 45 minutes.




  2. Mix dough ingredients into sponge using 2 cups AP flour. Mix and add more flour as necessary. In stand mixer, dough should clean bowl sides. Mix 8-10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.




  3. Transfer dough to oiled bowl. Cover and ferment until double.




  4. Divide dough into two equal pieces and preshape. Rest 10 minutes.




  5. Shape into pan loaves or free form.




  6. Proof until doubled. Score with 3 diagonal cuts and brush with water.




  7. Bake in pre-heated 375ºF oven 35-45 minutes.




  8. Brush again with water and cool on a rack.




 



Now, over the past year, I've been trying to find recipes that would produce the kind of Greek bread that my daughter-in-law has described having in Greece. About the first thing I learned is that the Greek word for bread is … Psomi. So, Greenstein's formula surely was for a bread of Greek origin. I gather he had no clue that he was making “Bread Bread.”


I also learned that the typical Greek village bread was always made with a sourdough and that it used whole-grain flour. Inclusion of fat – either lard or olive oil – was common, as was the addition of honey. Sesame seeds and at least some, if not all, durum flour were also commonly used.


So, looking at Greenstein's formula, I see he uses a yeasted sponge made with buttermilk or sour milk. I think it's safe to assume this was to acidify the dough to taste somewhat like sourdough would. I see Greenstein uses both AP and WW flour, but all the WW is pre-fermented. I decided to take Greenstein's recipe a step back towards it's presumed origin. More steps may follow in the future.


I also decided to apply some of what I'd learned about whole-grain bread baking from Peter Reinhart's books and used both a soaker and a levain and pre-fermented 25% of the total flour. Following Reinhart's formulas in “Whole Grain Breads,” I divided the whole wheat flour equally between a soaker at 87.5% hydration from milk and a levain at 75% hydration, with the seed culture 20% of the flour. I used my stock sourdough starter which, as it happens, is kept at 75% hydration. I also followed Reinhart's guidance and used 1.8% salt for the total dough, with some of the salt in the soaker (to inhibit enzymatic activity).


So, this is the formula I developed:


 


Levain

Wt. (gms)

Baker's %

Whole wheat flour

192

100

Water

144

75

Active starter (75% hydration)

38.5

20

Total

374.5

195

 

Soaker

Wt. (gms)

Baker's %

Whole wheat flour

192

100

Milk

168

87.5

Salt

3.35

1.7

Total

363.35

189.2

 

Final dough

Wt. (gms)

All of the levain

374.5

All of the soaker

363.35

Bread flour

384

Water

241

Honey (4 T)

84

Olive oil (2T)

24.5

Salt

10.45

Toasted sesame seeds

½ cup

Total

1481.8

 

Procedure

  1. The night before baking, mix the soaker. Cover the bowl and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (If not then ready to mix the final dough, the soaker can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

  2. Mix the levain and allow to ferment until ripe (at least doubled and volume, with a domed top) – 4 to 6 hours. (This can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

  3. If either (or both) the levain and soaker were refrigerated, take them out to warm to room temperature (about 1 hour) before mixing the dough.

  4. Cut the levain and the soaker into about 12 pieces and put them in the bowl of a stand mixer together with the other ingredients. Mix with the paddle until they form a shaggy mass (1-2 minutes at Speed 1).

  5. Switch to the dough hook, and mix to achieve moderate gluten development. (7 minutes at Speed 2)

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl, and ferment until increased 50% in bulk with folds at 50 minute intervals. (About 2 ½ hours)

  7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape into balls. Let the dough rest, covered for 10-15 minutes.

  8. Shape the pieces into boules, batards or pan loaves and place them in bannetons or pans or on a couche.

  9. Proof until increased 50% in bulk. (2 hours, 15 minutes in my kitchen at 72ºF)

  10. While the loaves are proofing, pre-heat the oven to 425ºF with a baking stone in place and your steaming method of choice. (If baking pan loaves, the stone and steaming are not necessary.)

  11. When the loaves have proofed, transfer them to a peel. Pre-steam the oven. Optionally, brush or spritz the loaves' surface with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Score the loaves. Traditional scoring for a boule is 3 transverse cuts. Transfer to the oven.

  12. Steam the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 40-50 minutes.

  13. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

 

The crust was chewy and the crumb chewy but tender. The flavor was "sweet and sour whole wheat." It was actually pretty sour - more than my wife liked. I have made sourdough whole wheat breads before and did not enjoy the combination of whole wheat and sour flavors, but I did like this bread. This tasting was when the bread was just ... well ... almost cool. It will no doubt mellow by morning. I'm eager to taste it again after a good night's sleep.

Enjoy!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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