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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

SFBI baguette weekend workshop - a photo report


 


I have wanted to take classes from SFBI for so long, but TX is not exactly close to SF, and my day job really gets in the way of scheduling. When I saw they started offering some weekend workshops, I jumped on the opportunity. And of course, I picked the baguette class, since that's my main obsession.


Arriving early to be greeted by friendly classmates, teacher, and lots of fresh croissants. While we were going through our class, the students were just producing breads nonstop the entire time, and lucky us got to sample a few.



 


Hmmm, I wonder if I can ask for this to be my birthday gift? I am sure we can fit one in.... if we tear down our living room and den!



 


Would anyone notice if I just take a couple?....I AM KIDDING!



 


Now, let's get to work, 3 types for the first day: straight dough, poolish, and sponge. All done with minimal mixing (hand mixed to incorporate), and 3 sets of S&F.



 


I have done S&F every weekend, but handling 7.5KG of dough is decidely different from handling 1KG. Note to self, must lift weights.



We had lectures while waiting for the dough, but my favorite part is the hands on part. Look at the big tubs of dough, this  is when I realized that professional baking is a very very very physical job. Oh, I also would like a kitchen that's as big as this!



Teacher Frank is showing us how to divide and preshape. Even pieces, even tension, repeat.



We make 5 pieces for each type of baguette, my preshaping is far from perfect



 


Many many many trays of dough - 15 pieces per person per day



It's almost 2pm, we are starving. Let's get these babies shaped already! My batch of straight dough baguettes here - with my name on it!



Lunch , thank goodness. We inhaled that one. On 2nd day, we had pizza (yum!) and wine for lunch. Let's just say there were a lot more giggling in the afternoon session.



Well fed, let's check on the dough, ready to be scored and baked!



Loading is "interesting". Frank also showed us the home oven method (baking stone, cast iron skillets underneads to create steam etc.).



Best part, time to taste and critique! These are Frank's, hole-y and beautiful



These are mine. The dough is about 68% hydration, not so wet, so scoring was not difficult, I am semi-happy with the left two, no idea what happened for the one on the right. Seems that I loaded it too close to the right edge, didn't get browned on that side. It's straight dough, poolish, and sponge from left to right.



 


Not as open as Frank's crumb, need more practice with the new shaping method.



 


We all like the taset of sponge one the best, but all three are delicious.



 


We did 3 more formulas on the 2nd day (With teff, with sunflower seeds, and ww with wheat germ), and tried epi too.



 


All in all, a great experience! A lot of the info were familiar to me thanks to the knowledgable people here at TFL, but it helps tremendously to see close up how a professional handles the dough , and practice on 15 baguettes each day. Frank was very helpful answering questions and helping too. The shaping and preshaping methods are slightly different from what I have been doing previously, I like this new way better, will keep practicing at home for sure. Everyone ended up with loads of bread at the end of each day, since I was from out of town, I gave most of mine away to a classmate, who then distributed to elders in her neighbourhood - makes me happy.



 

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Rookie requires sourdough basic information

As a fresh-faced rookie baker looking to break into the Sourdough League, I am feeling a wee bit overwhelmed by  the mountain of info available on that subject. Can anyone suggest one or two of the very best, most reliable,  web articles, on TFL or wherever, that will serve to launch my sourdough breaducation? Grazi mille!

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

AB5 weight equivalents in recipes

It seems that I just can't leave well enough alone some days. Even though I just added a stand mixer to the tool box, I had to borrow a copy of "Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes" from the local library when I saw it standing there on the shelf.


Everybody that has read or skimmed through the book already knows that the recipes are printed using volume rather than weight for quantities. I googled the book's website looking for any info on baker's percentages or weight of ingredients I could find. So far, I've found 140g for an AP flour cup weight and 135g for whole wheat. Water is listed as weighing in at 225g for a cup.


I took a chance and mixed a half recipe of light whole wheat for baking tomorrow morning and it looks like 76% poolish to me.


Has anyone else come to the same percentage and weight equivalents? I'm not heavily invested in this exercise, it's mostly done out of curiosity so if I missed something, I'll happily read about your experience and suggestions. When Thursday morning comes around, I'll be back to using my starter.

Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

Beauty and the Beast (A true beast, if not the truest beauty!)

 



I had the good fortune of being placed on the bench this morning, which translates to many, many baguettes. Here for your viewing pleasure were the best (probably) and the worst (probably) of the bake. My beastie caught underneath the loading board as it was being slid into the  oven, so its back end got tucked underneath itself on the loading.


In addition, because it caught underneath itself, it glued itself to the baking stone, and didn't slide in on ball bearings of flour as it should have, so it was a bit warped. Add imperfect shaping and scoring and what we've got is quite the beastie looking baguette.  But despite all my heavy handed-ness, the crumb wasn't too badly torn up inside.


I blame elderly dough! The older a dough is, the harder it is to work with, whether dividing, shaping, or scoring. A more relaxed dough with much acids built up in it will be elastic and have little extensibility, sticky and difficult to handle, sticking to hands and blades alike. On the one hand acids toughen up the dough increasing elasticity and on the other hand the dough is starting to break down (if this hypothesis is true, the dough has probably reached its limit of fermentation products, which work to break down the gluten, maybe)



I do hope I'm finally getting the hang of scoring, particularly with a lame. I'm getting less "breaks" between the openings of the scores, and I was actually able to notice the grigne opening up properly, due to the angle of the blade. All in all, not a bad bench day. Now I just have to master bench-work with a miche, heavy shaping, and a busy store.


--Chausiubao

MmeZeeZee's picture
MmeZeeZee

Managing a Long-Term Starter

There's a great thread on starting starters.  What about managing them?


I bake three to four times a week out of necessity.  I have two children under the age of four and a husband in the military.  I'm not really able to cultivate three or four different starters, so I'll let you in on a secret: I'm actually hacking a starter.  I made one according to Lepard's instructions and it worked like a charm.  Since then, I've been refreshing six days a week or so with whatever flour I'm using at the moment.  I'm guessing it's 50% whole wheat, 40% white, and 10% rye at the moment.


Today, I used a liquid starter when I really should have used a stiff starter.  Honestly, the difference in hydration is so minor for the whole loaf, I thought... really?  We won't eat bread for two days because it's not stiff enough now?


How do you maintain your starters?  Do you maintain multiple starters (and have children and tomato plants and a husband)?  If you don't, how many refreshings do you do before you consider it good to go?  Etc.


 

jvafis's picture
jvafis

meaning of "strong flour"

I just picked up Dan Lepard's "The Handmade Loaf" in which many recipes specify a "strong flour.." In his discussion of flour he doesn't make any reference to this. Does he mean a high protein flour, like a bread flour, or is that just a British way of saying all-purpose wheat flour?

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Vollkornbrot and Schadenfreude

In Portland (the Downeast one) the unbeatable Number One Bakery is, without question, the Standard Baking Co. Their baguettes and pains au levains not only make droves of bakery customers happy but also guests of the wonderful "Street & Company" and the noble "Fore Street Restaurant".


Today they offered Vollkornbrot. Of course I had to get one, out of curiosity, though Vollkornbrot is not my favorite - being force-fed with it as a child - to compare it with my own products. It looked quite nice, and had the right consistency, too. But, as with all the Vollkornbrot I've so far tasted in New England, the taste was bland and lacked any complex flavor. Even without any additional sweetener German dark rye breads (Vollkornbrot, Schwarzbrot and Pumpernickel) should have a hint of sweetness from rye starch turning into sugar due to pre-doughs and long fermentation (mehrstufige Teigfuehrung).


On one hand I was disappointed and a bit sad that my favorite bakery didn't do a better job introducing their customers to this German specialty, but on the other hand I felt a nasty little bit of Schadenfreude. Their crusty, holey baguettes might be way superior to my modest pains a l'anciennes - but my Vollkornbrot could beat theirs anytime!


Dear Dana Street, for this immoral impulse I will shamefully atone - next time we're in Portland we will not only spend our dollars at "Street & Company" (wolfing down as much pain au levain with our fish as we can) but also by buying not only two baguettes AND a large miche, but also a bag of rugelachs.


 


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Today's breads - Vermont Sourdough & San Joaquin Sourdough


The boules are Vermont Sourdough from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." I made these using a San Francisco Sourdough starter from Sourdo.com that sat, without being fed, in the way back of my refrigerator for at least 6 months. It had been a firm starter, and while looking kind of gray on the surface, came back to life after 4 feedings at 125% hydration. And by then, was really, really happy to be making bread.


The Vermont Sourdough has a crunchy crust and chewy crumb. The flavor is just about perfect - moderate sourdough tang but not so sour as to mask the complexity of the wheat flavors. 



Vermont Sourdough Crumb


The bâtards are my San Joaquin Sourdough. No crumb shots or tasting notes on these. They are being frozen to take on a family vacation next week.


David

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Breaducation of a rookie

First of all, kudos to everyone who has worked to make this such a wonderful, educational site. I am looking forward to participating in the fun here on Fresh Loaf.


I have been baking from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and the BBA, for several months now, but have had no other experience of bread-making during my 69 years of life. I thought that Artisan Bread stripped things to their esentials until I came across Lahey/Bittman bread on You Tube. Made a pot yesterday, and must say the first time was a charm.  The crumb and crust are obviously excellent looking (though the crumb may well be too thick for some people), but I found the taste a little disappointing, after the long --- 19-hour ---- ferment. It was good, but not nearly so good as some Ancienne baguettes I made recently following BBA religiously. With those loaves, I died and went to heaven.


I have two questions: (1) does maxiumum taste seem to be an issue with this manner of baking? (2) if the fault was mine, does anyone have any suggestions re getting superior taste when using this method?

josswinn's picture
josswinn

First 100% Rye Sourdough, OK on the outside, hollow on the inside.

Hello, 


My first post here and my first 100% Rye Sourdough. It's a failure and I'm wondering why. I followed Andrew Whitley's directions in Bread Matters (p. 165). Everything seemed to go according to plan from making the starter to the 12hr proof. But on taking it (actually, I made two - both came out the same) out of the oven, the inside of the loaf was as you see below. Where did I go wrong? Thanks for any suggestions.


100% Rye Sourdough - Rubbish!

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