What's the deal with malt syrup?
Question. What does malt syrup add to bagels, except for sweetness? Is there something else? I have been making bagels for a little while now, and they turn out great. thanks!
Question. What does malt syrup add to bagels, except for sweetness? Is there something else? I have been making bagels for a little while now, and they turn out great. thanks!
As days grow shorter and colder, I tend to opt for more wholesome breads in my baking. This week, I've enjoyed a wonderful rye loaf, studded with seeds and heavy on flavour. The dough for this bread is wet, and the baked loaf keeps well and improves as days go by. Here's a copy of my formula. Please note that proofing time will vary according to your starter activity and your final dough temperature.
Try to fill your loaf pan about 2/3 - 3/4 the way up: About 1100 gr. dough should be ideal for a 1L loaf pan. Here's what I'm looking at after a 1hr 45mins proof, seconds before the pan is placed into the oven:
Give it a bold bake, and wait at least 24hrs before slicing into it:
Apples are great for dessert this time of the year, so this weekend I prepared some apple tarts. The apple tarts are similar to the hazelnut tarts I blogged about some time ago, with the addition of poached apples. Key ingredients below: Poached apples (left) and hazelnut frangipane (right):
Although the frangipane is a thick filling, I recommend blind-baking your tart shell to ensure that it stays crisp. Below are my blind-baked shells, filled with frangipane and apples, just before baking:
... and the finished tarts:
A simpe and delicious autumn treat: Yum!!
Today was my best baking day yet, and not just because it was a gorgeous day on the Mendocino Coast. It was a sweet and sourdough day. Last night the San Joaquin Sourdough dough was mixed, stretched, folded, grown to 150% size, and refrigerated.
This morning, I complied with a spousal edict: Make Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread! One is well advised to comply with such insistence from The Loved One. Using the BBA recipe, and hoping it came out somewhere near as good as Brother David’s, I found the recipe to be simple and satisfying. I admit, I hadn’t eaten anything but an apple all day when the C-R-W Bread was cut at 12:30, but it was about the best bread I ever had (ok...I was really hungry). Just a bit sweet, great moist texture. totally delicious. And kinda pretty.
The two loaves were baked in different types of pans. The bigger poofier one was in Pyrex, the other in a non-stick metal pan. The two loaves were exactly the same weight and formed the same way. Interesting difference. The first loaf is half gone. The second went into the freezer for next time.
By 2 p.m., it was time to pre-shape the SJ SD. After my last (repeated) batard-shaping mistakes, I used the technique in Floyd’s video (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1688), and the batards came out more or less the right shape. Not so symmetrical as to make me feel like perfection was anywhere in reach, but generally ok.
The real question this weekend was whether my recurrent lack of oven spring and grigne and the blond bottoms my loaves usually had were due to a bad stone in our San Francisco house. Our some-day-retirement house up the coast has a newer and better oven and a pizza stone that David ordered for us from NY Bakers. The answer is Yes! The SJ SD got nice spring and by far the best grigne I’ve achieved yet. And the bottoms are toasty brown. As you see, one was scored a lot better than the other.
I guess I’m going to have to retire the SF stone and get another from NY Bakers.
Crispy crust, moist chewy crumb with good hole structure. Totally delicious. You can see this dough would make great baguettes. Maybe next time.
The SJ SD was great for BLTs (another spousal edict…don’t you just hate that?!) . She calls BLTs the perfect food. And who can argue. You got the most delectable form of carbohydrates, Bacon (“The Candy of Meats”) and lots of Vitamin Red.
I might some day find a sourdough formula I like more than this, but I’m not in a hurry to start looking.
Just wanted to share with you this bake from 9/23/10. It is a Tourte Auvergnate inspired by the recipe in Le pain, l'envers du décor by Frédéric Lalos. His version is basically 80% rye, and the rest in white flour, which is made into a stiff levain. I decided to make mine with 75% rye flour, and 25% AP flour. I made the AP flour into a stiff levain, and then with some of the rye flour, I made a rye sour. Here's the formula, process, and pictures. Enjoy!
750g Whole Rye Flour
18g Kosher Salt
1738g Total Dough Yield (approx)
50g Storage Sourdough Starter at 100% hydration
450g Total Stiff Levain
150g Rye Flour
8g Storage Sourdough Starter at 100% hydration
308g Rye Sour Total
600g Rye Flour
18g Kosher Salt
450g Stiff Levain
308g Rye Sour
1796g Total Dough Yield Approx
6:30pm - Mix rye sour and stiff levain, cover and let rest on counter.
7:00pm - Put stiff levain into refrigerator.
9:00pm - Weigh out all ingredients, and place into large mixing bowl in the following order, water, levain, rye sour, rye flour, salt.
9:15pm - Mix for 5 minutes starting with a rubber spatula and switching to wet hands as the dough gets harder to stir.
Switch to wet hands and knead dough.
9:20pm - After mixing and kneading, cover and let bulk ferment for 1:30...
10:50pm - Dough after bulk ferment. Notice the poke in the top part.
10:55pm - Divide and shape. I made 3 relatively equal size boules.
Place in floured bannetons seam side down.
Cover and let proof for 1 hour. Place 2 baking stone/stones in oven with steam pan filled with lava rocks and water. Preheat to 550F with convection.
11:55pm - Turn off convection. Turn boules on to floured peel/flipping board and place in oven directly on stone. When last one is in, pour 1 more cup of water into steam pan, close door and turn oven down to 500F no convection. Bake for 10 minutes at 500F.
12:05am - Take out steam pan, turn oven down to 420F. Bake for 20 minutes.
12:25am - Rotate loaves around, or between stones. I am baking on 2 stones, starting them off on the bottom, transfering them to the top. Bake for another 20 minutes.
12:45am - Take one loaf out to check weight and internal temp. Should be at least 15% lighter than prebaked weight, and internal temp should be about 210F. Turn oven off, and leave loaves in for another 10 minutes.
12:55pm - Take loaves out and let cool at least 24hrs before cutting and eating to let the crumb stabilize and dry out a little.
8:00am - I was a little impatient so I cut into one so I could see the crumb... Slightly gummy as I had expected, but after a little toasting and butter, it was all good... Enjoy!
Calculating Recipe File
(update 100928-4 PM *** I finished and sent out copies to those who had made a request - Ron)
After posting the Conversion Calculator Example - http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19720/conversion-calculator-example -
I thought that there seemed to be some who would find an expanded version helpful, as well. At my age, it is easy to have great ideas - the trick is remembering them tomorrow. I find that my computers are my most reliable reminders of the ideas I have been fooling with. So, quite naturally, I have accumulated a lot of computer aids to my baking activities. Without a doubt, the way I "think" about any bread formula that I'm interested in, would be considered overkill by most others, but hey, it is my kitchen and my time, and yes, my pleasure. The result of this line of thought was a watered down version of what I use to think through a bread's formula. I cut out some - like calorie considerations and overall percentage calculations - and added in aids for those who are not that used to baker's percentages and hydration levels. I hope it may help in seeing how they fit into the overall recipe/ formula.
Here is a peek at what I came up with as a "Calculating Recipe File". The first image is an example of how someone might use it to examine bread formula. The second image is what they could maintain as their Master file, from which they would use a copy for creating recipe files.
For me, one of the greatest benefits is that I can have two, or more different files on the screen at the same time for comparisons (not true in Excel) because the spreadsheets in the free Open Office program permits multiple spreadsheets to be open at the same time. Not only can they be open, but you can copy material from one into another. For example, the last time you baked a loaf, you were less that totally pleased. You save a copy with a new name "2nd try" and open that beside the original. Make your considered changes in the new file - even note what your reasons were. Print a copy out and go start the your bread making efforts.
The 1st 4 columns permit you to indicate which of 4 categories the ingredient belongs in - Ref. Only, Flour, Water, Other. Notice that this allows you to parse the sourdough into the flour and water categories for hydration level information by only referencing the total strater entry. The 4th and 5th columns are where you name the ingredient and provide its weight reference - in grams per cup. The cup, Tbs, and tsp columns are where you play to create the value you want in the M (grams) and N (ounce) columns - Note ounces are only for info, and not used. As you run down the ingredient entries, the last 6 columns and the Percent Hydration Level (%HL) are calculated for you so that when the last entry is made, you already have the categorized amounts columns and the Bakers percentages in two sets of 3 column pairs - the 1st 3 by in grams, and the last 3 in Baker's Percentages. I think I would have been very pleased to have some tool like this when I was first trying to wrap my head around all of these considerations.
These images have been updated 100926 15:05 to show the Excel version after modifications.
This is just an example of what one might enter into a file. The Master Blank is shown below, and that is what one would start from in using this form of Calculating Recipe File. The Master Blank should have its [Properties] option changed to set the [Read Only] option as ON. Then one opens the Master and saves it with different "new work" file name. If you forget and attempt to modify the Master, you will be reminded that it is Read Only. Thus, you are much less likely to find that you have accidentaly destroyed your only Master Blank.
These images are in the Excel screen format, but if viewed in Open Office, there would be still be horizontal lines in the areas with background shading. For anyone using the free Open Office Spreadsheet, this program is available Open Office as well as Excel, and preferred by me, as it permits multiple files to be opened at the same time for cross referencing.
********* Updated 100928-4PM
I have finished the "Getting Started" write-up for "Calculating Recipe File". For those wishing a copy, send an e-mail with "TFL-CRF" in the subject line to - Ron@ronray.us .
I will send you the following collection of files:
1/ [Excel] "Ounces per Cup Baking Calculator": It just might be useful with the others - at times, so it is included.
2/ [Excel] "Grams per Cup Baking Calculator": It just might be useful with the others - at times, so it is included.
3/ [Word] "Getting Started with Calculating Recipe File": Hopefully with enough information to get you on your way in using the Calculating Recipe File.
4/ [Excel] "Excel_Master Calculating Recipe File": This is the Excel version of the Bread Formula program. It differs from the next file only in some additional background colors not being used in Excel.
5/ [Open Office] "Open Office_Master Calculating Recipe File": This is the Open Office version of the Bread Formula program. It differs from the previous file only in some additional background colors being used that are not in the Excel version.
end update ========== 100928.
*** Next blog: 101010
Hi all I am looking for a sausage cheese bread recipe. I would like to make a loaf that contains a mix in of sun dried tomatoes, italian sausage and mabye some provalone or mozzerella cheese. If anyone has a recipe I would appreciate it.
I learned a few things last week that I should have known but learning them because they happen to be the only way you get something done tends to stick more in ones mind.
I wanted to bake some of the Essential Columbia in Maggie Glazer's book. It is one of my favorite breads (a staple in my freezer) and one that i do fairly often. This last baking turned out four of the most perfect loaves i have ever done and, since a friend repeated my methods with the same results, I feel confident sharing. The interesting thing is that I wound up doing what I did because i had to in order to fit the baking into an otherwise hectic schedule.
Note: I wont repeat the recipe since it is easy to find in Glazer's book.
I had just refreshed my 100% starter a few times. It was very healthy. It was Friday night and I knew that i had a small window to bake (or even mess with the dough) on Sunday Morning. I planned on a double recipe to get 4 loaves. So ... on Saturday at 6:00 AM I made the firm starter from the 100% starter. I left for a day away from home but the starter worked on the kitchen counter (about 70 degrees) until i got home at 4:00PM. It was nice and expanded. At 4:30PM I mixed the other flour and water (only) and left them to autolyse, again at about 70 degrees. I went right off to an event and got home at 9:30PM. That's a LONG autolyse. But I had no choice. The firm starter was now about 15 hours old and bubbly even if it was a firm starter. Too Long? Nah. I mixed the autolysed dough, the firm starter and the few other ingredients in my stand mixer for 8 minutes on low. The gluten was great. I watched a bit of TV until 10:30 and then did one single session of as many folds as the glutenous dough would allow -- 5 or 6. I then put the dough into a plastic container with its lid on and put it out into the 50-55 degree garage. The next morning at 7:00AM the dough was beautifully doubled.
I shaped it, using both the baguette letter fold with the filone roll at the ends, into fat battards (using my linen-lined plastic fish-n-chips baskets as baneltons) and did a second rise for 2 hours. My slashes (one per loaf) were very shallow and from end to end at about 2 o'clock cross section . I baked it at 450 rather than 400. Voila! Perfecto! Great oven spring. Ballooned up to be round in cross section and with a terrific crumb. Oh, tastes great too.
So ... if I had a LOT of time I would not have given either my firm starter nor the autolysing dough nearly the time it deserved and the long overnight cool rise helped a bunch too. Actually, this was a great schedule for baking this bread and the results were amazing ... yah, I know, show me the picts. Sorry, take my word for it. But, I will not now be in nearly the same rush as I had been in the past. I will also say that the only "prime" time i spent on this bread was the baking at 10:00AM. Everything else was at a "no-conflict "time with the rest of my life.
I have posted this recipe, more or less, elsewhere, but I am recording it in my blog for posterity, with some updates to my process and my thinking:
Again, this isn't a recipe for the baker who prefers precise measurements!
This is a two levain naturally leavened bread, based on Joe Ortiz' recipe from The Village Baker but modified so that, well, to be blunt, it works which the original doesn't really. The only substantive change is at the beginning, rather than starting a chef from scratch and expecting to get a sufficiently active culture to raise a loaf, I start with a liquid-ish starter.
My "storage starter" is a all whole wheat starter, fed every 2 days and kept at the consistency of mayonnaise, more or less. I use a pinch of salt in it to slow it down a little more. I use it often enough to keep it out of the fridge, but not often enough to want it sitting around eating its head off all day! So, I keep it a little hungry, and a little slow.
Feed my starter. If I'm planning to start the next day, I make sure to feed my starter the night before so that it's pretty active the next evening. I could probably improve this by feeding the morning of, and getting the first levain started in the evening. Anyways, making sure the starter is pretty active is important -- the levains will be lethargic and slow to work otherwise.
I vary this according to how active my liquid starter is. If it seems a little sleepy, I will make this levain a bit larger AND use a higher percentage of starter in it. You're looking for 4 to 5 ounces of stiff dough here. It should feel like a regular american bread dough (say 50% hydration or so). I cover the bowl with plastic wrap, which keeps a crust from forming. I think it you cover with cloth, you may get a crust, which you might want to discard -- if so, make the levain bigger to you have some extra to discard!
In any case, use amounts of flour and water as indicated, but in ratios such as to give this stiff dough. The hydration of your starter will affect things as well, of course. I think that, based on the level of activity of your starter:
Then add water sufficient to make a stiff dough. I use 'the fountain' method which seems to give pretty good control here, but I have also just mixed all the stuff in a bowl as well. Knead a bit for some little development, but don't worry much about that at this point.
This rises overnight, 8 to 12 hours. Again, if the initial starter seemed sleepy, I might give it 12 hours. It will become soft and inflated, at least doubling. One test I have seen and used for ripeness is 'does it float' (or does a little piece snipped off and not degassed much float). When you deem this levain ripe:
Second levain (the next morning):
At this point, again, the size of the second levain will be determined by how sleepy the first levain seems, and how big it was. If the first levain still seems a little slow, I'll mix the second levain smaller (to have a higher percentage of first levain in it -- I could make the first levain "richer" by adding more liquid starter, but at this point you're stuck with the first levain as-is, so the way to enrich is to actually mix smaller). The result will be 12 to 16 ounces of levain, again mixed quite stiff.
You'll cut the first levain up in to bits, and let them soak in the water (use maybe 2 ounces of water, 1/4 cup, for this), and then add flour as you think best to mix a smaller or larger levain (5 ounces flour if the first levain is Kind of Sleepy, 7 ounces if Very Active, and in between if in between) and then add water as necessary to get a stiff dough. Kneading this to get a little more dough development is probably worthwhile, as we'll be making up dough and baking today, most likely.
This rises for 4 to 6 hours, until doubled or so. You can use the float test here as well.
It should be about mid-day at this time.
Break up the second levain into 1 cup (8 oz) of water and let soak, add in appropriate flour. As usual:
Adjust salt. A tablespoon is good for the larger loaf, reduce it proportionately (probably never below 2 teaspoons).
Add water sufficient to make a wetter dough than the levains, but not a "wet" dough as such. 60% hydration, maybe. It will get wetter as it proofs, so err on the side of 'stiff'! If the levains have been slow and sleepy, mix this stiffer since you'll be proofing longer, and if you feel like you've got a vigorous and excited culture, you can go a little wetter. Knead thoroughly. It should windowpane, but perhaps not very well, as you'll be proofing for a while. I proof for a couple of hours, with a stretch and fold every hour or thereabouts.
Shape your loaf, and let proof until ready (poke test -- I use 'poke it gently, making a hole 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep; the hole should slowly refill, being mostly gone after several seconds').
Bake at 425 or thereabouts suitable to the loaf size and shape, with steam. I use 40 minutes for the "smaller" loaf shaped as a batard, and 50 minutes for a full-size boule (when I am able to mix the "full sized" loaf). You could probably bake it hotter and faster if you liked!
Pictures below are the batard, with levains mixed at, roughly: 5 ounces, 15 ounces, and final dough at around 35 ounces (probably baked down to 30 ounces or less):