The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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sybram's picture
sybram

taste development

My husband and I prefer white bread over wheat, rye and other alternate breads,  but I am committed to developing a healthier lifestyle with exercise and whole grain breads.   I wish I could say we like them, but we really don't.  Do you just make yourself eat them and hope you develop a taste for whole wheat and rye?  How did the rest of you get use to whole grains and different flours if you weren't brought up eating them?  Need advice.


Syb

Petey's picture
Petey

1st Challah

I still can't figure out how to braid this, but it tastes great.


 

nemesiz74's picture
nemesiz74

excess dough

when i make bread in the bakery and make more dough than i need, can i store it?

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Lava Rocks Rock!

So you want that thin crust that shatters when you cut/bite into it...  You also want your loaf to spring fully.  You've tried all of those other steaming methods, spray bottle, cast iron steam pan, crazy contraptions to get and keep steam in the oven...  I suggest you take a trip down to your hardware or home store and get a bag of lava rocks.  I got mine in Brooklyn for $5.34 including tax.  People in Manhattan don't know what they are...


 


Take the lava rocks, empty them into whatever pan you have just to get the amount correct.  I have a pan that is about 9"x13"x2".  Wash the rocks and put them into a pot of water and boil them for a while, 30 minutes to sterilize them.  Preheat your oven to 500F while you are boiling them.  After you are done boiling them, place them into your pan and put them into the oven and let them dry out.  You can turn your oven off and just leave them there over night...


 


So when you are ready to bake, place the pan with the lava rocks on your oven floor, if you ahve a gas oven, or on a lower rack if you have an electric oven and have it stick out a few inches from below your baking stone on the side.  This allows you to take a small cup, preferable with a spout, and just pour the water in with out moving things around...


 


So when you are ready to bake, your oven is preheated to the correct temp, before you load the oven, put 1 cup of water in the lava rock pan, and close the oven.  Prepare your loaves to be peeled into the oven, directly onto the stone...  Open the oven, put your loaves in, add 1 more cup of water to the lava rock pan, and close...  1/2 way through your bake, open the oven, let all the steam out, rotate your loaves, and finish your bake...


 


Also, having a convection oven helps too, especially if you are baking on 2 levels...

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Sourdough Experiments

 


I've been trying a couple of things: increasing sourness (based on what I've learned from Debra Wink, and other online references, varying hydration; and feeding portions of my favorite starter different flours, and developing it at different temperatures (part of the sourness investigation.). I've been doing these things one step at a time, so the results don't get clouded.


For the sourness experiments, along with Ms. Wink's super TFL postings, my other main source of information is:


http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/64/7/2616


"Modeling of Growth of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis and Candida milleri in Response to Process Parameters of Sourdough Fermantation"; Michael G. Ganzle, et al; Applied and Environmental Microbiology, July 1998


and http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/whatistherelationshipbetwe.html


an answer provided by the above author to the question, "What is the relationship between temperature and activity?" in a Q and A blog relating to sourdough.


Sourness: flour and temperature


First, an apology, and a plea. Although I am educated as an engineer and scientist, microbiology is far distant from my underwater acoustics speciality. I've struggled, mostly with the  subject-specific techincal language, in my effort to understand what I've read. Nonetheless, I think I've acquired the background of  knowledge that a home baker, obsessed with sourdough, can use in his or her non-laboratory kitchen to effect the flavor profile of their sourdough breads. Please, if you find my efforts have been based on faulty premises, wrong information, or misdirected experimentation point out the errors, and, more importantly the correct assumptions; accurate, alternative references; or suggest appropriate action--including, "Stop your silly mucking around!"


Debra Wink, in one of her postings, commented that that a flour's ash content contributed to the degree of sourness one might achieve in a starter, but didn't explan how. The first of the above references shows that the activity (reproduction) of Lactobacillus is strongly linked to the the starter's pH ( a measure of acidity). As the acidity increases. or decreases, above or below a most  activity-advantageous value (approximately a pH of 4.2) L. Bacillus reproduction decreases. Assuming, for the moment, the temperature of the starter remains steady, and the activity-advantageous pH can be preserved, the amounts of acetic and lactic acid produced is proportional to the concentration of L. sanfranciscensis. However, in any solution the more acid the lower the pH. Some molecular components of the starter's mix may neutralize a portion of the acidity, while maintaning its sourness contribution. In flour and water mixtures that neutralizing (buffering) quality is supplied by the flour's ash content. Simplistically, I thought, the higher the ash content in the feed, the greater the buffering quality of the flour, and, therefore, the more acids produced before the bacteria activity slows down.


With that in mind, I fed a portion of my favorite starter, at room temperature, for three days a steady, every-twelve-hours diet of first clear flour, known to have high ash content. This became my seed starter for three formula-ready levains. In general, this starter, aledged by the vendor to be authentic San Francisco sourdough starter, doesn't produce much discernable sourness, if any at all. On a few occasions, we (my wife and I) have detected some sourness, which has allowed me to conclude there's some L. bacillus in there, maybe.


After 72 hours I built 500g of formula-ready levain,at 100% hydration, using first clear flour; it contributed 28% of the total flour weight. The balance of the dough's flour consisted of 10% rye flour, 31% all purpose flour, and 31% bread flour. The final dough contained 2% salt, at 70% hydration. This formula was used three times; each bake consisted of two loaves, formed into approximately 750 g batards. Every loaf was processed as indentically as possible in a home kitchen: two and one-quarter hour bulk proof with two S&F at 45 minute intervals, followed by an additional 45 minutes. Subsequently, the dough was divided, preshaped. rested for 10 minutes, shaped, final proofed for two hours, slashed and baked at 450*F, with steam for the first 15 minutes. The remaining seed starter was stored in the refrigerator at 37°F.


The only intentional variable was in the levain constructions.


First levain: 20g seed starter, three 1:1:1 feedings of first clear flour, initially and at eight hour intervals. Harvested 500g of levain after 24 hours. The developing levain remained at room temperature (68°F to 72°F) for the entire duration.


Second levain: 20g seed starter, three 1:1:1 feedings of all purpose flour, initially and at eight hour intervals. Harvested 500g of levain after 24 hours. The developing levain remained at room temperature (68°F to 72°F) for the entire duration.


Third levain: 20g seed starter, three 1:1:1 feedings of first clear flour, initially and at eight hour intervals. Harvested 500g of levain after 24 hours. This levain was held at room temperature for the first eight hours, approximately 82°F for three hours, and 89°F for the remaining 13 hours. These temperature choices reflect the findings reported in the first reference: optimum yeast activity occurs at approximately 82°F; optimum bacteria activity occurs at approximately 89°F. Additionally, yeast and bacteria activity are approximately the same at room temperatures, yeast activity falls dramatically at 89°F.


Subjective Results:


First of all, these were not meant to be controlled, scientific experiments. To the contrary, what i wanted to explore was, "Can a home baker influence the flavor profile of his or her doughs, guided by scientific results, with only those tools common to a baker's home kitchen?".  In my case, a small, lidded plastic box,for the developing levain; placed inside a larger, lidded plastic box (my dough proofing box) to minimize the effects of drafts; all placed inside an oven with a manually controlled oven light, to vary the oven's temperature); and a thermometer, aledged by the manufacturer to be accurate to +/- 1°F).


Furthermore, the only way I could test a finished bread's sourness was by tasting it. (in the laboratory they measured the amount of lactic and acetic acid produced.). My taste would be suspect: I was hoping for discernable sourness with the first and third levains; I would taste discernable sournesss with the first and third levains. So, I asked my wife to taste the finished breads. She had no knowledge of the differences in the levain, nor what my expectations were.


The results are a bit anticlimactic:


We both found breads made with the first and third levains had discernable "tang"; in part because we didn't taste them side-by-side, niether she nor I could state with any certainty one was "tangier" than the other.


The bread made with the second levain, fed with all purpose flour, didn't have any "tang". Good bread, but no sourness.


Next steps:


I'm building a proofing box, wherein I can control temperature better than with the oven light. When its finished, I'm going to push a levain to favor only bactieria growth, and add commercial yeast to the dough for gas production.


Here's a picture of the most recent (third levain) bread.



 

haroon's picture
haroon

mixing refined flour and wheat flour

what generally is the ideal temperature to bake bread made with equal amounts of refined and wheat flour. i'm basically trying to make regular bun sized bread

maryserv's picture
maryserv

found great price on coiled wicker baskets for final proofing

Hello all,


I've been on a quest to find a reasonable priced coiled wicker dough-rising basket.  I finally found it but it requires a $50 dollar order to even place the order (they are wholesale to public).  And yes, even when I order 2 of all: round, oval, rectangular - and throw something else in I'm still not to $50.  If anyone is the in the Houston, Texas area and is looking, I'm happy to combine orders.  Or I suppose I could order, receive and then send on to you if you are not local.  The prices are crazy-good for untreated rattan coiled baskets - $6 each. 


Here is an example!


Let me know what you think (also if you have had poor experiences with this company in the past). 


Thanks!  Mary


 


 

cavali's picture
cavali

Diego's Caprese Boule

This is my Caprese Boule, I most say I am very happy with the result, its my wettest dough so far, hardest to deal with (I am a newby after all) but the best bread so far. Super crunchy crust. nice aromatic crum.


Ingredients:


2 cups of Bread Flour


2/3 cup of all purpouse


1/3 cup of white cornmeal


1 1/4 tsp of yeast


1 cup of water 90F


1/4 cup of tomato sauce


3/8 cup of basil (crushed dried)


2 Tbsp cream cheese


1 1/2 tsp Salt


1 Tbsp sugar


 


- Mixed all 3 cups of flour with salt on your usual bowl. 


- prepare the yeast with 1/4 cup of water @  90F add the sugar (wait 10 min)


- create an opening in the middle of the flour


- Mix the yeast with the rest of the water and the basil


- get the liquid mix in the flour opening


- mix all together with a wooden spoon


- Let autolyce for 20 min.


- Fold (or try to, its very very wet) for some 20 min


- 1st rise for 90 min


- fold for 15 to 20 more min


- 2nd rise for 60 min on flat surface covered with the bowl.


- punch and fold, form and place on top of your  (covered with cornmeal)sheet


- sprinkle all purpouse flour on top of the Boule (this i just learn on a video, i was really frustrated with the clean look of my bread tops, i wanted the white rustic finish you get from a baker, this trick does it).


- rest for 30 min


- oven @ 500 1 cup of hot water at the bottom pan


- place bread in. 5 min lower temp to 400


20 min latter lower temp to 350


cook till internal temp is 200.


 


Enjoy


 


 

emilyaziegler's picture
emilyaziegler

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta

Original blog post can be found on my website:
http://www.foodbuzz.com/recipes/1788878-homemade-whole-wheat-pasta


Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta


On the train ride after work, I decided I really wanted to take a stab at making homemade pasta. I have seen plenty of videos on how to make your own pasta by way of hand or pasta maker. Unfortunately, I don't have a pasta maker, so I decided to brave it, making it by hand. Don't be terribly discouraged, but it takes a long time to do it by hand. I do believe I named all of my unborn children during the process of rolling out the dough and slicing it down to the size of a linguine. I may now, this weekend, go out and purchase a pasta maker, to cut the time in half!


The pasta tasted delicious, although it was not too pretty (it's a mix between pasta and funnel cake, if you ask me!!). It was good, nevertheless. I decided to make a healthier form of a white sauce to go with the pasta. I have given up cheese (I know, I know, it breaks my heart, too) in preparation for the wedding in 100 days (ummm.. yeah, I said it, 100 days... it's FLYING BY). I am very happy to say that even though I didn't put any cheese into the white sauce, it is still delicious and fools you into thinking there is cheese!



Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 TBS salt
2 TBS water


1. Combine the two flours into a medium sized bowl, along with the salt. "Burrow" a little whole in the middle of the flour so that the bottom of the bowl can be seen, and pour in the egg mixture.


 


2. Stir in the middle, slowly making your way to the unmixed flour, using a fork. Take your time, this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. Stir the flour in very slowly so that it becomes quite uniform. This may take quite some time.


 


2. After the flour and egg mixture is mixed and the dough is formed, knead the dough many times, incorporating any left over flour. I kneaded the dough for a little less than 3 minutes.


 


3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough using a lightly floured rolling pin. Roll the dough until it is 1/8 of an inch. You may have to flip the dough, and re-flour your surface and rolling pin occasionally. Once it is the desired size, roll the dough around the rolling pin and remove it from the rolling pin onto a cutting board (folded like a business letter).


 


(If you have a pasta machine, which I really, really, really wish I had, then now is the time to do your thang and skip to the sauce- you lucky bum, if you don't it's okay, follow my directions below).


4. Using a knife (I actually found a pizza cutter much easier to use) slice the dough very thinly. Picture the width of your favorite linguine, that should give you an idea of the size to cut. After the dough is cut, allow it to dry (approximately 3 hours).


You can either store it to cook later, or cook immediately. (As it is fresh pasta, it will take less time than store bought pasta to cook).


5. If you're cooking it right away, boil some water with a bit of olive oil. Throw in your newly made pasta, and cook to your liking! Drain and put some of the yummy sauce that is below!



Emily's I Wish I Could Eat Cheese White Sauce
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cups skim milk
1 TBS fat free sour cream
1/2 cup onions, sauteed
1/2 cup tomatoes, sauteed with the onions
2 TBS minced garlic
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste


Over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and salt. Then add your milk and sour cream (sour cream helps to thicken it up a bit, without using heavy whipping cream). Allow the sauce to bubble and thicken. Add the onions, tomatoes, and garlic. Allow it to cook for a few more minutes to combine flavors. Serve over the pasta!



Bon appétit !! Oh darn my French degree, I mean Buon Appetito! ....or, while we're at it, for my Polish heritage, Smacznego! :o)


 

utahcpalady's picture
utahcpalady

Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf - regular yeast

Now, before finding TFL I thought I knew a lot about bread baking, not so when you consider artisan style breads and sourdough starter.  I am a food storage fanatic, have 4 children and haven't bought bread for probably5-6 years.  Other than the occasional loaf during tax season (I am a cpa).  So, this is the recipe that I use.  I buy my white wheat from Montana Milling (high protien content) and grind it in my ultramill wheat grinder.  Now, I am sure you could just buy wheat flour at the store, provided it has a good high protien content.  Even though I feel I buy the best white wheat out there, I still add VWG.


Here is my recipe. This was before I knew about weighing my ingredients.


2 cups warm water (110-120deg)


2 T sugar


1 T active dry yeast 


dissolve together,


then add


1 T salt, dissolve. 


Then add 3 1/2 cups wheat flour and


1/2 cup gluten,


mix all together (I use my kitchen aid for this), let rise for 45 minutes


Then mix together (I use a 2 cup pyrex)


2/3 cup warm water,


1/2 cup brown sugar,


3-4 T safflower oil (you can use other types of oil, but this has a nutty taste that i like). 


Take oil mixture and add to the yeast/flour mixture, slowly in the kitchen aid (it has a tendency to slosh out if you do it fast),


then mix in 1 egg. 


Add 3 1/2 cups of wheat flour, let knead in KitchenAid until a nice dough ball forms.  Let rise 45 minutes. 


Punch down and divide into 3 loaves, put in greased loaf pans (I use stoneware pans from PampChef) and let rise for 90 minutes or so.  Bake for 27 minutes at 350 degrees. 


It is a perfect sandwich loaf. Even for peanut butter.


I am trying to adapt this recipe to my starter, haven't been entirely successful yet, as I need to propagate my starter to whole wheat, whereas I currently have a rye and a white starter going.

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