The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Of steam, flour and cookies

You know, the old "ice-cubes-in-a-hot-skillet" routine is soooo...like...last summer, isn't it? ;)


I was sitting in a sauna a couple of weeks ago, pondering nothing in particular, when this large, heavy-breathing guy shuffled down to the hot rocks, threw water on them, and climbed back up to his favourite spot. Watching the sudden burst of steam rising from the hot rocks lead from one thing to another, and I eventually picked up some small rocks on my way back home, thinking I could put them to good use for my next baking session. I put them in an old, disused bread pan, and placed them on the bottom floor of the oven.


Steaming apparatus


 


I also noticed I was running low on my bread flour (ah! The horror... the horror...), so I ran over to my grocery store, credit card in hand, ready to score more. This being the festive season and all, and many folks busy baking all kinds of butter cookies I guess, they were out of my regular flour. Well, I picked up two bags of flour from another producer and went back home. This flour has an extraction rate of 80% and an ash around .68, so it contains some more minerals than my usual flour (which is extracted at 75% and has an ash .55). This new one is probably not too far off a French T65 style flour. Both flours are pretty similar in protein content: 11.7% vs. 12%. During the first couple of feedings, I noticed a marked increase in starter activity (probably not very surprising, due to the increased mineral content), and where the starter previously ripened in 12 hrs., it now looked fit and perky after merely 8.


Earlier today I had my first test run with the rock-steaming-thing in the oven, and I baked a whole-wheat pain au levain:


Levain new steam


 


and the 5-grain levain, both from "Bread":


5 grain levain new steam


And the crumb shot:


5 grain levain new steam


I was very happy with the outcome, and I think the new flour also lends even more taste to the breads. I guess I don't have any other option but to make the change permanent! Also, the new method of producing steam generated generous amounts of steam initially, and kept the surface of the breads moist until they were both fully expanded, roughly 15 mins. into the bake. Then I hauled the bread pan out, so the loaves could finish baking in a dry oven.


Finally, something for the coffee! I'm not much of a cookie baker, but it's that time of year, isn't it? Out with the Santa beard and the cookie recipes! Here's this years' bake:


Oat and date chews and cornmeal-raisin cookies
Oat and date chews and cornmeal-raisin cookies


 


Hazelnut butter cookies and double chocolate biscotti


Hazelnut butter cookies and double chocolate biscotti


 


Chewy trail cookies and chocolate chip cookies


Chewy trail cookies and chocolate chip cookies

inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

Mixed Flour SD Boule


I'm calling this "Mixed Flour" because I used a lot of different flours. I wanted to see if I could get the characteristics I wanted in the crumb by adjusting just the flours. It seemed to have worked, so here's what I used:


Again (It's a family/personal favorite :-)), I was following Susan's Simple Sourdough formula. Only hers doesn't call for so many flours!


50g Firm Starter (mine is 50% hydration composed of 10% rye and 90% AP)


205g Water


100g AP Flour (I used Wheat Montana)


100g Bread Flour (KA Bread Flour)


25g Durum Flour (also King Arthur)


25g Hard Red Whole Wheat (home-milled wheat berries)


50g Hard White Whole Wheat (home-milled wheat berries)


6g Salt (I used Hawaiian Sea Salt)


Method: Mix all by hand, rest 30 min. S+F three times at hour intervals. Let rise until double. Pre-shape, rest 15 min, shape. Into brotform and retard overnight. Out of fridge 2 hours, score and bake @450 covered for 20 min., uncovered for 20 more and 5 min in shut-off oven w/ door open.


Whew- that's quite the mishmash of flour, I know, but it tasted really good. I used the whole wheat because I want to start transitioning everything over to 100% whole wheat, but have to do it gradually. I also have tons of wheat berries that I need to use instead of buying more flour from the store! Not to mention the extra nutrition.


The reason I used the Durum is because I like the buttery flavor it lends to the bread and it seems to balance out the whole wheat flavor when added with freshly ground whole wheat. I've tried this in a couple of other things and it seems to neutralize that "earthy" flavor or any "bitter" tones from the hard red I suppose. 


And as for the 50/50 of AP and Bread flour- I like a mix of the really chewy/shiny crumb (from the BF) and a bit of "fluffyness" from the AP. The crumb: creamy/ buttery/ wheaty. 



 


 


 


 


 


 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

2.2kg Sourdough Miche...

Hi All,


Just wanted to share with you some pics of the 2.2kg miche that I baked on 12/13/09...  It's the biggest bread that I have ever baked, and one of the best tasting...  Enjoy!


Tim







flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

rofco bread oven

Does anyone know if the Rofco bread ovens can be bought in the USA?

occidental's picture
occidental

Buckwheat Batard

I baked the buckwheat batard from Leader's Local Breads yesterday.  This is my third or fourth attempt at this bread, and by far the most sucessful.  The first time I tried this bread I was unaware of the errors in the formula (if you do a search of the site you will find posts on the errors of this book) and ended up experimenting just trying to get a buckwheat starter that I could work with.  The flavor is so unique that I did not give up and have come up with a formula that works for me.  For the buckwheat levain I used 75 grams of my liquid levain that is approximately 100% hydration.  To that I added 35 grams of water and 40 grams of buckwheat flour, which totals 150 grams, close to the 125 grams needed for the dough, with just a little to spare.  I let this sit and ferment overnight.  There was not much visible fermentation as far as rising or bubbles coming to the surface with this levain, however upon stirring it up it was evident from the texture that it was active.  I then followed the rest of the formula as written in the book, except that I made 3 loaves instead of the suggested 4.  I'm not a big butter fan however I really enjoy this bread warmed with a little butter on it, and the buckwheat flavor is very unique.  Now on to the pics... 


 


From bread

From bread

From bread
txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Lussekatt - Swedish Santa Lucia Saffron buns


I used this recipe found right here on fresh loaf: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4189/santa-lucia-bread#comment-26429 Thanks! It worked great. Found saffron at my local super market, $7 for 0.5gram, ouch! Found quark at whole foods, another ouch, these breads ain't cheap! However, they look great and taste great! Other than the classic S shape, I also made a few other classic shapes.



With the quark addition, and plenty of kneading, the crumb is incredibly soft and moist, even after 3 days.



Very happy to have tried this fun new bread!


droidman's picture
droidman

Sourdough Boule With Goat Milk (REVISED)

NOTE: This post is superseded by http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16314/goat-milk-sourdough-final-word


What I really like about Peter Reinhart's books is that he understands the urge to experiment. The following is his Basic Sourdough from the Bread Baker's apprentice, with a couple of minor adjustments. I got the idea from a loaf produced by a Twin Cities grocery store (Byerly's). I've had difficulty making this size of loaf (10.5" banneton) without burning the bottom crust, but moving the stone up a notchseems to have solved this.


The crust was tender yet chewy with a nice crunch, the crumb dense, but looser than my previous experience with the Reinhart recipe. The flavor was rich, almost creamy, but the milk does seem to subdue the sourness. Perhaps an extra 24 hours in the fridge would help this.


This revision includes scalding the goat milk, increasing the proportion of goat milk in the liquid mix, and increasing the percentage of liquid overall (to 75%). 


I've tried this loaf using only water, as well as substituting whole milk or half & half for the goat milk. Nothing works better than goat. Why, I couldn't say. 


Firm Starter



  • 2/3 cup wild yeast starter (75% hydration) [180g]

  • 1 cup bread flour (Dakota Maid) [150g]

  • 1/3 cup water [80g]


Final Dough



  • 4 cups bread flour [600g]

  • 1/2 cup whole white wheat flour [68g]

  • 1 Tbsp sea salt [15g]

  • 1 cup scalded goat milk at room temp [233]

  • 1-1/4 cup + 1/2 tsp water at room temp [298]


Steps



  1. Mix up firm starter, mist with spray oil, cover bowl with plastic wrap, let rise for approximately 4 hours until doubled.

  2. Refrigerate overnight (12 – 18 hours).

  3. Remove starter from fridge and set on oil-misted countertop. Cut into multiple small pieces, separate, mist with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to warm to room temperature (a couple hours).

  4. Mix final dough.

  5. Knead 10-15 minutes. Rest 5 minutes. Knead additional 2 minutes. Dough is super sticky, difficult to manage.

  6. Allow to rise for 3-4 hours until doubled.

  7. Gently punch down, cover tightly (I have a covered Rubbermaid container I use for this), and refrigerate overnight.

  8. Remove from refrigerator and allow to warm up a couple hours. 

  9. Gently remove dough from bowl, shape into two boules, place in floured bannetons, lightly mist bottom with spray oil, cover and proof for at least four hours.

  10. Preheat oven containing bread stone and steam pan to 500 degrees at least one hour before proofing is complete.

  11. Sprinkle semolina on bottom of loaf, then flip over onto semolina-dusted peel. Score loaf as desired.

  12. Pour one cup of water into steam pan (I use a small cast iron skillet)

  13. Slide onto baking stone.

  14. Spray sides of oven with water three times in first three minutes (I've quit doing this as it cools the oven too much). 

  15. Bake until internal temp is nearing 205 degrees, 20-25 minutes.


Goat Milk Sourdough


Crumb Shot


 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

12/8/09 -Pizza






fenchel2c's picture
fenchel2c

Brötchen

I made my first batches of Brötchen ever and used King Arthur's European-style bread flour.  Altho I need much more practice forming the rolls, they were crispy and had a nice color on the outside.  However, the crumb was dense and chewy not like the soft and airy texture I remember.  I used the white flour Master Recipe from 'Artisan bread in five minutes a day' with one variation; adding 3 egg whites.  How can I get a softer and airier crumb?

diverpro94's picture
diverpro94

Sourdough Problem(s)!

So I made a sourdough starter a week ago. It looked done, because it was sour smelling, had bubbles, and had a hooche. I made a spounge with it by adding 1c water and 1c flour (I used ap). I let it sit for about 12 hours, but it would not make the dough rise, I let all of the rising and proofs sit for like 3 or 4 hours and NOTHING! I kept on with the recipe and it turned out as a extremely small loaf with an extremely small crumb almost like it was just cooked dough, but there were a FEW larger crumbs. What was wrong? Was it just that I didn't allow enough time for rises or was it my starter? I'm confused!!! How long does it normally take to rise sourdough? This was my first atempt ever at sourdoug, so my knowledge of sourdough is as small as the sourdough loaf I made.... :o(

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