The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Kicking off my blog here with my first self-created formula


Hi all, I have been lurking, occasionally posting here for a while now, finally decide to bite the bullet and start my blog to make here "home". I was born in China, moved to North America after high school, now working and living in Dallas TX with my husband and our dog. About a year ago I picked up baking, at first just to recreate some of my favorite Asian style desserts, pretty quickly though I started making bread, and it's been an "obsession" ever since. My favorite baking book is Hameman's "Bread", love BBA too which is why I am a part of the BBA challenge. Until now I have been mostly following recipes, with some minor changes here and there. Recently I made several five grain breads and loved their taste. Also made Anis baguette and loved how easy that schedule fit into my busy work week - 2 to 3 hours a night is the most I have on a weekday night. I then decide to combine the two to make a "5 grain weekday bread" so we can have fresh bread for after work! Here's the formula, which is basically Anis's yeast percentage and timing, with everything else modified:


5 Grain Weekday Bread


Bread flour: 80%


Whole wheat/whole rye/or a combo of the two: 20%


5 grain mix (I used flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, wheat bran, and steel cut oats this time): 20%


salt: 2.2% (higher than Anis formula due to the grain mix)


water: 80% (since bread flour, WW flour, and grain mix all absorb more water than the AP flour in Anis formula, I increased the water. It didn't feel wet at all, I think I could've added even more water.)


First night


1.Mix everything, autolyse for 30 minutes, mix in my KA at first speed for 1 minute then 2nd speed for 2 minute for some basic gluten developement, put in bowl to fermentate.


2.fermentate for 1.5 hours total, at every 30 minutes stretch and fold. I didn't have to do the S&F in the bowl, I could S&F on the counter totally fine.


3.Put back into the bowl and put in the fridge (slightly lower than 40F) for 22 hours.


4.Soak the grain in equal amount of water from the total formula.


Second night


5.Take the dough out, it has rised a little, and full of bubbles. Cut into 2 parts, each about 1lb. Preshape and relax for 45 minutes.


6.Shape into boules and put in proofing baskets for 40 minutes.


7.Score and put into 550F oven with usual steaming method (I use a cast iron pan with lava rocks, and pour water into it). Lower the oven temperature to 460, bake for 30 minutes. At 15 minutes, take out the cast iron pan.


 


As you can see, there's massive oven spring. I got a bit "creative" with the scoring, which is why one of the little boule is wearing a "hat".



Pretty happy with the taste too, crunch crust with chewy crumb, I can taste the grains:



I may add some of my 100% starter to the mix next time just to get that sourdough flavor I love, but I will still keep the yeast since it's a "weekday bread" and I need it to fermentate and proof reliably on schedule.


I am pretty happy with my first attempt to create my own formula, this really opens up a lot of possibilities - I can throw in a lot of flavor combos that I like. One thing I am curious about is whether the relatively closed crumb is due to the grains, or my handling, or maybe it needs more water?



 

AlexL's picture
AlexL

Thought I'd give this "web-logging" thing a try

Filed under: Things that may grow to haunt me


 


October 7, 2009


It's been awhile since my first post. I've been working on getting french bread down since then and after about 15 batches of dough I think I've finally found the delicate balance between the science and the art of it.


Yeah I wish.


I made a giant, spongy, flat batard for a dinner party a couple nights ago that I just had a bad feeling about right from the oven. One of my friends commented that it looked like an alligator lying in wait for unsuspecting prey. Gotta love those witty food critics.


 


Alligator bread


 


My mistake was using a new recipe, using my new kitchen scale, and adhering too strictly to the measurements. It called for a 100% poolish and 66% overall hydration. Yesterday to satisfy my curiousity I carefully measured out a 60% hydration dough, which is about what I think I used to make back when I eyeballed everything and it turned out just how I like it - crisp skin and fluffy meat. I think I'm seeing a disturbing trend developing here though. This morning I weighed out my coffee grinds and recorded it in my kitchen journal with spaces saved for additional entries, then as I was weighing out my condensed milk for my coffee I had a WTF-realization moment and quickly shut off the scale and slowly backed out of the kitchen. Note to self: do not become a scale-whore.


Anyways here's my bread from yesterday:


 



 



 


Last night I decided that I've earned my baking yellow belt and was ready to learn the esoteric art of sour-do. I found a simple starter recipe using plain water and plain AP flour since I don't usually stock endangered fruit juices nor mill my own flour. I hope the other starters here won't look down on my modest little starter. What he may lack in sophistication I hope he'll make up for in street-smarts. Okay, I guess breads can't be street-smart so....let's just hope he doesn't taste like socks. Quick question: are starters generally male or female? I think mine's a boy but I'd like to make sure before I name him.


 



 



 


I'm 12 hours in and I'm nervously excited. I can't stop picking it up and looking at it. My mom used to say that that would make it fall off, so I should probably stop. It's condensing a bit on the lid and smells slightly yeasty, but hasn't risen a bit since last night. From what I've read that's still 12-24 hours away so it's all good so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


 


Update: 36 hours in


The smell. Dear god, the smell. I took the lid off to feed it this morning and I just woke up, on the kitchen floor. How can something so innocent looking produce such an ungodly stench? Must separate mind from body. You can do this.

darkmoondreamer's picture
darkmoondreamer

Shipping bread for Christmas Gifts - is it possible to get there fresh and edible?

I was thinking this morning of all the lovely gift breads I could send to friends and family......Then, the realization that homemade bread "usually", for me, starts losing quality greatly the next day. Have any of you had success with shipping breads in the mail? Thank you

leahweinberg's picture
leahweinberg

reconstituting dried out starter

Hello! 


I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out how to reconstitute a dried starter. I dried my white starter and rye starter a while ago and I would like to use it soon. Do you have to soak it before you feed it? 


Thanks!


Leah  

gabi's picture
gabi

French Petit épeautre bread?

Hi,


On a recent trip to Paris, one bread that I really really loved was the 'Petit épeautre' bread from Eric Kayser's boulangerie. I understand that this is a kind of sourdough spelt bread; I'm wondering if anyone here is familiar with this bread and has a recipe for something similar or at least a guess what makes this bread so incredibly delicious.


 

inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

Ciabatta


This is Biga Ciabatta following the formula in Reinhart's BBA (incidentally the only bread book I have right now). Turned out pretty well considering this was my first time making ciabatta and I messed up on the biga. I did not knead the biga at all and put it into the fridge after mixing and left it. Still came out great! Always a nice suprise. I also had to bake these on parchment on a sheet pan as I did not have a stone. I just got my stone yesterday so I'm eager to try it out!

bnb's picture
bnb

Blueberry stilton

Hi all,


 I have a half pound of blueberry stilton and I want to use it in either a bread or pastry recipe. Does anyone have recipe suggestions/recommendations.


 


Thanks.


BNB

ericjs's picture
ericjs

Best tasting white flour

Does anyone have recommendations for a particularly flavorful bread or AP flour? (not whole grain or whole wheat, I'm talking "regular", preferably unbleached, white flour). I understand, of course, that more flavor can be obtained through various additives (like a little whole wheat or rye), or processess (longer ferment, soaker, sourdough, levain, etc), but those things aside and everything being equal, is there a flour anyone finds gives more flavor than other brands?

alconnell's picture
alconnell

Pretzels - Lye Dipped

Here are my latest lye dipped pretzels:


pretzels


 These were made using KA Sir Lancelot flour and the recipe here:


 http://www.cs.uml.edu/~dm/brezla-2/


I have had great luck with this recipe. 


 

hydestone's picture
hydestone

Best Bread Cookbook for a Beginner

I am a beginner and am looking for a bread cookbook to explain the basics while I get my feet wet.  What is the best break cookbook in your opinion?

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