The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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baker daniel's picture
baker daniel

Baking Bread above 3000 Feet above Sea Level

I am having a problem.  I live 3000 feet above sea level.  I have been baking sourdough bread with a starter that is well over 100 years old.  The flavor of my sourdough bread is awesome, but the texture of the actual bread (inside) is too dense and finely textured.  I have tried everything to create more gas inside the bread, but to no avail.  What am I doing wrong?  If my altitude is too high, how do I compensate?  Suggestions are welcome!

evmiashe's picture
evmiashe

How to grind your own all purpose flour - recipe

Since I have a wheat grinder and lots of wheatberries (hard red, white and soft), I want to grind my own all purpose flour - not buy it in the store.  I have been searching and searching for a real recipe on how to grind your own all purpose flour for baking (not bread baking).  So far I have found out that it is a mixture of soft wheat and hard winter white wheat.  Is it 50% / 50%???  Can someone share their recipe?  And do you then sift out the bran with a hand sifter to make a lighter flour for pastry and cake? 


Thank you so much!


evelyn

wally's picture
wally

Variations on Breads by Hamelman and MacGuire

    


This past weekend I decided to continue my experimentation with ryes and hot soakers. After my experience spending 7 hours making a mash for my last rye, I took Hamelman's comment on my attempt to heart: "it's always seemed to me that historically people would have been grateful to be able to make a simple manipulation of ingredients and wind up with a little sweetness in their bread."


So I decided to trade-in further chemistry experiments in favor of seeing if greater simplicity could still yield greater flavor. I selected Hamelman's 66% rye in Bread because I wanted a sandwich loaf and this seemed like it would fit the bill - sufficient rye content to provide a flavorful loaf, yet not so much as to yield a dense crumb.


The variation on his recipe was to add a hot soaker as well as toasted sunflower seeds. To create the soaker I took his rye levain, which accounts for a little over 40% of total dough weight, and halved it, creating a soaker with equal portions of flour and water that would have gone into the levain. This also raised total hydration from 75% to 80%. I then upped the percentage of yeast slightly to account for the smaller amount of levain used.


The night before my bake on Sunday I mixed my levain, and then poured boiling water over the rye. According to Hamelman this is called brühstück (a scalded soaking) in Germany. Using equal parts water and flour you end up with a very dense mixture. Both levain and soaker were covered and left overnight.


The next morning I mixed levain, brühstück and water, and then added the remaining ingredients. My toasted sunflower seeds were salted, so I gave them a quick rinse in a sieve.


Because I wanted sandwich bread - and because the hydration was so high - I air shaped the loaf and placed it in a somewhat smaller than standard bread tin. After 55 minutes proofing it was baked at 460 F initially, after which the temperature was decreased to 400 for the remainder of the bake. I wrapped the loaf in a tea towel after it cooled, and allowed it to rest 24 hours before cutting.


                  


This, it turns out, was a good move, because it was quite moist, and over the past few days while it has dried somewhat, it remains moist. The soaker did in fact impart a noticeable sweetness that balanced nicely with the nuttiness of the sunflower seeds. Not as sweet as a mash soaker, but much simpler. This is bread I'll bake again.


    


While waiting for the rye to finish baking I was reading through old articles I've accumulated related to bread, and stumbled upon James MacGuire's wonderful The Baguette, printed in The Art of Eating in 2006 (Number 73 + 74).


                                                         


I've read a number of times his wonderful accounting of the history of the baguette, how French baking underwent near ruination after World War II with mechanization, and of the pivotal role played by MacGuire's friend and sometime collaborator Raymond Calvel in resuscitating the art of baking through the introduction of autolyse. James MacGuire is a master baker, but he is as well a masterful narrator and commentator on the history of bread - particularly in France. I cannot too highly recommend this article to anyone unfamiliar with it. (Reprints may be obtained from The Art of Eating.)


The surprise for me, however, was that I had neglected to ever look at his recipe for a pain tradition at the article's end. And I delighted in what I found there. MacGuire is keenly aware of the challenges baguettes present to the home baker, starting with the fact that most home ovens will not accommodate a true baguette's length, and including the travails one confronts with steaming, especially in gas ovens.


And then there too is the fact that his pain tradition is a super-hydrated dough at 80%, meaning that for the vast majority of bakers it would present formidable obstacles in shaping and slashing.


MacGuire says, in effect, Ok, you want a baguette but it is very hard to do. Here instead is a baguette dough which we'll shape to an easier profile (more like a miche), and through this achieve basically the same crumb to crust ratio a baguette has.


Again, simplicity is chosen over complicated schemes. (A theme is emerging I think).


His recipe calls for hand mixing and hand folding over many hours. Because I machine mix dough at work I'm inclined to do so at home - it just seems easier. But as I followed his process I was struck by how much more in touch you become with the gluten development of the dough. It is truly fascinating to experience over many hours what transpires in mere minutes in a mixer.


My one variation on his recipe was to give it a bulk retarding overnight in my refrigerator to develop more flavor since it is a straight dough.


Next day, after 16 hours in the fridge, I preheated my oven, and turned the dough out on a floured counter. Shaping, such as it is, is equally simple: MacGuire advises patting it out to a diameter approximating that of the bottom of your floured banneton or mold, and then plopping it in for final proof. That's easy.


Final proofing was about 75 minutes. The secret to this bread is a long bake which dries out the loaf so that its crust does not go soft after coming out of the oven. And to accomplish this means an initial bake at a fairly high temperature, followed by a long bake at a much lower temperature.


    


The loaf, just under 1 lb., was in the oven for 70 minutes. The trick is to achieve bread that has dried sufficiently, but not in the process developed a dark crust which overwhelms the delicate flavor of the crumb. The profile in terms of height is comparable to that of a baguette and it has a crisp crust and an amazingly light, airy crumb.



I love baguettes, but I tend to avoid baking them at home because the results are never as good as what I get in a commercial steam oven. And that is frustrating. But here, in this marvelous little recipe that MacGuire tucked at the end of his article, is a simple and enjoyable method of enjoying everything good in a baguette with the exception of its form.



Not a bad compromise!


Larry


 

leucadian's picture
leucadian

James MacGuire sourdough article

James MacGuire has written an article in The Art of Eating vol 83 on sourdough. I haven't read it but there's a nice writeup in Chocolate and Zucchini. Clothilde includes a recipe, which looks like conventional wisdom at TFL, but a good writeup nevertheless. (2 stage levain build, 69% overall hydration, stretch and folds at 1 hour intervals, steam oven, bake at 450 then 350. No autolyse per se, just a rest after mixing. ) But the original article has a lot more than just a recipe, apparently. Has anyone seen it?


http://www.artofeating.com/back.htm 
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2010/08/pain_au_levain.php#more


 

thespeidels's picture
thespeidels

The Cost of Baking Bread

I'm not sure if I am posting this in the right place, but I am trying to figure out how to calculate my expenses for baking one loaf of bread!  I am selling some bread right now to a few people, and want to make sure I am charging enough!!  Does anybody have some kind of formula they follow that you can share with me to figure out how much it costs me to make my bread??  Thanks~  Chelsea

Newfieguy's picture
Newfieguy

WW Baguette recipes without starters

Hello everyone,


We have a 16 month old and just discovered he LOVES baguettes.  The whole crusty outside, chewy inside thing I suppose it is.


We eat only WW flour with a little BF thrown in there some times and it is mostly WW multi grain bread we make and ciabatta with the recipes from this site.  I wanted to try and make a whole wheat baguette recipe by just taking my regular WW multi grain reacipe and stretching them out or even the ciabatta recipe with mostly WW flour and maybe 1/3rd BF and pull that out into a long baguette shape, let it rise on parchment before flipping it and throwing it in the oven and just have a very long skinny ciabatta loaf basically shaped like a baguette.  Is this doable?


Does anyone have a proper WW recipe without going through all the starter as I have determined that I am a starter free zone after all these years with starters being way too much pre planning and the like and prefer just throwing some yeast in warm water and letting it do its thing.  I am going to have a bash at a ciabatta baguette just to see if it works but if someone has a great WW recipe for a baguette that turns out nice and crunchy on the outside I would love to try something new!


Thanks everyone!  Awesome forum!


Newguy

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Japanese Bread

Does anybody know of a good cookbook in english containing japanese and/or other asian recipes for bread. I have become enthralled with the japanese bread styles!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Minimum Development @Dmsnyder


It was wonderful to see Miyuki handling dough and shaping, but the biggest surprise was feeling the dough at various stages of an improved mix. Miyuki did use the window pane to demonstrate the degree of gluten development. The surprise was how low a level of gluten development she took as her end point for mixing.



David, could you elaborate on this statement from your first day post at SFBI? Perhaps you could tell us what kind of mix she used. Thanks,


Eric

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Chocolate painting for a special day.

Would you like to surprise your family or friends for their birthday? I do! It is not difficult but time consuming especially if you use multi-color chocolate.But it is worth it when you see their reaction!! That is a speechless moment that I really love to see.

http://justjennrecipes.com/drawing-with-chocolate/2009/10/12/

http://cookpad.com/recipe/417072  This recipe is posted by Hanaasu. Thank you, Hanaasu!( Japanese: you can understand how to make by pictures)

This SpongeBob cake was for my daughter's 4th birthday. The pink and light blue spongecake was Gary. (SpongeBob's pet snail)   SpongeBob's left arm was broken because I didn't put enough chocolate on the back.

 For my my son's 12th birthday.( bakugan 爆丸) He was surprised, and smiled with a joy when he saw this cake. I forgot to put a little bit of white chocolate to color his eyes.

This is for my husband's birthday.(LADY GAGA) He used to like her song but not anymore.....  I should have made shadow like this: Click this link below.

http://eyecandy.nanakaze.net/?m=201002

 It is fun! :)

9/2/2010 I challenged to trace and paint Berry Manilow's face using  a bamboo stick for my sister-in-law's birthday.

 I messed  up  the shadow around his right eye. But my husband's sister was very happy. That made me happy too.

Urchina's picture
Urchina

Sopa de ajo, aka a fabulous ending for stale bread

While it's not a bread recipe, it's a great way to use up stale bread, especially heels. Very little prep time, very yummy results. Excellent for winter nights. It's a spanish-inspired bread and garlic soup, Sopa de Ajo!


 


For 4-6 people you will need:


8 cups vegetable or chicken broth


as many whole eggs as you have people


a 1/2 cup of stale, cubed bread (I use cubes about 1.5 inches on a side, including crust)


8 cloves garlic 


1 T paprika (smoked is nice if you can find it)


2 T olive oil


Salt and pepper to taste


 


Peel and slice the garlic thinly. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a stock pot or Dutch oven until the oil shimmers. Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant, soft and just barely beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add the paprika and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the soup has reached a boil, turn it down to  a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Crack the eggs into the simmering broth -- you are going to poach them. Cook until the eggs have reached your desired level of done-ness (I like 'em hard, but that's not traditional -- really, I think poached softly is probably  more traditional). 


 


Divide the cubed stale bread between the bread bowls. Spoon a poached egg into each bowl, atop the bread cubes. Ladle the broth over the top and serve immediately. 


 


Makes a delicious, warming, comforting soup, and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. 


 


Enjoy!


 


P.S. Mods, I know it's not strictly bread, but it's made with bread... please feel free to move to a more appropriate forum if one exists. thanks!

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