The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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fsu1mikeg's picture

Bought some Italian flour--Now What?

I wasn't planning on it, but I just happened to come across some important doppio zero flour at the farmer's market.  At $1.69 for a 1000g bag, I thought what the heck.  I have yet to open the bag, but I know from reading about doppio zero flours that it's very finely milled and not very high in protein.  The bag seems to indicate it's good for cake, bread, and pasta.  I am only interested in using it for bread or pizza crust.  What I am unsure of is how to utilize this flour in a bread recipe.  Does it need to be mixed with a strong bread flour to produce decent bread?  Or is to be used as it is?  The brand is something like Delvededre; the four description is farina granaro tenero (sorry if I butchered that, but I'm going by memory).





ques2008's picture

oh no, not another one!

Hi Folks,

You guys have seen this many times over and I was hesitant to post it, but I really wanted to acknowledge the generous spirit of TRAILRUNNER and MARNI who were kind enough to give me the link on how to make a woven round challah.  This was like a month ago and I finally got around to doing it last Good Friday.  I was quite nervous at first, and the instructions given on the site were rather confusing but I managed to get it right on the second try.  I'll have to do it soon again lest I forget the technique.

I followed the technique posted by Tamar Ansh on chabad dot org, but I took the recipe from triple w sugarlaws dot com for her braided bread recipe.  I find that her recipe seems to have the right proportions because the dough just comes together beautifully.  I've come across recipes where I had to over-knead or underknead but hers was the ideal mix.

So trailrunner (Caroline) and Marni, you did ask for photos, so here it is!

round woven challah


ermabom's picture

How much dough in a pullman pan

I just got a 13x4x4 pullman pan. I made the recipe from KA and it filled the pan perfectly. Unfortunately, I didn't weigh the dough before I put it in. I just tried 23 oz of dough and I don't think it is going to fill the pan. Instead of trial and error, I was wondering if anyone knew what weight of dough is ideal for this pan.  

dmsnyder's picture

San Joaquin Sourdough: another variation

I have continued to play with my formula for what I call "San Joaquin Soudough." This continuing series of experiments started with my curiosity as to whether the baguette formula of Anis Bouabsa could be applied to other types of bread than baguettes. The short answer is, of course, "yes."

The basic approach I have been using is described in detail in the following blog entry: 

The present variation used 10% KAF White Whole Wheat flour, 90% KAF Bread flour and a slightly higher hydration - 76%. The techniques for mixing, fermentation, etc. were as I have described before. So, the ingredients were:

Ripe 65% hydration sourdough starter....100 gms

Water........................................................380 gms

KAF Bread Flour.........................................450 gms

KAF White Whole Wheat Flour...................50 gms

Sea Salt.........................................................10 gms

Instant Yeast................................................1/4 tsp

The combined effect of the different flours and the higher hydration was to yield a dramatically different bread with a much more open crumb structure - really ciabatta-like.

Now, I did bake these loaves under an aluminum foil roasting pan for the first 12 minutes and then for another 18 minutes uncovered. The oven spring was massive. My scoring was obliterated. Examination of the crust coloration of the bloom revealed that the bloom occurred very early in the bake and very rapidly. (The coloration was even and not different from the rest of the crust. See my Scoring Tutorial in the TFL Handbook for further explanation.)

With the higher hydration and covered baking, the crust softened quickly during cooling. The crumb was like a good ciabatta - very tender yet still chewy. The taste is very mildly sour, even on the day after baking. It made a delicious sandwich with Toscano salami, Beaver Brand Sweet Hot mustard and lettuce. (Sorry, Mini. It definitely would drip mayonnaise in your lap.)

This bread presented me with a number of surprises, but I'm far from disappointed. I'm happy to have a "new" bread in my repertoire. 


SulaBlue's picture

"Must Have" books

It's occurred to me that I should compile a list of "must have" books that I can take with me when I go to Half-Price books. Or, better yet, stick in my husband's wallet as he has a habit of sneaking to the book store when I'm not around. Just this last trip I found Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" (which I already have), Beth Hensperger - "Bread for All Seasons" and Nancy Silverton "Breads from the La Brea Bakery" (both of which I bought). I'm admittedly not so sure about Ms. Silverton's book as of yet. If you could have 'The Ultimate Bread Baking Library' - what would you have in it?

Naterob1111's picture

Banana Bread, with Chocolate Streusel Topping

I have been playing around with multiple Banana Bread recipes and I have ended up with my own recipe that I personally enjoy.  It's mildly easy to prepare and takes about an hour and ten to make.  This recipe makes two small loaves.

Nevans Banana Bread (with chocolate streusel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In one bowl mix:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

  • 3-6 over-ripened bananas.  (this is a choice of taste, the more bananas, the more mushy your dough gets but the more flavor)

In another bowl mix:

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 a stick of butter

  • 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup of white sugar

Mix these two bowls into one and add a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans if you choose, and even a handful of chocolate chunks is always fun.  Grease your loaf pans with butter and pour the dough.

Streusel Topping:

Mix this in a saucepan on the stove in order.

  • 1/2 a stick of butter

  • 1/2 cup of flour

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Cocoa

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • (optional) Handful of walnuts or pecans

  • (optional) 1/2 tsp of ginger

Mix this well until butter is well mixed so that there is a crumbly feel.  Add to the top of the loaves, this amount should cover both loaves entirely.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Check at 30, if streusel starts to burn, add alluminum foil, hasn't happened to me yet.  After 40 minutes, shake the loaf pan to make sure that the loaf isn't liquidy on the top, this is another ten minutes if it is.

Let sit for 10 minutes to cool and finish cooking itself. 

To extract from the pan I seperate the sides with a spatula and then surround the loaf pan with foil and flip.  The foil allows you to flip the loaf back on to its bottom after you take off the pan.

Voila!  Enjoy a good breakfast, or snack.

ericb's picture

cheese, anyone?

I know this is pretty far off topic, but I was wondering if anyone knows anything about making cheese? In a way, it seems similar to making sourdough bread: mix a bunch of raw ingredients together, put it in a warm place for a given amount of time, and let the bacteria work their magic.

Friends of ours buy a special kit that includes enzymes, but it's fairly expensive. I'm wondering if there is a way to produce these enzymes "naturally," like one cultivates a new starter.

Any thoughts on this?



SulaBlue's picture

Working a High-Hydration Sourdough

What I'm working with:

I just did the first fold. I don't have a long enough container, with a lid, that I can turn this out into so I'm keeping it in the mixing bowl (Which, like a dork, I forgot to oil - it's always something, isn't it?!) Anyway, I just gave it 2-3 good folds at the 50 minute mark and have to do the next fold in 100 minutes. I'm assuming that the dough is going to stiffen up some as it goes. It's very, very wet right now. Not sticky per se, but it's a bit like playing with that 'goo' stuff that we got out of the vending machines as kids.

This has all been hand mixed, no KA or other electric mixer. I assure you, you DEFINITELY know when things are 'just mixed' when mixing nearly 4 pounds of dough by hand. Holy moley, I'm going to need a sling :) Anyway, as I said, I just did the first fold. I grabbed as much as I could and gave it a slow tug vertically until it looked like it was about to tear (in one case it did, oops) and then folded it over, turned the bowl one-quarter turn and repeated. I made 2 1/2 turns of the bowl. It's practically running through my hands like the aforementioned 'goo.'

What should I look for when I do the next set of folds? What texture am I looking for to know that it's 'done' and ready for shaping, or if I need to give it a few more folds? I haven't worked with such a wet, stretchy dough before! I'm going to divide out half and immediately refrigerate to use for pizza dough. The rest I'm going to -attempt- to shape into two batards on my pastry cloth.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. (Videos that show a good close-up of the proper texture of a completed folded dough would be a blessing)

gothicgirl's picture

Maple and Bacon Muffins

Posted on  4/8/2009

I am a bacon devotee.  I'm not sure if you have noticed, but I love the stuff!  That's why when I was challenged to create a sweet and savoury bacon muffin I jumped at the challenge!

Maple and Bacon Muffins 

But, this is a tale of sadness, regret, but eventual triumph! 

Two months ago, on a cold January evening, I was contemplating new ways to use bacon in my baking when my husband asked, "Can you make a bacon cupcake?"  A cupcake?  No, not that, never that.  However, a muffin I could do!  So, off to research.  I formulated a recipe with a brown sugar crumble and gave it a whirl.

Maple and Bacon Muffins 

They tasted great, but looked about as pretty as homemade soap.  Not a shining moment for me, but I moved on.  Next I tried no crumble and more maple.  They were far too sweet and had the texture of sticky cornbread.  BLEH!   Long story short (too late, right?), after a few more failures I struck the right balance of salty and sweet in a tender, bulging muffins!  It is this that I present to you, the perfect brunch bread. .. Maple and Bacon Muffins!   

Maple and Bacon Muffins   Yield 1 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup real maple syrup

Heat the oven to 400 F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners, or grease and flour the pan well.

Dry Ingredients 

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt well.  Mix in the crumbled bacon.

Wet Ingredients 

In a separate bowl mix the milk, eggs, oil, and maple syrup.

Complete Batter 

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.  Fold gently until the dry ingredients are wet.  It will be lumpy.

Scoop into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

 Maple and Bacon Muffins - Cooling

Serve warm.

Maple and Bacon Muffins

pjaj's picture

Malt flour

Does anyone know of a supply of malt flour in the UK?

I know about Wessex Mill's Malt Loaf Flour, but this is a mixture of 15% malt flour with white flour and it has sugar and "flour improver" as well.

Malt flours come in several grades ranging from pale lightly roasted with the enzymes still active to a dark roast with more flavour, but no enzyme activity left.

I've emailed two commercial suppliers a few days ago, but have received no replys, so I'm not hopeful there.