The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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clazar123's picture
clazar123

Is this a record?

9 days-capture to loaf!


Thursday :


    I brought a small container of flour/water (25 g flour/equal g water) to my basement office to capture the local yeast, after reading how people order sourdough culture from all over the world.


Friday:


By Friday afternoon it was bubbling


Saturday,Sunday,Monday:


By Monday it was really active.


I took it home,started discarded half/ feeding it twice a day for the next few days.


Wednesday:


By Wednesday it was easily doubling itself so Wed night I started feeeding it (no discard) so I had enough to use for a Saturday bake.


Saturday:


I baked an absolutely ideal,perfect loaf of French, sourdough bread using just a basic recipe. I don't have a camera but it had perfect crust,perfect crumb, it "sang" coming out of the oven and was San Fran sour! WOW!


So-9 days capture to perfect finish. I even impressed myself! I am making another loaf today and hope it turns out the same.


If this had been my first experience with sourdough I would have wondered what all the hoopla is about with all the posts on how to do a good sourdough. Having baked many bricks, I am really appreciative of the wonderful outcome of this project and all the knowledge this forum has provided.

maawallace's picture
maawallace

Parisian Raspberry Macarons


These little guys aren't nearly as difficult to make as one might think by the prices they command in french patisseries. It is a sugared, egg white and almond powder exterior and then whatever interior you like. Here, I used both raspberries and raspberry jam. Also popular are caramel, chocolate ganache, pistachio ganache, and many, many more.


I won't put up a recipe now as I don't have it with me. If there is a bunch of interest, I will find the recipe I used and post.


Matt

cleancarpetman's picture
cleancarpetman

Clay Baking--I have decided to throw myself under the bus!

       I have read with great interest the discussions about clay baking, La Cloche, flower pots, homemade cloches and Romertopfs.  I am a man of few means so I am not going to run out and buy a La Cloche, pretty as they might be.  But I frequent thrift stores and have accumulated various kitchen tools over the years that have confused and confounded their original owners who then cast them off unused or lightly used.  I paid $2.99 for my baking stone, which I thought divinely appeared on a recent visit just as I was interested in slack dough baking.  I have also never paid more than about $5.99 for new Romertopfs and have about a half dozen in various sizes.  I have baked bread and sourdough in these pots before and appreciated the "brick oven crust"  I soaked top and bottom, used Crisco in the bottom and proofed in the room temp bottom, placed all in a cold oven and baked at 475F. I am a different baker today and it bears a new look.  I have one "fish" Romertopf that is a longer oval that I have never used but am now excited to try.
     I have admired qahtan's homemade cloche everytime she has shared it and I believe its in the budget. So, what I am proposing to do for my own edification and for the good of all is to commence some clay baking comparisons.  They won't be necessarily comprehensive or scientific or "done by an expert' but I am willing to give it a shot.  I have a new 3.2 megapixel camera phone that I am dying to put to use and learn that end as well.


Let the trials begin!!


hinterhof


  

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Steaming Mad..ness

The majority of us have tried different steaming techniques..professional steamers, ice cubes in the bottom of the oven, ice cubes in cast iron pan, spraying the loaves, spraying the oven walls, drip pans, pouring water into hot pans, pans with water heated during the preheat and combos of these techniques.


I have found that heating 1/4" hot water in a metal pan during the preheat gives me an oven full of steam by baking time, so much so that I have to be careful and keep my face away from the oven door when I open it to avoid getting a steam burn. Even after loading the oven, a few minutes later I see steam coming out the vent.


I recently tried the suggested method of pouring 3/4 cup hot water into a sheet pan that had been preheated with the oven. I thought even better was to use boiling water. Quite frankly, it seemed that I hardly had any steam compared to the way I had been doing it.


Does the temperature of the water poured into the pan make any difference? If I had used just hot water vs boiling would there have been more steam? It looked like it evaporated almost as fast as I poured it.


I do remember (I think) that someone said what was being produced was vapor not steam by most of these methods. 


Betty


One caveat for all new bakers..If you have glass doors, be sure to cover with a dry towel when pouring water to avoid cracking the window.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This weekend's breads

This weekend, I baked a couple sourdough baguettes and a bâtard using the mixing and fermentation methods described in the posts about Anis Bouabsa's baguettes. For these breads, I used 90% AP four, 5% WW and 5% rye. Interestingly enough, the flavor of the bâtard seemed much better to me.




These were nice, but the real star attraction was the Cherry Pecan Pain au Levain. I made it according to the formula and method recently posted by mountaindog. (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10313/cherry-pecan-pain-au-levain)


This is a spectacular bread. The flavors are wonderful and, at this point when the first batch is just cooled (well, almost just cooled), the bread dough, the cherries and the pecans each sings its own sweet tune.


This bread would be good with butter, cream cheese or a fresh chevre. In fact, it is pretty darn good just by iteself.


My wife's verdict is: "This is wonderful bread!" Now, she says such things fairly often, but this afternoon, she said it twice, separated by a minute or so. In Susan Speak, this indicates "I want to be certain my judgement has gotten through to you.  You will make this bread for me again!" To which I say, Amen!




 


Happy baking!


David

Karen the Mouse's picture
Karen the Mouse

new mill, need advice

I was thrilled to find a Magic Mill II for $15 at a yard sale. I've started milling flour and baking breads with the freshly milled flour and am amazed at how much better the taste and texture are with fresh flour. I also find that I can make a 100% whole wheat loaf which isn't gritty or heavy, something I've never succeeded in doing with whole wheat flour I've bought at the store.


I was able to download a manual for my mill, but it left me with some questions:


1) How fine do I want to grind my flour? I know this depends on the kind of bread I'm making, but if someone would give me some general guidelines, I'd appreciate it.


2) What can I grind in the Magic Mill? I've done wheat, barley and spelt. Can I do corn? What kind of corn? Chickpeas? Any other beans? Anything else?


3) Where can I find some good recipes for breads made with freshly ground grains? Can someone direct me to a good website or a book? I've baked breads for years, so I'm pretty comfortable with experimenting, but I'd like some new ideas, especially ideas for incorporating less common flours like chickpea or barley.


4) Any warnings on what to do or what not to do with my Magic Mill?


I'd appreciate any guidance or suggestions anyone has.


Karen

ejm's picture
ejm

six strand braiding video

I mentioned earlier that 6 strand braiding is easy and attempted to show my technique with text and drawings. But I could never have managed this without watching the linked videos on that post.

So we took it upon ourselves to make a video of my two-hand braiding technique as a supplement to our text/drawing instructions.

  1. Take the 2nd from left strand in your right hand and the 1st from the left strand in your left hand. Your right hand goes all the way over all the strands to the right (keep hold of that strand); your left hand goes over two strands to the center.
  2. Take the 2nd from right strand in your left hand your right hand is still holding the strand that is now 1st from the right strand (just a moment ago, this strand was the 2nd from the left...). Your left hand goes all the way over all the strands to the left; your right hand goes over two strands to the center.
  3. repeat 'til finished. Tuck ends under.

braiding

The bread recipe and more braiding photos are here:

Happy Braiding!

-Elizabeth

(edited to put video at the top of the post so it's more easily seen)

trhoma6432's picture
trhoma6432

Italian peasant bread in brotforms

This is the first time I have attempted to proof and shape my Italian peasant bread in brotforms. I have made these loaves many times before but have always shaped them on my couche. These are the second loaves I have attempted to score. I did two loaves of sourdough last week and posted those on the site. The recipe I use comes from Bernard Clayton's 1973 edition, The Complete Book of Breads. The crust came out nicely chewy and the crumb was excellent being silky smooth. This is also the first time I used Caputo 00 flour instead of KAF unbleached bread flour. The difference was amazing in texture; nothing against KAF which I will be using in my other breads. My wife was very impressed. 


Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Kneading evil?

Hiya,


Let's hear your thoughts...
Why all the Internet chatter about no-Knead bread?


My personal thoughts are that it is related to everything else we sacrifice for convenience.


For example, look at this thread on LifeHacker:
(Read the comments)
http://lifehacker.com/5060851/make-no+knead-bread-faster-and-healthier


 


I love kneading, it's better than Therapy, one of the best Stress reliefs.

Note: I'm not picking on LifeHacker, that's a great site for tips, DIY, self help, etc.

Adelphos24's picture
Adelphos24

Sourdough Croissants

So I have been mucking about with my wild yeast sourdough starter a lot over the last few weeks. I made pain poilane, and a traditional american style sourdough, and was thinking..."what else can i do with this starter?"


The answer? Sourdough croissants!


I know this could fall in the pastry category, but decided that the wild yeast starter aspect kinda throws it into the realm of the sourdough junkie. I've gotta say, they turned out great. I even made some with chocolate in the middle. I wrote more about them here:


http://www.improveyourbaking.com/2009/01/21/sourdough-croissants/


Hopefully this will spark some interesting sourdough ideas. I'd love to here more. I'm planning on writing about the chocolate ones tonight.

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