The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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LuckyOven's picture
LuckyOven

Breadsticks —— My Second Bread

Today is my second day in baking bread in my life. I am easy to excited and fast to fall in love with something new and creative. This morning i bought The Bread Baker's Apprentice which The Flash Loaf recommended and find a recipe easy to follow and also funny to made —— the breadsticks. I use the white bread formula to make the dough, and using the half dough to make a simple loaf for my breakfast , another half dough to make my fingerfood breadsticks. The outcoming is delicious, i like the milk smell fill in my room when i am baking. I like the shape of the breadsticks, long, crisp and litte soft inside.


those are my second bread: white bread loaf and my breadsticks.



 





dale1nemo's picture
dale1nemo

Dehydrating Starters

I am sure it has been mentioned here before ( newbie question ) . Has anybody spread their starters out on some wax or parchment in there food dehydrator and preserved it (dryed)  for future use ? I know you would have to check out the heat tempatures in various brands. Just a thought !

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Not-too-sweet Sweet Rolls


My wife and I have a problem with cinnamon rolls. She dislikes the gooey, too-sweet frosting found on most, and she gives me a hard time about sweet doughs with too much butter for my health. So, I'm on a new quest: A breakfast pastry we both like that is still kind to my arteries. (I'm not that concerned about the cholesterol, but my wife's persistent expressions of concern can't be good for my heart.)


Last week, I got Ciril Hitz's latest book, “Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads.” Like his previous book, “Baking Artisan Bread,” it is aimed at the home baker. While providing clear and detailed instructions that do not assume the reader has a degree in culinary arts, the formulas are in no way “dumbed down.” He teaches professional techniques and tricks for mixing doughs and making classic fillings, all adapted to home baking equipment and quantities. Also, like his previous book, he introduces a small number of basic doughs – for quick breads, sweet rolls and laminated dough pastries – then provides a number of formulas for products made with each and suggestions for additional applications.


When I … well … we saw Hitz's formula for sweet dough, we were struck by it appearing less enriched than most. His formula calls for only 10.6% butter and 10.6% sugar. I made a batch last night and retarded it in the fridge (as Hitz prescribes) until this evening. Hitz has formulas for cinnamon rolls and sticky buns, but I wanted a pastry that was less sweet. Among his recipes for pastry fillings I found one he calls “nut filling.” It looked good, since we love nuts, and looked less sweet than ones that are mostly sugar. So, I also made a batch of nut filling last night and stuck it in the fridge.


This evening, I rolled out the dough, spread it with nut filling, rolled it up and cut it into 1.5 inch rounds. (Actually, I just cut half the roll-up. I froze the other half for another day.) I put some pecan halves on the top of each, proofed, egg washed and baked them in a 1/4 sheet pan on parchment. I did not glaze them.



As expected, the dough was less sweet and less rich than most, but with the nut filling, the pastry is just sweet and rich enough for my taste. This is a nice solution for those who find most cinnamon rolls and sticky buns just too sweet. If one wanted a richer dough, another formula for sweet dough could certainly be substituted.


The nut filling (makes about 1.5 cups)


Nut flour (almond or hazelnuts)

125 gms

Granulated sugar

100 gms

Corn syrup

25 gms

Water

Up to 60 gms

Method

Use purchased nut flour or make your own by pulsing frozen nuts in a food processor. Combine all the ingredients except the water. Slowly add the water to make a nice, spreadable consistency. It should not tear the dough when spread. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The consistency can be adjusted by adding water on the day of use.

I made the filling with frozen unsalted dry-roasted almonds. I processed them to a rather coarse consistency – coarser than coarse-ground flour but finer than “finely chopped.”

As I said, this is a “quest,” so stay tuned for further developments.

David

 

celestica's picture
celestica

Help with Chocolate Pots de Creme - Any Pastry Chefs Here?

I made the chocolate pots de creme from Joy of Cooking and they turned out granular even though I kept the temperature below 165 F.  I used Camino's fair trade cocoa and subbed a square of unsweetened chocolate for the 2 semisweet ones the recipe called for.  Any ideas?


6 yolks


2 c milk


1/2 tsp. vanilla


pinch salt


1/2 c sugar


2 oz. (squares) semisweet chocolate


1/4 c. cocoa. 


Here's what I did.  Heated milk in double boiler. Grated fine the chocolate and added when milk hot.  In order: Mixed together yokes, salt, sugar, vanilla, cocoa.  Then added this mix to the hot milk/chocolate mix.  I used a hand held mixer for the mixing.


The final product, while delicious tasting, had tiny brown flecks and a slightly granular texture.  I was hoping for more silky smooth.


Any ideas on what went wrong?


 


Thanks!


 

Aljorma's picture
Aljorma

Portuguese corn bread

Broa


 

 

O pão do norte é a Broa, feita de milho umas vezes branco outras amarelo, com mais ou menos centeio. É o acompanhamento das sardinhas assadas ou fritas, de pratos de bacalhau ou do caldo verde. O milho, outrora trazido do continente americano, depressa entrou nos nossos hábitos alimentares devido ao seu fácil cultivo e por ser mais saboroso do que o centeio com que se fazia o pão até então.

Ver receita3 kg de farinha de milho
250 gr de farinha de centeio
30 gr de sal grosso
100 gr de crescente (resto de massa com uma semana)
água q.b.

Misture as duas farinhas e peneire-as, junte o sal à água e adicione ao crescente (fermento) com cerca de 500 gr de farinha. Deixe levedar cerca de 3 horas.
Escalde então a farinha com água a ferver e misture tudo com o fermento.

Molde uma bola com a massa e faça uma cruz ao centro. Cubra com um pano e deixe levedar até duplicar de volume.

Tenda então a massa com a ajuda de uma gamela de madeira e leve ao forno bem quente.


fotos - João Paulo Sotto Mayor
texto e receitas - Chefe Hélio Loureiro

dsoleil's picture
dsoleil

How To Taste Bread

Hi All,


I love all the discussions on TFL.  One I haven't seen yet is a primer on how to taste bread in the same vein as how people learn to taste wine.  Not sure if there are any competition judges that want to weigh in here, but here are a couple things I came up with that contribute to the overall bread experience.


First smell


Overall color of crust and crumb


Holes and airiness


Chew


Texture


Taste and complexity


Aftertaste


 


It all depends of course on what kind of bread you are tasting, but in general what should one look for when tasting truly excellent breads or evaluating breads?  All thoughts are welcome.


 


dsoleil

bohogal's picture
bohogal

Sweet dough problems

I followed the recipe for sweet dough from "Artisan Baking" by Maggie Glezer, but by the time I got everything kneaded in something didn't feel right.  The dough was quite dense and heavy.  In addition, the dough didn't rise in the pans at all.  The loaves I'm using the sweet dough for is also in the same book - Acme's Cinnamon-Currant Bread with Walnuts.  They are in the oven right now and I just rotated them.  The dough has risen some.  Any thoughts out there?  This is my first attempt at a sweet dough.  Thanks!

louie brown's picture
louie brown

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Baguette

These are part of my ongoing 100% whole wheat projects, originally inspired by a photograph I saw here quite some time ago posted by Jane. I am unable to find the link right now, but I recall being astonished with the beautiful slices and Jane's unaffected, matter-of-fact approach. 


Over time, I was unable to produce a fair approximation of Jane's loaf:





This led me in turn to think about taking another step further and trying to produce a 100% whole wheat baguette. The ones pictured below were made from a dough of about 75% hydration using Bob's Red Mill flour. The flour was hydrated with the water but without the starter for about 36 hours. The final dough was given a series of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals, then rested, shaped, proofed for about 45 minutes and baked at 500 degrees.


First time out (not pictured,) the long narrow loaves did not expand much, so I chose to call them ficelles. This time, there was a little more surface tension in theloaves and I formed them to be a little fatter, but not much. I cut one to approximate an epi.





While I may try a baguette with more volume in the future, I think the narrower profile suits this bread, which has a very intense wheaty, nutty flavor, with no hint of bitterness. The sourdough is present as a deep, mellow background, not at all tangy. This bread is excellent with cheese.


What remains is to improve the scoring. In a sense, no scoring is necessary; the loaves will come up to fine form in the oven without any. But I have seen photos ofsimilar loaves showing beautiful cuts that nicely expose the grigne. It is just showing on one of the loaves pictured. Perhaps slightly deeper cuts would have helped.



beautifuldisaster's picture
beautifuldisaster

Chocolate cakes

Hi everyone,


I find it hard to bake chocolate cakes. The texture is always good, but my cake is never even and it always cracks. Any advice on baking chocolate cakes? Thank you!


 


Grace

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough Made with Gérard Rubaud's flour mix, again


 


 


The "San Joaquin Sourdough" evolved from Anis Bouabsa's formula for baguettes. Most of my deviations developed in discussion on TheFreshLoaf.com with Janedo, who first suggested adding sourdough starter and rye, and, then, leaving out the baker's yeast and making it as a "pure" pain au levain.


I have been using that formula – a 70-75% hydration dough with 90% white flour and 10% whole rye, raised with wild yeast – for the past 18 months, and it has been my favorite bread. However, I have recently begun using the mix of flours employed by Gérard Rubaud, as reported on Farine.com. The result is a bread with a wonderful aroma and flavor that can be easily made in two three to four hour blocks of time on two consecutive days.


San Joaquin Sourdough made with Gérard Rubaud's flour mix (Scaled for 1000 gms of dough)


Gérard Rubaud's flour mix

Flour

Baker's %

Levain

Final dough

Total dough

 

 

All Purpose

70

98

295

393

 

 

Whole Wheat

18

25

76

101

 

 

Spelt

9

13

38

51

 

 

Whole Rye

3

4

13

17

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour

562

 

 

 

Total Dough

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

562

Water

76

427

Salt

2

11

 

Total

1000

 

Levain

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

140

Water

75

105

Active starter

20

28

 

Total

273

 

Final Dough

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

421

Water

76

322

Salt

2

11

Levain

58

246

 

Total

1000

 

Procedures

Mix the flours

Because the levain and the final dough use the same mix of four flours, it is most convenient to weigh them out and mix them ahead of time and use the mix, as called for in the formula.

Prepare the levain

Two days before baking, feed the starter in the evening and let it ferment at room temperature overnight.

Mixing

In a large bowl, mix the levain with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and salt and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula or a plastic scraper, stretch and fold the dough 30 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 3 times more at 20 minute intervals.

 After the last series of stretches and folds, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. (I use a 2 quart glass measuring pitcher with a tightly fitting plastic lid manufactured by Anchor Glass.)

After 45 minutes, transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and do a stretch and fold. Return the dough to the bowl. Let it rest 45 minutes and repeat the stretch and fold on the board. Return the dough to the bowl.

Fermentation

Ferment at room temperature for an hour or until it has expanded 25% or so. If you are using a glass bowl or pitcher, you should see small bubbles forming in the dough. Then place in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours.

Dividing and Shaping

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Divide as desired or leave in one piece. To pre-shape for a bâtard, fold the near edge up just past the center of the dough and seal the edge by gently pressing the two layers together with the ulnar (little finger) edge of your hand or the heel of your hand, whichever works best for you. Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal the new seam as described.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams facing up. (The time will depend on ambient temperature and how active your starter is. The dough should have risen slightly, but not much.)

To shape a bâtard, fold the near edge of the dough and seal the edge, as before. Now, take the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you all the way to the work surface and seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Rotate the loaf gently toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam you formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, with minimal downward pressure, to further seal the seam. Then, with the palms of both hands resting softly on the loaf, roll it back and forth to shape a bâtard. Start with both hands in the middle of the loaf and move them outward as you roll the loaf, slightly increasing the pressure as you move outward, so the bâtard ends up with the middle highest and the ends pointed .

 

Preheating the oven

One hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack and prepare to steam the oven. Heat the oven to 500F.

 

Proofing

After shaping the loaf, transfer it to parchment paper liberally dusted with semolina or a linen couche, liberally dusted with flour. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel or a fold of the linen. Proof until the loaf has expanded to about 1-1/2 times it's original size. (30-45 minutes) Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!

 

Baking

Pre-steam the oven.

Slip a peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper holding the loaf or transfer to a peel, if you used a couche. Score the loaf.

Transfer the loaf (and parchment paper, if used) to the baking stone, Steam the oven and turn the oven down to 460F.

After 12-15 minutes, remove your steam source from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is br

owning unevenly. Close the oven door.

Bake for another 12-15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place on a cooling rack. Check for doneness. (Nice crust color. Internal temperature of at least 205F. Hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the loaf.) If necessary, return to loaf to the oven to bake longer.


When the loaf is done, leave it on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for 5-10 minutes to dry and crisp up the crust.


 


Cooling


Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.




David


 

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