The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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JoeVa's picture
JoeVa

Nuovo Forno

Two months ago I bought a new oven so I had to learn how it works, I mean what is the best setup for sourdough heart baking. This led me to change my setup: no more covered baking!


Have you ever seen the incredible oven spring, great crust color, beautiful ears you have with a professional steam injected deck oven? Just take a look at these photos from Wally's excellent post "My Excellent Adventures at King Arthur Flour".


                                                      589064849_img_1023


                                                      [James scoring Pain au Levain]


                                  589147293_img_1067


                                  [Jeffrey at the oven]


                                  589150951_img_1072


Don't you think this is incredible? How can this "flat dough" spring up so well? It must me the oven+steam system!


Here is one small (470g) test loaf, nothing special, just a white liquid sourdough and stone grounded Italian Tipo1 flour - very close to T80 French flour - a medium/soft+ dough at 66% hydration. I didn't take too much care of the dough because I was focused on my setup, but ...


                                  DSC03665


                                  DSC03666


                                  DSC03673


So, the new setup is simple: free steam in the oven generated with a pre-heated bread loaf pan filled with stones and a wet towel. Preheat the oven at 250°C for about 45 minutes with the stone and the pan inserted (the pan is on the same level with the stone) and put the wet towel in the pan just before inserting the bread in the oven. My oven is very well insulated and it traps all the steam, moreover the top heating element work well and doesn't get fire-hot. When I baked this dough with the lid it was very flat with no ears ...


I think I have finally removed THE variable that gave me somewhat inconsistent baking result.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Semolina pasta- ravioli with ricotta/mushroom filling

We have had this ravioli plate for decades. My mother-in-law had it and when she and my father-in-law passed we inherited it. We have never used it. I often thought about tossing it but never did. The other day David mentioned ravioli on my pasta post. Well that started the wheels turning...no pun intended :) My DH made his usual pasta dough and then I looked up a few YouTube videos on ravioli and we were off. Three dozen later I can honestly say this is VERY easy. I took photos to show step by step. The filling is 4oz of baby bella mushrooms sauteed with 1/2c chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves till dry. salt and pepper to taste. Cool and add 1 c ricotta and 1/2c grated parmesan and some minced fresh basil. This will fill 3 dozen ravioli. 


filling: Photobucket ravioli plate, dust lightly with flour: Photobucket shape indents with plastic plate: Photobucket fill with 1 tsp filling...don't overfill and brush lightly w/water between and around eachPhotobucket top sheet of pasta: Photobucket roll over HARD with the rolling pin: Photobucket pull off extra and save to reroll: Photobucket turn over plate and drop onto semolina dusted pan: Photobucket 3 dozen : Photobucket Things to do differently. It says everywhere to use the finest setting, which is 6 on our machine. In the future we will use 5 for the first layer that the filling goes into and 6 for the cover. The reason is that I know a couple of these are going to burst. Leading to the next thing I will NOT overfill next time. Other than that it all went beautifully. It helps to have 4 hands...as David pointed out he and his DW ( dear wife) do this together. So harness a helper and get started. c

ehanner's picture
ehanner

GM New Organic AP and Croissants

I was in Walmart last week and noticed a new green bag on the shelf next to the bright yellow Bread Flour from Gold Medal. It could be that this isn't a new offering from GM but it's the first time I have seen the Green package. I thought I would try a bag and see how it like it compared to other AP flours I use. First, the price made me take a second look. It was priced at $4.74 for a 5 pound bag. The Bread flour next to it is $2.65.


I have been wanting to make a batch of croissants so I thought his would be a good recipe to try my new organic AP on. A better test for me will be a French bread since I'm struggling with my laminated dough skills. Next time. Some people use a stronger flour for croissants than AP. I like the tender crumb I get from the AP. I used SteveB's recipe and procedure which I have enjoyed for some time. My croissants don't look any where as good as Steves or Larry's or Andy's and probably everyone else but they are delicious! Every time I make these  I swear I'm going to buy a sheeter even if I have to put it in the garage.





Proofing after 1st egg wash, under the cover. These half sheet covers are just terrific for these.



After 1st egg wash



A little crowded for good browning:>(



A small sample with my name on it :>)



Reasonable crumb and very nice flavor!

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Granite countertop

It's time I replaced my old laminate countertops and everywhere I look, granite seems to be the material of choice.


I wanted some comments from people that have granite now..are you happy with it? Would you change to something else if you could? Does it still look 'nice' after a few years use? Is it nice to knead on ... :) Oh, and are the darker brown/black colours difficult to keep clean looking...


Thanks to anyone that responds!

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Apology to all who have used my spreadsheets

To all TFL members that have used my spreadsheets.


A diligent member found the posted spreadsheets on glitzandglitterboutique.com has a mistake in the conversion factor used to convert grams to ounces, and oz. to grams. I discovered the error many months ago, and thought I'd fixed it. Obviously, something went wrong, with repairing the web site copies.



To put it in perspective, the error results in about a 1.5oz error for each kilogram of weight if you start with metric, and about 20g error for each pound of weight if you begin with English units. Converted formula remain viable, only a little bigger, or smaller. Nonetheless, I apologize for any inconvenience its caused others.


I've removed the web page containing the spreadsheets, rather than correct them.


Again, I'm sorry if this has caused anyone problems.


David G


 


 


 


 

breadinquito's picture
breadinquito

100% rye bread?

Hi all, friday a aunt will be visiting us from Italy and bring some rye flour..it's my very first experience with rye cause in Ecuador have not found so...what do you suggest: 100% rye or a mix with plain flour? How "strong" is rye bread compared with a "white bread"?


Thanks for any advice and happy baking from quito. Paolo

EvaGal's picture
EvaGal

Seeking More SD Loaf Height

Thanks to TFL, my sourdough loaves are more uniform, tender,  and consistently tasty. Now I'm raising the bar, and want taller loaves.  My daughter says, "Mom, these loaves are so flat!" (I think she wants more surface area for honey and butter:>)


I currently let the dough rise in a ceramic bowl covered with a dishtowel in the warming drawer for 1.5 hrs, then shape the 10" long loaves with a minimum of flour, slash and place them on a gray cookie sheet, cover with the same dishtowel, and let rise for another 1.5 hrs, then bake at 450.


I'm happy with the flour and starter and oven and warming drawer and dishtowel, but highly suspect that old cookie sheet could be the nemesis of loaf height. What do you think?


EvaGal


(Wednesday) Once again, thanks for the great advice.   I have lots of linen-type dishtowels (thanks to numerous long-deceased ancestors) and will try to imitate the pictures I've seen. I used to have a "w" shaped baguette pan, but it rusted and dented during my 11 years without an oven.  If I can dig it out of the "Yard Sale" pile, I wonder if I could line it with parchment for baking?  


The warming drawer setting is just above 90degrees. I don't think I can set it any lower...I need a "no-fuss" system where I can set the dough and forget it for at least 90 minutes so I can do the critical tasks of the day. Next bake: Saturday morning for a 9 guest family luncheon before a piano recital.


EvaGal


copyu's picture
copyu

Still searching for my 'flute ancienne' formula...

Instead, I found this:


http://www.chezjim.com/books/baguette/


Interesting stuff. Lots of links, photos, etc. Just a look at how things used to be...


Cheers,


copyu

sharonk's picture
sharonk

Happy Accident-25 lbs of Teff Flour-Part 1 and 2

Part 1:

I thought I was ordering Teff Whole Grain but I obviously made a mistake somewhere along the line because when my order arrived I opened a 25 lb. bag of Teff Flour! I went back to my original order slip and saw that, indeed, I had ordered 25 lbs. of flour. I just looked at this massive amount of flour and wondered how long will it take to use this up. Ugh.

I usually buy whole grain teff and grind it up as I need it. Teff is a potent high protein seed grain and has been a blessing after learning I had to go off gluten. I also use whole grain teff for a power breakfast. I soak the teff grain the night before, 1 cup teff to 3 cups water, add a little water kefir to boost the enzyme activity, cover and let it sit overnight. The next morning I simmer it for about 15 minutes to cook. Mixed with chia gel, flax seed oil and soaked nuts, I'm off and running. I'll often pour the leftovers into a loaf pan where it becomes like polenta. I'll slice it and toast or saute it. Using spices and herbs it could be made sweet or savory.

Since I was missing my teff breakfasts I ordered some more whole grain, this time only 10 lbs. To my horror, I opened a box of 10 lbs. of teff flour, again! I really must slow down, I'm making way too many mistakes.

Anyway, what to do with my 35 lbs. of teff flour?
My book, The Art of Gluten Free Sourdough Baking, is based on brown rice flour starters. I'd begun to experiment with buckwheat sorghum starters and have had some great results. I figured I better move on to Teff starters so I wouldn't have pounds and pounds of teff flour either stuffed into the freezer or sprouting critters with legs.

I began a new starter using only teff flour and water in a ratio of 1 to 1. I chose this because teff absorbs a lot of water. I usually use teff to thicken and give structure to some bread recipes. I was surprised that this starter was actually very soupy but I continued along with my 1 to 1 experiment, feeding it every 8 hours or so for a couple of days.

I used the bubbly starter to make Teff pancakes and was pleasantly surprised that they were as good as or even better than the rice pancakes! They were naturally slightly sweet with a great cake-like texture. The leftovers were great toasted the next day. Since I can't eat sweet stuff I used them as an accompaniment to a bean stew. I'm sure they would be great with maple syrup or fruit.

Starter Recipe:
Make a starter by mixing equal amounts of teff flour and water. Add a tablespoon of water kefir or other fermented liquid.
Feed every 8 hours or so with equal amounts of teff flour and water.
After 2 days it should be ready to use.

Pancake Recipe:
One cup of starter makes about 4 pancakes.
Add a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoons of any oil or fat and 1 tablespoons ground flax seeds.
Mix let it sit about 10 minutes and cook.
The pancakes will not show bubbles so flip it when it starts to dry out around the outer third.
Sometimes I cover it while it's cooking. It cooks faster and more thoroughly.

My next experiment will be making breads using this teff starter. I'll keep you posted.

Part 2:

After last week’s fabulous teff pancakes I continued building the starter even though I sorely needed a break from bread baking. I was busy and thought it would be a good opportunity to practice growing starter in the fridge as this would cut the feedings from 3 times a day to twice. 

 

The starter grew beautifully with a mild aroma. I would take it out for about an hour in the morning, feed it, let it sit another hour or so and put it back in the fridge for 12 hours. I’d repeat the sequence at night before bed. I noticed some thickening and some small bubbles but nothing dramatic.

 

I had been thinking about creating bread that was mildly sweet without any sweetener beyond 1 teaspoon of stevia powder. I used small amounts of carob and maca (a malty flavored root) and used buckwheat flour for one loaf and shredded coconut for the other. I also used coconut oil for the fat. The batters were rich looking, like cake batter. The aroma in the kitchen was heavenly and the resulting breads were fabulous. Sweet without any added sugars, no blood sugar spikes and no yeasty itching.

 

My daughter, who named Sourdough Bread #1 “Mommybread” said this Teff Carob bread was the best ever and I should make it exclusively. Forever.

 

 

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

WFO variation on Sandwich Buns

Today I fired up my wfo oven to make pizza and this morning I made the recipe for my 'Sandwich Buns'.  I needed hot dog buns for Mondays cookout and since the wfo was hot I retarded the shaped hot dog buns in the refrigerator until tonight when the oven had reached a temperature of apx. 400F and falling.  I removed them for about one hour to finish proofing and placed them into the wfo for 20 minutes to bake.  I wanted to get them into the oven right away because they had proofed a little more than I wanted, so as I brushed them with an egg yolk glaze and asked my husband to sprinkle on the seeds..I think he actually enjoyed it and I enjoyed watching him enjoying it ;)  I will post a crumb shot later. 


                           


                                      


                                                     Beginning to brown


 


                                                   20 minutes baked


 


                                    


 


                                                         Added crumb photo   


                                                      Ready for tomorrows hot dogs...I haven't had a hot in ages and looking forward to toasting these on the grill!


                                              


             Sylvia


 


                                

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