The Fresh Loaf

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alexlegeros's picture
alexlegeros

Why I Started Baking Bread

Greetings fellow bread bakers and bread lovers,

I have been thinking all morning about what led me to bake bread, and I think it might be fun to share some stories and experiences about how we all came to this really rewarding activity.  I think we all come to breads in a very personal and meaningful way, and I'd like to hear from you what it was like. 

 

Here's the link to my blog where this post is hosted.  Hope you don't mind my attempts at MS Paint illustration!  Be kind--all I have is a touchpad!

http://sourdoughrye.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-i-started-baking-bread.html

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Morning storm with walnuts

We had a bleary eyed start to Saturday after a late evening celebrating my birthday. A dinner out with friends at a fantastic bistro www.confit.com.au

Taste sensation of the night was baked fresh dates stuffed with gorgonzola, mixed cress salad, pedro ximinez dressing…OMG!!!

Anyway … bleary eyed today.

This week’s bake was about sifted flour and walnuts. I kept it simple, no tempering, no focussing on multiple passes…
The night before mixing – one pass then sift and remill caught material then sift again. Combine the sifted flours. I caught about 10% weight of my original flour, but I am not focussing too much on the extraction rates.

The weather here for the past few days has been very erratic, making my starter builds and bread planning a little dicey. This morning was no exception as a thunderstorm rolled through Brisbane at around 6:30am, dropping temperatures dramatically.

I mixed two doughs today, one with walnuts and the other using two starters (a rye and a firm sifted wholewheat). The rye starter originated from my desem starter and has been refreshed over a week with freshly milled rye flour.

Walnuts and oil

Walnut Bread
Total dough weight: 2kgs
Hydration: 85%
Prefermented Flour: 10%
DDT: 22-24°C

Sifted wholewheat starter @ 60% Hydration: 172g
Sifted wholewheat: 900g
Fresh milled rye: 73g
Water: 855g
Salt: 21g
Lightly roasted walnuts: 3 cups
Walnut oil: 2tbps

Autolyse flour and water for 1hr.

With wet hands squeeze and incorporate starter, salt and walnut oil into dough until smooth and feel no lumps then place in oiled container.

Bulk ferment roughly 4hrs with four stretch and folds 30min apart in the first 2hrs and another gentle stretch and fold at 3hr mark. Walnuts are squeezed through dough after 2nd stretch and fold.

Divide and preshape. Bench rest 20min. Shape.

Bench resting Country Bread and Walnut Breads

Final proof was roughly 1hr at room temperature (22°)…was surprised how fast this proof was.

Bake with steam on stone for 10mins at 250°C then a further 35mins at 200°C.

The walnut oil was mentioned in the “Tartine bread” book and is something I have always wanted to try. It is aromatic and rich, almost intoxicating. A fine walnut bread toasted, spread with honey and ricotta is amazing.

Walnut Bread

Walnut Crumb

Walnut gringe

 

Country Bread with two starters
Total dough weight: 2kgs
Hydration: 82%
Prefermented Flour: 15%
DDT: 22-24°C

Rye starter @ 110% Hydration: 115g
Sifted wholewheat starter @ 60% Hydration: 180g
Sifted wholewheat: 933g
Water: 773g
Salt: 25g

Country bread with two starters

Autolyse flour and water for 1hr.

With wet hands squeeze and incorporate starters into dough until smooth and feel no lumps then knead for 10mins (I use slap and fold). Rest dough for 5mins. Incorporate salt and knead for a further 10mins.

Bulk ferment 3hrs with three stretch and folds 30min apart in the first 1.5hrs.

Divide and preshape. Bench rest 20min. Shape.

Final proof was roughly 30min at room temperature (22°) then into fridge for 2hrs and back onto bench for 1hr before baking…it was a messy proof, but the oven was busy….slightly underproved…I love the dramatic look :)

Bake in preheated dutch oven for 20mins at 250°C then a further 20mins at 200°C removed from dutch oven and placed on stone for even browning.

These were baked boldly.

Country breads

Country bread crumb

The country bread was fantastic, I love the dark flavours of the crust. Brittle and thin due to dutch oven baking.

Well ... the desem starter is again happily snoozing in the fridge ... but …

… I now have a rye starter sitting on the bench taunting me …

All the best, Phil

 

 

 

jamesjr54's picture
jamesjr54

Swiss Bernese Oberland

Baked a version of Lumos' Swiss/Bernese Oberland today. I think hydration was a little too high, and gluten not developed enough. Still happy with my progress. And tastes great!

2.5 hrs w/ 2 S&F bulk ferment

14 hr cold retard

3 hr final proof

20 minutes in combo cooker in non-preheated 550F oven. Uncovered and cooked 35 minutes at 475F.

And it's already gone for lunch! 

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Canadian Thanksgiving

Monday is Thankgiving Day in Canada.  I'm listening to CBC 1 and they are talking all about turkey, cranberries, and stuffing.  Yum.

For Canadians looking for recipes to bake this weekend, a few of the more popular Thanksgiving recipes here:

 Buttermilk Cluster

 Sweet Potato Rolls

 Wild Rice & Onion Bread 

I think the latter is my favorite, though I bake them as rolls rather than loaves.  Just follow the technique used in the Sweet Potato Rolls recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Floyd

 

elodie's picture
elodie

Sourdough from Fruit Yeast Water?

First I have to thank all of the contributors to this forum.  Your collective powers of investigation and lively discussion are directly responsible for my happy liberation from commercial yeast -- forever, if I so choose. :)

I nurtured lots of viable yeast in a fruit water medium, played and baked with them, and then became curious about a sourdough-fruit yeast hybrid.  In principle, I thought it would be possible to jump start one with the fruit yeast -- a fizzy, dry, grape brew in this case.  I couldn't find a specific account of the procedure in the other fruit water threads -- most of you seem to expertly raise sourdough cultures before experimenting with fruit waters, so I improvised from the advice given to others for reviving their troubled sourdough cultures.

I made a small 40g levain at 100% hydration with the grape water, and have fed it 1:1:1 (starter: AP flour: plain, filtered water) on a 12h schedule.

It's been 2 days and getting weaker and weaker, from dilution I assume.  There's much less rise and fewer bubbles than when I started.  It does rise a tiny bit -- maybe 25% in a 12h period, but this is a fraction of the original strength of the levain which doubled in 6h.  Was I naive in thinking that I could get a sourdough culture from my grape yeast water?  I could feed with my grape yeast water, but I wondered if that would merely impede the sourdough yeasts from gaining a foothold.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Basic Wheat Bread from (Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book)

This is a my first take on a recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen bread book. It is (Basic Whole Wheat bread). The recipe is basically an enriched (Butter/oil , and Honey) 100% whole wheat bread.

The whole procedure from mixing to baking takes roughly 5-6 hours, quite fast! Recipe calls for 1.6 tsp for a 900 grams of whole wheat flour. The hydration is about 70%, but I increased it to 75%.

I used the slap and fold kneading method to arrive at the gluten development strongly advocated for in the recipe. I added the butter later half way through the mixing. I made sure that a window pane was formed.

The interesting thing about the recipe is that it includes deflating the dough twice, there is a first rising, “gently deflating, not punching down!!” and then 2nd rise, deflating again, then rounding/resting  for 10 minutes, and finally shaping. Even the shaping technique for a sandwich loaf is unique in this book (I may illustrate the shaping technique one day).

I used freshly milled white Australian whole wheat.  

     

 

 

    Tall domed loaf using a Pullman look alike french deep pan

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Very soft, tender and light bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Slices toast very quickly, as would white sandwich loaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    The crumb was cotton soft. 2Tb of butter did the trick!

 

 

 

 

I loved this bread, Period. The book has also some wealth of information about wholegrains and baking in general. I really recommend this book to any Home baker who wishes to bake healthy, yet light and flavorful wholegrain bread at home.

Khalid

 

 

sam's picture
sam

100% white

Hello,

I wanted to try out a schedule that worked for my normal work-week and maximizing
flavor, because I am usually not around during the daytime hours.  Also I
wanted to see the effect of a purely white flour mash.
Due to the way my schedule works, I did bulk ferment of 24 hrs, with the understanding
that my final dough might be sour (hopefully not inedible sour),
So for this recipe I was going for 100% white flour.  For my palette, a white
bread with a solid tang is good.  Maybe not so much tang for breads with a high
percentage of whole grains.

Turns out, this was perfect (for me).  I would make this again.  Tastes great!

All flour is KA Bread Flour, except for the starter flour which is KA AP.
All weight in grams.


Total Dough Weight: 1000  
Total Dough Hydration: 68%  
Total Dough Flour Weight: 595  
Total Dough Water Weight: 405  

Percentages:
   
Levain Percentage: 20%  
Levain Hydration: 125%  
Starter Percentage: 10% of leaven 
Starter Hydration: 125%

Soaker Percentage: 54%  
Soaker Hydration: 80%  
Mash Percentage: 20% of soaker 
Mash Hydration: 200%  
Soaker Salt Percentage: 1%
Overall Dough Salt Percentage: 1.5%

Levain:
Flour Weight: 114  
Water Weight: 143
Starter Weight: 12

Mash:    
Flour Weight: 64  
Water Weight: 128
Diatastic Malt Powder: 1

Soaker:
All Mash:
Flour Weight: 257  
Water Weight: 129  
Salt Weight: 3  
      
Final Dough:
All Levain
All Soaker/Mash
Flour Weight: 155

Salt: 6

Procedure I did:

1)  Evening #1, made mash.  I did 55C for 90 mins, 60C for 30 mins,
65C for 30 mins, 70C for 30 mins.

2)  Morning #2, mixed levain and soaker/mash.

3)  Evening #2, mixed everything to final dough.  Put dough into
chiller at 44F / 6.6C.

4)  Morning #3, stretch + fold.

5)  Evening #3, took dough out of chiller, another stretch + fold.

6)  Final of evening #3:

Allowed 1 hr for warm-up.

Shaped.  Cut out a small chunk of dough to watch bubble activity.

It took 2.5 hours for dough to be ready for bake -- Both from bubble activity
and feel of the dough.  I am getting better at gauging the feel of the dough,
and not needing the crutch of watching bubble activity, but it is good to have
the small chunk of dough as a confirmation.

Turns out, I am still staying up too late on Evening #3, because it takes a while
for the dough to do the final ferment after being the chiller for so long.  
But, I can make bread during the week!  :)

Pictures:

Oven after first 10 minutes of steam:

 

Baked with steam (above) for 10 mins at 460F, then lowered to 420F.   Here it is after 20 mins at 420F.

 

 

A little bit darker than I'd like, but all good.   Internal temp measured 207F and was hollow to the thump.

 

 

 

Crumb:

 

 

 

Happy baking!

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Bread and Meat, the making of a savoury sandwich

We don't see a lot of posts on sandwiches on this forum, which I'm sure is what most of use our daily bread for. I thought it'd be fun to do something a little different by including a procedure on the meat that went into this particular favourite sandwich of mine.

Yesterday morning I mixed ciabatta dough for ciabatta buns or ciabattini in order to make one of my all time favourite sandwiches, the porchetta sandwich. Ciabatta is a bread I seldom make for sandwiches but when I've have the time to make porchetta I can't think of another bread I'd rather put it on. Hamelman's Ciabatta with Biga was the formula used, scaling it out to make about a kilo of dough to work with. It's the first time I've used this formula for Ciabatta but certainly not the last as it makes a very nice dough that's relatively easy to handle, and has an excellent aroma and flavour once baked. The ciabattini were scaled at 105 grams per, the remainder of the dough was used for a smallish loaf that I'll use for a sub sandwich.

The crumb is soft and moist, with no large holes, perfect for soaking up the flavours of the lightly smoked porchetta and any other condiments I might add, which is usually a peperoncini or two, some thin slices of provolone and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Although this version of porchetta is not close to an authentic one where the pork shoulder is stuffed with a sausage type filling from other parts of the animal along with various other ingredients, it is quick and easy to prepare and has plenty of flavour.

The recipe I used as a reference point is Mario Battali's which can be found here , but I just made a blend of olive oil and the herbs and spices he suggests (and some he doesn't) in a food processor, rather than make the sausage type filling this time. The herb and oil paste is then spread over the pork that's been cut in such a way that it can laid flat and then be rolled up and tied.

Once rolled and tied it was rubbed with sea salt and a generous amount of black pepper, placed in a zip-lock bag and liberally doused with white wine. It marinated in the fridge for four days, being turned once a day to ensure all of it was exposed to the wine over the course of marination. The day before cooking it was removed from the marinade and dried off, then wrapped in a double layer of cheese cloth and put back in the fridge to dry overnight. The next day the meat was cooked in a hot smoker for two hours at 220F using a very light smoke of oak wood. It's not essential that the meat be smoked. It can be made with just a conventional oven, but a bit of smoke adds a lot to the overall flavour.

Before going to the oven after initial 2 hour smoking

After that it went into the oven for 2 more hours at 250F or until the internal temperature read 170F. After 5-10 minutes out of the oven it was wrapped in saran and allowed to cool down slowly before being placed in the fridge overnight. The meat is savoury and succulent with a bit of crunch from the fat that has turned to cracklings over the long cooking time. Redolent of garlic, fennel seed and rosemary, with some heat from the black pepper and a few chili flakes that were included in the seasoning, it packs an incredible amount of flavour into the 2 or 3 slices I used to make the sandwich in the photos below.

The sandwich is best if the meat and bread are warmed first before it's eaten and I'll usually put the cheese on the meat while its warming to melt it slightly. While it's not a true porchetta or porchetta sandwich in the authentic sense , it does make a very satisfying lunchtime snack.

Happy eating,

Franko

 

loydb's picture
loydb

Experiments in Pasta: Milling My Own Flour

I finally got a new pasta maker to replace the one I destroyed via water and overestimating my ability to remember how to reassemble it. :) This time, I went with a motor! I stuck with an Atlas 150, which was a great machine for me until I went all Mr. Fixit on it.

Previously, I'd been using store-bought flour. Last night was my first try with it using flour I milled myself, though I hedged my bets on this one with around 33% King Arthur Bread Flour. I didn't find a lot on milling pasta flour using the search, so hopefully my experiments will aid searchers somewhere down the line.

Attempt #1
I didn't think to take pics of anything but the final product, I'll do better on the next run, promise. All grains are from Pleasant Hill.

I started out with 6 oz of durum wheat (14%)  and 2 oz of hard white wheat, milled fine, mixed with 3 oz KA. By the time it was all said and done, I easily added another 1-2 oz of KA.

Put the milled flour in a bowl, make a well, crack two room-temperature eggs in it, add a couple of healthy pinches of kosher salt (1.5 t maybe?). Whisk with a fork to blend in flour from the edges. When it gets too dry, pour in a little bit of room temperature water (I ended up using just over 3/4 cup of water). Eventually it becomes too heavy to stir with a fork, switch to a spatula or spoon or whatever you use. I chose to hand knead this instead of using my DLX, so I have some sense memory of the dough development as experiments progress. 

After it comes together in the bowl, move to a heavily-floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Mine was really, really soft and damp, and I used a lot of KA flour by the time the kneading was done. It still felt really soft, almost like focaccia. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I let it sit 45 minutes. 

I rolled it out about 3/4" thick (using a lot more flour), cut off a chunk about the area of slice of cheese, and started running it through the Atlas. Lemme just say right now, if you're thinking of buying one of these, get one with a motor. It's so nice to be able to work solo, and it takes less than 3 seconds to move the motor from the flattening rollers to the cutter and back. I folded it back on itself a couple of times at setting 0 and setting 1, then progressed until setting 4, their recommended thickness for the spaghetti cutter.

Moved the motor to the cutter, and ran the first sheet through. It was a gummy, messy disaster. Fortunately, it was going to be discarded anyway (as per the recommendations for first-time use).

Clean up, consult the manual. If it fails to cut, add flour to the dough and run it through the rollers.

I liberally sprinkled the cutting board, cut off another square of dough, floured both sides, and ran it through at 0. Folded, floured, repeated. Move to 1, same thing. As it got thinner, I sprinkled flour on the sheet of dough and gently massaged it over the surface, then flipped and hit the other side. Finally, I sprinkled some flour directly on the cutting rollers. 

I should talk here about the texture of the dough. I didn't do any sifting, so all the bran was still in the dough, which felt kind of grainy. When at the final thickness, I could feel the bran in relief when spreading on the KA flour. This was the first thing that concerned me.

Back to the rollers -- this time, everything came through the cutter mostly intact, but the individual strands of noodles were, in some cases, still clinging to each other, looking vaguely like a computer ribbon cable. This was the second thing that concerned me.

I hung the noodles on the drying rack, and the bran in the tiny noodles made them feel almost like they'd been rolled in sand. This was the third thing that concerned me.

At this point, my wife is on the way home from work. I have a bunch of noodles that I'm pretty sure are going to be a gummy, grainy mess. Oh well, I've got dried pasta in the pantry, I can always break it out if necessary.

The noodles hang out and dry for around 45 minutes. Now, they feel like dry, sandy ribbons. I'm not optimistic.

I throw the noodles in 6 quarts of boiling salt water to which I've added 1 T of olive oil, and boiled them for 4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so to keep them from clumping up, then drained them in a collander before adding them to the sauce for about 90 seconds on the stove.

Fearing the worst, I added some fresh-ground asiago and parmesan and tried some.

They were fantastic.

Nothing stuck together, and there was no grainy-ness. It was amazingly tender. 

Heartened by the success, I'm going to try using more fresh milled flour next time, perhaps only using the KA for adjustments (which would still end up being a couple of ounces if it runs to form).

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

10/2/11 - Kürbiskernbrot (Pumpkinseedbread)

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