The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

  • Pin It
sherldoe's picture
sherldoe

my bread always mushrooms over pan

I am new to this site, but am really enjoying every bit of it!!  I have baked off and on through the years only using bread pans, but I am anxious to try some of the delicious looking artisan recipes.


I have a question about my breads.  It seems that no matter which recipe I use my bread always mushrooms over the edge of the pan and then splits when cut at that weak spot.  This makes no difference whether the recipe comes out a complete success, fluffy and light or hard as a brick and weighing a ton.


What am I doing wrong?

proth5's picture
proth5

IBIE - Monday

Monday 8:30 AM (Hey! This is like work!) saw a room full of bakers and imposters gathered to hear a lecture on commercially yeasted pre ferments from Didier Rosada and Jeffrey Yankellow.


I don't think it is fair, nor do I think it is possible for me to record the entire content of this two and a half hour lecture in this blog.  However, there are some highlights that bear reporting.


Mr. Rosada introduced a slide on the effects of fermentation and told the crowd that the mastery of this slide was the secret to great bread.  In short, fermentation produces CO2, alcohol, and acidity.  And he then told us in short the secret to great bread: "The secret is time."


Most home bakers are familiar with the principle of using pre ferments as a way to add flavor to our breads.  However pre ferments create acidity and also start some enzyme activity.  The acidity can add strength to a weak flour (up to a point) so a lower protein flour will perform like a higher protein flour.  Liquid pre ferments in particular favor "protease" activity which degrades the gluten somewhat and can add extensibility to the dough handling qualities.  In fact, a liquid pre ferment is the "classic" baguette pre ferment because a baguette must be rolled out and extensibility matters.


This really gave me something to think about.  For example, I have usually used a liquid pre ferment for my whole wheat loaves.  However, because it is home milled and because the wheat is usually freshly ground, I am essentially adding extensibility to what is already a somewhat weak flour.  It might be better to use a firm pre ferment and strengthen the dough a bit more.


While we're on that topic, there was discussion on the how the percent of the total flour in the formula that is pre fermented also can impact dough strength (more pre ferment making the dough more strong).  I've been yapping about the importance of this little variable on these pages, but it mostly gets ignored.  I knew it was important because I saw what changes in the percentage of flour pre fermented made in my own bread, but I didn't know exactly why.  This is Didier Rosada and Jeffery Yankelow (ok, I don't normally like to drop names, but this time I will) telling you folks - it matters.  A higher percentage of flour pre fermented will increase flavor, but have such a large impact on dough strength that the dough is impossible to shape. Something to consider in formula design.  I do think about these things from time to time.


Mr. Yankellow gave us a brief presentation on that most controversial of subjects - standard terms for various pre ferments.  I know that Humpty Dumpty is appalled by this whole idea, but I find it comforting to actually know what the person I am talking to means when s/he says "poolish" or "sponge."  Maybe it's just a limitation of my tiny mind.


Both of these gentlemen are advocates of salt in a poolish as it gives more control over when it will ripen and a longer "usability" window.  Using pre ferments - particularly poolish - at the right stage of ripeness was emphasized.


The lecture continued on with points that are more apropos for professional bakers than home bakers, but all in all it was still a very worthwhile session.


Then it was out to the exhibition floor.


I was immediately drawn to a robot bread scoring machine - which used a blade more closely resembling a tomato knife than anything else.


For the individual looking for a home deck oven (breadfairy!)  - well, this show really wasn't about home bakers.  I did encounter several "small" deck ovens being used in demonstration booths.  Miwe has the Gusto - which is a very small commercial convection oven, the Condo (small deck), and the Wenz 1919 - which they describe as a nostalgic deck oven.  The Bread Baker's Guild of America demonstration oven was a Matador (deck oven) designed for "in store" baking - which had the cutest little loader I have ever seen.  It is included with the oven, but I'll be doing research on buying one separately.  There must be some way to rig that thing for home ovens.  TMB baking was showing a TMB Mini Tube oven.  No one had printed collateral.  That's the best I could do.  You can type those names into your favorite search engine.


But while hanging about the combined TMB and SFBI (San Francisco Baking Institute) booth I did make quite a discovery.  SFBI is creating videos that demonstrate the making of every product in "Advanced Bread and Pastry".  They will be offering these as downloads with a projected subscription price of $60 per year.  Sooooo cool!  They scanned my badge so I will get an email when the product is finally released.  Wow.


The two or three people who actually read my blogs will know already that after getting a significant number of samples at the SFBI booth, I would be drawn like a moth to a flame to the Rondo booth where I could pine over a large variety of sheeters.


I then stopped by the booth of some kinda ingredient seller to find "my teacher" forming high hydration baguettes and batards.  Not only was it a joy to see those hands forming dough (and chat), but I found out that (shameless plug coming) The Bread Baker's Guild of America would be having a class in my very own Mile High City with "my teacher" at the helm.  So would make me want to join to get the announcement on that class (if I were not a member already.)  Wild dogs will not be able to keep me away.


Then on to North Dakota Mills to chat about how we home bakers might get some of these more specialized flours (no conclusion reached - go to the website www.ndmill.com and find a distributor was their suggestion) but mostly to score a plastic scraper.


I did drop by the Louis LeSaffre Cup where Teams Costa Rica, Argentina, and Brazil were baking, but my poor fragile feeties were beginning to hurt.  Reminding myself that this was indeed a vacation where I wanted to get rest and care for my rapidly aging body, I decided to go back to the hotel and rest.  Although I will not get to taste the offerings, they will be on display tomorrow.


All in all a good day at the show.  For me, to see "my teacher" made it the best of all possible days.


So I sit with my feet propped up waiting for a decent time to have a martoonie (of course, this is Las Vegas...) in anticipation of tomorrow's session on levain based pre ferments.  I can't decide if I am just pitiful or one very lucky gal.


Happy Baking!

BNLeuck's picture
BNLeuck

In search of a wooden bread slicing guide...

Someone, somewhere, please by the love of all that is holy, tell me you know where to procure a wooden bread slicing guide! LOL My boyfriend is about as proficient at slicing straight as a lead balloon is at flying. :\ I love him to pieces, but a loaf of bread is mangled in his hands. I've looked at the slicing guides available on Amazon and a few other places, but all the ones I've seen are plastic of some sort. They seem, well, flimsy. This thing will get ungodly amounts of use, so I don't want anything even remotely flimsy. I want good, solid wood. Or metal, but I've never in my life seen a metal one. I've looked at the bread knives that have the wooden piece next to the blade to prevent the bread from going any farther, so that slices are uniform, but I'm not really a fan. I like the bread knife I have now, so I just want a guide. Preferably one with multiple slice slots so I can cut a bunch of pieces at once without having to move the bread, but I'll take just about anything at this point. :P Thanks in advance, TFLers!


~Brianna

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Interesting Experiment with Sourdough Starters

I just tried my first recipe from Hamelmann's "Bread" - the Mellow Bakers September challenge: Sourdough Rye with Walnuts. Since I had enough mature rye starter I decided to experiment a bit. I made two sourdough starters, one following Hamelmann's instructions to the letter, ripening the starter for 16 hours at 70 F. The other got the 3-steps treatment (3 feedings at falling temperatures, from: M. P. Stoldt "Der Sauerteig-das unbekannte Wesen").


After 16 hours the 3-stage starter looked more developed and hat a very pleasant sweet, almost fruity, smell. The "Hamelmann-starter" looked a little less smooth and its aroma was much less pronounced. Both starters went into the fridge overnight. The next morning they looked about the same, the Hamelmann one smelled stronger, but still less than the 3-stage one.


Mixing the doughs I realized that Hamelmann's instruction pertains only for industrial mixers, no way a regular stand mixer could incorporate a cup of walnuts at the end of the mix, when the dough is almost fully developed, at low speed. Because I wanted to see the difference, I nevertheless followed the instruction with the "Hamelmann-dough", and, as expected, had to mix some more by hand in order to avoid the dough getting too warm. To the other dough I added the nuts slowly and continuously through the feed, and had no problem incorporating them without additional time or hand work.


Both doughs were then treated exactly the same, proofed in bannetons and baked together according to the recipe. When they came out of the oven, they looked pretty much the same. But when I cut them there was a remarkable difference: the "Hamelmann-Loaf" was denser and had an oddly marbled look - the nuts being basically in one layer - , whereas the "3-Stage-Loaf" was less dense and had a more uniform look - the nuts being evenly distributed.


But the most amazing difference showed when we tasted the breads. 3 people found unanimously that the 3-stage Sourdough Rye with Walnuts tasted better than Hamelmann's one stage version!



Both breads looked like this one: Sourdough Rye with Walnuts


 



Crumb: Sourdough Rye with Walnuts (following Hamelmann's instructions)


 



Crumb:Sourdough Walnut Rye (3-stage version)


 



Comparison - the upper slice is the "Hamelmann-Loaf", the lower one the "3-Stage-Version"

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

What's the deal with malt syrup?

Question.  What does malt syrup add to bagels, except for sweetness?  Is there something else?  I have been making bagels for a little while now, and they turn out great.  thanks!

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Richard Bertinet baking bread - video

Here is a recent video of Richard Bertinet's bread baking technique, making a plain white dough.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/video/2010/jul/20/how-to-cook-bread


 


Ruralidle

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Seeds and apples

As days grow shorter and colder, I tend to opt for more wholesome breads in my baking. This week, I've enjoyed a wonderful rye loaf, studded with seeds and heavy on flavour. The dough for this bread is wet, and the baked loaf keeps well and improves as days go by. Here's a copy of my formula. Please note that proofing time will vary according to your starter activity and your final dough temperature.


Try to fill your loaf pan about 2/3 - 3/4 the way up: About 1100 gr. dough should be ideal for a 1L loaf pan. Here's what I'm looking at after a 1hr 45mins proof, seconds before the pan is placed into the oven:


Proofed Schrotbrot


 


Give it a bold bake, and wait at least 24hrs before slicing into it:


Schrotbrot


 


Apples are great for dessert this time of the year, so this weekend I prepared some apple tarts. The apple tarts are similar to the hazelnut tarts I blogged about some time ago, with the addition of poached apples. Key ingredients below: Poached apples (left) and hazelnut frangipane (right):


Swedish Apple Tart


 


Although the frangipane is a thick filling, I recommend blind-baking your tart shell to ensure that it stays crisp. Below are my blind-baked shells, filled with frangipane and apples, just before baking:


Swedish Apple Tart


... and the finished tarts:


Swedish Apple Tart


 


A simpe and delicious autumn treat: Yum!!


Swedish Apple Tart

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Today's Breads: Sweet and Sourdough

Today was my best baking day yet, and not just because it was a gorgeous day on the Mendocino Coast. It was a sweet and sourdough day.  Last night the San Joaquin Sourdough dough was mixed, stretched, folded, grown to 150% size, and refrigerated.


This morning, I complied with a spousal edict: Make Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread! One is well advised to comply with such insistence from The Loved One. Using the BBA recipe, and hoping it came out somewhere near as good as Brother David’s, I found the recipe to be simple and satisfying. I admit, I hadn’t eaten anything but an apple all day when the C-R-W Bread was cut at 12:30, but it was about the best bread I ever had (ok...I was really hungry). Just a bit sweet, great moist texture. totally delicious. And kinda pretty.


IMG_1589


IMG_1593


The two loaves were baked in different types of pans. The bigger poofier one was in Pyrex, the other in a non-stick metal pan. The two loaves were exactly the same weight and formed the same way. Interesting difference. The first loaf is half gone. The second went into the freezer for next time.


By 2 p.m., it was time to pre-shape the SJ SD. After my last (repeated) batard-shaping mistakes, I used the technique in Floyd’s video (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1688), and the batards came out more or less the right shape. Not so symmetrical as to make me feel like perfection was anywhere in reach, but generally ok.


IMG_1591

The real question this weekend was whether my recurrent lack of oven spring and grigne and the blond bottoms my loaves usually had were due to a bad stone in our San Francisco house.   Our some-day-retirement house up the coast has a newer and better oven and a pizza stone that David ordered for us from NY Bakers. The answer is Yes! The SJ SD got nice spring and by far the best grigne I’ve achieved yet. And the bottoms are toasty brown. As you see, one was scored a lot better than the other.

IMG_1599]

IMG_1600

I guess I’m going to have to retire the SF stone and get another from NY Bakers.

Crispy crust, moist chewy crumb with good hole structure. Totally delicious. You can see this dough would make great baguettes. Maybe next time.

IMG_1607

The SJ SD was great for BLTs (another spousal edict…don’t you just hate that?!) . She calls BLTs the perfect food. And who can argue. You got the most delectable form of carbohydrates, Bacon (“The Candy of Meats”) and lots of Vitamin Red.

IMG_1611

I might some day find a sourdough formula I like more than this, but I’m not in a hurry to start looking.

Happy Baking!

Glenn

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

9/23/10 - Tourte Auvergnate with Rye Sour

Hey all,


Just wanted to share with you this bake from 9/23/10.  It is a Tourte Auvergnate inspired by the recipe in Le pain, l'envers du décor by Frédéric Lalos.  His version is basically 80% rye, and the rest in white flour, which is made into a stiff levain.  I decided to make mine with 75% rye flour, and 25% AP flour.  I made the AP flour into a stiff levain, and then with some of the rye flour, I made a rye sour.  Here's the formula, process, and pictures.  Enjoy!


Overall Formula


750g Whole Rye Flour


250g AP


720g Water


18g Kosher Salt


1738g Total Dough Yield (approx)


 


Stiff Levain


250g AP


150g Water


50g Storage Sourdough Starter at 100% hydration


450g Total Stiff Levain


 


Rye Sour


150g Rye Flour


150g Water


8g Storage Sourdough Starter at 100% hydration


308g Rye Sour Total


 


Final Dough


600g Rye Flour


420g Water


18g Kosher Salt


450g Stiff Levain


308g Rye Sour


1796g Total Dough Yield Approx


 


Process:


9/22/10


6:30pm - Mix rye sour and stiff levain, cover and let rest on counter.


7:00pm - Put stiff levain into refrigerator.


9/23/10


9:00pm - Weigh out all ingredients, and place into large mixing bowl in the following order, water, levain, rye sour, rye flour, salt.





9:15pm - Mix for 5 minutes starting with a rubber spatula and switching to wet hands as the dough gets harder to stir.






Switch to wet hands and knead dough.



9:20pm - After mixing and kneading, cover and let bulk ferment for 1:30...



10:50pm - Dough after bulk ferment.  Notice the poke in the top part.



10:55pm - Divide and shape.  I made 3 relatively equal size boules.






Place in floured bannetons seam side down.



Cover and let proof for 1 hour.  Place 2 baking stone/stones in oven with steam pan filled with lava rocks and water.  Preheat to 550F with convection.


11:55pm - Turn off convection. Turn boules on to floured peel/flipping board and place in oven directly on stone.  When last one is in, pour 1 more cup of water into steam pan, close door and turn oven down to 500F no convection.  Bake for 10 minutes at 500F.



9/23/10



12:05am - Take out steam pan, turn oven down to 420F.  Bake for 20 minutes.


12:25am - Rotate loaves around, or between stones.  I am baking on 2 stones, starting them off on the bottom, transfering them to the top.  Bake for another 20 minutes.


12:45am - Take one loaf out to check weight and internal temp.  Should be at least 15% lighter than prebaked weight, and internal temp should be about 210F.  Turn oven off, and leave loaves in for another 10 minutes.



12:55pm - Take loaves out and let cool at least 24hrs before cutting and eating to let the crumb stabilize and dry out a little.



8:00am - I was a little impatient so I cut into one so I could see the crumb...  Slightly gummy as I had expected, but after a little toasting and butter, it was all good...  Enjoy!


Tim

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Kings of Pastry Theatrical Trailer...

So my friend sent me this link to check out: http://vimeo.com/13181134


I need to figure out if this will make it to the theaters here in NYC...

Pages