The Fresh Loaf

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Dan Lepard's Walnut Bread - and my impression of the book

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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Dan Lepard's Walnut Bread - and my impression of the book


 


This is the first recipe I made from the new book "The art of handmade bread". I followed the instruction closely, only swapping out fresh yeast for instant. I consulted Dan's informative website and forum, it turns out that the amount of instant yeast should be half of the fresh yeast by weight, but fresh yeast is denser than instant yeast, in the end, their volume usage amount are the same, so that's how I made mine.


The minimal kneading techinque worked well, but next time I will leave yeast and salt out until after autolyse. The dough was dryer than what I am used to (which is pretty wet), but that was mentioned on his forum so I forged ahead.


Since the recipe uses both rye starter and instant yeast, the fermentation time was short - bulk fermentation for one hour, with final proofing between 2 and 2.5 hours. That's where I was confused - usually proofing time should be shorter than fermentation, I did't undersatnd why this recipe has such a long proofing time. I went ahead and followed the instruction and that's why my first loaf failed. At the end of first hour, my loaf was already ready to be baked, yet my oven was still off! Massive overproof, I got a flat pancake. I tried again the next evening, same procedure bu only proofing for one hour this time, and oola, I got a nice looking high loaf with incredible smell.



Next time I will reduce, or even leave out entirely, instant yeast. The taste of the bread was fantanstic, the walnut paste really added to the flavor, that's the extra kick of this recipe.



All in all, it's a great recipe, a tasty bread, and a very useful book with lots of interesting new recipes and techniques, can't wait to make more breads out of it. I am eyeing the oatmeal apple one next.


Comments

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Beautiful Bread Txfarmer. It is my intention to bake this bread today and your post is adding inspiration. I noticed a tendency to over proof myself with another bread of Dan's. Glad to see you figured it out. Thanks for sharing.


Eric

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

It's a delicious bread, well worth trying. I think the pitfall is that his fresh yeast behaves quite differently from our instant yeast, his conversion (half in weight, same in volume) is too much yeast IMO. And he lives in England right? Must be quite cold there, his fermentation time is way longer than any recipe I've seen and my own experience, I do live in Texas though. With some adjustment, the recipes in the book are still very promising.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I baked this today and it didn't get any where near as nice looking as yours. I used 1/2 + teaspoon of Instant Yeast. It smells great but the small loaves are dense. I think next time I'll bake this as a single loaf. I prefer a larger scale and I think the dough rises better. The paste was so good I'll make extra next time.


So did you bake yours for the 50-60 minutes called for?


Eric

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

And made one loaf. I baked it for 45 minutes, tenting it with a foil for the last 10 since it was getting pretty dark.


You used 1/2 tsp for the whole recipe? It calls for 1.25tsp of fresh yeast right? We need half of that IN WEIGHT if we use dry, but fresh yeast is much denser, after some calculation over at Dan's forum, it's concluded that they are equal IN VOLUME, so we'll need 1.25tsp of dry yeast for the whole recipe as well. Now for me, that means 1/2tsp for half batch, and proofing time was way too fast, but maybe you really need that much to get the volume?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I was just admiring your crumb and reading about how you thought you over proofed. Maybe that's what happened to me. I let it run for 2.5 hours because it was not doubled. My dough was a little sticky but I was able to knead it so I thought it was slack enough. My proof spot is about 78F.


Eric

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

That might be why, I only proofed for one hour. The first time I did 1 hour and 40 minutes, it was much smaller, especially after scoring.