The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Today's Breads: Sweet and Sourdough

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.


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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Nice job on both the C-R-W and the SJ SD!


You know you've got Cat addicted to your baking now! It's fortunate you seem to be enjoying the production process.


Searching for nits to pick ... It's getting harder ... Can't fault the scoring. That will come with practice. ... Nothing wrong with the crumb. It's perfect. ...


Aha! The crust on the SJ SD is a bit dull. You need to generate more steam for the first 12 minutes or so of the bake. I suggest you splurge on a 7 inch cast iron skillet and recycle that loaf pan I left you with the lava rocks. It doesn't have enough thermal mass to give you the steam you need.


What are you baking for me next weekend?


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

David--  Thanks for the high praise.  But there are lots of areas for improvement.  I think I know what they are and, in concept, what I need to do to improve.  As you say about scoring, it'll come with practice.  Hopefully the same with shaping.  I think my feel for the dough is getting pretty good and I'm getting the iron hand/velvet glove thing (though I need to find a dry cleaner who does velvet gloves for less than an arm and a leg).


Thermal Mass, eh?  Is that a worship service for warmer weather?  If you hum a few bars, maybe I can fake it.  Where's my mitre?


As for your last question,



What are you baking for me next weekend?



Next weekend is the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park, but I think I'll bake Saturday and go to the Festival Sunday.   The choices are SJ SD baguettes (which would be my first try at baguettes) or the Cheese Board Curry-Onion-Cheese Bread.   The Cheese Bread is more unusual, but it would be good to get your review of the taste and texture of the SJ SD.  Up to you.


Glenn

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I meant to ask a question about crumb structure. I have baked lean slow-fermenting bread before with lots of little holes and a few big ones. In this bake, the crumb had lots of big holes.  Is this related to the big oven spring, or did I handle the dough better in shaping, or is it kismet?  Thanks.


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

There are lots of factors that influence crumb structure. The two that apply especially to the SJ SD are 1) high dough hydration and 2) gentle mixing (compared to machine mixing).


I can explain either or both of these in more technical terms, but I need a second cappuccino.


David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

A far cry from your first bake, Glenn! Lovely Sourdough and Loaf you have there, the crumb structure indicates a well proofed dough.


You have an advantage over most TFL members, including myself. In no time, you'll be baking some really quility breads.


khalid

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Thanks, Khalid, but my Dough Boy T-shirt doesn't give me that big an advantage.


Glenn

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

How do you get that BLT in your mouth. ;-)


Sure looks good. The crumb makes me very jealous.


wayne


 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde



How do you get that BLT in your mouth. ;-)



That picture was just after the first rise.  I had to punch it down.  I use a specialized tool...a pickle jar.

 


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The probiotic properties of the pickle also helps with "final (gastric) ferment".  And the combination of salts in the bacon and pickles makes the Pinot Blanc taste especially good.  It's an all-in-one tool. Thanks for asking.


And as for the crumb, thanks for the compliment, but don't be jealous.  Follow the instructions (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14140/san-joaquin-sourdough-another-variation-produces-best-flavor-yet) and you can do it too.


Glenn

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Nice ear on SJ too!  You caught the culprit stone in the works, that's great!  I especially love the look of your Cinn./Nut loaf, just what I've been craving a sweeter bread and the sandwich...well it's definately a favorite of mine...now I'm hungry!


Sylvia

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

But how did you know that "Nut Loaf" is a term of endearment in my family?


After the perfect toast this morning (it disappeared too fast for a picture), I have been informed that Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread is henceforth to be at least every other loaf I bake.


Glenn

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

My wife says she like the C-R-W Bread even better than Floyd's Cinnamon Rolls I baked last week.  Maybe that's because you can gain 5 pounds just looking at the pictures of the Cinnamon Rolls [Warning: close your eyes if you're on a diet].


 


 


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Glenn

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

These types of breads/rolls/pastries are sublisted as 'Restricted' bakes, to extra long waits.


Sylvia 

belfiore's picture
belfiore

Glenn,


You are one quick study when it comes to baking! Everything looks great & even better, it sounds like you had fun! I have some first attempt pain au levain in the midst of final proofing. I'm hoping for a good bake later this evening.


Thank you for the pictures!


Toni

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I'm pretty proud of myself for producing real good bread most of the time after only five weeks or so.  I aspire to make excellent bread every time, and to make beautiful bread eventually.


Good luck with the sour dough.  As the French say: I feel your pain (sounds better in French).


Glenn

LindyD's picture
LindyD

That's a mighty fine SD - and the sweet bread looks pretty good, too.


You mentioned:  "Our some-day-retirement house up the coast has a newer and better oven..."


Do you have a good oven thermomenter in  your SF oven?  Am curious only because I've never heard of a defective baking stone, but used to have a defective oven.

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I use the oven very often and with good results.  I haven't taken it's temperature, but it's pretty accurate.  Though it is slow to pre-heat.


I brought the good stone back to SF and will bake Saturday.  It better work, because dmsnyder is coming to sample my bread.


Glenn

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Mmm. Look good. Crumb looks great on both of the breads. Both look beautiful and airy.


Interesting about the two tin loaves: one looks lighter but with a lighter crust as well; the other denser but with a more golden crust. I am interested in this as am wanting to move more towards pyrex when not baking directly onto the oven stone. Re stones do you know the depth of the stone you used for this bake? Am thinking of comparing the results with thinner and thicker stones.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Thanks, Daisy.  As to the pans, I was surprised at the difference in bakes.  The dough was even split and handled the same for each.  The two pans were rotated mid-bake. The poofier one, from the Pyrex, is the one we ate.  It has an excellent crumb, with small air pockets throughout.  The other, baked in metal, was frozen for a later time.  I'll try to remember to report on it.  


As to the stone, Stan's website says it's 5/8" thick (according to my calculations, that's about 16 mm).  Thickness is only one variable.  The type of material and density would also be factors.


Glenn

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Glenn,


Thanks. Have managed to find a UK source of pyrex pans. Want to move away from metal non-stick and considered ceramic but feared they might take a long time to transfer heat. Had not known before that pyrex did these, although I have other pyrex dishes.


Good points about the stone - there was a long debate about the materials for stones a while back that Stan contributed to and I think that my stone is a similar material - i.e. cordierite. It is kiln shelf, actually and they come in different thicknesses. I might try a thinner one as my oven sometimes struggles to bring the thicker one to heat, although the results are good when it does.


As said earlier, loaves look great. 


Kind regards, Daisy_A