The Fresh Loaf

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Peter Reinhart Artisan Bread Everyday - Lean Bread Recipe

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madruby's picture
madruby

Peter Reinhart Artisan Bread Everyday - Lean Bread Recipe

Hi,


I just bought P.R. Artisan Bread Everyday and baked the template dough ie lean French bread. After I stretched and folded 4 times as indicated, I put it in the fridge for the cold fermentation. The dough doubled in size after 1.5 days. Two hrs before baking, I pulled the dough out of the fridge, used half of the dough and shaped it into a boule for the counter rise. After the first 60 min, the dough barely rose though. I decided not to take the plastic off as instructed and left it on the counter for the last 60 min rise. Baked it and the bread JUST came out of the oven. The crust’s color is BEAUTIFUL, but bcuz it just came out of the oven, I can’t cut the bread to taste it yet (am supposed to wait an hour) - will follow up later on the taste.


 


Me again...reporting on that taste.


For a beginner making bread for the first time in her life...the bread was wonderful, close to perfection!  The taste was excellent.  After 30 min on a rack to cool, my impatience and curiosity got the best of me so I decided to slice my bread.  The crust was not as crunchy and crispy as it was when I just brought the bread out of the oven.  The crumb was very moist, tender, soft, tasty and flavorful.  I splurged some butter on the warm bread and my hubby and I thought the whole thing to be divine.


There weren't big, irregular holes like I saw on other pictures and other people's breads so that is why I said "almost perfect" (but then again, are you supposed to have big and iregular holes???).  The crumb's texture was almost the white sandwhich loaf type.  If one expects the "pain croute" type of bread, mine was not it.  The look was very, very artisanal and had a beautiful golden brown, but the taste was similar or identical to an enriched white bread loaf.


I am puzzled that the counter proof barely afforded any rise. Was the dough supposed to rise again on the counter during the 2, sixty minutes proof? What did I do wrong? I measured the ingredients according to the recipe, using a scale (but I cut everything in half cuz I did not want to make such a big batch – first trial and going on a diet soon!). Any idea or thoughts???  Also, I would like to know how I can keep the crust crispy after it is done cooling off.  Mine, just after 30 min, is quite soft already.  If I buy a baguette at the store, the bread's crust will still be crunchy even if it is not just out of the oven.  How can I achieve that texture?


I am definitely going to do it again til I get this bread the way it's supposed to be...meanwhile, if anyone can explain why I did not obtain any counter rise (ie proofing for 2 hrs was not sensational - see posting just above this one) and how I can bake a crunchier crust after it has cooled off, I would very much appreciate.


MT Ruby


 

jim_kk5rz's picture
jim_kk5rz

The 2 hours is a guidline. I find that at a temperature of 80 F it actually takes 3 to 3.5 hours. Learn to test for proofing by poking the dough with your finger tip. If the dough springs back  quickly it is not proofed. If the "poke" leaves a depresion in the dough that does not spring back quickly it is ready to bake.

madruby's picture
madruby

Hi Jim,


 


Thanks for the poking tip.  I had read about it before but completely forgot.  My feeling was that my kitchen was too cool last evening.  After the first counter rise of 60 min, I was disappointed that it did not rise very much so I eventually put the dough to rise in a place I thought would be warmer than the counter.  Unfortunately, by then, I figured that there was not much else I could do (cuz I did not know that 2 hrs was only a guideline - was afraid to overproof if were to leave it on the counter or warmer spot for longer than 2 hrs) so I baked it.


This evening, I made the second loaf (of the same fridge batch).  This time, I wanted to help with the counter rise so I tried another trick.  I turned the oven on til 150 F, turned it off and put my bread in the oven with the door open for the entire 2 hrs rise.  The bread did rise but on the side rather than vertically.  I baked it...and the color was still speactacular.  Have not tasted it yet but the crumb looks very much like the one of last evening.  The shape looks more like a ciabatta though cuz it did not rise very much upward (even after I had baked it - it is as though I do not have any oven spring at all).  The counter rise only offered a double sized expansion lengthwise unfortunately.  I wish my breads can rise like "normal breads" would.  Am frustrated and feeling clueless...but will continue to try...tks again Jim for stopping by.


M Ruby

jim_kk5rz's picture
jim_kk5rz

 


 


Use a couche or brotform or bauggette pan, banneton or proofing basket
depending on the shape you want to keep the rising loaf supported.


Preheat the oven with the baking stone at least one hour before baking the bread.


Make sure that your oven is at the temperature you want it to be by using an oven thermometer for verification.



Crust:
I mist the loaves until damp with water from a spray bottle after slashing before placing them on the baking stone in the oven. Then I spray the heck out of the inside of the oven.


 


Bake at 450 F for 27 minutes.


 


Also I find that KA bread flour or ConAgra mills Kyrol brand flour work best for this recipe.


 


 


 


 


 


 



 


 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Quote:
if anyone can explain why I did not obtain any counter rise (ie proofing for 2 hrs was not sensational - see posting just above this one)

I'm not too sure  ...but here's my guess.


Depending on how cold your refrigerator is, how warm your counter is, and whether you left the dough in a compact mass or flattened it, rising/proofing times can vary enormously. The two hours is just a very very rough guide. If your fridge is 50F and your counter is 75F, your dough will proof much faster than if your fridge is 40F and your counter is 65F.


Also, a ball of dough takes a surprisingly long time to get cold when you put it in the fridge or get warm when you take it out. If the recipe allows you to spread the dough out fairly thin until it warms up, it can easily be an hour faster than if the dough must remain in a compact sort-of-ball. (Be sure to cover it though so drafts don't suck the moisture out of it.)


Quote:
Also, I would like to know how I can keep the crust crispy after it is done cooling off.

Crust that softens a lot as the bread cools is usually due to taking the bread out of the oven too soon. With underbaked loaves, there's still significant moisture/steam inside the bread when you first take it out of the oven, which escapes out through the crust as the bread cools. A little bit of the moisture gets trapped in the crust rather than being able to escape completely, which is what makes the crust get soft.


Why does this happen?


One possible reason is not being a very good judge of when the bread is done. Crust color is a really lousy guide to doneness. One solution is to get an "instant read" thermometer and measure the internal (crumb) temperature.


Another possible reason is your oven isn't as hot as you think it is. It's quite common for ovens to be "out of calibration" by 50F! Buy an inexpensive dial oven thermometer and put it in your oven. Check it several times and figure out the middle temperature. (Electric ovens commonly -and quite normally- cycle between 25F below the desired temperature and 25F above the desired temperature. If you check the thermometer just once, you're likely to catch it at one or the other end of the cycle, and so get a screwed up impression of you're oven's real average temperature.)

madruby's picture
madruby

Those were fantastic feedbacks.  Regarding the little counter rise, as I explained in my response to Jim, I did try to let my second loaf rise in a warmer environment ie the oven, but that too did not work out perfectly.  The rise was sideway rather than upward.


As for the crust, I use an instant thermometer to ensure that the bread is cooked.  I usually pull it out at appx 209 F (the recipe calls for 205 F).  Last night, to address the crust's crispiness, I left it in the oven for another 8 min with the oven shut off and the door slightly opened (read about this trick on other postings and on KAF website).  The crust took a longer time to soften than the first one I did on Friday pm, but I still felt that it did get soft.  I am still far from that "pain croute" texture I buy at the bakery store...but all in all, the crumb was not too bad for a 100% bread novice.


Speaking of crumb, although my second loaf did not rise much (other than sideway), the crumb had beautiful, beautiful holes (much nicer than the Friday loaf).  I was surprised considering the fact that both loafs came from the same batch of dough.  I am wondering whether the longer fridge fermentation of the 2nd loaf (I baked it an extra day later than my Friday loaf) had something to do with it.  My Sat. pm bread was actually a beautiful and tasty ciabatta (although I did not intend on making a ciabatta at first but a lean boule).


Well, this simply means that I have to continue working at it.  This is a great forum by the way to get good tips and meet kindred spirits who are also journeying on the bread making road.  Much gracias Chuck.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Quote:
... I use an instant thermometer to ensure that the bread is cooked. I usually pull it out at appx 209 F (the recipe calls for 205 F).

I've got one further guess: Do you poke the instant read thermometer through the crust deep into crumb, clear to the middle of the loaf if you can get there, yet never touching the inside of the crust on the other side? (Or is it possible you're either measuring the temperature of something close to the crust, or letting the probe pick up the heat from the crust on the other side? Also, beware many instant read thermometers actually measure the temperature about an inch back from the end of their probe, not at the very tip.)