The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

With thanks to Franko!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

With thanks to Franko!

Hello,
Franko was travelling in Europe recently, and thoughtfully sent me a gift from Vienna, Austria - an organic rye bread baking mix, called Holzofenbrot Backmischung (translates to: woodstove breadbaking mix).
To say that I was tremendously pleased with this, would be an understatement!
Thanks again, so much, Franko, for your kindness and generosity!

Here is the bread, baked from the mix. It looked like the mix had a good amount of rye in it, and some bread spice (brotgewurze). I tried scoring before proofing, as we were taught in my recent Guild class.
We haven't tasted this bread yet but are looking forward to it very much!
Thinking of Franko's travels, I was looking at pictures of folk art today and tried to paint a design on the bread reminiscent of eastern European folk art. (It's the thought that counts, right?! :^) I'm not a painter! and wish I'd been able to keep it more on center!).
The mix was a 500g size, to which I added 350g 90F water and 2 teaspoons (7g) instant dry yeast. The dough moved along just as the instructions said it would: 45 minute bulk, 30 minute proof (no longer!):
 
scored before proofing:  
              after proofing:


I'm really happy with the quality of the mix and how nicely it baked up. Such a lovely gift! :^)

Still inspired by Franko's travels!, I tried making Mr. Leader's Czech Country Bread from his book Local Breads.
I found a nice writeup about this bread here.
I used dark rye for the levain and 75% sifted rye, and unmalted bread flour, in the final dough.
This bread has a mild, but very good flavor, and an exceptionally soft crumb - almost as if a water roux were employed.
I mixed using stretch and folds in the bowl, with lots of rests, and two folds during a 2.5 hour bulk ferment; one hour proof.
I docked one as instructed, and painted the other:
 

Crackles and crumb:
 

Here are the two painted ones, side-by-side. I will keep practising this technique, for obvious reasons :^)
It was a took a little bit of time, but was fun to try.

With thanks, once again to Franko, and to Janknitz, for letting me know about Chef Tess Bakeresse and her lovely, decorative loaves. The instruction I found on Chef Tess' site re: painting bread was so helpful!

Happy baking everyone!
:^) from breadsong

 

 

Comments

aretamarie's picture
aretamarie

They're so lovely!  I am admittedly new to bread, but I am incredibly awed by the painting and the results of scoring prior to proofing! And of course, the texture looks fab!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello aretamarie,
Thank you so much for you comments.
I was so impressed with the artistry of Chef Tess - decorative dough, painting, shaping. And she is very generous to share so much 'how to' information on her site.
I must admit I was very happy with how this batard proofed - there was lots of yeast - things were happening quickly!
Thanks again, from breadsong

Syd's picture
Syd

More beautiful breads, breadsong.  Your stenciling and scoring are really excellent and I keep reminding myself to try one of your techniques the next time I bake.  But somehow I am always in a rush to get it into the oven and just end up with one of my usual quick scoring patterns.  Lovely to look at: all of them. :)

All the best,

Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Syd, Thanks so much!
One thing I liked about scoring before proofing for this bake is it removed that sense of urgency I often feel when the 'dough is ready to go' and I'm not!
:^) from breadsong

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Beautiful!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thank you, Floyd! :^)

lumos's picture
lumos

Gosh, what a beautiful collection of loaves! You're very artistic, breadsong.  And the crumb and crust look very good, too. :)

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Lumos, thanks so much for your kind comments.
:^) from breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Beautiful loaves and now something new for me to try....I have not seen loaves scored in this manner and will now have to give your method a try.  Not sure if I am up for the stenciling yet.  Looks out of my league.  

Can I ask why you increased the IY in the formula you used from Local Breads?  I know it helps to curb the enzymes in some formulas and am thinking that is why you added it here due to the high amount of rye in the loaf but figured I better ask so I can learn something new if my guess is wrong.

I note another reference to a book....Local Breads...this one I do have but have hesitated baking anything out of it due to lots of negative comments about the number of errors there are in the formulas that haven't been corrected....Have you tried other formulas out of the book?  I love the stories about all of the breads.  A very informative book.  Tis a shame he never came out with a complete list of errors....The formula you followed obviously turned out well.

Take Care,

Janet

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Janet,
This was my first bake from Local Breads, and I'm quite happy with the flavor and texture of this Czech bread.
David did kindly advise to watch out for any misstatements in the formulas...I doublechecked this formula (percentages vs. weights listed) and read through things a couple of times before starting.
I held to Mr. Leader's quantity for yeast, 5g of instant dry (the 7g instant yeast was used in Franko's bread mix).
I went through the book and pencilled in the changes other people have found and mentioned on the site here, and am looking forward to trying another of Mr. Leader's formulas...there are so many incredibly beautiful breads pictured.
I love the stories about all of the breads too!
:^) from breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Think I will just have to jump in too....see what happens because there are formulas I really do want to try out....an adventure about to begin.....again.

Happy Baking.  :-)

Janet

arlo's picture
arlo

Nicely done Breadsong. The scoring before baking is something we did on boules of spelt and whole wheat at my past bakery. I never really understood why, I just did it because it was part of the job. Did the guild class have any explanations on why it should be done before proofing?

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello arlo, and thank you!
Our instructor, Mac McConnell, mentioned that the rye dough is fragile, and can collapse at the end of proofing if you score it then.
There's a note in Advanced Bread and Pastry about 'when to score' and scoring before proofing is recommended for doughs with poor gluten quality.
:^) from breadsong

varda's picture
varda

I agree with Janet on the stenciling - I think I would need genetic alterations to be able to tackle that - but that scoring pattern is definitely something I would like to try.   Oh and by the way, you are a painter.   You have just found your medium in bread.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Varda, You are so kind to say that but I really think this is the medium of Chef Tess :^)
If I try this again I might try for a more random pattern that doesn't require centering, or symmetry!
:^) from breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Wow!

And here I was worried that a 'mix' might not turn out a loaf up your usual standards. I might have known that in your capable hands that should never have been a concern. What a gorgeous looking loaf of bread you've made with it breadsong, truly lovely! I'm looking forward to hearing how it tastes , but for now I'll just feast my eyes on your art work.

It's my pleasure to have brought this bread mix back for you to use in such a spectacular way.

All the best,

Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Franko, I truly am grateful and wanted to do a nice job with the mix. I'm so glad you liked the resulting loaf!
Here is a crumb shot:


The bread has a very light spice flavor, a bit of fennel or anise perhaps? - we had some with salad tonight for dinner; the bread was a lovely accompaniment.
Gifts of fancy food products from foreign lands...what's not to like? I so appreciate you picking out such a good bread mix, packing it all the way home from Austria, and then carefully packaging it up and shipping to me!
This mix baked up so nicely. Thanks again for the gift, and for your compliments!
:^) from breadsong

Mebake's picture
Mebake

That is pure bread Art, Breadsong! Pity, these loaves are destined to be devoured!

You bring anothor dimension to bread baking, BS!

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thank you so much, Khalid! :^)

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Looks like a lot of fun and what a lovely idea for a gift.  Reminds me of tole painting.  Thanks breadsong and Franko for the reference, I enjoyed seeing the art on the breads...very inspiring!

Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Sylvia, and thank you!
I think I remember Chef Tess mentioning somewhere on her site that she'd taken a tole painting class.
Hopefully someday a class will be offered nearby - I'd be grateful for some help on how to better handle the paintbrush!
:^) from breadsong

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Years ago, I made lots of ceramics and the studio offered tole classes..but I never got into...that was before I ever thought of using a computor :)  Now I see where (Tole Town.com) offers online live classes...very reasonable price and, looks like a lot of fun...I should dig out my brushes!  I always liked the wine bottle decoration Ciril Hitz made out of dead dough...just never got around to it...he just recently sent an e-mail letting me know, they no longer carry the molds..very expensive.  They did give a site that sells the German molds.  It makes a very nice gift, your lovely painted bread or dead dough molds...tole painting...hummmm :-)

Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Sylvia,
Thanks so much for the link to the online classes! I will check it out.
Re: German molds, was the site Ciril Hitz mentioned http://houseonthehill.net ? (just curious)
They have nice cookie molds...might work well for decorative bread doughs?
Hmmmm, I may be thinking the same as you!
:^) from breadsong

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

;-) Sylvia

holds99's picture
holds99

Breadsong,

Wow!    Scoring before final proof---thanks for sharing that one.  In the (before) photo of the boule I notice that you docked it, but the docking isn't visible after you painted it.  They're truely Beautiful...

Howard

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Howard, Thank you so much!
I docked one boule first, and noticed the holes really showed up.
I didn't think it would look very good if holes showed through the paint, so instead scored the second boule, to leave a spot on top for the painted image.
I baked the breads until they had some color, removed from the oven (the scoring had opened up as much as it was going to), painted on the design, and returned to the oven to finish baking.
:^) from breadsong

ifencesales's picture
ifencesales

Beautiful bread.   Hope I can make this as good as the author.  I am new to the bread thing.

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello and thank you - I hope if you make this bread of Mr. Leader's, that you really like it.
:^) from breadsong

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

should win a prize !!

Awsome work, breadsong !

anna

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thank you so much for your sweet comment!
:^) from breadsong

hanseata's picture
hanseata

As usual, your breads look extremely nice, breadsong. The scoring at the side of loaves is very interesting, I will try this.

The bread spice mixture most certainly contains anise, fennel, caraway and probably coriander, too. These mixes are sold  as "Brotgewürz" (bread spices). I put them to all of my rye/wheat breads, in varying amounts, they add a very nice flavor without being overpowering.

Karin

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Karin,
Thanks for your compliments!, and for letting me know more about Brotgewürz.
I do love the flavor spices add to the baked breads, both savory and sweet.
I do remember coriander being a wonderful component of the spice mix for Syd's (beautiful!) Hot Cross Buns.
What a spice mixture that was!
I hope you like the scoring technique...but it's helpful to keep an eye on the final proof, as the scoring pattern doesn't fare as well when the loaves start to overproof!:

:^) from breadsong