The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

This weekend's baking: Tartine Basic Country Bread & Maggie Glezer's Sourdough Challah as a pan loaf

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This weekend's baking: Tartine Basic Country Bread & Maggie Glezer's Sourdough Challah as a pan loaf

The Basic Country Bread from Tartine Bread is among my favorites, but I haven't baked it in a while. After my positive experience with Central Milling's "Organic Fine Whole Wheat" flour used to make the whole wheat bread from BBA, I wanted to try it in the Tartine BCB. In summary, it was wonderful.

I shaped the loaves as bâtards and proofed them in cotton-lined brotformen. They were baked on my baking stone with my usual steaming method, rather than in cast iron dutch ovens. My starter was very frisky this weekend, and the loaves got somewhat over-proofed. The bloom suffered, but I got great oven spring and the crumb structure was nice. The crust was crunchy, and the flavor was delicious as always. 

I have made Maggie Glezer's "own" challah in the sourdough version several times. (See Sourdough Challah from "A Blessing of Bread") I really like the mild sourdough tang on top of the honey sweetness and eggy richness of this bread. Today, for the first time, I baked the challah as pan loaves. I decided to do this both to save a little time - this recipe requires a good 9 hours all together on the day the bread is baked - and because my plan was to use the bread for toast and french toast.

I divided the dough into six equal parts and shaped each as a round. Each pan got three rounds. When I was a child, the local Jewish bakery made what they called "egg bread" in this shape. I don't know if they used the same dough they shaped as braided challot, but the recipe for egg bread in Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker is less enriched than his challah.

The 470 g of dough in each pan turned out to be too little to fill the pans after the dough had tripled in volume. Consequently, the profile of the loaves is less high than what I had intended, even with very good oven spring. Otherwise, I count this a success.

Happy Baking!

David

 

Comments

arlo's picture
arlo

Love the appearance of both loaves of bread baked David. The Tartine crust looks delicious and the challah looks delighful, the shaping really makes that loaf look even better. I do like my braided challah, but I think I'd chose a pan style over it any day.

Enjoy the french toast!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Wait 'til you see the challah pan loaf recipe in "Secrets of a Jewish Bakery." It's more highly enriched that the usual challah - purely scrumptious!

David

Syd's picture
Syd

I would buy one of your Tartine basic country bread any day!  Beautiful colour, crumb and crust! Just the kind of bread I like. 

Syd

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My line is shorter than the one at Tartine bakery, too. ;-)

David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,

The rustic nature of the Tartine looks wonderful indeed!   I believe your assessment of the pan loaf is spot on too...more dough in the pan!

I went into hiding for a couple of days, hence the delay in writing a post.  I'm sure you know why.

Best wishes

Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Both look excellent, David.  Two of my favorite breads.

I'm glad you like that CM whole wheat, too.

Glenn

wally's picture
wally

Hi David - I also love the rustic look of the country bread.  I suspect something closer to 2 lbs for the challah would be about right for those pans.

As alway - even if it's been awhile - nice bake,

Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I am thinking the challah dough for my smaller pans should be closer to 1.5 lbs. I have larger pans that would accommodate 2 lbs of dough, though.

David

Eternal Grain's picture
Eternal Grain

I was thinking about making some Challah and I'm wondering exactly how much egg you use. Would you happen to know how much your eggs weighed? Right now I'm figuring about 50 grams per egg. Thanks!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't weight the eggs when making small batches of dough, but my conversion chart says one large egg is 50 grams.

David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello David,
The crumb on your Tartine loaves is lovely, and the crust looks like it delivers wonderful flavor; and the three-piecing in the pan for your challah loaf looks really nice too.
I just found Mr. Greenstein's book at an antique store, and have bookmarked his challah recipe as the first one to try, based on your recommendation to arlo.
I was delighted to discover in Mr. Greenstein's book, the page where he writes about "How to Make the Rye Bread Sing"!
:^) from breadsong

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I was not recommending Greenstein's challah; I've never made it. I was just comparing his challah recipe to his egg bread recipe.

If you make Greenstein's challah, tell us about it. :-)

David

Connie.'s picture
Connie.

Tartine Bread is one of my favorites too, David. And you loaves look great, even without the Dutch oven. I recently bought a ceramic pot because I can't find a Dutch oven here. It works great and I love it.
I have never baked a Challah, but this will change soon. 

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

These breads are fantastic, David.  Gotta try that OFWW from C.M.  Question:  Did you use that for the entire recipe or add some bread flour ?  

As for challah, I first learned to bake it about 48 years ago from my aunt's "Pop" (I was 21) , whose family had a bakery in Petah Tikvah, Tikotsky's (visited the family there years ago).  He generally made pan loaves, and my friendly Aussie chef neighbor always prefers those to the free-form braids.  That being said, I've been using the K.A. challah recipe of late (hubby doesn't like the s-dough overlay), with a few tweaks:  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-challah-recipe  I actually have been using fresh yeast (1 1/4-oz. chunk, from either Costeaux Bakery in Healdsburg or, recently, bought from Stan's New York Bakers when we were in San Diego) per 6 cups of flour (that's 1/2 of the K.A.  formula added on)*, which I first mix in the K'Aid for about 7 minutes and then finish kneading a bit by hand.  That amount gives me a one-pound loaf (free-form braid) plus three 9-oz. little braids (usually enough for me and hubby unless we're having company, hence the large loaf).  New addition I've tried:  added 1/2 tsp cardamom powder (got it at W.F.) to the 6 cups of flour.  Often I'll replace a cup of the bread flour with spelt (also at W.F.)  

*Here's my recipe (makes 2-3 large pan loaves; one 1-lb., 3-oz. medium braid and three approx. 9-oz. small braids; or two 1 1/2-lb. large braids--OR, for holidays, 2 large or 3 medium rounds--I'll try to post pictures later on:

3/4 c. water

9 TBSP oil (light olive or canola), or a scant 1/3 cup

8-9 TBSP. honey/agave, 3/4 to 1/4 ratio (agave is just sweet, without honey overtones), to taste

3 eggs (I use X-large) plus:  glaze made of 1 whole egg + couple drops of oil, pinch salt, pinch sugar (that oil works well!)

6 cups bread flour (OR 5 cups bread flour and 1 cup spelt flour) plus extra flour for dusting if hand kneading

2 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (opt.)

1 1/4 OZ. fresh yeast OR 1 1/2 TBSP instant yeast

After mixing the dough, I let it rest overnight in the fridge (makes shaping much easier), degassing a couple of times, then shape, egg wash, sprinkle w/ seeds and bake it in the morning, baking at 375 F. for 25 minutes (if making little loaves, watch earlier so they don't overbrown).  I shift the free-form loaves around after 15 minutes so they brown on all sides.  If making those, leave as much room as possible between the loaves, as they may "kiss" due to oven spring. 

Happy holiday baking!

Joyful

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The levain for the BCB is 100% hydration and 50:50/WW:BF.

Do you have Maggie Glezer's "A Blessing of Bread?" It's a wonderful book with challah recipes from around the world, many from Jewish communities that were lost.

David

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

David, yes, I've had her book for awhile.  I actually wrote to her (through her publisher, who kindly forwarded my email) and got a lovely reply.  I was making her Czernowitzer challah and, after reading that section, realized that my great-grandfather's bakery in Tarnopol was just a couple hours' drive from Czernowitz.  My grandma Fanny (emigrated to N.Y. via ship's steerage at age 14--that's another story) used to make challah much like the  Czernowitzer challah.  (I've been making the 4 -braid routinely and was excited to read that's typical of the Czernowitzer.)  She made strudel, too (someday . . .)!  Grandma never saw her family again after WWII; all were killed and I remember her talking about it when I was a little kid.   So Maggie wrote me back and told me that she's now making the Czernowitzer challah but tweaking it a bit (to make it a bit sweeter), also fermenting the dough, either shaped or in bulk, overnight, up to two days.  I followed her lead, and I do think chilling enhances flavor.  It sure does make braiding easier.   So thanks so much for mentioning the book and I apologize if I got carried away.  It is a wonderful book, and Glezer's research is formidable.

Joyful 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hmmm ... I have not heard of retarding challah dough. I assume that's what you mean from the context. That would certainly help with time management. 

I've liked Maggie's own challah so much, I've neglected trying others from her book. The Czernowitzer has been next on my list.

David

prettedda's picture
prettedda

I made the version of Maggie Glezer's Czernowitzer challa with saffron and golden raisins this week. I retarded it in the fridge overnight after shaping the loaves. I like to be able to bake challa early in the morning. Following her Maggie Glezer's "own" challa recipe I substituted honey for the sugar and reduce the water a little.

I made 4 loaves. We devoured one immediately and gave 2 away. One left which I may freeze for next weekend if we can resist. I made a 5 strand braids. It was hard to get nice strands because the raisins poked through and tore the surface of the lengthening strands. I am not great at getting even strands in the first place but in anycase they looked nice and tasted even better.  

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

That's exactly right--so try it, you'll like it.  Isn't retardomg generally thought of in terms of hearth breads?  But why not with sweet, eggy, yeasty breads?   If you've got a recipe you like, no reason not to stick with it.  But I suspect you like to tweak it this way and that (that's what Maggie wrote she likes to do).  You might add just a tad more sweetener than the Czernowitzer recipe has in the book, but it's got plenty of oil.   Also, you might give agave nectar a try if you haven't already; it's nice combined with honey.  Happy tweaking!

Joyful

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

not retardomg (whatever that may be)!