The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Texas

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Issa's picture
Issa

Hello from Texas

Hi everyone.  Newbie here from Texas.  My name is Isabel, but that username was taken.  How DARE they?!!  :D  I've been baking on and off for only about 2 years and started because I wanted to make some of the traditional breads from my culture.  I've been pretty successful with following recipes, getting the feel of the dough, window-pane test, etc..., but I really need to learn more of the science.  Here's my reason:  The recipes read like this (example only) 'mix the starter, let ferment 2.5hrs, mix starter and rest of ingredients, let ferment 1.5hrs, shape into ball, rest 20min, shape into x shape, proof 2.5hrs.  My issue is that once I get home from work, I don't have enough time to do all of that plus dinner, plus homework with kids, spend time with them, etc.  So I have to learn when and where I can break up these recipes and let them sit at room temperature for a day or put them in the fridge.  I recently made Peter Reinhart's ww sandwich loaf (soaker method) and broke it up into 3 days! Gah!  I wish I didn't have to, but I just don't have enough hours in the day.  I don't really mind breaking it up because I can plan for that, I just need to learn where that is appropriate.

My very first copy of BAA should be arriving today.  I did read on here that a textbook may be more appropriate so I'll seek that out as well.  Yeasty-promise I'll perform a search before asking questions. 

Thank you for reading!

jcking's picture
jcking

Welcome Isabel to the Fresh Loaf. Time is precious and there's never enough. Blame it on the guy who invented it :-) Searching is good, yet I find that sometimes with the "same old, same old questions" new gems of experience and new book/study data show up. And that's a good thing. There will be bakers here with the same restrictions as yourself, who will be happy to share some timely tips.

Happy Panary!   Jim

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

My sisters and I all bake and are doing the ITJB Challenge... see Forum then Challenges... One sister is from WA and two of us are like you..... from Texas. Welcome!

Issa's picture
Issa

Thanks!  I'll check it out for sure.  I did receive my copy of BAA yesterday, but promptly returned it today (it was damaged).  No worries, my new copy should be arriving in a couple of days. 

Issa's picture
Issa

Thanks Jim!

PhilipG's picture
PhilipG

Isabel, there are many wonderful books out there to help . I started with Bread Alone, by Dan Leader and was able to concoct a great bread that requires fine minutes to mix the beginnings, then six hours later to set up the dough, then I shove it in the fridge and let it work on itself until the following day, anywhere from 12-20 hrs. Then five more minutes to make into loaves and a two hour rise and a 35 minute bake. You could work that in to your schedule, I bet. Where are you in our great state? I am on Galveston Island. PhilipG

Issa's picture
Issa

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm trying to hit up the library this weekend to flip through some books, maybe I'll find one I can't part with.  I'm in Houston, btw.  

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I have been using TFL and Inside the Jewish Bakery recipes and a few from 5 minutes a day - Artisan breads... the breads in your pictures (on the rack) look amazing... where are you on Galveston Island, I may be headed that way late February.

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I was born and raised in Texas but left as a teen when my family moved.  Sounds like you are doing just fine.  Spreading out a recipe over several days doesn't hurt; in fact it's a benefit for flavor.  Like you said, planning is a key.  I've got a water and flour dough in the fridge now from this morning.  Tonight I'll add starter and salt and begin the fermentation, tossing it back in the fridge to finish rising.  Tomorrow evening, I'll finish it up.

What are some of the breads of your culture?

FF

Issa's picture
Issa

Pan de cemita, roscas, pan de muerto, conchas, teleras, etc..  I'm excited to do more though.  Thanks for the info.  I've got lots to read here.

PhilipG's picture
PhilipG

give us a holler sometime and come down to the Island. Heck, come on down tomorrow, I have six loaves chilling for a slow rise and will have them out of the oven by noon. Not many tourists this time of year.

PhilipG's picture
PhilipG

We live at the corner of 17th and N1/2. Send me a PM when you think you can get down and I will bake some Cinnamon Rolls to celebrate. I work Tues-Fri here at the house. otherwise am goofing off or baking. bring the kids, we are 2 blocks from the Gulf.

Issa's picture
Issa

Philip, it all looks amazing!!  This past weekend was super busy with preparations for and celebrating the Chinese New Year with our friends.  I made doughnut holes with Chinese Five Spice, three ways and everyone loved them; got lots of positive comments on the 5 spice and the texture which made me happy being my first time making doughnuts of any kind.  My kids and I would undoubtedly love to come visit.  They've been asking to go down to the coast for a while too so this may just be the push we need.  I'll PM you for sure. 

 

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Can anyone please, please help me figure out how to post pictures... I am the only one who can see them... I have tried sizing them down, I have clicking Input... Disable Rich Text and cut and paste  Word Doc... etc... I am going crazy!!!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

  1. Look at the top of the page for the Tab titled "FAQ's" and click it.
  2. Find the link titled "The Photos FAQ (How to post photos)
  3. Look for the comments by Debra Wink link. I think Debra has defined the process as well as anyone.

Basically there are two schools of thought on posting photos. You can post images directly from your computer or, you can use a photo storage service like Photobucket and post the URL address in the window that pops up after clicking on the green TV icon. Using an online service is easier in my opinion. Images need to be sized to 6x4 inches at 72 dpi or they will be rejected as over size. Hope this helps.

Eric

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I will see if I can master this... thank you so much.

 

PhilipG's picture
PhilipG

wo0ld love to make those doughnut holes with eth FIve spices. we are usually here on the weekend so let me know and I will have some rolls and you can show me the donut holes. PG

Issa's picture
Issa

I made some with powdered sugar, some with a natural unrefined sugar (still contains the natural molasses), and then the third batch with piloncillo (Mexican raw cane sugar).  They were perfect for the Chinese New Year celebration as they are sweet and round and that signifies endless sweetness in life.

 

Issa's picture
Issa

Wow, that is really big.  I guess that will teach me to resize the pics even further.

Delicio8's picture
Delicio8

Those look amazing!  Can you post the recipe?  I have a cone of piloncillo but am not sure what/how to use it.  I would also love to see the pan de muertos  recipe!  Just on the name alone.   Is it for Dia de los Muertos? I've been using recipes out of the Tartine book which has taught me a lot about wild yeast starters.  Very interesting and fun stuff.

Matina

Issa's picture
Issa

I did not use a cone of piloncillo, I used ground piloncillo (piloncillo molido) from Rancho Gordo, see this http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/sf/4333/Hello_sweet_piloncillo.htm .  The texture is a bit finer than fine sugar and softer.  I can grind up a cone using a grater or a molcajete to use in some applicaitons (coffee, arroz con leche, oatmeal, upside down cakes and other applications where it will melt), but for using as sugar substitue in baking I stick to the Rancho Gordo ground piloncillo. I once tried to grind up a big chunk in a blade coffee grinder and it's okay, but it comes out clumpy (moisture level?).  I have not been brave enough to put it in a food processor.  There is only one place here that sells Rancho Gordo products. 

For Pan de Muerto I used Diane Kennedy's recipe.  And yes, it is for Dia de los Muertos.  You can see a pic of my pan de muerto (mine is the one on the blue plate, should have my name on it too) here... http://www.themijachronicles.com/2010/11/a-plain-but-lovely-pan-de-muerto-or-day-of-the-dead-bread/  I'll have to look through my notes at home to see if I made any modifications to the original recipe.

-isabel

 

Delicio8's picture
Delicio8

Oh very nice! I will have to try that one.  The comments were interesting on that site as well about the looooong rise/refrig times being best.

Thanks!

Issa's picture
Issa

Forgot to address the doughnut recipe in my first reply to you.  I used a recipe from the Joy of Cooking book.  I figured doughnuts are old skool, I should go to an old skool cookbook! ha!  They worked out. This is the same recipe.  http://sarahmeyerwalsh.wordpress.com/2009/01/22/homemade-yeast-doughnuts/

PhilipG's picture
PhilipG

oh yum!