The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The latest loaves

Floydm's picture
Floydm

The latest loaves

I hope everyone is having a good late summer, early fall.  

Things have been remarkable busy in my household the past few months and only appear to be getting busier the next few months. But I have been baking when I can.  

Mostly I've been baking sourdough boules, these sorts of things.

My basic formula is 72% hydration with 20% whole grain flour, though I tend to experiment and make it lighter or grainer based on what other breads we have in the house, what we are going to have for dinner, or what sort of loaf I am craving. 

I am baking these in my enamel pots, which are cheap and pose no risk to our oven.

 We do enjoy them!

* * *

Also worth mentioning that I was contacted a few weeks ago by the folks at Craftsy, an online hobby training video site that a few community members have mentioned. I typically turn away solicitations and advertising partnership requests, but my interest was piqued when I saw they had an Artisan Bread Making class taught by Peter Reinhart as well as a Sourdough Bread Making class taught by Richard Miscovich (there is also a shorter free pizza making class taught by Peter as well). Both Peter and Richard teach at Johnson & Wales and are highly respected both as bakers and as instructors. I've taken classes or worked with both and respect them both immensely.

So I signed up for the Craftsy affiliate program (which means this isn't a paid post, but if you click through one of those links and sign up for a class there, I get a cut) and am working my way through Peter and Richard's videos. I've enjoyed what I've seen so far.

Have other folks taking these classes? Your impressions?

Comments

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Floyd please 'award' yourself a cover photo, I love the crumb shot, want to pick up your knife and help myself to a slice!!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the perfect white bread for flavor, crust and crumb.  Your examples are near perfection.  We are getting closer to overturning a pot on the bottom stone as a favorite steaming method.  Just a lot less hassle :-)  Well done and H\

Happy baking

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

I'm with RobynNZ, this should be a cover shot!  Send yourself an email saying "can I feature this bread?", and then answer yes!  Beautiful spring and scoring, and love the crumb.  

Haven't taken any of those courses you mention (tricky, living in London), but will look out for the videos as I always have to learn more. Thanks for posting!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Love that final crumb shot, Floyd. So picturesque! Lovely boules of sourdough.

Thanks for the link to artisan bread making videos.

Khalid

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I agree with others that these are too beautiful not to be highlighted on the home page!!!  Wonderful shape, scoring and colors.  Just looking at them is a real treat - a feast for the eyes!

Love seeking your notes on the formula.  It is like a peek into your day seeing what you are doing and how these loaves became part of your life for the day you were making them.  That is what I love about baking bread.  They become the fabric of our days and your notes captured that perfectly.

Thanks for sharing Floyd.

Take Care,

Janet

chefcdp's picture
chefcdp

Those are very impressive boules.  I was going to try your recipe, but I was unable to decipher the first entry on the ingredient list.  Could you tell me what "90 e7G" means?

Thanks,

Charles

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Thanks!  That is 90g rye flour.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I was wondering if you find the videos on Craftsy to give more information compared to the books. I watched the pizza one and it didn't seem to give new information but was still fun to watch. Thanks.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Hopefully Floyd gets a bigger cut from that because of the pricing....

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I was surprised that he undercooked the pizza. It suggested to me that he wasn't all that experienced making pizza in that oven. He could have put it back in to get it right, or looked at the bottom before taking it out.  A litle ironic that it is titled the perfect pizza!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I don't think I'd say they give more information, just it is a different method of knowledge transfer. Some things are easier to wrap your head around when you read about them, others you need to see or hear someone emphasize for the information to really sink in.  

I've not been able to spend enough focused energy watching and absorbing the videos to identify any "Eureka!" moments yet, but if and when I do I will post about them.

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Floyd:  These are beautiful, and I love your handwritten recipe. I have to say I did struggle a bit with the first notation, so I am glad you said rye!  I do love an open crumb, and yours is wonderful.  Do you think it would turn out as well if I halved the recipe?  Congratulations, and I agree that it would be a wonderful feature.  Best,  Phyllis

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Yes, I always bake two loaves with this recipe, so one should turn out fine.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I have yet to venture into the world of baking bread in a pot, but these do make me want to try it out. What pots do you use (size and brand)? I like that you said they were inexpensive. Thanks for the Craftsy info too.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Just no-name enamel posts.  See here.  I think mine are ... 10 inches maybe?  Big, but still small enough that I can easily fit two side-by-side in the oven.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I was wondering if the heavier cast iron enameled dutch ovens were needed. I guess not.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

You will get more oven spring from a preheated dutch oven, but for steam the enamel pots are more than adequate.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I don't use enameled cast iron, just the plain lodge combo cooker.

I am pretty sure any covered pot will do, so long as the cover has a good fit.  The purpose is to create an environment that traps the steam around your baking dough.

I actually have two combo cookers for baking both loaves side by side.  The advantage to this particular cookware is that you can put the dough in the shallow end easily, and just cover it with the deeper pan.  Plus, I like the long handles for making it easy to get the lid on and off.  When it is time to "uncover", I take the top off, and slide it under the bottom and finish the bake.  I use these extra long oven gloves to handle the hot iron -- but beware, if they get wet they transmit the heat directly to your hands.

The pans also are great for making scrambled eggs.

The huge disadvantage is weight, plus the potential for grabbing the pan by the 500 degree handle, without a pot holder, after you take it out of the oven. I am always very careful to put on BOTH gloves, because the pans are heavy and if I start to lose my grip I don't want to try to recover the pan with an ungloved hand.  If you preheat the pans before adding the dough, this means you take it out of the oven, wearing both gloves and  you put both gloves back on when returning it to the oven with the dough.

 

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I saw that combo cooker and was thinking it would be good. Thanks for the tip on the gloves. I was wondering what gloves I would need for that. Regular pot holders seemed like they would be hard to maneuver.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Because of the long handles, I think you can use an oven mitt just as well as an oven glove. However, I do like the secure grip that a gloves provide.  The gloves are a must, for me, when I make my pizza because I find it much easier to grab the pizza pan's smaller handles with the glove.

baybakin's picture
baybakin

Great looking loaves Floyd!  I see you have a similar back-of-the-napkin approch to recipe building.  I have pieces like that screwn all around the kitchen, attatched to the fridge, stacks on the coffee table...

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Are you retarding the dough at any point?

Floydm's picture
Floydm

No, I haven't been retarding them.

Shaping to baking... 90 minutes or so usually? I think one of them I degassed a bit much so I gave it more in the 2-3 hour range.

My timing on these really has more to do with the shape of my day -- when I have conference calls, when I can knock off for the afternoon -- than nailing the optimal baking schedule.  The bread has to fit into my schedule rather than the other way around.