The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fruit & Nut Levain and Tartine Country Bake

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Fruit & Nut Levain and Tartine Country Bake

Well, it's been almost 6 months since I last baked any bread.  I made some pizzas during that time, but no bread.  The hot summer months just curb the motivation to get the oven on for hours.  The itch to bake bread got almost as unbearable as all that store bought bread.

Since the season calls for it, I decided to try my first go at a fruit & nut levain.  I grabbed a variety of mixed dried fruits - apricots, prunes, pears and peaches.  For nuts, I used half walnuts and half pecans.  The dough formula was derived from a few walnut loaf recipes I found on various blogs, and simply added the fruits.  The other loaves I baked were not as inspired, but much missed - typical country levain loaves.  Never gets tired.

Making all these loaves was quite time consuming but it sure satisfied my creative itch. 

Now to get some excellent cheeses and wine to pair nicely with a fruit & nut loaf by the fire...

Tartine ala B&W

Comments

isand66's picture
isand66

Looks like you haven't missed a beat John!  Beautiful loaves with a perfect crust and crumb.  Must taste great especially after eating store bought for so long.  Nice photography as well.  I'm hoping I can pick up some lights sometime in the near future so my indoor photos come out better.

Happy Baking.

Ian

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks Ian.  Unfortunately, even the 'artisan' breads in local grocery stores are not up to par.  These will last a while in the freezer till my next bake.

I always use natural outdoor light that comes in through the window, but I take all my photos in RAW so I can post process if the lighting is not that great.  Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

John

isand66's picture
isand66

During the spring and summer I was taking my photos outside but now with the winter upon us I have to shoot in my kitchen or other rooms of the house.  I don't get enough natural light for my liking especially in the kitchen so I need to use something to compensate.  I always use RAW as well which gives you so much more control over the photo.

Regards,
Ian

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Ah yes, we had this convo.  I get very limited lighting in my kitchen as well.  I was hoping to pick up a Nikon flash and bounce the light off the ceiling. 

John

ANNA GIORDANI's picture
ANNA GIORDANI

Complimenti!!!!

Produzione, esecuzione, cottura ed alveolatura semplicemente straordinari.

Foto sensazionali...... bellissime, tanto da desiderare di allungare la mano e prendere una fetta di quello strordinario pane.

BRAVO!!!

Grazie della condivisione, Anna

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you for what I believe is all compliments.  I will have to get my Italian in-laws to translate!

Happy baking.  Grazie.

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Good to see you back to baking again - that store bought stuff is worth any effort not to have to eat it.  Your be=read is too good to be forced to eat that stuff.  Well done and

Happy baking

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks man.  Feels great to work with dough again.  Feels even better to eat.  I'll have to catch up on all your recent bakes soon.

Happy baking.

 

squarehead's picture
squarehead

Mighty fine looking loaves. Love the ears on the country Levain. 

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you for the comments.  The scoring of the country loaves came out fine but it's not so easy to score the top of a loaf when there's numerous projectile walnuts/pecans/fruit all over the surface!

Happy baking.

John

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you David.  Always you in mind when scoring a sourdough loaf!

John

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

John:  These look just terrific.  It must have been hard not to bake for so long.  I have been traveling a lot and need to get back to it.  This bread must have been so yummy as the crust and crumb look right on. It must have felt good to return to baking with a real winner.  Congratulations and keep the posts coming over the winter.  Best,  Phyllis

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you for the kind words Phyllis.  Yes, it was difficult.  Can't believe time flew so fast.  Was a busy last year for work.  I do plan to bake a lot more this winter.  Missing the rye breads.

Take care and happy baking!

John