The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

December, 2016 baking

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

December, 2016 baking

Baking December, 2016

I started the Month loafing in Las Vegas. We had Thanksgiving in Henderson, NV this year. One of our sons teaches at UNLV. The deal was that the following weekend, said son and his wife (also a professor at UNLV) went off to a neuroscience conference in Hawaii, leaving my wife and me in charge of (Ha!) two granddaughters. So, we revisited parenthood for a week, complete with JuJitsu lessons, piano lessons, bass guitar practice sessions with rock and roll band, school pick-up and drop-off and cooking. Did I mention that the granddaughters are vegetarian?

Now, this is the same son I had successfully infected with lactobacilli a few years ago, so the granddaughters are accustomed to having delicious home-baked sourdough bread. I baked 3 bakes in a week. The bread I made all three times was Ken Forkish’s “Field Blend 2,” which is a pain au levin-type loaf made with a mix of AP, WW and rye. The reason I didn’t switch breads was that this one was so good.

 

In fact, it was so good, I baked another loaf when we got back home to California. It was good again.  

 

 

Next month, the Fresno Jewish Film Festival film will be preceded by a dinner featuring “Jewish comfort food.” Now, that covers a whole lot of different dishes!  Anyway, I let slip that I bake rye bread and got volunteered. This week, I made a couple loaves to get in the freezer. I’ll do another bake shortly before the dinner. 

 

The best part of the story is that the coordinator of the dinner is the daughter-in-law of the owner/baker of the Jewish bakery in Fresno when I was a child. He’s why I crave rye bread which is why I started baking bread. And his daughter-in-law wants me to teach her to make rye bread! That’s some kind of karma or something!

 

My last “project” for the month was two bakes of Hansjoakim’s “Pain au Levain with rye sour.” This has been  a favorite of mine for several years. I have always followed Hansjoakim’s procedure which includes machine mixing and a single stretch and fold during bulk fermentation. My recent very happy experiences with hand mixing sourdough breads made me wonder how some of the breads I have always machine mixed in the past would be hand mixed. So, I made loaves of Hansjoakim’s bread on two successive days, the first machine mixed and the second mixed by hand and stretched and folded four times at 30 minute intervals during bulk fermentation.

 

Pain au Levain with rye sour, machine mixed

Pain au Levain with rye sour, machine mixed, crumb

Pain au Levain with rye sour, hand mixed

Pain au Levain with rye sour, hand mixed, crumb

All and all, the two bakes yielded pretty much identical results. I preferred the hand mixed version slightly. It had a more tender crumb and crunchier crust. It should be noted that, besides the difference in mixing, I also used a finer milled WW flour in the machine mixed loaf.

 

I made some really tasty breads this month. A good way to close out the year. In the coming year, I already have two “dates” to bake with and teach a couple wannabe sourdough bakers. I’m looking forward to it.

 

I have been less conspicuous on TFL this past year, but I have been gratified to see lots of collaborative problem solving happening. That is the heart of TFL, as far as I’m concerned. I think we participate in one of the interpersonally healthiest corners of the online universe, and Floyd deserves all the credit and a whole lot of appreciation for creating and maintaining it.

 So, a happy, healthy, peaceful and sane New Year to all and Happy Baking!

David

Comments

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I love that picture! And the bread look pretty amazing too.

Karma is a strange thing isn't it? Pretty cool that you will be teaching your inspiration's daughter in law.

Thank you for posting what you have been up to. I love keeping up with other bakers. 

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

She is adorable. May I ask how old are your granddaughters? You really helped me diagnose the problem of my first sourdough, it was really underfermented and undermixed. Now I mix it longer and let it bulk ferment warm and long. Thanks! You might be busy outside TFL but seeing you from time to time is enough for us. You are an inspiration!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My granddaughters are 10 and 7 years old, respectively.

I am glad I was able to help you get going with sourdough baking. I was helped so much by more experienced bakers here when I was starting. I am happy to be able to pass on what I have learned.

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Pain au Levain for a set of vegan kids?  You are blessed.  I think the crumb is more open on the machine version of added rye but then the J just falls though onto the grand kids shirt making for more laundry !

The bread looks grand as usual.  Good luck with the teaching and happy Hanukkah David!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think any difference in the crumb is most likely due to the coarser WW flour used in the hand mixed loaf. Anyway, the difference is no greater than I get from loaf to loaf made exactly the same way.

Happy Hanukkah to you too!

David

pmccool's picture
pmccool

I can relate.  Our grandkids get to do things that their mothers roll their eyes at.  Case in point: when Grandma was sitting on the kitchen floor blowing soap bubbles with our oldest grandson, then a toddler.  His mother protested that she would never have been allowed to do such a thing.  My wife just smiled, pointed out that the bubbles wouldn't hurt the C-tile floor, and kept on blowing bubbles.

Neat story about passing along your rye obsession to the original baker's daughter.  One wonders if her father left any formulae in his files?

Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Each generation has a role. LOL

Joe Karsh, the founder/owner of Karsh's Bakery did leave his recipes. A few years back, when I was trying to replicate a favorite pastry from Karsh's, I spoke with his grandson, Andy. Now Andy is a chef/caterer, but not a baker. He does have possession of Joe's notes. I have not seen them, but Andy's description suggests they are rather telegraphic. I am sure Andy or his mother would let me look through them, if I asked.

BTW, Rita, Joe's DIL/Andy's mother, described Joe keeping his rye sour in the trunk of his car, so he would be able to feed it twice a day on schedule wherever he happened to be. I don't know that he kept it there all the time. It does get pretty hot here in the Summer. It's a good story anyway.

Happy baking!

David

Lechem's picture
Lechem

That'd be considered a slice for me too. 

I can see you've trained your family well when it comes to good food. 

Happy Hanukkah.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Happy Hanukkah to you as well!

David

alfanso's picture
alfanso

all of your bakes here look really great.  Not much of a surprise at that...

Now I'm going to have to expand my repertoire and add Hansjoakim’s Pain au Levain to my list of breads to try my hand at - soon!  First I'll have to find out if anyone's made it as baguettes, an essential piece of "knowledge" going in.  I'm hoping the answer is "no"!

alan

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hansjoachim's pain au levain uses a rye sour for leavening. But it is made with the same combination of flours I favor, in a similar ratio and with a similar (slightly lower) hydration.

If you gave me a slice of Ken's Field Blend #2 and a slice of Hansjoachim's P au L, I would have difficulty telling you which is which.

I am not aware of anyone making this dough into baguettes. You can be the first!

Happy baking!

David

_vk's picture
_vk

:)

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Six months old, Sasha's first encounter with Jewish Sour Rye

David

_vk's picture
_vk

Is that a suitable compliment for this occasion? Sometimes in english I'm not sure about the usual use of the words... I meant: she's adorable. Congratulations grandpa, you are correct to be proud. 

Happy new year to you all.

:)

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

And appreciated!

David

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

David,

It seems you're being dragged into the bread business one way or another. Great lead-in to a great bread story. Life is good.

Your Pain au Levain with rye sour may be a solution for an old problem at our house - satisfying the pleadings of my wife for an authentic Bavarian rye bread. I've eaten a lot of old bakery style rye bread in Bavaria and have shied away from trying to compete with those pros - I even like schmaltz smeared on a slice (go figure). The rye sour might be just the solution I've been looking for - a bread that can serve the "rye hit needs" of my wife and can serve in place of Pain au Levain when it comes to serving toast and jam..,

Best wishes for the holidays,

Wild-Yeast 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have never visited Bavaria and am unlikely to do so, but I enjoy German-style rye breads. This Pain au Levain is decidedly French. Maybe Alsatian, but no way Bavarian. It has no more rye that the usual Pain de Campagne.

My current favorite serious rye is the Berliner Landbrot that Stan Ginsberg posted some months back. It is both easy and delicious.

Happy holidays to you too!

David

joc1954's picture
joc1954

The breads look delicious. Reading your story I found many similarities with my situation. I bake practically every day for my 4 grandchildren (from 8 to 17 years old) and my daughter and son in law and they all are vegetarians, but they love my SD bread. It happens to me as well that I simply repeat same bread several times because it is so good and because there is always space for improvement.

Your breads look delicious. Happy Hanukkah David!

Joze

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I am not so fortunate as to have any of my grandchildren within easy bread delivery distance, so that week with the granddaughters was a special treat for me.

David

joc1954's picture
joc1954

and I am living in Slovenia, a small country with just 2 million citizens, and almost everything is just "around corner" :-).

I am lucky that my daughter and son in law bought their house in such location that when they commute to school and work they almost pass my house and they make a short detour of a couple of hundreds yards to stop at my house.

Joze