The Fresh Loaf

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Community Bake - Pt2 The Bread - Hamelman's Swiss Farmhouse

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Community Bake - Pt2 The Bread - Hamelman's Swiss Farmhouse

Swiss Farmhouse YW
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Jeffrey Hamelman has given us permission to post his copyrighted formula and instructions.  The Swiss Farmhouse bread is taken from his book, BREAD: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes (second edition), by Jeffrey Hamelman. Copyright 2013. Published by John Wiley & Sons. If you don't own this book, it is an all time favorite on TFL and definitely one to consider.

The actual bake was scheduled for Friday, August 6, but some of the bakers already have their YW ready to go.

If you need to make a Yeast Water (YW) and have never done so before, have no fear. It is super simple to make. MUCH EASIER than a sourdough starter. If you are not a sourdough baker, this is a great way to start the learning process. See THIS LINK for full instructions and help.

If anyone wants the working spreadsheet, send me a PM with your email address.

NOTE - the Total Dough weight was set to 1000 grams for easy recalculation. Suppose you wanted to bake a 750g loaf. You would multiply each ingredient by .75 to get the correct amount. Or, let’s say you want to make two 750g loaves. Simply multiply each ingredient by 1.50 (750 + 750 = 1500). 1500 is 1 & 1/2 (1.5) times larger than 1000. If anyone needs help with this or anything else let us know. We are all here to help. Novice bakers are especially welcomed in all of out Bakes. Learning from, and sharing with others is the reason for our Community Bakes.

Here is a reply I got from Jeffrey concerning the proper type of flour. “Bread flour is the term the Bread Bakers Guild uses for flour with a protein content of about 11.5 to 11.8. Unfortunately this is also what most people refer to as all purpose.“

1.    Prepare Raisin Yeast Water   --- 5 to 6 days before the bake, soak the raisins (organic raisins are recommended) in water. Cover and leave at warm room temperature (75-80F). White mold normally begins to cover the surface of the raisins, an indication that the liquid is ready. Once the ferment starts to actively bubble, it should be ready.

2.    Build #1   --- Discard the spent raisins and measure the required amount of juice, add flour and mix to incorporate. Lightly cover and leave at room temperature for 6-8 hours, until well risen. NOTE – you can keep the remaining YW to refeed and perpetuate. Give the YW another handful of raisins for food and refrigerate.

3.    Build #2   --- Add water for second build to the first, then mix to incorporate. Incorporate the bread flour and the whole wheat flour into the mix. Lightly cover and leave to ripen for 12-14 hours until fully doomed. Note – if the room is too warn and/or humid you may retard the preferment a couple of hours or so to slow things done. The important thing to achieve is a fully risen and doomed preferment.

4.    Mixing--- Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl, except the walnuts and raisins. Mix until the gluten has attained moderate development. After mix in the nuts and raisins at slow speed until evenly incorporated. Desired dough temperature (DDT): 76F.

5.    Bulk Ferment   --- Ferment at room temperature (~76-78F) for 2 ½ to 3 hours.

6.    Folding   --- Fold the dough half way through the bulk fermentation.

7.    Dividing & Shaping   --- Divide, preshape, and shape the dough. Cover the dough to prevent drying.

8.    Final Fermentation   --- Ferment 1 ½ - 2 hours @ 76F.

9.    Baking   --- Slash dough and load into a preheated and steamed oven set to 450F. After 15 minutes lower oven to 430F to avoid excess darkening due to the raisins. Loaves scaled to 1 ½ pound will bake in approximately 36 minutes.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

In preparation for the CB, I baked the following bread. It was not difficult at all, the YW was a breeze.

   

   

My only deviation from the instructions was incorporating the raisins and walnuts using the lamination process. Oh, I also added some cinnamon during the lamnation, but don’t think it worked well enough to do that again. Not bad, just not great - unnecessary.

   

   

   

Dan

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

That's a really beautiful slice, Danny :)

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I was going to pass on this bake, (the yeast water put me off.) However, after seeing your results and reading your short concise write up, I am ready to give this a whirl!

08/07/2019 Will's to do list.

procure some fresh looking organic raisins.

Off topic, this is an oldie but a goodie. Cool, easy personal pizzas! This was one of my newbie Fresh loafer bakes. That was what seems like a life time ago! These freeze well by the way!

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15255/pizza-buns

isand66's picture
isand66

Job well done.

My version is getting ready to go in the oven in an hour or so.  Will post tomorrow hopefully.

Jeffrey Hamelman's picture
Jeffrey Hamelman

Because my name has been associated with this raisin water topic, I thought it would be appropriate to put a context to my connection to it. I've made this bread since the late 1980s, having learned it from Chef Albert Kumin. Chef was born in Switzerland and this style of bread was common in his rural area (Debby Wink sent me excerpts from a sourdough book several years ago that states that Pliny the Elder was writing about this method in the first century A.D.). In the late 1930s Chef Kumin was working as a pastry apprentice. Times were tough, and "potatoes were put into everything." Almond cream had potatoes in it "to stretch the almonds." He was conscripted during WWII, and even though Switzerland was neutral, more than once he was at the border facing Nazi troops. No one knew if they were going to invade.

In the 1950s he came to Canada, and married a farm girl from Saskatchewan. Eva was a thrifty one to say the least. I remember seeing her ball of string, comprised of a thousand strands she had gotten here or there. And when her rubber dishwashing gloves got a hole in them, she'd carefully snip the entire glove into rubber bands! 

From Canada, Chef came to New York City, and in the 1970s went to Washington, D. C. to work as the White House pastry chef during Jimmy Carter's presidency. He didn't like the life there, so moved back to New York and worked as a baking and pastry instructor at the CIA. He didn't get on too well there, and left to become the instructor at International Pastry Arts Center in New York. It was there I met him in 1988, when I took a class for the first time. Five days of chocolate, a life changer. Later I took his class in pulled sugar and another in cakes. I was staying at his house during one of the classes and the bread at dinner was most unusual, and delicious. It was the raisin water loaf he taught in his bread class (one of the two classes he taught that I did not attend). I timidly asked if he'd describe the method, and he instantly got up from the table and brought me a copy of the formula and method. His generosity was as legendary as his skills. 

In the 1990s he moved to Vermont to work with his son-in-law at their chocolate business. I owned a bakery in southern Vermont at that time, and Chef often came in on his way to or from New York. Most of our time together during these years was spent fly fishing for trout. I have many fond memories of Chef Kumin, touching and humorous. The last time I saw him was at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, where there was a ceremony organized by the Swiss government to honor him for his decades of contribution to the pastry arts. 

Chef died four years ago at age 93. I went to his funeral, in Stowe, Vermont. Quite a number of people whose lives he impacted were there. I was asked to be one of the pall bearers. This was so profound that I still can't articulate the deep emotions it engendered. 

I know that many people are making great breads using yeast water generated from all sorts of fruits and plants. For those who learned this fascinating technique through BREAD, my connection to it, the lineage of it, comes through Chef Albert Kumin.  

Benito's picture
Benito

Jeffrey thank you so much for coming to TFL website and posting the history of your wonderful recipe!

Benny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

What a pleasure it is you have you here this morning! Thank you so much for sharing that touching story.  I have personally learned much from you! Lately, it is your baguette shaping videos that have my attention. ( I watch them over and over!) Here is a short video I made for a group bake on my facebook group. Baking with Will and friends. Alas, my group bakes did not garner much attention.   

https://youtu.be/ZQAVCke2-Gs

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thank you for your thoughtful context, it speaks of you also.

Cheers, Gavin.

isand66's picture
isand66

It is an honor for you to share your touching story and give us some history and meaning behind this great recipe.

Regards,
Ian Sandman

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Dan,

 

Thanks for leading this effort! I'm really excited to try my first YW bread this weekend. I also want to try lamination as per your suggestion. When in the process of this recipe did you laminate the dough? Does lamination eliminate the need for S&F for this recipe? Thanks for your guidance. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

If the dough looks like it needs some stretch and folds do that before lamination. The gluten must be well developed to enable the extreme stretching that lamination involves. Lamination gives a lot of strength to the dough, but the main reason I used it was to incorporate the raisins and walnuts in as gentle a way as possible. IMO, it worked well. Unless I kearn something better this will be my usual routine.

Kristen @ FullProofBaking is my go-to for this procedure. See https://youtu.be/Bncopq4aH1Y

By-the-way - most of my doughs, including this one, is mixed by hand.

Dan

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Very excited to try this. - Ilene

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

In the lamination it looks like raisins and spice. Besides for one walnut piece in the crumb shot I don't see any. Did you grind them up very fine? I just break them up into smaller pieces.

Lovely bake.

P.s. and right after I post this comment I see your comment on your own addition of cinnamon.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Aren’t you the stealthy detective :D

I did use cinnamon but didn’t think it worked well enough to use again. The bread as Jeffrey instructed is hard to beat.

The full percentage of walnuts are chopped smaller and then added.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Yikes.  A cameo by Chef Hamelman himself including ancient Rome, chocolate, WW2 stories, White House cookery, fly fishing, opera and enduring friendship. 

You've struck gold Danny.  This CB has it all!  Bravo!

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, the concept of the Community Bake was an idea born of desire. Floyd’s gift to the baking world is priceless and has facilitated these events. Because of the Internet, bakers from all over the world have the ability to form lasting friendships. To think; a person like myself who has never flown on an airplane has good friends all over the world because of The Fresh Loaf. And then, there’s FaceTime and Skype. I am blown away with the ability to speak with friends worldwide just as easily as picking up a phone was 15 years ago and calling my next door neighbor! Ring, ring. And Leslie in New Zealand picks up and we get to talk as long as we want FOR FREE!

It is my sincere desire that more bakers choose to participate and get to experience the joy of sharing a kitchen with others that share like interest.

Jeffrey and other notable bakers have been so gracious and willing to help. Their presence honors us all. It seems to me that no matter how famous these baking giants become, they are still bakers at heart just like you and me... we all share a kindred spirit.

A gigantic THANKS to Jeffrey Hamelman for sharing his “baker’s heart”!

Danny

 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Using this bread for a cheese toast is truely scrumptious.

One of my all time favourite bread recipes.

Thank you Dan for this Community Bake.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

is tops in my household, especially so as it has that Swiss connection (my husband is Swiss).  

Thank you too to jeffrey for this lovely story!

To continue the thread about the fruit used for the YW, I used raspberries as I have them in the garden.  I add a small strip of fresh orange peel (thanks to caroline aka trailrunner) to keep it sweet & fresh.  I top up with Raspberries in summer and a mix of raisins and defrosted frozen raspberries in winter. Rosie is over 2 years old! she smells devine and is a gorgeous red! I use this as my YW with great results.  the uncooked dough is always pink and a hint of pink remains after baking.  I have never had mould growing in the jar 🤞🏽

Wish everyone good luck and happy baking in this great CB, I am enjoying everyone’s feedback - an interesting thread. thanks Danny

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

finally others will appreciate what we have known for some time :)

I've made yeast water with some dried fruits but not fresh raspberries. Sounds wonderful. I wonder if different fruits favours different yeasts/characteristics?

This bread often produces a more cakelike crumb and while i've made it a few times myself your crumb is so hard to beat. I'm not even close.

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Got started on this one yesterday since I have a busy weekend lined up, but I'll be baking it tomorrow morning after an overnight retard.


Apples from my garden made up my yeast water and they are harboring some lovely beasties this year.

 

I've scaled the recipe to the perfect size for our family of two, which is 600gr and I used walnuts and a mix of dried blueberries and cherries. I'm hoping the blueberries will leave very pretty blue streaks in the dough when baked.

The first build was started at around noon yesterday and the second build around 9 in the evening.

Build 1 is funny because it looks like it's not doing much for a long time and then suddenly just takes off. The second build, in contrast starts growing the second it got put in it's jar. For the sake of visual reference, and because my memory is terrible, I put a rubberbands on the jars.
When I woke up this morning, build 2 looked like it had just peaked and was very active and gurgly.

 

I mixed it in the Kitchenaid instead of by hand and also added the fruit and nuts the same way as Danny by lamination fold.

 

 First photo is the mix just finished, and the second photo is after the mid bulk fold.

       

 

Bulk has been 2.5 hours and it's very fluffy and nicely risen.

It's now preshaped, and 45 minutes later into the banneton where I let it proof about 45 minutes before it went into the fridge. 

    

 

Update:

This is the second time I've made this bread, and one thing I plan to do the next time is cut back the fruit quite a bit. The first time I made it, I overproofed but this time I think it could have bulked longer.

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

That crumb looks perfect to me. I’d say you knocked that one out of the park.

Both of your levain builds progressed beautifully.

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Thanks Dan, the crumb looks OK on the photo but feels a little wet on the palate, so that's why I think it could have had a bit longer bulk. Oven spring was OK, but it's definitely not as lofty as I had thought it would be. That said it's delicious!

algebread's picture
algebread

The crumb looks lovely to me.

Amusingly, I also over-proofed my first attempt at this loaf (I haven't yet posted photos, but I did document the outcome; I'll put them up eventually). My second attempt is proofing at this moment. Yeast water moves fast, I guess.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think my #2 build rose too fast and so I overproofed the dough a little bit.  Will try again but with white wheat flour in the first build instead of WW.   I have some very interesting wine aromas most likely coming off the WW that bother me.  The loaf did turn out heavier than expected.  Mom wanted something she could pop into the toaster.

 Had a shiny pan problem (see sides and bottom crust) with not much spring.  One messup when turning down the oven from 450° to 430° F the oven was turned down to 400°F.  I tipped the loaf out onto the rack to brown the pale bottom for 10 more minutes after turning up the heat.  The next bake, if done before the upcoming heat wave, should turn out better.  More heat under the loaf, free style and slightly warmer fermentations shorter and closer together.

 

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Mini, I get a more robust yeast water with cleaner flavor when I take just a little liquid or a few raisins from the initial (successful) batch and use it to inoculate a fresh batch of fruit and water. It transfers a good amount of active S. cerevisiae, I suspect, and builds leavening power that way. Plus it gets rid of the dead cells that could be contributing to off flavors/aromas. It doesn't take much. A tsp is plenty or a piece or two of the fermented fruit. Avoid the sediment on the bottom as that's where most of the dead cells will be, mixed in with live ones. If the liquid is cloudy and bubbly, there will be plenty of active cells up above.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I put my chilled yeast water outside to warm up.  Whoops, forgot about it.... have to rescue it and feed it.  ...and not wake the folks...    (sneaking around at night with yeast, is this dedication or what?)

update...  just got a whiff of the YW and the extra time in the warmth seemed to do some good, it does smell much better so gave it a "swirl."  This wets the fruit but the sediments stay low near the bottom.  Will feed in the morning off the top, tucked it away quietly into the fridge.  nighty night...

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’d love to see you do stand up comedy.

Danny

ifs201's picture
ifs201

My plan was to do build #1 around 2pm yesterday and then do build #2 before going to bed. Unfortunately, around 10:30pm last night the build #1 had barely risen. I was a tad disappointed since I thought my yeast water looked good. My husband convinced me to leave the build on the counter over night and when I awoke around 5am it had indeed risen so I started build #2. My timing is totally off now. Does the fact that the first build took a really long time indicate that I'm going to have issues? 

 

 

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

If your second build rises adequately, I think you should be OK. I’m betting that you will be good.

let us know how the bread turns out.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I'm going for it. Fingers crossed!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I may be wrong, but it seems that a YW levain will be much more forgiving than SD. I say this because in SD the LAB will breakdown the gluten over time. I wouldn’t think this would be an issue with YW. Surely there would be a limit for over fermentation of YW, but the window of time should be more forgiving.

I hope others comment on the statement above.

Question - Is a YW levain less susceptible to over fermentation than a SD levain?

Dan

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Although I have yet to see the crumb. This was so much fun! I can't fully express my appreciation for your contributions to this site and for organizing the community bake. 

I wrote more about it on the blog: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60950/hamelmans-swiss-farmhouse-community-bake-attempt

ifs201's picture
ifs201

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Did you use fresh raisins in the final dough mix? Or did you use the raisins that were in the YW?

By the way, your crumb looks very nice.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I actually made mango yeast water because my raisins weren't organic. I put fresh raisins in the bread. Also they were yellow raisins that I used. Since I hadn't laminated before I'm wondering if I folded the rolled dough in a weird way. Maybe the other loaf got more goodies.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

on yeast water most interesting.  As my yeast water was initially fermented at the lower end temps 75-76°F and relatively young at 4 days old and although active, there could possibly be a larger variety of yeasts contributing to the yeast culture build and flavor.  I'm tempted to say the yeast flavour (flavonoids?) is too strong in the bread for me, but it doesn't seem to be the same type of flavour found when too much commercial yeast is used.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I wanted to make sure that the new bakers to the Swiss Farmhouse knew what to expect when mixing the second levain build. This is not what we as bakers are used to.

I have successfully baked this bread 4 or 5 times. Each and every time this is what I experience. This is normal and to be expected.

In the image on the left I am holding the first build in my hand. It is tough and not easy to incorporate into the dough water. The image on the right shows the first build after a few minutes of poking, prodding, and working to breakdown the dough into the dough water. At this stage It was covered and left to rest and absorb water for 25 minutes. Even after the rest the dough from first build would not fully incorporate into the dough water. But when some of the final second build flour was added, the first levain broke down nicely and incorporated well. This may or may not be what Jeffrey intended, but it has consistently worked for me.

     

Expect both the first and second levain builds to be dry.

Below is a short video showing how I incorporated the second build levain into the final mix.

Danny

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Everything goes into bowl then mixed and kneaded until dough is formed and everything is incorporated. Which is basically what Hamelman does escort he uses a machine. 

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Me too. I'm all about efficiency...😁

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

So all I have to do is throw the rest of the ingredients in 😂

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

And it's one less bowl to wash up!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

We DO think alike!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Yea, my wife would love you Julie. The number of bowls, tools, etc are of no consequence to me. BUT, I do clean my mess. :-D

Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Abe, wish we could actually share a kitchen together. I don’t think our levain builds come out the same. If I decide to do another Swiss Farmhouse I’ll try to remember to video the characteristics of the levain build. The best way to describe it would be a very well kneaded 60-63% hydrated bread dough. I’m exaggerating a little but it could be used for the rope in a tug of war <LOL>

I couldn’t mage trying to mix the lump of levain with flour and water at once. Are we doing something different?

The RYW levain has a characteristic unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. I used KA BF for the levain ans KA AP for the final dough.

Whatever I have been doing has never failed to make very good bread. But I would like to know the experience of others. You know, the curious thing...

Dan

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

While it's still low hydration it's not exactly like the piece of dough it started off like. My builds sound like yours however once the final build is fully mature it's expanded about 4x or more! Then I poured sprinkled the salt over the levain (which started off as a dough ball but now covered the bottom of the bowl) then I added the water on top so it dissolves the salt, followed by the flour. Quite easy to incorporate. It could be using rye for the wholegrain made it easier but it was still a low hydration fully formed piece of dough and I would have done the same thing even if using whole-wheat.

My first build also went very well. In 6-8 hours it had at least doubled. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Abe, this is what my levain  looks like.

Is this similar to yours?

Dan

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Exactly like mine. And it looks like we both took the ferment to the same level. 

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Just sharing how mine was...first build was how my sourdough levain would be if it were at about 50% hydration. I mixed it right on the counter and rolled it up like playdough. My second build I also mixed on the counter top and while it was a little stickier, I could easily roll it into a tight little ball.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Did both of you just put the lump of levain in a bowl and mix the final dough water and flour at once?

 

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

I find raisin yeast water to make a stiffer, drier dough than SD as well. In fact, it even feels stiffer than dough made with commercial bakers' yeast too.

Benito's picture
Benito

Debra I totally agree with you.  After having only baked sourdough recently I was totally shocked at how stiff this dough and levains were.  So much so that I decided to use my mixer to mix the final dough.  It is finally in the oven now.  Fingers crossed it turns out well.

algebread's picture
algebread

My levain is quite similar to what you describe and I have difficulty mixing it with water alone. I did have success with just dumping everything into the same bowl. I thought that this was perhaps because it is generally easier to combine two substances of similar consistencies: the dry flour soaked up a lot of the water, and then it was a matter of combining two doughs (the levain and the new flour+water). I did find that getting the components to fully combine took quite a firm hand and that even with that, it worked better if I mixed everything, then gave it a 2-3 minute rest when it was all starting to combine, then finished the mixing.

JBT's picture
JBT

I'm quite pleased with this result and have had a great time doing this bake. After a mild panic late last night when, after only 3 hours, my second build had quadrupled in size and was touching the cover over the bowl, I had to readjust my plan. The preferment went into the fridge until mid-morning when I was ready to face it again. But it all went quite smoothly from there.

This is the first time I've ever done a lamination and it was a bit nerve wracking but the dough was resilient. The nuts were chopped pretty finely and the bread taste's marvelously of walnuts.

I've started another preferment; this one will have apricots instead of raisins.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

And I’m sure it taste fantastic.

It is so exciting to read about the success of others. Looking forward to your second bake. Do you think you’ll anything different besides the Apricots?

Your bread rose really high and there was no slouching on the sides. I think the dry levain brings strength to the dough.

Danny

JBT's picture
JBT

Thanks Danny! I have really liked working with the drier levain. I've been intimidated by the idea of trying to mix in, say a porridge. But I think using a drier levain might give enough strength that my uncertain dough handling skills could make a go of it. 

I did this bread three times, one after the other, and each was a little different. Most all the changes were just in response to how fast the builds developed. It was a sharp reminder that temp and humidity are as important to the process as anything else.

Jennifer

JBT's picture
JBT

Second bake was not quite as successful as my first. The dough was sticker from the initial mix, so much so that I wonder if I might have slightly miss-weighed something, or would an overproofed second build cause that? I was not confident that I could tell when it was properly proofed, and indeed it is denser and heavier than ideal.

Still, it is tasty and I really like the dried apricots in place of the raisins. I also chopped the walnuts less finely this time, which I like better but which made handling the dough rather more challenging. I have enough RYW left for one more loaf....

JBT's picture
JBT

... or Opps, I did it again!

After taking out a spoonful of YW to start a new batch, I had just enough left for one more go, and who could resist? After the disappointing results of the prior dough I was prepared for this one to be slow, and indeed, it was. The first time I had to put the 2nd build in the fridge after only 3 hours, this one stayed on the counter all night. However, the dough rose well and the bread is light. I chopped up the nuts and apricots for this one fairly small, I think I prefer the larger pieces however, its easier to handle the dough this way. My freezer is stuffed with Swiss Farmhouse bread, luckily I'll have houseguests soon to eat it up.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Lots to like about this method and recipe. The flavor was clean tasting with no tang or sourdough complexity, just the ingredients shining through. I love the no waste aspect and the two stage build process. I foilowed the recipe closely but the timing was quicker than the recipe stated for the final proof. I did it in my Bosch mixer and put the raisins and walnuts in whole at the end of the mixing time. It made enough for a small batard and a large pullman loaf. The bread is outstanding toasted.

 

swiss farmhouse

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

A perfect bake. Lovely everything about your Swiss Farmhouse Bread. From colour to crumb to distribution of add-ins. Agreed! This bread is delicious toasted. Enjoy. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Outstanding in every way. You did Jeffrey Hamelman proud!

As far as the timing of fermentation, it seems that raisin yeast waters vary quite a bite in quantity/quality of available yeast. Some bakers have problems raising the bread others report much shorter fermentation times. But boy! Is that bread good eating.

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

This is a beauty! I'm thinking my next attempt I'll try in a loaf tin.

JBT's picture
JBT

Beautiful result! I like the whole/larger walnuts, its very striking. 

algebread's picture
algebread

Your proofing looks flawless! And the perfectly even distribution of the raisins and nuts is a wonderful sight to behold!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Jeffrey wrote a side note in his book called" The Baker's Hands" that explains the feeling you get when it all comes together for that rare loaf. I am going to buy the second edition as an appreciation for all the help he has provided and because my first one is getting tattered. One of the other great breads from his book is The Normandy Apple Bread it was a revelation to me last apple season and would be a good one for future CB's

Having read all the great tips from previous posters, in this forum about this bread and yeast water really helped. I used KABF and home milled the whole wheat. The first build was before bedtime and loaf was out of the oven the following evening. I intended to proof it overnight in the fridge but it had moved too fast for that. I used the top of my water heater as a proofer for all the stages. I think the raisins caused the crust  to be darker.

I wish everyone all success and look forward to seeing them.

Swiss Farm house

 

Benito's picture
Benito

My second build was very vigorous after 12 hours or less at around 85ºF.  I’d guess it rose about 3-4x.  My final build also had a good rise, so much so and because I had to go out this afternoon after 45 mins at 85ºF I put it into the fridge to slow fermentation.  My oven is on at 450ºF and I just checked and the proof looks good, it hasn’t over proofed.

Benny 

Benito's picture
Benito

I had dinner going at the same time and forgot to set a timer for the second half of the bake so it might be a bit under baked.  I’ll know tomorrow when I cut it open.  It had decent oven spring which is great and it was easy to shape.  It was nice dough to work with, pretty low hydration is so much easier to work it when shaping.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

The crumb is amazing and lacy with a lovely pinkish purple colour from only using yeast water instead of any water.  The flavour of the bread is more complex than one would expect from what is almost completely white bread flour.

Thank you Dan for this CB and for Jeffrey for allowing Dan to post your recipe.  Thank you for all who helped me learn about yeast water and for the help with my problem bake that ended up great.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Looks great and I love the purple hue. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Ben, it looks like your perseverance paid off. A nice crumb and well risen. The bread is outstanding, toasted.

Maybe we’ll have to try our hand at YW crackers.

Danny

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes Danny thanks to you and the help of many others the bread turned out great.  As you had said the flavour is outstanding.  

Yeast water crackers is an interesting idea for someone to develop!

pul's picture
pul

I have prepared an apple yeast water for this bake. I first tried with dried cranberry, but nothing really happened. I suspect those cranberries went through some chemical treatment process which pretty much eliminated natural yeasts. I have not followed to the letter the instructions in the call for baking, and used rye in the recipe instead of whole wheat. I think rye goes better with raisins and walnuts. I also have mixed everything in from the start without lamination. The taste of this bread is great, no sourness, and the raisins add the high note to the final flavor. I would like to improve on the crumb structure. I got wholes not well distributed and I think the crumb can be lighter. Will try a second bake again this week.

pul's picture
pul

The second trial resulted in a better and lighter crumb. The main differences with respect to the first trial were a more mature build up of the YW levain, and the lamination step to mix the grains in. Overall, I am happy with the results. It has been the first time I baked using YW. I was very curious how the process would work, and it is incredibly simple. Now I can interchange YW and sourdough baking. I would like to thank Danny for the initiative and all those who contributed to the posts by providing valuable ideas.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

WOW! What a great improvement.

I agree with you. YW is a nice tool for any baker. And it really easy simple to make up a batch if you have the right ingredients.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

This bake went well. The virgin YW was used after 2 1/2 days of fermentation @ 84F. The YW was super active and was moving very fast. The second build ran away from me on an overnight ferment and over fermented a little. Flavor was as to be expected - Outstanding and memorable! The bite and texture was pleasant and easily chewed.

   

   

   

   

The neighbor was pleased and so was our freezer!

Danny

albacore's picture
albacore

Here's my attempt at the Swiss Farmhouse. For once I followed the recipe pretty closely!

The raisin YW was ready after 48 hrs at 79F.

First lev build was fast; the second, I did like Mr. H. suggested and chilled in frij for a couple of hours before an o'night fermentation.

Bulk was slow though - about 5 hrs, but maybe I overdid it? FP took 1.5 hours, but I think I overproofed it as the boules spread too much - probably an hour would have been long enough.

A few changes:

  • I put an amaranth, chia and black sesame seed coat on as I wasn't liking the lumpy look of the nuts just under the crust I'd seen.
  • Pecans instead of walnuts, as my wife isn't keen on walnuts - they mess with her mouth
  • No raisins in the dough as I wasn't keen on the sweetness they would impart.

Pics:

Lance

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Yeast Water – My first attempt with raisins failed due to non-organic raisins coated with oil. I was told that I could produce yeast water using any organic fruit.  I have a kumquat tree in our yard, so thought to experiment (it’s winter here and my options are limited). My second attempt was successful using kumquats and honey. The yeast water was ready for the first build on day five.

The first build took 8 hours to mature. I left the second build overnight for 14 hours which was slightly over; 12 hours would have been good.

I recalculated the ingredients for a 680-gram dough. After mixing, the dough felt quite wet but had reasonable development. Mixed in walnuts and raisins by hand. Desired dough temperature within range (24.5°C).

Bulk fermentation for 3 hours with a letter fold halfway.

Pre-shape, bench rest and shape. Final proof for 2 hours. I chose a boule banneton on this occasion.

I scored the dough with scissors.

hreik's picture
hreik

w/o nuts or fruit....  oh well,

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Looks like you got a good rise, Hester. How would you describe the flavor? The walnuts, and especially the raisins impart lots of flavor, and I wondered how it tasted without.

syros's picture
syros

First of all, it’s been completely fascinating reading everyone’s experience with this CB. And to have Jeffrey Hamelman tell his wonderful story! Dan, thank you so much for this. I will try to start a YW and make this bread, although my first attempt at making a few months ago wasn’t that successful. Not sure if I will be able to participate in this one, because there is too much going on right now, but it makes me want to try!

Great baking everyone! 

Sharon

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

wanted to join in and finally give YW a go as it has been on my to do list for quite a while...

I loved all the amazing bakes and it is also so inspiring to hear from Jeffrey, himself about the origins of this formula and bringing it to life....Thank you!

We have an abundance of ripe figs on our tree here due to the hot weather in UK and therefore, I used those for the YW alongside some local honey.  After 4 days or so  it was ready and I also measured out of curiosity PH which was 3.3.

Following Dan's excellent instructions I completed build 1 and 2 without many problems and the texture reminded me of a stiff starter and I judged readiness by the 'stringy nature' underneath the domed top...like with a stiffer starter.

We are not great raisins in bread lovers in our house and I only had pecans so no raisins in this bread and pecans instead....

Dan warned about the difficulty to mix all ingredients as this is a stiffer dough and I basically diluted the 2nd build in the water and then added everything in one go in one bowl......although often I also use lamination to add ingredients. This seemed to have worked well and done the job...bulk was around 4 hours with hourly folds.. on a warm day...

The bread tasted great but I do love a bit of sour now in my bread and it felt odd not to have that....but very happy with this bake and getting some rise using YW....how magic nature is....

However, ....I probably should try a version based on raisins to be true to the original formula.or actually might try a 'hybrid' bread one day...... Kat

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Beautiful bloom on your loaf and great crumb as well Kat.

Benny

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and I found it hard to tell how many folds a stiffer dough needs compared to the 78% ish  hydration I normally do... I also did not do any slap and folds like usual as I mixed all together at the time and did not want to do the slap and folds with the pecans mixed in already...so I build the gluten just with time and folds this time which is different from my usual process....the learning never ends...:D Kat

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

Yes you do need to read the dough re strength and how many folds are needed.  interesting that you made it without the raisins.  wonder how it would be with chopped figs?

lovely bake Kat

Leslie

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and the chopped figs are a great idea...I try to use what nature provides a season in abundance rather than using other ingredients, if that makes sense. I just refreshed the water with some damsons and more figs....There is a tiny little damson tree in a local park and they are rare here in the UK whereas the damson season is in full swing in Germany with the Pflaumenkuchen....Must make sure I go and visit before that finishes....Kat

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your bread looks beautiful.

If you want your bread to look “sweeet”, try the raisins :D

Great Job, I’d expect nothing less of you...

Danny

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

next time I will try it with the raisins as there is one member in our household who voted for that!

Figs seems to be a good choice for yeastwater and I wanted to use a fruit that needs to be used rather than buying another ingredient, if that makes sense.... I am glad I gave it a go and thank you so much  for organising another great community bake...Kat

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Kat, I think you could use your fig YW and add raisins as an add in without ant problems at all. No need to make a new YW, IMO.

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and must try that...Thank you... Kat

syros's picture
syros

Kat, you never fail to amaze me! Looks wonderful!  I finally got my YW to get going, thank you Abe! Tossed the first batch out and started again. I have started the first build and keeping my fingers crossed. 

So I have never made a YW and maintained one.  What is the best way? I have kept the remaining liquid in the fridge, but tossed the raisins. 

I’ll post if this bread is a success. I tried it once before and it was dense. So I’m hoping this time it’s going to be a winner. The YW was very bubbly and sizzling so fingers crossed....

Everyone has done an amazing job! What a great CB! 

Thanks Dan!

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and I can't wait to see yours! You should post it whatever the results as we are all learning...I find reading this stiffer dough hard as not used to that...Looking forward to your bake and hope all goes well...

syros's picture
syros

My YW was obviously active as my first build was more than doubled after four hours. I made the second build late, midnight, popped it in the oven with the light on. I came downstairs at 3 o’clock, thankfully, and it was bursting through the Saran Wrap. I transferred it to a larger bowl and stuck it in the fridge. Next day, took it out for a couple of hours and made the final dough, which was ready after 2 hours. 

I made a huge mistake of thinking that I would make on large boule rather than two smaller ones. Wrong! It became a monster, so I had to divide it, which was not easy and probably compromised the dough. It was a struggle to reshape the dough, as this is not an easy dough. 

I had to babysit so back in the fridge. When I got home I baked both - which had continued rising even after all that.  One boule turned out fairly well. However the dough developed a thick crust. The other boule was terrible, it just came apart in layers. I tossed it. My crumb was so so - a bit dense, tasty but disappointing. 

This is a stiff dough and my KA mixer almost overheated. I had to eventually incorporate the nuts and raisins by hand because the mixer couldn’t handle that amount of dough.  So lesson learned - next attempt will be half the recipe, and my timing needs to be better as I don’t think this is a forgiving dough. I could be wrong, but I think timing is important with this recipe. 

I’ll post photos later when I am on my laptop. Can’t post with my ipad. I’ve tried but nothing works. 

Now I have to keep my YW going. Anyways, like Kat said, we learn from each other. And our own mistakes! 

Sharon

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Excited to see your pictures. Sounds like your YW was a beast!

Sharon, many of us use iPad to post images. When the image box pops up you have to hit the red circled button TWICE.

syros's picture
syros

It took me a bit to figure it out but now I get it! Never knew that was how to post with my iPad! 

syros's picture
syros

Bulk Fermentation, bake, and crumb. Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of the builds or the monster dough before I divided it. It was 3 o’clock in the morning....

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

is that you seemed to have a really active yeastwater which is not that easy and I failed on that before using blackberries whereas the figs seem to have done the trick...

I agree with you that handling this stiff dough is different to what many of us are used to and I did find it hard to decide how much strength needs to be build with folds as the dough feels so stiff already....well done for not giving up and are you going to try again? It is good to venture into the unknown but I have to admit it is also comforting to go back to the known and funny to say but I find stiffer doughs actually a bit scary.........:D Kat

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sharon was the crumb dense or just not very open? I can’t tell from the images.

What gave you problems?

Did you have a hard time incorporating the levain?

Dan

syros's picture
syros

and dense.  So as to what gave me problems - I was surprised at how quickly both builds domed. The second build literally almost burst the saran wrap off - I had to switch bowls - and that was only after a few hours. So I guess a problem was that things moved faster than the time frame and because my timing was off, as it was the middle of the night when I checked on it, it went into the fridge.

With the levain - I put it in my mixer and added the water to break it up. I had to add more water to it and then the add-ins did not fully incorporate with the mixer, so I folded them in by hand at the end.

Next problem, again, I was unable to bake after the final fermentation. I had made a huge mistake thinking I would just make one large boule - but again - this dough kept rising and it became huge. That meant I now had to divide it and probably degassed it and compromised the structure. Because it is a stiff dough, it was very hard to reshape at that point. Again it went into the fridge, where it continued to expand. I'm telling you this dough was like the blob that ate New York City.

One bread -the one in the photo - was ok. The other one I tossed. It came apart in layers.

Major mistake: making the full recipe instead of just one bread. I wasn't thinking when I measured that this was for two loaves. That's what happens when your kids come home for the weekend and you spend too much time in the kitchen and babysitting!

However, I have refreshed the yeast water, many thanks to Abe. And with Kat and Leslie and Abe's encouragement, I will probably make this again. I need to be better prepared. This doesn't seem to be a dough that is necessarily forgiving. And man, it's not easy to work with. My KA mixer almost had an anxiety attack from the weight.

This is only the 2nd time using yw and my 2nd attempt at this recipe. I'm willing to give it a go one more time. Anyway, thanks for this CB. It's been a learning curve for me that's for sure!

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

When you consider the weight of the add ins (37% of the flour weight) and also the large size of the raisins and walnuts, a very strong dough with well developed gluten is necessary. Heavy lifting is need in order to raise a dough like this. As you stated your YW was definitely up to the task. 

The add ins. Since they are large it is more difficult for the dough to encapsulate them. Think about a flax seed and a raisin or large chunk of walnut. Imagine how the dough needs to encase each piece.

Jeff says, “4.    Mixing--- Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl, except the walnuts and raisins. Mix until the gluten has attained moderate development. After mix in the nuts and raisins at slow speed until evenly incorporated. Desired dough temperature (DDT): 76F.”

IMO, the incorporation of the raisins and nuts are very important step for success. I can’t speak to mixing the add ins via mixer. Mine was done by hand. It seems many are intimidated with lamination. If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to give it a try. If not on this dough, maybe another. The idea of adding the raisins and walnuts was appealing because it allowed precise control over the distribution and at the same time was a very gentle process. 

If you haven’t seen this, check it out. https://youtu.be/Bncopq4aH1Y

Danny

syros's picture
syros

I think I tried it once, and I was intimidated. I will check out the video. I did watch one on Instagram. Something else to consider when I make this again. I can definitely see the benefits of adding them by lamination. Makes sense. anyways, Like I said, a learning curve!

 

syros's picture
syros

Thanks Kat. It took a few attempts to get an active YW, and thanks to Abe, I’m keeping it going and started a second one. 

I will probably give this another go, for the sake of saying that I could do it. But I’m not a big fan of such a stiff dough. Like you, I do like the familiar, higher hydration doughs. Not saying I am totally comfortable with a super high hydrated dough, but using the stiff starter always leaves me uncertain. And my arms got a work out with this one. And not making half the amount was a mistake. 

When my ego repairs itself I will give this another go. But again timing is crucial here, at least for me. 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

It sounds as if your YW is really good, and timing perhaps got in the way.  I must admit I have only ever made one of these at a time.  I hope you have another try, maybe add a little extra liquid if you feel it is too stiff, I reckon the dough could handle it.  Did you add the walnuts and raisins at the start or during one of the folds?

Leslie

syros's picture
syros

Leslie, I added about 18 grams more water, probably could have added more. I added the raisins and walnuts after I  added the flour. Basically I followed Hamelmann’s instructions. Initially I added the water to the stiff starter and broke it up in my mixer. I think that would have been the best time to add the add-ins. What is your opinion. But then I had to completely incorporate them by hand as the mixer just couldn’t get all of them into the dough. 

Had I made only one I’m sure the outcome of adding in the raisins and walnuts would have been easier. I’m tempted to make another one soon, but want to make sure that I have the time to do this. This bread is not for the faint of heart. 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

approached it the right way.  Next time though try adding the nuts etc on the first fold. yes the dough is strong and you won’t get many folds but pat it out gently as much as you can, spread nuts etc and roll/fold  it up. maybe pat the nuts etc into the dough as you want a good distribution.  I love this bread and have made it many times.  

lol looking at the instructions, maybe just try incorporating gently as I suggested at end of mix.  I usually just wing and it doesn’t seem to matter. 

hope that makes sense, bake happy Sharon

Leslie

syros's picture
syros

Thanks Leslie. As I told Dan, this has been a learning curve. Maybe I'll try the lamination method. I usually do bread by hand except for this one and the 5 grain SD, and the odd one. I don't think I could handle this one by hand, although I did really enjoy making the builds.

To be continued.....

syros's picture
syros

Think I got it this time! Wow, what a learning curve - but I’m glad I gave it another go. Please excuse the photos for being out of order!

 

 

So here goes: 

syros's picture
syros

That the second photo is from the second build. The crumb is soft and delicious. I will, however, the next time I make this, place Saran Wrap directly on the dough even though it is placed inside a plastic bag for the final BF. I found that it had a little bit of a skin, but was fine after it cooled down. I do not bake with steam, but I sprayed the top of the dough and inside the lid with water and inside the oven. 15 minutes at 450, 25 minutes at 425, without the lid. 

Making one dough was much better, but still a stiff dough to work with. Frankly it doesn’t need a preshape with one boule. Hard dough to work with. But I’m happy with the result.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement! Now on to the next CB!

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

so glad you had another go. It looks soo good and I am sure it tastes good - it is a firm favourite here.

Lealie

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Persistence paid off! Glad you broke the code. 

It really is a special bread. IMO

Danny

Sharon, did you hear that Kristen of Full Proof Baking will be our featured baker for the next CB? That gal can teach us a lot.

syros's picture
syros

Thanks so much Leslie. It’s great to learn something new in this great adventure. 

Yes Dan I’m excited about the next CB. Just saw it today. This will be fascinating as well. You keep us going my friend!