The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Basic loaf bread composition

doodlebug86's picture
doodlebug86

Basic loaf bread composition

Sorry for being so noobish here, but I'm only 2 months into my bread making foray.  Doing things on my own is both fun and frustrating.  For Easter I made a Sun Dried Tomato bread and an Asaigo Cheese Bread.  Couldn't find any reasonable recipe here or on the web that I could follow step by step, so I kinda made it up on my own.

 My main question is:  are most artisian breads based on the same basic Italian or Rustic loaf recipe?  For my Asiago I used an italian loaf recipe and added 6oz of cheese, 5oz into the bread during the kneeding process, the rest on top prior to the baking.  Same for the Sun Dried Tomatoe, I added oil and tomatoes into the kneed and then baked as if it was a regular loaf.

 Are there any other basic loaf recipes which you then add ingredients or do they all start out of a basic Italian loaf?

 Sorry, got to cut this short, my 9 year old is having a meltdown :(

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I think what you describe, starting with a French or Italian Bread base and then tweaking it with different additives, is the most common approach to making the "bread with fancy things in it" you find at your local cafe or bakery. I know I tend to stick to a handful of simple master formulas and build off those.

I think a top knotch baker would argue that there are and endless number of base recipes: yeasted dough, sourdoughs, enriched doughs, sweet doughs, rye breads, doughs with a preferment and those without. Then you can get into different grains or different types of wheat or even different kinds of yeast, and different techniques to tease out different flavors that are appropriate to the special ingredients you want to add. If you take a look at someone like Dan Lepard, he uses very different approaches for each recipe rather than just one or two master techniques. His Lemon Barley Cob looks nothing like his Rolled Oat and Apple Bread. That takes a level of skill and depth of knowledge that not many people have though.

doodlebug86's picture
doodlebug86

Thanks for the affirmation as I suspected.  I was in Subway today for a sandwich and watched them take what appeared to be a relatively wet loaf, score the top, spray it with water and then roll the top in whatever spice or additive they wanted.  Then back to the proofer prior to baking.

I have to admit I find their sandwich bread tasty but now realize its probably a basic white loaf with Italian herbs and cheese on the top.  I know I can do better, I just wasn't sure if the ingredients were mixed into the basic loaf -- or pressed into the top.