The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

strange at heart, but beautiful

  • Pin It
Pablo's picture
Pablo

strange at heart, but beautiful

Hi All,

I'm new, as I've said.  I inherited the Peter Ortiz book The Village Baker when my father died a couple of years ago and just started to read it about a month ago.   A recipe intriqued me that is based on an apple starter - 8 days of fermentation of pureed apple with honey and water.  Then feeding it up with flour, water and honey and a final addition of butter fried apple bits.  During the 8 days of fermenting I discovered The Fresh Loaf and refined what I am looking to do with bread baking.  The whole complex butter-sauteed-apple-bits nature of the recipe was no longer of interest, but the starter was bubbly and alcoholic, and I didn't want to throw it out, so I carried it through two days of fermentations with additional flour, water and, yes, honey, with some salt at the end.  Anyway, it's the most classically rustic boule in appearance that I've done yet and I wanted to share it. I think it's beautiful.  I dont believe the crumb or the taste are very intersting.  I'm on a quest to conquer a simple recipe first and that's all that I'm obsessed with at the moment.  I don't even know what I did along the way, I didn't keep track and won't try it again for some time if ever.  This is the first boule to come from my newly acquired proofing baskets from SFBI, where the purchase supports their students. I orginally contacted them to get some plastic bowl scrapers that are impossible to find here, and, you know how that goes - as long as I'm ordering...

Without further ado:

Boule top

Boule top

Boule side

Boule side

The crust is not quite as black as it looks here.  It's the crispiest crust I've gotten to date.  From the BBA I learned to throw a piece of parchment paper over the boule when it was plenty browned but the internal temp was still around 160 and it needed to bake longer without incinerating the crust.  It's 1400 gms.  I wanted to share with you loafians my artistic triumph.  Now it's time for toast and tea.

Paul

janij's picture
janij

It is beautiful!!  Did you keep the starter going?  I really like the design on the top.

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Thanks!  Well, you know, I did pull out a little lump of the starter and feed it with some water and flour and leave it on the counter.  It looks bubbly and happy, so I'll label it and tuck it away in the fridge for future reference. 

mcs's picture
mcs

With the natural lighting in that top photo, everything looks perfect.  Nice coloring, scoring, and picture framing too.  You're right, it is classic and rustic looking.
-Mark

http://thebackhomebakery.com

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Turns out it's pretty tasty, toasted and topped with applesauce in the morning and as a complement to a lunchtime soup.  It's not in my current interest realm of flour, water, salt and sometimes yeast, but it's OK!half boule

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Nice looking bread.  Now that you have that under your belt you can start exploring other relms that interest you.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It is Beautiful.  Just looking at the side profile I'm wishing to reach through the screan and tap on it with my finger tips. 

Mini O

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Definitely looks beautiful. The early darkening is probably due to the presence of ample amount of sugar, from the honey.

Rudy
-----------------------------
My TFL Blog Page

Pablo's picture
Pablo

I agree.  I was just reading the BBA today and came across that very bit of advice.  In retrospect I would try 400F instead of 425F.  Since it was so large it took quite a while to get the internal temp up to 207, which is what I shoot for, for some bizarre reason.  Thanks for the advice.  It's as dark as possible without being burnt.  We are really enjoying it, but it's taking some work for the two of us to go through it.  The trials of bread baking!

Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Nice work, Paul!

1400 gms will make a lot of toast.

Does the taste suggest apples in any way?


David

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Yes, actually the apples do come through.  It's somewhat sweet, but for 1400 gms there is less than two tablespoons of honey.  The initial ferment was 2 apples, peeled and smashed up and a little honey and water.  After a couple of days it started smelling like alcohol and after 8 days it was bubbling.  I kept it warm the whole time, mostly in the oven with the light on.  Otherwise I did not add any yeast.  The recipe said the initial mix of flour and water with the fermented apple stuff should rise in 8 - 10 hours.  It did nothing in that time and I considered throwing it out as a mistake but I just left it and when I went to clean out the bowl after about 24 hours covered, it had risen!  So I went from there adding more flour and water and teensy bits of honey and by golly, I got a groovy loaf out of it.  We're down to about the last 1/3.  Yes, it is a LOT of toast!

Paul

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hi David,

The bread was a hybrid fluke, but it came out so pretty and it's been such fun, really to eat, that I'm going to try again with 3 peaches that a hitchhiker gave to me a few days ago.  Just peel and mash (maybe I'll leave the peel), add a teaspoon or so of honey and a cup or so of water and see what happens in a week or so of sitting in a warm area.  I'll post some results in a week and a half or so.

Paul

Liam's picture
Liam

Hi There

Loved your loaf.  I am a fan of "Bread Alone" . Recently I ran out of hard wheat flour and my levain died.  With barely concealed disgust I turned to the section of breads levened with yeast and made the sundried tomato herb bread with my remaining 5 cups of bread flour.  I have a quantity of organic all purpose flour and used it to make the "Classic Country-Style Hearth loaf"  which I have made before with my organic hard wheat flour.  This one was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!  It made the loaf I have been looking for, flavourful, well risen, nicely browned with a thin enough crust (I am not a huge fan of thick crusty loaves).  It has a nice crumb with a little bit of chewiness that I like.  I am going to try this one again with either less whole wheat flour or none at all.  I am in search of the perfect "french stick" that only occasionally appears in my grocery cart - when i have to actually buy bread *shudder*.  

I think you will find this recipe will give you what you are after without all of the bother of a starter.  The recipe is as follows, the only change I made was to use organic all purpose flour and beat the poolish/flour mixture (using about half of the remaining flour at this point) with the flat blade of my Kitchenaid mixer for 10 minutes at speed 4. I have condensed the instructions considerably, but I think I have left out nothing important

Poolish

Spring water 75 deg F  4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup)

dry yeast                    1/8 ounce     (1/2 tsp)  

20% bran wheat flour    4 ounces       (3/4 cup

 

Final Dough

spring water                   20 fluid ounces   ( 2 1/2 cups

dry yeast                       1/8 ounce   (1/2 tsp)

20% bran wheat flour using all purpose organic white 31 ounces

fine sea salt                   1 tablespoon  (3/4 ounce)

Make the poolish and let sit, covered with plastic, at room temperature for 10 hours

Make the bread:  Using the flat beater: mix poolish, yeast and water until  foamy and well mixed.  Add about 2 cups of flour or until mixture is like a heavy batter, for 10 minutes.  Add the salt and continue adding the flour, switching to dough hook when required.  Knead for about 7 minutes. 

Let rise in an oiled bowl for about 3 hours, deflate and divide into two.  Let dough rest for 20 minutes.  Shape into two boules and set on parchment paper.  Dust lightly with flour and lightly cover with plastic.  Let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  

Heat oven to 450 deg F one hour before baking.  Half an hour before baking uncover the loaves.  Add a try with ice cubes to the bottom rack of the oven about 15 minutes before loaves go in.  Slash as desired, slide parchement onto baking stone and bake at 450 deg for 20 min,  lower heat to 400 deg and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes minutes until nicely browned.

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Yes, that's a bread you can be proud of! Looks nice. It's a very interesting bread. I was looking at my grapes in the garden this morning and got thinking about a new starter, just to see.

Jane 

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hey Jane,

It's been so much fun and so interesting, I'm starting a peach batch today.  One of those Quebecois I was talking about gave me three peaches the other day.  I'm going to mash them up with a teaspoon of honey and a cup of water and let it sit around for 8 days and see what develops.  Let me know if you start something with your grapes.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for you, you are ready now, it's just a click away...

Baking with Yeast water, not sourdough

Mini O

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Thanks Mini O, just when I was realizing that I need a rest, it's been a WILD 3+ weeks since I found The Fresh Loaf, just then, you drop this in my lap.  Wow.  If that is yeast water, then what I've used is yeast mud.  I just drop the whole fruit in the container with some local honey and a little water and go at it with the blender wand.  Mud.  My spouse is a Physicist.  i told him you just introduced quantum sourdough.  Thinking of combining yeast from my tomatoes in the garden with water from the lake across the street.... I'm swooning.

But I must rest.  Thank you so much, and stay tuned for further developments.

Over and out.  (for a while)

Paul/Pablo

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You need a break.  You've had a crash course and it's time for a holiday. 

Just don't wait until spring when the tadpoles are all along the shore line.

I think we will still see you popping in now and then.  Have a good one,

Mini O