The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
Floydm's picture

Here's the poolish in the AM:

According to Artisan Baking Across America, the puckering in the middle is a sign that it is ready to use.

The baked loaves:

They were acceptable, but not great, this weeknd. I think I made the dough a bit too dry. I'll try again soon.

SourdoLady's picture

Hello Bread People!

April 9, 2005 - 6:32pm -- SourdoLady

Just wanted to introduce myself. As my name shows, I am a sourdough addict. I have been baking sourdough for about 5 years now (wild yeast only). I have 6 different starters that I keep going. Sourdough is so fascinating to me and I keep learning new things every day.

I love this forum and the way it is set up. The people all seem very nice and friendly. I only wish it were more active. We need more people on here!

Floydm's picture

Today's batch of Pain Sur Poolish turned out pretty good. Not as good as last time, I don't think. We left the house during primary fermentation, so I threw it into the fridge for a couple of hours. I'm not sure I let the dough warm back up enough afterward. Also, the dough was definitely drier than last time. The wetness of the dough last time was part of what I think contributed to it being so good. So, more work to be done before I've got this one down.

So, I don't forget, the recipe I used was roughly the Village Baker recipe:

3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup water
the poolish that had sat out overnight (1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon yeast)
2 cups flour (1 bread, 1 all-purpose)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Combine, let ferment 2 hours, punch down, let rise another 45, shape into logs, let rest 15 minutes, stretch, let rise another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, bake.

Floydm's picture

Pain Aux Raisins and Cream Cheese Snails

April 8, 2005 - 6:22pm -- Floydm

Authentic Pain Aux Raisins are one of my favorite treats. Rich and sweet without being cloyingly so like your typical donut or danish, they make the perfect accompaniment to a good cup of joe.

Reading The Village Baker I came across a recipe for them and was surprised at how simple they are to make. So last weekend I tried making them and have been blissed out eating them all week.

The one type of danish that I have a weakness for is a cream cheese danish. Wouldn't you know it, the next recipe in the book is for a cheese danish. It even uses the same base recipe. I couldn't resist.

Without further ado, the recipes.

Floydm's picture

The Village Baker

April 7, 2005 - 9:37pm -- Floydm

Try to take yourself back to the pre-Macarena days of 1993, the days when Democrats looked set to dominate American politics for the foreseeable future, when Hootie and the Blowfish ruled the music charts, and, though hearing that Michael Jackson was doing the soundtrack for a movie called "Free Willy" was funny, it wasn't nearly as creepy as it is today.

Those were the days when Sun-Dried Tomatoes ruled, before they were replaced by Roasted Red Peppers on trendy restaurant menus, which were soon replaced by Wasabi, which was replaced by Chipotle, which was replaced by Halibut Cheeks, which were replaced by Tapas, which, I am sure, has already been replaced by the latest food trend (Chorizo, perhaps?).

Try to remember what the bread aisle was like in 1993. In most of America the bread aisle was pretty homogenous, with 12 grain or cinnamon raisin bread being the most exotic thing you'd find. Even at trendy, high end grocery stores (which weren't yet trendy and were still known as health food stores), most of the breads you'd find had names touting their healthfulness, names like "Health Nut Bread," "Brantastic Voyage," or "Speltgasm."

But within a year or two something changed: the health food stores began to dust themselves off and become chichi. Out went the dense, plastic wrapped multigrain loaves of breads that seemed to sit on the shelf for weeks. In went racks of bread in paper bags with Italian and French sounding names, names like "Ciabatta" and "Pain de Campagne," breads that were delivered fresh each day if not baked fresh on site. The Artisan Bread Movement was here.

What changed? Certainly a general 90's trend toward "all things rustic and evocative of peasants are chic" had something to do with it (see David Brooks' hysterical Bobos in Paradise for more on this trend). But a baking book came out that year that had a lot to do with it: Joe Ortiz's The Village Baker.

Floydm's picture

I just started a poolish for pain poolish again tomorrow.

1 cup bread flour
1 cup cool water
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

Overnight at room temperature seems to be about right. When I come down in the morning it is fairly foamy but doesn't appear to have totally run out of steam yet.

Oh yeah, I think I Terry Schiavo'ed my starter. I stopped feeding it two or three weekends ago, the weekend everyone in the house got sick. I probably could nurse it back to life, but I think I'm going to let it go. There are too many other breads I want to try baking right now: having to come up with something that involved my starter every weekend was getting to be a burden. Easy come, easy go.

Floydm's picture

Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie; Elf Bread

April 7, 2005 - 3:37pm -- Floydm

The Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (The World Cup of Baking) is coming up in mid-April. NPR did an interview with the American team as they prepared. Here is another story on their preparation.

Ok, this is extremely dorky: someone has put together a recipe for Lembas Bread, the sacred bread of the elves in Lord of the Rings.

Recipe Scan: The Panmario (Italian rosemary bread) recipe from The Italian Baker, Mandel Bread, and a Carrot-Pineapple Sweet Bread.

crumbbum's picture

I'm trying to make a brownie that will turn out almost as soft and gooey as the cookie recipe below. Following the cookie recipe is an approximation of what I cobbled up from the cookie recipe and several brownie recipes.

These cookies are wonderful, by the way.

NavyDucks Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies

1-1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peanut butter chips

Cream butter (or margarine) and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt) together and then blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the peanut butter chips. If it's a warm day or your kitchen is warm, you'll get better baking results if you chill the dough for a couple of hours.

Drop by the spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350F for 8 to 9 minutes only. DON'T OVERBAKE. The cookies will be soft; they will puff up during baking and flatten out upon cooling. EDIT: Cool about 5 minutes or until they are slightly set, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Will make about 4 dozen 2-1/2 inch cookies. YUM.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

3/4 cup butter or margarine (1/2 c marg. 1/4 c butter)
1-1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
small amount of half-and-half or cream (1/4 cup?)
1 cup peanut butter chips

Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Sift dry ingredients together, and blend in alternately with splash of cream. Stir in peanut butter chips.

Spread in greased 13x9 pan, bake at 350F 30-35 minutes.

recipe called for 3/4 cup chocolate syrup. I didn't have any, but increased the fat and sugar by 1/4 cup each, reflected in the amounts above, and splashed in a little half-and-half as I added the dry ingredients in.

freshly out of the oven, it looks like a giant pan cookie. I'm trying to let it cool before cutting and sampling, but my resolve isn't strong.

follow-up: it didn't come out gooey like I'd hoped. alternatives: smaller rectangular pan for a thicker brownie, shorten oven time to 25-30 minutes, actually have chocolate syrup on hand (ya think?).

qahtan's picture

Ale in sourdough starter

April 6, 2005 - 2:02pm -- qahtan

> Yesterday I got the notion to make sourdough pita
> pockets. So last night I put about 1 cup sourdough starter into a jar along with 1 cup flour and 1 cup ale, well after about 6 hours it was almost over the top of the jar, so I chilled it in the fridge overnight.
> This morning after it came back to room temperature I made it into dough and made 6 pita's and two loaves, picture of loaves as below.
I actually made my regular white bread recipe but added the ale starter instead of water

crumbbum's picture

White Bread: sandwiches and toasting

April 6, 2005 - 12:04am -- crumbbum

This is a white bread I finally settled on about 20 years ago, when I was baking all the bread for my family of four. We ate so much, I just worked it up for two loaves, so that's what I've got here. It's followed by the single loaf approximations I used earlier this week for the loaf pictured here. It's a good, tasty white bread for toasting or making sandwiches, and if it gets stale, it makes fantastic french toast.


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