The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture

Since we had another half a pot of soup leftover for dinner, I tried the autolyse approach again today (see yesterday's post). Much better results this time.

My dough was real basic again:

13 ounces bread flour
9 to 10 ounces water
2 teaspoons salt
1 heaping teaspoon active dry yeast (activated in 1 ounce of the water for 5 minutes).

I changed my technique a bit. I mixed the bread flour (all I had in the house) and 9 ounces of the water together in a bowl until the flour was all moist. I covered the bowl, let it sit for 20 minutes, then activated the yeast in another ounce or so of water. I then pulled the dough out onto a well-floured cutting board, poured the yeast/water mixture on top, sprinkled on the flour, and worked the water/yeast/salt in by hand just until mixed in. It was a mess, but it seems to have done the trick: I got a real nice, slow rise, good gluten development, and minimal oxygenation (which causes the crumb to appear yellow).

I did the same folding and baking routine as yesterday, I just didn't try shaping it into rounds.

I kept it pretty slack, so I dealt with it like a Ciabatta.



ciabatta inside

We gorged on it. It was wonderful. :)

helend's picture

Back home and relaxing on Sunday evening after visiting my family for the wekend. Did a batch bake on Friday evening after work to take some goodies down for Mum and Dad. Wish I could have taken the smell of fresh baking too!

At the moment everyone is feeling a little in need of TLC so I made a rich cherry and almond loaf to take along with a large white spelt tin loaf - great for chunky sandwiches and toast. To fill the oven I made a date cake for us to come back to which smelt fudgy and warm when I cut it into chunks. A bit of a marathon but the gluten in spelt flour works quickly and by cooking it all together at 170c in a forced air oven, the moistness from the cakes and the slow temperature lets the bread crust develop.

Back to work tomorrow...

Floydm's picture

I, too, had a doughy disaster today. I was trying to make a simple French/Italian bread using both a poolish (a wet, yeasted, overnight pre-ferment) and an autolyse (a flour and water quick pre-ferment). The poolish was too wet, the autolyse too dry, and when I tried to mix them together I could not get the chunks of autolyse dough to combine with poolish. It ended up having the consistency of chicken and dumplings. I ended up throwing the batch out and starting over.

The next batch turned out better.

16 oz. bread flour
11 oz. water
1 heaping teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt

I combined the flour and water in a bowl and mixed just until the flour was full hydrated. I covered the bowl and let it hydrate for 20 minutes. Then I mixed in the yeast and salt, mixed for about 3 minutes, and placed the dough in covered bowl. I gave it 45 minutes, then folded, another 45 then a fold, and a final 45 before shaping into rounds, placing in my floured baskets, which I covered, and let them rise for a final 75 minutes.

I baked them at 475 with initial steam. They were in for about 25 or 30 minutes. They turned out quite nice:

We had a pot of vegetable soup and a bottle of Chianti with them. You couldn't ask for a better meal on a wet, wintery day.

whitedaisy's picture

Just took my 2nd Challah out of the oven. It is a very nice looking loaf of bread. Gosh, I may never sprinkle seeds or wheat on my loaves again. What a mess! Maybe I'm not using enough wash? The seseame seeds are everywhere!

ELIZABETH's picture

Hi Everyone - What a great site! Question - A new bread has come to my area though it's in short supply so far. I love it and would like to bake something like it but have no idea how to start. Is anyone familiar with Henry's Harvest Artisan Loaf by Grace Baking in Richmond CA? Any ideas about what makes this loaf so chewy? I'm a beginner baker. A recipe that is like this bread would be fantastic. Thanks.

timtune's picture

It's a dense and heavy loaf this time. Good for gluten-intolerent people i suppose, since it's 100% rye.
I decided to use the last remaining half of a German bread-mix packet. It says Roggen Vollkorn, or wholegrain rye if i'm not mistaken. Just add water and yeast, mix and u're done! :)

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Here's the packet...

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Would pair well with a 'leberwurst' bought the other day...hehehe ;)

whitedaisy's picture

I made Rustic Bread today for the faculty at my son's school. What nice looking loaves! Everyone was very excited to eat such a beautiful, yummy treat. It was a hit. :o)

whitedaisy's picture

Just tried sonofYah's Challah recipe. The Challah recipes I've used in the past have only called for white flour. The wheat was a very nice addition. The kids loved it. I loved it. My hubby loved it...what more could you ask for.
I did have trouble with glaze. The dough had so much spring in the oven, that the glaze didn't cover it all. The loaf was beautiful where the glaze covered, and my hubby said the unglazed part gave it character :o) What a nice guy. Again, what more could you ask for.

timtune's picture

Once in a while, my mind will conjure some crazy idea.
I did an experiment today. I tried smoking bread... Here goes the experiment.

Since i lacked time, i made a small lean dough with more yeast, from Whole wheat and all purpose.

Dough rised and got punched down. Shaped into a rough naan.

For the smoking device...i used a wok with a lid, lined with foil and the fuel was brown rice and green tea (for added frangrance). Could smoke chicken, pork or duck in that too.
Once fully heated, my kitchen smelled like a Chinese pork roasting pit! haha...smoky and fragrant in a way.

placed the bread in the wok, and smoked it for about 15minutes +...

Smoky aroma with a slight sour hint.
Bread was soft and not dry due to vapour built in wok.

although it was fun to experiment, i think i'll stick with the normal oven for the mean time. hehe..

Perhaps, it would do better with raw toppings... Smoked pizza?? :P

Floydm's picture

Today I baked the baguettes with Pâte Fermenté and the Roasted Potato Bread from Hamelman's Bread book.

many breads I baked today

The potato loaves are the round ones with the fendu style crease.

I love how Hamelman gives advice on how one should shape hundreds of fendu style loaves, but very little advice for the home baker. Typical of him: great recipes, but he rarely bothers helping out the novices.

I'll try to post more photos and a recipe soon.


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