The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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agres's picture
agres

As bakers, we spend a lot of time on the "How" and very little time on the "Why". When we do bring up why, it tends to be why we do things in a particular way (e.g., which temperature to proof a particular dough) rather than why we choose to make a particular style of bread. 

I do not see thoughtful discussions of why people decide to learn to make baguettes.   Home bakers seem bake them because commercial bakers bake them, and people are in the habit of eating them, and so people like baguettes. Then, home bakers, bake what people like.

For the baker, baguettes have virtues. They are easy to make, and use inexpensive ingredients that are easy to store and handle.  And, baguettes are cheap, go with a wide variety of modern French foods, so people are in the habit of eating baguettes all the time, and there is a large demand for baguettes. Together, these points make baguette and similar attractive to  commercial bakers.  However, the home baker can consider the costs of medical conditions associated with eating white bread such as baguettes, and suddenly baguettes are not cheap.

I understand the large demand for baguettes. People often ask me to make baguettes.  Those people are coming down with diet related diseases.  For them, the “Pain de Campaign” that is only ~20% whole grain flour is not an answer. It is still 80% “ultra-processed-stuff". And that ultra-processed-stuff will still do a job on their bodies. The virtues of baguettes for bakers do not help the eaters.  Why do home bakers continue to bake and feed such stuff to their friends and family? (HABIT)

We are not greedy commercial bakers - we do not need to sell air to make a living. We can “sell” cake! We can use the whole grains to make breads with the kind of crumb that whole grain makes, and it will be just as good as baguettes or the stuff sold as Pain de Campaign.  It will be different, but it will be just as good. Yes, we need to present our bread with a flourish (e.g., sell) that tells people that it is better than the junk bakers make from ultra-processed-stuff and sell as bread.

Whole grain excels at fine, moist, tender, "crumb" - that is pretty much the definition of cake.  Let them eat "cake"!   It is healthy. The classic American whole wheat bread recipe calls for milk and honey.  Together, whole wheat flour, milk and honey tend to produce a texture that is more like what we think of as "cake" than the baguette texture that we think of as bread.  Or, whole wheat flour with a bit of rye, handled as sourdough produces a fine moist, tender product that does not look like many of the things that modern bakers call "bread", but which is very pleasant to eat. These are the breads that I routinely bake. Some of my favorite whole grain flour mixes contain 10 different ingredients including soy beans or garbanzo beans. And, there are a whole range of sourdough breads that are mostly rye with just a bit of wheat in them - that are moist, tender, and cake like. Perhaps the extreme is Borodinsky bread.  

I have been asked to bring the “bread” to a reunion gathering in a few weeks. There will of course be baguettes, and other nutritional nothings made from mostly white flour. However, there will also be Borodinsky bread, and a variety of whole grain breads that contain no white flour.  We are old friends, and these are the breads that we will eat together.  

 

Cuisine Fiend's picture
Cuisine Fiend

There are so many wonderful things about this bread, I don't know where to start. It's buttery like laminated dough but infinitely easier. It's actually fun to make. It's sociable, pull-apart, tear 'n' share bread. And it's a showpiece with a huge 'wow' factor.
Jewish breads are usually excellent, this one is the traditional bake of the Yemenite Jews. If you want to look at the details, here's my recipe link: kubaneh, yemeni bread

Those black bits are black onion (nigella) seeds.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

So, DanAyo suggested that I pick one bread to bake again and again as a way to build my skill at baking with 100% freshly-milled while wheat flour.

I'm using a variation on the Laurel's Kitchen Bread book 'Loaf for Learning.' The difference are that I'm using spelt and khorasan wheat, and adding a tablespoon of Russian rye sour CLAS for added flavor and a little acidity in the dough. I'm using these wheats because I suspect that there's something wrong with the hard red winter wheat I've been getting. Today was my first bake of this bread. Here is the recipe:

Note: This is the Basic WW, page 80 in Laurel's Kitchen, using the hydration from Breadtopia Spelt/Kamut sourdough recipe plus CLAS for flavor.
(Total 68% hydration not counting the CLAS.)

Dry Ingredients
387 g kamut (43%)
513 g spelt (57%)
(900 grams total flour)
7 g  (2 tsp) instant dry yeast
14 g (2 1/2 tsp) salt
-Whisk dry ingredients together

Wet Ingredients
612 g warm water
2 tbs honey
2 tbs EVOO
40 g (2 tbs) CLAS
-Whisk wet ingredients together

Final Dough
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients in. Mix. Let stand for 10 minutes, then adjust hydration if needed. The dough should be soft and very sticky, but have some body: not be wet and gooey like a batter.  

Kneading:
Knead by hand, about 20 minutes, using the method in the Laurel's Kitchen book.

The dough should remain soft and become elastic and smooth. Towards the end of kneading it should be lustrous, supple and elastic. The color will be pearly, with darker bran flecks. It should display windowpane after a 10 minute bench rest.

1st Bulk Fermentation:
Form the dough into a smooth round ball and put it into a big clean bowl to rise. Do not oil the bowl. Protect the dough from drying out by placing a platter or plastic sheet over the top of the bowl.

* COLD BULK: place dough in refrigerator overnight.
* WARM BULK: Keep it in a warm, draft-free place to rise. At about 80 degrees this will take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, at 70 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours.
Wet your finger and poke it gently into the dough, about 1/2 inch. If the hole does not fill, the dough is ready. For best results, do not wait until the dough sighs deeply when poked.

2nd Bulk Fermentation:
Leaving the dough in the bowl, gently press out all the accumulated gas. Tuck the sides under to make the dough into a smooth round again, and cover for the second rise. The second rise will take about 1/2 as long as the first. Use the finger-poke rest again to test the second rise.

Shaping, Panning, and Final Fermentation:
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The best way to remove it from the bowl is by gently pressing a rubber spatula around the edges, and turning the bowl over. Cut the dough in half using a bench knife.  Keeping the smooth top surface carefully unbroken, deflate the dough by pressing it with wet or floury hands or a rolling pin from side to side, expelling the accumulated gas. Form each deflated dough half into a smooth round ball. Let the balls rest, covered, for about ten minutes.

Shape dough into loaves, place into two greased 8 x 4 loaf pans. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place panned loaves, covered, in a warm draft-free location for the final rise.

After 30 to 45 minutes, the dough should touch all sides of the pan and arch over the top. The dough will be spongy but not soggy and a gentle indentation from your wet finger will fill-in slowly.

Baking:
Place pans in the hot over. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 F. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the bread registers 195 to 200 F.

The loaves should leave the pans easily and be an even golden-brown, with no pinkish areas. If you thump the bottoms with your fingertips they should sound hollow.

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Gajar ka halwa aka carrot halwa is a popular Indain dessert savored by many. Although I do enjoy its caramelly aroma, it’s overly sugary for someone like me who doesn’t have a sweet tooth. Therefore, I decided to transform it into bread form as always!

 

Carrot Halwa Sourdough with 20% Sprouted Golden Quinoa

 

 

Dough flour

Final Dough

Levain

Total Dough

 

g

%

g

%

g

%

g

%

Flour (All Freshly Milled)

300

100

264

100

36

100

304

100

Sprouted White Wheat Flour

90

30

 

 

 

 

90

29.61

Sprouted Golden Quinoa Flour

60

20

 

 

 

 

60

19.74

Whole Spelt Flour

90

30

 

 

 

 

90

29.61

Whole Durum Flour

60

20

 

 

 

 

60

19.74

White Whole Wheat Flour (Starter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

1.32

Whole Rye Flour (Starter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

1.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hydration

 

 

278.2

105.38

40

100

278.2

91.51

Water

 

 

163

61.74

36

100

203

66.78

Whey

 

 

80

30.30

 

 

80

26.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

5

1.67

5

1.89

 

 

5

1.64

Vital Wheat Gluten

9

3.00

9

3.41

 

 

9

2.96

Starter (100% hydration)

 

 

 

 

8

22.22

 

 

Levain

 

 

80

30.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add-ins

56

18.67

56

21.21

 

 

56

18.42

Toasted Walnuts

30

10.00

30

11.36

 

 

30

9.87

Ghee Toasted Carrots

26

8.67

26

9.85

 

 

26

8.55

(Finely Shredded Carrots)

100

33.33

100

37.88

 

 

100

32.89

(Ghee)

5

1.67

5

1.89

 

 

5

1.64

(Green Cardamon)*3

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

657

248.86

80

222.22

657

216.12

Make the ghee roasted carrots. Heat the ghee and 3 green cardamoms over medium heat. Remove the cardamoms after the ghee is infused with their flavor. Pour in the carrots and milk powder then sauté over medium high heat, until mostly dry and caramelized. I got 26 g toasted carrots from 100 g raw carrots, 1 tsp milk powder and 5 g ghee.Make the ghee roasted carrots. Heat the ghee and 3 green cardamoms over medium heat. Remove the cardamoms after the ghee is infused with their flavor. Pour in the carrots and milk powder then sauté over medium high heat, until mostly dry and caramelized. I got 26 g toasted carrots from 100 g raw carrots, 1 tsp milk powder and 5 g ghee.


Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 36 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until ready, about 4.5 hours (27.5°C).  

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the levain and salt, autolyze for 15 minutes. Knead in the reserved ingredients and ferment for a total of 2 hours 45 minutes. Construct a set of stretch and fold and fold in the add-ins at the 15 minute and 30 minute mark respectively.  

Shape the dough then put in into a banneton directly. Retard for 11 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Let the dough warm up at room temperature for 20 minutes. Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 20 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let it cool for a minimum of 2 hours before slicing

 

Due to the low gluten property of this dough, the crumb isn’t quite open. However, it is exceptionally soft and moist from the moisture of the carrots.

 

 

Though the carrots can’t really be detected in the final bread, you can definitely taste the caramel flavor. The walnuts added some toasty aroma and crunchy texture, which I find indispensable. This bread is no doubt on the sweet side thanks to the caramelized carrots, sprouted grains and durum. The bit tang helps to balance out the flavor.

 

_____

 

Pulled lamb tacos. No more words needed.

 

Lotus root & king oyster mushroom SD pizza (50% spelt) with makhani sauce

 

Layered squash mozzarella bake

 

Quinoa jambalaya with pan-seared scallops

 

Smoked salmon & ivy gourd sushi rolls with wasabi yogurt. When you don't have cucumbers or salmon sashimi...

 

Shrimp & pork siu mai, steamed garlic ribs and glass noodles in louts leaves, lotus roots & bean sprouts salad in a Sichuan peppercorn infused mustard oil vinaigrette, fried glutinous rice with Chinese sausages, mixed veggies in a Jinhua ham & dried shrimp broth  

 

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I already has bagels on the mind for this weekend when Lazy Loafer (Wendy) posted up her lovely batch yesterday.  So, I dove into the deep end, and took my first go at making sourdough bagels.  I did some searching, and decided to go with THIS RECIPE (posted by Quantum.)  I modified the levain build slightly (favoring a 1:5:5 build up), and also did the bulk proof in the fridge overnight.  I'll cut to the chase on the results......they ARE bagels, but they are a bit denser than even a typical NY bagel might be.  I think that's because I got into shaping, boiling and baking too soon after I took the dough out of the fridge.  On the next go around, I'll probably leave the dough to sit on the counter for a couple hours after they come out of the fridge.  Here are the details......

Formula

Levain Build:

31g mature starter from fridge

155g Flour (used freshly milled hard red spring)

155g Water

Let levain ferment for 10-12 hours

Dough:

753g Flour (used Gold Medal AP)

377g Water

339g Levain

19g Salt

"Dissolve" levain and salt in the water, then add to flour in a mixing bowl.  Bring everything together into a cohesive dough mass (it's a bit dry, but it will happen!), then knead for 10-15 minutes (I did this by hand, so if you have a mixer, make adjustments here.)  Once the dough has become smooth in texture, place into an oiled container, and proof at room temp for 1-2 hours.  Then put dough into fridge overnight.  Remove dough from fridge in the morning (this is where I will let it sit for a couple of hours next time), and get your boiling/simmering water ready to go.  I used hot tap water, and some dry malt extract (eyeballed it).  Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 500 degrees (I baked these on a stone.)

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (about 122g each), pre-shape into balls, then let rest for a few minutes.  Take each ball and roll it out into a cylinder about 8" long, wrap the cylinder around your hand (seam on the palm side), then roll the seam to seal.  Once all of the bagels are formed, simmer them in your water for about 1 minute per side (do this in batches sized according to the vessel you are using.)  Remove from the water, press into whatever toppings you might be using, and place on parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Slide the parchment onto the stone in your oven, bake for 20 minutes.  If they aren't dark enough for your tastes, bake a bit longer.

Remove from oven, cool, then slice, toast and enjoy!

I'm looking forward to eating these, and then giving this recipe another go with some tweaks.

Rich

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Hi all. Sorry it's been so long since I was active on the site. After our big trip to Australia and New Zealand last autumn, then Christmas, we decided to sell our house. It took a while to get it ready to sell, and part of that 'getting ready' was storing all my bread-baking equipment away out of sight, and not baking for customers anymore. The house is still on the market so I'm just baking for the family now. The bagels shown here are a modified version of Peter Reinhart's bagels from "artisan bread every day", with the addition of some whole wheat flour and sunflower & sesame seeds. I find it's easier to control the ferment and proof if I refrigerate the bulk ferment, then shape them the next morning. They proof fairly quickly so make sure you've got the water simmering and the oven pre-heated in time!

Anyway, good wishes to everyone here and I do have a peek now and then to see what everyone is doing!

Wendy

isand66's picture
isand66

Both of these bakes were pretty simple for me and I had to restrain myself from adding some cheese or other ingredient :).  Sometimes simple is best and I have to admit the Spelt Barley loaf tastes awesome.  It has a nice chewy crust with deep nutty flavors from the spelt and barley flours.  It made an excellent pastrami sandwich for lunch the other day with some melted cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

The rolls came out nice and soft with an extra tang from the buttermilk.  These are also excellent sandwich rolls or great for breakfast with some butter, cheese or jam.

The crumb was not exceptionally open, but perfect for sandwiches.

 

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

The bread came out great. The crumb was nice and open and moist and tasted fantastic.  This one is a keeper for sure and worth trying.  The nutty flavor of the spelt was really complimented with the corn flour and made for one tasty bread.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water(buttermilk for the rolls) for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, (honey for the Spelt-Barley Loaf) and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

Lower the temperature to 450 degrees (for the rolls I baked at 435 F).  Bake for 35-50 minutes (15-20 minutes for the rolls) until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

JBT's picture
JBT

Growing up Friday's meant pizza in my parents home, along with some very cheesy, terrible family TV viewing.  It is a habit - the pizza, not the cheese-ball TV - that I have come back to again and again.

Sourdough Pizza crust (based on KA recipe)

100 grams starter discard; 65 grams warm water; 155 grams unbleached AP flour; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast

Rise in oiled bowl till doubled, 2-4 hours. Turn out and form into disk, rest 15 minutes. Stretch to shape; let rise. Preheat oven w/ stone to 500F, cook 12-14 minutes, last minute under broiler.

I like the crispness this dough can achieve in my oven, and how well it holds up even when very thin. It is also very extensible and easy to stretch. However, I'm missing a bit of chew so I'll probably try some kneading next time. 

Toppings today where jarred sauce (meh), olive, onion, pepper, GimmeLean sausage w/ added Italian sausage spices, Daiya cheese.

 

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

15% Rye flour + 1 tbls finely chopped coffee chaff.

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

 

A while ago I bought back some Swiss Ruchmehl from Germany and was curious about the

flour as Max Kugel, in Bonn bakes a lot with it in his bakery...

Last time it turned out to be an amazing bake and sadly I could not get my hands on it in UK....

But my fortune changed when I spotted Dark Swiss Flour on the Shipton Mill web site.

It did not give much information but when I baked with it, indeed it was very similar to the Ruchmehl, I thought...

The other day I saw a formula on https://brotokoll.com/recipe/?lang=en blog and after contacting Alex, he confirmed that indeed the Shipton Mill Dark Swiss Flour is a Ruchmehl...

It is difficult to find information in English on the flour but it is like a 85% extraction flour that is not quite WW but darker than a strong bread flour....The taste is rustic and deep...although I mixed it with 25% Strong Organic White Marriages and 25% Strong Canadian flour. I might try it 100% next bake...and I think it will take more water easily...

This one was 78% hydration, 20% young leaven (ph 5 when I used it), 2 % salt.. , 2 hours autolyse, 30 min before adding salt after adding levain, slap and folds to develop gluten, 3 Stretch & folds and last 1 and 1/2 dough was left alone, pre-shape, 30 min benchrest and 30 min before going into wine cooler...

It was a warm day and tried to keep dough at 23C throughout whole process.

I can highly recommend this flour should you be in the UK and use Shipton Mill. No postage if you order min of £ 30 and lots of amazing flours there at a very good price!   Kat

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