The Fresh Loaf

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dstroy's picture

Today, I baked a birthday cake for Floyd.

Our son was a great helper.

There's our cake completed.

And served...

And look! My first baking blog entry on your site too!
Happy Birthday to you, Floyd!

Floydm's picture

Sunday is my birthday. Sunday is also World Bread Day.

Coincidence? I think not.

After my excessive baking spree last weekend, I had said I wasn't going to bake this weekend. But I may just have to celebrate World Bread Day by putting together a loaf or two.

Floydm's picture

"Hello, my name is Floyd, and I am a bread-aholic."

I went crazy this weekend. Kaiser rolls, a french bread, oatmeal raisin cookies, pumpkin bread, ciabatta, a raspberry cheese braid, honey wheat bread. Not to mention that I made a batch of apple butter, specifically for eating on home baked bread.

Next weekend, I've gotta stop. Maybe one or two batches but that is it.

Man, I'm pooped. Recipes for more of these may follow, but for now just a few pictures and comments:

I had some leftover raspberry sauce from Saturday morning waffles that I wanted to use up, so I made this. I used the milk bread dough from the Village Baker. I think Hensberger's milk bread that I used for the braid last time is better. Either that or I overbaked it, because it came out fairly dry.

The buttermilk bread. Haven't tried it yet. It is basically this recipe. Nothing fancy but should be quite good toasted with apple butter.

Hamelman's ciabatta again. I added a little (1/2 teaspoon) extra yeast because I wanted a break from dense homemade bread. It didn't come out quite like ciabatta, but it wasn't bad.

hellonwhls's picture

Floydm's picture

You know you've got the baking bug bad when you find yourself making a sponge on a Saturday night not even sure what you'd want to bake the next day, just figuring it is a good idea to have one ready.

I think I may try a ciabatta again, but who knows? Still, I'm glad to have my poolish handy.

timtune's picture

Yesterday i tried making croissants for the 2nd time.
The first time wasn't tht good becoz the butter burst through the dough and i just threw part of the dough and simply made some badly/oddly shaped croissants.

So yesterday, i rolled out the dough and thought mebbe if i use pieces instead of a block, the results will be better. Instead, the pieces were too frozen and it pierced right through the dough!.. :S... I got frustrated and kneaded the pieces in the dough and roughly crushed it while i kneaded it. Then i quickly threw it in the freezer.

I took it out and did a business letter fold but the butter burst through the other side again. So i just folded tht part over and froze it.
I got an idea suddenly, instead of doing the business letter fold, i rolled out into a long rectangle and rolled it up like a swissroll. Then rolled it out again after freezing it. I tot tht could incorperate more folds in less time...and it did! ...
It came out to be quite good, with layers and a lot of volume. :)

I shared it with my church group and they found it hard to believe i made it.. :P hehe
( do u attach a photo??? )

hellonwhls's picture

Floydm's picture

I forgot to mention that I baked kaiser rolls again yesterday. They were mighty tasty, though they still don't look like professional kaiser rolls. I actually like the rough look of them though.

Anyone have any kaiser shaping tips?

Floydm's picture

before and after bread

I tried making the poolish ciabatta from the Hamelman bread book today. I was not paying much attention when I added everything to the mixer and I must have added too much flour or too little water, so it was clear it was not going to be a ciabatta after all. So a french bread loaf it turned out to be.

One thing I did do was focus more on the scoring. I did a few things better this week:

  • While shaping, I got the surface tension tighter and kept the loaf supported between towels so that when I scored it it didn't just spread out like a pancake.

  • I scored at an angle, not straight down. Something around 45 degrees.

  • I scored quicker and deeper, somewhere between 1 and 2 centimeters deep. See?

scored loaf up close

Definitely one of the nicest grins I've gotten on a loaf yet:

loaf grin

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I found an iron pan at Goodwill this week. I used it to create steam and, yes, iron definitely holds its heat. The crust was very nice tonight.

I may try again Sunday.

Floydm's picture

I finally bought Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread book the other day. I baked the poolish baguettes from it today and following his instructions on mixing, shaping, scoring, and baking. It was largely successful, though I made a few mistakes.

The dough seemed pretty sticky, but Hamelman is correct that folding the dough during rising tightens things up nicely. I probably should have given it an extra fold and an additional hour to rise before shaping.

before baking

Hamelman's instructions on shaping are quite good. I think I did a better than average job of shaping today.

When it came to scoring, Hamelman cautions about scoring too deeply. So, against my own better judgement, I underscored the loaves.


I suppose he is correct, that one can overscore a loaf, but I don't think I've ever done it. My cuts were under a half a centimeter deep here. I don't think I've ever gotten a nice looking loaf without scoring at least 1-2 centimeters deep. Alas.


The bread tasted great. The crust was a bit on the soft side because I added too much water to the oven, trying to create steam, and not all of it evaporated. And it is interesting to note how the top one looks quite different from the other two. I'm not certain if it is because I had a difficult time loading it into the oven and I damaged it then or if I hadn't shaped it properly. I'll just have to keep trying.


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