The Fresh Loaf

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Sigyn's picture
Sigyn

I have been baking most of my life, the quantity and variety of baking has diminished as my family grew up and I became more careful about what I was eating. I was still baking bread in my usual way, using basic bread flour and commercial yeast, with little variety in flavour, shape or style. I make preserves every year, clementine marmalade, jam from a variety of soft fruit and indulge in the baking frenzy prior to the festive season.  I was however in a bit of a bread rut. I had watched the bread renaissance that was going on around me over the last ten years or so from the sidelines, barely registering the potential to develop some new skills and reinvigorate my interest in bread making and unlock the flavour that is possible with a different approach.

A friend in the USA bakes sourdough bread, he had been discussing technique and the wonderful flavour of this type of bread. We had a grand experiment. He posted me a sourdough loaf. It arrived 5 days after baking. It survived the journey and was in perfect condition. The flavour was superb having matured further over the course of the journey. I was hooked.

I had read that a Rye sourdough starter was the easiest to culture and thought that as a beginner it would be the best place to start. In the early days I was advised to use bottled spring water rather than tap water as any chlorine in the tap water would have a detrimental effect on the fermentation and the bacteria I was trying to cultivate. Once the starter was a little more mature tap water could be used.

I began with a stoneground wholemeal organic Rye flour from Dove's. 

Day one - 25g of Rye flour and 50g water at approx. 37 ˚C mix by hand and pour into a glass jar. I used a mason jar with the lid loosely fitted to allow any gas build up to escape. I placed it on a block of wood on top of the kitchen radiator and left it to get on with it.

Day two - A further 25g Rye flour and 50g water at 37 ˚C was added to the jar and given a good stir. Back onto the radiator to keep it warm.

Day 3 - Adding another 25g Rye flour and 50g water at 37 ˚C and another good stir. Back onto the radiator to keep it warm. It had sprung into life!

Day 4 - Lots of activity in the starter and it smells interesting. 50g Rye flour and 50g water at 37 ˚C was added to the jar and given a good stir. 

Day 5 and its ready to use.

Bakingfanatic's picture
Bakingfanatic

A wickedly indulgent bake, these are great fun to make and are insanely easy to eat! 

I have gone for a very tangy, fragrant strawberry flavour for the ganache inside and for the fondant icing.

The freshly fried crounts are rolled in a mixture of sugar and lemon powder - which gives an almost sherberty flavour. Just wonderful as it cuts through the richness of the pastries themselves!

The full recipe is on my blog post at https://bakingfanatic.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/strawberry-lemon-sherbert-sourdough-cronuts/

 

mcs's picture
mcs

Hey everyone!  I'm back from my big trip and I've got some stuff to share with you, mostly coming in the form of links to stuff I posted along the way on my phone. Lastly is a short video I made of the baking session I had in Moscow in the middle of May. 

Here are a bunch of photos I took, both personal and professional along the way.

These are some photos from when I was working at the Black Dog Bar & Grill outside Prague.

And this is my bakery FB page that provides a little bit of narrative on some of the photos (if you look hard enough)  :)

Enjoy!

-Mark




 

KathyF's picture
KathyF

In my last blog, baybakin suggested I try Peter Reinhart's SF Sourdough from Crust and Crumb. I looked at the recipe and actually, his timing works well with the summer weather as you end up baking in the morning. So I decided to try it out. This is the first time I tried retarding the final proof. I let it rise a bit like it said in the book and then put it in the fridge. I panicked a little when I observed that it kept rising for a while until it finally chilled down. I worried for a bit that I would be baking in the middle of the night! But it slowed down nicely once it was chilled. I scaled it down to 2 loaves. Here is the other one:

And the crumb shot:

It was maybe a tad over proofed. The first one deflated a bit when I scored it. Next time I think I will put it in the fridge a bit sooner and if it needs it, let it finish proofing the next morning.

There is a bit of a tang, but not quite as much as I hoped for. The texture of the crumb turned out very well. And this was the loudest I have ever had the crust sing to me. Very nice.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I received a note recently from Amy Goldman, who had attended one of my sourdough classes.  She and her partner, Sean Galloway, are in the process of planning a business combining a brewery and bakery in the KC area.  Right now they plan to call it The Brewkery.  Amy is already baking, using starter that I provided to each of the students.  It's a treat to think that my starter might be the base for a bakery's sourdough breads someday.

Paul

Gaffri's picture
Gaffri

The rolls are sort of old nordic meets southern europe. The combination of the Enikorn flour, kernels, wild Greenlandic Angelica and Blueberries gives these rolls tons of aromatic, nutty sweet fragrant flavours.

 The dough was mixed directly with my "dormant" fridged sourdough starter with a approx 80% hydration level, and it took around 20 hours at room temperature for the fermentation process to kick in. They were baked at 230 degrees C for 25/30 min.

 The flour is a 70% organic Einkorn flour with approx. 30% organic Wheat flour. Its great with butter or strong cheese.

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I should have posted this a long time ago since I've made this during my practicum but my laptop gave up as I was writing this while doing my practicum report. It is one of the greatest challenges I've ever faced, after typing nearly a ten page report a message just flashed saying my laptop is corrupted two days before the deadline! (What makes it worse is the policy "submit it on or before the deadline or GRADUATE NEXT YEAR!"). I had to retype my report relying only on my memory but it did not deter me, in the first place what's in my report came from my mind and just a little more push t will be my graduation so I wouldn't waste all my efforts from the past four years. Thank God I was able to finish it and even got a 1.0! These are the lessons college taught me for the last time: Learn to prioritize; plan for the worst; and if I can do something now, do it now so I'll have plenty of time doing what I love. My parents were very proud of me as I was able to graduate and also make it to the dean's list.

Fast forward to months later after graduation, my dad gave me a new laptop as a graduation and birthday gift so now I can post again! He also gave me a huge table whose sole purpose if for bread, MY BREAD! He says no one can touch it except me so it is always clean and ready for kneading and shaping breads. Maybe someday he said we will have an oven and a mixer and all other equipment necessary for baking. I am very lucky because I have parents who are very supportive of my craft. Of course if I will have a job I will try hard to provide those myself for my family and for my bakery as it is really my dream and their dream for me.

Back to the bread, I made this in my dormitory when I was longing to make bread without my clay pot. It made me sleepless for nights thinking of what bread can I make and how I will make it. During those times I was thinking of a festival/street snack, the kind that when you're walking while watching a parade and your tummy rumbles you buy some then carry on with your business. I thought of A RUSTIC SANDWICH WITH A RUSTIC BREAD because earlier I've seen post on breads like the shao bing, scallion pancake and rou jia mo; though they are cooked in different ways they all have a rustic personality but what captured me is the flakiness of the first two I mentioned, I want to replicate that. I married their characteristics for my ultimate bread: flaky and yeasted like a shao bing; crispy, full of scallion flavor and cooked in a frying pan like a scallion pancake; and sturdy enough to hold up to wet fillings.


The dough is the most basic with just flour, water, yeast and salt with just the slightest touch of sugar and oil for softness. I only made a small amount so I won't waste a ton of ingredients if it fails. After the bulk fermentation I divided it into four then proceeded to do some "Oriental style lamination" where you have laminate one by one. I rolled each one flat, spread some oil and sprinkled some chopped scallions, toasted sesame seeds, a little salt and optional white pepper. I then rolled them like spring rolls, coiled them and flattened them. After a 20 minute rest, I cooked them on lightly oiled pan for 7 minutes on each side on low heat. I don't like their pale sides so i cranked the heat up and browned them quickly but I don't think it's necessary as we can see in English muffins. I was rolling on a small chopping board so I have not rolled them thin and big enough, if I have done so they could be flakier with more layers, that's just a theory though. Also, for the first two i cooked the heat was too high so they were burnt slightly.



They were crispy and flaky on the outside as you can see on the first picture shards were all over the plate. They were soft and substantial inside with some visible layers. They were a bit sweet but very savory full of scallion flavor with a hint  of toasted sesame. When I brought some leftovers home, my mom said she could eat them alone everyday without tiring of it but I think she's exaggerating a bit though. 

This is how they look inside:








I filled them with some braised chicken thighs fragrant with ginger and garlic with just a kick from chilies the flaky scallion buns are the prefect complement to it. The buns and chicken are good alone but the textures and punch of flavors they deliver when when together is sublime.







It's so good I forgot that the oils and juices are dripping down my fingers and just let myself fall into the world of good food.




The photos were taken at night when I returned to my dorm after my training inside my bedroom under a fluorescent light which is a first time for me since I'm used to taking photos in the afternoon at our home using only the light from the sun. I also cooked the braised chicken myself because I cooked my own meals there, therefore allowing me to experiment with my food because of the small quantities. Now that I'm back home, I'm so excited to try and share many of my "no-oven" bread baking ideas.

This was a long post mainly because of the stories behind this bread. Can you think of a better name for them? in fact, I don't know what to call them so I just stick to calling them flaky scallion buns. Thank you very much!



greedybread's picture
greedybread

 

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I know, no Turkish or Italian bread…

I thought I would confuse you….

I love this, its my new favourite!

Gorgeous…

Well, that changes each recipe, I am a fickle bread lover, faithful to no bread.

Give me eggy sweet breads and I am your slave.

I have been reading Allyson Gofton’s Year in France book and saw the recipe in there.

Then I investigated some other recipes, had a fiddle and voila!

Sweet, yeasty bread cakes, that is me!!

Orange Blossom water, its is a sign!!

I had to do a few substitutions and I have been on a mad search for some ingredients.

But we got there in the end.

Smudge says " Yes Please"

Smudge says ” Yes Please”

1 cup of chopped cherries (I used red and green as could not get angelica to start with).

1 cup of chopped candied orange peel or mixed peel.

2 tbsp (I did a big splash) of orange blossom water.

3 Tsp of dried yeast.

4 cups of bakers flour

4 eggs

200g of butter

1/2 a cup of warm milk

1 cup of sugar, prefer castor.

pinch of salt.

Sugar pearls of possible.

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You could use flaked almonds on top but would alter the taste, be nice though.

In a small bowl place warm milk, stir in 2 tsp of the sugar and stir in the yeast.

When this is mixed well, add in 1 beaten egg and 1/4 cup of flour , mixing until relatively smooth.

Leave to stand for about 30 minutes or until the yeast mix is frothy and smooth.

It has to be smooth!!

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Place flour, remaining sugar and salt in a bowl and combine well.

Beat remaining eggs, splash in orange blossom and set aside.

When yeasty mix is ready, add in beaten egg mix and add to dry ingredients.

Add in butter and beat well, then add in the glace fruits etc when the butter is well combined into the mix.

Stir through.

This is like stiff batter, it’s not a dough as such.

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Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave for 3-4 hours.

The slower the better as the flavour develops over time.

Place gloopy dough batter on a well floured bench/area.

Divide into 2 portions and roll into a ball.

Flour your fist and poke a hole in the middle of the balls.

Work it round a bit and enlarge the hole so its 1/3 the size of the entire cake/bread area.

Place on a baking tray lined with paper.

Cover and leave for an hour.

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Pre heat oven 15 minutes before to 160 Celsius.

Brush rings lightly with egg and place decorations on the ring.

I did red and green cherries and then pearl sugar.

Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes.

Not too brown…cover with tinfoil if need be.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest on the tray for 5 minutes.

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Gently place rings on a wire rack to cool.

Best eaten within the day but I was eating it a day or so later and still great!

Mmm warmed with lemon curd and greek yoghurt!

Very unfrench but nice!

Great for breakfast.

GET GREEDY!

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There 2 versions of King Cake, a pastry one with almond and the one above.

My one is from the Southern France region.

David Lebovitz has a gorgeous Puff pastry version called Galette des Rois.

Here is a nice historical piece on the Galette des Rois.

http://www.greedybread.com/bread/gateau-des-rois-cake-of-the-king/

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I've been interested for some time in playing around with durum flour.  Between finding only the coarser semolina grind locally and being put off by the costs of mail ordering, I hadn't taken the plunge before now.  However, totally by serendipity, I happened to be in an IndoPak grocery store recently and they had a whole shelf section of various atta flours, most milled from durum wheat.  A 20-pound bag (only $12.99) followed me home and has been silently taunting me these past two weeks as other things kept me from baking.  Nothing outlandish, mind you, but when a niece gets married she wants her doting aunt and uncle there even if they do live 5 states away.

The flour I purchased is Swarna Fresh Durum Atta, milled by a UAE company from wheat of an undisclosed country of origin:

The label says that it consists of 100% durum wheat.  The nutritional information panel on the back of the bag lists the fiber content as 7g of a 100g sample, or 7%.  I infer that to mean that this is a whole or nearly whole wheat flour.  The items listed on the panel only total 92g, instead of 100g, so I'm not sure what else is there that didn't fit into the list of nutrients.  Non-dietary fiber, perhaps?:

The flour's color, a pale tan with golden tones, would seem to support that supposition:

The durum atta is on the left, contrasted with an unbleached AP flour on the right.  The atta flour has a slightly grittier feel when rubbed between thumb and forefinger.  While the naked eye isn't always a reliable measuring tool, the particle size of the atta seems to be just slightly larger than the particle size of the AP flour.

So, what to do with this new-to-me flour?  After much reading, Varda's Durum Atta Hearth Loaf formula from her post in 2011 looked like a good place to start.  While handling the dough, I decided to make a small increase in hydration, from Varda's 60% up to 62%.  Now that I've made it once, I'll probably experiment with nudging it up to 65% for a future bake.  While I've read of durum's trait of absorbing more and more water right up to the point of releasing water from the dough, the fiber content in this is high enough that I think the dough will be alright.  It may want a slightly longer autolyse but that will be a different experiment.

This dough, following Varda's instructions, handled nicely even though it was moderately stiff.  Per instructions, I used no bench flour.  There was only the slightest filming of dough residue on the countertop when kneading was finished.

I wound up having to extend the fermentation times slightly, while being mindful of the repeated mentions of durum's fermentation speed.  It may have been that the starter was slightly sluggish last Saturday; it may have been the dough's stiffness.  Whatever the cause(s), the dough was rather slow to inflate and I did not want to set myself up for an exploding loaf caused by under proofing.  As it turned out, I could have let it go another 30 minutes or so, since there was some cracking of the crust.  While I suspect that additional proofing would have helped, there is also the possibility that the durum's weaker gluten just would not tolerate much expansion.  

The finished loaf has a lovely golden russet color:

The crumb is very tight, with a multitude of tiny bubbles, while exhibiting the golden tones that durum is known for:

The crumb is moister than the dough's handling characteristics would have suggested.  A small amount of additional water still seems advisable.  While it might look like pound cake, the crumb does require chewing.  It isn't stiff but it is substantive.  Considering the proportion of flour in each slice, relative to the air and water content, I guess that isn't a surprise.  The flavor is very good.  There's a richness that might make one suspect the addition of some oil or butter but it is a lean bread (which is not to say that some butter or oil wouldn't be a good addition).  The sour notes are very mild.  They meld with, rather than overpowering, the other flavors.

All in all, I am very pleased with this first attempt at a 100% durum loaf and very grateful to Varda for her trail-blazing efforts.  It is definitely worthy of a repeat and I have plenty of flour left to play with.

Paul

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

While smoking this fine Tuscan Chicken for Sunday dinner, I tossed in 3 Hot Italian sausages about half way through to have some smoked sausages on Monday night.  I forgot we didn’t have any buns and were out of time this morning some SD or YW ones.

 

Lucy whipped a quick semi enriched dough that didn’t have any eggs in it that looked like this. 130 g each LaFama AP and KA bread flour, 32 g of butter, 184 g of water, 10 g of NFDMP, (non fat dry milk powder),  and 5 g each of instant yeast, sugar and salt.

 

This is our fairly standard, quick bun recipe.  We do 10 minutes of slap and folds then 2 more sets of 10 slaps each on 15 minute intervals and then do 3 sets of stretch and folds on 10 minute intervals.

 

Since we were making the buns for smokes Italian sausages we decided to make the buns more Italian by adding 1 tsp each of fresh rosemary and sun dried tomato with some left over caramelized onions and mushrooms – about a heaping tablespoons worth.

 

The add ins went in at the start of the first set of stretch and folds and after the 2nd set 15 minutes later we let the dough do a ferment of 30 minutes undisturbed.  We pre-shaped  3 sausage bums and 2 hamburger buns and then 5 minutes later did the final shaping – 100 g each as it turned out.

 

30 minutes later, we fired up the Mini Oven to 425 F - convection.  Once the Mini hit temperature we egg washed the buns and then 5 minutes later we washed them again before they went in the heat.  After 7 minutes we rotated the buns and turned the oven down to 400 F - convection and baked for 4 more minutes.  We then rotated the buns again and turned the oven down to 350 F baking the buns for 3 minutes with another rotation and 3 more minutes of heat - 17 minutes total.

 

They puffed and browned up great and we washed them in butter when they came out of oven to keep the crust soft.  They looked and smelled delicious and we can’t wait to have some sausages for dinner.  Will have to wait on a crumb shot but now we need to make some pickled onions, cucumber and peppers for a condiment.

 

  

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