The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

varda's picture
varda

After struggling with several formulae which never seem to come out right, I decided to change things up a bit.   First, I completely changed my starter routine.   Second I found myself at the counter with an empty mixing bowl and no idea of what I was going to make, so I made something up.   I'm not that good at computing percentages in my head, so I kept it simple, basically going with a fairly simple sourdough, but swapping in some white rye.   The results were less than stellar - the loaf exploded in the oven - basically jumping to around three times its unbaked height.  The second time all seemed well in the oven but halfway through, suddenly it slipped a gasket and a huge cancerous growth leaped out the side, almost as big as the mother loaf.    The third time, I could probably have waited another half hour on the final proof but it was way past my bedtime.   It may have opened too much but it didn't explode, so I call that a victory. 

The addition of white rye (which incidentally Hamelman says is not fit for bread baking) makes some pretty interesting but subtle changes in taste an texture.   My husband, who generally will only eat a slice or so of my more obviously rye breads eats this as if it were an all white bread which I guess it is.  The crumb is denser than a lower percentage rye sourdough, you can cut extremely thin slices without tearing the loaf, but still quite open.  

In general, the taste is such that I wouldn't mind having this as my everyday loaf.  

One of the things I've been working really hard at is trying to control the temperature of my dough.   I came upon a very simple method.   I take a pot and fill it with very hot water directly from the sink, and put the lid on upside down.   Then set the bowl or proofing basket on top of it.   I replace the water after the second stretch and fold as by then it has cooled down a bit.   I have found that I can maintain dough temperature in the mid 70s F by using this method.    Even so I still underproofed because it just seems to take so long to ferment this dough all the way through.   Here is my set up:

Finally the formula - simple but good if you throw in a little patience:

 

 

Final Dough

 

Starter

 

Percents

KAAP

400

 

90

 

82%

White Rye/Dark Rye

100

 

4

 

18%

Water

350

 

59

 

69%

Salt

11

 

 

 

1.9%

Starter

153

 

 

 

15.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total grams/ estimated pounds

1014

 

2.0

 

 

Instructions:

Autolyse flour and water for 20 minutes.   Mix in salt and starter.   Bulk Ferment for 3 hours with three stretch and folds.  Proof for AS LONG AS IT TAKES.   Bake at 450F with steam for first 15 minutes, without for 17 minutes.

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Hi I tried mixing some of the bread mix and letting it rise, then let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The next day I mixed in some more yeast and some more flour (quite a lot actually) and this monster came out :D 

(Ingredience are strong flour, 1 egg, some veg oil, full fat milk, dry yeast, demerera sugar)

:) I think it could have done with a little more time in the oven, so I popped it back in - I also covered it with a tea towel to try to soften the crust - it's worked pretty well.

The initial rise looked excellent, so I think I'll try baking it the first time around.

Having fun :) 

 

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

I live in Thailand where many specialty baking items aren't available.  Improvising has been interesting, sometimes fun and occasionally quite frustrating.  Pictured is what I found at a local kiln to bake my breads in.  I would have loved a La Cloche, but this is working wonderfully.  To acheive an extra steamed effect I soak the lid of this unglazed terra cotta pot in water before I bake. 

I preheat it all in my oven and when I take the lid off to slide my bread in, steam wafts out.  I use a metal pizza peel made locally that I was really excited to find.  I can't buy a banneton so I use a stainless steel bowl.  For a couche I cut up an old thick cotton apron & it is working great!

This is a traditional style terra cotta pot used for food.  I have lived here in Thailand for 12 years now.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I've been trying to improve my whole wheat loaves as a project for this year. The Italian breads I thought I'd master have been put on the shelf while I work with some home milled flour that I purchased from a local farm. My results with the 1-2-3 formula have been good but I wasn't satisfied in that I felt I could do more.

So I borrowed a copy of Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" from the Tonganoxie, KS Library through the NEKLS and cleaned my glasses before cracking open the book. So far, so good, I appreciate the added knowledge I gleaned from the pages. The concept of "epoxy breads" is interesting but I didn't want to get into that as much as I just had to figure out soakers for myself. It must have been all that talk about enzymes working over the starches that got me. It has turned out to be worthwhile.

That's what I call my first successful soaker loaf. I used 50g of whole wheat and 50g of WheatMontana's multi grain cereal, 100g water, 2g salt for the cold soaker . Some bread flour, a little more WW, water, 180g of starter, and 7g more salt ended up with very tender and flavorful crumb. I thought the crust tasted a little bit salty in the first slices but that hasn't been the case since. I have no explanation for that.

I've already got another loaf started for tomorrow's session with the flours. Since I don't have to bake for a living or for a schedule, I'm tweaking the procedures already. I'm sure that it will be edible outcome. If I can do this, everyone that is willing to try can do it too.

 

proth5's picture
proth5

I may have mentioned somewhere in passing on these pages that I have a koi pond in my backyard.  It is a beautiful and peaceful thing in the warmer months, but can be just a little grim in the clutches of a Rocky Mountain winter and fatalities among the inhabitants can occur.  Since I am an omnivore, I try to be unsentimental about this, but there are always two factors that come into play in any fish death.  One, even though fish must die some time, as with all living things, I always feel that it has been some failure on my part to provide them with the right environment that caused their demise.  Two, these are not small fish.  Death involves finding a place and digging a fairly large hole to dispose of the remains. Pulling the body from the water in winter conditions cannot accurately be described as being easy.

So it was with sinking heart that I saw the tail of one of my 10 year old fish projecting from the rocks at the edge of the pond moving limply with the movement of the water.  Thinking there was little I could do, I went about more urgent business and mulled over where the burial would take place.  It seemed like the coldness of the water had preserved it well and the death had been recent since the scales still had a sheen to them.

My house sitter dropped by to tell me a fish had been missing for three days. As we surveyed the protruding tail, I saw real movement.  "That fish is alive," I said, "But stuck in the rocks." (Koi are not over intelligent, but they do have creative ways of getting into jams that will eventually do them in.) Without a moment's hesitation I lifted the heavy blocks that hold down the winter netting and began to remove rocks.  The pond is a beautiful thing to look at, but was not built with rock moving in mind.  Rock moving has to be done with one hand - one hand in water that in some places was still crusted with ice.  If you wish to try this at home, take a large bucket of water and drop in a rock about the size of your head.  Let the water stand in a warm sunny area until surfaces are uniformly covered in algae.  Then chill the bucket until a crust of ice forms.  Break through the ice with your non-dominant hand and attempt to pick up the rock.  Imagine that if you drop the rock you will crush the life out of the creature you were trying to save.  Let me know how it turns out.  For bonus points have a small cut on one finger.

In the end, the rocks were moved, the fish spent a few moments collecting itself, and then simply swam away to join its buddies.  They're tough little spuds.  My finger got some extra special attention (the infections one can get from pond water are many and can be quite nasty) and is recovering nicely. 

Life - Death - Life, again.  A miracle on the pond.

So what does this have to do with formula development?  Well, a second miracle occurred at the Crumbled Abode on that day.  I really liked the flavor of my developing formula.  With the formula math corrected it turned out to be a lovely balanced bread with both the flavor of the grain and the sweetness of the molasses.  I even liked the color which with the return of the molasses had turned back from tan to brown (which is not really shown well in the picture.)  I really think that I have achieved contentment with the base ingredients. Perfection?  No.  But contentment. Yes, the doctors at "The Place" would call it a miracle.

The crumb remains a bit too fragile, but I am still reluctant to try higher gluten flour.  Examining a loaf that I had shaped using a different method, I am convinced for now that the fault, dear readers lies not in our gluten, but in ourselves.  After years of light handed shaping, I think I am not putting enough oomph into forming the simple loaf.  Also I transitioned to a larger pan at some point during my formula addling and I may be over proofing to compensate. Perhaps I will need to beat myself up for a few weeks over this until I give in and use bread flour or high gluten flour or perhaps I will just give in and steal from the best sooner rather than later, but I don't want to turn this bread into a chewy textured bread.  (Geez, back to struggling to get the crumb right...)  If anything, though, this bread rises too well and the crumb is too airy - which would seem to indicate that gluten itself is not a problem.

But contentment with the base flavor frees me to consider inclusions.  This bread already has some visible inclusions in the form of the steel cut oats and I don't want to turn this into seedy, nutty bread, but I think it could use just a little jazzing up in the form of another inclusion.  Since the mighty Diamant stands ready, there are any number of cracked grains to consider.  I've thought about millet - which is something I used to add to a beer flavored quick bread, but I'm not sure I want the crunch.  Although I know that nuts would be flavorful, again, I am reluctant to put them in a sandwich loaf.  I kind of feel the same way about dried fruits (although I ponder that once I get the base dough right loading it up in this way would be a tasty variation.)  Well, I have time to consider.

This week's formula:

Total Dough Wt

 

64.098

oz

Levain

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

 

 

Percent of Flour in Levain

0.1

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

%

Wt

UOM

%

WT

UOM

Ingredients

Wt

UOM

Total Flour

1.00

27

oz

1

2.7

oz

Total Flour

24.30

oz

Whole Wheat Flour

0.30

8.1

oz

 

 

 

Whole Wheat Flour

8.10

oz

KA AP Flour

0.60

16.2

oz

 

 

 

KA AP Flour

16.20

oz

Triticale Flour

0.10

2.7

oz

1

2.7

oz

 

 

 

Additional Water

0.13

3.618

oz

0.6

1.62

oz

Additional Water

2.00

oz

Rolled Oats

0.17

4.59

oz

 

 

 

Rolled Oats

4.59

oz

Steel Cut Oats

0.11

2.97

oz

 

 

 

Steel Cut Oats

2.97

oz

Boiling water

0.74

19.98

oz

 

 

 

Boiling water

19.98

oz

Shortening(leaf lard)

0.03

0.81

oz

 

 

 

Shortening(leaf lard)

0.81

oz

Molasses

0.06

1.62

oz

 

 

 

Molasses

1.62

oz

Agave Nectar

0.05

1.35

oz

 

 

 

Agave Nectar

1.35

oz

Milk Powder

0.04

1.08

oz

 

 

 

Milk Powder

1.08

oz

Salt

0.03

0.756

oz

 

 

 

Salt

0.76

oz

Yeast

0.004

0.108

oz

 

 

 

Yeast

0.11

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed

0.008

0.216

oz

0.08

0.216

oz

Levain

4.536

oz

Totals

2.074

55.998

oz

1.68

4.536

oz

 

64.098

 

 

Mix pre ferment and allow to ripen 8-12 hours

Pour boiling water over the two types of oats and allow to cool to lukewarm.

Combine oats and pre ferment with the remaining ingredients and mix for 6 minutes on the sole speed of a spiral mixer (or use your preferred mixing method) 

Bulk ferment 4 hours at room temperature (warmer this week...). One fold.

Shape. Proof 1.5 hours.  Bake at 360F for 45 minutes.

 

Have fun!

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

Many thanks to you all for your helpful posts and long discussions on the processes of breadmaking.  I have spent hours and hours reading your post and learning.  As a result of the all information I've gleaned I've been able to culture a sucessful sourdough culture and have had the pleasure of making beautiful, nutritious and delicious breads for my family. 

 

My whole wheat 7-grain sourdough boule.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I went looking for a recipe that would use up some whole wheat and bulgar grain I accidentally mixed up.  I did not find that recipe (yet), but I did stumble upon this variation on Hamelman's Five Grain Levain posted by MadAboutB8 on her blog recently.  Thank you Sue!  As a result, I got distracted into this recipe, but since I had no sunflower seeds I substituted some raw pumpkin seeds we had in the cupboard.  I used Pendleton Mills Power (bread) flour, with home-milled hard white winter wheat for the whole wheat flour.  I used steel cut oats and BRM Flax Seeds.  The home-milled flour is always thirsty, so I ended up adding about 15-20 gm of extra water to the mix to get a good hydration level.  Everything else went according to Sue's recipe adaptation.  I did not retard this dough so I did include the yeast, but I only used 1/2 teaspoon (the formula calls for 1 tsp) because I seem to have explosive luck with instant yeast.  This bake was no different in that respect, and the dough came along right on schedule, even in our cool 67F-68F temperatures.

I made two round loaves, shaped in willow baskets.  I baked them sequentially in my La Cloche at 455F.  As you can see below, one loaf got away from me just a bit and over proofed a bit when the kitchen warmed up while the first loaf baked.

The loaf in front is the slightly over proofed loaf, which I sliced for the crumb shots. While clearly over proofed from external appearance it did not seem to suffer at all internally.

The crumb in this bread is moist and tender, and has excellent flavor.  It is not at all heavy, which I feared after soaking all the seeds and whole grains for 16 hours.  My wife mentioned, three different times, how much she likes this bread.  That's a new record, so I know this bread has made a good impression.

I continue to really enjoy the results that my La Cloche clay baker provides.  It has helped this bread to have a nice thin crust that is crisp yet chewy, and (IMHO) very appropriate to this bread.  It makes it a little hard to slice evenly though with the crumb so tender.  Here is a closer look at the crumb of this bread.

I expected the seeds to be more pronounced, but I was pleased to find that there is a homogeneous flavor that the seeds do not dominate.  Instead of any mouthful having a single prominent flavor there are any number of small individual bursts of taste from wheat, bulgar, oats, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, crust.  It tastes great and made a fine accompaniment to a robust beef stew.

This bread has moved Hamelman's "Bread" to the top of my birthday/father's day gift list.  If only half the other formulas in the book are as good as this one (in it's original form), it will keep me busy for a long time.

Thanks for stopping by
OldWoodenSpoon

hanseata's picture
hanseata


Two years ago we found a little stranger on our doorstep, attracted by the tantalizing smell of barbecued chicken, and my (universally understood) call to the food bowl: "Miez, Miez, Miez (= kitty, kitty, kitty)!" The little Maine Coon was skin and bones under her pretty fur, and ate ravenously what we gave her. She must have been lost for quite a while.

A call to the animal hospital led to a tearful reunion of kitty and her owners. They told us she had vanished three months ago, and they had given up all hope of seeing her again. A token of their gratitude were two large bottles of wine, one white, one red.

Since I am the only occasional imbiber in this household - Richard getting headaches from alcohol - I had to figure out what to do with the 2-liter bottles of vin ordinaire. Once open, the contents had to be consumed - or else turn to vinegar.

The white finally ended in the glasses of the non-discriminating younger members of my family. The red started collecting dust in the basement. Finally I found a recipe for "Beef Goulash in Barolo", a clipping from a German foodie magazine. Being pretty sure that any other dry red would do as well, half of the bottle found its way into this delicious, spicy stew.

But what about the other half? Not another stew, not noble enough for Coq au Vin, so it had to be pastry. Red Velvet Cake was an obvious choice, but too much fuss, I wanted something simpler. And I found it, rich and spicy enough to mellow the dryness of the wine, moist and scrumptious: Red Wine Cake.

Here is a link to the recipe:
http://hanseata.blogspot.com/2011/02/red-wine-cake.html

ehanner's picture
ehanner

When 3 separate ideas rush over me at the same time, well I'm helpless to stop the resultant activity. Recently I saw Larry produce some beautiful baguettes and the Margaritta star shape. That got me thinking.

Then Proth5 (Pat) posts about her new Bear-Guettes. A dual yeast French mix that has the promise of wonderful taste.

The final thing that pushed me over the edge was receiving a bag of Central Milling's Organic Artisan Baker's Craft (Malted) from a friend who knows I will put it to good use. 

With all of these positive influences popping at once, I decided to join them and try a shape I had never made with flour I had never used in a formula I had never played with. Sounds like fun, right!

First, I love the Bear-Guettes recipe. I get no sense of tang what so ever. Very mild sightly nutty flavor with a nice crispy crust. Thank you Pat, I agree with your Chief Tester.

The Artisan Bakers Craft flour is wonderful. I had excellent development and a smooth silky dough using hand mixing and a few of Bertinet's slap and fold and just one S&F after 2 hours. Thanks to my flour fairy! You know who you are:>)

The shaping and creation of the star shapes "La margueritte" was fun. Not as hard as it looks if you can count to 6 lol. Thank you Larry for leading the way on this. The second batch which was retarded over night turned out better and were more symmetric

I'm convinced that I want to obtain a decent amount of the CM Artisan Bakers Craft for use in my French breads. You can tell it is a quality milled product by the silky nature of the dough in such a short time and in a hydration level fit for straight formulas. I like to use one flour and get comfortable with the characteristics of it so I know what to expect when I toss a batch together based on the percentages I have in my head. This is going to be my new flour.I like the creamy crumb color.

Eric

Let's see, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, damn!

Not the most open Baguette dough ever but considering the handling, not bad.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I'm nothing if not a slave to fashion, so with a three-day weekend in hand I thought I'd give dmsynder's version of the SFBI miche a try. 

I followed the recipe pretty closely as printed.  The flour was King Arthur Bread mixed with 15% King Arthur Whole Wheat.  I did use the wheat germ, and also about 20 g of rye flour.  I probably ended up with a little more water (20-30 g) due to not reading quite far enough ahead in the ingredients list.

I used a large stainless collendar to do the proofing.  This wasn't entirely successful as the very top (bottom during proofing) of the loaf stuck as I was transferring it to the peel.  This despite a thick layer of flour, but after sitting in a plastic bag in the fridge overnight that layer had probably absorbed a lot of moisture.  I really need to order some large bannetons from SFBI.


I followed dm's recommendation for the bake:  15 minutes at 525 deg.F; 45 minutes at 420 deg.F with convection.  Here's the baked loaf:

and the sliced loaf.  We could only wait 2.5 hours instead of the recommended 4, but the result was one of the best breads I have ever made.  And not really much work!

sPh

Pages

Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries