The Fresh Loaf

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Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Well it certainly looks good! I baked it at 450* for 20 minutes, on my pizza stone. I really like the color of the crust both top and bottom. There weren't many surprises when I made this, except maybe that it was a lot easier to tell if it was ready to be baked. I am used to making sourdough versions of this, so they take a LOT longer to rise.


From BBA Ciabatta

Here's a picture of the bottom, which is a beautiful color. I always like how my bread turns out when baking on a stone with steam in the oven.


Here they are side by side on my cookie sheet, which I use like a peel. Haven't seen a need for a real peel yet, seems rather expensive when I have something that works.


I used Peter Reinhart's baker's formula, and only made 1 pound of dough. I was already in the process of making sourdough loaves, so I figured that I wanted to have enough to try this recipe out. The only difficulty I had was that my mixer likes to make at least 2 pounds of dough, and smaller loads seem to be harder for it to really create a nice gluten structure.


As you can see, it is quite wet and sticky even after it being worked for about 5 minutes.


Here it is close to the end of the process, when I decided to just pull it out and do some stretch and folds to help build it up a little bit.


After second set of stretch and folds....


Ok, I missed a lot of picture opportunities with this one, totally forgot to take pictures of each step of the process.  I actually did three stretch and folds, one at the beginning because I felt it was underworked by the mixer.  I gave it a rest of 90 minutes after the stretch and fold process, then split it into two pieces.  I then did the final shaping and transferred it to a french bread pan I have, which I often use as a couch.


It's already starting to grow...


Almost ready to be put into the oven...


These rose a lot during the final proof, and for it being only a pound of dough it made two nice loaves. Ok, I have held off on showing the crumb shot till now, because I was so disappointed with it.  This dough was really wet, and I know that I didn't overwork it.  Possibly it was slightly underworked, but here are two pictures.

From BBA Ciabatta

I was really expecting a LOT more holes, especially when my sourdough breads are so much easier to work with and give me crumb like the next pictures regularly. Here are two pictures of the loaves I made today, and I wasn't even trying for a ciabatta like loaf.


And my sourdough was a lot easier to handle, and it tasted a lot better too. I find that most of the BBA breads seem to have too much salt in them for my taste, but this bread just seemed to be like a regular french bread to me and didn't have nearly the flavor that I expected.  My sourdough is usually made with a starter made from AP Flour, water, salt, bread flour for the main dough.  I used AP flour with the biga that I made for the ciabatta, then bread flour for the main dough.  The biggest difference in the recipes is that BBA adds oil, which I never use.  I just find this really interesting, when comparing the hydration percentages on the two dough, my sourdough came in at 70.4%, and Reinhart's was at 74.74%. 

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! it's been a while! i've been posting a lot on my blog, but not much on here!

anyway, my brother and i made english muffins, which happened to be one of the most fun breads i've made so far. i hope you guys enjoy my post on them!

you can read all the posts on our blog, http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/ i've been interning at a bread bakery as well as a bagel shop! this project has definitely been the highlight of my high school career.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


My brother, Evan, came home from his trip to Antarctica and New Zealand a few days ago. We had a lot of family events that filled the entirety of the weekend, and we had no time to really even see each other. Even though I had school today, I took the morning off to bake bread and hang out with my brother before he flew back to California. English muffins were the next on deck-and I couldn't have asked for a more interesting bread to make with Evan.

English muffins, despite their name, are not like the typical muffins we are familiar with. Yeast-risen, English muffins are cooked atop a griddle, giving it its classic, flattened shape. Once browned on the outside, the muffins are baked fully in the oven. English muffins are usually eaten for breakfast, or for sandwiches. However, to retain the texture of the crumb, English muffins are split open with a fork, revealing the trademarked "nooks and crannies" inside.

English muffins are very similar to crumpets, which are yeasted breads baked in a mould on a griddle. However, crumpets have their defining holes on the top of the bread, while English muffins have holes on the inside.

Cooking yeasted breads on a griddle was nothing new- it has been documented that in 10th century Wales breads were made like this. In the 19th century England, yeasted griddle-breads were sold door to door by a muffin man. He would come around every day, and deliver fresh breads.

English muffins were popularized by Samuel Bath Thomas, who marketed them in New York City in the late 1800s. English muffins gained their identifying trademark "nooks and crannies" in the mid-1920s.

The English muffins that I've unfortunately been exposed to are rubbery, store bought Thomas' ones. The only positives about these are that when their split with a fork, toasted, and buttered, they do not taste half bad. However, I'm sure English muffins have the potential to be a delicious breakfast and sandwich bread.

English muffins are enriched bread, with butter and milk. They are a direct bread, meaning they do not have a preferment or retardation. However, I believe that these would be great using a sourdough starter, adding a more complex flavor. Evan and I decided that we would make two batches because it only makes six at a time. If we doubled it, we would have enough to feed our bread-hungry brother, Will, and freeze some for future breakfasts.

Evan and I began mixing the dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt and yeast- together. Since we didn't have any buttermilk, we clabbered milk with vinegar to make a buttermilk substitute. We added the "buttermilk" and butter to the dough, and kneaded it until it made a soft, tender dough.

We let the dough proof until doubled, for about two hours. The dough was so soft and supple; It was surprised that it would be used for English muffins. We scaled it into 3 ounce portions, and shaped them into balls. We sprinkled them with a really coarse cornmeal, and a finer one. Then, we let them proof for about 2 hours until they puffed up significantly.

We originally were going to use a cast-iron skillet, but the one we own is only about 8 inches in diameter. We settled on our electric-griddle which we use for pancakes. They cooked on the first side for about 5 minutes, or until they were very dark brown, but not burnt. Then, we flipped them, and baked them on the last side.

Once cooked on both sides on the griddle, we baked them in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until they were fully cooked.

They were on the big side, and a little thicker than the ones were used to. Evan and I split one open (with a fork!) and tried it. They tasted real, and delicious. Unlike store bought ones, they didn't taste chemically or rubbery, but were soft with a crunchy corn crust.

Next time (and I promise there will be a next time), I think I'll scale them into about 2.5 ounce balls rather than 3 ounce ones. It might have been Evan's presence in the kitchen, but English muffins were probably the most fun and most interesting bread I've baked so far.

 

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Light Whole Wheat Batard

150g starter at 100% hydration

275g water

80g whole wheat

20g rye

350g bread flour (11.4% protein)

10g salt

 

Autolyse (with starter) for 50mins.  Add salt. Knead by hand until salt is incorporated.  Bulk fement 2 and a half hours with folds at 50 and 100 mins.  Divide in two.  Preshape.  Rest 20 mins.  Shape into batards.  Allow to proof to about three quarters of final size. Retard overnight in fridge.  Remove from fridge and allow to complete final proof.  Bake at 230C with steam for 20 mins and at 200 without steam for 20. 

 

And the cross section.

 

I am becoming convinced of late that sourness has more to do with the acidity of the starter prior to mixing than it has to do with length of bulk ferment, hydration of starter or retardation of dough.  I have retarded loaves overnight that haven't had the slightest hint of sourness and I have made loaves where the entire process took no longer than eight hours that were mouth puckeringly sour.  The above batards were made with a starter that had definite acetic overtones and the tang is evident in the baked loaf.  When I opened the jar to use the starter the acetic tones were actually quite overpowering, but after I gave the starter a good stir the fruity notes took over so I would only classify this as slightly acid.  The baked bread has only a very mild tang.  But I have baked bread with starters that have very strong acetic smells and the final product is really very sour.  Invariably these breads can only handle a short bulk fermentation and final proof before gluten starts to break down. 

Syd

britneychelle's picture
britneychelle

Three days and three loaves. Oh I am a happy and very full girl!!

The newest loaf was foccacia. It didn't come out exactly how I planned and I may have fibbed a bit, but it tasted AWESOME. Feeling confident with my first two breads, I decided to not take the recipe too seriously and see what came of it. (I'll start posting my recipes at the bottom) Firstly, I added about 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (from my lovely mom's garden far away) and basil into the dough. Secondly, I let it rise twice instead of once. The dough became very elastic and wouldn't really roll out when it came time. So the dough was about 3/4 inch thick instead of the 1/2 inch the cookbook said to do. Finally, I got so excited when it came to imprint into the dough and I just kind of poked it to death rather than pat it down. *Sigh* I've been so patient in this process and I just got a bit... excessive in my excitement. Oh, and I didn't split the dough like the recipe says. It called for a half cup olive oil to dizzle on top. I found this to be WAY too much olive oil. I took off about a quarter cup and decided to leave it at that.

The end result, however. Was .so.delicious. :)

The dip was a perfect match!

I have always loved to bake, and now that I finally had my stand mixer, I wanted to make a simple cupcake. I decided on Martha Stewart's Zucchini-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting. I didn't quite have two cups confectioners sugar, but it ended up being WAY better without it. Just the right amount of sweetness. It's like a carrot cake. Only better.

With a good bottle of pinor noir, some fresh veggies, and good company. Mmmm.

Foccacia Bread

1 packet active dry yeast with 1 1/3 c hot water (105*F). Soak for 5 minutes.
Add 3 1/2 c AP flour, 2 tbl olive oil, and 1 tbl salt.
Knead for about 10 minutes til it's elasticy. (Here I let it rise for an hour) Divide in half and roll to 1/2 inch thick round. Transfered to oiled pans, let rise covered in plastic wrap for 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400*F. Press the dough with your fingers.
Drizzle with (I thought this was way to much, I recommend 1/3 c) 1/2 c olive oil. Top with rosemary, dill, basil, thyme, herbs, salt, parmesan, romano, or asiago cheese. Bake til golden brown, about 25 min.

Next time, I'd like to make it thinner and more crisp.

Olive oil and Garlic Dip

I kind of just throw everything together, I don't really measure, but this is a rough guess.

1 c olive oil
5 cloves garlic, pressed (I REALLY love garlic, so I make it garlic heavy. I'm sure it's just fine with 3)
2 tsp salt, basil, oregano, fresh pepper, and sometimes I add a teaspoon of cumin.
The garlic gives you bad breathe, but its SO worth it. And it's good for your immune system, so hey. Whatev.

MS's Zucchini-Spice Cupcakes

I didn't end up making cupcakes, which resulted in having to cook them for an extra 15 minutes. It gave the loaf this gooey yet crispt crust that was one of the best parts.

Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a medium sized bowl, mix 3 c all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (Use fresh if you can! It's worth it!), 1/4 tsp ground cloves (I added extra), and 2 tsp cinnamon.
In another bowl, or your stand mixer bowl, whisk together 1 c vegetable oil, 2 eggs room temp, 1 tbl vanilla (I added a smidge more), 3/4 tsp grated lemon zest (again, used more) and 2 c brown sugar until creamy.
Once it's creamy, add 3 c (or 2 whole zucchini) grated zucchini (the regular sized cheese grater is perfect), then the flour mixture (I did this in three parts). You may like to add 1 cup walnuts (I urge you to do it!).
Cook for 20 minutes in cupcake tins, or 35 (or so) min in two baking loaf pans.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm so glad I no longer have to do this by hand!!! Also, I halved the amounts cause I hate having way too much frosting left over. Here is the amount I used.

1 stick room temp unsalted butter, and 6 oz cream cheese also at room temp, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 confectioners sugar. Whisk til creamy.  I honestly recommend using this amount of sugar or maybe even a little less. It compliments the cake better without being overtly sugary.

I will now be spending the next few days exercising, and eating salads.... maybe I could make the croutons.... :D

~B

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi,

The famous "proof until double in size" is present in almost every recipe.

I remember seeing some photos somewhere, but I can't remember.

So, here is my experiment.

I made a white dough according to RB "Crumb" (100% Flour, 70% water, 2% salt, 2% yeast), divided it after gluten development and proofed one half in a cylindrical measuring cup, the other half in a transparent pudding bowl.

This way you can see what a doubling in size looks like in a non-cylindrical bowl.

Ambient temperature was between 22C and 24C, it took about 90 minutes to get the doubling in size.

Here are the pictures.

doubling 1

doubling 2

 

In this picture I simply combined the previous two, for comparison.

 

Thanks,

Juergen

earth3rd's picture
earth3rd

I found this recipe for Ciabatta No Knead Bread on the internet at this site: 

http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Make-No-Knead-Ciabatta-Bread-213126958

Watch the video... I followed every step as seen in the video.

I converted the recipe to weight measurment... here it is...

 Ciabatta -no knead bread 1 loaf

455 gr. - APF (all purpose flour)

64 gr. - WF (whole wheat flour)

0.9 gr. - yeast (active dry yeast)

9.5 gr. - salt (table salt)

473 gr. - warm water 105 - 110F  

 

The bread smelled and tasted fantastic, I would definatly make it again. Very easy to make. Here are a couple of pictures of the finished product.

By the way... it went very nicely with the Moroccan Lentil Soup I made as well!!!!

The soup recipe can be found at this site:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Moroccan-Lentil-Soup/Detail.aspx

 

 

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I went down to the Red Mill to wish Bob a happy 82nd birthday today.

Bob and Charlee Moore

Most folks on the West Coast, particularly bakers, are very familiar with Bob Moore and his Red Mill.  For the rest of you folks: Bob's story is well worth reading in full.  In short, over the last forty years Bob built a hugely successful business promoting whole grains and healthy eating.  Bob's Red Mill's products are widely distributed in grocery and health food stores all over the US and Canada.

 A year ago, Bob celebrated his 81st birthday century by handing ownership of his company over to the employees.  This year, Bob celebrated by giving away $5 million to Oregon State University and another 1.3 million to Portland's National College of Natural Medicine to fight childhood obesity.

After a toast from a few friends and associates, Bob gave a brief thank you speech and got a laugh with his suggestion that starting the day with hot cereal was the key to his longevity and good health.  

(You can find more photos of the Red Mill and of Dave's Killer Bread Bakery, which is right across the street, in this Flickr slideshow).

I spoke to Bob briefly but long enough to give him my thanks and express my appreciation for all he has done for the community, both the baking community and Oregon.   

Happy Birthday, Bob!  May you have many more and continue to be a role model to us all.

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Thanks to all for advise. Next time round will

  • Fold twice instead just once
  • Will substitute one cup of bread flour with AP
Again, the recipe I used is from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread book.
cranbo's picture
cranbo

So I've been poring over some older TFL posts on autolyse, as well as other web sites. 

The traditional definition of autolyse means that only flour and water are combined to enhance flour hydration and gluten formation, with a host of other benefits. 

One post I found said that yeast should not be included in an autolyse because it can potentially form too acidic of an environment, which may not be conducive to flavor (or possibly to gluten development). I can imagine that the addition of lots of leaven (yeast, preferement, etc) could cause problems with autolyse, but I have never experienced this myself.  

My question is:

In your own experience, have you tried autolyse with yeast, as well as without? If so, what difference did it make in the final product for the same recipe? Note I'm not looking for theoretical answers here, i want to know if you were able to perceive a significant difference in the resulting bread. 

For me, I guess my next step will be to run some experiments, and compare the results of autolysed doughs which contain levain vs. those which don't. Considering doughs are autolysed 20 min to 1 hour, those are the intervals that I will be working with. 

 

 


proth5's picture
proth5

 

Here's where the long slog starts.

In the world of the internet six weeks is a long time and six blog installments on the same old bread is reaching interminable.  Yet I haven't even started to get down to work on this formula.

I have such admiration for those bakers who can bake a bread, make a variation, and then pronounce it "perfect."   "Perfect?" the little voice in my head asks, "You mean nothing could be better?  Nothing? Think again."  And 'though my faithful limo driver and bread tester has pronounced that what is now known as my "Bear - guettes" is "The bread I will eat in heaven" I'm still not happy with the results (I'm tweaking around my baking temperatures and times and getting some interesting, but to be held private for now, results.) I only stopped on my original levain baguette formula because it seemed like two years was a long time to dwell on a thing and I had to let go. (Yes, the doctors at "The Place" are busy working with me on this problem.)

Not that any of the result of my past 5 variations on this bread has been inedible or really even anything but pleasant eating.  But "perfect?"  No.

Success however, sometimes lies not in "trying harder", but in trying "softer."  I was beginning to get snarled up in my own attempts and I felt it.  So I decided to take a deep breath and follow some simple rules:

  • 1. Look back to where you started
  • 2. Do some research (Or what I like to call "steal from the best"), and
  • 3. Keep your eye on the goal

I should have added "Check your math" or rather "Double check your math" because I was convinced that I'd done checked it.

Which is why I've been writing up these little adventures - it serves to force me, even if a few days too late to make sure I've got things right. And at no point in the scaling and baking did I see the mistake.  In fact I discovered it as I was writing this.

I looked at my original formula and realized that I had been drifting a bit on hydration, so I rejiggered the formula so that I was adding the same amount of boiling water to my oats  as the original (It would have been easier if that whole mess was "hydration neutral" but as good as that standard is, I'm leaving the practice for another day) with my beloved triticale preferment staying at a 60% hydration which is just a bit on the dry side for a panned bread - so I figured the hydration of the whole would be close to the original.

On LindyD's prompting I looked at Mr. Hamelman's formula for oatmeal bread - which differs significantly from mine, particularly in his choice of flour, his treatment of the oats, the type of oats he uses, and lack of the tribble friendly pre ferment.  "Why not just bake his formula?" the alert reader might ask.  Well, somewhat out of mule headed stubbornness, but mostly out of a belief that his formula is as frozen in time as my original starting point and in the infinite alternate universes which have been born and died since he wrote the formula, we in this one might have learned a thing or two. Besides, this whole exercise is formula development - not formula duplication.  I was inspired by his use of whole wheat flour, though.  So I decided to add in a portion of home milled to the mix.

Since the molasses had been such a vital part of the original formula, I was determined to re introduce it - but gradually.

Then I screwed up on the math.  I failed to check a couple of formulas in my trusty spreadsheet that ... Well, I can make up a good excuse why it was easy to make the error, but I did it, okay, I made a mistake. 

So I'm not publishing the formula for this bake - because it is not what I intended to bake, nor should it be what anyone tries to bake (if you were baking along).

But you gotta love this bread because even with my serious math error the stuff came out OK.  Tasted fine.  A little bland perhaps, but looking back on the nature of my mistake - to be expected. Nice crumb.  I did take a picture and have posted it below.  Tan loaf.  Fine crumb. Sometimes mistakes are the eureka moment that we need.  Not this time.  It was just a mistake.

So next bake, as my penance for making a formula mistake I'm baking the same (well, not really the same) formula again with the math corrected.  Ah, the mill grinds slowly, but it grinds exceeding small.  I'll post the real formula next week.

Hopefully I can continue to tweak the molasses and deal with the troubling issue of "inclusions" in the not so distant future.

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