The Fresh Loaf

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GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

My wife, Cat, is away in Australia on business.  Yes, my wife’s name is Cat, which may cause some confusion because we also have a cat.  But the cat’s name is not “Wife”, which would make it even more confusing…and be pretty weird.  Especially since one of my wife’s many nicknames is “Wife”.

Anyway, I’m stuck in boring San Francisco while she’s off traveling the World.  So, I have to find a way to entertain myself.  And what entertains me these days is baking.  So, here’s the plan:

IMG_2057

It’s now Friday night, and I’m on schedule.  Last night I mixed the levain, toasted the walnuts and soaked the cranberries for Cranberry-Walnut Bread, based on the SFBI Raisin-Walnut Bread that David blogged on (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21289/walnut-raisin-sourdough-bread-sfbi-artisan-ii).  I have made that bread with raisins (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21384/sfbi-walnutraisin-bread-–-northern-version) and thought it might be even better with dried cranberries in place of the raisins.  This morning I mixed the dough—the cranberries were a bit watery, but it all worked in with extra kneading.  I let it ferment while I started my work day (many hours on the phone and email). Oh, yeah, I also mixed the levain and poolish for proth5’s new baguette formula (aka “Bear Baguettes”).

The Cranberry-Walnut dough rose like crazy even though the dough temperature was below the prescribed 78-80F.  I think my sourdough starter might have rabies (Is that possible? Anyone?).

During a self-imposed lunch break, I pre-shaped and shaped the Cranberry-Walnut loaves, one batard and one boule.   The loaves also rose more quickly than I would have expected.  During a self-imposed coffee break  (a delicious macchiato), I slashed, steamed and loaded.  By time my 3:30 call started, the loaves were cooling.

By time that call was over, I was hungry, and I happened to have some cream cheese--the perfect topping for this bread.  Totally delicious!  The crust is toothsome, the crumb is tender, the cranberries are tart and chewy and the nuts are nutty!  A good bread.

IMG_2053

IMG_2054

Later, the poolish and levain for the Bear Baguettes (maybe we should just call them “Beargettes”?) were ready.

IMG_2059

I mixed the baguette dough ‘til massively shaggy, let it autolyse 45 minutes, and mixed it up gently…a light mix as David and Pat have recommended.   I found that my initial mix had not been adequate to incorporate the flour, and there were small clumps of dry flour.  But I didn’t panic.  I put on my “c’est la fleepin’ vie” hat, tried to hydrate the whole big ball of dough without over-mixing, and covered the bowl.  If it doesn’t all work out, I’ll know better next time.  Besides the flour clumps, the dough felt great.  And after the stretch and fold, it seems silky and strong.

‘Nuff for now.   More to follow.

UPDATE:  Saturday Eve

My attempt at proth5's new baguette formula (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20831/starting-get-bear) is out of the oven, cooled and tasted.  I retarded the dough overnight, let the dough come to room temperature for a couple hours, shaped, glued on seeds, proofed 90 minutes, slashed and baked at 475, using Sylvia's steaming towel technique.

The flour is 100% Central Milling's Organic Artisan Baker's Craft with Malt (except the tiny bits of WW and Rye in my mother starter).

The result is gooood. Crispy on the outside and airy-chewy on the inside.

IMG_2061

IMG_2068

 

I had said earlier maybe we should call these "bearguettes."  But since I had most of one with a dinner of lamburgers, I think they are "baaaguettes".

Tomorrow I bake the big SFBI miche.

Glenn

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,  I wanted to try making Apple Bread again, after seeing Larry's recent Odds and Ends post (thank you Larry) (and because I was able to find Honeycrisp apples at the market!).



I made this bread combining elements of Mr. Hamelman's Normandy Apple Bread, and Mr. Kastel's Apple Bread. With many thanks to Mr. Hamelman and Mr. Kastel!
I wanted to try mixing the final dough without water, to try and get as much apple flavor as possible in the bread
(apple cider, applesauce, and sour cream stand in for the water).

Apple Bread     2000 Desired Dough Weight in grams       <----      
               
             
  Baker's Percentages Weights Baker's  
Ingredients Dough Stiff Levain Dough Stiff Levain Total %  
               
Bread flour 0.9 1 738 159 897 92%  
Red Fife 75% whole-wheat 0.1   82   82 8%  
Water   0.6   96 96 9.8%  
Apple cider (60g+80g+270g) 0.50   410   410 41.9%  
Applesauce (Transparent apples) 0.17   137   137 7.0% est 50% water
Sour cream 14%BF 0.19   158   158 11.5% est 71.5% water
Osmotolerant instant yeast 0.01   4.00   4 0.4%  
Salt 0.023   18.79   19 1.9%  
Sourdough Starter   0.20   32 32    
Stiff Levain 0.35   287        
Dried apples (Honeycrisp)  0.2   165   165    
               
Total 2.438 1.8 2000 287 2000    



Mix levain, ferment 12 hours at room temperature (70-72F,until doubled).

Pour a couple of Tablespoons of liquid (more cider, or a liqueur, brandy, or?) over dried apples to rehydrate them a bit. Set aside.
Hold back 60g apple cider.
Blend sour cream and 80g apple cider. Gradually warm in microwave.
If applesauce is really chunky, break it up a bit (I used a pastry blender to do this).
Blend applesauce and 270g apple cider. Gradually warm in microwave.
Blend sour cream and applesauce mixtures. Test temperature (95F).
Blend in stiff levain, whisk until smooth.
In separate bowl, combine flours and yeast. Add liquids to flours and yeast. Mix to combine, then mix in salt.
Work dough to improved mix.
Warm remaining cider to 90F, add to dough and mix in.
Warm dried apples if they are cool; I gently warmed them 15 seconds in microwave.
Spread dough out on counter, sprinkle dried apples over, jelly roll and knead until dried apple is well distributed.

Bulk Ferment, 80F, for 3 to 3.5 hours; stretch and fold at 1 and again at 2 hours.

Divide, preshape, rest 20 minutes, shape, retard overnight in fridge, preheat oven to 460F, bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 425F, bake until done (depending on loaf size). Tent bread with foil while baking if it's browning too quickly.

 

I made two different batches. I learned from the first batch:
- I used way too much yeast (BP 1%). The dough fermented too quickly! I reduced to .4% BP in the second batch.
- I found the dough a bit stiff after mixing and didn't do a great job mixing in the dried apple (uneven distribution of apple shows up in the crumb shots below, from two different loaves). For the second batch, I tried double-hydration, to get some gluten and then soften the dough with the addition of a second amount of liquid. The dough was easier to spread out, I was able to "jelly-roll" the apple pieces and knead them in much more easily.
- Not moistening the dried apples before adding, I think caused them to pull water out of the dough during bulk fermentation; the dough seemed dry and I found it harder to shape. I splashed a bit of extra cider over the dried apples for the second batch and this helped.
- Transparent apple applesauce contributed great flavor to this bread. Had enough left over to make a second batch. :^)
- A sweeter sparkling apple juice didn't translate to a better tasting bread, to my taste; in the second batch, I used apple cider which was not as sweet and I liked the flavor of the bread better:

These were from the first batch (the "P" is for Pomme, a nod to Normandy!).
The kitchen smelled like extremely apple-y after the bake!!!:


Here is a picture of a loaf from the second batch (trying for apple branches and leaves with the scoring):



In drying the apples, I was curious what the yield would be.
For the second batch, 5 apples = 1200 g weight, then 860g after peeling, coring, dicing, then 165g after drying (the apple flavor concentrated quite well, and yummy caramelization happening here and there!):


While dicing the apple, I tossed the pieces with lemon juice so they wouldn't brown too quickly before making it into the oven.
I dried the apples on two baking sheets, in a reducing oven:
380F convection for 10 minutes, stir, (at 10 minutes, the smell of baking apple starts to fill the kitchen!)
380F convection for 10 minutes, stir
320F convection for 10 minutes, stir
275F convection for 15 minutes, check to see how they're drying
275F convection for 10 more minutes

 

I really loved the flavor of the bread in both batches, but in the second batch the bread had a bit more tang that complemented the sweetness of the apples.  The crumb is nice and soft. In the end, I got the apple flavor I hoped for!

Happy baking everyone! from breadsong

 

 

 

varda's picture
varda

First I should say that this bread is around as Russian as I am, which is maybe some.  Months ago, I bookmarked Lief's interpretaton of Breadnik's interpretation of Russian Coriander Rye.   This is my interpretation.   Original posts are here http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18561/breadnik039s-russian-coriander-rye-levain and here http://www.thefreshloaf.com/keyword/russian-corianderrye.    I followed Lief in going with a purely levain version, and used the same ingredients (mostly) albeit in different proportions.   And also modified the times by a lot.   It's cooling on the counter now, so I don't know how it will taste, but the smell (as always with rye) is heavenly.   It's also a treat to cook with coriander, which fills the kitchen with a marvelous aroma when it's crushed.  This dough is very high hydration (95%) and fairly high proportion of rye (60%) but actually quite easy to work with.   Here is my formula and method:

Russian Coriander Rye baked on Jan 28, 2011      
           
Starter 67% starter     first feeding  second feeding           total  
starter seed 30        plus 10 hrs   plus 6 hrs  
KABF 18     18 15%
Dark Rye   30 70 100 85%
water 12 30 70 112  
                        
total grams       230  
           
  Final dough                Starter            Percents
High gluten 150   15.0   23.5%
Dark Rye 350   83.5   61.6%
Spelt 105       14.9%
water 400   93.5   95%
total starter / flour in starter 192       14%
salt 15       2.1%
coriander 7        
honey 82        
molasses 51        
vegetable oil 40        
hydration of starter         95%
Estimated pounds of bread 1584   3.15    
           
           
Mix all ingredients but starter and salt     plus 20 min    
Add salt and starter     plus 1 hour    
S&F     plus 1 hour    
S&F and shape into boule, preheat DO to 500, place upside down in brotform     plus 45 min    
Spritz, slash and sprinkle with cracked coriander seeds.  Reduce heat to 450 and lower loaf into DO and put in oven with top     plus 15 min    
Reduce heat to 400     plus 15 min    
remove top     plus 35 min    

A few notes about this:   I don't really understand what dark rye is.   Is it  just another way to say whole rye, or actually a different grain?  I've never baked with this before.    I used Sir Lancelot for the high gluten flour.   I wonder if this is what made the dough so easy to work with, even with the high hydration and the high rye content.   I fermented the first build of the starter overnight, and then the second for 6 hours.   Four hours after the second elaboration it looked like this:  

This looked plenty fermented but it still had what I would term a fresh grassy smell.   Two hours later, the fresh smell was gone, but it hadn't really switched to a ripe sour one either.   So I probably could have let this go a little longer, but it did seem to have plenty of rising power.    I baked in a Dutch Oven which I don't usually do, not because the dough was so slack (it wasn't) but just because I was baking a boule, and it's a little easier to skip all the steaming and so forth.   Now I'm just waiting for breakfast.

And the crumb:

This is a very highly flavored bread.   The coriander alone makes you sit up and notice. I thought with 7 grams it would be hardly perceptible.  Crust is crunchy and overall bread texture is substantial but not heavy.    This is quite delicious and certainly a change from the ryes I've been making.    Next time I might decrease the sweeteners.   

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

 

Another yummy loaf from Dan Lepard's "A Handmade Loaf". According to Wiki:

"Lardy cake, also known as Lardy bread, Lardy Johns, Dough cake and Fourses cake is a traditional rich spiced form of bread originating in Wiltshire in the South West of England, which has also been popular throughout the West Country and in Oxford and Suffolk.

The main ingredients are freshly rendered lard, flour, sugar, spices, currants and raisins."

As I was reading this and the formula on how it's shaped, I was struck by how similar it is to some Chinese traditional pastries. Lard was the main fat in Chinese cooking for a long time. In fact, I have fond memories of lots of traditional foods such as "lard veggie rice", "lard sugar pastries", "lard sticky rice cake", etc.  In another word, I am not "lard-phobic" like some, in fact, I probably like my pork and pork fat as much as Homer Simpson!

The recipe is pretty quick and easy since it's mostly raised by dry yeast, with some white starter to boost flavor. My only changes are: to use instant dry yeast rather than fresh, and 100% starter rather than 80% in the book.

Lardy Cake (Adapted From "A Handmade Loaf")

bread flour, 500g

salt, 10g

white starter (100%), 220g

water, 230g

instant dry yeast, 5g

lard, 150g, thin slices

powder sugar, 150g

nutmeg & powdered sugar to springkle on top


1. mix flour, salt, starter, water, autolyse, mix until smooth

2. bulk rise at room temp (70F - 77F) for 1.5 hours until double

3. roll out into rectangle, thickness about 1/2inch, spread lard pieces on 2/3 of the rectangle, then spread sugar on top.

4. fold the uncovered 1/3 to on top of the middle 1/3

5. fold to the left again to encase all of the fillings. press to seal

6. turn 90 degrees, roll out, and do the same letter fold again

7. put in a cool place (I put in fridge) for 30min to relax

8. roll out into a rectangle again, then roll up from the long side like a jelly roll


9. cut in the middle, roll one of them into a spiral, cut side up

10. put in a 10inch round mold, and continue the spiral with the other half of the dough, cut side up.

11. cover and rise until double, about 1 hour at 77F.

12. springkle with nutmeg and more sugar

13. bake at 400F for 20min, then 350 for 40min

14. cool in pan for 15min then cool on rack. some lard will leak out, I have seen instructions saying to cool the bread upside down so lard can be absorbed back into the loaf, if you want maximum lard impact, it's worth a try.

 

 

You must like the taste of lard in order to like this bread, I love it! However, it does need to be reheated (<1min in microwave will do) before eating, the combo of lard and sugar is heavenly when warm. When cold, it's just too greasy.

 

It reminds me of a childhood favorite: "lard sugar pastry", also full of lard, laminated, with sugar inside, burned my mouth many times eating it, but I couldn't wait for it to cool. But that pastry didn't have yeast, it was more like a danish dough.

 

Who knew English and Chinese foods are so similar? :P

 

Just to compare, here's some Chinese laminated pastries(抹茶酥) using lard as fat (no yeast), the filling here is red bean paste. I added matcha powder (green tea) in the dough, so they are green.


proth5's picture
proth5

 It was 1967 when the classic Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" was first broadcast.  As I mentioned before, it was a different time and I was not yet the worldly sophisticate that I am today.  "Quadrotriticale" seemed like a wonderful, fictional, impossible grain of the future.

When I discovered that triticale (trit ih KAY lee) was indeed a real grain, it immediately became my "favorite" for no other reason than it reminded me that the "impossible" could become real.

Unfortunately, according to the University of Wisconsin, its desirability for bread making is less than that of wheat (but more than that of rye!) and my own first experience with it bore that out.

But it remains my favorite and after my long baking/milling hiatus this panned bread project seemed like the ideal time to resume my obsession with this grain.  How, exactly, to use it was the question.

So I put my tiny mind to work bringing together bits and pieces of what I learned in the past year.  Given that the gluten quality in triticale is low and given that a pre ferment (particularly a firm pre ferment) can be used to help increase gluten strength, it seemed that I should use triticale in the pre ferment. So after coming home from work (which involves things like full body scans) I fired up the mighty Diamant. I did a three pass grind to produce sufficient whole grain triticale flour to pre ferment 10% of the total flour.  Why 10%?  No reason except that I had liked the 5% pre ferment bread and was determined to push it just a little bit more.  I decided to stay with a levain based pre ferment (as it had survived last week's elimination round) and to reduce the yeast very slightly to make up for a higher percentage of flour pre fermented.

Triticale handles like rye, but more so.  The 60% hydration pre ferment felt and acted like modeling clay.  After 10 hours it did not appear to be mature, but when I poked it around a little, it had expanded slightly and showed pockets of air.  If it had been wheat or if I were counting on the pre ferment for all the leavening in the bread, I would have been alarmed, but I was just doing this for taste and perhaps a little increase in strength, so I went ahead and mixed the dough.  It was tacky, not sticky and in general was a lovely dough to work with.

My feverish formula fussing had caused me to slightly increase the amount of total flour from the original recipe, but once shaped and put into pans, I realized that the pan sizes that served me well up until now were no match for this version.  It rose like gangbusters, both during proofing and in the oven.

So here is a picture of the loaf and the crumb, revealing tragic shaping flaws, the results of too small a pan, and a fine grained crumb (as I told you - brown loaf - fine crumb.) I do admire those folks with the presence of mind to take pictures during the process, but even when faced down with a scary pre ferment I still lack the verve it takes to document it pictorially.

Little Brown Loaf

Little Brown Crumb

It was - delicious.  I always sample my loaves, but frankly I'm baking a lot of different types of things these days (I am working on other things besides this panned bread) and if I let myself just eat what I wanted, well, I would be twice the person I am now and I'm not sure that would be good.  But this stuff was too good to not eat.  It is a very soft bread perfect for those (deadly, I am told) soft bread sandwiches, but also very tasty just plain and extra good toasted.

The formula: (All of last week's warnings apply...)

 

Total Dough Wt

 

62.478

oz

Levain

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

 

 

Percent of Flour in Levain

0.1

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

%

Wt

UOM

%

WT

UOM

Ingredients

Wt

UOM

Total Flour

1

27

oz

1

2.7

oz

Total Flour

24.3

oz

KA AP Flour

0.9

24.3

oz

 

 

 

KA AP Flour

24.3

oz

Triticale Flour

0.1

2.7

 

1

2.7

oz

 

 

 

Levain Water

0.06

1.62

 

0.6

1.62

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)

0.04

1.08

oz

 

 

 

Shortening(leaf lard)

1.08

oz

Molasses

0.112

3.024

oz

 

 

 

Molasses

3.024

oz

Milk Powder

0.04

1.08

oz

 

 

 

Milk Powder

1.08

oz

Salt

0.028

0.756

oz

 

 

 

Salt

0.756

oz

Yeast

0.006

0.162

oz

 

 

 

Yeast

0.162

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed

0.008

0.216

oz

0.08

0.216

oz

Levain

4.536

oz

Totals

2.314

62.478

oz

1.68

4.536

oz

 

62.478

 

 

Combine the two types of oats, boiling water, milk powder and shortening.  Allow to cool to lukewarm. 

Add the salt, molasses, yeast, levain, and flour.  Mix 5 minutes on the single speed of the spiral mixer. Or use your preferred method of mixing.

Let rise until doubled - 2 hours at 78-80F.  Fold.  Let rise again - about 2 hours 78-80F.  (Note the change - this one really needed the warmth to get it going!)

Shape and place in greased pans.  Proof (1 hour) and bake at 375F for 40 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool on a rack.

 

In a previous life I studied with a costume designer (actually, quite a famous one) who once told me that you keep adding until you think you have added enough and then - add one more thing.  So I am now faced with a decision about the direction of my experimenting.  Not only is triticale my favorite grain, but it really added a dimension to this bread.  Do I push the percentage ever higher?  Or do I call enough, enough and start tweaking other aspects of the formula?  Life is pretty good when those are the kind of decisions you get to make. Stay tuned.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

With all of the attention on the Miche breads of various members, I was motivated to try the one dmsnyder posted on. I was taken by the flavor comments and the use of toasted wheat germ. I took a stab at replicating the high extraction flour David used by combining 25% whole wheat flour with 75% Better For Bread (my stock AP). I use the fresh ground WW from Organic Wheat Products (flourgirl51) which is stone ground. She offers it ground fine but I have been using the more course ground product which you can see in the bread. David's photos seem to indicate a finer grind which would make the dough less speckled. Perhaps I'll run some of my WW through the mill to take it down a step in particle size. I think this would be a great excuse to order some Golden Buffalo high extraction flour.

I also took Davids suggestion with oven temperature and pre heated at 500F then lowered to 440F after loading and steaming. The vents were blocked for the first 20 minutes then opened for another 45 minutes. As you see, the crust is quite boldly baked. The areas of expansion are a lovely golden color. The singing is quite pronounced as would be expected with such a well colored loaf.

I think the next time I make this bread, I'll scale it up to 2kilo's as David suggested and shape it more oval. My dough weighed 1240 grams before baking and just 1002 grams after cooling for 30 minutes. The internal temperature was 205F when I pulled it from the stone. Normally I would dry out the crust by opening the door slightly after the oven had been shut down. In this case I thought the 65 minute bake was ample time in the oven to harden the crust.

I'm waiting for later in the day to slice this bread with dinner. Hopefully it will pare well with chicken piccata as bruchetta. I'll try to post a crumb shot later.

ADDED CRUMB SHOT AND COMMENTS:

First I have to say this bread has taken me to a place I have not been before. Such simple ingredients are blended with time and careful handling to create a most wonderful eating experience. This is one of those times where the sum is greater than the parts. I believe David mentioned thinking that he thought the deep flavor was coming from the crust but in fact the soft, chewy crumb has this flavor all on its own. I don't profess to understand why the addition of a small amount of toasted wheat germ makes this flavor so unique (I'm guessing that's it) but I'm sold. Everyone loved the rich flavor of the crumb. The crust was shattering as I cut it, pieces flying everywhere even after 6 hours of cooling. My wife was not as fond of the crispy, crunchy crust on her teeth but the dog was happy to relieve her of the trimmed edges. I had made some dark turkey broth earlier in which I dunked some chunks of this miche. A perfect melding of flavors if I do say so. Just wonderful!

We ate the bread with dinner of chicken piccata and a tomato and onion salad with my custom dressing of abundant Gorgonzola cheese and spices. The salad is a bold side dish but believe me the bread held its own with the lemon from the piccata and also the garlic/onion/cheese dressing. A wonderful meal.

I might like to try this slightly less boldly baked for the general public. I do think the over all awesomeness (is that a word?) of this bread will be enhanced by baking as a larger loaf. I would love to make a huge 8 pounder. If only I can find a way to bake it. Hmmmm.

 

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

It's Australian Day and it's the day when Aussies celebrate with things we love, barbeque, beer and lamington (?). We didn't plan to do any BBQ gatherings but ended up with one.

I only knew about the BBQ 5-6 hours in advance and decided to bring some fresh butter rolls to the barbie. Given the tight timeframe, straight-dough is the only option. I chose the soft butter rolls recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook. The rolls can be done in about 3 hours which worked out nicely with the limited time.

I also sprinkle grated Parmesan on the rolls before the bake and brush the hot rolls with melted butter. The rolls were a hit. They were soft and relatively rich with butter, milk and egg in them. Parmesan also added nice aroma and sharp cheese flavour. It was a great accompaniment to the barbeque dinner.

For more details and photo you can click on below link:

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2011/01/soft-butter-rolls-australian-day-barbie.htm

Yummy bread rolls, with sprinkled Parmesan and black sesame seeds

 

The bread rolls with a view of Melbourne CBD

 

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

 

Livvy and CeCe's picture
Livvy and CeCe

This is my third attempt at the Tartine starter. #1  was very stinky and seperated after 3 days. I tried stirring starter#2  and made it to the feeding stage. I fed for 3 days and it urned crusty brown with no activity. #3  was ready to feed in 2 days. When I started to discard a portion befor feeding I  found some milky seperation (no stinky smell, just mildly acidic) at the bottom. I did not mix this in. I now have been feeding for 5 days and absolutly nothing is happening.  No visible rise and fall. I am maintaining a 68-70 degree temperature.Should I keep feeding or start over.

longhorn's picture
longhorn

A friend experienced what appeared to be a protease attack earlier this week while making a Blue Cheese, Walnut, and Fig sourdough using the Tartine approach. The loaves began normally - up to forming and then sat with little change. Rather interestingly this was done in parallel with a batch a Tartine aux Cereales using the same sourdough starter and dough recipe. The loaves without blue cheese performed admirably. My friend told described the problem to me and wondered what about the blue cheese might have led to the problem.

Suspecting protease failure, I Googled blue cheese and found that much if not most blue cheese has protease added during its manufacture. As a result the Blue Cheese loaves would have a higher level of protease than the regular dough. Cool winter kitchen temperatures mean longer fermentation and proofing times but as I understand it enzyme activity is much less temperature sensitive than the yeast. This apparently allowed the protease to destroy the gluten before the yeast could finish and the bread be bakes. 

I wanted to document this because the TFL site has recorded many successful efforts to use blue cheese in sourdough. In looking at other recipes using blue cheese it is interesting that most that I can find that use blue cheese IN the bread use ADY or IDY rather than sourdough. Others form the bread. slash it, and insert the blue cheese in the slash. Others put it on top. Peter Reinhart is one of the few who suggest putting the blue cheese IN the loaf and he says to do it in the last two minutes of kneading. Apparently that minimizes the spread of the cheese protease in the dough.

It appears that mixing the blue cheese in early or having a long proofing time (low temps or low yeast activity) with blue cheese breads is a potential source of problems.

 

em120392's picture
em120392

Challah Bread

Hey Guys! I've been baking my way through The Bread Baker's Apprentice for a high school project. Here's my entry for Challah from a blog about bread which my brother and I share!  http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/

There are two Hebrew words for bread: lichem is an everyday bread and challah is the bread eaten on Sabbath, the day of rest. Challah is an enriched bread with oil, sugar and eggs, while Lichem is a basic lean dough. Before the bread is baked, the baker sacrifices a piece of the dough to the Gods. At any event, two challahs are two challahs must be blessed to prevent the breads from being shamed. To do so, the bread is placed under a challah Cover while the wine is being blessed. At Sabbath dinner, before the bread can be broken, the family must say in Hebrew, "Blessed are you, Lord Our God, king of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth."

Traditionally, challah is braided into a long loaf and lacquered with egg wash on the Sabbath. On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, challah is circularly shaped to represent the coming year and long life. Sometimes it is shaped like a ladder, to symbolize the ascent to God after death. In comparison to the regular Sabbath Challah, the holiday bread is sometimes enriched with raisins or saffron, which were considered prized ingredients.

In comparison to his other recipes, Reinhart does not use a preferment in his challah recipe. Since it's an enriched bread, most of the flavor and texture comes from the eggs and sugar.

I began by mixing together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In another bowl, I mixed together eggs, egg yolks, water and oil. Using my new dough whisk, I stirred the wet into the dry until it made a shaggy dough. I added more flour so the dough was not sticky, and kneaded it for about 6 minutes, until it passed the windowpane test.

I let the dough rise for the first time for about an hour. At this point, Reinhart suggests to punch down the dough and knead for a few moments. Then, I let the dough rise for another two hours, until it doubled in size. Then, divided the dough in six equal pieces (making two loaves), shaped them into balls, and let the gluten relax for about 20 minutes.

With a dough ball in hand, I pressed the dough against the counter, slightly elongating it. Next, with two hands, I pushed the dough outwards in order to make it into a long strand. When I thought I reached my desired length, the dough shrank back slightly. So, I let the dough relax for a few minutes, and then stretched each section into a foot and a half length strand.

Next, I began braiding the strands. I opted to make two 3-strand braids so I wouldn't have one gigantic loaf that we'd never be able to finish. Beginning at the midpoint of the strands, I laid the three strands next to each other, and placed the right strand over the middle strand. Then, I placed the left strand over the middle strand, and continued braiding like I would hair. When I reached the end, I turned the loaf around 180 degrees, and braded the other side. Then, I rolled the ends together by pushing the dough against the counter with the heel of my hands. I tucked the ends underneath the loaf so it would have a finished look.

When I looked at the time, I realized it would be past midnight by the time the challahs proofed and baked. I was silly and didn't think ahead, and egg-washed the dough before refrigerating it (it was late!). I let the dough proof in the fridge until the next afternoon. After resting on the counter for about 2 hours so it warmed up, I baked the bread loaves in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes. As it was cooling, I realized that I forgot the second egg wash. This resulted with the loaf having an uneven, semi-shiny, semi-crackly surface. The braids looked nice, but it didn't have the lacquered crust.

When I ate a piece, I remembered how much I love challah. I love the tender, almost cake-like texture of the crumb, and the soft crust. Like the brioche, challah with raspberry jam made breakfast (and dessert!) delicious. I brought a loaf to my mentor, Mr. Esteban. I explained to him that I was disappointed in the crust, but I don't think he minded all that much. It's still bread, right? I also brought a half loaf to my Jewish grandparents. We always have challah on Rosh Hashanah, and it reminded me of the holidays. Nothing beats a good loaf of challah bread.

 

 

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