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RonRay's picture
RonRay

*** Previous blog: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19777/calculating-baker


 


I have a problem with my bread - I cannot eat it soon enough. I usually need a second, or third day to finish a loaf. It used to be even worse when I made the loaf sizes that most formulae call for, but for some time now, I have split the dough into 3 equal parts, or 2 parts if the batch came to less than 2 pounds (900g). I like loaves about the size of Susan's Simple Sourdough http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13771/simple-sourdough-909


The three loaves below were made this past week. The dough was put together on Saturday evening and the first loaf was baked the Sunday. Tuesday I did the second loaf and the third on Saturday, making the third bake a full week from the initial mixing.


Originally, the formula was based upon Flo Makanai's 1.2.3, Sourdough http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9346/123-easy-formula-sourdough-bread but I found the over 71% hydration level a bit too wet the first time I tried it. So, I started playing around. This time, I added the Chia seeds that Shiao-Ping first drew my attention to in her blog http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18407/chia-sourdough-two-ways and I continue to experiment, but this version is quite good - as is. The Chia seed gave it a new nuttiness to the taste experience. The next time, I think I will increase the amount of Chia and also increase the rye flour, but that can wait a bit.


I did the initial steps Saturday evening, and on Sunday finished enough bread sourdough for 3, small loaves. The dough had white bread flour - 66% Baker's %; dark rye flour - 13% Baker's %; dark Chia seed - 6% Baker's %; flaxseed meal - 2% Baker's %; and a 100% hydration level white sourdough starter with 13% Baker's % in the flour content coming from the starter .


Saturday evening at 7:30 PM I mixed the levain in large bowl. Added all water and mixed until smooth, then added dark rye, salt and mixed well. I had meant to hold off on the salt until the morning, but included it before thinking. Finally, I added the AP Flour. I let the dough rest 30 minutes covered, then turned it out on the work-surface. It is a very sticky dough at this stage. I used a plastic scrapper and my hands to flatten all the dough to about 1 to 1½ inches thickness. I then sprinkled over the flattened dough all the flaxseed meal and chia seed, Once that was finished I did a series of letter folds with help of a scrapper and some flour dusting to reduce the sticking to my hands. Finally, I worked the dough into a thick log and dividing it into 3, equal 423g pieces. Each piece was then formed into a ball and placed in separate 2L/2 qt. oiled, plastic doubler, lidded and placed in fridge @ 9 PM.


Sunday morning about 8:00 AM, I removed the first 423g dough from fridge. Gave it an hour to warm some, while I had breakfast, and then flattend the dough into a rectangular sheet of less than a 1/2 inch (12 mm) and began letter foldings. I repeated this 3, or 4 times with rests of 10 minutes between each group of folds. About 10 AM, I formed the dough into ball and used a bench knife, turned at 45º to press its pointed corner into center of ball's top making a deep cut. I rotated blade 90º and repeated this action. Hoping that after the dough's final rising, that these cuts might act as the crack lines when the dough was baked in the Dutch oven, I firmed the ball and placed it in a floured, cloth-lined brotform, with the dough's cut-side down. After a 6 hour rise, the dough was turn-out directly into the preheated Dutch oven, lid-covered, and returned to the hot oven for 20 minutes, then uncovered for an aditional 20 minutes, making a 40 minute total in 425ºF oven. When removed, the center temperature was 207ºF. The loaf was cooled on wire rack.


Below is that first of those three loaves, along with the Dutch oven that it was bake in.


                                                          Dutch oven baked sourdough loaf #1


This loaf was formed by dropping the raised dough into a preheated 450ºF Dutch oven, covered and replace in the oven, then set for 425º and baked 20 minutes with the lid on the Dutch oven followed by another 20 minutes with no cover on the Dutch oven,


Cooled and cut, the crumb can be seen in the image below, and tasted great. The Chia seed added a nice nuttiness to the flavor.


                                                    Loaf #1 had a reasonable openness to the crumb, but I would have liked it a bit more open.


The remaining two chunks of dough had been surface covered with olive oil and place in individual 2L/2qt. covered containers and stored in a fridge at 33 to 35ºF.


Before getting to the second loaf, I will digress to mention that one of my Silpat sheets has become so laden with the oils from hundreds of cookie bakings that dough no longer sticks to it. Further down, when I get down to the preparation of the third loaf, I will include a photo of the dough kneaded to a 1/4 inch ( 6 mm ) thickness with no flour dusting, nor oil coating - other than that which has permeated the Silpat sheet.


The second loaf was made two days later, on Tuesday. It was taken from the fridge at 8 AM, immediately palm-pressed into a rectangular sheet of about 3 to 4 mm in thickness. It was then rolled across the narrow dimension, flattened, and folded in half, lengthwise, seam sealed, and rolled smooth into a final baguette shape.


                                                        The same Silpat sheet makes a great baker's couche - here with the 7 hour proofed loaf.


It was permitted to rise for about 7 hours. Then it was slashed, sprayed with water and appears in next image, just as it was about to go into the oven's heat.


             The second Bread of the 3 loaves, on parchment paper and ready to be place in the oven on the hot oven stones.


Once placed in the preheated oven, on the hot oven stones at 450ºF, it was steamed for the first 10 minutes. At 20 minutes, the temperature was dropped to 425º and baked for another 20 minutes - total of 40 minutes.


It was then removed and cooled for an hour and a half. It looked like this:


                                           The well caramelized loaf #2


The flavor was even better than the first loaf had been. The well caramelized crust having a beautiful nuttiness from the Chia seeds combining with the rye flavors. Despite the extended time in the fridge, sourness was quite mild. The crumb, as you can see in the next photo, was a bit more open than it was in the first loaf, baked in the Dutch oven.


                                                        Crumb of second loaf.


Below is a detailed shot of the crust, and the dark Chia seeds can be seen very clearly in the crust.


                                              Close-up of a portion of the second loaf's crust, showing the dark Chia seeds.


I am temped to do a painting based on the image. :-)


The third loaf was made on Saturday, one full week from the initial preparations of the dough. Just after 8 AM, I took the dough from the fridge and immediately turned it out and palm-pressed the very cold - less than 40ºF ( 4ºC ) - dough into a rectangular sheet with the average thickness about 3 to 4 mm ( 1/8 inch ). I had decided to add a bit of bread spice to this loaf, and I considered the thin sheet was the best way to do that at this point. In the photo below, which was prior to adding the spice, the dark Chia seed stand out clearly.


                              The dough for the third loaf, preparatory to the addition of a bit of bread spice.


The bread spice was spread across the dough surface and then I started letter folds in the long axis. No, added oil, nor flour dusting was required for the cold dough on this much-used Silpat sheet. You can judge the dough thickness in the next image, taken at the first start of the initial fold.


                                   Closing the bread spice into the dough with the beginning of a couple letter folds.


Following a set of only two folds, the second at right angles to the first, the dough rested 15 minutes and then was final shaped.


                                      Final shaped batard prior to a 7 hour rise.



                              Following the 7 hour rise and my butchering the attempted decorative leaf slashing :-(


The loaf was turned out of the cloth-line brotform onto parchment paper and peel. Slashed in a poor attempt to form a leaf-line branchlet along the length of the loaf. It was sprayed with water and inserted into the 475ºF oven ( 245ºC ) with the parchment paper onto the preheated stones. A cup of boiling water was added to the oven's bottom steam pan at the same time. Three additional sprayings were given during the first 10 minutes of the baking. After 20 minutes, the temperature was reduced to 425ºF and the steam pan checked to be sure it was empty, and the oven door cracked to allow any remaining steam to escape during the last 15 minutes of the bake. After a total time of 35 minutes in the oven, the loaf removed and the instant read temperature in the loaf was 207º.


                                                         Finished third loaf.


The loaf was cooled for an hour and a half before cutting. Below is a photo of the crumb, which is about the way I like it for a general purpose sandwich, or jam on toast bread. The taste now has a fuller sour tang to blend with rye, Chia, spice flavors. A very satisfying


                                           View of the crumb in the third and final loaf from this dough batch.


taste for my jaded palette ;-)


Now, the big question for me is just what do I want to mix today?


 


Next Blog: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20460/


 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon where I am - good time to tap out a post. Besides, it's 10-10-10...gotta commemorate that somehow!


Like many here, I suspect, I love trying new breads, and have a never-diminishing must-bake list of breads I want to try - never-diminishing because no matter how many I try, I keep adding more! Thanks to Shiao-Ping's current posting hiatus, I've managed to get through most of hers now (any newcomers looking for a great source of new breads, put her name in the search window and just take your pick from any of her amazing bakes). But then along comes TXFarmer!!! Sigh...


Much as I enjoy trying new breads, I have identified 5 or 6 of the 50 or so different breads I've baked in the last couple of years that I keep coming back to as my favourites. These now comprise my core repertoire, all 100% SDs: pain de campagne (my version), Gerard Rubaud's formula (thanks to Shiao-Ping), Norwich Rye (Wild Yeast Susan's adaptation of Hamelman's Vermont SD, which I also tweak in various ways), San Joaquin SD (DM Snyder), and my version of pain au levain.


It's the last that I want to share today, because of all my favourites, if I had to pick a number 1 this would be it. Why?



  • the flavour profile - the rye component comes from the starter, which seems to add a different quality of flavour from rye that is added to a dough at mixing stage, and the small amount of wholewheat flour sweetens it up a little, while the white flour component keeps it light

  • the hydration level ensures it is a relatively easy dough to work with

  • ever-reliable

  • versatile - compatible with both savoury and sweet accompaniments, toasts well

  • the crust - nice rustic look when done as a batard (my favourite shape), but not as thick as, say, the San Joaquin, or as thin as my pain de campagne...so Goldilocks would like it!

  • the crumb - the combination of bakers' flour and AP flour keeps the structure strong, but open and slightly spongy


This pain au levain developed out of various breads that I tweaked until I ended up with the formula that follows. There's nothing remarkable about the formula: pretty typical SD bread. Actually, if I recall correctly, the formula I initially based this bread on was a camp oven SD bread that someone posted on the Sourdough Companion site. Not sure how much I've ended up deviating from the prototype, but after a lot of experimenting and tweaking, the formula that follows is the one I have found myself returning to again and again. It just seems 'right' to me. Of course, feel free to try your own tweaks. My taste may not equate exactly with yours.


So, to the recipe. Be aware that this is scaled to the weight I prefer. I like to bake batards that my partner and I can finish in 2 days, so I can then move on to another bread, and it is always fresh. If you have a larger household, you might like to scale this up accordingly.


INGREDIENTS



  • Ripe starter (100% hydration: 30% whole grain organic rye/70% organic unbleached AP flour): 150gm

  • Filtered water: 300gm

  • Wholegrain organic flour: 25gm

  • Premium organic bakers' flour: 200gm

  • Organic unbleached AP flour: 275gm

  • Pure sea salt: heaped teaspoon (or 2% if you want a standard measure of salt...I slightly undersalt my doughs)


Note: This recipe assumes an ambient temp of 22C/72F (adjust proofing times up or down, depending on your own ambient temp)


METHOD



  • Mix all ingredients other than salt, autolyse 30-40mins.

  • Mix salt into dough

  • Bulk proof 3 hours, with 2 stretch-and-folds 30 mins apart initially, then S&F once per hour thereafter

  • After BP, preshape and rest 10 mins

  • Shape

  • Final Proof: 30 mins (dough covered in plastic), then retard in fridge overnight

  • Bake straight out of fridge next day


BAKING



  • Heat oven to 250C/480F with pizza stone or baking tile, and with metal tray in bottom for ice. Bake in lower-middle of oven.

  • When 250C has been reached, drop 3 ice cubes into heated tray in bottom of oven just prior to loading slashed dough. Immediately after loading dough, spray surface of loaf and around oven with water, and shut door. Wait 2 minutes and spray again around oven. Shut door and drop oven temp to 225C/435F.

  • Bake 15 mins starting from time you loaded dough, then drop oven to 215C/420F

  • Bake 12 mins @ 215C, then drop oven temp to 200C/390F

  • Bake 14 mins @ 200C, then take bread out of oven and rest for minimum 2 hours on cake rack or similar.


I'll leave you with a couple of pics of a pain au levain I baked this morning.


Cheers
Ross



 



 


 


 

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Here is one of my recent bake from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook, the Chorizo and Thyme roll.


The roll is really nice and the flavour is really well-balanced with chorizo and carmelised onion.


It was an easy and quick recipe, apart from slicing 500g of onions and having to cook them until they become really caramelised. But it's all worth it.


The recipe is also quite versatile that any filling combination is endless. I'm thinking chicken pesto with sundried tomato for my next bake.



For recipe you can see details in my blog http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2010/10/chorizo-and-thyme-roll.html


Cheers,


Sue

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


When I took the Artisan I workshop at the San Francisco Baking Institute last August, Miyuki demonstrated the method of oven steaming they recommend for home bakers.


The oven is not pre-steamed (before loading the loaves). A cast iron skillet filled with steel pieces (nuts and bolts, rebar pieces) is pre-heated in the oven along with two baking stones. One stone is placed on a rack above the stone and rack on which the loaves will be loaded.


When the loaves are loaded, a perforated pie tin filled with ice cubes is set atop the skillet. As the ice melts, water drips through the perforations and turns to steam when it hits the metal pieces.



I had a hard time finding the perforated pie tins, so I hadn't been able to try this method until today. I did two bakes: One was two loaves of a very familiar bread – Hamelman's “Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain” from “Bread.” The other was a new bread to me - Chad Robertson's “Basic Country Bread” from “Tartine.” I made two large boules of the Country Bread. One was baked using the “Magic Bowl” technique and the other with the SFBI steaming method, minus the second baking stone and using lava rocks in place of metal pieces.


My current baking method is to pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with the baking stone and skillet in place. When I load my loaves, I turn down the oven to whatever temperature the recipe specifies, using the conventional bake setting. After 10-15 minutes (depending on the total length of the bake), I change the oven setting to convection bake but 25ºF lower. I find, in my oven, conventional baking retains steam well, but convection dries the crust better.


Using the SFBI steaming method, the Vermont Sourdoughs came out substantially similar to how they come out with my previous method – pouring boiling water over the lava rocks. I could not detect any difference in oven spring, bloom, crust color or the texture of either the crust or crumb.



Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain



Crust Crackles



Vermont SD with Increased Whole Grain crumb


The Basic Country Breads were different from each other. The one baked in under a stainless steel bowl was a bit shinier. The crust softened quicker with cooling. It did not sing when cooling. I don't think there was any real difference in oven spring or bloom.



Basic Country Bread baked with the "Magic Bowl" method



Basic Country Bread baked with the SFBI steaming method



Basic Country Bread crumb


My conclusion is that the SFBI method is effective. It does not require that water be boiled and poured into the hot skillet. To me, it seems a bit easier than the method I've been using. That said, the breads baked using the SFBI method for steaming the oven seem pretty much identical to those I get using my previous technique.


I don't have the kind of covered cast iron skillet/shallow dutch oven that Chad Robertson recommends be used to bake his Basic Country Bread. I do have enameled cast iron ovens that should perform similarly. Perhaps I should try one of them, although my expectation would be that they perform similarly to the "Magic Bowl" method.


David


 


 


Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

My quest for a passable baguette continues.  To recap: In an attempt to improve my baguette skills, I'm making the Baguettes with Poolish formula from Hamelman's Bread every weekend until I get it right(-ish).  Following my experience from week 1, I made two changes:


First, I increased the baking temperature.  Last week the baguettes were simply not browned enough after the 26 minutes recommended by Hamelman.  This surely has as much to do with my oven as anything else--I've always had problems with it's notion of just how hot 450 degrees is as compared to mine.


Second, I resisted my home-baker's instinct to spray exposed surfaces of the dough with spray oil at every opportunity, and for the final proof of the shaped baguettes, I mostly covered the dough with the folds of my trusty tablecloth-couche, and then with plastic wrap.


The Results:


 Exterior 


 Crumb 

The Debrief

Crust was nice and dark but could be more caramelized still.  My scoring was still pretty irregular, but somewhat improved from last week.  More importantly, as a result of omitting the spray oil for the final proof, the scores were easier and the blade dragged less.  On a few of the scores started to get the feel for how the lame ought to bite into the loaf.  But although I got about 2 good scores per loaf, that's not quite enough.  I also clearly need to work on keeping the scores separate from each other.

 The crumb, as you can see, was somewhat underwhelming; the more creamy, gel-like texture still eludes me.  Flavor was good, but not what I know this formula is capable of.  Crust was crisper than last week, but still a bit chewy.

For Next week:

I have a few ideas:

  • Start trying variations on the "turn off the oven but leave the bread in" to get a crisper crust
  • Try to do exactly 4 scores per baguette; I think part of my problem is varying length and number
  • Change the Poolish fermentation time: So far I've had 1/8 tsp yeast in 5.3 oz. each of flour and water, fermented for 12 hours (and I've actually been pretty good about keeping it to 12 hours, not longer or shorter).  Since Hamelman suggests a similar quantity of yeast for twice the Poolish (I'm doing half a "Home" batch), perhaps a shorter ferment is in order.

Any other suggestions, diagnoses, or critiques greatly appreciated!

 

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

This is a three bake weekend for me, and I thought I'd offer this shot of the midpoint of it all.


From right to left: Poolish Baguettes, fresh out of the oven.  A bag of sourdough bagels (the BBA formula), baked this morning for breakfast.  And a batch of dough for Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, currently in the bulk fermentation stage to be baked tomorrow.


breitbaker's picture
breitbaker

If you keep your bread ends around to use up, here's a great way :) Hint: weekend breakfast or brunch is in the bag!


Weekend Breakfast Strata


http://www.brightbakes.wordpress.com


Love, 


Cathy B.


 

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Autumn is truly here, and every tree is decked out in breathtaking yellow and red colours. This is one of my favourite parts of the year, where afternoons are best spent strolling among the autumn leaves on silent sidewalks and catching every last bit of warmth the sun can muster.


The colder times of the year are also the best to bake in, and this week I've tried my hands at one of my absolute favourite lighter rye breads, Hamelman's flax seed rye from Modern Baking. The formula is very similar to many of his rye sourdough breads from "Bread", but I feel the Modern Baking flax seed rye is even better balanced in terms of overall hydration and amount of soaker. The addition of stale bread to the cold soaker gives this bread a unique, robust rye flavour.


This week, I've enjoyed two flax seed rye loaves based on a formula that is a slight adaption of Hamelman's original. Here's a link to my slightly modified formula. Below is a shot of the loaf at the end of final proof, seconds before I'm sliding it into the hot oven:


Flax seed rye bread


And here it is, fresh out of the oven:


Flax seed rye bread


Here's a shot of the second loaf, which was gently rolled in oat bran before it was proofed in a floured banneton:


Flax seed rye bread


Here's a shot of the crumb, from a little later in the day:


Flax seed rye bread crumb


The crumb doesn't get very open due to the flax seeds, but it's very moist and stays fresh for days. Once you've almost finished it, save some slices to put in your next batch :)


 


I've also continued my apple tart studies with some pleasantly autumn-tasting Calvados apple custard tarts:


Apple Tart Parisienne


 


...and the tart "crumb" below. Local apples are stunningly good this time of year, and a tart like this is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. A thin layer of lingonberry jam provides a nice tang to the otherwise vanilla and Calvados infused apples:


Apple Tart Parisienne


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating this weekend!
I tried shaping breads as Pumpkins for the occasion.


I tried this recipe first:
http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/10/16/world-bread-food-day/
substituting 75% stone-ground whole wheat and 25% bread flour for the high extraction flour,
substituting canned pumpkin for the sweet potato,
substituting flax seed for pumpkin seed


When mixing I found it really hard to get the dough to develop & also didn't give it enough time to proof; there was very little oven spring.
I'm positive the wildyeastblog.com formula is wonderful given the lovely result pictured with the formula on the wildyeastblog site...I certainly didn't do this recipe justice.
My flour substitution might not have been ideal either, but welcome any thoughts anyone might have on this!

These little pumpkins are like bricks as a result of my efforts, so I stacked them like bricks for the photo!
Crust was tasty, crumb very moist, and a subtle pumpkin flavor.




Not feeling good about the first dough was shaping up for me, I started a second...Rose Levy Beranbaum's French Country Sourdough, with pumpkin puree swapped in for some of the water in the recipe. In The Bread Bible, Rose writes canned pumpkin puree is 90% water; using this as a guide, I used 200g of pumpkin puree for a triple recipe of this bread and then topped off with some additional water. These came out lighter with more oven spring - and will be shared with family tomorrow!



To shape these breads, I shaped boules and slashed starting at the bottom and up to the top, almost to center, trying to make "pumpkin lines". I took a small round cookie cutter, floured it, then twisted and gently pushed down, twisting back and forth, until I'd cleanly cut a "stem".
This idea I got from hanseata (Tyrolean Pumpkin Seed Mini Breads - thanks hanseata!)


Hope the second batch tastes OK tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving from breadsong

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Hey all!  Bread rises faster at high altitude.  Do you think that sourdough starter would rise faster when you are doing builds, etc.?  


The question never occurred to me until today.  Thanks,   Pam

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