The Fresh Loaf

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OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

First I want to say hello to all of you again after being "away at my summer job".  I've missed you all, and have not even had much time to just lurk, let alone post.  I've purposely held back from posting knowing I could, at any time, be completely unable to follow up or hold up my end on a discussion.  The latest part of Spring and the main part of Summer are my very busiest times of the year, when weeks and even entire months can and do go by without a break.  I've had the liberty of rearranging my schedule some this year so I have had some daylight time off, as a trade for night time on, to get some things done around the house, where I work.  That's the only reason I've been able to continue baking at least, to keep my hand in and the store-bought bread out.


The juggling of my work and off time schedule comes at the price of sleep too often, but it has permitted me to accomplish some baking things I'm proud of.  The biggest one we celebrated just tonight, with:


First Fire!! Woohooo!  The WFO got lit for the first time tonight with a small drying fire.


First Fire in New WFO


Thanks to a herculean effort the last couple of weeks, and the blessing of a wonderful neighbor who pitched in and helped, my earth oven is nearing completion.  Whenever I've been able to steal or swap for a couple of hours of daylight off duty time I've been working on this, since back in March originally.  Finally the rains quit and I could make some progress, then my "summer job" started and it has been pretty slow going.  I had to get it finished enough to use this winter before the rains come again!  I'm there, and will probably get it insulated in the next couple of weeks.  It must finish drying out first though, and this was just a small drying fire for less than a half hour to speed things along some.  It got things warmed up really well though.


This has been the highlight of my summer, without a doubt.  I've done some baking, of which this (back to front, RLB Beer Bread, RLB Sweet Potatoe bread as dinner rolls, and some of "my" sourdough) is my most recent highlight,



and I continue to explore the world of bread.  This oven will expand my horizons and challenge me even more.  I look forward to it with excitement.


I've many pictures of the entire building process from footing to, yes, first fire, thanks to the diligence and skill of my wife/photographer.  I plan on posting them somewhere (Flicker, or ...?) one of these days when summer is completely behind me and I have time to write the story.  Till then, well, we'll just take it as it comes.  It is starting to come easier as the harvest season here in The Valley heads into the home stretch.


It's good to be back on "The Loaf".  Thank's for stopping by for a visit.


OldWoodenSpoon

evth's picture
evth


 



 


Yes, this is one adaptable pastry dough: genesis - empanadas, second form -  apple pie,  fin - quiche. I have worked this modified version of Cafe Azul's Pastry Dough (see my apple pie blog for the recipe) into so many baked goods. Versatility is the key to a good recipe in my baking heart. It is no wonder that this pastry dough and I were just meant to be.

Since this is a high-yield dough (it is enough for two double crust pies or singles), you can freeze what you don't use. After making the apple pie, I froze two mounds of dough that were left over. The night before I was ready to make the quiche, I thawed the mounds in the fridge and in the morning was able to quickly roll them out for my tart pans with relative ease. I sing praises to thee, my dough of wonder!

As for the quiche, it is a fairly simple recipe. Here is my own adapted set of instructions for the filling, but you can make it your own according to what you have on hand. For example, you can include bacon or ham, drained and chopped cooked spinach, sauteed peppers or onions, etc. Don't get carried away, though. Less is more, in my book.

1) Saute a package of sliced mushrooms (I use baby portabellos)
2) Chop a handful of green onions (3 or so stalks) 
3) 1/2 cup of shredded cheese - use more or less depending upon your fondness for fromage (I use Gruyere) 

For the custard, I like to use Michael Ruhlman's ratio of 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of cream and 1 cup of milk per tart. In a mixing bowl, whisk these together until smooth, salt and pepper to taste, and add a small grating of nutmeg.

After you roll out your dough, arrange the dough in a shallow tart pan. Scatter onto the crust the green onions, cheese and half of the mushrooms. Pour in half the custard, and layer the last of the mushrooms and green onions on top. Then add the rest of the custard, filling the pan up to about 3/4. Then sprinkle on the rest of the cheese. Carefully, place the pan on a baking sheet, and bake in a preheated oven of 400°F for 45-60 minutes, depending on your oven's temperature. When I made my quiche I forgot to use my trusty baking stone, and so the bottom crust came out a bit soft. I recommend that if you've got a stone, place it under your tart pan and baking sheet to ensure a crispy bottom crust. A golden and puffy quiche means that it's finished baking.



Voila!

evth

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

At the risk of sneers from the lean dough purists, one of my fondest bread memories is of the Onion-Curry-Cheese Bread from The Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley.  When I was a gradual student in the late '70s, walking through what has since become known as "The Gourmet Ghetto" (Cheese Board, Chez Panisse, Pig-by-the-Tail charcuterie, Lenny's Butcher and a great fishmonger whose name escapes me, all within two blocks), I would know from a hundred yards away that this delectable savory bread had just come out of the oven.  And I would make a bee-line.  The warm loaf in the grease-spotted bag made a satisfying lunch for a hungry carbotarian.  


So when I came into possession of a glob of David's sourdough starter, and decided to try bread-baking, it didn't take me long to decide I had to find the recipe. It didn't hurt that my Cheese-loving East-Bay-native wife encouraged the quest.


So I searched the web for the recipe, and found that The Cheese Board has published a cookbook, which--by pure coincidence--my wife gave me for my birthday.  And, yes, the Onion-Curry-Cheese Bread is right there.  They say it's the first bread they ever made.


It's a yeast leavened bread with a very low hydration dough (to account for the moisture in the one full pound of cheese that goes into three smallish loaves). The whole process only takes about 4 hours from start to finish.


Here's a picture of the dough (fresh yellow onions, curry powder, salt, black pepper, bread flour, water, yeast and a mix of cheeses).


IMG_1548


And formed (sorta) into boules.


IMG_1549


And the finished product.


IMG_1553


IMG_1559


Now, I admit, this is not a "nice looking" bread, but it's inspirational if you are a vulcanologist.  Its chaotic explosiveness makes the perfect contrast to Brot Backer immaculately formed and perfectly baked challah, posted this evening (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/blog/brot-backer).  But the smell of the curry, onions and cheese as it bakes, and the moist spicy bread with gooey bits of melted cheese and crispy bits of carbonized cheese makes one close one's eyes in ecstasy anyway.  Warning: we do not recommend toasting this bread in a toaster.


This is the first non-sourdough I've tried, and it successfully captured the remembered flavor and texture of happy days past.  One of the three loaves is pretty well gone already.


All I can say is "Cheeses loves us!"


Glenn

Franko's picture
Franko

For my second bake from Richard Bertinet's 'Crust' I wanted to try something with ingredients I've never used before. The recipe that caught my eye was his Breton Bread as it calls for sel-gris and buckwheat flour, neither of which I've had any experience with. For anyone not familiar with sel-gris, it's an unrefined sea salt from Brittany that's very course and gray coloured. It's flavour is a little sharp at first, but leaves a subtle aftertaste of minerals that's quite pleasant. I think I'll be using it in my future baking quite a bit, particularly for rustic breads. For more info on this salt and others, here's a link to a guide of the various types of salt available for cooking and baking.
 
http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/si_gourmet_reference.asp

Buckwheat pancakes are my only previous experience with this grain, having had them when I was a kid at Scout camp, but never using it professionally or at home for any baking. Some of the breads I've seen since joining TFL that use buckwheat, spelt, kamut etc. have intrigued me enough that I felt I needed to branch out more and discover some new territory. Our friend Khalid, in particular, has been a great inspiration to me with all the beautiful grain breads that he's made over the last few months.
 
Bertinet's formula for Breton Bread calls for using a pate fermentee as well as bakers yeast as it's leaveners but I thought I'd like to do it using a rye levain instead. Reason being, I had my rye sour going great guns, tripling in volume every 5-6 hours or so and thought it'd be a waste to not use it while it was so active. Late in the afternoon the day before mixing, I made the stiff levain but using rye starter as my base . By next morning the levain had doubled and domed so I went ahead and mixed all the other ingredients in the formula, adding the levain in chunks during the last part of the mix. Because the sel-gris is quite course, Bertinet advises dissolving it in a portion of the overall hydration, which is 69.8% (not counting the stiff levain).The dough was mixed on low speed for 8-9 minutes, then on 2nd for five. The dough came off the hook somewhat sticky but uniform and then was worked for about 5 minutes till it came clean off the counter. It rested for 1hr. at 73F, then stretched and folded and given another hour and another fold. After 30 minutes more of rest I molded it into a boule and put it into a heavily floured banneton, covered it with linen and put it in the fridge to rise. Four and half hours and 18 holes of golf later the loaf went into a 500F oven for 8 minutes with normal steam, then reduced to 440 for the remaining bake of 22 minutes. The loaf seems a bit over proofed to me but compared to the photos of it in the book it's quite a bit higher. It opened up much more along the slashes than I thought it would since it was a nice tight boule before going in the oven, so I'm wondering if this is perhaps a possible effect of the buckwheat flour content which was at 26%. I wouldn't call it a disaster by any means as the flavour of this bread more than compensates for any proofing or slashing errors on my part, but maybe next time I'll just give it a 9 hole proofing time. This is a really tasty bread, full of big flavours and aroma, the rye sour just adding another layer of flavour to it. My colleagues at the bake shop, who also serve as my tasting panel, all agreed that it was one of the more flavourful ones I've brought in for them to try. A few photos of it below. Please excuse the picture quality. My wife is visiting relatives back east and she decided to take the camera with her... for some reason, so I had to use my cell phone cam.

Franko


Brot Backer's picture
Brot Backer

 


Hello to all you Loafers!


This is my first blog entry and I thought I'd start out with my second most recent endeavor (I made sourdough bagels but didn't take any pictures!). I'd like to give a little preempt by saying that I am only slightly Jewish by blood and an Atheist at heart. That being said, if you have any Jewish blood or get Anthropological hard-ons, purchase Maggie Glezer's A Blessing of Bread NOW! This book is filled to the brim with traditional but well tested/formulated recipes and all the stories, traditions and techniques that go with them.



As soon as I opened this book I would be baking a lot from it and the real challenge was to decide which recipe to try first, as you can see I choose one the the numerous Challah recipes and being a sourdough sucker I landed her My Sourdough Challah recipe.


 





 


This recipe is a winner! The one thing that a wild culture really adds to this recipe is the extra oven spring achieved that allows for this nice tears along the braids, it's one of the few loaves that have made my jaw drop. For the sake of full disclosure, I've been professionally trained as a baker and have made Challah before but those recipes were either too high hydration or fermented to quickly with too little oven spring in order to achieve those distinct braids.


 





 


I did make 1.5 adjustments to the recipe and they were to replace some of the whole eggs called for with yolks and half of the oil with olive oil. I did this for color, added richness and to avoid that eggy flavor that comes with the whites (just not my cup o' joe). The results were wonderfully yellow tinted crumb that was soft and just begged for a little of that naughty butter as well as making incredible toast.




 





 


The flavor was a perfect blend of rich and savory, using a natural levain really didn't add a tang so much as it amped up the flavor profile of the wheat to balance the eggs, sugar and oil. From beginning to end this dough was a pleasure to work with and I encourage you all to buy this book if you haven't!


 


 


I am submitting this to Yeastspotting


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/ 


 

sourdoughboy's picture
sourdoughboy

I wanted to have fresh homemade sourdough hamburger buns for a big cook-out last Friday. Problem: the cook-out was at 7pm on a work night, and I'd only get home around 5:45. Timing and fridge space were issues. I wouldn't have time to shape buns and let them rise after work, and don't have room for sheet pans in my fridge (I live with 4 other people). This is what I came up with...


 


Petite Sourdough Hamburger Buns (makes approx. 20 3'' buns) (adapted from this recipe)


Ingredients:


[UNDER REVIEW]


 


Night before:


1. Mix together bread flour, starter, water. Let sit for 30 minutes.


2. Beat together milk, eggs, salt, sugar. Combine with flour. Let sit for 15 minutes.


3. Lift/fold dough. Repeat twice more at 15'' intervals.


4. Cover, let dough rise overnight.


UPDATE: Brewboy makes a good point re: the potential riskiness of letting a dough with egg in it stay at room temp overnight. 


Morning of:


1. Divide dough, shape (20 or so) buns.


2. Place in cake pans lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap.


3. Stack cake pans in fridge with cardboard in between to prevent squishing.



 


Go to work!


 


Evening of:


1. Remove from fridge, let rise in 100F oven for 30''.


2. Brush buns with egg wash.


3. Crank up the heat to 350, bake for 35 minutes. (Note: no preheating, thus the extended baking time)



 


The results:



Soft, chewy, tangy hamburger buns! I was happy, as were the guests. I was worried they'd be too small but they were the perfect size for 1/2lb (before cooking) patties made from fatty (70/30) ground beef. One thing I would change was the topping I made for the burger--it was a sweet/sour onion caramelized with bacon fat. The burgers would have been better with a straight sweet caramelized onion, since the bun provided ample tanginess.

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

I recently purchased Peter Reinhart's artisan breads every day. I have been kneading by hand and wanted to try the minimal mixing, overnight cold ferment sytle recipes he provides to see what kind of rise/crumb structure I could get. We were having company for dinner last night whose diet required only whole wheat bread so I decided to make a half batch of each of the Lean Bread and 100% WW Hearth Bread. I had never made a 100% WW.


Since I can never seem to keep the variables to a minimum, here are some of the things I did different from my usual style in addition to the new recipes. We are not on the boat so I baked in a real oven that will preheat to 550 as recommended. I used quarry tiles and parchment paper and a metal baking pan for steam. I also used KA White Whole Wheat flour for the first time. I also decided to try some new shapes. I made a WW boule (inpired by David's shaping help) that I proofed in a towel lined 8" plastic bowl and decided to try some rolls for part of the Lean Bread. I made two 75 gram knotted rolls (fake Kaiser shape) and a couple of 100 gram Faux Braids (from Ciril Hitz, Baking Artisan Bread). The shaping of the Lean Bread rolls was tough because the dough was very sticky, but I stuck with it :-)


Here are the results:



Lean Bread (dusted with semolina flour)


Lean Bread


100% Whole Wheat Hearth Bread, I like the shape on the boule.


100% Whole Wheat Hearth Bread


Crumb Shot for Lean Bread. I was pretty happy with this, critiques welcome.


Lean Bread Crumb


100% Whole Wheat crumb. Is this what it should look like??


100% Whole Wheat Crumb Shot


The other big question is always taste. The lean bread was good after warming/crisping in oven before eating with pasta. The rolls were OK, a little chewy for tuna sandwhiches.


The whole wheat has a nice flavor. My wife even liked it and she doesn't like much WW. It is heavier than the white, but I assume that is to be expected. Maybe will try a variation with seeds and multigrain.


Any and all comments welcome, especially suggestions to improve.


wayne


 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hey All,


Me again.  This whole baking and blogging thing is a little nutty...  It's something one of those things that's fun, tedious and addictive...  Anyway, let's get on with this post...  How long can you cold bulk retard a dough and still have some good bread?  I've done 24 hours with good and bad results.  How about longer?  Why cold bulk retarding vs cold retarded proofing?  Well, from my experience, cold retarded proofing in a linen lined banneton seems to dry out the surface of the dough, so after baking, the crust becomes thick and tough...  This is my experience.  Also, I have a small under the counter refrigerator that has enough room to bulk retard maybe 4kg of dough in 2 X 4L plastic tubs.  So bulk retardation is my only option short of not sleeping if you've been following my baking schedule these days...


Here's my recipe:


Liquid Levain:


150g White Whole Wheat Flour


50g Rye Flour


50g Liquid Sourdough Storage Starter (100% hydration)


200g Water


450g Total Liquid Levain


 


Final Dough:


1000g AP


616g Water


30g Kosher Salt


450g Liquid Levain


2096g Approx Total Dough Yield


 


9/14/10


8:15pm - Mix liquid levain, cover and let rest on counter overnight.


9/15/10


8:00am - Mix final dough (in large mixing bowl put in water first, then levain, flour, salt).  Mix with rubber spatula until shaggy dough forms.  Cover and let rest 20 minutes.


8:25am - Knead for few minutes with wet hands until relatively smooth dough forms, transfer to lightly oiled container at least 4L, cover and let rest.


8:45am - Turn dough in container (stretch and fold), cover, place into refrigerator (40F), go to work.


9/16/10


6:30pm - Come home and take the dough out of the refrigerator and find that it was working on escaping the container



Divide into 2 equal pieces, shape into boules and place into linen lined bannetons and proof for 3 hours.



8:40pm - Arrange 2 baking stones on 2 levels, put steam pan in oven, preheat to 500F with convection.


9:45pm - Take bannetons out of plastic bag, lightly flour and give poke test...



10:00pm - Turn off convection. 




Turn boule out onto a lightly floured peel, slash as desired and place into oven directly onto stone.  When last loaf is in, pour 1 1/2 cups water into steam pan, close oven door.  Turn oven down to 450F and bake for 50 minutes, rotating between stones half way.  Then turn off oven and leave loaves in for another 10 minutes.



Loaves are done when the internal temp reaches 205F or higher (210F preferred), and they weigh at least 15% lighter than their prebaked weight.  Mine were 1050g before baking, and around 870g after, which is about a 17% weight loss...



Cool completely before cutting and eating...  Crumbshots tomorrow morning...  I wonder it this is a less stressfull baking schedule...  You tell me...


Tim

Terrell's picture
Terrell

I've been making a lot of bread lately. Had some extra that I either needed to throw away or make something out of. They won't let you feed it to the ducks in Portland, you know. So, I used my remarkable internet research skills to look for recipes using leftover bread. Apparently, many people just make bread crumbs and put them in the freezer. I was looking for something a little more exciting. The New York Times happened to have a recipe for panade published last week in an article about young yuppy farmers (you may have to register to see the article.) It was interesting but it uses a lot of cauliflower, not one of my favorite foods, so I kept looking. Epicurious had a strata recipe with spinach that got a ton of comments but it was one of those recipes that you have to make eight hours ahead. I rarely know what I want for dinner until I get right up to it so I hardly ever plan that far ahead unless I'm cooking for company. The strata sounded good though so I checked around for something similar and came across this recipe from Martha Rose Schulman, also in the New York Times. Her recipe just mixes all the ingredients and pops it right in the oven. It sounded perfect, so I stopped at the grocery store on my way home and picked up the cavolo nero or black leaf kale that I was sure was in the recipe. I checked the dried mushrooms she calls for, was appalled at the price and decided to substitute fresh criminis instead. Last night, ready to cook, I pulled up the recipe again. Hmmm, her recipe is for cheese strata with chard. Why was I so sure it was black kale? Ahh, the kale was in the panade. OK, another substitution. Of course I was also using my leftover whole grain bread for her french baguette and some random bits of cheese I wanted to clear out of the fridge instead of the Gruyère she listed. I guess we'll see how it comes out. An hour or so later and I was pretty pleased with myself. I had accomplished my goal of using up some of that bread and made myself a pretty tasty dinner. Here's the recipe...


Strata with Cavolo Nero and Mushrooms (seriously adapted from Martha Rose Shulman)

  • 4 or 5 thick slices of whole grain bread (I used about 4 cups of my Pilgrim's Bread)

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1/2 pound of crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped

  • half bunch (about 8 ounces I think) of cavolo nero/dark leaf kale, stemmed and cleaned

  • 3 garlic cloves, 1 cut in half, the other two minced

  • 2 cups of milk (I used 2%)

  • 3/4 cup of grated cheese, tightly packed (I used what I had in the fridge, about half goat cheddar and half kasseri)

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • freshly ground pepper


Cavolo Nero   Crimini


Preheat the oven to 350. Oil or butter a two quart baking dish or gratin pan. If the bread is soft, as mine was, toast it lightly and then rub each slice front and back with the halved garlic clove. If your bread is really stale, you can skip the toasting. Cut into 1 inch dice. Place in a large bowl and toss with 2/3 cup of the milk. Set aside.


 Mix


In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms in the butter for 2 to 3 minutes, just until they smell good. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add the still wet kale to the skillet and cook over medium high heat until it starts to wilt. Cover the pan and let the kale steam until it has collapsed, about 5 minutes. Add more water if needed but just enough to steam not boil it. Uncover and stir. When all the kale has wilted, remove from the pan and rinse in cold water. Squeeze to get out the remaining moisture and then chop and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet and quickly saute the minced garlic over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms, rosemary and kale. Stir together and season with salt and pepper. Remember that the cheese and bread both have salt in them so adjust your seasonings with that in mind (my dish turned out slightly too salty because of this, I think). Remove from the heat and add the kale mixture to the bread cubes. Add the grated cheeses (not the Parmesan, that comes later), toss to mix and then arrange in the prepared baking dish.


Saute


Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the remaining milk, the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Pour over the bread mixture. Press the bread down into the eggs. Sprinkle the Parmesan on the top and drizzle the other tablespoon of oil on top of that. (The oil thing is in Martha's recipe. I have to admit that I couldn't tell there was oil there and will probably not waste the effort next time I make the dish.) Place in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes until puffed and browned. Serves 4 to 6.


Cheese Strata with Kale and Mushrooms


Martha says you can do all the hard work ahead, up to the egg step, and it will keep, covered, in your fridge up to a couple of days. Add the egg and milk when you're ready to bake. Next time I make this I will probably halve the recipe and bake it in a small dish. It's way too much for one person to dispose of. I'll likely let the bread sit out to get a little more stale before toasting. And as I said, I will cut the salt a little bit. The crimini were fabulous, great flavor. It was, however, the rosemary that really made it.


Dinner time

janette 1964's picture
janette 1964

looking for french baker or franchise in greece

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