The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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MANZMAN's picture
MANZMAN

I am interested in baking a rustic bread with huge holes or bubbles and a thick crisp crust - any recipes come to mind? I have tried several chabatta bread recipes which come close but I'm looking for larger bubbles.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I found this interesting book in the library recently, The Italian Baker by Carol Field. It covers not only bread but cakes, pastries and cookies and gives both weights and volume. It also gives methods in three ways, by hand, by mixer and by processor but they are quite well separated and easy to follow. The author lists many sayings and proverbs that express the Italians' way of expressing their sentiments, using bread as their common metaphor. A couple of my favorites: "Riuscire meglio a pane che a farina" To succeed more with the bread than with the flour ( to have more success than expected.) "Chiurugo come il pane, medico come il vino" Look for a surgeon like bread (young) and a doctor like wine (well aged.) Does anyone own this book? Any opinions on the recipes? A.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

English MuffinsEnglish Muffins

After seeing proth5's muffins I had to try them hoping to get the nooks and crannies. I messed up totally when I tried to convert the recipe to kg so ended up guessing. After several stretch and folds I let it rise for about 1 1/2 hour. It was full of big bubbles by then and I thought I want lots of holes so why should I deflate this thing and roll out all the air bubbles. I just gently turned it out on a floured board and gently pulled it out till it was about 1 1/2 - 2" high and just cut with an inverted drinking glass. I put them on cornmeal and then right onto the hot skillet still full of air bubbles, no rise time. I didn't use rings. I was happy to see all the "butter bowls" inside. I hope I can repeat the whole thing, mistakes and all. I ended up with 18. I doubled the recipe but should have ended up with 12. Oh well. Thanks proth5 for the inspiration. They toast up great.

 

My photo is very bad.

 

 

 

PagnottaPagnotta

 

 

 

Bill Wraith's Pagnotta

Today I also made Bill Wraith's Pagnotta. This bread always works well. I was on the phone when these were proofing and they went too far. I was worried they would deflate but they didn't, they just baked into each other so I'll have to pull them apart when they cool. The recipe can be found in the SEARCH. Hope you see these Bill so I can say thanks for your recipe.

lioness7's picture
lioness7

HEEEEELP!

I'm trying to find out some history on my kitchenaids.  I have a mustard colored tilt-head 4.5 and a moss colored tilt head 4.5 that I found for $5 and $10 respectively at local thrift stores.  I've contacted kitchenaid directly but they could not fill me in as to their age of each one, etc.  They work marvelously.

I also have a 5 quart, that is a dingy white, not a tilt head but it is old because I got it off of craigslist from a catering company that said they've had it for a good while but couldn't give me specifics.

So, it there is a kitchenaid connoiseur out there or possibly a an ex kitchenaid employee/historian please fill me in.

Thanks.

holds99's picture
holds99

If anyone is interested, King Arthur has marked their videos/DVDs 1/3 off.  There are some very good instructional videos/DVDs available from their site and you can't beat their marked down prices.  A while back I purchased two DVDs; The Baker's Forum - Artisan Breads with Michael Jubinsky and the Ciril Hitz - Simplified Bread baking: Baguette to Pretzel.  They're very good for entry level home bakers and also good for experienced bakers, to brush up on techniques.  When I purchased the Artisan Bread DVD it was $15.00 and is now $9.99, etc.  Here's a link for anyone interested: 

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/landing.jsp?go=DefaultSearch&stype=product&term=baking+videos&x=20&y=16

Howard

Kuret's picture
Kuret

As the bread bin seemed to empty this weekend I decided to make two loaves of sourdough, having eaten 100% rye and 60%WW bread for a couple of weeks I felt I wanted something a bit different, although last weekend I made a absolutley lovely toasted oat and honey bread. This weeks baking became a 35% WW 5% toasted oat dlour and the rest bread flour. I bulk fermented and also retarded the shaped loaves in my refrigerator until I had tome to bake them. The result was a lovely small loaf and a somewhat bigger boule with those small blisters that you get from refrigerator proofing. The main taste is the sourness of the starter and I don´t detect any WW or Oat flavor, but seeing as i regularly bake WW I suppose my taste buds want more. Sorry to not have any pics of the whole loaf but my boules often get cut up into either four or two pieces after cooling overnight, 2 persons cant eat it all before its stale so half of the boule went into the freezer.

 Sourdough boule with 5% toasted oats

Sourdough boule: Sourdough boule with 5% toasted oats

kjknits's picture
kjknits

My family has recently embarked on a "less-is more" natural style of living. We're trying to do more things ourselves instead of relying on commercial offerings. We're also trying to get rid of the plastic in our house, which is easier said than done! But baking things I usually buy ready-made at the store, I can do.

One of the things I have switched over to making at home is flour tortillas. We love tacos and quesadillas, and flour tortillas seemed easy enough to make. I remembered seeing women make them in San Antonio when I was there several years ago. All they did was roll out a ball of dough and plop it onto a cast iron skillet for a few seconds on each side. Simple!

I found my keeper recipe at epicurious, which is one of my fave food sites. I haven't tried the wheat version yet, but the white flour tortillas are amazing.

flour tortillas

I follow the recipe pretty much exactly, but I use my stand mixer to mix and knead the dough. And I divide the dough into 16 portions, then roll them out paper thin. This makes tortillas like the ones I'm used to buying at the store, about 8" in diameter and nice and flexible and thin. I would divide them into even smaller portions for tacos, though, because 8" is more like a burrito size. Then I just cook them one by one on a preheated cast iron skillet, no oil or anything necessary (my skillet is super-seasoned, thanks to our summer favorite, fried okra). I place the cooked tortillas in a big lidded Pyrex dish while they wait for the rest to get finished.

Next item on the commercial product hit-list: corn tortillas! Good thing we have a big Hispanic influence where we live...masa harina is on every grocery store shelf.

kjknits's picture
kjknits

So, I haven't posted here in Quite A While, but I made some hamburger buns the other day and thought I would share my results. I have always wanted to make my own burger buns, but the last time I tried over a year ago, they were heavy and too bready for burgers. We couldn't even finish our burgers, the night I served them on those buns! So I sort of let that idea pass away. But then a few weeks ago, I found a recipe posted on King Arthur's baking blog. I was intrigued by the method of forming the buns cinnamon-roll style, and I loved the idea of the onion swirl! So I gave them a try.

KAF burger buns

Well, first of all, they turned out beautiful. How pretty are those? The egg wash and poppy seeds really dressed them up. And the onion flavor from the dried onion swirl was really nice. Subtle, but still tasty. I added a little too much flour to this batch, though, and so they were a little more dense and heavy than I wanted. I really want homemade taste, but supermarket fluff, in my hamburger buns. So I tried them again the next weekend, added less flour (PJ says the dough should be tacky like tape, not sticky like glue, and that description helped me a lot). They were much lighter with less flour. So, I think the key to these is to avoid adding too much flour. I might try adding some milk instead of water sometime, too. It makes super light and fluffy dinner rolls, so it might also work well in hamburger buns.

(No, we didn't have french fries with our burgers that night. Instead, we had fried okra, straight from the farmer's market! Yum.)

shimpiphany's picture
shimpiphany

i finished the earth oven to the insulation layer a week ago, and had the first "dry firing" this weekend.

i've fired it twice to try and dry the insulation layer and track the fuel and heat usage, although i won't get accurate estimates on this until i'm sure the entire oven is dry, at least a few weeks from now.

on saturday, i fired it and made pizza. because of some bad scheduling on my part, i was unable to have any bread ready to bake in it, although we did use the tail end of the heat for potatoes and roasted garlic.

i'll fire it and bake bread this week, hopefully tuesday.

here are some photos:

here i am getting the fire started and losing some eyebrows:

here is the fire once it got going. after the fire got some momentum, it became a lot easier to keep it alive - wood placed in the oven would instantly burst into flames instead of needing to be coaxed. at this point, my infrared thermometer (which reads up to about 1000 degrees F) was off the charts:

the tongue of smoke. smoke means an inefficient fire. efficient firing and use of fuel is a very challenging part of this oven:

another view of the fire:

the infrared thermometer. its max is around 1000 degrees:

the themometer. a very fun tool:

here i am rolling out the pizza. i like the flat crust, so i use a rolling pin (blasphemy, i know):


the pizzas. porcini, homemade sausage and onion; and goat cheese and braised leeks. the sauce and crust are adapted from reinhart's american pie:

i'm experimenting with sizes to see how i can best maximize the floor space: 

cooking:

my father-in-law wielding the oven door, several 4x4's joined by countersinked (countersunk?) screws, joined to a 1x12 sleeve and mounted with two concrete float replacement handles:

with the door in place:

the finished product:

more to follow once i finally get some bread in there...

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone Crumb

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone Crumb

Tom Cat's Semolina Filone

Poolish
Instant yeast     Disolve 1/4 tsp in 1 cup of 110F water. Use 1/4 cup of the resulting suspension.
Water               135 gms (in addition to the above 1/4 cup)
Flour                 150 gms of King Arthur AP (or 75 gms lower-gluten AP and 75 gms Bread Flour)

Dough
Durum Flour           250 gms
AP Flour                 50 gms
Water                    205 gms
Instant Yeast         1/4 tsp
Poolish                  All of the above
Salt                      9 gms
Sesame seeds       About 2 cups

Procedure
The night before baking, mix the poolish and ferment 8 hours, covered tightly.

The day of baking, combine the flours and water, mix and autolyse, covered, for 15-60 minutes. Mix the yeast with the poolish and add to the autolysed dough for 5 minutes. The dough should clean the sides of a stand mixer, according to Glezer. (But it didn't, even with 3-4 T of added AP flour.) Sprinkle the salt on the dough and mix for another 2 minutes. The dough should be sticky but not "gloppy." (The dough was what I'd call "gloppy," even with mixing another 10 minutes at Speed 3 on my KitchenAid. I decided to proceed anyway.)

Scrape the dough into a bowl 3 times its volume, cover and ferment for 2-3 hours, folding every 20 minutes for the first hour. (The dough started coming together better after a short time and was still sticky but smooth and puffy after 2 hours in a 75F kitchen.) Preheat the oven to 400F and prepare your steaming apparatus of choice. Scrape the dough onto your bench and preform it into a boule. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes to relax the dough, then form it into a batard.

Roll the loaf in seseme seeds and place it, seam side up, in a linen or parchment couche. If using a parchment couch you will bake on, place the batard seam side down.) Cover it well and allow it to expand until quite puffy. (Glezer says this should take 30-60 minutes. My dough was very puffy, and I shaped it very gently to retain the bubbles. I let it proof for 20 minutes only before proceeding.)

Roll the batard onto parchment (If using a linen couche). Spray with water and score with one cut from end to end. (I cut holding the knife at and angle to get a nice "ear" and "grigne.")

Transfer the batard to the oven and bake with steam for 15 minutes, then continue to bake another 30 minutes or so until the bread is well-cooked. (Golden-brown color, hollow thump on the bottom and internal temperature of 205F.

Cool completely before slicing.

Comments
I have made 3 other semolina breads, but this was the first time I used fine-ground Durum Flour. The recipe is Tom Cat's Semolina Filone from Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Breads."

I used all King Arthur AP flour, as Glezer says this has the desired gluten level for this formula. I found the dough to be much wetter than I expected. I did add extra flour, as she says one might have to, but it remained a very wet dough. I was concerned it might be quite impossible to form a real batard, but, after the stretch and folds and 2 hours total fermentation, the dough behaved much better than I anticipated. It did have to be handled very gently, but I'm learning to do that.

I was also surprised how well this soft, puffy, wet dough took my cut,and the oven spring and bloom were phenomenal.

I think the result was a quite attractive loaf, and the crumb was even more open than I expected - a real "rustic"-type crumb. The texture and taste of this bread are both outstanding. The crust is crunchy with a prominant hit of toasted sesame seeds. The crumb is very soft and tender with a cool, creamy mouth feel. it has a definite semolina flavor that is most often described as "nutty." I don't know what kind of nut it's supposed to taste like, but it tastes really good.

I have been a little disappointed in the taste and texture of the other semolina breads I've made. I've not made any of them more than once. Maybe the durum flour makes the difference. Maybe it's Tom Cat's recipe. Maybe my skills in handling dough have advanced. Whatever. I'll be making this one again, for sure!

David

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