The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recent Blog Entries

  • Pin It
holds99's picture
holds99

Has anyone had any experience baking with King Arthur (KA) French style flour?  I ordered and received a few 3 lb. bags and have been using it to make baguettes (using the poolish and scrap dough method).  I haven't had as much success with this flour as I have had with KA all-pupose flour.  With the KA French style flour the baguettes don't seem to get enough good oven spring and the crust is hard, despite using steam in the oven at the onset of baking.  The interior of the loaves are a bit tacky (the texture of the interior/crumb is slightly damp and tacky, similar to what happens when malt powder is added to the flour mixture, but I'm not using any malt powder).  I also scored them and baked them until they were golden brown, 20-25 minutes.  After several attempts at baguettes; making the dough wetter, being careful not to deflate the dough any more than necessary during shaping, etc.  I went back and read the labels on both the KA French style and KA all-purpose flours and found that the KA French style flour has only 3g of protein per 30g or 10%, whereas, the KA all-purpose flour has 4g of protein per 30g or 13%.  My understanding is that a minimum of 11%-11 1/2% protein is needed to make good baguettes, boules, etc. when using pre-ferment.  My assumption is that protein translates into gluten during the mixing process, right?  Anyway, I sure would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had experience with KA French style flour---or if you could recommend a better flour other than KA all-purpose (if there is one) for making baguettes.

Thanks,

holds99 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I realize that I seriously risk tanking my whole grain cred, here, but lately ... I've been taking a shine to poolish. It'd been a long time since I'd worked with yeasted pre-ferments, and aside from an occasional baguette here and there, I'd not make a serious white bread in quite some time.

But after the New Year, in the course of just a couple of days, I made three poolish baguettes and one poolish ciabatta.

I used Jeffrey Hamelman's masterpiece Bread as a guide. I was so pleased with the baguettes, that for the ciabatta, I modified my sourdough spreadsheet to accommodate commercial yeast breads with pre-ferments, and inserted his formulas.. Aside from scaling each recipe down (I made a half-batch of poolish baguettes, which made three demi-baguetts, and a single 1.5 pound ciabatta), the only other change I made was to add a tiny speck of yeast to each poolish. With the baguettes, since they required about 1/10 gram of yeast, I added one gram of yeast to 19 grams of water and then added two grams of the solution to the poolish.

This was a pain.

So, next time, I just eyeballed about 1/4 of 1/8 tsp of yeast. Both ways turned out fine.

The biggest takeaway for me from making both of these breads is that, so long as the bread is handled firmly but gently and the loaf is well-shaped, the crumb can still be very open without a super gloppy dough. The baguettes, for instance, are just 66 percent hydration and the ciabatta is 73 percent. Of course, the poolish probably helps, since it denatures the protein and makes it more extensible. All the same, the lesson for me stands - good handling goes a long way towards getting an open crumb.

Sourdough is still my preference, but, wow, I'd forgotten how tasty a good, simple loaf of French bread is: nutty, buttery with a strong wheaty flavor that lasts, and lasts, and lasts.

Here's the photographic results. Recipes are below.

Poolish Baguettes

I'm finally starting to the hang of shaping these buggers.


I cut these in half the next day to make garlic bread and cheese bread to go with pasta.


Ciabatta with Poolish

This is, without doubt, the prettiest ciabatta I've ever made. I didn't score it - it just opened up on its own.


And an interior shot. Not as open as some ciabattas I've seen, but open enough for me. Next time, I'll bump the hydration up to 75 or maybe 78 percent.


Recipes

Poolish Baguettes (Makes 3 demi-baguettes of about 8 oz. each):
Overall formula:

  • White flour: 100%
  • Water: 66%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Instant yeast: 0.36%
  • 33% of the flour is pre-fermented as a poolish at 100% hydration with .07% yeast


Poolish:
  • White flour: 5.3 oz
  • Water: 5.3 oz
  • Instant yeast: Just a speck (about 1/32 of a tsp)

Final dough:
  • All of the poolish
  • White flour: 10.7 oz
  • Water: 5.3 oz
  • Salt: 1.5 tsp
  • Instant yeast: 1/2 + 1/8 tsp

The night before, dissolve the yeast into the water for the poolish, and then mix in the flour. Cover and let it ferment at room temperature for 12-16 hours. Once the poolish has bubbles breaking on top and has started to wrinkle, it's ready. It'll also smell ... really nice - sweet and nutty. Mmmm.

For the final dough, measure out the water and pour it into the poolish to loosen it up. Then pour the entire mixture into a bowl. Mix together the salt, yeast and flour, and then add it to the bowl as well. Mix it all up with a spoon and, once everything is hydrated, knead it for about 5 to 10 minutes, until it passes the windowpane test. Cover and let it ferment for two hours, giving it a stretch-and-fold at the one hour mark.

Divide the dough into three pieces, and preshape into rounds. Cover and let them rest about 20 minutes. Then shape into baguettes and cover, letting them rise for about 1 hour to 90 minutes. Score and bake on a preheated stone in a 460 degree oven with steam for about 25 minutes.

Ciabatta with Poolish (Makes one 1.5 lb loaf):
Overall formula:
  • White flour: 100%
  • Water: 73%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Instant yeast: 0.36%
  • 30% of the flour is pre-fermented as a poolish at 100% hydration with .07% yeast


This is all in grams, because I used my spreadsheet - Hamelman uses ounces.

Poolish:
  • White flour: 136 grams
  • Water: 136 grams
  • Instant yeast: Just a speck (about 1/32 of a tsp or 1/10 of a gram)

Final dough:
  • All of the poolish
  • White flour: 318 grams
  • Water: 195 grams
  • Salt: 9 grams
  • Instant yeast: A heaping 1/8 tsp or .5 grams

The night before, dissolve the yeast into the water for the poolish, and then mix in the flour. Cover and let it ferment at room temperature for 12-16 hours. Once the poolish has bubbles breaking on top and has started to wrinkle, it's ready. It'll also smell ... really nice - sweet and nutty.

For the final dough, measure out the water and pour it into the poolish to loosen it up. Then pour the entire mixture into a bowl. Mix together the salt, yeast and flour, and then add it to the bowl as well. Mix it all up with a spoon and let it sit for one hour. At one hour, give it a stretch and fold, followed by two more every 30 minutes. Then let it ferment for one more hour, for a total of 3 hours bulk fermentation.

Remove the dough onto a well floured surface, and pat it out into a rectangle, carefully degassing any truly gigantic bubbles that you noticee. Let it rest for about 90 minutes.

Tranfer to the oven, dimpling it with your fingers if you desire, onto a hot stone at 460 degrees with steam for about 35 minutes or so. Let it rest one hour before slicing.
Bricejacob's picture
Bricejacob

Greetings!

 I started baking bread about two years ago.  My grandmother had passed away shortly before that, and I realized that my children (all three!) were not ever going to have the simple pleasure of having her white bread as toast.  So I dug out her recipe and decided to start trying to make it.  This began my current journey so I thought it might be a good starting point and introduction for my blog here on The Fresh Loaf.  As a side note, I have *no* idea who Mr. Dugan is.  I have no idea where my grandmother got this recipe and no one in my family can recall either.  So if any of you *have* heard of this, I'd love to hear from you.

 Mr. Dugan's White Bread  

  • 1.25 cups Milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbl butter
  • 0.25 cup honey
  • 5-6 cups unsifted white wheat flour
  • 0.25 cup granulated white sugar
  • 0.5 cup lukewarm water - 125 degrees
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 packages active dry yeast. 

Instructions  

  1.  Place the milk, salt, butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until butter (use real butter) melts.  Pour mixture into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and turn the dough out onto a floured board or counter top.  Or use an electric mixer with a pastry hook.  Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Turn the mixture into a greased mixing bowl and cover with a towel.  Let stand in a warm place until double in bulk.  (One trick is to put it in an oven with a pan of boiling water on the shelf below.  Want a temperature of about 85 to 90 degrees.)  This takes about 45 minutes to one hour.  Divide the mixture into two parts and flatten each into a rectangle.  Place each rectangle into a 9.25 x 5.25 inch lightly greased Teflon bread pan.  Let stand in a warm place until dough rises to the top of the pan.  About 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Now, this isn't the way I make this recipe today.  These are the instructions as my mother passed them to me.  I'm certain my grandmother didn't initially use Teflon bread pans, for example.  Also, when I started doing this, I had no concept of a preferment, so I've adjusted things a bit.  However, starting with this recipe, I've begun (over the past 6 months of so) experimenting with varying different parts of it, usually with pretty tasty results.  I'll share some of those (hopefully with some pictures) in the next couple of blog entries. 

 

manuela's picture
manuela

Bread Baking Day #05, hosted by Chelsea at Rolling in Dough . The theme is "Filled Breads": this is my entry: Kuchen Roll with a prune-cinnamon filling

Full recipe is Here

TheTimeLord's picture
TheTimeLord

I remember a few years ago when I discovered the Fresh Loaf. I was overwhelmed with the wealth of information and friendly comments and created an account immediately. For the most part I've been silently watching from the sidelines, jealous of anyone making the time to try new things and post their foods. Oh how it looked like so much fun!

Inspired by many of the challenges people have given themselves, I've decided to challenge myself as well. My New Years resolution, and first one ever, is to try a new recipe every single day for the whole year of 2008. So far I'm off to a wonderful and fun start. I plan on baking on the weekends as that will be the only time I really have available to do serious baking and, of course, I plan to use many wonderful recipes from this site! Ones I've always wanted to try. I've had great success with the bagel and pizza recipe, I can't wait to try more.

If anyone is interested in following me on my journey, I'm posting all of my progress at www.reciperesolution.com. Any comments, critiques, suggestions, support or advice would be greatly appreciated. When I bake anything, I'll post that here too! I'm so glad to have a chance to do this. I hope I can do it!

 

-JT

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I applied a bunch of system patches, did a server reboot, and upgraded to the latest version of Drupal today. The server took about 5 minutes to come back, which is longer than usual, and just long enough to make me worry that I was going to have to spend the rest of my day emailing back and forth with tech support. Happily, it looks like everything came back fine.

Please let me know if you run into any problems.

TableBread's picture
TableBread

Happy New Year everyone!  Here's to a great 2008!

 

~TableBread

http://tablebread.blogspot.com 

GlindaBunny's picture
GlindaBunny

I've been lurking on this site for awhile and decided to register so I can start keeping a log of what I make.  My husband loves when I make the Italian bread listed under the Favorite Recipes, so here's how my first batch came out.  I melted a little butter on the top after removing it from the oven.

Italian Bread 

 closeup of crumb

Sorry about the poor picture quality.  I'm lazy and use my husband's camera phone so I can email the photos to flickr as soon as I take them.

hey's picture
hey

I have recently begun a yeast starter.  I would like to bake panettone tomorrow and the recipes indicates

2 pkg dry yeast.  How much starter should I use to equal 2 pkgs?  Should I also include some dry yeast?

 

THank You

bshuval's picture
bshuval

I've been doing quite a bit of baking this weekend. In addition to the Grape Harvest Focaccia I've blogged about yesterday, today I made the potato pizza from Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Baking". The recipe calls for a very wet dough -- more water than flour, actually. You knead the dough using the paddle on your stand mixer for 20 whole minutes. In the process it miraculously transforms from this:

Kneading the dough

To this:

It really is a quite unbelievable transformation. However did anyone figure it out? This dough, albeit wet and sticky, passes the windowpane test:

 I liberally oiled (although, in retrospect, not liberally enough, as a bit of pizza stuck to the pan) a half-sheet pan, and shaped the wet dough onto it, carefully as to not burst any bubbles. I had to let the dough rest several times in order to stretch the dough to fit the entire pan. Each time, using some more olive oil. I added the potato-onion-rosemary topping (the potatoes were thinly sliced using a mandoline, and then salted and squeezed from the liquid before mixing with the onion and rosemary). I added some more olive oil on top of the topping. 

I put the pizza into a preheated oven for 40 minutes. Shortly after the pizza began baking, the house filled with a wonderful aroma of onions and potatoes. It really got those gut juices going! Halfway through the baking I took a peek to rotate the dough, so I used that occassion to take a picture of the partially baked pizza:

40 minutes later, the pizza was ready:

 The pizza is done

I removed it from the pan (as I said above, I didn't oil the pan well enough, so it stuck in a couple of places.) The crust rose nicely; here is a side view:

This was a fun baking project!  

Pages

Subscribe to Recent Blog Entries