The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

After reading so much about Artisan Baking Across America I decided I had to take a look and ordered it through my wonderful local library. To my amazement I recognized it - I must have borrowed it from another library way back when, before I made "real" bread. I particularly remembered the pandoro, and thinking that the baker must be out of his mind. Has anyone here attempted to make it? So now at least I know what you are talking about when you mention Thom Leonard's country French bread, Tom Cat's semolina filone and Essential's Columbia, and I think I know how to convert my starter to a firm one if I so desire. A very interesting book but way too big to read with a cat on my lap and a pug on the arm of my chair! A.

umbreadman's picture
umbreadman

I just pulled my Quinoa Struan out of the oven a little while ago, and I'm rather pleased with the results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used reinhart's multigrain struan formula and used 6ozs of cooked quinoa in the overnight soaker. I also used Heartland Mill Golden Buffalo flour, which I'm playing aroudn with. I've used "Gold 'n' White" flour before (a high-extraction flour, meaning the coarse bran sifted out of whole wheat flour), and I was pleased with it, so I ordered 25 lbs of this to see how it performed. So far so good i think. Since it called for a substantial amount of yeast to be added for the final proof, I think it rose rather quickly, and was probably ready before I made it back home. I had to reform it and considered letting it proof a second time, but I thought it might become a mess if the yeasts were given too much free reign.

I haven't tasted this loaf yet (it wasn't done cooling), but it smells great. It looks like it would be great for sandwiches or toast. I was intrigued when it called for milk in the soaker, and I wonder how that will impact the bread.

ejm's picture
ejm

bread discs
The other day when I made grissini, I used part of the dough to make Susan's (Wild Yeast) Tortas de Aceite (Olive Oil Wafers). They may not look quite as nice as Susan's but I have a feeling that we like them as much as she does. I made ours with fennel seeds (didn't have anise seeds) and Pernod, which I'm guessing amounts to the same thing as "anise liqueur". Wow! These discs are fantastic! They are easy to burn though... But if they aren't burned, they are light and crisp, with a lovely hint of licorice flavour. (And I don't even LIKE licorice....) They're wonderful on their own or with cheese. They are the perfect thing to serve after dinner! They're also good with soup for lunch or great with coffee for elevenses. Frankly, even the darker ones were delicious. Thank you once again, Susan! We'll be making these often!
ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have been baking larger (2# ) loaves of rustic Italian formula free form recently. I decided to double the mix and drag out the large linen basket and try one more time to get the proofing right. Usually I over proof and the dough falls with a thud as I approach the slashing table with bare blades. I have been following Mariana's procedure for crusty Italian and my handling of the dough has been more on the gentle side with a strict 1 hour limit on the bulk ferment.

I had just watched a video of a french baker demonstrating how he shapes, slashes and handles his large boules. He bounced the boule out of the basket and onto the peel, slashed with confidence and into the oven. Very inspirational with little care of over handling. So I dumped the proofed dough out and slashed like I knew what I was doing and--well it worked out pretty well.
4# Crusty Boule4# Crusty Boule

CrumbCrumb

renae's picture
renae

I'm new to this and have a quick question. I have been making a natural yeast bread that is just a little lighter than traditional sourdough. I recently have been having problems with air holes forming near the top of the loaf and after it's baked there will be a big hole between the crust and the loaf. Any suggestions?

 

renae

sitkabaker's picture
sitkabaker

I am trying a new WW recipe from Peter Reinhart's new book. It calls for a very stiff starter and a mash. The 1st attempt my dough was very slack and not too much spring in the oven. Came out very tight grained and not much volume. My dough for this after my 1st rise felt good and springy. My 2nd attempt was not too good either. My mash was still warm (could that have an effect) but my dought was very lifeles after my 1st rise. It cooked off with not much spring and tight crumb. Any ideas. I feel like it could use more water? The 2nd dough was like a big dead lump!!

pretzelman's picture
pretzelman

CAN ANYBODY TELL ME IF THERE IS ANY DANGER IN BREATHING IN THE FUMES BEING FROM THE LYE SOLUTION?

dolfs's picture
dolfs

My wife loves pumpkin and so I'd been having this idea of making some kind of pumpkin bread, but I wasn't sure what recipe. Yesterday I happened to pick up Maggie Glezer's "A Blessing of Bread" and found, on page 178 the recipe for "Pan de Calabaza", a sephardic pumpkin bread. Looked good so I decided to make that. After thinking for a while what shape I would make it (3-braid, 4-braid, loaf etc.) I decided to try something different.

Double Pumpkin BreadDouble Pumpkin Bread

I call it "Double" pumpkin bread because it contains pumpkin, and looks like one.

Recipe (as computed from the original using my spreadsheet:

  • Bread Flour: 100%, 3 1/8 C, 506 g
  • Water: 28%, 5/8 C, 142 g
  • Salt: 1.6%, 1 3.4 t, 8.1 g
  • Instant Dry Yeast: 1.17%, 1 3/4 t, 5.9 g
  • Pumpkin Puree: 23%, 6 1/2 T. 110 g
  • Cardamom, ground: 0.19%, 1/2 t, 912 mg
  • Ginger, ground: 0.18%, 1/2 t, 859 mg
  • Sugar, granulated: 14%, 5 1/4 T, 52.8 g
  • Vegetable Oil: 11%, 3 3/4 T, 47.4 g
  • Egg: 9.88%, 1 large, 47.4 g

This makes 2 pounds of a 44.45% hydration dough, although I found myself adding just a teeny bit of water. Makes a large loaf, two small to medium loaves, or 1 loaf and a few rolls.

  1. Mix ingredients until incorporated (if using mixer, use the paddle).
  2. Knead or use dough hook on mixer until good development. Dough will "just" clear the bowl, and should be smooth, silky and pass window pane test.
  3. Transfer to oiled container and let rise until almost tripled in size. You can do this in a fairly warm place as the flavor of the bread is determined by the ingredients, and not much by fermentation, so no need for slow fermentation.
  4. Degas gently and shape into a ball. Give it a 15 minute bench rest before proceeding.
  5. Shape as desired. Challah type braid is traditional but it is up to you (see above!)
  6. Let rise until, again at least doubled and the dough does not come back when you push a finger into it.
  7. Brush with glaze of one egg and a pinch of salt.
  8. Bake, in a preheated 350F oven for approximately 35 minutes. Internal temperature 197-202F. If it is getting to dark, tent with aluminum foil.

The taste was delicious, with the spices noticeable, but subtle. Fine textured crumb, soft crust and very moist inside. Worked well with pumpkin soup and everybody at our Halloween party loved it (and the three pizza's I made!) In case you are wondering: I kept the teeth light by covering them with an aluminum foil cutout after about 10 minutes of baking.

 




--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures
AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

The loaf I baked today was the best yet, great crumb and a crisp crust that "sang" as it cooled. Plus it rose like crazy, and I'm not sure whether it was my yogurt starter or the fact that I now know that I haven't been letting the starter work its magic. I can't remember whether it was Bill or one of the other great mentors who said to let the starter do the work. I kept reading that soudough was slow but somehow it didn't sink in, so now I make sure to busy myself with something else so that I'm not rushing the dough. Slow learner? I cut the huge loaf as soon as I dared so that I could share it with neighbors who suffered through some of my earlier efforts. Then I ate some with soup for supper! A.

ejm's picture
ejm

bread sticks

When I read about Susan's grissini, I thought they would be perfect for using up leftovers after building up the starter in preparation for making bread.

And I was right!! I used just half the yeast in our pizza dough recipe and with the leftovers from feeding the starter, there was enough leavening power to make the dough double in exactly the same time that it would have with just yeast.

Making the sticks was dead easy, even though I couldn't quite wrap my mind around Susan's instructions for folding each strip in half (nothing wrong with the instructions - everything wrong with my brain....) So I folded them in half to make shorter rectangles and twisted them to join the pieces together.

Grissini are fabulous!! Many thanks, Susan, for posting about them so we would try them too.

I just realized that I should have stuck almond slivers on the ends of each bread stick to make them scary looking for Hallowe'en! (They do look like fingers, don't they?)

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