The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture
Floydm

Amazingly nice weather here today. Supposed to be rainy all week, but today was definitely a day to be outside.

That said, while I was planting bulbs I had a loaf rising.

I did a white poolish bread that turned out excellent.

french bread

I gave this about 10 minutes in the Kitchen Aid and very little yeast. I was very pleased with the crumb.

french bread crumb

I also made an apple sourdough bread. It was about 15% whole wheat flour.

apple bread

While I had the autolyse going I took a look in Dan Lepard's book and saw his recipe with oats and apples. That sounded good, so I quickly soaked some oats in boiling water and threw them in too.

apple bread crumb

It is well baked and not at all gummy since I accidentally left it in the oven an extra 10 or 15 minutes, but the oats and apple kept it moist inside.

Floydm's picture
Floydm
World Bread Day '07

World Bread Day is Tuesday, October 16th, a day when the bread baking guilds ask you to appreciate the role of bread and bakers in society.

For amateur bakers, Zorra is again organizing a big blog roundup. If you bake something for World Bread Day, by all means, post about it in your blog here and let Zorra know.

October 16th has also been declared by the United Nations as World Food Day, a day to raise awareness about the role that famine and inadequate food security continue to play around the globe. As I have mentioned before, I now I work for a humanitarian agency, so I must admit that this year I am more moved by the latter cause than the former. Though I don't see them as being mutually exclusive: the former is about appreciating the simple things, the health and prosperity in your own life, the latter about trying to make that available to others (speaking of which: if you want to appreciate how well off you are compared to to others, take 15 minutes to read this piece about daily life in the Democratic Republic of Congo that we recently posted on our site. Quite powerful.). Both are worthy causes.

Tuesday will also be my birthday. I'm not sure I'm going to get any baking in then, so I am doing some over the weekend to make up for it. It is a beautiful fall day... I'm thinking an apple sourdough loaf might be in order tomorrow.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

This is a recipe that Kenneth, a long-time poster to rec.food.sourdough, has posted a few times in response to requests. I made it this weekend and can safely say it's delicious. Tangy, but not overpoweringly so, with a smooth crumb that, though not full of big holes, is nevertheless a moderately light bread. It sprung well in the oven. In fact, it reminded me of some of the better Desem breads I've made. The hydration of this loaf is 68%, so one could go higher, I'm sure, and the salt is higher than usual at 2.5%, but the bread did not taste overly salty.

On a side note, I'm beginning to think my quest for holey, super hydrated whole wheat is misguided. The breads are no more tasty, in my experience, and though the crumb is more open, the high hydration has made the loaf flatten out considerably in the oven.

Back on topic. Kenneth, I believe, uses an authentic Poilane starter in his bread (I used Carl's) and emulates the high-extraction flour that Poilane uses through a combination of AP flour and freshly ground whole wheat (the loaf is about 40% white flour). He also uses 30% whole spelt flour, based on this page on Poilane's Web site.

How well does it imitate a true loaf from Poilane? I have no idea. The last time I was in France was 17 years ago when I was a not-so-well-heeled student, and today ... well, I'm not willing to part with the kind of cash it would take to have a loaf delivered to me from across the Atlantic.

All I can say is, it makes a nice loaf of bread. Here's my result:





And here's Kenneth's recipe, or at least, the version of it that I used:

Day 1, 9:30pm 474g Water + 120g starter + 236g coarse whole wheat, ferment at 69F.

Day 2, 7:30am add 65g coarse rye, 254g KA AP flour, 170g wholespelt flour, 20g salt.

Knead fully, then refrigerate 24 hours. Then, form boule, ferment at 69F for 5 hours.

Slash, then bake at 490F for 35 minutes, the first 15 minutes with steam...
Of course, I fiddled with the recipe. First, I didn't knead on Day 2. Instead, I mixed it up and then let it ferment for 2.5 hours. I gave it a fold at 1 hour, 45 minutes and then another 45 minutes. Then, I popped it in the fridge. When I baked it, I did use a preheated oven, stone and steam, but I feel certain that a cold start would do fine as well. I baked at 460.

I'll be making this again ....
bwraith's picture
bwraith

Pane Casareccio e Lariano di Genzano

Daniel Leader's Local Breads has a fascinating story of his visit to Genzano, where he saw them make large, almost charred looking, bran dusted breads raised with a biga naturale, an Italian firm sourdough levain. I enjoyed hearing about his visit with Sergio, while they mixed, raised, and loaded 64 very large loaves into a wood-fired oven. Now that I have a brick oven in my back yard, I thought I'd give a try at making these loaves in the size he says he observed at the bakery he visited. He says they created approximately 8 pound loaves that were loaded eight at a time into an eight foot long by one foot wide by about 4 inches tall box with divisions in it for eight loaves. Thanks to Zolablue for doing this recipe as shown in Leader's book and writing about it in her blog, which provided inspiration as well as lots of information and photos.

I've included some photos of the process and spreadsheets for the high extraction flour loaf in html and xls format and for the white flour loaf in html and xls format.

I only did two loaves of 8 pounds each, which I proofed in a 26 inch by 17 inch by 4 inch roasting pan, and then baked in my brick oven, which is a dome 37 inches in diameter - enough room for two of these loaves. The dough is very wet and is kneaded in a mixer at increasing speed for over 20 minutes or more to fully develop the gluten. The dough is hard to handle, as it is very soft, sticky, and puffy.

There are two styles of this bread, one with a high protein white flour and one with a high extraction flour. I used Heartland Mills Strong Bread Flour for the white flour loaf and Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo for the high extraction flour.  

Levain

  • 15g of 90% hydration white flour starter (12g for the high extraction loaf, as it rises a little faster)
  • 392g flour (use the appropriate flour for each loaf, as described above)
  • 273g water

The levain was mixed the night before and allowed to rise overnight at room temperature. The amounts are such that by mixing the white flour levain at about 10PM and the high extraction flour levain at 11:30PM, the white flour levain would be ready at 9:00AM the next day and the high extraction levain would be ready at 10:00PM the next day, allowing me to mix them successively in the morning with my DLX mixer such that both loaves would be ready to bake at the same time later on the next day. The high extraction flour rises more quickly than the white flour, so it is being mixed later to account for that difference.

Dough

  • All the levain
  • 1.6 Kg flour (use the appropriate flour for each loaf as described above)
  • 1240 g water with the white flour loaf, 1420g flour with the high extraction flour loaf
  • 5 g instant yeast
  • 40 g salt

According to Leader, the dough is mixed for a long time at high speed. I used a DLX mixer, first at a low speed to mix the ingredients for about 10 minutes, then at medium speed for about 8 minutes, then at high speed for another 4 minutes.

The dough is supposed to be very soft and wet. I had to add a little flour to the white flour loaf, as it was so wet, it wouldn't come together, even after 20 minutes of kneading. I had to add some water early in the mixing of the high extraction flour loaf, as it was clearly too stiff to begin with. Eventually, they were both fairly wet and gloppy, but with reasonable gluten development. I ended up folding the white flour dough a couple of times and the high extraction flour once. It seemed necessary to get some additional gluten development later on.

The inoculation for this recipe is 20% fermented flour to total flour weight, which is a little lower than the recipe in Local Breads (30% fermented flour). The idea was to let it rise a little longer to get more sourdough flavor in the dough. I've had better results starting at inoculations below about 25% with my starter in any event. For the same reasons, the amount of instant yeast was reduced to only 5 grams in 2Kg of total flour. My plan was to let the dough rise for about 3.5 hours in bulk fermentation and about another 2.5 hours in final proof. However, it went faster, as I forgot how warm the dough would be and how long it would stay warm due to the long machine kneading and the large volume of the dough. The dough rose almost too quickly, even with the lower inoculation and amount of instant yeast. I would consider reducing the yeast even further in a subsequent attempt, to match the timing I wanted for the sourdough fermentation with less need to punch down the dough.

Bulk Fermentation

Each dough was placed in a rising bucket. The white flour dough was folded twice, at one hour intervals. The high extraction flour dough was folded once two hours after mixing.

Final Proof

The loaves were placed seam side up in a large roasting pan measuring 26x17x4 inches. A piece of wooden board was placed between the loaves and separate couches were placed on each side of the board to facilitate lifting each large piece of dough out onto the peel. The couches were dusted with KA white wheat bran, which worked beautifully as a "teflon" dusting. After about 2 hours and 15 minutes, the loaves seemed ready. To place them on the peel they were lifted in the couche and basically "dumped" onto the parchment lined and bran dusted peel unceremoniously. They spread out beyond the edges of my 16 inch peel, so I had to quickly but gently fold the edges underneath to get the loaves to fit on the peel, which didn't sound completely inconsistent with the description Leader gave of the process followed in the Italian bakery he visited. He said the loaves were very soft and gloppy, were handled minimally, and quickly moved from one spot to another. I'm sure it was far more graceful than what I ended up doing on my first shot, but it did seem to work. The basic advice here is plow ahead, don't look back, don't waste time worrying about the shape or the tightness of it. This is a rustic loaf, after all.

Bake

The oven hearth floor was raised to about 525F and then the flame was put out, the oven door sealed, so the temperature inside could equilibrate and drop over the course of the last hour of the final proof. The loaves were dumped on the peel, adjusted minimally in shape as needed, and transferred into the oven in quick succession. The oven and loaves were sprayed with a fine mist to generate steam, and the oven door was sealed with a wooden door covered with damp towels.

The kitchen oven equivalent would be to preheat to about 450F with baking stone, and use a skillet with water or other steaming method, and drop temperature to 400F immediately shortly after putting the loaves in the oven.

The loaves were rotated after about 20 minutes, and the steam was removed from the oven by replacing the towel covered door with a metal door positioned to allow some air flow out the chimney.

The total bake time was 1 hour and 20 minutes, but the oven door was open and the outside air was fairly cold today, so the hearth temperature was only about 400F and the air temperature about 350F for the last 20 minutes. The idea was to make sure the loaf was fully baked inside, since they are large, wet loaves. The internal temperature was about 207F at the end. In retrospect the oven could have been a little hotter, as they didn't get quite as charred as was intended.

Results

The loaves have a nice color but aren't quite as dark as Zolablue's loaves. My sense of the right temperature for different situations with the new brick oven is still developing. The crumb is just what I like for both loaves, moist with irregular hole structure and a mild but distinct sourdough flavor. The white flour loaf, which may have been made a little too wet, had fewer large pockets and less crust separation than expected, given the excess hydration. As a high extraction flour miche, the high extraction flour Genzano loaf may become a standard, although the Thom Leonard Country French made with Golden Buffalo is similar and also a wonderful miche.

cougar93r's picture
cougar93r

DOES ANYONE HAVE A MANUEL FOR THE TOASTMASTER 1155 BREADMAKER?  MY STEP-MOTHER GAVE ME THIS AND SHE HAS SINCE PASSED ON AND I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO USE IT, BUT WOULD LOVE TO LEARN.  I HAVE SEARCHED THE INTERNET AND CAN FIND NOTHING.  I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT IF SOMEONE COULD EMAIL ME THIS AT COUGAR93R@MSN.COM.  THANKS SO MUCH IN ADVANCE.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I found this recipe in my notebook and assume it is from one of TFL bakers - but I didn't make a note of the name. I have to say it is the prettiest loaf I have ever baked and the crust "sang" to me when it came out of the oven. The recipe starts with 1 cup of starter and 1 cup of water and 1 tspn yeast - I used a little less instant yeast. So if you recognize this recipe, many thanks. Oh how I wish I could post a picture! I haven't cut it yet so hope the crumb is as good as the crust, A.

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

I found the recipe for these Spanish olive oil wafers in Penelope Casas' La Cocina de Mama: The Great Home Cooking of Spain.

These are a great way to use up a little bit of extra pizza or bread dough and they are really delicious. Thin and flaky and spiced with anise and sesame seeds. There is sugar on top (which could be omitted for a less sweet wafer); no sugar in the dough.

Click here for the recipe.

Tortas de aceite (olive oil wafers)

 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Whole Wheat Mash Bread Crust and Crumb

Whole Wheat Mash Bread Just Baked

The Whole Wheat Mash Bread, as described in Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads, had a wonderful aroma as it baked. Based on the photos in the book, it came out about as it was intended. The bread was dense and slightly sweet, just as described, and the crumb texture was creamier with the mash.

I included some photos of the bread and a spreadsheet in html and xls formats that breaks out some of the details.

A preferment and a mash are mixed with some additional flour and other ingredients to form the final dough. Instant yeast is used in the final dough to speed up the rise. The idea is that the flavor is already in the preferment and the mash, so the final dough just needs to be raised, which can be done effectively and expediently with instant yeast.

I used a 50/50 mix of Wheat Montana Bronze Chief and Wheat Montana Prairie Gold. The Bronze Chief is a high protein hard red spring wheat. The prairie gold is a high protein hard white spring wheat. I may have needed more water, given my flour choice. Maybe the crumb would have been a little less dense and more tender if hydrated more, which might have suited my bread tastes a little better. However, the results look much like in the photo in Whole Grain Breads and dense was a word used in the description of the crumb in the book.

Mash

  • 60 grams (2 oz) Wheat Montana Bronze Chief (use any whole wheat bread flour)
  • 60 grams (2 oz) Wheat Montana Prairie Gold (use any whole wheat bread flour)
  • 1/2 tsp diastatic malt powder
  • 300 grams water

The idea is to raise the temperature to something slightly below 170F for 3 hours. I heated the water in a metal sauce pan and preheated my oven to 165F, which meant putting it at the lowest setting. The water in the sauce pan got to about 180F fairly quickly. It was taken off the burner and allowed to cool down to 165F, which only took about a minute with a bit of stirring. I then dropped in the flour and stirred it, using a wet spatula to clean the sides of the pan. The lid was placed on the pan (be careful the pan and lid is OK to put in oven, although the temperatures are fairly low) and the pan placed in the oven for 3 hours, then removed and allowed to cool for the rest of the evening. The change in flavor of the mash from when it was first mixed until put in the refrigerator was dramatic. It was much sweeter and also quite a bit darker in color. It seemed much like gravy, and I was lucky it wasn't thrown out, as my wife thought it was just some gravy that had been left out sitting in a pan. Fortunately, she decided there was enough gravy there to warrant placing it in a plastic container and putting it in the refrigerator.

Levain

  • 30g (1oz) 90% hydration white flour starter (use any starter, white, whole wheat, rye, etc.)
  • 110g (4 oz) Wheat MT Bronze Chief (use any whole wheat bread flour)
  • 110g (4 oz) Wheat MT Prairie Gold (use any whole wheat bread flour)
  • 150g (5 oz) water

Mix all ingredients and knead into a dough for a few minutes. Place in container large enough for at least a triple in volume. Allow to rise by double or a little more, which should take about 5-8 hours at 76F or maybe 7-10 hours at 70F. You can let it ripen more if you want stronger flavors, but the inoculation is high in this case, about 40% fermented flour in the final dough, so you may find that letting it ripen too much affects the texture adversely or makes it more sour than you'd like. I found the bread to be mild flavored, and my levain was allowed to rise to about 2.5x the original volume over about 6 hours.

Final Dough

  • 122g (4oz) Wheat MT Bronze Chief (use any whole wheat bread flour)
  • 122g (4oz) Wheat MT Prairie Gold (use any whole wheat bread flour)
  • 15g (0.5 oz, 1 tbsp) malt syrup (or honey, agave nectar, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, or don't use any sweeteners)
  • 15g (0.5 oz, 1tbsp) olive oil (or use another fat such as butter, or don't use any fat at all)
  • 9g salt (I thought this could have used a touch more salt than was specified)
  • 7g (.25 oz, 2.5 tsp) instant yeast
  • all of the levain
  • all of the mash

I have a new DLX mixer, which was used for the first time to mix the dough. It took a while to get all the ingredients to fully homogenize but was only using the roller attachment. I wonder if it would have worked better to use the dough hook. The dough seemed very stiff, and I ended up adding some water. The Wheat Montana flours are high in protein and so may need more water than the typical flour assumed in this recipe. Only about 1 ounce of water was added, as I didn't want to get too far from the recipe on the first try. However, in the future, I'll try adding more water to this recipe. It would be more difficult to work with, but I've generally preferred whole grain breads when the dough was at the higher end of the hydration spectrum.

Fermentation

The ingredients were mixed directly out of the refrigerator. After mixing, the dough was at about 70F. I let it rise for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to a little more than double, then shaped the loaf into a batard and placed on couche fabric dusted with a mix of rice flour and whole wheat flour. The shaped loaf rose another hour, was placed on a peel and slashed, and finally baked.

Bake

The loaf was baked for 20 minutes in a steamed brick oven preheated to about 450F, then turned off and sealed with towel covered wooden door. The oven door was opened after 20 minutes and the loaf baked in the open cooling oven, dropping from 425F to about 350F (air temperature) for another 30 minutes. The aroma as this bread baked was about as good as I've experienced. I don't know what accounts for the especially good aroma, but the one big difference is the mash.

Results

The bread is a little dense and would be great with any sort of spread. I had put some honey and tahini on it this morning, which was delicious. The flavor is mild, but the sourdough and the mash give it a slightly sweet, slightly sour flavor that is different from other whole grain breads I've made so far. The crumb is creamy and dense at the same time. I would like to try this recipe again but with a little more water, maybe in a pan, and see what happens.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Some time ago I remember reading that someone used just the scrapings from the starter jar and it was enough to refresh ( or whatever the technical term would be). I was very sceptical, but today I found out that it is true! I decided to make Bill's sourdough pagnotta but didn't notice that it needs 400g of starter. That just about cleaned out my SourdoLady's starter plus some of my less vigorous yogurt one. Both of them bounded back quickly, and I'm a believer. I had made a note that the amount of water was too much, but of course that didn't stop me from adding nearly the full 650g. The dough was like oatmeal and took numerous foldings, including a French fold at the beginning. Never did get it to the manageable state but it made 4 loaves, 2 batards and 2 of what I tried to make into stirata. I baked the batards first and stretched and dimpled the other 2 on a cornmeal coated "peel", actually a piece of heavy cardboard. I thought for sure they would be overproofed but in fact they ended up like slightly oddly shaped baguettes. Lots of oven spring, nice holey crumb and good flavor. That's the oddities, the batards will be given away ( with fingers crossed.) A.

wholegrainOH's picture
wholegrainOH

Lesbos flatbread   Lesbos loaf

 Lesbos Barley flatbread                                               Lesbos Barley Loaf                                                          

Wanted to provide bread in ancient Greek style for a class I'm teaching on ancient theatre.  A fourth century BCE Sicilian-Greek gourmet, Archestratos of Gela, praised the honey-sweetened barley bread of Lesbos in his book, Hedypatheia (Life of Luxury). According to legend, the bread of Lesbos was so famed that Hermes regularly got bread there for the other gods. There are, of course, no recipes. Herewith a reconstruction, entirely guesswork, in the absence of anything like firm records:

Desi Indian Barley flour, in a three to one ratio with

King Arthur Traditional whole wheat flour

Wildflower honey, from a beekeeper in NE Franklin county, Ohio

Sea salt

Olive oil

Giza sourdough

 

There was no dry yeast in antiquity, of course; the sourdough used here was collected in the ancient Egyptian site of Giza and obtained from Sourdoughs International. Barley flour was used by the Greeks for everyday bread; Solon at one point says that leavened bread was only used on feast days; in Peace, Aristophanes has a character refer to eating only barley bread, with the sense being that of a diet of bread and water. Also obviously, no refined or enriched bleached (or unbleached, for that matter) white flour would have been available. I also added a bit of wheat gluten to help there be a rise, even for a flat bread—which, again, would have been pretty much the norm for everyday use. The Egyptians of the period (and much earlier) used conical earthenware pots to bake loaves of bread in; I’m not aware of any similar ware in classical Athens.

Project was fun, And students devoured the flat loaves while looking at images of ancient theatres.

Alan

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