The Fresh Loaf

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Challah Back's picture
Challah Back

Well . . . I'm new here.  Started baking about two years ago when I shaped some leftover pizza dough into a breadstick-sized baguette and never looked back.  Got into sourdough this past summer when a friend gave me a starter that had been given to her father, a dentist in Bend, Oregon, in lieu of payment for dental work, back in 1963.  Here are some English muffins the little guy helped raise.  Adapted from this formula at Wild Yeast, using white whole wheat flour.  I guess that doesn't really make it "adapted," huh?  Anyway, I'd been using a whole wheat starter and adjusting the formula to a 50-50 mix of bread and AP flour.  I like it better than the original, but the white whole wheat flour substitution is pretty sexy, too.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Oh the freezer was empty of bread.. I baked up some good old basic sourdough @100.  The recipe from the http://www.northwestsourdough.com  site.  Where Teresa now has her free download book available!

 They turned out nicely, though these loaves tended to get what I considered a little man-handled in the shaping, a dull razor slashing, and some sticking to my woven baskets, the linen ones work fine, no sticking.  I will just have to use more flour/whiterice in by baskets, until I get the midas touch, Txfarmer has it for dusting her baskets....maybe she'll loan me her magic dusting wand ;) Just having a little fun Txfarmer...thank you so much for your helpful advice!

I don't want to carry on about the steaming method I've been using with wet nuked towels in the 2 loaf pans...But Oh Man, I'm so very pleased/happy with the fantastic results and especially how all around much easier this is for me from previous methods I've tried.

Mike said, he loved the flavor and this was his favorite bread...I replied....your just a country sourdough man at heart, ..so many lovely recipes on my to do list for country sourdoughs.

 

                                          

 

                                                                            

 

                             4 - 1 lb. Loaves - one holding up the Oval loaf - 

 

                                            

 

                                                            Crust and Crumb with a little bolder bake- IMHO a noticably thinner bold baked crust, crunchy, crispy and a cracks                                                                                                                                

                      Sylvia

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Ever since txfarmer posted her recipe these have been on my "to bake' list, and once my grandgirls saw the cute "bone" cutters there was no excuse. Lily and I mixed the dough on Saturday afternoon but for various reasons we wrapped it well and placed it in the refrigerator overnight. It sat on the counter while I made the requisite Sunday morning sourdough pancakes which were voted the best ever, maybe because I used my cookie scoop and the pancakes were smaller than usual. Then Lily and I started rolling and cutting, and yes, it makes a lot of biscuits! Margaret had a good book but did stop by now and again to admire our efforts. Glad to say they are dog approved by their two dogs who inhaled them and by my elderly mostly toothless Pug who takes more time to eat one. So thank you, txfarmer, and good wishes to Ruby from the Whidbey Island dogs, A.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

So, yes, this evening we had a user get upset and try to expunge himself from the site.  For now, I have shut down the account.

Sadly, there isn't a simple way for a user to erase his or her own account and all associated content or for me to do that.  They've added that feature to the next version of Drupal, the software this site runs on.  It is the oldest feature request in the system (look at the URL... it is node number 8).  For almost 10 years people have been asking for this feature. I do want to respect individual's ability to manage their own information and remove it if/when they decide to leave, but until Drupal 7 comes out and I upgrade the site (early 2011?) there isn't a reliable way to do that. My apologies.

I don't think it is appropriate to get into the specifics about what led up to this, but at a high level:

  • member A left a rather specious comment on a three year old thread that, frankly, I should just delete.
  • member B made a moderately nasty reply insulting member A.
  • member A flagged member B's comment as offensive, as did a few other folks here.
  • I removed the offending comment and asked member B to please be more courteous, even if privately I agreed with his opinion.  
  • Member B did not respond well to this and, after first asserting that it is my responsibility to verify that all posts are factual, began the self-immolation.
  • I closed member B's account and cleaned up what I could.

In the five years I've run this site, I think I've been pretty consistent about the policy here.  If I could boil it down to four words, it'd be "Don't be a jerk" (though I tend to use a stronger word than that).  There are thousands and thousands of unmoderated listservs and bulletin boards online where the loudest and the snarkiest rule.  I'm not going to let the happen here.

It is also true that I don't believe that being right or a being a better baker gives one the right to treat others disrespectfully: there are plenty of things that I am convinced I am right about that I probably disagree with many site members about. I'm sure they are equally convinced their views are correct and that I am the foolish one.  So it goes.  If we can find a civil way to exchange opinion, correct facts, and help each other see things from the other's perspective that is wonderful, but if it is going to slide into mudslinging and name calling I will ask folks to move along and discuss something else (like an NYC cop: "Alright people: shows over.").  

Similar incidents have happened a few times before and I'm sure will happen again.  I don't hold any ill will against the parties who've been asked to leave or who've chosen to leave on their own and I hope they will respect -- even if they disagree with -- my approach and what I've tried to accomplish here.  Many folks enjoy this environment and are willing to check some of their opinions at the door, but I understand that this doesn't work for everyone.  Thankfully the internet is a big place and there is room for all of us.

Sam Fromartz's picture
Sam Fromartz

I've posted a brief review of the Tartine Bread book here at ChewsWise.com. I've really enjoyed baking with it, and wanted to show off my results of his whole wheat loaf, which is actually 70% whole wheat. Here's a picture. (I also didn't post the entire piece because I've had problems posting on the Fresh Loaf blog). 

Tartine whole wheat

Caramel's picture
Caramel

Hello,

I'm trying to buy a new mixer for bread and laminated dough. I already have a kitchen aid for everyday use, and wanted to buy a good and strong spiral mixers with a reasonable price. I only bake for my family and friends, so looking into 8, 10 or 12 quarts size for 1-2 KG dough. Not sure what kind of brands is good out there, so I need everyone's help. I was looking to Eurodib, Anvil, Univex, globe or Centaur mixers. Does anyone familiar with those brands?

Thank you..

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

It has been an exciting few weeks since the Foodista Best Of Food Blogs Cookbook has been published. I have met many new friends via email from around the world who have won this contest. My entry was Cartellate Cookies from Puglia a family recipe made during Thanksgiving and Christmas. The recipe can be found in the book and in my blog.

http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/foodista-best-of-food-blogs-cookbook-is-in-bookstores/


txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

When I buy new cloths/shoes, I tend to always wear them in the begining. Same thing with baking books, I am still on the Tartine Bread Book wagon, so here's another one: olive oil brioche. I always thought brioche is all about showcasing the flavor of butter, but apparently it can be made with olive oil (no butter) and it's a traditional bread from south of France.

I broke out my best olive oil for this one - A TON OF it too, looking that the half empty bottle, i was hoping the result would be worthwile, and it was! Very frangrant, flavorful, and soft, different from the butter ones I made before, but has its own unique charm.

The mixing process was a tad scary. Oil was added after most of the gluten was developed (just like butter broiche recipes), but the dough was literally swimming in a huge puddle of oil at first, didn't seem possible for it to completely absorb the oil. Just be patient, it took quite a few minutes, but all of a suddent, the dough absorbed it all and became silky smooth. Yes, it's still wet and sticky, just like a brioche dough should be, but very smooth. Other than that, the process is straightforward: levain and poolish were added to the final dough for flavor; extra dry yeast was also added so it's a fairly quick bread to make; the dough can also be frozen for up to a week (defrose in fridge overnight before shaping) which also makes it flexible.

 

I combined this formula with another brioche formula in the same book - removed a pound of the dough aftter mixing and added toasted hazelnut, prosciutto, thyme, and pepper, utterly delicious!

I kneaded the dough very well, hence the airy soft rich crumb for both variations.

The full recipe makes a lot of dough, I halved it, still got 1500g of dough. Other than the small brioche tete, also made a big one (500g) using my brand new ceramic mold. Went a little overboard with the egg wash (3 layers!), so it's kinda dark on top, but it's not burned. Just super fragrant and flavorful.

The formula can be found in the book, or the preview link at amazon.com.

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

German Feinbrot

When I moved to Maine in 2001, to get even - with the guy who had sold me a houseful of furniture - but refused to give me a rebate - I knew I would be in big trouble. And I was right, after two days my stomach started complaining and my brain kept sending "gag" signals, when I walked the supermarket aisles and encountered nothing but row after row of "wonderbreads".

Poking so-called rye, multigrain, oat nut or wheat breads with my finger, I found no resistance. I could squeeze them through their plastic bags and they would  spring back to their original size when I let go. Even when toasted they retained their squishyness and would not tolerate butter or jam without getting soft and soggy. 

The only place that sold some good bread in Bangor was (and still is) the "Bagel Factory". This bakery cafe was my oasis in the desert, and still, whenever I go to Bangor I take a bag of poppyseed bagels home. But great as these bagels are, they are white, a bit sweet and soft, and not dark, tangy and crusty, like the everyday rye sourdoughs I craved.

Having two warm meals a day was another thing my stomach refused to adapt to. German families usually eat bread and cold cuts either for lunch or for dinner.  German schools don't offer lunch, and Mother cooks at home. As a working mom I used to see this daily cooking as chore and a bad idea - until my daughter went to Bangor High, and had to eat at the school cafeteria (this experience made her learn how to cook, and gave birth to a career as chef!).

Finally I couldn't take my stomach's growling anymore. I started seeing bread Fata Morganas by day, and dreamt of crusty loaves by night. So I went on the quest to make "Feinbrot". The first step was, of course, a recipe. That was already a big hurdle. Nobody in Germany bakes Feinbrot at home, you can buy several varieties in every bakery and supermarket. There was none in my baking books, and none in the internet, only specialty breads, but not the simple loaf I was looking for.

And then, how to make sourdough? I didn't have the slightest idea. At a gift shop in Bangor, I found the "French Farmhouse Cookbook" and there was a recipe for Pain au Levain, with soudough. Full of enthusiasm I started my first starter, and, also, as backup and comparison, I mixed a starter from a store bought package.

My first breads, two twin loaves from the different starters and the recipe from the book, resulted in two almost identical bricks. Saving always a cup of dough to use as starter for the next bread, I kept on baking, producing more bricks on the way - my husband suggested keeping a supply next to our bed in case of a home invasion - and experimented with different amounts of rye, bread flour, temperatures and baking times, using the original recipe only as initial guideline.

After several weeks - and bricks - my homemade starter was way ahead of the store bought mix, in flavor and activity. Slowly, in trial and error, I figured out what bread flour/rye ratio I liked best, and what temperature settings and baking times gave the best results. Finally my bread had the right taste and right crumb - but the crust was either thick and and hard, or thin but too soft. Nevertheless, that was all I thought I could do - and Richard, the best of husbands, ate it all!

An open house tour with my daughter at the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, left me green with envy. Valerie was going to learn how to make baguettes - from a real French pastry chef! I went home, and, since I couldn't be one, at least I could buy one "Bread Bakers' Apprentice".

Reading the instructions I was struck by an epiphany! I had always (as stated in my recipes) just placed a cup with cold water together with the bread in the oven. And now I learned how to set up my oven for hearth baking - with stone and STEAM. Finally I was not only able to bake French bread, but my humble everyday Feinbrot was transformed, too!

Feinbrot crumb

Recipe:    http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20242/karin039s-german-feinbrot

 

 

 

 

 

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