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breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I made a half-serious resolution to bake in the outdoor oven at least once a month, and after a few weeks with subzero temperatures, and a weekend out of town, this was my last chance for February. We had a warm up all week, but it was only about 20 degrees at 8 am when I started the fire. We have a pretty good view of the oven from the house, so I was able to load it up with fuel and keep an eye on it from inside, so it's not too bad! The only problem was the warm temps created a very muddy yard, so between me and the dog coming in and out all day my house is not a pretty sight.

 

For this bake, I made three batches of bread: 2 ABAA recipes: the columbia sourdough, and Ponsford's ciabatta, with a levain-risen biga. I also made a couple of loaves of my favorite multigrain sandwich bread, my own recipe adapted from Reinhart's multigran extraordinaire. I mixed the columbia the night before, and as Mountaindog suggested in another thread let it rise about an hour before refrigerating it. I pulled it first thing in the morning, and let it warm up for 3 hours or so before shaping. The ciabatta biga calls for a minute amount of yeast, so I wasn't sure how much levain to substitute. The recipe's description is that the biga may not do much for hours, but will triple in volume in 24 hours, so I decided on a couple of tablespoonfuls of levain, and it perfomed just about right. I would probably use even less in summertime, or if my starter was exuberant.

 

All in all it was pretty uneventful, though I'm starting to realize that I need to let the fire burn down sooner, and/or allow extra time for the oven to cool off before baking. I keep finding myself with ready-to-go loaves and a 500+ oven, which is fine for some breads but a little too hot for others. Anyway my timing was such that it was consistenly 25 degrees or so hotter than I needed for each batch. I can leave the door open to speed up the cooling, but I worry about overdoing that too. I'm still learning, obviously. Here's some pics from the day:

 

Multigrain loaves in the oven with chcken curry--that turned out very well (made by my SO).

 

Some of the ciabattas got a wee bit dark. I've had a habit of taking them out a little too early, so I left them in longer--and overdid it the other way. Everything was quite dark actually, the flash makes them look just right though... :)

 

Ciabatta crumb: Not bad, but a little less holey than the non-levain version I made last time. The flavor is excellent though...

 

And finally, while finishing up with granola, it started snowing!! This wasn't expected to start until after midnight, but you know how that goes. I burned one batch of granola, and I blame blizzard conditions for my tardiness on checking on it!  We now have 8 inches of snow with more on the way--so I'm happy at home with wayyyy too much to eat.

 

 

 

Caro_'s picture
Caro_

Hi, my name is Caro

I made indifferent bread from recipes for many years, until five years ago I took a year off work with chronic illness and started making bread almost every day, first as therapy, then out of fascination with being able to create something almost living, that was hand-made, creative, artistic and useful in my own small kitchen without any fancy equipment. After a while I didn't need recipes anymore, or even needed to measure much. I borrowed books from the library and read eveything I could about bread, moving on to master baker books. like 'Crust and Crumb" and even a manuel for building your own wood-fired oven.

Then, while on holiday in Scotland on the Isle of Iona, a local hotel needed a baker fast, mid-tourist season, and i stepped in, and worked there for a year, learning an enormous amount about baking on a larger scale and to a timetable.

I've been invoved in Bio-dynamic and Organic farming for many years and always use these ingredients, if I can. I'm not working in the food industry anymore but still bake all bread for home.

I live in Sydney, Australia, and would love to hear from anyone with the same interests or from Australia !

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

I posted this somewhere here a long time back, but thought I'd post again to make it easier to find. I'll try to remember to get some photos next time I make them before they get all eaten! I may try to make these into a sourdough recipe like JMonkey did here in order to use up excess starter...I'll report on that when I do, but for now, these just use baking powder.

This is a recipe I developed about 2 years ago that people seem to love. I make it with whole organic spelt flour as I like the nutty taste of spelt - an ancient form of wheat that has very little gluten, so it's not as good for rustic breads but great in quick breads. You can also use whole wheat flour equally well but may need to adjust amounts depending on humidity. I added the whole brown flaxseeds for roughage, texture, and hopefully some health benefits, although the most benefit is derived from raw ground flax.

What I like about this recipe is it does not contain dairy - which I am allergic to (although it does have eggs so it's not vegan). It is also a little less sweet by using dark brown sugar rather than white, and is not too spicy as I omit nutmeg or clove, opting for the combo of cinnamon and ginger instead. I also make this same basic recipe with bananas or frozen blueberries or chopped apple rather than pumpkin and all come out equally great. If you like a sweeter muffin, add more brown sugar. Obviously, this can be made in a loaf pan as well as in muffin tins, but adjust baking time and temp. accordingly:

Spelt Flaxseed Muffins

 

Ingredients (makes 12 large muffins or 24 small muffins): 

Wet:

4 Large Eggs

1 c. Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Safflower, or Canola)

1 c. Dark Brown Sugar (maple syrup also tastes great as a sub but need a little more)

2 tsp. Vanilla

1 c. Whole Flax Seeds 

Fruit of choice:           

For Blueberry Muffins: 2 c. frozen or fresh blueberries           

For Pumpkin Muffins: 2 c. canned pureed 100% pumpkin           

For Banana Muffins: 3-5 overripe bananas, depending on size (I usually freeze them once they get too ripe so I always have some on hand)           

For Apple Muffins: 4 apples, cored, peeled, and chopped into small pieces 

Dry:

3 c. Whole Spelt Flour (or substitute mixture of 2.5 c. whole wheat and unbleached white flours, if no spelt available. Wheat flours are drier than spelt, so use less or mixture will be too stiff, resulting in dense, heavy, “hockey puck” muffins).

1.5 tbsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp. Ground Ginger 

Directions:

1) In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then mix in the remaining wet ingredients, then mix in your fruit of choice and the flaxseeds.

2) In a separate bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.

3) Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir. If batter comes out too dry, depending on humidity levels, flour type, or fruit size, then add about 1/8 cup of water or fruit juice. Finished batter should be stiff enough to spoon into muffin tins without it dripping all over, but not so stiff that the batter forms peaks.

4) Grease 12 large muffin cups (or 24 small muffin cups) with canola oil-type cooking spray.

5) Divide the batter up into the cups with a ladle or large spoon and rubber spatula.

6) Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes for large muffins, or around 30 minutes for small muffins. Tap on top for doneness -  they should be firm and crusty, not too soft or mushy.

7) When done, flip muffins out of pans onto cooling rack and let cool.

8) Use within a day or two, or refrigerate in plastic bags for up to 10 days or so. Freeze the rest for up to 6 months. Just reheat in a toaster oven and enjoy!

anawim_farm's picture
anawim_farm

This past Sunday I made enough dough to make four loaves of  bread using Daniel Leader recipe for San Francisco Sour dough.

  

This first photo is one of the two loaves I baked tonight, the dough having been in the refrigerator for two days.  The crumb was open and the sourness buildup wasn’t significant.  Lousy photo but the coloration was browned well, I  lightly sprayed the loaf with water then slashed, there was some tearing on these loaves from oven spring as well.

 

On the Sunday batch I used a glaze of one whole egg with a little water and a dash of salt. The coloration was nice and the crust was chewy instead of crisp which seemed to bring out more flavor. The glaze gave a nice texture and something I would like to experiment more with, maybe using just egg yoke. Even though the wash moistened the crust and I slashed the loaf.  It expanded out the slashes and tore along the side.

 

DrMomentum's picture
DrMomentum

After reading the recipe in "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" I finally got decent baguettes to come out of my oven. They even crackled as they were cooling! However, I sprayed the light bulb in my oven with water by mistake during the steaming phase, and it went "boom!" But it was worth it to finally get some success with this French bread.

pelosofamily's picture
pelosofamily

Does anyone know where to buy bulk quantities of Instant Yeast

Floydm's picture
Floydm

[img_assist|nid=2068|title=Something I took in Victoria|desc=This is just an image I took while in Victoria. I'm testing whether image assist module works.|link=none|align=left|width=600|height=450]

Image assist is the new icon below the body. Click on it and it should let you upload an image.

Still a bit buggy, but hopefully it'll help some people with their image uploads.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

This weekend was a long weekend. Presidents' Day, we call it in the U.S., and presumably, it's a day on which we celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln. I don't know this for a fact, but I'm pretty sure both presidents ate sourdough bread at some point, given the scarcity and expense of baker's and brewer's yeast. So, in their honor, I baked sourdough. And apparently, the sourdough beasts were having a party as well -- perhaps it was my rigorous application of an 85 degree F final proof? In any case, the sourdough critters were mighty happy over the long weekend.



On Monday, I made a couple of loaves of Five Grain Whole-Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread. I've never had sourdough rise like this before. And, wow, is it sour. I'm not sure what got the lactobacteria so excited -- the butter? the rye chops? the oats? who knows? -- but it is delicious, if, like my wife and I, you like sour bread.

Here's how I made it:

Ingredients:

  • 430g starter (at 60% hydration)
  • 560 grams whole wheat flour
  • 465 grams water
  • 18 grams salt
  • 27 grams butter (roughly 2 Tbs)
  • 170 grams mixed grains (cracked wheat, ground flaxseed, rye chops, millet, steel-cut oats) soaked overnight in 250 grams hot water

How I made it

First, I dissolved (as much as possible) the starter into the water. I then added the flour and salt, and mixed it up until I had a dough. I gave it a good thorough kneading of about 450 strokes, and then added the butter, which I'd cut into pats. I spread half on the dough, folded it over and then repeated it. After another 100 strokes, the butter was mixed in, so I then used the same process to incorporate the grains.

I shaped the dough into a ball and let it ferment for about 4 hours at 68 degrees. It probably tripled in size. Next, I did a stretch and fold, let it rest for 15 minutes, divided it and shaped it into loaves. I then put it in my makeshift proofbox at about 85 degrees F for 2 hours, after which it was just about spilling over the side of the pan.

A slash down the center and then 55 minutes in a steamy 350 degree oven.


On Saturday, I made another loaf of desem bread MountainDog has a beautiful post on her success here. As you can see, though, by the time I got around to taking a picture, there wasn't much left (and, darn it, the best photo I have is blurry -- ah well). In any case, I made it this time at 80% hydration, and was pleased to see that I got an even lighter loaf. Next week, I'll shoot for 85%. For some reason, the crust was not as crispy as it had been last week. Still delicious though, and a good keeper. Two days later, it's still fresh, which is pretty amazing for a lean loaf.


I had some leftover starter, so I took a bit of it, and built it into a wet starter for sourdough muffins. I played around with the recipe a bit. For starters, I doubled it. I also (in the doubled recipe) upped the salt a bit to 3/4 tsp, used brown sugar instead of white sugar, added 1 tsp cinnamon, increased the bluberries to 1.5 cups and only used 1 tsp baking soda for all 12 muffins. They really popped in the oven but, sad to say, they were a bit bland. Next time, I think I'll up the blueberries to 2 cups, use butter instead of oil, and up the salt to 1 tsp. I think I'll also use less hard whole wheat flour and more soft whole wheat flour, and go ahead and acidify the whole thing overnight.

marsa's picture
marsa

I work in a bakery and I am having trouble with either having to much water in the dough or not enough.  I know that weather has something to do with this but it is very frustrating .  Any suggestions will help.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I thought I would share my results trying mountaindog's version of Country French. I didn't have exactly the right malt as called for in the formula so I substituted dry powder and a little raw sugar for the sweetener. I didn't get the airy crumb through out but there was nice activity in my wet starter which I am nursing back to a healthier condition. It's hard to see in the image but the crust is very thin and nice and crunchy. My family doesn't care for a thick chewy crust so I was going for a baguette style crust. I baked this in my new Steam Maker Bread Baker unit (background) with 15 seconds of hot steam injected, covered for 10 minutes then 20 more minutes of dry heat. The crust is incredible! Thanks mountaindog for the inspiration. I think this will be my new daily bread. The depth of flavor is very nice. I have another batch behind this one for tomorrow that I swapped some of the AP flour for King Arthur 7 grain. The combination of caramelized grains gives this a great aroma and chew.

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