The Fresh Loaf

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redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

I'm just getting a break in the action and able to post after several days away from The Fresh Loaf. I'll never get caught up with the new content; my loss! This past weekend I made a couple of breads with long fermentations to fit into a schedule of Kentucky Derby and NBA Playoffs. I used Bwraith's version of Sourdough Raisen Focaccia with tasty results!

Sourdough Raisen Focaccia

 

Sourdough Raisen Focaccia

Sourdough Raisen Focaccia Proof

Sourdough Raisen Focaccia Proof

This was a fun 24 hour preparation and it was great to see the trusty sourdough starter work to perfection. I suspect that the moist raisens might make this focaccia more perishable than I'm used to so I'm refrigerating and popping a couple of servings into the toaster to enjoy it hot.

I also went to work on my first attempt at Pain a l'Ancienne. Reinhart describes it as the best so I aim to work at the technique and produce a respectable version at least. My product bears little resemblance to some of the lovelies I've seen posted in this community but I will continue to read your posts and tweak my process. I'm realizing that the notes and variations posted by my fellow home bakers are useful well beyond the info in the bread books. I followed the BBA formula pretty closely but at the end of the final proof it seemed to spring up and surprise me. As a result, this baking is probably over proofed. See how the slashes didn't really bloom? I think sourdough is more forgiving in that respect. It seems that I lost a great deal of gas in the forming of the baguettes and as a result didn't get much oven spring or a nice open crumb. I wonder, has anyone formed the baguettes on parchment prior to retarding in the refrigerator?

Ancienne First Attempt

Ancienne First Attempt 

Ancienne Crumb

Ancienne Crumb

 In spite of all the things I would like to improve, this bread is really delicious. I recommend eating it with chipotle mayo, sliced tomatoe, salt and pepper for every meal until it is gone!

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Mini Oven and Eric,

Maybe the world is smaller than I think!

There are some professors at Tech whom I remember very clearly.  One is David Cimino, who taught a couple of my Physics courses.  He really could draw a perfect circle, about 2 feet in diameter,  on the blackboard.  Pretty amazing to watch.  The name Hanner sounds vaguely familiar but I don't think I had any classes with an instructor by that name.  I never did meet a Bornhorst, although I watched Bruce Horst in the nets for the hockey Huskies.  Probably doesn't count, eh?

My 30th class reunion is coming up this summer, so I'd like to get back up to the Copper Country.  Even if I didn't see anyone I knew, it would still be worth the trip.  There is so much that I used to enjoy up there, like the view from Mt. Brockway, or the waterfalls that are so numerous, or the sweet rolls at the Hilltop Inn in L'Anse (had to work a baking reference in here somewhere!), or the arboreal drive on US 41 heading north toward Copper Harbor, Eino and Toivo jokes, the original Library's pizza, and more.  One of these days I need to go to the Porkies, too.

Dunno about the snow situation up there, since I'm living in Kansas (after stops in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Texas).  The alumni newsletter dropped their snowfall tracking section a few weeks back, so I'm guessing that it should be about gone, other than maybe a few shaded areas back in the forest or the cities' snow dumping areas.  My wife (then girlfriend) was skeptical about my snow stories.  For instance, at one point on my walk from campus to downtown Houghton there was a traffic sign which, in Spring or Fall, was a couple of feet above my head.  In late winter it was about knee-high.  We married my senior year and experienced a literal 40 days and nights of snowfall after moving in, which just about put her over the edge. She's a believer now.

When you were growing up in Ontonagon, Mini Oven, did you ever picture yourself living in places as distant and different as Austria and China?  Thanks to my career in engineering, I've been to places around the globe that I never expected to see outside of TV or a newspaper.  Quite the unexpected benefit of my college years at MTU.

Is the White Pine mine in Ontonagon still operating?  I thought that I had heard it had closed, but that there was a possibility of it reopening.

Thanks for triggering a bunch of memories, thimbleberries and all.  Here's a website, in case you are feeling nostalgic: www.coppercountry.com

Paul

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

I am going to have to stop reading this blog during the day time while I am at work.  It is very difficult to maintain a proper decorum while I am rolling on the floor laughing!

Old Camp Cook 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I think it was Susan that begged for bubbles. :>) Well here it is! My basic SD bread formula slashed with custom sharpened cookie cutters!

Eric

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

Hubbard Sunflower Sourdough

This is my Hubbard Sunflower Sourdough Boule it is an adaptation of Nancy Silverton's Pumpkin Bread in Bread from LaBrea Bakery.

The taste is wonderful. It has a bit of Cumin in it and raw sunflower seeds of course -and I used my last Hubbard taken up from the root cellar from last summer -under the right conditions those beauties last forever!

Hubbard Sunflower Sourdough Boule!

I am extremely happy with the shape (been working hard on that) and I think that my slashing is getting better (thanks Sourdoug-guy!). I used the LaCloche top on a baking stone for the first 20 minutes for this one - and then another 15 without, crust is great! That technique is really working for me. (I am sorry I foget who explained that one to me but you know who you are - thank you!)

HSS Crumb

Any suggestions on why the Crumb tuned out this this? This is maybe about the 5th or 6th sourdough I've baked from my 3 month old starter. I really love the taste, and at least in the kinds of breads I have been baking so far, the more rustic, country sourdough breads - I like a bit of a heavier crumb, and moist. I haven't got up the nerve to try Ciabatta, bagette, etc yet - so we will see what happens when I go there. BUT - for this beautiful delicious bread, I don't know why the crumb did this? About half way through it started to show some of these odd shaped large holes here and there.

What is the cause of that?

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I thought I had nailed the problem, but the server slowed down again this evening. Looks like it is running out of RAM. I've ordered more RAM, but it may take a day or two for it to get installed. Thanks for your patience.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Sourdough Pagnotta

Sourdough Pagnotta (1)Sourdough Pagnotta (1)

Sourdough Pagnotta (2)Sourdough Pagnotta (2)

Sourdough Pagnotta (3)Sourdough Pagnotta (3)

Sourdough Pagnotta

This recipe is a very slight variation of Sourdough-guy's blog entry on Pagnotta and Ciabatta. Many thanks for Sourdough-guy for the recipe, which he says is his variation of and Il Fornaio recipe. I've posted pictures of my process and a spreadsheet with the amounts in ounces, grams, and baker's percentages.

Ingredients

  • 240 grams fresh 100% hydration starter 
  • 709 grams water
  • 574 grams KA Organic AP (you can substitute any white AP or bread flour)
  • 206 grams KA Bread flour (you can substitute any white AP or bread flour)
  • 50 grams KA rye blend (optional - substitute white flour, whole wheat, or other)
  • 50 grams Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo flour (optional - substitute white flour, whole wheat, or other)
  • 18 grams salt

Mix

Mix ingredients until well integrated and there is some resistance to stirring. Start by mixing the starter and water together, then add the flours and salt. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes fold it gently in the bowl a couple of times, then pour it out on the counter, let rest for 10 minutes and fold the dough into a ball from the 4 corners. Turn it over so it is seams down, and place it back in the bowl.

Then, every 30-60 minutes pour the dough out onto the counter, let it spread a little, and fold it up into a ball. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and let rest 30-60. Repeat this process every 30-60 minutes a few times (roughly 3 times, but could be less or more) until the dough has elasticity and resilience.

Bulk Fermentation

Place the dough in a well oiled rising bucket or bowl to rise. It should rise to a volume that is about double the volume of the dough when you first started folding it. If you use the quantities above, that will be when the dough has risen to a volume of about 3 liters.

Shaping

Pour the dough out on the table on a bed of clour and cut into three pieces. Work with each loaf separately. Form a ball by carefully and gently pulling the sides toward the center repeatedly to get some surface tension on the smooth side underneath. Do not overhandle.

Use thumbs and fingers of one hand to pinch and hold the gathered sides over the center, holding the gathered edges up a little to help the sides stretch and the shape to become more round and taking a bit of weight off the loaf. Use the other thumb and a couple of fingers to pinch a bit of the side, pull the bit out and up and over to the center, stretching the side as you do. Gather that bit in with the first hand along with others as you work your way around the loaf. Try to make it round by gathering a bit from the place that sticks out the most.

Turn the dough over onto a thick bed of flour with the rough side down.

Final Proof

Allow the loaves to increase in size by double.

For me, this took about 3-4 hours (I baked the loaves one at a time).

Bake

Bake at 425F for roughtly 20-30 minutes until the crust darkens to a pleasing color. The internal temperature should be over 205F.

Cool

Allow the loaf to fully cool.

Results

The flavor was as good as any bread I've made. The crumb open. The crust was thin but crisp and delicious. It was a huge hit with the kids, so I know I did something right.

pumpkinpapa's picture
pumpkinpapa

I made a delicious sweet focaccia with granny smith apples sprinkled with thyme and sugar. Incredible flavours coming together. It went over very well with family and friends. I think next time I will use a more tart apple.

Thyme scented apple focaccia 

I also made a wonderful strawberry rhubarb pie with a crumb topping. I love rhubarb and mine is coming along nicely in the garden.

Strawberry rhubarb pie 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Sourdough Pagnotta With Olives

Sourdough Pagnotta With Olives (1)Sourdough Pagnotta With Olives (1)

Sourdough Pagnotta With Olives (2)Sourdough Pagnotta With Olives (2)

Sourdough Pagnotta With Olives Recipe

This recipe is a slight variation of Sourdough-guy's blog entry on Pagnotta and Ciabatta. Many thanks to Sourdough-guy for the recipe, which he says is his variation of an Il Fornaio recipe. I've posted pictures of my process and a spreadsheet with the amounts in ounces, grams, and baker's percentages.

Ingredients

  • 400 grams fresh 100% hydration starter (my starter was taken out of the refrigerator after having been refreshed 3 days earlier. I probably should have used more recently refreshed and vigorous starter)
  • 650 grams water
  • 700 grams KA Organic AP
  • 50 grams KA rye blend (optional - substitute white flour, whole wheat, or other)
  • 50 grams Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo flour (optional - substitute white flour, whole wheat, or other)
  • 18 grams salt
  • 300 grams pitted halved olives (I used calamata olives)

Mix 

Mix ingredients until well integrated and there is some resistance to stirring. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

I think there was slightly too much water for my choice of flours and maybe because of the olives, which made the dough harder to handle. This was very slack dough. I would use a little less water next time, but I'm reporting this as I actually did it.

Fold and Rest, Repeat

Every 30-60 minutes pour the dough out onto the counter, let it spread a little, and fold it up into a ball. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and let rest 30-60. Repeat this process every 30-60 minutes 3-4 times.

I may not have repeated this enough, given the very wet dough I ended up with. The dough was still too slack later when I tried to shape the loaves.

Bulk Fermentation

Place the dough in an oiled rising bucket or bowl. Allow it to rise by double at room temperature.

Actually, I wanted to bake by midnight, so I let it get a little warmer, about 80F, which may have been a little bit of a problem. I think it made the slack dough even a little more slack to also be warm.

Shaping

Pour the dough out on the table on a bed of flour and cut in two. Work with each loaf separately. Form a ball by carefully and gently pulling the sides toward the center repeatedly to get some surface tension on the smooth side underneath. Do not overhandle.

Here I was a disastrous dough handler. I way overhandled it because it was too slack and would not form a ball. It just kept spreading out quickly. Well, I just decided after way too many times pulling at the sides to stop trying and went for flat bread. So, I can't emphasize enough, don't overhandle. Just make that shape and be done with it.

I am doing a second version, and I think I've discovered how to do this. Use thumbs and fingers of one hand to pinch and hold the gathered sides over the center, holding the gathered edges up a little to help the sides stretch and the shape to become more round and taking a bit of weight off the loaf. Use the other thumb and a couple of fingers to pinch a bit of the side, pull the bit out and up and over to the center, stretching the side as you do. Gather that bit in with the first hand along with others as you work your way around the loaf. Try to make it round by gathering a bit from the place that sticks out the most.

Turn the dough over onto a thick bed of flour with the rough side down.

Final Proof

Allow the loaves to increase in size by double.

For me, this took about 3 hours. I'm still having a hard time figuring out when these higher hydration loaves have finished proofing. As I said there was too much water, and I never got these loaves to stiffen up very much. They mostly spread out on the counter.

Bake

Bake at 425F.

This took about 25 minutes, and the internal temperature went quickly to 210F, which I've experienced with these flat high hydration loaves. I didn't get much oven spring. I think the overhandling was a serious problem

Cool

Allow the loaf to fully cool.

Results

The flavor was as good as any bread I've made. The crumb was much less open than I had hoped but was soft and flavorful. I think the flatness was because of the overhandling and maybe adding too much water to the dough. Maybe another fold or two would have helped. The gluten never really stiffened up enough. Still, this was a great tasting bread. My bad for the handling, but I'm already trying a second one. I also think the olives made the dough wetter, heavier, and harder to handle. The next try will be without olives.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

It hasn't been a snowy winter, but (an unnervingly warm first half of January aside) it has been a cold winter. Thankfully, spring has finally arrived. Our New England canopy is finally greenish again, and the temperature has been creeping toward, occasionally even attaining, 70 degrees. Which can only mean one thing.

Time to bake burger buns.

But of course, I had a lot more baking than that in mind. Plus, thanks to a post by TheGreenBaker which led me to revisit Mike Avery's Stretch and Fold video and lesson, I decided to try not kneading anything I worked on this weekend.

It worked beautifully and is easily the biggest breakthrough for my baking technique in many, many months. Knowing that I can just mix any bread in a matter of minutes and then only need to pay attention to it for 3-4 minutes every hour or so is hugely liberating. With a 3-year-old, finding 3 minutes is no big deal -- finding 20-30 is a very big deal indeed.



The first bread I made this weekend was Desem, as we were having friends over for dinner. The menu I'd planned was relatively simple. Asparagus with lemon butter, golden cheddar soup (a delicious, easy soup from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home with potato, carrots, yellow squash, onion, garlic, buttermilk and ... oh yeah ... cheddar) and carrot and avocado salad.

Basically, I thought these foods would go well with the bread I wanted to bake (surely, I'm not the only one here who plans menus in this bass-ackwards fashion ....).

Here's how I made it:

  • Whole wheat bread flour: 100%
  • Water: 90%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Starter: 30% of the flour was prefermented at 60% hydration


Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour: 350 grams
  • Water: 360 grams
  • Salt: 10 grams
  • Starter: 240 grams


First, I tore up the starter into small chunks, poured the water over it and mushed it up with my fingers. I then let it soak for about 10 minutes before I added the flour and salt, which had already been mixed together. A minute or so of mixing with the dough whisk, and I covered the bowl with a plate to rest at room temperature for an hour.

After an hour, I removed the dough, which was still very rough, and flattened it out gently, looking for thick spots with my fingers. When I found them (and there weren't many), I mashed them real good with the palm of my hand. I then did one stretch and fold and let it rest again. I did two more folds over the next three hours, before I shaped it.

Here's where I owe a huge thank you to all the kind folks who gave me advice on how to avoid the sticky sticky arrgggh sensation I'd come to know so well. It turns out Bill Wraith's advice was really key, for me, anyway. The dough was pretty wet (though not as wet as the 100% hydration high-extraction flour ciabattas Bill regularly wrangles with - now THAT'S amazing), so I was concerned that I'd get a stringy, gluey, sticky mess when I tried to turn it out of the proofing basket and onto the peel. But Bill had suggested dusting the loaf before placing it in the well-floured banneton. I did, and it worked. I used a 50-50 mix of white rice flour and whole wheat flour for dusting and, I'm happy to say, the loaf popped right out. Amazing. Thanks Bill, and everyone else.

I turned the dough out onto parchment on my peel, and then loaded it directly onto a hot stone at 460 degress F, which I promptly covered with the top half of my cloche. After 30 minutes, I uncovered it and let it bake for another 20 minutes.



The crumb was more open than it was a 85%, but still not as open as the beauties that Mountaindog and Jane pulled from their ovens. I'm wondering whether it's my dough handling? Perhaps I'm being too rough shaping the dough into a boule? Mountaindog, could you describe (or even better, video) how you shape your dough? I'm beginning to think that's the key to how you get such a beautiful crumb structure.

Nevertheless, I was the only one who was a bit disappointed. The flavor was everything I could have hoped for from a Desem loaf. One of our friends thought it had to have some rye in it.

On Sunday, I made sourdough waffles that came out ... very strange. The salt apparently didn't blend into the dough, which resulted in waffles that were mostly bland, except for pockets of pretzel-like saltiness. Unappealing, to say the least. I'm not sure what I did wrong, as I thought I'd blended the salt well. Guess I didn't. Anyone else ever have this problem? Pretzel-waffles are a concoction I can't recommend to anyone.

After church, I took a trip to Debra's Natural Gourmet in Concord to pick up another 50 lb bag of hard red spring wheat. It's a bit of a hike, but worth it - it's the only place I can get big bags of wheat berries in Boston that I know of, and it's relatively cheap. Just less than 50 cents a pound for organic berries.

So, in the afternoon, I made Kaiser rolls (gonna grill turkey burgers tomorrow night - yum) and some sourdough sandwich bread.

First though, we had to have dinner. Earlier in the day, I'd pulled a sourdough pizza doughball from the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw. Around 4pm, I put it on the counter and, after a trip to the park with Iris, came back to make the sauce, grate the cheese, chop the toppings and make the pizza. I was a bit concerned, since this doughball had been in the freezer for one month, but it turned out well, as you can see below.

.
I'm not sure why the cheese bubbled up to cover the toppings (roasted bell peppers, sliced turkey sausage and black olives) but it tasted fine, anyway. I used a new brand of feta, so maybe that's it?



The whole wheat Kaiser rolls turned out really well, though I made them wetter than I'd intended because I didn't compensate adequately for the eggs. I didn't do the Kaiser roll fold, though - I just tied them in an knot. My daughter wanted me to play dominoes (the knock-down kind, not the boardgame), so I didn't have time for anything really fancy.

Last, the whole wheat sourdough sandwich dough.



I used the stretch-and-fold method with both the rolls and the sandwich bread, and, I've got to say, the dough was at least as well developed as it is when I knead, and may have been even better. The only change I made to the recipe was to melt the butter for easy incorporation. From now on, I'll be much less kneady guy.

I thought I'd leave you with one more photo, just to prove that I don't do all the baking in the house. While I went to get grains (btw, I bought 6 lbs of spelt berries while I was there. I can't WAIT to try them out!), Aurora and Iris made brownies!



I used to lick the spoon in exactly the same way when my Mom made brownies.

Heck, when no one's looking, I still do.

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