The Fresh Loaf

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Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

My sourdough techniques have really come a long way. This weekend's loaf was far and away the best I've made. Delicious, sour, great crumb and texture, it had it all. I used about 25% whole wheat flour.

So what's for dinner? Turkey bacon lightly fried in a skillet then put on top of tangy Greek grilling cheese on my fresh sourdough. The whole sandwich goes back on the skillet and a hot cast iron skillet is put on top to press it down. Some green beans lightly sautee'd with garlic and extra virgin olive oil, and some garlic dill pickles to round it out.

Oh, and a pint of English ale. Who's got it better than me? :)

-Joe

Nell's picture
Nell

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jonty's picture
jonty

I had one of the nicer Saturdays in a while this past weekend (thanks to a trip to Trader Joe's and the local Farmers' Market), and I followed it up by baking the pain au lait I prepared on Friday night into cream cheese snails and pain aux raisins.

Couple of things:

I have to make sure I work faster next time. I kept on re-rolling the dough for the pain aux raisins because I wasn't happy with my rectangle, and the dough started to get warm and stick like crazy. In the end, the dough was uneven, and some parts were thinner than others, resulting in major tearing. Some of the rolls were more like blobs of dough, raisins, and cinnamon.

I should make less cream cheese filling next time. After measuring out the amount specified in the recipe, I realized I had only a spoonful more of cream cheese left in the package so I threw it in. The snails ended up covered in, rather than filled with, cream cheese. Still tasty, though.

When I finished, I realized I had around 2 dozen pastries (after eating some, of course) that I would never be able to eat before they went bad. So, I ended up bringing them to my rehearsal tonight. All but one cream cheese snail were taken.

Agenda for next week: try the cranberry-chocolate sweet buns. Well, raspberry-chocolate sweet buns (no frozen cranberries at TJ's).

EDIT:  Oh, I forgot! I finally got my own instant yeast (I had been using my roommate's active dry). Amazing stuff.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Sourdough loaves

I baked three loaves of sourdough yesterday. The dough was lower hydration than I typically do, but they turned out real nice.

I also made pita bread for lunch. The kids loved rolling them out and eating them. I have to remember to make them more often.

The new job at Mercy Corps is keeping me very busy, which is why I am less active here. I'm extremely excited about being there though. It is a great organization full of great people. I couldn't ask for a much better place to work.

Squid's picture
Squid

I figured I'd start this blog to track my bread-making and encourage constructive criticism so that I can improve my bread-making skills. Feedback is welcome.

Sorry, I posted this elsewhere before realizing I should start a blog. This is my 5th attempt at bread-making. My first sourdough bread, cultivated a la Nancy Silverton's instructions using grapes. It had a definite sour taste, but I don't have any personal experiece to compare it to (other that what I've bought). My next attempt will be with SourdoLady's starter and I also have an Italian starter to which I can really compare my homemade starters.

TinGull's picture
TinGull

Made some pizza last night.  It finally got over 50 degrees here and for whatever reason I was in a major pizza mood! 

Made this dough with flax meal added to it.  Nice stuff.  I baked it on my Lodge cast iron griddle that preheated in my oven for an hour at 550 degrees.  That's why the pizzas are a little odd shaped.  but mmmm, so tasty.  Also, some ciabatta's from a couple weeks ago.  

 

ciabattas

 

Marcelo's picture
Marcelo

Bacon Bread

This is a variation of the Bread with Olives recipe. The whole recipe is reproduced here (including identical steps), so you don't have to go back and forth between both of them.

I'm baking this one tonight, so I'll make a nice braid and post the photo later.

Here's the link to the recipe.

The bacon gives the bread a strong taste, it's awesome with cream cheese.

Marcelo.

Jo's picture
Jo

well hooray, I finally sold all my loaves at a little deli nearby, it was fabulous to see people walking out with a baguette tucked under their arms. I had a huge problem last week of the bread splitting down one side and finally managed to solve it so my loaves looked great. I will continue to supply them and only charge them for what they sell, hopefully people will continue to buy. My aim is to sell up to 40 loaves per day, output is small as I only have a single phase deck oven which I have tiled with very thick pizza tiles. I use a garden sprayer for steam and can bake 15 baguettes in one bake.

pompeii's picture
pompeii

my first sourdough loaf... as i suspected since the starter was only a week old, it was not the strongest of sourdough i've ever had, but it was not bad. tasted more like a french bread with a slight sour. my family ate it up!

cream cheese snails! they came out much larger than i though they would and i ended up making ten, rather than eight, so maybe next time i will adjust the dimensions slightly and lessen the baking time. all in all though, they came out pretty good. best with a cup of tea!

pain aux raisins. i made 10 of these too in addition to the snails. i left 5 of each at home with my family and within a night and a morning they were all gobbled up (between 4 people). so i guess my family approved!

and last but not least - gingerbread dinosaurs! haha, i hand carved them all since i do not have any cookie cutters. i brought them to a party and to my surprise they were all gobbled up. i did though have one complaint. my father said they were crunchy... but i told him they were supposed to be, like ginger snaps! alas, he was just mad that he could not eat them like everyone else because he is having teeth troubles.

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Sorry that I've not been around much lately. My wife and I have been travelling quite a bit on the West Coast. We're contemplating a move to either Corvallis, Oregon or Providence, RI and have to decide within the next 10 days where we're going to spend what's likely to be the rest of our lives. So it's a been a bit stressful. We loved Corvallis, but haven't yet checked out Providence -- that's next weekend.

So, what better way to relieve some stress than the knead the bejeezus out of some dough?

I didn't take a lot of photos, as I couldn't find where we'd unpacked the camera until this afternoon, but I started on Friday with a big 2.5 lb. boule of desem bread. It turned out beautifully, though, once again, the crust was not so crispy.

I'm wondering, could it be the use of rice flour to dust my banneton that's the culprit? I love how effortlessly even the stickiest dough pops out of the banneton or couche with just a thin layer of rice flour, but since I started using it, I've gotten chewy, not crispy crusts, which should be happening at 500 degrees F in a cloche. Anyone else have this experience? I don't mean to malign the rice flour, but it's the only thing I can think of that I'm doing differently.

We took the desem to a dinner party, where it was mostly consumed. Then, Saturday night, we had pizza, which was lovely. I used the "whole wheat overnight crust" recipe from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grains Baking book. Next time, I want to try to stretch it out a bit thinner to the full 12 inches (it was about a 10 inch crust) because the pizza was a bit "bready", but I was terrified of tearing the dough, especially since I've misplaced the fabric for my Super Peel. I had to do it the old fashioned way, with a lot of semolina flour. Thankfully, it worked.

Then, this morning, I kneaded up a loaf of whole wheat caraway sourdough rye sandwich bread. It's derived from one of the test recipes that Peter Reinhart's been working on for his upcoming book (I can't wait) so I'd feel like a cad and a heel if I posted the recipe, but my version's got 40% rye, the rest whole wheat, salt, water, milk, butter, honey, a bit of sorghum molasses and caraway. I added the caraway and removed the yeast, since I figured, with rye sourdough, why not let it do its own thing?

It does it well. After 1 hour, it was nearly doubled, and I had to head to church. So I deflated the dough with a fold, and then put it in our unheated front room -- about 59 degrees. Three hours later, when I returned, it was tripled in size, but, luckily, not over-risen. So I divided and shaped it and then put it in my makeshift proof-box at about 80-90 degrees. Within 90 minutes, it was ready to go into the oven. Rye sourdough is amazing stuff.


For sourdough rye with no white flour, this is a high loaf. I was ecstatic. I was pleased with the color as well.




The crumb was uniform, but light. Perfect for a hearty sandwich. This is a loaf I'll be making again and again. Rye tastes great without caraway, but I've now discovered why they're partnered so often together. Delicious.

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