The Fresh Loaf

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umbreadman's picture
umbreadman




 

This is my High Extraction loaf I made the other day. I'm finally understanding the idea of a full bakeand cooling before eating. In the past I'd think it was done baking, only to find the loaf soft and lacking in crust shortly afterwards. This one though had a nice crunchy crust (a little thick onthe bottom) with a solid, hearty crumb. Chewy, not too dense, and definately not too airy to be lacking in stubstance, very satisfying.

If I remember correctly, this was (for 2 loaves)

3 lbs Heartland mill golden buffalo flour (a high extraction flour)

75% * 3lbs tap water (add most to flour/salt for 1hr autolyse, add rest with starter dissolved in it afterwards)

~.7 oz salt

a few tablespoons of starter dissolved in the water

 

I've been taking a rather lax approach to refreshing my starter right before use, which I know is a recommended method. Generally, I've been taking my starter out of the fridge, mixing it in lukewarm/warm water, and adding it straight to the dough/autolyse. Since gas always escapes my sealed starter jar when I take it out, I take that as a sign that it is still active, and assumed that the flour in the final dough would be enough food for it to rise the dough. I do this partly because I'm impulsive, and partly because it's just more convenient... One day I plan on doing a side by side comparison straight starter addition vs. refreshed starter/sponge in a final dough to see if there's a difference. (any comments on this would be nice).

Ultimately though, a very tasty, smooth bread. No sweeteners, nothing. Very nice. I think I like this flour a lot, since it combines the best of white and whole wheat flours in terms of taste, nutrition, and texture.

u.m.breadman

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

Work has kept my bread making to a minimum the past few months. Visiting all of you at TFL this evening has me pulling the starters out of the fridge and shopping for food grade lye once again. With my family on the road I like to make pretzels just for me. I've been using a boiling water bath with baking soda but I used a link I found here for www.aaa-chemicals.com in Houston Texas and found that they will be offering free shipping November 19th - 23rd. The lye is 8.99 for 2# (the smallest quantity they offer) and regular shipping is 11.99 minimum. If I can wait, I'll avail myself of that window of opportunity, irresistable to internet shoppers, free shipping!

My favorite recipe I've adapted from one posted by the American HomeBrew Association. They require drinking a homebrew (can we substitute a microbrew?) both before and after the pretzel making steps.

4 1/2 tsp of saf-instant yeast

1 1/2 C warm water

2 T sugar

1 tsp salt

4 C high gluten flour

2 T powdered buttermilk

1 well beaten egg

Margarita salt

Preheat oven to 450. Cover a baking sheet with parchment and lightly spray with oil. Disolve yeast in warm water, add sugar. Mix salt, flour and buttermilk powder in the mixer or by hand. Add the liquid and mix for 5-10 minutes with the dough hook or knead by hand. Let dough rest and hydrate for about 10 minutes. I divide the dough roughly into six pieces and roll between my palms into a rope about 18" long. Form the pretzels and give the ends a little pasting down by dipping your fingertips in water and pinching the overlapping dough a bit. Disolve 4 tsp baking soda in 4 C water and bring to a boil. I use tongs to dip the pretzels, one at a time, into the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes turning once. Dry them a bit with paper towels as they come out of the water bath and arrange them on the oiled parchment. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes or until a deep brown. I've learned that darker is better to my taste.

I have experimented with using other bread doughs to make pretzels with mixed results. I think you need a fairly high protein formula and really active yeast to stand up to all the handling and the water bath. One of my pretzel recipes says that as good as pretzels are hot from the oven they are very bad cold and don't reheat well. I don't agree. I store cooled pretzels in a zip-lock and toast them one or two a day in my wide slot toaster. De-lish! The perfect bread-for-one.

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Today I decided it was time for a serious try at baguette and epi.

Baguette and EpiBaguette and Epi

I made a straightforward french dough (68% hydration) and did not knead, but used the stretch and fold approach, both to develop the dough, and part way through bulk fermentation. I made two demi-baguettes and one epi. Unlike all my previous baking, today I used the convection mode which gave a very even browning of the bread (also used baking stone and steam of course). The crust was crackling, which was also a first for me. Way cool to hear that. It all resulted in a very thin but crispy crust and a very tender inside with nice crumb and decent holes.

Baguette and Epi crumbBaguette and Epi crumb 

 




--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

These small baguettes are made with semolina flour. They weren't supposed to have pine nuts but I ran out of currants and had to improvise. It turns out the pine nuts were pretty good.

Semolina Bread with Fennel, Currants & Pine Nuts

The recipe for the bread is here.

susanfnp

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

As many of you know, I've been questing for a tasty, open crumb, 100% whole grain hearth bread for a long, long time now.

This weekend, I finally achieved my goal.



Nice open crumb, creamy texture, tangy and flavorful crumb, appealing slashes, crunchy crust.

Here's how I made it, and, to be truthful, it was mostly on a whim. The day before, I'd made some whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread, and had about 80 grams of starter left over. I didn't have time, really, to feed it, so I popped it in the fridge figuring I'd do something with it later.

The next evening, as I was thinking about what to cook for a visit from my folks (they'd come all the way from Atlanta, so I wanted something nice), I thought, "Why not try something akin to CrumbBum's miche?"

So here's what I did:

  • 40 grams of whole wheat starter at 60% hydration (Use 50 grams if at 100% hydration)
  • 375 grams water
  • 10 grams salt
  • 300 grams whole wheat flour
  • 150 grams whole spelt flour
  • 50 grams whole rye flour
So basically, its roughly 5 percent of flour in the starter, with a 60-30-10 wheat / spelt / rye flour combination at 75% hydration.

I mixed the starter into the water, added the salt until it was dissolved, and then stirred in the flour. I then did a stretch and fold at one hour, and then two more at half hour intervals. After the last stretch and fold, I shaped it into a ball, and let it sit overnight.

It's pretty chilly in our house at night, getting down to 63 degrees F, so your mileage may very, but the dough was ready to shape after about 12 hours. I preshaped it into a ball, shaped the dough into a batard after a 15 minute rest, wrapped it in baker's linen and then let it rise at 64 degrees for about 3.5 hours. After that, a few slashes and into a hot oven at 450 for 35 minutes.

I think the final piece that came into place for me was shaping gently, but firmly. And I suspect that the long fermentation helped with both flavor and texture. Anyway, I hope I can repeat this success.
JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I love apples, and, at the Corvallis farmer's market, apples have been abundant lately. Everything from relatively new varieties like Liberty, to old varieties like Spitzenburg, to unusual European apples that are rarely seen in the U.S. like Calville Blanc, a very old French apple best suited for pies.

I decided that the height of the apple season deserved an apple-themed meal, whose centerpiece, of course, would be Normandy Apple Bread, a recipe from Jeffrey Hammelman's Bread that I've been eyeing for quite some time. The recipe is fairly simple. It's mostly white flour, with a bit of whole wheat, uses sourdough, substitutes half the water with apple cider and adds a healthy amount of dried apples. It also includes yeast, but I decided to omit it and let the starter work all alone.

I can heartily recommend it, based on my results:



And here's a picture of the crumb:.

The baked bread tasted almost like an apple pie, with the sourdough tartness substituting for the lemon juice I often add to a pie.

The rest of the meal included butternut squash stuffed with chicken sausage and apples, spinach salad with pecans and apples, apple cider and, of course ...

APPLE PIE. This is the "Best Apple Pie" recipe from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, but, instead of a traditional top crust, I decided to do a simple crumb topping. My daughter, Iris, is in the background, finishing off a slice of apple bread. She's had some fun with face paints earlier in the day, as you can see.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

After reading so much about Artisan Baking Across America I decided I had to take a look and ordered it through my wonderful local library. To my amazement I recognized it - I must have borrowed it from another library way back when, before I made "real" bread. I particularly remembered the pandoro, and thinking that the baker must be out of his mind. Has anyone here attempted to make it? So now at least I know what you are talking about when you mention Thom Leonard's country French bread, Tom Cat's semolina filone and Essential's Columbia, and I think I know how to convert my starter to a firm one if I so desire. A very interesting book but way too big to read with a cat on my lap and a pug on the arm of my chair! A.

umbreadman's picture
umbreadman

I just pulled my Quinoa Struan out of the oven a little while ago, and I'm rather pleased with the results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used reinhart's multigrain struan formula and used 6ozs of cooked quinoa in the overnight soaker. I also used Heartland Mill Golden Buffalo flour, which I'm playing aroudn with. I've used "Gold 'n' White" flour before (a high-extraction flour, meaning the coarse bran sifted out of whole wheat flour), and I was pleased with it, so I ordered 25 lbs of this to see how it performed. So far so good i think. Since it called for a substantial amount of yeast to be added for the final proof, I think it rose rather quickly, and was probably ready before I made it back home. I had to reform it and considered letting it proof a second time, but I thought it might become a mess if the yeasts were given too much free reign.

I haven't tasted this loaf yet (it wasn't done cooling), but it smells great. It looks like it would be great for sandwiches or toast. I was intrigued when it called for milk in the soaker, and I wonder how that will impact the bread.

ejm's picture
ejm

bread discs
The other day when I made grissini, I used part of the dough to make Susan's (Wild Yeast) Tortas de Aceite (Olive Oil Wafers). They may not look quite as nice as Susan's but I have a feeling that we like them as much as she does. I made ours with fennel seeds (didn't have anise seeds) and Pernod, which I'm guessing amounts to the same thing as "anise liqueur". Wow! These discs are fantastic! They are easy to burn though... But if they aren't burned, they are light and crisp, with a lovely hint of licorice flavour. (And I don't even LIKE licorice....) They're wonderful on their own or with cheese. They are the perfect thing to serve after dinner! They're also good with soup for lunch or great with coffee for elevenses. Frankly, even the darker ones were delicious. Thank you once again, Susan! We'll be making these often!
ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have been baking larger (2# ) loaves of rustic Italian formula free form recently. I decided to double the mix and drag out the large linen basket and try one more time to get the proofing right. Usually I over proof and the dough falls with a thud as I approach the slashing table with bare blades. I have been following Mariana's procedure for crusty Italian and my handling of the dough has been more on the gentle side with a strict 1 hour limit on the bulk ferment.

I had just watched a video of a french baker demonstrating how he shapes, slashes and handles his large boules. He bounced the boule out of the basket and onto the peel, slashed with confidence and into the oven. Very inspirational with little care of over handling. So I dumped the proofed dough out and slashed like I knew what I was doing and--well it worked out pretty well.
4# Crusty Boule4# Crusty Boule

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