The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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bfrankel's picture
bfrankel

And so it begins and I am hooked! Several months ago I was taking a course in Microbiology (don't ask, it'd take too long to explain), and we were studying yeasts. As I have gout, I can't drink, so making beer was out. That left bread. I bought a sack of King Arthur Bread Flour, and on the back was a recipe for their Oatmeal Toasting Bread. I made it. And made it again. And again. And again.

My final version uses KA Whole Wheat flour as well as Bread Flour, a mixture of molasses and Splenda Brown sugar, and is mixed in my brand new KitchenAid mixer that my wife bought for my birthday.

My mother and sister enjoyed the bread so much, they bought me the KA Whole Grain baking book and are expecting many more breads and I am happy to oblige. However, as my kids really like the Oatmeal bread, that is a staple in my house with at least one loaf a week.

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

I have been making some nice bread lately.

My shaping is coming along and I am favoring shapes like ciabatta and just very rustic looking breads and rolls in general.

 

I go between rye and semolina doughs and am enjoying making Fenu shapes. They look so cool :)

 

 

I also decided whilst I was shaping to try shape some into bagguettes......not the best I must say buuuuuuut, still tasted great :)

 

Here are two batards with varies slashes

 

My lovely Rustic Rolls that went down a treat with my family

 

And after an entire day of baking, I think a well earned glass of Cab sav was in order!

 

I DO LOVE baking bread :)

 

Thegreenbaker

 

yeastArt's picture
yeastArt

This is day 5 of my first starter using recipe from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.  It is made with flour and water only.  I have been reading comments on this site and I am SO confused.  My starter bubbled right from the beginning, which I thought was great until I read the first bubbling isn't real yeast and it should go flat then rebubble  for the real thing.  But the starter has never gone flat.  Also, my kitchen is way warmer than the 65 degrees recommended for rising, so I'm not sure how often I should be feeding starter.  It's quadrupling in size after 8 hours.  Then there's the consistency issue.  It's rather thick, like old oatmeal but aerated. Should I use more water?  I've been throwing out all but 4oz of starter then adding 4oz spring water and 4 oz rye flour. Should I put the starter in the fridge?  How will I know when it's ready to use in baking?  Thanks for this great site.

manuela's picture
manuela

These are nicely flavored with cocoa and cinnamon and lightly frosted.

Full recipe is here

http://bakinghistory.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/cocoa-buns/

cocoa buns

beenjamming's picture
beenjamming

So I have been a busy little beaver this past week and fate has been mostly kind. Even though i was hobbled by last week's unfortunate encounter with a slow cooker box, I wasn't really slowed down too much in the kitchen. First up this week was a garlic and asiago cheese ciabatta built on a poolish.

Outside:

and inside:

the picture is a bit washed out but it had a nice open crumb laced with asiago and chunks of garlic. crust was thin, toasty and plenty chewy. I'd to get it a little thicker in future attemps which I think will happen if I use my starter instead of commericial yeast (lower the ph) and bake it a little longer.

 

The following day, I hit up the restaurant supply store and went on a bit of a shopping spree. A metal peel, two bannetons and an oven thermometer (finally) later, I returned, anxious to bake. I whipped up some jalapeno and cheddar bread with some levain from the day before. It looked great going in the oven, but then mr thermocouple died awfully dead and left me with a slowly cooling oven and these half-cooked loaves:

and the marvelous crumb that would have been:

The next day that old clunker of an oven was one part younger and back in action, but it was a bit too late for me. I had taken off for NJ/NYC with my grilfriend for the weekend. We found ourselve in pasticceria bruno which, despite the prominently displayed copy of Artisan Baking, took me all of a half hour to realize that this was the bakery Glezer featured in her book along side Biago's pandoro recipe. I ordered four seasons pizza and a cup of dulce de leche gelato. The food was delicious. The pizza crust was a bit soft for my liking, but the out of this world creamy fresh mozz more than compensated.

I also got a loaf of sourdough bread to take home. From the looks of the camera-shy crumb, it was about 70% hydration and have a small percentage of whole wheat flour. We ate it the following day with some herbed olive oil. The bread was subtley sour and its hearty crust and airy crumb were very well balanced. I hope to make some progress towards achieving this kind of balance in the coming months. Here's the loaf:

We got back last night and this evening I started baking for my trip on the 27th to lake placid. I'm staying in a house with 20 bread lovers so I'm planning to bring about 5 loaves with me. I made two boules to take and a baguette for myself. The dough is built on pate fermentee, 65% hydration, and had a small percentage of whole grain rye and wheat germ added. Tastes slightly sweet and nutty, with a very light crumb.

The outside, all washed out with that pesky flash:

and the crumb, which refused to stand still for its close-up. Please, forgive the blurriness:


phew. well, once school starts again i'll have something to keep me from baking non-stop, but until then I've got another month to blow paychecks on flour. This week i'm working on returning my starter to glory, and might bake one more batch of bread to take up to lake placid. I'm thinking about making some pizza with some friends on wednesday night too... we'll see.

benji

 

hildegardtschen's picture
hildegardtschen

Only weekend I have enough time to make bread, otherwise only muffins I could.

I cultured a starter using apples, nice odour and taste. The breads are also crunchy, light and soft. 

Recipe:

200g  All-Purpose flour

5g Rye flour

95g bread flour

2g Salt

2g instant yeast

40g apple starter

150g water

Now it is very hot in Taiwan, over 35 celsius degrees everyday. My bread machine could not work properly because of overheated. 

 

prout's picture
prout

Here's a big loaf I baked on a wood oven. Very tasty, and every slice has the same size, so nobody's jealous!

5kg sourdough

 

Here's a pic of the crumb:

 sourdough crumb

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

This is my first loaf from spelt flour. I wish I had pics of various stages to show you, as I'd love some ideas on why I got absolutely no oven spring from this loaf. The flavor, interior texture and crust were all good. The crumb wasn't as open as I would have liked, but not closed either. I followed the basic NYT/Lahey NK method. I've always used 1.5 cups of liquid for white flour and 2 cups for whole wheat. Knowing that spelt absorbed less flour than wheat, I used 1.75 cups for this loaf. I always got good oven spring using only 2/3's WW flour, but the only loaf that was 100% WW I baked in a pan - here - and didn't get a lot of oven spring either.

This is how I made this loaf.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1 pound whole spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces plain yogurt
12 ounces water

Combine dry ingredients. Stir yogurt and water together, then add to flour mix. Stir until all flour is moistened, then knead briefly with heavy spoon in bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave on counter for about 12 hours. (At this point I had bubbles on top of the dough and the gluten strands were quite visible on tipping the dough bowl.) Turn dough out on floured surface. Do a few stretch-and-folds. (At this point I may have let the dough rest an hour or so, followed by a couple more stretch-and-folds and a 15 minute rest. I just don't remember.) Round dough and put in colander to rise. After a few hours, it wast risen only half as well as the white flour dough in this pic. It wasn't even quite to the top of the colander but passed the finger poke test, so I hoped it was ready to bake. (That is, if I gently poked the dough, the indentation was quite slow to fill in - the test mentioned in Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.)

Turn dough out on baking stone preheated well in a 500F oven. Remove at 20 minutes as the interior temp is about 210F.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was the most extensible dough I've handled. It never did develop much resistance to my folding or shaping. Is that an indication that the gluten was underdeveloped? Should I have done a few more folds, until the dough felt a bit firmer? After baking, I remembered that I often added 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid (Vit C) and a tablespoon or more gluten to my whole wheat loaves. I had assumed that the Vit C was redundant with the yogurt and didn't even think about adding gluten. Also, salt should have been 1.5 teaspoons.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I am so close! Finally found the little camera icon, duh, but still can't transfer a photo to the server. I'll keep trying, A

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Since I wanted a small batch of these, I started with Floyd's recipe.  I also took note of MysticBunny's comment that she got the best flavor with an overnight sponge, knowing that this was very true of most breads.  To simplify things, I simply made Floyd's recipe using only 1/4 tsp. of yeast.  (I knew that reducing the yeast like this would stretch the rise time out to at least 15 hours.) Rather than a thorough mix or knead, I quickly mixed everything; let it rest a bit and then did a few stretch-and-folds.  I left the dough on the counter to ferment overnight.  The next day, the dough was at least tripled.  I wasn't ready to bake at this point so deflated, did another stretch-and-fold and refrigerated the dough.  Due to other circumstances, the dough sat in the fridge for a day and a half, not the few hours I had envisioned! 

I would have liked these a bit larger.  I'm not sure what thickness I rolled them to, but it was less than 1/4". The dough could have been a bit cool, or more likely I needed to let it relax for a few minutes.  At any rate, I couldn't roll them any thinner. I baked these for about 5 minutes, which allowed them all to puff and gave me a bit of color on the bread. The bread was delicious The dough didn't suffer too much from its long refrigeration.  Here it is, just before I shaped it.


Dinner was delicious

Everyone was hungry.

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