The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture
Floydm

I walk out the door and all hell breaks out here, eh? Thank you JMonkey for doing your best to stay on top of it. I owe you a bottle of wine.

The people spammer has been banned and I've deleted all of the old people spams.

SD Guy has been banned. His ISP has been banned. Every IP he has ever used has been banned. I'm sure he'll figure out a way to sneak around it, but he is banned for good this time. As soon as I figure out it is him, I will kill the account again.

This is the fourth time he has been banned.

I have bent over backwards to try to accomodate him. He is the only person I've had to ban (except for plain old spammers). I don't even think I've had to ask anyone else to mellow out but once or twice. Every drama on this site that has happened in the past year has involved him. The rating feature, which took me a weekend to program, was one attempt to try to accomodate him. So was redoing the front page and the comments list to allow multiple conversations to occur simultaneously. It isn't worth it. I won't allow that kind of vemon on this site even if the baker wins the James Beard Award. That does not mean I hate him or have it out for him, but that won't go here.

I know he has at many times (most even) been helpful. People who still want to ask him questions can find him on rec.food.sourdough. I don't think it will take you long to figure out which user he is.

zumnoor's picture
zumnoor

Hi

I've been searching for bread bowl recipes and have not been so successful. Somehow, the recipes that I came across  don't seem foolproof and I have no confidence baking them. I've found many recipes on this site super reliable and if someone can share a good recipe for bread bowls, it'd be much appreciated. Winter is approaching and my family would love to slurp our soup from a bread bowl. Also a recipe for kugelhoph is much more appreciated. Thank you to all who respond to this.

smartdog's picture
smartdog

This is my fourth challah. I decided to stray from the traditional braid "out of a pan" to braiding first, then letting it rise in the pullman pan today. I am pleased so far. It's hot out of the oven, so I will post the cut picture later this evening. ;)

 Challah loaf

Luv4Country Soaps
 http://www.luv4country.com/catalog

browndog's picture
browndog

vienna rye w/ beer & cardamom

Yesterday was a spring day so pretty it made your heart hurt, sunny after days of storm, air so sweet and gentle on your skin it made you feel five years old. I baked a Vienna rye to use up leftover beer (yes, leftover beer) and tried my hand at pain rustique, which other people have dispatched so credibly around here. Having also lately tiptoed into Ciabatta territory, I'm amazed to find myself not utterly defeated by these somewhat wetter doughs, in fact there's a real charm to their water-balloon nature. Like picking up worms or climbing on a plane, I feel I've faced a demon and survived. Texture and consistent results are still birds in the bush but this handful of feathers has got me feeling jaunty..

 

 

 

 

 

smartdog's picture
smartdog

My first attempt at using my new KAF pullman loaf pan. The recipe I used was their insert that came with the pan. It's cooling as I type this, so I won't have cut pics till sometime tomorrow.

pain de mie loaf

pain de mie 2

Bryna
Luv4Country Soaps

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Many a Sunday my wife and son buy a boule at the local farmer's market which they call Spinach Cheese Bread, even though it has lots of other veggie stuff in it too. They like it, so for last week's baking session I decided to try and make my own.

First problem was no recipe available on the Internet that seemed to make what I wanted. So I had to make my own. I decided to use frozen chopped spinach, mild gouda cheese (what else to expect from a Dutchman), and I also wanted to have a portion of whole wheat flour in it. I've made whole wheat bread before and using a poolish did wonders for my schedule as well as for the dough and overall taste. So, I decided this one was to use a poolish too!

I've also been working on a spreadsheet the allows me to do all baker percentage calculations (helps with recipe scaling and design). While I was at it, I added an ingredient database to it with cost information, hydration information and specific gravity for ingredients so I can correctly convert weight measurements to volumes for those we like to bake that way. You'll find a PDF of this recipe here.

A few words about the spreadsheet

The spreadsheet's yellow cells is where you input your desired values (this includes ingredients). A "Y" in the "Pre" column indicates an ingredient that is part of a preferment. A "P" indicates an ingredient that is a separately created preferment. Although there are different options for baker's percentages when using preferments, I have chosen to express everything as percentages of dough in the overall recipe. Note that tap water temperature, mixer friction and baking loss are specific to my situation (and an estimate I am still refining for each type of bread for the loss, mostly evaporation, and friction).

The component temperatures are to be entered on the bottom, if you want to be precise with final dough temperature. If necessary it will calculate how much ice to add to the water if it needs cooling (rarely the case in my home baking). The spreadsheet automatically adjusts for the number of components that have a temperature specified so if you do not enter a value for the preferment (presumably because you are not using one), the factor will be 3 instead of 4.

Some measurements in the "US Weight" column are given in tablespoons etc. The spreadsheet does this if the actual value as a weight becomes so small that, with most scales, you can not accurately measure. Since I have (pretty accurate) specific gravity values for the ingredients, I can quite reliably (subject to all the fallacies of measuring volumes: packed, spooned, shifted) give the volume. I use a scale accurate to 1 gram myself, but for these small amounts, a small measuring spoon workds great (I have a set for dashes, smidgens, and pinches as well).

Hydration is calculated by computing the water content of all ingredients that are composed 50% or more of water and adding them up. That catches water, milk, eggs etc., but does not count water content in dough. Cost is based on a home baker buying pretty regular ingredients in a super market. The exception is that I use KA prices for my flour as I will not use the cheap stuff.

The recipe

Making the poolish is straightforward. I make it the night before and leave it on the counter (about 68F), and it'll be close enough to ready the next morning around 11AM. The amount of final dough in this recipe is about right for an 8" banneton (scaled up from what I used to make the one in the picture above, which got misshaped whe inverting onto the peel). Nevertheless, it is borderline not enough to knead properly in my KitchenAid so I finish with manual labor.

In the last minute or two of kneading I add the cheese (room temperature, cubed in 1/4" pieces), and spinach. I made the mistake of not squeezing enough water out of the thawed spinach, so my dough got too wet and I had to add flour (not represented in the recipe because you should squeeze it out).

Next bulk ferment, about 90 minutes in my case. I did a fold about half way through. Next degas and preshape. Twenty minutes relaxing and final shaping.

I preheated oven at 500F, with water for pre-steam added in a baking pan in the last few minutes. Invert the bread out of the banneton onto parchment paper on the peel. Scored in a \ | / pattern, a sprayed with water. Into the over on baking stone, more water in the pan for steaming. Spray oven walls with water twice, 30 seconds apart after putting loaf in the oven. Then reduce to 475F.

Baked for a total of 35 minutes, oven vented for last 10. Here was the result.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I baked quite a bit this weekend, but, though it may seem I did nothing but bake, I really didn't. The nice thing about baking, especially now that I'm using the stretch and fold technique instead of traditional kneading, is that there's actually very little hands-on time required, except for bagels -- I'm sure it would work, but I don't want them to ferment that long before popping them in the fridge. So I still sometimes need to knead.

Saturday morning, we had sourdough whole wheat bagels. This time, though, I used a wet, 100% hydration starter. I think the sourdough tang was more pronounced, but it could very well be that I tasted what I expected to taste.

Later that evening, we had Desem bread. This loaf was not my best. Once again, I put the loaf on a hot stone and put the bell top the cloche over it. Once again, I pinched the edge of the loaf, which gave me a flat, burnt edge and prevented full oven spring. Still, it was tasty and the crumb was relatively open. It went beautifully with the broccoli, red pepper and cheddar chowder. Also, I highly recommend this recipe for baked peas.



That evening, I made two loaves of our weekly sourdough sandwich bread. %&*#$@Qing bread STUCK on me. Well, just one loaf. And it didn't rip in half, it just sort of opened up the side a bit. Salvagable. I knew I wasn't being thorough enough greasing the pan. That'll teach me.

Today, I had to be a bit creative. I was eager to make a recipe for Spelt Focaccia from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grains Baking book. But I also had a meeting directly after church for our environmental committee.

I had a plan.

I packed the biga, all the dry ingredients in a big Tupperware, and a small Tupperware with the wet ingredients. Then, just before the meeting, I mixed it all up. After the meeting was done, I folded it, put it in the back of the wagon, and hauled the dough and my daughter back to the house (it's less than a mile away). Mission accomplished. The topping: roasted onions and olives.



I paired it with a simple salad and cream of asparagus soup.

The focaccia was good, though next time, I'll use plain olives instead of kalamata. Far too salty.

Next week, my folks are up and we're heading to Providence, RI, to try Al Fourno, the birthplace of grilled pizza! I'll report back. (Last week, btw, I visited the Cheese Board in Berkeley, Calif., which makes just one type of pizza every day. A real hole in the wall joint, with a sourdough crust. I loved the place -- we bought a bottle of wine and sat down in one of the six chairs they've got beside the three-man jazz band playing that night. The pizza? Eh. Was OK, but I wasn't wowed.)

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I have been spending waaaay too much time reading all of the interesting comments and hints - love the way people jump in to help. So I decided I have to try to do this "blog" thing - my kids think it is hysterical that Nana is learning such skills. Hope you will bear with me. I made a loaf of nkb today, using 1 cup of white whole wheat and 2 of bread flour (both King Arthur.) My dough was slightly firmer than the last loaf so the folding and shaping was easy. I placed the ball of dough on a square of parchment and dropped it into my banneton, and placed that on top of my propane stove which has the pilot light on still. I have tried several baking containers and have gone back to my stainless steel Dutch oven. I bought a Lodge preseasoned one and got charred bottom crusts each time, and I even bought a wide terracotta flower pot which worked well as long as I remembered the square of parchment over the hole! I was getting gummy crumb and scorched crusts when I tried to bake the bread for a longer time. I also figured I was dropping the dough and deflating it, hence the square of parchment paper. Now I lift the paper and gently lower it into my heated pot - great oven spring and no more gummy crumb. I am pre-heating to 450* and baking for 30 minutes with the lid on, then lowering to 400* for another 20 minutes. The crumb isn't as "holey" with the bread flour but the flavor is good. In case you think I only make the blob in the pot as I think someone called it, last week I made Mike Avery's Micha ( I think) bread using the stretch and fold method he shows on his video. What fun, and so delicious.

Maybe I should have introduced myself first? I am retired and live on Whidbey Island near Seattle. I have a senior one eyed Pug and recently adopted a senior Bengal cat from WAIF, the shelter here on Whidbey. Plus we live in a senior park. My only 2 grandchildren are here, and they LOVE Nana's bread. My son here is building their house and my daughter-in-law is the gardener on a large private estate. My other son lives in Paso Robles, CA, and I recently sent him some of my sourdough starter. He seems to be having fun with it and impressing his friends - they made pizzas last week. Not quite sure what the rules are about rambling. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy The Fresh Loaf, thank you.

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Oh well...

After reading so much about people's love of the Thom Leonard country French bread, I decided to try it, following the steps in mountaindog's post. Here's the breakdown:

Starter: Early Thursday, I began the rye starter with a generous teaspoon of my active white starter, 1 T. dark rye and 1 T water; fed it the same rye and water amounts almost 6 hours later - had good bubbles at that point. Just before bed, discarded half of it, and fed same amounts again. Friday at about 6:45 a.m., I fed it 50g each of rye and water, without dumping anything. It doubled in 3 hours and was very bubbly!

Rye Starter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Levain: I mixed the levain at 7:00 p.m. Friday. The starter had not moved up or down, and I wonder if I should have feed it once more; the instructions say you can feed the starter up to 12 hours before mixing the levain, so I thought I was in the ballpark. Next morning, Saturday, the levain looked like this at about 6:40 a.m. (no such thing as sleeping in with a toddler in the house):

 

TL Levain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, looks good! I began mixing the dough around 7:00. I added no extra flour to knead, which I did for 10 minutes, then 5 more minutes after adding the salt. The dough was pretty firm, not sticky at all. I think mountaindog said it felt like piecrust dough to her, and I agree. Rested the dough for 30 minutes, then did the 3 S&F cycles with 30 minutes between each. The dough was easy to stretch out, but it felt like nothing much was happening until the 3rd cycle, when it began to feel like there was some growth going on. Then it sat in the bowl for the remaining 90 minutes, at about 69F.

 

Resting and Shaping: I divided the dough into 2 balls, and rested them for 15 minutes, then further shaped into boules and set them on parchment to proof (I don't have bannetons), on a baking stone. Heard plenty of bubbles popping as I tried to gently increase the tension.

 

Proofing: OK, here's where I deviated a little (busted!). I wanted to make sure the bread was baked before we went to a friend's house for dinner (pizza, go figure). So I used the proofing cycle in my oven, set to 85F. Covered the dough with oiled plastic, and set timers to check once an hour. After two hours, a small tragedy began to unfold:

whoops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dough had outgrown the stone; it felt nice and light, though. The top one in the picture is mangled because I had started to try to rescue it, then (in true Fresh Loaf fashion) thought to grab the camera for posterity. At first, I had dough damage panic, then I started to chuckle sort of oddly, and thought "Wait, I really meant to make oblong loaves...yes, that's right! Oblong!"

 

TL reshaped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...show's over, go on about yer business, folks...back in the warm oven they went for another hour (3 hours total proof).

 

Bake: Since mountaindog has posted about baking this bread from a cold start, I did that too. Set the oven to 425F and made some of the ugliest slashes I've done recently...too ugly to photograph in the raw. Here's how it all turned out:

 

TL loaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They rose, and they look edible, but in a sorta grocery-store-ish way. Well, let's see what's inside, shall we?

 

Aw, RATS!

 

TL crumb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holes were left on the cutting room floor! Though I think that any degassing during the reshaping didn't affect the interior of the loaves; I don't think the crumb would have been open even if the boules had proofed fully untouched. The flavor is mild and it's quite edible, with a slight tangy aftertaste, but I was disheartened at this result. Sounds pretty civilized, eh? Actually, I pouted a bit and exercised my vocabulary, if you know what I mean.

So I'd like to ask the Leonard veterans if anything I described in the procedure sounds like the culprit...other than extreme dough-handling mid-proof. Maybe that's the only problem, who knows?

Now I'm off to go check on TT and JMonkey's starter escapades...

Sue

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Well today has not been my day.  It started out o.k., fed the starters, took my photos, and set out to start constructing a Marbled Loaf.  The goal was to take 3 different colored doughs, (green, white, pink) and mix them into a wonderful round loaf with the colors swirling throughout.

Well I got as far as having all 3 doughs made out.  The green dough was a Spinach dough.  The white was a plain sweetened dough, and the pink was a tomato dough.  This recipe was out of Bernard Clayton's "New Complete Book of Breads". 

Now I have seen photos of this finished bread in another book at the bookstore, but it didnt post a recipe for it.  How elated I was to find it in this book.  However, soon after the three were in their seperate bowls my mutitasking began.  Unfortunately, my muti's surpassed my abilitites to task.  And my poor doughs sat waaayyy tooo looonnnggg before I was able to get back to them.  About 2 1/2 hours too long.  When I finally got back home, I did what I could to salvage my debacle.  I just did a simple braid, baked and hoped for the best.

Oh well, I will try again next weekend.

I just cut open the loaf, it tastes good, the spinach section is my favorite.  The tomato, would be my least favorite.  This however could be because of my errors.  I will try this again, just to see what it tastes like done correctly.

 

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