I tried again with the baguettes. This time I used 1.25 cups of flour and .5 cup of water, 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast (i bought the glass jar in spite of some of ya'll's advice so i'll be using it for a while.) and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (i should've used more salt)...
So, does it count as an autolyzing if I've already added the yeast and the salt? Since i've got the active dry stuff i have to soak it first and since i'm using so little water i don't have enough to divide it.
Anyway, the dough was a lot firmer than I'm used to and I'm thinking I might try an extra .25 cup of water to see what happens. I transferred the shaped baguette onto a hot cookie sheet and that seems to have helped with oven spring. This time the shaping was a lot better-- I took occidental's advice and dusted the flour with a sifter and that combined with how the dough was a lot more dry than what I've been using so I managed to shape a pretty pretty loaf.
My knife obviously isn't cutting it ;) when it comes to scoring. I went to the local wal-mart to look for straight razors (is that what they're called... oops, double edged razors) well, the saleslady looked at me like i was crazy. I also went to the hardware store to find drop canvas-- more on that in a bit-- and some quarry stones. All the tiles they had were glazed. There's this place down the road that has a lot of rocks and stuff so maybe they'll have some.
The bread came out a bit darker than I like and i'm not too crazy about the taste of it. Also it's missing some salt... actually, i've got some more dough in the fridge, let me go add salt to that now...
I'll let you all know what happens when you add salt 10 hours into a cold fermentation/rising.
Here's the crumb
The bread came out sort of dry but that may have been because i tried baking at 500 for the first 10 minutes-- i won't try that again...
I don't reckon I'll count this as a victory-- except for the shaping; it's the best shaping i've been able to manage so far...
I think i put too much salt in the dough for next time... it'll be a half teaspoon for ~1.25 cups of flour.
anyway, regarding couches-- i went to the hardware store and got canvas drop cloth. It says it's heavy-duty tight cotton weave, absorbent, washable and reusable, 8.oz. 4'x5' finished size
sorry about it being sideways... and here's as good a closeup of the weave as i could get with my camera
It's still in the plastic in case i've made a terrible mistake I can return it.
Does anyone know whether it'll work or not? By the way, I need to wash it (with bleach as well as detergent?) then once it's dry rub flour into the weave? is that how one turns it into a couche?
Will slick Method 100% naturally leavened, white Maltese bread.
Flour 100% ( Including flour from starter )
Starter 33% ( 100% hydration )
Water 67% ( Including water from starter)
Milk 1 TBS @ 600G total flour
The final dough was built with two additions of flour and water keeping the braum at near 100% Hydration. Then the addition of the remainder of flour and the other ingredients.The final dough was kneaded into a fairly smooth elastic ball, then fermented till nearly doubled with one stretch and fold after about two hours. the fermented dough was shaped and proofed till near double then baked at 475f for 30min. total time from start to bake about 11hours.
11 hours since I started my bake n blog day, I finally completed my bake. At first the dough was giving me some trouble, by being stubborn and not wanting to double fast enough, luckily my wife came up with a great solution, I took it into our baby room where we keep it warmer, and with in two hours it popped wright up.
I divided the dough into 1.5lb loaves and let it rise free formed on my granite counter. Last week I tried using tea towel but all my loaves got stuck to it and the bread fell flat as I was removing it from them. All together I had 16 loaves of bread and 20 paninis. As with my previous bake I still had trouble mastering the slashing, I will need to practice more with that.
One of the accomplishments is that I was able to place the bread in the wood fired oven in such a way that I baked all of them in just to bakes, so that is great, It means that I can bake more bread with out having to fire the oven again.
On the Pain au Levain I added extra steam to the oven about 7 minutes after placing the bread in, that resulted in a much crustier crust which I liked.
The spelt bread is the best variation that I have tried so far, it's definitely going to be one of the breads that I will bake regularly. One of the main thing I learned in this bake is to just relax during the whole process and don't try to rush things, sometimes the little beasts in the starter like to work on there own schedule and we just cant do much about it. It was lots of fun and I know that my family and many of my friends will enjoy the bread for the week to come.
Please visit my site to see more pictures from the bake.
This subject arose on another blog. As an initial blog post, I offer these photos as illustrations of my idea of a translucent crumb. I hope that the photos adequately show this characteristic.
I am not a science guy. I can't tell you how it happened. I can say that these breads, a 100% whole wheat sourdough and a basic sourdough boule, were roughly 70% hydration, mixed by machine, bulk fermented for about 4 hours at about 80 degrees and proofed overnight, formed, in the refrigerator. They were baked on preheated stones, with steam but no cover. The white flour is KA AP; the whole wheat, Bob's Red Mill.
I find that the stretch and fold breads that I've been making lately, baked covered but without steam, produce a somewhat cake-ier crust and, of course, the beautiful open structure. Guests and gift recipients are more impressed with the stretched and folded breads, but I think the former ones taste better and are more fun to eat.
A while ago Debra Wink asked for information on English Muffins.
I attach details below, mostly from a Practical Class with my Foundation Degree students from last academic year.
The attached video is from very early days, and was prepared entirely by the students. You can hear me advising other students in the background; that's how I know I wasn't directly involved.
Recipe specifications are attached [many thanks to my baking mentor and tutor during my time studying for my bakery qualifications for letting me have a commercial recipe specification to use], and I will dig out some photos and attach manufacturing instructions below.
Formula [% of flour]
Bicarbonate of Soda
Set plate to Mk4. and pre-heat. The temperature of the hot-plate should be just below 200*C
Sieve together the flour and salt.
Dissolve the yeast in tempered water [30°C]
Combine these 2 in a mixer and beat on first speed for 2 minutes to form a batter
Beat on second speed for 6 minutes
Cover the batter and keep warm for 1 hour bulk fermentation
Dissolve the bicarb in the cold water and mix this solution well through the batter.
Use immediately, piping the mix into lightly-greased hoops, ready-placed onto the prepared griddle surface. Hot-plate should be clean and un-greased
Formula [% of flour]
2. Final Dough
makes 40 muffins @ 65g
This is based on Rose Levy Barenbaum's recipe if I'm not mistaken; one of my Foundation Degree students was very keen to learn how to make these, so we did the developmental work together, and he had a go at making them; quite successfully I believe.
We made the sponge on an overnight basis. This would mean the sponge would be cool, so final dough water would need to be tempered accordingly to achieve a DDT of around 30*C. I would refer you to Walter T. Banfield's text "Manna; A Comprehensive Treatise on Bread Manufacture." London: Maclaren. 1947, which states one essential to success as warming the flour. Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery has some useful comments made over the years on English muffins too.
It is strange how we ended up basing our recipe on the work of a modern day American author, rather than on the works discussed above. I am pretty sure it is because we wanted to use a pre-ferment to make these, and all the recipes I came across used bulk fermentation. From my own studying time 6 years ago, working for my bakery quals, we definitely made these with a ferment. Given that my FdA students were working on complex fermentation methods, I specifically asked for English Muffins made using an Overnight sponge. this is what we came up with.
The dough should be soft, although hydration in the formula does not look alarmingly high. But, given you have plate-work, be wary of the dough being too soft; if this is the case, you will end up with crumpets, as shown in the first recipe. These are made from a batter which is piped onto the griddle: see video.
It is just a case of combining the sponge with all other ingredients and mixing to form a soft, warmish, and well-developed dough. I am aware American flours generally have a higher level of hydration, but please note the flour I used in this formula is strong, and one of the best commercial specs available over here. It is milled from 100% Strong Canadian Wheat.
Debra Wink indicated wanting to experiment with Wholegrain. I am sure this would work well, although I have only ever come across these goods made with all-white flour. The essence of the product is to have a soft and chewy "breadcake" like texture, where the dough rises substantially on the plate thanks to conduction. That is why we wanted to use a pre-ferment rather than a bulk-fermented straight dough. So, wholegrain flour: yes with the following provisos: the wholemeal would need to be strong, and finely milled. A brown flour, say of 85% extract would be excellent. Do not go above 50% brown flour in the flour "grist". The water content will need to be adjusted upwards to take account of extra absorption from the bran. Obviously, the formula can be adapted to use milk rather than the water/milk powder combination.
The dough should have a resting time of upto 30 minutes, then scale and divide, and mould each piece round. Dust the bench with rice cones, flatten slightly and rest the dough pieces on the rice dust, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour. Cook in batches on the griddle; they should take about 10 minutes, being flipped over half way through cooking. The gritty rice cones on the outside of the muffin are a wonderful contrast to the soft and chewy centre. The dough should rise slowly on the griddle as the muffin cooks; that was why we sought to use a pre-ferment in the formula.
A week ago, I bought my first rye and whole wheat flour, they were imported from Germany. I could not understand a word on the description, but I was determined to try my hand on these flour. Here I am trying my first rye and whole wheat bread. Honestly, I have no idea what it is suppose to look like or taste like, as I'm not a fan of rye bread usually, I'm a white loaf freak. Surprisingly, this recipe is easy, and the taste is really good. I still need to work on my shaping and proofing timing though.
It;s a wet dough to work with, I'm now aching all over from the kneading, 3 different types of kneading just to get dough ready. Wish I have a machine to help me with. I'm still waiting for my birthday present...
The taste is pretty good though, seems like the poolish had helped with this outcome. Is it suppose to look like that? Unfortunately, Barry's artisan did have any pictures of the dough he made, and I found many rye and whole wheat that are more dense. Am I getting this right?
Rubaud's bread is made with 3 very firm levain builds, the final being incorporated in his final dough. He uses a flour mix with 70% AP flour and the remaining 30% a mix of whole wheat, spelt and rye flours. Remarkably, he grinds the flours to feed his levain fresh for each build, and he uses the same flour proportions for each levain build as used in his final dough. Not having a grain mill, I used store-bought flours. I measured out each flour for each build. If I make this bread again, I would make one batch of mixed flour for all the builds and the final dough. This would save time and also be more precise, given the very small amounts of flour in the levain builds.
Note that MC's interviews also indicate Rubaud salts his levain builds at 1% of the flour weight, in order to control their speed of ripening. I did not do this.
My formula is taken from Shiao-Ping's calculations which were taken from MC's interviews. I divided her quantities in half and, rather than a miche, made two smaller (480 gm) bâtards. Rubaud mixes his dough by machine. Shiao-Ping mixed her dough entirely by hand. I started my mixing in a stand mixer, but continued developing the gluten by hand, as described below.
Ripe levain (stiff)
Whole wheat flour
Ripe levain (stiff)
Whole wheat flour
Ripe levain (stiff)
Whole wheat flour
Notes for levain builds
The first levain was made with my usual firm sourdough starter which I feed 1:3:4 (starter:water:flour) with a flour mix of 70% AP, 20% Whole wheat and 10% Whole rye flours.
To mix each build, dissolve the firm starter in the water in a small bowl. (I use a small dough whisk.), then add the flours and mix thoroughly into a ball.
The first build was fermented for 10 hours, the second and third for about 8 hours each. This was in a cool kitchen, so your times my vary with the activity of your starter and the ambient temperature.
Ripe levain (stiff)
Whole wheat flour
Mix the flours and the water. Cover and let it sit to autolyse for 20-60 minutes.
Divide the starter into about 6 pieces and add them to the autolyse. Sprinkle the salt over all and mix thoroughly.
In a stand mixer, mix with the dough hook on Speed 2 for about 10 minutes. There should be some gluten development, but the dough will be very gloppy. It will not clean the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly.
After 20 minutes, stretch and fold in the bowl for 30 strokes. Cover the bowl tightly.
Repeat Step 5. twice more.
Transfer the dough to the board and stretch it to a large rectangle and fold it like an envelope. Replace it in the bowl and cover.
After 45 minutes, transfer the dough to a floured board and do another stretch and fold.
After another 45 minutes, transfer the dough to the board and divide it into two equal pieces.
Pre-shape each piece into a round and let them rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
Shape each piece into a bâtard.
Proof en couche until expanded by 50-75%.
One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.
When the loaves are ready to bake, pre-steam the oven.
Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score them, and then transfer them to the baking stone.
Steam the oven again. Turn down the oven to 450ºF.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the loaves is at least 205ºF, the bottom gives a hollow sound when thumped and the crust is nicely browned.
Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.
Cool completely before slicing.
Although I got good gluten development, the dough remained very loose. This was expected, given its high degree of hydration. However, I did not expect how the loaves stuck to the “well-floured” couch and transfer peel. The loaves deflated significantly in the process of transferring them to the Super Peel ™. The latter handled the loaves beautifully in transferring to the stone. No additional sticking.
There was very good oven spring, and the cuts on the loaf which didn't stick to the transfer peel as much opened up reasonably well, suggesting that the loaves were not as over-proofed as their deflation on transferring had suggested.
By time the bread had cooled, the crust was chewy with just a bit of crunch. (I did not follow my customary practice of drying the loaves in the cooling oven for a few minutes after they are fully baked.) The crumb was very well aerated. It had an aroma that seemed whole-wheaty, yet different. The flavor was excellent – complex and wheaty with some sweetness and more sourdough tang than I expected.
Wonderful bread. I want to make it again, but next time I'll flour the couche more heavily.
I'm a longtime bread-lover and baker, and have been checking out the site for about a year now. What to post for a first entry on the amazing Fresh Loaf Bakers Blogs?
Whenever I'm invited to a potluck, I generally volunteer to bring the bread. This time, it was a friend's birthday. I asked my fiancé, "What kind of bread should I make?" while flipping through "The World Encyclopedia of Bread".
"How about this one?", I asked jokingly, pointing to a picture of the most complicated, ornate loaf I've ever seen. Needless to say, she thought it was a great idea, and couldn't be dissuaded. (She is also the type who will spend an entire Sunday afternoon trying to make perfect homemade "xiao long bao" or Shanghai soup dumplings, probably the hardest dish to get right in all of gastronomy.)
The result was our first Harvest Sheaf Loaf. The recipe called for 100% white flour, but I used about 1/2 whole wheat, and included some pre-fermented French-bread style dough. I love how self-referential this bread is: a wheat loaf made to look like a bundle of wheat. As you might expect, the shaping and sculpting is time-consuming. Best not to attempt solo!
Not knowing much about this bread, I did a bit of research on the web. It turns out that in England, they bake these for the harvest festival, and they often end up on a church altar. I also learned that they're popular with Wiccans. That's right, the old-time, mother earth, fertility goddess, witchcraft folks. There must be quite a few of them in the San Francisco area, so we're thinking of selling these on craigslist for next year's solstice! :)
We were so excited to eat it, that we never got a great photo after taking it out of the oven. And the mouse, poor fellow, got a bit deformed by oven spring! :(
I'd be curious if anyone else has tried one of these. It was fun to make, but once a year would certainly be enough for me.
I woke up this morning wanting to try making sourdough pancakes with my leftover starter. I looked up the KAF recipe that people mentioned here, and saw that it used an overnight sponge. I wanted to whip something out fast and simple, and spontaneous. So...no sponge for me! I love the result...light, fluffy (they rose quite a bit), healthy (well, the plate that is pictured is my husband's...mine was healthier). I had some pumpkin in the freezer that went into the mix. I don't have exact measurements because I was just tossing stuff in, but here goes:
About 1/4 c. starter, cold from the fridge (just dump in a big glop)
about 3/4c milk (made from dry)
about 1/2 t. baking soda
2 t sugar
about 1/4 c pumpkin
about 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 packet stevia
Mix it all up until you have a batter (make adjustments if it's too thin or thick)....This made 5 pretty big cakes.
Relatively new to TFL and have found countless info. so very helpful. Sometimes on my loaves especially my french loaves, I get 'blow outs' (don't know what else to call them) where the side of the loaf kinda explodes, like there was extra dough and it had no place to go. I was just wondering is that due to lack of steam or not scoring them deep enough or have I just not proofed them long enough? I have my theories but have not been able to pinpoint it yet.