The Fresh Loaf

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tattooedtonka's picture

Here are some photos of this weekends bake.

I started off with a sponge being made on Friday night for the cranberry bread.  I used a recipe for Pain Rustique bread with modifications made to it for my purposes.  On Saturday I mixed up the the final dough and let it set while I made a couple bagel sponges


Mixed up Cranberry bread dough.


Dough and bagel sponges


Bagel balls


Finished cranberry bread



Now the top bagel is one of a batch that I let set in the fridge for 8 hours after shaping.  The Sea Salt bagel on the bottom is from a batch I boiled and baked 20 minutes after shaping.  You can see how the seams go away after setting in the fridge.  Also the color difference in the Sea Salt one is due to an egg wash being put on the bagel with salt.  I have found this works the best for me so I dont have the salt absorbed into the bagel during baking.  The plain bagels have no egg wash.

I dont mind the seams too much, especially when I am out of fresh bagels...

Here is the photo of the pickled garlic, from Saturdays pickling fiasco..



Beth D's picture
Beth D

Please anyone let me know where I can find Bohemian flour.  It's a rye and wheat mixture.



tattooedtonka's picture

Well, I dont want to hijack Erics thread so I figured I would put up a new blog for my latest crazy idea.  Pickled garlic.  Now I know, its not bread, but heh, I had bagels proofing when I got into this so it must count somehow.

After talking Garlic with Eric, I thought to myself "self, I can surely figure out pickled garlic". And off to the world wide web I go.  I get hit with about a hundred or so recipes, not two alike, so great.  Lets go with what seems to be the best rated.  So I settle in on a nice Garlic festival website, with a pickled garlic recipe that the folks seemed to love.  Now here is the basis of the recipe.

4 cups White Distilled Vinegar

1 1/3 cup sugar

Then anykind of flavor additive you would like to add, mustard seed, hot pepper, dill, whatever.

You take a sterilzed jar, and you mix up your liquids, bring to a boil in a non-metal pot (which I used a teflon coated pot) And once at boil, you boil for 5 minutes.  Then you add your peeled garlic cloves and boil for an additional 5 minutes.  Then you pore into your jars, put the covers on and place in the fridge for 3 weeks before consumption.

Easy enough it sounds right.  So here I am with 30 heads of garlic, and the big grin on my mug of me making pickled garlic.  After setting at my kitchen table for what seemed like 30 or 40 years I look into my jar to see I have only peeled about 25 cloves.  So I do what any smart fella does and I recruit backup.  In comes my 13 year old daughter, who after looking at me like I just told her she had to change the oil in the truck in a snow storm, she sets in to help.  So now the two of us continue to peel garlic cloves.  The outer dry parts come off easy, but the fine skin, well that just about makes a man cry after a while.  So after what seemed like forever, I have 4 jars of peeled garlic cloves.  I swear my kid grew a couple inches while we were there.  So now onto making the liquid.

Now let me let you in on a little secret.  When you boil vinegar, in your kitchen, for 10 MINUTES, you should probably invest in a gas mask.  Or maybe a jet engine to force fresh air through your home.  Now being a fairly smart fella, I was really surprised to see that I didnt see this coming.  SO after about 6 minutes into boil, my daughter pleads mercy, and begs to be released from the kitchen.  I kindly inform her that "darling, were in this together, you stay.".  Sometimes being a parent is rough.....

Now at 7 minutes in I add my flavorings.  I like hot and spicy so in goes.  2 Teaspoons Mustard Seed, 2 Teaspoons of my own grown, and ground Thai hot pepper, and 3 cut up Habeneros.  So by minute 8 you can already imagine what my kitchen is like.  If you close your eyes and imagine a swat team is about to raid your house but before they enter they throw 4 tear gas grenades in through the open window that you have because you are trying to get a strong vinegar smell out of your kitchen. 

So now, my back door is open, my 2 kitchen windows are open, snow is blowing in through the windows, and my daughter and I are trying to maintain some sort of normal breathing pattern.  The 10 minute mark couldnt have gotten there any sooner.  When that buzzer went off saying my 10 minutes were up, the time that pot came off the stove to the time the 4 bottles were filled, outsides wiped clean, and into the fridge was about 2.5 seconds.  Well, maybe not not quick, but I barely remember any of it, it was so fast.  The dogs are no where to be found, they are hiding in some far off part of the house.  My youngest is watching tv in the living room in her jacket, and thank god my wife was out for the afternoon doing a craft fair.  We cleaned up my mess, I went back to my bagels, we shut the windows after our house temp dropped to about 40.  And 5 hours later when my wife returned she says "Honey, the house kinda smells like hot wings" 

Me and my great ideas.   I'll post photos later today of the end results, along with my Cinn./Cranberry bread I made (another idea).  The worst part is I have to wait 3 weeks just to see if the garlic is any good.   Ha,ha,ha......


PMcCool's picture

Well, if I had had my druthers, I would have been in San Diego for the meet.  After all, I was in Ensenada, which is pretty close.  Compared to Kansas City, that is.  But, no, I couldn’t get away from work for a fun Saturday with other TFL-ers.


Being in Mexico so much in the past few months has had an upside, though.  That would be tortillas.  Not the stiff, cold, nearly tasteless disks of flour or corn from your supermarket shelves or coolers.  Uh-uh.  No, we’re talking about steaming, burn-your-fingertips-hot, still puffy, straight-off-the-comal fresh tortillas here.  The real deal.


I’ve had freshly made tortillas before.  We lived in Houston for five years and there are a bunch of restaurants in that town where you can find fresh tortillas, although they are usually the flour variety.  I’ve even made my own, although I haven’t really mastered these deceptively simple little flat breads. 


What I’m finding here in the Baja is something almost magical.  Whether rolled up to eat as a bread, or torn off in chunks to pick up food, or wrapped around meat and other fillings, tortillas make a simple meal complete in very much the same way a crusty bread makes a bowl of soup a dining experience.


Growing up in northern Michigan really didn’t give me any useful insights into tortillas.  The only thing that I knew about tortillas was that they came in boxes (think Lawrys or Old El Paso), were hard, brittle, made of a coarse corn meal and used to make tacos. And that they disintegrated at the first bite.  And I wondered: why would anybody get excited about something that lets you take just one bite before it collapses into your lap?  Later on I learned about flour tortillas and things like burritos and enchiladas; then tortillas began to make a bit more sense.


But here, as I am sure is the case in other parts of Mexico, tortillas aren’t just an ingredient that you use in one dish of your meal.  Instead, they are an integral part of nearly every meal.  And that is a very good thing.  Especially the maiz (corn) tortillas.  They are just as soft and flexible as their flour brethren and come in a variety of sizes. The flour tortillas don’t hold a candle to the maiz tortillas when it comes to taste, though.


For instance, there is a tiny little eatery called Paola’s in the village of La Mision, about half a mile east of Highway 1D along the Baja coast.  There are maybe 4 or 5 tables, each seating a handful of diners.  You walk up to the counter and you can see the stove, which usually has 5 or 6 large kettles and pans on it.  There’s usually beef in one pot, pork in another, chicken in a third and, sometimes, a fourth with lamb, or goat, or tongue or whatever else Paola found at the market that morning.  There will also be a pan of beans, usually, though not always, refried; and another of rice.  You tell the ladies which meat you want (which is usually braised or stewed with chilies, onions and/or other vegetables) and they will ask “Maiz o harina?”  (Corn or flour?)  You reply with your choice of tortilla, then tell them what you want to drink and go sit at your table.  In a few minutes, your plate will arrive, along with a basket of tortillas that are simply too hot to pick up. 


Once the tortillas cool just enough that you can snatch one out of the basket without burning yourself, you have an important decision to make.  Should you skip the silverware and use the tortillas to scoop up your food?  Should you start stuffing the meat into your tortilla for an impromptu taco?  Or just alternate bites of the meat and tortilla so that you get to experience the melding of flavors?  In the end, it really doesn’t matter, so long as you savor the flavors that are completed and balanced by the inclusion of the tortillas. 


Another favorite dish in these parts is the fish taco.  Ensenada is home to a fishing fleet, so you can get fresh fish every day, ranging from sea bass to tuna to squid to lobsters to shrimp.  Fish tacos are usually made with white-fleshed fish, like locally caught flounder or halibut.  The flesh is cut into strips that are battered and deep fried.  A few pieces go into a soft tortilla, preferably a maiz tortilla.  They are then topped with shredded lettuce or cabbage.  If cabbage, it’s more like a slaw with a faintly sweet-tart creamy dressing.  Other than maybe squeezing a lime over it for some extra zing, all you have to do is roll the taco closed and enjoy every bite.  All of which would be impossible if not for the tortilla.


While sitting in a restaurant waiting for my check one evening, I saw a woman walk into a work area and haul out a very large stainless steel bowl.  She proceeded to scoop several pounds of flour into the bowl from a large bin, then added a largish blob of either shortening or lard, some salt and part of a pitcher of water.  She then began to mix it all together with her hands (I wonder if there is a Spanish equivalent for frissage?) until she had a large mass of dough, adding water to get the consistency just right.  After rubbing off the excess dough clinging to her hands, she set about rolling the dough into balls that were sized somewhere between a large egg and a tennis ball.  About that time, my server brought my check, so I didn’t get to see her finish the process.  I’m assuming that, since these were flour tortillas and she was making a large number of them, she probably used a press to flatten the balls into disks which were then put on a griddle to cook.  However, I was walking out the door before she got to that stage.  Still, it was interesting to see that the tortillas I had enjoyed with my meal were freshly made on site.


Tortillas are sometimes used to thicken soups, or as garnishes.  And, yes, they can even be bent and fried into a crispy shell for tacos or salads, although I haven’t seen that in this part of Mexico.  For my tastes, though, the tortilla is at its absolute best in its simplest and freshest form.  Then it can work its magic in any way the diner desires.

AnnieT's picture

I have read here many times that there is no such thing as a silly question, but this may be it. Suppose my starter was refreshed a couple of days ago and refrigerated, then placed on the counter to warm up, and then used in an overnight ferment, why wouldn't that act as a big fat feeding? This is a pretty active starter but I only decided to bake at the last minute. I would be glad to hear any opinions as I have been mithering about it for several days. My grandaughters stayed the night and inhaled vast quantities of sourdough pancakes this morning, so at least I know how to use the surplus starter. I'm thinking of putting a notice on the community board "Free Sourdough Starter"! A.

JMonkey's picture

Well, I made those baguettes I'd been craving. Simple really -- I just did the NYT / Sullivan Street bread scaled down to make three 8-ounce baguettes. Well, I also substituted 10% of the white flour for whole spelt, because I had some on hand, brought the hydration down to 75% and folded it twice before going to bed.

They were very tasty, almost buttery, and the crust was perfect. Crunchy and full of flavor. Crumb was nice too, with the irregularly shaped , though not cavernous, holes I was hoping for.

Man, though, were they butt-ugly.

Thin, bulbous, crooked, ugh. And I did my first attempt at a wheat sheaf all wrong -- I should have cut from the top, not the side, so they turned out looking twisted.

When you all make baguettes, how much do you weigh each out at? I've got just enough room for a 12 inch baguette but it seemed to me that 8 ounces was a little on the small size. Also, any hints you can give on shaping, and I'm all ears ....

But, even if they were ugly, they went very, very well with Zolablue's divine sweet potato sausage soup. I pretty much stuck to the recipe, though I added more sweet potatoes since I had to thaw out 8 cups of stock (smallest container I had) and didn't want it to be thin.

I'd once thought that soups weren't photogenic, but now, having seen Floyd's photo, I'm beginning to think that it's just that my soups aren't photogenic.

Anyway, that's a perfect winter meal, as far as I'm concerned (though, the bread really should be whole-grain ... but heck, even I get a Jones for white bread every once and a while ....

THANK YOU, Zolablue. This soup was a huge hit.

mse1152's picture

Hello everyone,

I have never made the French bread in the BBA, so I thought I'd try it. After trying so many unusual or specialty breads, I wanted to go back to a classic. This version uses pate fermentee (sorry, I'm not conversant enough in HTML or whatever it'd take to include the correct French accent marks), risen a bit at room temperature, then put into the fridge overnight. The dough is made the next day. I did three stretch and fold cycles at 30 minute intervals during a 2-hour fermentation. The proof after shaping was about 50 minutes.















This made about 950g of dough, and I got two smallish batards out of it. PR suggests using diastatic malt powder if you are using organic flour, but I forgot to add the malt. The color didn't suffer any, though. It's crusty, and only moderately open in the crumb. The vertical opening in the bottom part of the loaf is where I stabbed it with the thermometer! The crumb is strong and moist, fairly elastic (at least on the first day). Flavor is OK, but not a Wow. But maybe my tastebuds have gotten used to sourdough.
















While the dough was fermenting and proofing, I frosted a bunch of Christmas cookies I made yesterday. I'm glad I don't make stuff like this often, because I can inhale six of them before the sugar woozies get me.

Of course, I had some help...including Mabel, the cat.

















dstroy's picture

Time for my, post, right? (We let Floyd do the bread baking around here.)

Today our daughter turned three and for her birthday she requested a blue pony on her cake.

Here is the cake she got, prior to the three candles being added to the floating clouds.


Lots of fun! And we had a great dinner tonight too - but I bet Floyd will blog about that.


Floydm's picture

I baked a couple of sourdoughs from Local Breads today. The first was a rustic French.

rustic french

Isn't that beautiful? Nice brown crust, good oven spring, great flavor.

The bottom? Oh... err....

rustic french

Yeah... Well, I ran out of parchment AND spray oil. Didn't have much luck getting it off the pan. The kids didn't miss the extra crust, but we did.

light rye bread

I also baked a light rye. I'll try to post the recipe in the next day or two.

I also made a pot of the Sweet Potato Sausage Soup that zolablue posted.

sweet potato soup

Really good stuff.

Floydm's picture

Chocolate Sourdough

Chocolate Sourdough

Here is a picture of the Cholocate Chip Sourdough I tried last week. It didn't come out exactly as I'd hoped, but it is was still pretty good. I mean, c'mon.... chocolate.... sourdough... how can you go wrong?

I've got a sourdough rye and sourdough French bread fermenting right now. I'm using a couple of the recipes from Local Breads. We'll see how they come out tomorrow.


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