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Floydm's picture
Floydm

I made bagels this morning.

bagels

I forgot that my malt powder had gone bad, so I subbed in brown sugar. Definitely not as authentic, but still quite tasty for a Sunday brunch.

Bricejacob's picture
Bricejacob

In my first post, I mentioned the recipe I started with.  Here's how things have evolved since then.

My first problem with the original recipe was pretty major: I could never get a enough of a rise to get two loaves with the pans I had.  Given I was making bread for a family of five, my first change was to simply double everything.  From this doubled recipe, I made 3 loaves.  This seemed to work out pretty nicely.  I generally ended up with 3 2-lb loaves of bread from each batch.

The next changes were more evolutionary.  I don't recall the exact order of each of these changes.  Likely the most interesting change was this: I stopped using powdered yeast.  There is a local farmer's market here that has excellent produce and cheese.  Hidden among the cheese are 1-lb blocks of something labeled "Red Star Yeast" for about $1.50.  They are about the size of quarter of butter.  Since that is *much* cheaper than the instant stuff, I started breaking off a bit of this stuff and creaming it in the warm water with my fingers.  Now, I've been at a loss as to what this stuff is, but it works wonderfully.  I'm guessing it's what I've heard called "compressed yeast", so that's what I'm going to refer to it as.

The original recipe calls for "butter" generically, and I'm pretty certain the first few times I made it I just used normal sweet cream butter (salted), but after doing a bit of reading, it seemed that I wouldn't want to include "extra" salt, so I've clarified it as unsalted butter.

The next change was flour.  I originally just used whatever flour I had available (generally AP of some brand), but I wanted to try "bread" flour.  My wife found 50-lb bags of Bread Flour at Costco for ~$11, if memory serves.  So, I started using that.  Recently, I've been looking for another source of good flour in quantity, as the flour from Costco is bleached and enriched, but thus far I haven't found anything reasonable.  I can get KA flour in 5-lb bags from a few local stores, but that's hardly cost effective when I'm baking 6-9 loaves of bread a week (at least lately....).  I discovered Wheat Montana flour when visiting my in-laws, and fell in love with the Prairie Gold variety, but I have yet to find anywhere I can get it here in St. Louis.  Ooops....big tangent there.  Let's get back to my changes, shall we?

Another change was accidental.  You may have noticed that the egg yolk is the only "wet" ingredient not included in the melting butter mixture.  This caused me to forget to add it on more than one occasion (I'm a bit disorganized, for many reasons).  Interestingly, my family and I never noticed a difference when I didn't include the egg yolks.  So I dropped them.  It also makes things a bit simpler and means I don't need to find a use for the left over egg whites.  I did use them as a wash a couple of times, but at least in my oven, this made the crust quite dark and a bit thicker than I could convince my kids to eat regularly.  So I stopped.

The most significant change is also the most recent: I've started making a Poolish before hand.  The first time, I just did the Poolish using the water from the recipe and a pseudo-random amount of flour.  I think it was actually more of a sponge than a Poolish.  After consulting with Levy's Bread Bible from the local library, I adjusted this a bit and have been *quite* pleased with the results.  I've dropped the amount of milk in the doubled recipe from 2.5 cups to 1.5 cups.  I've doubled the water to 2 cups.  So my Poolish is now 2 cups of warm water, approximately an ounce of compressed yeast (I really need to get a good scale...), and a pound of bleached bread flour (about 2.5 cups as I measure it).  The poolish seems to take about 4-6 hours to reach maturity (beginning to collapse), longer if I use a bit less yeast.  I'm trying to get it to the point I can make the poolish in the morning before work and finish the process in the evening, but I haven't mastered that just yet.  It works, but I haven't achieved consistency.

The last adjustment I've made was switching to Kosher salt.  Since I don't have an accurate enough scale, I've been using Alton Brown's rule of thumb that you need 50% more Kosher salt than table salt to achieve the same weight.

Oh, and I dropped the sugar, because the bread was a bit sweeter than I wanted for everyday use, and my wife and I certainly don't need the calories.  We're also trying to move away from refined sugars anyway (which seems a bit silly, I know, when I'm using bleached bread flour).

So, for those of you still reading, here's my adjusted recipe:


Mr. Dugan's White Bread - with Brice's Modifications

Poolish 

  • 2 Cups of warm tap water
  • 1 lb (~2.5 cups) of bleached bread flour
  • 1-2 oz of compressed yeast
Remaining Ingredients
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cups of 2% milk
  • 2 tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup of Honey
  • ~7 cups of bleached bread flour
Instructions:
  1. In a glass of ceramic bowl, dissolve the compressed yeast in the water, creaming it with your fingers.
  2. Add 1 lb of flour and stir until nice and gooey.  Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let stand on the kitchen counter until it starts to collapse.  Make sure you use a big enough bowl for the poolish to more than double before collapsing.
  3. When the poolish is starting to collapse, combine the butter, salt, milk and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until the butter has melted.  Stir occasionally.
  4. Combine the milk mixture with most of the remaining flour (save ~1/2 cup for dusting the kneading surface).  Stir until liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add the poolish to the above mixture.  Mix until the dough starts coming together.  Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until uniformly combined.
  6. Cover with the bowl and let rest for 15-30 min
  7. Knead the dough until it starts to get elastic. 8-10 minutes.
  8. Shape into a rough ball and drop into a large, lightly oiled, ceramic bowl to rise.  As I have a pretty drafty kitchen, I place mine in the oven with the light on, and a pan of steaming water below the bowl.  Let rise until doubled in bulk (approximately 1 hour for me)
  9. De-gas and shape into 3 loaves.  Place in lightly oiled bread pans.  I tend to use a rolling method.
  10. Let rise until doubled again.  This takes about 90 minutes for me (about twice as long as before the poolish method)
  11. Bake at 350 for 30 min.  I've actually been using the convection setting on my oven for the same time and temp.  This seems to better insure the loaf is "done".
Well, hopefully you've enjoyed this look into the evolution of my core bread recipe.  I've done several variations on this (an herb bread, a cinnamon-raisin bread, replacing various portions of the bleached bread flour with something else (usually a whole wheat of some type).  I'd welcome any and all comments and suggestions.  I still have a *lot* to learn. Mr. Dugan's Evolves  - Brice -  
tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Alright for those that know me here, you already know I like photos so it will be no surprise to you thats theres gonna be a bunch (browndog, you'll be glad you got dsl). 

Some months ago a nice fellow named Crumb Bum gave me a compliment about my experimentations, and not always following the bread books.  I really appreciated that and try to hold true to it still today.  I enjoy, and learn loads from all the books I have purchased on bread, but I like to do my own thing as well. 

With that in mind, I refused to go on the rules that it takes at least a half a day to 2 days to make pizza dough.  I wanted to make Pizza from scratch in the time it takes to get home delivery, all by hand.  And I wanted it to be good.

Here are those Pizza's, all 3 made in about an hour start to finish

Garlic and Cherry Tomato with Cheese

Sausage, Tomato, and Cheese Pizza

The recipe:

  • 908 Grams Flour                                       100%
  • 600 Grams Water                                        66%
  • 29 Grams Salt                                               3.2%
  • 14 Grams Instant Yeast                            1.5%

Take flour and mix in yeast then salt. 

Add water to mix, and incorperate into a wet mass.

Drop mass onto unfloured counter. 

(Note: I use an unfloured surface for this after reading a great explanation from Richard Bertinet that any flour you put on the counter that incorperates in your bread changes the recipe.  This way, the end result is true to your recipe.)

Now once on the counter I use a stretch and fold, over and over until I get a nice shaped ball, and most of the dough has come off my hands and back into the mass. About 6 minutes

From here I cut into 3 pieces 455 grams each (16 oz.) These are for Large 16" Pizza's.  I will end up with a scrap about 103 grams (3.5oz.). 

I shape these 3 into balls and put into a container oiled lightly with Olive Oil to set for 30 minutes.

After about 15 minutes I took the lids off and placed the containers in plastic 1 gallon plasitc bags and sealed. I also start preheating my oven to 500'F. with my pizza stone in the oven.

After 30 minutes I start making a pizza round.  I do pat some flour onto the dough at this point during sizing because the dough is already made, I am just making it easier to work with.

At this point I place them onto pizza screens to build the pizza.

Once built put it into the oven for 8 minutes, during this time start making your next pizza on a second screen.  As the first comes out put in the second, tranfer 1st pizza from screen to cutting board and use that screen to start making your third pizza.  At the end you will have baked 3 pizzas in 24 minutes.

....

Now for my notes on cheap granite.  I am a big fan of low prices.  Someday granite counters in my kitchen would be a great thing, but in the meantime I go for what I can afford.

In Bennington VT, theres a little place called Camalot Village, its a craft center of sorts.  One of the vendors there is a kitchen counter contractor who puts his scraps out for sale (CHEAP).  I was able to pick up a nice piece of Black Granite 18"wide by 5' long and a solid 1" thick for $40.00us.  Now at $50-100 dollars a square foot at a stone counter store this is a great deal.  This is a little over 7 square feet for less than 1 at the store.

It is my own personal "Big boys cutting board".  Now its a little heavy to move around a bunch, but I think its cool.  And its a great work surface for my breads.

Just something you could look into if you wanted.  There are kitchen contractors all over and they surely have to have scraps after jobs.  A little hunting around and you can find what you want.

TT

holds99's picture
holds99

Has anyone had any experience baking with King Arthur (KA) French style flour?  I ordered and received a few 3 lb. bags and have been using it to make baguettes (using the poolish and scrap dough method).  I haven't had as much success with this flour as I have had with KA all-pupose flour.  With the KA French style flour the baguettes don't seem to get enough good oven spring and the crust is hard, despite using steam in the oven at the onset of baking.  The interior of the loaves are a bit tacky (the texture of the interior/crumb is slightly damp and tacky, similar to what happens when malt powder is added to the flour mixture, but I'm not using any malt powder).  I also scored them and baked them until they were golden brown, 20-25 minutes.  After several attempts at baguettes; making the dough wetter, being careful not to deflate the dough any more than necessary during shaping, etc.  I went back and read the labels on both the KA French style and KA all-purpose flours and found that the KA French style flour has only 3g of protein per 30g or 10%, whereas, the KA all-purpose flour has 4g of protein per 30g or 13%.  My understanding is that a minimum of 11%-11 1/2% protein is needed to make good baguettes, boules, etc. when using pre-ferment.  My assumption is that protein translates into gluten during the mixing process, right?  Anyway, I sure would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had experience with KA French style flour---or if you could recommend a better flour other than KA all-purpose (if there is one) for making baguettes.

Thanks,

holds99 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I realize that I seriously risk tanking my whole grain cred, here, but lately ... I've been taking a shine to poolish. It'd been a long time since I'd worked with yeasted pre-ferments, and aside from an occasional baguette here and there, I'd not make a serious white bread in quite some time.

But after the New Year, in the course of just a couple of days, I made three poolish baguettes and one poolish ciabatta.

I used Jeffrey Hamelman's masterpiece Bread as a guide. I was so pleased with the baguettes, that for the ciabatta, I modified my sourdough spreadsheet to accommodate commercial yeast breads with pre-ferments, and inserted his formulas.. Aside from scaling each recipe down (I made a half-batch of poolish baguettes, which made three demi-baguetts, and a single 1.5 pound ciabatta), the only other change I made was to add a tiny speck of yeast to each poolish. With the baguettes, since they required about 1/10 gram of yeast, I added one gram of yeast to 19 grams of water and then added two grams of the solution to the poolish.

This was a pain.

So, next time, I just eyeballed about 1/4 of 1/8 tsp of yeast. Both ways turned out fine.

The biggest takeaway for me from making both of these breads is that, so long as the bread is handled firmly but gently and the loaf is well-shaped, the crumb can still be very open without a super gloppy dough. The baguettes, for instance, are just 66 percent hydration and the ciabatta is 73 percent. Of course, the poolish probably helps, since it denatures the protein and makes it more extensible. All the same, the lesson for me stands - good handling goes a long way towards getting an open crumb.

Sourdough is still my preference, but, wow, I'd forgotten how tasty a good, simple loaf of French bread is: nutty, buttery with a strong wheaty flavor that lasts, and lasts, and lasts.

Here's the photographic results. Recipes are below.

Poolish Baguettes

I'm finally starting to the hang of shaping these buggers.


I cut these in half the next day to make garlic bread and cheese bread to go with pasta.


Ciabatta with Poolish

This is, without doubt, the prettiest ciabatta I've ever made. I didn't score it - it just opened up on its own.


And an interior shot. Not as open as some ciabattas I've seen, but open enough for me. Next time, I'll bump the hydration up to 75 or maybe 78 percent.


Recipes

Poolish Baguettes (Makes 3 demi-baguettes of about 8 oz. each):
Overall formula:

  • White flour: 100%
  • Water: 66%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Instant yeast: 0.36%
  • 33% of the flour is pre-fermented as a poolish at 100% hydration with .07% yeast


Poolish:
  • White flour: 5.3 oz
  • Water: 5.3 oz
  • Instant yeast: Just a speck (about 1/32 of a tsp)

Final dough:
  • All of the poolish
  • White flour: 10.7 oz
  • Water: 5.3 oz
  • Salt: 1.5 tsp
  • Instant yeast: 1/2 + 1/8 tsp

The night before, dissolve the yeast into the water for the poolish, and then mix in the flour. Cover and let it ferment at room temperature for 12-16 hours. Once the poolish has bubbles breaking on top and has started to wrinkle, it's ready. It'll also smell ... really nice - sweet and nutty. Mmmm.

For the final dough, measure out the water and pour it into the poolish to loosen it up. Then pour the entire mixture into a bowl. Mix together the salt, yeast and flour, and then add it to the bowl as well. Mix it all up with a spoon and, once everything is hydrated, knead it for about 5 to 10 minutes, until it passes the windowpane test. Cover and let it ferment for two hours, giving it a stretch-and-fold at the one hour mark.

Divide the dough into three pieces, and preshape into rounds. Cover and let them rest about 20 minutes. Then shape into baguettes and cover, letting them rise for about 1 hour to 90 minutes. Score and bake on a preheated stone in a 460 degree oven with steam for about 25 minutes.

Ciabatta with Poolish (Makes one 1.5 lb loaf):
Overall formula:
  • White flour: 100%
  • Water: 73%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Instant yeast: 0.36%
  • 30% of the flour is pre-fermented as a poolish at 100% hydration with .07% yeast


This is all in grams, because I used my spreadsheet - Hamelman uses ounces.

Poolish:
  • White flour: 136 grams
  • Water: 136 grams
  • Instant yeast: Just a speck (about 1/32 of a tsp or 1/10 of a gram)

Final dough:
  • All of the poolish
  • White flour: 318 grams
  • Water: 195 grams
  • Salt: 9 grams
  • Instant yeast: A heaping 1/8 tsp or .5 grams

The night before, dissolve the yeast into the water for the poolish, and then mix in the flour. Cover and let it ferment at room temperature for 12-16 hours. Once the poolish has bubbles breaking on top and has started to wrinkle, it's ready. It'll also smell ... really nice - sweet and nutty.

For the final dough, measure out the water and pour it into the poolish to loosen it up. Then pour the entire mixture into a bowl. Mix together the salt, yeast and flour, and then add it to the bowl as well. Mix it all up with a spoon and let it sit for one hour. At one hour, give it a stretch and fold, followed by two more every 30 minutes. Then let it ferment for one more hour, for a total of 3 hours bulk fermentation.

Remove the dough onto a well floured surface, and pat it out into a rectangle, carefully degassing any truly gigantic bubbles that you noticee. Let it rest for about 90 minutes.

Tranfer to the oven, dimpling it with your fingers if you desire, onto a hot stone at 460 degrees with steam for about 35 minutes or so. Let it rest one hour before slicing.
Bricejacob's picture
Bricejacob

Greetings!

 I started baking bread about two years ago.  My grandmother had passed away shortly before that, and I realized that my children (all three!) were not ever going to have the simple pleasure of having her white bread as toast.  So I dug out her recipe and decided to start trying to make it.  This began my current journey so I thought it might be a good starting point and introduction for my blog here on The Fresh Loaf.  As a side note, I have *no* idea who Mr. Dugan is.  I have no idea where my grandmother got this recipe and no one in my family can recall either.  So if any of you *have* heard of this, I'd love to hear from you.

 Mr. Dugan's White Bread  

  • 1.25 cups Milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbl butter
  • 0.25 cup honey
  • 5-6 cups unsifted white wheat flour
  • 0.25 cup granulated white sugar
  • 0.5 cup lukewarm water - 125 degrees
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 packages active dry yeast. 

Instructions  

  1.  Place the milk, salt, butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until butter (use real butter) melts.  Pour mixture into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and turn the dough out onto a floured board or counter top.  Or use an electric mixer with a pastry hook.  Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Turn the mixture into a greased mixing bowl and cover with a towel.  Let stand in a warm place until double in bulk.  (One trick is to put it in an oven with a pan of boiling water on the shelf below.  Want a temperature of about 85 to 90 degrees.)  This takes about 45 minutes to one hour.  Divide the mixture into two parts and flatten each into a rectangle.  Place each rectangle into a 9.25 x 5.25 inch lightly greased Teflon bread pan.  Let stand in a warm place until dough rises to the top of the pan.  About 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Now, this isn't the way I make this recipe today.  These are the instructions as my mother passed them to me.  I'm certain my grandmother didn't initially use Teflon bread pans, for example.  Also, when I started doing this, I had no concept of a preferment, so I've adjusted things a bit.  However, starting with this recipe, I've begun (over the past 6 months of so) experimenting with varying different parts of it, usually with pretty tasty results.  I'll share some of those (hopefully with some pictures) in the next couple of blog entries. 

 

manuela's picture
manuela

Bread Baking Day #05, hosted by Chelsea at Rolling in Dough . The theme is "Filled Breads": this is my entry: Kuchen Roll with a prune-cinnamon filling

Full recipe is Here

TheTimeLord's picture
TheTimeLord

I remember a few years ago when I discovered the Fresh Loaf. I was overwhelmed with the wealth of information and friendly comments and created an account immediately. For the most part I've been silently watching from the sidelines, jealous of anyone making the time to try new things and post their foods. Oh how it looked like so much fun!

Inspired by many of the challenges people have given themselves, I've decided to challenge myself as well. My New Years resolution, and first one ever, is to try a new recipe every single day for the whole year of 2008. So far I'm off to a wonderful and fun start. I plan on baking on the weekends as that will be the only time I really have available to do serious baking and, of course, I plan to use many wonderful recipes from this site! Ones I've always wanted to try. I've had great success with the bagel and pizza recipe, I can't wait to try more.

If anyone is interested in following me on my journey, I'm posting all of my progress at www.reciperesolution.com. Any comments, critiques, suggestions, support or advice would be greatly appreciated. When I bake anything, I'll post that here too! I'm so glad to have a chance to do this. I hope I can do it!

 

-JT

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I applied a bunch of system patches, did a server reboot, and upgraded to the latest version of Drupal today. The server took about 5 minutes to come back, which is longer than usual, and just long enough to make me worry that I was going to have to spend the rest of my day emailing back and forth with tech support. Happily, it looks like everything came back fine.

Please let me know if you run into any problems.

TableBread's picture
TableBread

Happy New Year everyone!  Here's to a great 2008!

 

~TableBread

http://tablebread.blogspot.com 

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