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Hello, I've gone gingerbread-crazy this year it seems. I decided I wanted to take those flavors and try to get them into a loaf of bread.
Here are the pics (not the greatest photos) (this first loaf made with regular instant yeast):

This was the second batch (6 loaves @ 350g, 2100g total dough, made with osmotolerant yeast):
(I updated my process below, when making this second batch).

Here is my formula, for a 500g loaf:

I mixed the sponge and let it ferment at 80F for 7 hours.
I combined the sponge with the dough water (holding back 12g of dough water, based on the weight of espresso powder, cocoa powder, & the three spices).
(I found a pastry blender worked really well for cutting up the sponge into smaller pieces, then a dough whisk finished dissolving and mixing the sponge into the water.)
I mixed in the honey, molasses and oil, then flour, sugar and yeast.
I let autolyse for 20 minutes, added salt and remaining water.
I folded and worked the dough on the counter, until almost at improved mix.
I kneaded in the espresso powder, cocoa powder, & the three spices, and continued kneading until improved mix.
Bulk ferment at 80F for 2 hours, stretch and fold every 40 minutes.
Divide, preshape, rest 20 minutes, shape, into banneton to proof.
(I found the loaves had a more rounded shape if when I proofed them in the fridge).
Loaves proofed for about 40 minutes.
Floured the top, scored, baked in a 440F oven for 15 minutes.
Took loaf out of oven, brushed top with a bit of water, applied gingerbread man (made with a bit of decorative 'dead' dough).
Baked for another 10 minutes or so, at 420F.

We had some for breakfast this morning...and I was really happy with the flavor. There is some sweetness to this bread and we thought it was good, toasted with butter.

I've got another batch on the go for today, to make as gifts for coworkers.

Happy Christmas baking everyone! from breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting, for Susan's Holiday Edition :^)

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Hello, These small loaves are based on Eric Kastel's Almond, Currant and Orange Sourdough from his book Artisan Breads at Home.
The scoring is an homage to EdTheEngineer's recent spiral-scored boule, that he pictured along with his other lovely breads.

I had some extra orange peel from making Christmas fruitcake, so into the bread it went. I used dried cranberries instead of currants, and reduced the amount of fruit and nuts to a little over 25% of the flour weight.

This bread uses a wheat sour; I just fed my regular starter with white and whole wheat flour and let it ferment for about 16 hours before mixing.
The dough was mixed with a combination of bread and white whole wheat flour.

The loaves were retarded in the fridge for 15 hours, and warmed up this morning for about 75 minutes before I baked them.
(I use an inverted clear plastic storage box as a cover for loaves when proofing - I can see a thermometer through it & can keep an eye on temperature. I've been filling my french coffee press with boiling water and placing it alongside the bread - it's been working out really well for getting and maintaining a humid, 78-80F proofing environment.)

Here are the pics. The four smaller loaves were divided at 230g each, and the bigger one I think was about 300g.
They sprung up in the oven!   Husband had some of the bread with lunch today and he really liked it. I'll try some tomorrow for breakfast.
This bread has a yummy aroma! I can't see any cranberry in this crumb shot but I hope it's in there somewhere!
Regards, breadsong

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Hello, Recently, Floydm made a lovely potato bread, and SylviaH made Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pugliese - both really beautiful loaves!
Inspired by their efforts, I wanted to try making something similar. I saw this formula for Pugliese in Advanced Bread and Pastry, which included mashed potato in the formula. It's hard to say what the ultimate hydration is, as I'm not sure how much water the potato contributed. These loaves really crackled and sang when they came out of the oven; the bread has a wonderful aroma and the crumb was very moist.
I scored the boule but not the second loaf; it made no difference in the final height of the baked loaves.
Here are the results:


Here is the formula: From SUAS. Advanced Bread and Pastry, 1E. © 2009 Delmar Learning, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc. Reproduced by permission.

      Final Dough weight in grams      
  Baker's Percentages Weights Baker's
  Dough Sponge Dough Sponge Total %
Bread flour 0.93 0.8 230 198 428  
White whole wheat flour 0.07 0.2 17 50 67  
Water 0.6 0.55 149 137 286 57.8%
Yeast instant 0.0048 0.004 1.20 0.99 2.19 0.4%
Salt 0.05   12.40   12.4 2.5%
Sponge 1.5532   386      
Mashed potatoes 0.82   204   204 41.2%
 Totals 4.028 1.554 1000 386 1000  

Here is a link to the manufacturer of the square banneton I used for the unscored loaf, in case anyone is interested: (this page shows the engraved bannetons)

With thanks to Mr. Suas for this really, really good formula!  Regards, breadsong



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Hello, I really love Rose's walnutty-oniony bread. I found a maple-veined cheese a few years ago and it paired amazingly well with this walnut bread! Any good cheese is great with this bread though.  This is a 69% hydration loaf using milk, with the addition of some roasted walnut oil. I like to substitute shallots for onions; I like their nice pink color and great flavor.  Regards, breadsong

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Hello, Here is an attempt at the Pear Buckwheat Bread from Advanced Bread and Pastry by Mr. Michel Suas.
What a wonderful book!!!!
The shaping instructions for this bread can be found here (thank you Susan!):

This recipe requires dried pears. I tried drying diced pears in the oven and it worked out OK; with thanks to Eric Kastel, who writes about drying apples in his book Artisan Breads at Home (I just did the same thing with the pears):
Preheat oven to 400F or 380F convection; start with twice the weight of dried fruit you require; peel, core and dice (1/2-inch) fruit; spread on baking rack and set on top of parchment lined baking sheet; bake 15 or 20 minutes (may need to move diced fruit around so it dries/browns evenly); turn oven off and let fruit dry for a bit longer (I left the fruit in for another 20 minutes or so to let it dry a bit more). I stored the fruit in the fridge until I was ready to make the bread.

I poured a couple of Tablespoons of pear liqueur over the dried pears and let the fruit absorb the liqueur before mixing the bread, and used toasted hazelnuts instead of walnuts. Here's how it turned out!:

Happy baking everyone!  This was a fun project.  I don't have a crumb shot yet, but will be cutting into one of these loaves later today & will try to take a picture then. Regards, breadsong

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Hello, I have a group of people at work I wanted to bake bread for. I wanted to make them something special - this bread seemed to fit the bill!
It was such a pretty bread, as pictured in Advanced Bread and Pastry. With thanks to Mr. Michel Suas for a wonderful, if involved, formula - there are four separate preferments and I had to create a spreadsheet in order to figure out how to scale enough ingredients for 2000g of dough.
I divided into roughly 250g pieces to create as many loaves as I wanted to give (with one extra to keep, for tasting!). 
I sliced the one that achieved the least height & was surprised but happy to find an open crumb, so I hold out hope for the others. 
The caramelized hazelnuts are fantastically, wonderfully delicious in this bread!!!
Regards, breadsong

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Hello, I made a batch of Mr. Hamelman's Oatmeal Bread to make some bread today, so I could use my new bannetons!

My sweet little niece is turning 6. I wanted to make a bread design to go with her 6th birthday card, to form part of her gift for her birthday party tomorrow. This is 220g dough, 5" round banneton, and a small bit of Mr. Hamelman's pate morte colored with cinnamon to make the "happy face":

This is 500g dough, 16cm square banneton (I scored along the lines created by the banneton):

I've got some pate morte left over; will try to freeze to use for future projects.
Regards, breadsong

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Hello, This formula has some rye sourdough in addition to a liquid levain.
This is the first time I've tried making a bread with rye sourdough; I'm looking forward to tasting!
These loaves really puffed up during the bake - perhaps a bit underproofed although thankfully there were no blowouts.
From breadsong


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Hello, This is my second try making Chad Robertson's Country Bread, from his book, Tartine Bread.
I am enamored to say the least! I will be coming back to this again and again - it is SO good.

I tried baking this time on six firebricks instead of on my thinner baking stone. The baking stone was heated on the top rack to provide some more radiant heat from the top.  Here are the pictures of today's bake (each loaf proofed in a oval banneton at room temperature; loaves were not retarded).
I was happy with the oven spring and crumb! Flavor is once again quite wonderful! Regards, breadsong

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Hello, I wanted to try making something different for a birthday dessert.

I made a recipe of Ciril Hitz's Basic Sweet Dough & divided in two, one half for each 'number'.
Each half was rolled out and covered with roasted hazelnut paste, then rolled up and shaped.
I extended the first roll a bit to make it longer, so it would be long enough the shape the '8'.
I used two metal rings for the '8' and an oval cake pan for the '0' to maintain shape while proofing and baking.

(My recipe to make enough hazelnut paste for this experiment: 1.5 cups roasted, skinned, ground hazelnuts,
1.5 cups sifted icing sugar, a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, enough egg white to make the paste spreadable).

These turned out rather large! In the picture, the 'rolls' are sitting on a 12x18 pan...

A decorated birthday cake would have been prettier but it was well received anyway!
Regards, breadsong



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