The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Weekend Baking

kjknits's picture

Weekend Baking

So I have baked a lot of bread this weekend, if you count Friday.  Friday saw the BBA pugliese.




I liked it, but it didn't turn out the way I expected it to.  It wasn't as soft as it looked like it would be in the book photo.  The book photo bread is all squooshed down on top, as if it has a ciabatta-like, softer crust.  Also, my crumb wasn't near as open.  But, it was still nice, sort of like a generic Italian bread.

Yesterday I started to bake some sandwich bread (just my usual recipe), but then the day got short on me and I ended up putting the shaped loaves in the fridge for overnight.  I baked them this morning before church, and they seem different.  I haven't sliced them yet, but it does seem like the crust might be a little chewier.  There are lots of little blisters all over the crust, too, which they usually don't have.  It will be interesting to see what the crumb texture (and flavor) are like.

I also baked Bill's sourdough pagnotta today with my new starter.  Now this is a bread I can get behind!!!  With a big, wide open mouth! 




 It's gorgeous, albeit a bit flat.  It's such a wet dough that I just don't think it can do much.  But my starter performed wonderfully, doubling the dough in 4 hours and doubling the shaped boules in 3 hours.  Fantastic.  I did a few things differently than the recipe--I made up a sponge last night, using the starter, water, and just the AP flour.  Let it sit overnight on the counter.  It was super sour and foamy this morning, which worried me, bc I don't like really sour bread.  But I kept going.  I used KAF AP, KAF bread, and then for that last 100 g of flour, I substituted organic whole wheat graham flour from Hodgson Mill.  It made a beautiful dough.  I also used gray sea salt from France.  And, I mixed the dough in my mixer rather than doing all of the folds.  It took about 10 minutes at med-high speed to get a windowpane.

I proofed the shaped boules in improvised bannetons, namely wood salad bowls lined with smooth kitchen towels and dusted with flour.  Baked them at 500 for 20 minutes and did the steam thing (I baked the first loaf without the steam, and it got less oven spring than the other two).

The crust is thin, crisp but chewy, and nice and brown.  The crumb is open, holey, smooth and moist (almost tastes buttery).  And most importantly, it isn't too's just right.  And so, count me as another "Bill's Sourdough Pagnotta" convert!



bluezebra's picture

So how does the pugliesi compare really to the pagnotta? Is it a "stiffer" crumb? Cuz I guess the thing I adore about the pagnotta is that the texture is almost creamy. Right? Do you get that feeling about it?

Also, I'm going to try putting them in little 6" springform cheesecake pans and see how they come out this time! LOL. It may totally mess them up but oh well! :D

Anyways, we've both been baking fools this weekend. I did the apple-bacon-onion sourdough on Friday, the english muffins last night and this morning and the pagnotta today! Am still in the stretch and fold process and have promised myself not to rush it this time! :D

Piccys tomorrow on it I'm sure.

kjknits's picture

BZ, I'd say the pugliese is more like a French bread or Italian bread, a tighter crumb (but still light).  BUT, I don't think it was supposed to be that way.  It doesn't look like that in the book.  Maybe I mis-measured an ingredient or something.

I definitely agree with you about the pagnotta; it's so moist it IS creamy, and almost tastes buttery to me.  I love how the texture is so weblike around the holes, and the web is translucent.  Guess it's all that water in there (I think this one is 80% hydration). 

My twist on the pagnotta tonight was to use it for a hamburger bun.  I had an end bit of one loaf left (yes, we ate almost a whole loaf tonight, but it was the smallest one).  It was big enough to cut out about a 4" square.  Then I split it through the middle, just like a bun.  It made the most delicious and gourmet-like hamburger bun!  Although, the burger did occasionally try to shoot out the other end when I bit into it.  The crust is a bit chewy.


bluezebra's picture

Beware the shooting burgers! Did you rewarm it so that the crust gets crispy? That's my favorite way to eat it. Cut a hunk off and rewarm it in a 400 degree oven till crispy outside. The insides still stay creamy but the crust is very crisp and thin...yum!

tattooedtonka's picture

I really like the crumb on that last photo, very nice freeform boulles on top photos as well.

Very nice indeed.

Have a great day,


weavershouse's picture

Maybe a tomato from the garden and a slice of your bread grilled or toasted...yummmm. Nice job.     weavershouse

kjknits's picture

Oh, if only the plants were ready now, weavershouse!  We have 8 heirloom tomato plants (German Johnson's pink and Cherokee Chocolate) growing, but they're just now starting to bloom.  I almost shiver with anticipation every time I pass by them in the yard.  Maybe in another 4-6 weeks, then I'll try your suggestion!

Katie in SC