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trfl

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    Eindhoven, The Netherlands

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  1. Thank you blue_dolphin, you settled the debate It was a pleasure to see LoafNest in a kitchen half way across the world! We are happy! Hope you had a chance to use LoafNest in another oven where it could fit.
  2. LoafNest is only ~6 inch tall so I presume it would fit in the CSO. But it may be a good idea to check with a tape measure the size inside your oven after assembling the lowest rack. Another option is just to use a cast iron casserole (dutch oven) that you know fits in your oven and see if you can make loaves based on LoafNest recipe book. We call it LoafNest recipe book but it is not compulsory to own LoafNest to own the free eBook. LoafNest only makes it easier and better. If you try it without LoafNest, it may be a good idea to scale down hydration of recipes by 10-20% because without LoafNest the loafs may struggle to keep their shape in a large round casserole.
  3. As some on this forum know, we are trying to push boundaries of what is possible with bread making, or how easy it is, or both! A part of this journey for us was breads with (relatively) high percent of vegetable content. As usual, all were no-knead, no-shape method based. We were able to use upto 75 bakers' percent vegetable in some recipes (e.g. Cucumber). Great additional flavors, easy way to include more vegetables in the diet and to top it all, really exotic natural colors! We also found that the texture of the crumb was much softer without any compromise on the crunchiness of the crust. Here are some pictures for you! No-knead bread with red Pimento peppers (~35 baker's percent) With fresh green peas (~35%) Fresh tomatoes (60%) With cucumber (78%) Overall, the recipe outline remains the same as the cucumber bread recipe (found here or in the LoafNest recipe book). Just blend the vegetables fine and mix it into the dough. Compensate for the amount of water added by the vegetable. Also, if the vegetable has higher sugar content, it may need a lower raising time. Thats it! Hope you will love experiementing with your own!,
  4. Thanks for the tip chromedome! Yes, Atta is Durum wheat. Indeed, we tried with semolina for somewhat better results compared to atta. But Semolina is not whole grain, but made only from Endosperm. So, you miss a lot of flavor. Also, since the semolina grains are much coarser, the texture is different too.
  5. If you would like to try Atta flour, your best bet would be a nearby (or online) south Asian shop (e.g Indian) It is not very expensive because it is a staple in these cuisines. Ensure that you do buy authentic Atta because at some places normal wheat flour is marketed as Atta flour. We can recommend some main brands like Annapoorna, Aashirwad, Pilsbury or Shaktibhog. Do share your results here when you get a chance!
  6. EliseD, you have a fair point about LoafNest being quite expensive. LoafNest is quite a high quality product and we being small, we are yet to achieve economies of scale. That is why we decided to keep the focus on our main markets from Kickstarter campaign: US and EU. That way it is reasonably priced in those markets and includes all duties and shipping. And the whole import duties thing does not help anyone either. It is a bit cheaper on our own webshop (https://shop.trfl.nl/usa) but at this moment we do not have a shipping solution that includes Canadian duties and GST. We are working on it though. Will drop a line here via PM when we have something reasonable for our Canadian bakers.
  7. This is an interesting story about how it took us about 10 years to make a particular kind of bread. Hopefully, it will resonate with others who have a similar quest here. This story about the Indian Atta bread and its notoriety for breadmaking. For those of us here who are familiar with Indian cooking, you would recognize this as the floor used for Indian flatbreads like Roti. For this reason Atta Flour is the mainstream flour in south Asia. Over the last 10 years, we had been making several attempts (mostly failed ones) to make good bread from Atta. The appeal is very obvious to those who have used atta flour. It is whole wheat flour so, has all the fiber, nutrient and mineral content of whole wheat but unlike western whole wheat bread flour, the milling is very fine. This gives a flour that has the texture of a white flour but all the benefits of a whole wheat without the slightly gritty texture. Moreover, due to the climate, cultivars and geography, the atta flour also has a unique nutty flavor to it. All good, except it is was impossible to make good bread with it. We tried pretty much every rule in the book. Kneading, no-kneading, different starters, different raise conditions, different baking conditions, hand made, bread machine made….. But, no luck. A simple google search will show you similar attempts by other people which more likely than not lead to a dense, gummy loaf. It is for that reason that most of the bread sold in India is made not with Atta but with Maida (a flour that only uses the starchy kernel instead of whole grain) which is equivalent of white flour. After several years of trying, we almost gave up on Atta flour. In parallel we had been working on a product called LoafNest to make bread making convenient [Not posting link here because the intention is to keep commercial interest a bit away and focus on breadmaking]. Some of the members of this forum may remember the thread from earlier in the year. So, during our development of LoafNest, Atta flour came up again but we were really not optimistic about trying it. But we went ahead anyway and results probably speak for themselves. It really worked like a charm and surprised even us, the very creators of the product. The loaf was airy with unique flavor of Atta. Well cooked crumb without any gummy feeling. And a whole wheat loaf without the gritty texture. And of course, no-kneading, shaping or cleanup So, what did we learn about Atta bread making is below: Atta is milled in a different process compared to the western wheat flour. The process is high speed so it gives a finer texture. But the process also damages/opens up starch granules. This results in a higher moisture absorption by starch With this information, here are our hypotheses about why making bread with Atta is hard and why it works with LoafNest. With higher hydration, the flour has less strength and more fluidity so it can not hold its shape well after the raise Weakened starch structure also adds to reduction of structural strength So normally atta flour results in dense loaf due to collapse and gummy crumb due to high hydration With LoafNest the long no-knead fermentation somehow increases gluten strength (compared to a knead-version) With LoafNest since there is no shaping step, the gas formed remains in place and available for expansion later during baking The high contact area with casserole somehow improves heat transfer so that the loaf can baker faster than it can collapse For those who are interested, here is the recipe we were able to use. Note that Atta is really absorptive and we use 100% hydration compared to 80% hydration in a normal recipe for LoafNest. What are your thoughts on these? Do you have a better hypothesis why it works well?
  8. Hello fellow bakers, Just wanted to thank everyone on this forum for the wonderful feedback on LoafNest earlier in the year. We also have a really good news to share. LoafNest was relaunched on Kickstarter yesterday and we were funded in 3 hours! Thanks for many folks who came originally from this forum to make it happen. See the new campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/trfl/loafnest?ref=ewu6er -trfl
  9. Hi all, Thanks for the amazing support. The LoafNest campaign is going on with a steady momentum. I thought I would share the first LoafNest product review from a food-scientist/blogger/baker. The review answers a lot of questions raised earlier on eGullet and other fora. There is also a comparison side-by-side of a LoafNest and Cast-iron+baking paper method from the same recipe. You can see it here https://foodcrumbles.com/testing-loafnest-smart-way-bake-beautiful-bread/ Hope you find it informative and possibly convincing to back the project (or spread the word) if you already have not. -trfl
  10. Good to learn our observations were consistent with yours and that of ModBread. If I may go a bit technical in my thinking here: To bake a good bread, you need certain amount energy supplied to it with a certain rate (power). With a cold pan, I can imagine the bread has to spend more time in the pan to get the same amount of energy [the oven is heating both the heavy pan and the bread]. This means a lower power. So anything time-dependent will suffer. I can imagine oven spring relates is time dependent since you need to gellify the outer layer a bit while the inner gases are still expanding and the dough is not fully hardened. One can probably improve the time factor by using a very light pan so it is not absorbing the energy. But that would still be inferior since with pre-heated pan you get much more power in the initial minutes on the loaf than your oven alone can provide.
  11. We tried this but only once since it was a disaster Our hypothesis is that our failure is due to skipping the second raise. So there are no large gas bubbles that can expand further. But may after our Kickstarter campaign we spend some more time with this. It would be great if we can skip the pre-heating step but still get a reliable result. Even more convenient!
  12. Nice thought. In fact this was one of the first things we tried. It works reasonably well but not as perfectly as we would like to see in a good product. The liners themselves are not new. You can buy them here. It is the same company that makes Silpat mats. We worked with them to make a custom liner for us. But we had three problems that necessitated a custom cast iron pan. 1. The liners are very flexible and just about support their own weight. So they are unable to retain the shape when heavy dough is within them. This is normally not a huge problem for lower hydration dough since the dough can support itself to retain its shape. The use of this liners is in professional bakeries that use ~70% hydration at most. We use 80-90% hydration that makes the dough basically a slurry. Also, we skip the second raise step completely so the dough have even less strength when it goes into the liner. So we needed to support it with a liner with a custom shape until the bread became solid enough. 2. The whole idea of using cast iron is to maximize the conductive heat transfer. For a round loaf the bottom area is large enough. But since we wanted to keep a more practical oblong loaf shape, we would use a much smaller contact area at the bottom of the loaf if we did not use a fitted cast iron around it. Now we use the sides as well as bottom for direct heat transfer. 3. Cast iron casseroles come in various sizes, shapes and forms. It was impossible to make one liner that will work even with a majority of them. Finally, the liners themselves are quite expensive (as you can see from the Demarle page I linked above). So beautiful cast iron at slightly higher point is quite a value for money. Hope you will like to support our campaign by backing or sharing with your contacts.
  13. Thanks everyone who pitched in with helpful comments and feedback. We are happy to announce that the LoafNest Kickstarter campaign is now live. You can see it on this link. Please back us and help to spread the word to your contacts and social media. Thanks again!
  14. I do understand and empathize with the apprehensions about offset handles. After all, they are a new idea and it is hard to guess if it works for you or not when you have nothing similar to compare against. Only way to know for sure is to use one. We have been using our prototypes for a few months now baking almost every day. We really do not find any issues. Of course, we have normal physical abilities and I can not judge how hard or easy it is going to be for someone with arthritis. We will keep a keen ear on the feedback of the first version. There is a good reason behind those offset handle: * Our lid is taller and heavier than a normal casserole lid. Since the bread raises to almost double its initial height, we had to make it taller and hence heavier. * We need to be able to remove the lid easily when the pan is hot (to place the liner and pour the dough) and put it back again. This step is done wearing gloves or mitts. So, if the handles are lined up, the space between top and bottom handle needs to be quite a lot to allow for thick finger+mits to get into the gap. * If we want to provide such a gap on our product (which is overall about 15cm/6inch) tall, we would end up with a funny looking casserole. Also, there are difficulties in manufacturing handles far away from the rim in cast iron. That is why you almost always see handles on the rim for cast iron. It is possible, but difficult and leads to inferior quality [For enameled sheet iron, like the one in the picture by andiesenji, that is much easier because they are made in a different way]. So, with all these constraints, we came up with offset handles so that both sets of handles can stay on the rim but can still allow easy lid removal and putting it back while wearing thick gloves. I hope I have better explained the background behind offset handles.
  15. By better we mean more flavorful, more tasty, more textured bread. Most supermarket bread (at least here in Europe) tastes like cotton. By healthy we mean more appropriate levels of salt and lack of preservatives/additives and having the knowledge of what goes into the bread. For example in the Netherlands, where we live, a recent study found illegal amounts of salt in 'artisan' bread from many bakery chains. [Source] By reducing the barrier to bread baking at home, we believe we help people to achieve better taste and health. Of course, the knowledge of knowing what you eat is invaluable for a healthy lifestyle mindset. By the way, we estimate our loaf costs about 75 cents (ingredients and electricity/gas) whereas an equivalent loaf will cost 2.25 (Supermarket premium bread) to 5.00 Euro (boutique artisan bakery). So, we believe it is also quite economical in the long run.
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