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paul o' vendange

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  1. An Austrian online baker friend - I think she was serious - said keep my rye starter. Nothing to worry about as the pH is too low for the survival of any blood cells and besides....great starter food! 😁
  2. JoNorvelle, I'd love to see your bread but I'm not seeing an image on my end. Could just be me Well, happy accidents. Amateur move with a dough scraper of all things, sliced my finger pretty good and I bled into my rye starter, so started over. Normally I mature the new starter fur for at least 10 days but this one was rocking, cleanly sour and leavening like a champ by morning of Day 5 so on the advice of an Austrian baker I exchange with, let er rip. I wanted a pretty neutral dough to test the rye levain, so did a 1-2-3- SD with 80% KA BF and 20% T110 from Central Milling. Really happy with the results. So happy, in fact, that I'm thinking of defaulting to liquid rye levain, even for many wheat breads. The initial 1-2-3, and just a redo with 25% (Baker's) walnuts. Both really tasty. MAIN DOUGH Grams % 100% Whole Rye – testing new) starter 217 33.4% Water 433.00 66.6% BF 520.00 80.0% T110 130.00 20.0% Fine sea salt 15.00 2.3% TOTAL WEIGHT (GRAMS) 1315 2.9 OVERALL DOUGH FORMULA % Water 541.50 71.4% BF 520.00 67.2% T110 130.00 16.8% Whole Rye 108.50 14.0% Fine sea salt 15.00 1.9% TOTAL DOUGH 1315 2.9 PRE-FERMENT % Levain Flour 109 Total Flour 759 PRE-FERMENT % 14.3% Mixing Initial Mixing Autolyse 8:35-9:45 Mixing FF's; rest 25: FF's to “approaching windowpane.” Dough Temp Bulk Coil q 0:30 x 2 hrs; Q 1 hr after. Expect 3 hrs total. Bench Folding Scale & Pre-shape Bench Shape Proof Score Bake Notes
  3. To me it's disgraceful because it's the antithesis of everything Anthony very likely felt, to the extent any of us could know him (virtually not at all, I know). What a person writes, and what they say, are two different things; and that's when it's the person him- or herself freely doing it. Nothing about this feels right to me. It feels like gross exploitation. Whose story is being told?
  4. Extraordinary baking! Beautiful bread!
  5. I agree with JoNorvelle in every way - these look delicious and I'm sure they were. Baguettes are not easy - there are people I know who work entirely on them in the hopes of mastering their particular breads. Shaping can be difficult, scoring can be difficult to get down consistently, the crust and crumb - all things that take practice. Just some questions. How hot are you baking? How much total time? What's your recipe? Do you have a means to introduce steam? Edit: I see I've missed several posts - will go back over. Steam isn't used during an entire bake (another miss. Sorry Jo. As JoNorvelle said). It is used to gelatinize starch granules at the dough surface which does several things. Gelatinization is nothing more than the uptake of moisture by starch granules, and when they swell so much they burst, they essentially increase the "skin" extensibility - this allows your dough to expand, and consequently also allows the alveoli, the holes in your crumb, to expand as well. Secondly, it exposes those starches to saccharification, and during the "dry" phase of the bake, this leads to maillard reactions - the interaction between sugar and proteins that gives you a wonderful browned, crispy crust. In order for this to happen, the moisture needs to be evaporated or vented in some way. As a general rule, and it's truly variable - and it depends on if we're talking rye or wheat breads - but for wheat breads, roughly 1/3 of the total bake time is given steam. The remainder is baked dry. For baguettes taking 25-30 minutes, you can steam 8-10 minutes, then the rest, dry. Steam is the eternal challenge in home ovens, particularly gas ovens that vent for safety purposes. I want to make sure I'm not duplicating others' thoughts so will take a look above before going further.
  6. Putting together a "foundational" triad of breads to focus on, to gain better mastery in general. The Hamelman SD above ("Erin Street SD"), top photo rear 3 loaves, a true pain au levain made old school - I am trying to emulate as much as possible the late M.Rubaud), top pic bottom left, and a good, earthy, darker, rustic rye. In the top picture, bottom right, an Ammerländer Schwarzbrot, Ammerland Black Rye Bread (with its crumb, bottom photo). My Estonian wife is pleased to see rye again, as it's been years. 3 breads - that's it. Time to practice.
  7. Edited as I fear it was way off. If you are concerned about this, please don't be hesitant about reaching out for help.
  8. I mentioned the Hamelman "Vermont Sourdough" above. Just finished a couple.
  9. Thank you Heidi, you wouldn't know but it means a lot, as does this community.
  10. You are a baker after my own heart!
  11. I haven't been around much. A lifetime deep slump as to savory or pastry cooking but then that's been a long time, now. Trying to find some enjoyment in bread baking. I'm very French in most things. Well, all things, if I'm truly honest. Bread is no different, though my wife's family are all Estonian and I'm coming more and more to really love the vast world of rye. (I consider grains like spelt, kamut, einkorn, in the "wheat" family. I use a lot of spelt). I'm focusing on just a few breads. 90% of my focus is on mastering a good, flagship pain au levain, following as diligently as possible the formula and method (at least at one point in time) of the late master, Gerard Rubaud. I typically refresh the stiff chef every 5.5 hours (a tripling, or tripling +); though the day before I move to doublings - younger, more immature starter, favoring yeasts vs. LABs and thus encouraging leavening. Creating a new starter, every refreshment, every levain is salted at 1%. This salt is of course subtracted in the main dough for a baker's percentage of salt at 2%, and an overall ratio of the main dough of 1.14%. Stiff levain, 20% inoculation (I will change this through the seasons), 73% hydration, the "Rubaud Blend" (also used in all chef refreshments, and levains. A 70:30 BF:Whole Grain blend, with that 30% being composed of 60% WW, 30% Spelt, and 10% whole rye. Batard. The other "practice" bread is simply Jeffrey Hamelman's "Vermont Sourdough." Liquid levain, 40% inoculation, 65% hydration, 78% BF, 12% rye. I test for hydration levels and am working to improve my own basic sourdough, which can handle 71% hydration with the flours I use (KA AP, KA WW, local whole rye). liquid levain, 80% BF, 13% WW, 7% rye; 20% inoculation, 71% hydration. Boule. Finally, working on rye. My guide used to be Hamelman, but now I've turned fully to Stanley Ginsberg's The Rye Baker IMO, a wonderful book, the perfect approach for me, which is to approach regional culinary history as a natural outgrowth of the intrinsic culture, including immigrations. (Like, but much less so than, Waverly Root). Will be first zeroing in on the dark, dense, aromatic, boldly baked ryes of Russia and the Baltics (there's my wife's family). Anyway, hope you are all thriving and well, and cooking happily away. See you soon.
  12. Really beautiful, curls. I could devour the whole thing in a single sitting.
  13. (I began my martial life as a kid with a rather b.s. "fusion"; truly began in my 20's, with tae kwon do; when my teacher, Master Ki Chung Han, was tragically killed in a freak auto accident, there was a tremendous turnout of Korean masters - among them, Master Bong Soo Han, who many consider the "father" of Hapkido in the U.S., as well as fight choreographer - Billy Jack, etc. Quite a martial artist and teacher). The de Blasi books sounds wonderful. Digging in now - thanks!
  14. Don't know what it was, but in addition to diving headlong into all things French, I went nuts for all things Japanese. Parents bought me some drafting tools one Christmas, "designed" a world where water and green were everywhere, and loved the idea where indoors and outdoors were not well defined...a pool that spans the LR and outside, with a sliding wall to close off for winter (I was such a weird kid, lol). Learned what katakana I could, and wrote a gushing letter to the L.A. consulate about my almost adoptive love for Japan, received a gazillion brightly colored travel materials. Right now, about 3 feet from me..."Gardens of Kyoto", etc. Of course, the only problem, is you grow up, take it seriously, move inside a zen and martial arts temple and get the snot kicked out of you as a personal disciple of a master... ..and still haven't learned a damn thing. -In all seriousness, it was really kind of you regarding your son's friend. Terrible disaster.
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