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Kerry Beal

Baking from "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza"

118 posts in this topic

Kerry, thanks for starting this topic. I've been making bread from the book most weekends and am grateful for the comments here. As I'm traveling a lot these days, I haven't tried to make a levain, and my schedule has seemed to favor the overnight breads instead of the poolish or biga breads. The biggest favorite in the house thus far is the overnight white bread; most of my comments relate to that recipe. I'm using slightly too small dutch ovens (an oval LC and a round Descoware) and have a wonky oven, I should add.

  • I've settled into half King Arthur AP flour and half KA organic AP flour as the base, SAF red as the yeast, and Morton's fine sea salt.
  • I've struggled with burned bottoms on the loaves at 475F and thus am now working at 450F consistently.
  • The uber-dark crust has been a bit much for us, especially as we like to make toast with this bread, so I'm pulling them a bit earlier than Forkish prefers, probably closer to 55 minutes.
  • We have a cold kitchen (below 60F at night in winter) and so I have been using warmer water for the autolyse to hit that 78F mark.

I'm making three loaves today at 150%: two slightly smaller loaves in the DOs and one larger one directly on an uncovered baking stone. Will report back.

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Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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I didn't mention it before - but I too have turned down my oven. I bake at 460º F and take off lid at 30 minutes. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes total.

When I made my semolina loaf (not Forkish) I baked it on parchment on the pizza stone, with a big deep hotel pan over it for the first 30 minutes.

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  • I've struggled with burned bottoms on the loaves at 475F and thus am now working at 450F consistently.

You might try sprinkling some cornmeal on the bottom of the pot -- it seems to act as a buffer against burning.

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Field Blend #1 - a hybrid dough with a percentage of whole wheat and light rye flour. Nice crust - easier to cut than some of the others.

I included a picture of the bottom - I leave it in the cast iron when I take the lid off and with the temperature at 460º F I don't seem to get it burned.

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This is the poolish-based harvest bread which contains wheat bran, wheat germ and whole wheat flour. It is flavourful without being stodgy.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Two unattractive baguettes. Forgot to fold the dough, had trouble shaping, the dough overflowed my borrowed forms, couldn't slash the very wet dough and yet they remain quite edible. Used the recipe for White Bread with Poolish.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Saturday White Bread (on Sunday). I only made one loaf, half recipe. We do not need two loafs at a time. Used water close to 95 degrees to allow for smaller volume. Final temperature was about 80 degrees instead of recommended 78.

Now, the most important thing is not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting...

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I asked Anna which loaf I should try next - she suggested the Harvest Bread. I had levain ready to go and the Harvest Bread uses poolish - so I just made a bastardized version of it. It has all the same percentages as the poolish version but is a hybrid levain bread.

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The crust is more tender than previous loaves - I didn't have to work up a sweat cutting through the bottom crust.

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Nice tender crumb.

The fellows who were here blowing insulation in the attic each left with a huge buttered slab - they appeared quite happy!

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Im stunned at how delicious these bread look. i hope to get to it at some point. Ill need a 'container' for my BV-XL etc.

has any one made a 'sourdough' of any flour composition ?

Ive had experience w SD's in the past and would be my 'preferred' Index bread.

many thanks to all for this thread.

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Ill examine the book soon. thanks

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Overnight white bread.

I need to buy whole grain flour to take this bread to the next level although it is pretty darn tasty as is.

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Looks yummy!

Another bastardized loaf today - white and light rye using the hybrid formula, all in one day (no overnight rise).

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German salami sandwich for lunch tomorrow (or maybe breakfast).


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Did anyone try making black olive bread using Forkish method? That is my favorite bread ever. With nice high fat European butter and a glass of <insert beverage here>.

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Anyone ever baked with Einkorn? It's a heritage grain (pre-dates wheat) that is being grown here in Washington. I'd never had it before but ground some berries in my spice grinder and used them in a Forkish-like levain bread (I followed technique but not formula). Crusted the loaf with bran. I also made his pain de campagne and some cultured Jersey cream butter. It was really really good.

bran-encrusted Einkorn sd.JPG

Einkorn crumb.JPG

einkorn, butter, pain de campagne.JPG

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In terms of time and effort expended it's hard to beat the Saturday Bread for taste and texture.

image.jpg

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Has anyone tried the Forkish technique for pizza? It involves using the broiler to blast the preheated stone with radiant heat from the broiler, and using the broiler to finish the baking.

My broiler is an 18,000 BTU infrared broiler so it got a little too hot as you can see in the photo. But in subsequent bakes, I dialed back the time in the oven (5 minutes total bake time was all that it took). Unfortunately, the good-looking pizza got gobbled up before I could take photos :)

forkish pizza.JPG

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This is the same technique as the Modernist Cuisine folks, and I've been using it (with a baking steel) for months. Though it takes some adjusting to find that broiler sweet spot, if you take the time to heat up the stone/steel it works like a charm.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Yeah - I haven't found the sweet spot yet. If the snow has melted sufficiently that I can get to my Big Green Egg tomorrow - I'm going to rescue my stainless sheet and bring it inside to try. I've not perfected it yet with the stone and the broiler.

But I've got pizza dough ready to go!

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Try doubling the preheat time for your stone. I found that I was unknowingly leaving it in too long bc the stone wasn't fully heated, not that the broiler was too hot. Good luck: if you have the time and ability to preheat a good two hours, it's a revelation.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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