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The Bread Topic (2016–)


DianaM
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10 minutes ago, PatrickT said:

That looks stunning @Dave R!! Wow!

Thanks! I think I like the babka muffins I made more, but my wife is into the loaf for now.

 

Dave

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After my earlier bake this week of Cranberry Walnut bread, I found myself in the mood for something savory to accompany a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup I made. Speaking of which, am I the only fool who freezes leftover rotisserie chicken carcasses to make their own chicken stock? Apologies - I digress. 🙂

 

Anyway... I consequently revisited the recipe I tried for my very first bread bake back in December of last year - a Parmesan Garlic Herb loaf. The rather oddly shaped result owes itself to the Romertopf I baked it in, but the taste is just wonderful. Comparing this loaf to the pictures I took of my first effort, I was pleased to see that I was able to produce a much better rise and darker crust color this time around. @Dave R - I used ChainBaker's method of batard shaping for this loaf and I think it really helped the loaf hold its shape during baking.

 

My last two bakes have prompted a question about scoring loaves. How do you know when a loaf should be scored for baking or not? If you look at the Cranberry Walnut bread I baked earlier in the week, I scored that loaf and baked it in a covered baking dish. The result appears to have expanded along the score, but aesthetically, it's not terribly pleasing. There is no real "ear" nor really crisp crust development. This was a yeasted recipe but it also included mixed grains, as many of my sourdough loaves do. I essentially baked them the same way but the sourdough loaves produce a much more pleasing end result. Was scoring the Cranberry Walnut loaf to blame? Should it have been baked in a pan, rather than in a covered baking dish?

 

With this bake, I decided to NOT score the loaf - but looking at it from the side, it clearly "split." In retrospect, it seems like I should have scored it, but what would lead me to know that in advance?

 

I apologize if these are stupid questions. I'm beginning to think about enjoyment that would come from creating my own bread recipe formulas, but I feel stymied by when to use some of the techniques I've learned (e.g., scoring, baking in a cloche, stretching and folding dough to add structure, cold proofing in the refrigerator to enhance the flavor, etc.). Any insights or comments would be most welcome. Thank you for putting up with me! 😂

 

 

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@PatrickT 

 

great looking bread 

 

"" freezes leftover rotisserie chicken carcasses to make their own chicken stock "

 

if you have an iPot , consider chopping up the carcass coarsely

 

to minimize volume, and use the iPot to make the stock

 

its very easy , then you freeze the cooled stock.

 

I use that Fz stock several times w new ' bones '

 

and get a more concentrated stock , with out spending time reducing it.

 

that's where chopping the carcass up , decreases the amount of water needed to cover.

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

if you have an iPot


Well - we had one but found we didn’t use it as often as we thought we would, so we donated it to our daughter. She loves it and uses it all the time. Probably should have given it more of an effort. This is a great use for one - might have to watch for another one at our local garage and estate sales! 
 

Thanks for the great tip! 👌

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a bit OT :

 

the iPot does many things easily and well :

 

for me :  pressure steaming potatoes  : russets for mashed P  ( using the pot itself 

 

drains.  and Red bliss  :  cools them , and keep them refrigerated for potato salad 

 

' in a minute '.

 

I also low-pressure steam eggs , in a basket over the watter

 

quickly cool the  basket in cold tap warer

 

dry , and re-refrigferate  and I have perfectly cooked and easy to peel

 

eggs , for that potato salad , and other things.

 

and make turkey rags , from ground turkey , and canned chopped tomatoes.  + etc.

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2 minutes ago, rotuts said:

the iPot does many things easily and well


You should write a cookbook with some of these ideas! 🤣 Awesome - thanks!

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@PatrickT another fine looking loaf! 

 

The shaping looks like it went well. I've never baked in a vessel other than a loaf pan, so I don't know how much that added to the final shape, bit I'd guess that that loaf would have looked as good just baked on an oven stone. The surface tension created by shaping usually sets the tone there. I think I've said before that with shaping you're creating a dough bag to hold the ingredients. Good tension holds them better.

 

That brings us to scoring. The surface tension will hold in the carbon dioxide gas created in baking and causing oven spring, but the gas will find a way to escape. That's where scoring comes in. Without scoring the sides will usually split to a degree, unless there is a weakness in the shaping. The gas will take the path of least resistance. I even score my pan loaves, although it's not that necessary in that case.

 

Bakers can take advantage of the escaping gas to create patterns that are individual or traditional, like the pattern that you see on @Ann_T's  baguettes. Sone breads, like rye have scoring side to side to help the weaker dough (less gluten in rye) hold it's shape. When I was still baking on an oven stone last year I had to score the loaves baked on the left side of the oven differently (front to back) than the loaves on the right side of the oven (side to side) because the heat was different in those areas. I did that to get consistent oven spring. Normally you want consistency, like the baguettes. I'll post a picture of my usual scoring on an oven stone, baked without steam.

 

When to cold ferment? When I stopped using sourdough, about 10 years ago when I retired, I started using cold proofed pre-ferments and cold proofed doughs. I generally make a yeasted starter (poolish) during the day (70° F water) let in sit at room temp for an hour and then into a 40° F 'fridge overnight. I take it out around 3 or 4 AM and it has fully developed by 1 PM and ready to me mixed into my dough. Mixed dough goes thru a series of four stretch and folds every 20 minutes for an hour and then into the 'fridge. I de-gas and fold the dough at about two hours an then again about 4 hours later. Dough comes out of the fridge at about 3 AM and warms for an hour or so, is pre shaped and rests for 30 minutes, shaped and proofs for 45 minutes or so and then into the oven and done.

 

This produces a loaf that is every bit as flavorful as my sourdough was and it will last un to 6 days if wrapped in plastic. We finish them sooner than that though!

 

Sorry to be so long winded, but you asked! Feel free to point out what I nissed or should have left out.

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Dave R said:

another fine looking loaf!

 

@Dave R Thank you, sir! 😃

 

23 minutes ago, Dave R said:

Sorry to be so long winded, but you asked! Feel free to point out what I nissed or should have left out.

 

SO appreciative of your thoughtful response - thanks, Dave!

 

24 minutes ago, Dave R said:

The shaping looks like it went well... I'd guess that that loaf would have looked as good just baked on an oven stone.

 

Thanks! The next time I bake these, I'll  try baking them on a stone. Do you always add steam when you bake bread? Or perhaps the better question - when should you add steam and when not? I don't have a CSO but have used the hearth method (baking stone with hot water in a pan at the bottom of the oven) with other loaves I've made. It's worked well for me but in a side by side experiment I did just a few weeks back, I felt that I got slightly more oven spring and a more open crumb from the vessel method than from the hearth method. Comparison photo below. The test was based on a single batch of dough divided in half, both baked at the same temperature and for the same amount of time.

 

38 minutes ago, Dave R said:

The surface tension will hold in the carbon dioxide gas created in baking and causing oven spring, but the gas will find a way to escape. That's where scoring comes in. Without scoring the sides will usually split to a degree, unless there is a weakness in the shaping.

 

Very helpful and makes perfect sense - thank you! So really, any loaf baked on a stone (or in a vessel) should be scored to help direct/control expansion from the CO2 release.

 

42 minutes ago, Dave R said:

I even score my pan loaves, although it's not that necessary in that case.

 

Fascinating! Where do you score pan loaves? On the top, as with non-pan loaves?

 

46 minutes ago, Dave R said:

a picture of my usual scoring on an oven stone

 

Amazingly identical! 

 

53 minutes ago, Dave R said:

When I stopped using sourdough, about 10 years ago when I retired, I started using cold proofed pre-ferments and cold proofed doughs.

 

Thank you for this! 🙏 I'm going to take a stab at using your process to make a yeasted version of my typical sourdough loaf and bake it on a stone. I'll post my results and you can see what you think. I'll have to modify the times a bit. Here I always thought I was an early riser at 0500! 😂

 

Thank you again for patiently answering my questions. I really appreciate it!

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@PatrickT

 

wonderful post 

 

Im pleased you have spent the time

 

to take me ( ! ) and others 

 

on you baking Odyssey

 

re the last pic :

 

which loaf did you prefer ? 

 

Fresh ? cooled and later used  toast ? etc ?

 

Im sure each loaf's baking took different 

 

amounts of your energy :

 

which do you prefer ?

 

or from time to time 

 

one then the other ?

 

 

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

wonderful post Im pleased you have spent the time to take me ( ! ) and others on you baking Odyssey

 

@rotuts So kind of you - thank you! 

 

1 hour ago, rotuts said:

which loaf did you prefer ?

 

Love these questions - thanks for asking! I am such a kook with this - I've just found bread making to be surprisingly (and endlessly and delightfully) fascinating, which has proven to be a very rewarding retirement project. LOL My wife thinks I'm crazy (but thankfully, she loves bread, so... 😉 ). I have spreadsheets of recipes, baker's percentage templates and "variable tests" I'd like to run - the first of which was the test above. I made notes! 😂 Here were my thoughts:

  • Internal temp of both loaves upon removal was surprisingly 208 degrees on the nose.
  • Visually/aesthetically, I found the vessel bake loaf overall to be more to my liking (with the exception noted below).
  • Crust color for the hearth baked bread was definitely more mahogany in color (hard to tell in the pic above); crust color for the vessel bake was more of a deep golden brown.
  • Bottom color for the hearth bake was perfect - nicely browned; bottom color for the vessel bake (it was an enameled dutch oven) was extremely dark brown... nearly black. Side note: So far, I've been unable to solve this problem - the bottom is always darker and tougher than I want it to be when I use the enameled dutch oven. Not so for the Pampered Chef and Romertopf vessels I have. Nor do I ever have that problem when baking on the stone. I've tried lining the dutch oven with parchment, lining it with foil AND parchment, placing an empty baking sheet on the rack immediately below it, lining the dutch oven with a silpat - nothing seems to give me a consistent result that's not overly dark. Our oven is newer and doesn't have a visible heating element at the bottom of the oven, but I did wonder if raising or lowering the rack might help (it's on the middle rack right now).
  • I described the crust on the hearth bake as "crisp and leathery," while the vessel bake was "crisp and crunchy."
  • I found the flavor of the hearth bake to be "tangy" (these were sourdough loaves) and the vessel bake to be "mild." That said, both were delicious!

 

2 hours ago, rotuts said:

Fresh ? cooled and later used  toast ? etc ?

 

Such a great question. For me, there is nothing like a fresh crust that literally crunches in your hands as you cut it and as you bite into it. I always marvel at that! So sad that our baked loaves move so quickly beyond that point. That said, toast is divine and restores a lot of that initial crunch factor for me... all the way to the end of the loaf. Toast deserves more credit! LOL For these loaves, I preferred the vessel bake fresh because the crust was SO crunchy, but both were delightful as toast. 

 

2 hours ago, rotuts said:

Im sure each loaf's baking took different amounts of your energy which do you prefer ?

 

Exactly why I wanted to try this little experiment. I do admittedly love the ease and allure of plopping my dough into something, covering it, baking it, and just having it come out perfect every time. The reality hasn't proven quite that simple, of course, and I think I'm not nearly as well versed in the hearth method yet - so I probably unfairly give it short shrift. I really want to give @Dave R's method a try and give myself time to become more adept with it. 

 

Hope that was helpful? Thanks for the great discussion! 🙂

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@PatrickT sorry for the delayed response. I was outside knocking down some weeds.

 

I don't really use steam. I know most people have some sort of procedure for doing it, but I just give my loaves a misting before they go into the oven. That gives them enough moisture to keep the crust soft enough for a decent oven spring. I guess I'm lazy, but I don't want to spend the time trying to get my oven to do something It wasn't built to do. You can see by the picture of my hearth loaves above that I have a crisp crust but not one like you have coming out of your Dutch oven. That's why you're getting more oven spring and more open crumb on your Dutch oven bake. The dough is kept from crusting over until you remove the top.

 

I do think scoring will help your loaf in it's expansion and keep it from bursting on the side. I'll post a picture of how my pan loaf is scored. It's not a deep score, and you can see the surface also bursts a bit on it's own at the edges. Some of the higher hydration no-knead loaves could only be scored well if they're baked in a Dutch oven. If baked on a stone there wouldn't be enough surface tension once scored to hold the loaf together. It'd be pretty flat. Otherwise, scoring is like guiding the loaf in it's growth.

 

If you have any questions about my process I'd be happy to help with a formula or technique. One important thing to remember with the cold ferment especially, don't over yeast. My doughs are about 0.70 to 0.80% of the formula.

 

Both of the loaves you posted look good to me. I'd be happy to eat either one!  

 

Yes, I do get up early. Just old habits but they serve me well. Keep up the great baking!

 

Dave

 

WW Wal 1 web.JPG

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@Dave R THOSE LOAVES! 😍 Seriously, the consistency you've been able to achieve in your many years of baking is quite extraordinary, Dave. Holy wow. Beautiful!

 

7 minutes ago, Dave R said:

I guess I'm lazy, but I don't want to spend the time trying to get my oven to do something It wasn't built to do.

 

See - THIS is my thing with the hearth baking! If I had access to a 500 degree commercial oven with the "blast of steam" option, it would be one thing. But trying to recreate that in my dinky LG oven? Hmm. Is that really necessary? And from the appearance of the bread you turn out, I would say emphatically not!

 

12 minutes ago, Dave R said:

That's why you're getting more oven spring and more open crumb on your Dutch oven bake. The dough is kept from crusting over until you remove the top.

 

And I do really love that about baking in some sort of covered vessel. That Challenger pan looks very interesting in that regard for both boules and batards - but I'm a bit gun shy to try that, based on the issues I alluded to above with my Dutch oven. And I'm on a fixed income now, so cheap has never looked so alluring! 🤣

 

19 minutes ago, Dave R said:

I'll post a picture of how my pan loaf is scored.

 

Thank you! Very helpful.

 

20 minutes ago, Dave R said:

Some of the higher hydration no-knead loaves could only be scored well if they're baked in a Dutch oven. If baked on a stone there wouldn't be enough surface tension once scored to hold the loaf together. It'd be pretty flat.

 

So I know I've experienced this but didn't understand the reasoning behind it. I get it now! Thank you for sharing this!

 

22 minutes ago, Dave R said:

If you have any questions about my process I'd be happy to help with a formula or technique.

 

Thank you! How about if I post my proposed formula and time table here before I try it out and you can let me know what you think?

 

23 minutes ago, Dave R said:

Both of the loaves you posted look good to me. I'd be happy to eat either one! ... Keep up the great baking!

 

Thank you so much, Dave. I appreciate you! 

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@PatrickTI'd be happy to look at you formula and schedule . Just like shaping, time and repetition will be your best teacher.

 

Before you buy something expensive like a Challenger remember that you don't need that heavy top. I think @Ann_T was experimenting with lighter covers back on page 103 of this forum. If you want to verify that and you have two bread pans, put your dough in one pan, mist it with water and cover it with the other pan (upside down) for the first 15 or 20 minutes of baking. Then remove it for the remainder of the bake (no convection fan if you have one). If you have one pan larger than the other use it for the top, and be careful handling hot pans.

 

Dave

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dave R said:

If you want to verify that and you have two bread pans, put your dough in one pan, mist it with water and cover it with the other pan (upside down) for the first 15 or 20 minutes of baking. Then remove it for the remainder of the bake (no convection fan if you have one).

 

Our son wants me to bake him a loaf of that cranberry walnut bread, so I'll divide the dough in two and give that a try. Great idea - thanks!

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7 hours ago, Dave R said:

@PatrickT sorry for the delayed response. I was outside knocking down some weeds.

 

I don't really use steam. I know most people have some sort of procedure for doing it, but I just give my loaves a misting before they go into the oven. That gives them enough moisture to keep the crust soft enough for a decent oven spring. I guess I'm lazy, but I don't want to spend the time trying to get my oven to do something It wasn't built to do. You can see by the picture of my hearth loaves above that I have a crisp crust but not one like you have coming out of your Dutch oven. That's why you're getting more oven spring and more open crumb on your Dutch oven bake. The dough is kept from crusting over until you remove the top.

 

I do think scoring will help your loaf in it's expansion and keep it from bursting on the side. I'll post a picture of how my pan loaf is scored. It's not a deep score, and you can see the surface also bursts a bit on it's own at the edges. Some of the higher hydration no-knead loaves could only be scored well if they're baked in a Dutch oven. If baked on a stone there wouldn't be enough surface tension once scored to hold the loaf together. It'd be pretty flat. Otherwise, scoring is like guiding the loaf in it's growth.

 

If you have any questions about my process I'd be happy to help with a formula or technique. One important thing to remember with the cold ferment especially, don't over yeast. My doughs are about 0.70 to 0.80% of the formula.

 

Both of the loaves you posted look good to me. I'd be happy to eat either one!  

 

Yes, I do get up early. Just old habits but they serve me well. Keep up the great baking!

 

Dave

 

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Rather than getting your "oven to do something It wasn't built to do" consider getting an oven it was built to do.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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@JoNorvelleWalkerThat's something I'd love to do but logistics kept me from doing it.

 

About 6 years ago when our oven was just about to the end of it's life cycle, my wife and I decided to get an "upscale" oven rather than the contractor grade ovens we'd had. 

 

We live in a rural area so we drove close to two hours to one of the better appliance stores and were ready to buy when I asked about parts and repair. They only scheduled repairmen every three weeks to our area and parts were proprietary and they were not available to  non-professionals. So we left without buying, but were not deterred. My wife went on line to the local community forums, and found that many families in our are were needing repairs and doing without ovens. So it was back to contractor grade ovens for us. Even though prices for parts have gone up, at least I can repair my own and be up and running in a day or two.

 

Dave

 

 

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“Baking is a relaxed art. There is no step in the bread-making process that cannot, in some way, be delayed or moved ahead just a bit to make it more convenient to fit it into a busy schedule. If you are called away overnight just when the dough is rising in the pans, oil the dough surfaces, cover with plastic wrap and slip the pans into the refrigerator to keep until you return. If the dough you are shaping gets stubborn, pulls back and refuses to be shaped, walk away from it for a few minutes. It will relax, and so will you. … There are two other questions often asked which will give heart to anyone considering the first loaf. ‘How can anything so delicious be so easy to make?’ and ‘Why didn’t I do this before?’” — The Breads of France, by Bernard Clayton, Jr., 1978.

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I've been experimenting with my Pullman pan off and on and today I baked my first rye Pullman. Used my usual wheat pre-ferment started on Saturday, mixed the dough Sunday for an overnight cold ferment and baked this morning.

 

I'll have to make note of this formula because when my wife tasted it she said "Damn that's good!". I cant do any better than that!

 

Dave

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17 minutes ago, Dave R said:

I've been experimenting with my Pullman pan off and on and today I baked my first rye Pullman. Used my usual wheat pre-ferment started on Saturday, mixed the dough Sunday for an overnight cold ferment and baked this morning.

 

I'll have to make note of this formula because when my wife tasted it she said "Damn that's good!". I cant do any better than that!

 

Dave

PulRye1 6.22 web.JPG

PulRye4 6.22 web.JPG

Sounds good!  I'd like to try it the next time I bake if you'd care to share the formula.

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38 minutes ago, Cyberider said:

Sounds good!  I'd like to try it the next time I bake if you'd care to share the formula.

Always glad to share. I may alter this later but right now I'm pretty happy with it. The yeasted starter actually has less than 1/16 t of yeast but I use a template I've made and haven't changed it yet. Just a very small amount sprinkled over the water.

 

If you scroll up this page on some of my responses to @PatrickTyou'll get an idea of my process. I only do two stretch and folds for the rye bread, since there's less gluten there to develop. I'll be happy to answer any questions and feel free to point out any errors I've made. I post this as a picture. I'm not sure I can post a spread sheet.

 

Adjust water  temperature so dough after mixing is 76°. Usually start at 69°-70°.

Mix 3 min using Bosch mixer or 9 min in bread machine.  Ferment covered on board for about 1 hour, turning (stretch and fols) at 30 minutes.  Ferment in bulk in ‘fridge, folding to degas at 4 or 5 hours.  Leave 12 to 18 hours.  If baking that day, ferment about 90 minutes, folding once half way thru,, before scaling and shaping. 
 
Take out of fridge and allow to come to room temp for about 1 or 2 hours, no need to pre shape.

Pre-heat the oven to 425°. 

Flatten dough, shape. Place in pan and cover with plastic wrap, allowing to rise to about 1/2" of top then remove the plastic, cover with lid and let sit for another 10 minutes. Total proof time is about 30 to 40 minutes. 

When the loaf is  proofed, bake 25 minutes then remove lid and bake another 10 minutes. Take out of pan and bake to a total of 55 minutes. Internal temp should be about 194
 
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.  
Note: I'm at 7,800 feet above sea level, your final dough temp may vary.

 

Dave

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