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The Bread Topic (2016–)


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Last night I made another batch of ricotta and decided to use the whey in my standard Pullman loaf. (I usually use water.) Not very successful, but I'm not totally sure if the whey was the issue. I don't have photos, it looked too dismal. There was no oven spring at all. It rose until about an inch from the top of the pan while proofing, then I covered it and put it in the oven. This is how it usually goes. But when I took it out, it was still at that exact same height. Seems that it overproofed, but I didn't let it rise any more than usual. So not sure what went wrong. It's still perfectly edible. It's much more chewy than usual, but again I don't know if that's because of the whey or because it didn't rise to its full height. (But the ricotta was delicious.)

 

Regarding the post above: I never cover any bread. The Pullman is an exception, because you're creating a particular environment to get a particular result. (Which doesn't always work; see above!)  Interested to hear how others do it.

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18 hours ago, Anna N said:

An interesting question  and I was ready with a slick answer.  But on thinking about it I'm curious to hear from others. I wanted to say "at the end" of course but bread baked in a Pullman is covered until the last 15 minutes or so and similarly with bread baked in a Dutch oven. You are baking yours in a small toaster oven  and my suspicion is even if you cover it for the first part of the baking you may still have to protect that top at the end anyway.

 

I've been thinking about this (always dangerous). Here is a loaf I baked yesterday.

 

loaf.jpg

I baked it uncovered for 20 minutes, then checked. Decided I wanted more colour and left it another five. By then, it was the colour I wanted to achieve, so I covered it with foil and let it bake on until it reached an internal temperature indicating it was done.

If I were to cover first then colour, I think it would be much more difficult to control the desired colour without under- or over-baking. No?

Anyway, my method works for me, so I'll stick to it for now. I'd still like to hear what others think, though. Never say never.

 

15 hours ago, cakewalk said:

Regarding the post above: I never cover any bread.

 

If I did that I'd be baking charcoal roofed bread.

Edited by liuzhou
typo (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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On 8/25/2016 at 11:47 AM, liuzhou said:

Perhaps a dumb question, but I've only recently started doing my own bread and I'm generally happy with the results (despite a couple of embarrassing failures).

 

Until now, I've baked my loaves uncovered until I'm happy with the colour on the "roof", then covered it with foil and continued.

Something I read yesterday suggested the opposite. It said I should cover for the first half then colour for the second half of the baking time.

To be honest, my instinct is to stick to what has worked for me so far, but I'd like to know what you master bakers think!

 

 

I'll suggest that you do switch things up. The moisture prevents crust from forming, instead allowing the bread to rise for a longer time, improving volume, and reduced cracks. It also allows the bread outer side to geletanize, which will later let the crust be more thin and crisp. The total baking time shouldn't change much.

One thing to note: if you like the crust to soften (as is likely to happen when you cover the formed crust), just wrap the bread after baking, while hot.

 

 

 

19 hours ago, cakewalk said:

Last night I made another batch of ricotta and decided to use the whey in my standard Pullman loaf. (I usually use water.) Not very successful, but I'm not totally sure if the whey was the issue. I don't have photos, it looked too dismal. There was no oven spring at all. It rose until about an inch from the top of the pan while proofing, then I covered it and put it in the oven. This is how it usually goes. But when I took it out, it was still at that exact same height. Seems that it overproofed, but I didn't let it rise any more than usual. So not sure what went wrong. It's still perfectly edible. It's much more chewy than usual, but again I don't know if that's because of the whey or because it didn't rise to its full height. (But the ricotta was delicious.)

 

Regarding the post above: I never cover any bread. The Pullman is an exception, because you're creating a particular environment to get a particular result. (Which doesn't always work; see above!)  Interested to hear how others do it.

 

The acidity and sugars in whey can effect fermentation speed.

If you'd like, I can send you a recipe for Jeffrey Hamelman whey bread, which although I haven't tries myself, I had good luck with other recipes in his book.

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9 minutes ago, shain said:

I'll suggest that you do switch things up. The moisture prevents crust from forming, instead allowing the bread to rise for a longer time, improving volume, and reduced cracks. It also allows the bread outer side to geletanize, which will later let the crust be more thin and crisp. The total baking time shouldn't change much.

One thing to note: if you like the crust to soften (as is likely to happen when you cover the formed crust), just wrap the bread after baking, while hot.

 

I'm sorry, but I've no idea what you are talking about.

I have no problems with an acceptable crust forming. What moisture are you referring to? I add steam, as everyone recommends, to stop the crust over forming.

Nor does my crust soften after covering despite my always wrapping the bread while hot. I don't want it to soften. It's fine as it is. I wrap it for hygiene reasons. Lots of insects here.

My concerns are about the colour of the crust. The way I've been doing it makes controlling the colour very easy.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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2 hours ago, shain said:

The acidity and sugars in whey can effect fermentation speed.

If you'd like, I can send you a recipe for Jeffrey Hamelman whey bread, which although I haven't tries myself, I had good luck with other recipes in his book.

Interesting. Yes, I'd love the Hamelman recipe, thank you very much. (I see a lot of ricotta in my future, so I know there will also be a lot of whey.)

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2 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

I'm sorry, but I've no idea what you are talking about.

I have no problems with an acceptable crust forming. What moisture are you referring to? I add steam, as everyone recommends, to stop the crust over forming.

Nor does my crust soften after covering despite my always wrapping the bread while hot. I don't want it to soften. It's fine as it is. I wrap it for hygiene reasons. Lots of insects here.

My concerns are about the colour of the crust. The way I've been doing it makes controlling the colour very easy.

 

Perhaps Iv'e been unclear. I find the results being better when I start the bread covered in foil, then finish it uncovered until browned sufficiently. The crust will form either way, but I find that if the bread is started covered, then the crust ends up thinner and with a more reddish hue. Also, a covered bread does not need added steam in the oven, which is more convenient.
When I said covering the bread makes it softer, I meant as in not crisp, which is to be expected. I did not mean that it will make it softer as in having less of a bite.

In terms of ease in controlling the color, I don;t think it makes much difference. I usaully bake it covered until it's done or near done in the center, then let it brown as needed, I find that it's hard to over-bake bread.

 

I hope Iv'e managed to better explain my thoughts :)

~ Shai N.

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7 hours ago, cakewalk said:

Interesting. Yes, I'd love the Hamelman recipe, thank you very much. (I see a lot of ricotta in my future, so I know there will also be a lot of whey.)

 

seconded, please!

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Focaccias for dinner.

A large one, with rosemary and coarse salt, baked in a wide pot, placed on a steel plate. Two small ones, one with cherry tomatoes and the other with grapes; free baked on the steel.

Served warm, they were crisp and not oily, with a nice scent of olive oil.

20160812_141652.jpg20160812_141214.jpg20160812_144435.jpgפוקצה (12).JPGפוקצה (47).JPG20160812_141239.jpg

 

Served with some fresh cheeses (ricotta, sirene), olives, sliced veggies.

As you might notice from the pictures, the one baked in a pot, which was covered for half of the bake, has a more open crumb, and harder to see, also a thinner crust.

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~ Shai N.

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Started my very first ever seed culture for sourdough yesterday, per Reinhart in BBA, but as that won't yield bread for a week, I went ahead and made Reinhart's basic white loaf. Divided it into a single loaf and some rolls for Sunday dinner.

reinhart white loaf.jpg

 

I probably should have let it proof in the pan a bit longer, but it was late and I was tired.

 

Cut a couple of slices off it this morning and made French toast.

French toast.jpg

 

The rolls I par-baked last night, about 10 of the called-for 15 minutes, and just covered them with foil when they were cool. Moved them to the CSO for a finish up at for 10 minutes of steam baking for Sunday dinner. Forgot to take a picture of them after they were fully baked, but here they are par-baked:

par-baked rolls.jpg

 

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image.jpeg

 It has been a while since I was up for baking bread but my teenage granddaughter is coming over tonight now that school is back in and I wanted to surprise her with this. This is Saturday morning  bread from Ken Forkish.  Apparently it works just fine on Monday.xD

 

 

 

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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)

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OK, bread mavens, I have a question.

 

I made my first seed culture for sourdough. From there, went to my first starter, both per Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. Seed culture did what it was supposed to do. Made up the barm and promptly refrigerated it, as I was leaving town for a four-day business trip. Got back, fed the barm (3:1, per Reinhart recommendation), and refrigerated it overnight. Next a.m., took it out of the fridge and made starters/sponges for two batches of bread, still working from Reinhart: his New York Deli Rye and his Pain Poilane. 

 

Rye did as it ought to do. Only issue I had it with it was that I let it proof in the loaf pans too long and it fell. Still tastes VERY good, though. Decidedly sour.

 

Poilaine, however, is another story. Starter took forever to rise. Finally did. Then dough  took a solid 24 hours to double in size, on my countertop. (Granted, I keep my house cool.) Made loaves this morning (roughly 12 hours ago). So far, rising has been miniscule. Dough was pretty stiff, but has softened with initial rise. I am thinking I will go to bed and see if these babies are of any sort of proper size to bake in the morning; if not, I'm thinking I'll not waste the energy and will just chunk the dough.

 

What's happening here? Any ideas? This is my maiden voyage with sourdough. Should these wheat loaves rise, will they be too sour to eat?

 

UPDATE -- After 24 hours, still no rise. I gave up and binned it. Still no clue what happened.

 

 

Edited by kayb (log)

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Sorry that Poilane didn't work out. I don't have any tips for you, but you are brave for even trying that loaf! I've looked at that recipe many times and just shook my head, thinking, "maybe some other time." I don't know what the problem could have been. But I've had situations where a sourdough loaf just refused to budge at all. I know the starter is fine, so I don't understand what's going on. I usually balk at throwing it out, and what I've done in the past is just add some yeast. Dissolve it in warm water, incorporate it into the sourdough that won't rise, proof, and you will get a loaf of bread. Not the loaf you wanted, but most likely an edible, decent loaf. (But I'm sure next time you try that Poilane it will work.)

Edited by cakewalk
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Sourdough. I made a large boule, cut it into quarters. Almost finished one quarter already. :$ The rest will go in the freezer. This is bread flour, whole wheat, rye, and buckwheat flour. It's very good. I know it's against the grain (no pun intended), but I'm enjoying "winging it" with sourdough. Keeps me on my toes. 

 

Bread 1.jpg

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 When someone brings you some homemade cultured butter and on the same day you find a lovely terra-cotta bread pan in the thrift store then it is inevitable that you will attempt to make some bread. I should completely give up any idea that you can adequately bake a loaf of bread in the toaster oven.  I know people do it including  

 

@Shelby

@weinoo

 And

@liuzhou

 

 But I never have very much luck. There is just not enough room for the bread to rise comfortably without colliding with the upper element. This bread  was made from a  recipe designed for an 8x4  or 1 pound loaf pan.  I think it is still too much dough for this pan.  I did oil the pan but apparently not enough as the bread stuck slightly on the sides.  I suspect the more it is used the more it will become non-stick if properly treated.  So the bread is a little on the ugly side but I'm sure it will taste fine and will be even better with some cultured butter.

 

image.jpegimage.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Anna N (log)
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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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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14 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 I know people do it including  

 

@Shelby

@weinoo

 And

@liuzhou



I still usually bake bread twice a week in my toaster oven. I have no choice. Sure, I'd love to have a proper oven, but they don't exist where I live. Even toaster ovens are rare.

If your dough is colliding with the upper elements (mine is nowhere near) then perhaps you need smaller loaves or a larger oven!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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 Tried for a small loaf. Used @Franci's  recipe for milk bread (discussed in the Cuisinart Steam Oven topic) but reduced the ingredients by 10%. Even with a foil roof the top crust still burned.  It was still a fine loaf of bread. I do believe that somewhere I own some of the very tiny metal loaf pans and will go on a search for them today.  But I swear I am giving up on using the toaster oven to bake bread.

 

image.jpeg

 

 

image.jpeg

 

image.jpeg

 

 It made lovely toast for breakfast this morning.

 

 

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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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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So I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I wanted to find my tiny loaf pans and I also wanted to make Peter Reinhart's seeded bread. Voila

 

image.jpeg

 

Almost too cute for their own good. xD

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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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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My 2004 eG Blog

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I wanted to find my tiny loaf pans and I also wanted to make Peter Reinhart's seeded bread. Voila

 

image.jpeg

 

Almost too cute for their own good. xD

 

Almost certainly too cute for the eater's good!  Irresistable!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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59 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Almost certainly too cute for the eater's good!  Irresistable!

 I managed to dispatch one of them!   Not quite like stuffing zucchini in somebody's unlocked car though.  

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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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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My 2004 eG Blog

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After giving up on my attempt at sourdough, it was back to basics for me yesterday. This loaf, oatmeal honey whole wheat bread from the King Arthur Flour website, is soft, pliable, makes damn fine toast, and I think will make most excellent pimiento cheese sandwiches to go with my vegetable soup.

 

bread 0929 rack.jpg

bread 0929 crumb.jpg

 

@Anna N, I'm confused as to why you're having trouble with your loaves hitting the top element of your CSO. When I have my rack in the lower position, with loaves crowned an inch above the pan to start, I have plenty of room. This recipe calls for 30 minutes at 350; I had the door open for a few minutes to cover them with foil for the last 15, and I guess let it cool off too much; I had to add another 5 minutes on convection bake, without foil, at the end to get the temp where it needed to be.

 

bread 0929 oven.jpg

 

I cut the sugar in half because I didn't want a sweet bread, and left out the cinnamon. Good loaf. I'll make it again.

Edited by kayb
add last photo I forgot! (log)
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      FOR THE SYRUP:
      1 1/2 cups, vinegar
      *NOTE: Use cider or distilled white vinegar, do not use wine vinegar.
      1 1/2 cups, sugar
      2 heaping teaspoons, pickling spice mix.
      PREPARE THE PICKLES:
      Carefully wash the cucumbers and bell pepper. Slice all vegetables very thin, using a food processor with a narrow slicing blade, or by hand, or using a V-slicer or mandoline. Toss the sliced vegetables together in a glass or crockery bowl large enough to hold twice the volume of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, add the cracked ice, toss again to blend all ingredients and add water to just barely cover the vegetables. Place a heavy plate on top of the vegetables to keep them below the top of the liquid.
      *Set aside for 4 hours.
      PREPARE THE SYRUP:
      Place the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices in a 4-quart Pyrex or other microwavable container (the large Pyrex measure works very well)
      Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes. [if a microwave is not available, simmer the syrup in a narrow saucepan on the stovetop, over low heat, for the same length of time.] Allow the syrup to cool. Strain the syrup and discard the spices.
      ASSEMBLE THE PICKLES:
      Place one wide-mouth quart canning jar (or two wide-mouth pint jars) with their lids in a pot of water to cover, place over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees). Remove the pot from the heat and allow jar(s) and lid(s) to remain in the hot water until needed.
      *After the 4 hours are up (crisping the vegetables as described above) pour the vegetables into a large colander and rinse well. The cucumber slices should taste only slightly salty. Return the rinsed vegetables to the bowl, add the mustard seeds and celery seeds and toss well until evenly distributed. Set aside.
      Return the syrup to the microwave, microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes [or heat the syrup on the stovetop] until an instant read thermometer shows the temperature of the syrup is 190 to 200 degrees.
      Place the vegetables into one wide-mouth quart jar, or in 2 wide-mouth pint
      jars that have been scalded as described above. Pour the syrup over the vegetables, place the lids on the jar or jars, tighten well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
      The following day, turn the jar upside down - then continue to turn every day for 2 weeks. (This is to insure that the pickles are evenly flavored)
      After 2 weeks open the jar and taste. The pickles should be ready to eat.
      Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months.
      ( RG2154 )
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