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The Bread Topic (2016–)


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I found some Trader Joe's white whole wheat flour that has been sitting around for a few years and decided to bake with it. 

 

I used a technique I've employed before with great success for 100% whole wheat sourdough - flour and water autolyse overnight in the fridge, then add salt and sourdough starter and mix well - leave to ferment for a while doing some stretch and folds, pre-shape-, shape, then pop in banneton and proof overnight in the fridge.

 

With this flour, several things were off. Firstly, the raw flour behaved and even smelled more like masa harina than wheat - pretty much zero gluten development after the overnight autolyse, then with all the mixing/kneading and S&Fs, VERY little gluten development and the dough never got "smooth and elastic".

 

I managed to pre-shape and shape it decently and then did the proofing and baking, and it even got a little bit of oven spring (proof that it was wheat and not corn I guess!) - but cutting into it, the inside was super dense and super wet and gummy, even after 25 minutes at 500ºF, then another 20 or 25 at 450, then cooled off in the turned-off oven. It also tastes really weird, it does NOT taste like normal whole wheat flour, white flour, or anything else.

 

Are these signs of rancid flour? Is it dangerous to eat? And moreover, when I used it to refresh my starter - did I damage my starter?

 

 

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I've had white whole wheat (King Arthur) flour go off. I can't comment on the gumminess because my own results are much too hit-and-miss for me to think I know what I'm talking about...but I think the off flavors could easily be due to rancidity.

 

I doubt you've done lasting damage to your starter. According to my reading, a mature starter is pretty robust. You might want to refresh with known good flour sooner than you'd normally do so.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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First attempt at pan de cristal. This bread is very high hydration. After 15 hour in the refrigerator I portioned it on a bed of flour and immediately baked, no further shaping. 3 out of the 4 small loaves had a huge bubble. Wondering if there is a way to avoid it or just pop it. The

bread is very nice 

07E240C5-B8FF-44FB-9B04-8E8A95BBAB83.jpeg

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74DE2EDF-A666-4E4D-905A-DD0F5C9F2A56.jpeg

C1C49C49-5213-460D-BEB8-E8EC43D2DC3C.jpeg

Edited by Franci (log)
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5B6DD0A5-40B1-4B00-8346-2884C627B4E3.thumb.jpeg.9cfc508f50059db2da1d44cf6d68059c.jpeg The last time I made these (KAF) English Muffins I forgot to take photos

They’re so stinkin’ good that I made another batch today.

I didn’t use rings just free-formed them.

 

Edited by lindag (log)
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Soda bread. Freshly milled red fife, 100% extraction. Sides are a bit iffy because I always stuff too much parchment in the loaf pan.  Quite a bit redder / richer in person; the forum always likes to strip vibrancy out of most of my iOS pictures.
 


 

 

A2B593E1-F6A3-4343-B7D6-AD68FDE596FF.jpeg

Edited by jimb0 (log)
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I don't normally bake much bread at this time of year, but I was able to get an early start on the oven today because of my weird work schedule. These are the Modernist Sourdough from Modernist Bread -- exactly as published, no modifications. One of my favorites.

20200624-DSC_5142.jpg

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
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@Franci– I just love the texture of those pan de cristal

 

 

My cooking mojo is still impaired.  This is my regular CI sandwich loaf.  The last time I made it, I messed it up by forgetting to turn off the oven that functions as a proofing drawer and basically cooked the outside of it.  I was very careful this time and didn’t make any of my earlier mistakes.  But the bread rose much higher in the CSO than it ever has and actually TOUCHED the heating elements:

61472369986__FC697178-C71C-4D78-804C-050AEA89927E.JPG.e01da964a74c9bf975572ed218b19fc4.JPG

 

Other than that, it was a lovely loaf and we WILL be using it:

IMG_2624.jpg.dceca8572827e34943d90000e2652186.jpg

 

IMG_2625.jpg.9c34ebe6cc09329cc9a27b00e2f97f17.jpg

Sigh.  

 

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3 hours ago, ElsieD said:

@Kim Shook  I stopped baking loaves of bread in the CSO for that very same reason - the tops always burnt.

Well, that's weird.  I distinctly remember "liking" this and typing a response earlier.  Anyway - I think I will do the same.  I love doing the rise in the CSO on steam, but I think I'll try doing the actual baking in the oven next time.  Disappointing, though.  

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1 hour ago, Kim Shook said:

Well, that's weird.  I distinctly remember "liking" this and typing a response earlier.  Anyway - I think I will do the same.  I love doing the rise in the CSO on steam, but I think I'll try doing the actual baking in the oven next time.  Disappointing, though.  

I don’t bake in my CSO either, it’s just not tall enough.

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On 5/18/2020 at 8:13 AM, weinoo said:

One of the first bread baking books I ever bought was written by the head baker at one of my favorite Italian restaurants in San Francisco. The book was published in 1993; by that point, I'd been going to Il Fornaio, and enjoying the breads, for years...

 

@weinoo, thanks to you I have a new bread book.   This was not one I was familiar with.  After I read your May post, I found one on line and ordered it from Powell Books.   Moe found it in the mail box today. Took a while to arrive, but it is brand new, (1993 edition) never been cracked open and I paid $5.50 plus $7.00 shipping (US). Was less than $18.00 CAD. 

 

The Il Fornaio Baking  Book.jpg

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3 hours ago, Ann_T said:

 

@weinoo, thanks to you I have a new bread book.   This was not one I was familiar with.  After I read your May post, I found one on line and ordered it from Powell Books.   Moe found it in the mail box today. Took a while to arrive, but it is brand new, (1993 edition) never been cracked open and I paid $5.50 plus $7.00 shipping (US). Was less than $18.00 CAD. 

 

The Il Fornaio Baking  Book.jpg


Please make the walnut bread and send me a loaf!  I bought the book years ago in part because I missed that bread but have yet to make it!

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My latest batch of bread: sourdough, using half bread flour and half heritage (Barrio Blend, from Tucson) flour. I'm pleased with the flavor. I still need some adjustments in time and temperature, though. This was done in the CSO on bread cycle. It almost got too brown on top at 450F for 40 minutes, so I had to lower the temperature for an extended time to get the interior to cook. It's still a bit chewy, as though the interior could have afforded just a few degrees more.

 

20200702_091129.jpeg

 

Here's my real issue, though: how the heck does one keep the dough to sticking to one's hands? This dough is about 78% hydration. Despite my best efforts (heavily floured hands, heavily floured counter) the dough kept sticking to my hands while I was trying to shape it and tighten the surface. This loaf deflated somewhat; its counterpart boule got more handling, stuck more, and deflated a lot more. I finally tried oiling my hands instead, but by that time the damage was done. Grr. Shouldn't flouring my hands have worked? What else should I try?

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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16 minutes ago, Smithy said:

My latest batch of bread: sourdough, using half bread flour and half heritage (Barrio Blend, from Tucson) flour. I'm pleased with the flavor. I still need some adjustments in time and temperature, though. This was done in the CSO on bread cycle. It almost got too brown on top at 450F for 40 minutes, so I had to lower the temperature for an extended time to get the interior to cook. It's still a bit chewy, as though the interior could have afforded just a few degrees more.

 

20200702_091129.jpeg

 

Here's my real issue, though: how the heck does one keep the dough to sticking to one's hands? This dough is about 78% hydration. Despite my best efforts (heavily floured hands, heavily floured counter) the dough kept sticking to my hands while I was trying to shape it and tighten the surface. This loaf deflated somewhat; its counterpart boule got more handling, stuck more, and deflated a lot more. I finally tried oiling my hands instead, but by that time the damage was done. Grr. Shouldn't flouring my hands have worked? What else should I try?

 

 

With very sticky doughs I'll often wet my hands with cold water, wetting the counter as well.

This way I don't incorporate too much extra flour which can make the dough too dense.

You can always use a little Pam (or the like)  instead of the water.

Vegalene is my favorite non-stick spray (from Amazon or KAF).

Edited by lindag (log)
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@Smithy I've posted this before but my method is speed and lightness. Do not consider more flour  panacea. If the hydration is high it will pull away from your hands like some cool Silly-putty. Cold water to clean up. Think how you work with phyllo.

Edited by heidih (log)
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16 minutes ago, heidih said:

@Smithy I've posted this before but my method is speed and lightness. Do not consider more flour  panacea. If the hydration is high it will pull away from your hands like some cool Silly-putty. Cold water to clean up. Think how you work with phyllo.

 


That plus making sure the dough has really been strengthened through a lot of folding/kneading. It makes the dough more likely to stick to itself than you or whatever surface it's on.

 

Also, use wet hands rather than floured hands for everything until the final shaping, that'll help with sticking too

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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Thanks for the input, folks. In looking back at my post I realize I was unclear about when I had problems. The wet hands trick definitely worked for the initial stretching and folding (maybe I didn't do enough of that) and I don't remember having issues with stickiness then. The dough rose beautifully during that first rise, too. The problem came after that, when I needed to cut and shape the dough. (This batch was for 2 loaves.) My lessons to date have said that at that stage - the final shaping - to put the dough on a floured counter and use floured hands. That's where stickiness was an issue. Should I try doing the final shaping and proofing on a wet counter with wet hands instead? I have visions of the dough incorporating more water and getting sloppy.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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23 hours ago, Smithy said:

Thanks for the input, folks. In looking back at my post I realize I was unclear about when I had problems. The wet hands trick definitely worked for the initial stretching and folding (maybe I didn't do enough of that) and I don't remember having issues with stickiness then. The dough rose beautifully during that first rise, too. The problem came after that, when I needed to cut and shape the dough. (This batch was for 2 loaves.) My lessons to date have said that at that stage - the final shaping - to put the dough on a floured counter and use floured hands. That's where stickiness was an issue. Should I try doing the final shaping and proofing on a wet counter with wet hands instead? I have visions of the dough incorporating more water and getting sloppy.

 

I've found, through a lot of recent trial and error, that the following works best:

 

-When you put the dough onto the surface to pre-shape, no flour, no water. You want a bit of tackiness while you roll/turn the dough around to get a ball

-for final shaping, very lightly dusting the top side of the now flattened ball, and lightly dusting around the perimeter of the ball/disk, and then lightly flouring a surface next to it. Quick movements with the bench scraper are your friend - you quickly jab it under the dough ball assisted by the flour along the perimeter, then when it's all loosened up, flip the floured side onto the floured surface, and then the sticky side is facing up, and you fold that on itself to create tension.

 

In all cases, quickness and lightness of hands is really key

 

Disclaimer: I've only been doing this for a couple months but baking very frequently in that time, and I've been focusing on pretty wet doughs and this is what has worked best for me

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@Franci, I love your cute little mini burger buns.   I need to make some. Thanks for the idea. 

 

Found a way to bake baguettes where the timing really works well for me.

Since I'm an early riser, usually awake by 3:00, I can bake in the morning. Works especially well, like today when I'm going into work.

I fed my starter yesterday and then threw the discard into 220g of flour and 220g of water for a biga. After 6 hours, I tossed it into 1000g of flour, 800g of water with just the addition of 1gr of yeast and 30g of salt for a slow overnight fermentation on the counter. I do the last stretch and fold between 9;30 - 10:00 PM and by 3:00 AM the dough has tripled and is ready to shape and proof.

I bake all my loaves now in the CSO on the Bread Steam setting and because I can only bake one on the stone in this little oven at a time, I bake for 10 to 12 minutes, long enough in the steam, and then transfer to a stone in the Oster oven, for another 8 to 10 minutes.

 

510712626_BaguettesOvernightFermentationBakedJuly7th20202.thumb.jpg.845f8ba11916af7a5c16da7708800a27.jpg

11 Baguettes

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275093443_SourdoughJuly9th2020.thumb.jpg.4b750c3a23c618446eac36a89fa937fd.jpg

Sourdough baked this morning.

 

444558421_SourdoughJuly9th20201.thumb.jpg.202a330e0476aae8b390388b9530b2d7.jpg

 

Sliced while still warm.


Biga was made on Monday when I fed the starters and left out until Tuesday and then went into to the fridge until last night when it went into a 1000g batch of dough.

Baked 8 small baguettes and saved Matt enough dough for him to make himself a large pizza.

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