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Raamo

Baking with Myhrvold's "Modernist Bread: The Art and Science"

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5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

"There are distractions that can tug at you during every step of bread making.  Mistakes can happen anytime to anyone, including the common misstep of mixing up the weight of the flour and the water,* which results in more of a batter than a dough."

 

 

*I have done this.

 

 And I can certainly see that happening. But I’m not buying into it for the two loaves that I found out of balance. I will make them again and if I feel the need to confess I will do so. xD

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Id like to try that vacuum thing-y.

 

my copy has not arrived

 

I bet the sealing is to lee[ the dough moist

 

do you let it rise in the bag ?

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16 minutes ago, rotuts said:

Id like to try that vacuum thing-y.

 

my copy has not arrived

 

I bet the sealing is to lee[ the dough moist

 

do you let it rise in the bag ?

 You do not let it rise in the bag but you do let it autolyse for 30 minutes.  So I would assume that sealing the bag prevents the dough from drying out for this 30 minutes. Also they note that you can use either a chamber vac or a food saver type machine.  With the latter you must seal to get a vacuum.  They said there was little difference between the two machines in terms of the final product.

 

 So the steps are

 

 Dissolve the yeast in 95% of the water or if using a preferment dissolve that in the water. Combine with the flour. Mix the two together until you reach the shaggy dough stage. 

 

 Put into vacuum bag (or if there’s too much into a lightly oiled tub or bowl that will fit into the chamber vac (or use a food saver container)

 

 Vacuum using the full power of your machine. 

 

Then you autolyse for 30 minutes before removing the dough and continuing with the recipe. 

 

 Hope this helps. 


Edited by Anna N (log)

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My copy arrived yesterday - This is a crazy weekend for me (aka not much reading time) - but wow just wow at the details in this book.

 

We still have a bit of the artisan bread in 5 mins a day dough in the fridge - that'll get baked up to day and then I'm going to likely go a little nuts.  It's nice they have a replacement daily bread :)

I need to order a few things though, I have vital wheat gluten already from the MC noodles.

 

Is there a list of not normally sourced at the local supermarket ingredients most commonly used in this book that one should order to make the modernist versions of different things?

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28 minutes ago, Raamo said:

My copy arrived yesterday - This is a crazy weekend for me (aka not much reading time) - but wow just wow at the details in this book.

 

We still have a bit of the artisan bread in 5 mins a day dough in the fridge - that'll get baked up to day and then I'm going to likely go a little nuts.  It's nice they have a replacement daily bread :)

I need to order a few things though, I have vital wheat gluten already from the MC noodles.

 

Is there a list of not normally sourced at the local supermarket ingredients most commonly used in this book that one should order to make the modernist versions of different things?

There sort of is — meaning  you will likely need to refer to more than one page and probably more than one volume. The thing you need to think about though is that some ingredients are used for only a single bread and if you’re not going to ever make that bread then there’s no point in purchasing whatever additive it is. 

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

3-108 describes the technique of mixing by pulling a vacuum on the dough.  I would like to try it.  The procedure calls for sealing the bag.  But I don't see the point of this.  What is the benefit of sealing the bag?  Is it to keep the dough surface from drying?

 

I ignored the part about sealing the bag. I ran the vacuum cycle five times, then took the dough out of the bag. It was done.

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I'm definitely going to have to try the vacuum mixing method...and see what bowls I own that will fit in my chamber sealer.

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20 minutes ago, MelissaH said:

I'm definitely going to have to try the vacuum mixing method...and see what bowls I own that will fit in my chamber sealer.

Just to be clear the vacuum is used to autolyze the flour and water (and yeast) not to mix the dough. 

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43 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

It was done.

Done?  I am assuming you mean the autolyse phase was done.  Please correct me if you mean something different. 

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do they explain how lowering the pressure considerably for such a relatively short time

 

accomplishes this ?

 

I can understand , in a theoretical way , how a vacuum , when released might speed up pickling 

 

i.e.  the pickling solution then enters the cucumber etc when the pressure returns  ....

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28 minutes ago, rotuts said:

do they explain how lowering the pressure considerably for such a relatively short time

 

accomplishes this ?

 

I can understand , in a theoretical way , how a vacuum , when released might speed up pickling 

 

i.e.  the pickling solution then enters the cucumber etc when the pressure returns  ....

 I wasn’t able to find very much on how it works but I believe you are on the right track. 

There are a number of cautions about using this method which is not necessarily good for all dough types. The book claims it works well for lean, whole wheat  and pizza doughs. 

They also point out that not everyone agrees that an autolyse is a necessary step. 

 

 

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WARNING!  Long and potentially boring post. 

 

431533F0-EE51-47AB-92BC-827929DFA4A0.thumb.jpeg.90bb99d21ef39a438efffd901877db29.jpegBD3B365E-DE42-42B2-8119-BBFD21310F4E.thumb.jpeg.7bd9411c7e465a6041e10554469c23ea.jpeg

 

 Yes. I know. I promised more sandwich bread. These are obviously not sandwich bread. They are not quite so obviously not   Baguettes.

 

 Amazon delivered a new toy yesterday and just like a child I had to play with it today. It was a couche hence the attempt at the baguettes. 

 

This is the lean French dough using the direct method.  Since the recipe is barely an outline but refers one to the original recipe, I sat down and wrote out step-by-step what needed to be done.

 

First of all I must say that the liquid/dry ratio seemed to be pretty much as it should be leading me to think that @JoNorvelleWalker might have been right when she suggested that I had earlier confused the water and flour amounts. I’m still not convinced of this and it was definitely a new batch of flour that arrived yesterday.  Be that as it may. 

 

Things moved along just fine until it came to couching the pre-shaped baguettes. They stuck. You cannot believe how much they stuck. I thought I had done a darn good job of preparing the couche by rubbing in flour but apparently I had failed.  Failed quite miserably in fact. 

 

 The first photo shows a “baguette” that I wrestled off the couche and reformed almost from the start. It is short and fat and not a bit like a baguette and although I scored it, the scores are not visible. 

 

Now came the fun part.  Using a hotel pan as a lid means ensuring that your shaped dough is shorter than the longest side of your hotel pan. But it makes baking more than one at a time rather impractical. So this little runt went into the oven alone and I carefully placed the (unheated) hotel pan over it. All seemed good. I set the timer for 20 minutes and poured myself a drink.  Now, now don’t get any ideas — it was tonic water over ice. 

 

When the timer was up I approached the oven with confidence  and two thick side towels.  Gingerly I tried to lift the hotel pan. Yeow!  Dropped it fast. Steam burns on one hand.

 

 Approached it again much more gingerly this time. Managed to nudge it so one edge was just over the outer edge of the pizza stone thus  giving me a point of purchase.  I wrestled it off, nudged the loaf back on the pizza stone, and then desperately searched for a landing spot for a screaming hot hotel pan. Heat burns on the other hand. (The same hand that has two paper cuts from Volume 5). 

 

 Gave the little runt another five minutes without its lid before removing it and preparing to bake the other two deformed baguettes. I had wrestled them off the couche but made no real attempt to reshape them as I had done with the first one. 

 

 I knew damn well I was not going to repeat the disaster with a hotel pan. These two would I have to undergo a non-modernist type bake. 

 

I arranged them on parchment paper on a pizza peel, slid them directly onto the stone and threw a good two handfuls of ice into the bottom of the oven.

 

They rose beautifully. They have a gorgeous crust that sang to me and any improvement that might’ve been had by using a lid could never make up for the frustration and the burns. I’m very happy with this result. 

 

I did remember to slash both of them but obviously need practice in that regard. I need to re-flour my couche and probably be much more generous with the flour before I put the dough on it. 

 

And now before I add a fall to all my other injuries I need to vacuum up the flour that has made my tile floor into a skating rink. 

 

Perhaps this time I will add something else to my tonic water. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Anna N said:

Just to be clear the vacuum is used to autolyze the flour and water (and yeast) not to mix the dough. 

 

I may be wrong, but the heading of page 3-108 reads: "How to Perform an Autolyse (and Mix) by Pulling a Vacuum on the Dough".  And in step 6, removing the dough from the bag, they say:  "The gluten is now practically developed."

 

The last step is stirring in the salt.

 

 

Edit:  I'd be inclined to add the salt initially along with the yeast and such.  Then after initial mixing divide the dough in half and bag each separately.  Vacuum each bag and retard one in the refrigerator while continuing to ferment the second.

 


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker Brilliant Insight (log)

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7 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I may be wrong, but the heading of page 3-108 reads: "How to Perform an Autolyse (and Mix) by Pulling a Vacuum on the Dough".  And in step 6, removing the dough from the bag, they say:  "The gluten is now practically developed."

 

The last step is stirring in the salt.

 

Let me check once more!   Yes it does say that — sort of. It’s rather confusing because after you’ve pulled a vacuum you add the salt and then return it to the mixer and mix for 1 to 2 more minutes.  So I’m not sure how it can be ready right out of the vacuum bag. But earlier they do suggest that pulling a vacuum is the equivalent to reaching medium gluten development which is impressive. 

 

 I am going to quote one piece directly: 

 

 The vacuum forces water into the flour so effectively that it will generally, under our recommended timetables, produce a dough as if it had been mixed to medium gluten development. [my bolding]. 

 

 Have you found any such timetables? The only time I’ve seen is to leave it in the vacuum bag for 30 minutes.

 

 Will certainly have to try this method. 

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07791B5A-E5D1-44D9-BD9C-062FDF629EE4.thumb.jpeg.8cffa98df1bf19f1a515ebd585a66e97.jpeg

 

 Baguette crumb using the direct method lean French dough. 

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25 minutes ago, Anna N said:

07791B5A-E5D1-44D9-BD9C-062FDF629EE4.thumb.jpeg.8cffa98df1bf19f1a515ebd585a66e97.jpeg

 

 Baguette crumb using the direct method lean French dough. 

Looks really good. I should get my books tomorrow or Tuesday and can’t wait to get stuck in. Although a diet of mostly bread won’t be so good...

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49 minutes ago, Anna N said:

07791B5A-E5D1-44D9-BD9C-062FDF629EE4.thumb.jpeg.8cffa98df1bf19f1a515ebd585a66e97.jpeg

 

 Baguette crumb using the direct method lean French dough. 

 

Oooh, nice!  I'll be right over! 

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

07791B5A-E5D1-44D9-BD9C-062FDF629EE4.thumb.jpeg.8cffa98df1bf19f1a515ebd585a66e97.jpeg

 

 Baguette crumb using the direct method lean French dough. 

 

That's beautiful, Anna!

 

By the way, are you eating all this bread?

 

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29 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

That's beautiful, Anna!

 

By the way, are you eating all this bread?

 

Why thank you.  Don’t I wish I could eat it all. I am wrapping most of it very well and tossing it into the freezer in the basement and hoping my cleaning lady will walk off with most of it. She cleaned out my freezer of everything at my request because I was afraid that if it ever gave out I would be stuck with a freezer full of  thawed meat.  It has been sitting empty for some time but I figure if the only thing in there is bread and it goes belly up it’s not going to be a huge deal. 

 Edited to add

Likely will not be baking much this week. Seem to have an appointment every damn day and all of them smack bang in the middle of the day. 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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11 hours ago, Anna N said:

Done?  I am assuming you mean the autolyse phase was done.  Please correct me if you mean something different. 

Done as in the gluten was fully developed. It passed the windowpane test.

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5 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Done as in the gluten was fully developed. It passed the windowpane test.

Thanks. 

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Anna,  for dusting your couche,  rice flour works great because it doesn't allow the dough to stick as much.  Regular flour plus a moist dough can lead to sticking.   

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4 minutes ago, Barrytm said:

Anna,  for dusting your couche,  rice flour works great because it doesn't allow the dough to stick as much.  Regular flour plus a moist dough can lead to sticking.   

Thanks. I used a combination of flour and rice flour as recommended by various “experts”. I think Modernist Bread recommends that combination for bench flour also.  Might try just rice flour for my next use. 

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So many things in these books require levain.... so I started one - it's cold her so we'll see how well it works, on top of the fridge.

 

I'm going to make some more french lean bread for now while I wait for the wild yeast to do it's thing.  I manged to find a number of items on amazon, seems Modernist Pantry needs to get a copy of this book - they had only one thing.

 

 

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