Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Raamo

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

Recommended Posts

I can see that I'm going to have to get my other tasks for the week out of the way quickly, so I can read up on vacuum-treating dough myself!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Raamo said:

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.

 

 

I, too, broke up a vow to myself that I would never, ever again attempt to make a levain. I started it last Thursday.Until this morning I was exceedingly proud of it. I fear it has now gone the way of all my previous attempts.  Instead of being active and bubbly and delicious looking as it has most mornings today it had a layer of liquid on top and looked cold and dead. I mixed it up, poured off 75% and fed it. I am thinking of dropping into to my local church on my way to an appointment and lighting a few candles. 

 

 I was very pleased to see that Modernist Bread would have no truck with weird and wonderful additions to a levain but called for only water and flour. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Anna N said:

I, too, broke up a vow to myself that I would never, ever again attempt to make a levain. I started it last Thursday.Until this morning I was exceedingly proud of it. I fear it has now gone the way of all my previous attempts.  Instead of being active and bubbly and delicious looking as it has most mornings today it had a layer of liquid on top and looked cold and dead. I mixed it up, poured off 75% and fed it. I am thinking of dropping into to my local church on my way to an appointment and lighting a few candles. 

 

 I was very pleased to see that Modernist Bread would have no truck with weird and wonderful additions to a levain but called for only water and flour. 

 

I'm 12 hours into my first one - there is a layer of what must be alcohol on mine (yellow liquid) - which means there must be yeast present and feeding.  I wasn't expecting anything for over 24 hours so the liquid layer is surprising.

 

Hard to believe T-Day is next week - I have my eyes on the country bread as one of the things I'll make - which requires a Levain...  So I hope this works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Raamo said:

 

I'm 12 hours into my first one - there is a layer of what must be alcohol on mine (yellow liquid) - which means there must be yeast present and feeding.  I wasn't expecting anything for over 24 hours so the liquid layer is surprising.

 

Hard to believe T-Day is next week - I have my eyes on the country bread as one of the things I'll make - which requires a Levain...  So I hope this works.

In the event that your levain lets you down, there is a direct method for that bread which is the one I used and got two lovely loaves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Opps I did it again.... well not quite.

 

Since I'm waiting for my ingredients and my levain to grow up enough to be harvested...  I decided to make the french lean loaf again, though I am doing two things differently.

 

I didn't use any additional flour to shape the bread - instead making sure it's was coated in veg oil.

 

I also am using .45kg piece today, .4-.45 tomorrow, and on the 3rd day I plan to combine what is left with what I have to "discard" from my levain, possibly adding in a very small mount of additional yeast.

 

Not sure how the 3rd loaf will turn out - but this one looks great.  We'll be slicing into it in about 4 hours for dinner (needs time to cool)
 

20171113_130520.thumb.jpg.3f2e6f52cb795e24318f8fd2bae6aad4.jpg

The oven spring on this loaf was quite nice to behold.

 

And the bread was great - once we cut into it it was gone within 90 mins. 


Edited by Raamo this loaf is gone. (log)
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How are you supposed to read the books if you don't open the box? ha!

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rotuts said:

@Eric Srikandan 

 

however :

 

gl.jpg.f5a9bfd190f7c9f89057d848b1e2e60e.jpg

 

best of luck to you !

 

suprise.gif.f9e123f9e99c148ee81b28593ee33184.gif

 

This is the box sent to Amazon directly - that's for them, not for the end user :)  Darn confusing box.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Raamo said:

 

This is the box sent to Amazon directly - that's for them, not for the end user :)  Darn confusing box.

 Perhaps someone remembers the kerfuffle when Modernist Cuisine was released and employees at Amazon were unpacking the boxes and people were receiving incomplete sets.  Guessing they are trying to avoid that problem this time. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bizarrely having waited over a year for these, I feel funny to open the box. Might wait till Friday when I have the day off so I can really savour the experience.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second-Chance Sourdough (p. 4•70)

I've been maintaining a liquid levain for a few weeks now, but this weekend I was out of town for three days. Rather than try to find a levain-sitter I used the refrigerator technique, putting it into the fridge right after its last feeding and then taking it out and feeding it again as soon as I got home. So while not strictly-speaking "inactive", the levain I had for this recipe was definitely in the "hangry" category. 

 

The recipe is really just a basic direct-method lean bread with inactive levain added for flavor (scaled at 40%). The dough is relatively high hydration, so is quite sticky until the second four-edge fold, pretty much the same as the French Lean recipe. I mixed by hand, and bulk fermented at room temperature for four hours. Shaped small boules and proofed for almost two more hours and got this:

 

DSC_6170.jpg

 

Apparently the levain still had some energy, because the rise was very high, with a very open crumb (it's hard to tell scale from the photo, but for a "small" boule that thing is pretty big). While the crust and crumb texture was similar to a sourdough, I didn't get a whole lot of sourdough flavor out of this loaf. Presumably a lot of that depends on the exact state of your inactive levain, but apparently mine wasn't all that acidic. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Chris Hennes

 

What baking method did you use? Combi-cooker? Steam oven? Or?

Thanks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

I've been maintaining a liquid levain for a few weeks now, but this weekend I was out of town for three days. Rather than try to find a levain-sitter I used the refrigerator technique, putting it into the fridge right after its last feeding and then taking it out and feeding it again as soon as I got home. So while not strictly-speaking "inactive", the levain I had for this recipe was definitely in the "hangry" category. 

 

So Chris are you the expert levain person now?  Did you often get a layer of hooch in your levain?

 

I'm 36 hours into my levain and I've had pooch since 12 hours - I've been stiring and shaking it to reincorporate it.  I'm not seeing any bubbles yet, but something is causing the hooch.

 

Also  - Is this correct use?  When I take 3/4 off the levain to feed it - this 3/4 discard I'm supposed to use to bake bread.  But it's not going to be at mature level - so do I feed the 3/4 separately and use it 12-16 hours later?  If this is all clear in the book I'm missing it - I've read everything I could find in multiple volumes - but it's not hard to miss.


Edited by Raamo hooch not pooch (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Raamo said:

So Chris are you the expert levain person now?  Did you often get a layer of pooch in your levain?

Pooch?   Sorry I just can’t help myself I’m laughing so hard. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2017 at 7:25 AM, Raamo said:

So Chris are you the expert levain person now?  Did you often get a layer of hooch in your levain?

 

"Expert" is almost certainly too strong a word here! But in a word, no. I had a liquid layer very early on (days 2-4, maybe?) but now it's just a relatively uniform bubbly mass. And I took the hands-off approach when I started it, I literally just mixed it up and let it sit for 48 hours untouched. Now I'm feeding it at 40g/80g/80g. I find the book's discussion of this quite confusing, since they really give two completely different feeding schemes and I can't tell if that's intentional or not. There's the "discard 75% and replace it with equal parts flour and water" line (which works out to 67%/100%/100%), and there's the bakers percentage table which is 25%/100%/100%. The chapter says the starter isn't that sensitive to this, and that does seem to be the case so far, but I don't understand the huge variation here.

 

On 11/14/2017 at 7:25 AM, Raamo said:

Also  - Is this correct use?  When I take 3/4 off the levain to feed it - this 3/4 discard I'm supposed to use to bake bread.  But it's not going to be at mature level - so do I feed the 3/4 separately and use it 12-16 hours later?

Yes. Or at least, that's what I do. When it's feeding time on Fridays I don't discard the 75% portion, I just split it off and feed it as well (or as much of it as I need to create the levain for Saturday's baking).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Anna N said:

@Chris Hennes

 

What baking method did you use? Combi-cooker? Steam oven? Or?

Thanks. 

 

A pretty normal home oven with a baking stone and a lid (a.k.a. a big hotel pan).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

 

"Expert" is almost certainly too strong a word here! But in a word, no. I had a liquid layer very early on (days 2-4, maybe?) but now it's just a relatively uniform bubbly mass. And I took the hands-off approach when I started it, I literally just mixed it up and let it sit for 48 hours untouched. Now I'm feeding it at 40g/80g/80g. I find the book's discussion of this quite confusing, since they really give two completely different feeding schemes and I can't tell if that's intentional or not. There's the "discard 75% and replace it with equal parts flour and water" line (which works out to 67%/100%/100%), which is what I'm doing, and there's the bakers percentage table which is 25%/100%/100%. The chapter says the starter isn't that sensitive to this, and that does seem to be the case so far, but I don't understand the huge variation here.

 

Thanks - I suppose that's why they call it a science experiment - it'll vary by person / environment.  I had liquid after  < 12 hours.  I'll stick with this - first attempt is only a little over a cup - so if I have to toss it all out it's not that bad.  

 

The web is FULL of conflicting information - I figure MB at least tested their approach enough when they made tens of thousands of loafs...  Since they really don't have any debugging information like some other sites do.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Raamo said:

The web is FULL of conflicting information - I figure MB at least tested their approach enough when they made tens of thousands of loafs...  Since they really don't have any debugging information like some other sites do.

Right. I just pressed forward with mine, baked whatever came out of the couche after the final proof (I did mine at 39°F for 24 hours), and... voila! it worked. That said, I didn't have enough faith to actually bake after only five days, I let mine achieve full maturity before trying to make any bread with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well loaf 2 worked great - 1/3 of it is gone.  Tomorrow will be the interesting loaf...

 

My new pet is happy!  There are bubbles of joy, in a few more hours the first feeding will occur.  The discard from that is going into tomorrows bread.

 

co2bubbles.thumb.jpg.8dba6c368175252043597aac49fecf48.jpg

Bubbles of joy!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

do they mention an ideal temp

 

or a temp rage for the levain ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, rotuts said:

do they mention an ideal temp

 

or a temp rage for the levain ?

 

Yes - goal is around 70F.  Temp of water you use depends upon if it's hot or cold.

 

Oh and be prepared for a big stink when you go for the first feeding.  Most of the sites don't talk about that - but you can find at least one that talks about the smells of keeping a yeast pet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive done a sourdough starter for years.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rotuts said:

or a temp rage for the levain ?

They (of course) suggest a couple possibilities, but their favorite is 55°F on a 24-hour feeding schedule. I'm growing mine on the kitchen counter and it's plenty happy at the roughly 70°F that entails.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rotuts said:

Ive done a sourdough starter for years.

 

 

 

Do you still have it?  Why not just use that?  And it seems 55F is popular because they have a wine cellar :)  Already temp controlled.

 

Others seem to like keeping it in the fridge - all depends upon how much bread you make.  


Edited by Raamo (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Kasia
      A SANDWICH TO GO
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a snack which you can grab and eat "on the go". I know that it is unhealthy. We should celebrate eating and eat calmly and with deliberation. However, sometimes the day is too short for everything on our schedule and we still have to eat. Admittedly, we can sin and go for some fast food, but it is healthier and tastier to prepare something quickly in our own kitchen.

      Today, Camembert cheese and cranberries in a fresh, crunchy roll take the lead role. It sounds easy and yummy, doesn't it? Try it and get on with your day . Today I used a homemade cranberry preserve which was left over from dessert, but if you like you can buy your own.

      Ingredients:
      2 fresh rolls (your favourite ones)
      150g of camembert cheese
      1 handful of lettuce
      2 teaspoons of butter
      2 teaspoons of pine nuts or sunflower seeds
      preserve
      100g of fresh cranberries
      3 tablespoons of brown sugar
      100ml of apple juice

      Wash the cranberries. Put the cranberries, sugar and apple juice into a pan with a heavy bottom and boil with the lid on for 10-12 minutes, stirring from time to time. Try it and if necessary add some sugar. Leave to cool down. Cut the rolls in half and spread with the butter. Put some lettuce on one half of the roll. Slice the camembert cheese and arrange it on the lettuce. Put a fair portion of the cranberry preserve on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with the roast pine nuts or sunflower seeds and cover with the second half of the roll.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By quiet1
      We have a local Italian bakery my mom loves, but they are very expensive and hard for her to get to. She also really likes cookbooks (she reads them even if she never cooks from them  ) so I was thinking for her birthday I could get her a cookbook that has similar cookies and cakes, and offer to make a few things for her on request also.
       
      I'll obviously look myself, but eGullet is always well informed about the quality of cookbooks so I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations. The thing about the Italian bakery is that the stuff they make seems to me to be not as sweet as classic American recipes, and often have more complex flavors and also are usually on the light end for whatever the item is. (Like even something that's intended to be dense doesn't have a very heavy sensation in the mouth.)
    • By Dave the Cook
      Modernist Bread is out now, but maybe you haven't taken the plunge. Here's your chance to win your own copy, courtesy of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Cooking Lab has provided us with a couple of other prizes that will go to a second and third winner: second place will win an autographed poster and calendar, and third place will receive an autographed poster. They are also providing an autographed bookplate for the first place winner's copy of Modernist Bread. The rules are simple: we are going to post recipes from the book that the team at The Cooking Lab has graciously provided for this purpose. To enter into the contest, you need to bake one or more of these recipes and post about them in the official contest topics by the end of November 2017. Winners will be drawn at random from those posting pictures and descriptions of their completed loaves. Complete rules and other details can be found here.
       
      For part two, we're featuring another cornerstone recipe from the book: Direct Country-Style Bread. The only leavener here is instant yeast, so production time is considerably shortened. The relative lack of flavor compared to long-proofed doughs is offset by the use of whole grains. Courtesy of The Cooking Lab, here's that recipe (extracted from the book and reformatted for purposes of this contest):
       




    • By ross
      Thanksgiving is around the corner, and I think I have a plan.
      I was keen on cooking the turkey sous vide, but have been vetoed by my a family member- "you can't feed grandma that bacteria-laden turkey! it never got hot!"
      I've tried to explain the process, and the safety, but I conceided. I'm cooking for a bunch of traditionalists, so I'm trying to keep it interesting, yet familiar and not too out of the box.
      I think I may have a more interesting plan now anyway.
      It goes like this-
      Break down the bird (from my CSA with Allandale Farm in Boston, MA, removing the breast skin in-tact
      break down the carcass, pan-roast it, and make stock.
      Make a tenderloin by stacking the breasts and glueing with Activa RM, and wrapping with the skin.
      two questions on this front:
      How long can the rolled "tenderloin" sit before cooking- can I roll it out 24 hours before showtime?
      Is there a decent way to add some flavor between the breasts- chopped sage/thyme, etc. or will this negatively affect the process? Will it cook OK?
      Braise the dark meat, following this Daniel Boulud recipe (ish.)
      Confit the wings. I currently have a test batch curing overnight, rubbed with a ton of salt, thyme, bay leaf, clove, tellicherry peppercorns, garlic, and some juniper. Picked up 7.5# tub of Hudson Valley Foie Gras duckfat for the cook.
      In addition, I'm going to do some truffled mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup with some smoked duck breast, and some veg- brussel sprouts, and something to keep the kids happy. Also pondering family-style (really partner-style) mac and cheese in some very small le crusets, following the Hattie's recipe.
      Is it worth brining the bird?
      I'm looking for reactions to this plan, and any improvements possible, or a good old-fashioned critique.
      Thoughts?
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×