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Raamo

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

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7 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Is your objection just the shape of the spiral, or are there other changes you'd make to the loaf?

At the moment just the shape of the spiral. I watched a number of YouTube videos on making this style of bread and thought I had it nailed ... but not quite.  I changed the way I did it from my previous attempt. First of all I was careful to cover the whole rectangle of dough. Then I gently pressed the smear and the raisins into the dough with my palms.  I then tried for a tighter roll.  Not sure what more I could do to get that circular, more evenly distributed swirl. 


Edited by Anna N (log)

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8 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 Not sure what more I could do to get that circular, more evenly distributed swirl. 

Well, I have three suggestions:

  1. Make thousands of them. Only photograph the one that looks the best.
  2. Crop your photo to only show the good part.
  3. (More seriously) Make a longer rectangle than is typical for shaping a loaf so you get a tighter spiral. I do this in multiple stages so the gluten can relax between stretchings. I bet a tiny bit of Cystein would do the trick, too.
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5 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Well, I have three suggestions:

  1. Make thousands of them. Only photograph the one that looks the best.
  2. Crop your photo to only show the good part.
  3. (More seriously) Make a longer rectangle than is typical for shaping a loaf so you get a tighter spiral. I do this in multiple stages so the gluten can relax between stretchings. I bet a tiny bit of Cystein would do the trick, too.

 Many thanks – – – especially for the smile you provoked. 

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12 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

(More seriously) Make a longer rectangle than is typical for shaping a loaf so you get a tighter spiral. I do this in multiple stages so the gluten can relax between stretchings. I bet a tiny bit of Cystein would do the trick, too.

 

Definetely this.

Anna, I would suggest to prepare more spread: from the photo it seems to be few for how you prepared that loaf, if you are following this suggestion (roll the dough thinner to get a bigger rectangle) then you will get a bigger surface to cover, which means even more spread required.

Plus I would add much more raisins. But I'm biased, for me "raisins bread" means "raisins with some bread".

 

 

 

Teo

 

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I agree with the suggestion to make a longer rectangle (roll or pat the dough thinner). The only way you're going to get more of a spiral is to have more length to spiral.

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9 minutes ago, teonzo said:

 

Definetely this.

Anna, I would suggest to prepare more spread: from the photo it seems to be few for how you prepared that loaf, if you are following this suggestion (roll the dough thinner to get a bigger rectangle) then you will get a bigger surface to cover, which means even more spread required.

Plus I would add much more raisins. But I'm biased, for me "raisins bread" means "raisins with some bread".

 

 

 

Teo

 

 I am totally in agreement that it needs more of everything to counteract the bread!  And eventually I intend to make it to my own specifications. But I always believe that initially you should attempt to follow the recipe especially in this case where it is so very specific. Once you have that down pat i.e., once you have learned the rules, then you could begin to break them. 

 With all the wonderful help I am getting I’m sure I’ll come up with a prize-winner  eventually.  Thanks so much for your suggestions. 

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Well, you followed the recipe this first time. Your attitude is admirable, but I would say this a case when it's better to go for the changes.

Looking at your photo (before rolling) it's quite clear that there are few spread and raisins. If you roll the dough thinner to get a twice as long rectangle (which should be the correct thing to do) then it will be almost impossible to cover all the surface with such few spread, plus you'll get a raisin every foot, not every inch. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a printing error in the book, especially considering the HUGE amount of errors that were in the first edition of Modernist Cuisine (main reason why I still haven't bought this one, I've already been burned once).

 

 

 

Teo

 

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TL;DR: Four breads, four winners.

 

Chocolate Cherry Sourdough

One of the more exotic sourdough inclusion and flavoring variants was published in the New York Times a few weeks ago. It wasn't high on my list to try, but I figured on a weekend where I was making six different breads, I could risk abject failure on one of them. It turns out I need not have worried, the bread is actually delicious, albeit ugly as ^&*(. I made one key mistake, which was to not cover it thoroughly enough during its final proof, leading to a thick skin that results in some blowout. The bread has a huge quantity of inclusions which makes it relatively sweet, even with no sugar in the dough. So I wouldn't serve it with dinner, but it would be wonderful with coffee for dessert (or just out of hand fresh from the oven, which was today's plan).

 

Here's the proofed loaf just-pre-slashing (along with its neighbor in the oven, the huitlacoche sourdough... more on that next):

DSC_6482.jpg

 

Baked:

DSC_6489.jpg

 

Sliced:

DSC_6494.jpg

 

I should add that this dough was quite the challenge to work with due to the inclusions, so shaping it properly was hard.

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Huitlacoche and yellow corn sourdough

What a terrific flavor for bread! The huitlacoche puree added to the dough gives is a great earthy taste and an intriguing dark color. I'd definitely serve this one to guest with a Mexican-themed dinner. The little bits of yellow corn made it a bit of a challenge to work with, but the flavor pops they add were fun, if not a focal point. I'll probably omit them next time and just go with the huitlacoche-flavored sourdough. I proofed this loaf the same way as the chocolate cherry, so it suffers from the same thick-skin problem, leading to a blowout. Whoops.

 

Ready to load into the oven:

DSC_6485.jpg

 

Freshly baked:

DSC_6486.jpg

 

Interior:

DSC_6492.jpg

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Modernist Country Bread

Yesterday I posted about the direct (non-Modernist) version of this loaf. The Modernist version is a sourdough and includes a couple tweaks, including Transglutaminase RM (yes, meat glue!). Obviously, as a sourdough it's got better flavor than the direct version, the taste is terrific, it really emphasizes the flavors of the whole wheat and rye flours and just turns everything up to eleven. The Modernist touches focus on texture and are very successful. This is a very light, high-rising, beautiful loaf. A winner on every dimension.

 

Pre-slash (the loaf on the right, on the left is the grain-inclusion loaf):

DSC_6490.jpg

 

Slashed:

DSC_6491.jpg

 

Final loaf:

DSC_6495.jpg

 

Crumb shot:

DSC_6500.jpg

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to be a bit fair :

 

swirl.jpg.6dfdc56662b365fc3dde5c9222dfa41f.jpg

 

this is what @Anna N 

 

swirl bread looks like in the Book.

 

they don't show the edge

 

but it seems to have more Turns / Rolls than what AnnaN made.

 

I say this with a lot of respect

 

I have not made this and it would be some time before I tried.

 

easy to claim errors in the book  

 

but I congratulate AnnaN for her hard work in getting this right

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Sourdough with Pressure-Caramelized Grain Inclusion

The actual recipe in the book is very parametric, just calling for a grain inclusion, with it left up to you which grain and how to cook them (they provide tables, of course). I pressure-caramelized Bob's Red Mill's "Grains of Discovery" 9-grain blend. It contains whole grain hard red wheat, whole grain brown rice, whole grain oats, whole grain rye, whole grain triticale, barley, whole grain kamut khorasan wheat, whole grain buckwheat, sesame seeds. This gets added to the sourdough during the folds. It resulted in a quite slack dough and a bit of a flattened loaf, but again the flavors and textures were amazing, exactly what I wanted in the bread. I think I'd probably add even more of the inclusion next time, and obviously I'm going to experiment with different grains and cooking techniques. I'm going to get a lot of mileage out of this recipe.

 

The loaf:

DSC_6496.jpg

 

The crumb:

DSC_6502.jpg

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Thanks to Anna and Chris, I now have a HUGE craving for bread.  Gorgeous stuff you guys.  Super professional looking IMO.

 

 

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1 hour ago, teonzo said:

Well, you followed the recipe this first time. Your attitude is admirable, but I would say this a case when it's better to go for the changes.

Looking at your photo (before rolling) it's quite clear that there are few spread and raisins. If you roll the dough thinner to get a twice as long rectangle (which should be the correct thing to do) then it will be almost impossible to cover all the surface with such few spread, plus you'll get a raisin every foot, not every inch. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a printing error in the book, especially considering the HUGE amount of errors that were in the first edition of Modernist Cuisine (main reason why I still haven't bought this one, I've already been burned once).

 

 

 

Teo

 

The spread or smear does strike me as skimpy but I rather doubt that it’s a misprint since the proportions of the ingredients seem to be appropriate.  I think much more effort was put in to this set of volumes in terms of reading and editing than in MC. Even the best must learn from mistakes. 

 I am inclined to give the team the benefit of the doubt in that they are really hoping for success in the kitchen for everyone and piling ingredients into this bread could lead to a much worse disaster than a funny little swirl.  But that’s just my opinion and I could be wearing my rose-colored glasses.  I do appreciate your insight and your suggestions. 

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@Chris Hennes that is quite the baking project you undertook. I have to say that to the two that the most to me are  the modernist country loaf and the same with inclusions. 

I went on a hunt for that nine grain mix and I guess it’s just hitting the market now because it doesn’t even appear to be on the RedMill website.  

 I appreciate that they give you enough information to build your own breads using the ingredients that appeal most to you.  I can’t see running out of breads in the near future. xD

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65AE94FD-A4CD-4CD7-9E1F-B40E94031173.thumb.jpeg.dbf44549af3532e8fba19311cebdd29c.jpeg

 

 Last bread of the day. There is sourdough undergoing a cold proof in the refrigerator. 

 

This is a flavour variation of the sandwich loaf and is what the Modernist Bread   team call 100% whole wheat sandwich bread. It is the basic bread-flour dough with the addition of  soaked, toasted wheat bran and wheat germ added after full gluten development. It smells like. Weetabix.   I am hoping I like better than the usual whole wheat sandwich bread. 

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1890BBB3-C565-4E8D-9E93-8EF4795C8078.thumb.jpeg.8e9db5ff1fb7bb96011d8749b254661b.jpeg

 

 This is definitely a whole wheat that I can get on board with. It has none of the bitterness or other weird tastes of most whole wheats that I’ve run into. As you might notice it’s not easy getting those soaked inclusions well and evenly  distributed but it doesn’t seem to matter much to the taste.  The taste is mild enough that it wouldn’t interfere with most sandwich fillings.  I am happy. 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Anna N said:

I went on a hunt for that nine grain mix and I guess it’s just hitting the market now because it doesn’t even appear to be on the RedMill website.  

It does, you just have to know exactly what they call it (which I didn't remember when I was posting earlier -- sorry!): here it is...

https://www.bobsredmill.com/whole-grain-medley.html

 

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

 This is definitely a whole wheat that I can get on board with. It has none of the bitterness or other weird tastes of most whole wheats that I’ve run into. As you might notice it’s not easy getting those soaked inclusions well and evenly  distributed but it doesn’t seem to matter much to the taste.  The taste is mild enough that it wouldn’t interfere with most sandwich fillings.  I am happy. 

I'm glad you tried this, it's definitely on my list. I generally like the taste of whole wheat, but would like more control over it. The "deconstructed" process they present is a great idea, particularly as most whole wheat flours are really just reconstructed after milling in the same way, I think.

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Last two loaves of the day: each one is a 1kg 4x4x13 loaf of the white sandwich bread, destined to be turned into stuffing on Thursday.

DSC_6505.jpg

 

This was an interesting experiment. I made these two loaves in succession (I only have one pan that size), so they were actually made separately rather than as a single batch that was divided. The difference between the two? In the first one was the last bit of yeast from a jar I'd been using for years and stored in the freezer. The second loaf (the smaller of the two, on the right: the one that is obviously underproofed) was made with a new, unopened jar of yeast whose expiration date was last month. It was on clearance, so I figured if it turned out to be a flop I'd just pitch it. Well, instead what happened was it needed longer to proof and I got into a hurry so baked it off early, when I should have been more patient. Oh well, I'm sure it will be fine in stuffing.

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11 hours ago, Anna N said:

At the moment just the shape of the spiral. I watched a number of YouTube videos on making this style of bread and thought I had it nailed ... but not quite.  I changed the way I did it from my previous attempt. First of all I was careful to cover the whole rectangle of dough. Then I gently pressed the smear and the raisins into the dough with my palms.  I then tried for a tighter roll.  Not sure what more I could do to get that circular, more evenly distributed swirl. 

 

 

Anna, I believe the solution to your problem is pictured on page 3-183.

 

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2 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Anna, I believe the solution to your problem is pictured on page 3-183.

 

Ah so!  I am going to see if I can get an appointment with my bank today to finance a ranch-style bungalow with added bakery space and see if they are good for one of these machines at the same time.  But wouldn’t that take all the fun out of it? 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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I have just cancelled that appointment! Amazon.ca has informed me that Robin Hood Best for Bread flour is no longer available.   :o:(:angry: 

 

 They sold it at half the price I pay in the grocery store (depending on the store). 

 

Do you think Modernist Bread has perhaps hit the bestseller list in Canada?  xD:D

 

I had to report this but let’s not drag this off-topic if we can help it.

 

 I have taken my sourdough from the refrigerator (where it was undergoing cold proofing)and it does not look very happy. After an hour and more on my counter it still looks as though it is quite beyond CPR. 

 

I am questioning my sanity and rationality on this one. One of the reasons given for the cold proofing is to make slashing easier.   If I let it return to room temperature and pass the proof test does this not negate the whole time it spent in the refrigerator with respect to the slashing problem?

 

Surely you do not attempt to bake it directly from the refrigerator. 

 

PerhapsI just need another coffee. 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Anna N (log)

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4 hours ago, Anna N said:

Surely you do not attempt to bake it directly from the refrigerator. 

Yes, you do. Or, at least I did! And the ones proofed in the bannetons baked up just beautifully. The difference between 39°F and 65°F is not that large considering you're putting them into a 500°F oven.

 

The trick with the refrigerator is to get the surface of the dough to dry out a bit to give cleaner slashes, so if you proofed in baskets you're going to have to turn the dough out of them first. It's not really Modernist Bread's innovation and as I recall they just mention it in passing. I never do it.

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2 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Yes, you do. Or, at least I did! And the ones proofed in the bannetons baked up just beautifully. The difference between 39°F and 65°F is not that large considering you're putting them into a 500°F oven.

 

The trick with the refrigerator is to get the surface of the dough to dry out a bit to give cleaner slashes, so if you proofed in baskets you're going to have to turn the dough out of them first. It's not really Modernist Bread's innovation and as I recall they just mention it in passing. I never do it.

 OK it’s a bit late now for this time but I will try it again and see how I make out. I did proof in baskets and despite having read up on all the tricks etc. including using the liner, my dough stuck. I mean really stuck. I wrestled it from the linen liner, reshaped it, put it back to proof a little longer (on the counter).  I had put it into the baskets seam side up so that when I turned it out of the baskets I would have a surface to properly score. So much for that idea.  But these things are sent to try us. 

 

Then, you know how it is when you want something to be so and want it so badly that you will ignore the evidence of your senses? So it was with my sad sourdough. I absolutely convinced myself that it had proofed properly.  It hadn’t of course.  But never one to be deterred by mere evidence, I proceeded to bake anyway after making slashes in the rough surface. 

 

F66682D5-7B11-4D7B-A6D3-0F1DC5484E4E.thumb.jpeg.91b655a79c0401a2a815aef0fef47626.jpeg

 

 Loaf number one. Baked in the Cuisinart steam oven on the bread setting at 425°F for 30 minutes.

 

 As you see it has the dreaded bread “eczema” (a bubbly crust). And the photograph is somewhat misleading in that it appears to show more volume than this loaf actually had.  

 

6CE9C1D3-2169-48DE-A10C-EBBF62C7407D.thumb.jpeg.fbdcc91b84965e2904ee949e1b291409.jpeg

 

 Loaf number two. Again inflicted with the dreadful eczema. This was also baked in the Cuisinart steam oven at 425°F but I got distracted so it was in there for 35 minutes. This is a little too long. 

 

B38E1DB6-58B5-4197-AABE-20B42FE9D266.thumb.jpeg.6a17208e5aed1c209c0032b658ea84f7.jpeg

 

Here is the inside. Much more holey than it is religious.  But on the other hand not a complete disaster. 

 

 As I was pulling the second loaf out of the oven @Kerry Beal showed up at my house  with flour, other ingredients, groceries that I had asked her to pick up for me and groceries that she just brought anyway, and guess what else? 

 

She brought along her container of French lean dough which would need some folds within the next  couple of hours.  If those of you who know Kerry wonder how she crams so much into a day —this is how!

 

We had an opportunity to compare notes about our baking and discovered that we were both amused or perplexed by the method of dissolving the salt into some of the water that would be used for hydration. We both came to the same conclusion that the amount of salt and the amount of water was such that that salt would never dissolve.  We had both tried stirring, shaking, heating etc. but there is far too much salt compared to the water to allow a solution to form. The best you can get is a slurry. If anyone can tell me different I’m excited to know. 

 

We also reached the conclusion based on my appearance that a black chef’s coat even one with an eG type logo on it from an eG type workshop long ago (thanks @gfron1) was not the most practical wear if you were going to be baking bread. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Anna N For sense reasons added an “e” to holy. (log)
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