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


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13 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Black Currant Sourdough with Marcona Almonds (KM p. 79)

 

Here's the follow-up to my earlier post about the vivid purple dough. It does, indeed, yield vivid purple bread. The overall sensation of eating it is like having toast with built-in jam.

 

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That looks amazing...is it also sweet, or is the blackcurrant jam effect mostly evident as scent/increased moistness?

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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8 hours ago, Mjx said:

 

That looks amazing...is it also sweet, or is the blackcurrant jam effect mostly evident as scent/increased moistness?

It isn’t sweet (at least not overly so, there is some sugar in the purée but not a lot). But the flavor is pretty clear. The texture of the bread isn’t affected much.

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Chris Hennes
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Hominy and Mole Sourdough (KM p. 72)

 

I'm continuing with the theme here of trying out all of the techniques they include for adding flavors and textures to a basic sourdough. In this recipe the use ground canned hominy and premade mole paste to flavor the dough. The taste is more subtle than I would have expected -- you can smell the hominy and mole when the bread is warm, but the taste is quite mild once the bread has cooled. Flavorwise think it's a pretty obvious step here to use a homemade mole and masa in place of the mole powder and ground hominy, though of course the water quantity will need to be adjusted as per some of the puree recipes.

 

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Chris Hennes
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Ají Amarillo and Roasted Purple Potato Sourdough (KM p. 72)

 

Though the recipe here calls for pureeing canned peppers, I simply bought a pepper puree and used it as instructed. This recipe is also designed to demonstrate the inclusion of roasted vegetables in the dough -- the roasting instructions aren't really even what I'd term "roasting" -- you bake at quite a low temperature. High enough to cook, but low enough to significantly dehydrate. The vegetables then retain their shape (more or less) when included, instead of disappearing as a mush. Although I think the potatoes add an interesting color pop, the ají amarillo really steal the show here, they are a terrific flavor in a sourdough.

 

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Chris Hennes
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Modernist Sourdough Baguettes

 

I wanted baguettes for dinner tonight, so I just shaped the normal Modernist Sourdough following the baguette shaping instructions. Or trying to, anyway! I need some baguette shaping practice, and this isn't really the right dough for it. Tastes great, though, so there's that.

 

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Chris Hennes
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  • 3 weeks later...

Compleat Wheat (KM p. 109)

 

It's interesting to make this bread again after several dozen other sourdough recipes: it's more obvious to me now that it's just a normal sourdough with the bran and germ added as inclusions. They are added at a higher percentage than is normally recommended for inclusions, but they basically work the same way. It's also far and away the best "whole wheat" bread I've ever had.

 

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Chris Hennes
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On 10/20/2018 at 9:06 PM, Chris Hennes said:

It's also far and away the best "whole wheat" bread I've ever had.

It is a fabulous bread in my opinion. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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I’ve been following this thread for a while and I appreciate everyone’s posts. This has been a great resource.  I’ve always wanted to attempt Pan de Cristal, but it seemed out of reach.  I was surprised that it was included in MB, and even though it still seemed beyond my abilities, I thought I’d give it a shot … actually 3 shots.  The first 2 attempts didn’t quite make it … becoming familiar with the high hydration and then sticking to the couche were the major obstacles.  The third attempt thankfully worked, but there’s room for improvement …

 

 

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Today, was the first time I tried something new. I did a 500g French Lean Boule, hoping to make my way to a true baguette.  I used the combo cooker I just got from AMZ and everything went like clockwork … 

 

 

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14 hours ago, J.Robie said:

Today, was the first time I tried something new. I did a 500g French Lean Boule, hoping to make my way to a true baguette.  I used the combo cooker I just got from AMZ and everything went like clockwork … 

 

 

 

 

 

combo cooker?

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Not Modernist French Lean Bread:

 

Bread11052018.png

 

 

I've been trying, I really have.  My French Lean Bread from Modernist Bread at best is putty like.  The scores don't open.  Sometimes it tastes OK, sometimes it doesn't.  More often than not the boules are flat.  I am ashamed.  Tonight I pitched half a Kilogram that was not worth eating.  I've given Modernist Bread a year of my life.

 

I went back to my ancient two thirds hydration recipe based on Raymond Calvel.  Scores opened, boule was round.  I'm not to the point of proclaiming the emperor has no clothes but I don't understand why the MB recipe doesn't work better for me.

 

And did I mention that tonight's bread was rather tasty?

 

 

 

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On 11/6/2018 at 12:16 AM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I've been trying, I really have.  My French Lean Bread from Modernist Bread at best is putty like.

 

I don't quite know what to make of this: I've made the recipe many times now, and never had any issues with it, so there must be some difference between either our ingredients or our technique. I certainly think that this qualifies as a round boule:

 

Do you want to try debugging? I'm always interested in trying to figure out what causes various types of bread failures (I murdered a raspberry sourdough this past weekend by adding the puree too early!).

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Chris Hennes
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8 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Do you want to try debugging? I'm always interested in trying to figure out what causes various types of bread failures (I murdered a raspberry sourdough this past weekend by adding the puree to early!).

 

I'm always up to try debugging!  (Though right now I am very tired and not up to typing much after almost an hour and a half in pouring rain followed by a full damp day at work.)

 

However the two biggest differences were that the hydration was slightly less and the salt was added along with the yeast and poolish before autolysis.

 

 

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13 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

However the two biggest differences were that the hydration was slightly less and the salt was added along with the yeast and poolish before autolysis.

 

You can move hydration around quite a lot and still get bread. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different purées in my sourdoughs, many of which are resulting in small changes to the hydration, and while the finished texture of the breads is affected, it is never “putty-like.”  I’d be very surprised if a small change in hydration had that effect. But of course it’s also easy to test.

 

Adding the salt before the autolysis stage should decrease the effectiveness of the autolyse, but that will only change how long it takes the gluten to form, not whether it does or not. Do both doughs reach full windowpane?

 

How are you checking for proof?

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Chris Hennes
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4 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I'm still a little unsure about my windowpane testing ability (even when looking at pictures).

 

Well, the important thing for comparison purposes is consistency, so as long as you are taking both doughs to the same gluten formation level it doesn't really matter exactly how well-formed it is.

 

4 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

A problem is the dough is often at proof or past proof right after shaping.

 

This is a more significant problem. I assume you mean that the Modernist recipe is at proof at that stage, but the other recipe you are using is not? Or are they both fully proofed immediately after shaping? The solution here in either case is to actively degas the dough as you shape it. I can't remember the details offhand but the chapter in Modernist Bread that talks about how yeast works goes into the details better than I could anyway. They actually go so far as to present a simple technique for fixing overproofed dough: you just give it another four-edge fold. I've definitely taken advantage of this technique when my schedule abruptly changed in the middle of a day of breadmaking!

Chris Hennes
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10 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

I assume you mean that the Modernist recipe is at proof at that stage, but the other recipe you are using is not?

 

Correct.

 

The dough from the MB recipe shapes more like silly putty than bread dough.  I have tried the rescue technique without much success.  Baguettes are cottony with many small holes.  Scores seldom open properly.  Boules are flat and dense.  Not really flat but not round either.  However the seams of boules usually open well.

 

In truth sometimes the MB results are better but never really all that great.  I've tried kg batches and 1.5 kg batches.  I mix in a 5 quart KitchenAid commercial bowl if that matters.

 

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