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"The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Reinhart


Marcia
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Jackal10, I live in Bournemouth, Dorset (I'm not from here though and my husband is from Cumbria, so we are nicer than our sea-side fellows LOL). :smile:

Here are the pictures of my starter:

Day 3:

Starter1.jpg

Day 4:

Starter2.jpg

Very wet, isn't it?

Marcia

Edited by Marcia (log)
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GlossyP,

They're real soft and chewy and delicious. The only reason I don't see myself making these every weekend for the rest of my life is that I'll burn out my KA mixers' motor. If you have a 12" saute pan (like an All-clad 6qt.), I'd use that to boil them in rather than some sort of stockpot. You don't need a lot of water, just lots of width. Someone gave me a tip on the net about setting them on wire racks after boiling to top them, which worked well for me. I baked them on parchment lined cookie sheets. Cooled about 15 minutes (torture) on the wire rack you see in the photo. BBA says to boil them 1 minute per side, I went 90 seconds, supposedly longer is chewier. Also baked them a bit longer than 10 minutes, but my oven is like that. Cream cheese is required since you need some glue to pick up the topping that falls all over your plate. Good Luck!

rich

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what a nice bathc of bagels. This is another recipe that I never tried yet, but I certainly mean to.

I have not baked from the BBA recently, I'm baking from other publication. Maybe some pane de campagne is due soon though...

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Hi All.

Some of you might know that I've been trying to make my first ever Sourdough Bread.

Well, after days trying to get the seed culture alive and kicking, and carefully following the instructions, I bake it today. And I'm afraid to tell you that I'm very disappointed with the results... :sad:

I made only half recipe:

1/2 cup refreshed starter

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup water

1 tsp salt

Mixed by hand for 10 minutes. Rested. Added salt and kneaded for another 10 minutes. Made the turning and folding for 4 hours during the bulk fermentation. Shaped and put it in a basket. Retarded overnight in the fridge.

Here's the dough after the retardation, straight from the fridge:

Sour0.JPG

Put it in the oven for 35 minutes. It rose nicely and the scent was lovely. At this stage I was really excited and happy:

Sour1.JPG

But then, after one hour I cut it and...

Sour2.JPG

The crumb was dense, rubbery, grey, with big holes and tiny holes. It tastes good, though a bit too sour to my taste. My guess is that the starter wasn't so active but I'm not sure because the loaf wasn't flat at all...

Anybody else would like to comment about it or guess what could have happened..?

i'm gutted... i dedicated so much energy and hope in this bread...

on to next time... :sad:

Marcia

Edited by Marcia (log)
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The crumb was dense, rubbery, grey, with big holes and tiny holes. It tastes good, though a bit too sour to my taste. My guess is that the starter wasn't so active but I'm not sure because the loaf wasn't flat at all...

Anybody else  would like to comment about it or guess what could have happened..?

i'm gutted... i dedicated so much energy and hope in this bread...

on to next time...  :sad:

Marcia

Marcia - I completely understand your disappointment...your results are precisely what mine have been with sourdough in the past...it all looks great until you cut it open. I'll be checking back to see what the gurus have to say as well. Buck up though and remember that learning comes through failures as well as successes. :smile:

"Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." TMJ Jr. R.I.P.

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Wow, that's such a shame, on the outside it looked perfect! All that work and your texture is off.

IIRC, a dense bread could be indicative of too much flour. And too many big holes is a sign of underkneading? Do you remember if your dough had that "windowpane" affect going on at all?

Edited by ellencho (log)

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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Thanks Glossyp and Ellencho for your support :smile: .

The dough was quite wet because my starter was very wet as well. I did the windowpane test after the second kneading, it was streching well.

Coming to think now... Yesterday for the first time I proofed the dough inside the oven with the light on (but oven off, of course). Maybe it was a bit too warm...

Marcia

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Marcia, I have a few suggestions:

1. The way your loaf exploded upward in the oven leads me to believe your starter was active-- but the extreme growth in the center and the cracks around your slashes indicate that it was underproofed. The bread sprang up, but had a lot of growing left to do. The crust formed before the dough was finished expanding, and your crumb got compressed by the crust before it could reach its full glory.

How long did you leave it out before you refrigerated it?

I'm assuming you baked it straight from the fridge as Jack Lang does. It is a procedure I sometimes use as well, and I know it works well for Jack, but it is not something I would recommend to the uninitiated because it can be difficult to tell if your loaf is proofed enough when it is right out of the fridge. With some experience, you know how your dough will behave in your house, but without that experience I'd counsel letting the dough sit out for an hour after you take it out of the fridge, letting it wake up a bit. Then you can try to determine if it's ready. If you gently poke your (wet) finger into it, does the dough spring right back? Then you should probably proof a bit more. Does the indentation fill in slowly? Then you may be ready. Does it not fill in at all? Uh oh, you may have gone too far. Get it in the oven, and you might not want to slash it at all.

Right out of the fridge, indentations stay put and the dough feels firm no matter how well proofed the dough is.

2. Your loaf was in the oven for 35 minutes-- not that long. You could be baking at too high a temperature. The inside of your loaf may not have been done. How hot was your oven? I usually start at 450 and turn it down to 425 when I turn the loaves, and my 2 pound sourdoughs are usually done in about 45 minutes, but your experience will be different than mine, of course. Even at the temperature you were using, it looks like you might have been able to leave them another five or ten minutes. From the picure your crust doesn't look that dark.

3. If you think your starter wasn't active enough, then that may have something to do with it as well. Patience is required, especially when you're bringing back to life a starter that hasn't been fed in a while. You might want to just leave your starter on the counter for several days, feeding it at whatever intervals make sense for your schedule: once, twice or three times a day. Then use it again when you're really sure it's good and active.

Good luck, and don't be discouraged! You'll get there!

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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SethG,

Thanks for your explanations, everything you said makes sense about my bread.

Marcia, I have a few suggestions:

1.  The way your loaf exploded upward in the oven leads me to believe your starter was active-- but the extreme growth in the center and the cracks around your slashes indicate that it was underproofed.  The bread sprang up, but had a lot of growing left to do.  The crust formed before the dough was finished expanding, and your crumb got compressed by the crust before it could reach its full glory.

How long did you leave it out before you refrigerated it?

After reading your comments I believe that the biggest problem was that the dough was underproofed. I left it outside the fridge for 4 hours but I was folding it every hour (like Dan Lepard does), not leaving room enough for it to prove properly and that might also explain the huge bubbles.

I'm assuming you baked it straight from the fridge as Jack Lang does.  It is a procedure I sometimes use as well, and I know it works well for Jack, but it is not something I would recommend to the uninitiated because it can be difficult to tell if your loaf is proofed enough when it is right out of the fridge.

Yes, I think you're right. I'll practice the basics for a lot longer before try to copy the masters :wink:

2.  Your loaf was in the oven for 35 minutes-- not that long. How hot was your oven? 

I baked at 220C, the hottest my oven can get. I used 2 layers of quary tiles under the dough and a pizza stone on top shelf.

3.  If you think your starter wasn't active enough, then that may have something to do with it as well.  Patience is required

I've just fed the starter. I think it was too young.

Thanks again for you inputs. I thought it was a good idea to post my disastrous bread because that way everyone can also learn with my failure and hopefully endure in the same journey to make a good bread.

Marcia

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Looks like the loaf is under fermented. Maybe it was a bit cold where you fermented it..

Try doubling the time you bulk ferment...if you make a cut in the dough before shaping you should be able to see lots of small bubbles.

It looks like the gas cells never developed, except in spots, rather than developing and then collapsing. That says to me its more like underfermentation, rather than underproofing, althoug overferementing can also lead to a grey crumb.

I guess you will just have to experiment.

Incidently I now think you don't have to knead for as long, expecially for first mixing. Its OK so long as the dough is uniform and well mixed. Its time, rather than mechanical work that hydrates and develops the gluten.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I ahave to agree with Seth's and Jackal's comments. It looks underproofed. My everyday sourdough is Jackal's recipe, baked straight from the fridge, but like Seth said, make sure it is proofed enough or you will cook the crust before the crumb.

Looking forward to your next loaf.

As for me, I made Pate Fermente last night and tonight I am making Pane de Campagne dough from the BBA in hopes of baking tomorrow.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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thanks jackal and elie.

I'll take more care next time. I was just so impatient to bake the bread!

---

Today my starter had separated in cream and 1cm of hooch. It was left at room temperature all night, last feed was around 8pm. I mixed it, added 3x four and water and now it looks greyish and flat. I'm really really feeling like thowing that away and start again... Apart from its second day of life, it showed just very few bubbles... *sigh*...

oh well.

cheers,

Marcia

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I've made a couple things from BBA and I took some pics of the ciabatta that I made this weekend (with a non-digital camera so please excuse the picture quality). I've made Cook's Illustrated's ciabatta recipe which uses unbleached all purpose flour and required a biga (which is very good incidentally). The BBA offers a poolish recipe and a biga recipe and I chose the poolish recipe to see the difference.

This first pic is of the poolish about to be mixed into the flour/yeast/salt mixture. I was surprised at how much my kitchenaid struggled with this bread dough. It's probably because King Arthur makes such a strong protein-rich bread flour and before I was used to using all purpose KA flour. But luckily it made it through the mixing and managed to help me make an angel food cake later in the day :raz: .

poolishandflour.jpg

This second pic is of the first stretching, folding and rising

stretchandfold1.jpg

This pic is of the second stretching, folding and rising

stretchandfold2.jpg

This pic is of the shaping of my loaves and the third rising

shapingrising.jpg

This is a pic of the final product. Unfortunately by then I had run out of film in my camera and was unable to take a pic of the inside of the bread, but I assure you it was nice and craggy and had a great flavor. The crust also was perfect. We dug out the inside of the bread and turned two of them into cuban sandwiches and ate the bread we dug out with French butter - very international dontcha think?

finalproduct.jpg

I don't necessarily know if I can compare the poolish or the biga based breads because they come from different sources. I feel that I can comment on what recipe I like better and I do have a slight inclination towards the Cook's Illustrated ciabatta recipe mainly because it was gentler on my Kitchenaid and I did happen to notice a slightly better texture to the inside of the bread. Both breads however, had excellent crusts, beautiful craggy insides and tasted great.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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Because my sourdough was a completely disaster, today I baked the French Baguette using comercial yeast:

FrenchBaguette.jpg

I'm happy with the crumb.

This way I've recovered my self-esteem. :raz:

We had those loaves this morning, with butter, mild indian cream cheese and strawberry jam. And cups of cappuccino.

:smile:

Have a great wekeend everyone!

Marcia

Edited by Marcia (log)
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Well, I am happy to report that I have, after an excruciating wait, gotten my hands on BBA. I love it. Today I went out and bought myself some bread baking equipment that I have been desperately needing for a while now: A pizza stone (which I plan to leave in my oven at all times, is this a good idea?), a peel (not essential, I know, but helpful) and a quality kitchen scale. I have been working off an old non-digital model and I just couldn't put up with it anymore. This one actually has an interesting feature that allows you to measure liquids (water based) by volume using the scale. I tested it out with water, and it was very accurate. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm wondering how much the accuracy will deviate if I use liquids like milk or, god forbid, oil (yes, I realize this isn't a water based liquid). The question is, I think in essence, how far do the densities differ between water and its cousins such as milk, soda, and beer.

I started right in on a loaf of French Bread. Well, at this point just the pate fermente (sp?). I figure I will let it refrigerate for one night and try the French Bread tomorrow.

I am worried, however, about the steaming issue. PR mentioned in the book that the spray steam could break my glass windows, and I have to admit that scared me. The method of placing the pot of boiling water under (under, right?) the pizza stone intrigued me. Is this a method that I could use for this bread?

I'm looking forward to getting in on the fun!

Edited by bentherebfor (log)

Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox

benherebfour@gmail.com

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breads.jpg

These are a couple of loaves of the Anadama bread and the cinnamon raisin walnut sans raisins and walnuts, but with the optional cinnamon swirl and cinnamon sugar topping. Smells unbelieveable, but I can't slice it as it's for a guy at work.

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Nice looking bread McDuff! I never thought about making the Anadama as a boule but it looks great.

Can't wait to hear about your bread, bentherebfor. I put my pizza stone in the oven and haven't taken it out since. As far as the hot water goes. I boil water on the stove top and add it to the steam pan when I load the loaves into the oven with good results. Another post mentioned covering the window with a towel when you add the hot water if you're concerned about breaking the glass.

No time right now but I'll be back to post the results of my ciabatta bread made with poolish. ellencho inspired me to try and it went pretty well though I'm not satisfied yet! :rolleyes:

"Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." TMJ Jr. R.I.P.

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Here are the Pain De Campagne loafs from a few days ago. I made two,, an Epis and a stand alone sandwich loaf. this recipe yields a wonderful crust and a nice slightly salty bread.

gallery_5404_94_186818.jpg

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I got the BBA today, and experimented with the English Muffins. They taste great, could maybe have gone an extra minute in the oven, my only concern/question is they seemed much taller than what I expected. (I'm fairly new to bread baking, but not cooking). They are about 1 3/4 inches tall. Has anyone else tried this recipe, or does anyone have any suggestions? Or perhaps, they're correct the way they are?? :wink::shock:

gallery_13912_991_237116.jpg

Edited to add really bad photo.

Edited by Jake (log)

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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They are about 1 3/4 inches tall.  Has anyone else tried this recipe, or does anyone have any suggestions?  Or perhaps, they're correct the way they are?

They are correct the way they are.I have made the Reinhart English muffin recipe many times and yours look perfect. The photo seems fine, too. They do come out on the tall side, which is why I think Reinhart has you bake them in the oven at the end.

How did you like the taste?

Congratulations on a good baking job!

Linda

-------------------

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

--- Henry David Thoreau

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Alrighty,

I tried out the BBA for the first time the other night with the French Bread recipe. Overall, I'm pleased with the results, but not blown away. I followed the recipe as precisely as I could, and made the pate fermente the day before, giving it an overnight ferment. The taste was good. Good flavor. Initially I was dissapointed with the crumb, as it didn't have large gaping holes like I was hoping (Should I have been expecting these?). After tasting it though, I became more pleased. It wasn't dense or overly chewy. Here are a couple shots of the bread:

gallery_19347_996_154741.jpg

You can see I made them pretty small...was this a bad idea? It didn't seem to hurt...

gallery_19347_996_1073897.jpg

And here is a shot of the crumb (my apologies for my inability to focus):

gallery_19347_996_129742.jpg

The real problem with this bread was the crust. It just didn't have a good bite to it. It wasn't crispy or overly flavorful. WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? I cooked the bread till 205 on my instant read, and the crumb was clearly cooked through. Was it the steaming that killed me? I followed the directions by placing a steam pan below and spraying at 30 second intervals 3 times. I would appreciate any advice in this regard.

My ciabatta is proofing right now and I'm looking forward to that!

Thanks for the support and assistance.

Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox

benherebfour@gmail.com

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