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Bread-making and -breaking

Bread-making and -breaking
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  • Post #31 - March 3rd, 2006, 11:25 pm
    Post #31 - March 3rd, 2006, 11:25 pm Post #31 - March 3rd, 2006, 11:25 pm
    After expressing some interest in the bread baking, I received the following as gifts:

    Rose Levy Berenbaum's The Bread Bible

    Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

    Any opinions on these versus the Beard or Reinhart books? I have only just begun to leaf through them and still could exchange either one if there is a worthier candidate.
  • Post #32 - March 4th, 2006, 1:56 pm
    Post #32 - March 4th, 2006, 1:56 pm Post #32 - March 4th, 2006, 1:56 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads.

    Gastro,

    I've baked quite a bit from New Complete Book of Breads and have, and continue to, recommend Clayton.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #33 - March 6th, 2006, 2:05 pm
    Post #33 - March 6th, 2006, 2:05 pm Post #33 - March 6th, 2006, 2:05 pm
    Brother Reinhart's Struan Bread

    This talk about Reinhart reminded me of one of my favorite breads, one that I haven't made in a long time, so I baked up some loaves today. This was M.F.K. Fisher's favorite bread from Reinhart's bakery. Enriched with honey, brown rice, brown sugar, rolled oats, and wheat bran, this slightly sweet bread has made the house smell heavenly. It is best toasted after a few day and slathered with butter and jam. To quote Brother Reinhart:

    "Toast a thick piece and butter it. This is ultimate experience of Struan. All of the the flavors are released, pushed to their extreme. The outside is crunchy, nutty, and deeply golden. The inside is soft and moist, soaking up the butter."


    Image

    Bill/SFNM
    Last edited by Bill/SFNM on January 3rd, 2007, 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #34 - March 6th, 2006, 4:52 pm
    Post #34 - March 6th, 2006, 4:52 pm Post #34 - March 6th, 2006, 4:52 pm
    Great looking bread Bill, do you have a camera for your oven? :)
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #35 - March 6th, 2006, 5:38 pm
    Post #35 - March 6th, 2006, 5:38 pm Post #35 - March 6th, 2006, 5:38 pm
    Bruce wrote:do you have a camera for your oven? :)


    That's cold. You know very well that some idiot melted my camera in the oven.

    Bill/SFNM (aka the idiot)
  • Post #36 - March 6th, 2006, 7:11 pm
    Post #36 - March 6th, 2006, 7:11 pm Post #36 - March 6th, 2006, 7:11 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:
    Bruce wrote:do you have a camera for your oven? :)


    That's cold. You know very well that some idiot melted my camera in the oven.

    Bill/SFNM (aka the idiot)


    I'm sorry but I couldn't resist.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #37 - April 14th, 2020, 7:21 pm
    Post #37 - April 14th, 2020, 7:21 pm Post #37 - April 14th, 2020, 7:21 pm
    HI,

    I like giving old threads fresh time in the sun.

    At some point in time, someone gave me a box mix of Challah bread. It's one of those someday I will make it, then shove it aside to get at something else. We are presently out of bread and I really want the shelf space back. Today, I finally made the Challah.

    This is a small loaf weighing just over a pound. The greatest addition to my talent array: I learned how to braid. Years when I wanted to learn, there was no youtube available. When my nieces wanted their hair braided, I had them help each other. My best effort at a braid was a twisty thing that never held its shape.

    I am rather pleased with the result. So much so, I may make some Challah soon, so I can do a four- or five-part braid.
    IMG_0246.JPG Dough weighed, evenly divided and rolled

    IMG_0248.JPG Braided (though I should have tucked the end better)

    IMG_0251.JPG Brushed with egg wash, then poppy seed applied

    IMG_0255.JPG Fresh from the oven

    This was a fun little project.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #38 - April 15th, 2020, 5:59 am
    Post #38 - April 15th, 2020, 5:59 am Post #38 - April 15th, 2020, 5:59 am
    Nice looking loaf, there, Ms. C2. I'd offer to help you eat it if it weren't Passover and if there weren't a few other restrictions in place. Maybe next time. (But still a nice-looking loaf!)
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #39 - April 15th, 2020, 2:21 pm
    Post #39 - April 15th, 2020, 2:21 pm Post #39 - April 15th, 2020, 2:21 pm
    I'm sending you my recipe Cathy
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #40 - April 15th, 2020, 4:10 pm
    Post #40 - April 15th, 2020, 4:10 pm Post #40 - April 15th, 2020, 4:10 pm
    irisarbor wrote:I'm sending you my recipe Cathy

    Thank you!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #41 - April 23rd, 2020, 11:39 am
    Post #41 - April 23rd, 2020, 11:39 am Post #41 - April 23rd, 2020, 11:39 am
    Copying this here, since my original post got buried on the "Corona Cuisine/ Social Distance Cooking" thread & I wanna talk about this stuff. Anybody else found ways to minimize/not waste sourdough discard?

    Jefe wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    boudreaulicious wrote:I learned how to nurse a starter back from the brink of death and baked up my first ever loaf of bread.

    Looks great. I'm curious about starter in general because so many people have been posting about restarting their starters. But my experience is that to keep one going, quite a bit of flour is needed . . . and it's relatively hard to find right now. If I were going to bake some bread, it seems like it'd be easier to find yeast than it would be to find the amount of flour necessary to resuscitate my starter. Not that I don't prefer naturally-raised loaves but beggars can't be choosers. Wondering how much flour people have to burn to keep their starters going. When I was baking Silverton breads (Breads from the La Brea Bakery, many years ago), the flour requirements were crazy-high . . . 3 feedings a day. We use to joke that it needed more TLC than a child.

    =R=


    I jumped on the sourdough train when the sh!t went down 5+ weeks ago. Wifey bought me the Tartine Bread book which sat on the shelf for a few years. Now I realize what took me so long, the whole process, indeed, requires constant attention (and I'm juggling a four year old full time!)

    And not long into the process I realized how much waste the feeding and discarding process would involve, which is not ideal for today's scarce resources (+ I'm a pretty economic cook to begin with.) The Tartine recipe favors a lower pH "sweeter" starter which requires everyday feeding of about a cup of flour and then discarding 80% of it, which is roughly 6 cups of wasted flour a week!

    Well I've found work arounds & fortunately we like a little sour funk in our sourdough. We eat about a loaf a week (usually 2/3 in one day) maybe two. The starter gets stashed 3-4 days in the fridge. And then I feed it about half a cup of flour a day for a few days before my bake. With each feeding I "discard" a little over half, which gets saved for other projects. So I'm producing about 1.5 cups of discard a week and there's plenty of options to use it elsewhere–

    Pancakes are a popular option. Big, billowy Dutch baby style. I've also been pouring the starter right into a hot pan to make thin, crepe like sour pancakes that I eat in savory applications. I realized the other day, its not unlike injera, so I'm gonna make some spiced lentils this weekend. English muffins are also on deck.

    Overall, its been a fun & delicious project. I honestly can't believe how good the bread's turned out, tbh. Some of the best I've ever eaten.

    Notes on flour scarcity– my main grocery, Angelo Caputo's in Carol Stream seems to be where the home cooks shop, since they are down to 50 lb. bags of store brand flour (they haven't seemed to restock in over a month.) Jewel by me had no bread flour but AP and whole wheat from King Arthur & Gold Medal. Target had ample bags of King Arthur bread flour last weekend. Its likely more supply chain-related, but I can't help but wonder if the culinary inclinations of the customers of each store might be a factor.
  • Post #42 - April 23rd, 2020, 12:43 pm
    Post #42 - April 23rd, 2020, 12:43 pm Post #42 - April 23rd, 2020, 12:43 pm
    Jefe, what is the input needed for your 1 loaf/week recipe? Andrew Janjigian at Cook's Illustrated has started a tiny quarantine starter guide. Your build-up starter is so small it only makes 25-30g at a time. That's the very lowest amount I've seen added to a recipe. But assuming you need somewhere between 30-50g a week for your loaf, you could just maintain a smaller quantity of starter - just enough for your 1 loaf and enough to refresh once a week. I'm thinking that should still take less than 1/2 C of flour.

    Of course if you have a very active starter, some recipes allow you to make a batch of starter/levain for use in bread baking for 1-2 weeks and use it straight out of the fridge. In that case, you double your just-big-enough batch and use it for twice as long.

    In general, I think you only need to maintain what you think you'll regularly use. And if you have active starter, you can always scale up for a larger bake (or series of bakes) if it is only temporary.

    I'm just getting to the point where I'm ready to bake with my quarantine starter. I plan to stick the plan I've outlined above - just maintain what I need.

    I just think that most of these cookbooks are scaled for restaurant/bakery level production of breads that do not mimic the typical consumption of a normal household. Learning the schedule of your starter allows you to be flexible and scale it to fit your needs.

    As for discard recipes, Andrew J (mentioned above) said he would be posting them there. King Arthur also has a bunch.
  • Post #43 - April 23rd, 2020, 1:17 pm
    Post #43 - April 23rd, 2020, 1:17 pm Post #43 - April 23rd, 2020, 1:17 pm
    Bill/SFNM has a free e-book and thread that may be helpful:

    New e-book with recipes for using excess sourdough starter
  • Post #44 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:08 pm
    Post #44 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:08 pm Post #44 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:08 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:Jefe, what is the input needed for your 1 loaf/week recipe? Andrew Janjigian at Cook's Illustrated has started a tiny quarantine starter guide. Your build-up starter is so small it only makes 25-30g at a time. That's the very lowest amount I've seen added to a recipe. But assuming you need somewhere between 30-50g a week for your loaf, you could just maintain a smaller quantity of starter - just enough for your 1 loaf and enough to refresh once a week. I'm thinking that should still take less than 1/2 C of flour.

    Of course if you have a very active starter, some recipes allow you to make a batch of starter/levain for use in bread baking for 1-2 weeks and use it straight out of the fridge. In that case, you double your just-big-enough batch and use it for twice as long.

    In general, I think you only need to maintain what you think you'll regularly use. And if you have active starter, you can always scale up for a larger bake (or series of bakes) if it is only temporary.

    I'm just getting to the point where I'm ready to bake with my quarantine starter. I plan to stick the plan I've outlined above - just maintain what I need.

    I just think that most of these cookbooks are scaled for restaurant/bakery level production of breads that do not mimic the typical consumption of a normal household. Learning the schedule of your starter allows you to be flexible and scale it to fit your needs.

    As for discard recipes, Andrew J (mentioned above) said he would be posting them there. King Arthur also has a bunch.


    The Tartine recipe calls for 200g of levain for a two loaf batch. That quantity of levain uses only 1T starter, or 9(ish)g. So if I stick to my three days of feeding at 60% discard per day, I need to maintain 22.5g of starter, which is 11.25g flour per day X 3= 33.75g or about a quarter of a cup a week of flour per week. And that's for two loaves.

    Thanks for nudging me to do the math! Looks like I can save 1.25 cups of flour a week from my current routine. I do like the challenge of using the discard though and thanks also for those links (you too Darren!)
  • Post #45 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:31 pm
    Post #45 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:31 pm Post #45 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:31 pm
    I also own the Tartine book and I believe that they try to accomplish the bulk fermentation in 3-4 hours. Alternatively, wordloaf's (Andre Janjigian's) culmination recipe for the tiny starter project uses much less starter (30 g) and accomplishes the bulk fermentation in 12-16 hours.

    Of course there are other differences. Tartine's recipe calls for the bulk fermentation in the 78-82 degree range. Wordloaf's is at a lower temperature (68-75). I suspect that the combination of a larger quantity of starter and a higher temperature allows the Tartine recipe to cut down on 75% of the bulk fermentation time.

    Wordloaf's recipe was a tweaked version of a King Arthur baker's tweak of a home baker. There are lots of levers you can pull and variables to manipulate in the bread baking process. In the King Arthur link, you'll see the author says he upped the quantity of starter/levain from the original recipe because in his tests the fermentation was taking longer than advertised. He suspected the ambient temperature in his house was colder than it was for the recipe writer. As a result, he upped the levain from 40g to 100g.

    What does this all show? There are many paths to creating good bread. You can test and see how long things take and how they turn out and tweak things to suit your schedule and make a loaf you like. I plan on using my weekly or so bakes to dial in on something that works well for me.

    As a side note, wordloaf suggested in his project master plan that if you have a healthy starter, you don't need to necessarily feed it every 3-4 days. You can build up enough to use for 1-2 weeks pull it straight from the fridge and bake. So if you only refresh every 10-14 days, maybe that results in less waste? Probably not if you've leaned down your maintenance starter quantity, but another thing to consider.
  • Post #46 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:37 pm
    Post #46 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:37 pm Post #46 - April 23rd, 2020, 2:37 pm
    I gotta say, the Tartine recipe yields some of the best bread I've ever had.

    Though I've cooked professionally for 20 years, bread baking & its science are one of the last frontiers for me. So far it's feeling like a hobby that might only last as long as this current situation, but we shall see.

    Glad to have this dialogue!
  • Post #47 - April 23rd, 2020, 3:11 pm
    Post #47 - April 23rd, 2020, 3:11 pm Post #47 - April 23rd, 2020, 3:11 pm
    For sure. I also enjoyed the Tartine bread when I was regularly making it (a few years back). I got out of the habit, but have been catapulted back in by the quarantine. My starting point was the fact I couldn't find sandwich bread and then couldn't find yeast. But it's more than that.

    I love a good loaf of bread. I used to marvel when quality bread first started to become more readily available 5-10 years ago (prior to that, the bread scene in this town was pretty mediocre). Part of the reason I *stopped* baking my own bread was because it was so much easier to find a good quality loaf and it didn't seem worth the trouble. I found myself buying them around town (PQM, La Fournette, Hewn, etc). Nowadays, I just can't justify the separate shopping trip for bread alone.

    So I'm gung-ho back into baking my own bread. We'll see how long it lasts. But I'm definitely realizing now that these $6 artisan breads probably use about $0.50-$1 worth of ingredients (plus time and experience, obviously). If I can make something comparable (or close) at home on my schedule without making special trips, I may well consider it even after things settle down.
  • Post #48 - April 23rd, 2020, 3:25 pm
    Post #48 - April 23rd, 2020, 3:25 pm Post #48 - April 23rd, 2020, 3:25 pm
    Learning to bake my own naturally raised loaves ruined me . . . for a time. They were far better than anything one could buy in town, so I just stopped even trying to buy bread. It was always disappointing. But as Mike mentions above, the local scene eventually got its game on and developed to the point where outstanding loaves became available on a retail basis (digression: about a year ago I was working on a post about how far the local bread scene had come but I got sidetracked and never completed it).

    In any case, like so many (culinary) skills I've chosen to learn over the years, I originally learned this precisely because how poor the purchasable options were. "Want great bread? You'd better learn to bake it yourself." Happily, that's no longer the case . . . but there is still something immensely satisfying about taking flour, water and salt, and turning it into something far beyond the sum of its parts. Perhaps, the apex of culinary alchemy.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #49 - April 23rd, 2020, 4:11 pm
    Post #49 - April 23rd, 2020, 4:11 pm Post #49 - April 23rd, 2020, 4:11 pm
    I keep my starter in the fridge and refresh it/revive it weekly with 40 g of flour/40 of water. I usually take it out of the fridge Friday am, dump most of it, add flour/water, then do another feed/make a levain Friday evening in order to make bread and/or pizza dough Saturday am. I have a pretty hearty starter and I've never had any issues getting it to revive, even after a few weeks of neglect. I find I have very little surplus starter this way.
  • Post #50 - April 24th, 2020, 11:55 am
    Post #50 - April 24th, 2020, 11:55 am Post #50 - April 24th, 2020, 11:55 am
    My starter occasionally sits months in our fridge and revives relatively quickly....
  • Post #51 - April 24th, 2020, 1:08 pm
    Post #51 - April 24th, 2020, 1:08 pm Post #51 - April 24th, 2020, 1:08 pm
    I just found out that Gordon Food Service has yeast and flour. The flour you have to buy 25 pounds worth. They have the 1.5 pound bags of red star yeast and also instant yeast. I think it is in stock at the Evanston store, but I don't have an account with them, and so I could not find out how much it was. On a Facebook group that I belong to though, the person in charge of the group reported that they were selling the yeast for under $6 though. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #52 - April 24th, 2020, 1:19 pm
    Post #52 - April 24th, 2020, 1:19 pm Post #52 - April 24th, 2020, 1:19 pm
    Many web recipes recommend Saf-Instant yeast: https://www.amazon.com/Saf-Instant-Yeas ... 868&sr=8-3

    I ordered it last week and received it 3 days later. Keeps for years in the freezer.
  • Post #53 - April 24th, 2020, 1:23 pm
    Post #53 - April 24th, 2020, 1:23 pm Post #53 - April 24th, 2020, 1:23 pm
    HonestMan wrote:My starter occasionally sits months in our fridge and revives relatively quickly....


    Agreed. But I assume your starter is mature, healthy, and vigorous. With those factors in place, one can definitely neglect a starter and revive it swiftly.

    Just talked Boudreaulicious through re-animating an under starter for 2+ years. She started on Friday night and baked a nice loaf earlier this week with it.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #54 - April 24th, 2020, 2:10 pm
    Post #54 - April 24th, 2020, 2:10 pm Post #54 - April 24th, 2020, 2:10 pm
    7DDE2AE0-5E26-462C-A69A-F850C66560EB.jpeg Rookie Level Challah!
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #55 - April 24th, 2020, 2:33 pm
    Post #55 - April 24th, 2020, 2:33 pm Post #55 - April 24th, 2020, 2:33 pm
    The link somebody gave for the yeast at Amazon, I clicked it, and it is $13.99, and it is not sold by Amazon. I have used Red Star yeast before, and it has worked out just fine. Years ago when Oak Street Market was open, they used to bag their own yeast and sell it, and it worked out just fine. I can't remember what brand it was though.

    I just checked on GFS website, and they do have Saf-instant yeast along with red star.
  • Post #56 - April 24th, 2020, 4:48 pm
    Post #56 - April 24th, 2020, 4:48 pm Post #56 - April 24th, 2020, 4:48 pm
    i friend grabbed me a 2 lb. bag of red star yeast at the lincoln park costco this week, @$5/bag. i'll never use it all up, so i'm offering some of it to friends and i'll store it in the freezer.
  • Post #57 - April 24th, 2020, 4:59 pm
    Post #57 - April 24th, 2020, 4:59 pm Post #57 - April 24th, 2020, 4:59 pm
    justjoan wrote:i friend grabbed me a 2 lb. bag of red star yeast at the lincoln park costco this week, @$5/bag. i'll never use it all up, so i'm offering some of it to friends and i'll store it in the freezer.

    Good move and very kind of you. I had nearly a pound of saf-instant yeast that had been in my freezer for years (in a tightly sealed plastic mason jar). I wasn't sure of its viability but I tested it* earlier this week and it was definitely good to go, so a I gave a few ounces each to a couple of friends.

    =R=

    *1 tsp yeast dissolved in 2 fluid ounces of 95-degree water + 2 tbs flour + a squirt of honey and after 10 minutes it was frothing. I stirred it up and after another 10 minutes, it was frothing again.
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #58 - April 24th, 2020, 6:30 pm
    Post #58 - April 24th, 2020, 6:30 pm Post #58 - April 24th, 2020, 6:30 pm
    tried Alison Roman's biscuits today. she eschews cuisnart and pastry cutter and recommends hand butter blending; uses buttermilk; quick knead but not folding or rolling. quite good! one of these days i'll learn how to post photos here.
  • Post #59 - April 25th, 2020, 10:46 am
    Post #59 - April 25th, 2020, 10:46 am Post #59 - April 25th, 2020, 10:46 am
    thaiobsessed wrote:I keep my starter in the fridge and refresh it/revive it weekly with 40 g of flour/40 of water. I usually take it out of the fridge Friday am, dump most of it, add flour/water, then do another feed/make a levain Friday evening in order to make bread and/or pizza dough Saturday am. I have a pretty hearty starter and I've never had any issues getting it to revive, even after a few weeks of neglect. I find I have very little surplus starter this way.


    I have gone through several methods of starter maintenance since I tried again with wild yeast a few years ago.

    I have even practiced the scrapings method + I have some dried starter to hand for back up.

    I now like Vanessa Kimball's minimum colony size of 250g. I like that she's like I have no science to back me but it's just what I think. It's more than the scrapings method but if I bake at least once every couple of weeks and my starter is mature/well-established, healthy, and vigorous ( she's a survivor, a marvel, and a triumph!) then I basically have enough starter to hand to make waffles or bread and enough left over to feed and build back up.

    I save the multiple feeds a day for those "birthing" a new starter the traditional way and those who have to condition/strengthen their starters after neglecting/starving them for a very long period of time.

    Someone's picking up starter tomorrow so I will pull my bowl from the fridge this evening and give it a feed so that it is ready tomorrow. It's funny to realize I have made so many loaves, including panettone and milk bread, and had never made pizza with it until this week. I like it a lot.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #60 - April 25th, 2020, 11:17 am
    Post #60 - April 25th, 2020, 11:17 am Post #60 - April 25th, 2020, 11:17 am
    NFriday wrote:I just found out that Gordon Food Service has yeast and flour. The flour you have to buy 25 pounds worth. They have the 1.5 pound bags of red star yeast and also instant yeast. I think it is in stock at the Evanston store, but I don't have an account with them, and so I could not find out how much it was. On a Facebook group that I belong to though, the person in charge of the group reported that they were selling the yeast for under $6 though. Hope this helps, Nancy

    No yeast at GFS Evanston this morning.
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

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