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First loaves of bread

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  • First loaves of bread

    When I started my oven, I had no intentions of using it for anything but a pizza oven. Reading so many posts by the Bread Bakers on this forum, I began to get inspired. A friend gave me a thirteen year old sourdough starter, so I decided to jump on the bread wagon this past weekend.

    I made a ton of mistakes--mainly trying to mix and knead dough while having charge of twins 16 months old; and over-fermenting the dough due to pizza party guests lingering for a while; and trying to slash the dough with a not-sharp-enough knife; and...

    But, despite it all, I was thrilled with the taste of the bread. I think I have found myself a new hobby.
    Attached Files
    -David

  • #2
    Re: First loaves of bread

    They look pretty good to me! I don't know how you got ANYTHING done while looking after 16 month old twins. My twins are 19 now and headed for their sophomore year in college...

    I rarely bake bread after pizza- we usually have pizza dinnertimeish, and it's just too late by the time the oven's cool enough, and I don't like feeling rushed when I bake. I plan out a couple of things to make over 24 hours or so, starting with the bread, and go from there. I do always try to really soak the oven with heat, though, or it cools off faster than I want. Bread in the afternoon followed by chicken or something for dinner, followed by a pot roast like thing the next am, etc. etc., keeps me from feeling profligate about "just firing the oven to bake bread". It takes some planning, but it works ok.

    Keep on working with the bread! It's great fun, although mine has all been wonky this summer because of heat and humidity issues I hadn't had practice correcting.
    Elizabeth

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First loaves of bread

      Originally posted by egalecki View Post
      I rarely bake bread after pizza- we usually have pizza dinnertimeish, and it's just too late by the time the oven's cool enough, and I don't like feeling rushed when I bake.
      I actually baked the next day @ 11:00AM with the oven temp at 500F. I made a door of insulating board that holds the heat in pretty well. I let the dough retard in the fridge overnight.
      -David

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First loaves of bread

        Looks good David! Had a nice brie and some homemade jam or marmalade!!! I like those things. As for the mistakes...we all made them...so long as you eat the results...our experience with the wild yeasted doughs is that sometimes they don't do as well with the overnight retarded proof in the fridge. Keep trying, do a good bit of reading and post more pictures...many helping hands on this forum!
        Best
        Dutch
        "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
        "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First loaves of bread

          Congratulations David, the bread looks awesome. Your pic is great: beautiful bread, a blue-brie cheese and please...is that apricot marmalade? If not, I'll just pretend it is.

          I've been wondering were/how to post this for the last few days and this might be the place. I've made bread twice. 1st, I waited until the next day after pizza. The temp said 450 and I though OK, I'll bake a few minutes longer since it's not 500 deg. It was better than good since I always use a 2 day pre-ferment (poolish) and long, slow 3rd day rise. But it didn't rise and color well. 2 weeks later, I fire the oven just for bread (so I was rushed, not a properly charged oven) and though the laser thermometer said 500 on the bricks, again my wonderful dough turned bland looking when cooked in a way I never get in my oven at 500 deg semi commercial SS oven.
          My feeling is that a thermometer on the oven rack in home oven, that says 500 is thoroughly charged and warmer than my WFO where the laser says 500 at some point on the bricks.

          Should I bake hotter?
          Should I always, like Elizabeth says, really soak or load the oven (like Mike (gromit) does and refire the next day after pizza?
          I just lightly mopped the hot floor with a very small mop. Is that sufficient moister in the oven?
          Both times they were ciabatta loaves using Reinharts bread book that has been my guide in the last few years. Any help with oven your oven temps and how you inject moister to your bread baking would be helpful. Thnx, Dino
          "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

          View My Picasa Web Album UPDATED oct
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          http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?k...BF19875Rnp84Uw


          My Oven Thread
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...arts-5883.html

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          • #6
            Re: First loaves of bread

            I've tried baking by just heating the oven to the temperature I think I need. It doesn't work well for me- I am pretty sure what happens is that the oven is still collecting heat at that point and so a few minutes after you "take its temperature", it sucks the heat off the surface bricks and it's not as hot anymore.

            You'll have to use trial and error to see how hot (or maybe it's better to see how long) you need to fire your oven to get the right temp. You need to fire it, spread out the coals for a bit, clean it out and put the door on for at least half an hour to get the temperature evened out. I have to fire mine about 1 1/2 hours, the last fifteen minutes I add a few more pieces of wood so at the 1 1/2 hour mark I can spread it all out over the floor. I leave it that way at least 20 minutes. Then I rake out the coals, mop the floor, and put the door on for half an hour (my door's insulated, so I can leave it longer if I have to). Then I check the temp. It's usually 600 or better, so I will mop again or just leave the door off a while. At 550, I can add steam and replace the door for a few minutes. Then I can load some things, but most of my breads do better at 500 or a little less, since they tend to be more dense and take longer to cook. I steam again really well when I replace the door after the bread is loaded.

            To get good steam I use a garden sprayer- $9.99 at Lowe's. I marked it "oven use" so I don't lose my mind and put garden spray in it! It came with a plastic tip which worked just fine, but then the dog chewed that part up in revenge for me leaving her during a thunderstorm. I replaced it with a brass tip (hah, dog, try chewing that one!) which works well too. As long as I don't step on it. I did that to the very first sprayer I had and it leaked all over a loaf that had a lot of flour on the outside and the loaf welded itself to the floor. Not good eats.

            You put the tip in all the way as far as you can, and spray for at least 10 seconds, pulling it slowly forward as you go, until the steam is rolling out the vent and up the chimney. Slap your door on and you're good! I let the steam out after about 10 minutes, move any loaves around that need it, and put the door back on until I think it's time.

            I'd be interested to see how other people do it. This is the way I've been able to get evenly colored breads- before, when I was er, less patient, I ended up with very unevenly colored bottoms.
            Elizabeth

            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First loaves of bread

              I had an idea to make an oven door with a hole in it through which I could insert one of those garden sprayers and steam after the bread is loaded. I don't know if I would just end up dousing the loaves.
              -David

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              • #8
                Re: First loaves of bread

                For me, if I have the door right there ready to go, I just spray until it's rolling out and slap it on quick. I don't think a separate door with a hole is necessary.
                Elizabeth

                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First loaves of bread

                  Hi Gromit!

                  For a first try, you did WELL! Particularly with distractions. You also did really well on your oven if it was still at 500 the next day.

                  A one meter oven typically needs about 12-16 pounds of dough or so to give really great crust. Anything less will benefit from spraying the oven - but my advice is to do it only once after you load the loaves. And spray it pretty well but not on the loaves if you can help it.

                  Your crumb is tight for a sourdough artisanal boule. Probably a function of lower hydration than most of us use combined with refrigerator retarding. I am with Dutch on this. Wild yeast/sourdoughs don't typically do well with retarding. The normal approach is a double expansion. My normal "recipe" starts with 100 grams of BP100 leaven (that means the water and flour are equal. I add 200 grams of water and 200 grams of flour (usually 100 whole wheat and 100 bread flour) after dinner and let it sit out overnight. My yeast will be just about peaking at 7 am or so. Then I expand it 4X again (adding a total of 2000 grams ), adding water and flour to give the baker's percentage (BP) I want for the dough (usually 68 which equates to adding 1240 grams of bread flour and 760 of water) and add the salt. Let it go about 3 hours - with a fold or two at about an hour. Form the boules at 3 hours (about 10 am). Let rise about 2 hours (or until ready) and bake. It is more work than single step bread but you get better results. The amounts in my expansions can easily be ratioed up and down. Salt should be 2 percent of the flour weight.

                  Be gentle with the dough after the fold. You don't want to degas it.

                  If you don't have a gram scale I would strongly urge you get one. They save lots of hassle vs. calculating with ounces!

                  Keep up the good work!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First loaves of bread

                    Thank you all for your encouraging feedback and helpful hints. I am going to give it another try this weekend and will steam the oven this time and make a strong effort to NOT over-ferment the first rise. If that does not fix things, then I will chunk the recipe and go a new direction. I really like the schedule of being able to do all the work on Saturday and then just throw the loaves in on Sunday.

                    How important is the kneading process in all of this? I kneaded this batch by hand until I was sweaty and tired, and then I read in Jim's e-book that some recommend 700 turns by hand when manually kneading. Let's just say I was somewhere an order of magnitude less than that. My dad has been making no-knead loaves and the gluten seems to develop just fine.

                    Dino, I hope you bubble is not burst if I tell you that it was fig jelly canned by my sister-in-law and not apricot. It was a bit sweet, but balanced out by the saltiness of the cheese and the slight tang of the naturally leavened bread.
                    -David

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First loaves of bread

                      Hi David!

                      Kneading is, in part, a function of the baker, the bread, the flour, and the ambitions. The goal is to develop sheets of gluten that will create a web in the bread to capture the carbon dioxide and other gases and lift the loaf. It takes a lot more kneading if you do it immediately on mixing than if you autolyze (let the bread sit under a bowl or plastic for 20 minutes or so) and then knead. Among the serious bread makers there is a move toward folding as opposed to normal kneading (you can find videos on google). Better gluten allows better crumb, but its not rocket science and it isn't critical. Better to underknead than overknead (which can happen with a mixer).

                      One other comment on sourdoughs... The reason for the split expansion is the first expansion creates a lot of flavor for it is a very long (10 to 16 hour) ferment with both yeast and bacteria working. And enzymes breaking down the flour into sugars that the yeast eat. A refrigerator retard of the wild yeast will not give equivalent flavor or development. But you can't leave your dough out that long or it will overproof. That's why we do the split expansion. The first gives a lot of the flavor, the second provides the gases to lift the bread and is terminated at the appropriate point by baking.

                      IF you want to make the second expansion predictable there is not much problem with adding a little instant commercial yeast along with the flour/water/salt to accelerate the rise during the second expansion. Minimal impact on flavor and a predictable rise time (with experience).

                      Beginners seem to find The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Reinhart to be the best book for this approach. (And he has a lot of commercial yeast recipes that use retards for more flavor).

                      Good Luck!
                      Jay

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First loaves of bread

                        Originally posted by texassourdough View Post
                        Among the serious bread makers there is a move toward folding as opposed to normal kneading (you can find videos on google).
                        I just watched a video; it looks a lot easier than trying to develop a gluten window all in one kneading.

                        Originally posted by texassourdough View Post
                        The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Reinhart to be the best book for this approach. (And he has a lot of commercial yeast recipes that use retards for more flavor).
                        I've got this book on my b-day wish-list; hopefully some family member will come through.
                        -David

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First loaves of bread

                          Originally posted by texassourdough View Post
                          A one meter oven typically needs about 12-16 pounds of dough or so to give really great crust. Anything less will benefit from spraying the oven - but my advice is to do it only once after you load the loaves. And spray it pretty well but not on the loaves if you can help it.
                          As a home baker, what do you do with 12-16 lbs of fresh bread?

                          Has anyone here experimented with parbaking loaves till 80% cooked and freezing them for finishing with a final bake in an electric oven?
                          -David

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: First loaves of bread

                            I do a lot more folding than kneading now, but then i also use a wetter dough than I used to.

                            I completely agree with the double expansion Jay talks about. My absolute favorite bread uses a sponge overnight followed by a second rise the next day after the rest of the flour is added. The flavor is amazing, and it's pretty predictable if i add a bit of regular IDY to it- like 1/4 teaspoon, not much at all. I can also just let the sourdough do the work, but it's less predictable timewise.

                            I have the BBA book, his Whole Grain Breads book and the Hamelman book, all of which are good. For a beginner, the Hamelman can be overwhelming, though- I lent it to a friend who'd only used a bread machine and I thought her head was gonna explode! It does have some really good recipes in it though. The dried fig, rosemary and hazelnut bread is to die for, and the pecan/ golden raisin is also AMAZING. The BBA is very well explained, the pictures are good and the recipes pretty comprehensive for a starter book. Try the pain a l'ancienne- it's not sourdough, but it is a retarded overnight in the fridge dough, and the flavor is terrific.

                            I routinely make 10 to 12 pounds of bread at a time- I give a lot away, freeze some, and eat a lot of it. (I'm doing more whole grain, so it doesn't all go straight to my fanny and middle...) I make up double batches of the no-knead bread recipe (I do fold it once the next morning, so I know that's cheating), divide it into smaller loaves and bake in the wfo and freeze them for reheating when it's just the two of us eating dinner. The nice thing about the wfo is you don't need the pot for the no knead recipe- if you steam it well, the crust develops fine on its own!
                            Elizabeth

                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First loaves of bread

                              Hi David!

                              I don't like making 12 to 16 pounds of bread (as a general practice) so I don't routinely use the WFO for bread - I typically do it in cloche indoors which is effectively a tiny WFO for one loaf. (But I do typically make three or four loaves at a time.) I am pretty picky about my bread quality and I just can't seem to get the bread I want out of the WFO in small batches. So I don't! And I don't want to store that much bread, nor do I want to eat that much bread so I don't make big batches.

                              You ask about parbaking. I discourage that. Just bake it to fully baked (well, maybe a degree or two short - internal temp of 208-209 for sourdough straight breads. Wrap them tightly in plastic and freeze them for up to a two/three weeks with no/minimal loss of quality. Thaw for a couple of hours and then bake for about 15 minutes at 300 to 350 and the crust will be better (okay crunchier) than the original loaf you didn't freeze. If you are going to store the bread much more than two weeks it should be tghtly wrapped in saran wrap (or equivalent) and covered (tightly) with aluminum foil.

                              PS...I agree with Elzabeth on the books. IMO BBA is the best first book. Whole Grains is superb but a bit specialized for most beginning bakers. Hamelman is excellent but, not for beginners. (I laughed at your friend's exploding head, Liz!) I also agree re: pain l'ancienne although I am now using a similar - but somewhat different - recipe for baguettes.

                              PPS...those of us who really bake sourdoughs almost invariably become a slave to our yeast. We just let it do its thing and adjust our plans according to the temperature and the yeast's mood. With experience it gets pretty predictable but there's often a bit of "adjustment needed". The instant yeast makes it almost like clockwork. But that's sort of boring to those of us who have a relationship with our wild yeast!

                              BakeOn!
                              Jay

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