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texassourdough 12-13-2011 02:09 PM

Today's Bread!
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Given the dialogue I have been involved in in recent days regarding bread I decided to upload some details and images from today's bake.

I mixed three different breads this morning - Volkornbrot, Pandoro, and my own Forrtine (Forrest/Tartine hybrid) boules. While I included a photo of the Volkornbrot, it is the mixing of the boules I wanted to focus on.

As I used and fed my starter only three days I did not feed it yesterday morning as I usually do. Last night I took 100 grams of starter and added 200 grams of AP and 200 grams of water and let them ferment on the counter overnight. This morning I added 1180 grams of AP flour, 750 gms water, 30 grams of salt, and starter and stirred them together for about a minute, maybe two - to the point where it was sort of uniform - just past the totally ragged point. Then onto my breadboard and about six kneads followed by one S&F (one S&F in my vocabulary is four - one from each edge). Then into an oiled 6 quart (I think) tub. Came back about a half hour later and gave it another S&F. I thought I should do a second but got distracted and didn't. Preformed at the three hour point. Formed boules 20 minutes later. Proofed in linen at room temp of about 70 F for about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

NOTE: The dough was 70% baker's percentage. They were baked in cloches in a 465 F oven. 20 minutes with the cloche on, about 12 minutes uncoverd. 208 F internal temp. Two loaves are about 20 minutes underproofed by my taste and two are about right.

The Volkornbrot is straight from Reinhart's Whole Grain book.


SCChris 12-13-2011 02:22 PM

Re: Today's Bread!
Thanks for the technical information, Those loaves are spectacular!

Who's or what cloches did you use.



texassourdough 12-14-2011 04:03 AM

Re: Today's Bread!
Thanks, Chris!

I got mine years ago from Sur la Table and I don't know the brand. They are unglazed ceramic. I preheat them for an hour at the baking temp.

I don't get too excited about the nature of the cloche. You can get virtually identical results on a pizza stone with a stainless steel bowl (which is thin and doesn't require preheating!). And Chad Robertson promoted using Lodge Cast Iron Combi Ovens in his book Tartine. That works almost as well. Biggest issue is the base (which is the lid of the combi oven when baking bread) transfers too much heat and most people find a layer of parchment is better than "naked". OTOH, the parchment makes it a lot easier to get the loaf in the cooker lid. Can also use cast iron dutch ovens but getting the bread in the cloche is a great way to get burned.

For longer loaves you can use roasting pans over a stone. In my experience I can get very similar bread from any of the "cloche" methods (ceramic, cast iron, steel bowl, disposable roasting pan).

It's not magic. The key is trapping the humidity from the dough so you really gelatinize the crust and get both great oven spring and crust. It is really hard to get the same result in a big empty oven (with only a couple of loaves). Oven humidification methods abound but in my experience the cloche method is the only thing that approximates a WFO.

Hope that helps!

heliman 12-14-2011 06:27 AM

Re: Today's Bread!
These look great Jay!!!

SCChris 12-14-2011 09:13 AM

Re: Today's Bread!

It's not magic. The key is trapping the humidity from the dough so you really gelatinize the crust and get both great oven spring and crust. It is really hard to get the same result in a big empty oven
With my gas oven I find it very hard to maintain enough steam to really get the nice shiny crust. I've been thinking more about using a cloche and dumping the cast iron pan and the pump sparyer for steam. Most often I bake a batard shape because it's quick and easy to form and seems to be the shape that allows us to get a piece of bread that fits the plate and need. Anyway because of the shape I need a pan to cover more like the disposable roasting pan. I need to look at the 2nd hand stores and see if I can find a roster lid to use.

Jay, as always, Thanks for your perspective and insights.


texassourdough 12-14-2011 11:03 AM

Re: Today's Bread!
Your idea of a second hand roaster lid is good. Only trick is to find an all metal one for the oven. That should be doable. The biggest trick with a cloche seems to be that within reason the closer the cloche is to the loaf size the better it seems to work. Now there will be a nationwide rush for used lidded roasting pans. And to think, it all began here! :)

PS: I have found that heavy duty aluminum roasting pans are available in a variety of sizes which is helpful!

brickie in oz 12-14-2011 11:46 AM

Re: Today's Bread!
Jay you are the breadmiester still.....:)

kmrice 12-14-2011 01:05 PM

Re: Today's Bread!
Jay, great looking loaves.

Did you do these loaves in your WFO?

Also, did you do the S&Fs in the tub, or on the bench?


david s 12-14-2011 01:21 PM

Re: Today's Bread!
What is an S&F?

SCChris 12-14-2011 02:00 PM

Re: Today's Bread!
I can't take any credit for the roaster lid idea, I think I picked it in a "The Fresh Loaf" forum.. I like the idea that it's a bit more rugged tool.


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