Author Topic: bread baking  (Read 1843 times)

Retinend

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bread baking
« on: February 22, 2021, 11:05:10 AM »


I've been getting into bread baking during this lockdown. For about a month now. These are two different loaves of mine:




You can see from the first picture that I'm keeping my dough nice and wet. When I wasn't looking, the thing puffed up in the baking tin to the point of overflow and I had to pick up the overflowing bits and lay them back on the top in order to get it looking nice again. My doughs are pretty floppy - during the rising stage, they will rise until the point where they collapse, at which point I re-knead and make the floppy ball a stronger floppy ball.

See, I've not been kneading with my knuckles, but keeping the dough-hydration high, and using wet hands to stretch and fold and press it in on itself repeatedly. I repeat the process two times. They say this sort of wet folding (in opposition to knuckle-kneading) results in bread which is less dry, and I don't want dry bread, so that's good.

But at the moment, my bread is a bit too much the other way: almost like a big long crumpet in texture and taste - there's a strong yeasty flavor and it takes ages to toast, but tastes nice (I love crumpets).

What I'm after now is how to get a baguette-like consistency, where the inside is fluffy and relatively dry. More flour, I suppose. That's the good thing about bread baking: you become critical and start thinking like a scientist because you've only got yourself to answer to if the bread doesn't come out entirely to your satisfaction. I suppose all cooking is like this, but there's something a little... yes I'll say it - something a little magical about baking bread in particular.

Are you into baking bread? If you've not tried it yet, but you're interested in it, it's surely one of the easiest ways to feel productive in lockdown, and all you need to get started is a bag of flour and some yeast. I recommend it to everyone.

DolphinFace

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2021, 11:08:08 AM »
To make baguette you knock back 4 times

Re: bread baking
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2021, 11:34:53 AM »
Supposedly baguettes are made with a poolish pre-ferment?  Which is a percentage of the flour, water and yeast fermented beforehand and then added to the final dough; specifically high hydration (the way I've learned is equal flour and water)

MojoJojo

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2021, 11:51:41 AM »
I think baguettes need a very hot oven with plenty of steam. I've seen the suggestion with domestic ovens to put trays of water in the oven or spray some water in when you put the loaf in but I don't think I've ever had much success.

hamfist

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 12:56:07 PM »
Wow Retinend, looks gorgeous !

I am baking 2-4 loaves per week at the moment. I found a farm in Driffield where they grow and mill their own organic grains, so I am diddling around with different amounts of different grains to see what happens. I use a sourdough starter my neighbour made. Absolutely love it - the process and the results. Proper crusty bread !


Retinend

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 01:41:23 PM »
Thanks a lot! Yours looks so good it makes me want to ditch the loaf tin entirely and go for maximum crust instead. How did you get that wheat design into the hard crust so neatly?

I'm just a beginner, but I'd eventually also like to do some research into the milling process and work out how different kinds of flour are produced. There's just so much variation possible in making small changes to the proportions involved.

Re: bread baking
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2021, 02:18:28 PM »
'kinell hamfist that's a photogenic loaf

Retinend - the book I'm learning from is called Flour Water Salt Yeast, not all that diverse in terms of loaves you'll make (they're basically all boules) but a very readable explanation of the principles and methods of break baking.  I've been making his pre-ferment and hybrid levain breads for almost a year now.

hamfist

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 05:20:05 PM »
I follow this recipe from Alex, with his OUTRAJUS CREEERRRRRST :

https://youtu.be/APEavQg8rMw

and for the scoring the wheat shape, I do it like Amanda here from Proof in Arizona :

https://youtu.be/lHbeL4yk78s?t=360

I currently have two levains rising in the oven with the light on (and a bowl of hot water as it's pretty cool in here) - gonna make two loaves which are 50g Einkorn, 250g Spelt and 300g Plain flour.

DolphinFace

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2021, 05:54:29 PM »
Einkorn is a man

Birdie

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 06:34:54 PM »
Bread baking was very popular here during lockdown - so much so that yeast and flour disappeared from the shops for months.  I had some yeast and flour t the start and baked a loaf a day for the freezer.  When the yeast ran out I tried making sour dough - hopeless - and then damper. 

I use a bread maker for the dough though as kneading is a bit hard for my little hands!

Putting it in the freezer may seem odd but it slices better - you do it while it's semi frozen and that way get nice thin slices.

Rizla

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2021, 07:00:45 PM »
We invested in a stand mixer (kneading is sore on my poor wristies) a few months ago and I reckon I've purchased 2 loaves since. Love making bread.  I only recently realised it's got to be poolish or GTFO. Difference in flavour is mental.

Poolish - 150ml lukewarm water, 150g AP flour, pinch of yeast, mix it all up in a tall jar/container, over with clingflim or put a lid on, leave on countertop for 16-24 (even more if you like) hours til frothy.

THEN - Mix 280 ml lukewarm water, 10g yeast, let go a bit frothy. Mix in poolish from cup. Add 250g white/AP flour , 50g wholemeal, 10g salt. Mix, leave 30 mins.

Wet hands, pull and stretch dough over itself 8-10 times. Slap it about (it's still in the bowl this whole time). Leave another 30 mins. Repeat.

Leave covered for an hour. Shape into loaf and let prove for 40mins+ (you probably need to use a proving basket cos it's quite a wet dough, or use a tin)

Very hot oven (260), if you have a dutch oven (or le crueset type casserole pot) let it heat up then pop/slop dough in, cook 18mins covered and 25-35 lid off.  Otherwise just bang in tin, cook for 45.

Recipe from this bastard who makes it all look so easy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mehXzl7yHA

hamfist

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2021, 08:52:14 PM »
Einkorn is a man

Doppelkorn’s Doppelgänger?

DolphinFace

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2021, 08:56:40 PM »
Recipe from this bastard who makes it all look so easy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mehXzl7yHA

That's a good video

Rizla

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2021, 10:02:59 PM »
That's a good video
Innit, I've had a sketch at a couple of his other vids and I do like the cut of his jib I must say, the boy kens his onions.

Attila

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2021, 10:14:53 PM »
I have made some Roman spelt bread, which I had to stop doing because I was scoffing it up too quickly. Mr Attila is the bread-maker in the house, and has it all down to a science.

That said, I've been making a weekly batch of sugar cookies using stoneware molds in various animal shapes and that. I had several of them from back when I was in grad school in the 1990s; Brown Bag Cookie molds were outrageously expensive given my student money. My ex smashed most of the ones I had, but they're cheap as chips on eBay these days, so I've been rebuying a lot of the ones that I lost.

I went through three or four different types of all-purpose flour to make them, with varying results. Dug into Mr Attila's stash, as he gets all sorts of speciality flours, and found a bag of golden flour which is made with maize or something, possible crack, because the resultant cookies are the best I've ever made.

I've got variations of the sugar cookie recipe which I need to try -- I have to convert everything from the American recipes to metric since a US cup is not the same as a UK cup and that. That said, unlike himself, I tend to throw everything together with a 'close enough!' attitude that makes him twitch, I think.

I wish I could colour them, but Mr Attila's vegetarian, and a lot of colourings for cakes and icing and stuff have shellac or cochineal and stuff in them.

Retinend

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2021, 09:14:01 PM »


my latest crumb result - getting better all the time

BlodwynPig

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2021, 09:15:01 PM »
spoonerism of breaking bad

Retinend

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2021, 09:15:29 PM »
I feel like Walter White sometimes.

hamfist

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2021, 11:37:09 PM »
That looks really good retinend, just want a bite of it !

Re: bread baking
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2021, 11:55:42 PM »
I think baguettes need a very hot oven with plenty of steam. I've seen the suggestion with domestic ovens to put trays of water in the oven or spray some water in when you put the loaf in but I don't think I've ever had much success.

I've perfected making small sandwich-sized baguettes by just using a dutch oven in a domestic oven. 20 minutes with the lid on to capture the steam and develop the crust, then 10 minutes with the lid off to brown the crust.

Amazed at what a difference it makes.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2021, 01:15:15 AM »
I've perfected making small sandwich-sized baguettes by just using a dutch oven in a domestic oven. 20 minutes with the lid on to capture the steam and develop the crust, then 10 minutes with the lid off to brown the crust.

Amazed at what a difference it makes.

Yeah this is dead good advice.

Also worth looking at Dan Lepard’s “knead for 20 seconds then leave for 10 mins x3” approach. Haven’t spent more than a few minutes kneading dough since the late 2000s.

Blue Jam

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2021, 09:21:45 AM »
Also worth looking at Dan Lepard’s “knead for 20 seconds then leave for 10 mins x3” approach. Haven’t spent more than a few minutes kneading dough since the late 2000s.

I second this. Do this for a good lazy loaf, but a surprisingly light one. Dan Leppard's book is well worth getting too.

Retinend

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2021, 08:47:48 AM »
I've achieved some taste and texture improvements from reducing the amount of moisture in the dough. I was using high moisture as a crutch because I felt confident about how I could roughly handle such dough without it sticking or breaking. This time I paid a lot of attention to how much water I added at the outset, rather than "course correcting" with additional flour, later. I still play it entirely by eye, and use roughly 1000g for each dough, yielding two loafs.

I also added an extra step: after it has risen twice I cut the dough into six pieces, as if I was about to make them into individual bread rolls, and I let them rise individually, and then I combine three of them into one loaf with light kneading before baking.






You can see how it's less crumpet-like than the last time. It it much faster to toast and, correspondingly, cools much faster.


Povidone

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2021, 11:08:49 AM »
Some lovely loaves in this thread. I've been getting on the lockdown baking train since Christmas, my sister brought me a bit of her sourdough starter and I've been making roughly a loaf a week from that. I'd like to have a go at making a starter from scratch but once you've got one going it's very low maintenance and a pretty much constant supply of fresh yeast. The only thing I find is the dough takes ages to rise at the moment, nowhere in the house has that ambient warmth it needs, that's starting to improve with the warmer weather.

I am a lazy sloppy fucker so recipes have gone out the window and I'm just experimenting. So far I've made several white loaves of increasing quality, pretty dense but tasty rye bread and one absolute belter of a foccacia. Also several recipes I looked at early on saying to chuck out half the starter when you're feeding it or refreshing it from the fridge which to my mind is pointless, particularly if you're using it regularly - that wasted starter could make a loaf of bread. I'm assuming it's more a matter of watching how much space you have in your container which can be a problem but again; if you're using it regularly it shouldn't be.

Split a bit off last week and fed it with rye flour, took to it immediately, so now I have two starters:


FerriswheelBueller

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2021, 12:56:23 PM »
My sourdough starter is stone dead at the back of the fridge. No regrets.

It’s not fucking consistent, and I demand consistency!

Povidone

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2021, 01:28:15 PM »
Yeah to be fair it's only because I'm currently unemployed and lockdowned that I have the patience for their nonsense. average about 8 hours just to rise once, I can fully see how folk can't be arsed.

Anyway here's my actual bread today. Been doing a lot with rye lately so decided to make this one whiter than a Bangface weekender, there's a good bit of 00 pizza flour in there because I ran out of strong white. Lovely still hot out the oven with a slab of butter.


hamfist

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2021, 07:47:16 PM »
cor, good breads lads ! Both look gorgeous and I want to eat them. I love the experimentation, I’ve been mixing flours in different proportions - spelt, einkorn, wholewheat and plain. Currently like 30% spelt best, the crust has a smashing tang.

Just got 12kg of plain flour to fuel the next few weeks. It’s organically grown and milled on a farm in Driffield not too far from where I am at the moment in York.


Retinend

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2021, 10:36:16 AM »
I'm very envious of your cool box of artisan flour. I lived in York (Heslington) for a time so I know the sort of farm that would be.

Are modern mills just a big electro-mechanical grinder? I doubt they have to be the size of windmills any more. Or is there still some economic viability to using a big fuck-off wheel to capture wind energy?

Re: bread baking
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2021, 03:03:31 PM »
I'm very envious of your cool box of artisan flour. I lived in York (Heslington) for a time so I know the sort of farm that would be.

Are modern mills just a big electro-mechanical grinder? I doubt they have to be the size of windmills any more. Or is there still some economic viability to using a big fuck-off wheel to capture wind energy?
Modern flour mills are fucking massive. They typically have a lot of different grinders, rollers, etc, initially to clean, moisten (temper), and bruise the grain and strip the husks, then to grind it. A lot of it is gravity-fed as well, which requires height. I understand it's a bit of a nightmare to build because of the risk of pests, as well as the fire risk, and weight of all the machinery (larger mills have lots of concrete tanks).

Rizla

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Re: bread baking
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2021, 05:18:04 PM »
I made my first sourdough today, using a starter a friend donated. Used Weeds & Sardines' Tartine recipe video as a jumping off point, not quite to the letter but took on the salient points. Pretty pleased with the results -



Crumb on that.



It's well tasty.

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