baking bread

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i followed recipe/process from bread by hamelman. it used a biga (stiff preferment) and i think the secret is to handle the dough as little and as gently as possible, as it is very wet. like 70% water, dudes. and hamelman does this thing during fermentation (what most people think of as rising) where you fold the dough instead of merely punching it down. then after 3 hours of fermentation, you cut the dough into appropriately sized pieces and let em proof again and bake it. no kneading, no shaping. in fact i have plowed through hamelman's book without once seeing the word knead anywhere. needless to say i was surprised by the lack of mentioning kneading as i had thought it was a central skill of baking bread.

Meteor Crater (jdchurchill), Monday, 4 January 2010 22:42 (twelve years ago) link

I know enough about the making-your-oven-a-steam-oven stuff from all the Bittman business last year). Anyway.


It is incredibly delicious.

― a full circle lol (J0hn D.), Saturday, December 12, 2009 4:37 PM (3 weeks ago) Bookmark

dude what technique(s) do you utilize for steam production john? or can you link to the "bittman business last year" you refer to above?

Meteor Crater (jdchurchill), Monday, 4 January 2010 22:45 (twelve years ago) link

I have only recently learned the word is "proof" – when I worked at a donut shop, everyone talked about letting the dough "perf."

girl moves (Abbott), Monday, 4 January 2010 23:07 (twelve years ago) link

The owner told me "to let the dough perf 'til it feels like a fat lady's ass."

girl moves (Abbott), Monday, 4 January 2010 23:08 (twelve years ago) link

lol about fat ladies asses

Meteor Crater (jdchurchill), Monday, 4 January 2010 23:13 (twelve years ago) link

haha yeah that's amazing!

Maria, Tuesday, 5 January 2010 14:39 (twelve years ago) link

It was not maybe the most useful advice in a lot of ways, the main one being I'd never had my hands on a fat anyone's ass. So I'd poke at the dough intermittently and every time my mind would ask, 'Ass? Ass?'

girl moves (Abbott), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 16:56 (twelve years ago) link

that made me lol at work and my coworker asked what i was laughing at

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 16:58 (twelve years ago) link

hahaha. if you poke a fat lady's ass does the hole stay there for a few seconds?

jortin shartgent (harbl), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 16:59 (twelve years ago) link

"every time my mind would ask, 'Ass? Ass?'"
mine too!

Meteor Crater (jdchurchill), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 20:07 (twelve years ago) link

Baking today...

I swear, sometimes dealine with a batch of dough on the board is like being confronted by a four-pound booger.

wanna be shartin' somethin' (WmC), Friday, 8 January 2010 19:35 (twelve years ago) link

turn that booger into a fat lady's ass!

Meteor Crater (jdchurchill), Friday, 8 January 2010 21:52 (twelve years ago) link

wow 2nd attempt at ciabatta is doper than the first. got much better steam with a bunch of rocks in the pan i was throwing the water in, and noticeable increase in oven spring.

Meteor Crater (jdchurchill), Monday, 11 January 2010 22:18 (twelve years ago) link

hey guys i want to make a sourdough culture. has anybody done this before? i did a ctrl f on this thread to find 'sourdough' but it seems nobody specifically spells out how to make one of these . . .
i found this and they suggest freshly milled flour. i have whole wheat flour, but i put it in the freezer and i don't know if that fucks up the yeasts that are supposed to be on the grains or what. i have read what hamelman wrote about it in his book but he uses whole rye and rye flours which i don't have. also i have tried just using flour and water left open at rm tmp for a while and that made something that took forever to proof. lemme know yr experience plz

i should rectify that (jdchurchill), Tuesday, 19 January 2010 21:46 (twelve years ago) link

I successfully made starter using wine grapes (yeasts live happily on the skins), but it wasn't especially sour. I keep yeast in the freezer, so would suspect that having your flour in there wouldn't do it any harm.

There's another bread thread in here somewhere, maybe that has more info.

Jaq, Tuesday, 19 January 2010 21:51 (twelve years ago) link

Here is the other bread thread: The bread thread!

Jaq, Tuesday, 19 January 2010 21:54 (twelve years ago) link

i dunno nobody specifies they process of creating a sourdough culture from scratch on that thread as far as i can see from a scan, i am sure i will figure something out tho. and bet yr bread crust i will post what i did

i should rectify that (jdchurchill), Tuesday, 19 January 2010 21:59 (twelve years ago) link

No, just Casuistry, Matt, and me but none posted details. Jeffrey Steingarten has an essay about how he did it with wild yeasts - lots of failures.

Jaq, Tuesday, 19 January 2010 22:00 (twelve years ago) link

ive never made it but in the st john book they have a recipe, he uses rhubarb for the starter

just sayin, Wednesday, 20 January 2010 11:39 (eleven years ago) link

ok dudes i took a scant cup of (KAF) whole wheat flour and a half cup of water and mixed it up in a mason jar. i am following rose levy beranbaum's 'the bread bible' process which says that this mixture should sit for 48 hours at 65 deg-F, which my studio in the back room of my flat which we don't heat is around that temp. I wonder why it has to be so cool . . .
apparently the culture will not do much until day 5

thatwillultimatelyresultingalaxy-galaxymergersonacosmictimescale (jdchurchill), Monday, 25 January 2010 23:23 (eleven years ago) link

last night i grabbed the mason jar with the "sourdough culture" in it and was happy to see bubbles and expansion. i did as rose levy beranbaum instructs and removed about half of it to the rubbish bin, then dumped in a scant 1/2 cup of regular unbleached flour and 1/4 cup of water, and stirred it in. this morning it had already doubled in volume. I guess this is working . . .

thatwillultimatelyresultingalaxy-galaxymergersonacosmictimescale (jdchurchill), Wednesday, 27 January 2010 23:56 (eleven years ago) link

Exciting! Does it smell yeasty? does it taste sour but not bitter?

Jaq, Thursday, 28 January 2010 00:12 (eleven years ago) link

i don't know jaq it kinda smelled like wheat mixed with cedar or something last night. and this morning i did not have the expansion that occurred the previous day. also yesterday when i fed it, there was a bit of water that had come out of the solution just sitting in the bottom, which i didn't think too much about and mixed back in. but this morning there was a bit of water just sitting on top. however it smelled nicely sour as i would imagine sourdough starter is *supposed* to smell.

thatwillultimatelyresultingalaxy-galaxymergersonacosmictimescale (jdchurchill), Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:32 (eleven years ago) link

the freshloaf says, "It is not unusual for the mixture to get very bubbly around Day 3 or 4 and then go completely flat and appear dead."

i think that may be what is happening to mine.

also what's cooking america says,
"What is Hooch?

As your starter sits or goes quiet in the refrigerator, the mixture separates and a layer of liquid will form on the top. This liquid contains about 12% to 14% alcohol. Hooch is the alcoholic byproduct of the fermentation process. The hooch will have a brownish color. NOTE: The alcohol dissipates during the baking process, Stir that liquid back into the starter before using. Hooch builds up in your starter, especially when being stored in the refrigerator.. You can either pour it off or stir it back in. If your sourdough starter is on the dry side, just mix the hooch back in. If your starter is already too moist, pour it down the drain.

Important: If your sourdough starter or hooch starts looking pinkish or orange color, throw it away and start over as this means that something bad or nasty has started growing in your starter."

thatwillultimatelyresultingalaxy-galaxymergersonacosmictimescale (jdchurchill), Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:42 (eleven years ago) link

Pinkish color is a bad thing when you do other fermented things, like sauerkraut. I think it's some kind of bacteria. I've noticed that watery separation when I've let a biga sit for a few days - never realized it could be alcoholic!

Jaq, Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:47 (eleven years ago) link

prolly gonna do it like a shot before i feed it tonight!

thatwillultimatelyresultingalaxy-galaxymergersonacosmictimescale (jdchurchill), Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:55 (eleven years ago) link

so the hooch had disappeared into the "mothership" so i couldn't drink it :(
here she is ladies and gentlemen, my 'starter' which some dudes refer to as 'the mother culture':
by extension i guess the loaves could be referred to as daughters

thatwillultimatelyresultingalaxy-galaxymergersonacosmictimescale (jdchurchill), Friday, 29 January 2010 17:15 (eleven years ago) link

Will you be baking this weekend with it?

Jaq, Friday, 29 January 2010 17:58 (eleven years ago) link

sunday is the day to make bread lately for me

thatwillultimatelyresultingalaxy-galaxymergersonacosmictimescale (jdchurchill), Friday, 29 January 2010 18:57 (eleven years ago) link

this bread is not so sour, but i am not sure i made it correctly as i didn't have a scale until today but

Anton Levain (jdchurchill), Tuesday, 2 February 2010 03:34 (eleven years ago) link

That is some handsome bread. How did it taste?

vacation to outer darkness (Abbott), Tuesday, 2 February 2010 05:13 (eleven years ago) link

Those are really beautiful loaves!

Jaq, Tuesday, 2 February 2010 05:37 (eleven years ago) link

Nice pair.

krakow, Tuesday, 2 February 2010 10:30 (eleven years ago) link

i was not able to correctly identify how much of the levain i put in there and b/c of this the loaves are at best subtly sour. i had a sandwich yesterday with salami and mustard and thought the bread tasted like normal bread. then last night i had a slice by itself and still could barely taste any acidity. however my proof times were right in the range which makes me happy about my mother culture. the crumb on the batard is a bit tighter than i would like, but it's soft and not too chewy. i guess i will update again once i cut into the boule.

Anton Levain (jdchurchill), Tuesday, 2 February 2010 19:38 (eleven years ago) link

yeah i tried that starter thing and got the fizz and bad smell but it just died after that, even though i followed the instructions

harbl, Tuesday, 2 February 2010 23:27 (eleven years ago) link

what starter you tried?

Anton Levain (jdchurchill), Tuesday, 2 February 2010 23:31 (eleven years ago) link

flour and water in a jar

harbl, Wednesday, 3 February 2010 00:16 (eleven years ago) link

i guess you might be able do it with regular flour, but most of the stuff i have read calls for 'whole' forms of ground grains; either wheat or preferably rye (organic even). them yeasts be on the outsides of them grainz, yo.

Anton Levain (jdchurchill), Wednesday, 3 February 2010 00:25 (eleven years ago) link

i dunno i got yeast from the air, it was obvious from the smell and bubbliness but it died after the second feeding. i think i just have bad luck with bread in general.

harbl, Wednesday, 3 February 2010 00:54 (eleven years ago) link

"During milling, however, up to 95% of the microbial population may be
removed with the feed fractions (6). When counts are compared (Table I) in flour
and in wheat from which the flour was milled, the bacterial population in most
flours was about one-tenth that in wheat. This indicates that modern flour
milling operations are efficient in reducing the number of bacteria."
from here

Anton Levain (jdchurchill), Wednesday, 3 February 2010 20:31 (eleven years ago) link

one month passes...

had a dismal failure this week. forgot to feed my sourdough culture the day before baking and fed it like 3hours before use. this did not work at all. also was trying to maintain it at less than 100% hydration which i think compounded the effect of not letting time go by after the feeding. the loaf i didn't throw away looks sad and limp and tastes like a bagel for some reason. gah! lesson learned damnit

Anton Levain (jdchurchill), Monday, 15 March 2010 22:05 (eleven years ago) link

shoulda made soda bread

Walter Pate On (jdchurchill), Friday, 19 March 2010 00:26 (eleven years ago) link

DAMN those are beautiful loaves! Your house must smell amazing.

One day I will bake challah. One day. Probably not soon.

quincie, Friday, 19 March 2010 16:56 (eleven years ago) link

thanks quincie

Walter Pate On 'sweetness' (jdchurchill), Saturday, 20 March 2010 00:02 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...

is there any way to measure the hydration of my sourdough starter? i've been feeding it (and using amounts of it) for a couple of months now, but my flour-to-water ratio has been roughly 1:1 (but ROUGHLY), and i'm wondering what hydration it is, as a number of the bread websites i've been checking lately have been varying the hydration percentages for different loaves...

Worth waiting for the fannypunch at 4.02 (stevie), Saturday, 12 June 2010 08:14 (eleven years ago) link

Weigh an amount of it, then dry it out in the oven and weigh it again. The missing weight once it's dry is the water.

Jaq, Saturday, 12 June 2010 15:19 (eleven years ago) link

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