Gas station without pumps

2022 September 17

Focaccia 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 19:51
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Our block had a potluck block party today (first in 3 years), so I decided to bake focaccia. I threw away my sourdough starter a few months ago, so I’m trying the focaccia recipe starting from new yeast (see sourdough focaccia and Sourdough focaccia 2 for the recipes I used with the sourdough starter).

Day 1: I started with a light sponge to rise and sour overnight. Mix

1 cup bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cup water

together in large bowl.  Cover and let rise overnight.

Day 2 (morning): Mix into the sponge

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
2 cups bread flour
½ cup water

and let rise for all day.  Meanwhile, mix

1 cup olive oil
7 cloves garlic, pressed through coarse garlic press
11 g fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon salt

and let it steep all day to make a garlicky oil.

Day 2 (evening): Mix into the sponge

½ cup of the garlicky olive oil (getting as much of the solids as possible)
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt

with bread hook. Knead in an additional

½ cup bread flour

by hand, to get a smooth dough. Place the ball of dough in a bowl with the garlicky oil (turning to coat the ball with oil), cover, and let rise overnight until tripled.

Day 3 (the day of baking):  Stretch dough into a sheet about 12″ by 18″ by ⅜” in a greased cookie sheet with raised sides (use the garlicky oil from the bowl to grease the sheet). If the dough springs back, let it rest a couple of minutes and stretch it out again.  Make dimples in the top surface and pour the remaining garlicky oil on top.

Let rise (covered) for an hour or two. I was limited by the time between when I got up and when the bread had to be ready for the 12–3 potluck—a longer rise would have been better here.

Preheat oven to 400°F (which means setting 450°F on my oven) and bake 30 minutes, until golden brown.

I cut the resulting sheet into 24 3″×3″ pieces.  It was fairly popular at the potluck, as we ended up with only 3 pieces at the end.

The focaccia made a nice display in the basket, though it would have been better if the bread had risen just a bit more.

2022 July 24

Pain de Campange encore

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 13:40
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I’m trying the pain de campagne recipe again (last time was posted as Pain de Campange), but using “poolish” (the wetter pre-ferment) rather than a “biga”.  I’m also using whole-wheat flour instead of rye for the flavoring (and increasing the amount of non-white flour), increasing the salt, and kneading for much longer.

Poolish:

2½ cups bread flour (319g)
½ teaspoon instant yeast (1.5g)
1½ cup water (340g)

Mix and let rise for about 6 hours (longer than the book suggests, but I wanted more flavor).  Refrigerate overnight.

To the poolish add

1 cup bread flour (130g)
1 cup whole-wheat flour (130g)
1 teaspoon yeast (3g)
2 teaspoon salt (14g) 
⅓ cup water (76g)

Mix for 2–3 minutes with dough hook on low speed. Dough should gather into ball, but be soft and pliable.  Increase mixer speed and knead for 10 minutes. (Lowering the bowl occasionally helps clear the dough off the hook.)

Knead by hand for about 5 minutes, adding bread flour as needed.  

Return to oiled bowl and cover again with plastic.

Let rise for 30 minutes, then stretch and fold to incorporate air.

Let rise for another 30 minutes, then stretch and fold to incorporate air.

Let rise for another 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.

Split dough in half and shape the bread into two boules (without degassing it, if possible) on baking parchment, oil lightly, cover with plastic, and let it rise for another hour until it rises to about 1.5 times as big.

Preheat oven to 500°F with a pan at the bottom of the oven to pour water into to make steam.

When the bread is put in the oven, pour a cup of water into the steam pan.  Repeat the steaming (with smaller quantities of water) every 30 seconds for about 2 minutes, then turn down the oven to 450°F and bake about 25–30 minutes (depending on the shape).  Loaves should be be 200°F–205°F in the center and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

The bread came out looking good with a very crunchy crust, but even with the longer kneading, I’m still not getting the very open texture I was hoping for. The flavor was ok, but not as rich as a bread with more whole-wheat flour or sourdough.

 

2022 July 10

Pain de Campange

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 16:18
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A few weeks ago, I tried a recipe from the book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which my students had given me when I retired.  I did not blog about the loaf at the time, as I’ve been feeling a bit lazy about maintaining the blog.  I decided to try the recipe (slightly adapted, but closer to the book than last time) again this weekend.

Like many of the recipes in the book, the pain de campagne starts with a pre-ferment.  The book calls for using existing dough, but I’ll be using a “biga”—the drier of the two pre-ferments the book uses. (Last time I used a “poolish”, which is the wetter pre-ferment.)

Biga:

2⅔ cups bread flour (340g)
½ teaspoon instant yeast (1.5g)
1 cup water (227g)

Mix together to form a slightly stick ball. Then knead for 3–4 minutes “until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky, but not sticky.”  I’m not sure what “tacky but not sticky” means, as the two words are almost synonymous for me. Even after 5 minutes of kneading with a dough hook, the dough was still very sticky, so I kneaded by hand with some additional bread flour (unmeasured, but probably about 20g).

Ferment in oiled bowl covered with plastic for about 2 hours (to about 1.5 times the initial size).  Knead dough to degas it, then return it to the bowl and refrigerate overnight. The author, Peter Reinhart, seems to be very fond of “overnight retarding to bring out more flavor”.

Remove the biga from the refrigerator an hour before making the bread and cut it into about 10 pieces.

Put biga pieces in mixing bowl with

1⅓ cup bread flour (170g)
⅓ cup rye flour (42g)
1 teaspoon yeast (3g)
¾ teaspoon salt (5.5g) (doesn’t seem to be enough—double to 1½ teaspoons (11g))
⅝ cup water (140g)

Mix for two minutes with dough hook on low speed. Dough should gather into ball, but be soft and pliable.

Knead for about 6 minutes, adding bread flour as needed.  A small piece of dough should be stretchable into a translucent membrane.

Return to oiled bowl and cover again with plastic.

Let rise for 30 minutes, then stretch and fold to incorporate air.

Let rise for another 30 minutes, then stretch and fold to incorporate air.

Let rise for another 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.

Split dough in half and shape the bread (without degassing it, if possible) on baking parchment, oil lightly, cover with plastic, and let it rise for another hour until it rises to about 1.5 times as big.

Preheat oven to 500°F with a pan at the bottom of the oven to pour water into to make steam.

When the bread is put in the oven, pour a cup of water into the steam pan.  Repeat the steaming (with smaller quantities of water) every 30 seconds for about 2 minutes, then turn down the oven to 450°F and bake about 25–30 minutes (depending on the shape).  Loaves should be be 200°F–205°F in the center and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

The bread looks fine and has a good crust, but the crumb is not as open as I’d like, and I think that the bread needs a bit more salt (perhaps double the amount in the recipe).

pain-de-campagne

One of the loaves, showing the gold-brown crust.

pain-de-campagne-sliced

Both loaves, one sliced to show the crumb.

2022 April 2

Another Sourdough Whole-Wheat and Rye Bread

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:45
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I decided to make a whole-wheat sourdough bread this week, just for use at home, as bread-and-tea is once again in person, using the bread machine. This recipe is loosely based on the Bread-machine bread without the bread machine, but starting with a sourdough starter.  My sourdough starter is roughly equal parts water and flour by volume.

Mix

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup water

Let this age for a day (covered with a cloth).  Set aside one cup in the refrigerator for future sourdough baking. To what is left add

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ cup rye flour

Knead with a dough hook until not too sticky, then knead until smooth on a well-floured board, incorporating another

  • ¼ cup more rye flour

to get an elastic, smooth dough. Let rise in an oiled  bowl overnight.

Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on baking parchment.  Let the dough rise until doubled again (another 4 hours).

Beat one egg, and brush the beaten egg onto loaf, slash the top of the loaf, and bake at 375°F for about 50 minutes (interior temperature 191°F), brushing with egg every 10 minutes, and rotating loaf in oven after about 20 minutes.

rye-bread-2-apr-2022

The loaf rose well, and the slash opened up nicely.

After cutting a slice, I found that the crumb was much too moist and dense—as if the bread had not been baked long enough. I wrapped the cut ends with aluminum foil and put the bread back into the oven for another 25 minutes, for 5 minutes of which the oven was coming back up to temperature.

2022 January 27

Mixer-bowl bread again

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 16:46
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Once again I’m trying a bread baked in the bowl for our KitchenAid mixer, similar to Mixer-bowl bread.

On Wednesday I made a sponge using

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water

I let it rise for a day, and Thursday morning I took out one cup of the sponge to refrigerate for future sourdough.  I then added

1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (Droste)
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup warm water.

While mixing with the dough hook, I gradually added

3 cups whole-wheat flour

The dough was quite dry this time. I turned the dough out onto a counter floured with whole-wheat flour and kneaded by hand for a couple of minutes, keeping the dough lightly floured though there really was no danger of it sticking.  This used another

⅛ cup whole-wheat flour

and resulted in a fairly stiff dough.  I put it in a mixing bowl (not the one from the mixer) with a little olive oil and turned it to coat the ball of dough with oil.  I’ll let it rise for about 20 hours with a damp cloth covering the bowl.

Friday morning, I’ll grease the bowl of the KitchenAid mixer with

cocoanut oil

and turn the dough into the mixer bowl.

Let it rise in the new bowl for 6 hours. Bake at 400°F for about an hour Unitli the center of the loaf is about 150°F), then remove from bowl and bake on tiles for another 20 minutes (until the center of the loaf is around 193°F).

Here is the finished loaf (much smaller than previous mixer-bowl loaves, probably because of the stiffer dough):

Mixer-bowl-loaf

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