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Showing posts from 2020

Country Bread Loaf (with 50% pre-ferment)

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Jeffrey Hamelman's Country Bread, with a twist.  Baking during a pandemic has given me more time to play around with old favorites. This bread is made with a 12-16 hour pre-ferment, which for less experienced bakers is a bit less fussy than working with sourdough. Hamelman's instructions call for shaping the dough as a "boule" or "battard,"  but the book was written in 2004, before many of us had Emile Henry or other covered clay bakers. This dough makes 2 sizable loaves, so here I baked 1/2 in an Emile Henry loaf pan and the other half I formed into two smaller loaves and baked in a ciabatta pan.  Hamelman's original recipe calls for about 900 g of bread flour, for these loaves I replaced about a quarter of the flour with einkorn flour. He also calls for 1.8% salt, which, for us, is not quite enough. I increased the salt to 2% and do not add it at all to the pre-ferment. The dough is firm, at about 68% hydration.  Equipment: stand mixer, flexible scrape

Pandemic Era Sourdough Loaf

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Pandemic Era Sourdough Loaf   This recipe make one large size loaf                                                                                                 (Recipe is modified loaf from Maurizio Leo , The Perfect Loaf, “Sourdough with AP flour”)  This loaf is one of the millions of loaves made all over the world while the world is mostly shut down and we're all home baking. History books will make note #pandemic baking #bakinginthetimeofcovid #covidbaking as the moment non-celiac individuals rediscovered the wonders of gluten.  ·          You can make this loaf with all AP flour. We liked the texture and taste of this version with wheat and rye. ·           T his loaf is made in a regular loaf pan with good results.  For photos showing the same bread baked in a covered Staub round Dutch oven, see the end of the posting.  Don’t skip the steps, this is the procedure I use for almost all sour dough bread. It’s a combination of several baker’s techniques, and it alm

Sourdough Wheat and Barley Rustic Loaf

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I played around with barley bread recipes after visiting Orkney and Shetland (Scotland), where barley is a staple grain for eating and making Scotch (whiskey) and beer. Bere barley, an ancient barley variety, is not available outside of the UK. The dough made with bere barley is a bit "springier," off-white in color and a bit sweeter than when made with American barley. In any case, the resulting bread is very chewy, has a great crust and nice sweet yeasty smell.  Barley, like wheat and rye contains gluten and is not safe for people who are gluten sensitive. The percentage of gluten in barley is much lower than wheat; therefore wheat flour is required in order to make a good textured bread (rather than a cracker).  This is a slow rising bread, don't rush it, it affects the texture of the finished product. The process will take approximately 36 hours to complete once you have ripe sourdough starter.  You can stretch it out for another 12 hours or thereabouts, modi