Fun with Flour #2

plllog

Continuation of Fun with Flour #1 (and cousin to Fun with Sourdough):

https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5899338/fun-with-flour#n=186


I started Fun with Flour while testing what I can do with my new flour, and Fun with Sourdough about baking with the new flour and wild yeast. but these threads are for everybody! Please post your own flour creations! Or even just flour dreams. I love flour.


DANGER CAKE!!!!!!!


I love cake. Just cake. I mean, frostings and fillings are okay, but I tend to eat the cake first, and then, if I want "dessert" I'll eat the goop. It's not that I dislike frosting, I just don't really want it in the same mouthful as cake. Moreover, I'm not a big fan of whipped cream and hate it when cream makes the cake soggy. And pastry cream (custard), which is delicious, deserves paté au choux (eclair, profiterole, et al.) or puff or tart. I don't think either the pastry cream or the cake enhance the other. OTOH, see the exception below.


It took all my willpower not to cut the cake at bedtime, when I depanned and covered it. I settled for scraping crumbs from the pan. It took great force of adultness to have a properly nutritious breakfast, ignoring the siren call of cake. I did it! And didn't even realize when I got up to put my dish in the sink rather than lingering. ... Until I realized I was alone with the cake and could now have a piece!


The object of affection, er., obsession, is an orange chiffon cake. Nothing special. I wanted to see how my Organic Unbleached Artisan Baker's Craft flour from General Milling (GM AC) would do in cake, and while I was at it, I figured why not make an egg rising cake where the weight of the flour would really show. I did the dip/level volume measure. No sifting. Just followed the recipe as written. Well, except that I only had two oranges and needed the juice of three. I just filled out my measuring cup with Simply Orange (OJ), and I didn't measure the zest, just used all I had.


Mind you, this ain't my first rodeo. I don't bake cakes often, because, if you hadn't noticed, I love cake. But I've made countless chiffon cakes starting in childhood. Orange is my favorite. :)


I didn't want to use one of my grandmother's plates for the cake, and realized that my mother's plate had too much shape to it after I put the cake on it (my plates have rims and aren't suitable for cakes). The gold tray was just the first big flat thing I put my hand on. The dome from the Wilton carrier fits perfectly. Eerily so. More perfectly than just standard measurements could explain.




Notice that the dome doesn't actually hide the cake!




A cake worthy of seeing its reflection in the tray. Ignore, please, the shaggy sides. That's normal. A chiffon cake has fat, but otherwise is like an angel food cake in that it needs to climb the pan. People trim them--a lot of people don't even like the flavor of the crust, poor things. I don't really care about pretty cake, and, really, some caramelization (i.e., toastiness) is very tasty, indeed. :D


So, the reward for eating a good breakfast was a generous slice of my lovely orange chiffon cake, with a small dollop of crème fraîche. Yes, it's true, I don't like whipped cream on cake, but sour cream on a chiffon cake is a different story. Not frosted on the cake making it soggy, but just as a little counterpoint. But I wasn't opening my sour cream for self-indulgence. OTOH, the crème fraîche was just lounging around the fridge for no good reason.




I was so pleasantly surprised! In the making, I was thinking the cake was going to be too heavy and too sweet. I don't actually love sugary cake, the kind where the sensation on your tongue is "sugar". This is just pleasantly sweet. (This is about flavor--this is white flour and white sugar, plus orange juice--have no illusions that this isn't a glucosefest.) The crumb is very spongy, as a sponge cake should be. There's no toughness from the stronger flour (11.5% protein) (this ain't my first rodeo!). It might have benefitted by sifting. It didn't suffer without it. I can tell the difference from Gold Medal bleached AP (10.5% protein), but that's looking for it. The basic sensation is, ummm, cake. Swansdown is another story. I have plenty enough Swansdown (cake flour), and for a light, flyaway cake, I would have used it. For a cake to cake AP comparison with Gold Medal, however, passing grade. It really is good cake. It doesn't need the cream. That's just for a bit of decadence--I mean, cake for breakfast deserves to go all the way.

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plllog

I have been informed that it's a big cake and I am required to share....

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Tell them you need to see that requirement in writing LOL. It sure does look delicious. Confession time: I've never made a sponge or chiffon cake; they always seem to be rather intimidating. And I don't have a straight-sided tube pan, just a bundt pan that is rarely used. Can one use a bundt pan for a cake like yours?

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2ManyDiversions

Orange chiffon. Bravo! My favorite after chocolate. I'm so glad to hear your CM is working wonderfully. I'd never have thought creme fraiche, and I keep mine going year round, but I see now it's perfect. I love chiffon cakes. Your cake is lovely, and yes, do send some my way since you are sharing!

Edie, chiffon is flexible. Ha! Literally! Any cake pan will do. I even made a chiffon on a cookie sheet 1/4 inch thick as a... Memory is muddled. The thing that goes around a mousse... Aw heck. Nevertheless, chiffon likes a bundt, or a plain cake pan or pans.

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plllog

Nope. But tube pans are cheap. :) You need the machined pan to provide enough texture to hold the eggs up. You could use bare aluminum loaf pans if they aren't messed up (no polymerized fats (brown spots) and well scrubbed so there are no residues--i.e., banana bread pans rather than meatloaf pans). You'd need to scale down the recipe though. Also, my tube pan has the little feet on top so it's easy to invert. Modern coke bottles just don't work as well--not heavy enough glass. A wine bottle might work. But for loaves, you'd have to make an arrangement of trivets or blocks of wood that you could rest the edges on.

Dang! Not so easy to find. This one is the best I could find on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Fox-Run-4795-Aluminum-10-75-Inch/dp/B001GIOX8U/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=tube+pan+aluminum&qid=1590615680&sr=8-3

This might be the same one, different brand.

https://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Angel-Food-Cake-Pan/dp/B0000VMI2M/ref=sr_1_16?crid=O2V6WJD254ID&dchild=1&keywords=tube+pan+aluminum+10+inch&qid=1590615990&sprefix=tube+pan+aluminum%2Caps%2C261&sr=8-16

The no-name one from the hardware store for less than $10 is probably perfect, but I wouldn't suggest cake worth going to the store for.

Do you need instructions for whipping and folding the eggs? The whipping is similar to meringue but with no sugar you have to be even more careful about not getting yolk in the whites. They won't be glossy (that's the sugar). It's fine to get whites in the yolks. :) You'll have enough without being picky that way. The folding is the issue. I think a big, good flexible spatula-scraper works best. Just add some white, run the scraper down the bowl and underneath, lift and turn over the batter on it. Try to get it all in by doing this about 5-6 times. Then fold a few times more until you don't see big white streaks. Don't stir. Don't do anything that'll squish the eggwhites. Just fold gently, turning the bowl to get different areas.

If you want detailed instructions, let me know. It's not hard, just persnickety.

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plllog

I crossed with 2Many. I'm confused by her multiverse of cake vessels, but maybe she knows something I don't.

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2ManyDiversions

Like you, plllog, I do dare to not always follow instructions, and I've found chiffon to take nigh on any vessel, even silicone molds. Perhaps not a ship : )

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plllog

LOL, 2Many! When I said maybe you know something more than I, I didn't mean that I doubted your experience. Maybe as in an indefinite state of the unknown (to me), not a rejection of the truth of what you said (unless there's baking powder involved!). The cookie sheet took me a bit, but I'm thinking like a jelly roll or rolled edge sheet pan, to get a thin layer of sponge to make a layered or rolled dessert, or something like that. First time ever, I had a little seepage in the bottom, so I don't imagine a real sheet (no sides) would work. Or did it?

Actually, the recipe I used does have soda and acid in it, which does equal baking powder, because I wanted to use flour. I usually make chiffons for Passover. If you're looking for a good GF recipe, below is fab. Very light. I've made it orange rather than lemon and included peel. I don't think I've made the sauce.

https://www.lifesafeast.net/lemon-almond-sponge-cake-for-passover-gluten-free/

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

I remember my Mom having a tube pan but I've no idea what happened to it. I think though it might have been tin? I don't recall it being as thick as the aluminum ones on Amazon. She occasionally made Angel Food cake for my Dad. (I'm not a fan.) I do remember her upending it on a pop bottle. I've added one of the 10" pans to my wish list. Thanks! Once I get it I'm sure I'll need some figurative hand-holding!

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plllog

Yeah, the good old ones were thin. It could have been tin. Tin would work. The removable bottom is better than solid for an egg rising cake, but you don't have to do the eggs only. I didn't this time. :) Angel food cake is very hard to get right. The baking part isn't hard--you just have to do it right--but it has to be moist but not moist enough to fall, and it has to taste like something. Often it just tastes like eggwhites (like in a boiled egg) or dust. If it's just right it tastes like meringue (eggwhites and sugar). I'll be happy to virtually hold your hand through the baking, any time.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Thank you! Re Angelfood Cake, it's so strange. I absolutely adore meringues, but I have never found an Angelfood cake that didn't make me gag. But I love chiffon cakes. I am one weird person.

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2ManyDiversions

Plllog, because I know you'll see this here, a quick comment off topic - lightening strike this afternoon killed my computer and router. I'll be following along, but typing on a cell phone is something I do not care for! Ordering both after some research.

Edie as much as I love angel food cake, I have met others who can't bear them. I'll never figure it out, but I do understand we all have our food dislikes!

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plllog

YIKES!!! 2Many, if it was just the computer and router, I'm thankful. That's really scary! I have a new router and modem from the cable company, and they're splendid. Big improvement. :) Is your hard drive okay? You can probably get most of your data back if you send it to a lab, if you need what's between the last backup and the lightning, but it could take a month. Good luck!

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plllog

I finally made the buttermilk bread. It's interesting, but I don't think this is a big keeper. It's enriched with buttermilk, butter and honey, Instructions are to poke three holes in the top and brush with butter. I only used about a teaspoon of butter on the crust, but made sure the holes were filled. It made the crust delicately crisp, like pastry. The crumb is close and very tender, and, st least warm, smells like butter. I would have liked it to be a little fluffier. The dough was very dry. Oh! It just occurred to me that I used a high fat butter. There's not that much butter in the recipe, but it really could have needed the extra bit of water I kept thinking it needed. I also used cultured buttermilk, which is a lot thicker than the other kind, and crystallized honey. which I think still has its water, but maybe that was lacking a bit too.

Duh. I'm on a sugar/starch high now, having eaten a slice, and my thinker is doing better at thinking. Maybe I'll try again, correcting for hydration a little. Not to much! But I went with the minimum bread measure and was thinking the author was crazy if he thought it might need more. Sifting might also have been a good idea. I have a sifter attachment for my KA which I've never used, but might be good for this. I only made one loaf, and it's pretty small, so maybe I do a take two in a couple of days. I'm not really into sweet in bread, except for challah which is specifically enriched to be special for Sabbath, but the buttermilk bread is delicious!

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plllog

I forgot to say, the instructions called for flattening, then rolling and folding like rye bread. The kind I think Lars was trying for. There are all kinds of strictures about how the bread wouldn't be good without doing it, but no wonder the close texture. It did rise fully double. I gave it extra time, but it was done. I think if I do it again, I'll reduce the sweet. This doesn't actually taste "sweet" per se, but it's just barely not.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

That sure does look good, but I'm with you on not liking "sweet" in my bread, especially if it's for sandwiches. If you try it again with a reduced amount of honey, let us know how it does!

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plllog

I've been trying to figure out what the purpose of the honey is. I've looked at other recipes and many have sugar, all have sweet. I think it must be to counter the sour of the buttermilk, but I like sour. :) I don't taste the honey (and it's mesquite honey, which is assertive), and the bread tastes like white bread but with just a bit of emphasis on the sweetness of the wheat.

And it doesn't keep well. The perfect sourdough, in the Fun with Sourdough, lasted forever in beeswrap and even the cut end didn't stale much. Self preserved is normal for sourdough. But the other breads I've been making lately, all kept quite well. I did cut the buttermilk while it was still slightly warm, but it was delicious that way. Next day, it's fine, but the crust isn't tender anymore and the flavor is ho hum. Some of that may be if it dried out from being cut, but it feels slightly moist all around, so whatever migrated from the crumb, seems to have stayed in the crust.

What I want is a fluffy white bread with more flavor, though this was interesting. I was thinking of making 2Many's milk bread, but this was was a good easy bread. I think I'll do some more research on buttermilk breads and maybe try my own ideas.

Edie, what are you baking?


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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Unfortunately right now, not much baking going on. The heat and humidity are high and to turn the oven on heats the whole house almost unbearably, and that's with the central air on. Luckily for me instead of giving away the 2nd loaf from last week's baking, I put it in the freezer. So at least we have that. It's supposed to cool down later in the week so maybe Italian-style bread for the weekend. Grandson's 2nd birthday party is Saturday so I imagine we will get a week's worth of sugary stuff into us then!

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plllog

The freezer is indeed a blessing! I do have some bread type things frozen, probably a little freezer burned but I can fix that. I also have some fancy crackers. I'm saving all that for when I get sick, covid or just ordinary. At this point, I probably have a good enough handle on ordering groceries that I'll be able to make do, and there's always ordering from restaurants as well, but when I'm sick, I really can't deal.

Gads! That's pitiful! But I know you know what it's like.

Meantime, a second birthday is a wonderful thing to celebrate!! How fun! I hope the birthday boy has a very happy time.

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2ManyDiversions

OT: I won't knw if my pc's drive is doa or not until I get the new pc, at which point I'll physically remove the hard drive and use a usb sata/ide cable to take a look. I've done that with other hard drives. I've been naughty and haven't done a proper back up in some time. Work and financials are kept on flash, and backed up, but recipes, etc., nope! I cant' read emails on my cell phone as I never set that up for security reasons. spent the day looking at computers and routers online, what a pain!

Well, clearly I've a quite a few more sweet tooth's than the two of you! LOL!I love cinnamon raisin bread, and I've never made challah that wasn't chock full of raisins and brown sugar but I've made neither in a few years. The buttermilk sounds terribly good to me, and am loving the tightness of the crumb. You know me, I like all types of bread. *Would you mind sharing your recipe, please? I'd really like to have it*.

Edie, enjoy your Grandson and his day!

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plllog

Raisins and extra sweet in challah is for Rosh Hashana, and then one makes a circle rather than a long braid representing the cyclical nature of the seasons coming round again. :)

2Many, it's from a book, but I can e-mail you the recipe. By the time I get it typed up, you should have your new computer. :) BTW, what I meant is don't give up on your hard drive if you can't read it. I had a notebook computer catch fire (that was before the battery issues were well known). Luckily I was right there and had the presence of mind to unplug it before the paperwork caught fire. That was a couple decades ago and even then the lab was able to do their magic and reclaim my data. And I learned that in a crunch, even daily backups are insufficient. :) Good luck with the hunt!

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2ManyDiversions

Please, and yes, do wait. Thank you, plllog!

I appreciate your explanations, *always*. I didn't know challah was made into a circle for Rosh Hashana, or why : ) "representing the cyclical nature of the seasons coming round again." That's quite a wonderful way to describe with bread, season's coming and going, and coming 'round again. Some things just make my heart smile, and that is one of them : )

Good heavens, that must've been scary! Not the bread, or request for the recipe (haha), but rather the notebook fire! Hoping it's not dead, that I can transfer files myself. Keeping fingers crossed.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

I had never known the reason for the round bread at Rosh Hashana either. Thank you for the explanation!

Due to this ongoing mess that my body has become I am not able to do much toward grandson's party but I have a KAF chocolate doughnut mix and a mini-doughnut pan. The party theme is tractors so these will represent tractor tires. I have black food coloring to add to the chocolate frosting, and will use a fork to make the tread. If I get really ambitious, I will cut the doughnuts in half horizontally and spread them with some kind of marshmallow creme filling before frosting them.

2MD I hope your new computer & router last years and years!

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plllog

Edie, those tires sound awesome! Also, mini's are perfect for little ones.

2Many, I too hope you can just get your info yourself! Have you found a computer you like?

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2ManyDiversions

Edie, the doughnut tires sound like a great idea. I'm sorry you're having health problems : (

plllog, I've ordered an All in One HP. I've always used towers for desktops, and wanted less clutter. I don't do nearly as much (3D graphics, animations, et al) as I used to on the pc, so just something that can have several Excel's open, Word tabs open, and several tabs. It has an HDMI Out so I'll plug in my old monitor (if it works still) to have dual monitors. I also always used to buy Dell, but the last 3 were terrible. I ordered another Netgear router.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

2MD, we have also discovered that Dell "ain't all that." HP should serve you well.

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2ManyDiversions

Thank you for the reassurance Edie : )

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Cloud Swift

My latest is flour project is rye bread. I've been using the recipe for sour rye from Secrets of a Jewish Baker. It calls for common (aka first clear) flour. Someone posted the recipe converted to weight measurements on The Fresh Loaf:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9316/sour-rye-bread-george-greenstein039s-%E2%80%9Csecrets-jewish-baker%E2%80%9D

First clear flour has been a pain to get. The only places I've found to source it is mail order from King Arthur flour (where it has been out of stock since the flour shortages started) or from one other site that I haven't used). I've tried using bread flour and the texture isn't as good - the first clear contributes to the chewiness that I associate with rye bread.

Sites giving equivalences between different flour type names say that first clear is equivalent to the French flour classification of 110. I've got 110 flour from Central Milling. The KA first clear looks like a white flour and the 110 flour is darker - between a white and a whole wheat flour. The recipe makes 2 loaves and I didn't want to bake 4 loaves so I made a half batch with KA first clear and a half batch with CM 110 flour.

Both loaves came out really good - a good deli rye bread taste and texture. The bread made from CM 110 is slightly darker. In a blind-folded taste test, I don't think I could tell the difference between the two.

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plllog

A lot of things can affect how the color bakes out. My old multigrain daily bread (which I miss so!) had a goodly portion of whole rye flour in it, maybe a quarter. It gave it wonderful texture and flavor, and made it dark. I can only imagine how first clear would be to work with. It would be too harsh with whole wheat, but mixed with white flour sounds great!

So I went and read up on this and found this which is an expanded version of what CS just said: http://theryebaker.com/in-defense-of-first-clear/

I also found this site which has a great comparison chart of different flour types from Europe and USA. I haven't had a chance to explore the recipes or anything yet.

https://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/understanding-flour-types/

Daniel Leader uses a formula of 5% ww to 95% white for ersatz "French" flour. Compared to the chart at this site, I'm thinking it may have been the type 110, or else the 80. I can't find my book so I can't check! (it's probably right there on the shelf and me just missing it.)

https://www.severnbites.com/2019/03/27/how-to-use-the-right-french-flour-type-in-your-bread/


Cloud Swift, you've given me a great stretching exercise for my mind, and now I'm going back to baking with my AC/AC+ and Tony G. flours. :) And maybe a batch of Gold Medal biscuits to see if it's the bleached flour that makes biscuits fluffier. :) Your rye breads sound awesome! The buttermilk bread was from the same book.

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plllog

Cookie news: Remember the inedible spritz cookies? I'd dumped them into a little bowl so I could wash the biscuit tin and left it on the counter while I figured out what to do with them. Instead of going stale, they dried out some. Not a big obvious different in texture, but it got rid of the unpleasant need to keep chewing and chewing. They're only meh, but edible now. The chocolate extract tastes good. It's not really chocolaty, but it is a different flavor from vanilla that's a pleasant change. I have to make some more spritz cookies because they're so perfect, but next up is another go at Toll House.

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plllog

More cookie news: I made another half batch of Toll House cookies this morning, before it got warm enough to trigger the a/c to go on. They're not The Expert's Toll House cookies, but they're fine.

This was a good test of the AC flour. In other baking, I've had a feeling it ought to be sifted, but that's silly for cookies, other than possible measuring differences. The Expert taps his scoops for a heavy measure. I don't know what his scoops weigh! So I decided to compromise on 120g as a standard cup, though I knew that would be a bit light, and used my measuring scoop for the remaining eighth of a cup, which added back some weight. The texture of the dough was normal. It was too wet last time, when I just did dip/level/pour. I don't think the flour measure was ever a problem. I can tell the difference that it's AC (unbleached and heavier) rather than Gold Medal, but if one isn't trying to approximate The Expert and just have a nice cookie, it's just fine.

I used Expert approved margarine.

That's it. The correct fat.

Because it is warm out, I chilled the dough for about an hour and a half, in the manner of Chloebud. That was interesting. I've never used a chilled dough for drop cookies before. It was too hard to do two spoons--I was taught as a child to make drops more or less like sloppy quenelles. My smallest food scoop was perfect, with more or less a ball shape, rather than a flat half dome. That yielded a perfect two dozen cookies.

The cookies are crisper on the bottom than The Expert's. That could by my baking sheets, or could just a little too long a bake, though they were in for the minimum amount of time. Or maybe it's the flour. Still, as cookies, they're just fine. Some people would call the amount of crisp perfect. :)

I don't know if it was just the margarine, or the margarine plus chill. I had speculated about the dryness of the brown sugar. I used the same sugar and chilling gave it time to dissolve better. Whatever, they're proper cookies not puddle o'sludge. :)



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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Those look really good! The next time I make C.C. cookies I am going to try the chilling-the-dough trick. Thanks for sharing your method & results!

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jupidupi

Wow, Pillog, you know a lot about flour! So I'm going to ask your advice. I have baked the usual things all my life -- cookies, cakes, quick breads, etc. I'd never used yeast or made real bread, until about a month before quarantine, when I started making that super easy yeast bread in a dutch oven. I did it the first time so my husband could wake up to the smell of fresh bread; and it was so easy that it's become a regular part of our life. Right now we're staying in an area where the stores are limited and depleted. So when I saw a bag of KA Bread Flour at the grocery, I thought "score!" Now that I have it, I'm not really sure what it's for or how to use it. So far all I've done with it is to replace one of the three cups of all purpose flour in my regular bread. It was a little too moist, so I went back to all purpose. Any suggestions as to what I can make with my bread flour? BTW, I don't have a bread machine. (I'm not big on appliances.) Thanks.

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plllog

You absolutely don't need a bread machine. If you want to make a larger batch of kneaded bread and have a mixer that has a dough hook, you can use that. Even for a single loaf, you can use a dough hook, and I do for the herb bread I've been making, but in general, you'll learn a lot more about your bread if you knead it by hand, and to start with, it'll be a lot easier to knead just one loaf at a time. The one thing you do need to make bread is an oven, but some people are successful with sun ovens, dutch ovens on campfires, or flatbreads on planchas or rocks on open fire. Bread is basic. Flour, water, yeast and salt. The rest is art.

Which leads me to the problem. Just before the current crisis, I bought 10 lbs. of KA bread flour because I wanted an unbleached, heavy flour. I don't like it! It's too heavy. I've made some okay bread with it, but not fantastic. I'm hoping some of the others can help out.

IDEA ONE: I've only made the bread in the pot once. The pot was a great success, but the dough wasn't. Since you've been liking it so much, however, and having good success, you can just continue that. You can make your own All Purpose flour with a similar protein content to Gold Medal with 2/3 King Arthur Bread flour and 1/3 Swans Down Cake flour. Swans Down should be pretty easy to find since few people know what to do with it. It's in the flour aisle in a red box about the size of a small box of potato flakes or pancake mix.

I've never made this recipe, but King Arthur says it's the "easiest", and it calls for their bread flour. I highly recommend measuring your flour by weight, though they give volumes as well. If you don't want to use a whole packet of yeast, you can put a CORRECTION TEASPOON of yeast, 2 cups of the flour from the recipe and the all the water and sugar, in a bowl to make a "preferment". Once that's all bubbly all over and risen to double, add it to the rest of your flour, stir well so all the flour is incorporated (you may have to use your hands) and set it to rise. The rise may take longer, but it'll get there.

It helps if you have a clear/translucent, flat bottomed container for it to rise in. Place a piece of tape on the outside at the height of the dough (a good guess is good enough--try to get between the low sides and the high dome). When it's doubled it's doubled, no matter what the recipe time is. They're just giving a general guide with the times. It's what the dough does that matters.

Everybody's kitchen is different. There are a ton of factors that go into bread which are quite personal. There are some recipes that are so basic you can be sure anyone will get a nice loaf of bread--but it'll still vary between bakers. Don't worry about perfection! For more diverse breads, the first one is often a brick. Often good for bread pudding or crumbs. Try again. Try to improve on the previous. Ask here or anywhere there are bakers if you can't figure out what went wrong and try again. After awhile, your hands will learn what feels right and you'll get a rhythm and instinct for baking in your kitchen.

If you want to do something different, tell us what you'd like to try and perhaps we can help. Good luck!

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jupidupi

Pillog, thank you so much for the tips. That tape on the bowl is brilliant! And I feel better knowing that you weren't crazy about the bread flour either. I'll keep my eyes open for Swan's Down, although I'm starting to run out of room in my cupboard. Up until I started this bread making, my only "different" kind of white flour was Wondra, which is my absolute go-to for thickening sauces. And I am amazed at the variation in amounts of yeast used in bread. My dutch oven bread calls for 1/2 teaspoon of yeast. Recently I tried a challah recipe from the KA site and it called for 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast. Another thing that may just be my imagination, but I think the bottom crust of my bread is not as thick if I bake it with the pot on a cookie sheet. I'm just winging it as I try these things. But I'm definitely, as you say, having fun with flour.

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plllog

Jupidupi -- BIG apologies!! I've corrected it, but my post above should have said "tsp". All day long I've been saying opposites and having to correct myself. Now I can't stop sneezing (had dinner in the garden and breathed in all that nature), so I hope the opposites will sneeze right out.

2 1/4 tsp of yeast is one packet of dry granulated yeast = one wrapped cake of homestyle wet cake yeast. You can also buy yeast by the quarter pound jar or the pound bag, among other sizes. I have a "yeast spoon" which measures 2 1/4 tsp., but most recipes just say 2 tsp. as an equivalent measure to a packet.

That's the whole thing. Yeast is alive. Dry yeast is dormant, but you add the water to revive it, and the starch (flour) and/or sugar to feed it, and it multiplies and emits gasses, and eventually makes alcohol and dies. If you use less yeast, it takes longer for it to multiply as much and belch as much as if you had more. No biggie. That's what I was trying to say before. You can use a teaspoon, or even half a teaspoon, and just let it rise in its own time, rather than using a whole packet. Packets make it easy for people who bake infrequently, and make it easier to sell more yeast. :)

BTW, you should keep your yeast in the fridge, though take out your measure ahead of time and let it warm up. The cold extends the life and liveliness of the yeast.

Using a lot of yeast gives you a quick rise, though too much can too easily bring you to "overproofing" or rising too much. If that happens you won't get a good bake, so "punch it down", i.e., stick your thumb in the middle to let out the gas then gather the dough in a ball and turn it over and let it double again. Also, too much yeast, especially in a fast cook, like pizza dough, can make the bread/pizza taste yeasty. Some people like that flavor, even though technically it's a flaw.

Challah is an enriched bread, usually containing eggs, milk and sweetener. Milk can retard the rise, as can salt (though very few breads don't call for salt, some have you add it after the first rise). Generally, it wants more yeast and a faster rise, or double rise. With a basic bread, you have much more room to play, including the less yeast, longer rise. I wouldn't do that with challah.

How did your challah come out?

I'm don't know the physics well enough to say about the cookie sheet, but it certainly could have an effect. Everything does. That's where the art comes in. Plus what's true in one kitchen might not be in another. Also keep in mind the Reader's Digest story about why the woman cut the ends off a roast...Honey, her mom said, I did that so it would fit. :D

I'm so glad you're having fun with flour! Let us hear about your next one.

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plllog

Mr. Picky deigned to eat one of the Toll House cookies. He deemed it slightly overdone but fine. :)

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2ManyDiversions

Those Toll House cookies look nice and plump : ) I have a couple of choc chip cookie recipes, one soft, one crunchy (love them both). It took me *years* to realize I should put my cookie dough in the fridge! I find it so easy to just roll them into balls with my hands (palms) after the dough is quite cold - I don't have a scoop that'd work with cookie dough. I bake a few balls, then put the rest on a tray, freeze for 30 minutes, remove and place in a labeled bag, and freeze. DH thinks I'm amazing that I can back 4 different types of cookies in 11-13 minutes! LOL! From the freezer onto the parchment, and I mix them up, bake them all at 350 F, and pull out the ones to a cooling rack if some get done before the others.


jupidupi, I admire you for experimenting with bread recipes, given that you've not been at it for long. It took me a while to not be so uptight about bread! Ha! Still, even with time, even with experimentation, it's threads like these, that go into detail (and plllog does a good job with descriptions, and directions, too) that further one's education!

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plllog

Very interestingly, unlike The Expert's cookies, which noticeably lose quality after a couple of days, this batch has remained moist and not stale in my new biscuit tin. Some might be the tin, but some must be the cookies.

Today, I made another try at the buttermilk bread. No room in the fridge for overnight fermentation, so sourdough was out. This was a good excuse to use the KA scale-sifter I was given last year. That worked great! I chose 125g as my per cup value. I think it would have been just fine if I'd gone to 120g. The dough felt silky after the rise, as it was supposed to, but it was still dryish, and a bit rubbery, though I think the latter is an AC+ flour thing. I didn't make any other changes, other than eyeballing the measure for butter and baking it in the steam oven without the steam, but some leftover moisture from making artichokes earlier.

I don't know that this looks much different than the previous one, but the crumb seems lighter and softer, and the dough wasn't too tight for spring.

Which was the point.

I'll know more tomorrow.

It's white bread. Better texture, but still not much flavor.



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Cloud Swift

Plllog, I don't know what's led you to believe that first clear is harsh. The King Arthur first clear isn't. It's pretty white in color and doesn't have a distinct flavor as far as I can tell (but I've only used it in rye bread so the rye and caraway flavors dominate). The rye flour I use is whole grain so it is being used with a whole grain flour. I've read that it has a different balance of proteins than regular white flour (more of the non-gluten proteins). There isn't anything harsh about it. It produces a different texture in the rye bread than using bread flour - a more characteristic deli rye texture.

BTW, I received an email from Central Milling saying that "99% of what we intend to stock is now back in stock - and should stay that way." I'd already noticed that 5 pound bags were increasingly available on their website. I'd wanted to order several types of flour (dark rye, pumpernickel, white whole wheat and hi-pro whole wheat) and was holding off because I wanted to do it all on one order to lower shipping cost. Well, it was finally all in stock at the same time so I was able to order last week shortly before that email went out.

Now I'm set for lots of fun with flour.

Also, they now have the Artisan Baker's Craft flour available in 25 pound bags - a nice move as 50 pounds is a lot for us to store but the cost of the 5 pound bags is about twice as much per pound. The 25 pound price is about the same per pound as the 50 pound and a size pretty well matched to our usage.

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jupidupi

Pillog, the challah was just OK. I found the texture to be too finely grained -- I like a bread that's more airy and chewy. It was pretty, though, and I enjoyed the kneading. I really like this silly little recipe using the Dutch oven, although I have to plan it the day before because it has to rise at least 12 hours. Maybe I'll try using more yeast and see if I can cut down the rising time. It's also a "no knead" recipe. I wonder what would happen if I tried kneading it?

Also, you make artichokes, too? I want to eat at your house!

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Cloud Swift

jupidupi, it sounds like your challah came out right. Challah isn't typically a chewy bread. I think enrichment like eggs (or milk but that wouldn't be in challah) make a softer bread - a very good bread but not chewy. Wetter doughs tend to form bigger air pockets; challah is a drier dough that is easy to handle for braiding.

The longer rise contributes to the flavor of the bread. You can increase the yeast to cut down rising time, but it will change the flavor a bit.

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plllog

Cloud Swift, I got that email too. I don't need flour. :) So glad you could find all yours on the same day! That's an accomplishment! I can't wait to hear how they go.

I don't know exactly what I was think when I said "harsh". I'd just been reading a whole bunch about it after you posted (much more than I linked) and having a heavy think over it. This from The Rye Baker may have been part of it: "In a word, first clear flour is leftovers: it’s the darker, stronger-tasting remains of a hard wheat kernel after the bran has been stripped away and the bulk of the starchy white endosperm has been extracted and turned into the familiar AP, bread and high-gluten flours, aka patent flours." So, I think I was thinking that that in rye would have a lot of strong rye flavor and tough bran to cut the gluten. But I can't say for sure. :)

Jupidupi, you can't make high hydration, no-knead doughs like the one in the pot faster. You have a choice for gluten development: Kneading or time. If you use more yeast and knead it, you'll have bread. I don't know what kind of bread, but it'll work. You may need to fuss with it a lot to make it work if it's more of a slurry than a proper dough, but you can do it. Mix it up in a shallow bowl or dump it in a sheet pan or other tray with sides once it's mixed. Use a bench scraper or wide (dull) knife, or whatever you have that'll work, to lift edges or corners and told them over the mass. At this point a tool is usually easier to use than just your hands, but if you can scrape it up with your finger, that's fine. Lift and fold all the way around, and try to turn the mass over. Repeat. Eventually, it'll develop substance and you'll be able to start kneading it. With kneading, you're looking to develop "a well stretched glutenous ball". That means it's elastic but has some tightness and resistance. It's ready to set to rise when it passes the "windowpane test". Stretch out a corner between your fingers and if you can get a square a couple of inches either way of translucent dough without it snapping or making a big hole. This will be good bread, but it won't be the same recipe as your regular pot o' bread.

Re challah, there actually is such a thing as dairy challah, but non-dairy is far more common because it can be eaten at any meal. I agree with everything Cloud Swift said, but I can't tell from your description if the issue was your bread preference or flaws with the loaf. The way you describe it could either be you just like a different kind of bread better, or that your rise was insufficient or you had too much flour, and the crumb was just too tight. Thank-you for sharing about it!

What are you planning to make next?

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plllog

The cookies are nearly gone (no one turns down chocolate chip cookies!) so I made 3 Bears Bread today. AKA Blueberry Pistachio Banana Bread. 3 Bears is really for the three flavors, but it also describes the bananas today: one grossly overripe, one thoroughly overripe, and one barely overripe. :) I think that last one makes it more banana-tasting and less sugary. :)




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Cloud Swift

Plllog, I can see where that description might be confusing. The bran is stripped away so there is little or no bran in first clear. Then the part from the center of the endosperm is taken to produce regular flour and the outer part of the endosperm is made into first clear flour. It doesn't have any bran (or not much). It is only a smidge darker than Artisan Baker's Craft flour. It might be a smidge stronger tasting than AP or white bread flour but not much.

King Arthur doesn't list ash and protein content for it's first clear. Ardent Mills says theirs is 14% protein and 0.8% ash. The type 85 flour you got from Central Milling is 12.5% protein and 0.85% ash. From what I've read, protein content is higher in the outer part of the endosperm so that's probably why first clear has a higher protein content. That helps in rye bread because rye doesn't have much gluten.

The hi-pro whole wheat flour from Central Milling is 14% protein and 1.5% ash. ABC is 11.5% protein and 0.4% ash.

Here is what another website (https://opentextbc.ca/ingredients/chapter/flour-streams-and-types-of-wheat-flour/) says about first clear:

"Clear flour comes from the part of the wheat berry just under the outer covering. Comparing it to first patent flour is like comparing cream to skim milk. It is dark in colour and has a very high gluten content. It is used in rye and other breads requiring extra strength."

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plllog

Thanks for all the info, Cloud Swift!

Hm... I've read through a lot about it, but it didn't stick. My impression yesterday that the "harsh" came from a thought about the bran was ad hoc. I really don't know what I was reacting to, and merely checked my links looking for an answer. I obviously need to do some more reading! And I have to reread (when I'm more awake) about your bread!

I do remember, however, reading that there was a difference in the protein content of first clear and the particular proteins (the two g's) that create gluten. I'll try to find that. That would be important.

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plllog

I had this really good meat I was going to make into a filling. It was going to be the piroshki. Then I thought ravioli so I can try the new 00 flour for pasta. So I didn't bake bread. And the buttermilk bread wasn't tempting so didn't depart. And there was the banana bread, which is cake, really, but served well in place of bread with breakfast. But I'm addicted to my pantry cleaning game and had two appointments today, and no time to fuss with sourdough.

I thought I'd try Annie's much lauded no-knead. I'm terrible at no-knead. Annie's instructions are basically dump the ingredients in a bowl (AC+ subbed at 125g/cup), stir, cover, let sit, make a ball on parchment, dump parchment of dough in hot pot. It's quite warm here, so after leaving it on the counter for a few hours last night, I put it in the fridge. It had doubled. In the fridge, it doubled again. When I turned it out, it was too sticky even for the parchment. Stuck fast. It didn't want to be a ball anyway. I spread rather than rising. So I four cornered it into a ball-ish and dumped the whole thing in the sold for the purpose pot.

It smells good. There's a high point that's a little charred, but I'm not put off by char on hearth bread. But it's awfully flat!


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Cloud Swift

Here's the 100% whole wheat sourdough.

I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. The flavor is excellent. I jumped the gun slightly and sliced into it 10 hours after baking, not the recommended 12 to 24.

Central Milling whole wheat hi-pro; medium grind for the starter and leaving and fine for the rest of it. About 95% hydration but the dough handled really easily. That whole wheat really soaks up the moisture.

It is slightly over baked. Only as I was putting it in the oven did I realize that the recipe only gave times for baking in a Dutch oven and I guessed a bit long. It's not burnt but the crust is a bit thick.

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Cloud Swift

Plllog, it looks like it will taste good anyway. The crust is a pretty color. Do you think it over-prooved?

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plllog

Cloud Swift, that's a lovely loaf! Thick crusts remind me of the bolillos in Mexico in my youth. I'm so impressed with your CM ww flour! Many of the things I've been making with the AC+ are high hydration and I've been so pleased at the absorption and how quickly they come together with a little knead. WW in general has even better absorption, IME, which makes sense. I usually soak WW, however, with a little acid, which softens it up and gets rid of most of the anti-nutrients. Your loaf looks so tasty!!

Re my pot bread, I don't think it overproofed. The AC+ grows all over the place, but when it has overproofed before and just deflated and rose again and was fine. In theory, it was probably tougher, but in reality not enough to notice. I think the problem is that I'm just really bad at the classic no-knead bread, even though my favorite daily bread when I could have the whole grain was no knead. It was too heavy to hold itself up, but I didn't do the pot. I have a terracotta banneton which ended up best. It rose and baked right in the mold. We'll see tomorrow when it's cut. It was still damp at dinnertime.

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plllog

I forgot to report. This is the no-knead bread cut. The texture is fine, if a little wet. There's too much char flavor transferred from the parchment, and the crumb has no flavor and even butter and/or jam doesn't help.. It's bread, and took no work, but not particularly good bread. I think I have to give up no knead white. It doesn't work for me. Just makes me miss whole grain.


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Cloud Swift

The crumb looks nice. It's too bad that the taste isn't there.

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plllog

It's a bit better today. Less char, at least. The crumb is kind of rubbery, but that might be the AC+. It's very springy and goes awry a bit when the recipe isn't quite right. Same thing that makes the sourdough so amazingly good is overboard here. ;)

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plllog



Knead Bread.



I'm such a failure with no-knead bread. I put the last one in my new bread bin, which isn't air tight, but does keep the bread moist. And the end of the wet no-knead bread went moldy. Fluffy, spidery big moldy, not just a spot to be cut away. I was not planning to bake today, and I didn't want to clear out stuff I was in the middle of to use the mixer for herb bread, or try something new. Grump. I remembered the nice shaggy ball that the last one started as. And what Linda said about putting some sourdough in for flavor. And some things Cloud Swift had said. And I made Jungle Bread (that's nothing well thought through. I had a bunch of kitchen work to do anyway, so did the long spread low handling thing.

I did the ingredients from the NYT no-knead, which has less yeast, plus a big spoonful of combined discard (mostly ww, and much drier than the recipe). I found a little baggie with some preferment from May from that recipe that called for making enough of a biga for two batches. It was going gray from yeast death, but smelled fine so I put it in too.

Then I did the three 10-second kneads from Vienna Bread, though it was more like 20 because only the last one had enough structure to actually knead. It was really sticky, and the first two were more about squishing it around. Then the same three stretch and folds from Escape from Vienna. Then went back to NYT and the cast iron pot--I can only think Lahey's 6-quart pot is really tall and thin!--It's still too little dough for my new Staub 4-quart that Sleevendog posted the sale about, but it got a really nice oven spring and dome. It was a puddle, not a ball after I turned it out, though it was doubled and really bubbly in the bowl. It's still too much hydration.

It smells great! If it tastes as good, I'm going to try to increase the volume, since I like baking in that pot, and lower the hydration just a big... Yeah, I'm like the guy who liked the sushi after he cooked it, but I don't care! It was fun.

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plllog

It's fully cooked, well risen, and the crumb is too wet. :/. I'm about done with wet dough, I think. Tastes okay. Not brilliant.




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bragu_DSM 5

Made another batch of no-knead in my new CI Staub. Wonderful stuff.

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plllog

Well, Dave, do you have any pointers? I can't seem to achieve wonderful. :(

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Cloud Swift

What hydration is the recipe you tried? If you don't know, you could give me the flour and water quantities and I can calculate the approximate hydration. There are several recipes for no-knead on NYT cooking. The three white flour ones I checked were ~70%, 90% and 95% hydration so quite a variation. According to the introduction, the 90% originally called for less flour so it was close to 100% and Mark Bittman modified it in response to reader comments.

I think around 75% is easier to work with. I don't know if that is high enough hydration to be totally no-knead, but it works great with stretch and folds.

For a sourdough one, I've had success with the one in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmb0wWKITBQ&list=PL23nszfeBoFncMGN800zJvujGQGrpR-Wk&index=2&t=3s


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plllog

Thanks, Cloud Swift. I don't subscribe to NYT and had no idea there were different versions.

This was 100% hydration by weight. The kneading did help it a lot.

I make other high hydration breads, including sourdough, that get kneaded, at least a little, and don't have a problem with them.

As I said, I didn't think through the recipe on this one. Just threw it together and made it while I was mostly doing other stuff.

You've encouraged me to make another try, and I thought of another experiment. If I add some discard to Annie's recipe, which had a more even rise, but also try the idea of putting the pot in cold, which a number of people in the forum suggested didn't make a difference, that might be interesting. Really, though, if I' not surprised by having to toss a third of a loaf of bread, and have my preferment going, for just bread, I can make Escape from Vienna and be delighted.

I've just inventoried my grains and am so sad I can't have whole grain in any quantity anymore. Soaking helps, but not enough. I should look into sprouting. When I've tried it before, I've only gotten mold, but that was also true for catching my ww starter. Sprouting is a bigger commitment of grain, but since it's too old, really, to donate (not rancid, though), it's not really a loss if I can eat it in the end (I'm the only one who cares...).

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bragu_DSM 5

JC


I just use the standard no-knead recipe


3 C AP flour

1/4 tsp yeast

1/2 tsp salt

1 and 1/3 C water


mix together in a bowl, cover with a towel.


preheat oven to 400

with Staub in the oven

when comes to temp, let heat another 15 minutes/

put the dough in parchment, plop it in the Staub. Cover Staub with Staub lid and cook 30 min.

take the lid off and bake another 20 min.


Crunchy outside, nice holes inside. Excellent chew. I like to take a long slice and halve it, and then toast it on the bagel setting.


perhaps because you are closer to sea level?



BTW, why the triple 'l' in plllog ... a superman - lois lane/lana lang - thing?

| ^_^ |


lllol

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plllog

It's an artifact from another time and another keyboard.

Dave, thanks for your version. I'll try it. At 400° F that paper won't taste burnt. Yours also has less water. Isn't the NY of the original also at close to sea level?

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plllog

Dave, how long do you let the dough rise? In the fridge overnight? Just until double? Something else?

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jupidupi

I make a loaf of no-knead bread every three or four days and knock-on-my-keyboard, it always works. My recipe is just a bit different than Dave's amounts and I don't use any parchment. First mix everything: 3 cups Flour, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1/2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast and 1 1/2 cups warm water. I mix the yeast with the water, and like to add a pinch of sugar in case the yeast is hungry :-) Then I cover with saran wrap and leave it on the counter at least 12 hours, usually 15. Here's where it gets different -- I turn on the oven to 450, put the empty pot in, form the dough into a ball, cover again with the saran wrap, and set the timer for 30 minutes. At that point, I pick up the dough, which has spread and is a bit sticky, try to make it sort of a ball, and drop it directly into the pot. No parchment necessary. It sizzles a bit when I put it in there, but has never stuck to the pot. Then bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes. I bake it in a 3 quart enameled cast iron pot, which makes it nice and round. When I tried the 4 1/2 quart pot, it spread too much.

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plllog

Jupidupi, have you been baking anything new?


Today was more jungle bread. I could get at the mixer but too many things cooking to fuss. I really wanted there to be bread for tomorrow morning. So I made the dough for the herb bread with 10% less flour by weight, and sifted it, though I don't know that it helps with high hydration. It was originally billed as soft and sticky dough, but never was. Now it was! Even after a good long knead, it was sludge and never became a ball. It felt well stretched and glutenous.

Rather than a bread bowl, I sprayed oil in the 4 qt. Staub, and dumped the goop in there. When it had risen to double, I tried to punch it down, but there was no outrush of gas. None. It didn't go down. By the time the oven was hot it had doubled again. This is a 2 tsp. Yeast recipe, with AC+ flour, so that's no surprise. There was no doming like there is with a normal dough. It was flat. I set the oven at 415 F, which is between the 375 of the recipe and 450 F of no knead bread, thinking the pot would need some extra heat, but not wanting to overdo it. Rather than oven spring, the loaf settled down to the first rise heaight. And stayed flat. I did uncover for browning and hope it would steam out some. The former happened. Masses of steam pooled on the counter under the rack. It might be the thermal mass of the stone that caused so much condensation. I usually cool baking on the ceramicglass cooktop.

Anyway, the shape looks weird, like a round Pullman loaf, but It tastes fab. I may have been too liberal with the herbs, but it tastes good so who cares? The crumb is open but not broken, which is what I've been wanting of this recipe all along, and not at all wet, thank goodness (the last no knead tasted much better after the extra wet dried outj. The oil in the pot, as I'd hoped, fried the crust just a bit, giving it a nice texture and bite.

I'm very please with my disk loaf, even if it does look a little Machine Age.


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