Homemade Bread

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by a1fa, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,719
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    You're probably more likely to get some type of iron poisoning from using cast iron to bake your bread in than from any process to actually make the bread:lol3:lol3:lol3


    alright, so what you did is kept a piece of one dough to use as a "pre-ferment" in your next one. The french do this all the time for baguettes. they'll keep a piece from a previous batch, add it to the next to create flavor, texture, hole structure etc. They call it a pate Fermentee when it came from a previous dough. The biggest difference between this and other pre-ferments is a pate fermentee, having come from another dough, has salt in it. I worked at a bakery that did that. We called it "scrap". Yours must've been pretty old, or kept out of refrigeration to get that sour. Eventually, bacteria will take over the yeast and you'll end up with a sourdough starter. It probably wasn't quite there yet, but you could've refreshed it over a few days and it likely would've become one. That's how you got the sour flavor.

    The no knead bread isn't as revolutionary as the articles would lead you to believe. Mixing flour and water together will develop into a bread dough with little to no help as many are seeing. It is considered a "straight dough", so many would argue its inferior to one that uses a preferment, yeasted or sourdough, but it isn't because you basically ferment the whole batch in the same manner one would when using a preferment. Make sense?

    The no knead method can be used just as well in 3-4 hrs, with 2-4 folds, as in the 12-18hrs of that article. The difference is that you would do what you just did and use a preferment to jump start the fermentation, thereby eliminating the need to have a full batch of dough sitting for 12 hrs. Bread takes time. There is no way around that. However, there are 100's of ways to create that time. The long fermentation of a straight dough as in the no knead recipe, or by using pre-ferments. You wouldn't want to perpetuate the dough. ie: keep pulling a piece to add to the next since that would become a sourdough, or maybe you would? It depends on how you want your bread to taste. In your case, it also might have been so sour because I'm assuming you still did that long fermentation from the no knead recipe. If you used more yeast to shorten the process, it might have been less sour, but more complex. It sounds like your bread when straight to bacteria.

    As for the pans, you're looking for thermal mass. Cast iron pans have a ton of thermal mass. Probably more than most pizza stone. When you put bread into your cast iron pan (great that you're preheating-required), pizza stone, my new brick oven or my commercial deck oven, the bottom heat radiates bottom up creating lift and eventually (with enough steam) a nice crust. The reason you can't make really great bread in a convection oven which pummels your dough from all sides. You want a more even, gradual bottom up heat. the thermal mass creates that, and helps maintain a better baking environment.

    [​IMG]
  2. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,045
    Location:
    11 ft. AMSL
    :rofl


    Wow, you ARE the expert, and thank you so much for the response - leaving it out of refrigeration was exactly what I did.

    Somehow, in the amount of information I've garnered in studying how to make breads, it was shown that if one is going to keep the biga (in my case a pate fermentee - awesome new term for me to learn about by the way) for any length of time, to keep it in the refrigerator. Well, I didn't exactly consider less than 48 hours a proper length of time, and in the videos I watched they didn't seem to go over what to do with the biga for shorter amounts of time, lol... so I made it up and stored it outside of refrigeration.

    I don't know what other direction to take no knead bread in its recipe since, while good looking, the complexity of taste just wasn't really there with the 12-18 hour recipe so many of us are trying to use these days. If it won't kill me, I'd rather keep using (or occasionally use) a piece of the pate fermentee from each batch just to see where it takes it for taste (though, as I write this, the piece I took off of this newer sour dough is in the refrigerator this time - and I'll keep doing that since the more I think about it, the more ... risky... it seems that leaving it out may allow it to get moldy or bad bacteria or something ... there must be a reason other people don't leave it out for near-future use, and that the end product stood out so well that you were able to pick out exactly what I did wrong :D ).

    Thanks again!
  3. YBViking

    YBViking Bedroom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    New England- Pothole heven
    first crack at french bread bagette (can you help me out here Klay- did i spell that rite?)...

    also- while searching for my baking pans, spied the stove top pancake griddle...jeez instant 4 lb thermal mass right here! no need for me to buy one of those fancy paving stones...and to boot- i can bake directly on it!![​IMG]
    not my pic0- but you can see the griddle.

    I'll post up pix as soon as it comes out of the Oven!:D

    Levain- i know i need to add some 'steam' for the first 10-20 mins- would a cup of water be enough? or just add plenty and remove after a bit?

    How's that outdoor oven workin out? showed it to my dad (Old German, mason by trade, cranky by nature)- he wants to know if you can make Lithuanian brown bread in that- he recalled buying bread behind a tenement in Brooklyn where some emigre's built their own oven to bake bread in for the neighborhood.
  4. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,719
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Steam is a good idea for sure, but it might be too late:rofl:rofl:rofl. I've never thought about the pancake griddle, but that actually might work quite well.

    As for your dad, tell me more about this lithuanian brown bread. Maybe, between us we can come up with an ADV version. I still haven't baked in the oven. It's ready to go, I've just been so busy and its part of a renovation on our new home that we don't live in, so it just hasn't happened. I'm thinking soon though. I might bake a special bread for Thanksgiving.... Pictures soon if it happens, but this is a very busy time of year for me...
  5. YBViking

    YBViking Bedroom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    New England- Pothole heven
    [​IMG]

    Fresh from the oven! Wil let it cool and check the crumb in the Am

    By look and feel the crust is fairly thin but the loaf is heavy. I think i should have given it another hour to rise before shaping the final fluff.
  6. IDScarecrow

    IDScarecrow Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,384
    Location:
    PNW Inland Empire
    Any advice or recipes for dinner rolls? I am going to a friend's house for turkey day, and, having had my bread they asked me to bring a loaf or two "and rolls." I haven't tried making rolls before, but thoght I might just use the Jim Lahey recipe, divided into bits. But then how to cook it? I can't do it in the pot, so on a baking sheet with some water in the oven? Or should I use a different approach altogether?
  7. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,719
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    YB's pancake griddle isn't a bad approach. Just take your dough, divide it into smaller bits and bake those. We make a roll that we do that with.
    As for steam, there are lots of ways to introduce steam. I'm no expert at that though since my ovens have steam generators. Spray bottle. preheat a pan and toss some ice cubes in there.
  8. YBViking

    YBViking Bedroom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    New England- Pothole heven
    i just put a cast iron frying pan in for the pre-heat...added about a cup and a half of water- viola- instant steam (set the smoke alarms off at 10pm while it baked:huh).

    i have seen folks roll out a baugette then use scissors to cut a bunch of 'rolls' from it: this is from King Arthurs bread site:
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=....com/baking/documents/alternative_shaping.pdf

    looks pretty easy....

    BTW= the griddle had a great thermal effect- browned the top and bottom of those loaves well, crust was thin as predicted but the crumb as waaay tooo dense. It was my own fault- it was getting late (Reville for me is 430am), letterman was on and i had to move things along. Still edible, but I didn't alllow it time to rise enough. the gas bubbles are very small.

    Next time- i'm going with a slightly wetter mix, full rise, then a shape up, full rise again and into the oven it goes:clap
    Might add a touch more yeast too, or maybe get the yeast started in a cup of flour first, then add to the rest...

    Thoughts?

    I"ll have to ask my dad about that brown bread- he hasn't seen it in years and i seriously doubt the oven is still there or working- but he'll know who to ask. Big, round, crust didn't crackle, but was incredibly chewy- as a kid my jaws ached after eating one giant slice:rofl
  9. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Polar Bear Wrangler

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,336
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Pretty happy with this one- much better oven spring and finished height. Normal no-knead, plus a couple extra folds part way through.

    [​IMG]
  10. YBViking

    YBViking Bedroom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    New England- Pothole heven
    That looks mighty tasty!.. what was your oven temp? steam/no steam? kind of flour? sorry for so many ?'s, but i'm always jealous of bread that looks better than mine.

    that said- went to work today (did i mention i quit my job?)- and saw i still had flour on my shoes from baking bread last night...and realized I was happier baking bread than doing what i've done for the past 25 years!....looks like a lot of baking in my future:clap:clap:lol3
  11. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,719
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl

    I was contacted last week by a chef that has been doing the kitchen grind for 15 years. He has grown to love the simple challenge of making a perfect loaf of bread. Looks like I may have a consulting gig in the new year helping him open a bakery.
    There's something very soulful about making bread. We're in the middle of a 4500loaf, 8000pastry Thanksgiving right now. Nothing is better for us than a well planned holiday with beautiful bread stacked everywhere.

    Good times:clap
  12. YBViking

    YBViking Bedroom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    New England- Pothole heven
    I envy you.
    Happy Thanksgiving

    Im gonna go make bread!
  13. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,962
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC

    Use a soft sandwich bread recipe, and brush the tops with egg wash or melted butter before baking.

    I've been using Peter Reinhart's buttermilk white bread for rolls over the last year.
  14. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Polar Bear Wrangler

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,336
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    That's regular flour, 500* oven, in a cast iron pot (with lid for 30 mins, lid off for about 10). It's the first time I've added a couple fold/kneads to it, (on advice from this thread), and I got a much finer crumb than I expected. Good flavor, I like the really dark finished loaf.
  15. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,425
    Location:
    NW GA
    `Not much to look at since it's out of a machine, but tasty.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  16. YBViking

    YBViking Bedroom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    New England- Pothole heven
    Thanks- i suspect my oven (brand new gas) is a bit hot. I'll give it a go with a lower temp tonight. Love that dark- almost toast, crust...

    thx!
  17. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,425
    Location:
    NW GA
    Haven't made these in a while so since there's so many (23) coming to Mom's tomorrow thought I'd make a test batch plus use these for 2nd helpings. Need to improve on the look since it is after all, Thanksgiving. My kitchen smells like an elementary school cafeteria right now with the fresh rolls for those of you old enough here to remember that smell, along with a couple pats of butter on the little square paper servings. Mmmmmmmmm..... good.

    [​IMG]
  18. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,250
    Location:
    Pueblo Viejo
    All this talk of rolls made me want to try the noknead dough for rolls. It was obvious that I couldn't do them in the dutch oven, so needed to figure something out instead. I don't have a pizza stone so decided to fake it.
    [​IMG]

    So I went and dug some gravel out of the backyard, washed it with the hose, and put it on a cookie sheet. Stuck it in the oven to dry and preheat. Took the noknead dough, and cut it into pieces, and baked them on a smaller cookie sheet that fit right on top of the gravel . It took two batches to do all the dough. During the first batch, I'd put a cake pan on the bottom rack of the oven, and threw ice cubes into it to make steam.

    [​IMG]

    The second batch, I skipped the steam. They came out with a lighter crust. Still tasty tho. Also cut cooking time down to 25 minutes per batch.

    [​IMG]
  19. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Polar Bear Wrangler

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,336
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    I'm not sure if it's been mentioned in this thread already or not, but a good (and cheap) substitute for thermal mass in the oven is unglazed terra cotta or quarry tiles. You can get them pretty big (18" square or so) for about $1 at Home Depot or the like. Often there are broken box specials where you can buy just one or two.
    I used about a dozen 8" tiles in a "box" around the middle of my oven when I used to have a kinda crappy electric oven that didn't keep the heat very well. They take a while to heat all the way up, but keep the oven very stable once hot.
    For a couple bucks you can make a pretty good proxy for a bread oven, and it all just packs away in a box when you aren't using it.
    I baked a few times right on one of the big tiles like a pizza stone, worked great.

    Or, head down to your local countertop maker and have them cut you a random piece of granite slab to fit in you oven and use that. A bit more money, but a ton of thermal mass.
  20. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,250
    Location:
    Pueblo Viejo
    Sounds better than a pan of gravel...:D