Our Daily Bread - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 133 Old 07-21-2014, 08:05 AM
 
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Reviving this thread to report that I have become a slave to sourdough. I figured people here might understand.

I started following the Bourke Street Bakery feeding schedule over a month ago. I am getting beautiful loaves but since I hate just throwing away the starter when I feed it, I have been making endless amounts of waffles, crumpets, apple spice bread, banana bread etc.

Yesterday I made a plain boule, a spiced fruit sourdough loaf, 2 apple spiced cakes and i still have a bucket of discarded starter in the fridge.
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#122 of 133 Old 07-21-2014, 07:26 PM
 
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LOL! I don't understand yet but I'm planning to start a sour dough starter once the weather warms up so I'm probably looking into my future :-)

On another matter, how do people get oven spring? I happy with the taste and texture of most of my things now but they are all still much flatter than I'd like.
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#123 of 133 Old 07-21-2014, 11:26 PM
 
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Oven spring? Cook it in a Dutch oven. Night and day, seriously.

I use a big oval enamelled cast-iron one. First I heat the oven up HOT - 250C - for about 25 minutes. Then I pop the loaf (boule, usually) in on its square of baking paper. I coat the bottom of my Dutch oven with a layer of coarse cornmeal to prevent the bottom of the loaf scorching - I change it occasionally, but it lasts for several bakes.

Then I sprinkle a bit of water around the sides of the Dutch oven and on the lid, and pop it in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning the oven down a bit to 220ish after the first few minutes. Then I haul it out, take off the lid and inspect. If it doesn't look done, the lid goes back on and it goes back in for 10-15 minutes. If it looks done but pale, it goes back in for 10 minutes or so with the lid off. If it looks done and nicely browned, well, it's done.

You get more oven spring with high hydration doughs, but even fairly 'dry' doughs benefit from this method. Lovely oven spring, slashes open up beautifully, and you can get really great chewy, non-wimpy crusts. I love it.

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#124 of 133 Old 07-22-2014, 02:19 AM
 
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Oh cool, thank you! I will give that a try tomorrow.
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#125 of 133 Old 07-22-2014, 04:59 AM
 
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I made a list of suggestions for encouraging oven spring when I was having trouble with a recipe.You may want to experiment to see if just 1 of the suggestions works.

Before you start baking, make sure the final proof was adequate. The dough should spring back nicely when you poke it.

1. Wet the dough just before baking by spraying with water

2. Place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven

3. Use a baking stone or invert a baking sheet and place it in the oven while it pre-heats.

4. Pre-heat the oven 25 to 50 degrees Farenheit hotter than the recipe asks, then decrease the heat to the recipe's temperature (a) when you pit the bread in the oven or (b) after the first 10 minutes of baking.

Full disclosure, I never did manage a nice oven spring with the recipe I was using. I also experimented with the amont of yeast and the kneading and proofing times, but nothing seemed to work. I don't make it anymore.
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#126 of 133 Old 07-22-2014, 11:14 PM
 
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Are you sure you weren't over-proofing it? One of the things I learned on The Fresh Loaf (great site, incidentally) is that one of the most common mistakes in breadmaking is to overproof on the final rise. It shouldn't double, apparently; it needs to have rising 'room' to spring in the oven, as it were, or it'll just sort of sit there or worse, collapse. I only proof mine for about an hour (with a smaller amount of yeast than most recipes call for).

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#127 of 133 Old 07-23-2014, 12:19 AM
 
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Hm, that's interesting about over proofing. I wonder if that's where I went wrong today. My Dutch oven loaf didn't spring but it has a lovely crust. Do you grease the Dutch oven? I did the cornmeal and baking paper on the base and lightly oiled the sides but it stuck badly around the sides.

The second loaf I did in an ordinary tin with a tray of water in the base of the oven. I managed a modest spring. Certainly better than I've achieved before.

I used my standard loaf recipe but made it wetter than I usually do.
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#128 of 133 Old 07-23-2014, 10:32 PM
 
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Hmm. I've never greased my Dutch oven or had a problem with sticking. Is yours enameled? I use a really big oval Dutch oven. The bread isn't supposed to fill it up like bread dough in a loaf tin - there should be some space around the loaf (to contain the lovely moist steamy air, which helps with oven spring). My square of baking paper usually ends up a few centimetres up each narrow side of the oval, which is enough to keep even a round boule from touching the sides. I've had the odd occasion where a few centimetres of loaf touched the sides, but it didn't stick - maybe because by the time it 'grew' to touch the sides it had already formed something of a crust?

Curious!

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#129 of 133 Old 07-23-2014, 10:37 PM
 
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Ah, no, mine totally filled the pan. It was touching the sides at the end of the second rise. So clearly I put far too much dough in to start with.

It is enamelled but it's round rather than oval and not huge. I shall try again with a much smaller quantity.
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#130 of 133 Old 03-01-2015, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bringing back this thread. I made my first successful batch of buns for bratwursts today! They are ugly as sin - I need to work on my technique for forming the buns, but they turned out great! Was super excited to find a recipe that I can modify to be dairy free without compromising the result. It called for butter, which I subbed for Earth Balance margarine. You'd hardly know the difference!

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#131 of 133 Old 03-07-2015, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Made a basic sandwich loaf today and it came out beautifully. Only took me twelve years to figure out how to do it dairy-free!

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#132 of 133 Old 03-07-2015, 10:43 PM
 
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Yay!

I haven't posted for a while, but my bread's been chugging along quite nicely. I'm making almost entirely Dutch-oven boules now. And I've been experimenting more with adding various grains to white dough - spelt, rye, barley, quinoa and so on. I find if I keep the majority of the flour high-grade white, the bread tends to work well. Not as healthy as using wholemeal flour, but my wholemeal flour loaves tend to be doughier and gummier and less well-risen and just far less appealing. I'm not sure of a way around it - the bran cuts the gluten strands. I tried doing that thing where you sift out the biggest bran particles and roll the dough in it, but it only worked moderately well, and I prefer to sprinkle other stuff on my loaves anyway - semolina or coarse cornmeal or sesame seeds, usually.

My results so far: spelt (a small proportion of spelt flour plus some actual spelt... berries?) is very nice. Red quinoa (soaked in brine overnight and rinsed to get rid of the bitterness) looks good and adds a mildly pleasant texture, but you can't really taste it - it's just sort of *there*. Kibbled wheat and rye require a fair bit of soaking unless you want really crunchy/chewy bits (though DH likes 'em!), but they taste good. And cooked barley makes the bread slightly gummy (which could probably be avoided by using a lower-hydration dough to start with), but again, is yummy.

I've also taken to mixing the dough by machine, and only adding the soaked, well-drained grains at the last minute, by hand, mixing as little as possible in a folding motion. That seems to avoid the grains slackening/cutting the dough and making it all wet and gummy and gross.

I also discovered an incredibly delicious recipe, from Pioneer Woman of all places! Look up her recipe for 'The Bread'. It's basically just a white boule from the supermarket, cut in half horizontally, each half spread with a TON of butter, and grilled until brown.

It sounds boring, but the reviews were glowing, so I tried it. I made my own loaf, of course. And I added garlic to the butter, because duh... plus just a wee sprinkle of garlic salt over the top... and after it was grilled, I strewed chopped parsley on top for a bit of colour and served it cut in strips.

It's INCREDIBLY good. You have to really grill the butter until it's almost burned, not just melted. I've made it several times for guests and people rave about it. I can highly recommend it, as long as butter's cheap in your area. I find we generally only use half a loaf (as in, the top or the bottom) at once, so I butter both halves at once and freeze one ready to go for next time. Very handy.

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#133 of 133 Old 03-09-2015, 08:26 AM
 
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Sounds delicious!

My favourite recipe lately has been Alton Brown's Leftover Oatmeal Bread. I always have to adjust it because we never have as much leftover porridge as the recipe requires. (It has been so cold here we gobble up our oatmeal in the morning to sustain us. Yesterday was the first day above 0 Celsius in over 40 days. I almost threw a parade). I add a little more flour and water to compensate, but it always turns out well.

Other slight recipe adjustments - I use instant yeast and about half white and half whole wheat flour and honey instead of agave.
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