Food Lockdown Loaves

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Bryan Collins, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. 9A12F349-6218-4AE9-ADCA-2D4C80C9C106.jpeg Wessex Mill 6 Seeds flour for this sourdough, rapidly cooling outdoors to hopefully be good to go for a late breakfast. Not my favourite at all but definitely a hit with Mrs A. so a few Brownie points banked at least!
  2. FC470A5F-637A-4CE1-865B-9851042676A0.jpeg

    I still can’t get the ear but very happy otherwise!
  3. Have you tried baking straight from a final prove in the fridge, Ian?
  4. Crumpets look ace.
  5. I'm able to get ears quite reliably when proving from room temperature. I use a lame, and have a curved slicing technique that starts right at the bottom of the loaf, with about a 45 degree angle. The biggest influence is by far underproving - big ears on my loaves seem to have other, more undesirable elements like a gummy texture or very dense bottom half of the loaf.
    Will Devize likes this.
  6. As my daughter expressed enthusiasm I entrusted today's loaf to her, under verbal but not physical instruction. While it is perfectly OK it is quite surprising to me how much difference letting supposedly small details go makes. A bit like teaching the piano. We will continue.
    Mark Roper likes this.
  7. I always bake straight from fridge, score in to preheated Dutch oven. Crust, crumb, taste all VGI just annoyed I can’t get the oven spring. I’ve tried scoring in different ways, using different blades, positions of cut(s) doesn’t detract from the loaf’s appeal it just bugs me!
  8. English muffins in fact and made a good alternative to burger buns with Devon Wagyu mince burgers and a slice of halloumi.

    ignore the fly in the original photo! 7B97876B-CD7F-4B70-A49D-95304DA4445E.jpeg
  9. I thought they were muffins but didn't dare remark upon it! I don't think they are English muffins, though, English muffins are American and sweet.
    I think you are clearly getting oven spring, just avoiding a split crust. I am mildly irritated when my crust splits, being a stick in the mud.
  10. I think I just had crumpet on my mind.
    Thom Blach, Ian Russell and Jim Agar like this.
  11. Aren't they muffins if you're British and English muffins if you're American? Brits calling muffins English muffins is perverse. US muffins are a type of cake. Encroaching American cultural norms have blurred things considerably, of course.
  12. On the subject of ears, my experience is that it’s a result of really robust top heat.

    Here are today’s loaves, all the same dough and all cooked at the same time in saucepans acting as Dutch ovens in the oven. The loaf at the back of the pic with the really prominent ear was in the pan on which I use a thick cast iron lid; the loaf from this pan always has the most prominent ear. Next time I’ll slash them all the same to make the different outcomes clearer.

    All baked from room temperature dough in a pre-heated oven.

    IMG_20200527_101318.jpg IMG_20200527_101143.jpg

    On the subject of slashing, after years of using a bread knife to inflict, today I improvised a lame from a razor blade and pair of artery forceps. I can’t say the results are stunningly different, but maybe a little better definition than usual!

  13. 418814E3-47C6-4AE9-A78A-18A81593983C.jpeg Bannetons have arrived from Bakery bits and very happy with the first white sourdough. Dan Lepard Butterscotch Banana cake again: kitchen is like an oven this morning!
  14. Well I finally had a go, 100% spelt, mix of white and wholemeal, using a doves farm recipe and with a mug of water chucked into a roasting tray when baked on a sheet. Quite happy with it, dense but tasty. Could have spent longer in the oven. Nice thin crust and good flavour. I think I may have been belatedly bitten by a bug, though hopefully not THAT bug... bread.JPG
    Mark Palmer and Jim Agar like this.
  15. Now that we’ve been at this for a couple of months, what’s the going rate for bakers on this here thread.

    I reckon I’m pretty consistently knocking out three loaves a week.
    Andrew Blunsden likes this.
  16. Me too-up from two per week.
  17. Two sourdoughs, plus assorted pizzas, sandwich loaves, and rolls.
  18. About 5 loaves a week here, plus the odd batches of burger buns, blini and hot cross buns (still!).
    Thom Blach and Richard Zambuni like this.
  19. We get through roughly one loaf each week here; my learning curve has not been steep!
  20. I normally knock out a pizza most weeks during summer, so not much change there, but when I first re-started baking loaves back in November or whenever it was I was doing one per week and wondering what to do with the excess starter. Now the starter goes into the fridge for a day or two maximum and there is virtually none!

    Is everybody’s cause the same, (with the honourable exception of Andy) having lots of people at home all day every day?

    btw Jim, you are and remain, a Legend!
    Jim Agar likes this.
  21. I'm not sure what's more surprising - that I am happily baking a 1.1kg loaf every other day or that it feels like I've barely made a dent in my 56kg stash!
  22. I’m surprised how much of a dent I’ve made. Mind you there’s a difference between 16kg and 56kg!

    Can’t see much change in the near future. Dustbin finishes school in a month (but he will be home for every day bar a couple) and HRH on gardening leave from tomorrow until 1st August whereupon she will be working from home until October at the earliest.
  23. From Sunday night to yesterday afternoon I've laboured over a mixed spelt/rye sourdough, thus biting off far more than I could realistically chew, and using Tom's page 13 approach as a starting point. The dough was like handling a sleeping cat or a reluctant toddler, essentially a porridge-y puddle. I then probably overworked it and knocked out too much air after the ferment. I think I've ruined my banneton as sludge has now got into all the grooves. the end result however tastes quite nice. But now I'm going to go and lie down for a few days...

  24. The crumb looks good. If you let the basket dry completely it shouldn't be too difficult to brush out. As you suggest it's not the easiest place to start!
  25. 2-3 loaves a week here. That's resulted in me having no proper bread flour left, and I'm reduced to "All Purpose" which is the same as UK plain white from what I can tell. Pretty happy with the result. I have fallen into an easy routine now which reliably gives good results, and a loaf that is not too holey to make sandwiches impossible but open enough to still be interesting:

    120g starter at 120% hydration
    500g flour (ideally 75 grams whole wheat and remainder strong white - loaf below is all plain white)
    7g salt
    300g water.

    Mix water, starter and salt throughly. Add flour and mix well enough to combine. 3 sets of folds and stretching over the next 2 hours, then into the fridge for 16 hours. Take out of the fridge to warm up for 30 minutes, shape as desired and prove in banneton for approximately 3-4 hours. Into the standard oven procedure.

    The ambient temperature is quite high at the minute so sometimes my prove is as little as 2 hours. The bulk ferment being long and cool seems to work much better for me when it comes to final shaping.

    Attached Files:

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