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Archive for the ‘bread’ Category

Dutch Treat

A frequent customer to the shop where I work (and when I say “frequent,” imagine 3 or 4 times a day — she lives next door) is starting her own business as a personal chef. As she’s experimented with cooking and baking, we’ve often traded stories. She was quite excited to find that I bake and has now put me on her slate as her go-to person for breads and such should she have a need of them for a client. Woot!

Anyway, the other day, she brought in a loaf of bread which was quite good. When she told me it was a no effort at all bread, I scoffed. How could such a thing be possible? I soon found out as the next day she brought in the formula scribbled on an index card.

The result:
Dutch Treat

Late, late last night I put a few cups of flour, some salt, some yeast, and some water together and left it to sit in a bowl. Twelve hours later, I shaped it, let it rest for a couple hours, then plopped it in a pre-heated dutch oven (my gorgeous Le Creuset French oven to be exact), aaaaaand… baked.

No kneading, no fussing, and hardly any muss. WTF? We haven’t tasted it yet, but the crust sang for a good 15 minutes after I took it from the oven and the aroma is heavenly.

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Return to Baking Bread

I am off on retreat for a while in locales wild and remote, and one of the things I want to do while I’m here is work on my bread baking skills. The tools available to me are minimal, and my forethought in packing was also minimal, but we do what we can with what we have. I’ve baked bread twice in the last week, with interesting results. (more…)

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Stale Bread

A while back, The Baker asked her friends how much they’d pay for a fresh loaf of home baked bakery bread to be delivered to them. One of the answers was “I wouldn’t, it goes stale too quickly.” The current standard loaf in our household takes a lot longer than a day or two to go stale, but we still end up with a lot of ends of loaves going stale and this got me thinking about what you can do with stale bread.

The obvious answer is toast. I love toast, and it’s perfect for using up old bread. Once you toast it, it gets all crispy on the outside and the insides get soft again from the heat of the toaster. And then you melt some butter on it, with maybe some cheese or jam or a fried egg, and it’s great. But what else? (more…)

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Pain de Tradition

As part of my ever-expanding project to increase my bread repertoire, I wanted to try something new, so I scanned through recent postings at The Fresh Loaf and found something old-ish.

This certainly looks interesting, and the formula is written in a way that’s new to me, so I get the benefit of a new technique and a different presentation.


We begin with a sodden, lumpy mess. I think at this point, I should have realized that my dough was just a wee bit overhydrated. What can I say, I don’t usually measure water in grams. Millilitres and ounces, no problem, but wtf with “400 grams” of water? I had to put it on my SCALE, people.


A little sticky and gooey after the first fold. I’m used to this, but I’m also used to oh… adding a load of flour when I do this too, so this was very very different.


Fingers considerably less in a Rolling Stones-type state after the second folding.


It grew quite a bit between the second and third folding. It was also developing a lovely yeasty aroma at this point.


Again, quite a bit of growth in that hour before the fourth folding. Lots of good, hearty gluten development, very stretchy and resilient. But, in my opinion, still too wet. Next time I’ll have to experiment with the water amounts.

I don’t have a basket for bread baking, nor a clay mold, so I really just had to go with a free form loaf.


A less hydrated loaf would have brought me a better bloom.


And fresh out of the oven, a nice internal temp of 200 degrees, the whole house smelling of fresh bread? Oh yeah, we’re golden, baby.

And this crust did sing for ages.

Can’t wait to have it with dinner tonight, and to see how the crumb came out.

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Saffron Buns


So cute you just want to eat them in wee fistfuls.

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Busy Day


Tomato basil bread and peach crostata.

Because, y’know, when it’s 80some degrees, you really need to be baking all day.

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Cardamom Bread

For the most recent holidays, my housemate’s (Cyn), mother gave me a copy of Alfred Lunt’s Ten Chimney’s Cookbook. In there, of course, was the one recipe I couldn’t wait to try, his famous Cardamom Bread. As you can see from the formula, this a bread with over 100% hydration, and the first time I made it I had to add more the twice the amount of flour called for. This put an onerous burden not only on my mixer, but my poor shoulders as I tried to beat more flour into the goopiest bread batter I’d ever encountered.
Keep reading

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