Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Bread Kit

1. Pastry Cloth or Linen
2. Bucket or Bowl
3. Lid for the Bucket, Obviously
4. Knife, Scorer, or Lame
5. Kitchen Scale
6. Bowl Scraper
7. Pullman Loaf Pan + Lid
8. Baking Stone

Today, Let's Talk about Basic Bread Kit.
These are the real objects that I am currently baking with, except the pullman pan, if you really really want a vintage one like I have, look on Ebay for Mirro pans.

1. A Linen is for resting your loaves on while they proof. I use mine to hold my batards and demi-baguettes as they rest. I also use this to line a large bowl for my boules.

2. I bought this commercial grade Cambro bucket and am SO happy with it.  The lid sits on nice, not too tight, not too loose and the markings on the side make it very clear if my dough has doubled.  It comes in many sizes.  The trick is to make sure you get a lid that fits.  I also found something like this, but square at my local Sam's Club.

3. This is that lid.

4. I am a huge fan of folding pocket knifes, have been since I was little.  So in my search for a lame I liked, I found this.  It is so sharp, scoring my loaves used to a chore, and now, it's just excellent.  It is compact and has a nice weight, doesn't feel cheap at all.

5. I got this when I was learning to make french macarons.  I am never going back! My mom asked me for the cups and tsp's of a bread recipe and it was ridiculous.  Like 3 cups, 1 1/2 Tbsp, 2 1/2 tsp flour ridiculous.
Get one that zeros out in between ingredients. (Tare)

6. You just need one of these for bread making, it's so nice.  Otherwise you end up using a rubber scraper or a table knife to try and get your dough out. Doable, but less fun.

7. This is for sandwich loaves.  I like a nice perfectly square loaf.  If you like the little puff tops, get a regular loaf pan, or get a pullman pan and bake with the top off. We are talking consistently crispy crusts all the way around.

8. Baking stone or Pizza stone's are helpful for demi-baguettes, batards, and any other loaf that isn't pan baked.  All your hearth loaves can benefit from a stone.   I baked on two stacked, overturned baking sheets. When I purchased this stone, my bread baked much better. If you only bake sandwich bread, you do NOT need this.

Got Questions? Comment below, I will do my best to answer them. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Honey Oat Pullman Loaf or Bread is Easier than You Think

I love Honey Whole Wheat bread, I like a close crumb for sandwiches, so when I found out we own a vintage pullman loaf pan this was my first loaf to try out.
You do not need a special tin for this.  Use what you have, always.
You will need a scale, as I do not bake in cups and tsp.

A couple of notes first:
  • If you have only one loaf pan, put the other half of this dough, covered into the fridge. It will keep it from over-proofing.
  • Don't have any bread flour? Use all AP flour. I had both, I used both.
  • No Wheat Germ? leave it out.
  • Paul Hollywood has taught me that your water does not need to be any certain temperature. Cold water is fine, it gives your bread more flavor because the yeast takes more time to grow.
  • By oat flour, I mean I put 50g of whole oats into my spice/nut grinder.
You got your loaf pan ready?
Here we go.

Honey Oat Pullman Loaf
Makes 2 loaves (don't panic if you only have one pan, put the other half in the fridge.)

200g Whole Wheat Flour
185g Bread Flour
185g AP Flour
50g Oat Flour
10g Wheat Germ
20g Whole Oats
520g Water
10g Instant Yeast
65g Honey
45g Olive Oil
17g Sea Salt

Mix all the flour, wheat germ, oats, water, honey, and yeast until there are no dry lumps.  Let sit, covered, for 1 hour. Mix in the Oil and the Salt.  Knead the dough on a clean surface for 10 minutes.  Put dough back in the bowl and cover.  Let rise 45 minutes.  Cut the dough into two equal pieces.  Shape the pieces into long loaves  tucking the edges underneath to form a smooth, tight top.  Place into your pans, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until they reach 1/2 inch below the rim of the pan. 
If you are using a pullman pan with a lid, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake 5 minutes to reach the desired crust color.  Internal temp should be 190.
If you are using regular loaf pans, bake at 200 for 10 minutes and then 350 for 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 15-30 minutes.
To store, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and place in a plastic bread bag, removing the extra air.

We like to freeze one loaf, then thaw at room temp, or in a low oven if you need it quicker.

Monday, February 24, 2014

So, I deleted my Picasa web album...

and apparently all my photos are gone, FOREVER.

Let this be a lesson to you, DO NOT DELETE YOUR PICASA WEB ALBUMS.
I am going to try to redo these last couple of pages of posts, and maybe over time work backwards to fill up my blog again, but none of these blank boxes are labeled and it's going to be rough trying to figure it all back into place.


What if this suddenly became a baking blog?

What if I wanted to be a baker instead of an artist?
Would you read my recipes? What if I wanted to talk about bread instead of drawings, starters instead of pens?

What if I posted here about what I am baking?
What if it inspired you to bake?

This year, I want to learn to make bread.
I want to try it all.
I stumbled and fell from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook I got for Christmas, into the Tartine
Books.  I am captivated by a moist pearlescent crumb and a brittle, crispy, blistered crust.

It might be a phase.
I might grow out of it.

What if I don't?
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