What beautiful-looking bread. I love the sesame seeds.
I should have a loaf to photograph later today. I did an overnight primary rise in the fridge last night. Now I have shaped the dough and I am waiting for it to warm up and do the final rise. It won’t be as pretty as yours though @JeffH. I like to par-bake mine if I am not going to use them the same day, then when I get it out of the freezer, I finish it by baking at 400F (200C) from frozen for another 20-25 mins. Lovely fresh bread with very little effort. I just doesn’t look very appetizing when it is only half-baked.
My over-dense loaf is going to be made into breadcrumbs today. Then I can make breaded chicken cutlets with lemon caper sauce, or stuffing for my Thanksgiving turkey etc.
You’ve just inspired me to get baking today. A few years ago I stumbled across a recipe for sourdough that you can make in bulk and keep in the fridge, to hack off hunks of and bake at will over 2-3 weeks. The recipe is easy to memorize as a ratio: 6-3-3-13. Anyone with passing knowhow in the kitchen can usually figure out what each number represents - only tricky if you don’t go by US measurements!
That’s the one - couldn’t recall the name. I was on a kick and always had this dough in my fridge for months after I saw the article and took the book out of the library. It started to have a noticeable effect on my waistline
I tried it but always ended up with loaves that were less than 2" tall. It wasn’t until I had spent a lot of time reading and using King Arthur Flour recipes that I realized why.
As you know, the “Artisan” recipe makes a very wet dough. We live in a region that often has very high humidity, and this has a significant impact on bread recipes. I usually need to reduce the amount of water in a recipe by about 1/8. I considered increasing the flour, but KAF says that can make your bread dry and heavy, so they recommend decreasing the water instead. Since I have been doing that, my other breads have behaved much better, so perhaps I will try the Artisan recipe again some time.
I do the final rise of the bread on baking parchment, using a 9-10" skillet to hold the round shape and help with rising rather than spreading. I preheat the cast iron dutch oven in the oven for about 30 minutes at 450F, then put the loaf (still on the parchment) into the hot cast iron, and put the lid on top for 20-25 minutes, reducing the temperature to 425F as soon as it goes in. The lid traps steam beautifully, so you don’t need to spritz etc.
If I am par-baking, I take it out at that point. If I am baking to use the bread the same day, I take it out of the dutch oven after those 20-25 minutes, remove the parchment and put it back in the oven directly on top my pizza stone (which lives in the oven all the time). Sounds like a fiddle, but it really isn’t.
Hi Eva, I used to use a water pan in the oven to develop a crust. Now I don’t use it because I prefer a thinner crust these days. The wet dough always provides enough moisture to develop the perfect crust for my taste. I use 66.66% hydration now. I bumped it up from 65%. That simplifies my recipe. 3 flour & 2 water. Plus around 14g of salt per 1kg of flour.
On Saturday I added a coffee cup of ground mixed nuts & seeds (for the first time) to 3 kg of flour. I over compensated for the seeds & nuts which made the dough very wet & challenging. Yesterday I added no extra water with the seeds which turned out near perfect for me. I don’t like bread made with real sticky dough that has to be rolled in flour so it can be handled. Even after that, I find it hard to score.
Hi Dawn, this is the conclusion video of the King Arthur baguette videos.
At the start of the video the bloke said some days they have a good bake, other days a mediocre bake. I kind of had that this weekend.
After watching the video again, I realized that I shouldn’t call my bread “baguettes”. I make them with 240gs of dough to fit the short side of a baking tray. Then cut them in half after baking to be individual serves, so I thaw them as required.
Next time I’ll roll them thinner to fit the long side of the baking tray.
My spare time is spent at my local Men’s Shed where I do mainly wood turning and teaching those that want to get involved. This year one of our foundation members and a close mate passed on and I was asked to make an urn for his ashes from his favorite timbers, the design was left to me. I used red Mahogany, Camphor Laurel and Pacific Maple. It took a lot out of me emotionally and worked the first 24 hours almost non stop, nearly 40 hours in total till I was happy with the end result. My mate Dennis was looking down and was happy with the end result.