Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cloche for ciabatta

I had a request for a BreadPot today from Barry who makes ciabatta. It has me thinking about the BreadBell cloche again. I have one small ($78) and one large ($150) now. The large one is like the one our Vaughan (vt) has been using and blogging about. Maybe Barry will post a comment with his ciabatta recipe...
 BreadBell 8" 1 1/2 lb bread SOLD

Large BreadBell SOLD

Here is the ciabatta recipe from Barry's blog
1/8 tsp active dry yeast
2  tbsp warm water (105-115 deg F)
1/3  cup room-temp water
1  cup bread flour

Step 1.  Stir together warm water and yeast.  Let it stand for 5 minutes.  Transfer yeast mixture to another bowl, add room-temp water and flour.  Stir for at least 4 minutes until fully combined.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day,

1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2  tbsp warm milk (105-115 deg F)
2/3  cup room-temp water
1  tbsp olive oil
2  cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

Step 2.  Mix yeast and milk in small bowl and let stand 5 minutes.  Oil another bowl with olive oil.  In bowl of standing mixer, using dough hook, blend together milk mixture, sponge, oil, and flour on lowest speed until flour is moistened.

Beat for approximately 3 minutes.  Add salt and beat for approximately 3 more minutes.  Scrape dough into oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let it set until doubled, at least 1.5 hours.

Step 3.  Cut two pieces of parchment paper, approx 12 x 6 inches.  Place on baking sheet and flour well.  Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and cut in half.  Transfer each half to paper and form irregular ovals approx 9 inches long.  Dust with flour.  Cover with dampened kitchen towel and let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until almost doubled.

Step 4.  At least 45 minutes before baking bread, preheat pizza stone on lower oven rack position at 425 F.   Just before baking, score the tops of the loaf with a sharp knife.  Optionally, lightly sprinkle with coarse kosher or sea salt.

Transfer loafs, on the parchment paper, onto the stone and bake for 20 minutes or until pale golden-brown.  Remove to cooling racks.  Let rest for 30 minutes or so to allow the crust to cure.

Note that this recipe sounds a lot more difficult than it is.  There are only four steps and each one is easy.  It is also very forgiving.  You can use all-purpose flour if you don’t have bread flour.  Or you can mix flours.  Results will vary in taste and texture, but it works.  Also, if your personal schedule dictates, after completing Step 2, you can store the dough in the refrigerator and go to work (or whatever).  It will rise more slowly in the fridge, which is fine…just try to let it rise to about twice the size you started out with, probably 6-8 hours.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Some Breads in the Tartine Style

Photo by Matt Korahais.
 I've been playing around a bit with the bread method described in Chad Robertson and Eric Wolfinger's Tartine Bread (the book is beautiful, by the way, check it out). Robertson's method uses a sourdough leaven in a wet dough--but one a little drier than Lahey/Bittman's no-knead.  The dough is turned three or four times during a long bulk fermentation lasting 3-8 hours, depending on temperature. After the initial mix, the dough gets a 20 minute autolyse before salt and a small amount of water are added in to finish it off.
Photo by Matt Korahais.
The recipe is geared toward two loaves, so each time I baked one in the cast-iron dutch oven and one in the BreadPot. I scored the loaves, but somewhat haphazardly, as the depth of the pots made it difficult for me to get my scoring knife in.
Photo by Matt Korahais.
For the second bake, a walnut pecan golden raisin loaf, the garnish was added after about 40 minutes of the bulk rise, during the first turn.
Photo by Matt Korahais.
I turned the dutch oven into a cloche by turning it upside down and using my skillet as the bottom.
Photo by Matt Korahais. Uncropped!
The crumb was light and airy, well-gelatinized and full of large, irregular holes.
Photo by Matt Korahais.
Photo by Matt Korahais.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One Year of BreadPot development

It was just one year ago this month that I started this BreadPot project.
With the help of my bread baking buddies, this blog and hard work in clay, they are much improved.
Those of you who know the experimental nature of my work might imagine that I might lose interest in the simplicity of these. I do love enhancing the value of this simple slow bread in people's lives with clay.
Well, I have been inventing ways to keep it interesting. First, I have used it as a teaching tool with two young potters. Second, I explored different clays, adding a subtle variation of colors. Third, I have decorated some of them with brushwork. Fourth, I actually put a few in saggars with combustibles and got natural markings that people seem to like. I have had my losses, but the experiments in each firing is what keeps me engaged. This picture was taken at the kiln after the last batch showing the clay test colors and other variations. There was even one that had a wedding inscription as a special order.

You may specify decoration or special strap handle for as long as these last. I also have one oversize cloche (mid left in this picture) like the one vt is using. He loves it. Call for price. I will be sending an email about them to my list this month and I expect them to go fast.  Word of mouth is my marketing plan. The BreadPots are at Left Bank Gallery in Wellfleet, as are my flame painted pots. Most of them are here at the studio.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

no-knead, shaped bread, in the cloche

up until a few months ago, i was making bread with an involved 8-step process. good results, but sort of a pain too. i started experimenting with the no-knead, long-retarded bread formulas. below, you see photographic evidence of progress. 2 steps, no kneading, great crumb, great crust. the cloche, you will see below, continues to knock it out of the park.

full details and formulation coming soon. stay tuned.