My Fibrament Baking Stone

I got a new baking stone. My old stone was from an unused kiln and it was crescent shaped, so I had a difficult time putting the longer loaves on it. I looked up different stone and decided to get a Fibrament stone. They make a size that fits my oven great and optimizes the space I have. I bought a 15″ x 20″ x 3/4″ stone for 66.00 which includes shipping. I have used it several times, and I can tell you one thing for sure…it bakes great bread! The only thing that I needed to learn about it, is that the thermal conductivity is greater than with firebrick, so I had to turn down my oven. I was doing the first five minutes of the bake at 500F degrees, but I now have to do the first five minutes of a bake at 450F degrees. The 500F degrees was just too hot and I was getting black spots on the bottoms of the loaves. I have baked several batches of bread now and I can say that I have really liked the Fibrament stone so far. Another thing about the Fibrament stone that I don’t care for is the fact that you can never put it into the sink and scrub it because you are never supposed to wipe it with water. I am guessing the probability of it cracking is great if the stone gets wet. It makes me wonder about spraying my loaves. I need to email the company and ask about that. Here is a picture of the stone:

baking stone

http://www.bakingstone.com/index.php

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One Night Sourdough

I love One Night Sourdough, especially when you forgot to start some sourdough earlier in the day and you just want to bake the next day anyway! You start a sponge later in the evening and let it sit overnight, mix up the rest next morning, bulk ferment, shape, proof and bake.So anyway that happened to me yesterday, I need some fresh sourdough by today and I missed getting it started earlier in the day yesterday, so I started the sponge last night and will be baking today. Here is what the sponge looks like in the morning:

sponge

 This is what the gluten looked like after the bulk ferment:

gluten

I mixed the rest of the ingredients into the sponge at 7:30 am this morning. By 10:45 it had doubled.I poured out the dough on the floured table and shaped up three loaves of varying weights.

 dough

I made about 5.5 pounds of dough altogether. The loaves proofed about 2.5 -3 hours.

Here is what I got:

first loaf

second loaf

third loaf

All three:

all three loaves

They are still cooling so will show the crumb later. I like the convenience of the one night sourdough especially if you don’t have room in the refrigerator for the separate loaves. I got a new baking stone too….I will have to tell you about it.
Well I’ve been busy but here is the pic of the crumb I promised:

crumb

This turned out to be a finer, moister crumb, I put in about 2/3 cup more flour so I could make a sandwich style bread. I also melted shortning and added that instead of oil.

Basic Sourdough with a Rye punch

Yesterday I started a Basic White sourdough and decided to put in some Rye flour because I was doing sourdough reading and I read that in some bakeries in Europe, the bakers add a small amount of Rye flour to the dough to stimulate the fermentation and get a higher oven spring. So I thought I would try it. I used the basic recipe available for printout on my site: http://www.northwestsourdough.com/basicwhite.html

I added 1/2 cup of whole Rye flour instead of the same amount of white flour. The dough was tight and stretchy when I was mixing the dough. But after bulk fermentation, it felt soft and somewhat slack. So I was wondering what would happen.

Well next day I baked up the three loaves and I got a great oven spring. The bread is really very good. It came out sour, crusty, light with an open crust. What more could you ask?
Here is a couple of pictures:

three loaves

Basic with Rye

I will try and post the crumb later.

Here is the crumb:

crumb

Nickel Rye

Yesterday I started a Pumpernickel Rye. Today I baked. I flavored the Pumpernickel with Strong coffee and molasses and gave it some texture with cracked rye berries.

I started early so I could have a nice bulk ferment and still get it into the refrigerator for a long cool ferment. This bread tastes SUPER! Of course it doesn’t have the loft you come to expect with a white sourdough, but that’s what’s nice, the difference!

Here is the dough being shaped into loaves:

Rye dough

This recipe made almost 7.5 lbs of dough!

I made up three small one pound banneton loaves and two larger 1.75 lb loaves.

The first loaf went into the oven and I wasn’t happy with the outcome, the loaf cracked down the side and seemed underproofed. It may have been slightly underproofed but when the second loaf came out the same way, I decided the inner dough wasn’t able to get through the slashes. Here are the first two loaves:

first two loaves

So I remembered Aussie Bill had a little experiment with slashing and I took his advice to slash lengthwise. I was really happy with the results. Here is one of the one pound loaves slashed lengthwise:

lengthwise slash

Look how nice it turned out! So I also slashed the other loaves that way:

larger loaves

Don’t they look terrific? Well they taste terrific too. My kidlets gobbled up two of the loaves already with cream cheese and we are going to finish off more for dinner with eggsalad sandwiches with Pumpernickel Rye. Already today I started a basic with some added rye for an experiment, I will let you know what happens! I will be posting this recipe in the Special Recipe folder as soon as I can.

Sourdough Bay Bread

Today I made up some Sourdough Bay Bread. I actually started yesterday and baked today. I started at 10:15 am in the morning and made up a preferment. I proofed this until the afternoon when I added the rest of the ingredients and then did the bulk ferment until the evening.

Here is the dough after mixing:

dough mixed

Here it is after the bulk fermentation:

bulk fermentation

Here is what the gluten development looks like after the ferment:

gluten development

I then shaped the loaves and put them in the bannetons. This recipe made 5 lbs 12 oz of dough.

bannetons with dough

Then I shaped the loaves and put them to sleep in the refrigerator. I was shooting for a nice “sour” tang for this bread. I acheived it, it has a nice sour tang and it hasn’t even sat until later in the day for the sour to develop.

Here are the batard shaped loaves:

batards

Here is the boule:

boule loaf

Here is the crumb from one of the batards:

batard crumb

I’ve decided to write this recipe up and offer it in my Special Recipes folder on my site. I also have decided to put together a small sourdough kit which I will offer besides the regular sourdough starters:

sourdough kit

I’ve printed up some envelopes with the dried starter included and a card with instructions and the waffle recipe and a proofing cloth. I thought this would be a fun idea for a gift.

Rochelle’s Coastal Loaf

I mentioned with the last post that my daughter, Rochelle, age 23, wanted to try to bake up my Coastal Loaf. We ended baking on the same day, because my Rye bread came out of the refrigerator early in the morning already shaped in loaves, and hers came out in bulk to be warmed up, shaped and then proofed again and baked. So I baked early and she baked later. She was surprised after the first fermentation, before it went into the refrigerator, at how sticky the dough was. She said, “How will I handle this?” I showed her how to handle the sticky dough and she did great.Here are her loaves:

Rochelle's Coastal Loaves

Here was her favorite one:

Best one

Here is the crumb:

Coastal crumb

She had a bit of trouble figuring out when they were proofed enough to bake as I had to leave and she was on her own. I feel she could have left them proof just a little longer, but it was hot and they could have easily overproofed. She said the recipe was easy, it just took longer than she thought it was going to.She gave one of the loaves to her boyfriend, and now, there may be a marriage on the horizon! You never know what can be accomplished by sharing a sourdough loaf!

Hamelman Rye

I did up Jeffrey Hamelman’s Rye from his book, “Bread”. I used the Rye,Wheat Recipe found on page 195. I did add caraway to my dough which he did not have in this particular recipe. I also did not use any commercial yeast which he did. I made up the starter per his instructions, let it ripen overnight, then made up the rest of the dough the next day. I then let it proof and made up the loaves, which I then refrigerated overnight. This is how the dough looked after bulk fermentation:

Rye dough

I used my new bannetons to proof the loaves and here they are:

four loaves

I made up double the recipe and ended up with almost seven pounds of dough. Each loaf was just a bit over 1.5 lbs. In the morning they were proofed very well and had doubled. It was hard to bring them up to room temperature without overproofing them, and two of them were slightly overproofed. However I am extremely happy with how they turned out!

Here are the loaves finished:

finished loaves

The crumb is terrific! The taste is wonderfully tangy, chewy,with a crisp crust, and a hint of caraway. Yummmy!!!

Here is the crumb:

Rye crumb

An altogether successful day! Whats more, my daughter is baking my Coastal loaf using the new bannetons and they are in the process of being baked right now! So I will have more to tell you about her loaves later.

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