Friday, November 18, 2011

where the wild things are

this week anyway.

hey all. so, by now you know that i'm hosting susan's yeast spottingof course you do. why otherwise would you be here?

technically i don't have to bake this week. in fact, i could pretend that i made all the goodies down below so you'd think that i was a busy little baker, but then my nose would grow as long as one of my baguettes. bah-dum-paaa.

i would fail miserably at stand-up. i think that's clear.

i first launched onto the 'bread scene' with my blog via susan's weekly showcase. i've posted almost every week since...well, i can't remember exactly when. somewhere back in april or may? who cares, really. the bottom line is, i've become a bread bakin' demon like the rest of you.

hosting this weeks lineup is my way of thanking susan for hosting my own weekly posts, along with all of yours, on her fantastic blog. she introduced me to all of you, some of whom actually read my blog regularly (hello god, are you out there? it's me margaret), and take the time to write kind words about my sometimes crazy-looking bread.

i don't know about y'all, but susan's weekly lineup keeps me accountable and baking regularly. if i miss a week, i feel it, and it feels terrible. just knowing that i have a place to come to share my bread has kept the passion alive. seriously, without sharing it, i'm not sure that my bread baking  would have lasted. and if not for susan and her blog, no one would know what the tartine bread experiment is. i must admit, being 'seen' is so much more awesome than floating around the web like some piece of cyber driftwood. we are all vain creatures in some capacity, after all. why else do we take such comely photos of baked goods and post them for all to see? it's just bread. yes, but it's our bread, and dammit, the world should revere it as do we. when some folks are watching copious amounts of television, we are nurturing starters, spanking dough, and feeding nations!

i hope that this ode to susan's wild yeast blog will do it justice while she's off spicing it up in morocco. those are some big ciabatta to fill, i think you will agree.

and now, without further ado, here is this week's wild lineup!

disclaimer: unfortunately, the resolution requirements for the submitted photos does not permit me to display them any larger without falling victim to some pretty horrid pixelation (sad face). you all do know how i love large photos!

An Experiment – Miche Wheat, Spelt And Quinoa
Weekend Loafer

Sopas De Ajo Con Huevo Y Jamón
Bloc de recetas

Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Streusel Potato Cake (Kartoffel Kuchen)
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies

Tassajara Rye Egg Molasses Bread

Forbidden Rice And Green Onion Hearth Bread
My Pantry Shelf

Streusel Potato Coffee Cake
blog from OUR kitchen (

Bloc de recetas

Basic White Bread

Norwich Sourdough & A Year In Bread
My Discovery Of Bread

Sourdough Multigrain Bread


Prosciutto Parmesan Braids
Girli Chef

Banana Crumb Bread
Wild Yeast

Sufferin' Baguettes
Tartine Bread Experiment

5 Grain Sourdough
Bread Experience

Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Hobby & More

Rustic Rye Bread
Buffalo Baker

Cornbread with Cranberries
Spare Cake

Homemade Bagels (3 Variations)
Vegan Cookbook Aficionado

Semolina White Bread

Girli Chef

Tartine Sourdough Brioche
3 Clever Sisters

Francesco Elmi Traditional Sourdough Panettone

Ploughman's Lunch Roll
City Hippy Farm Girl

Torview Toronto

Sweet Pea's Kitchen 

Orange Cinnamon Monkey Bread
Dessert Before Dinner

Speculaas & Mangostein

Potato Bread
For the Love Of Bread

Sunflower Seed Bread With Pâte Fermentée
Bread Experience

Chia Seeds Fresh Bread And Sourdough 
Vegetarian gustos si sanatos

Cooking My Way Through My CSA

Banana Swirl Bread

Treat and Trick

Bread With Wild Fennel Seeds

Ma che ti sei mangiato

Naan Flatbread

Rico sin Azucar

Eggless Orange Snail Rolls

Gayathri's Cook Spot


Sarah from Scratch

Vegetarian Gustos Si Sanatos

Vegetarian Gustos Si Sanatos

Mookie Loves Bread

Lisa's Kochfieber
Bake Kobo
Bochenkowo/Bread At Home

Thank you for submitting this week!

please come back next week for a new tartine bread experiment post, as we move forward on our journey through chad's fantastic book. for now, here are some photos of my bread week. four loaves of city bread with astounding crackly crust. the long fermentation (both bulk and proof) and appropriate hydration yielded the sought after 'ears', an open and thoroughly gelatinized crumb, and ridiculous (translation: awesome) flavor.

city bread

city bread, in fragments

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

sufferin' baguettes

i hate baguettes. don't get me wrong. i mean, i love baguettes, but they're time consuming and needy, and insanely good. now that i've gone all sybil and confused you, i do promise that i will no longer bore you with another baguette post (after this), but i had to experiment with a few things before i moved on. and so i did.

i've discovered a few things about myself with this bout. one thing i've learned is that i'm really bad at eye-balling. some of my baguettes were as thin as a pinkie, the others were fat as, i don't know, just think of something non-PC. to boot, some were a combination of skinny and fat. wtf?!

i really should weigh from now on. which brings me to another thing that ive learned about myself: i'm a lazy baker. weighing the dough sounded exhausting. and here's the funny thing, i even did the math first, dividing the total weight of the dough by 8 to make 8 baguettes. then i looked at my scale and was overcome by exhaustion. but with good reason! (see why, just below, and you may just feel exhausted too).

i must say, i am pleased with the crust of these babies. full caramelization realized, crispy, brittle, delicious. i ate one warm with an avocado and it almost brought me to my knees. i'm not being dramatic. you know what i'm talking about, when you bite into a warm baguette and it tastes almost buttery? yeah. that flavor that reminds you why you started baking at all.

this time i did exactly as Chad said we should, well, except for the water issue. i had to add more in order to get the ball rolling in the right direction (sorry Chad! i still love you!)

i didn't add whole wheat flour this time. come on. who was i kidding. the 50g that i added two posts ago did not really add enough fiber to turn these baguettes into health food. who gives a blip about health food anyway. where's that second avocado? i also did the poolish at room temp, like Chad says we should. and here's where i suffered.

in order to time the levain and the poolish to finish at the same time, i had to start the levain at 11 am, the poolish at 3:30, which didn't allow me to shape the baguettes until after midnight. it was an all day and into the night affair. these baguettes were worse than a needy boyfriend, the one where you want to say just. go. HOME (and frankly, never come back).

i was already fast asleep when the bulk-fermented dough screamed at me from the kitchen to wake up and turn it into something. i wasn't happy about it, but i did. and this is what came of it.

sufferin' baguettes


200g h2o
200g KA AP flour
15g active rye starter

200g h2o
200g KA AP flour
3g active dry yeast

all of the levain
all of the poolish
600g + 50g h2o
650g KA AP
350g KA bread flour
25g salt

-levain 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
-poolish at 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm
-mix together levain, poolish, 600g of water & the flour, autolyse 40 minutes
-add salt + 50g water
-4 hour bulk fermentation with 4 series of turns (one every 40 minutes for the first 2 hours 40 minutes), ferment for the remaining 1 hour 20 minutes
-divide, loose shape and bench rest 30 minutes
-shape and refrigerate overnight (9 hours)
-preheat to 500 degrees with a pan of water in the bottom of the oven
-bake till brown (first 16 minutes with steam injected every 4 minutes) at 475 degrees


crust: ummm, kick ass. my french friend francois swooned. i got the birds eye bubbles all over the crust. crumb: uber open, great gelatinization. nice and chewy. flavor: phenomenal. i loved the overnight proof. ease of handling dough: simple.  notes & changes: stick to active dry yeast. fast acting is just plain nuts.

to the staff of life!

this charming post was shuttled off to wild yeast blog's yeast spotting.
all formulae in this post are derivative of those found in the tartine bread book. i urge you to get a copy for yourself.


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