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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Loaf for Learning

Or Yogurt Bread

Sometime last year when I was going through a phase of bad loaves, I baked the Loaf for Learning from Laurel Robertson's 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book'. This is the first 'recipe' in the book and covers several pages with detailed instructions and notes on how the dough should feel and why things are done a certain way. It was a great refresher then, and this time too.

The recipe
I stuck to the recipe closely, except using potato water instead of regular water because I had it available. I resisted the urge to add vital wheat gluten, which I sometimes do when the recipe uses whole wheat 'bread' flour. But I learned this time that it is not necessary.

Less talking and more pictures this time:

The ingredients

Flour + salt; yeast + water; yogurt + honey + oil + potato water

4:33 pm: After kneading well for 8-10 minutes, ready for the first rise

5:51 pm: Wonderfully risen

5:56 pm: Ready for the second rise

6:43 pm: First poke test was a tad early, hence the two pokes

6:54 pm: Rounded before resting

6:54 pm: Rested

Laurel's shaping process... flatten into a disk

Fold in a 'smile'... gently push air out left to right

Right side over left, gently push air out top to bottom

Left over right.. and flatten to pan length

The hardest part for me, rolling top to bottom into a log shape

Sealing the bottom seam. This side goes down in the pan

6:59 pm: Ready for proofing

7:31 pm: Quick decent proof

8:28 pm: Out of the oven

8:28 pm: Oven spring!

Finger digs trying to get the loaf out of the pan

Crust falling apart a bit

Light, airy, fairly even crumb, but broken slices

Date: July 16, 2011
Recipe: A Loaf for Learning from Laurel Robertson's 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book'

Flours/Grains: Whole wheat
Bread specific ingredients:Yogurt
Sweetener used: Honey
Liquid: Potato water, yogurt

Comments: The bread rose beautifully each time and even had decent oven spring. The whole bread baking process was going so well, until it was time to take the bread out of the pan. It was stuck to the sides and I was afraid it would come out in chunks. Several factors could have caused this:
1. The dough was overproofed
2. The oven temperature was not exactly 350ยบ F at the start. I was broiling red bell peppers before baking the bread and forgot to measure the temperature when I changed from broil to bake.
3. The loaf pan is losing its non-stick quality (although there is no visible loss of coating, only some discoloration)

The crumb was incredibly light and airy. I want to say it is the lightest and airiest 100% whole grain loaf I have ever baked. (And this makes me think that vital wheat gluten has been messing it up for me in past attempts). The taste was good. Because the slices were somewhat ripped, it didn't make very good sandwiches, but it was great with soups and nut butters.

Thank you Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders and Bronwen Godfrey for your Loaf for Learning.


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