Food Lockdown Loaves

That is interesting. Hadn't realised that the bakery stayed open. I do recall that their bread was regarded as possibly the best in London, but then Rob at La T started taking things seriously. NPM joked that it was uncertain as to whether Hedone's bread was even the best in Chiswick...
 
Wrong question really. How big do you want your loaf to be?

If you want a 1kg loaf and 70% hydration, then ignoring the insignificant salt weight, you want 588g of flour and 412g of water.

Sounds like your starter is 100% hydration (ie 50:50 flour and water.)

So the maths now depends solely on how much starter you want to use. There is no right answer. I use 300g in a 1kg loaf; others might use a lot less.

300g implies 150g flour and 150g water, so in total you want:
300g starter
438g flour
262g water

Plus salt, 12g (which looks like a scary amount!!)

I've never really thought about the final weight- the 1kg exemplar will have lost about 120g by evaporation by the time it has cooked, I think. I usually make loaves with 750g of flour and 560-600g of water, so 75-80% depending on how much brown flour is involved. Bran guzzles up water, and the degree of salt required depends as much upon the amount of water as the amount of flour. I use 200g starter so subtract 100g from both water and flour weights.
 
NPM joked that it was uncertain as to whether Hedone's bread was even the best in Chiswick...
I think the style was so different as not to be comparable, but local competition absolutely transformed the bread at La Trompette, and indeed at many other London addresses. What I really regret is when bread is served warm, but unfortunately customers really do like it like that.
 
Buy a perforated baguette tin with three compartments. Take 200g of white starter, 350g of good white flour, a quarter of a teaspoon of easyblend yeast, 8g of salt and 230g of water, more if the flour is strong. Mix well, in a stand mixer if desired. Transfer to a bowl with wet hands, cover the bowl loosely with a towel and after half an hour pick up the mass, again with wet hands, and stretch it out. Gather together again then stretch in the other direction. Return to the bowl, cover with plastic film then put in the refrigerator for 36 to 72 hours as convenient. Remove it, weigh it and divide into three with a pastry scraper, using wet hands . Loosely pull each piece into a ball then stretch into a cylinder. Set the three pieces aside for twenty minutes on a well floured surface then shape by imagining a line along the centre of the cylinder and folding first one side and then the other to the middle pressing to seal, and then folding the far length over the near. Extend to the length of the tray if required.Take each end and twizzle into a little worm shape and transfer to the lightly floured baguette tray. Repeat for the other two pieces and preheat the oven to 240C. Slash each baguette: imagine you are going to score it five times diagonally across, as though it were a fish, but change the angle of each slash so that is virtually lengthwise. Use a lame or a razor blade and be supremely fast and confident. This must be done just before putting the loaves into the oven. Throw a few ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and bake for about half an hour, opening the oven to disperse steam after ten.
 
Buy a perforated baguette tin with three compartments. Take 200g of white starter, 350g of good white flour, a quarter of a teaspoon of easyblend yeast, 8g of salt and 230g of water, more if the flour is strong. Mix well, in a stand mixer if desired. Transfer to a bowl with wet hands, cover the bowl loosely with a towel and after half an hour pick up the mass, again with wet hands, and stretch it out. Gather together again then stretch in the other direction. Return to the bowl, cover with plastic film then put in the refrigerator for 36 to 72 hours as convenient. Remove it, weigh it and divide into three with a pastry scraper, using wet hands . Loosely pull each piece into a ball then stretch into a cylinder. Set the three pieces aside for twenty minutes on a well floured surface then shape by imagining a line along the centre of the cylinder and folding first one side and then the other to the middle pressing to seal, and then folding the far length over the near. Extend to the length of the tray if required.Take each end and twizzle into a little worm shape and transfer to the lightly floured baguette tray. Repeat for the other two pieces and preheat the oven to 240C. Slash each baguette: imagine you are going to score it five times diagonally across, as though it were a fish, but change the angle of each slash so that is virtually lengthwise. Use a lame or a razor blade and be supremely fast and confident. This must be done just before putting the loaves into the oven. Throw a few ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and bake for about half an hour, opening the oven to disperse steam after ten.
Many thanks!

This reminds me to point out that I am using much less starter (well, levain) than seems normal. For a loaf based on 600-800g flour, I am only using 100g levain, but the results seem OK (with a good 12 hour rise)
 
I am simply referring to it as levain as I don't use my starter directly, so basically I prepare another starter from the main starter. There's probably no need at present as I am refreshing the starter recently, but when I am working from the office, I might only refresh the starter once. So the starter-from-the-starter process ensures that the starter-from-the-starter is more active than the starter. In in attempt to avoid confusion, which obviously failed, I refer to the starter-from-the starter as levain!
 
Rationale from an earlier post:
"Re. making a separate levain for each loaf, I have started doing this after reading "The Sourdough School" by Vanessa Kimbell. I am very pleased with the results, and now that I have got into a routine, the extra step seems no more demanding than preparing the dough for baking directly from the the starter. Having said this, as I am baking more frequently now through being at home, the extra step may not be necessary as my starter is much more active."

(I suppose I should add that I also started calling it "levain" as that's what the book referred to it as)
 
Just out of the oven; "sort of" followed Julia Child's approach, which is not a million miles away from Thom's above, as I had completed most parts before seeing Thom's response on his method.
20200424_162753.jpg

Even though I sharpened a knife before slashing, it was far too blunt. I will be buying some razor blades soon. I didn't buy a perforated baguette tin, but used a braced tea towel for shaping (Child)

These are to go with a Suduiraut 1999 and cheeses later on.
 
Buy a perforated baguette tin with three compartments. Take 200g of white starter, 350g of good white flour, a quarter of a teaspoon of easyblend yeast, 8g of salt and 230g of water, more if the flour is strong. Mix well, in a stand mixer if desired. Transfer to a bowl with wet hands, cover the bowl loosely with a towel and after half an hour pick up the mass, again with wet hands, and stretch it out. Gather together again then stretch in the other direction. Return to the bowl, cover with plastic film then put in the refrigerator for 36 to 72 hours as convenient. Remove it, weigh it and divide into three with a pastry scraper, using wet hands . Loosely pull each piece into a ball then stretch into a cylinder. Set the three pieces aside for twenty minutes on a well floured surface then shape by imagining a line along the centre of the cylinder and folding first one side and then the other to the middle pressing to seal, and then folding the far length over the near. Extend to the length of the tray if required.Take each end and twizzle into a little worm shape and transfer to the lightly floured baguette tray. Repeat for the other two pieces and preheat the oven to 240C. Slash each baguette: imagine you are going to score it five times diagonally across, as though it were a fish, but change the angle of each slash so that is virtually lengthwise. Use a lame or a razor blade and be supremely fast and confident. This must be done just before putting the loaves into the oven. Throw a few ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and bake for about half an hour, opening the oven to disperse steam after ten.

What's the best course of action if one only has access to a non-white starter? Mine is wholemeal and I suspect many others here have a rye starter. Perhaps siphon off a tablespoon from existing wholemeal starter and build a white one from that?
Or am I showing flagrant disregard for the genre by even suggesting that building one from scratch may be a trifle onerous?
 
Ok so I’ve finally got a crumb I’m pretty happy with. Slightly over cooked but still ok
Cooked on a Pizza stone which probably means in my oven lowering the temp slightly next time
I’m afraid I probably do need to buy a Dutch oven
Ice cubes added to oven at start btw

I still can’t get a good ear
I scored with a razor blade
? I need to cut deeper
And what is the odd shape about kind of oval? Weird

any thoughts?

A7CEEA76-0102-4659-8033-C504B38293A0.jpeg
 
What's the best course of action if one only has access to a non-white starter? Mine is wholemeal and I suspect many others here have a rye starter. Perhaps siphon off a tablespoon from existing wholemeal starter and build a white one from that?
Or am I showing flagrant disregard for the genre by even suggesting that building one from scratch may be a trifle onerous?
The former.

I built a 00 Italian white starter from a teaspoon of rye starter.

I built the rye starter from a teaspoon of white starter.

I’ve happily converted my rye starter to 50/50 rye/wholemeal to eke out the remaining rye. If the rye runs out I’ll convert it to stoneground wholemeal (important difference here - stoneground wholemeal has everything of the grain, standard roller-milled wholemeal is just white flour with some brown bits added back. You may as well use standard white as use roller-milled for this purpose). I will happily convert it back to full rye when that becomes available again.

It’s just a vessel for yeast. I’m sure the yeast strains that survive in the new starter are evolved from the base starter, but that’s pretty academic.
 
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What's the best course of action if one only has access to a non-white starter? Mine is wholemeal and I suspect many others here have a rye starter. Perhaps siphon off a tablespoon from existing wholemeal starter and build a white one from that?
Or am I showing flagrant disregard for the genre by even suggesting that building one from scratch may be a trifle onerous?

You could just use the brown starter. I sometimes have rye in mine and use that. Otherwise, do as you suggest, no point at all in making a new one.
 
Ok so I’ve finally got a crumb I’m pretty happy with. Slightly over cooked but still ok
Cooked on a Pizza stone which probably means in my oven lowering the temp slightly next time
I’m afraid I probably do need to buy a Dutch oven
Ice cubes added to oven at start btw

I still can’t get a good ear
I scored with a razor blade
? I need to cut deeper
And what is the odd shape about kind of oval? Weird

any thoughts?

View attachment 11613

It looks enviably magnificent, and has inspired me to make a white loaf again, I haven't made one for a while. I would in this case accept what the Lord provides.
I had never considered the 'ear' to be desirable until a few weeks ago, indeed regarded it as a fault though it's happened regularly enough. Thus do fashions change.
 
Probably no good for a baguette, but when I realised a knife was no good for making the slashes, I just use scissors and snip them, works well enough for me, although I probably couldn't get some of the more elaborate designs on this thread
 
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