Neil Robinson

On the trail of great bread!

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First New Yeast Bread on a Baking Stone

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It has been a long time since I posted to this blog. Not because I wasn’t baking mind you, but because I had nothing new to add and had little time for experimentation. Things changed recently and I have found myself experimenting again.

I recently bought another baking book called, “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. This is a reprinted edition of an older work. The main premise of the book is that in 5 minutes of active effort, you can have fresh bread every day. To be fair, even though I am quite experienced, I probably still invest more like 10 minutes, but that is still not much for good bread each day. The trick behind it, is to make a lot of dough, and use smaller portions of it to make loaves each day, leaving the remainder to continue improving in the refrigerator.  They also use a wet dough approach, like most sourdough artisan bakers.

I made up a peasant loaf recipe, with their standard peasant dough combination, which is not terribly different from some of my lighter mixed grain breads. I then let it rise for about 3 hours (my kitchen is considerably cooler than most US kitchens appear to be, so 2 hours is too short). After that, I placed a lid over it (not tightly, just as I do for sourdough) and placed it in the refrigerator to develop over night. The next morning I sprinkled some flour on the top of the dough, and using a serrated knife cut off around 500g of dough (around a third). I did a very quick shaping into a boule and placed it on the peel, which had been liberally dusted with cornmeal, to rest for 90 minutes.

Peasant loaf on the peel

Peasant loaf on the peel

At 50 minutes I turned on my oven with the stone and the tray for the water already inside. I have a gas oven and need to set it to Gas Mark 9 (highest temperature) for 40 minutes to get it to roughly 235° C (baking temperature, my oven doesn’t get hotter).

Once the oven was ready, I dusted the loaf on the peel fairly thoroughly with flour and using a serrated bread knife, I cut several scores in the top of the dough, roughly 1 cm deep.

Scoring the bread

Scoring the bread

Loaf fully scored resting on the peel

Loaf fully scored resting on the peel

Using the peel I then placed the loaf on the baking stone in the upper middle of the oven and poured about a cup of hot tap water into the pan below to provide for steam. The oven door was then closed to retain the heat and moisture. I set timer for 35 minutes and let it bake.

I then removed it from the stone using the peel (with a little help from a metal spatula). The result was everything you could hope for. It looked great, and after giving it an hour or a bit more to cool on a cooling rack, it tasted great!

Finished bread on the peel

Finished bread on the peel

 

2 Comments

  1. Hello,I want to thank you for your site and all of your hard work. Your bread looks amazing.I have a question. I’m currently in the process of making the seed dough in order to make some salt fermented loaves. The problem is, I don’t want to mix it all up at once when I combine the seed dough to other ingredients to start a bread loaf. I only have one banneton and prefer making one loaf at a time rather than several. So basically I’m asking, how many loaves is the salt fermented dough recipe meant for? If I want to make one loaf at a time, how much seed dough do I use and by what number should I divide the rest of the ingredients?Thank you very much!Luke

  2. Are you sure you have the right site? I don’t have any recipes for salt fermented bread. I know of something called Salt Rising Bread (SRB), which is a special type of baking, but have no direct experience of it as yet.

    In general if you are making a seed dough of any kind, you can choose how much to make. The recipe above actually is not for a seed dough, it is the entire dough. I just remove as much as I wish to use at baking time and leave the rest in the container in the refrigerator until next time.

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