02-16-2010 02:06 PM - edited 02-17-2010 08:06 PM
I would like to welcome renowned baking teacher Peter Reinhart to the Food & Drink board. He joins us to discuss his new book, Artisan Breads Every Day.
His first book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice won a James Beard and an IACP award.
Chef Peter Reinhart is a gifted baking instructor. His recipes will help you create professional quality baked goods at home.
Please bring your toughest baking questions. Though he will be here on Thursday 2/18, feel free to start asking questions now.
02-16-2010 07:50 PM
Yes, I'm here already (it's Tuesday). just checking out the site and will try to preview any early questions that come in and give you a head start. But I'll mainly be back at 12:00 PM on Thursday when we go live. Thanks to Allison and B&N for hosting this.
02-17-2010 01:33 PM
I look forward to your forum, Peter. Enjoyed meeting you in Southlake .
Wishing you continued success in all endeavors!
02-18-2010 12:37 AM
Couple of Questions:
1) Simple question...that I have wondered about. When you shape the dough from underneath into a ball or any shape, giving it surface tension, do you pinch the bottom together so that it is seamless?
2) In the Bread Baker's Apprentice you encourage us to use high-gluten flour for making bagels, but in "Artisan Breads Every Day" you say it is okay to use bread flour. Based on your research of refrigerating the dough and not using a poolish, is your decision to decrease the water in your recipe based on not using high-gluten flour, or can high-gluten flour be used interchangeably in the recipe with bread flour. I say this because I looked far and wide (called several grocery stores) and finally found High-Gluten flour at Vitamin Cottage, now though Sunflower markets has it (in Denver). Would using High-Gluten flour in this recipe give the bagels an even chewier texture?
3) Will you be doing a video series at any point for home-bakers?
02-18-2010 08:24 AM
Great to have you here! I just received your whole grain bread book and love it. I have my first loaf in the process right now. I was curious to know what new or interesting discoveries you've made about baking with whole grains since the publication of your book.
Thanks again for all your great work!
02-18-2010 11:17 AM
I love all your books and hope that someday (soon) you are in the Kansas City area so that I can take a class from you.
I have 2 questions.
It seems that in ABED you are combining the use of the pre-ferment with cold delayed fermentation. Are there certain recipes or circumstances where you would opt for the preferment techniques that you detail in BBA versus doing it all as cold delayed as in ABED?
Also, I like to bake with whole grains. I find the techniques and use of soakers, etc in your book on whole grains makes a huge difference in the loaves I bake. Do you anticipate using cold delayed fermentation without the use of mashes, starters, etc for whole grain breads?
02-18-2010 11:21 AM
I don't have Peter's book and am wondering if he would give us a sample recipe from his book. I would love to try it! Perhaps something with whole wheat, as I'm trying to eat more whole grains and have not made any whole wheat bread before. Any special tips I need to get started with whole grains? thank you....looking forward to the discussion.
02-18-2010 11:56 AM
When you seal the dough at the bottom you are creating a seam, so yes, seal it tightly all the way across, but only on the seam not the whole dough, so that the dough pops out, tightening the surface tension on the whole ball.
High gluten flour has about 14% protein vs. 12.5% in bread flour. Both work for bagels but the higher protein flour makes for a chewier bagel (this is what bagel shops use). But I was concerned that not everyone could find this flour so I tested it with regular bread flour and am very happy with the results. The amount of water totally depends on the type and brand of flour. Usually, higher protein (gluten) flour absorbs more water. The written recipe is just a guideline to get you close--the rest is up to you and how the dough feels in your hands, following the prompts in the recipe.
I'd love to do something on video more than what I already have, which is rudimentary. It's on my radar but I just have to find the time. It will probably be more like short technique instructions such as shaping, mixing, etc. but you never know where it could lead. Thanks for the great questions!!
02-18-2010 11:58 AM
Hi, Peter, I've just recently bought your Whole Grain book since signing up for a local grain share. I've baked bread for over 30 years, but not completely whole grain. I've made the basic recipe a few times now but the bread seems rather dry, although it is rising nicely and is tasty. Do I just need to adjust my expectations of texture or am I likely doing something wrong?
02-18-2010 12:02 PM
I think the whole grain bread book just scratched the surface of what's possible. In my recent book, Artisan Breads Everyday, I love the addition of 4 stretch and fold steps that allow the dough to hold more water than normal, which gives a better loaf in the end. I think all of the whole grain breads in the earlier book can probably take another 5% water (from the current 75% to a higher 80%) if you add in these four stretch and folds. I'm actually working on that theory this weekend with the spent grain bread, one of my favorites in the book. My curent obsession is trying to see howmuch water I can properly work into the dough before it just turns back into the "blob." There's always something obsessing us bread-heads.
02-18-2010 12:03 PM
I love going to all the Central Markets in Texas and can't wait to come back again, hopefully next year.
02-18-2010 12:10 PM
I was wondering if you think of having your books translated into German to reach the audience overseas. There are quite a few bread bakers in Germany already that bake breads from the English books, but there might be even more if there were translations of your books. Is there ANY chance that you will ever teach a class in Germany????????
02-18-2010 12:12 PM
Yes, in ABED we took a leap of assuming that using delayed, cold fermentation was, in a way, already combining the soaker and preferment "epoxy" that was key to the technique in "Whole Grains Breads." The hard part is finding the right amount of yeast so as to not overferment the dough or use up all the avaliable yeast food in the dough (the natural sugars, mainly glucose). The "epoxy" method found its own balance and the new method gets there a different way. The great thing is that it shows how many ways there are to climb that bread mountain. I haven't gone back and adapted all the epoxy recipes to the new method but it's certainly worth a try for serious hobbyists. My main goal has been to expand our thinking about how to make bread, all the options, to explore the "what-ifs" of the process, and to see which techniques yield the best results. Many of these methods are better suited for home baking than for production baking because the tie up space, but I have seen more and more bakeries trying out some of these ideas also, so I expect that we will be hearing from other bakers in the future with even newer ideas and methods. That said, I get feedback from readers who have made similar breads that reoccur in my books, each with a different method, and it's funny how there's no consensus on which is best--it often comes down to personal preference.
02-18-2010 12:13 PM
Just thought of a few more questions.
Can you add vital wheat gluten to all purpose flour to get bread flour? or vwg to bread flour to get high gluten flour?
Would you consider home milled hard spring wheat a high gluten flour? Any reason to add vwg to it?
02-18-2010 12:13 PM
Btw, I am one of the people participating in the BBA Challenge! What do you think of the challenge? Do you observe it at all?
02-18-2010 12:14 PM
Peter, could you shed some insight (in layman's terms...lol) as to what importance salt has in lending extensibility to lean doughs (or any, for that fact). I've discovered that by withholding my salt from a recipe until after a 25 minute rest, at initial start, the dough preforms radically different. I haven't a clue why, but know that you'll know the answer.
02-18-2010 12:15 PM
I can't do it here, but if you go the The Fresh Loaf (www.thefreshloaf.com )I believe they posted a multi-grain recipe there (Struan bread, one of my favorites). I think some of the others have shown up on the web also so try Googling. At the end of this session I'll see if there's time to post a recipe.
02-18-2010 12:19 PM
It could be your oven--some ovens take longer to bake and often dry out the loaves, or it could mean you should try adding an extra ounce or so of water to the dough. You can try increasing the temperature of the oven by 25 degrees to see if baking it faster preserves some of the moisture (or you can make smaller loaves which bake faster). Finally, one other trick is to add another ounce of vegetable oil to the dough--this holds moisture in and keeps the bread soft, though it does add more fat. Lots of tricks but so much depends on your specific situation.