The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
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ehanner's picture

Glycemic Load Testing or, the case for Sourdough

August 7, 2009 - 7:21pm -- ehanner

I have done some amount of research on the subject of how Sourdough breads affect persons with Diabetes. As a person afflicted by this disease, I take it seriously and while I'm not a very good follower of my Dr's orders, I do make efforts in certain areas to control my sugar levels. My own experience was that my blood sugar went and stayed down when I ate breads risen with a natural yeast. That isn't to say the same will happen to you but I wouldn't bet against it.

althetrainer's picture

How is it possible my starter just died?

August 7, 2009 - 6:38pm -- althetrainer

I have been using my wild yeast starter for a bit over 5 months now.  Week after week my starter served me right and each loaf came out perfect.  I used it last Sunday to make two loafs; fed it, let it rest for an hour,  then put it back in the fridge.  I was scheduled to leave home for 9 days today so I thought I would make two more loafs before making a stiffer starter and leave it in the fridge for 9 days. 

Shiao-Ping's picture

1973, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.  The Taiwan Provincial Symphony Orchestra was coming into town.  I was in my first year of high school.  My father was given free tickets because of his position at the ruling KMT Party.  He pulled me out of the school that day; in my school uniform, I sat on the front roll of the concert hall, listening to the Western symphonic music for the first time ever in my life.  I had never heard anything like it; I was so moved, I had joyous tears in my eyes that to this day I still don't know where they came from.  

Three nights ago, on the eve of my departure for America, my husband suggested that I read our son's English assignment, entitled "Personal Reflection."  It was late at night and I hadn't even packed my bag.  My son wrote about his reminiscences of Australia, "the sun burnt country."  As my kids were born in South-East Asia, up until 4 and a half years ago before we moved back here, their memories of Australia were mostly from our annual beach holidays.  He describes a fishing experience during one of those holidays: 

It is ironic that the memories most vivid are those of Australia and our annual pilgrimages back to Noosa for our Christmas holidays.  I would always look forward to these holidays for they were my only experience of what was supposedly my home country.  One particular event that sands out is shore fishing off the rocks of Little Cove.  Late afternoon warranted weakening light and an orange sun low in the sky.  Golden light skimmed the surface of the ocean creating stunning patterns of reflection.  The point was a peaceful sanctuary.  Swiftly, the armies of the seas would surge towards the rock wall and bombard it with all its force.  Occasionally, the ocean would deliver a penetrating blow when a larger wave collided heavily which resulted in troops erupting further into unfriendly territory.  Perhaps, the sea was a relentless warzone.  The smell of eucalypt combined with a salty breeze to form that earthy sent that was comforting yet unique. 

I would never catch any fish out there; I had enough trouble holding the rod even with two hands.  Also, I had a tricky encounter with our poor choice of bait.  Bloodworms.  I soon found out why they were called bloodworms after I pierced one onto my hook and it spewed a volcano of inferno red all over my long-sleeved white beach shirt that I was made to wear.  What a gruesome experience.  More difficulties arose with actually keeping the pest on the hook.  Casting proved to be another tricky enterprise to undertake.  A five metre cast with arctic winds to aid me would be a heroic effort indeed therefore Dad would usually cast for me.  He would be hauling in fish beside me whilst I, who was sitting just three metres to his left, wouldn't catch a thing.  With my thin forearms flexed, eyebrows crooked and eyes peeled I would concentrate my entire mental wrath just calling, aiding the sea creatures into my domain.  Alas, my mental strain paid off.  I reeled in the line as hastily as my might would allow only to find an empty hook.  At this stage Dad would let me reel in one of his own catch and claim it as my own.  A bear-like hug for my glorious accomplishment was definitely in order.  Despite my bad luck, it was moments like those that put a smile on my face that reached the tip of my ears and a booming laughter that could be heard across the Pacific.  

It was when I read "... an orange sun low in the sky.  Golden light skimmed the surface of the ocean...." that my eyes became wet with joy - because he could see what I saw. 

He finishes his "Personal Reflection" with the following:

I still feel a great connection to Singapore and its unique culture of coconut milk, straw skirts and 'hawker' food markets.  However, reminiscing now I realize just how deep my love for the land down under has entrenched.  It must have grown from my absolute fascination of Australian wildlife and admiration of its charm and care-free way of life.  To me, it will always remain a tropical escape of tremendous adventure.  My bonds to Australia stand Goliath tall; my David attachment to Singapore shrinks into the background.  Thinking back, those bliss Christmas relaxations created a great desire to voyage to my homeland.  Therefore, rather than dread the day I would eventually leave, I was eager to explore this new continent, make long-term friendships and above all, finally reside in the land of my nationality - Australia.


                                                                                          2001 Christmas holiday

My son, 14, first year of high school. 


Pablo's picture

Using Hamelman's 40% rye formula.  I watched several videos on youtube about bread braiding.  Very helpful.  I chose a 5-strand braid for my first one because it looks great and it's pretty straight-forward seeming, compared to a 6-strand braid.  It was easy to do and the result is very satisfying.  I guess it's going to end up more of a pull-apart loaf than something that you would make sandwiches out of.  Since I was poking at challah sites to see braiding, I tried an egg wash while I was at it.  It think it's fine on the braided loaf, but it made the other loaf crust dull.  I won't do that again.

I made a couple of technique changes to Hamelman's instructions:
1.  I read that the rye pentosans and the wheat gluten are competing for water, so I mixed the wheat and water together and allowed it to sit a bit before incorporating it with the overnight rye sour.
2.  I prefer to stick to wild yeasts.  Instead of adding commerical yeast I added a bit more ripe starter to the wheat/water mixture.  I feed my starter at 1:5:5, which translates to 3g starter to 15g water and 15g flour.  I used the ~30g discard in the wheat/water mixture and let it ferment 90 minutes until I saw a little movement before incorporating it with the rye sour, salt and caraway seeds.  It was kind of  a sticky mess at first, but it came together nicely after a bit of kneading, although I kept an eye on the clock and didn't knead more than 5 minutes to avoid overmixing the rye.

Oh yeah, I don't think that all caraway seeds are equal.  I had some from the natural foods store for my first attempts at this rye and it was great.  Then I got some from the bulk bins at the super market and they were dull.  I'm back to the non-irradiated pack from the natural foods store and they are more full flavoured.  I don't know but what that might have to do with packaging - that is, being packaged as opposed to sitting in a bin for who knows how long.  Anyway, it did make a noticeable difference.

I tried the 80% Sourdough Rye with a Rye-Flour Soaker recently and it came out 100% ugly, I think mostly due to overproofing.  It collapsed when I moved it from the couche and never recovered, so I was gun-shy this time and I think that I underproofed a little and that's why there's big oven spring on the slashed loaf.  I only proofed for 45 minutes.  Maybe the braid wouldn't pull apart quite so much with longer proofing, too.


mommajack's picture

Peruvian Bread?

August 7, 2009 - 10:17am -- mommajack

Hi Everyone,

I'm a newbie and was wondering if any of you had some recipes for peruvian breads?  Specifically andean/highland breads?

In my travels I have tasted some yummy stuff and one of the best breakfasts I have ever had was

pan taparaco con nata miel and cafe con leche

basically a really hard crunchy toast ( i think it is twice baked) loaded with the solids that form when you heat raw milk and honey and a cup of coffee with milk.


i dream about this bread and can't seem to find a recipe for it.

Elagins's picture

Anyone Need Specialty Flours?

August 7, 2009 - 10:13am -- Elagins

I have a bunch of extra white rye, All Trumps (14.7% gluten), dark rye (pumpernickel), Cameo unbleached pastry flour, organic WW, white WW, durum (semolina) flour and Types 55 and 00 equivalents at prices far below what King Arthur charges. I also have fresh compressed yeast in 1# blocks for much less than you'll pay for those packages of dry yeast in the supermarket. If you've never used fresh compressed, you're really in for a treat!

Obsessive Ingredient Weigher's picture
Obsessive Ingre...

I've been making Gosselin/Reinhart's pain a l'ancienne since last fall, and until a few days ago, I was having a big problem scoring it consistently.  My breakthrough?  I stumbled upon Gosselin's website and saw them scoring loaves that were MUCH less hydrated than Reinhart's recipe was leading me to create.  Oh, Peter Reinhart!  So I cut back on the water, and voila, the lame scores it perfectly (forgive the shallow angle of the scoring, but it's a mini-baguette).  So right now I'm going with this formula: 128g KA French Style Flour, 2.65g salt, 0.95g instant yeast, and 92g water.  I might cut back on the water by a couple of grams - to 89g or 90g; time will tell.

I've been making single loaves about 5 days a week for the last couple months; they make a great lunch with some butter and confiture.  This loaf baked SO nicely.  I noticed subtle hints of pistachio and framboise as I gave a quick sniff while it cooled on the counter.

PHOTO #1: Sliced/Crumb Shot

PHOTO #2: Grigne

PHOTO #3: Mini-Baguette


pigreyhound's picture

Hamelman's ciabatta recipe

August 7, 2009 - 7:00am -- pigreyhound


   Is there an error in the Hamelman recipe on page 105 of BREAD: A BAKERS BOOK OF TECHNIQUES AND RECIPES?  I am just making sure I did the right thing as I am still a novice to using the recipes in these advanced bread books.

   I was making the focaccia recipe on page 280, which uses the ciabatta dough from page 105. 

abrogard's picture

How To Make My French Bread Last Longer?

August 6, 2009 - 6:26pm -- abrogard


 How can I change my french bread recipe so's the loaf will last longer?  Say, another day will do.


 I realise it won't be 'pure' french bread then, but no matter, I'm looking for information on what makes bread last and how to play with my recipes.


I do believe sugar helps bread keep - all chinese baked bread is sugar bread for that reason I think - but I don't want sugar in my bread, so that's out.




 ab :)


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