I was recently given a bag of kamut flour, grown and ground here on Whidbey Island, and I added it to my regular sourdough recipe with good results. My daughter-in-law brought me a four pound bag of teff flour from Oregon, and I added 1/4c to the same recipe. Oh dear! The dough became "slimy" and even after many stretch and folds it was still slack, so I was surprised to get good oven spring. When I started a loaf today I added some gluten and so far, so good. I should explain that the 1/4c of teff was added to 2 1/4c of Morbread flour. Has anyone worked with teff? Was the odd texture typical? A four pound bag has a lot of 1/4cups! I Googled teff and found a pie crust recipe which I gave to my DIL along with the 2 cups of teff called for, but it hardly made a dent in the total amount, A.
My grandaughter has to make a big presentation on Azerbaijan this week, including food of the region. Being a good Nana I Googled "Breads of Azerbaijan" and found a Tandir bread which sounded easy enough for a nearly 13 year old to tackle. I did a trial run and found that the dough was way too wet so we adjusted the recipe and Margaret used my new Bosch Compact to make the bread which turned out beautifully. Unfortunately she has to cut it into ready to eat samples so the other students won't get the full effect of the pretty bread. She also has to make and serve "Plov" which sounds rather like rice pilaf. So today was my turn to play with the Bosch and I chose Vienna bread from ITJB. My kitchen was very cold and the dough took much longer to rise, but it was a delight to work with and the loaves were lovely. I am not used to working with enriched doughs but can see a whole new world opening up - maybe sticky buns or cinnamon rolls? Baby Bosch handled the kneading so effortlessly, and many thanks to Stan and Norm for the recipe, A.
A couple of years ago I bought Bosch Universal mixer because I was thinking of making large batches of whole wheat bread for my son's family. Well, the grandgirls make their own lunches and prefer sliced bread, so my mixer has been sitting taking up counter space and at most has been used 12 times. So I want to do what I should have done in the first place which is to buy the Bosch Compact, much more sensible for a little old lady living alone. I hope to sell the big mixer which is in excellent condition, and who better to offer it to than a fellow TFL member? Sorry, Floyd, not sure of the proper place for selling things, A.
Late last night I checked on TFL member M.C's Farine site and found the most interesting report on her visit to Orchard Hill Breadworks in New Hampshire. Lots of video of Noah Elbers and his crew at work making the shaping look so easy. As it was late I couldn't take it all in and plan on viewing this great write up again, and I strongly urge members to check it out. Thank you M.C., A.
My California son makes this bread most weeks, but recently he bragged about success after adding 1/3cup of sourdough starter instead of the white vinegar. I don't think his friends are too picky, but evidently this loaf received rave reviews. Not about to be outdone by a nearly 50 year old kid I decided to give his method a try. Had the dough mixed and sitting on the counter when the other son called to ask me to babysit today, yet another half day at school for the girls. When I whined about this to the CA son, not sure how I could fit the bread in, he told me that he had "punched down" his dough twice. Instead of punching down I folded the dough with my plastic scraper, once before taking my elderly pug to the vet. and again before meeting the girls off the school bus. Then we came back here and I shaped the boule and placed it on a square of parchment paper in my 8" cast iron skillet. I have been reading about TFL members different methods of baking no-knead loaves and decided not to use my stainless steel "Dutch oven" this time. I preheated a heavy baking sheet and poured hot water into one half of an aluminum roaster which fit nicely. When the loaf was ready to bake I slashed it, placed the skillet on the baking sheet and covered it with the roaster (minus the water!) Baked for 30 minutes at 425* covered and another 30 minutes uncovered, and the resulting loaf was a beauty, if I do say so. Well risen with "ears" and it sang loud and clear for some time. Too soon to cut it but I'm hoping for great things. Now if I could only remember how to post pictures... A.
I thought this might be of interest to fellow limeys, both here in the States and back home. My English neighbor gave me a well used booklet "Home recipes with Be-Ro Self Raising Flour" and "Home Recipes with Be-Ro Plain Flour". This had belonged to her mother, and unfortunately there is no date anywhere but Mary is 80 years old so it has to be pretty old. The recipes are given in grams and ounces and there are lots of pictures and useful hints and tips. I was especially interested to read that the company was offering three additional "specialist" flours - Be-Ro Strong White Bread Flour, Be-Ro Brown Wheatmeal Bread Flour and 100% Be-Ro Wholewheat Bread Flour. Their range even included dried yeast, each sachet being the right quantity for use with a 1 1/2kg bag of bread flour. Sorry to say I don't remember what brand of flour my mother used. Does this ring a bell with anyone? This little treasure measures 3 3/4"x 7 3/4" and just reading the index brings back happy memories of some good old English treats. A.
Ever since txfarmer posted her recipe these have been on my "to bake' list, and once my grandgirls saw the cute "bone" cutters there was no excuse. Lily and I mixed the dough on Saturday afternoon but for various reasons we wrapped it well and placed it in the refrigerator overnight. It sat on the counter while I made the requisite Sunday morning sourdough pancakes which were voted the best ever, maybe because I used my cookie scoop and the pancakes were smaller than usual. Then Lily and I started rolling and cutting, and yes, it makes a lot of biscuits! Margaret had a good book but did stop by now and again to admire our efforts. Glad to say they are dog approved by their two dogs who inhaled them and by my elderly mostly toothless Pug who takes more time to eat one. So thank you, txfarmer, and good wishes to Ruby from the Whidbey Island dogs, A.
Or something like that. As I sat here this morning waiting for a call back from the furnace repair man who said it was fixed on Wednesday, and carefully re-piecing the quilt pieces I had painstakingly unpicked over the last few days - I had time to mull this over. If a bread recipe doesn't work out the way it should, at least the results are usually edible. I know I have continued to work with dough that any sane person would have dumped and frequently been pleasantly surprised. Quilts, on the other hand, are not so forgiving. I knew one of the fabrics in this latest quilt wasn't quite right, and yet I persisted. Did I think the quilt fairies were going to somehow make it look good? Could this be why I make "Susan's Sourdough" over and over, along with what my family and friends refer to as "The Quilt"? No surprises with either, but once in a while it would be nice to branch out.
Well, the furnace man is coming to take a look and hopefully it won't cost a fortune to fix. The new fabric looks good, and my starter is ready to go. Life goes on, A.
Twice a week I spend time with children from my grandaughter's third grade class, listening to them read. Their teacher is a friend and loves to get a loaf now and again, and she asked if I would take some bread for the children and tell them about sourdough. Always eager to spread the word I decided to use some of my "discard" bread. I made a huge batch in my trusty Bosch and baked up three pan loaves for the neighbors and two large braids for the class. I brushed the tops with eggwhite and water and sprinkled on raw sugar. The dough included about a quart of discard, oats, dried milk, potato flakes, sugar and lots of raisins, and I did spike it with about 1T instant yeast. Teacher's loaf was my usual sourdough boule which I baked this morning. I also took a small amount of starter and fed it before I left the house so that we could check on its growth. I gave my little spiel and asked the children for name suggestions for teacher's new pet, the starter, and they came up with some creative ones. Then it was time to eat, and apart from some of them them taking me seriously when I said the raisins were dead flies they loved it. Only a couple of the girls said their grandmothers make bread and most of them seemed amazed that I had actually made these loaves. Next time I'm planning to make the chocolate faces, A.
The first "real" bread book I ever read was Amy's Bread, borrowed from the library. I copied out some of the recipes and over the years looked for it again in different libraries with no luck. There were copies on Amazon but they were out of my price range, so I was thrilled to find the new version. I haven't read every page yet but one item caught my eye - they have increased the hydration in most of the recipes "because we believe that today's home bakers are more sophisticated and are ready to work with bread dough that is exactly as we make it in the bakery." Hooray for us, TFL members! The book has good clear directions and ingredients are listed in grams, ounces and volume. I especially like the biographies of some of the bakers, most of whom have been with Amy for many years. In fact my only disappointment with the book is that they no longer give directions for shaping the cute little teddy bears although they include the recipe which uses a Rye Salt Sour Starter. Two dough whisks up! A.