I took this loaf to supper with the family and their house has much better natural light than mine which helped the picture. The first slices were really holey but the center of the loaf had a tighter crumb. The flavor was excellent and the crust crisp and it did sing, very slightly. Next time I am going to use my more liquid starter for comparison and of course there is always a next time... A.
Here is a picture of my grandaughter Lily with a slice of my first effort, showing off the holey crumb. I used KA bread flour and KA white whole wheat and my newly converted firm starter, and we all liked the flavor. The second try had better oven spring and I imagine the starter is getting stronger, A.
This is the second version of the challenge loaf, and my recently converted firm starter appears to be getting stronger. The dough had filled the little basket after a night in the fridge and the oven spring was great. I have more pictures of the first effort but can't figure how to post more than one at a time, A.
Some time ago I posted a recipe for Cardamom Braids and wished I knew who to credit with the recipe. I still don't know but wanted to share this picture. The recipe called for dividing the dough and making two braids then stretching them to 18". I wanted to be able to give the loaves away and hate to give half a loaf so I made it into four braids. As you can see I baked them all on one pan and they "kissed", so next time I won't crowd them so much. I also made the dough in the morning and shaped the braids and put them in the fridge overnight so that I could bake them early next day. A.
Believe it or not, finally a picture! Susan has walked me through this and deserves a medal for her patience. This is "Susan's Sourdough", my go to bread and while it got good oven spring the crumb could have been more open. I have a feeling I slightly underproofed it after a few overproofed loaves. Oh well, next time...A.
Happy to say my bread won two blue ribbons and the Scali got a merit award too! Have to admit that there was no other sourdough entered, and it is a small enough fair that nearly everyone gets a ribbon. My sourdough looked pretty sad and it didn't appear to have been cut, but we found a small piece had been removed from one side. All of the other loaves had been cut in half so maybe the judge couldn't get a knife through the crust! A fun experience and I wouldn't be so uptight about it another year. Thanks for all the good wishes, A.
Shortly after I joined TFL just over two years ago, Susan from San Diego kindly gave me her basic sourdough recipe and it has become my "go to" loaf. When my son was rude enough to ask why I kept making the same loaf I claimed that I needed to get it right so that I could enter a loaf in the County Fair. Well, in a classic senior moment I completely missed the deadline! So in effect I have been practising for two years, and tomorrow is the day to deliver the loaf. The dough is in between stretch and folds and I am cautiously optimistic. Please wish me luck and I will report back with good or bad news, A.
I needed to bake something for a neighborhood picnic today and in my trusty notebook I found the recipe for this cardamom braid. I thought it was from somebody here at TFL but haven't been able to find the post. Just want to thank you, if you recognize the name, and to say the loaves are wonderful! It makes two braided loaves and the dough must be from Beatrice Ojakangas because it uses her no knead chilled overnight method. I brushed the braids with egg and milk wash and sprinkled raw sugar, and the great oven spring opened up the braids and made a neat pattern. Definitely a keeper, A.
Many times when I give a loaf as a gift it is still warm and I am reluctant to put it in a plastic bag to risk ruining the crust. I have used teatowels but then the recipient feels obliged to return the "wrapper". I am also a quilter and as anyone who quilts or is related to a quilter can tell you - we have fabric! Yards and boxes and closets full of fabric. So my latest idea is to sew bread bags. No more lost teatowels, no more huge ziploc bags to accomodate sharp "ears" which can tear a 1 gallon bag. Nothing fancy, no patchwork or hand quilting, just a plain bag with maybe a drawstring top. Has anyone else tried this? I'd love to hear about your experiences, A.
This is a loaf of Susan's sourdough that I was sure was way overproofed. In fact it surprised me and produced a lovely set of ears. Note the stainless steel stirring spoon, perfect for whipping up my starter. Susan is going to enter the picture! A