The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Elsiebake's blog

Elsiebake's picture

This has been on my to-do list for a while now. A lot of recipes, even when they are titled "Sourdough," incorporate regular yeast, so I had to look around a bit, but I was interested in making 100% sourdough based croissants. Also, I'm vegan, so I was curious to see what happens with all of the vegan substitutes in the recipe. 

Obviously, need more practicing on the lamination and shaping, but overall, they came out dangerously yummy.

Happy Baking!

Elsiebake's picture

I have been experimenting with different methods of creating steam without using/buying a dutch oven, knowing that the dutch oven method really is the best and most hassle-free (no lava rocks, towels etc.) way to bake artisan style breads at home. I just didn't want to accumulate another single-use kitchen item to add to my already cluttered kitchen. So far, I've been happy with emulating the dutch oven method using the inside of a slow cooker and a deep ceramic casserole dish - both of them covered by a cookie sheet or upside down metal bowl for the first 20 minutes. I've been getting those pretty ears this way every time. (The foil is there to close any gaps when I put a cookie sheet or bowl on top.) 

Elsiebake's picture

I'm new to this site and I've been enjoying browsing through everyone's recipes and discussions. After a few years of hiatus, I've just gotten myself back to baking sourdough breads, and I finally got a healthy starter going again after more than 2 months. (of course kicking myself for getting rid of my old starter after realizing how hard it is to get it started!) I am just coming out of the frustrating period of producing hockey pucks with the immature starter paired with an inpatient owner/baker. 

Now that this part of the sourdough challenge is over, I'm facing another - creating sufficient enough steam without a cover. I have an awesome cast iron flat griddle that I bought from an antique store many years ago, and I love it. But because of its narrow oblong shape, none of my regular metal or glass bowls fit over. I know that I should just invest in a nice big cast iron dutch oven, but I'm just hesitating to buy more single-purpose items to clutter the kitchen. 

Because I'm renting, I cannot make any alterations to my oven, so drilling holes on the side is not an option. And I've just been experimenting with different methods.

Today, I decided to whip up and bake a loaf on a same day. I know that the flavor and the oven spring would be much better after a cold ferment in the fridge, but I was just inpatient. The steaming methods I used today was a combination of steaming towel at the bottom of the oven, plus a few large ice cubes placed in a colander at the top of the oven. The slowly melting ice cubes create a slow trickle of water hitting the bottom of the oven immediately creating steam for good 10 minutes. 

Of course, I should've tried this without the towel... but again, I should have also rested my dough in the fridge overnight. So it's not really a conclusive experiment, but I'm enjoying the challenge before I defeat and end up buying a dutch  I have a few other ideas that I'd like to try in the near future.


The bread was delicious regardless.

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