Busy week here. Work, cleaning, and baking. My dad, 87, is here to spend most of the month. My domestic partner, Mark is returning home from a 6 month stay in Boise building a french fry factory and it's Super Bowl weekend. I have slider buns proofing for baking, cranked out a batch of brownies and getting ready to whip up some scones to freeze for a later date. But earlier this week, when it still just and peaceful, I decided to try baguettes for the first time. I followed Dave's SJSD baguette post for this and think they turned out fairly well. Unfortunately, before I thought to snap a photo of the crumb, my sister took 2 on the road to Alabama with her, Mark's mom took 1 and my neighbor just snagged up the other. So, I guess I'll have to wait til I try it again to check that out or even know how they taste.
Well I finally got around to baking this weekend. My starter was 2 weeks old last Friday and bubbling and growing faster than I can feed it or use it!
I produced this loaf loosely based on the The Quest for San Francisco Sourdough, take 4 blog of dmsnyder. Primarily due to disorganization and distraction my fermentation times are all over the place, but seems it still produced a great tasting loaf and while I'm sure I'm biased, it's also kinda pretty. My starter is maintained at 100% and my levain fermented at room temp, about 65 in my house this time of year, for 21 hours. I dropped my autolyse time to 1 hour, I can't for the life of me remember why...maybe due to the dinner guests I had coming that night and realizing I had to get pizza dough rolling. I did follow the 4 hour room temp ferment time with s&f at 50 and 100 minutes. I pre-shaped into what was supposed to be a batard but more resembled an hour glass, I've got some work to do there, and proofed 2 hours at rm temp. My cold retard time was 17 hours, then just proofed 1 hour at room temp, (if there was anyplace that's 85 degrees within 500 miles of me right now I would have driven there to do that final proof) for an hour before baking. I used steam the first 10 minutes and baked until 208 degrees.
Think it was slightly over proofed based on my poke test and I've got lots of scoring practice ahead of me, but not a bad first go.
Today I produced 2 lovely loaves of Honey WW sandwich bread since I was taking dinner to some dear friends who have had more than their share of troubles recently. It's always so rewarding to see how fresh, homemade bread is received. As we all sat dragging our bread through the stew gravy in the bottom of our bowls everyone seemed to just relax and enjoy the quiet company of good friends and good food.
I have used the same recipe countless times, but decided to utilize the stretch and fold method instead of traditional kneading and was thrilled with the process and the outcome. The crust was thin, but crispy and the bread developed a much more intense WW flavor and the sweet undertones of the honey were much more pronounced.
I am waiting a few more days now for my sourdough baby to develop a little further. He was born 7 days ago and has been weaned to 4:1 AP/WW feedings every 12 hours. I think I will maintain the AP/WW combination until spring as my house is usually around 67 degrees and I figure they can use the extra boost from the WW. If anyone has any great formulas for my first bake, send them on. I hope to be baking by Thursday or Friday, if all goes well. Plan to post pics of this first adventure, good or bad.
Hello to all from my modest digs here in Birdseye Indiana. You might ask,, "Where is Birdseye?" According to the locals, about half way between it's beak and it's a**. I'm still adjusting to the move from living in Louisville KY for over 30 years and finding myself in a very rural, very isolated but very beautiful spot.
I have been baking as long as I can remember, starting in my grandmother's kitchen as a little girl. Many years between now and then have been filled with college, career, raising a family and taking care of life. There have been times that baking had to wait. But since my baby is now a sophomore in college and I have the fabulous good fortune to work from my home, I find myself returning to my baking roots.
I'm currently brewing 2 lovely batches of sourdough starter in my kitchen and hope to be cranking out some new creations to share soon. It's been almost 18 years since I gave up my sourdough days. Wish me luck!
I am excited to find this group and can't wait to share ideas, tips and the happiness that baking can bring.