The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

RuthieG's blog

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I have enjoyed the yeast water/raisin yeast water episode but in feeding my beasties, I have trouble tossing the content, so I have been using mine steadily.  I made a levain the other day and made too much, so I decided to call it my water yeast sourdough and with the flour added to the liquid yeast, basically that's what it


After two days of refreshing my sourdough and putting the contents from the refresh into a bowl and "refreshing" that, this morning I used it to make biscuits.  So here are my liquid yeast, sourdough biscuits.  I hope you can tell from the pictures just how good they were.  We had them with my homemade strawberry preserves.  They were so good.




They really were so good and they were so easy to make......

Biscuits with Self-Rising Flour


1 1/2 cup sourdough (made with yeast water and flour)or whatever you have..

2 cups self-rising flour

¼ cup shortening or lard

1 cup milk or buttermilk

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put the flour in a bowl.  With a pastry cutter or your fingers rub the shortening into the flour until the texture is like cornmeal. (or take the easy way out and dump it into your food processer the way I did.)
  3. Form a hole or well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the milk or buttermilk into the well an the sourdough starter..  Ignore using a processer.
  4. Blitz a few times in the processer till well blended. Or use your fork to stir the flour into the milk, stirring in a circle so that a little more flour is incorporated with each pass.
  5. Roll out dough to ½ inch and cut with a 2 inch cutter.
  6. Place biscuits onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  I stuck them in the microwave and let them rest there until I was ready to make breakfast.  They had a beautiful rise in the oven and the tops have a unique sourdough crumb..kind of crunchy........I love them.

 If you have issues with dumping your refresh extra's .........Make Biscuits.

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A lot has been said regarding using the liquid wild yeast or water yeast for sourdough and thought I would give you an idea of the results that I have been getting.  I use a double feed for my bread  and by that I mean that I refresh the yeast water routinely and when I am ready to bake, I take 1 part yeast water and 2 parts flour, or there abouts.  I don't really measure to the inth degree just generally use a 1/2 cup measure and fill the container and add that to my yeast water and stir. It really depends on the amount of levain I will need ....sometimes I empty the original starter to about half and sometimes I don't.... Later in the day, I do the same thing again and this time I might add more flour and more yeast water, again depending on the amount of Levain I need. 

Yesterday afternoon,  I made a recipe of sourdough and let it rise for a few hours and then punched it down and bagged it and stuck it in the refrigerator over night.   This morning I took it out and let it rest and warm up on the counter for at least an hour while I did morning chores and then shaped it and put it on an oiled and floured parchment.  I left it in the microwave to rise while I was out shopping.  I honestly don't know the total amount of time that it proofed but most all afternoon and I baked the boule first as it seemed to have risen the most and I felt the batard could wait. 

The result was a beautiful batard that proofed beautifully and baked in a nice shape and color. 

 I will share  a picture of the crumb when I cut it. 


This is the  boule that I made using the same type levain but baked it in a cast iron pot.  I used a different recipe and am anxious to see if the taste is different.   I really overbrowned the botton of the boule as I forgot to turn down the oven but it didn't burn just got darker than I would have liked.

The crumb:

As you can see by the one end that was cut off, we had this bread with our dinner tonight.  I can tell you that it was very good.  My husband was all smiles.


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Last night I made a starter for cuban bread to bake today as well as the liquid yeast levain for Japanese Sandwich bread. 


I expected to see the cuban bread starter way up the sides of the container this morning as it contained 3/4 tsp of regular yeast.  I also expected a good result from the liquid fruit yeast after sitting all night on the counter even though our home is very cool..... 


The result was that the liquid fruit starter far out preformed the regular yeast.  It was a beautiful sight to see......I think my liquid yeast must be a very good batch.  I wish I had taken a picture of it so you could see but perhaps I will make another batch just for picture taking.


Here is a picture of my refrigerated liquid fruit yeast.  It doesn't appear clear in the picture but it is a pinkish clear liquid and is made up of dried raisins, dried cranberries, grapes and apple skins and cores.  It is very active and I store it in a very cold spot in my fridge.  I am anxious to see how today's bread turns out.  The yeasted Cuban loafs are far ahead of the two at the moment.  I have already proofed them and made baguettes after the first rise.


Here is a shot of my Cuban bread.....It will soon be time to go into the oven.  I made it to my own shape....Not as thick and Batardish as Miami bread and not as slender and elongated as Tampa bread. Since this picture was taken, I have inserted a piece of water soaked white cotton cord across the top of each one......




The finished bread......out of the oven at internal temp of 200 degrees. 



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Reading all the entries from the members baking the Japanese Sandwich loaf, I became very inspired and promptly set out to make my raisin water.  I had only a few raisens so I used dried cranberries and after a few days, I wasn't thrilled with the fermentation process.  I added a handful of grapes and took off and within a few days it was bubbling away. 


Yesterday I decided that it was time for my adventure into yeast water.  So with jar in hand, set out to make the levain to proof.


Day two, I had my choice ....since I was up bright and early I could......Go to the clinic for a blood test or start my bread........Wanna guess which choice I made....


I started it early so that I would have every opportunity to give it all the time it needed to proof even if that was the mentioned 3 hours.  Here is a picture of it in the process of the final proof. 

Crumb and taste to come later........



And the old saying ..The proof is in the pudding ...or as in this case...the baking.



The taste is heavenly and here is the crumb.


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One of our favorite sandwich loafs is a Honey Whole Wheat that my friend Annie passed along to me and has become the regular go to bread in this household.  However I am always looking for a new loaf and wanted to try the Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf  mentioned in this thread  and compare it with my regular loaf only because I love trying new recipes and have a goal of trying as many different varities as I can. 


I followed the recipe to the letter.  My belief is that before you start adding and subtracting from a recipe you need to first make it completely as is and then experiment later.  The result was a wonderful light loaf that was an immediate hit.  I usually can resist the urge to slice a hot loaf but I honestly couldn't when my husband walked in and said, "Let's sample it.  We did and it was absolutely delish.......


The rise was so beautiful and honestly when I slashed it for the oven, I knew that I could have left it to rise longer...It was almost like a small explosion.  I ended us with a slash that was probably 1/2 inch deep instead of the 1/4 that I was looking for.  I use a very sharp single edge blade made for straight razors and it was a brand new blade and made a beautiful slash.....It blossomed as I finished the slash and the obvious rise in the oven was amazing.  One loaf, see the crumb picture below, actually ended up with a weird little top puff/crowne.  (Notice loaf on the right in picture below)  The other loaf, though. had a beautiful crown/top.   I was out of real butter and had a butter/oil combination stick that I used to glaze the top.


The recipe was easy to follow, easy to knead, no adjustments at all and came out amazingly good.  It isn't better or worse than my regular Whole Wheat loaf, just different.  I would encourage you to try the recipe. 

The crumb.


I think if you try this recipe, you will not be disappointed....I certainly felt that since I had never made a blog entry, this bread was worthy of my first blog.


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