Eric's latest video masterpiece at Breadtopia is a whole spelt sourdough. I was anxious to try it. So anxious that I didn't notice that I had white spelt flour, not whole spelt. No matter, the flexibleness that is bread took over, and it came out fine.
We have a guest coming over tonight, so I went for my standard guest loaf. 1/4 King Arthur WW flour, 2 tablespoons of flax meal. The six-strand braid is always a challenge for me, but I only had to do it twice today. After the first time, I realized that some of the strands were too fat, so I cut them down and had enough for a baby challah, also six-strand.
I baked a couple of flax sourdough loaves just before the challah. And forgot to turn the temperature down. What's 125 degrees between friends??
The baby challah turned out well. We'll see how the guest likes Extra Brown Challah. Yikes, from the other side of the room, it looks like some kind of dark Halloween trick or treat bread:
Since my husband is out of town, I fished for a Shabbos invitation at a close friend's house. He was going to be out all day, so I volunteered to bake the challah. I haven't made one for them before, and I always do a six-strand loaf for my debut. It has about 1/3 King Arthur white whole wheat, and 1/4 c dark flax seed meal.
My variations -- I halved the recipe, kneaded in my Zojirushi bread maker, and used my white sourdough starter and Whole Foods whole wheat flour. My my I love weighing ingredients, especially in grams. I just keep slinging stuff into the bowl, so fun and easy.
Everything proceeded nicely until the final rise. Instead of rising like New York, it spread out like Los Angeles. The resulting bread was delicious, but in the interest of bread art (and sandwiches), I'd like it to be a little taller. I'm still new to sourdough, but am loving every trial. My starter is quite vigorous -- I'm pretty sure that part is ok. Any suggestions?
Result: gorgeous loaf. crunchy chewy crust. The texture is just a little ... moist, like perhaps just a tad undercooked. I forgot to get a temperature. The taste has a nice sourdough tang, but is a little too, too ... rubbery?
Details: I made the basic Breadtopia recipe, with 1/3 whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup of sourdough starter. Even though the dough looked good after 12 hours, I decided to let it develop for a while longer (thanks Floydm!). I declared the dough ready when I needed to walk the dog at the 16 hour mark ("natural timing").
After the fold and rest and 1.5 hours, the dough didn't look like it had risen at all. I forged ahead and plopped it into my 2.5 liter CorningWare French White casserole. A number of references said the casserole was ok to 500 degrees. The loaf got a great oven spring and started browning before I took the cover off. The brown was aiming towards black, so I ended the bake at 42 minutes.
Next loaf (already underway) will be the basic white with yeast. I like experimenting.
I'm trying no-knead bread for the first time, using the sourdough variation I found at Breadtopia. It sounds so easy (and it is), but I'm one of those bakers who is always wondering if I'm doing it right. My dough has been sitting for about 12 hours now at 70 degrees, and it looks ready to me. Bubbly on top, and nice strand development. Perhaps I should go on to the next step, or perhaps I should follow the 18-hour instructions and ... what ... allow more flavor to develop? more later.