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Me and My grand daughter EMILY aged 4  baking mini pizzas 2010

What fun we had and lunch to boot

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I was always amused as an apprentice that in the award rates for bakers there was a category for single handed baker  i could just imagine some poor soul that had been in a loosing argument with the dough dividing machine. Of course it actually referred to a baker employed on wages working alone doing the whole kit and caboodle.   

Anyway i am currently a single handed following a rotator cuff and repair to a full width tear of the tendon in my right arm six weeks with an abductor sling on both night and day  fortunately that came off last week and now a further six weeks with physio and passive exercises.

Today's bake was a sour dough  Multi grain with home brew lager and a dash of molasses

300g multi grain mix flour

300g sour dough culture (100%hyd)

100ml home brew lager

9g salt

9g molasses 

all the ingredients brought together for a quick mix then allowed to autolyse for about 20 min then a further 5 min mix and another autolyse for about 20 minutes and a further mix for about another 5 min in the kenwood chef.

the dough was then stretched and folded after an hour and repeated  and then made up and into a cake tin  allowed to prove for 1 hour and into the fridge with cling film overnight the next morning it was put outside into a warm spring day for an hour or so then brought in and washed with an boiled arrowroot (starch) paste to help stick the sesame seed and give the dough piece some protection from the fierce heat of the oven.

 No scoring was attempted as the dough was below the top of the container and it was fairly fully proofed hence only a small amount of oven spring shown in the photos

i was pleased with the loaf it had a nice open texture and an excellent taste.

the dough has risen quite well and close to full proof

a small amount of oven-spring no tearing of the crust


the cut loaf revealing  a nice open structure and the graininess of the mixture

 a few slices with some dislodged sesame seeds

all in all very happy with the result excellent taste and not to bad for a single handed result

regards Yozza 

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the other evening i took home some of the sour dough culture that was excess to requirement and decided to use it in a fruit dough.

The sour doughculture itself was made from feeding the lees from a cider brew that i had recently made  and was now a very active culture, i measured up 600g of flour and used 200g of culture to this i added 300g water 6g salt 18g dry yeast 48g butter 90g raw sugar 10g molassess.

this ended up being a bit to wet so i had to add a further 100g flour.

With the fruit i ended up with currants raisins dates and a fruit and nut mix that ended up being just over 300g

bulk ferment was for 2 hours and after tinning up was left for another 2 hours. i nearly went to bed and forgot that it was to go in the oven, in fact even put 1 foot in the bed and then remembered!

The bread turned out really good, great taste, nice and moist and loved by all my tasters. i am looking to make a larger batch next week at work.

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The first night in CUE and a good sleep ensued, i was awoken by the unmistakeable sound of rain falling on the caravan roof lightly at first but then a little heavier, bad news for prospecting in the flat red dirt but ordinarily a most welcomed sound out here. The clouds had been chasing us all the way from Perth some 640 kilometres behind us.

Dawn was breaking to a cloudy start and the wonderful Yorkshire term "Damping" not really raining but gets you wet anyway. As the rest of the crew mustered it was decided that we would wait a further day before setting off for our fortune.

CUE boasted a population of 10,000 around 1890 I cannot imagine the hardship faced in just getting there, no airconditioned  turbocharged auto 4wd then. 

No one knows who discovered gold at Cue but it is likely that the first find was made by Michael John Fitzgerald who, after an Aborigine named Governor had found a 10 oz nugget nearby, decided to prospect in the area. It is claimed that Governor presented the nugget to Fitzgerald remarking 'This fellow slug no good, plenty bit fellow slug over there'. It took Fitzgerald and his friend Edward Heffernan one week to find 260 ozs of gold near what is now the main street of Cue. They then told Tom Cue who travelled to Nannine to register their claim. Ironically it was Cue who gave his name to the town.


So Monday sees us hit the road north in perfect sunshine, it hadn't been a good night on the road for the kangaroos with lots of fresh road kill in evidence, Road trains are not able to stop or swerve to avoid the errant roos when they venture onto the bitumen at night. Unfortunately the two animals that are on our coat of arms are both pretty stupid when it comes to colliding with vehicles whereas goats which are beside the road in the thousands rarely become victims.

The road kill smorgasbord is manna from heaven for lots of other animals none more majestic than the wedge tail eagle, but beware the wedgie that has had a big breakfast and is reluctant to move off the carcase they are slow to get airbourne and invariably need to take off into the wind and can become a casualty themselves.

So after a while we get to Tukinara homestead and turn off the bitumen onto the dirt over the cattle grid and travel for nearly another hour, these dirt roads are quite good as they were well built and maintained as haul roads for the mines and station access roads. The previous sprinkle of rain was keeping the dust down which was good if you were in the 3rd vehicle. We passed by a huge opencut pit and its associated piles of waste or processed ore  at a location known as REEDYS which was operating up to 1986

Soon after we turned off onto a lease owned by ATW a Canadian company that was due to be sold that next weekend so we had permission to fossick for a week at least.

We soon set up our camp and even had time to go for a bit of a bip, we had  2way radios and a box of matches just in case you got lost, it was amazing how you didn't need to get far away and you couldn't see the vehicles or the camp .   

Made my first sour dough and put it in the cold camp oven over night to prove as it gets chilly at night, got up at first light and put the camp oven in the remains of the previous nights fire, scraping all the ash away at the base and placing on top of the lid,

as it turned out still a bit to hot on the base and could have been hotter on the top.

It was wonderfull with soup at lunch time. After a few hours bliping




Final episode and some nice pictures of gold to come in part 3

 regards Yozza




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I have just returned from a gold prospecting trip here in Western Australia, the trip was organized by my good mate Bob,and it was to be a 2 week away jaunt.

There were two vehicles and a trailer and 4 guys along with my SOUR DOUGH culture setting off from Perth on a saturday morning, we had some rain overnight but the spirits weren't dampend as we picked up the two hire detectors (minelab 4500's).

The drive took us up the Great Northern Highway which is the main route used by trucks going to the North West servicing the Mining Industry, Iron Ore being the biggest along with gold, gas and a multitude of other minerals our state is blessed with.

Everything here is big and it is not long before you are sharing the road with road trains , huge trucks pulling 3 trailers, we had our 2 way radio on and could here the colourfull truckie lingo from time to time, and very handy to let these guys know that you are ready for them to come past if they are in a hurry or if you catch them on a hill and are going past, most of thes guys are real pros.

There is also a large number of grey nomads heading north for the winter warmth and they are usually the truckies nightmare as their speed is quite a lot lower, they are often elderly and can be oblivious to faster trucks trying to earn their living. The air displacement of a truck passing can also upset caravans quite easily. How ever if trucks loose there momentum and have to slow to 80 klm it takes them a long time to build it up again.

We did come up behind an escorted load of two dump truck bodies on low loader that according to the escort vehicles were 8 and a half metres wide so therefore took up the whole of the paved roadway.

The lead vehicle travels a good way ahead with flashing lights advising over the two way the size of the following load giving traffic in the opposite direstion time to pull of to the gravel shoulder of the road this is followed by a police escort vehicle that ensures the traffic is off to the side then come the outsize load followed by tail end charlie that advises of following traffic. We were treated to the site of a triple road train passing the two dump truck bodies at about 80 klms an hour.

It started with calls between tail end charlie and the truck and then the lead escort identifying a floodway further up the road as a passing point , The Overtaker then drops back a bit and winds up ready for the manouver, it seems to take for ever. but safely past we are the called to come past as the dumpers have lost a bit of omph, but the road way is not as wide as in the floodway and we have 2 wheels in the dirt and most of the dump tray over us with various attaching items sticking out at you with dayglow flags flapping almost in your face we were baulked half way past as the roadmarkers were in danger of being flattened.The truck driver barks encourgement to go for it. Bob thought we would have a yellow mark on the side of the Prado we were that close, although he did think that it could match the brown mark on his side. Anyway our second vehicle got past unscathed and we made our first nights stop at Cue. Two of Bobs friends were joining us here and had been kind enough toput us up for the night in two of their caravans.

I was able to feed my sour dough here as i intended baking bread in the campfire oven when we were set up in camp.                          (to be continued)

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just had a go at this one  but used my sour dough starter instead of dry yeast started at 5.00 pm all finished by 10.30pm.

Probably the wettest dough i have worked with and quite different from anything i've done before,  will definately do it again  and measure the amount of water that went in next time so that i can give a proper account

regards YOZZA

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I called this horse bread  due to the fact that a number of the ingrediants are easily obtained from stockfeed stores catering for the horse people. There was some discussion on the availability or lack of Molasses in another topic on TFL. For this bread i got my daughter to pick up 2 litres of molasses from the rural store when she was picking up her bales of hay for the nags.

The molasses comes in one of those 1,000 litre bulk plastic containers that is on a pallet in a steel frame which is then decanted into smaller containers as required. cost was $A 5.20 for the 2 litres, i could have sourced my Barley there too but already had that from a bulk providor in Fremantle. These 2 ingrediants are firm favourites with horses hence the connection to Horse bread.

I started the barley off to produce sprouts by soaking for 24 hours in water  and then straining off the water, i tend to keep the grain in the laundry and each time i pass by i  dunk the sieve into water for a few minutes and  allow to drain again. After the 4 days the sprouts are progressing well and ready for use.

For the preferment  I used 250g stone ground wholemeal flour with 250ml of home brew coopers dark stout and 125mls of sour dough starter that was diluted to half strength and allowed to ferment over night. In the morning i added a further 450g of bakers flour 14g salt and 100ml of mollasses the dough was quite sticky but not overly wet at the completion of the mix i then incorporated 100g of the sprouted barley this was then allowed to bulk ferment for 3 hours in corporating 3 x stretch and folds.

i divided the dough into 2 parts 1 i tinned up and placed in my car to prove in the autumn sun the other i handed up and placed in a cloth and bowl and placed in the fridge for a retard and bake off the following day.

The first dough went into the oven at around 14.00hrs

the 2nd piece went into the oven the following day at 09.00.

This dough was a bit of a trial run for the sprouting of the grain for a bit of a baking session that fellow West Australian and  TFL member Rossnroller and i are going to have  next week  when we will use the WOOD FIRED OVEN  and a bigger dough

it was easier to call this HORSE BREAD rather than 36% wholemeal  64% white sour dough with stout molasses and sprouted barley.

All that tried it liked it, although next time i would probably 1/2 THE MOLASSES  as it was rather powerfull other great additions would be dried figs, dates and walnuts the texture was very good and moist and quite malty and has great keeping qualities

so the top 3 pics are the same day procedure the others are the retarded portion.

Regards YOZZA

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Another day with 40 degree C and another opportunity to use the restaurant bakery

Again i used coopers dark ale 1.5 litres , 1.5kg of sour dough starter, 5 kgs bakers flour, 75 grams dry yeast, 100 grams of butter, 12 grams bread improver (dobrim), 100  grams of cooking salt, 1.5 litres water.

i mixed the dark ale sour dough starter and 1 kg of flour into nice sponge batter leaving for an hour, then mix all other ingrediants and allow for bulk fermentation in this case 1 hour and fifteen minutes a good tripling of volume.

35 patrons booked into the restuarant so scale up for 70 dinner rolls @ 50g , 8 pieces @ 500g the rest as 250g.  

  mould the rolls put into proover, mould the bread put into the proover, mould the sticks put in the proover. bring out the rolls wash with boiled cornflour starch paste seed and cut , back in the proover.

same treatment for the rest. bring out the rolls and put into the oven , turn off proover .

last week the oven was set a bit cool so this time moved the dial a bit higher  achieved the desired result more crust colour

put in the sticks and bake off finally the 2 x trays of loaves.

The students had decorated a table in the middle of the restaurant and found room to display some of the DARK ALE WITH SOUR DOUGH STARTER BREAD.

Just got to decide on what we might try next week.

i cant resist posting a few shots of the QUEEN MARY 2 as she entered Fremantle harbour this morning just after 6.00 am

enjoy regards Yozza

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I made the dough for the evening restaurant class on thursday as there were quite a few absentees from the class the lecturer said you dont want to make the bread for me do you? The deal was that i had a free hand,and could make whatever I pleased! SO I had several bottles of coopers dark ale set aside that were up to their code date so at 2.30 pm I refreshed my sour dough starter and added what i would have discarded to 1.5litres of dark ale  and 1 kg of Bakers flour and made a nice slurry. I went back to my office and worked out the rest of the formula completed a couple more purchase orders shut down the computer and went back to the bakery.

I ended up with 1 young student who was also going to be making the fresh fruit salad component of the desert trio to be served.

I quickly got him to weigh up the other ingrediants  after finding we had 40 patrons for the restaurant. The other ingrediants were

(1kg flour                                                                    1,000 grams)

(Coopers dark ale 4 x 375ml stubbies                     1500 grams)

(sour dough culture                                                              100 grams)

3kg flour                                                            3,000 grams

salt                                                                        80 grams

Dry yeast                                                                80 grams

butter                                                                    120 grams

water                                                                   1300 grams

Dobrim bread impover                                               5 grams

My helper had not made bread before so  i gave him  a run down on what the different ingrediants do in the dough and explained how to work the percentages  so that this dough could be made larger or smaller and that 1% in this dough represented 40 grams.

We also worked out how to make a dough to the size required  for a certain number of rolls, the dinner rolls are scaled @ 50 grams each, we have a hand press that cuts out 14 pieces  so made him work out the size of the dough pieces required (700 grams) and suggested that we make  70 rolls as the patrons don,t usually say no to the additional roll when offered. i then told him we would make a 4 loaves @ 500grams and then some sticks at 250 grams, this was all before the dough was mixed.

A tip i passed on to him and one that is well worth remebering is that if you measure up more than the amount of water you want it is ready to go at the right temp as you need it and that it is easier to calculate want went in by what you have left.

Anyway back to the dough after it was mixed i put it into a 25litre plastic bucket, showed how to mark how far the dough came in the container  and where it might come when doubled. i then said i was going home  to feed my aviary birds, and that i would be back in an hour ( i live quite close by) so left him to get on with his fresh fruit salad.

When i got back the dough had exceeded our expectations as far as the marks on the bucket were concerned  it had actually pushed the lid off and had a distinct muffin top look. So the knocking back was demonstrated as well as taking in the aroma of the gas that was released.

Scaling was quickly completed and dough pieces rounded up and allowed to recover for 10 minutes, the rolls were quickly finished  and the bread pieces were shaped  these were all deposited in a steam prover.

The requirement of the restaurant is that they have to have a fast dough as students only have 4 hours to make and bake fresh product for both lunch and again for dinner. hence the fast 1 hour bulk fermentation time achived with the 2% addition of dry yeast.

The rolls were then pulled from the prover and paint brushed with a boiled cornflour wash and seeded and rice flour dusted and cut in a number of different ways to show the different effects achieved with the knife.

The rolls were then baked and after inspection of the results fom the cuts racked to cool before being handed to the front of house staff ready for service. The bread loaves and sticks were placed in the oven next while I was given a serve of the fish that was on the menu, magnificent red snapper.

Once the bread came out my work was done, i made sure that the staff behind the bar that provide the ale and the flat white coffes had a loaf to take home, the instructor for the front of house staff and of course the chef instructor as well as for the procurement team i work with all had a loaf.

Next morning the verdict came in  the young trainee chef had been out and faced the diners who loved it with many asking him  why it was so nice and the best bread rolls thay had tasted.

I must say that the loaf i took home remained really fresh and tasty for a couple of days. UNFOTUNATELY the camera is left at work for the weekend but i will add pictures to this blog on Monday

Regards Yozza  

Sorry about the cut shot i only had a smallish serrated knife, its amazing the difference a good knife makes in cutting bread

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With a forecast temperature of 42 degrees CENTIGRADE  for the following day you would have to be mad to even thinking of lighting the oven, BUT that's what i did, my sourdough starter was looking pretty vigourus so i decided to put it to use. This bread EVOLVED,  i decided to use 500g white flour and 200g of my starter i then thought i would add my home brew lager beer, unfortunately i opened my dark stout by mistake. Not normally a problem to drink but it was warm and aussies do like their beer cold.especially in hot weather so rather than waste it and open a lager i decided to add it to the dough. I then thought it would be a good idea to add some course rye that i had.

so what went in

500g white flour    

200g s/d starter

100g course rye

14g salt 30g olive oil

412ml dark stout

dough was mixed and given a bulk ferment for 3 and a half hours then given a stretch and fold it was about half proofed at that time. Much later that night i devided the dough into 2 pieces and shaped 1 piece went into the fridge and was retarded the other was formed and allowed to rise (slowly).

At 5.00am i got up and popped the oven on  and 30 minutes later it went into the oven  the other dough was pulled from the fridge and was going to be baked at work later.

The end result was acceptable i thought there might have been a more noticable difference between the two, there was a difference in the taste and the consensus was the retarded one was slightly better tasting.  

  so we had a dough that was 12 hours from start to finish and the other half was a further 5 or more hours




kind and warm regards especially those that are in the snow YOZZA


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