So last night I was thinking to myself, "I'd like to make some sourdough this weekend. Tomorrow morning I'll take out some of my ripe chef and make a starter with it. It can activate while I'm at work."
This morning, I went into the fridge, grabbed my tub of chef. Grabbed the scale and a spatula, took out the stone ground rye.
Then I walked over to the garbage can and dumped half of the chef.
Then I stared at the chef I had just discarded.
*sigh* Stupid auto-pilot.
Big smile as I leafed through new copy of Food Illustrated - magazine from supermarket (Waitrose which may only mean something if you're British).
Entitled "slow cook issue" amomgst some great winter dishes a whole selection of breads supplied by Dan Lepard - including soda bread, hot cross buns and - personal favourite - a viennese loaf. Can't wait to get started ...
It has been a very busy month. Work, class, guests, birthdays, etc. I've baked fairly regularly, but I haven't had time to take pictures, post recipes here, or experiment.
Today I used my sourdough starter. I've been feeding it once a week, but I hadn't baked with it in a while. I just made some little buns:
They weren't bad. I served them with a pot of homemade split pea soup.
The real star of the meal were the homemade croutons. I used cheap leftover Safeway french bread that I cubed up and fried in a pan with about half a stick of butter, some salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. They were amazing on top of the soup! I'll have to try making them with some of my bread some time.
I have been storing my starter in a crock that I bought when I bought my starter. It is very nice, but I don't like the fact that the top just sits precariously on top. I have seen pictures on sites for starter where the starter is stored in wire-bail jars. That would allow for a completely air free starter. Anyone have any experience with the wire-bail jars, or should I stick to the crock???
I apologize if I'm asking this question in the wrong place but I don't see anywhere else to ask it.
I'm having great, really wonderful success baking my sourdough bread. As it turns out, I bake about every four or five days so feeding my starter hasn't been a problem.
One of these days though I'm sure I'll let time slip by before baking and I need to know how to feed my starter. I've read through numerous posts and have been unable to find out the following: When you feed your starter, what the heck do you do with it then? Should you leave it out to ferment for a couple of hours before refrigerating it or just plunk it into the fridge right away. I've read a lot of web pages by a lot of experts and I have been unable to find out this little detail.
Thanks in advance for your enlightening responses.
A little humor: What is an "expert"? An expert is a person who learns more and more about less and less until pretty soon he knows everything there is to know about nothing.
Here's my try at rye and pumpernickel bagels. I adapted the sourdough rye and sourdough pumpernickel recipes in Bread Alone to make bagels. I used high-gluten flour instead of the AP/bread flour in the 20% bran mix. I also made the dough stiffer than for normal bread.
The rye ones worked out great. They passed the 'float test' within 20 minutes of proofing. The pumpernickels are much denser, and haven't floated yet after almost an hour. Once they do, it's off to the frige for an overnight ferment.
I think my neighbors are starting to feel overwhelmed by all the loaves of bread that keep appearing at their houses :)
Like most of us here, I find little more satisfying than pulling a couple of gorgeous loaves off my stone. I don't have room in my freezer, and I'm way too impatient to wait until I finish one loaf to bake another :)
So what do you all do with your spare loaves? I was thinking of finding a homeless shelter, or the like, in the area to donate them to.
Well, I was surprised to see a big, flat package on my doorstep today. It was my SuperPeel, sent to me by Gary.
I ran inside to unpack it, and was pleasantly surprised at the professional packaging and instructions. I'm waiting for the belt to go through the wash once before I assemble it, but I was immediately struck by what a well-designed and executed product it is. I can't wait to play with it! It definately looks like its worth what he's asking on the website. I'll be sure to take some pictures once I get it all together.
Thanks again, Gary.
Oh, and you were right. My wife picked up the 'fake superpeel' piece of junk at Sur le Table. Besides having a cloth belt instead of a parchment paper one, the real SuperPeel just feels more solidly built, and looks like it's made from a better wood, or at least better cuts of wood.