The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough on the Salish Sea

  • Pin It
Heidela's picture
Heidela

Sourdough on the Salish Sea

Hi there,
For over 30 years I have been learning to bake various breads from books, trial and error, along with the Internet, My first 15 years, bread bakng was a way to feed my family on a limited budget. Results were good, never great. But we did eat better with whole grains and fresh flours. I am a naturally good cook so much as I thought I could bake bread, I was not being precise, never had consistent results, because I tried to "cook" bread. By this I mean I thought that I could toss together and recreate any bread I wanted from the same " gut" I use to prepare food. Well wrong! I am completely humbled by the science and precision it takes to make a consistently wonderful bread.
It clicked step by step I studied, researched, participated in on various baking forums. I became precise, weigh vs measure or even worse I was eyeballng! It sure would have helped, saved time and money, to have some one close by to nurture me along! I really needed a bread baking mom or grandma to help me! My family are all great cooks but baking? Not even cookies! They all avoid it ...so I will be there for my grandkids! My kids learned to bake but mainly with yeast but really they only make pizza and cinnamon rolls.
I am only using sourdough these days....such a lonely place! No one I know has a clue about sourdough baking. Well very few bake anything other than basics and think I am a nut bag for taking sometimes up to three days to finish a loaf! I adore sourdough, use it exclusively, for everything from light as air donuts to heavy multigrain breads. Currently have three distinct cultures that I use. All three work beautifully! My flavors are right, I get holes when I want holes, good crumb for desired recipes, understand hydration, different forms of fermentation. have endless recipes to try.
And yet ever humbled...I struggle with free form and Artisan loaves, and the art of a great slash! ( my slashes are awful! )
So here I am hoping to turn my struggle for a lovely rustic loaf ..into a success with artistic slashing
My other plan this year is to build an outdoor bread oven.. We have taked about one, researched, yearned and now finally have the means and a spot....and have earned it!

I use Korean stone bowls to bake loaves or unglazed masonry tiles for flat bread and I nake either in an electric oven or on the grill...the stone bowls make nice big tasty crusty round loaves that look nice but could look lovely if I could give up the bowl!

Thanks for any and all advice

Ok then my intro blabber is over, off to read and learn more

Ford's picture
Ford

OK, you got me to look up the term Salish Sea. I've been there and did not know it by that name.

Ford

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and happy SD baking.  Folks here know just about everything about SD bread so just ask or use thesearch.  Do you live in the nothern portion of the Salish Sea in Canada or the southern part in the USA?

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Which part of the Sea are you from?

Heidela's picture
Heidela

Thank you for the greetings! I live in Washington state
( but am half Canadian :) ! ) on the Sound ( Salish Sea is just so romantic sounding more so than The Puget Sound ) In a maritime micro climate pocket of a little town. meaning we have extra rain!
Rain rain rain so baking is a delight. My son says he feels like Pavlov's dog ...when it rains his mouth waters and he smells bread baking!
The best part besides the stunning view ...when you can see it...I am a year around gardener (as well as working for "the man" full time). So I have tons of herbs, seeds and other wonderful flavorings. As well as ducks who produce eggs like Pez dispensers!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

ever use your duck eggs in bread?

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Sorry, I don't know the US part of the Salish Sea.  I have been to the BC Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island and that is really a beautiful area, even the prosaically named Desolation Sound.  But that was just a holiday - I usually reside a good few thousand miles away in the UK.

Rodneywt1180b's picture
Rodneywt1180b

Welcome to the site.  I live in Washington and haven't seen or heard the term before now.

Rodney

G-man's picture
G-man

I learned this name for it after reading a book called "Plenty" by two residents of Vancouver.

 

As a lifetime resident of north Seattle, do you mind if I pry and ask which small town (and resulting microclimate) you exist within? Sourdough can vary so much with even a few degrees, a seemingly small change in humidity, a variation in feeding schedule...

My advice to you is this: Forget all of the other recipes out there. Focus on perfecting those recipes you and your family enjoy the most.  Take in as much criticism as you can tolerate or they can dish out (in that order!) and make your creations PERFECT. When you learn how to do this regularly, move on to another recipe.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The best way to get a good moist dough to behave itself!  :)

I like to actually bake in two woks one inverted on top of the other trapping in steam.  Bowls do the same and Korean bowls are especially lovely to bake in.

We talk about sourdough all the time here.  It's our bread discussion haven.  Welcome!

Heidela's picture
Heidela

Thanks for the welcome I have tried to come back to read but my job is sucking my life force away faster than I have time to replenish. I am going to " retire" into poverty in three years...more than a decade sooner than ICANN collect anything...good thing I can bake huh?

Yes I bake with and adore using duck eggs, I have both hens and ducks giving me Sooooooo many eggs I have come to conclusions
Alway undercooked duck eggs for eating ...just a touch less than you like hens eggs. And when making anything you have to beat egg whites up, add cream of tartar right away and they will lift to amazing cloudes

In bread they add amazing texture and a golden shade that the hen eggs never do, almost saffrony

I just finished a black sesame whole wheat sourdough challah that is magnificent in color so I plan to make it again zoo with white flour so I can see how pretty it really is!

I am too shy to say the exact town ..and my IPC is where My husband works sadly because the Internet is full of creepy people. I had a guy flip out on me on a garden board because I wouldn't pay heed to his foil hat paranoia.

But if you do a search on" micro climates of the Puget Sound" you can see what I mean , mine is a distinct marine climate. Not many natives here notice. However I transplanted my roots here 27 years ago, let's just say the moss grew between my toes and I love to eat cool weather crops. So I garden year around. I di grow tomatoes, but the drama involved is crazy

G-man's picture
G-man

I think I might know a little bit about what you mean by "drama" around tomatoes. The last time I grew tomatoes I had three good ones. The year before that, I had well over 50 between two plants, only 1/4 of which left the green stage. I made a lot of green tomato relish.

I'm still trying to figure out what I can actually grow. Chard in one place in my garden grows beautifully, while across the yard it's sparse at best and dead more often than not, while the situation is exactly reversed for beans and other legumes.

I understand your reluctance to mention your location, Internet can be a terrible place.

Heidela's picture
Heidela

We can grow some greens here can't we! I am going to try to focus on a few recipes, I am truly and literally all over the map right now I need to get these eggs into bread as well
I love working with the Canadian wheat flour I buy it in Rusian markets South of Seattle in Fed Way with some wonderful bags of rye

Ok I am going to try a sourdough challah this week for sure after reading so much on it today, I like the idea of extra yolks
And I have caraway rye to make as well

It is so easy and fun to make sourdough bread around a busy schedule! But it gives you something really soothing in life to enjoy