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Yesterday I started the starter from Bread Baker's Apprentice. Today when I added the second helping of water and flour I noticed some bubbles in the Day 1 mixture. I mixed in the new flour and water and marked on the side of the jar at the level of the dough. In the book Reinhart says it could maybe rise 50% by tomorrow. Well it has already risen that much in about 4 hours. I have only started a starter one other time and it seemed to take several days to do anything. Is everything alright? Thanks
update: now it has been about six hours and it is coming out the top of the 4c mason jar. I guess i am just going to divide it and add the 3rd day four and water.
Does anyone know how this could be happening so quickly? Or any advice on what i should do?
I am reading Nancy Silverton's Breads From The La Brea Bakery. I am very intrigued by using a natural starter as opposed to yeast, and really believe when she writes about the benefits to the flavor and texture of the bread, but I can't get past the sheer amount of material that gets used, and specially wasted.
After some quick spreadsheet calculation, it would take 25.12 Lbs. of flour to get the starter going, and after that, to keep the starter fed three times a day it will take 32.2 Lbs. of flour a week. Nevermind the cost, what bugs me the most is that so much is discarded. Unless I am making 12 loaves a day, so much starter goes in the trash (I can only give my friends so much).
Right now I am baking just a bout every weekend, starting with making a poolish on Friday night, etc...
Is there a way to make a lot less starter and still have it perform well? I get the feeling that Nancy's response would be no, it is the kind of thing you have to commit to. Maybe I should just stick with yeast?
My father keeps a starter that is a lot less work and he bakes every three days or so, but the results are less than spectacular (don't tell him that).
Anyway, any insight anybody might have would be appreciated.
Here are some pictures of a batch of Hamelman's light rye that I made using a couple of dutch ovens simultaneously. I did the entire mixing/kneading process by hand just to be able to get a good feel for the dough. I doubled Hamelman's recipe and made 2 three pound loaves using 2 dutch ovens. We're talking "serious workout" by hand :-) I also did a a couple of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation (20 minute intervals). He calls for dividing the dough for a single batch into two 1 1/2 pound loaves but I decided, since I had doubled his recipe, I would bake 2 large 3 pound boules using 2 dutch ovens. I used 2 large parchment lined skillets to proof the loaves under 2 large clear plastic bins (Walmart), then holding each end of the parchment I lifted each loaf into a preheated 500 deg. F. dutch oven (oven mittens highly recommended for this procedure), put on the lids on placed them into the oven and immediately lowered the oven temp. to 450 deg. F. Baked them for 25 minutes, took off the lid and let them top brown for about 10-12 minutes. Then shut off the oven and cracked the door for another five minutes before removing them from the oven. At the end of the baking cycle the intermal temp. of the loaves was 205 deg. F.
I did not use carraway seeds in this interatation. I wanted to compare Hamelman's light rye with Leader's Pierre Nury light rye to see the difference. Hamelman's loaves turned out to be a very good without the carraway seeds. But without the carraway seeds it didn't have the pronounced taste that you get with good Jewish rye, which the carraway seeds impart. This recipe is slightly different from Leader's recipe, but very good. I think Leader's Nury rye has a bit more flavor as a result of the process and the ovenight retardation in the fridge for 12-18 hours. But overall they're both great recipes, only slightly different in taste and texture. The Hamelman recipe is somewhat easier and quicker (uses a bit of yeast in the dough) but I still think it's near impossible to top the Nury rye.
Anyway, that's my experiment for the week. I recently bought a couple of bags of King Arthur whole grain with my last flour order, which have been sitting in the refrigerator waiting for some "action". So, later this week I'm going to make some whole grain. Haven't done the soaker thing yet but after seeing Eric Hanner's beautiful whole grain loaves he recently posted I'm anxious to try Mark Sinclair's recipe.
P.S. The memory stick on my camera filled up and I couldn't get a photo of the crumb (yeah, likely story) but it was nice and open. Not as nice and open, with large holes, as Leader's Nury rye but still a very nice crumb.
Hamelman's light rye baked in a dutch oven: Hamelman's light rye no. 1
Hamelman's light rye baked in a dutch oven: Hamelman's light rye no. 2
Hamelman's light rye baked in a dutch oven: Hamelman's light rye no. 3
Hamelman's light rye baked in a dutch oven: Hamelman's light rye no. 4
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I've just tried a "30-minute mozzarella" recipe, and it turned out wonderful, but the book it came from said that the leftover whey can be used as a substitute liquid in bread making. Has anyone tried this? Book reads: "whey contains milk sugar, albuminous protein, and minerals." So, is the part that is called "albuminous protein" same as the serum protein in milk and thus has to be scalded (just below the boiling point = 190F) before it could be used? The whey in the mozzarella cheese making process only got to 105 degrees F.
Hey there everybody,
So I'm courting some new business even though we're not quite open yet, and one of the prospectives is a wine and cheese/gourmet shop. The owner was describing something he desired for the shop in addition to some of the stuff I already offer. Anyway, I said, "Like a peasant loaf?" and he said, "Exactly." I asked him what ingredients he specifically was looking for and he said, "Kalamata olives, and possibly rosemary."
So, does anybody have a kick butt recipe for a loaf that has at least olives in it? Thanks.
For those interested, I'll be posting pix soon of the finished bakery!
This recipe is a modified version of Floyd's !0 Minute Banana Bread recipe shown at the lower left on the home page. It incorporates most of the suggestions Foolish Poolish made just recently and a change or two of my own. I just happened to have some over-ripe bananas and some left-over starter this morning, so I though , "Why not?" It's delicious and so tender it almost slices itself!
Sourdough Banana Bread
Preheat oven to 350° F
In a food processor, combine and pulse until broken up:
1/2 stick of room temperature butter (4 ounces/60 gr.)
2 -3 fully ripe bananas, broken into chunks
In a large mixing bowl combine and stir:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (214 gr.) (could be partly whole wheat, but not more than 1/2 cup)
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (100 to 150 gr.)
3/4 teas. salt (4.5 gr.)
3/4 teas. baking soda (3.5 gr.)
1/4 teas. baking powder (3.5 gr.)
1/2 teas. cinnamon (1 gr.)
Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
Also add up to a cup of sourdough starter. I used a scant cup of batter-consistancy starter, and it was just right. Thw weight here will vary -- some starters are heavier than others. It would be ok to use a liquid measure of 8 oz., more or less, here.
Stir all together very very well.
Optional ingredients to add at this point:
1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped walnuts, or
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, or
1 to 2 tablespoons flax seeds
I would not use more than one of these options.
Grease an 8 1/2" X 4 1/2" loaf pan or two smaller ones. Turn batter into pan(s).
Bake at 350° F on a middle rack. It should take 30 or so minutes if in two pans and about 40 in just one. Test by poking a toothpick into the center of the loaf; if it comes out clean, the bread is done.
Let sit in pan(s) for 5 minutes or so, then turn out onto a wire rack.
This is going to be my favorite use of left-over sourdough, I can tell that!
Sorry, no photos; I put it in two 8 1/2"X4 1/2" pans and the loaves are way too flat to be proud of, but they taste great.
Thanks to Foolish Poolish for getting me started on this modification and to Floyd for providing the basic recipe.
I'm always excited when my coffee tastes as good as it smells. The same applies to bread. For some reason the aroma and flavor of things don't always line up to be what I expect. Recently I tried Mark Sinclair's Multi Grain Bread from the recipe he has posted on his "The Back Home Bakery" website. I have tried a few other combinations of grains and methods that were pretty good but this was on the next level for me. It has a great heady aroma and it tastes wonderful. You can see the dough is not to dense and makes a great sandwich or toast. The toaster brings out the rustic nature of the grains and it tastes as good as it smells!
Mark has some first rate instructional videos on his site also that I have found very helpful for shaping and kneading. I appreciate that he is sharing his talent with us home bakers.
Here is the Bakery web site where you will find the recipe. http://www.thebackhomebakery.com/
I tried my hand at baking bread on the grill this past weekend. With summer upon us, and daily temps at 100 degrees, sometimes higher, it is necessary to forego the kitchen oven and hone my breadbaking skills in a 'cooler' environment.
Since I normally do the grilling, I had an idea of my hotspots ahead of time. I'd researched the web, and the many links of TFL to understand that this was a venture where I shouldn't expect perfection, but as with an bread baking, note that with due time I might surprise myself with the results.
Remember my pizza stone that was unfit for the kitchen? I'd thrown it out into the garden to use as a stepping stone. Oh yes! It's true. I went for that gem, scoured it with a non-suds steel wool pad, doused it with organically compounded dish soap, washed it some more. Returned it to the outdoors to air dry, retrieved it and slathered it with olive oil. Placed this little gem outside to bake in the sun and returned a couple hours later. Rubbed a paper towel over it and placed it on the center rack of the grill, over an old toaster oven rack. (I wanted to build a bit more insulation around the stone and grill rack.) Shut the grill door and fired up all four burners to the low setting. I allowed them to heat for 15 minutes, while back in the kitchen I was proceeding with last minute details for the first loaf: egg white/cream wash, slashing and a covering of sesame seeds. (Next time I will slash first, wash and then apply seeds...the wash made the surface a bit tricky to cut).
Back out to the grill, carrying the loaf (set upon a bit of parchment for easy slide to the stone), and my old stew pot I planned on using as a cover/cloche. Open the grill, slid in the loaf, covered and went inside for a cooler 20 minutes. Back at that time, removing the cloche item, I would find the loaf burnt on the bottom, but a lovely golden brown on the top. (what to do, what to do....surely it can't be done in a mere 20 minutes?). Carried the cover into the kitchen and with furrowed brow set about to panic. Threw caution to the wind and went quickly to retrieve the loaf. Picking it up I discovered how hollow it sounded, and the wonderful camelized smell. I knew I was on to something.
Round two, or, loaf #2. I turned two of the four burners off, leaving only those in the center on low, dusted the crispy-fried remnants of parchement off and allowed the oven to build even heat for about ten minutes. Redux of earlier loaf final prep and I am back to the grill for a second attempt. Slid the loaf onto the heated stone, this time leaving the cover/cloche in the kitchen. Returned the cover on the grill and went to time this prize for 15 minutes. ... tic, tic, tic.....Lift the cover and note that the loaf is NOT burnt, but a beautiful golden color on the bottom, yet the top is far from being browned. Quietly lower the lid on the grill and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. Final result? Not a golden browned loaf atop, but none-the-less an absolute in all other ways. I had an open crumb unlike anything I've ever accomplished in all of my prior baking attempts. With such success I had concluded that I'd never eaten better bread....I truly was a convert to this new way of baking. Today I will be attempting trial #2.
The camera battery is recharging as I type.