The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I'm so new, I'm a two day old starter.

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little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

I'm so new, I'm a two day old starter.

I am really stinkin' new at this bread thing.
I am from Utah, currently stationed with my husband in North Carolina in an area we fondly call a 'BREAD DESERT'.
My options are Sunbeam and Nature's Own.
For someone raised on same day fresh bread, this is a depressing set of circumstances. 
I was given the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook for Christmas, and moved quickly from the macarons to TKO's to Batards.
My main problem was a pitiful budget for things like metal chain, river rocks, water guns, pizza stones, pullman pans.
I decided to try out one of the recipes with just what I have in my kitchen: my hand-me-down kitchenaid artisan, a couple of stacked baking sheets and a stainless steel bowl of water for steam.

What bloomed from these two loaves, baked to dry, split down the side, with little to no oven spring, is an obsession.

I have just ordered a pizza stone, just purchased some high gluten flour, just started reading Tartine Book No.3, and just started my first starter. 

I am here because my husband does not care about autolyse times and when I show him pictures from the Tartine Bread book, he just sees bread.

I need some friends who love the magical mixture of water, flour and salt as much as I do.

Hello, from the oasis in the middle of a Bread Desert.

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I assume that you really don't have a 2 day old soudough starter that is maturing adn beibg cultivated to make SD bread - (even though you should:-)  Something to look forward to.

You don't really need much equipment to make great bread including the Kitchen Aid  It is much better to learn to make bread by hand so that you can learn what it is supposed to fell like at each stage,  Learn to do slap and folds and stretch and folds, how to shape bread (great videos on this site and YouTube for these things)  and put a kitchen towel in the SS bowl when you steam - it won't burn and produce much more steam.

Pretty soon you will be a a great bread baker and enjoy everything that goes with it - evnen in a bread desert!

Happy baking,

little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

I do! I do have a 2 day old starter. My husband has started to call him Pepe Le Pew. He is annoyed that I keep making him smell the starter.

I am working mostly by hand, the Bouchon Bakery book has you let the dough mix with a dough hook for just 20 minutes and then you do all the stretching, folding and shaping by hand.

This is a very exciting thing, having a conversation about bread.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I usually only do 10 minutes of slap and folds and it takes the KA 20 minutes. But, my slap and folds actually work and do the job while the dough hook on the KA is pretty much worthless :-)  Glad you have your SD starter - started.  in 2-3 days it should be vigorous and in 5 -7 it will look dead as a door nail.  Don't worry, all is well,  it is just the food guys winnind the battle over the forces of evil  Pepe will come around again and in 10 days to 2 weeks you will have a real Pepe le Pew to be proud of. - love the name by the way!

Happy SD baking

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I think you will find a number of similarly obsessed people here. Flour, salt water and yum. Welcome!

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

I very rarely use anything other than flour, water, salt, and sourdough starter to make my bread. It's amazing how rich and complex the flavor can be from such ingredients! I'm also dealing with a family that doesn't care about the awesomeness of it all, although they love the bread I make. I don't have any special equipment, really. I just finally got a dough scraper a couple months ago, and that is the extent of it. I use my regular mixing bowls and utensils, and my plain ole oven that only heats to 500F degrees. For steaming, I use a cast iron skillet preheated with the oven, into which I pour hot water just after loading the loaves.

So, welcome to bread baking, and welcome to TFL! By the way, welcome to North Carolina, hope you enjoy your stay. I'm in NC too. Which part of NC are you living in, if you don't mind telling?

little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

Dabrownman- I just researched and tried out your slapping/stretching method, I’m a bit of a mess, but I do like the texture of the dough it turned out.

David Esq. – I am finding that! Tons of people to talk to.

DavidEF – It’s not that they don’t care, it’s just that they aren’t into it. Although, I was going to wait for my pizza stone to bake again, (Saturday) and my husband threw a tiny fit.  Needless to say, I am baking today. I am dealing with a rental electric oven with bipolar tendencies, but it works out. We are south-ish coastal in North Carolina. I am sorry if that is a little vague.  :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

The first time i slapped around a really wet one, I got dough everywhere including the ceiling :-)  With a little more practice you will control the slapping a little better and the kitchen will be spared excessive flying dough.  It is great to learn what a wet dough actually feels like as the gluten is developed and how silky smooth a 75% hydration white bread dough can get.  I'm going to running a few tests on not doing any stretch and folds after the slap and folds and treat it like a no knead bead after slapping it around to see if the crumb is more open. 

There are two kinds of slap and folds  i like the kind where after the fold you pick up each side of the western end of dough then rotating your hands 90 degrees to straighten them out -  then slap.  That way the dough is not only being slapped, pulled back to stretch, pulled east and west stretching it more and but also rotated 90 degrees each time making sure each part of the dough gets a workout.

Slapping and folding is my favorite part of bread making by far:-)

Happy baking

Heath's picture
Heath

The following is the best video I've found that teaches the art of slap and fold:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dUZ0O-Wv0Q&feature=g-all-u%C2%A0%C2%A0%C2%A0%C2%A0%C2%A0%C2%A0

It's quite long but well worth a watch as it answers any questions anyone not familiar with the method will have.

little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

Heath - That video is really brilliant! thank you so much! i have also had problems with surface tension, which this has cleared up for me.

Heath's picture
Heath

It's certainly a very informative video.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

add in the sprouts, scald, fruits nuts and seeds with stretch and folds after the slap and folds are done.Lucy loved her stupid master doing slap and folds with them in there as they ricocheted off everything like bullets. I think she gained a pound in about 10 minutes :-)

little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

What is the best way to mix things into your dough, I got weird clumps of fruit today. 

Heath's picture
Heath

You can add at the beginning or, if you'd prefer not to (as dabrownman wittily advises), add them by doing a couple of stretch and folds.  Stretch the dough out flat, scatter the fruit evenly onto the dough (and press them in a little so they don't fall out during the folds).  Fold the dough over several times as usual.  They should be evenly mixed into the dough after two stretch and folds.

little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

heath- that worked out good. thank you for your help!

Heath's picture
Heath

I'm glad it worked :-)