The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Busy busy busy

I've been baking a lot, I've just had no time with work and home life to post. Here's a quick update of what I've been making over the past few weeks.

The sticky buns have been a big hit, but I only make them when we've got company staying over -- otherwise, I eat far too many. Photos and the recipe are here.

Oatmeal bread has made a come-back. I've tried a bunch of recipes, but pre-ferments never work for me because, since I prefer to use cooked steel-cut oats, the water in the oatmeal and the pre-ferment together make the dough too wet. I've finally settled on the recipe from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book which relies on the oatmeal alone for liquid, but I took a cue from Hammelman and added an overnight retarding in the fridge. I love the warm, sweet flavor of the oats -- this might be my favorite sandwich bread.


I've also been making sourdough whole-wheat pizzas (60%). Here's the recipe I use for the dough, though lately I've been scaling back the water to 75% so that I can be sure I won't have any trouble with the dough sticking to the peel.



Here's that Ponsford Ciabatta that was giving me such fits a few weeks ago. It turned out OK, but, surprisingly, the flavor was not as yummy as the Poolish Ciabatta from Hammelman's Bread. It also started to go stale just a few hours after I made it. All I can figure is that I overproofed the thing.



Here's a funny one. Just a simple loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread, made with yogurt, from Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. I have no idea why the oven spring was so lopsided. Odd.



Last, I've been playing around a lot with rye, since I revived my rye starter from a massive attack of stinky black mold. I've tried breads with 40% rye and 60% whole wheat, but unless they're panned, I've never gotten the kind of volume I like. So I've been going with a 40-30-30 mix of whole rye - whole wheat - strong white flour that I've been very pleased with. I also add caraway. Yum.

Comments

cordel's picture
cordel

Those all look great, jmonkey.

holds99's picture
holds99

Jmonkey,

Looks like you're making up for lost time.  They all look very nice.  Your rye starter looks like it's doing fine.

HO

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I'm baking 2-3 times per week, these days. It's easier working from home. And the rye does seem to be doing OK, though, I've had to revive it again. It seems that the mold took back over as soon as I put it in the fridge -- even though I'd totally sanitized the container! This time, I'm going to feed it twice a day for several days before putting it back in. Hopefully, the sourdough critters will kill off any remaining spores.

holds99's picture
holds99

Sounds like a reasonable plan for the sourdough critters.  For what it's worth, I read in Nancy Silverton's Bread From The LaBrea Bakery that she also has trouble keeping rye and whole wheat starter for a prolonged period of time in the fridge without it going bad.  If I remember correctly she attributes it to the oil in the rye and whole wheat flours.  Apparantly, that isn't a problem with all-purpose or bread flour as a result of the milling process.  She has done a lot of experimentation with various sourdough starters. I don't know if it will work or not but I made a batch of her whole wheat starter and used it to bake a couple of loaves, which came out very good.  I made extra starter up to the point where it gets mixed into dough for the overnight retardation and froze it in 16 oz. cups.  I'm anxious to see whether or not it works after being taken out of the freezer and thawed.  You might take a look at her book re: sourdough starters, whole grain starters in particular, and see what you think.  Anyway, hope the critters vamoose with the feedings.

HO

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Please let us know how your frozen sourdough works. That would be handy.

holds99's picture
holds99

Kippercat,

I'll let you know if it works or not.  I have frozen and thawed my white sourdough starter over the years without a problem.  Mostly when I wasn't going to be using it for a month or longer.  I've been using the same starter for 10 years.  It's one that I made from Nancy Silveton's book using grapes.  It's been great starter but as you may know it's a lengthy process (14 days, as I recall, of feeding and nurturing).  Like I said, I'll let you know how it goes next time I make sourdough whole wheat bread.

HO