The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Milk in salt rising starter

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

Milk in salt rising starter

Simple question...but couldn't find it actually addressed. 

My question is...  Could I use dried milk?? 

I ask because I don't usually buy milk anymore.  I keep canned milk and dried milk.  It's just too hard to find a store bought milk that works well for making cheese at home...due to the problems with homogenizing and pasteurizing and I don't have access to a local dairy now. So milk is not something I pick up at the store.  I don't mind buying a qt of milk...but IF I do...should it be 4%, 2% or skim and does it matter??

Based on my experience with cheese making and store bought milk...I felt this could be a potential problem and I wanted to head off problems if I can.  I want to make some for a group of elderly folks that remember this old type bread.

In the 70's, when I made cheese frequently, or salt rising bread, I bought my milk at a produce stand...so that may be why I had no problems making a starter.

 

 

 

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I would think that any of those milk options would work just fine for bread making.  Just make a batch of milk from whatever source (dried,evaporated,etc) and use as you would regular milk. Use any fat level you want and if you want more fat in the dough, just add a little butter.

Care to share your recipe and method? I found a recipe attributed to Bernard Clayton on King Arthur flour site. It sounds interesting.

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-american-salt-rising-bread-recipe

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

I'm going to try the one from KA first since I didn't find it with my grandmothers notes.  I think my elderly neighbors might appreciate sharing this bread with me cause it isn't as chewy/crunchy or whole grain which is my normal diet.  Plus it is reported that it is a long keeper...which is helpful for seniors who I am baking this for.  When I had tons of men and kids to feed...long keeping bread wasn't my goal.  Nothing every lasted.  Now I have bread wasting cause I can't eat it all by myself.  IF the folks here will eat white bread...then I'll make them something to remind them of their grandmas.

I just remember my Mama Lindsey's bread when she sliced me some before the family showed up to help with the meal.  Her bread were mostly biscuits (daily) or cornbread...but on occasion she made this. 

I was on a quest for decades (60-80's) trying to find out why her bread was so different from the "yeast" breads I was making. I didn't know anyone that knew more than to tell me it had to be "salt rising bread" since they had no access to store bought cake yeast living so far out in the country...so it was sourdough or salt rising. 

Once I tried an old recipe for salt rising...I knew it was what she had been making.  Her's tended to be a bit yellowish crumb at times.  No idea why.

It was such a treat to get a slice of hot bread cause I had 6 brothers and 1 sister...so eating anything between meals was not easy to do...and IF there was a slice left by...I got treated to "sugar, butter and bread" as a way to spoil me.  Being left inside all the time to help my grandmothers do the cooking, (while the other kids played) can have some perks...LOL!  

David R's picture
David R

Yellow...

Not many things that were common in relatively-isolated areas would turn bread yellowish. Cornmeal/corn flour? Egg yolks? ... You'd have to add a LOT of butter to make your bread look yellow, so probably not that...

Of course you could add turmeric or saffron, or even yellow dye, but those don't seem like sensible possibilities.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

This bread derives from Appalachia-a part of mid-southern USA. There are pockets of people from this area that never  had wheat flour until the early 1900's and some even later. Corn was king as the major source of carbohydrate and used in all manor of bread and biscuits. Some yellow corn and some white corn. Commercial yeast was also scarce. Yeast, if frequently used, was often made from potatoes and kept in a crock in the kitchen. 

One of the starters for salt rising bread is corn meal. Granny probably used yellow corn meal for her starter.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Did you see they wrote a book? HERE is the link.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

I like to try and get a book from the library first...then purchase it if it will be used fairly frequently to me.  I no longer have a room of bookshelves...so I have to plan. 

Right now I am dealing with the problem of keeping the starter to temp.  I used to put mine on top of my water heater in a closed closet in corner of a large kitchen.  I don't have that option here in a tiny apartment cause the water is heated building wide and my heating pad turns itself off and my oven with light on gets only to 86.

I will figure something out eventually.  I just downsized so I don't have my usual assortment of hotpots, crockpots, canners, roasters etc that could be useful.  

I used to collect bread books/cookbooks...historical ones too...but I had to downsize and limit myself to a small bookcase for just cookbooks.  In order to get a new book...I will have to give up a book.  No more multiple editions of the Picayune cookbook for me...so I kept the 1903 one cause it is so historical.  In all fairness...I had way way way too many cookbooks that I bought then rarely used.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I, also, downsized and initially I grieved the loss of a lot of "stuff". Some of these things were my "toys" and even if I didn't play with them, it was comforting knowing I could when I wanted. Then I discovered how light I felt. It was actually liberating to shed a lot of this stuff and I came to see that I could enjoy my stuff even if I no longer possessed it. The memory was enough and made me happy to think about. Somehow all the stuff acted like anchors-a good thing to keep you from drifting away,right? BUT also something that pinned me in place when I wanted to float free. Too many anchors!

So enjoy the freedom of downsizing. Also, write something about this book if you get it from the library-even if it isn't worth buying. The knowledge of these 2 authors on this very obscure bread sounds priceless but may play to a limited audience. This forum is exactly where that audience may reside and those members may LOVE to hear about this book.

Enjoy!

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

I know what you mean about the toys.  My problem was that I was so used to making breads and cheese as well as canning everything...and a prepper too...and had a large garage too and no hubby or sons to fill it up with crap.  I had family in and out of my house so it was easy to "share" my cooking/baking.

My stuff, of course, was NOT crap...but clearly I didn't need 6 canners, enough canning jars for Armageddon, and 6 chinoise, and enough slow cookers and large roasters (I used for my yearly plum butters and tomato sauces) and 2-3 years of staples in the pantry and a whole 6 ft cabinet just for cheese making stuff.

First I went to only 1 of each thing the first smaller place I moved...then I realized when I moved to a small apt for first time in my life...it was impossible to even keep even 1 of everything.  

And that was at my living home...I had 3 or 4 times that at a bug out location that we used for emergency family compound.  

It is a lot less to worry about now that is for sure.  

It is a little challenging...but I am comforted that I could pass my stuff to young couples with an interest in such things but perhaps not the money to get those items.  

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

But I've read up on the process and if I understand this correctly it's bread risen with bad bacteria and i'm scared to try it.

Wikipedia excerpt: One of the main rising agents, the bacterium Clostridium perfringens, is a common cause of food poisoning and can cause enteritis necroticans (pig-bel disease) and gas gangrene. Although disease-causing strains of C. perfringens have been isolated from salt-rising breads, there is no indication of salt-rising bread having ever caused any human disease. The baking process appears to reduce bacteria to safe levels.[1]

clazar123's picture
clazar123

The clostridium is certainly a bad bacteria to have an infection from, but so is yeast. I had a young woman who developed a systemic (in the blood) yeast infection who DIED from it.I have witnessed both types of infections firsthand.

That being said, this bread has been used for probably 100+ years and when making bread,is not known to cause infection. Also, this particular bacteria is part of the normal flora/fauna of the human intestine as is E.Coli. But remember that not all strains of these bacteria are bad actors. We are covered, inside and out, with all manner of bacteria and yeasts and yet we can be "healthy". 

But I really do understand the hesitation as I feel it, also. I don't know if I would handle the starter and bread if I had open cuts.

OTOH, it sure sounds intriguing. I picture an appalachian grandmother in a log cabin with no running water or electricity making the starter and kneading the bread on a table sawn from local trees cut down to clear for the cabin. If she developed an infection, she probably brought out a tin box containing green moldy bread and put a poultice of mold on the infection to cure it. HERE is a very interesting read on that.

Please post if you make this bread.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I'd be less concerned. Happy with the thought all the bacteria has been killed off. But as you have pointed out it's the handling, utensils and cross contamination. However as you also pointed out they've been baking this for 100+ years, probably without the knowledge of what exactly was going on inside the starter/dough, with no ill effects.

Come to think of it I've handled many a sourdough starter in it's young leuconostoc days and didn't think twice about. A lot to do with not a lot being said about this "bad bacteria" as the finished product is "good bacteria and yeasts". No issues at all.

Being a bread making technique that is purely North American, North East USA to be precise, it's somewhat obscurity and unique starter i'm very curious as to what it tastes like. I'm thinking of trying this but it'll have to be rubber gloves - nice idea!

Thanks for the article.

David R's picture
David R

A number of old-fashioned food practices and recipes around the world, ones developed either by experiment or by accident but without knowing the mechanisms behind them, fall into a category I'd call "Shouldn't be safe, but nobody seems to get sick". I still don't want to try hákarl, but it's not because I'm afraid of catching a disease. 😁

And there are well-known foods that were scientifically understood when they were developed, like the great care taken with butchering the puffer fish in Japan, that I'd trust a lot less than letting "bad" bacteria raise my bread dough.

The only thing I'd want to make sure of: The traditional method was what didn't make people sick, so whatever that traditional method was, I'd want to stick to it as closely as possible, just in case.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

I'm a retired RN who saw the effects of the bad Clostridium bacteria on people...so I understand the reluctance...BUT...I know I survived my grandmothers bread and a lot of stinky cheeses just fine as long as I didn't eat too much of a good thing. 

I personally am not concerned over the baked bread...BUT I make sure I used the same clean technique I would use for any cheese making, (especially soft cheese), or canning of food when handling the dough and clean up the kneading board well.  I use vinegar.  My great grand...lived most of her life without electricity...and no access to the store perhaps a few times a year someone went.  SOOOOO I grew up eating all sorts of stuff I'd not eat at room temperature now.  Their way of dealing with left overs...cover with a clean table cloth on huge table in unheated dining room.  Supper comes...re boil most of the stuff ...then eat it then or you'd have to eat it for breakfast.  LOL!  We went to bed early cause after supper no heat added to house and it was DARK.  Chamber pot cause it was too damn cold to go downstairs in the dark.  NO PROBLEM getting up to start the stove in the morning...I shivered while I waited for 400am.  I was eager beaver to start working on the biscuits cause it was a way to warm up. 

I had to laugh...I just thought of what my grandmother would think of me if I started questioning her on her methods on her starter. 

 

David R's picture
David R

Does vinegar really have any effect on C. perfringens? I haven't seen anything about that.

Unfortunately I do know that vinegar has become a sort of cleaning superstition - used for a number of purposes where it really does work, but also for thousands of purposes where it only provides a false sense of security.

For this type of cleanup (where high levels of bacteria are expected on surfaces, and you want to have a useful effect on them rather than just spreading them around to infect more surfaces), a bleach solution is probably a far safer alternative. I'm aware that bleach has recently been characterized as evil, but if you're planning to think that your countertop has been disinfected, it's just as well that it be disinfected.

 

PS: I'm all for trusting Granny in the sense of giving her the benefit of the doubt - but we can't trust her on the parts where we now know for sure that she had it wrong.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

 https://www.popsci.com/article/science/clostridium-it-can-kill-you-or-it-can-make-you-bread

Something to remember...there are many many strains of E:Coli.  Not all will cause food poisoning.  

I do think that IF there was specific concerns about cross contamination...the gals who literally wrote the book and made the video would have mentioned it.  Also King Arthur would have warnings all over the place.  That is good enough for me cause I've made it before and I didn't kill anyone.  When I get their book...perhaps they will address that concern in their techniques. 

I wish I still had my microbiology books...but IF memory serves me (I'm getting old) the risk is in an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment.  

I've canned my whole life...so I know that in the case of C. botulinum and perhaps all types of Clostridium the danger is ONCE in an air tight environment...spores can form...and that causes the toxin to develop and that can kill people.  It is particular concern for people who make sausages or in processed meats from the market.  I'd feel safer eating salt rising bread than commercially produced meat products anymore.  

Vinegar solution works for everyday sanitation...but if I am working with raw meats or spill egg wash...I do use bleach just to be sure.  Less worried about salt rising bread dough since simple clean technique should work just fine by my thinking in an oxygen rich environment. 

If their book says different..I'll pass it along.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I have read up on salt rising bread but while they say it contains bacteria that can be found in food poisoning, and even wounds they also say it's fine because.... etc. However by this stage all I can think about is what these bacteria are and even if they do say it's fine the ick factor remains with a nagging doubt "what if...".

Thanks for the link and advice. Another article for me to digest and perhaps tip me over the edge to finally making it.

Plus, there are many recipes out there with all varying methods on making the starter. And like David said i'd like to know exactly how they made it back in the day so I can avoid any harmful effects. Do you have an authentic original recipe that you've tried and tested?

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I see that Salt Rising Bread has baking soda in it. Since we also leaven bread with baking soda alone, soda bread, then how can we call this bacteria infested starter the leavening agent? Why isn't it just a flavoured soda bread? Interesting but far from unique.

It was also born from American pioneers who didn't have access to yeast and couldn't keep a sourdough starter going due to convenience. Yet they had baking soda!

And everyone says the "salt" in salt rising starter is a misnomer and it's probably the way how they kept it warm or just a way to say it was yeast-less but isn't soda a salt?

David R's picture
David R

Technically it's a salt... Put a little on your tongue if you're not sure 🙂... but nobody has ever called sodium bicarbonate by the single word "salt". "Salt" as a single unqualified word means "sodium chloride" exactly, unless you're talking with a chemistry professor.

In this country, even potassium chloride is sold under the name "NoSalt" to emphasize what it isn't. 🙂

(I'm for "salt-rising" being just another misnomer, along the lines of "oil-cured olives" - which in fact are cured in bags filled with salt. [They're packed in oil afterward for storage, which might be the reason for the name... Either that or someone was trying to hide how salty they are. 😁])

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

When it comes to the leavening and the name?

David R's picture
David R

I have no idea how this name should be resolved. An ignorant mistake from days gone by? Something else?

Maybe the starter was liberally salted to discourage the wrong things from growing? That's nothing but idle speculation on my part.

PS: I've probably only compounded the confusion, with my mixture of words that don't really provide a solution. But I can hope it will precipitate further conversation - as long as no one makes a mountain out of 6.02×10^23 hill.

Justanoldguy's picture
Justanoldguy

It may be a corruption of 'sault', a word that meant rapid and therefore refers to speed with which the starter could be prepared and the pace at which the bread would rise.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I did a lot of reading on the word "salt", the history of leavening and the ratios of BS in recipes. Fascinating reading! I just presented a very brief synopsis of thoughts on these questions. I don't know of the origin of the name "salt rising" bread.I only find the same references that have been made-using warm salt to set the culture on,etc. That one is probably an anecdotal name from whoever first shared the recipe.

"Back in the day" or "in a galaxy,far,far,away" or perhaps "long before I was born"  , leavening was not easy to accomplish. Food was thick and hard so anything produced that was light or airy was received with absolute delight. But it must have been desirable enough that people did the work to make it. I believe a sourdough or yeast culture of some kind was present in most kitchens, since baking probably occurred often-even if it was more like modern pancakes. A lot of the yeast was derived from beermaking or vinegar production-beer was a beverage that replaced water for ALL in the household-safer to drink than water.Diluted vinegar was also considered very refreshing, much as modern lemonade is.  But yeast cookery did take time and planning and I imagine it often failed in cold weather. A chemical leavener must have seemed miraculous! Just add this black specked "salt" (potash) to the sour milk-based cake and, voila, it rises immediately. Life is instantly easier.

A very brief history of leaveners:

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/quick-bread-primer.html#a1

Chemical leavening has been around for a long time in many parts of the world. It was a prized commodity that was difficult to produce. In the Appalachias, lye production from ash was a common occurrence. Potash/pearlash is derived from that process. How it eventually got into food is anyone's guess but then, how did early people figure out how some foods were poisonous? Particularly mushrooms and other foods that don't kill/harm immediately?

I'm not sure of the purpose of the baking soda in the KA recipe for salt rising bread but it is a small amount and the mix of Starter 1 and Starter 2 (with the BS) are supposed to sit for 2-4 hours while rising. I don't think there will be any leavening power of BS left by then. I wonder if it is simply a pH adjustor to maximize the environment for the bacteria to multiply because that rise is a make-or-break moment. If there is no rise you are instructed to start over.

Please post if you make this bread!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

thank you Clazar. Still trying to get my head round it but people love it. I've just sent the popular science article to colleagues at work, no one has heard of it here, and the faces they pulled made me laugh.

https://youtu.be/BaJJvqPaFeM

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

Unfortunately...this bakery used YEAST in their salt rising bread and traditionalist scoff at that being real salt rising bread.  

I know I've seen a lot of recipes that do add yeast to the BOILED potato water with a bit of cornmeal and soda to make the starter and it is called both Pioneer Bread as well as Salt rising bread.

I want to make it the traditional way since a little old lady mentioned it...and I remembered my greatgrands being such a treat for me.  She has trouble eating my chewy crusted breads...so I want to make her something that will eat well for her...and store well.

Only reason I haven't made it in decades was because I preferred more whole grains as a rule for my family...and only made "white bread" when my parents or grandparents were staying with me. 

My grandmother never could understand why I would CHOOSE to eat whole grains once I left home...for to her that was what people who were really poor would eat.  LOL!  Since they lived a hard scrabble life growing up...she thought it was a blessing to be able to eat white bread...store bought at that.  She was not a fan of grinding and sifting...so she loved store bought flours.  I went to the dark side I guess...in her mind.  

David R's picture
David R

Quite a few things are like this...

Lobster used to be the unappetizing trash for people who were too poor to afford even a fish.

patman23's picture
patman23

In the northeast (think New England coast) When colony leaders and priests would visit the colonists, maybe 1500’s-ish, they would apologize for the visitors, for only having lobster for meat. That was all they had to eat for quite some time if I’m not mistaken. Of course, as soon as I’m done here I’ll run to google to see if Im remembering all this correctly. Also, the shores were covered in crabs and lobsters, especially at low tide. Now, they’re shipped all over the world. And being heavily fished. My, how times have changed...

David R's picture
David R

Out of context as I accidentally took it, it was a sobering but somewhat liberating thought - the stark and frank assessment, amounting almost to a corporate confession of guilt, of people's willingness to just make up answers when they don't know the facts - expressed in traditionally-precise baking lingo as "the ratio of BS in the recipe". 😁

clazar123's picture
clazar123

That went right over my head. "That" being your statement about "out of context",etc. Are there any antecedents to those pronouns? "Corporate confession of guilt"?, "make up answers"? Who and/or what are you referring to? Was it the video?

David R's picture
David R

My brave attempt at a joke fell flat. 🙂

The letters B.S. normally stand for something ruder than Baking Soda. 😁

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

The gals who wrote the book addresses the name issue in that video. 

 

My starter right now...not looking promising after 14 hrs...it got too hot and I just read it doesn't like being made in plastic...and I put it in a 1 qt cambro tub.  You'd think they'd mention that fact on the KA web site...LOL.  OH well.  It makes sense.  You don't make cheese in plastic either...at least not in the "culture" part of the process.

Will try next in a glass jar which is how I used to make it.  

The book should be here in a few days.

I was hoping to make this for an elderly neighbor of mine to boost her spirits.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

This is quite an undertaking in an attempt to help someone experience some joy and remembrance. That is a very kind thing for you to do. Exactly what the world needs now. I hope you are successful.

David R's picture
David R

Don't call it an undertaking, because undertakers really hate C. perfringens. 🙂

But in seriousness I agree that good memories along with someone caring about you (and caring for you) is a great gift - at any stage of life, but especially nearing the end of it.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

It's for my benefit more than hers...my whole life...and I do mean my whole life was built around the kitchen and feeding folks wholesome foods.  Now I have no one to feed since my elderly parents moved permanently to their farm in Texas. 

I am happy to make all sorts of things for my elderly neighbors cause it makes me feel good and it is so hard for some to get to the grocery store for fresh bakery items. 

A lot of them depend on a delivery of out dated breads and pastries on Sunday...and I said bull crap on that.  I can bake FRESH bread and just share it with those who can't drive.  How could I let folks eat week old or more commercial bread when I am quite capable of providing it for those who need it?  

 

David R's picture
David R

It's good that you benefit too - you're more likely to continue, and everyone will be happier in the end.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I just had a thought about why baking soda is added to salt rising starter. Could it be to stop the mix from becoming acidic and therefore killing off the bacteria? A process we want in sourdough starter but not in salt rising starter. after all a sourdough starter does go through a leuconostoc stage in the first couple of days and as it becomes acidic the bad bacteria dies off to make way for the good bacteria and yeast. This is why it slows down after initial activity and takes a long time to get going but salt rising starter is quick and needs to be kept non acidic. It's this, and not it's leavening power, as to why it's added.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

That is what I said earlier.

" I wonder if it is simply a pH adjustor to maximize the environment for the bacteria to multiply because that rise is a make-or-break moment. If there is no rise you are instructed to start over."

I have used the oven light but stopped when either I or a family member turned the stove on without checking. It was not a pretty site.

It is a little more challenging because this culture needs a little warmer temp than the usual yeast dough. Perhaps go back to the original idea-a casserole of rock salt warmed in the oven and then warmed by just the oven light might be enough.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Yes you did! Lot's of information on this post and it's sorting itself out in my head :)

I like your explanation. It makes sense!

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

From what I saw on the video and some others they did and articles...the soda or salt "helps" with allowing the starter to work and I would think it helped perhaps prevent yeast...but that is just my thoughts.

I've got a starter tonight with salt instead of baking soda...following the one from the popular science article.  Of course...you do add soda for the sponge stage.

I hope for success tonight cause last night I think I cooked mine cause I woke up to find it at 126 degrees.  It tried to form a bit of a head close to 16hrs...and 24 hrs which is way longer than it should have taken...it was getting stinky and curdled...but I knew it got too hot...so am trying it again in a larger volume starter in a GLASS jar hoping to keep it from getting too hot.  Smell reminded me of making ricotta.  

Using a candle warmer to make a small water bath...keeping it at 106.  Not sure if I can regulate the sponge step since I will need to do so on the stove top.  We shall see.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

which will help regulate the temps. As soon as i'm brave enough that's my plan :)

Can't wait to see your results.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

Well I used to have all that sort of stuff...but for 1 person...you just don't need most of that stuff anymore.  

I have a great head of foam in my jar almost doubled...expect success at least this stage which is why I'm up tonight...I don't want to miss the peak so I can note it for reference.  I really have respect for the folks doing this process on a wagon trail...I would think the timing would be hard to manage.  It was easy back in the 70's at home cause starter on top of water heater was ready to go when I got up to heat kitchen and start biscuits...I'd just make the sponge and use the left over heat of the oven.

The candle warmer is working just fine...and what used to be a unitasker (which Alton Brown hates) has become a multitasker and it has a small footprint...LOL. 

Works better than a jar in a bowl sitting over pan of water on lowest heat which cooked my starter last night. 

My oven with light on just doesn't maintain enough heat.  Makes me miss the old days when gas stoves had pilot lights cause they were wonderful for proofing bread doughs and making yogurt, but hell in the summertime.  Thinking about getting a 60 watt oven bulb...usually they are only 40 watt.  

David R's picture
David R

I've never had a bread machine, but seen a ton of them (appearing mostly in great condition) in thrift stores. Apparently, at least some bread machines can be set to a usable proofing temperature and used for this (but I can't vouch for it because I've never tried). But if you really can get a cheap box that does the right thing, it could be nice.

(Might be another unitasker though, especially if you don't even use it to make bread. 🙂)

Then again, maybe a bread machine's idea of proofing temperature would be rigidly preset at far too low a temperature for salt-rising starter.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

great for taking up storage space...but the bread usually isn't so great.  I have the Zo Mini ...it sits in the pantry. I plan to give it to GD when she gets out on her own.  What I do not like about it is...the extended preheat cycle for 15 or more mins before it starts kneading.  It can be helpful when a granddaughter is around cause I can let her play with dough and shaping.  She is of the age now...she kinda wants me to just let her do it.

I just am not a fan of the amt of yeast or the timing in order to use it so I don't. 

The last apt I lived in took 6 months for them to replace the 1950's stove so I bought the ZoMini.  I didn't like the expensive one... and for $6.00...larger...I found one at the thrift store that looked like it never saw any flour. I got it for one reason basically.  I was waiting for months for them to replace my stove.....and this $6.00 one allowed me to put dough in and just push bake and it actually did bake MY retarded dough sufficiently for average breads.  SOOOOOO it was a good $6.00 spent,  plus it makes small batch of jams or filling for pastries.

I was trying to think of a way to use it to "proof" such a temperamental starter...but not thinking that would work with no way to actually set it for such a long period of time for heat.  

My grandmother did it without that stuff...I used to make it without such things in the 70's and 80's...so I can do so again.

 

David R's picture
David R

All in all, I agree.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

I am having issues with trying to get my icloud pics into the file browser here...and the downloaded ones to my hard drive...they are all sideways AFTER I upload them.  Surely I don't have to download each separate pic to my hard drive then upload each pic to the browser?? There must be a better way.  The pics are fine within icloud or on my hard drive...they just happen to be sideways when I see them in the file browser.

Ideas??  I have done this before...but it is not working today for some reason.  

I'll prove the success when I have the patience to try again and again.  LOL!

Smells mighty good here...

 

 

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

Okay...bake done.  Smells like Mama Lindsey's kitchen right now...want a slice sooo bad.  

Used the link https://www.popsci.com/article/science/clostridium-it-can-kill-you-or-it-can-make-you-bread#page-2

I went with only 50% of the recipe...or 1 loaf this time.

It does smell different from my usual breads...and does smell cheesy, but not bad at all.  

I used dried milk, reconstituted of course.  I used regular Albers yellow cornmeal...degermed cause the gals in the video said it didn't matter despite what people tell you.  It is said you can't make this in cold wet weather.

I live in the Pacific NW...that's like 10 months of the year and trying to fit in a 2 day process to fit the weather window...IMPOSSIBLE except in August.

 I chose to use it when 10 hrs was up (cause the recipe said 8-10 hrs and I didn't want it to get too funky)...and the foam/head was double from the beginning mixture.  Glad I did use it and didn't let it go wild.  The cornmeal mush on the bottom was THICK and wouldn't dump out without a spoon to help it...but the foam on top SLID out easily.  Again...foam texture reminded me of early curd formation when making cheese.  

Sponge...well my problem with keeping it warm in a larger container came into play...and I was tired.  SOOO I fell asleep and got up a few hours later to it being 84 degrees...then I put the heat to the pot with water...and OVERheated the dang thing...but it LOVED the heat and took off at 130+ degrees. 

So I mixed dough when sponge started actually singing.  Figured it was enough if it was farting gas.  LOL!

 

 

 

 

 

Dough...kneaded well.  In 1 1/2 hour I said OMG I better preheat and get this in oven NOW.  I expect up to a 2-6 hr proof...

 

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil
Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Better then all the loaves I've seen on-line so far. What did it smell like during the starter, dough and baking stage? And what does it taste like?

clazar123's picture
clazar123

If that loaf tastes anything like it looks, it will be spectacular! Wow! Gorgeous height-crust and crumb! Well,done!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I re-watched the video (with Brown from Rising Creek bakery). One thing that the "Science" magazine article did not preserve in their recipe was a comment on how to determine how much water to add to the sponge to make as many loaves as desired. It is just a sentence in the video but I think it is important to preserve this nugget of wisdom. (At 11:29 mark) When making the final dough, dump the risen sponge into a large bowl and  "Add as many cups of water as you want loaves of bread. Then add flour to make a soft dough" . What a great way to scale a volume based recipe!

The other comment I have is about her kneading technique. If you watch how she kneads, she is actually doing a great technique that very quickly develops a windowpane-almost a S&F plus frissage plus knead variation. (At 12:15 mark).  Let's see if I can describe it.  Gather into a ball, push/roll to achieve a log, flip one side of the log over the other,(stretching the dough), rotate 90 degrees,  push down and repeat. I'm going to try that technique on other breads and see how it works.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

Perhaps because I had such childhood memories of my Mama Lindsey sneaking me some of this bread before others came in the house...I thought it smelled good baking.  It made me sad...but happy to be making her bread. 

The starter started to smell faintly of a bit of cheesy...a cooking ricotta smell for lack of a better term.  For those of you who have experienced someone making ricotta the old fashion way, which involves boiling the whey left from cheese making...then you know it isn't unpleasant, just different. 

For folks not knowing what that smells like...then I can see where they might think something isn't quite right with the starter.  It does look and smell different from a sourdough starter.  

The sponge...it was not much stronger for the smell till I accidentally let the heat get up to over 130 and the starter started belching and bubbling vigorously.  You could see and hear it.  At that point...it was not unpleasant...it just smelled similar to boiling a large amount of whey for ricotta.  It was alive.  It was exiting how fast it was working when the temp got above 120 and then to 130 before I had a holy sh&% moment and stuck an ice cube in and stirred off heat.  I'm amazed I didn't kill it. When I lived in Texas...things were so much more friendly to a thermophillic bacterial dough or cheese and the only nod to it was putting the starter on the top of the water heater...otherwise...I just kept the sponge happy in my heated up kitchen on on back of stove after breakfast.  

I rose the shaped loaf in a microwave that had a qt jar of hot water in the corner at about 87-90 degrees.  It rose much faster than I expected.

Having made a lot of cheese in the past...this salt rising smell isn't that bad.  IT IS very much a bread you smell when it is baking.  Perhaps...you will realize...you've smelled it before.

It tastes like I remember it.  It makes wonderful grilled cheese...thoughts of my childhood came back.  I think I should have taken it out at 190F...but I blinked and it got to 201F.  It seemed a little dry once I cut into it last night. 

All in all...I do prefer a good wheat or rye natural levain bread for it's taste and chewy texture.

But this bread... although it looks dense...is surprising light...even though the loaf is not a squishy type bread at all. This is not wonderbread at all. 

They say it can last well for over at least a week.  This would be a good thing for folks that need a well keeping bread compared to most yeast breads. 

But many of my neighbors here up in their 80's-90's...need a good bread, easy to eat, slice, and store.  They are not impressed with sourdough wheat or rye breads...or olive breads and hazelnut sage filocinno's. 

It is hard for them to eat...so I baked loaf breads for those who are stuck eating the Sunday donated week old bread cast off's from supermarkets...or sometimes panera. 

I will make this for my neighbors if they want me to cause although it is temperamental...it is kinda neat to keep traditions and gives me a reason to bake.  It's hard to not bake every other day like I have most of my life.  I just can't eat all that baking.

I did notice her kneading technique.  I kinda thought it might be due to arthritis in her hands...but I think she is classically trained...so perhaps it is pure technique.  I enjoyed kneading it and it squealing in the beginning ...unlike the heavy pasta dough I made with 100% semolina last night.  

 

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

I'm having a blast reading the book I just got called Salt Rising Bread.  

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1943366039/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

AMAZINGLY...there used to be a commercial product and one for home bakers called "Salt Rising Yeast" made by a chemist or something.  This product was used by most of the commercial bakeries...but they went out of business in the 1990's and with that...no more commercial product...that apparently made it less likely to fail.   I can't beleive KA sold this product up until the 90's.  I never saw it in their catalogue.

My question is why do they call it "yeast".    Here is a pic of the labels for the long lost product.  Does it have "yeast in it...or are they calling the bacteria from the cornmeal a "yeast"?? 

Seems the reason they started making this was BECAUSE there was no commercial yeast back in the 30's.  I am intrigued to say the least.  

Anyone know??