This was my first shot at making Essential's Columbia bread..................batards slightly deflated when they were scored...probably overproofed a little. Anyway, this is a very good bread. Thanks Mountaindog for your wet starter recipe.
Finally got around to building my "high dollar" proofing box. First picture is the inside of the box w/transformer to the side. Happened to have the transformer on hand from my day's as a research chemist. Second picture is the outside of the box showing the temperature probe and the transformer.
I made this yesterday and coverted the milk's 15oz. wrong. I ended up adding way too much flour to reach desired consistency. Also, I dont feel like it rose well. In making this recipe the RIGHT way--does it rise well even though you dont pre-test the yeast with hot h20??
I was a little frustrated with my baking yesterday and went back to my basic yeasted white bread. I used my KA unbleached white flour and the resulting loaf restored my faith. Here are the pictures I just took. Gonna let it cool then have a nice sandwich. Yummy!!
I recently moved to a very small island in the Caribbean called Nevis. I am a professional pastry chef by trade however am only working two days a week as we really moved here for my husbands job (a chef also). I bake bread several times a week at home as well as at work. When I moved here and tried to bake bread like I was used to I was quite dismayed. There really are no alternatives to AP flour and even that I kind of weak. Sometimes we get whole wheat flour but nothing like the choices I had at my local co-op in the states where I moved from. To top that off, sometimes the flour had an off taste from sitting on the shelves too long or from the boat it came over on, also there seems to be only instant yeast here. Sounds bad for a baker huh?
I almost gave up until one day I decided to try a recipe from Julia Childs book "Baking with Julia" for a pain de campagne which directs you to make a levain without using yeast. Attempting to catch wild yeast got my excitement level going again for making bread. I made the chef in the bread area of my pastry kitchen where bread has been baked for about 20 years figuring there had to be some wild yeast there. The book says that after 2 days you might get a little rise and it will smell somewhat yeasty. When I walked into work the two days later I was shocked to see my little pint container full of bubbly yeasty wonderful stuff! Now we are talking! As I followed her recipe, my little starter became more and more healthy and robust to the point of, on the day I made the first loaf it was kind of crazy tangy. Now, I know that I only have to leave the starter out a few hours when I feed it and it is a lovely sucessful starter. I have decided that the climate here being warm and humid is just wonderful for a sourdough. I divided my start and keep some at home also for everyday baking.
A sour dough is not really a dough that the Nevisians take to all that much (they like soft and sweeter bread) however the guests at the Inn seem happy. I did give a taste of my first loaf to the morning bread baker who is from here and she tasted it and said that she had tasted something like it long ago. "The old people used to make it." she said. This made me very happy because it tells me that a starter is probably how it was once done, even here, and in a way I am bringing something back. Needless to say, I am jazzed about bread baking again even with my all purpose flour!
I got home this morning from work and decided to refresh my wet starter in preparation for making some more bread. I had 140 gms of starter in the refrigerator that I mixed with 150 gms of water and 150 gms of organic white flour after letting it warm up. Popped it into the closed oven with the light on and 6 hours later I had a nicely bubbled starter. Divided that to do 2 different breads. I am doing the Vermont Sourdough with added whole grains (rye flour) from Hamelmann's book and am trying the Pane Siciliano again. My first attempt there was less than successful so this time I am going to try to be more diligent with it. I now have good semolina flour as well as the organic white flour. I have both preferments in the closed oven right now. Last I looked the temp was about 78-82 degrees. The Pate fermente' is rising nicely and the Vermont sourdough is just beginning to bubble. I plan to retard the sourdough to bake late tomorrow in the evening. I think it will also be that way with the Siciliano but with a bake earlier in the day. I will have to check the temperature in my laundry room. It is very cold outside (18 degrees here in Delaware) and supposed to get into the single digit temps so my laundry room may be just right to retard the dough tonight.
I will try to remember to get pictures along the way with these loaves. I don't go back to work until Wednesday at 7pm so I should have lots of time to get these loaves done.