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tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Well, I dont want to hijack Erics thread so I figured I would put up a new blog for my latest crazy idea.  Pickled garlic.  Now I know, its not bread, but heh, I had bagels proofing when I got into this so it must count somehow.

After talking Garlic with Eric, I thought to myself "self, I can surely figure out pickled garlic". And off to the world wide web I go.  I get hit with about a hundred or so recipes, not two alike, so great.  Lets go with what seems to be the best rated.  So I settle in on a nice Garlic festival website, with a pickled garlic recipe that the folks seemed to love.  Now here is the basis of the recipe.

4 cups White Distilled Vinegar

1 1/3 cup sugar

Then anykind of flavor additive you would like to add, mustard seed, hot pepper, dill, whatever.

You take a sterilzed jar, and you mix up your liquids, bring to a boil in a non-metal pot (which I used a teflon coated pot) And once at boil, you boil for 5 minutes.  Then you add your peeled garlic cloves and boil for an additional 5 minutes.  Then you pore into your jars, put the covers on and place in the fridge for 3 weeks before consumption.

Easy enough it sounds right.  So here I am with 30 heads of garlic, and the big grin on my mug of me making pickled garlic.  After setting at my kitchen table for what seemed like 30 or 40 years I look into my jar to see I have only peeled about 25 cloves.  So I do what any smart fella does and I recruit backup.  In comes my 13 year old daughter, who after looking at me like I just told her she had to change the oil in the truck in a snow storm, she sets in to help.  So now the two of us continue to peel garlic cloves.  The outer dry parts come off easy, but the fine skin, well that just about makes a man cry after a while.  So after what seemed like forever, I have 4 jars of peeled garlic cloves.  I swear my kid grew a couple inches while we were there.  So now onto making the liquid.

Now let me let you in on a little secret.  When you boil vinegar, in your kitchen, for 10 MINUTES, you should probably invest in a gas mask.  Or maybe a jet engine to force fresh air through your home.  Now being a fairly smart fella, I was really surprised to see that I didnt see this coming.  SO after about 6 minutes into boil, my daughter pleads mercy, and begs to be released from the kitchen.  I kindly inform her that "darling, were in this together, you stay.".  Sometimes being a parent is rough.....

Now at 7 minutes in I add my flavorings.  I like hot and spicy so in goes.  2 Teaspoons Mustard Seed, 2 Teaspoons of my own grown, and ground Thai hot pepper, and 3 cut up Habeneros.  So by minute 8 you can already imagine what my kitchen is like.  If you close your eyes and imagine a swat team is about to raid your house but before they enter they throw 4 tear gas grenades in through the open window that you have because you are trying to get a strong vinegar smell out of your kitchen. 

So now, my back door is open, my 2 kitchen windows are open, snow is blowing in through the windows, and my daughter and I are trying to maintain some sort of normal breathing pattern.  The 10 minute mark couldnt have gotten there any sooner.  When that buzzer went off saying my 10 minutes were up, the time that pot came off the stove to the time the 4 bottles were filled, outsides wiped clean, and into the fridge was about 2.5 seconds.  Well, maybe not not quick, but I barely remember any of it, it was so fast.  The dogs are no where to be found, they are hiding in some far off part of the house.  My youngest is watching tv in the living room in her jacket, and thank god my wife was out for the afternoon doing a craft fair.  We cleaned up my mess, I went back to my bagels, we shut the windows after our house temp dropped to about 40.  And 5 hours later when my wife returned she says "Honey, the house kinda smells like hot wings" 

Me and my great ideas.   I'll post photos later today of the end results, along with my Cinn./Cranberry bread I made (another idea).  The worst part is I have to wait 3 weeks just to see if the garlic is any good.   Ha,ha,ha......

TT

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Well, if I had had my druthers, I would have been in San Diego for the meet.  After all, I was in Ensenada, which is pretty close.  Compared to Kansas City, that is.  But, no, I couldn’t get away from work for a fun Saturday with other TFL-ers.

 

Being in Mexico so much in the past few months has had an upside, though.  That would be tortillas.  Not the stiff, cold, nearly tasteless disks of flour or corn from your supermarket shelves or coolers.  Uh-uh.  No, we’re talking about steaming, burn-your-fingertips-hot, still puffy, straight-off-the-comal fresh tortillas here.  The real deal.

 

I’ve had freshly made tortillas before.  We lived in Houston for five years and there are a bunch of restaurants in that town where you can find fresh tortillas, although they are usually the flour variety.  I’ve even made my own, although I haven’t really mastered these deceptively simple little flat breads. 

 

What I’m finding here in the Baja is something almost magical.  Whether rolled up to eat as a bread, or torn off in chunks to pick up food, or wrapped around meat and other fillings, tortillas make a simple meal complete in very much the same way a crusty bread makes a bowl of soup a dining experience.

 

Growing up in northern Michigan really didn’t give me any useful insights into tortillas.  The only thing that I knew about tortillas was that they came in boxes (think Lawrys or Old El Paso), were hard, brittle, made of a coarse corn meal and used to make tacos. And that they disintegrated at the first bite.  And I wondered: why would anybody get excited about something that lets you take just one bite before it collapses into your lap?  Later on I learned about flour tortillas and things like burritos and enchiladas; then tortillas began to make a bit more sense.

 

But here, as I am sure is the case in other parts of Mexico, tortillas aren’t just an ingredient that you use in one dish of your meal.  Instead, they are an integral part of nearly every meal.  And that is a very good thing.  Especially the maiz (corn) tortillas.  They are just as soft and flexible as their flour brethren and come in a variety of sizes. The flour tortillas don’t hold a candle to the maiz tortillas when it comes to taste, though.

 

For instance, there is a tiny little eatery called Paola’s in the village of La Mision, about half a mile east of Highway 1D along the Baja coast.  There are maybe 4 or 5 tables, each seating a handful of diners.  You walk up to the counter and you can see the stove, which usually has 5 or 6 large kettles and pans on it.  There’s usually beef in one pot, pork in another, chicken in a third and, sometimes, a fourth with lamb, or goat, or tongue or whatever else Paola found at the market that morning.  There will also be a pan of beans, usually, though not always, refried; and another of rice.  You tell the ladies which meat you want (which is usually braised or stewed with chilies, onions and/or other vegetables) and they will ask “Maiz o harina?”  (Corn or flour?)  You reply with your choice of tortilla, then tell them what you want to drink and go sit at your table.  In a few minutes, your plate will arrive, along with a basket of tortillas that are simply too hot to pick up. 

 

Once the tortillas cool just enough that you can snatch one out of the basket without burning yourself, you have an important decision to make.  Should you skip the silverware and use the tortillas to scoop up your food?  Should you start stuffing the meat into your tortilla for an impromptu taco?  Or just alternate bites of the meat and tortilla so that you get to experience the melding of flavors?  In the end, it really doesn’t matter, so long as you savor the flavors that are completed and balanced by the inclusion of the tortillas. 

 

Another favorite dish in these parts is the fish taco.  Ensenada is home to a fishing fleet, so you can get fresh fish every day, ranging from sea bass to tuna to squid to lobsters to shrimp.  Fish tacos are usually made with white-fleshed fish, like locally caught flounder or halibut.  The flesh is cut into strips that are battered and deep fried.  A few pieces go into a soft tortilla, preferably a maiz tortilla.  They are then topped with shredded lettuce or cabbage.  If cabbage, it’s more like a slaw with a faintly sweet-tart creamy dressing.  Other than maybe squeezing a lime over it for some extra zing, all you have to do is roll the taco closed and enjoy every bite.  All of which would be impossible if not for the tortilla.

 

While sitting in a restaurant waiting for my check one evening, I saw a woman walk into a work area and haul out a very large stainless steel bowl.  She proceeded to scoop several pounds of flour into the bowl from a large bin, then added a largish blob of either shortening or lard, some salt and part of a pitcher of water.  She then began to mix it all together with her hands (I wonder if there is a Spanish equivalent for frissage?) until she had a large mass of dough, adding water to get the consistency just right.  After rubbing off the excess dough clinging to her hands, she set about rolling the dough into balls that were sized somewhere between a large egg and a tennis ball.  About that time, my server brought my check, so I didn’t get to see her finish the process.  I’m assuming that, since these were flour tortillas and she was making a large number of them, she probably used a press to flatten the balls into disks which were then put on a griddle to cook.  However, I was walking out the door before she got to that stage.  Still, it was interesting to see that the tortillas I had enjoyed with my meal were freshly made on site.

 

Tortillas are sometimes used to thicken soups, or as garnishes.  And, yes, they can even be bent and fried into a crispy shell for tacos or salads, although I haven’t seen that in this part of Mexico.  For my tastes, though, the tortilla is at its absolute best in its simplest and freshest form.  Then it can work its magic in any way the diner desires.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I have read here many times that there is no such thing as a silly question, but this may be it. Suppose my starter was refreshed a couple of days ago and refrigerated, then placed on the counter to warm up, and then used in an overnight ferment, why wouldn't that act as a big fat feeding? This is a pretty active starter but I only decided to bake at the last minute. I would be glad to hear any opinions as I have been mithering about it for several days. My grandaughters stayed the night and inhaled vast quantities of sourdough pancakes this morning, so at least I know how to use the surplus starter. I'm thinking of putting a notice on the community board "Free Sourdough Starter"! A.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Well, I made those baguettes I'd been craving. Simple really -- I just did the NYT / Sullivan Street bread scaled down to make three 8-ounce baguettes. Well, I also substituted 10% of the white flour for whole spelt, because I had some on hand, brought the hydration down to 75% and folded it twice before going to bed.

They were very tasty, almost buttery, and the crust was perfect. Crunchy and full of flavor. Crumb was nice too, with the irregularly shaped , though not cavernous, holes I was hoping for.

Man, though, were they butt-ugly.

Thin, bulbous, crooked, ugh. And I did my first attempt at a wheat sheaf all wrong -- I should have cut from the top, not the side, so they turned out looking twisted.



When you all make baguettes, how much do you weigh each out at? I've got just enough room for a 12 inch baguette but it seemed to me that 8 ounces was a little on the small size. Also, any hints you can give on shaping, and I'm all ears ....

But, even if they were ugly, they went very, very well with Zolablue's divine sweet potato sausage soup. I pretty much stuck to the recipe, though I added more sweet potatoes since I had to thaw out 8 cups of stock (smallest container I had) and didn't want it to be thin.



I'd once thought that soups weren't photogenic, but now, having seen Floyd's photo, I'm beginning to think that it's just that my soups aren't photogenic.

Anyway, that's a perfect winter meal, as far as I'm concerned (though, the bread really should be whole-grain ... but heck, even I get a Jones for white bread every once and a while ....

THANK YOU, Zolablue. This soup was a huge hit.

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Hello everyone,

I have never made the French bread in the BBA, so I thought I'd try it. After trying so many unusual or specialty breads, I wanted to go back to a classic. This version uses pate fermentee (sorry, I'm not conversant enough in HTML or whatever it'd take to include the correct French accent marks), risen a bit at room temperature, then put into the fridge overnight. The dough is made the next day. I did three stretch and fold cycles at 30 minute intervals during a 2-hour fermentation. The proof after shaping was about 50 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This made about 950g of dough, and I got two smallish batards out of it. PR suggests using diastatic malt powder if you are using organic flour, but I forgot to add the malt. The color didn't suffer any, though. It's crusty, and only moderately open in the crumb. The vertical opening in the bottom part of the loaf is where I stabbed it with the thermometer! The crumb is strong and moist, fairly elastic (at least on the first day). Flavor is OK, but not a Wow. But maybe my tastebuds have gotten used to sourdough.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the dough was fermenting and proofing, I frosted a bunch of Christmas cookies I made yesterday. I'm glad I don't make stuff like this often, because I can inhale six of them before the sugar woozies get me.

Of course, I had some help...including Mabel, the cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue

dstroy's picture
dstroy

Time for my, what...bi-yearly post, right? (We let Floyd do the bread baking around here.)

Today our daughter turned three and for her birthday she requested a blue pony on her cake.

Here is the cake she got, prior to the three candles being added to the floating clouds.

 

Lots of fun! And we had a great dinner tonight too - but I bet Floyd will blog about that.

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I baked a couple of sourdoughs from Local Breads today. The first was a rustic French.

rustic french

Isn't that beautiful? Nice brown crust, good oven spring, great flavor.

The bottom? Oh... err....

rustic french

Yeah... Well, I ran out of parchment AND spray oil. Didn't have much luck getting it off the pan. The kids didn't miss the extra crust, but we did.

light rye bread

I also baked a light rye. I'll try to post the recipe in the next day or two.

I also made a pot of the Sweet Potato Sausage Soup that zolablue posted.

sweet potato soup

Really good stuff.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Chocolate Sourdough

Chocolate Sourdough

Here is a picture of the Cholocate Chip Sourdough I tried last week. It didn't come out exactly as I'd hoped, but it is was still pretty good. I mean, c'mon.... chocolate.... sourdough... how can you go wrong?

I've got a sourdough rye and sourdough French bread fermenting right now. I'm using a couple of the recipes from Local Breads. We'll see how they come out tomorrow.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Workhorse Sourdough - Crust and Crumb

Workhorse Sourdough - Loaves

This recipe is a basic sourdough that I make frequently and use as an all purpose basic bread. It has more components of whole grain in it than a typical white country loaf, yet because of the high extraction flour, it has a more refined texture and less grassy flavor than a typical whole grain loaf. At least for me, it blends better with food than whole grain or close to whole grain loaves I would make for toast at breakfast, peanut butter or tahini, or sometimes as a vehicle for more strongly flavored salted meats and cheeses. I could use it as a substitute for a rustic French bread to have along with a roasted meat or an eggplant parmesan, for example.

Some additional photos are posted, as well as spreadsheets of the recipe and rise time calculations in xls and html formats.

Levain:

  • 40g white flour paste starter (I used 80% hydration white flour starter) You can use 50g of 100% hydration starter or 35g of 60% hydration firm starter and get about the same rise times.
  • 90g whole rye flour (I used Homestead Grist Mills Whole Rye Flour)
  • 180g strong whole wheat flour (I used Wheat MT Bronze Chief)
  • 68g high extraction flour (I used Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo)

The levain is designed to ripen in 10 hours at 70F or about 7 hours at 76F. In my case, it was left to ripen on the counter overnight at about 70F for a total of 10 hours. The levain can be made ahead and refrigerated after it has just doubled. It will keep for a day or two stored in the refrigerator. Ideally, if it is refrigerated, it should be removed from the refrigerator an hour or two before you put it in the dough.

Soaker:

  • 540g high extraction flour (I used Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo)
  • 540g water

Mix the flour and water enough to form a shaggy mass. Let it rest overnight. I just left it on the kitchen counter next to the levain for the night. You can also mix it ahead and store it in the refrigerator along with the levain. Remove it an hour or two before you are ready to mix the dough.

High extraction flour is a less refined flour that has some or most of the bran removed but contains most or all of the remaining components of the whole grain. Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo has the germ and a small amount of bran in it.

Dough:

  • Levain from above
  • Soaker from above
  • 18g barley malt syrup
  • 34g salt
  • 608g water
  • 975g AP flour (I used Heartland Mills Organic AP with Malt)

Mixing

The dough was mixed with a DLX mixer for about 10 minutes on low/medium. The dough is medium soft to soft. It spreads a little bit when you first pour it on the counter and is a little sticky. The dough was folded a few times after mixing, using a wet dough folding/kneading technique, in order to form it into a round ball. The dough was then placed in a covered container to rise.

Bulk Fermentation and Folding

The bulk fermentation phase was designed to last 3.7 hours at 75F. During that time the dough was conventionally folded three times, about once per hour. As the gluten develops, the dough will become stiffer and will no longer spread out when turned out onto the counter. Fold more often if the dough is too slack or fold less often if it seems too stiff and resistant to folding.

The dough should expand to about 1.7 times the original volume and become puffy during the bulk fermentation. The dough is not intended to double in volume during the bulk fermentation.

At 70F the bulk fermentation should take about 5 hours, somewhat longer than at 75F.

Shaping

The dough was halved and two large rectangular loaves were formed. The two loaves were placed in a couche on a half tray and placed in a Ziploc "Big Bag" with two bowls of hot water. The loaves were proofed for 2.6 hours at 75F. At 70F the loaves should proof for about 3.5 hours.

Slash and Bake

The loaves were slashed, put on parchment paper on a large peel and placed in a brick oven. The oven hearth temperature was about 525F at the beginning of the bake. The loaves and interior of the oven were sprayed with a fine mist using an orchid sprayer (1/6 gal/minute for 25 seconds), and the oven was sealed with a towel covered door. After 15 minutes, the loaves were rotated and the door of the oven was left open. The loaves were baked for a total of 45 minutes until dark brown. Since the dough is fairly wet, it helps to give the loaves a thorough bake. The internal temperature was 209F, but I've found that internal temperature can be an unreliable indicator of doneness with higher hydration loaves.

In my kitchen oven, I would preheat the oven to 500F with a stone and cast iron skillet. After placing the loaves on the stone, put water in the skillet and drop the temperature to 450F. After 15 minutes, drop the temperature to 400F for the rest of the bake.

The loaves are fairly large, as my brick oven has room for them. In a kitchen oven the loaves could be done one at a time, possibly shaped a little wider and shorter. To do a more typical quantity of bread for a kitchen oven, halve the recipe and make two smaller loaves that can be baked at the same time.

Cool

Allow the loaves to completely cool on a rack that allows the entire loaf, top and bottom, to be exposed to air.

Results

This bread is named Workhorse Sourdough because it can be used for almost any job. It will work in place of a white country bread for dinner, for sandwiches, for toast, or even for dipping in olive oil. The sourdough flavor of the levain with the rye and whole wheat is a little stronger than breads I've made with a white flour or spelt levain. One could put all the whole grains and Golden Buffalo flour in the soaker, and make the levain from a portion of the white flour. Water would have to be moved from the dough to the larger soaker in that case.

Kurt's picture
Kurt

5Dec07 - Boy's first blog, too.

Well, it's few weeks before Christmas.  Discovering this forum has advanced my desire to improve my bread making skills so I've decided to begin my first sourdough starter.  All the reading I've done here suggests that I should be ready to crank out a loaf just before Christmas - assuming a myriad of factors stay neatly grouped together and headed in the desired direction.  So, here it goes...my first blog.  I doubt I'll have anything informative to pass along so my real hope is to document my progress for future reference - beats trying to hold a pencil with floury fingers.

I'm using a recipe from Amy Scherber.  I made my first sponge last week which produced six amazing rustic Italian batards.  A far cry from what I had been producing in terms of crumb.  Given that good fortune, I'm sticking with Amy for now.  Two ounces of rye flour from Henry's Market here in San Diego added to four ounces of 77 degree water from my reverse osmosis filter is in a three cup plastic ziploc container covered and sitting on my countertop (need to check those weights - going from memory the next day).  Off to bed.

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