The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I don't know what I have done to my sourdough starters (I know, one would be plenty) and I would really appreciate any help or advice. I decided to feed one ready to do some baking this week. They have been languishing in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks since I sent a jar of starter to my friend in Eugene. I had decided one was the runny one and one was the thicker one, but this evening when I tried to stir them they were both more than thick. No hooch on top where 2 weeks ago there was a good 1/4" on each one. It took some effort to stir them and dig out the 1/2cup I was going to replace - long strands, very stretchy. I really don't understand the firm starter concept and would prefer to keep my starter (s) liquid. They smell good and appear to be very healthy, but what the heck did I do to bring on the change in texture? Should I increase the amount of water? Have I created a monster? They are both sitting on the counter and I will watch to see what happens, but our weather is warming up and I want to put them back in the frig. Any ideas, anyone? A

Dorothy's picture
Dorothy

What is wholemeal flour???  I went to my local health/organic store in search of wholemeal flour.  They had no idea of what it was.  Could it be whole wheat?

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Played with the mud oven again today, and we got it good and hot! We even succeeded with the apocryphal "four minute pizza" of lore.

 

 

Ever since we built the oven we've heard that the ultimate woodfired pizza ovens cook in four minutes. BTW, I did bake them straight on the hearth (on parchment), they're just waiting on the sheet pan for the last pie to come out of the oven. The parchment pretty much turned black on the edges but did not combust, so I think I can safely vouch for 600 degrees + for parchment use!

 

Anyway, nothing like homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella from the farmer's market, with chopped basil, zucchini, peppers, and onions from the backyard (plus mushrooms and pepperoni).

 

Besides that, the usual batches of bread for some good summer eating for the next few weeks: sourdough, ciabatta, and a jalapeno cheddar loaf I've been playing with. I overproofed this batch but it still looks pretty tasty.

 

Also roasted some beets and garlic, and just pulled a couple of zucchini quick breads out as well. I'm pretty pooped but may still stick some tomatoes in to dry overnight, but then again, maybe I'll save it for next time!

Dorothy's picture
Dorothy

Trying to make sourdough bread rye flour starter. I can't get mine to double after 7 days. Should I start over? I added 100 percent white flour to the 2nd feed.  Could this be the problem???

browndog's picture
browndog

Here is an adaptation of an adaptation. The original recipe was featured in a bed & breakfast cookbook, adapted and published by the Boston Globe, and tweaked once again by me.

Cranberry Nut breakfast Rolls

1/4 c orange juice

1/3 c sweetened dried cranberries

1/4 c unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 c buttermilk or 1 c water + 2 tbsp buttermilk powder

2 eggs

1/4 c granulated sugar

1/2-2/3 c marmalade

1 1/8 tsp salt

2 tsp active dry yeast

3 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 c coarsely chopped roasted pecans

6 tbsp butter, softened

(This is a good place to use up some starter discard if you have it. I used 50 grams firm discard and reduced the liquid by 1/4 c initially, then added a little more during kneading to make a tacky, silky dough.)

1. Combine juice and berries in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid.

2.Warm your buttermilk, add yeast to proof, then combine with the melted butter, eggs, 1/4 c sugar, and salt. Stir thoroughly.

3. Add flour and knead til dough comes together. Add cranberries and nuts, continue kneading til dough is smooth and elastic.

4. Let rise til doubled. Grease two 9" cake pans. Divide dough in half. Roll one half into a 12x8 rectangle. Spread with 3 tbsp soft butter, then enough marmalade to cover in a thin, even layer. Roll up from the long side and seal seam well. Cut into 12 even slices. Place the slices cut side down, in one of the cake pans. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. 30 minutes before bake time, remove from refrigerator and set in a warm place to rise til doubled. Set the oven at 375. If desired, drizzle 1/4 c heavy cream over each pan of rolls. (My Puritan up-bringing would not allow this.) Bake 20-30 minutes, til golden brown.

Icing

1 c powdered sugar

reserved juice

additional milk as needed

Combine, stir, and spoon over rolls. Serve warm.

Note: Not needing, for a family of three, 24 rolls to face first thing on a Saturday morning, I chose to make and bake the same day a small pan loaf with the remaining half of the dough. I spread the dough with butter and marmalade, rolled it without slicing and baked it for about 30 minutes. Lovely. The original recipe did not call for marmalade but a quarter cup of granulated sugar and half an orange's worth of zest. I found the marmalade to donate a fine bit of texture and piquancy.

And with this entry I'm pleased to be part of Bread Baking Day #2.

zainaba22's picture
zainaba22

4 + 3\4 cups flour,unbleached,whole wheat,or a mixture of the two.
4 Tablespoons butter,divided.
2 Teaspoons yeast.
1 Teaspoon baking soda .
2 Teaspoons salt.
2 cups water.
2 tablespoons evaporated milk (low fat).

for Topping:
*milk.
* olive oil +zaatar.
* sugar.
* toasted sesame seeds.

1)place all ingredients+ 2 Tablespoons butter in the bowl of mixer ,beat 10 minutes to make a soft dough.

2) add the rest of butter to the dough and knead it by hand until well combined.

3) Cover and let rise for 1-2 hour.

4) Divide dough into 4 pieces.

5) shape each piece into a ball.

6)Roll each ball into a 20cm round.

7)Brush the top with milk ,prick the dough all over with a fork, and sprinkle it with sugar and toasted sesame seeds or olive oil +zaatar .







 

8) Bake at 550 for 7-9 minutes.

http://arabicbites.blogspot.com/

umbreadman's picture
umbreadman

 

These two loaves are my first. I think they were the Country Bread recipe out of Hamelman's book. I didn't really know what pictures to take at that point, so this is all I have. Don't look too shabby...I remember them lacking a little in salt though.

 

 

These are my first ciabatta loaves. They were really good. I made these with a stiff pre-ferment. I was still figuring out how the oven works and all these loaves up until my present ones would be a bit underbaked on the inside. 

 

In between each of these batches were numerous undocumented loaves. Though they are not with us today, let us remember their wondrous journey and hope they are now in a better place. 

 

 

 

The first time I've ever gotten the little 'ears' to work on a baguette/batard loaf! Incredible! 

 

 

 

 My latest batch, Pain au Levain with a little whole wheat in there. I had take my starter out of the fridge only a few hours earlier, but eventually it did its work, though I probably should have given it more time to really get going. Either way, I finished baking them at 1am yesterday and without tasting them, set them aside to cool, a feat that would be excruciatingly difficult under normal circumstances, but I was exhausted and just wanted to get to sleep. I'm going camping today on North Manitou Island in Lake Michigan, and am bringing a chunk of this loaf along for sandwiches.

 

Well, now I've got all my progress up here. I'm glad I can finally share these with everyone.

Onward!

bfrankel's picture
bfrankel

And so it begins and I am hooked! Several months ago I was taking a course in Microbiology (don't ask, it'd take too long to explain), and we were studying yeasts. As I have gout, I can't drink, so making beer was out. That left bread. I bought a sack of King Arthur Bread Flour, and on the back was a recipe for their Oatmeal Toasting Bread. I made it. And made it again. And again. And again.

My final version uses KA Whole Wheat flour as well as Bread Flour, a mixture of molasses and Splenda Brown sugar, and is mixed in my brand new KitchenAid mixer that my wife bought for my birthday.

My mother and sister enjoyed the bread so much, they bought me the KA Whole Grain baking book and are expecting many more breads and I am happy to oblige. However, as my kids really like the Oatmeal bread, that is a staple in my house with at least one loaf a week.

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

I have been making some nice bread lately.

My shaping is coming along and I am favoring shapes like ciabatta and just very rustic looking breads and rolls in general.

 

I go between rye and semolina doughs and am enjoying making Fenu shapes. They look so cool :)

 

 

I also decided whilst I was shaping to try shape some into bagguettes......not the best I must say buuuuuuut, still tasted great :)

 

Here are two batards with varies slashes

 

My lovely Rustic Rolls that went down a treat with my family

 

And after an entire day of baking, I think a well earned glass of Cab sav was in order!

 

I DO LOVE baking bread :)

 

Thegreenbaker

 

yeastArt's picture
yeastArt

This is day 5 of my first starter using recipe from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.  It is made with flour and water only.  I have been reading comments on this site and I am SO confused.  My starter bubbled right from the beginning, which I thought was great until I read the first bubbling isn't real yeast and it should go flat then rebubble  for the real thing.  But the starter has never gone flat.  Also, my kitchen is way warmer than the 65 degrees recommended for rising, so I'm not sure how often I should be feeding starter.  It's quadrupling in size after 8 hours.  Then there's the consistency issue.  It's rather thick, like old oatmeal but aerated. Should I use more water?  I've been throwing out all but 4oz of starter then adding 4oz spring water and 4 oz rye flour. Should I put the starter in the fridge?  How will I know when it's ready to use in baking?  Thanks for this great site.

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