The Fresh Loaf

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Dorothy's picture
Dorothy

Help!  I have had my starter in the refrigerator un-toughed for 2 weeks or less.  When I opened it up, it smelled just like lacquer thinner.  It also as some what solidified on top.  When I fed it last it was ovoer 80 in my kitchen.  Should I throw it out and start over?????  I don't want to kill anyone!   Thanks Dorothy

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Today we're having a party and I figured (yesterday), I'd make some ciabatta. I never made it before and decided to make Reinhart's (BBA) recipe based on biga. I did scale it up a little to make slightly more. In the process of doing the calculations, I think I discovered some errors in the percentages and corrected them. I made the bread using the corrected recipe (I'll post on that seperately). For the final dough, I used buttermilk instead of water, and I did add about 70% of the optional olive oil.Reinhart's Ciabatta (Biga)

Reinhart's Ciabatta (Biga)

Ciabatta, excellent holes and crumb

Ciabatta, excellent holes and crumb

The dough came together as described, mixing in a KA, 4 minutes with paddle, and another 3 with the dough hook, adding just a little flour. While the rest of the baking proceeded as written, I noticed that my dough was actually rising a lot more than I expected. Now, I have to note that the weather is really warm right now (90F+) and my air-conditioning is set at 78F. I let it happen while I remembered some people had had issues with these recipes, so I looked up these old posts. Biggest problem people had was not a good open crumb, so I started to worry...

When I cut the dough in three pieces for placing in the couche it definitely collapsed some, but I decide to just let it rise again. It did. Then I baked, as described, and the result, as far as I am concerned, was just wonderful in shape, texture, crumb.

I will report in a separate post about some of the observations and my thoughts as to why this worked out so well. 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Received the book finally 2 days ago. I had pre-ordered from Amazon and they kept claiming it wouldn't ship to me until October. I complained with customer service as others were receiving it, and when I placed a new order, it said it would ship immediately (I cancelled that one of course). That caused them to send it right away.Reinhart's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Reinhart's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread 

So, I just had to try something and since I had not built a starter yet, and need basic sandwhich bread for my family's daily needs, went for the 100% WW sandwich bread. I followed the biga based recipe and it worked out beautifully. I needed none of the extra flour, although a little got used during hand kneading.

Result shown in the picture, and taste and crust were great.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I have been merrily plodding along with my version of sourdough starters ( 2 at the moment) but took some time to re-read Bill's posting on maintaining a starter. To my horror it seems I have been doing everything wrong, so I decided to start yet another one from Bill's recipe. I have to admit I had been using what I consider to be inferior flour because our store was out of King Arthur, and my starter didn't look too happy. I measured out the required amount and added KA all purpose flour and spring water and stirred like mad. The mixture was thicker than I expected, but I put tape to mark the level and left it on the counter. It did develop bubbles but hardly rose at all even after sitting all day, so last night I tossed half and fed it again. It is now 12.30pm and there are bubbles but no sign of rising. Bill, if you are out there and not too busy, could you please tell me what you think I did wrong? I gave my unhappy looking old starter some Bob's Red Mill organic rye and it perked right up. Maybe ignorance was bliss and I should have muddled along? A

chamois's picture
chamois

   I am looking for a recipie for calaberese bread  .. Can you help?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Many many months ago, in Austria far away, a sourdough starter was supplied from a baker, good and qualified. The Austrian starter was dried and traveled to China where part of it mixed and grew nurtured in the presence of Chinese all purpose flour and later with Austrian Rye flour. Sometimes it sat out to grow, sometimes it sat in a refrigerator, one time even froze but it lived long and prospered and provided many a loaf of bread. Then it was dried. This happened at various times in the last few months.

It might be interesting to compare the starter 6 months ago and now, making two identical loaves and see if the SD has changed in flavor. Two very different environments. A change in starter flours and water not to mention treatment. Will they taste the same? Will they rise the same? Have I changed the characteristics of the starter from the original?

First part of experiment requires re-hydration of dried starters, then feed and stabilize, keeping them separate but treating them alike. Then to use in a recipe and do blind taste tests. Mad scientist has her baggies of dried starter ready and they are February dried starter, April, and August, a control has been made using no starter. 10g of each dried starter was placed into a jar and 40g water was added, after 10minutes 15g of rye flour was stirred in. Each is covered with butter paper and just sitting there waiting for action. One interesting observation...April dried starter smells like cream cheese. (it should be noted that this sample was stored in glass for a long time and the others in plastic baggies...hmmmm)

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

I made this rye-fennel crackerbread from the new Leader book, Local Breads. Easy and good! The recipe is here.

Rye-fennel crackerbread

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

Jamila's picture
Jamila

  
 


Batter:

  • 250 grams Fine Semolina Flour
  • 250 grams KA All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbs Salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbs Dry Active Yeast
  • 1/2 liter Warm Milk
  • 1/2 liter Warm Water
  • 1 tbs Sugar


Filling:
  • 1 cup Butter or Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Honey


Traditionally Baghrir is 100% Semolina, and it's eaten in Morocco and Algeria. I find it too heavy with just Semolina so I use half flour. You can easily just omit the flour and use only Semolina.

Today I used melted butter and honey for the filling but often I use softened whipped Cream Cheese and a few tablespoons of Honey. I recommend making the filling first and letting it sit as you make the crepes.

Activate the yeast with the milk, water and sugar. When it's frothy, five or so minutes add the flour and semolina or just semolina and mix very well, until all lumps are gone and you have a smooth, soupy batter. Then let the batter sit covered until its frothy and full of bubbles, about 30 to 45 minutes.

 



Using a heavy skillet melt a teaspoon a little more or less of olive oil or butter (I always use butter) and when it's browned add one soup ladle of the batter to the center of the hot skillet and rotate the pan until the pan has batter spread evenly over it. This crepe is not like French crepes, it should have many holes throughout which means the pan needs to be fairly hot. As soon as you add your batter you will see the holes forming, it's quite pretty. Flip over when the underside is brown a minute or two then leave on the other side for about 30 seconds or so.

Add the filling and roll up!

Enjoy!!!

beenjamming's picture
beenjamming

So for the first time this week, I got together some people would had expressed interest in starting up a bread baking club and we crowded into my tiny kitchen and baked a dozen baguettes! I had originally intended to have a side by side comparison of baguettes with/without poolish, but just getting introduced to the bread making process was plenty for round one. We used Leader's parisian daily bread recipe for half ver batim, and substituted about 250g of poolish in for the other half of the breads. Everyone took note that the dough with a preferement was far more extenisble and sweeter tasting than then dough without, but that was all we took time to discuss. I did my best to let everyone there make bread with minimal guidance, and stuck mostly to explaining what was happening chemically during fermentation and baking. Overall, it was a really big success. No one had ever made baguettes before except for myself, and I hardly touched the dough, and the bread turned out great. I think a few people's interest were really piqued and a rich baking community with hopefully develop out of this. These are some pictures during the day:

A cross section o f our very first baguette:

we didn't wait till everything was done baking before we started feasting:

about half the gang:

I've since loaned out most of my bread books to interested folks and have been asked to write an article about challah for Cornell Hillel's magazine (I'm not jewish, but I read everything Glezer's had to say about challah). We're kind of rogue baking club at this point, no real ties to the university and no nice kitchen to bake in, but that may change in coming weeks. Steve Kaplan, a cornell prof, just published a book "Good Bread is Back" and had a raucous spot on conan o'brien (who was kind of an ass, in my opinion). I'll hopefully be in touch with him this week and see if he'd be the faculty advisor of our group and then we could get some of that over abundant cornell money and maybe even some kitchen space.

Meanwhile, I've been doing some baking myself-and not blogging about it. Last week, I made a levain couronne to take to a pasta feast down the block. It was loosely based on the Tornato from artisan baking.

It was pretty giant (the peel is 14" wide):

and also pretty awesome inside:

I have not been so proud of a loaf since the first time I made bread. Incredibly complex flavor, super moist crumb and a deeply caramelized crust. I served it with herb-oil and some asiago cheese; it was well received! Last week I also made 2 loaves of blue cheese and walnut levain based on pearl's walnut levain, which were tasty too.

 

I've learned to bake around my homeworks pretty well, and hopefully won't have to slow down too much as the semester gets going. I'd like to still make my own weekly bread all year. That said the problem sets and programming assignments have started to roll in, so we'll see if I have any time to bake outside of Better Bread Better World. Even still, that would be okay with me- getting my friends hooked was very exciting!

-Ben

PhiloBreddoe's picture
PhiloBreddoe

 Sponge-started white (french?) above, yeast-leavened sourdough below

Two Starters: Sponge-started white (french?) above, yeast-leavened sourdough below

So, this weekend, I decided to do a side-by-side comparison of baking with a sponge starter and a yeast-leavened sourdough (yeah, yeah, so sue me).  I wanted to feel the different textures see the different crusts, and make other comparisons between working with the two kinds of starter.  For both recipes I used the Joy of Cooking.  My experiences were, I'm sure, typical: the sourdough was much drier and the sponge very sticky; the sourdough was easier to work from the start, the sponge took a couple of foldings on a floured board.  As with most home bread-baking, where total failure is almost impossible, the outcomes were VERY good, in both cases.  Taste-wise, the french turned out slightly better.

And the insidesAnd the insides

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