The Fresh Loaf

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timtune's picture
timtune

What do i do with excess sausages and leftover sandwich bread skins from Xmas??

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Toad in the Hole. But in a bread pudding mix, rather that Yorkshire Pudding.

MMmmm... :)

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm still feeding my starter. Pretty amazing separation:

hooch?

But there is still activity.

hooch?

I'm not sure if that is hooch (an alcoholic by-product of fermentation) on top or if it is just water that separated out because it was so thin. I thought about tasting it, but then figured that might not be such a good idea.

I fed it again today, this time a bit more flour and a bit less water to try to stiffen it up some. It appears to be working, and I'm not seeing any fluid on top.

My hope is to be able to bake with it for the first time Sunday. It smells good, like sourdough already.

helend's picture
helend

Have just cut my finger badly enough to make the kitchen look like a slaughter house. I was only cutting up chocolate! Am still in one piece and have finished saying lots of BAD words but am reflecting on the fact that there won't be any hand kneading going on for a while.

Probably not a bad thing. Over the last 10 days have decorated homemade christmas cake with marzipan, made a fruit and nut ring, a chocolate log, swiss roll for trifle and, in batches, 8 dozen mince pies, 6 dozen sausage rolls with homemade flaky pastry and 6 white and wholemeal loaves of various shapes and sizes for family. Also catered a finger buffet for 20 at work.

I have, of course, enjoyed every minute - except for one batch of mince pies which had truly tough pastry - I think I was in bread-making mode and totally over hydrated the paste yeuchhh!

Anyway an enforced rest is in order. Not that we are likely to starve; there is plenty of bread etc in the freezer.

Meanwhile I shall catch up on my reading. I had a new cookbook for Christmas - Green & Black's organic chocolate cookbook with amongst other things a recipe for chocolate bread - the picture looks great.

timtune's picture
timtune

I finally tried Pain Poilane yesterday, from the BBA. :) - on a smaller scale though.

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100% organic, including the salt (i used gray brittany salt however, not normandy as suggested), well, all organic except, err, for the dusting flour used and water? ... :P

Anyway, the flavour was good! Definitely will try again.

BeckyBaker730's picture
BeckyBaker730

I was in a baking mood today (well, on what day am I not?) so I decided to surf the net for an interesting recipe. I found this potato bread recipe on a website for a company that sells potatoes (convenient!). I adapted it to my tastes and the ingredients I had on hand. The recipe is as follows:

Honey-Wheat Potato Bread Makes 2 loaves (using 8x4x2" pans) 1 large potato, peeled and chopped into chunks 1 1/2 cups water 1/2 cup whole milk (approx.) 2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast 1 cup whole wheat flour 5 cups all-purpose white flour 3 TBS pure honey 2 TBS butter 2 tsp salt

Cook potato chunks in the water until they are tender. Do not drain! Reserve 1/2 cup of the potato water, and mash the potatoes with the rest of the water. Using measuring cup, add enough whole milk to potato mixture to make 2 cups of potato mixture (I needed about 1/2 cup of milk). Make sure reserved potato water is around 110 degrees F (if it has cooled too much, nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds until it warms up...if it is still too hot, wait till it cools). In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast onto the reserved potato water. Add mashed potato mixture, the cup of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of the white flour, the honey, the butter, and the salt. Beat on LOW speed for 30 seconds or until ingredients are combined. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat on HIGH speed for 3 minutes (set a timer!). Then, on low speed or with a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining white flour as possible. Turn dough out onto floured surface and continue to knead in the remaining flour until a semi-stiff dough is formed. Knead dough, without adding extra flour, about 8 minutes. Place in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Gently deflate dough, divide in half, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape dough into loaves or other desired shape, place in oiled pans, cover with plastic and let rise again till almost double, about 40 minutes. While loaves are rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake loaves about 40 minutes. If crust starts to brown too much, cover with foil.

My husband gave me a mini digital camera for Christmas, just so that I can post photos of my baked goods. :-) Here are a couple pictures of my finished loaves...
Honey-Wheat Potato Bread
Honey-Wheat Potato Bread

As you can see, the loaf on the left rose significantly higher than the loaf on the right during the 2nd rise. I was not expecting this. The only thing I can attribute it to is that I had quite a time shaping the left loaf, and thus ended up having to knead the dough a little as I shaped it. The right loaf did not get the extra kneading after punching the dough down after the first rise.

We couldn't wait till these loaves cooled, they smelled so good! We each had a slice to sample from the smaller loaf, and the flavor is amazing. Pleasantly nutty (probably from the whole wheat flour) with a wonderful crunchy crust, but soft and tender inside. I'll be baking this weekly from now on, I think!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

There are signs of life in my new starter.

sourdough starter, day 3

I fed it more whole wheat flour and water again today.

On that note, I saw a professional baking blog post that irked me yesterday. Basically, when faced with a simple question about starters by an enthusiast new baker, Rose punts and says "it is too hard to explain to you. Go buy from a professional."

That is a load of crap, and that is a ridiculous response in what is supposed to be a baking advice column. I won't go so far as to say that making a starter is easy, but it isn't impossible, and it certainly isn't an impossible process to describe: I've done it, Sourdolady has done it, and Carltonb has done it. An idiot like me can do it; why can't she?!? Besides, if you screw up and have to throw it away, what are you out? About 75 cents worth of flour and a few minutes a day for 3 or 4 days.

Remind me not to buy her book if that is what her attitude toward amateur bakers is like.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I am trying to start another sourdough starter. I started it a couple of days ago.

I looked at SourdoLady's starter recipe but didn't have any pineapple juice in the house, so I began with 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/3 cup water, and a half a capful of apple cider vinegar. Day two (today) I added 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup rye flour.

I'm not seeing any signs of activity yet, but neither of the flours are particularly fresh so I may not have enough wild yeast in them to get started. I figure I'll give it one or two days of food and if I don't see any signs of life I'll dump it and try again.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Tonight we are baking cookies for Santa. Lebkuchen and Sour Cream Sugar Cookies, two recipes that "Santa" is particularly fond of. :)

BeckyBaker730's picture
BeckyBaker730

Today the start of my Christmas baking. First I will make the sponge and dough for the Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid. We're having that as part of our breakfast on Christmas morning. Then I am making Emeril's Cloverleaf Dinner rolls. I've made them once before and they are AMAZING! The best dinner rolls I've ever had. They have just a hint of sweetness to make them good with butter at dinner or jam at breakfast the next day. Those are for my Christmas dinner. And lastly I am making pizza dough for our Christmas Eve pizza. Nothing like homemade pizza and a good beer on Christmas eve.

whitedaisy's picture
whitedaisy

Last night we had a very cas diner party. My guest where very impressed and amazed that I made the bread bowls. And they ate a whole batch of Italian Bread. This site makes me look soooo good! :o)

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