Author Archives: northwestsourdough

Asiago Cracked Pepper Loaf

My new recipe is called Asiago Cracked Pepper Loaf. So far, the raves have been for the outstanding flavor of this sourdough bread. I added cracked cornmeal and some Rye flour to this dough and the bulk proofing was pretty fast at 3.5 hours. So I decided to make it a one day bread, hoping with such fermentation that it would still have a good sour. It does! I could have made two large loaves, but decided to make three smaller loaves instead. The recipe made a smaller amount of dough than my usual recipes. I mixed up the dough and had it bulk fermenting by 1:00 pm. I could tell it was raising fast. I knew it would reach the top of the bowl when it was overproofed so I mixed it down and poured it out:

dough poured out

I kneaded it just a little and rolled it into a ball:


Then I cut it into three pieces:

cut dough

I got some cracked Black Pepper and Asiago cheese ready:

black pepper

asiago cheese

I saved a small piece of the cheese for grating on top of the finished loaves. I should have bought more cheese though. This was about 6 oz of cheese and I think 12 oz would have made  cheesier loaves. The dough pieces were resting and so I took them and stretched them  into a rectangular shape and pressed in the cheese and pepper.

preparing the loaf

I then shaped the dough into loaves and put them into bannetons:

dough in bannetons

I sprinkled some of the coarse cracked cornmeal around the dough. I could see the cheese and pepper peeking through the dough. I let the dough proof for two hours at room temperature and then popped the first loaf into the oven, here it is:

first loaf

With the second loaf I sprinkled the topping cheese on when it was still in the oven instead of afterwards like I did for the first loaf:

second loaf

Here is the third loaf:

third loaf

All three loaves:

three loaves

The bread sat up high and has a great crust. Here is the crumb:


This bread has an incredibly good flavor, its amazing used for sandwiches and awesome as toast. This recipe will be available in the Special Recipes folder.

Sour Vienna White?

Yesterday I got up early and mixed up a batch of Vienna White bread. It is so terrific tasting especially when you use motherdough in the dough. I added 1/2 cup of Rye flour to the batch, as you by now know my inclination towards using a bit of Rye here and there. I have the recipe for this Vienna White posted on the Recipe section of the forum: 

I have posted a blog about doing up this Vienna White before. Anyway Vienna White is a great loaf to do as a one day sourdough. Here is the dough already bulk fermented and ready to pour out:

Proofed dough

I divided the 5 lbs 12 oz of dough amongst four loaves and put them into the couche:

in the couche

They proofed for two hours and the first two loaves went into the oven. The oven was preheated for over an hour so the stone was pretty hot. However the first two loaves were slightly underproofed and needed more like 2.5 hours to be perfect. They presented a disappointing picture as the dough was mottled colored, the slashes gave way and didn’t become defined, and they were somewhat flattish.

Here they are:

first two

The second two loaves came out great, the color was well developed and the loaves sit up high and the slashes are well defined. The pictures don’t show these attributes too well, the breads look somewhat similar in pictures and the lighting isn’t good. Here are the second two loaves:

second two loaves

The baking time was the same and the temperatures were the same for both sets of bread. I am bringing this to your attention because it has happened often before especially with dough that is all proofed at the same time so that the first two loaves are always proofed less and you can see the difference with the loaves that are proofed correctly compare to those that are even slightly underproofed.

Here are all four loaves, the first baked are on the left:

all four loaves

all four loaves


Vienna White usually comes out with a soft fine crumb and is mild flavored, however, with the added Rye flour, the crumb was chewy, holey and has a pronounced sour tang, even for a one day bread!

Something the Same Something Different

Today I bake up something the same… Basic White Sourdough… and something different…but we will get to that later. I mixed up some Basic White Sourdough yesterday and meant to shape the loaves and put them into the refrigerator. But sometimes things happen! I got too busy and couldn’t get to the shaping, so I put the dough into a large bowl and out on the enclosed cold porch. It was around 50 degrees. I didn’t have enough room in the refrigerator. Next morning the dough was looking nice! :

Basic White Dough

I made up enough dough for three loaves, however, for Breakfast I decided to do something different. I took one third of the dough and using 3 oz pieces of the dough, I made “Fried Bread”. Now it isn’t really fried bread because you don’t fry it, you griddle it. My husband’s mother would often make this bread from a batch of dough she had proofing. She would pull off pieces of dough, pull and stretch out the dough in irregular sizes and throw them on the griddle. I have been asked several times if I would try to make up some with my sourdough. So I did. Here are the dough pieces cooking on the griddle:

Dough on griddle

I griddled them at around 375 degrees. I didn’t pay any attention to how long they took as I put them on one by one as I pulled them into flat shapes. I watched them and turned them as they got brown. They smelled wonderful cooking. They are not thin like pancakes, and you don’t roll them out, so they have thin areas, and thick areas. They puff up and cook pretty quickly, it doesn’t take too long. These would be great for camping! Here are some on a plate:

Fry Bread

They are crispy in some spots and chewey in other spots. Fry Bread is wonderful with lots of butter, jelly, honey or cream cheese. You ought to try some next time you mix up a batch of Basic White Sourdough! YuMMMMMY! My husband declared that they tasted better than the yeasted ones and that they were lighter and fluffier in texture, with nice sized bubbles.

Oh yea, I almost forgot the “Something Same”…. I baked up the Basic White Bread later in the morning. Here it is:

Basic White loaf 1

Basic White loaf 2

Sorry about the dark pictures. We have had a lot of rain and storms and not much sun. When I try to take pictures indoors, I have a hard time with the lighting. I probably need a lighting box!

Hawaaiian Pineapple Sourdough Bread

I have something new, a sourdough made with Pineapple, Orange Juice and Coconut for a Hawaaiian flavored bread. I mixed up a batch this morning early. It bulk fermented for six hours:

dough in mixer

I rolled the dough into boules:


I let the dough proof in glass bowls and then put a mixture of Pineapple topping with Coconut over the dough:

pineapple topping

I baked the dough right in the bowls and here is what came out of the oven:

baked loaf

I turned out the bread and let it cool and here are the loaves of Hawaaiian Pineapple Sourdough :

two loaves Hawaaian Sourdough Bread

first loaf

Next loaf:

loaf two

Here is the crumb:


The dough is soft and tangy with the flavors of citrus/Pineapple/Coconut. A delightful change of pace!

Today, Sourdough English Muffins

Sorry if you have visited and seen no pictures. Our server has been down after a power outage and we have been setting up a new one and configuring it, so the pictures and web site are down at times. I have uploaded these pictures to photobucket as I cannot access our ftp client right now, so if I peg out my bandwidth with them, you will not see pictures again. Soon we will have all of the bugs worked out!

Continue reading

Basic White Sourdough with a Rye kick

I mixed up some Basic White Sourdough:

I use a bread mixer and add :

  • 3 cups sourdough starter
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 cup Rye flour(instead of just white flour)
  • Bread Flour(about 10- cups)
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • However, instead of just white flour, I used 1/2 cup Rye flour. It does make the dough more sticky and hard to handle. But it also makes the bread sit up and kick! The dough seems more alive and bubbly and the color is great. Adding Rye flour to any bread recipe seems to kickstart the fermentation. I wonder if it is like feeding yeast some coffee? Here are some pictures of the three loaves I baked from the above recipe:

    first loaf

    second loaf

    third loaf

    All three loaves:

    all three

    Here is the crumb:


    Delicious, sour, great!! Basic is such a wonderful all around sourdough! It is also one of the easiest of sourdoughs to make. If you want to read more about the method of mixing and baking the Basic White Sourdough Bread you can find it at:

    Messing Up Molasses Whole Wheat!

    Boy did I ever mess up this last batch of bread! I was doublechecking a recipe and so I mixed up some Molasses Whole Wheat bread. I was mixing up the dough when I suddently got called away on an errand to visit someone who is ill. I wasn’t able to mix for the amount of time needed, so I put on the lid and left the dough. When I got back it was quite a bit later and the dough was well into the bulk fermentation so I decided just to leave it alone, wondering how it would do without the needed mixing. After bulk fermentation, it was evening and I poured out the dough to shape it. Much to my dismay, there was embedded chunks of unmixed flour and hardened dough where the flour had only partly mixed in. It looked like maybe 1.5 to 2 cups worth! I never had this happen before and I almost threw the whole thing away! Instead I pulled out all of the unmixed hardened stuff and kneaded the rest of the dough. It felt great and smelled great so I went ahead and shaped it and put in the bannetons. It made three loaves of almost 2 lbs each, so you can see it would have been a large batch. Then, because the dough seemed just a bit slow raising, I decided to leave the shaped loaves out half an hour before putting in the refrigerator. I got interested in a movie someone in the family was watching, forgot all about my dough and 3 hours later when I remembered it, the dough was already proofed and ready to bake! However at 10:00 pm with a cold oven, I was not ready to bake! So I took each loaf and reshaped the dough and put it out in the cold pantry which was at 45 degrees (it’s been cold around here!).

     shaped loaves

    That was my next mistake! By morning the pantry had warmed up to 50 degrees and rising. The dough was already overproofed!


     I tried to slash it, but after one slash it started to deflate immediately! Jeesh!! So,  without much hope of a third rise possible, I reshaped the loaves again!!

    Now this would be the third time proofing or the fourth if you count the bulk fermentation! I began to think the dough wouldn’t raise, or the dough would have been so long fermented, it would be ghostly white ….again! However, luck was with me this time, or Whole Wheat and molasses provide plenty of sugars for the yeast to feed on, because…. much to my great surprise, the dough rose very well even though it did take three hours. Here is what I got after all of my mistakes…at every single stage!!

    three loaves

    Here is an up close picture of the bread:




    The crumb is light as a feather and fine grained, the oven spring  was spectacular ! The taste is very wheaty and has a wonderful tang. This turned out better than the original recipe!  Hurrah for mistakes…..sometimes!!! 🙂

    Soft Wheaty Sourdough

    The dough after shaping.

    I have a person in my family that prefers soft white bread. I have tried a couple of times to mix up some soft white bread with just a little bit of whole wheat flour added, and some heavy milk (1/2 & 1/2 milk). Each time, I had trouble because I  expected the dough to ferment in the regular time. This time I went along with the dough’s schedule. The first bulk ferment was over seven hours. The second proofing was four hours. The dough rose very slowly. To my great surprise, the bread came out wonderful! I wasn’t able to get the loaves into the oven until 7:00 pm, and we were watching Frankenstein, so my pictures of the finished loaves aren’t too good as we had all of the lights turned off !


    Here are the loaves after 3.5 hours proofing:


    I slashed down the middle, and poured melted butter over all of the tops:

    poured melted butter

    Here are the finished loaves:

    finished loaves

    finished loaves

    Here is the bread sliced:

    sliced bread

    The long wait was worth it! And my picky person is very happy!

    Volcano Bread??? Spicy Jalepeno Pepper Sourdough

    I have a new recipe! It’s delicious! Spicy Jalepeno Pepper Sourdough is the name of it. I started out with a preferment the night before. Next morning I put the preferment into the mixer and added the rest of the ingredients. I let the dough bulk ferment five hours:


    I then poured it out and divided the dough into three pieces. Next, I let the dough rest a little and then pulled it out into a rectangle. I had 8 oz of Jalepeno Cheese cut into large chunks and I put half of the cheese onto the rectangle. I used 8 oz of Jalepeno Cheese for each loaf. Then I folded the dough into thirds:




    Then I flattened it out again slightly, and put the rest of the cheese on top, and continued to fold the dough into thirds again.


    folding into thirds

    When it was done, it was a pretty fat lump. I let it rest a little and then coaxed it into a longer loaf.


    dough in couche

    I put the dough into the couche and then proofed two more hours.

    Here is what I got, this is the first loaf:

    first loaf

    Here is the second loaf:

    second loaf

    Here is the third loaf:

    third loaf

    Here are some closeups:



    Here is a picture of the crumb:


    My lighting source was the fading, setting sun, not so good, but maybe it helps the bread look like a volcano! 

    I will be adding this recipe to the Special Recipe Folder.

    Doing my own thing…Walnut Raisin Surprise

    Today I just wanted to bake a Raisin Walnut Batter loaf by feel. You know, where you throw in some of this and that until you are happy with the results. This is a very difficult thing for a left brained person to do! However, I must admit, always weighing and measuring everything is hard for me ! I do it, especially for the recipes, but I like to break away and do my own thing sometimes !

    Continue reading