. Thanks to Nina from Denmark, I have a terrific Danish Sourdough Starter. She actually sent me two, but I’ve only tried one so far. I baked up a batch of Pumpkin sourdough muffins using the Danish starter which turned out great and was floored by the taste of a Danish Rye bread I baked up today! This Rye has spectacular flavor. I actually was pretty excited when I smelled the starter brewing as it smelled so good. Here are some pictures of the booty:
I have been finishing up home schooling for my kids, getting ready for a wedding and fixing up my house, besides trying to put in a garden, but I am still baking sourdough!
I haven’t had as much time to write on my blog because I am also converting my recipes and sourdough journey into a book. It will take me some time, but eventually there won’t be a “Special Recipes” online recipe printouts for sale. It will still be available for those who purchased it, but I will continue to convert it to a sourdough book instead. Here are some of the breads I have been baking while I have been away from my blog:
Here is a loaf of Basic White Sourdough(recipe on my website):
Here is the crumb from the Basic White:
I was experimenting with a bread called Freckled Sourdough. Here are some pictures of Freckled bread:
This is a Desem Flavored White Sourdough:
And this is a Flaxseed Malted Rye:
I am hoping sometime this Summer to have my boys build me a outdoor clay oven. I can’t wait!
Today was improvisation day, or I should say yesterday was. I made up a lower hydration batch of sourdough using a little of this and some of that. I also added some more of that malted Rye berries to the dough. I mixed, proofed, formed and set the dough to refrigerate overnight. Today this is what I got:
This was mostly a white sourdough with some added Whole Wheat, Rye, and some malted Rye berries. The crumb came out great and the taste is superb with the nice sharp tanginess of spiked (with Rye and W.W.) sourdough and added crunch of malted Rye berries. It is nice to have an improvisation day with no measurements, no weighing and just doing what you want to!
I’ve been wanting to bake up some sourdough bagels so …. I did. I mixed up the dough which was a stiff dough, using Northwest starter and let it proof:
I made up the bagels using 4 oz of dough for each bagel:
After they were done proofing, I simmered them in water which had salt and malt syrup added to it. Then I brushed on an egg glaze and sprinkled on a topping of onion flakes, poppy seeds or nothing. Then into the oven and:
This batch made about 28 bagels, and here is a picture of the inside:
I have a special treat this time. I made up a batch of sourdough cornbread. This is what I did:
I started with my mixer and added:
3 cups of sourdough starter (at 166% hydration)
1 cup evaporated milk (or buttermilk)
1/2 cup of melted butter which has cooled to lukewarm
3 large eggs (beaten slightly before putting in mixer)
1/4 cup of honey or malt syrup
I mixed these ingredients together just enough to incorporate them. Then in another bowl I mixed these ingredients together:
In a separate bowl add:
2. 5 cups of freshly ground cornmeal
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Stir all of these dry ingredients together with a spoon until well mixed and then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients which are in the mixer. Turn on the mixer and stir just long enough to mix all ingredients together. Then pour out your cornbread batter into a large bundt or cake pan which has been sprayed with pan oil or greased.
The batter came up about 3/4 of the pan sides. I let the batter set for one hour to allow the cornmeal to absorb the liquid. Then I baked the bread in a preheated 400 degree oven for 50 minutes. Here is what came out of the oven:
Yea, I know the pan is crooked, but it is a heavy pan that bakes great!
Here it is cut up:
This cornbread turned out great and was moist and crumbly. I served it with Poquito Beans which are a great complement to Honey Butter Sourdough Cornbread!
The Poquito Beans are native to Santa Maria California and are a hidden treasure. We get them special ordered from the coast of California in large bags. I come from that area and I make up the beans with my own special recipe which is oohed and aahhed by anyone who tries them. They have bacon and lots of garlic in them. You have never had a terrific coastal meal until you have had Poquito Beans, fresh baked sourdough and barbequed rib steaks or barbequed fresh tuna. Life is good!
I was in an in-store bakery in town, and I saw a display of sourdough breads that looked wonderful. I bought a sourdough boule to take home and evaluate. Here are a couple of pictures, one of the outside and one of the inside:
Like I said, the bread really looked great. However, once we tried the bread there was disappointment all around. The crust was tough and gummy like a piece of leather. The wonderful looking bubbly crust was a sham, it was a glaze brushed on that blistered. The texture of the crumb was just like a bakery white loaf and was a real disappointment. The flavor was just not there, there was no development of wheat flavor, it tasted just like vinegar. I believe this bread was just a packaged bakery loaf mix that had vinegar added. When you tried to chew the piece of bread, it turned into a gummy ball and was indigestible. I was actually in shock. I had no idea that the bakeries would go to such lengths to make a fake loaf of sourdough, when it is so easy to turn out great sourdough. Their bread was not fermented in any way. No flavor, no aroma, no bite to the crumb. Just plain disappointment. No more bakery bread for me, thankyou, but no thankyou!
I’ve been working with the Desem in new recipes and having absolutely fabulous results. Here is a Desem bread I call Light Wheat Desem and another that I am in the process of working with called Desem Milk ‘N Honey. Here are pictures of the Light Wheat Desem:
This is the overnight preferment:
This turned out to be a really great bread. The preferment had a malted cracked Rye berry in it. The taste was incredible. I am also working on a Medium Desem with a bit more of the whole grain flour in it. I will get back on that one. I might be putting the two recipes in the Special Recipe folder when I get them worked out.
The technique for the same recipe is on the technique page. If you keep working at it until you can bake up a great Basic White Sourdough… then you can bake up just about any sourdough recipe. The Basic White helps you to get the technique and handling down pat.