I decided to tackle the Ciabatta bread. I used my motherdough starter to save on an extra day fermentation. The hydration ended up being 74% for the finished dough. I actually had it around 80% ! gooey! But I added flour to bring it to 74%. Here is what the dough looked like after being brought to 74%:

ciabatta dough

I wish I would have taken a picture when I poured it out, it was like batter. But here is one of the loaves after I folded it the first time. I then stretched it again and folded it twice:

loaf 1

folded again

Here are all four loaves finished with their forming, they weighed about 1 lb 5 oz each:

all four

Here are the first two loaves out of the oven:

baked bread

Here are three of the loaves:three loaves

I would have shown you  all four except one was devoured while still hot!

Here is the crumb of one:

crumb ciabatta

I could have gotten more oven spring, I would like the holes to be larger, but overall I am very happy with how these Ciabatta loaves turned out.

crumb ciabatta

Country Kitchen Loaves

Yesterday I decided to make up a recipe that would have these parameters:

Dark crusty exterior, finer crumb, large, lots of slashes, have a taste like the large farm kitchen loaves with the added milk.

So I started at 10:30 in the morning, and already had a nice bucket of motherdough (I had this motherdough at 100% hydation, but I am now keeping it at 80% hydration , when I refresh I add 400g water and 500g flour) going and well fermented so I decided to use it for flavor and color and skip the extra night fermentation. The loaves were successful except for the slashes did not bloom as well as I would have expected.

Here is a picture of the loaves :

kitchen loaves

Here is the crumb:

kitchen crumb

As you can see, I got what I was after. The only thing I wasn’t happy about, is that I wanted a lot of slashes, but the slashes, made the bread spread too much in the first loaf, and didn’t bloom much in the second loaf. I had the dough at 63% hydration, so I thought that was a low enough hydration loaf to support a lot of slashes. I am pretty sure it was the fact that the loaves were too large (2lb 11 oz) for my regular baskets and I had to use plastic bowls. The skin on the dough didn’t dry enough to support a lot of slashes. I wish I had at my disposal, a very large number of bannetons and baskets of different sizes and shapes!If anyone has any other ideas as to why my loaves spread too much or the slashes didn’t bloom, I would certainly like to hear it!

Basic White with a difference update

Well it has been two days and I pulled out the loaf I was going to check to see if it were as stale as usual on day two. Here it is:

soft crumb

It certainly without a doubt had a softer crumb than usual for the basic white recipe. It was still great for a sandwich not just toast. So the addition of milk to the recipe and extra oil does seem to help keep the bread fresh longer.

Sourdough Bluecheese Pullapart Loaf

Today I am going to bake up Bluecheese Pullapart Loaves. Some people call it Bleu Cheese. I developed this recipe for sourdough, but I have memories of commercial yeast pullapart loaves my mother made when I was a child. I put the ingredients into the mixer, mixed just enough to bring the dough together minus the salt, and let rest for 15 minutes (autolysis).


 After resting, I added one more cup of flour. The dough is now smoother:


I let the dough raise four hours and since it was a smaller batch than half of the bowl, it was certainly doubled:


I poured out the dough, added the salt, and kneaded into a ball. Then I let the dough rest for five minutes. At that time I rolled out a rectangle and brushed on butter :

rolled out

I cut the rectangle into 16 pieces and sprinkled on about 5 ounces of crumbled blue cheese:

blue cheese

Using the pastry cutter, stack up each row of four and put the stack into the bread pan:


stack with cutter

When you are done placing all of the stacks into the bread pan it should look like this:

pan of bread

This recipe made two loaves:

two loaves

Here they are baked:

baked bread

baked loaf

crumb bluecheese

The crumb looks velvety and it is because it is covered with butter but there is a fine holey crumb when you tear a piece open. Well there you have it, my Sourdough Bluecheese Pullapart loaves.

Sourdough Biscuits (Scones)

I have a recipe that I have used for years for Sourdough Biscuits. The ingredients are usual, the mixing is not. As a matter of fact, if you don’t mix these biscuits the way the recipe directs, they won’t come out nearly as nice. It is usual to mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl and then combine them. That won’t exacty work for this recipe and I have tried it that way, it just doesn’t produce the right results.Here is where you can print off the recipe:Continue reading

Basic White with a difference

Today I started a basic white batch of sourdough bread. I have been putting in even a nominal amount of cracked wheat because I like the texture and added eye interest. I put only two tablespoons this time because I also wanted to try something a little different. After doing up the Sourdough Kaiser Rolls, I thought maybe I would add a little extra oil and some milk powder to a basic white recipe and see how it changes the crumb texture and the crust.

I also want to see if it changes the longevity of the shelf life. Now with my crew I often don’t get long lived bread but when I do, I notice that some of the breads go stale faster. White bread isn’t as bad a culprit as whole wheat bread on this point but white bread that isn’t eaten same or next day, does get stale pretty fast.Continue reading

Sourdough Kaiser Rolls

I decided to try out my luck with Sourdough Kaiser Rolls. Using Northwest Sourdough starter, I made up a sponge the night before and had a good vigorous sponge by morning. Then, in the morning I added the rest of the ingredients and proofed the dough for 2.5 hours at which time the dough doubled. Sponges usually proof faster as so much of the dough is really a starter. Also the house was warm with it starting at 72F degrees and it being 82F degrees when I baked. Here is the first proof at 10:30 a.m. after 2.5 hours of proofing:Continue reading

Aussie Light Wheat Flaxseed Loaf

I made up some Aussie Light Wheat Flaxseed Loaf for the Recipe Folder but I haven't got the Raisin Bread or the Aussie Flaxseed loaf into html format yet. The flaxseed in the light wheat bread works out terrific, it has a nutty taste and is nice and chewy. The crumb isn't as open as the other kinds of bread, and it takes a little longer to proof, I think the seeds inhibit enzymes somewhat like we were talking about for the malt and cornmeal. However the longer proof seems to bring out the flavor, so it is a good tradeoff. Here is a picture of a boule ready to put into it's basket:


Here is a loaf baked:

baked boule

Here are all three loaves:

three loaves

Here is a picture of the crumb:


 Doesn't this bread look like Rye? It is a light wheat with mostly white bread flour and there is 1/2 cup of flaxseed in the recipe.