I made up a batch of Sourdough Bread using a new recipe. I also combined a cup of very sour motherdough with the regular Northwest starter, just for flavor because it was alcoholic. The dough bulk fermented well in six hours and looked like this:
I divided the dough into three pieces and shaped them. Each piece was about 2 lbs 2 oz.
I put the dough to rest in the banneton baskets and refrigerated the dough overnight:
Next morning the dough proofed for two hours and then I slashed the first loaf and popped it into the hot 450 degree oven :
Here is how it came out:
Here are the other loaves:
Here are all three together:
The bread came out very nice and tangy with a nice crumb:
This turned out to be a very nice sourdough and we ate it with ham and cheese for sandwiches. It has been a nice tangy loaf, but not as sour as the Desem bread I was supposed to bake on the same day and didn’t get to until today….gee it knocked my socks off! I did every possible thing wrong with this Desem dough and it still came out pretty good although not as much spring as it should have had. Here it is:
This dough was supposed to be ready to bake after the other dough was done. I didn’t get it mixed up though, although I had the preferment waiting to go. So I ended up mixing it up later in the day and hoped to get it into the oven…but no…we had to go out…so I just put it into the refrigerator. I took it out this morning and it wasn’t acting too vigorous, so I proofed it for 2 hours and then baked it. Gee it is SOUR!
Sourdough biscuits….Yum! I whipped up a batch of sourdough biscuits this morning that really came out great. Instead of just white flour, I added a small amount of cornmeal and whole wheat to give the biscuits a more rustic flavor. Here they are:
Rustic Sourdough Biscuits
In a medium bowl mix:
2 cups vigorous Sourdough Starter
1.5 cups Milk
1/2 cup oil or melted Butter
1 Tablespoon Malt Syrup/or substitute 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
In a medium large bowl mix the dry ingredients:
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup Whole Wheat flour
2 Tablespoons of Cornmeal
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
Stir dry ingredients together and then add the first bowl of wet ingredients to the second bowl of dry ingredients, stir gently with a fork until a soft sticky dough is formed. Add more all purpose flour if the dough is too sticky. I had to add about another 1/3 of a cup of flour. Pour out on a well floured surface and knead just enough to have the dough gather into a ball and be smooth and pliable. This dough will still be somewhat sticky on the inside, just keep the outside covered with flour as you roll it out and cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter. If the dough is kneaded too much or you add so much flour while kneading that it is no longer sticky inside, it will be a tougher biscuit. So handle the dough gently and quickly and get the cut biscuits onto a baking sheet lightly greased or sprayed with pan spray. Pop the biscuits into a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes. Eat while hot with dripping butter/honey/jam etc. Enjoy!
After my Christmas loaves, I made up a batch of Basic White Sourdough and added a 1/4 cup of cracked wheat which had been soaked in hot water instead of the cornmeal. Without the cornmeal, the dough bulk fermented much quicker and I shaped the loaves and put them into small banneton baskets again. This time I made three loaves and they were a bit over 1.5 lbs each.
Here are the loaves in their baskets:
Here is one of the loaves when it was ready to pop into the oven:
This dough didn’t take as long to proof as the dough with the added cornmeal. It wasn’t as sour as a result, but a very good loaf in it’s own right. I used a flexible plastic cutting board as a peel to get the dough into the preheated cast iron pot. I then put on the lid without spraying any water as a result of the prior experiment showing that the initial drying of the skin of the loaf created a better outcome with the slashes. It was also true with the pot baked loaves. They came out better without the early spray of water which I was giving the dough just before putting on the lid. Here is one of the loaves still in the pot:
All of the loaves came out great with very nice crusts:
All three together:
Here is the crumb:
It seems that if you spray the dough immediately with pot baking or with stone baking, you don’t have as nice of a blooming of the slashes. It was very interesting finding this out and another one of those instances that make sourdough baking so much fun!
I made up a batch of Sourdough Bread to give for Christmas presents, except for one which I sliced open. I found out a new trick this time while baking. I stumbled across it quite accidentally, although I do remember thinking about the possibility before. I’ll start at the beginning. First I mixed up a batch of dough using the Basic White Recipe and added some cornmeal to slow down the fermentation so I could do a second proofing longer. Here are the four loaves of bread shaped and put into small bannetons. The loaves are approximately 1.5 lbs each:
The baking stone was very well heated as we were baking in the kitchen all morning and I put the stone in before we started. The dough actually took five hours to proof after being taken out of the overnight refrigeration. I popped one loaf into the oven first and did not spray or pour water into the bowl in the bottom of the oven. I loaded the next loaf and then I sprayed the oven and poured hot water into the bowl of rocks on the bottom of the oven. Halfway through the baking I noticed that the loaf which had gone into the oven first had a beautiful oven bloom and the other loaf was “Ho Hum”. Here are the first two loaves, the first loaf that was loaded is on the right hand side:
I wondered if the extra minute in the hot oven, had set the outside crust enough to allow the interior to bloom better than the second loaf which was sprayed almost immediately. I knew that in the bakery the dough is left out long enough for the skin of the dough to feel dry to the touch and in that way the “grigne” or slash bloomed in the correct way. Maybe leaving the dough in the oven a minute before misting or adding any moisture was a new trick. So for the next two loaves loaded at the same time, I loaded and then waited one minute before misting. That meant the third loaf was in the oven about two minutes and the fourth loaf was exposed to the heat of the oven for one minute. I then misted and poured some hot water into a bowl filled with river rocks which immediately humidified the oven. I misted at intervals for the first five minutes as usual and then baked the rest of the bread as usual. Here are the second two loaves:
As you can see the “grigne” or grin is very well pronounced in these two loaves. Here is another picture, the second two loaves are on the right hand side:
Here are all four loaves with the first two loaves at the top and the second two at the bottom:
The loaf at the very top was the only one misted immediately upon loading in the oven.
Anyway I am very pleased with the outcome of the loaves and you can bet I will repeat this experiment. If you want a more pronounced “grigne” or slashes, try letting the dough set in the oven for one minute before misting and see if helps your bread look terrific. Here are the loaves altogether in a gift basket:
Of course I couldn’t give away all of the loaves without slicing one open to see the crumb, here it is:
Merry Christmas everyone!
Last Thursday Dec 14 we went through a very strong storm with wind gusts approaching 100 mph. I live on the Washington Coast with the Willapa Bay in my back yard, so we were hit pretty hard. We lost power Thursday night and it didn’t come back on until the following Monday in the late afternoon! Our Artesian well kept pouring out fresh water, so that was nice, as you don’t need a pump to get water from the overflow. Anyway, it would have been a good time to try out camp sourdough, but I didn’t 🙁 We didn’t have any fresh sourdough all that time. However, the last batch I baked up, (a Basic White batch) even though it was stale by then, tasted great thrown on the top of the woodstove and crisped by the hot stovetop and then buttered. As soon as the power came on Monday afternoon, I decided to mix up a batch of sourdough as a preferment so I could bake the next day. I didn’t have time for the long overnight ferment of ripened dough but I sure wanted some fresh sourdough! I decided to mix up a new recipe that had a quick overnight preferment and baked up the next day, and so I made this:
After the Storm Bread:
In the evening I mixed up a preferment in a large bowl containing:
1 cup Northwest Starter
1 cup water
1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour
1/2 cup Rye flour
2 cups Bread flour
I covered this and let it set overnight at room temperature.
This is how it looked next morning:
Next morning at 6:00 am I poured this preferment into my dough mixer and added:
1 cup scalded 1/2 and 1/2 milk to which 1 cup of cold water was added to cool it off quickly.
2 Tablespoons Oil
7 – 8 cups of Bread flour (adjust for consistancy)
I mixed up the dough and let it rest (autolyse) for 15 minutes and then I added:
5 teaspoons salt
Then I mixed the dough for about three minutes and let it bulk ferment for five hours.
It was an active bubbly dough at five hours ferment:
After the five hour bulk ferment I had 5 lb 7 oz of dough, enough for two large loaves and one smaller loaf. So just to have some fun, I shaped the smaller loaf into a Baguette shape and the two larger loaves into the Batard style shapes. I proofed them in a couche at room temperature. However disaster struck once again! The power company decided to turn off the power to fix the lines again! This was just at the time when I was about to start preheating my oven for an hour. So, I moved all of the shaped dough onto my covered porch which was registering a 45 degree temperature, lucky me, as I didn’t have any room in the refrigerator to put the dough. The power was off for an hour. So as soon as it came back on, I preheated the oven. When it was hot enough, I baked the Baguette loaf and it came out pretty nice. Then I tried baking one of the Batard loaves but it stuck to the pan as I was trying to pop it onto the stone and then I forgot to turn the oven down after the first five minutes of high heat and spraying. Ill fated loaf! It didn’t come out too good in looks, but it was still a good edible loaf. Then I baked the last loaf with slashes down it’s side intead of on top. Two out of three loaves, not too bad!
Here they are with the ill fated loaf at the top (obviously):
Here is an attempt to hide the ill fated loaf:
Here is the crumb of the Ill fated loaf, just to show you that it is still edible! Actually it is delicous!
With the mix of Whole Wheat and some Rye, it is not a real white crumb but an earthy, rustic loaf, just right for after the storm, and so very satisfying.
I mixed up a preferment for some Rosemary Calamata Olive Sourdough bread. The preferment was really nice and bubbly the next day. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and put the dough into the refrigerator for an overnight rest.
Next morning I baked up the loaves, they weighed 1.5 lbs each:
This dough was a mixture of Rye, Whole Wheat and Bread flour. It also has Basil in it.
Here are both loaves together:
This dough was made up using Northwest Sourdough starter.
Here is a picture of the crumb:
This bread is superb! The flavor is exceptional! It has a wonderful tang, flavorful olives and a whiff of Rosemary and Basil. I will be putting this recipe in the Special Recipe folder.
My Desem starter is doing really good and performing reliably. I mixed up the preferment yesterday and baked one large loaf today. I had a three pound loaf come out of the batch. I have been having trouble with getting any good pictures inside. When I had some sun outside I did okay, but I guess I need better lighting. I did an experiment a couple of days ago with putting a roasting lid over my bread as it baked, to hold the steam closer to the dough. It was a very interesting experiment, kind of like baking in a pot, but not.
I also got pictures of those loaves but I am disappointed with the quality of the pictures, because you can’t really see what I am trying to show you. The loaves that came out from under the lid, were thin crispy crackly crusted loaves, the one that I didn’t put the lid over, came out looking nicer, but the crust wasn’t as nice. However the crispy crackly loaves, seemed to want to almost tear apart all over the crust and didn’t rise as high as the loaf not baked under the roasting lid. It was an interesting toss up.
Here is the Desem bread from today. It needed a little bit more proofing, but I had to go out and just couldn’t give it the time it needed:
As for the experimental loaves baked under the roasting pan lid. I will show you the loaf not baked under the roasting lid first:
This was a variation of the Basic White Recipe with some Rye, Wheat and added cornmeal. The cornmeal slowed down the proof considerably so I had a five hour final proofing. Anyway, here is the loaf baked under the roasting lid:
Here is a closeup of the same loaf:
You can see the fissures and stretching of the crust. The pictures aren’t good but this happened all over the crust of both loaves baked in this way. Here is the other loaf, it was done as a boule:
This next picture is a bit closer but shows the great color and crispiness of the crust:
Here is the crumb of the regular baked loaf, it had a higher oven spring than the other two loaves:
Here is the crumb pic of the loaf baked under the roasting lid:
I’ve got two Rosemary, Calamato Olive loaves to bake tomorrow.
They are setting in the fridge cooling down right now.
I was askd how I got the dough into the hot pot without flattening it. I took the suggestion of SourDom at the Australian forum, he suggested using a flexible plastic mat like those flexible cutting mats to turn the dough onto and then curving up the mat on either side of the dough and sliding it down into the pot gently. It worked really nice.
Well, I am a convert to Pot baking, I just wish I had a bigger pot, the size of my oven to be exact. The crust comes out incredible, with the crispy, crusty texture and crunch that one is after in a sourdough crust. I mixed up a batch of San Francisco Sourdough using the SF starter, it was slow to bulk ferment because I let it go 24 hours with no refreshment to build up the sour producing bacteria. I shaped the dough into boule shapes this time and proofed overnight in baskets:
I let the dough proof overnight and you wouldn’t believe it but it took a little over four hours to proof, the dough was that slow. It is a good way to get a decent sour however.
I have been trying the dough baking in a cast iron pot. The last bread I tried was the Desem bread which came out pretty nice. This time it was a white bread, so the outcome was more dramatic…and was not disappointing! This was the first loaf of the batch to be baked:
This was the second loaf to be baked:
This was the third loaf to be baked and I believe it was perfectly proofed and the oven was thoroughly heated, as I also used stones besides the pot:
Here is the same loaf while still in the pot:
All three loaves together:
Here is the crumb of the first loaf:
As you can see the pot baking is a tremendous success. I feel the heavy pot and the lid keeps the heat wrapped around the loaf, and provides for it’s own steam. The third loaf’s crust came out the best, I sprayed that loaf with water just before I popped on the lid.
With the long proofing, the bread came out with a very nice tangy sour. All around a great baking day!
Yesterday I mixed up a stiff sponge with San Francisco Starter, flour, water and some motherdough starter (aged dough). I left it overnight in a 50 degree pantry. The sponge was very nice and bubbly by this morning:
I added the rest of the ingredients this morning and let it ferment for five hours. When it was done I poured it out on a lightly floured surface. The dough was very active and lively.
I shaped the dough into two loaves weighing 2 lbs and one weighing almost 1.5 lbs.
I put the loaves into the banneton and let them proof for two hours. They baked up with the motherdough signature reddish hue: