A n00b attempts Sourdough and Reports

March 22, 2010

It’s like candy and no one told me?!

Filed under: Baking, Recipe, Rising, sourdough, Starter — alie0bronwynn @ 3:57 am

Ok, news flash.  Organic Rye Flour is “like candy” to yeast.  And no one told me.  Suddenly my new favorite, uber fluffy, sourdough recipe makes sense – it has more rye flour than I’ve used before.  Suddenly the starter I found that was successful makes sense – I added more rye flour.

Thus – this blog.  Rye.  It’s like candy to yeast.  Use it and win.

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Best Sourdough so far

Filed under: Baking, Recipe, sourdough — alie0bronwynn @ 3:55 am

Hi Everyone!

Ok – I haven’t said it before, but I have a new favorite site for all things Sourdough.  All level of people post here, answer questions and so on.  Home bakers to Bakery Owners.  Yeah, capital B capital O.  Because those people who do this for a living and make money deserve the props.

http://www.sourdough.com/   – I love viewing the forum, asking questions, going after the latest and most recommended recipes and procedures.

Someone there recommended this recipe.  It made what is now THE BEST SOURDOUGH I’ve made so far.  Take a look at those air bubbles!

I let it sit in the fridge overnight (about 16-17 hours).  It was sour, great crust, fluffy and great air bubbles.  I can’t wait to use this recipe and try rosemary bread, chocolate rolls, walnut bread and bread bowls.

Here is a link to the recipe – http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/08/my-new-favorite-sourdough/

Go. Bake. ENJOY!

January 18, 2010

Tacky is a good thing

Filed under: Baking — Tags: , , , — alie0bronwynn @ 1:21 am

Ever since I started this I’ve been reading “The dough should be tacky.”  And I was thinking “Why?”  It’s harder to knead when your hands keep sticking to it, not to mention the complexities of actually achieving this elusive “tacky loaf”.  So, I’ve kneaded with flour.  I’ve kneaded with olive oil.  I hadn’t achieved tacky at any point.

Then, one day I was lazy.  I mean, I have this whole thing down, knead, break, knead, break and suddenly the flour I’ve put away is needed.  The board is totally absent of flour and here I am with a glob of dough in my hands.  So then I just kneaded.  And suddenly I knew what they meant by “tacky”.  It’s this state where it is sticky but doesn’t fully STICK to the board.

Now – why tacky?  SEAMS.  My seams had been HORRIBLE.  The bread, during baking would always split at the seams, so I’d have my beautiful cuts on top and then these ugly seams underneath the bread.  It sucked.

But a tacky loaf?  Well, the bread is so sticky that during the shaping process it’ll stick to itself and there will be no visible seam!  *gasp*  It’s fabulous.

If only I hadn’t listened to my mother and realized earlier that Tacky is a good thing.  🙂

January 14, 2010

Best crust so far

Filed under: Baking, sourdough — alie0bronwynn @ 5:12 pm

After much baking I’ve found the best crust is to mist the bread with olive oil throughout the rising process and then right after you put your dough in the oven you mist/spray it with water.

Oh – and this is “THE” best oven process I’ve found so far.

Heat the oven to 500 degrees with a shallow pan in the bottom and a baking stone above.

Prepare a cup of ice with cold water just before putting the bread in.  (there is some debate if the water should be hot or ice cold (with ice in it).  This is to add steam to your oven (professional bakers get equipment that will do this for them, bastards). So far I’ve found using cold water and ice that it keeps the oven steamy the entire cooking time which makes the crust better.

Put the bread in.  Using an oven glove (otherwise the steam will burn you) pour the water into the shallow pan and close the door ASAP!

A second later I take my spray bottle and mist the loaves for a bit (not soaking, just misting the loaves and the oven walls a bit).

Close the doors and TURN THE OVEN DOWN TO 450 degrees.  I’ve totally forgotten to do this numerous times and DAMMIT.  So DEFINITELY turn the oven down.

5 minutes later put in another batch of Ice Water.  Mist loaves again, close door.

10 minutes later turn the loaves around for even baking (if you have bread on two levels, switch levels).  Mist loaves again.

Then, bake your goods until they are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap them.   Mist the loaves again, close door for 1 minute, pull the loaves out.  Depending on how they look I might mist them again after they are out until they look “shiny”.  But that seems to be a looks thing more than changing the actual taste of the bread.

So, after lots of trial and error – that’s what I’ve personally found works best.

Good luck!!

July 15, 2009

Recipe attempt…

Filed under: Baking, Recipe, sourdough — Tags: , , , , — alie0bronwynn @ 3:46 am

Ok, so I’ve so far been going off of this recipe for my sourdough bread.

http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm

I’ve liked it, but so far my bed doesn’t rise UP very well, but only out.  I am thinking this could be from my starter not being  “alive” as well as it should be.  Not to mention the fact that I was working from a starter made from yeast.

But anyway, recently I decided to try another recipe.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sourdough-Bread-I/Detail.aspx

First off – it made two HUGE loaves of bread.  Too much for just me and my Fiancee to eat before it went bad.

It rose pretty well, but the main reason I won’t be using this recipe in the future is because it didn’t taste great.  The sourdough flavor was only an aftertaste and not the real taste – very different from my other recipe.

allrecipes.com - Sourdough Bread I

allrecipes.com - Sourdough Bread I

The crust was better on this batch than previous batches, but I think that’s because I finally learned – SPRAY the crust with water.  I have also read that you can use an egg wash on your crust – that will be the next test, along with my new starter.

Anyway – there’s my info.

Oh, I should probably also let you know. it raised overnight, and then again all day long.  Long rise.  I might blame my starter, though.

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