SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
plllog

Things to make c/discarded sourdough starter?

plllog
8 years ago

I've been nurturing two sourdough starters. They were born as one, but after it became stable, I split it and have been gradually transitioning the second one to white flour. The base starter is all home milled hard red winter wheat. Because I'm on the 30 days to maturity plan, I have a lot of discard. I also fed them up to do baking experiments and then reduced them. I finally found the optimal hydration for both to be 80-82%, where I had been following directions and doing 100%, which is too leggy to hold its weight.

This is all part of my learning to bake with whole wheat. I've got my pizza recipe down pat, but that starts with flour and does it's soak post-mixing in the fridge. The experimental breads I've made with the sourdough discard have been good, but heavy, even with added yeast. I'm having trouble finding recipes for this specific thing. They're either for whole wheat, starting from flour, or for white starting from sourdough. My white flour baking experience isn't helping me with the whole wheat, and the conversion ratios I've found, white to wheat, sourdough to flour and water, etc., haven't been doing it. I could up the hydration and the yeast. I plan to do the former, especially as I've reduced it in the starter, but would rather not do the latter.

Any favorite things to do with starter discards that you'd care to share?

We wanted a lighter treat, so I made waffles today. Finally did find a recipe for soaked sourdough that was touted as light and fluffy. :) I didn't follow it, of course, but the waffles did come out light and fluffy. :) I'd make a half recipe (counting by eggs) because it was well more than we needed and it's going to lose its poof in the fridge.

I should mention that I'm something of a waffle snob. I've never managed to make my A#1 favorite, but it's only available about 1000 miles away. The ones I made today aren't that either, but definitely an honorable mention. They were very good.

Light Waffles from Heavy Starter

1.5 c. active discard (top of current jar, still bubbling), half white, half wheat, 90% hydration
3 heaping TBSP active starter (mixed white and wheat)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 heaping TBSP buttermilk powder
2 heaping TBSP malt powder
2 eggs
1/4 c. melted butter

Sprinkle dry over wet wheat.
Add eggs and butter. Stir.
Slightly more than one waffle-ladle for one waffle.

Edit: typo in hydration number.

This post was edited by plllog on Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 20:14

Comments (151)

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I promise this is my last picture. Round two of kaiser rolls, with a bit more success with shaping, but still just a bit dense. I'm going to order malt, plllog. From what you've recommended and what I've read, I'm hoping that I can just get a smidge more spring.

    Son made this sandwich when he got home. He said that the kaiser created the "perfect vehicle" for a blt .... with cheese. Had two sandwiches and three pieces of pizza -- Hunger is the best sauce:)

    Cathy in SWPA

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    That is one awesome looking sandwich, and a great looking roll! Cathy, don't apologise for pictures! We LIKE pictures!

    I don't know that malt helps the spring. Unless if you're subbing for sugar it's less liquidy? I just like the flavor. :) Holding back a spoon of water might accomplish that. :)

  • Related Discussions

    Sourdough Starter

    Q

    Comments (16)
    No forgiveness needed Cecilia! Here are the original instructions. I find them to be rather convoluted but I'm giving it a go! As posted by Ann T......... Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table Sourdough starter - Amy's bread =============================== copied from: http://countrylife.net/pages/recipes/672.html Amy Scherber's Sourdough Starter RYE STARTER From AMY'S BREAD, copyrighted. Amy's bread This starter is begun with rye flour because rye just LOVES to ferment and is an easier starter to get going than a wheat starter. When I first made it, it had a bubble or two within a couple hours. The procedure is to start it with rye flour, then transform it by changing what you feed it. The original rye will dilute to nothing over time and you'll end up with a white flour (or whatever other grain you choose, it could be whole wheat or pumpermickel, or you could leave it as a rye starter) and water based starter, but it had the advantage of beginning it's life from highly fermentable rye flour. Start it with organic rye flour and spring water. Once you have it going well you can switch to all-purpose white (or other) flour as you choose. The use of spring water is recommended for maintenance, however, as tap water may contain elements (such as chlorine) which may be detrimental to the health of your starter. I also recommend that you use a container that you can mark the volume levels of starter each time, so that you will know when it has doubled. Use a marking pen or tape or any other means to indicate on the container the starter levels each time you feed. Phase 1 - Combine 2 oz organic rye flour (room temp) with 4 oz spring water in a clear container. The batter should be about the consistency of very thick pancake batter, add more water or flour if necessary. Cover & let it sit for 36 - 48 hours at 75 - 77 degrees (a little cooler is okay but over 80 you will incubate the wrong kind of bacteria and your culture will have an unpleasant bitter taste). You should start to see tiny bubbles forming after about 24 hours. By the time it has doubled, there will be a noticeable network of small bubbles throughout the batter & it will be foaming & bubbling on top. (If the batter has not doubled within 48 hours, feed with 2 oz water & 2 oz flour (add more of either if necessary for the consistency) and let it sit another 24 hours or until you see some definite activity.) Phase 2 - Stir the culture down, notice how soupy it's become. The batter should have a noticeable sour smell & a mildly tangy taste at this point. Add 2 oz water & 2 oz flour and stir vigorously until well-combined. Let it sit for 12 hours. It should be showing a fair amount of activity at this point. You should see lots of foaming & bubbling through the sides as well as on the top. Don't be concerned if the culture deflates & loses volume. This means the yeast has exhausted its food supply, but it will continue to increase in acidity. Don't worry if your culture isn't dramatically active yet. As long as there is some noticeable activity going on and the mixture smells & tastes sour, you're on the right track. Phase 3 - The culture should now have a pronounced, sour, fruity taste and smell, it should not taste musty or bitter (if it does, discard and start again, paying close attention to the temp of the culture at all times). Now you can start "transforming" it into a white (or other) flour based starter. Use 6 oz of the starter, add 3 oz water & 3 oz flour, stir vigorously. Let it sit for 12 hrs at 75 - 77 degrees F. Refresh it again, setting up a maintenance level of 12 oz of starter. This will be your "mother" starter that you use to build the sourdough starters/sponges needed in individual recipes. Each time you take part of the mother out to build a starter, you must refresh it with equal weights of flour and water to bring it back up to its maintenance level. To maintain - Use 6 oz of the mother culture (discard the rest), add 3 oz water & 3 oz flour, stir vigorously, let it sit at room temp until doubled in volume. A strong mother will double in 8-12 hours. If yours doesn't do that, let it continue to sit out until it has a nice tangy taste and smell; discard all but 6 oz and repeat this procedure. Repeat this procedure as many times as necessary until the mother doubles within 8-12 hrs. It may take several days. Don't get discouraged, it's worth the effort. To use for recipes - Combine 1/2 c (5 oz) Mother from the refrigerator, add 3 oz flour and 2.5 oz warm water (85 - 90 degrees). The mixture will be stiffer than the mother. Let it sit, covered, until doubled in volume (if it doesn't do so go back to maintenance procedure). When the starter has doubled, it is ready to use in a recipe. Measure the amount needed and discard any that remains.
    ...See More

    How much sourdough starter to make sponge?

    Q

    Comments (38)
    Ginny, the reason there are so many different ways to do things is that there are a lot that work. Having had a starter going for over a year now, I've found that it isn't that picky. For example, your original question of how much starter to add to make the sponge. It isn't critical. If the amount added is very small, then the sponge will take longer to double because it's starting out with very little yeast. If you add a lot and your starter is a wet one, then you may need to adjust the amount of flour you add to the bread later to get the dough right. I keep my starter in a glass jar in the fridge because it is a convenient size. I'm skeptical about the "no metal" thing. I wouldn't use a reactive metal, but I've stirred with stainless steel and haven't found it to do any harm. I sometimes let my dough rise in a stainless steel bowl. I was a bit worried about whether my starter survived chemo. I only managed to get it out once during the last 5 months when I went through several cycles of fed and double until it was doubling quickly again. Yesterday I finally got it out of the fridge again. It took a while to double (the house is pretty cool at this time of year too) but by this morning it had doubled. It is pretty hardy stuff.
    ...See More

    Things to Make with Sourdough Starter Deux

    Q

    Comments (150)
    I almost didn't read that Kitchen thread, but I decided to open it last night out of curiosity. I loved it!. Anyone who is following along and hasn't read about the new toaster instructions needs to go take a look at the link above. Glad you got to see the photo this time. I have to be honest and say I'd never heard of stroopwafels before I went to Holland or I would have searched them out. I'd never eaten one when I decided I had to try making them. I don't know how authentic the taste is, but I know they aren't the "authentic" look, but after seeing the ones with the grid and so thin (so commercial looking -- ya know? ), I, personally, like the ones made with the pizzelle iron. Somehow the stroopwafels came up in a conversation between this attorney and DH (her husband is a great cook, and they wind up talking food and kitchens sometimes). She had had stroowafels in Holland and loved them and DH told her I made them sometimes. It was a couple of months later that she arranged her schedule to be here for meetings on another case so she could see our son in his high school musical (she's a former actress). That was a pretty special effort, so I decided to match the kindness (and make DH proud) with a bag of stroopwafels for her. She was the first person I knew who'd had them in Holland ad had mine and she loved mine, so I was happy. LOL They do keep pretty well, so they would be great in a gift basket -- and most people have never had them. I've seen one commercial brand sandwiched with dark chocolate and want to try that for my oldest son. If you decide to try them, let me know. I use an adaptation of two recipes and will share that with you. If you want to find your own, the cookie has many variations out there and they have all worked for me. I use mostly vanilla and a little lemon or orange flavoring when I make stroopwafels. Martha Stewart's cookie recipe is good, but I had a total fail with the caramel in her recipe. The caramel I use is from Willy Dean's recipe found somewhere on the internet years ago. It is 1-1/2 c light brown sugar, 1 C butter, 1 tsp cinnamon and 6 T dark corn syrup boiled until it thickens. That's a lot of caramel. For this last batch, I doubled the cookie recipe from Martha's recipe and still had about a cup of caramel left over. Let me know if you try them. As for the sourdough, I think it may have baked too long. The dough soft and slightly on the wet side, so I don't think it was too much flour. I was thinking the crust should have been a bit darker, so I left it in a few minutes longer. It was okay fresh, but it dried quickly. I have some other bread in the freezer for bread pudding, so I don't need this too -- hope it makes good crumbs. I like your idea about retitling the next thread. Even baker's kaffeeklatsch -- we could soon be starting a new one every week. That's okay. I do have AC -- can't live in the Houston area without it -- no natural AC like in CA. We used to live in northern CA and DS1 is now in LA and loves the weather. This is year 4 and grad school options are mostly north of the snow belt -- could be a shock to his system. I get the feeling you are in southern CA. I am going to tackle organizing my cookbooks before I do any major baking. It's driving me crazy to not be able to put my finger on books like I'm used to. That's going to bleed over into cleaning other bookcases. Could be worse......
    ...See More

    Sourdough starter - Can we talk?

    Q

    Comments (46)
    Sooo....shortly before this current pandemic quarantine thing started, I started a starter. Just put equal volume of purified water and organic rye flakes and in about 36 hours I had bubbles.....so I began the discard feed routine and soon I had a starter going that doubled in about 8 hours.....but by then flour was very hard to get and I had committed to baking bread every day and giving it away, so I stashed the starter and the current jar of discard int he refrig and forgot about it for easily 3 weeks....likely longer, time flies during this quarantine and one day looks like another. Last Sunday My grand daughter came over to visit....through the door or outside at a respectable distance and asked if I could spare some starter as she had a friend who wanted to try some. So. I dug out the jar,. and poured some into another fed it, fed what I had left and sent her home with the starter and directions to feed it again before bed and again in the morning and again after work when she would give it to her friend.......and I did the same for my jar and both are up and running. I stirrred the hooch back into the starter along with any dark stuff on top....sites I have read say it's fine and I found it to be so. I have been using the discard as part of the volume in my "daily bread' and it adds to the flavor profile but I don't even think of asking it to provide leavening all by itself. but tomorrow morning, I will make myself a mix with just the starter and no yeast and leave it on the counter to rise for about 18 hours and hope it will give me some loft.....then I will bake in my Enamel cast iron Dutch oven. I'll report back. But what I have learned is that even a young and very neglected starter has live yeast if it doesn't smell rotten.....and if fed it will grow. And For L Pink the reason you don't just add flour and water to increase the volume is the food in the starter is then very quickly used up.....as there are more yeasty-beasties to eat the carbs. So either increase what you feed your starter or discard and refrigerate the discard and feed what is left.
    ...See More
  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, listen to Plllog, the more pictures the better.

    Great looking pizza. And I agree with Plllog, that sandwich is a beauty.

    I fed both starters and made a biga on Thursday at 11:00 AM. I then left to drive down to Victoria. By the time I got back the starters had both doubled and the biga was ready to use. In less than three hours. I kneaded up a batch of dough with 1000 g of flour, 530 g of biga, and 680 g water.


    Before bed, I baked four baguettes with half the dough and the other half is in the fridge.

    And yesterday, I kneaded up a Levain before leaving for work

    and this is what it looked like when I got home from work.

    Last night I kneaded up a second batch, using the Levain, at 72% hydration and after the the first rise it went into the fridge to join the other batch.

    We are having a bit of a heat wave , low 90's which is hot for us, so really not the best time to be turning on the oven, especially at 500°F. But, after seeing Cathy's pizza, I have a craving for pizza so I think that will be on the menu tonight.

    I'll have Moe take Thursday's dough of the fridge an hour or so before I get home from work so the dough will be ready to go.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, that levain is instructive, Ann! I've never had that level of broken bubbles (open texture) in a preferment or a dough. Everything I've read on open texture factors has fled my head so I have some remedial work coming. :) I would really like to make a California sourdough (i.e., purposefully sour) with an open texture, and preferably 100% whole wheat. I have the sour down. :)

    Inspired by Lars and Cathy, I'm also thinking of learning to grill pizza. I have a screen, which I hope will fit on my little barbecue. :) I tried a King Arthur sourdough pizza recipe some time back which made a big mess, but this is a different one, and worth trying. :) And if I stretch it to be a flatbread style, it won't matter so much if it's short of gluten, right? :)

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I still had half the batch of sourdough from Thursday as well as the batch made Friday in the fridge.

    I had planned to bake pizza last night using the sourdough from Thursday's batch. I was late getting home from work and it was just too darn hot to even think of turning the oven on to 550°F. So...........I got up this morning at 3:30 and took the dough out of the fridge and went back to bed. Got up again about 5:15. I had enough dough to make one loaf of bread and one pizza. While the loaf was rising, I made the pizza sauce. Seasoned ground pork for Italian sausage and sauted enough for the pizza. And then sauteed mushroom. By 6:30 Moe was eating pizza in bed watching the women's British Open.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Moe is one lucky man!

    And you're a very dedicated baker to get up in the middle of the night to take the dough out of the fridge for his breakfast. :)

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We made pizza last night too. I should have taken photos. Actually, I did take this one to and sent it to my son to make sure he got the message that it was time to come down for sinner. LOL

    DH made his piled so high with toppings I didn't know if it would get off the peel without a disaster much less bake. It did okay. I've missed making pizza.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    That looks lovely, Lascatx!

    Another day, another failed experiment. I wanted something other than the multigrain bread to serve with my yummy beans. But it was late, and I was tired, and I didn't want to go looking through my books for a not too sweet, not too sour corn muffin recipe. So I thought of Cathy's biscuits. But I just had to experiment, and I did whole wheat. Bad idea. Bad, bad idea.

    The lack of water in the recipe should have deterred me. Whole wheat needs hydration, and not just for getting rid of anti-nutrients. I added some water, to make up for the fact that my starter isn't all that wet, but my flour really did need to be soaked. I think it also got overworked folding everything into it because it wasn't moist enough, even though I was being careful and trying not to squish the starter, too. With a ton of leavening it didn't rise much. The edges look open, so I don't think I squished them during cutting. They also got over dry in the oven, even though I reduced the temperature.

    That seems to be my complete story on this adventure. Too wet or too dry, but no baby bear's bed.

    OTOH, I'm ever so proud of my wubby! I hadn't fed it in about two weeks, though I checked for hooch a couple of times. I fed him up last night with the good gluten hard red Winter wheat I got for pizza and he was beautifully doubled this morning with no sinkage, even though it's damp out. Good wubby!

  • kitchendetective
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    98, "real feel" 111. No baking here. Living vicariously through you folks. Even my starter looks a bit fatigued. Trying to cheer it up, so it looks as bubbly as those envy-evoking upthread examples.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yikes! I learned in my youth that 39° C (102°+ F) is bearable and 40° C (104° F) is not! I can't even imagine 111, even if it's a "feels like". I take it that's humidity that does it? Because dry feels cooler than it actually is. I hope you succeeded in happying up your starter. My wubby seems very happy. I'm feeding him up to give some to a friend who asked. :) (He's in the background below).


    That's More Like It!

    {{gwi:1526958}}

    {{gwi:1526959}}

    When life gives you dried up cardboard wheat biscuits, bread pudding is the only cure. :) I have eggs and lowfat milk that need using up. I had the smoked turkey slab I bought to put in the beans but forgot because I was cleaning the fridge of so much else. :) I had some opened sundried tomato and garlic chicken sausages. And thanks to the reminder I got from Teresa_nc7 in the tabbouleh thread, I remembered a small packet of zaatar that needed using too. To the list, I added some pepper, dried parsley and basil, and dehydrated onions and mixed vegetables. Edit: And some fontina ribbons mixed in and on top. The hunk was sealed in heavy plastic from the store, but trying to go moldy after a week. Sigh.

    YUMMY!! A little salty because of the smoked turkey and the salt in the zaatar, but the sumac and sesame really make it. And you'd never know that it started as a total failure. That first portion (my lunch) fell over because I just used a soup spoon to dish it up, and couldn't wait for it to set up firmly. :)

    This post was edited by plllog on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 23:36

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow! What a ton of fun! These pictures/posts are just the incentive I need for this weekend.

    plllog, we were talking about malt and rising. I had seen on some sourdough home, the freshloaf, etc. sites posters talking about function of malt working to help with rise. I also saw that it should be used with short fermentation. Last, I read this blurb on King Arthur ".... active enzymes in diastatic malt help yeast grow fully and efficiently throughout the fermentation period, yielding a good, strong rise and great oven-spring." I experienced such paralysis by analysis I've effectively shelved the whole idea until I have "time to learn" the information overload:)

    BREAD PUDDING!!!!!! That looks so dang good, plllog, and I'm hungry too! Son's work didn't turn out as anticipated and I shared "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original" Ken Robinson. Yours is a marvelous "original", yes? ps. you can send your hooch my way:) pss. that is one gorgeous plate.

    Key quotes from Ann T:

    "Before bed, I baked four baguettes ..."

    "I kneaded up a Levain before leaving for work ..."

    "I got up this morning at 3:30 and took the dough out of the fridge and went back to bed."

    "By 6:30 Moe was eating pizza in bed watching the women's British Open."

    That's 6:30 AM!!!! HA! Best narrative ever! Btw, that levain is truly a work of art -- no kidding. Of course, the pizza and bread are exceptional too.

    lascatx, did you text that picture to him? What a great incentive! I'm really sitting here imagining him getting a text, opening it up to see that gorgeous pizza! LOL! Your pizza looks delicious, and it would have been inhaled here. Not kidding.

    kitchendetective, can't begin to imagine how hot that must be. Quite honestly, that temperature would absolutely zap any desire to bake, let alone cook anything. I'd be living on tomatoes.

    I enjoyed reading about/seeing pictures of all the great sourdough.

    Cathy in SWPA

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It is good, Cathy. :) I had a piece, cold from the fridge, for breakfast. The sumac isn't as noticeable cold, but it's stiff very good. :) The open textured biscuits were a perfect vehicle for the custard. And, since this was a whip up kind of dish, perfect for putting in the oven right away. Denser breads really need a good soak. The nuttiness of the whole wheat, and just a hint of sour, are great with all the herbs and a good foil for the strong flavors of the meats.

    See, I'm good at sandwiches and bread puddings. It's the experimental breads they're made out of that I'm still baby-stepping on. I knew when I used the freshly ground wheat that it was going to be "wrong". I just had to do it to see how far wrong. Trailrunner was recommending using proven recipes, but even when I did Ann's recipe without monkeying with it I had problems. I'd rather learn my way through making things the way I want to make them (most of the recipes aren't really what I want to make), so I'll know in my bones what works, than just make recipes. I'm really thinking that the next one I slaughter will be the KA pizza Cathy posted since I fed my discard jar. :)

    Oh! I get it. Cathy, did you mean the bread pudding was an original recipe? Yes. If you call it that. I call it making food. :) Or another episode of Chopped in my kitchen. Here's the way it goes: Dry bread = bread pudding. Axiomatic. Eggs and milk, check. Get out big stainless bowl and crumble biscuits into it. Oooh la la, it looks like more than it did unbroken. I'd better use my deep Polish stoneware rectangular dish rather than the shallow Emile Henry 9" square that friends of my folks gave me. Bread pudding is better deep anyway. Rinse the turkey slab to try to remove some salt (I know, lotsa luck, but it couldn't hurt). Cut into medium cubes and toss in bowl. Try to peel a sausage and tear it up (sausage tastes better torn than cut because the fat forms a flavor barrier when you cut, but it probably doesn't matter in pudding). Look at bowl contents. Too much bread. Tear up another sausage. I could chop and saute some veg but they'd still be too wet and the biscuits will float away (they're dry, but delicate). The dehydrated veg and onions will soak up liquid, which is good with lowfat milk. Put in a couple handfuls of each. Needs herbs as a foil for the strong meats. The end of the large parsley bottle (I have a new one) and a handful of basil will do. Needs something else. Something more subtle. Not Fenugreek. Sumac! Memory of Tamara mentioning zaatar. I have an old packet of made up zaatar that needs using. I love sesame so why not, even if it's a bit weird. I've been hesitating to add salt because of the smoked turkey and sausage but will that transmit in the custard? There's salt in the zaatar, probably more than I'd dare use. Put in the whole seedy, sumacy, salty package and be done with it. Mix well. Pour into dish making sure the herbs and all are well mixed throughout and not puddled in the bottom. The Fontina is starting to look moldy even though it's new. Open it up and get all the suspicious areas out, back aways. Use Microplane to make ribbons because it's easier than the grater and the Cuisinart is in the drawer and too much bother to get out for one wedge of cheese. Tuck a few ribbons under the cubes, carefully not to lose the seasonings to the bottom. Mix 6 eggs to 3 cups milk because it's lowfat. Whisked 'till frothy with black pepper because it needs something sharp. Poured over dish...and down the front of the cabinet! Probably just a couple of tablespoons--not noticeably missing from the dish--but what a mess! And eggs are contaminants. And when I opened the drawer to wipe the edge, some dripped into the fridge (drawer fridge). Ugh. Hot water and paper towels because the floor is getting mopped in another hour. (Good thing I was hungry, so was cooking early.) Top with fontina ribbons enough to form a crust to keep the moisture in.

    And that's the very long involved description of the way to make a savory bread pudding. :) Probably takes longer to read than do. :) It's Chopped. Look at what needs using, and add what's in the pantry. But I knew that would come out. The only real variables are is the milk too watery and is there too much salt. (A: slightly, but I managed it well, and no, not too much salt but salt is a noticeable component, rather than background.)

    Re MALT: Diastatic malt powder is mostly sugar. Read the ingredients before you buy, or start with King Arthur (trusted brand) or something. It has other properties, which I forget, and that may be what's helping the spring. Or maybe it's the sugar. :)

    I was looking for malt flavor rather than anything else, so just got pure barley malt. Barley is sweet anyway. The malt does soak up moisture from the air, so it's important to keep in an airtight container. I substitute it for sugar in my pizza dough because I'm not really looking for sweet anyway, and Grainlady assures me that the yeast doesn't need sugar to rise. In my childhood, we used live cake yeast, and it wasn't always as lively as it should have been, so we proofed the yeast--yes, the yeast--proofing the bread is silly because you've ruined the flour if it doesn't rise. Proof the yeast instead, by starting it in warm liquid with sugar (if called for) or flour (less reliable), and you waste a lot less. I'm sure that's part of the reason for making a biga or levain--to proof the yeast before committing a sack of flour). Then, when the yeast is proven and in your dough, the dough just has to rise. :) But I'm used to using sugar to feed up my yeast. Which is a total tangent, but I haven't noticed a difference with the barley malt, and active dry yeast is pretty fool proof as long as it isn't old and is kept cool. :)

    Re hooch, I wish I'd known you wanted it. ;) I had leftover starter after putting Wubby to bed and making a jar for my friend, so I stirred it into my still going discard jar along with a goodly layer of hooch. :) Feeding the discard is a new one for me. :) I wonder what would happen if I tried making the biscuits from discard...???

    Thanks for noticing my plate. :) It's a cheap set, but each piece is different botanicals, and they were my first dishes that weren't my mother's old broken out kitchen dishes. One broke recently, and another couple are chipped, but I love them so...

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Grrr.... It's going to be one of those baking days. I had transformed a piece of my white sourdough starter for a levain, and I was going to bake tomorrow, but I don't feel well enough to do what I was going to do today (weather and allergies--nothing serious), so I have to try to do it tomorrow, but I want the bread for tomorrow... So I've just made up the first stage of the levain, and hoping that it's warm enough to rise quickly (8 hrs.). That will have me baking in the evening, which is a good time during the Summer, rather than overnight. Given my luck with this stuff, I don't believe it! Though the white starter does grow faster...

    I still haven't made the pizza. I lost my window. The experiments I'm planning for this bread are to do a seed variation given with it without doing the base bread first (probably--we'll see how the dough progresses), and using my oven's heavy baking stone which can only go in the bottom position with a dish of water above, rather than the recipe's stone over water idea. I've done this before with success, but this is one of those over-detailed recipes and I'm trying to actually make it, rather than really experimenting.

    The levain starter is much more like my mother's sourdough starter (and I've sectioned off a piece of it for a friend). The preferment is also wonderfully stiff. Such a relief after all the batter style and heavy hydration recipes I've been trying. I chose this one because it looks more like bread I know, with sourdough, rather than being a whole different animal. Next time, I'll try whole wheat, but right now I'm not in the mood for try it and see. I may not get Ann's beauteousness, but I'm hoping for very nice bread. :)

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It's not even 1:00 a.m. but I can't stop yawning and the dough is still only thinking about rising. I gave up the seeds until next time, but I was trying to be very careful to follow the recipe. No more. I squished out room in the fridge and put the dough bucket in. It'll be fine if the loaves come out of the oven by 4:00 p.m. And it is dough. It handles like dough. I like it. :)

    I also made some black bean date brownies. They're pretty good, but I think the dough for that was actually better before the cocoa powder. It calls for a lot of vanilla and just enough almond butter to wet and sticky it. The recipe definitely needs the moisture from the cocoa, but I think I could substitute more almond butter and make it work for a black bean blondie. :)

    Sigh. Two days to make two small loaves of bread. Sigh.

    It is very nice bread.

    This morning I took out the dough before anything, but didn't think to put it on the baking counter, which is tile and gets warmed by the sun in the earlier morning (making it room temperature mid-morning), rather than on the cool soapstone.

    So I waited for it to rise. And waited some more. It wasn't supposed to rise high, but it didn't look risen enough by time, even though it was as high as it was supposed to be, so I gave it an extra hour beyond the time counting from when it no longer felt cool. That looked better. Fluffy but not overrisen. Shaping was easy--it was just batards and I'm not all that anxious about perfection. I did weigh though, so the loaves were nearly equal. I was a big concerned about handling it, but it's good strong dough and didn't seem to mind at all since I didn't squish it.

    The author of this recipe had a great tip. Maybe other people do this, but I've never seen it. He makes a couche out of parchment paper right on the peel, with bolsters of rolled tea towels. After rising, you flatten out the paper then slide the whole thing into the oven. Dead easy.

    I gave it another extra half hour on the shaped rise, after which it looked good. It's been years since I made batards. I don't know if I did something wrong, but most of my slashes closed back up! Baked for the longer amount of time in the range because it seemed to want it (I tried to get a thermometer in, but no joy). In the pictures there's a dark spot that looks like it might be just a tad under, but it wasn't there IRL. Perhaps it was just a bit damp and it evaporated while I was taking the picture.

    It's YUMMY! I mean really good. Not sort of good, or well, it's bread, but REALLY good.

    The recipe is David Daniel Leader pain au levain. It's mostly KA unbleached white, some home milled high gluten red wheat, and a little dark rye (reciped specified rye and stone ground wheat). If I did the math right, it's 67% hydration. Baked in a thoroughly heated oven on the pizza stone, with a dish of ice to provide steam. Using a ramekin on a high shelf worked fine. The crust is hard and crunchy (hard to cut, easy to bite), the crumb is soft and moist. The dough tasted salty but the bread tastes right.

    I'm glad I skipped the seeds and got to know this recipe unmessed with. One loaf went home with the college girl. Next time I'll do the seed variation, probably sunflower. Then I'll start upping the whole wheat content. I've been reading lots of recipes but this was by far the best sounding in terms of a dough I recognized. I just can't deal with the wet ones. I know the whole wheat may need more water, but at least I have a starting place that feels like bread to me. I will, of course, try some of Leader's other recipes since this one worked out so well. :)

    {{gwi:1526960}}

    {{gwi:1526961}}

    {{gwi:1526962}}

    Edit for having David on the mind and typo-ing him in where I was supposed to be talking about Daniel Leader. (I didn't correct the "stiff" and "big" typos, though put together like this they do seem very naughty!)

    This post was edited by plllog on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 21:13

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What I remember on the malt is that it has enzymes that are helpful to the yeast and rising process. Exactly what it is escapes me at the moment, but it's about enzymes. And sugar.

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog, good looking loaves.

    So you said that you use malt in place of sugar? So it adds a sweetness? Or do you use it just to feed the yeast? Or does it add flavour?

    I never add any sugar to my breads, unless of course I'm making a sweet bread. But my regular sourdough and regular baguette dough is just flour, water, salt and yeast or starter. The yeast feeds on the starches and sugars in the flour

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lascatx, that's interesting about the malt! So searching for that, I think I've found the info. Diastatic malt has the enzyme, amylase, that converts starch into sugar, thus increasing the food available to the yeasts. More info says that regular malt also acts as a sugar for feeding the yeast more quickly than if it has to chow down on flour. This is why they often add malt to AP flour. The first one says that by giving a sugar source to the fermentation end, it leaves more sugar in the wheat for a pretty caramelization of the crust. Or something like that. Diastatic malt does have a lot of sugar in it on the labeled contents. I infer (though could be way wrong) that it's to keep the enzymes alive.

    Thanks, Ann, for the kind words about my loaves. :)

    I know a lot of people have one go-to dough which they employ in lots of ways, and I think the pain au levain, above, would probably make great pizza, but it's pizza dough that I use the malt in--straight barley malt, not diastatic (like the insides of Whoppers candy). It's for flavoring. With active dry yeast and a long ferment, which my pizza recipe has both of, sugar isn't necessary for feeding the yeast. At least, Grainlady told me so several times, and I trust her science.

    It's a whole wheat recipe, which I adapted from an adaptation of a Peter Reinhart recipe which called for sugar or honey. I wanted to put in barley malt because I researched my favorite commercial pizza crusts and they had it and there was something missing in the flavor. Since barley is sweet, and Grainlady said I didn't need sugar for the yeast, I just substituted it measure for measure. Actually, I semi-heap the measures because I like the flavor of the malt. :) I had reduced the hydration just a tad, and put it back when I took out the sugar. The malt attracts water rather than providing it. I forget sometimes, but it still comes out fine. Just a more closed texture.

    Pizza doughs are generally sweet anyway (maybe because of the malt!), and I think the reason whole wheat doughs call for honey may be partially for the added moisture, and partly to disguise the rancidity of the flour. When I first tried (only partially successfully) to mill (hard red wheat) flour, I could tell the difference immediately. The freshness and sweetness of the wheat. That's why I bought the mill, and after a clue from Barryv, to mix white and red wheat 60:40, have a dough I really like.

    It does get played out, though. It's best on the second day in the fridge, and okay on day four. I think speeding up the conversion of the sugars is what I don't want. OTOH, I'm wondering if the diastatic malt might shorten the rise times on the sourdough. I'm fine with the overnight preferment, and have learned my lesson about starting it in the morning and hoping to bake, but it's hard to get other things done when it takes eight hours of rising. It might be worth a try, at least.

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    plllog, some gems of wisdom in your posts!

    Re: 7/15

    "I knew when I used the freshly ground wheat that it was going to be "wrong". I just had to do it to see how far wrong." And this is how we learn:)

    Savory bread pudding: Gah! Eggs down the front of the cabinet! After you took your first bite, you realized that it was worth a little egg splatter:) I thought of you this weekend as I was throwing together a frittata with a mishmash of refrigerator things. Inspired by your bread pudding in a sense.

    Yes to proofing yeast! Yes to sending me your hooch! Yes to your dishes:)

    7/22
    Classic: "I mean really good. Not sort of good, or well, it's bread, but REALLY good." I concur! Really looks REALLY good:) Your kitchen set up looks REALLY good too!

    "The author of this recipe had a great tip. Maybe other people do this, but I've never seen it. He makes a couche out of parchment paper right on the peel, with bolsters of rolled tea towels. After rising, you flatten out the paper then slide the whole thing into the oven. Dead easy. " Oh my. I'm going to look into that a bit. Very, very, very interesting.Did it deflate a bit when you flattened the paper? I have so much to learn and not enough time. Actually, I'm going to dig into David Leader bread baking in general.

    Best of all -- "one loaf went home with the college girl." Made me smile.

    lascatx: "What I remember on the malt is that it has enzymes that are helpful to the yeast and rising process. Exactly what it is escapes me at the moment, but it's about enzymes. And sugar." I somewhat knew this information a couple of weeks ago when I researched, but my short term (and long, for that matter) memory is absolutely shot. I'm glad you remembered and you posted, and plllog added re: malt. I won't have to research anymore.

    Speaking of which, I still have yet to order the malt. It's a birthday month, been some under-the-weather stuff with family, out of town guests all leading to a little chaos. That said, I made one more batch of kaisers. followed instinct rather than recipe and decided to throw in some yeast. Part of the allure for me of this recipe was that it didn't require any overnight time (i.e. no planning). That said, it really does require something to help with the rise -- malt, time, or yeast -- just my guesses. I'm still going to order malt and try another batch, but for now, despite the irregular egg wash, these'll do.

    Cathy in SWPA

    PS Made pizza dough with no toppings, baked ~7 minutes then stored for others to make during the weekend with toppings of their choice. Very nice -- 10 minutes in 450 Breville will do for now too.

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So, just as further evidence that my memory is shot .... on July 3, I posted that I checked out and read a book "Local Breads -- Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers." Author Daniel Leader.

    I thought the name sounded a bit familiar but couldn't remember why, plllog:)

    Cathy in SWPA

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, you make very pretty Kaisers. I see you found sesame seeds.

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, those rolls look amazing!! A couple of weeks ago my mother picked up some kaisers at the deli in the very snooty market where she shops. They were overgrown hamburger buns! And since there was no directionality to the crumb, I think they must have been stamped! They were also pale and soft. Sigh. Yours are beauteous and delicious looking.

    Cathy it's not your memory! My fingers sometimes type what they want to while I'm looking elsewhere. Before I got to your last post, I scrolled up to check another reference and saw "David" and fixed it. It says "Daniel" on my photo names--and, of course, on the book. It seemed like a standard slipup and not at all Freudian until I noticed the other wrong word typing I'd done!

    That's the book. Local Breads. I find it hard to read through the recipes, though I've done at least one before. While I was remodelling my kitchen I kept buying bread books, and this is my favorite. If I just start to make one of the recipes, and only read ahead one or two steps, it's very clear (though I do read to the end before starting, even when the meaning is murky).

    I found the dough very forgiving, even of being handled to weigh it and then peel off the cling wrap, etc. It's not one of those that degasses instantly, or demands being held so tightly it'll squish. It is pretty sticky, while still being solid, but it doesn't tear and leave stucky spots. It does all let loose, especially if gently encouraged by a bowl scraper.

    Re the couche, it's just like any couche. You make soft pleats between the loaves and weight the edges to keep them up. I was worried about inhibiting the rise, and less concerned with the shape, so I didn't go tight. They didn't deflate at all, though they did spread just a little as soon as they hit the stone. I think white parchment paper has more tooth to hold flour. The unbleached that I use is a bit slicker. It doesn't bring flour up the sides. In a traditional couche, however, the point of the flour is to keep the cloth from sticking, not decoration. It would be easy enough to dust the sides after the rise for a more traditional look. OTOH, he says something about peeling the baked bread off the paper. I did flour the paper, as instructed, but it didn't stick at all. I think it's the smoother texture of the unbleached. It's a FAB trick. :) And since I seem to have a whole bear family of peels, I could do a double batch this way. :)

    Thanks for the kind words about my kitchen. I spent a year designing it with a lot of Kitchens Forum help before I did it up. So far it'll do everything I've asked of it, except provide me with a cheese cave (said KAHv). Some day I might put one of those 50 degree "beverage" fridges in the garage, esp. if it's from Craig's List or something, but while cheesemaking is fun, it's highly unnecessary where I live. Plus, I'm allergic to lanolin and it's illegal to keep sheep in the city anyway. WF has good organic milk that makes wonderful mozzarella and ricotta (the only ones I've done so far), so who needs a cow? I can buy for what it would cost me to make, or less, the finest cheeses the world has to offer. I can also buy really good bread, but Whole Foods doesn't carry enough 100% whole grain and TJ's only has a few I like, so here I am starting on ordinary bread making (I used to only do "special").

    Good for you for adding yeast! Good for your instincts that you seem to have been right! The main reason not to is if you want to go San Francisco sour, which kaisers aren't, usually. I read the explanation on Sourdough Home that less starter and a longer rise is what makes the bread taste sour. Though I'll add that my home milled whole wheat starter is a lot sourer than the white one, which started originally with a division of the whole wheat. I think it's that each feeding with whole wheat adds new organisms which may add to the sourness. But it doesn't get the rotting kelp smell like it did when it was a new baby, before the yeast caught thoroughly.

    TIPS: I've been reading lots, and have gleaned a couple of tips from other forums (I wrote "fora" but it seems pretentious). 1. Folding and turning the dough (something in Leader's recipe) helps the outcome (though I forget in what way). Leader's version is different than for a double rise because you don't try to degas the dough, and you only fold on one axis. 2. I did the extended rises even though (with adjustment for the fridge time) I was getting the amount of rise the author said, because I also read that just letting it go gave a lighter, larger loaf. 3. Not confining the dough in a banneton or pan allows and encourages the dough to rise more and be lighter. Someone did experiments...

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think I'm going to do the pain au levain complet, which is only 22% white flour. I've fed up the wubby (WW) to make a levain starter. In doing these, and helping a friend, I've been reinventing percentage formulae. I have to derive them so I can check to make sure I'm using the right numbers, especially for changing the hydration levels. It's fun anyway. This recipe is for a small version of a pain Poilane, which I need like a hole in the head.

    One thing I loved about the pain au levain was that it was a small recipe (which is all gone). Even this smaller one calls for a "large" banneton. I just have the one, which is 8.5". Leader suggests lining a colander with a tea towel as an alternative. I have the perfect one, I think and birdseye towels. But I'm also thinking I could divide off a part to fit the banneton I have, and try making rolls with the remainder. Dare I?

    There's another pearl in this recipe. The reason for turning and folding the dough after an hour isn't like punching down to have more yeast multiply with less gas. It's to provide more oxygen to the yeast while they're working so hard. Or something like that. The oxygen part, anyway.

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    From Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast- The reason for folding:

    "Folding the dough helps develop the gluten that gives the dough its strength and contributes to good volume in the final loaf. Think of the three-dimensional web of gluten as the frame of the bread “house.” For the first recipe, the Saturday White Bread, just two folds are needed. Most of the other bread doughs have higher hydration, and many of these slack doughs benefit from three or four folds to give them the strength they need. Each fold takes about 1 minute. You’ll be able to recognize when to apply the next fold based on how relaxed the dough has become: it goes from being a ball with structure to lying flattened out in the tub. With each fold, it firms up a bit........"

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    But what develops the gluten? Is it the stretching? Or is it Leader's oxygenization?

    Whatever it is, people seem to have success with it. It feels familiar to me because I'm so used to double rise. Leader's recipes (I don't think I have Forkish) are much more accessible now that I've figured out my entry point. They also seem so much more familiar than Reinhart's, Silverton's, etc. I think that's because he's aiming at the home baker. I don't want commercial sized batches, mysticism, or disciplehood. :)

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So, I couldn't help it. Back to the discard. :)

    Since I fed up the wubby for the next recipe (and he was very happy with the organic flour (less gluten), but it's hot and that may be helping), and since I really didn't need much to make into the levain starter, and my friend's piece isn't dead, just hungry, I thought I'd try the KA out of the fridge pizza Cathy suggested. But I also needed to feed up my discard jar, so I put half in that, and kept half the fed up wubby in the bowl, with some (measured) more water to be 100% hydration. So that was down to about 75% whole wheat, since the jar is mixed. So I thought, why not just use the rest of the wheat I had already milled since I don't really want white anyway? And, since the dark rye was out, I made up the difference with it. So then I had to knead it by hand because it was way too dry for all that whole grain. And after some hesitant drips of water, I thought, oh just do it, and got out the (2%) milk and dribbled in some of that. I think the tad of fat helped it stick better than just being absorbed into my hands. We'll see. I may need to loosen it up some more...

    Addition: Sometime later. The pizza ball is growing. It's not double yet, but even following the recipe it was supposed to be four hours. It doesn't look at all stressed.

    Then I looked at my whole wheat levain starter. The recipe calls for 50% hydration. It looks like it's risen just a tad, but it hasn't settled or flattened on top or anything, and it looks dry and hard like an empty lake, with nary a bubble to be seen. So I pulled back the cling wrap to investigate and maybe give a drop of water to its poor parched soul. Out came the warm breath of yeast burps and the surface was soft and cushiony when barely touched. Poor thing just has eczema. :) It's fine.

    This post was edited by plllog on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 0:28

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Why, thank you very much Ann -- for the compliment and also sharing where/how to buy the sesame seeds many posts back:)

    plllog --

    "snooty market" -- HA!
    "Daniel and David" Leader -- I just shake my head that I'm telling you in one post I need to check him out and I already had and posted about it no less! Sigh. I found the book a bit tedious, but that's probably just me. That said, I am going to look into the whole couche thing more based on your comments.
    "Kitchen" -- what can I say? Truly exceptional and planned for a dedicated cook/baker. All the i's dotted and t's crossed with that one. What a journey! As an aside, I still have your graduate school vintage fridge and I have pegboard:)
    "Folding" -- going to try that this weekend.
    "Eczema" -- first time I've actually laughed about eczema:)

    Well, I'm going to give some ciabatta sourdough rolls a try. I'm feeling pretty tentative because there are so many new variables/techniques and some of the comments leave me feeling a bit cautious. That said, I have time tonight/tomorrow. Plus, we are experiencing some unseasonably cool weather.

    Also, son would probably appreciate having another sandwich "vehicle" in our repertoire.

    Using the recipe linked below.

    Cathy in SWPA

    Here is a link that might be useful: sourdough ciabatta rolls

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, if you are interested in purchasing a Linen Canvas (Couche) I found the best place to purchase is from The San Francisco Baking Institute. They have the best prices.

    I bought three yards of the 31" wide size last year. I use a couche just about ever time I bake bread.

    I cut one of them into sizes that fit round baskets.

    The one I am currently using, is well covered in flour and when not in use, it is folded and placed in a zip lock freezer bag and kept in the freezer.

    Yesterdays bread Proofing. Almost ready for the oven.

    Looking forward to pictures of your ciabatta.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Couche

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lovely looking loaves, Ann. (It's alliteration day. :) )

    I have linen, but I have to say, the parchment paper thing is a winner for small batches of small loaves (kind of the opposite of your picture). :)

    Cathy, thanks for the kind words about my beloved kitchen! The old Kenmore was a good fridge--it moved with me three times--except for the crisper drawers which weren't (I kept photographic film in a Ziplock in one), and the fact that the light gave up, unfixably, after about six years, the milk would freeze in the back, lettuce would freeze at temperature settings that the milk would be too warm at, the bottom shelf pegs broke at about 15 years, and at 20 it was just...sad. One of the workmen asked for it, however, and it may still be chugging along nearly 30 years later. I hope yours is in better shape!

    Re Local Breads, do try it again. I, too, found it a difficult read, and finding my way into the recipes was hard. Once I was really comfortable with playing with the hydration levels of my starters--which I had to do for their health--it became easier to transition one to a levain starter, rather than spending a couple of weeks making a whole new one. Taking a 100% hydration starter to 50% is easy if you use a scale, but can be done either way.

    1. Feed the starter without dividing.

    2. After it has doubled, divide off the amount you usually keep when you discard, feed it, and put it away.

    3. Section off a generous half the amount you'll need for your recipe (or just an easy math number), or enough for the recipe and a remainder to store.

    4. Figure out the hydration difference and feed. If 100 g has 100% hydration, 50g (more or less because of evaporation and handling, but go with it) is water. Feeding it the 50 g you'd normally do would give you 100 g of flour so you'd want 50 g of water for 50% hydration, so just add the flour and no water. I gave it 10 g, since I was starting with less.

    Now you have playdough, with or without eczema. :)

    I think I've figured out the timing. I wanted to try overnight, which had been the plan for the previous one, until plans changed. I kept thinking last night that I needed to make my preferment and telling myself no, it has to be right before I go to bed. Perfect. I was just getting to the right level (and shy of eight hours) when I got up. I'm just here giving it a little more time. With luck, the dough will be ready to shape by mid-afternoon, and I can bake in the evening, rather than the middle of the night. Next time, I'll do a mise-en-place ahead of time though, because it's easier when you're not half asleep and yawning. :)

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog, I can see how parchment would work well.

    But for small loaves or smaller batches I just fold the couche in half. In fact, that is the case in that picture.

    The couche is 31 inches by 36 inches. Folded in half it is 18" by 31". Works great for up to about six baguettes or when I make the small baguettes I can get 8 of them on the half size. I like that it is reusable too since the last box of parchment I bought cost me $15.00.

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh, I get that about just folding the cloth! I just meant that parchment wouldn't be a great option for your bigger batches of bigger loaves. The Leader trick is that the same piece of parchment goes in the oven with the loaves, and you set up the couche right on the peel. Once I've settled into a routine, I'm sure I'll use my cloth covered peel to transfer, and a baking cloth for the couche instead of the paper. I bought the little Libbey jars so I could stop throwing away baggies from the pizza dough (I know people wash baggies, but I can't see wasting the water to get the old oil out). For great little tricks, tough, paper on peel to be couche, slide-y thing, oven liner and reverse slide-y thing, Leader's method is pretty sharp!

    So. I'm pretty sure I did the current recipe exactly as prescribed, except for the whole wheat starter and home milled rather than stone ground in the bag. I thought I might have to add a little water, but it seems okay. One of the things I like about Leader is that he does use more hydration for whole wheat, unlike many.

    I certainly did all the weights right. I triple checked, with some time lag for the last re-check to make sure I wasn't stuck in a brain rut. My whole levain is 20 g lighter than the sectioned off part I was supposed to use. The recipe says "size of a tennis ball" and I have that, so I'm not worried, but then it also says the dough won't form a ball while on the hook, and mine did before I even got the hook into it!

    Whatever. It'll be bread, right?

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yup, it will be bread. And probably very good bread.
    That is what I like about baking bread. It is hard to screw up and even if you think you did, you still end up with a loaf of bread.

    I use to use my pizza peel to slide loaves on to the hot stone.

    But Moe made me a couple of transfer peels /flipping boards that work great. Long enough for baguettes and easier to handle than my long handled peel.

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ann, thank you for the couche recommendation and for also sharing your pics -- seeing the linen in use is tremendously helpful and also how you fold it. Even more so is your advice to keep the couche in the freezer. Never in a million years would I have thought to do that. Once we hit August, I'll place an order with SFBI and also get some malt. Btw, your bread looks perfectly risen and uniform. It is quite a testimony to your baking skills that you get such exceptional results consistently.

    plllog, my refrigerator is around 25 years old. Remember how the color almond used to be in vogue:)? It sounds like a train but it does the trick (knocking on wood:) I'm going to give the parchment a try as well as just a really floured towel this time. We shall see. And if I can check old Daniel Leader out of the library next time, I will give him another whirl. Sometimes the stars aren't aligned with time and learning. I hope you're baking as I type this:) I love the playdough instructions.

    Ann said "It is hard to screw up and even if you think you did, you still end up with a loaf of bread." I love this quote and I know it's true, but I think my ciabatta rolls may be outliers or have such "significant aspects for improvement" they don't even qualify for the bread food group. I don't know what I did with this recipe, but I ended up with basically gluey, thick pancake batter. I was supposed to hand knead this and then add the additional water to make the dough "very soft." HA! I usually follow a recipe to a "t" the first time, but this was soup; consequently, I "amended". I'm actually somewhat concerned it's going to overflow the bowl I have it in overnight -- not kidding. So, it may not pass the litmus test for bread let alone rolls. Maybe pancakes or .... a vehicle for bread pudding:) Will post regardless of success or failure. As an aside, it smells really good.

    Cathy in SWPA

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I fed my sourdough starters late morning and they had both doubled in three hours.

    I fed them last two weeks ago on the 10th.

    And I made a Levain with some of the "excess". It had also doubled in three hours.

    I also started a batch of Ken Forkish's, same day Pizza dough. Mixing by hand and using his pinching and folding method.

    Was suppose to take six hours but it had doubled in five.

    So I now have five balls of dough,, about 340 g each shaped and resting. They have to rest for 60 minutes and then go into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. We will have pizza for dinner.

    I'll leave the others in the fridge and bake another pizza and maybe a couple of focaccia over the next two days.

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Isn't Summer great! My dough rose in something like 3-4 hrs. I forgot to check the clock. I had workmen, and I finished writing a letter. It was good and doubled with beautiful holes all through. This is from the dry-ass eczema playdough that didn't rise as much as it was supposed to! I did carefully dissolve it, as I was supposed to. I think the difference, besides the good weather for baking, is really the autolyse and second knead. I'm using the organic red wheat that has the poor gluten (plus some white flour). This recipe calls for a minute or two of kneading after the first hour of rising (during which it doesn't actually rise much). I think the O. wheat needs these helpers.

    Of course, now I'm wondering what happens if I do a much longer autolyse with whey (or just ascorbic acid and use the whey for ricotta) to have the soaking one should have with home milled wheat. I don't think it could hurt? OTOH, the sourdough makes it acidic and from water to oven, the wheat is wet for most of the eight hours it's supposed to have... (I don't know if that counts... just sayin'.)

    Anyway, the final rise yielded a lovely, moist, light but firm sponge. I totally didn't get what Leader said about shaping, but I've been making round loaves since I was a kid, so I did that. I tried to pinch the bottom together, like he said, but it was too floury to stick. I don't care. :) I don't think it was necessary, since it wasn't shaggy to start with.

    I hadn't milled enough flour, so I used some whole wheat pastry flour that needs using up to supplement the bench and to flour the cloth. Being too tired to experiment, I just did the colander thing. It's a risin'. :)

    Last night, I just didn't have it in me to bother with the pizzas, so put the dough, glass bowl and all, into the fridge. Well. It didn't like that. I could probably have soaked it a bit and livened it up, but the yeasts both looked and smelled like they'd quit. Instead, I rolled it out on a couple of pizza pans (I had breyer envy since watching Dcarch's pizza video and couldn't help myself when I saw a two sided marble one--it was great for the seized dough).

    I didn't really expect (mildly hoped?) for oven spring. (I didn't even think to dock them.) They're fine as flatbreads. I, ahem, discretely, cut off an edge to taste and it was fine. One will be pizza for dinner. The other may go in the freezer. I should have added water when I thought of it yesterday...

    Ann, I love your planks! They're pretty, too. :)

    Cathy, that soupy stuff? That's what I was trying to deal with when I was trying those recipes up topic. Way too wet to handle! Just pour in a pan and hope it's bread. Good for you for amending yours. I never got beyond the WTF?, Gallic shrug, and, "Okay, if you think so..." The less water, less protein is working much better for me.

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, Ciabatta dough is suppose to be very wet. You can never really shape it. 92% hydration is common.

    Thanks Plllog, they are pretty aren't they. Western Maple burl.

    I was really happy with the way my pizza turned out tonight. Topped with oven roasted Roma tomatoes and pepperoni. I used fresh mozzarella.


    Love the crust.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ann, if the ciabatta dough is that wet, how do you do the foldy thing that makes the squares?

    So the cheatza was really good! Sometimes laziness pays. :) I prepped the veg earlier while waiting for the workman, but when I went to make the pizza, I found the lid not quite on the (now moldy) pizza sauce! I had previously opened tomato puree but no desire at all to make sauce out of it. Instead, I brushed a generous amount of puree on the shell to wet it and sprinkled garlic pepper, dried Italian herb blend and crushed red pepper, topped with pre-shredded cheese blend and a generous drizzle of EVOO. Heirloom tomatoes, scallions and a cooked chicken sausage that I didn't even bother to shred. Cheatza on didn't rise after all, mostly whole wheat flatbread turned out really well. Very tasty and satisfying, if not real pizza.

    The bread rose nicely. Leader said to ease it into place with a hand underneath, so I think it was supposed to be as soft as it was, but it settled instantly, rather than holding the domed shape of the form. The slashes didn't grow together as badly as on the batards, but they also didn't spread, like I'm used to. Making this on the paper is not a good idea. I was about to pull it worried that the paper would burn just as the timer went. :) The baked loaf is flatter than I expected but it looks good otherwise. We'll see when it's cut...


  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog, When you tip the dough out on to a floured surface you use a dough scraper to divide the dough and you dip your hands in water to handle the dough. The dough won't stick to wet hands.

    Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, yeah, Ann, I get that (though I usually oil my hands instead of wetting them). But when it's all soupy like that, how do you divide it and fold it when it's just goop that all runs together like loose porridge? I wouldn't even call it "dough". I've made stiffer cakes than some of those high hydration doughs.

    I'm guessing the answer is different flour and different climate, where either more of the water is being released into the atmosphere during fermentation, or the flour is a lot drier to start with. I don't think the kind of goop I had during those experiments was what you're talking about being able to divide with a scraper. A ladle more like. Are you working in a lot of flour on the bench?

    I tried to handle the first one, because I didn't realize it was batter. As I was turning it out, I was worried it would run right off the counter. I did try to divide it with the bench scraper, but it just closed back in. That's when I got out the loaf pans and just scooped it in as best as I could. It sounded like Cathy was having a similar outcome.

    So. It was too hot to eat much today, other than the pizza, and the bread was just sitting there calling, so I cut into it. Eh. It's bread. The edge of the crust burnt a little, probably from the paper trying to burn, but no biggie. At that point it was over the long end of the suggested baking time, and the thermometer said it was in the done range, but it's very moist inside, to the point of seeming underdone. Not by much, though. There's a firm crumb. It's just a bit tacky. Not much flavor considering the very sour low proportion starter, long rise time, and red wheat. It just tastes like bread. Very anonymous bread. The color and texture of the crumb do make me think of trenchers, though. :)

    So. I just found a thread on Fresh Loaf that talks about all the terrible numerical errors in this book. That explains a lot. :) I'll make sure to go through all the weights, measures and percentages in the future, and also, when I'm awake, print off the errata lists. That's a shame. I find Fresh Loaf hard to slog through, but I'm really glad it came up. I was just Googling how to spell Poilâne.

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I agree Plllog, your dough does not sound like it would be able to be worked even with a scraper. What was the % of Hydration?

    Which cookbook is that again you are using?

    Ann

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thought I would post a quick timeline. The rolls are in the oven now -- will post finished pics later and comments on this recipe. Had a calamity when one fell on oven floor -- (wide eyed/scared emoticon)

    I'm learning so much from you all. I'm so out of my element but am having fun:)

    Cathy in SWPA

    ps plllog, husband asked if I wanted to go to the library. Will try to find old Dan:)

    pss still need to get on with the photo sharing site.

  • kitchendetective
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The wet goopiness of the sourdough doughs was a shock to me at first, but three or four folds has always worked wonders for coaxing the dough into workable form. See first 86 pages of Forkish, as I recall.

    Pilllog, how are you getting French accents into your text? Are you cutting and pasting, on a computer or iPad or iPhone, etc.? Mine go away when I hit return.

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So, this is such a good read. I really do wish we were all in one room together sharing ideas and food.

    plllog: I never got beyond the WTF?, Gallic shrug, and, "Okay, if you think so..." Maybe the funniest thing on this whole dang thread ... although the fora rivals it. Love, love the cheatza -- spicy? I want to see the inside of that loaf. You know I could envision with a nice honey butter -- oh my! Correction ... just read your follow up about "anonymous" bread. A good vehicle for other things then, yes:)? BTW, are you saying that there are terrible numerical errors in the Leader book? Ha! I just checked it out of the library.

    Ann -- goodness me! That pizza looks sooooooo very very good! You know my son would note that the ratio of crust to toppings is perfect too -- he's like that.
    _________________________________________________
    So, the final outcome is this tastes very good. I was talking with my hope-to-be future son-in-law about what I consider to be in baking/cooking a "labor of love." I tried to explain that there are so many steps that can go wrong, so many variables to account for that it is quite a challenge to replicate one time to the next. In any event, here are my mishaps and changes.

    First picture above titled "just mixed dough" is with an ADDITION OF ~ 2 CUPS OF FLOUR. This recipe intrigued me because it initially combined ingredients with a portion of the water, kneaded and then added remainder of water. It was soup. IDK if my starter is really thin, if I didn't measure correctly, etc. very wrong. I got it to the point where I actually pulled it like taffy, then added the last bit of water. I've made ciabatta before, but this was new terrain.

    Didn't add all the salt. Just seemed like too much.

    Cannot shape dough proportionally for the life of me. Worrying about "degassing" "be gentle", blah, blah, blah. My rolls are really small loaves. The guys will be okay with that.

    Will look into couche, although I just slid these guys right onto the stone in their parchment. But I think I just want a couche:)

    I added way, WAY, WAY too much flour on parchment, but I also used semolina for the first time -- I really like that.

    Dropped one loaf on oven element and parchment started to flame. Gulp, very, very unsettling. Don't ask me about a fire extinguisher today. Ask me how I like mine tomorrow. Lesson learned.

    Cathy in SWPA

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Sorry, I wanted to include one more picture to show how the rolls actually are loaves and definitely not slippers:) Little less flour than 2 additional cups next time.

    Cathy in SWPA who is still picking dried dough off her arms, hands, counters, etc.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh! Cathy, thanks for the pictures! Interesting in general, and also shows that your dough was just wet, not goop. I would have been fine with your just mixed dough. Oh, wait. You amended, right? Added more flour? So sorry about the catastrophe! I hope there wasn't a fire and that you got it all cleaned up. Can't wait to hear how it turns out!

    Ann, I don't remember the specifics of goop because I don't want to go back there (i.e., will never do those again so didn't make notes). They were the kind of high hydration recipe you use. Seeing your results with the same kind of recipe, I figure it's my flour and/or environment. Those recipes weren't from the book I'm using now (except, possible, a fly by the ciabatta--I can't remember if I tried that or just thought about it), and my starter was young and a little wetter. :) I always do check the hydration of the recommended starter, and adjust, but perhaps part of the problem is that 100% is wetter for me than other people. Usually, I figure it's just that they like a looser starter. These just under 70% recipes have been working for me, though, and I don't know if the small percentage difference makes such a big difference, or what.

    In fact, while I have evidence that the numbers I used for yesterday's loaf were off (reports of errata--book = Local Breads by Daniel Leader), and I think it was a wetter, softer loaf than it was supposed to be, I'm very accustomed to handling delicate soft wet glutinous doughs. This wasn't nearly so glutinous, but the pillowyness was familiar. That one, as I actually made it, was 68% hydration (total, including the starter, but not counting evaporation and what may have soaked into my hands during kneading, nor whatever flour it picked up from the bench). This recipe sounded like it was supposed to look like Cathy's first picture, but it was actually a nicely formed pillow.

    The loaf seems perfectly cooked this morning, so I'm guessing it just wasn't fully cooled when I cut it last night, and it was still steaming out a little. It also has more flavor. :)

    KD, since I learned about the errata in Leader last night, I've been considering buying Forkish, but I want to make sure I don't already have it, because I kind of thought I did. It's probably with the grill press that I haven't found since the remodel. :) But as I said above, if it's dough, even sticky slack dough, I can deal with it. If it's porridge or batter, no way. :)

    Re diacritics, the surest way to use them is with codes. All codes begin with an ampersand and end with a semi-colon. Because the codes go twice through a rendering system, once for Preview and once for Post, some of them don't work as well as others. The numerical ones are the best bet; some of the name codes aren't preserved on post. Standard language diacritics like French accents (scroll down to find the ones that include the letters) and ñ work fine, but there's one I tried not long ago that rendered fine in Preview but turned into a WTF box on the actual post. Some also will go through one preview and post, but not multiple previews. Useful is #176 (between ampersand and semi-colon, including number sign), which is degree symbol.

    A shortcut, however, is cut and paste, and I did paste the whole name "Poilâne". That only works with the most basic symbols, you have to use one from the web so that the code is embedded, and your browser has to preserve that code. I'm using Firefox, in which it works. It might not in other browsers.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, we cross posted!

    I'm so sorry about the flames!! But it looks like you got a good outcome with the rest of your bread. :) How's the oven doing? You know about the baking soda and boiling water/let sit way to remove char, right? (I learned it from Trailrunner.)

    The small loaves look wonderful! I'm glad to hear they taste good too, of course. :)

    I'm thinking your recipe might be one of those where you're supposed to know how much water to add, but they didn't actually tell you to stop adding when you got the right wet. :) I have a couple of recipes like that, and more that are add more flour until it's right. Some of that is that volume measures of flour are so all over the map, but that also allows one to compensate for environment and all. The art of it. :) That's what was behind the Gallic shrug. I knew it didn't look anything like bread I'd ever handled, but I was faithfully following the recipe. Good for you for fixing yours!

    Re salt, it sounds like you got yours right since you're happy with the flavor. Ciabatta from the bakery are on the salty side which is probably why it was so high (i.e., plenty more salt than needed for the yeast reaction). The doughs I've made from Leader have tasted salty to me, but the bread doesn't. I wonder if it's the interplay of water and salt that made the Miche flavorless when it was overmoist, but flavorful when dried out?

    For you:
    {{gwi:1526971}}

    It's starting to have flavor, and the piece I cut earlier and left on the board is positively tangy. I think the more moist it is, the less flavor. It doesn't have the nuttiness I'm used to with the red wheat, though, and it picked up a scent of char from the paper/crust edge episode. Kind of an overall peasanty taste, so I guess that kind of makes it authentic. :) It's fine, but can be greatly improved upon. I'll have to think up a sandwich to entertain you with. :)

    By "spicy?" were you asking if the cheatza pizza was spicy? Not particularly, but I have a Southwest definition of spiciness. There was very little crush red pepper (though there were seeds) and not much garlic or black pepper by way of the garlic pepper. Just enough for some flavor. The sausage wasn't a spicy type either.

    And yes, apparently my mismatched numbers with that loaf are part of a long list of known errata. Sorry about the book! But it's a good book. All the people talking about the errors on Fresh Loaf also say how worthwhile it is, and one said something like what I said way up topic about my experiments--that it was even better as an instructive volume because it makes people work it out themselves. :)

    Even though we're about 2500 miles away, I'm really glad you're there, plus Ann, KD and the others. If we were all getting together IRL, there would be the school runs and the chimney sweep, and the vet, laundry, shopping and dinner to get on. Doing all of this is so much better with like-minded others, each at our own pace and level and time. Being together would be great in its way, but since this is the way we are, I'm grateful to be here. :)

    Edit: Update. I only found beans and tomato sauces in the fridge and plenty of cheese. It was cheese bread, with a little Rao's sauce a la vodka (more cheese in the tomatoes) for flavor for lunch. And garden (not mine) teardrop tomatoes (more tomatoes) with no flavor. :( But I also had some beans (only a little bit of tomatoes). Just not in a sandwich. There's this big tub of homemade meat sauce in there, but it's supposed to be a lasagna... (even more cheese and tomatoes). No leftover meat. Just some beef that was supposed to be sloppy joe's and lamb that was supposed to be marvelous lamb burgers, neither of which I've actually made because I was busy with the bread and it was hot. Instead, both are going to be a vaguely gyros-ish meatloaf. :) Should make a good sandwich, no?

    This post was edited by plllog on Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 20:15

  • kitchendetective
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, daaaaaaaaaaaaaaagg! You really can get all your questions answered on Gardenweb. I am indebted to you for that code link.

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    pllog,

    "gallic shrug" -- I love this sentiment. We have one called just "smile and nod":)

    "I knew it didn't look anything like bread I'd ever handled, but I was faithfully following the recipe" -- Faithfully following the recipe! Ay-yi-yi! First time I rebelled -- I was taught to always follow a recipe in baking exactly, to a "t", no ifs, ands or buts. Taken from http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/07/28/sourdough-ciabatta-rolls/#sthash.9UdITBzO.dpuf :

    "The high-hydration (i.e., wet) doughs that produce those accommodating holes can be especially difficult to handle, and I’ve always relied on my trusty mixer to see me through. I was curious to see, here in this bare-bones kitchen where all the mixing is by hand (and all the yeast is wild), whether I could pull it off. ...

    For high-hydration doughs, I love the double-hydration technique, where a portion of the water is held back until the bulk of the gluten development is accomplished ...

    Method -- Turn the dough out onto an unfloured counter and mix (knead) until the gluten reaches a medium-low level of development. This took me about 10 minutes.
    Return the dough to the bowl and add the rest of the water, mixing by hand until it is completely absorbed. Add additional water as needed to make the dough very soft.

    Turning the dough out -- Not happening and the rebel in me bemoaned possibly wasting (my grandmother hovering) all of these ingredients. You know there are so many variables in this process (like was I distracted and added too much water, what's my sourdough consistency, temps, proofing, blah, blah, blah) that there can be a lot of trial and error. Honestly, I found adding two add'l cups of flour somewhat liberating:)

    Which leads to your learning about Leader and about the sometimes temperamental art of bread making: "that it was even better as an instructive volume because it makes people work it out themselves. :)"

    Cheatza/Pizza would be inhaled here -- literally, and it is sometimes frightening.

    So the bread is "peasanty"? I would be there with my hat in hand waiting for a piece! Sometimes I prefer a bread with some heft and complexities rather than the one-note, eyelet types. Depends on my mood and what it's going to be partnered with. The ciabatta rolls (loaves) have gone pretty well with spaghetti and meatballs. Ah, just read your edit -- lots of tomatoes and cheese going on --Ha! The gyro-ish meatloaf sounds very, very intriguing. Yogurt sauce too?

    "Busy with bread and it was hot" -- yes.

    I am grateful too.

    BTW, I will be making these rolls again because I consider bread makers masters in the art of perseverance:)

    Cathy in SWPA

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I kneaded up a batch of bread dough last night using the Forkisk pinch and fold method. I added the levain made on Thursday and left in the fridge until yesterday, along with 900 g of my regular flour and 100 g of a heritage stone ground Red Fife flour and 780 g water.

    I bought three of True Grain's organic flours. Red Fife Organic sifted, Red Fife Organic Stone Ground, and Organic Stone Ground Spelt.

    True Grain is a local bakery making organic handcrafted breads from grains that are milled on-site.

    It is their Organic Rye that I used to grow my sourdough starter and to feed it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: True Grain

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This looks to be #150, so I'll start another sourdough thread with pie segue. :)

    Cathy, I know the liberated feeling you're talking about! I had it when I started these experiments with the discard. I do as I please with most baking recipes, usually to success. I don't have Grainlady's technical knowledge nor Ann's experience and expertise, but I know that if you control the basics, it'll come out. My mother's challah is so tetchy, however, that controlling it is enough without messing with it. A cousin did that when I was young, and tried using it as a base recipe for other breads, and they were breads, but I didn't really like them. You have to know how to not handle the challah (no typos there) to make it work out right. Add to that the old miseries of using cake yeast and I never messed with yeast dough before. I really liked the figgy loaf! Worrying about keeping the yeast alive rather than if I was going to ruin the bread was great. But that was one of those very soupy things, and if I try that again, I'll use less water/more flour. :)

    It's interesting that so many people think more hydration means lighter bread and more holes! That's the opposite to what I've experienced so far. Leader, like the ciabatta recipe, works the dough and develops the gluten. Controlled hydration seems to work better for me, and I definitely think the miche was too wet given how much better it got as it dried out. I had similar issues with the pizza recipe. One of the ones I tried, which was the result of much study in a pizza working group, was something like 90% hydration of whole wheat (though not soupy!). It was a very sticky dough and had to be made in a pan. It was not at all comfortable with toppings, though it was okay par-baked. Totally wrong for me, and it didn't have a good enough baked texture to stick with. It's not like my pizza recipe is low hydration. Just comparatively low. It's around 70% hydration.

    Cathy, I agree that inhaling pizza of any kind is frightening! Thank goodness for the widespread publicity for the Heimlich Maneuver!

    The miche is peasanty, as in plain old bread. I'd be happy to make the pain de levain for you! That has much more complexity even though it's mostly white. It's very yummy! The miche isn't as flavorless now, but it's not stand in line worthy, unfortunately. Next time.

    It was supposed to be record setting heat this weekend, but we're having monsoon influence, instead. Not the actual monsoons, which are farther South, but damp and cooler. Spaghetti and meatballs and ciabatta sounds delicious and decadent right now! (Decadent because two starches--my mother never served bread with pasta.) My favorite way to eat ciabatta, however, is with a goodly layer of good butter and an even thicker layer of powder grated good parmesan. This is the breakfast the Italian stewards on the ocean liner tempted my mother with when she was underfed and ill and returning home. I am not underfed, so I don't indulge, but the slightly salty, slightly sour bread with the sweet butter and salty, umami parm is just amazing. (Okay, I'm not underfed, but I haven't had breakfast...) Standing in line for the ciabatta...

    The gyros-ish meatloaf came out fine. It would have been better with more fat (who says that?), but the meat that needed using was very lean. I suppose I could have added some butter, but who does that? Not I. It's tasty, though. I didn't go full out on the seasoning (i.e., used the recipe) because I'd never made this recipe before. It could be kicked up a bit, but the flavor is about right. The leanness means I can be generous with the oil and grill some up later. :) No yoghurt sauce since since there are no pita either and my cucumbers and dill both bit it in the fridge. Tomatoes, onions and peppers will be fine. :)

    Ann, one lesson I learned best from you is to just put things in the fridge. Fermenting yeast things, that is. Just put it in the fridge. It's the most freeing thing I've learned recently. I've read all about it, of course, and the pizza recipe is one that's meant to develop in the fridge, but the way you just whip up a levain and throw it in the fridge until you're ready, or make up some do and go off to work, with instructions to Moe for when to take it out. Of course it's a given that cold retards yeast, but so much of my bread life until now has been about keeping yeast warm and cozy and encouraging it to rise, retarding the rise in the fridge to manage the slow process of sourdough is a revelation. Thank-you!

    Edited to add link and fix weird typo.

    This post was edited by plllog on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 20:51

Sponsored
Precision Home Solutions LLC
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars28 Reviews
Northern Virginia's Custom Interior Remodeler | 7x Best of Houzz