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Things to Make with Sourdough Starter Deux

plllog
8 years ago

This is a continuation of thread Things to make c/discarded sourdough starter.

Pie. In talking about figs with MellowD, I mentioned a chicken pie, and thought I should make it. Little did I know when I bought the chicken that my figs had died! Sigh. Before that harrowing discovery, however, I was contemplating my discard jars. I have to get back to using them up rather than feeding them. The pizza didn't use that much. :) So I thought I should look up whether you can make a sourdough pastry crust. I didn't care very much how it came out, since the crust is just there to keep the steam mostly in on a pot pie, and if it tastes good, that's just a bonus. :)

There are all kinds of sourdough pie crust recipes on the web! Some have the most outlandish starters! I couldn't figure out how to adapt them. I mean, I know you can make a starter out of anything with must, in just about any way, but some of the methods I saw were pretty extreme. Since I have all that discard, I'm thinking I should invent one on my own. :) It doesn't have to be pie crust, which isn't very wet. It could be biscuit or even bready, right?

I don't know if I'll get more figs or just make a different pie.

Or make the lasagna instead.

Some kind of dough is about to happen, though.

UPDATE: We had a thunderstorm. Unusual at any time of year, but rain in July is plain weird. I couldn't keep my eyes open. No dough. No dinner, just scrounge.

This post was edited by plllog on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 20:53

Comments (150)

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

    Cathy, I did the all caps on the "wrong" just to make sure you saw it. No blame here! I've been using that list until now, too! But maybe I was too hasty with my WRONGs. The protein listed on the package, at least for King Arthur, seems to disagree with their text (in the covered up bottom part of the description). I don't know if it's old text, or imprecise packaging!

    King Arthur lists their unbleached cake flour as 9.4%, but it's 3g (10%) on the label. Their unbleached pastry flour is listed at 8% in the text, but the label says 2g per 26g serving, which works out to 7.7%. Their organic bread flour is listed at 12.7%, and the label says 4 grams per 30 (13.3%). The organic AP is listed at 11.8%, and the label also says 4 grams per 30 (13.3%). That's a gram difference but the same label!

    In Southern California, you should be able to get both King Arthur and Gold Medal, depending on the store. Pillsbury Best might also be available. Their AP is listed on their website at 3 grams of protein per 30 gram serving (which it should be!) for both bleached and unbleached, and their bread flour says 4 grams of protein per 30 gram serving.

    At this point, however, I'm totally flummoxed.

    The Leicester Beer and Honey Bread (active dry yeast/commercial) is fine for sandwiches, but didn't have to be inventive because it's not challenging. It's a close crumbed, slightly sweet, half whole wheat bread. I think it would be tastier with 100% whole wheat, but as it is, it settled in the oven. It might be hard to see in the before and afters. I like oven spring, not oven settle! This might have been a good one to do in a pan like I use for the round challah (group noun). The recipe called for long loaves in pans, or a "cob". The pizza pan seemed a good way to go... Stronger protein would help too.

    I tried a couple of things, but what set off this bread best was semi-artisanal cultured butter. Just bread and butter. Yum. Finding bread that's worthy of this butter isn't always easy, so that's a score right there.



  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm smiling, plllog! You weren't too hasty. Your all capped WRONGs were, in fact, very appropriate. Really. Tangent: My son gave a TED talk about how the internet has changed our critical thinking i.e. oh, I saw it on the internet ... it must be true. In fact, he was going to weave in a quote attributed to Einstein: "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots"; of course, Einstein never said that, and it underscored his thesis:) Long story, I'm sensitive to my perpetuating incorrect info! Maybe after all the packing etc, is said and done, I'll email King Arthur and ask. See what happens.

    I rarely hope for rain, but I'll hope that you have nice steady rains so there aren't anymore "stank" faces:)

    Now on to the important stuff. Your bread looks absolutely, positively delicious! I mean it. Particularly the crumb -- can I tell you that it looks intriguing in a really good way? I like the form as is (maybe contributes to that intriguing crumb) Is the crust hard or medium? And while I'm not really a fan of beer per se, I think I would like it this way. A bread that is great with butter is a great bread indeed.

    I'll be keeping tabs on this thread!

    Cathy in SWPA

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  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, I did use Terro once I found where they were entering the house (far side of the door by my breakfast room, then went across part of the doorway, crossed to the rug under my table, went around part of two sides, then found a groove between two boards in the floor over to the island and then up and onto the counter where I spotted them). There was not good place to put the bait inside, so I put some outside along the cracks between the house and patio. I thought about the cornmeal but was afraid my dogs might try to eat it there -- they like corn, LOVE popcorn.

    Are you packing up college kids too? My boys love snickerdoodles so much that I think they would think I ruined them if I made biscotti. Neither of them drink coffee or hot chocolate and one only drinks tea for singing, so no sweets with it (sugar messes with your throat).

    Pllog, I meant to tell you how much I love your bowl and the idea that you have a reference point for rising doughs. I just use my mixing bowls and go from "small" to "big and fat" or "nearly overflowing." But the spoon rest I was using today is Polish pottery -- made peanut brittle for a raffle basket and came back to the computer to print out labels for that and the "Holy Mole Pecans." I was too late to meet the mom who is assembling the baskets today so I'm not rushing. Late because my freshman called to tell me about his choir placement audition -- he was given a callback for the top choir! Had to take that call and chat a bit. LOL

    I remember studying that chart, and I also remember later noticing some variances -- I think it was comparing the KA flour on the grocery store shelf to the Gold Medal. To be honest, I haven't looked at labels in a long time. I just buy those two brands and stick to what has been working for me.

    But here at last, I have a bread question -- do you think that I could make soft pretzels and mail them to the boys without them getting too tough or dry? They love them and have a micro to warm them up in.

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

    Thanks, Cathy! When you have time, I'd love to hear more about your long story. I'm sensitive to accuracy to. I actually got poorer grades in grad school because I hedge on conclusions I didn't have sufficient evidence to make into assertions, and got compliments on the BS I padded with because one can't sell BS without full conviction. Sigh. Feet of clay. And sissy bars. ;)

    I hope you call KA and report back to us!

    Thanks for the compliments. It is good bread. I'd give it a solid B. The crumb is closed but not heavy. The crust is thick and toothsome, but wasn't meant to be crunchy, and I wrapped it because I didn't want it to dry out. I'm not sure that the ale really comes through. The sweetness is unmistakable, and some of that might be the ale. There are two tablespoons of honey, though. I think the loaf could be just a bit moister. It's 48% hydration if one is calling ale equal to water (which it nearly is but not exactly). It's a nice, stiff dough, and I forgot to oil my hands, so I think more of the water came out during kneading than should have. I'm only talking about a spoonful of water either way. BTW, I keep the ale around for the menfolks, but I have to say it makes for great braises!

    It's so nice that you both send your kids off with food! When I was in college, we had pretty good food, and plenty enough variety (if the dinner looked repulsive, I could get cottage cheese from the salad bar). My mother never sent treats, but she did send lots of letters! I think the college girl is staying here if she's accepted. I've never heard of a twice baked snickerdoodle, but if she'll be here, I may need to get the recipe. :)

    Pretzels: I accustomed to eating them hot from the oven. Once they've cooled, not so much. So, how do you (and the boys) like your pretzels next day? Do you wrap them in plastic? If the answers are 1) they're good and 2)yes, then you could send them express.

    Perhaps an easier idea, though it wouldn't be homemade, would be to see if there's Postmates or a similar service near your kids. Order pretzels to be delivered to them when you know where they'll be. :)

  • Cloud Swift
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog,

    re:
    "King Arthur lists their unbleached cake flour as 9.4%, but it's 3g (10%) on the label. Their unbleached pastry flour is listed at 8% in the text, but the label says 2g per 26g serving, which works out to 7.7%. Their organic bread flour is listed at 12.7%, and the label says 4 grams per 30 (13.3%). The organic AP is listed at 11.8%, and the label also says 4 grams per 30 (13.3%). That's a gram difference but the same label! "

    I think what is going on here is rounding error. Nutrition labels list protein, carbs, etc. as whole grams. Don't want to get the public confused with decimal points.

    If King Arthur is saying something has protein content of 12.7% and it has 4 grams per 30 grams, I'd believe that the number that they gave to 3 digit precision is the correct one. Note that 12.7% of 30 grams is 3.81 grams which rounds to 4 grams so the numbers are not inconsistent - they are just given with different precision.

    Ants - I get so tired of them. For some reason, they have been worse the last couple of years. They keep coming into my office bathroom and there is no food there - just water. They are coming from under the house and that spot is about 80 feet from the crawl space access so no way to put the bait outside. We put Terro on the back of the counter. Usually only adults use that bathroom and it's out of the reach of little hands in case a child comes in.

    Plllog, that loaf came out about like my first try at a Forkish all levain loaf. I thought maybe I'd let it overproof but I've got another try underway on a Forkish all levain rising loaf that I'm sure didn't and I'm not convinced it's behaving any differently.

    So far, I'm finding his method more difficult than the out of bowl folding and the forming methods from a King Arthur DVD I got. I may be over stretching the dough when doing the folds and tearing the gluten. If this one doesn't come out great, I think I'll give it one more try. If that doesn't do it, I'll go back to other methods.

    Lascatx, I don't know about shipping soft pretzels.

    Cathy, there can't be any change in the California water situation until we get well into winter (other than it will keep being used and keep going down). We don't get any significant rain in the summer (meaning from some time in April/May to some time in September/October most years). The rain fall is mainly November to March. There are showers in the mountains in the summer but generally not enough for significant run off.

    Water here is based on winter precipitation filling up the reservoirs, accumulating a snow pack and doing something toward replenishing ground water. It will probably take multiple good winters to get us back to normal.

    There is a line in the prayers for rain that we do in the fall (the climate in Israel being similar to that in California that's when the rainy season starts there too): "For a blessing and not a curse, for life and not for death, for abundance and not for famine," and that always resonates with me because we've had our years when too much rain came to fast too and we had bad flooding, levies breaking and mud slides as well as drought years. The worst I remember, all the main highways from Sacramento were blocked either due to flood or snow for a while. Once the high water mark on our street was about 4 feet up our driveway - it's a good thing our house is above the street. Water had knocked the man hole cover off the storm drain in the street in front of our house and was coming up through the opening as a mini-Lake Geneva style fountain.

    So I hope we get a good wet winter this year with lots of snow accumulation in the mountain and not too much rain too fast.

  • Cloud Swift
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Status report on the loaf - it rose fine but was a disaster getting out of the brotform. The top (in the form which would be the bottom when it baked) came out and the bottom stayed in. I scraped the rest out as best I could, folded the edges in to form it back up the best I could but it lost a lot of air.

    I could use advice on using a brotform - preparing it from the start and getting the loaf out. I thought I had plenty of flour on.it. Perhaps I should do lower hydration loaves for a bit until I get the hang of it.

    It's in the oven now.

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What's a leftover pretzel? ;-)

    Seriously wouldn't know and would prefer them fresh baked. I wanted to make them for them while they were home, but we didn't have the chance. King Arthur also had an email not too long ago that showed pretzel bites. I know they had sourdough pretzels -- not sure if the bites were from that dough or a plain one. Doesn't matter. I've been wanting to make some ever since -- and now Cathy's buns are even reminding me of them. I know those are sesame seeds, but they still make me want to make pretzels. Maybe I'll just have to practice and be ready for Christmas. The ones I've made in the past were so-so but better than my bagel attempt. Seems far too easy to deflate the dough when doing the dunk before baking.

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

    Cloud Swift, thanks for the review of the flour stats. Yeah, I get it about the rounding. As I said, I was too hasty. I'd never have gotten it if I hadn't found the protein listings on the KA site. Not exactly prominent! It's just really frustrating. I understand things so much better when I can give them precise names.

    I haven't gotten into Forkish yet. I haven't been happy with high hydration, but I will revisit it, and maybe his methods will feel better to me. I'm following your efforts hoping to soak up wisdom. :)

    I'm so sorry to hear about your stuck loaf!! My brotform has a linen liner, and it's just a matter of saturating it with flour same as any other pastry cloth. If you're using the grass directly, maybe it needs to be done in layers. Use a stiff nylon brush in the direction of the coils to get any dried dough off, then flour thoroughly. Next day, upend it, give it a few whacks to dislodge loose flour, and then a quick wipe with a cloth, once around the whole thing. Then flour again. Repeat. After the flour has gotten into the little crevices in the grass, you shouldn't have a sticking problem. Really, it's the same as getting a good flour layer on a cloth, but with bumps. :) Also, if your dough is cloaked and doesn't split going in, it'll help. Too wet, and the flour will just suck into the dough and so will the bedding flour and you'll just have sticky! But "too wet" means way different things to different people.

    Let us know how your loaf comes out!

    Oh, and I read on one of the sourdough sites, if your dough gets degassed, just set it to rise again. Makes sense, when you think of it, and it should work if your dough isn't exhausted (which it shouldn't be if you used fresh flour (rather than salvaged)).

    Lascatx, your plan sounds good! I imagine that with all the sweets that come out at Christmas time, a pretzel would be an especially welcome exception. It occurs to me, though, that sourdough keeps better than regular bread. I don't know what implication this has for pretzels, but if you make a trial batch, you could save one or two on purpose and see how they are the next day. :)

    Re deflation, my mother taught me to handle dough as if it were a baby chick--no clasping, no squeezing. If you can't convey it to the bath without clasping and squeezing, maybe you can use a spider or a skimmer? Or a small silpat?

  • Cathy_in_PA
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    lascatx -- I'm a big believer in Terro. My goodness, it sounds like your ants were in ultra-marathon mode. There's part of me that finds the whole parade thing a bit fascinating and another part of me that just wants to blast 'em. Terro has worked for me with sugar (more difficult) and carpenter ants (the big black ones.) I'm smiling about the corn .... and popcorn:) You are wise.

    My seventh year of packing up for college. I'm not counting the summer stints. You'd think I'd have it down to a system, but I don't. I will say boys seem to be easier and an engineering major seems to have an eye for best space utilization. I'm sending tea too, not for singing but the looming colds. What wonderful opportunities (and easy to enjoy) for students in music in college, yes? Son is sax player and has enjoyed so many unique venues to perform, explore and attend concerts.

    To your soft pretzel question. I haven't had much luck with anything "bread", in that it either gets wet (think wet muffins) or gets stale (with mailing times, poor storage .. like none:) etc) I'm going to post the snickerdoodle recipe below. It's different enough from the your T & T snickerdoodles that your boys won't recognize your messing with it:) Long oven time though for your hot summer.

    plllog -- Oh, I like your work ethic! Vetting/critical thinking is worth its weight in gold these days. That bread sounds really, really good. From your picture, that is how I imagined the crumb. Perfect crust too.

    There has been such a change in college food for the better. More variety, more nutrition/special diet awareness. I'm always amazed how a university/college can prepare for so many kids. Letters from your mom? What treasure!

    cloud_swift -- I do hope that you have a wet winter/snow at an safe rate with no Lake-Geneva style fountains. Your posts and plllog's have certainly given me a new awareness. What an absolutely lovely prayer, btw.

    I wanted to show you another picture of the new sourdough knife (son: "wicked sharp"). We call it the Las Cat X knife. I'm also posting the biscotti recipe. Disclaimer: Sorry not technically sourdough, but it was cut with the sourdough knife;) I know this is not the typical Nonna's biscotti. It is definitely softer than the purist/real biscotti, definitely mailable, and definitely good.

    _________________________________________

    *** I add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest.
    **** I NEVER have used the topping.

    Snickerdoodle Biscotti (Brown Eyed Baker)
    Ingredients:
    For the Biscotti:
    2¾ cups all-purpose flour
    1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    **** ½ teaspoon of lemon zest
    For the Topping:
    1 egg white
    1 teaspoon water
    ¼ cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; set aside.
    3. Cream together the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. (I cream by hand) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. (I add lemon zest) Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until a dough forms. (I mix by hand)
    4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and rub your hands with a little flour. Divide the dough in two and form each half into a log about 4 inches wide by 10 inches long. Places the logs on the prepared baking sheet. (I don't do this next step) In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water, and brush each log evenly. In a separate small bowl, stir together the ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the brushed dough.
    5. Bake on the prepared baking sheet until lightly browned and small cracks form on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly on the baking sheet, about 10 minutes (leave the oven on). Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Slice diagonally in generous ½-inch slices. Place them cut side up on the baking sheet and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned, turning over half way through. (I remove parchment paper for browning step) Cool completely on a wire rack. Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two weeks.

    Picture doesn't depict a diagonal cut, btw. Will need to try again:)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Snickerdoodle Biscotti - Brown Eyed Baker

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, I thought that your Kaisers looked perfect. And then I saw the sliced kaiser and then I knew for sure. Great sandwich bun and also makes a great burger bun. You might also like them topped with poppy seeds. I like both.

    Not sourdough, but since we have been talking about protein.....

    I finally got around to buying Caputo '00' Chef's Flour to make pizza.

    It is suppose to be the "gold standard" of pizza dough flours. It is a very fine milled flour, but has 12.5 % protein.

    Last night I hand kneaded a 500g batch of dough, at 65% hydration and 2g of yeast and 12 g salt. After first rise and stretch it went into the fridge overnight.

    This morning I took it out and left it for an hour and then shaped it into two balls. The dough is back in the fridge. I'll take it out when I get home from work, give it an hour on the counter. And while the oven heats to 550°F I'll make the sauce and get the toppings ready.

    The dough is silky smooth. Looking forward to seeing if there is a difference in the crust.

    ~Ann

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Look forward to seeing your end results. I've used KA's pizza flour and some of their specialty flours but haven't really had sources for things other than store brands and KA in recent years. Was that from a market or did you order?

  • Cloud Swift
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The split loaf came out kind of between Suzi's artisan loaf and plllog's beer bread in texture. Dense because of the air lost when it broke into to pieces, but with a few holes left. Not a door stop - it is chewy with a really good crust and flavor but much denser than it was intended to be.

    I did think about letting it rise again after folding it back together, but it was too late for it to rise again and bake that night. The oven was hot and ready. I guess I could have put it in the fridge and baked it today, but DH has his challah baking schedule in the morning and we are still down to one oven. (No word on when the tech will return with parts - big sigh.) Perhaps that is all just an excuse. I was frustrated and wanted to get finished with it.

    I'm going to step down to a bit lower hydration for a while and/or go back to using a different folding method for a while. (I haven't compared the hydration on the Forkish loaves I've been using to that of the other sourdough recipes I was using before to see if the Forkish ones were much different in hydration.)

    Maybe that will also give my brotform time to get seasoned enough for the loaves to stop sticking. If not, I guess I'll buy the linen cover for it - I didn't because I like the look of the groves.

    I thought I'd try one more Forkish loaf before retreating but after the last "diaster", I need to go back to the tried and true before adventuring again. I'm tired of fighting with tar baby loaves that come out flat.

    Lovely Kaiser rolls. They look perfect.

    This post was edited by cloud_swift on Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 15:17

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

    Cathy, thanks for the recipe!

    Re college food, most of the expense is labor, especially if there are a lot of work-study jobs in the food service that are work-for-your-scholarship money funnels (double or more minimum wage). Institutionalal food buying, especially at a larger university, rather than a small, independent college, means the food doesn't cost much at all. Back in my day, the state bought whole crops on contract, like the world's biggest CSA program. Don't get me started on the year of the bumper broccoli crop (took me at least a decade to recover).

    Even back then, just about everyone could find something to eat at any meal (there was always a hot vegetarian main, help yourself salad, fruit, bread/toast, cereal, seeds and nuts/nut-butter, yoghurt, etc. And ice cream.) The meal plan was mandatory in the dorms, and there was one girl who kept kosher (most kosher kids were also strict keepers of the Sabbath, and lived off campus to make it easier). Rather than release her from the meal plan, they just bought special food for her and let her come into the kitchen to prepare it for herself. You can make kosher food in a non-kosher kitchen if you have enough foil. :) I'm glad more colleges are serving better, and more accessible, food! Some of the stories I've heard in the past are quite shocking!

    Ann, your pizza balls look good. :) I look forward to your report.

    Cloud Swift, I only mentioned the re-rise because I didn't know before that it would work. Not excuses! Inductive reasoning. You did what made sense, and got a decent, if unexpected, loaf out of it. What's that we say around here? Even when you fail, you get bread?

    Re the brotform, if you have a new large woven (not terry) dish towel, you can line your brotform with that and see if you like it before buying a liner. That's what Leader suggests with the colander method, and it worked great. The pattern of the colander was also visible and pretty on the miche. Saves me from worrying about buying a bigger banneton. :) I used cotton birdseye, which is kind of ideal because of the weave, but linen is classic. A slightly open or coarse weave holds the flour best.

    No baking today. I'm supposed to be roasting vegetables...

    Edit: Cathy, beer bread + smoked gouda = perfect combo. :)

    This post was edited by plllog on Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 17:46

  • Suzi AKA DesertDance So CA Zone 9b
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, I have jury duty next week, so bake your hearts out, and let the bread rise!

    Suzi

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cathy, those biscotti look great. Thanks for sharing the recipe -- glad to have a T&T recipe cuz I like biscotti and I love snickerdoodles. And I know I have the right knife to slice them to perfection! ;-)

    That pizza dough has me thinking about pulling my starter out and making pizza this weekend.

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lascatx, I was able to purchase the flour in Victoria. One of the better grocery stores carries both the red and the blue bag. I bought both. Just one Kilo (2.2 lbs) each.

    I was really happy with the pizza. Great flavour and texture.

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

    Great looking pizza, Ann!

    Suzi, I hope your stint on jury duty is swift and useful. :)

    Cathy, for greatness and decadence, the beer bread with cultured butter and smoked gouda can't be beat! (I had two bites worth of the cheese that wanted using.)

    I have one more wild yeast recipe on my list to try before I go back and start messing with the ones I've already done.

    JC

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I wanted to share a photo of the pizza I made tonight, but my youngest son called while we were baking it and before I knew it, the pizza was out of the oven, cut and half of it was on plates. I was going to take a pic of the second half, and DH went back for more. So after I put the plates in the dishwasher, I was going to get that lonely last slice and post a tease. By the time I turned around, DH was cutting it up and giving the dogs a treat! I wanted to show you, but DH's phone was busy and mine was across the house.

    At any rate, thanks for helping to inspire our dinner. DH and I, and the two dogs, really enjoyed it. And because I'm used to making 2 or 3 crusts when the boys are home, I still have dough left and we may be making pizza for dinner again tomorrow.

    This post was edited by lascatx on Mon, Aug 25, 14 at 10:45

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

    Lascatx, reports count! No picture required. Yours was very amusing. Now tell us about the process and texture!

    One of the things I love about my (commercial yeast) pizza recipe (grandfather Reinhart, father Redappleguy) is that you weigh out the dough balls before you put it in the fridge. I haven't tried freezing since I perfected the recipe, but it should make that easy too. :) OTOH, I'm glad we get a second chance to see a picture!

    The beer bread held up well to sloppy joes (they were supposed to be bison burgers, but I didn't have buns and didn't want to make them, and not everyone wants meat on a plate). It's done, however. The end is going for bread pudding... But I know I'll stay home and play baker tomorrow if I start something, so tortillas (TJ's wheat and corn) will have to suffice. :)

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The pizza crust I use most often is something I adapted from a group of recipes when I wanted to make a sourdough crust at home. We had a local pizzeria that made sourdough crust pizza and loved their pizza -- didn't want to stop supporting their business, but wanted to be able to do something similar when we made pizza at home. It has become something I do more by feel than measuring.

    Last night was pushing that a bit because I hadn't fed the starter. I considered adding some yeast to the sponge (1 c starter, 1/.2 c water and 1 c flour) to push things a bit, but I wound up just auto-piloting and making the sponge as soon as the starter got reasonably bubbly and then did the same with the sponge to the dough (scant tsp of salt, 1 1/2-2 T olive oil and enough flour to make a soft dough).

    I just realized that I used to add a spoonful of sugar along with the salt which I always assumed was to feed the starter through that last stage. Well, I forgot it last night and it wasn't needed. I don't know if that was because I didn't let the starter and sponge go as long as I might have before, but I will leave it out now. It certainly wasn't necessary for the flavor, and if the crust browned a little less, it was a good thing (the pizza was amply topped and a faster browning crust might have resulted in a too dark crust or a too soft middle). We had sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, red and green bell peppers, sliced grape tomatoes, and jalapenos (all the veggies sauted a bit to sweat them out) last night. Baked it on our stone in a 500 degree oven and it came out perfectly -- a crust with flavor, a crispy/chewy balance, open texture on the edges. I seasoned the sauce a little differently and really liked that too.

    I tried freezing extra pizza dough once or twice in the past, but I don't remember feeling thrilled with it. We might have to experiment -- I went smallish on what I made yesterday and it still felt like a small amount to be kneading.

    I'll try to get a photo tonight. ;)

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

    Lascatx, excellent report!

    I totally love that you do it by feel. That's the best way...if you have the feel!

    'Course, now I have a hankering for pizza...

    When I started this Grainlady assured me that I didn't need sugar to feed the yeast. My mother used to say to do that but that was with iffy cake yeast that had to be proofed. Now that I know more, I think it's that the yeast proves faster with sugar, whereas waiting around for it to eat the flour starches and start burping and multiplying can take all day. :) Sure enough, active dry yeast just needs (warm-ish) water to start bubbling away, and wild yeast can take all day. :) OTOH, when I was experimenting with leftover, discharged starter, when the dough was looking weak and hungry, feeding it sugar (jam), perked it right up. Fresh flour, especially white flour, will feed the yeast just fine. :)

    ---+----
    So, I decided that instead of transforming the wheat and rye recipe to use my mature wheat starter, I'd go ahead and use their rye starter. I get it now why they say to use rye for people who aren't having success! I totally forgot to chill the rye berries before I milled them, but before I got the flour completely stirred into the water, it was already bubbling! This starter calls for 200% hydration! The rye certainly acted happy to be that wet.

    So, after I started it, I thought I should make the pain au levain I had promised to my mother. But, I'd wanted to use my new measuring bowl, and had started the rye in it. (Silly, I know, but the instructions call for building it up rather than discarding, so not totally silly.) I figure I remember well enough what this is supposed to look like, however, so I made up the levain in a glass prep bowl. It has plenty of room to double, and it's mostly white, so I don't have to worry if it's off a little. It has plenty of structure.

    I was very interested to see that the levain starter I'd put away from the last time, which was a log, had become a doughy sponge. It also smelled a little winy, but hadn't turned grey or hoochy. I did feed it once between then and now. Because it was so nice, I was able to just pull off a piece, and feed it in the jar. I fed less than the weight of the remainder, but I think it'll be fine since it was more slightly peckish than hungry. :)

    Water: I used the big measuring bowl, little prep bowl, and raspberry colored scraper that I usually use for this kind of thing. The scale bowl, funnel, scoop and mill bowl have been dusted (+ 1 pastry brush) but not rinsed. I'm going to see if that freaks me out. The counter had just been cleaned, so I just wiped up the flour, too, rather than wet cleaning. And I managed not to wash the scraper between the rye starter and the levain. There's rye in the bread anyway. Re hands, I did have to wash sticky off my hands after kneading the levain, and did the scraper at the same time, plus a rinse off, and the first wash, of course. Oh, and I had to rinse the cutting board because the spilled flour wouldn't brush off of it (getting the rye flour from the mill bowl to the canister was something of an event! I thought the funnel would help, but I had to keep tapping it, and then flour would fly up. It was necessary for feeding the starter, too, but wasn't as big a mess). The real water suck is yet to come, but I think I got through the sticky part pretty lightly...

    This post was edited by plllog on Mon, Aug 25, 14 at 17:23

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Got a photo this time -- pretty similar to last night's but a little smaller. The dogs didn't get any of this one.

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

    Oh, yummy!!! Lascatx, that looks awesome!

    My dough is doing first rise. I managed not to rinse the scale bowl or mill bowl yesterday. :) No harm! Today I added the mixer bowl and dough hook, and the large glass bowl. No help for that. If it weren't the glass bowl, it would be the slipat. At least there's no dough bucket to wash! And I think I can do my folds right in the glass bowl. I've been using my cabbage leaf silicone lid, too, but it doesn't get icky, per se, and it goes in the DW. I think I was up to six hand washings/rinses, and three of the raspberry scraper. At that rate, I should have used the bowl scraper, but it saves the dough whisk which I don't like putting in the DW (much less water to rinse the silicone scraper while I'm rinsing my hands). I also managed to rinse the caked on starter from the levain bowl, and the ick from the dough hook, into the mixer bowl before it filled up (i.e., no overflow). More water went to the discard jar which I combined with the bigger one when I added the leftover levain. More fridge room, but it's FULL now. I need to make waffles! (Sorry, Cathy, the hooch went down the drain again...)

    ---+---
    Bread's out. Only utensil addition was the bowl scraper, which I used for dividing, as well, still in the bowl. Not perfect, and the dough did degas a little, but that was inevitable from cutting it to make the requisite two batards. There's also the rack, but the bread has a hard crust, so it will only need dusting.

    There is a fly in my kitchen!! I keep trying to tell myself that I'm lucky, that it's not Australia, and I'm only so outraged because of the sheer abnormality of the occurrence. But I had to drape the bread with a light tea towel to cool so the fly can't land on it. I thought of putting it in the steam oven, which hasn't been used since last night, but I worry that it'll keep the moisture in too much and all... I have to stop obsessing!

    This post was edited by plllog on Wed, Aug 27, 14 at 2:36

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

    Questions about oiling, cloaking, and slashing:

    The pain au levain rose correctly, and was a nice soft dough. It's the kind of dough I'm familiar with of old. OTOH, while I do oil the bowl, as per usual, and cloak the loaves, ditto, and slash them normally, instead of bursting at the slashes and splitting, they just sit there saying, "What?", like the New Yorker in the movies whom someone gazes at for a moment too long. Like the slashes are decorative line, rather than releases.

    Other than from dividing the dough, it's not degassed. Is it too warm? Basically, the slashes heal up right away, even though the loaves go straight in the oven. Yesterday's loaves were softer and splooshier than the previous batch, and stickier, but still in the range of normal, and they acted exactly the same way. And the crusts cracked on the bottom.

    Suggestions?

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I wonder if they have risen enough when you slash them, the dough is a bit too soft so that it goes back together easily or if the way you have shaped the loaves makes them open more easily on the bottom. I've never had that happen though and am not speaking from any authority -- only guessing.

    Thanks for the compliments on the pizza. I've missed making it at home, but the boys were so busy (and I often was) that it got difficult to time meals like that and we got out of the habit. DH and I agreed that it is also a lot easier to make one pizza for us rather than three (one for us and one for each of our boys), much less a party. And then there is always the fact that teens have gotten so much pizza for school and group events that it's not not that special anymore. Our youngest came home from 6 weeks away this summer and said he wanted anything but pizza.

    And drat those flies! Hard not to let one in occasionally, and they always want to come in when you're cooking. Glad your water conservation seems to be going okay. I would think scraping off dried dough and considering anything left to be wild yeast would really be okay. Perhaps egg doughs should be cleaned up better, but basic breads anyway.

    Hope the bread tastes great.

  • Cloud Swift
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I also wonder if they have risen enough when you have slashed them. Also, was the dough cloak tight to begin with so that they rose up more than out. Perhaps the cloak stretched with the rise so that it wasn't taut.

    I don't oil the type of loaves that I slash. They just sit there covered with a cloth or plastic while they rise after forming. I don't know if that would have anything to do with it.

    Another possibility is that you aren't slashing deeply enough. When I was first doing it, I was pretty timid with slashing the loaves and, IIRC, the shallow slash would close up sometimes. I now try to get around a half inch deep when slashing and that works better.

    I woke up the starter to do a batch of bagels. It's quite a change working with such a dry dough.

    There seem to be two camps on bagel formation - either make a rope and join the ends to form the torus like Suzi's recipe or make a ball and poke a hole through. I used a Fresh Loaf recipe that is in the ball and hole camp. I've tried both and generally prefer the make a rope method, but this dough is so dry I don't know if it will join back up well. I had that problem in the past with one batch.

    This is my first time doing bagels with wild yeast. Dough is in the bucket and I'm wondering if it will rise.

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

    One thing I've learned recently is that if your yeast (wild or commercial) is proven, your bread will rise. No promises on when, and it might be when it b***y well gets around to it, but it will.

    Re the bagels, Cloud Swift, you could sticky up the ends with water. I don't know if that will make them hold, but that's what I'd do. :) I'm going to have to try making bagels one of these days. But not 100% whole wheat. Probably just white, or maybe rye. It would just taste weird whole wheat, especially with red wheat.

    Which reminds me, the pain au levain was very well received. I had a slice, and it tastes like before. The holes are good, as is the texture and the flavor. I think the rye is what makes it. I always seem to like them when I put rye in, and the golden color is so pretty, too.

    It was well risen and exactly as it was described, though it did settle in the oven and kind of flatten out a bit. Perhaps the cloak wasn't as tight as it should have been. Do you have any suggestions on how to better that?

    I'll definitely try deeper slashes. It calls for quarter inch, but that might not be deep enough. The cracks on the bottom don't worry me. The point of slashing is to prevent the cracks. Since with a batard, you put the "seam" on the bottom, and it's the weakest point, it doesn't surprise me that it cracked there, instead of on top. The seam doesn't open. It's just that parts of it are in the cracks. Makes it prettier, at least if the cracks are on the bottom. :) I can also try letting it rise shaped more than the recipe calls for. I've also considered trying this recipe as a boule.

    The recipe specifically calls for an oiled bowl to rise in. I also oiled the plastic wrap I very loosely covered the couched loaves with because last time I used a damp towel, which is my usual, and it stuck. :) Do anyone think the oil could be a problem?

    Any suggestions on how to make the cloak tighter?

    Buying a lame seem silly, but perhaps it's worth trying. Maybe my knife is too sharp? I don't know why a razor blade would be better, but at least it would be something for the arcana files. :)

    Lascatx, it's amazing that there are teenagers who tire of pizza!! I do get being tired of institutional or unplanned food, though. :) My mother was always a stickler for quality, so just getting good food on coming home was a treat. So glad you're enjoying the upside (i.e., easy pizza) to the empty nest. :)

    I miss pizza. I gave up making it for the Summer. I've thought about making up some dough a couple of times but then it gets hot again before I do. It feels good to look at yours. :)

    I forgot to feed the rye starter this morning! Erp!!!

    ---+---
    I had left the rye starter (named Ruby) on the baking counter, which gets some morning sun and is away from the a/c. It was still bubbly, but starting to go gray and smell fishy. Since it's day 3, which is when things start smelling anyway, I'm going to assume that the gray patches were die off of the unwanted organisms. It didn't look like mold. Ruby was happy to be fed, finally, but seems fine. I'm not used to this soup. It doesn't grow much either, but how could it at 200% hydration. This is going to be interesting bread...

    This post was edited by plllog on Wed, Aug 27, 14 at 20:43

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lascatx, that is one very pretty pizza.

    I fed both my starters yesterday, early morning. One with white and one with rye. And I made a biga using part white and part organic stoneground Red Fife and two ounces of leftover starter.

    The starters had both doubled in just under five hours and the biga was ready to use before 4:00 PM. So I mixed up a batch of sourdough rye. By hand.

    Divided the dough and half went into the fridge and I baked two loaves from the other half. Loaves came out of the oven at 10:00 PM.

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

    Well, those may have come out late, but at least it should have been cooler. ;) They look scrumptious!

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

    So. The rye starter. It kept trying to die. The fishy stage lasted too long. So, with all the experience I had coddling the Wubby, I started fixing up Ruby. First I fed without adding water because it just seemed like too much liquid all over. Then I fed with some water. Then I was tired of the whole thing, but Ruby was bubbling and didn't smell so bad, so I figured it was time. I divided off a portion for the fridge and fed it with a full complement of water. The recipe didn't require much, so I put half of what it wanted in my big glass bowl along with an equal weight feeding.

    Once that was bubbling, I did the preferment. It was supposed to be a long one, and I've lost my anxiety over such things. I just left it until after all the holiday doings. It was supposed to get "frothy", however, and at some point I realized it was too tight for that, so I added a bit of water. When I was ready to use it, it was more dough like than "frothy", but very bubbly, with a lattice work of large bubbles all the way through. So I gave it the flour and water for the final dough, and some salt because I used whole grain. Traditionally, this kind of bread doesn't have salt, but the recipe gave it as an option, so I went for it. I was worried the whole wheat would be too heavy but didn't want to use white flour, so I used all the wheat that I had milled yesterday, and filled the remaining portion with whole rye. I used up what I had milled for making Ruby, plus some Bob's that needs using up. I used the latter for the bench flour, too (plus a little AP which was at hand before I thought of it). I still have a smidge left. Sigh. I really like the rye in the pain au levain, as well as in that very wet thing I made at the beginning. The recipe called for white or whole wheat, but a rye starter, so I thought, why not?

    It was very wet, but still a recognizable dough (not soup). I hand kneaded it, but I don't know if I did a good job because I wasn't feeling that hot. It's definitely something that could be kneaded in the mixer, and if it's good bread, I'm going to do that in the future. There are two stretch and fold rounds after that, and I may have overdone it making up for the wimpy kneading. I know all about why that doesn't work, but I was just letting my hands do what they wanted. It did seem to get stiff, though, so I hope it's not overworked. Then it's supposed to be a stiff ball for shaping, but mine was soft. It sank. I did my best to get a tighter cloak, but it did just soak up the flour. Then it spread and I tried to gather it back together, then realized that it would be better in a sided pan and had to handle it again. I had to reshape, but I didn't want to pull too hard. It didn't seem to lose volume, but I don't see how it couldn't have degassed, so I give it some extra rise time and it seemed fine. Except, that nice gluten stretch was gone and it was open on the top.

    The oven was fine and there was a good domed spring. A lovely spring. I don't think it held at its peak after the recipe's reduction in heat, but it's still well higher than it was when it went in. The sided pan was definitely a good idea! I think this wheat just isn't strong enough to hold shape without help. It's Arrowhead red wheat berries, but I don't know the protein content.

    Anyway, it smells delicious, and has a nice shape. It looks like a yurt. :) I did take a picture, but can't deal with resizing and all, and will wait until I cut it so I can show the crumb, too. This recipe is the one (ignoring the rye) that's closest to my favorite commercial bread. We'll see. :)

    In the done my heart good file: I had a meal with my folks, who gave me store bought good bread. Fine with me. :) But then my mother, the one who taught me to bake, said they didn't bring in from the freezer the second loaf I'd given her of the pain au levain because she figured I knew what it tasted like and they wanted to save it for themselves. :D HIGH praise.

    So, are all the kids packed up and back to college? The college girl here is still waiting to hear if she got into the program she wants.

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

    This is the one! It's imperfect as stands, but I think it's the one I want to develop first. It's hard to see that it's nicely domed. The crust is firm and has tooth, but isn't meant to be heavy or crunchy. It's very similar, though, to the pain au levain's crust, which is done with the stone and water, whereas this is done in a pan on the rack without. The same yumminess of the rye comes through as well.

    The crumb is moist and springy, with an all over pattern of small holes. It's the texture one expects from a Tuscan style bread. It is dense though not heavy, and that is likely from the trainwreck of overhandling it. I could also have given it a bigger pan. Next time, I'm going to add some vital wheat gluten to strengthen it, since it couldn't maintain its height. This is a problem I've been having with this kind of wheat all along. I could change over to my pizza wheat, but I'd like to learn to use the stuff that comes from the grocery store. And, as is, this is bread I could eat every day. (No one else cares as long as there's bread, or they take tortillas.)

    Did I mention, it's 100% whole grain (minus a spoonful of incidental white), and delicious!

    No sandwiches yet. Just some butter, and a piece with melted cheddar. I don't have to dream up things to pair with this bread. It's just good bread and should go great with any kind of sandwich. :)

    Edit: I forgot to say how amazing this bread smells!! I keep sniffing it to get even more. :) Just had a fairly thin half slice with another piece of cheddar. No melting. No condiments or accompaniments. Just bread and cheese. Traditional travel food or ploughman's lunch. Oh, so very goody good! The bread tastes and feels rich, but it's just whole grain flour, lots of water, a very little bit of starter, and a weensy bit of salt. And a method where you worry it every hour. :)

    {{gwi:1537672}}

    {{gwi:1537673}}

    This post was edited by plllog on Mon, Sep 1, 14 at 17:57

  • violetwest
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm not reading the whole thread, okay? But I hope someone said pancakes. That's what my mom used to make with it.

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

    Thanks, Violet! I've been making waffles, but I'm sure I could make it into pancakes, too. :) Good suggestion!

    JC

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I finally took the time to watch all the Ken Forkish videos (at least that I found) on youtube. I may be one of the few who doesn't have his book, but it came out after I already had a healthy number of bread books and got a lot pickier. I heard a lot of folks say they liked it, but hadn't really heard that he had a different methodology until more recently. I wasn't looking for something new, so I didn't hurry about.

    At least now I understand why this thread started with using discarded starter. I've seen other books that discard starter regularly, but not so much of it. I'm curious about his method, but I"m not sure that I could throw out nearly all of my starter every time I use it. I think I'd back into it the other way. Still trying to decide whether to order the book. How long do you think that will last? Hee hee

    Meanwhile, someone on another forum recently bought and asked about the Il Fornaio Baking Book. I pulled mine off the shelf and decided to put it to use. I made the Pane Acido di Semola -- a partially whole wheat loaf.
    I actually made it twice -- the flavor was good with the first one, but I wasn't happy with the loaf. Second was better.

    Do you find recipes that make only one loaf almost harder to knead? Like there isn't enough to make it worthwhile? Well, the recipe said to knead 20 minutes and I think I may have actually had an over-kneaded dough. The crumb was chewy and the crust was thick, hard and tight. I hadn't kneaded the second one that long when I thought it was starting to show signs of over kneading (tearing in the folding, getting less smooth), so I stopped and gave it a rest. It was behaving better, so I shaped it with minimal handling and set it to rise (this bread has 3 rises).

    Both loaves rose faster than the recipe indicates, but I'm in Texas and it's summer. The crust on the second was crisp but not so dense. Texture was better too -- not chewy. More what I was expecting. I'm not sure why he had you do the third rise on a floured surface and then transfer to the peel. I was afraid of deflating the dough (my total failure with bagels), but managed to get both of them transferred without significant loss. That doesn't necessarily mean I will be trying bagels again soon.

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

    Lascatx, you offer further proof that it's what your hands feel, rather than the recipe. Even though I was being dunderheaded and screwed up my last loaf, when I put aside the directions and just made the bread, it came out very good.

    I did buy Forkish a couple of weeks ago, mostly because everyone's talking about it, but I've been under the weather and haven't really tucked in to reading it. I do want to learn his bread and add another arrow to my quiver. (Oh, cr*p! The metaphor jar spilled all over my keyboard!)

    Re the discarded starter I opened this topic with, that comes from the rather old fashioned way I was taught to make a starter. Get it to bubble. Cut it in half and feed it its weight. Cut it in half and feed it its weight. Once its established, feed it up well more than its weight to bake with, save half of the original weight and feed it.

    The rye starter just had a daily feeding and no discard, according to directions (unless I read them wrong), and it got all hoochy and hungry and started to die because it was getting less and less proportion of flour (50 g/day). So I left off new water, fed it a bunch of flour, got it stabilized, discarded, and saved a reasonable portion, tucked into the fridge, with its own weight again in new flour and water.

    If you don't chill starter, you have to feed it every day, and if you don't bake every day, you have to discard so it doesn't get huge. :)

    Re loaves, the clan is thinning out, but I grew up with feeding masses and still do hordes, so I'm used to making BIG batches. A basic batch of challah (we've been known to do double) is three large loaves, or six small. Same for the other breads and rolls I'm used to. Probably based on what the mixer could hold. :) I wouldn't even put a third of the challah recipe (not really possible, but in theory) in the glass mixing bowl I've been rising in. The loaves on these single recipes are definitely small.

    The great thing about these one boule or two small batard recipes I've been making, besides the fact that we really don't need more bread so would be filling the freezer, for me is precisely that it's so easy to knead by hand. I would never put a dough I didn't already know well into the dough hook (but I just have a KA Artisan--one of the bread oriented machines might be easier to judge). Now that you mention it, however, I've been kneading these small doughs more like I would pasta or pizza. :) Heel of the hand, fold and turn. Different from the way one kneads a full sized batch of bread. For the mixer, a half batch of pizza dough works fine, and by volume, that's like half of a single loaf recipe sized dough ball, so I'm definitely doing the Toscano in the mixer next time with no worries about the volume. I used to worry that the hook didn't draw through these stiffer doughs, but I guess it bashes them enough, because they do come out well stretched glutenous balls (my mother's words).

    I don't know if that's a decent response. I'm kind of loopy. :)

    So about your loaf? Acid of the germ? Not that Spanish + French = Italian is really true... What's it supposed to mean?
    When you say three rises, is that before shaping? My latest had that. No "until doubled" until the end. Rise for an hour, stretch and fold, repeat, rise for two hours, shape, rise to a quarter again of size. Or something like that. Is that the way yours is? Maybe it's the Italian way?

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It was two rises before shaping. First one in the bowl, then you fold the dough over itself to create a new round (deflates significantly in the process) and then you turn it to put the smooth surface on top again and let rise again -- so it doesn't leave the bowl between the first and second rise. Turn out and shape - just a gently folding and tucking again. then let rise on a floured surface. He gave times -- about three hours on the first, 1-1/2 on the second and an hour on the third.

    I'm not sure of the name exactly, but the notes say it is an adaptation (or influenced ) by Italians living in California with the native sourdough. Something like that. It was just mildly acidic. Used only 1/4 cup of starter, 1/4 cup white flour and 6 T whole wheat flour. in the sponge -- the rest of the flour added later is all white.

    I didn't grow up making bread or eating homemade bread., My mom's "homemade" was the rare occasion she bought frozen bread dough, thawed it and baked it. We loved it just the same. Sounds like you grew up learning from your mom. My learning bread baking, sourdough, jam making and canning, pasta making and such were all self-taught. My grandmother tried to teach me how to crochet, but gave up. I learned both crocheting and knitting on my own too.

    I'm more accustomed to the recipes that make two loaves (5-7 cups of flour range). I've never tried kneading a larger batch of dough that I can remember. Making just one seemed odd, though pizza dough is generally a smaller batch -- true. With both of the boys off to college, a single loaf may be more than we need sometimes. Ironic that now that I should have more time to bake, there won't be people around to eat it. :(

    I will probably order the Forkish book -- I almost did today.

    I need to get some sleep. DH has turned in and I have to get up in the morning and finish some stroopwafels he plans on taking with him in the morning. I'm too tired to stay up to do it tonight. See ya tomorrow.....

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

    Oh, cool! I had to look up stroopwafels--I've never seen or heard of them. Lascatx, I hope you got good sleep and got them finished in good order. The picture on Google looked yummy. :)

    I do get the irony of the now that they're gone there's time to do what they would have loved. But that's good testament to the kind of foundational good attention you gave your kids, when they needed it, that you were mothering them rather than concentrating on baking. :) I have friends who suffered with the latter kind of mom, whether it was baking or saving trees or whatever the passion was. [Elided long discourse on the baking my mother did not teach me, though she did teach me bread, challah, borekes, blintzes, cookies of all types and cakes of all rises--I am very fortunate in what she did teach me, and the good mothering she gave me. We did mostly have store/bakery bought on a daily basis, but did our own for holidays and occasions. I got to help with things like pie and piroshki, and the famous have-to-be-a-physical-laborer-to-eat-'em orange sticky buns, but never to the point of even journeyman knowledge.]

    The method for your bread sounds very familiar to me. It's not unlike my challah, other than the sourdough. On a cold day, with weak yeast, it can take three hours to rise double. In the Summer, with good yeast, it can be an hour or even less. Two bowl rises, the way you describe, then handle carefully shaping. So I'm wondering now if that's a California method I learned from my mother. :) The other breads I've made before this year were all single rises in the bowl (commercial yeast) and could handle getting beat up better. :)

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I did learn to cook and bake from my mom-- directly and indirectly. But she wasn't a bread baker. And my boys did get home baking and homemade birthday cakes, but I found myself doing less time demanding thing in recent years. Both boys were out of state for their birthdays this summer (18 and 21), so I mailed them each a cake. It was a simple sheet cake in a foil pan, but they and their friends loved them. In fact, just yesterday, I mailed the 18 yr old a box with all the dry ingredients and a bottle of homemade vanilla so he could make a cake for birthdays in the dorm. All three girls. And I bet they are cute. ;-) He learned that trick form his older brother.

    Assembled the stroopwafels this morning, but no other baking today. Mine don't look like the commercially made ones -- I start with the mini pizzelles (though I first made them larger because that's what I had) I sent them all off with DH to give to the lawyers he's meeting with. One of them had them last year and I planned to send her a package at Christmas, but it just didn't happen after my mom passed. I have these few that didn't fit into the bags.

    This post was edited by lascatx on Fri, Sep 5, 14 at 22:46

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog, I think that your whole wheat looks good. And I like the shape of it. I've never been a big fan of whole wheat breads, but now that I am making all my breads by hand, and I have a new store that will mill organic wheat for me, I think I might actually start playing around with whole wheat as well.

    Today's bread was started yesterday. I fed my sourdough rye mother and used the excess to make a biga (100% hydration). Done early in the morning so the biga was ready to go into a batch of dough last night. After the first rise, and another stretch and fold, it went into the fridge overnight. Taken out this morning at 5:30 and the bread was out of the oven by noon.

    1000 g white, 100 g rye, 500 g biga, 680g water, 3 g yeast and 26 g salt.

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

    Thanks, Ann! Whole wheat when it's good is unbelievably more delicious than white, and when it's bad it's like cardboard. :) Once you become accustomed to eating whole grain bread, though, white bread starts to taste like sugar. :) The local mill store sounds great!

    Thanks for the kind words about my loaf. :) Yours are always so pretty!! I'm going to have to start working on pretty. :)

    Sandwich report: An old favorite, barbecue chicken, smoked gouda and wild arugula with mayonnaise and honey habañero mustard, absolutely delicious. It's taking a very long time for this bread to stale! (...in a Ziploc.)

    Lascatx, the picture doesn't show. Is it on a private setting or something? I continue to admire the thoughtfulness of your baking. So kind of you to remember what the colleague likes and make it for her. And so clever to send kits off to college. You take nurturing to a higher level.

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hmmm. I see the photo of the stroopwafels and added it exactly as I did the pizza one. I don't know why you aren't seeing it. I deleted and reinserted it just in case that helped. If not -- well, they are the mini sized pizzelles with a thin layer of caramel sandwiched in between on a basic white plate -- nothing to get too excited about. ANd not made with sourdough.

    BTW, my last partial wheat sourdough really dried out too fast. I'm not sure if the bag got left open , but the end is going to become bread crumbs. I don't think I'll be baking much for the coming week or two. Though part of me has considered taking some of this time to try something I haven't had time for -- like croissants. I may reward myself if I make good progress on two other projects I already had planned. That could be fun. But I'd have to take them tot he fire station or something. I probably could eat them all. And then waddle to the airport to pick up DH. LOL

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

    That did the trick! On the photo. Thanks! It was worth your trouble. Lovely picture. :) Where there's this kind of fault, it does usually look okay on the local computer. If I'm doing important computer design, I always verify on other computers and other browsers since they all draw differently.

    Those are so pretty!! I love that you have two different designs. I also like the color contrast between the cookie and the caramel. The ones on Google looked appetizing, but the cookies were just brown waffle grids. I've pretty much given up eating cookies, but I do love to look at them. Yours are so pretty that I'm temped to go looking for my mother's pizzelle iron. :) (I have a shower type present to make with cookies in it to make.)

    ROTFL on the waddly croissants! I haven't made butter pastry in decades and now you have me drooling over the idea of unwinding a flaky, lacy croissant. Do you have good a/c? It's impossible to make croissants if it's hot. Maybe you should make them at the last minute and take them in a basket wrapped in a pretty (pre-treat liquid-proof) napkin and carry them winsomely to meet your DH? Coming home to lovely and loving you is surely a delightful thing, but to you and freshly baked croissants? That's an instagram that will leave his buddies--literally--drooling! (And help with the waddling issue...)

    I'm sorry to hear about your loaf. I had that happen a few weeks ago, and have saved it for bread pudding. I think mine might have been a bit over or a bit too hot, and maybe drier than it was supposed to be from the get. The problem with having an accurate oven is that a lot of recipes, including professional ones in books, were written for middle of the road ranges that never quite heat up. :)

    I think I need to name thread #3 "sourdough kaffeeklatsch" so people feel more comfortable discussing their other baking and etc.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Must read thread in Kitchens--must follow the links, too.

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    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......

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

    Thanks for all the great info, Lascatx. I haven't made caramel for eons, but I can see how important the recipe would be so that it would work well as the sandwich. OTOH, I wonder if I could get away with light corn syrup (which I have) and a dash of molasses (ditto) for flavor? I want to make them, if for no other reason than I'd get to say "stroopwafel" a lot. It's even more fun than "appelsap" (my one word from my very brief stay in the Netherlands).

    Yes, I'm from SoCal. It's been a very contrary Summer with a sunny August and less heat so far in Sept. That's sure to change, but it's nice. :) I should have asked if you have an a/c cooled kitchen, since, of course, you have a/c in general. I keep mine so my kitchen doesn't get above 80° without the oven on. I'd want it to be under 70° to make croissants. :)

    Your poor son won't know what hit him! I've never actually seen it snow more than a couple of flakes in the high desert, once. It seems kind of made up (which, I'm told, makes me one of the children of the king of Siam). OTOH, when I was mulling over graduate school applications from the coldest place I've ever lived (a different high desert), and shivering in three layers of warm clothes, I realized that even dreaming of MIT was totally useless. :) I'm such a lizard. If the sun doesn't shine and warm my blood, I don't move very fast...

    I need to bake bread, and am feeling uninspired. I think maybe it's time to learn to barbecue pizza. :)

  • lascatx
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    At least in theory, it should work to use light corn syrup and add molasses. Looked it up and foodsubs says 3 parts light corn syrup and 1 part molasses, so go for it! Just spread the caramel while it is warm and you can do a thin layer.

    I have yet to grill pizza -- it works so easily in the oven that I haven't wanted to stand out in the heat over a hotter grill. Ironically, I think it would be better when the weather gets cooker here. I was craving pizza yesterday and earlier today. I'm not sure that it's worth making it for one, but I'm not going to order our for one either. I have everything I'd need if I just make some dough for tomorrow......

    My copy of Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast came today. I really don't have a place for the added equipment, so I'm going to have to think about how to try this.

    And I'm with you -- I'll visit cold places, and for years have thought about spending Thanksgiving or Christmas somewhere that might have snow when my parents were no longer with us (which start this year), but I really have no desire to live there. Wool makes me itch. Even cashmere. No, he doesn't really know what would hit him.

    Tomorrow is supposed to be cookbook reorganizing day. Pizza would be a nice reward. :)

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

    Pizza is definitely a great reward for a hard day's work amidst the tomes!

    I think I'm going to whip some up too. Maybe I'll make big pizzas, instead of individuals and pretend I'm using less resources. :)

    I haven't grilled pizza either, and only have a little charcoal barbecue. Lars makes the Big Green Egg sound lovely (as did Igloochic years ago in Kitchens), but I'm not really an outdoors kind of cook. I thought it would be fun to do something like what Lars did, though, with the par-baked crusts and on the barbecue for a crowd. I could probably use the big lid from my college pots as a reflector. I have to figure out how to do it, first, though.

    I hadn't started reading yet, so opened up Forkish to look at the equipment. Leader's trick of lining a colander with a floured tea towel worked really well in place of a banneton. I really don't want to store a collection of bannetons, so that has me contemplating everything I have that'll work that way. :) I have a dough bucket from back when I started with Reinhart, in the stone age (okay, 6-8 years ago), but it's a pain to keep in the fridge. It holds a bit less than my bread bowl, but I never put that in the fridge (which is why I've been using the dough bucket even for smaller loaves, though I have a couple of smaller, square sided food containers which might work).

    I'm interested to see that Forkish also uses AP flour (11% protein).

    Since Forkish says the recipes are for single loaves, I wonder why he says it has to be a 12 quart bucket? I bet you could get away with 6 or 8, which is easier to get into the fridge. I haven't baked anything this Summer (other than the three loaf challah) that rose more than four quarts.

    Ann? Any opinion on the size of dough bucket needed for Forkish?

    Is there any other added equipment that I'm missing?

    I either have to make pizza dough already, or find a new sourdough to make. It should be the latter because I should probably feed. My apathy, I think, means I need variety. Actually, maybe I'll try the Leader pain au levain with half of the wheat flour whole wheat. Since it's a quarter whole rye anyway, that means only 3/8 would be white. :) I can definitely tell the difference when I eat partial whites. They have more of that candy taste and softness, and don't have the kind of satisfaction that I get from whole grains, that feels like I've eaten food. Yep. I should do that. And use my whole wheat levain starter. It'll be fun to see how perky it is. :) I think I'll try making a big batard, too, rather than two smaller ones. And add some vital wheat gluten. And maybe try an improvised banneton. :)

    You've inspired me, Lascatx! Thank you!

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog, I had been using just a cheap rectangular container with a lid, until this past week when I stopped in the restaurant supply store in Victoria and picked up a round container. It is actually a little deeper than what I need, but the rest of the size is perfect for mixing the dough by hand and doing the pinch and fold method. I'll take a picture of it for you when I get home from work.

    ~Ann

  • ann_t
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog, Mine is a 12 quart pail. And I think the reason that this bucket is the best size is because of its diameter. I looked at buckets that were not as tall, but then the whole bucket was smaller. If you are going to use the pinch and fold method you need the space to work. I do wish that the 12 quart was maybe two inches shorter.

    I cleared off one of the top shelves of my fridge and lowered it slightly to accommodate the bucket.

    Last night, I started my first batch of whole wheat bread using the pinch and fold method.

    I didn't look for a recipe, I just decided to wing it. I used fresh milled red fife organic wheat, 500g and 500g of my usual high protein white flour. I also added 80g of a homemade 11 multi grain mix, given to me by Pam, the owner of my favourite new store - Scoops Natural Foods.

    I added the multi grain mix to the water in the bucket and let it sit for 20 minutes before mixing in the flours. Left to rest (autolyze) for 30 minutes before mixing in the 4 g of yeast and 26 g of salt. Left to rest again for 20 minutes before finishing with the pinch and folds. I did three more folds over the next 60 minutes before placing the dough in the fridge for an overnight rise.

    I took the dough out of the fridge early this morning and it is now shaped into two rounds and is proofing. I'm going to bake the rounds in dutch ovens.

    If I like the whole wheat, my next batch will be a sourdough version. And I will play around with the ratios.

    What the dough looked like after one of its stretch and folds.


    And what it looked like this morning when I took it out of the fridge at 5:30 AM. Had risen to the 4 quart line.

    This is the container I had been using, which worked well, except, sometimes the dough would blow the lid off. That won't happen with the new bucket.

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

    Well, congrats on the new bucket, Ann!

    I see what you mean about the width. My three gallon dough bucket is taller and narrower, I think, which makes it easier to store in my fridge (it's tall and narrow, and I have a very tall shelf). My bread bowl is the perfect shape for manipulating dough, but it does not go in the fridge. There's no room. And it's too precious. I wouldn't want the Fibber McGee thing to push it out! I have a container like that, though, if I get into Forkish. I did a recipe awhile back that had folding, which I was able to do in my tall bucket, but I think it was a smaller amount of dough.

    So, Lascatx, if you're getting a dough bucket, get one like Ann's!

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

    Dang it! I started a new thread and totally forgot that there are no codes in Subjects! It's not worth trying to throw it away, though. And here I only called it that because it's so much fun saying troisième. Sigh.

    I put an introductory paragraph in for people who happen by, and named it a hybrid compromise, with both German and French so we have no contests between the bannetons and the brotforms.

    Sourdough & Baker's Kaffeeklatsch--la Troisième

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