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I have two batches of sourdough bubbling on my counter. One is a sweet Herman starter, or friendship bread starter, and a regular traditional starter. My traditional starter seems ready, it quadrupald in size after feeding it this morning. I think I will try and bake some bread tomorrow. If this turns out I will be so excited. Anybody have any experience, tips and tricks to share?
Think about that for a second. Imagine an alien being large enough to actually consume such a sandwich. And would said being really want the contents of said sandwich? Wouldn't it really need a huge helping of condiments? "There isn't enough plutonium in existence that would make me want to eat that!" Just sayin...
Okay, we're up to day three of Thanksgiving prep. Let's make some cornbread for the dressing. I was losing the light and couldn't get a good shot of the batter, so here it is in the oven: You'll have to wait till the next post to see it transformed into cornbread dressing. Okay, next up is some French bread rolls: Please note that my container for wheat gluten is an old yogurt container. Fancy! Since we are working with wheat, here's a shot of the wheatberries before they took a spin in my grain mill: That's hard red wheatberries on the left and soft white wheatberries on the right. After a few minutes in the grain mill ( please wear ear protection!), You get this: Hard red flour is again on the left and soft white flour Is on the right. Because these flours are whole grain, it's best to only grind what you need for a recipe, or store the flour in the freezer. My shoulders balk at too much kneading, so I'm going to use the dough cycle on my bread machine to make the dough and do the first rise and punch down. Ugly dough, huh? After shaping, rising, and baking, you get this: True confession time: I forgot to grease or line the baking sheet with parchment , so these stuck to the pan. I carefully arranged them so you couldn't see the raggedy bottoms. Day three is over, what will tomorrow bring?
Hi everyone, sorry for the delay but I got a busy weekend and then got sidetracked and fell into the Bergey's rabbit hole. However, as promised here is the recipe for the ciabatta bread. It's a food with an unusual story. Italian food often is a result of centuries of tradition, this is especially true for breads. Ciabatta bread is an exception, it "was born" in 1982 in Adria, a town in Veneto, thanks to a great baker. It is renown for being crunchy and with tipically big "holes" inside, given by the high hydration of the dough. This is a slice This recipe is my personal adaptation of the original one that's too complicated for me to do at home. I have to make a premise though. I've always hated this bread, too crunchy IMHO, I tried to do it only because my mother asked me, it's her favourite bread. I made a starter with 50gr sourdough, 200gr water and 150gr of strong (high protein, high gluten) flour. It needs to rest at 21-22ºC for 12-13 hours. After that I diluted the starter with 274gr of warm (28ºC) water stirring slowly, then I added a teaspoon of honey, 517gr of strong flour and 13gr of salt as last. This was a very messy dough, the water percentage is 80% of the flour, quite high and the result is a very sticky dough. I kneaded it making folds and beating it on the table (and cursing) for 10 minutes, when I noticed a good improvement in consistency .I put it in an oiled bowl to rest in a warm place for 3hours. Even if the mere thought made me curse, I forced myself to turn the dough and fold it on itself once during the 3 hours. Then I divided the dough in 2 parts, took one, folded it on itself and put it on a heavily floured plastic foil giving it the form. Then I put a good amount of flour on top of the boulage and grabbing it from the bottom, hhelping myself with the plastics foil, I put it on the oven plate covered with parchment paper. I repeated the process with the other half. I covered the boulages with the plastic foil and let it rest for other 2 hours in the oven slighly warm. Then I cooked it at 230ºC for 15 minutes and other 20 minutes at 200ºC. It's important to put a bowl of water in the oven and take it away when you lower the temperature, also, to make it crunchy, keep the oven's door slightly open for the last 10 minutes (or more of you like). When I put it in the oven I swore that it was yhe first and last time I did it. But when later I tasted it I changed my mind. It's too delicious, totally worth the big trouble doing it.
Today, probably as many of you, I felt the need to do something normal to forget that the world can be a shitty place. Creating something, especially food, with my hands helps me to foster hope, with busy hands it's easier to fight fear. I made common bread, bread with walnuts and dried grapes, ciabatte and arab bread. I'll post all the recipes in the next days, promised. Since I am a bit tired I'm posting only about the bread with walnuts and dried grapes. The recipe is the same as for the common bread and you find it here. The difference is that to the ingredients you add a couple of teaspoons of honey and, once you have started kneading, you can add 250gr of dried grapes (already lsoaked in hot water, then squeezed and dried with a towel) and some roughly cut walnuts. Let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours and a half. Then form three boulages carefully folding the pieces of dough on themselves and let them rest on a wooden surface for 15/30 minutes till they relax. Folding again the boulages give them the final form. Let them rest in a warm place covered with a plastic sheet for an hour then take away the sheet and turn on the oven putting inside a bowl of water. After another half an hour cut the bread and cook it for 30 minutes at 230ºC and then lower the temperature at 180ºC for other 15 minutes. And this is it. It's one of my favourite comfort foods, I usually slice the loaves and freeze the surplus so it's ready for when I need it. Wishing peace for everyone.
I'm baking 2 Ukrainian paskas for Easter right now - I'm not religious anymore, but baking paska is a time-honoured tradition, and bread-baking is something I really enjoy. Also, bread is a really photogenic and beautiful thing. Here's some of my more attractive Easter paskas baked over the years: Fingers crossed that this year's editions turn out as well! Any other hobbyist bread-bakers around? I'm pretty sure that there are, based on my perusal of the recipe thread...