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DianaM

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  1. My favourite flours come from 1847 Stone Milling. They freshly mill (on a stone mill from 1847) organic grains that they grow themselves, the flour is not bleached nor fortified. The flour is excellent, you just have to account for the fact that it's fresh and behaves a bit differently than even the ww you buy in the store. I think you'd love their Daily Bread flour - it is not labelled as whole wheat, but it is as dark as any ww (milled from red wheat) I've seen. I always buy that, their ww, and also the Daily Grind (their "AP" flour) - and this too is pretty dark. I used their kamut flour an
  2. I do it to maintain an increased rate of fermentation and to minimize the window when the culture is in a deflated, sub-optimal state. During that time, the acids build up and give the starter an alcoholic and acetic punch which I personally dislike (Smithy aptly called it "hoochy"). These flavours also transfer to the finished bread, and neither are flavours I am to achieve in the finished loaf. I'm going for a subtle lactic tang, sweetness and nuttiness from the whole grains, a toasted note from seeds etc. According to Tartine no.3, "two days before you want to make bread, feed
  3. Hi Soupcon, When your starter has reached maximum volume (at least double) it is ready for feeding. So yes, I think you should go on a 12-hour feeding routine at this point. I typically feed mine every 12 hours, I noticed it gives me the best breads as compared to 24h feedings. I use a ratio of 1:4:4 (starter : water : flour) and in the summer even 1:5:5, and my standard is 5 g starter to 20 g water and flour respectively. At this feeding schedule and ratio, it triples in volume in 6-8 hours depending on ambient temp. I'd wait a few more days before
  4. @Kerry Beal Kerry, where could I find a pullman pan that does not cost a fortune? I looked at amazon, they sell USA Pan pullmans in two sizes, but dang! They cost their weight in gold. It would not see very much use, but I'd like to try one for a high-percent rye loaf. Diana
  5. I've bookmarked a few of Sarah Owens's recipes from her book, and this is the first bread that I made, honeyed oat and spelt levain. It contains a good amount of large flake oats, and some wholegrain spelt flour, and this makes for a tighter crumb. The honey is just enough to offset the light sour and give another subtle flavour dimension the crust. If I hated sourdough, I feel this loaf would change my mind.
  6. Thank you, @cakewalk. Yes, that plunger got very light action, otherwise we too got dismembered animals. The flour is a mix; the bulk of it is large flake oats and raw buckwheat groats pulverized in the blender and mixed with almond meal, and there is also arrowroot starch to lighten things a bit. Recipe here.
  7. Host's note: this is part of a large topic that has been split into smaller segments to reduce the load on our servers. The previous segment may be found here: The Bread Topic (2015-2016). I've been trying to settle on a formula for a nice, basic, no frills sourdough which my friends (with zero interest in whole grains) can enjoy, and I think I've found my winner in a country white (10% w/g spelt) with 80% hydration. Mild, mild sourness despite the 12 hour cold proof. I want to try holding back some of the water to see if I can achieve better loft, but otherwise, I am happy
  8. How is the starter doing, @paulraphael? Sorry about my delay in responding, I hope my answer will still prove useful. I have Reinhart's book, and I love it for yeasted stuff, but for sourdough, I myself look elsewhere. How do you like your cookbooks? Dependable? Technical? Full of pictures? Modern? -clear and detailed information, dependable formulas and a quiet but contagious love for the craft of breadmaking - J. Hamelman's Bread. If I have a question about sourdough, it's the first reference I check. JH is the Bakery Director at King Arthur Flour
  9. Animal crackers for son. I love the challenge of baking *-free, so these are gluten-free, vegan, and made with unrefined sugars. Son didn't seem to mind.
  10. Olive levain from J. Hamelman's book, with some changes. Built yesterday, cold proofed, then baked today. I used a mix of Kalamata, salt-cured and regular black olives, and also added lemon zest and herbes de Provence. @DianaB I, too, stuggle with scoring. I scored the two loaves differently and learned what a dramatic effect it has on the final shape. These two are the same dough, same quantity (I weighed each), treated in the exact same way apart from scoring. The slices are from the loaf on the right. It must be my lucky day, I don't usually get a crumb like that.
  11. Thank you, @shain for your comment. I made some cinnamon rolls and, of course, more bread. The rolls are made entirely of spelt, I had some light spelt at the bottom of a bag nearing the best before date, and added some wholegrain spelt too. I subbed coconut oil for the butter, and coconut milk (from a carton) for regular (son's eczema is aggravated by dairy). It worked really well, fermentation went really fast, so either yeast looooves coconut, or the wholegrain spelt gave it a boost. Either way, bulk was 1 hour, and proofing took half hour. Oh, and added some chai spice i
  12. What is the hydration of your starter currently? And how long will you be gone? You can make a stiffer starter (dial down the hydration little by little if you keep it 100%) and after the last feed before you go, leave it out on the counter a little while to get it fermenting. Then you refrigerate it. Mine was ok after three weeks in the fridge like this. Because I love my starter very, very much I also made a "back-up copy" for the freezer. I dried it like in the link above, and then put it in a sealed bag in the freezer. I left it there for a year, and it was still v
  13. I've baked two batches of bread this past week, one was the pain au levain with whole wheat flour from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread," and the other a 66% rye sourdough pan loaf with caraway seeds. I loved both, for different reasons. The pain au levain could have used a bit more proofing, I think, judging by the look of the crumb. As for the rye, I was very happy with how it turned out, except that the dough was a bit too much for the pan. You can see how it "muffin-topped" instead of remaining below the rim of the pan to get a nice, neat loaf. I expected it to be much de
  14. Thank you, Franci! It was a very entertaining experience, although at the time it didn't seem so. To be honest, I expected the worst when the gas ran out (like gooey, raw bread) and I was pleasantly surprised by the crumb when I cut into it.
  15. I call this one Scorch Trials. It is a 100% wholegrain spelt sourdough pan loaf with walnuts (recipe from Josey Baker Bread). I mixed the leaven on Friday evening, and Saturday morning, when I needed to toast the walnuts, the oven would not start. Toasted the nuts on the bbq, and decided if the oven continued to misbehave, I'd bake the bread on the grill too. All attempts to resurrect the oven failed, so I preheated the grill and lay the bread inside with some trepidation. About 30-35 mins into the bake, the gas in the propane tank of the bbq ran out, and I watch
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