Basic White with a difference update

Well it has been two days and I pulled out the loaf I was going to check to see if it were as stale as usual on day two. Here it is:

soft crumb

It certainly without a doubt had a softer crumb than usual for the basic white recipe. It was still great for a sandwich not just toast. So the addition of milk to the recipe and extra oil does seem to help keep the bread fresh longer.


Sourdough Bluecheese Pullapart Loaf

Today I am going to bake up Bluecheese Pullapart Loaves. Some people call it Bleu Cheese. I developed this recipe for sourdough, but I have memories of commercial yeast pullapart loaves my mother made when I was a child. I put the ingredients into the mixer, mixed just enough to bring the dough together minus the salt, and let rest for 15 minutes (autolysis).


 After resting, I added one more cup of flour. The dough is now smoother:


I let the dough raise four hours and since it was a smaller batch than half of the bowl, it was certainly doubled:


I poured out the dough, added the salt, and kneaded into a ball. Then I let the dough rest for five minutes. At that time I rolled out a rectangle and brushed on butter :

rolled out

I cut the rectangle into 16 pieces and sprinkled on about 5 ounces of crumbled blue cheese:

blue cheese

Using the pastry cutter, stack up each row of four and put the stack into the bread pan:


stack with cutter

When you are done placing all of the stacks into the bread pan it should look like this:

pan of bread

This recipe made two loaves:

two loaves

Here they are baked:

baked bread

baked loaf

crumb bluecheese

The crumb looks velvety and it is because it is covered with butter but there is a fine holey crumb when you tear a piece open. Well there you have it, my Sourdough Bluecheese Pullapart loaves.

Sourdough Biscuits (Scones)

I have a recipe that I have used for years for Sourdough Biscuits. The ingredients are usual, the mixing is not. As a matter of fact, if you don’t mix these biscuits the way the recipe directs, they won’t come out nearly as nice. It is usual to mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl and then combine them. That won’t exacty work for this recipe and I have tried it that way, it just doesn’t produce the right results.Here is where you can print off the recipe:

The wet ingredients are mixed together, the flour and salt are mixed together, but then the baking powder and soda are mixed into the wet ingredients, which foam up into a bubbly mass, and the dry ingredients are then quickly added and the dough is then turned out to make biscuits:

biscuit dough

The dough is kneaded for a very short time and kept somewhat sticky. Then cut:

cut biscuits

You can dip the biscuits in butter before placing on the cooking sheet. I didn’t do that this time, but it is a nice touch.

cooking sheet

You can see from the following picture how wet the dough is on the inside:

wet dough

I could have used a bit more flour under the dough as I did have trouble with it sticking.

Here are the finished biscuits:

finished biscuits

You can see in the picture that the dough got some great oven spring, however, the dough was not overly thick, to get mile high looking biscuits roll the dough even thicker and bake a little longer. These can also be griddled cooked for a wonderful treat.

Basic White with a difference

Today I started a basic white batch of sourdough bread. I have been putting in even a nominal amount of cracked wheat because I like the texture and added eye interest. I put only two tablespoons this time because I also wanted to try something a little different. After doing up the Sourdough Kaiser Rolls, I thought maybe I would add a little extra oil and some milk powder to a basic white recipe and see how it changes the crumb texture and the crust. I also want to see if it changes the logetivity of the shelf life. Now with my crew I often don’t get long lived bread but when I do, I notice that some of the breads go stale faster. White bread isn’t as bad a culprit as whole wheat bread on this point but white bread that isn’t eaten same or next day, does get stale pretty fast. The doughs with no oil or any other additions other than your basic flour, water, salt and starter, need to be eaten same day to be at their best. I know oil, milk, and the addition of egg yolk for the lecithin it contains, can extend the shelf life. I just thought I would see how much and what changes occur in the crumb/crust. Anyway, I have the boules almost ready to put to sleep, just needing their twist and a basket, and then I will report back tomorrow.

Here are the loaves baked up just this morning:

three loaves

Here is a picture of a loaf cut open:

cut loaf

Here is a closeup of the crumb:

crumb closeup

As you could well guess, I was pleasantly shocked by the success of the addition of the milk powder and extra oil. This was my regular basic recipe available on the recipe page of my website. The only difference is an addition of 2 Tablespoons of coarse cracked whole wheat meal, 4 Tablespoons of oil instead of two, and 1/3 cup dry milk powder. The crumb was soft but still chewy, and the crust was wonderful, it was a crisp crusty texture that shattered when you bit into it and you could taste the carmelization in the crust.

The proofing, baking and everything else was the same. Now to see how well the bread lasts. I have to hide a loaf to check this part out! Will get back with the results.

Update on the Kaiser Rolls

Okay, so I liked the Kaiser Rolls but I wished they were softer inside and not quite so dense. So I got to thinking of what I could do to the recipe to change those parameters that I didn’t like. I Did it!!! I added some milk and more oil and more water to make the hydration higher and …..yes! Here are the results:

closeup kaisers

Here is the interior crumb:

kaiser crumb

kaiser rolls basket

I forgot to lower the temperature because of the added milk so the first batch was a little dark, but I like them that way. I will post the recipe on the Northwest Yahoo forum and we will have a Kaiser challenge. Everyone can try out the recipe and have scrumptious sourdough Kaiser Rolls!! These really came out perfect, I am very happy!

Sourdough Kaiser Rolls

I decided to try out my luck with Sourdough Kaiser Rolls. Using Northwest Sourdough starter, I made up a sponge the night before and had a good vigorous sponge by morning. Then, in the morning I added the rest of the ingredients and proofed the dough for 2.5 hours at which time the dough doubled. Sponges usually proof faster as so much of the dough is really a starter. Also the house was warm with it starting at 72F degrees and it being 82F degrees when I baked. Here is the first proof at 10:30 a.m. after 2.5 hours of proofing:

first proof

Then I knocked down the dough and let it proof again for 1.5 hours. It had doubled. I then poured out the dough, added the salt, and kneaded a few times. I let the ball rest and then cut it into 18 pieces at 4 ounces each:

dough cut

I then formed the pieces into balls:

dough balls

I then rolled out the balls into a rope about 12 inches long:


Then you tie the dough into a knot:


Then take the left side end and push it through the hole in the middle:


Next take the right hand side end and fold it under the roll:

knotting under


I have another way to shape Kaisers, but it didn't turn out well for this recipe:

second way



Like I said, it did not work well for this recipe and the rolls made the second way looked like plain rolls. I prefer the first way because I think it looks better. When you are shaping the rolls the first way, you have to be sure the rope is coated with enough flour not to stick to itself:


Notice how the roll on the left isn't as nice as the one on the right which was coated with enough flour (lightly) so it wouldn't stick to itself.

all of them

I have the rolls finished and I have more pics to take, I will finish up later.

Here are the rolls glazed with egg wash and then sprinkled with Poppy seeds:


I found that final proofing with these Kaiser rolls was very critical. The first batch went in after 1 hour and 20 minutes rise. They are on the extreme right. The second batch was the Kaiser rolls I formed the way that I did not prefer, they were proofed 1 hour and 40 minutes. They are in the middle. The last batch were proofed 2 hours. They are on the left. They were almost perfect, but I think they would have been perfect at 2.5 hours. My dough was proofing so fast today that it was hard for me to determine the proofing. Here they are:

proofing times

Here is a basket of the finished rolls:

basket of kaisers

The third batch came out crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, but not as soft as I would like. I will add an addition amount of oil and part milk to my next try to see if I can't get them perfect. I certainly learned a lot about baking Kaiser Rolls. I think I might try a one day batch next time instead of a sponge. Happy Baking!

Aussie Light Wheat Flaxseed Loaf

I made up some Aussie Light Wheat Flaxseed Loaf for the Recipe Folder but I haven't got the Raisin Bread or the Aussie Flaxseed loaf into html format yet. The flaxseed in the light wheat bread works out terrific, it has a nutty taste and is nice and chewy. The crumb isn't as open as the other kinds of bread, and it takes a little longer to proof, I think the seeds inhibit enzymes somewhat like we were talking about for the malt and cornmeal. However the longer proof seems to bring out the flavor, so it is a good tradeoff. Here is a picture of a boule ready to put into it's basket:


Here is a loaf baked:

baked boule

Here are all three loaves:

three loaves

Here is a picture of the crumb:


 Doesn't this bread look like Rye? It is a light wheat with mostly white bread flour and there is 1/2 cup of flaxseed in the recipe.

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