Blisters! Blisters! Crisp, crackly, blistered crust!

Blisters!

My experiment with sourdough starter feeding ended up with some of the best bread I have made yet. However, it wasn’t as sour/tangy as the last batch where I told you I feed the starter consistantly but at a lower ratio of fresh food to starter. This time I deliberately refreshed at a larger ratio of food to starter twice during the process. This sourdough baking is so much fun. Now I am narrowing down just how to get a great sour, and how to get a terrific crumb, but the crumb and flavor was better with the lower ratio and the crust was a definate winner with the higher ratio. So that means I still need to keep narrowing it down until I get a great mixture of both. That is what we are all shooting for, isn’t it?

Here are some assorted pictures of my basic white sourdough:

 

What more could I say?

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Just having fun baking sourdough

Summer’s trying to come to an end… I never REALLY got a Summer though. I think we had a total of maybe four or five days of weather that went above 80 degrees and most of that was during the week I was gone. Anyway, I am really excited! My hubby brought me home a box full of grains from the brewery. Malted and flaked grains and roasted too! So I have a box full of possibilities. I also purchased more flour grains. I got some winter hard red wheat berries, Spring hard red wheat berries(should be higher in protein than the winter variety),white hard wheat berries(the white berries look cool) and some more rye berries, they are all organic. I ground up some of all of them and have them sitting until needed. The hard white wheat berries are like the red berries but they have a white(really a tan color) color to the outer layer instead of a reddish color. I wonder if they can fool the reluctant whole wheat eaters into thinking there is more white flour than there really is. I have already used some of the Rye flakes in my Rye breads and they have really kept the bread moist for much longer. I poured boiling water over them and then used them as part of the preferment to bring out the flavor and break down the fiber.

new grains!

Well for all that I made more basic white sourdough for my last bake two days ago and have another batch ready to go for tomorrow. I have been using the  Electrolux mixer I bought and have found out that it does well if you know exactly how much flour to put in before autolyse( If you add more after it wont mix in). The mixer is pretty gentle on the dough and doesn’t seem to knead it as well as the Blendtec/K-tec mixer which is still my preferred mixer( Blendtec mixer ). I don’t have a Bosch to compare to but I wish I had one just to do the comparison as it has driven me nuts that no one out there will give a side by side comparison and reviews for the different home market mixers , especially someone who has experience with bread dough, especially sourdough (Not just a vendor who runs the motor and watches it spin with nothing in the bowl!). I am planning to purchase a new Blendtec mixer, I have two older K-tec mixers and I have an Electrolux mixer, which might work better for my needs if I got a dough hook for it istead of just the blade and turner which it has now. Hey Blendtec and Bosch… you want to donate one for the cause?? He he he he! I would be happy to do reviews!

Anyway to the important stuff… sourdough. Here are my loaves from two days ago (basic white):

Here is the boule:

White Boule

Closeup of the crust top:

closeup

another loaf

closeup

This one had a one slash down the middle, but it wanted to break out all over!

basic white

crumb taken outside

crumb pic taken inside

The dough was wonderful. It acted like the dough usually does when I make sure I feed the starter consistantly but not too much. It was a slow riser. This kind of feeding seems to slow down the dough for a better sour but it also really “pops” in the oven. The last proofing is not spectacular and you would wonder if you should put it into the oven yet, but you should and POP goes the dough , which fills it full of holes!

Serious Onion Rye Sourdough!

I am working on a new recipe for Onion Rye Sourdough that I have been calling Serious Onion Rye Sourdough because my hubby asked me to bake up some Onion Rye Sourdough, so I did, using a new technique, and it came out great….but…he claimed it wasn’t oniony enough. So he described in detail HOW much more oniony he wanted it and I increased the dried onion flakes, the granulated onion and I also chopped and carmelized up two large onions which I also added. Here are the results:

By the way, this Rye Sourdough was made using the Desem starter, I wanted to use the Danish Rye starter but it wasn’t fed and ready to go and the Desem starter was.

Serious Onion Rye Sourdough

Serious Onion Rye Loaf # 2

I also baked up one loaf in a regular bread pan for my son who doesn’t like crust (jeesh! Who wouldn’t like crust???).

Serious Onion Rye regular loaf

Here is a closeup of the crust on the hearth loaf:

Serious Onion Rye Crust

Here is a picture of the crumb:

Serious Onion Rye Crumb

You can’t really see the chopped, caramelized onions…too bad. This bread is soooo good!

It stayed fresh for several days unlike the white sourdoughs (I had to hide it to keep it several days).

 I only have one problem…hubby thought it could still use even more onion! So after two tries I am back to having to try again! Next time I will double (again)anything onion, and add lots more Caraway seeds. I wonder if they sell onion concentrate?? 🙂

Mmmmmm…Sourdough!

Crumb closeup of sourdough crustcloseup of sourdough crust

I had a stellar baking day today. I mixed up a batch of sourdough  yesterday using the Northwest Starter. I mixed up:

  •  2 cups starter at 166 % hydration (like thin pancake batter)
  • 3 & 1/3 cups water
  •  ten cups of flour
  •  1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  •  1/3 cup rye flour
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt (put in less for regular salt, about 4 teaspoons)

Mix this up (add salt after autolyse) and let it autolyse for 20 minutes. Then on low, mix dough for about 3 minutes. Let the dough bulk ferment for 4 – 6 hours. Shape. Refrigerate overnight and bake the next morning after it warms up and finishes proofing. Slash, steam, bake as usual at a hot temperature. More specific directions for baking sourdough is on my website. Here are some pictures:

one of three loaves of Northwest sourdoughone of three loaves of Northwest sourdough

two of three loaves of Northwest sourdough bread

three of three loaves of NW sourdough

Closeups of the crust:

crust

closeup of crust

crust

closeup of crust

More pictures of the loaves of basic white:

pictures of NW bread

All three loaves

Crumb:

Crumb

It is sooooo much fun to bake sourdough.  Just persist until you get it. 

Yea, you can bake this kind of bread too, try it!

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