Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rowena Nessa and jan 23rd loaf 1 of 2

Rowena Nessa and jan 23rd loaf 1 of 2

Monday, January 14, 2013

20 rye 20 whole wheat


20 rye 20 whole wheat, originally uploaded by Urijamjari.

20 rye 20 whole wheat

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sourdough starter

You will need to begin every loaf of sourdough bread you ever bake with this starter or one just like it, so, you might as well take the time to do it right. Active time: 20 minutes Elapsed time: 4 to 10 days Ingredients: Whole grain Rye flour (all flours should preferably be stone ground and organic) Whole wheat flour White unbleached all purpose or bread flour Water Day 1: Place 5g rye flour, 5g whole wheat flour and 5g white flour into a small or medium sized non-metal bowl. Mix flours well with 10g water and let sit loosely covered at room temperature (16 to 26 Celsius) for 24 hours. Place the starter away from draughts in a cozy place where it won't get disturbed. If you don't have a scale use 1 teaspoon each of the 3 flours and 2 teaspoons of water. Then go shopping for a digital scale while you wait 24 hours for your starter to start. Once you begin baking you will discover that a 600g loaf of bread actually costs $0.70 or less to make at home so you will recoup the cost of your scale in short order even if you only bake once a month. Costco sells a decent Polder scale for $20 and even Safeway carries a digital scale for $30 or less. You'll find the scale makes things more convenient and takes a great deal of uncertainty out of your baking. Day 2: Stir the starter. There may be no activity at all or you might notice some bubbles and a slightly sweet or vinegary smell. Add the same amount of all three flours (5g each) once again and 10g more water. Stir well. Replace the loose cover and restore your starter to a place where the temperature will remain at a comfortable room temperature. The reason I recommend stone ground flours is that they may be a good source of natural or 'wild' yeast. In addition the air in your kitchen, the air just outside your door or even some of the microbes on your skin may be exactly the thing you want to cultivate in your starter so don't sterilize everything in your kitchen, and you might even find that it's a good idea to take a stroll through your yard with a tea towel over your starter (to prevent dirt or insects from getting in). Day 3: Stir the starter well. Smell and taste your starter. There should be a hint of overripe fruit or a slightly acidic vinegar or alcohol scent or flavour. You should notice bubbles and if you lift a spoonful of the batter-like mixture you might notice some string-like structures stretching out of the batter. Add 10g water. The water should bubble and cloud up immediately. Add 30g of the three flours (10g of each flour) and 10g of water. Stir well and knead when your spoon breaks (or just forget about the spoon and knead these ingredients together well). Total hydration by baker's percent of your starter should now be 50%. Form the dough into a ball and take note of its dimensions. Make a mark on the bowl or measure it with a ruler. Keep the starter at room temperature for 24 hours or until it doubles in size. Day 4 / or 4th feeding: Once the starter has doubled or on the fourth day (if it hasn't grown noticably) feed the starter 15g water (watch to see the water clouding up and the bubbles ... These are indications that the yeast is working) and 30g more of the three flours (10g each). If your starter hasn't grown noticeably continue feeding the same amounts until day 10. If the starter hasn't doubled and started smelling like a wondrous new fruit with a heavy or delicate overripe or very ripe nose by day 10 put it in the compost and start with new flours or in a different location of your house. If your starter is alive feed it Everytime it doubles in size but if your bowl is overflowing share your starter with a friend ... Make pancakes or for goodness sake bake a loaf of bread! 1st loaf! Test: Take a small pinch of your starter and put it into a medium bowl with 50g of tepid water. If the starter floats it is ready to make your bread rise! Take note of the smell and taste as well as texture to help you recognize its readiness in the future. 1st feed: Measure 100g of starter into the water and add 20g rye, 20g whole wheat and 60g bread flour (or all purpose flour will do fine). Knead your dough for a few minutes until well mixed. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 12 hours (4-6 hours at 30C to 36C if you are in a hurry). 2nd feed: make sure your dough has expanded at least double before you commit to this next step. Add 180g tepid water. Don't be concerned if the dough doesn't float at this point. Add 60g rye, 60g whole wheat and 180g white bread flour. Knead until well mixed and allow to double. This could take 6 or 10 or 12 hours ... Monitor your dough so you can find out how quickly or slowly your sourdough works. 3rd feed and shaping: once your dough has doubled you want to be sure your sourdough is now active so place some water in a bowl andd see if a bit of the dough will float. If the dough doesn't float wait for 2 hours and test it again. Once a bit of the dough floats proceed. Pour 480g tepid water into your bowl with the dough. Make sure it floats, prodding it to loosen its grip on the bowl sides. Now break up the dough and mix it in the water well with your hands. Add 180g rye, 180g whole wheat and 240g white bread flour. Knead well for a few minutes. Do not add any additional flour. Use a dough knife to scrape it off the counter and don't worry about cleaning your hands. Once the dough is thoroughly mixed cover it with plastic and let it sit (amylase) for 30 to 45 minutes. Cut 100g of dough out to use as a starter for your next loaf and add 20g flour to this starter. Use the flour to help clean off your hands and knead as much as you can into the starter. Place the starter in a small covered bowl into the fridge for upto 7 days. Flatten out the dough and add 16g salt. Knead well. At first you will find the dough tearing apart and losing its skin but it will soon come together. Knead for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not add flour to the counter or your hands just use your dough knife to scrape it off the counter every 10 to 20 strokes. After about 5 to 10 minutes the dough will be much less sticky. Take a little extra flour to clean off your hands (10g) and incorporate into the dough. Once the dough passes the window pane test cut into 2 loaves of equal weight and shape them without using extra flour if possible. Place into well floured baskets (rye flour works well). Let rise for 4 to 8 hours and bake at 450F for 35 to 40 minutes. Eat after they have cooled for 1 hour. More later!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Added 600g flour and 480g water.

Super sticky but it won't last. This dough is already 18 to 24 hours old not including the 200g of starter in there which is the same age as my youngest daughter (3 months).

5 minutes of kneading without adding flour to hands or counter.

This is very wet. I use the dough knife in the background on the board ever 10 strokes or so to make sure the dough is getting an even knead.

Rested the dough for 15 minutes.

Removed 100g sourdough starter. Added 10g flour to starter and placed in fridge. Added 10g flour to the dough to clean the counter.

Added 20 g salt.


Added 20 g salt., originally uploaded by Urijamjari.

Sometimes I forget to take out the starter before adding the salt. This doesn't seem to have affected the starter negatively.

Kneaded for 4 minutes


Kneaded for 4 minutes, originally uploaded by Urijamjari.

At this point the salt is definitely all mixed in and the dough gets easier to work with.

Kneaded for 20 minutes


Kneaded for 20 minutes, originally uploaded by Urijamjari.

The difference in texture is very obvious here.

Kneaded for 6 additional minutes

My arms are getting tired but it's wonderful to watch this dough develop.

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