Archive for the ‘bread’ Category


“extra-tangy” sourdough

February 11, 2012

we are told to be wary of non-corporate websites, things we haven’t heard of, for internet security reasons.

now, of course, it’s the corporate websites that are most likely to infect your computer with all kinds of sketchy tracking cookies.

with that warning, the recipe i’m using came from megacorporation king arthur flour. the website tries to install tracking cookies, according to my security add-on.

here is the link to the recipe, in case you too have a security add-on and can click “never for this site”

/end rant


1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
5 cups apf 5 c mixed whole wheat, buckwheat, powdered coconut, rye, and white unbleached bread flours
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons salt

Tips from our bakers
What makes the sour in sourdough bread? It’s a combination of lactic and acetic acids, created as the dough rises and ferments. Refrigerating the dough encourages the production of more acetic than lactic acid; and acetic acid is much the tangier of the two.


1) Combine the starter, water, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat vigorously.

2) Cover, and let rest at room temperature for 4 hours. Refrigerate overnight, for about 12 hours.

3) Add the remaining ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.

4) Allow the dough to rise in a covered bowl until it’s relaxed, smoothed out, and risen. Depending on the vigor of your starter, it may become REALLY puffy, as pictured; or it may just rise a bit. This can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. Understand this: sourdough bread (especially sourdough without added yeast) is as much art as science; everyone’s timetable will be different. So please allow yourself to go with the flow, and not treat this as an exact, to-the-minute process.

5) Gently divide the dough in half.

6) Gently shape the dough into two oval loaves, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 2 to 4 hours. Don’t worry if the loaves spread more than they rise; they’ll pick up once they hit the oven’s heat. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

7) Spray the loaves with lukewarm water.

8) Make two fairly deep horizontal slashes in each; a serrated bread knife, wielded firmly, works well here.

9) Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s a very deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.


edit 2/11

WOW! the texture of the dough is wonderful so far! i kicked it up with a bit of packages yeast. hope it rises fast; i have to leave for an event in a few hours…

decided to go with only one rise for rush-related reasons. it did rise pretty high, so here’s hoping it isn’t too dense. in at 3:30pm, done @ 3:50?

edit 2/14
good stuff! great texture to the dough. decent crumb, dense, sadly no holes in the crumb. definitely will be using this recipe again! win!


sourdough biscuits

February 10, 2012

what is up with my sourdough starters??? :(


modified this recipe slightly

Sourdough Biscuits
makes around 10 biscuits

2-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup lard, (yes, lard, the “most elegant fat you’ll ever meet”) cold and cut into chunks, or a mix of half lard and half cold/frozen butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
(ed: half a teaspoon of packaged yeast, since my starter is still weak)
1 cup sourdough starter, freshly fed a few hours earlier
up to 1 cup of milk
melted butter

In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients except the baking soda. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter (I use my fingers) cut in the lard (yes, lard. Don’t even try substituting shortening. Lard is where it’s at for flaky biscuits, pie crusts and tortillas. ) or lard and butter into the dry ingredients until it is mealy and the fat is in roughly pea-size pieces, evenly distributed throughout the flour. Add the starter and stir well.

Now, mix the baking soda with just a teaspoon or so of warm water. Add to the dough and stir well.

Then, add in just enough milk to make a biscuit dough. Biscuit dough should be quite sticky and just stick together. It should never be dry.

Dump biscuit dough onto a lightly floured surface, turning to lightly cover with flour and just barely, with your hands, push the dough together to form a rough rectangle. Gently press down until it is about an inch and a half depth.

I have made dozens and dozens of biscuits and have tried all kinds of techniques. I find that my biscuits are lighter and fluffier when I don’t overwork the dough, don’t flour too much and don’t use a rolling pin! The pressure from your hands is enough.

The dough should feel like a soft baby’s bottom.

Now, using a biscuit cutter, or even just a glass, dip the cutter into flour and then quickly cut the biscuits, making sure to have as little waste as possible between cuts. You can (and will be) reforming the dough to make more biscuits until the dough is used up, but the fluffiest, lightest, highest raising biscuits will be the ones that you cut from the first batch.

So try hard to get as many biscuits out of that first cutting as possible.

Why? Because biscuits are pastry and they become flaky through the interspersing of fat throughout the dough melting during baking and making layers. The more times you press the dough together, the more the fat pockets will disperse, the layers will flatten, and the biscuits will be denser. I’m sure someone, somewhere explained it more eloquently, but that is just how it works around here.

Place biscuits, touching, on a greased baking pan or 9″x13″ pan. Allow to rest and rise for about half to one hour.

Right before baking, baste the tops of the biscuits with melted butter (this was the secret at the Colonel’s, by the way) and bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30-35 minutes.


i will be the first to admit that i did not follow this by the letter. next time i will, because they definitely didn’t rise very much in the hour they hung out before being baked.

they are, of course, completely delicious and buttery even when dense and i’ll have no trouble eating all of them, especially when slathered in veggie gravy or leftover veggie stew.


jeremy’s pretzel poppers

February 10, 2012

me: i’d like to make pretzel bites.
jeremy: ok.

(days later)

jeremy: i made pretzel poppers.
me: what’s that?
jeremy: the thing you wanted to try?
me: i just meant small pretzels. what’s a pretzel popper?
jeremy: stuffed pretzels?

and jeremy presented…

pretzel poppers

make soft pretzel dough

rise dough

divide into roll-sized dough chunks

fill with some kind of flavorful filling that doesn’t have too high a water content – he used thick leftover tomato sauce and cheese (pizza pretzel poppers!) but also filled some with apple and cheese

rise again

bake as per usual


maybe they’re not “pretzels” per se since they’re not boiled, but the dense dough with coarse salt and sesame seeds sprinkled on top still has a pretzely texture.

they’re wonderful!

funny enough – he did make a few bite-sized pretzel pieces, which got hard by the next day and weren’t anything to write home about. good thing he misunderstood me, because his pretzel poppers are WAY better than my pretzel bites.


today’s sourdough

February 4, 2012

sponge – half-rye, half-white

added to two cups of white flour, a half-cup of whole-wheat flour, and a half-cup of buckwheat flour

followed this basic recipe, but added lots of other stuff like dried basil from the garden, black pepper, caraway seeds, sesame seeds, and even a small dash of kefir.

the trick? i used the dough hook on the food processor!

it’s WONDERFUL! the buckwheat flour is nutty, and the whole-wheat is hearty. one of my new favorite breads!


sourdough cornbread 2

January 28, 2012

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan liberally with shortening or butter. In a large mixing bowl, combine

1 C stone-ground yellow cornmeal

2 T sugar

1/4 C butter/oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 C scalded milk

Stir to dissolve butter and sugar. let cool until just warm. Blend in

1 C sourdough starter

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

Beat well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 425F for 30 – 35 minutes. Serve warm with butter and preserves. Makes 9 servings.

from here


i tried to make this recipe, and the dough came out so dry i thought there must be some major difference in the hydration of my sourdough starter. i searched online for another recipe and added the scalded milk (part scalded kefir, too).

now we’ll see!


9:21 pm
just popped it in the oven
it smells great, but the batter is REALLY wet

i’m suspicious


next day:

not bad! the batter was so wet, i wasn’t sure it would be good, but it’s decent! i added basil and cayenne. i’m still not satisfied, though. the texture wasn’t quite right. also, too much corn. stay tuned for sourdough cornbread 3.


sourdough cornbread

January 22, 2012

update 1/28:
no good. trying this one instead.


Sourdough Cornbread

1 cup sourdough starter
1/3 cup oil or butter
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup salt
1 cup cornmeal

Mix sourdough starter, egg and oil. Sift together dry ingredients. Add to sourdough mixture. Mix until well blended. Pour into an 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.


from southern living.


cajun three-pepper sourdough bread

January 22, 2012

Cajun Three-Pepper Bread (No-knead)

adapted from Peter Reinhart’s Brother Juniper’s Bread Book

3 cups bread flour
¼ cup uncooked polenta (grits, people, grits. sheesh.)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
1-1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Place dry ingredients (flour through salt) into a large bowl and mix well. Combine starter, Tabasco sauce and water and add to the dry ingredients. Stir and add in the garlic, bell pepper.and parsley.

Cover bowl with plastic at let sit at room temperature for 18 hours

After 18 hours turn dough onto well floured surface and gently flatten enough to fold dough back onto itself a couple times to form a roundish blob.

Cover blob with plastic or an inverted bowl and let rest 15 minutes.

Gently and quickly shape blob into an approximate ball and place in proofing basket or bowl.

Cover with a towel or bowl cover and let rise for 1-2 hours depending on room temperature.

Just before baking, slash the bread top to control cracking and lift the foil and dough into dutch oven preheated to 500F degrees. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Allow bread to cool completely before slicing and eating.


from breadtopia


wonder how to compensate for baking bread on crappy cookie sheets instead of in a dutch oven? just bake it at 350 and hope for the best? maybe i should look that up before i try this recipe? or will the dough be so wet with this no-knead style that it simply won’t work without a cast-iron or something else with sides?


sourdough bagels

January 22, 2012


1 cup fresh sourdough starter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup warm water (edit: with yeast dissolved in it)
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Combine all ingredients and knead until smooth. Let rise until
doubled in bulk. Divide into eight portions, and form each
into a smooth ball. Punch a hole in the center of each and
stretch evenly until about 3 or 4 inches across. Place on a
floured surface and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Boil the bagels (four at a time if the pot is large enough)
3 minutes on each side. Drain and place on a greased baking
sheet. Bake about 15 minutes at 450.


taken from this wonderful ex-mormon’s website. this guy hasn’t changed the design since 1998, but continues updating them even today. just one guy’s seventeen favorite sourdough recipes. i love it – simple, easy to read, completely unpretentious, and without the chronic narcissism and faux artistry of most recipe sites. you win, sir!


edit 1/24, 9:30pm, +2.5 hrs rising so far
it’s strange seeing the pockmarks where the coarse salt is killing the struggling yeast.

will be ready at 12:18. didn’t rise but the smallest bit. sourdough culture is not active enough to act on its own yet. that makes sense. wish i’d added just a pinch of packaged yeast. the rise was perceptible, so hopefully that’s enough to keep these from being completely inedibly dense. i was so hungry waiting for the things to rise that i cooked chicken and turnip greens and made a batch of yogurt during the waiting.

turned out edible, but WAY TOO DENSE. my baby sourdough culture wasn’t strong enough to rise such strong dough. also, this will be a great use for the dough hook once the food processor arrives, because that was the toughest dough i’ve ever kneaded. my arms were sore the next day. it was like kneading a baseball. next time, that 1/4 c water will be filled with yeast. they tasted ok; the texture was between bagel and doughydense. had to gnaw on them. still edible. definitely promising.


some notes on sourdough bread

January 22, 2012

I’m relatively new to bread, as you can probably tell by my recipes (by volume, not by weight) and wondered how to incorporate sourdough starter into recipes that don’t call for it.


sourdolady on thefreshloaf says:

The easiest way I have found to adapt a recipe without altering the ingredients too much is to take all of the liquid from the recipe, stir in 2 Tbsp. starter, add the same amount of flour as the liquid. Let this sit, covered, overnight (room temp.) Next day, continue by adding the rest of the ingredients, remembering that you already used the liquid and part of the flour. If your recipe calls for milk rather than water, use water but then stir in some dry milk powder after the overnight proofing is complete and then mix your dough.


buckwheat-rye sourdough

January 22, 2012

happy to have a starter again!

in celebration, i made my first sourdough of 2012.

this is a GREAT mix of flours. i highly recommend it!

i had a white flour sourdough starter, to which i added all rye for the sponge. i then added that to the white flour for the recipe, which i spiked with about 20% buckwheat flour.

nutty and flavorful without being dark and overwhelming.


tweaked this sourdough recipe a bit to allow for a bit of packaged yeast – the little starter is barely old enough to get a sponge going, and i figured the bread would need the boost. it definitely did. i thought it might not rise at first. in true sourdough form, though, it practically doubled in the oven and filled the place with an almost spicy-sour smell.

sensory overload!


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