Monthly Archives: September 2017

Wild Naan for Sourdough September

go directly to the recipe

Sourdough September summary: recipe revision for naan using natural starter instead of commercial yeast; converting a recipe calling for commercial yeast into one using wild yeast; brief history of commercial yeast; another project for Sourdough September

Sourdough September 2017 On Thursday, with two more days left in September, we realized I could bake one more batch of wild bread this month.

Because these organisms [the ideal types of yeast for sourdoughs] always grow on the outside of a fruit or grain, whole grain flours containing the bran will have a much higher microflora count than will white flours, which have very little bran. […] [A] sourdough starter made with white flour will be slower to develop than would one made with whole-grain flour. – Maggie Glezer, “Unraveling Sourdough”, Artisan Baking Across America

Aha! I KNEW there was a good reason that I have insisted on using whole wheat flour to create and feed our starter!

And it is lovely and active. So, naturally (no pun intended), we want to use it to make bread! Because, after all, people were making bread long before jars of commercial yeast were readily available to the general public. And, of course, people continued to make lovely bread without commercial yeast after that time as well.

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Wild Bread Notes (or… KISS)

Sourdough September summary: importance of the float test for the levain; scheduling; disregarding advice from some experts; KISS; it’s Sourdough September

The baker’s skill in managing fermentation, not the type of oven used, is what makes good bread. – Chad Robertson

It’s so thrilling that I have finally been able to embrace baking with wild yeast! And the three essential things I learned this summer are:

  1. Don’t be afraid.
  2. Put a hat on the bread for the first half of the baking time.
  3. Make sure the starter floats.

Yesterday, when it was 30C outside, it was really hard to believe that it was the end of September. But today, with the outdoor temperature mercifully at the correct level (around 16C), the following note from BREAD magazine isn’t so difficult to fathom.

This is the last week of Sourdough September! I hope you’ve developed a real taste for it and will continue on nurturing your starters in October and beyond. Basically, once you get into the rhythm of maintaining one, making bread with it is just a matter of finding a schedule that suits you.
Personally, I’m a firm believer in making your dough do the work while you sleep — overnight fermentation is a cool way of developing flavor to your bread and allowing the yeasts to eat the sugars in your dough whilst you rest!
-BREAD Magazine Update, 24 September 2017

We’ll definitely be continuing to use the Mason starter bubbling away happily in the fridge. I’m really interested to see how it will act as the kitchen temperature drops when autumn really sets in. I’m also very excited about using it for making naan, focaccia, fougasse, etc. etc.

Here are the resulting loaves from this month of “Sourdough September” (I would have baked more, but our freezer isn’t large enough….):

BBB Swiss RyeTartine BreadTartine Bread
BBB Swiss Rye, 10% whole wheat, 70% sifted whole wheat
Tartine BreadTartine Bread
50% sifted whole wheat, 25% sifted whole wheat

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How do you like them apples?

Not Far From the Treesummary: stir-fried vegetables with apples and raisins; cauliflower greens; grilled chicken; picking apples for Not Far From the Tree; overgrown gardens; curly hair and burrs; calling in the professionals; heroic hair stylists; information about Not Far From the Tree;

stir-fry It hasn’t been easy to get in on Not Far From the Tree picks this year. So the other day, I was very happy to be on a team to pick apples. The tree was on the edge of a lovely clean patio that bordered onto an unused wildly overgrown parking pad (which bordered onto a public park). The tree wasn’t giant but it was laden with fruit and many of the apples were within reach – with the help of a couple of ladders….

For the first hour, I was on the shed roof. Then, I joined one of the other pickers in the wildly overgrown area to spot her as she climbed one of the taller ladders. One of the things that happens, once you get up into the tree, is that you can’t see the apples (I tried to play on “can’t see the forest for the trees” but just don’t feel clever enough to manage it). So I looked up and guided her to where the fruit was. Little realizing that every time I looked up, my loosely braided hair was falling into burrs. Zillions of burrs. Thank goodness I was wearing a baseball hat!

When we emerged onto the patio, the others pulled burrs off our clothes and without any difficulty at all from the other woman’s straight chin length hair.

Things didn’t go so well for my hair…. (continue reading )

Bread for Cousins’ Day

Sourdough September summary: in praise non-sour sourdough wild bread; planning ahead; working with Jane Mason levain; what to do with all that extra starter; it’s Sourdough September

Apparently, it’s Sourdough September in the UK. I learned about it from BREAD Magazine’s “Dough Wizards” newsletter.

But for us, I think that we will be still be celebrating Sourdough in October, November, December, January, February, etc. etc.

Of course, we do NOT call our bread Sourdough. Because it isn’t at all sour. We’re so thrilled about the bread that we want everyone to be able to taste it.

We cannot get over just how wonderful our wild bread is, ever since we embraced using Jane Mason’s starter and Chad Robertson’s mixing/kneading/shaping/baking method.

Tartine Bread

Last week, one of my sisters who lives on the west coast visited. We took the opportunity to invite ourselves to spend the weekend at our cousin’s house in Vineland. Everyone from our family who was in the vicinity descended on my cousin and cousin-in-law. (continue reading )

Almost-wild Very (very) Light Rye (BBB September 2017)

go directly to the recipe

Bread Baking Babes September 2017summary: BBB Swiss Rye Ring (and boule) based on a recipe by Stanley Ginsberg; trying to use wild yeast instead of commercial yeast; creating a rye starter using Jane Mason’s method; creating scary rye alcohol in solid brick-like form; ears! we see ears; a Bread Baking Babes project;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) September 2017: Swiss Rye Ring

BBB Swiss Rye Ring What?!!!! They want me to make a rye starter now??? :stomp:

At least that’s what Stanley Ginsberg’s (The Rye Baker) recipe says. He based the recipe on a recipe at Bernd’s Bakery:

Eine kleine Schwierigkeit stellt hier der Zeitpunkt der Stückgare dar – es sollte nur eine kurze Gare durchgeführt werden um noch ausreichend Ofentrieb zu haben. Da ich aber wilde Hefe aus Hefewasser verwende, galt es hier die Zeit abweichend zu ermitteln. Ich bin noch nicht ganz zufrieden – es hätte noch 10 Minuten haben können. Das Brot ist köstlich und dringend zum Nachbacken empfohlen. Es sieht gut aus, hat eine feine und sehr lockere Krume und eignet sich durch seinen kleinen Querschnitt hervorragen für kleine Häppchen – bevorzugt mit Alpkäse und Trockenfleisch. A small difficulty here is the right timing for the final proof – it should only be a short final proof to have sufficient oven spring. But since I’m using wild yeast made from yeast water, i had to find out the correct timing. I’m still not quite satisfied – it could have been 10 minutes more. The bread is delicious and highly recommended for baking. It looks good, has a very fine and fluffy crumb and is due to its small cross section for excellent appetizers – preferably with Swiss mountain cheese and dried meat.
– Bernd, Bernd’s Bakery
You’re the director of your sourdough, with the starter + flour ‘actors of sorts’, ingredients you can guide but never entirely predict.
– Dan Lepard, Twitter, 20 July 2017

Okay. Let’s say that Dan Lepard is right!! I am the director. :-)

And Jane Mason does say that it takes just 5 days to create a starter. So. Armed with Jane Mason’s charts, I got out the rye flour and forged ahead. (continue reading )