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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely! A pre-ferment is the ONLY way to go!

Do you use a bread machine? I do for the dough portion. Then I hand shape and bake in my oven which sports a couple of terra cotta "stones".
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Deborah



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 12
Location: San Diego, CA USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a bread machine. I use a Kitchen Aid Mixer for most of the kneading. When the dough is almost finished, I take it out of the Kitchen Aid and finish kneading it by hand. Sometimes if I'm in the mood, I knead it entirely by hand. I also use SAF-Instant yeast, I always get good results with it.
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Shanti



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Duluth, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello and Welcome Deborah and Rai!

Hooray! Bread baking! I have been avidly baking bread now for the last 2 years. During the Fall/Winter/Spring I was making about 4 loaves a month. I love to bake just about any kind of bread and I hope to expand into sourdoughs (sadly, I managed to kill a starter that was given to me last year. Embarassed Though to be honest, I think it may have had problems before I got it)

I also do what Deborah does - inital mixing in the KA, then the rest by hand. I have a huge baking stone that I use just for bread.

Deborah, Rainey, do you have particular bread books/recipes you like to follow or do you do it "freestyle"?
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, truth time here: I haven't baked much bread in the last 2 years since I've been on a low carb diet and can't resist the bread I bake.

But, when I do get to bake, I like to try recipes. I have a favorite: http://kingarthurflour.com/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/46932. This makes a wonderful, basic country-style boule. If you bake regularly, you can just pull off a handful of "old dough" to use as your sponge for subsequent baking. Old dough is also an easy way to get a sourdough starter going. When I baked regularly I also mixed up a tub of the mixed flours/grains for the sponge and kept it in the freezer so all I had to do was measure out one unit of dry ingredients.

Besides that one, the King Arthur site is a GREAT place for all sorts of baking recipes.

Altho that rustic loaf was my "go to" recipe, I really like trying various flavors and textures. Another favorite source is Amy Scherber & Toy Kim Dupree's Amy's Bread. In that book there's a wonderful recipe for a semolina bread that has a lovely yellow color and a vaguely buttery flavor and a baguette made with whole wheat, walnuts and wheat berries that is HEAVEN spread with triple cream cheese!

I have lots of bread making cookbooks that key in on the artisinal style breads. Each one helps me understand the process and expands my horizons. I use recipes from each but I also have learned that there's a tremendous amount of information I can ignore as I like (I have NEVER taken the temperature of ANYTHING and usually mix my yeast dry with my dry ingredients) and that I can substitute grains and flavors like crazy so long as I let the feel of the dough guide me.
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Deborah



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 12
Location: San Diego, CA USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Shanti,
A good book that I use is Baking with Julia. It is Julia Child book from a PBS series that featured "America's best bakers." (That's what the book jacket says.) One of my favorite recipes in the book is Mixed-Starter bread. It is time comsuming but excellent. It is A Joe Ortiz recipe.

The bread section is divided into three areas: Daily Loaves, Artisinal Breads and Flat Breads; and there is a sweet bread section as well. I use it alot, and the photographs are beautiful.

I always use King Arthur flour because the AP flour sold in California from the other flour companies is milled to have a lower gluten content. I guess they figure the the demographics indicate that people in Southern California are generally viewed as the type that would not bake bread. King Arthur has a bread flour which is very good, as well as a white wheat which I have used as well.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bake a lot of focaccia style bread but am interested in having a go at sour dough. Any simple recipes you could post for first timers? Actually now we have so many members witht their own blogs this could become a meme one month!
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Barbara
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deborah wrote:
I always use King Arthur flour because the AP flour sold in California from the other flour companies is milled to have a lower gluten content. I guess they figure the the demographics indicate that people in Southern California are generally viewed as the type that would not bake bread. King Arthur has a bread flour which is very good, as well as a white wheat which I have used as well.


Ever go to one of the KA baking seminars they have a traveling team conduct? I have gone and tried to convince them that they're REALLY missing a market by not opening a West Coast location. Not only would they be in a position to tap into our "foodie" population but they'd have a distribution center that would make shipping much more affordable to half the country and boost their catalogue sales as well, I'm sure.

Perhaps if they heard this from other people on the West Coast, they'd start taking it seriously.

I also like their white whole wheat flour.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
I bake a lot of focaccia style bread but am interested in having a go at sour dough. Any simple recipes you could post for first timers?


Try this simple one from Rustic European Breads from your Bread Machine by Linda West Eckhardt and Diana Collingwood Butts:

Yogurt Starter

• 1 C 2% milk
• 3 Tbs. plain nonfat yogurt
• I cup organic bread flour

Place the milk in a 2-Cup glass measure and heat it in the microwave to 100 degrees F, about 45 seconds at 100% power or on the stove top in a small pan until warm. Stir in the yogurt, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the warmest place in our kitchen, ideally about 80 degrees F. Let the mixture stand until it forms a curd and doesn't readily pour, about 24 hrs., then stir in the flour. Whip it with a fork to both combine and aerate the mixture, then re-cover and let it stand until the mixture is full of bubbles and has a good sour smell, from 2-5 days. If a clear liquid separates out, stir it back in; if the liquid is PINK, throw out the starter and begin again. The pink color means you have captured undesirable airborne bacilli, airborne pathogens that have spoiled your starter.

If you don't use your starter within 3-4 days, feed it with 1/2 C of flour and 1/4 C of milk so that the yeast and molds will have a new supply of food to keep them alive. Cover and leave out in the warm kitchen overnight or until the starter is bubbly and light. Once the starter is made and bubbly, store it in the refrigerator.

Rainey's note: When you get an active starter going, it's a good idea to take a 1/4 C of it and smear it on a piece of plastic wrap or a silicone mat and let it dehydrate. When it's dry, crumble it up and put it in an airtight container. If your starter ever fails, you cam get a headstart on a new one. Just re-hydrate it and let it sit for 24 hrs. Then feed as you would any starter and bake with it.

Classic Bread Machine Sourdough Bread

Regardless of which starter you chose, you can make a loaf of sourdough bread successfully in a bread machine*. We've suggested a booster of bread machine yeast, just for insurance. If your starter is cold from the refrigerator, warm it to room temperature by placing it in the microwave for 10 seconds. For best results, use organic bread flour and spring water at room temperature.

(NOTE: amounts in parenthesis make a 1 1/2 pound loaf, smaller amounts make a 1 pound loaf)

• 2 1/2 (2 1/2) tsp. bread machine yeast
• 2 1/2 (3 1/2) C bread flour
• 1 (2) tsp. sugar
• 1/2 (3/4) tsp. salt
• 3/4 (1) C yogurt starter
• 1/2 C + 2 TBS (1 C) water

Combine the ingredients in the bread machine pan and process on the "Dough" cycle watching for the first 10 minutes to ensure that the dough is the correct texture. Add water or flour, as necessary, to correct.

* Rainey's note: I've found all the same info to apply whether I make bread by hand, with a KA stand mixer or in my bread machine on "Dough" cycle.

------- End of cookbook recipes -------

Now, all that being said, I think the easiest way to get a sourdough going is the "old dough" way. You realize, I take it, that a sourdough starter is a matter of providing food to interest your local ambient airborne yeasts. They are what will give your bread flavor and leavening. So, if you keep some old dough going on your countertop exposed to the air, over time the local yeasts will take over from the commercial yeast you started with.

This method takes time but you can keep baking with the starter from the beginning and, eventually, the full sour flavor that your local yeasts are capable of will develop.

I also usually stick in some yeast for insurance but I'd only use 1/4 tsp., myself...

There are a million other recipes for sourdough starters. You'll find one or more on the KA site.
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God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor


Last edited by Rainey on Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rainey. I'll try this next week.
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Barbara
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