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Anybody like to bake bread?
Posted: 18 November 2007 09:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I love to bake bread! I’m pretty sure that since I got The Bread Bible for Christmas last year I haven’t bought a single loaf of bread in the store. I make the basic sandwich loaf (I can never remember the name of it right) quite regularly, since if I don’t have leftovers to take for lunch I need bread to put my sandwiches on. Everyone must try making the focaccia. It’s amazing watching the strands of gluten form in the mixer. Every time I make it, I just sit there and stare into the mixer bowl for 20+ minutes. Someone else mentioned the basic hearth bread, and I would recommend that as well. I made it a couple weeks ago to have with a pumpkin and andouille soup that I made, and it had a great texture and flavor. If we ever get to have fall or winter here in the South (it was over 70 degrees today, and it’s almost Thanksgiving), I’m going to try sourdough.  I also want to make baguettes sometime, but that’s quite an undertaking and should probably involve a dinner party so that I can feed them to people when they’re fresh. I’m also planning to make Challah for an upcoming holiday party that one of my Jewish friends is throwing. I’ve been promising her that I’d make Challah for over a year now, and it’s finally going to happen.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Patrincia - 18 November 2007 10:05 PM

Matthew - your bread looks amazing!

Thanks Patrincia—I assume you mean my avatar.  It is the ricotta bread you like so much.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Matthew - 22 November 2007 01:42 AM
Patrincia - 18 November 2007 10:05 PM

Matthew - your bread looks amazing!

Thanks Patrincia—I assume you mean my avatar.  It is the ricotta bread you like so much.

Yes, that’s the one - gorgeous!  I have never baked it in a bread pan, just free form.  I will have to do the pan version the next time I make it.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 10:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I love to bake (and eat) bread!  I have a 7 year old starter given to me by a friend who made it from organic grapes using the Breads from the La Brea Bakery book.  I love it!

Everything I’ve made from Rose’ Bread Bible has been great.  Most recently was pugliese.

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Posted: 22 November 2007 01:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Amy A - 22 November 2007 02:35 AM

I have a 7 year old starter given to me by a friend who made it from organic grapes using the Breads from the La Brea Bakery book.  I love it! quote]

I saw an episode of Baking with Julie where Nancy (last name?) made a starter from grapes…. it was an extremely interesting show!

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Posted: 26 November 2007 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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This is my favourite sourdough website.
http://www.sourdough.com.au/forum//
Dom one of the regular contributors has written some amazingly detailed experiments about what works and doesn’t with his bread baking. 

I have 3 sourdough starters.  The first one I was given in a bread baking course- mother culture is 150 years old and imported from San Fransisco, It survived customs to get to Australia.  I also have a starter that I made from scratch as part of another week long bread making course.  Really interesting to see how they are subtly different even though they have the same feeding schedule- and food.  I also keep a rye starter.  Only occasionally do they bubble over in the fridge…

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Posted: 29 November 2007 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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sourdough, sourdough, sourdough, sourdough, sourdough!

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Posted: 29 November 2007 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Attention all Bread Bible owners.  If you have tried the Basic Sourdough Bread recipe, please give a shoot of this adaptation I’ve just wrote:

Simplified version adapted from The Bread Bible for the Italian home
by Hector Wong

200 gr flour (any Italian 00 flour without leavening)
More flour for your hands.
154 gr water (tap water, or use any Italian bottled water for added taste).
75 gr of 1 week old refrigerated stiff starter.
6 gr of salt (about 1tsp, to taste).
optional:  up to 75 gr of frozen and thawed stiff starter (accumulated from the discarded starter during weekly feedings).

[Note:  The bread we made was double this recipe].

Mix the flour, water, and salt.  Knead in the starter(s).  It will be very sticky. 

Place the ball in a bowl three times the size of the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Sit at room temperature for 8 hours.  Place it in your bedroom if you don?t heat the house at night.  Dough should have risen a little or up to twice in volume.  If dough has risen more than twice in volume, use less than 8 hours or use cooler room.

Flour your hands and scrape the dough out of the bowl.  It will be very sticky.  Tuck the dough edges under itself, forming a ball.  It will deflate.  Do this many times until the ball is not sticky.  Keep flouring your hands as needed.

Place the ball on a sheet of wax paper, cover with a large upside down bowl.  The bowl should be lightly greased.  The bowl needs to be large enough so it won?t touch the ball when it rises twice or three times in size.  Instead of a bowl, you can use a large plastic box or bucket or pot with a cover.  Let the ball rise twice or three times in size, about 8 hours.

Place an oven rack on the bottom shelf setting in the oven.  Line rack with two layers of tiles.  Preheat oven to 475oF, full convection.  Place the ball on the tiles, still with the wax paper.  Toss ? cup of ice cubes on the bottom of the oven floor.  Turn convection off.  Bake for 5 minutes. 

Turn the temperature down to 450oF.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Turn convection on and bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is brown.  Remove the wax paper and place on a cooling rack.  Tap the bread with your fingers, it will sound hollow.  Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing.  You will hear cracking noises as the bread cools.  The hollow sound and the cracking noise mean bread is cooked.

How to feed and maintain your refrigerated stiff starter:  every 7 days, mix 50 grams of flour with 25 grams of water.  Knead in 50 grams of 1 week old refrigerated stiff starter.  Keep in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a lid not fully tighten and wrap loosely with plastic wrap.  Freeze the extra 1 week old refrigerated stiff starter for future use.  Repeat every 7 days, be consistent.  Once or twice a year if you go on vacation, you can skip up to 1 month, but feed your starter for 2 or 3 weeks before using it.

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Posted: 02 December 2007 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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How long have folks had their sourdough starters?  I was given mine by a co-worker in early 1990… he alleged that it came over with his family on the Mayflower (this was a bit much for me to swallow, but I humored him).  I’ve split the starter and given some to numerous friends and relatives, but no one has kept theirs going—a fact that makes me crazy, as I’m terrified I’m going to kill it by accident and not be able to replace it.  I’ve had a couple of close calls, including one where the jar got knocked over and spilled all over the fridge. Although it wasn’t noticed for AT LEAST a day or two, I managed to scrape enough still-wet starter off the shelf and gave it several feedings (“yeast intensive care”) to get it going again.

I use mine very regularly, sometimes for pizza dough, but usually for free-form whole-wheat rounds.

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Posted: 02 December 2007 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Dan O?B - 02 December 2007 03:04 PM

...—a fact that makes me crazy, as I’m terrified I’m going to kill it by accident and not be able to replace it. ...

I’ve heard that some people take a bit of their starter and dry it for storage. I’m not sure how it’s done, but in your case, I’d bet it would be worth it.

I’ll see if I can find the information I remember, just in case. smile

Aha! Found some good info here. Definitely a useful thread from another community. (Cooking Light’s BB)

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Posted: 02 December 2007 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I have my starter for near 3 years, and it was born and raised in my kitchen.  Bread Bible instructions.

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Posted: 03 December 2007 12:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I have successfully frozen and re “inspired” starter…if that helps anyone that doesn’t bake enough to keep a starter all the time..

I bake bread all the time at work, and hardly ever at home..  I have a favorite bread that a dear friend, used to make.. trenton bread…. a cornmeal and potato starter type bread.. three day process, but soooooo worth the effort.. makes delightful toast/sandwiches…

I try to lean more towards formulas that use more cooked grains, and better flours if making bread for me, since eating bread, isn’t necessarily a good thing…for me, anyway… so if it’s full of good stuff, I don’t feel so badly, eating it.

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If chocolate were a friend it’d be one needing compliance:
but bread on the other hand is a cahtartic, soulful blend of commraderie, chemistry , and respect.

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