Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Wild Yeast is a success! BREAD BLATHER.

Okay, m'foodies n m'bakers, let's talk shop.

I've mentioned in the past my grandma's 30+ year old sourdough starter and how I used to have a chunk of it back when I was a teenager. (I also went on a Mormon Youth Conference trip at the age of 14 to Navoo and bought an old pioneer cookbook that had loads of sourdough recipes, and spent a lot of time making chocolate sourdough cakes, sourdough breads, French bread with the starter cast offs, etc.) I like baking, is what I'm getting at. I've gotten out of the habit, and want to pick it up again. Now that I have the Fancy Sandwich Maker - IT'S ON SALE GUYS - I'm all about what bread can I melt some cheese and stuff on.)

If you're not familiar with the basics of baking, yeast is everywhere. It's just a microorganism that lives all over the place. You can buy it from the store freeze dried or slowed down in chilled cakes, or you can grow your own. Most modern starter recipes have you begin with a package of yeast, water, and flour. FOOLS. That's like filling your sink with bottled water. Here's how I did it, methodology from an old cookbook I dug up.


Day One:

Getcha a Mason jar or other glass or ceramic jar that can be covered/closed. DO NOT USE METAL. Never proof yeast of any kind in metal. It dampens the ability for it to make a proper sponge. AFTER that it's okay to mix the bread in metal, just not the proofing/sponge stage. I stick to Old School methods of the pottery Bread Bowl of my ancestors.

In this jar/crock you will add 2 Tablespoons of WHOLE GRAIN FLOUR (spelt, rye, whole wheat - I love love love Bob's Red Mill brands. They can be pricey, but man, do they taste amazing) and 2 Tablespoons of fruit juice. This should be something acidic like orange juice or pineapple juice. I had a pineapple, so I cut it up for the family and poured the dripping juice into a Tupperware container for just this purpose. Mmmm. Whisk it together with a fork, close the lid, and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours. (The wild yeast is on the grain - if you bought wheat berries and ran that through a mill/coffee grinder, you would end up with the same results.)

Day Two:

On top of the liquidy-looking mix add another 2 TBSP of whole grain flour (I stuck with spelt) and 2 TBSP of juice. Stir well, cover. (It might look a little bubbly, or it might look like mush. This is fine.)

Day Three:

Repeat the 2 TBSP each of whole grain flour and juice. Stir well, cover, let it sit on the counter for 24 hours. You might notice that the starter looks like it's separating into solid and liquids. That is what you want - that's the fermentation happening! HOORAY AND CONGRATS.

Day Four:

Get ready for magic. Stir it down first (hopefully you're seeing more liquid sitting on top. Don't panic if you're not. Give it a few more days.) Measure out 1/4 C of this starter and set aside. Toss the rest (notes on this after!!). To your 1/4 C you saved add: 1/4 C flour - go for something like All Purpose at this point. You need something with a lower pH like AP flour, not the high protein of whole wheat/rye. Also add 1/4 C filtered or spring water, NOT TAP. (there are enough beasties in your tap water to throw this off.)

Mix well, cover, let sit on the counter.

Repeat Day Four's instructions until you see that it's bubbling and growing up the sides. IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S GONE FLAT AND DEAD, do not worry. Add 1/4 tsp. of apple cider vinegar to drop the pH to where the yeast get active again alongside your 1/4 C AP flour and filtered water.

The longer you feed it and let it sit on the counter - I'm going two weeks with non-refrigeration, so I'm repeating Day Four's instructions every day until it goes into the Frigidaire - the better developed the flavor will be. Then you refrigerate it in order to slow down the yeasts, and simply feed it before you plan on using it. (Say you're going to need 2 C of starter for your sponge making? You'd add 2 C AP flour and 2 C filtered water to your starter the day before so it would grow and develop. Then you're not using ALL of it and have some left to keep going. DO THIS AFTER YOU'VE GROWN IT FOR A WEEK OR TWO. You have to be patient to get the best flavor.)

Things to watch out for:
  • If at ANY TIME your starer is PINK, throw it out. That is not bread yeast, but a dangerous and deadly bacteria not unlike botulism.
  • You want your kitchen/where you're letting this grow to be at least 70F or 24C. Colder and you'll stunt the growth. (Warm rooms will speed it up, so that's not a problem. I'm in Texas, it's 104F this week.)
  • you could eliminate the juice and just use water if you don't have it, but the juice adds both sugar and inhibits Bad Bacteria Growth (You only use the juice for the first 3 days, remember)
  • Before refrigerating your established starter, add a ROUNDED 1/4 C AP flour and 1/4 C filtered water to make it thicker, stir well, let sit for about 2 hours, THEN refrigerate.

What to do with those discards as you grow your starter
  • Make another container of starter to share with a loved one!
  • Add to your favorite pancake/waffle/muffin recipe, let sit for few minutes, then bake off
  • mix in to corn bread for the moistest corn bread of your life
  • add to doggy treat dough (good for dog tums!)
  • make banana bread with it (just add to your recipe) or any other quick breads like Naan! Mmmm.
  • pour down the sink and feel ashamed of yourself. (Hahaha, I'm kidding.)

Now you have your ready-to-bake-with starter, now what?
NOW YOU MAKE THE BEST BREAD OF YOUR LIFE. But you're going to have to continue to exercise patience. The best bread comes from sponge (before you add in all the flour and knead before shaping) that has been allowed to sit and rise for hours. When I make pizza dough, for example, I prefer mixing the sponge the night before and letting it proof in the fridge all night long (all night!) before baking it off the next day, ditto for bread dough. If you can get into the habit of this, you'll find that your bread has so much more flavor. MMMM!

An amazing Sourdough Bread recipe from Italy that I love and like to make on special occasions:
Braided Sourdough Loaves with Poppy, Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds (Pane a Treccia con Pasta Madre e Semi di Papavero, Zucca e Girasole)

(makes two GORGEOUS braided loaves)

Strong white flour, 475g (Non-baker types: this means BREAD FLOUR, specific bread flour, not AP)
Dark rye flour, 25g
Water, 360g
Ferment, 150g
Fresh yeast, 5g (You CAN skip this. I have. It just adds a touch more volume.)
Salt, 10g
Some fine semolina flour for the bottom of your tray (or use parchment)
Poppy, Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds
Egg white for brushing

In a large bowl, mix the flours and the water. Cover with cling film and let it rest for about half an hour (not less than 20 minutes). Add the yeast and the ferment and mix well.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface (if you're a cheater!) and knead for about 15 minutes. The mixture is SUPER sticky. Slap the dough onto the counter, flip the ends up, scoop up, slap down again. This is how you work sticky dough. (Ahh! How freaking gorgeous is that dough?!?!) Add the salt and work for further 2-3 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball, transfer to your mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave it to rest for an hour.

Turn out the dough onto your work surface, fold again, bringing the outside edges to the center a few times, rotating the dough and forming a ball again. Put back into your bowl and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.

Turn out the dough onto your work surface and cut into 6 pieces (to make 2 braided loaves). Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 250°C/ 475°F. (I know, but trust. This is where good crust comes from.)

Roll the sections (3 at a time) into approx. 12-inch long ropes. Brush the ropes top surface with the egg white, and sprinkle one with poppy seeds, one with pumpkin seeds and the third one with sunflower seeds. Press the ends together and braid the sections, pressing the ends together and slightly tucking under to seal. Repeat for second loaf.

Place the loaves on a baking sheet (sprinkled with semolina flower or covered in parchment) to rise for about one hour and a half or until doubled in size.

Quickly open the oven door and mist with water spray OR: TOSS IN AN ICE CUBE AND SKIP SECOND MISTING. Slide the loaves inside and quickly mist again - mist the oven, not the bread. (I prefer the ice cube method for crispy crusts.)

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Knock on the crust - did you hear it? IT IS READY.

Holy smokes I am so hungry right now...

And look at this sourdough crumpet recipe!!! AHHHH!!


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 7th, 2013 05:54 pm (UTC)
So cool!
I'll be making yogurt later which isn't nearly as nifty.
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
Homemade yogurt is TOTALLY nifty!! Which is a good reminder for me to get on that, as well! <3
Sep. 7th, 2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
This is so enticing, but I'm unable to devote time to sourdough when I already have to work around being gluten free (and resistant to the idea of using tapioca starch as a main ingredient in everything).

Will bookmark this for.......January, when the theory is that mandatory scheduled Things will let up.
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh no!! Gluten free?! I am so terribly sorry to hear that! But yes, this post is going nowhere, and hopefully you'll be able to enjoy breads and sourdough once again. <3
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:30 pm (UTC)
Yea. It is truly a drag.

I am, however, fortunate in that it's a sensitivity rather than outright celiac disease.
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
Celiac disease is something that sounds like a nightmare. I would be devastated. I feel for you, even if it's only a sensitivity!! Mayb you come through to the end healthier and stronger, my friend!
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC)
Here is another one. Between the two you can come up with your own!

I am not the baker in our house, I am the cook. But I can do this and I can do it well. It's easy and I have yet to screw it up.

As for flour blend I have used various blends with success. I like the tapioca starch because it does help with the stretchy chewy quality, but it's not the main flour. But I usually use mainly rice (brown or white) because that's what I have on hand.

Sep. 7th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)

So this sounds like a perfect combination of things right here! <3 <3 <3

So tell me about cleaning your fancy sandwich maker, since I don't have one *gasp I know* and was thinking of asking for one for the holidays. I was too busy nomming on sandwiches when I was out there to pay attention to clean-up. How does it clean? Well? Or is it fiddly?
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:25 pm (UTC)
Seriously, sourdough bread is my fave. MY FAVE. Of breads. you are my fave of people to whom I did not birth. <3

Oh! Cleanup is a snap. While it's hot (after you've pulled the sandwich off and have it cooling on a plate) you wipe it down. It's non-stick, so it's really easy, even if cheese/sauce bubbles out of the sandwich. That usually pulls off with the sandwich, truthfully. A wet paper towel does the trick.

You could get fiddly with a Clorox wipe or a damp cloth with dish soap if you've made loads of sandwiches. Super easy to spritz with water and then wipe it down, like you would with any non-stick pan.
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
So I hadn't had sourdough bread since some time before 2006 when I was diagnosed with celiac's disease. If I had known what was coming I would have gorged on that and guinness!

Well last winter I found a recipe for gf and thought wth...


Also making a boule in a cast iron pot in the oven makes the best sour dough that tastes like real honest god bread. LIKE WITH GLUTEN. *faints*

I can't bring myself to throw out the half as it grows so I half way through the week I make sourdough pizza.

Sep. 7th, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Good to know. I am considering a millet/sorghum/rice bread at some points.
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
Sorghum makes for a great bread, I just rarely have it on hand. If I could find it in bulk though....

That really set me free in experimenting. Not having to take out a loan before buying staples. Gawd.

I also love millet.
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you for adding the link here for people like eac and others who can't have it!
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I get too excited about GF finds that don't taste like ass I forget to add the recipe. Because I'm often the only person who cares. :-)

Sep. 7th, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm thinking sour dough PIZZA dough...after I make my starter. This is very generous of you to share! Thank you!
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
OH YEAH, PIZZA DOUGH. Mmmm, I love it. (I have a great recipe for pizza dough, should you need one!)

If I can offer one tip (not to say that you don't know this already, I'm just excitable today, lol): make it the night before if you can, or the morning of. Let it rise in the fridge as long as possible and WOW, the flavor and chewiness is out of this world.
Sep. 7th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
filed away in my memory banks.

Sep. 7th, 2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
Home Woot today has a reconditioned Cuisinart press for $50. I'm sure it's not as sturdy as the W-S, but might be a nice starter for someone. We gave one to our best friend years ago from Woot, and it worked well.

Sep. 7th, 2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
Good of you to link!! FTR, the one I linked to is by Breville.

(You can use two heated skillets to make a panini, as well!)

Sep. 7th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Your enthusiasm for food feeds my enthusiasm for food!

That made up Hatch chili and cheddar quiche is delicious. Why is the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory food teleporter not a real thing? It is 2013! Inventors, get on that would you?
Sep. 7th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
I mean, seriously: FOOD. *pets all the foods* I love that YOU love food, and usually have you in mind when I make these posts, knowing you'll most likely share in my enthusiasm. :D

AHH, I WANT YOUR QUICHE!! I think we need to install fwoomp tubes between our houses to aid in sharing of deliciousness, personally.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 7th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
I KNOW, RIGHT?!!? I learned that method a few years ago from some stupid reality tv baking show and it BLEW MY MIND. I go back and forth on using my Kitchenaid to mix bread dough or to do it by hand. I really love the feel of mixing it in my hands if I have the time to do it, but there are those days when you just need to get it going and move on.

MAY THE REST OF YOUR DAYS BE FILLED LIKE THE SANDWICHES OF MY DREAMS. (Sure hope you like cheese, otherwise I have wished a hellscape upon you.)
Sep. 12th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
OK, dangit. I started mine this morning. I am SO EXCITED. I finally got over my fear of baking yeasted breads about a year and a half ago (challah and I are good friends, now). But sourdough, man, that's like the final frontier. I can't wait. CHEMISTRY FTW!

(Been lurking a bit recently, hello via flamingmuse. *waves*)
Sep. 12th, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF YEASTED BREADS!! They are the best of the breads! (And hey, the worst that can happen is that it doesn't rise all the way and is a bit thick. That is what butter and honey fixes!)

CHEMISTRY IS THE BOMB. (Hahaha) I want to hear how it's going! I'm on solid week 1 and it's so gloriously yeasty smelling. I actually took the cast offs and made a second batch of starter to share with my sister. SO now my crumpet starter is DOUBLED. I'm very excited by that. Hee.

(And hello!! *hugs* She has spoken very highly of you! <3)
Sep. 13th, 2013 12:16 pm (UTC)
Aw, shucks... *blushes* She speaks mighty highly of you, too. It's some sort of triangular mutual-admiration society.

About to go feed it for day 2. Is it wrong that I just want to shout "FEED THE BITCH!" while I do it? That's the trouble with reading Bourdain's book...
Sep. 13th, 2013 01:25 pm (UTC)
IT IS NEVER WRONG TO TALK TO YOUR FOOD!! I mean, if you expect it to ANSWER then I might need to gently pull you away, but YES. I tell my bread dough to grow and live so I may eat it EVERY SINGLE TIME. Hahahaha.
Oct. 17th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
Seriously, THANK YOU for this. Every single time I've tried to look this information up, it feels like important steps and explanations are being left out and I just haven't been able to grasp where to start and how to keep it going. But I think I get it now, and now all I have to do is convert it all to metric and I should be good to go.
Oct. 18th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)

I typically do it this way: I'm going to make bread tonight, so today I'd pinch off a chunk of starter and either toss it or use it in a quick bread. I'd add 1 C of flour and 3/4 C water to my starter, mix it, let it sit out. When it's bubbling and increasing, take out 1 C and use in my sponge/dough. (And because I'm a weirdo, I'd add one tbsp of flour to the starter and put that back in the fridge.)

<3 And the Bread Bible is a GREAT recipe book for metric measurements and precise instructions, btw.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

April 2017
Powered by LiveJournal.com