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Thursday Random

  • I have a horrid head cold (I'll be fine, it's just the start of school yucks) and the hinge of my jaw feels like someone has cracked it with a hammer. I have a delightful chipmunk look.

  • Note to self: don't mini-head bang when "One" by Metallica comes on your play list because your head is 703% heavier when ill and ouch

  • I have a super bad ass therapist and I think she's awesome (our couple's therapist on the other hand...)

  • My daughter - who has been under a lot of stress with everything that's been going on lately - has pulled away physically from me (everyone, really) and while it's hard to not get hugs like I used to, when she DOES ask for me to hug her or play with her hair or something, it's like the best thing ever. <3

  • I made the first loaves with my starter - proper, 30 hours from start to finish loaves - and they taste SO FLIPPING GOOD. The crust is amazing. I modified my "daily bread" recipe to accommodate the starter, and wow, delish. Is anyone interested in the recipe?

  • I did make some pizza dough with the starter cast offs, and oh man. It was so thin and crispy and chewy. <3

SEE?! (this was the size of my two hands. Wee tiny personal pizza. :)

Prosciutto, Humbolt Fog cheese (almost too salty, honestly. Regular goat cheese would have been better), and arugula with a drizzle of balsamic. Crust flash-baked at 450F for 5 minutes with a brushing of olive oil and rubbed garlic before toppings added.

Wow, I'm hungry now.

Daily Bread/Sandwich Bread Makes 2 loaves - give yourself at least 12 hours from start to finish. The longer you take, the better it tastes


1 C starter (make sure to feed your starter after taking some away!)
4 C bread flour (you could use APF or 1 C Whole Wheat + 3 C APF)
1 1/2 C WARM (baby bottle warm) water
1/2 C milk, room temp

In a large container, add the listed ingredients and mix with a spoon. This is going to be a touch thicker than batter.
Spray a bit of plastic film with oil/spray, cover the bowl.
Cover the plastic-covered bowl with a tea towel if you have the A/C on.
Let this double in size. This took 6 hours for me.


Dip your fingertips in flour and press the dough down (don't "punch"). Cover with another Cup of flour, 3 TBSP of sugar and 2 tsp salt. With oiled fingers, fold that in (or use a spoon. I like to use my hands). This is like a mini-knead in the bowl to incorporate the remaining flour. Turn it out onto a floured surface, shape into a rectangle, and fold it like you would a business letter. Turn 90 degrees and repeat. Cover with the plastic wrap from before and let it rest for about 1 hour.

NOTE: if this is too sticky to handle, just work 1/2 C more flour into the dough as you fold. Try not to add more - you'll end up with a too stiff/dry bread.

After an hour, remove the plastic wrap and grease two loaf pans really well. Cut your dough into equal halves, put one half aside and form the piece of dough left into a rectangle with your hands. (If you need to flour your hands or your rolling pin, do it as sparingly as possible.) You want it long away from you, short in width. Roll it out with your pin to pop out air bubbles. This is your arm workout for the day. :D You want the width to be at least as wide as your bread pan. Wider is fine.

Roll that dough up like a jelly roll and pinch the seam into the body of the dough to seal it, do the same on the ends, tucking them under. Cooing and naming it is up to you. Put into your bread pan with the seam side down and rub a little olive oil onto the top of your wee tube of nom. Repeat with your other section of dough. Set away from drafts, several inches apart from each other (so they don't dwarf into a Mega Loaf), cover with a towel and let rise until doubled.

IF IT'S LATE, COVER IN OILED PLASTIC WRAP LOOSELY TO ACCOMMODATE THE RISE AND PUT IN THE FRIDGE. Or if you want crazy flavor, do this and be prepared to bake 8-10 hours later.

Preheat your oven to 400F, slip your beautiful, silky loaves into the oven when ready, TOSS AN ICE CUBE INTO THE BOTTOM OF THE OVEN, shut the door, and set the timer at 20 minutes. Pace. Chew your nail. Stare at the wall. Check your loaves at 20 minutes. They should be golden brown and gorgeous. Knock your fingers on the crust. Do you get a hollow sound? Pull them out! If note, let them bake for another 3-5 minutes.

Pull pans out, let cool on a wire rack IN THE PAN for a few minutes. Turn out and let cool completely on a wire rack until cool to the touch. NEVER CUT HOT BREAD. I know, I know, you want to. But it'll tear!

But this is what mine looked like (I brushed them with melted butter after they came out of the oven).

PIZZA DOUGH WITH CAST OFF STARTER Technically this is a Quick Bread, so yeast is involved. Makes 2 "large" pizzas. (and a wee small one)

6 C Flour
1 pkg yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp. of bulk)
1/2 C cast off starter
1 1/3 C WARM water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP good olive oil
1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan (my secret ingredient)

MIX: 4 C flour, sugar, Parmesan, salt and yeast. With a spoon, add in starter, olive oil and most of the water. When that's difficult, turn out onto a floured surface and knead in flour by hand, adding reserved water as needed. Knead for several minutes until it's all glossy.

This is a SUPER STICKY DOUGH. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and drop your dough ball in there. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes. Punch down with floured knuckles. :) Let it rise again for about 25-30 minutes.

Preheat oven as high as it can go - at least 450F, move your rack to the top third of the oven. If you're using a baking stone, that needs to be preheated as well. Turn out onto your lightly floured surface, cut into sections to be turned into your pizza crusts. I like free form pizza shapes, so I flatten with my fingers from the center out, then use a rolling pin from the center and out to stretch it into shape. I'm not brave enough to toss it into the air. I have had NO success doing that, because I'm a derp.

FOR A CHEWY, THIN CRUST: Bake blind (meaning, put the dough on your baking stone or pan and bake for a few minutes). Pull out, top as you'd like, and slip it back in the oven for another 10 - 15 minutes, depending on your oven and when the cheese is bubbling. (I like to turn the broiler on for the last 2 minutes to get lots of browning on top.

FOR A THICKER, CHEWY CRUST: top your dough as you'd like, and slip via paddle onto your baking stone, or put your pan with your pizza into the oven. Same instructions for the top, minus the blind bake.


Oct. 2nd, 2013 05:43 am (UTC)
Question! The sandwich/basic bread - is it a sourdough loaf or does it still taste like plain old bread?

I'm looking for a good sourdough starter and I'm not sure/can't tell if your wild yeast is the same thing. *puzzles*

Sourdough is the only bread I HAVENT tried making myself yet. I don't trust that I can make a truly thick/chewy crust and super soft inside yet. I hear if you're not in San Fransisco, you just don't have the proper humidity for it, but I think I'm getting enough courage to try!

So yes! *chinfists* Is this sourdough bread you're making here or plain white bread? Does it have that really lovely sour taste to it or is it mild? Would you happen to know how to make it MORE sour if it's not already?

Inquiring minds want to know!
Oct. 2nd, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
Re: sourdough bread taste. That comes from a sloooooooooow rise. So if you're turning out a loaf from start to finish in a day, it won't have much tang. (A few years down the road when that starter is super mature, it sure will!)

But true sourdough is a multi-day process, which is where that signature flavor comes from. And pfft, you absolutely can get a great loaf of sourdough bread out of San Fran! With things like a linen cover during the rise, water bath or ice cubes (that's my trick) in the oven as you bake it off, you get AMAZING crusts and soft insides. Promise!

This is plain ol' sandwich bread that you're seeing here, but it has FLAVOR. Because it rises more slowly than with instant yeast, it develops a hearty tone. To make it a sourdough, sub out the milk for water in the ingredient list. You'll have a slow rise in the fridge - from feeding your starter (then put it in the fridge and wait until it's doubled to scoop out, probably about 12 hours) to making the sponge (put that back in the fridge for a slow rise for at least 12 hours, pref. 24) and repeat when you add the remaining flour and salt - skip the sugar and oil. Form your loaves, let them double, then bake in a 475F oven for 10 minutes with a few ice cubes tossed into the bottom, then reduce the oven temp to 425 for the last 10 - 15 minutes. Voila!

(This is my personal recipe, and wow, do bread bakers get sniffy. I'm way more relaxed in the kitchen when it comes to bread. But it always turns out, and it always gets devoured. :D)


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
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