April 2007

Sleeping puppies

I can say that after several attempts at making lumps of cooked dough, I finally am able to say that I am becoming an artisan bread maker. I began a few months ago making white bread baguettes and watching how commercial yeast works. I picked up a copy of Maggie Glezer’s book Artisan Baking and learned what a levain and a poolish is. My first starter is great and have given me great results. I began working on a rye starter for some rye breads. Here are a few images of my recent successes.

First starter for sourdough:

A fully grown up mother starter Stinky and bubbly

My second loaf of sourdough made from above starter:

Final loaf Close up of crust Close up of crumb, the other loaf had much more holes

Here is how you make a starter. This recipe is made from rye flour because rye has a large concentration of microflora which will eventually convert the flour proteins and water into lactobacillus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae; sourdough bread yeast. My recipe is pretty simple, but it contains rye flour which is really difficult to find in Cleveland for some reason. I visited a few health food stores and I can get whole rye, but only one place in town has the actual organic flour. Not to mention it only comes in 1lb bags. Weird. (If this were Germany it would be everywhere!)

What I did:

Day one

100g of organic rye flour

100g tap water

Get a non reactive bowl, and measure all the ingredients out and combine using a spatula or your fingers. Make sure you completely combine everything.

Measuring out the rye flour Adding the water

I placed this dough ball into a cleaned quart mason jar. Covered loosely. Then I marked the side with the measurements and date. Leave it alone for 2 days in a cupboard.

Mixing Into the jar

There is more to come. Day 3 is tomorrow.


Day 3

100g of All-purpose or bread flour

All the starter from Day 1

Remove the blob of dough into a non reactive bowl and clean the jar. Add 100g of all purpose or bread flour. It will become so hard to work with, but do not add any water. Use your hands to make another ball of dough. Place back into the jar and seal for another 2 days. I did this last night and this morning it was already cooking away. What comes next is refreshing the dough to not only get the rye out of it, but also get the yeast to build up. Here are pics from last night. Notice how the ball on Tuesday was very firm, but just 2 days of sitting, it became soft like a batter?

After 2 days Soft and mushy Adding flour

Tough to work with Placed in jar again for 2 more days

Are here.

People have been asking me how the dogs are doing and I thought I’d share with you just that. These are a few pics I snapped this morning. Everymorning while I get dressed, this how they behave with each other. Doesn’t it make you all warm and fuzzy inside? True love. I am not sure if we should refer to her as his sister or his girlfriend? Step aside Mia, there is a new girl in town!

Two loverbirds Awwww She is so adorable