Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Bread and other baking. Artisan. Sourdough. Part 3.

February 13th, 2018 by Bookslinger

(Part 1 here.  Part 2 here.)

Free ebooks that I like:

How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking, (free Kindle ebook) by Dennis R Weaver.  The author is a professional baker. Has a quick/easy starter recipe using store-bought yeast, that will pick up wild yeast/sourdough over time.

The New Dr. Price Cookbook, (free Kindle ebook) by New York Royal Baking Powder Company. Lots of traditional baking powder recipes.

Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery Volume 1: Essentials of Cookery; Cereals; Bread; Hot Breads (free Kindle ebook) by Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences.  Lots of old-timey recipes, from the U.K. and U.S.  Good for ideas.  (I believe the proper name is Women’s Institute. Maybe something got changed in the transcription.)

Books worth buying:

Tartine Bread, by Chad Robertson.  I bought both the Kindle and the hardback.

Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole, by Chad Robertson. I have the Kindle edition and will purchase the hardback.

Robertson’s books are more tutorial than recipes. There is a big learning curve to using his method. His starter/levain procedures are rather cumbersome. You have to read the whole book before trying a recipe, because the recipes refer back to his methods; you can’t just do a mix-and-bake. Both books are very professionally done, and have excellent photography.   A proofing basket, razor blade, and a cast iron “combo cooker” or Dutch-oven will be needed.  The photography does seem to induce food-lust for this bread-lover.

Dennis Weaver’s book has the easiest sourdough/starter recipe. But if you want authentic San Francisco sourdough culture, I recommend Cultures For Health.

If you are not already experienced at using sourdough, an “overnight rise” method and “artisan bread”, then as an introduction, or a baby-step prior to Robertson’s complex methods, I recommend a much simpler path taught by Steve Gamelin on his Youtube channel

Gamelin offers several methods, including “traditional” overnight rise, and “turbo”/quick mode. I recommend the overnight rise/traditional recipes. Quicker rises don’t generate the same flavor. These are indeed “just-watch-and-do” recipes. But you have to watch his videos to learn the procedures. He uses just 1/4 tsp of instant (bread machine) yeast, not starter/levain, per loaf, for the overnight method. There is no kneading, it’s a “no knead” recipe.  And he offers several choices of baking vessels. 

For Gamelin’s method, a second rise, and a separate “proofing vessel” (non-stick fry pan the same diameter of the baking vessel) for the second rise are also musts. Gamelin’s recipes also work for 100% whole wheat and with home-ground flour, with slight adjustments to water amounts, 3/8 tsp of yeast instead of 1/4, and added corn-sugar(dextrose)  or corn-syrup to boost the yeast. 

 The long-rise method, as described by Gamelin, either over-night or early morning to late afternoon, is actually a time-saver and a money-saver. You don’t have to set-up and clean-up an electric mixer, no kneading; and uses only 1/4 to 3/8 tsp of yeast per loaf as opposed to 2-1/4 tsp (or a whole packet). 

 I have used a glass casserole dish with lid, and a 2-quart glass measuring bowl/pitcher (covered in aluminum foil for a lid) as baking vessels. (I put an appropriately sized camping-style steel dinner plate on the aluminum foil to hold it in place.) Make sure glass baking vessels are marked “oven safe”, or Pyrex, or borosilicate.

I have two starter cultures going: A solid dough type starter described by Iaria, in which I combined both store-bought yeast and CFH sourdough, because  I couldn’t get it going according to her instructions; but I still use her refresh/feeding method. And a liquid (batter) type of starter, using CFH’s refresh/feeding instructions

Bottom line: I’m somewhere between Gamelin’s and Robertson’s methods.  I use both store-bought instant yeast and one of my starters in my 2-rise bread loaves.  For something that doesn’t need a second rise, or much rising, such as flatbreads, I’ll just use the starter or instant yeast.

You can also add a little baking powder when using store-bought yeast or sourdough starter in flat breads or small items. I haven’t tried that in bread loaves, but it works for flat breads, dinner rolls, and  biscuits. That gives a little extra leavening action that whole wheat flour needs.  I learned the baking powder plus yeast trick from Madhura.

An overnight rise for buttermilk biscuits, with both yeast and baking powder gives a nice fluffy soft result,  and allows  you to skip the shortening/butter/oil and eliminate some calories.

Comments (3)
Filed under: We transcend your bourgeois categories | Tags: , , , , , , ,
February 13th, 2018 10:56:49

February 14, 2018

I love this, the same way I love nature poetry. Competency and the fleshly world are both just great.

February 14, 2018

Haven’t done much sourdough (I’d love to) but I bake at least 6 loaves of the no-knead style bread every week using this : https://www.fourneauoven.com (I have 3 of the baking mats so I can just proof the loaves on the mats). I love it and find it way easier/less fussy than the Dutch oven method.

February 14, 2018

M: Thanks for the link. Those look a lot more convenient than having to flip over a cast iron pot to get the bread out. Though a bit too pricey for my taste.

Today I made a small loaf in a 2 cup borosilicate measuring cup.
.25 cup home-ground spelt flour.
.25 cup home-ground Prairie Gold.
.25 cup whole-grain durum flour, from Indian grocery store.
.25 cup Gold Medal unbleached bread flour.
About 150 grams total.
38 grams (abt 25% of flour weight) batter/liquid starter, refreshed by adding .5 tbsp dextrose, spring water, and maybe 2 tbsp of the combined measured out flour, let sit 1 hour.
Combine refreshed starter with above flour, and 1 tsp vital wheat gluten, and 1 tsp malt powder (from beer-making supply store), and enough spring water to make soft dough. The enzymes in the malt help break down the flour’s starch into sugars. The vital wheat gluten helps the rise in dough that’s mostly whole wheat.

I would normally add 1/8 tsp instant dry yeast to this amount flour/dough. But this time I used about 10 grams of “solid dough” starter that I refreshed yesterday. So this was my first attempt at all home-grown starter, with no store-bought yeast.

Let dough rest/autolyze 30 min.
Added 1.5 gr salt. (1% baker’s percentage. I know most recipes call for 2%.) And folded dough about 12 times to get it worked in.
Let rise in warm place 1.5 hours, in proofing vessel same diameter as baking vessel.
Punch down dough, reform dough, wipe down proofing vessel, and coat inside of proofing vessel with thin layer of cooking spray, wipe with paper towel to get thin even layer.
Put dough back in proofing vessel for 1 hour second rise. A full loaf would need about 1.5 hours.
Start the preheat of oven *and* baking vessel (2 cup capacity borosilicate measuring cup) 30 min before start of bake, at 500 degree F.
When 2nd rise is done and oven preheated, coat inside of hot baking vessel with thin layer of cooking spray, and wipe lightly with paper towel to get a thin even layer.
Dump dough into baking vessel, score top of dough; I make an X with two snips of kitchen scissors.
Cover with a preformed piece of aluminum foil. Put in oven. Reduce temp setting to 450 F.
Bake covered for 14 minutes.
Bake uncovered for 11 minutes. Peaks of the X cut will be dark brown or black.
Carefully remove, and dump out (never sticks if I use cooking spray on glass.) Let cool 30 minutes.

If I can resist eating it, I place it in sealed plastic bag for another 30 min in order to let crust soften.

Today’s came out great. No big holes like longer proofing would do. But it was very soft, and very light for a 75% whole wheat bread.

Except for using starter instead of instant dry yeast, the above is essentially Steve Gamelin’s method. Though I did add vital wheat gluten and malt powder. No kneading except for the initial mix, and then adding the salt.

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