Adventures in Breadmaking

I need to catch up on my breadmaking blogging.  Since my last post about my sourdough starter, I have successfully used my starter for several successful and not so successful attempts at bread.  My first attempt was a bread boule in the dutch oven… tasted great but spread clear to the sides of the dutch oven before it started to rise… and stuck to the dutch oven.  I managed to eat the top half of the loaf that I could get out of the dutch oven, but I did not manage a photo of the mangled loaf.

My next attempt was a french bread loaf.  Still sticking with the relatively wet dough and long raising approach I read about in Cooked by Michael Pollan, I ended up with a deflated loaf that I photographed for posterity.

IMG_1855

You can see the big dimple in the middle where it folded when I tried to pick it up and put it in the oven.  It was also quite flat for french style loaf.  After those two failures, I broke down and decided to try loaf pans.  This worked quite nicely.

Three portions of dough in bread pans on a seed warming mat to rise overnight: IMG_0124

After raising…

IMG_0123Split and buttered…

IMG_0126On the cooling rack…

IMG_0130And the taste test…

IMG_1698I was pretty happy with that bread, but I’m not convinced I like the wet dough approach at this early stage of my baking adventures.  I went back to the German bread book and decided I’d better follow some directions and quit experimenting on so many fronts at once.

My latest attempt was a drier dough (and by drier I mean normal) that I jelly rolled into a french bread style of loaf, set on the pizza stone to rise so I could put it in the oven without disturbing the loaf, and baked according to the recipe times and temps.

Shaped and ready to rise…

IMG_1892Out of the oven on the cooling rack…

IMG_1895I’m not convinced this one cooked quite long enough.  The directions said 10min at 450 and 20min at 375.  I think maybe another 10min would have been good.  I’m getting close though…and every loaf has tasted delicious!  Whole rye flour sourdough starter with 75/25 to 60/40 mix of white flour and whole wheat flour – depending on which loaf – makes for a tasty bread.  Oh, and the whey instead of water probably helps, too.

Anybody need a sourdough starter?  I’ll vouch for the taste, but I won’t be much help in the baking department just yet…

 

 

 

 

1 thought on “Adventures in Breadmaking”

  1. If you would just follow your mother’s advice your bread would be wonderful. Have you checked out my dutch oven bread? It is quite tasty.

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