Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

This is a hockey puck. Anybody want to play? You cannot cut it and maybe a goat can chew it, and lawdy gah, I gave a loaf of this mess away! I tossed it today. Seems I have drifted pretty far from the original specifications of the "5 Minutes a Day to Artisan Bread." I have a tendency to quit following the directions and experiment. This is a tough, crust, gummy interior 10 pound inedible brick.

If I can do this, with yeast breads, make something good to eat, and use

100% whole grain flour with good results. How did I make that hockey puck? It does take some getting used too, to eat a bread this hearty. You cannot however, get used to eating a hockey puck you cannot chew it.

"I can do this, talks to self".

I am not satisfied with the pretend artisan bread anymore. I want to make the real thing. But I am having issues. Hockey puck issues.

Success here with these.
The eager beaver is not always so smart. I baked 8 loaves of wheat bread and then mixed up my first batch of real sourdough without any yeast just starter, for the leavening. I wondered if my kitchen had any "wild yeasts" in it! The starter looked a bit like a rolling boil, talk about an active starter. Probably something wrong with it. I did figure out from reading that because I bake so much I can cut my yeast back to 1/16th tsp. per 3 c.s flour. That may slow down my rise, and solve the splits. I went ahead and slashed the tops to let the steam escape instead of having a side blow out. It worked. My bread doesn't just rise it explodes. I had been thinking that I didn't need so much yeast, I don't. I also can get regular yeast now since my kitchen is a living organism.

This is the sourdough after it has rested and been in the refrigerator for 2 days, just because I was tired. I read after I made this dough about how hard it is to use rye flour, rye starter, and that sourdoughs shouldn't rest even in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Too soon old too late smart. HOWEVER I have been studying this process and I am going to get this right. I am going to make smaller batches, follow the recipes and keep baking. I am a hopeless addict.

I am on a quest. A quest to master sourdough or let it master me. These rolls are pretty tasty, not tough and the crust is thin and crispy. The crust on whole wheat/rye sourdough is not shiny like on white bread.
Here comes the confession, I am going to work with white flour.

Do you think I am a hypocrite?

After all I have been reading about white flour, I am at a cross roads with my baking and cannot really learn without the white flour dough. Sourdough is fermented so it is probably healthier. I ordered some tools, some pans and a proofing basket. I am getting serious with this bread. I think it runs in the blood. My grandparents were immigrants from Denmark and they ran a bakery in Oakland California. I grew up on Danish rye which is a sweet rye, made with a combination of flours, dark rye, wheat and white. They used to make it at Neldam's in Berkeley too. I had to wait to learn to bake until all the people there, that knew my family passed away, so I am on my own; with the quest. The quest for great sour dough bread.
Out of a home kitchen in the deep south where there is no San Francisco air. I am determined.
Even if I must use white flour and start there. It's true. See how easily I caved? I am such a wimp. After the bad rap I have been giving white flour, now I need it. At least it is from Montana, unbleached high protein and all that good stuff.

I am humbled.

I love to bake.

I cannot bake hockey pucks.

15 comments:

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

First of all you blog photo is so wonderful. The perfect table, I think.

Second, didn't any of those family bakery recipes get handed down? If not, what a crying shame.

Third, So what if you have caved. You are learning and learning. I can't wait to follow your progress. Your bread and rolls look FANTASTIC.

You can put the "goat" bread in your food storage and in ten years you can saw a piece off and give it to the mutants who are invading earth and they will take right off for deep space. You will be a hero.

Tricia said...

Any step in the right direction is a good step. Learn to make it this way first, then move on to other flours. You can do this!

Kat said...

My mom used to make the most wonderful homemade bread. Then she said that she couldn't find any decent yeast anymore. Makes me sad. I miss that bread.

And now my mouth is watering.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Quit making humble pie already . . . get back to the kneading board and HAVE SOME FUN!!!

I'm having a blast with my sourdough starter (and I keep the white one going while I branch off and experiment with rye and WW). Don't be so hard on yourself. Applaud the successes and discard the failures if necessary, then get back to work/fun 9it's really not fair to call this work). So far all my failures have been edible (like the first batch of yogurt that came out kefir -- still found a use for it).

I figure, just like Edison, you found out another way NOT to make bread. ; D

p.s.
Wish we were neighbors and my chickens could enjoy that batch of boo-boo bread.

Chris H said...

I have a bread maker... which I would LOVE to use again... but sadly Stew is a diabetic and too much bread is not good for him... or my waistline (such as it is!) ... so I dont' bake. You can do it all for me to drool over from afar. *sigh*

Mental P Mama said...

I can't do much bread, but when I do, sourdough is the healthier choice. I think Dr. Oz told me;) I can almost smell your delicious kitchen up here in Connecticut!

noble pig said...

Wat you are doing is exactly how you learn, there is no better way. The 5 minutes book gives you the initial confidence to go forward so it is worth it!!

Flea said...

You can too bake hockey pucks. You've proven it. You just shouldn't, is all. :) I'm admiring of your baking skill.

Linda said...

Sugah,
I would love to buy a loaf of that yummy bread from you! Not the hockey puck one, though!! Holla at me! Love.

COFFEE MAN said...

mom used to make hockey pucks for breakfast we would put gravy on them and try to eat them with eggs. They wouldnt hurt you unless she threw one at you

Rosie_Kate said...

Everyone who bakes bread must make hockey pucks and doorstops. The people who don't bake bread and say they "can't" are the people who are afraid to make hockey pucks and doorstops.

Confession: My whole wheat sourdough is only about 66% whole wheat flour. I use some "Natural Premium Unbleached" white flour from Wheat Montana. I think it's a perfectly fine compromise and we love the bread. I've made it with 100% whole wheat and it's edible, but not enjoyable. What good is bread if you don't enjoy it?

I learned a lot form northwestsourdough.com. That site is amazing. She says to start with white (sourdough) bread and work up to whole grain. Also, Peter Rinhardt's book Crust and Crumb is fantastic. It really helps to know the hows and whys.

Rosie_Kate said...

Everyone who bakes bread must make hockey pucks and doorstops. The people who don't bake bread and say they "can't" are the people who are afraid to make hockey pucks and doorstops.

Confession: My whole wheat sourdough is only about 66% whole wheat flour. I use some "Natural Premium Unbleached" white flour from Wheat Montana. I think it's a perfectly fine compromise and we love the bread. I've made it with 100% whole wheat and it's edible, but not enjoyable. What good is bread if you don't enjoy it?

I learned a lot form northwestsourdough.com. That site is amazing. She says to start with white (sourdough) bread and work up to whole grain. Also, Peter Rinhardt's book Crust and Crumb is fantastic. It really helps to know the hows and whys.

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

You look like you are really gaining some knowledge to me! I use whole wheat flout that I grind from organic hard red wheat from Montana. I know if I don't add 1/3 cup gluten flour to my bread recipe it isn't very soft...

I pulled my 12 year old daughter off ALL white flour, white rice, milk and sugar this week. Not that we eat a lot of that stuff anyway, but her allergies were really getting the best of her.

Then I went to the health food store and got a homeopathic remedy for allergies for her to take. She is doing so much better in just one week.

I also have her spreading a thin film of warm honey on her forehead right before bed for the eczema that keeps showing up. It has really cleared it up and it doesn't burn her like the cream from the dr.

Karen said...

I'm having hockey puck issues.

You crack me up. But I'm sorry that you're having issues. Bread is one of those things that I love to make, but only when it turns out right. Hopefully you get it right next time.

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