Saturday, February 14, 2015

Last weekend's bread

Last weekend, facing the loss of the Reinhart and Josey Baker books, I reacted in a few ways:
  • Making another recipe from JB (dark mountain rye, definitely not one I'd make again)
  • Ordering the JB book, which is worth the price even if the sesame seed bread recipe is the only great one (although I suspect it has more gems)
  • Converting Andrew's starter from a Reinhart starter into a Josey Baker starter (into two batches of starter, actually—one to be stored at room temperature and one to be refrigerated, to see which I prefer)
I also fed Lee's starter and made a Hensperger recipe to provide bread for the weekend, since the JB bread wouldn't be ready to eat until Monday. (Although the pre-baking time is less than for many of JB's recipes, you're supposed to wait 24 hours before eating the baked bread.)

Feeding Lee's starter turned out to be more of a process than I expected. I started late Friday night by mixing the starter with 1 cup each flour & water. After letting it sit overnight it still didn't seem to be very active, so I added a heaping tablespoon of plain yogurt. It still didn't take off (maybe not enough yogurt?), so I added some sugar. That did the trick. Within an hour the starter was frothy and sour. (During feeding time, I mostly kept the starter on the counter at 65-72 degrees; at other times it was in the oven, sometimes on proof mode.)

On to the JB recipe: dark mountain rye. Saturday I took one teaspoon of Andrew's original starter and made a pre-ferment for the bread. Sunday, I mixed the bread, let it rise twice, and baked it. Monday night I took a bite... and wished I hadn't. Maybe I don't like 100% rye breads or maybe it was the seed mix, but it smelled/tasted a bit like Alpo to me. Eau de canned dog food. Yuck. Composted.

One bite was all it took... to realize I hate this bread

Saturday I also made a loaf of toasted sesame whole wheat bread (Hensperger p. 113) in the bread maker. I made the following adjustments: toasted walnut oil instead of sesame oil; reduced the salt to under 1 t; reduced the yeast to 1-1/2 t. I used the dark, flavorful Norcal honey.

Toasted sesame whole wheat bread

Unfortunately, the bread didn't taste very good by itself, although it did have a nice texture and was fine as a sandwich bread. I suspect walnut oil was a bad choice. I might try it again with another oil, since it would be very handy to have a flavorful bread that can be made on the delay timer. I might also increase the amount of sesame seeds; I couldn't see any inside the loaf.

I see no sesame seeds

Sometime that weekend I also made two batches of JB sourdough starter from Andrew's starter. One batch (started from Andrew's original) is in the fridge, and the other (started from a starter I created from Andrew's original) is in the kitchen. I'm curious as to which one I'll like best, both in terms of taste/behavior and in terms of the work to maintain it. You have to refresh the room-temperature starter every 2 days, while the fridge one will last "a few weeks". JB has you take the fridge starter out "a few days" before using it, so the fridge is most useful if you don't expect to bake sourdough 2/week, or you want to avoid wasting flour.

So far I've been good about refreshing the room-temperature starter every couple of days, but we'll see if that lasts.

No comments:

Post a Comment