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  • Easy Sourdough

    Posted on July 31st, 2009 ben No comments

    DSC_0177

    I have a sourdough starter which I feed at 1:1 by volume every day. Here is a version of the Easy Bread Recipe which uses some of this sourdough starter, and tastes wonderful:

    • 1 C sourdough starter
    • 6 C bread flour
    • 3 C water
    • 1.5 T salt
    • 1.5 T yeast

    I am still playing around with this one and other adaptations as well. Perhaps less yeast is required? Perhaps more salt? I’m still experimenting.

  • Bad Motivator T-Shirt

    Posted on July 26th, 2009 ben No comments

    This doesn’t have anything to do with this website, really, but I enjoyed seeing it:
    Bad Motivator t-shirt @ SplitReason.com
    Bad Motivator t-shirt design @ © SplitReason.com

  • Cheryl with Fuchsia Hair

    Posted on July 25th, 2009 ben No comments

    cheryl-with-fuchsia-hair

  • Lemonade Stand

    Posted on July 25th, 2009 ben 1 comment

    lemonade-stand

  • Elliot and Ben at Heceta Beach

    Posted on July 25th, 2009 ben No comments

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  • Easy Bread Recipe

    Posted on July 25th, 2009 ben No comments

    dsc_0058
    Ingredients:

    • All-Purpose Flour
    • Active Dry Yeast (Buy a jar, not packets. You’ll use it fast.)
    • Salt
    • Water

    Materials:

    • A plastic or stainless steel container for holding dough in the fridge. Loose cover. Room for dough expansion recommended.
    • A large dutch oven, enameled or not.
    • Baking parchment.
    • water spray bottle
    • A timer that you carry around with you and which you will not fail to obey.

    Overview:

    1. Mix the ingredients
    2. Refrigerate 1-14 days
    3. Form a loaf
    4. Bake it.

    1. Mixing

    6.5 C flour
    3 C water
    1.5 T yeast
    1.5 T salt

    Makes two nice loaves. You can easily double or triple the recipe, but you’d need a pretty big vessel to hold that dough, since that dough will swell to like 3X in size. But it’s pretty damned easy to just mix a new batch, since you don’t have to knead it or punch it or tickle its finicky little nipples like most bread recipes require. Just throw the ingredients in your storage container and mix it until the flour has all been incorporated. Don’t worry about little lumps. KitchenAid mixers are nice, since they make it much easier to mix, but then you have one more thing to clean. When you have emptied the storage vessel and want to make another batch for tomorrow, do you need to clean that vessel first? Naw. In fact, a little pâte fermenté left in there may add a bit of complexity to the next batch.

    2. Refrigerate overnight or more

    3. Forming
    So it’s a couple of hours before you want to eat the bread, right? Get a knife, some flour, and your dough vessel. Put down some parchment. Flour your grabby hand and grab a big wad of dough. It’s pretty wet stuff, so it’ll try to stick to your hand right away. Just back out, re-flour your hand, and go back in for another grab. Keep doing this until you can pull out a good amount of dough, cutting it out with the knife. It’s messy and challenging, but you won’t hurt it up if it tears and sticks to your hand a little.

    So now you’re going to keep flouring your hands and gently stretching the surface of the dough and tucking it underneath, making a smooth surface. Once it’s smooth, stop. The motion is like you’re trying to turn a doughnut inside out. You’re not trying to add new flour to the dough, and you’re not trying to get a dry surface. Try not to “rip” the flour. You’re only using enough flour to avoid getting stuck to the loaf. The dough on the underside might not stick together nicely right now, but if you haven’t added big clumps of flour it will heal when the dough is resting. This whole process should result in a nice ball in 30 seconds or less. Plop it on the parchment.

    What, you want video? Seriously? Alright, here. Skip to 3:10 to see the loaf getting formed.

    4. Baking
    I’ve been having good success with this process:

    • Rest the loaf for 20 minutes with the oven off (Set a timer!)
    • Rest the loaf for 20 more minutes with the oven turned on to 475 with the dutch oven inside (Set a timer!)
    • Mist the loaf heavily and slash it 1/2 inch deep in several places
    • Bake for 20 minutes in the dutch oven with the lid on (Set a timer!) You might improve the crust by misting it again 2 minutes in.
    • Bake for 20 more minutes in the dutch oven with the lid off (Set a timer!)
    • Turn off the oven and leave the oven door open a couple of inches, and let the bread sit in there for 10 more minutes or so. (Optional: may improve crust)

    Cool the bread almost all the way before cutting in, unless you don’t want to.