Thursday, February 22, 2024

Baking into Oblivion - Someone STOP me!

:) For those who said they like the Aggie pics. WHEW! Cause that's all I got! 
 Well, that and sourdough.

Meri's daycare, that she's the chef at, had a family potluck night on Tuesday.  Aggie and I joined her and (bf) Ryan for the feast.  Yummy food! 

 And good company too, to a point. LOOK at the pic Meri took of me! hmm.  Just plotting out my payback.  Just watch yourself Meri!

Maddy had car troubles on the way, so she turned around and went back home.
I'm sorry we missed you Sweetie!

AND then Sourdough...  It's all the rage these days! I've got actual pounds of the natural yeast, coming out of my ears!  Not literally.

The discard sits in the fridge, waiting for me to make crackers or something else. In my spare time, I browse sourdough discard recipes. :) 

Today, I realized that my discard jar was pretty full so I spread some out on carefully cut parchment that fits my dehydrator.  It's on the lowest setting for 3 hours or until it breaks apart.  Then voila!  Shelf stable sourdough starter!  Someday, when I rehydrate it, I'll let you know how it goes.
I found out later, it should have been freshly fed starter.  sigh. I'll try it anyway.

I've got two active ones on the counter.  The one with the band is mine and named Seymour.  The other is going to a friend tomorrow and she can name it whatever she wants.  

I pull out 100 grams of starter each morning and put in a clean jar.  The rest goes into the discard jar in the fridge.  

Then I feed the 100 grams of starter with 100 grams of flour and 100 grams of purified water (any kind really as long as it's not tap - if it is tap, let it sit for 24 hours to release the chlorine).  Give the mix a good stir and by mid afternoon, it's grown double and bubbly and ready to start something.  OR it can sit until tomorrow morning and I'll do it again.

The jars are a BOOGER to clean with the dried on starter. The dishwasher can't do it, it's like cement.  So I soak them in hot, soapy water and tackle it with a SOS pad and get it all off before putting it in the dishwasher.

I've been using my bread machine for the kneading!  I'm not baking it there though.  I use the kneading cycles for 25 minutes, twice.  Then pop it out into a pan to bulk ferment until the next morning on the counter, covered with a towel.  Then pop it into a banneton basket in the fridge until the next morning and bake it. The basket is what makes the rings. I waited two days in the fridge the last time and someone pushed a can of something on top, deflating it.  so here it is after I baked it this morning.  Not terrible but not as poofy as it could be.

I need to practice with the cute little cuts and slice.  I have a couple lames but they're basically just razor blades on a stick. *lame*

So mistake #1 for me, don't have it stuck in the fridge for 2 days.  And mistake #2, Put it in a some kind of container with a loose lid when in the fridge.  In case someone shoves things in the fridge. :\  
Oh and I forgot to spritz the top with my water spray bottle!  That helps with a crispy top.
Oh well, live and learn and in the meanwhile, eat your mistakes.

Mistakes taste pretty dang good with peanut butter.

 I have made several loaves so far (ok 5) and with each one, I realize what I could have done different.  and then forget what that was the next time I make it.  I'm planning on starting some sourdough English muffins tonight to cook tomorrow morning.  Jen gave me the idea.  AND she gave me the starter kit.
It's all HER fault!

My favorite way that I've found to bake the loaves without burning them is to use Robb's cast iron dutch oven and a cold oven to start.  

There are so many conflicting instructions online, it's hard to find anyone consistent!  But if I follow the conventional method, preheat the oven and pans to 450 degrees, then bake for 20 minutes with the lid on and 20 with the lid off, it's a hit or miss.  Mostly miss, because every time I try that variation, it's either burned on the outside and/or somewhat doughy on the inside.

SO, here is my secret that someone mentioned on my rebel sourdough fb group.  I've tried it a couple times with success.  I've got a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. It helps keep the heat from pulverizing the bottom of the loaf.  And make it a clean stone!  I'll tell you about that another day but suffice it to say, it'll smoke you out.
I put parchment or a silicon flap thing under my bread dough into the lid of my dutch oven, then use the big part as the lid.  I stick it into a cold oven and turn the oven on to 425 degrees.  Leave it for 50-60 minutes, then uncover it.  Careful!  Don't burn yourself!  Then if it's not dark enough on the outside, continue baking it uncovered for another 7-10 minutes.

Stick a thermometer into it and it should register at least 200 degrees. DONE!
Let it cool for at least an hour before slicing it up.

I bought a covered loaf pan that I'm going to try someday.  Not sure how to use that yet.

Has anyone used one that looks like this?

I'm looking for more ideas.
Because you know me!  I can ALWAYS add a hobby to my repertoire!

1 comment:

Linda said...

It is all so confusing to me that I have never tried this. But, I would gladly test it all for you.


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