Today is a good day, surprisingly. I do not know whether it helped to sleep till 10 am. A first in a very long time, and a very welcome change.
I tried a new thing and baked my sourdough directly without proofing after an over night rise. Surprisingly, it turned out to be just awesome. I usually would not try such risky stuff if I have an established system, but today I did not care much and gave it a try. This experience tells me that sometimes not caring much help find new and easier ways. I like this.
I have glanced at a book or two today. It seems I am not in the mood to hear what others are saying (that should be okay). But one thing I like reading was the dominance of mind over our lives, which makes us disconnected to our heart’s desires.
I cannot fully interpret this right now, but I know that my mind is quite analytical and likes structure and logic, yet not everything in life works this way and a little bit thinking out of the mind’s box would help. This is where my heart, or this deep down, no matter what loving, nurturing, and supportive part of me, comes into play. As a matter of fact just the adjectives that I use to define it tell all. Heart is here all the time, and when not shut down by the always thinking mind, may provide me with the wisdom, emotions, and support I need most. I do not know how to do this right now. But at least knowing that I in fact have this natural resource with me gives me hope and excitement.
Another thing was reading something about finding a “balance” in life. One of my colleagues, whenever she sees me tired and stressed, recommends me about “having a balance”. I hate to hear about it as I cannot have a balance between work and my daily life. Yet, today I felt better about it. For some reason, I realized that I do not want to react to having no life-work balance, but when I need a break, then I can let myself have that “balance”. This would mean that I would not be feeling bad about resting or taking a break, or enjoying the moment or the day, even in the midst of the hard-work and pressuring deadlines. Giving myself this right feels pretty empowering today. It is not about “finding” it anymore.
One more positive thing: I cooked for myself and had a decent meal as dinner. Don’t you love it when you take time for your own enjoyment and self-care?
Today, I am turning my regular thought pattern of working of problems, and rather, note the random beauty and safety around me.
Like the light coming into my bedroom window right now – what a majestic thing! It is free, available to everyone, and has found my way. I am lucky :). Ligth finds me.
The song I am listening to right now is peaceful, melodic, and intense at the same time. The guitar is both speaking and dancing. All the peaceful and lively melodies find me feed my soul, get my attention and lift my mood up.
I created two lovely sourdough loaves today and shared one with my good neighbours. To be able to share without feeling the need or enforcement is such a bliss. I like this about myself – I like to share the things I cherish. I am kind to my neighbours and I treat them time to time with nice food, little gifts. I am abundant and kind.
I find things to do when I need to. Like today I painted a number of small terra cota pots for my yet-to-come succulents and cacti (planted seeds last week – wish me luck). I have hobbies that let me create and get excited about what I can do.
I feel less anxious than Friday and this is wonderful. Once again, my fears triggered by external resources/people and made me remember what I should be careful about in my future steps (about work). I welcome this fear to make my future less problematic and I let it go now – it served its purpose.
I planted a number of seeds in a windy day. Some may have gone around to my neighbours’ yards. May they find their niche, germinate, and make someone happy and joyful. Nature and I have so much to share.
Rain and wind knocked some of my daffodils and tulips. One tulip is standing tall and is about to bloom. Like this tulip, I too stand up no matter what.
Everything is available in life and I claim my part of life right here, right now.
How about this as a turn of the way I often think?
Does it not look like the face of Spiderman – one of my favorite characters? 🙂
This loaf was the last and the best one I baked with multigrain bread flour.
FYI – I cannot recommend the multigrain bread flour – it does not rise much. If you are looking for better crumb, either have a warmer place to proof the dough (my kitchen is around 17C during winter and I am not patient enough to wait too long), or use the old, good plain bread flour.
This loaf contains:
1 1/3 cup whole wheat starter/levain
2.5 cups of water
4 cups of multi-grain bread flour and 2 cups of all purpose flour (i had run out of bread and multi-grain flour)
2.5 tbs sugar
2 tbs salt
Everything is mixed and I stretched and folded it 4-5 times before I left it to rise overnight at room temperature; these happened yesterday evening
This morning I shaped it and placed in a mixing bowl upside down and left for proofing in the oven for 5.5 hours
Baked at 350F oven (non-prehetaed) for an hour
Spiderman is here!!!! 🙂
this is how it looked right before I left it to rise over night
and this is how it saied good morning to me in the morning – it has risen 🙂
shaped – you may notice that I did not do a good job making it a smooth round dough. It is difficult to “bind” and “smooth” dough prepared with the multi-grain flour. It may be me, it may be the flour – I leave it to you to decide
5.5 hours later it had risen and got fluffy, which is always a pleasure to see 🙂
the dough keeps its shape well, which tells me that gluten is formed.. let’s cross the finger 🙂
my favorite score 🙂
the crumb was soft and with little but mighty air packets – I could not be happier 🙂 the air packets were little but at least existed – cannot wait to get plain bread flour now 🙂
I was trying to find the ways to reduce the proofing time lately: one thing I have tried in the last two weeks is proofing the dough in an oven (not turned or warmed up; no lights , either) to see whether this relatively temperature-wise stable environment would help reduce it.
This dough was only proved for 3 hours (in contrast to my usual 4-6 hours proofing). It was almost flat when I placed it on the parchment paper and scored. But there was a great oven spring (just like last week), so it turned out to be just lovely.
I think the in-oven proofing helped. I also think that maybe in the past I was over-proofing my dough..
Of course, the hydration levels of the dough makes a difference in terms of the yeast activity – this was a slightly sticky dough. This may be another reason for the short proof time working with this loaf.
In any way, I am just happy to have this loaf 🙂
mighty starter/levain 🙂 it is 100% whole wheat starter
iitial dough: it has 1 cup of levain; 1.5 cups of water, 1.5 tbs of salt and sugar, and 3.5 cups of bread flour – I stretched and folded it 4-5 times, and left at room temp over night for the rise
the next morning, this is what I have said hello 🙂
shaped and left for proofing for 3 hours
at the end of 3 hours-proofing time; not so much of a rise but it is puffy and I took my chances 🙂
on the parchment paper prior to scoring
tried this style for the first time – let’s see it 🙂
looook at these air pockets 🙂 so impressive considering that it was a short proofing this time – bon appetite me! 🙂
This was the first time that I tried 3 hours of proofing. When I took it out of the shaping bowl and scored, the dough was almost flat. But in the oven it showed a great oven spring and one of the largest air pockets I have ever seen. It even cracked itself on top even though I had slashed it, which tells me that yeast really worked hard this time.
Will continue like this – it has been a great experiment.
Here is a fantastic sourdough with a hint of trolled oats and black olives 🙂
This loaf was my first trial of a rectangular shape 🙂 I learnt a while ago that sticky dough do not keep its shape well if does not have enough support. So I used one of my oven pots to prove and bake this loaf.
I would do this loaf again; the crust was thin and soft (the way I love it) and it tasted amazing!
The recipe is similar to others:
1 1/3 cup 100% whole wheat starter (fed Friday night and then on Saturday morning prior to saving half in the fridge; used to make the dough in the afternoon)
2 cups water; mixed the starter and water well with the help of a fork until it became kind of frothy
2.5 tbs sugar; mixed well into the starter/water mix
4.5 cups of bread flour, 1.5 tbs salt, and 200 grms of pitted black olive-halved: (approximately 1.5 cups). Formed a shaggy dough, closed the lid, kneaded every 30 min or so three times until dough looked like forming. At the end of folding stage dough was too sticky (must be the olives’ juice), so I added 1/3 cup of rolled oats to help with the moisture
let rest at room temperature over might
since it was a kind of sticky dough, I decided to place it in a large rectangular oven pot lined with parchment paper
sprinkled top with more oats, placed in a nylon bag, tied the ends, and proved for 4.5 hours at room temperature
baked in non-pre-heated oven at 350 F for one hour
after the stretch and fold and prior to over night rise at room temp
this is how it said hi to me 🙂 what a lovely rise 🙂
placed in the oven pot without trying to shape; I just helped it to the corners and that was it
and it looks awesome inside – as expected from a sticky dough it has nice air pockets
closer look – black olives are my favorites, so I could not be happier 🙂
I have never been interested in cooking or being self-sufficient.
In the last two years, however, this has change. I still do not like cooking but baking, pickling, and jamming have been awesome. I could not be more excited 🙂
Sourdough: I first became interested in baking bread and I now even have a sourdough starter that makes wonders every week 🙂 I have not purchased any store-made bread since May 2016. I also shared my sourdough and commercial yeast loaves with my fiends. What a joy 🙂
Kefir: I then was gifted by kefir grains within 2017 and i not only fell in love with kefir itself, but I made cheese/spread from it and even used it in baking bread 🙂 Drinking kefir makes me feel good and I know that it gives me the calcium that I need at my age in addition to many nutrients. I am very happy with it 🙂
Pickles: I did pickles before thanks to my mother, but I have never been this interested in it until recently – I love the beet and cabbage pickles I make! I think it is the benefit of living in a cold climate that the pickle lasts long without going bad and this way I always have a jar or two in my kitchen. I made three batches of beet pickles this fall enjoyed by myself and my friends 🙂
Sauerkraut: And tomorrow I will try my first ever sauerkraut!
I feel like I am doing such a great job refraining from additives and chemicals in store-bought jams/bread/pickles. I must be rightfully proud of myself and I am!
Okay.. I have not been as productive as I wished, but since I purchased my lovely sewing machine last year, I have done small stuff, including lots of covers for jars and discloth/cloth for the counter and window sills. I am yet to undertake a serious project, like a blouse or a quilt, but I know when the time comes, that will happen too 🙂
These are newfound interests for me and they have been enriching my life, providing me healthy and affordable food/items, and I feel increasingly “able”.
First of all; I have not worked this weekend 🙂 A first in the last 6 months or so. I am still tired but my spirit is high, so all is well 🙂
Second of all; I baked my first corn bread and it was delicious – that is so exciting! I can bake it of my guest as well 🙂 I feel like my baking and cooking skills are significantly improved by this dish… I love this feeling 🙂
Third of all; I thrifted today after a long time. I spent hours going through everything with excitement. I tried on maybe 30 pieces and bought three; one blouse that I was hoping to find (I have its exact same copy, which I love, love, love! I was hoping that I could find a similar one so that I could wear it for a longer time. Today my dreams came true 🙂 ). I also bought two good-looking cardigans that i am sure I will wear with love. A very good day indeed 🙂 I plan to thrift next weekend too.
Fourth of all; I cooked multiple meals for me this weekend, which is awesome. I usually would refrain from cooking or cook one meal to last 2-3 days, but not this weekend. How lovely is this? 🙂
Fifth of all; I found a great deal on my favorite french press and ordered it 🙂 It is expected within a week or so and I could not be happier 🙂 I literally got it 75% off.. WOW! It is good that I have waited so long. Jack pot!
Sixth of all; I re-started push ups and back exercises to help ease my back problems and strengthen my arms, chest, and abs. My muscles are aching – that means my exercises are effective. I am happy with this!! 🙂
Seventh of all; yesterday I used loyalty points for a large amount of shopping (like a hundred bucks) to purchase personal care and cleaning products. I found all items I was looking for and I only bought things that I will use or need. So every point/dime was used for a good purpose and no waste! 🙂
Eighth of all; I am feeling good and lucky with all these positive experiences and this makes me relaxed and happier 🙂
Here is today’s sourdough bread with a happy, happy, happy face! 🙂
It will be gifted to a colleague of mine, who gave me a ride this weekend – hope they will like it 🙂
this is the dough prior to overnight rise at room temp; it contains 1 cup of levain, 1 1/3 cup of water, 3.5 cups of bread flour, 2 tbs of sugar, and 1.5 tbs of salt; stretched and folded 4-5 times. You may notice it is in a mixing bowl , which is in a pot. I wanted to try whether rising in a bowl would help with the development of the dough better than a large pot, like I always do. I also needed the pot because it has a lid – we do not want any pet lurking around, do we? I do not…..:)
in the morning; it was a great dough
this is right after it has been shaped and placed in a mixing bowl with a clean kitchen towel sprinkled with flour
5.5 hours of rising at room temperature in a plastic bag, which creates a green house effect I believe
I was kind of worried about its shape, but it turned out to be great at the end
Because of my trips lately I had depleted my frozen bread stock. I feel a lot better when I have extra loaves at the freezer. Thus, I baked two sourdough today using the same recipe 🙂
They both turned out to be lovely! Thin crust and soft crumb, with a kick of salt and feeling very homey 🙂 The oven spring was way more powerful that I would imagine, as both loaves had sides cracked despite the fact that I had scored their surface 🙂 Something worked really well 🙂
The catch is that I had run out of bread flour, so I had to prepare the dough with all purpose flour. Now, I never have had a good rise with all purpose flour, even though I am in Canada (people says that Canadian all purpose flour is as good as the bread flour with high protein content…). That is why I thought I would add some oat or rye flakes to dough – my previous experience with these additions is that they make the yeast somehow happier and dough better and airy.
I used 1 cup of rolled rye flakes soaked for 2 hours in 1 cup of water, which was then topped with 5 cups of all purpose flour, 2tbs of sugar, 1.5 tbs of salt, 1 1/3 cups of starter, and I believe 2.5 cups of water.
I used the stretch and fold technique to form the dough and left it at room temperature over night to rise.
In the morning, I was looking at a puffy and healthy dough 🙂 I cut it into two, one smaller than the other, shaped, rested for 10 min, and then placed them in proving containers. The small one was proven in an oven pot and the other one was formed into a long loaf and placed on a cookie sheet surrounded with items to keep it in shape. I left them at room temperature for 4.5 hours to prove.
I scored them and then baked at non-pre-heated oven at 350F for 55 min.
the next morning, it looks fluffy and happy 🙂
this is the long loaf, squeezed between kitchen items to help keep its shape
small loaf; nicely tucked in an oven pot
after 4.5 hours at room temp, the dough has risen nice and eay
I baked two loaves today – my freezer stock has been depleted. One always need a decent home-made sourdough bread 🙂
Both loaves have been sightly sticky, risen at room temp for about 18 hours (at round 17 C). For the baton loaf, I used a pot to rise, whereas the other one was risen in a mixing bowl. The latter was slightly more sticky in the next morning and required quite a bit of flour to handle. I also needed to use a lot of flour to keep it from sticking to baking clothe while proving. This inevitably resulted in a pale looking loaf. I have risen the baton loaf on parchment paper between a couple of stuff to help keep its shape.
The prove time was 4 hours for the round loaf and around 5 hours for the other. I baked them at 350F for around 55-65 minutes.
The end results are good with lots of air pockets. The big pockets in the round loaf are worrisome, telling me that I did not do a good job deflating the dough in the morning. The baton loaf had a much better crumb, which was very pleasing.
Bon appetite! 🙂
levain 🙂 happy and healthy
initial shaggy dough – I added 2 cups of levain. 9 cups of bread flour, 4 cups of water, 3 tbs of sugar, and 2 tbs of salt
after 5 stretching and folding, I have cut the dough into two – this is the slightly smaller half risen at room temp overnight
the bigger half: risen in the pot over night at room temp
the big half in the morning – risen well
the small half; nicely risen
the big dough formed into baton shape on parchment paper and supported by some handy kitchen items 🙂
the small dough right before the start of the proving step
small dough after 4 hours of proving
this is how it looked; note the flour on the surface – I had to use A LOT of it to prevent it from sticking to baking clothe
scoring was not successful this time, but good enough
the baton loaf after proving; nice and plumpy 🙂
scored; I was not very good at scoring this time, but that is okay
aaand the small loaf after 55 min at 350F – during the bake I sweeped the extra flour from the surface, but flour still stuck to the dough. as a results I ended up with a pale looking bread. oven spring is pretty good
this turned out to be a big loaf – I cut it into three pieces for freezer 🙂
the small/round loaf – not bad but not great either. nevertheless it will be greatly enjoyed 🙂
on the sides of the round loaf there have been many large air packets
this is the baton and my verdict is that its crumb has been way better than the round loaf 🙂
Yesterday I have prepared two sourdough; one can be found here; it was prepared by a starter that was rigorous and with a long rise (around 16 hours at room temp) with 4 hours of proving, following my regular recipe. It turned out to be a lovely loaf with a great oven spring.
That loaf will be given to my friends that I have seen yesterday night. So upon returning home at around 11 pm, I decided I needed a loaf for myself so I prepared a small dough using the left overs from my starter that I resurrected this past week. These left overs are those that needed to be removed and replaced with fresh flour and water while feeding the starter. I did not want to put it in garbage, so I thought I could find a use for them (like tortilla), so had kept around 3/4 cups of them in my fridge. They were not necessarily the best starter, but I took my chances with my second loaf.
The second loaf had 9 hours of first rise with limited stretch and fold (1 only) at room temperature and 5 hours of proofing. Honestly it did not look good when I put it on parchment paper (it did not keep its shape). Anyways, in the oven there was some kind of spring. So I was still not very hopeful. But when I cut it, I was very surprised; it has the largest air pockets I have seen in my sourdough! It is soft and the sesame seeds give it an incredibly nutty flavor 🙂 Although its rise was short, I think dough being slightly sticky helped it to turn into this beautiful loaf.
I think sometimes keeping the faith and trying something that does not look much hopeful pays off 🙂
right before placing on parchment paper prior to baking; it was sticky so I applied a lot of sesame seeds to the sides
on the parchment paper: deflated dough never gives you hope about its future. BUT I was proven wrong this time 🙂
after 33 min of baking at 375F oven (oven was pre-heated). there is some oven spring, but nothing impressive
voila! wow! never expected this 🙂 beautiful, is it not? very impressive indeed!
Using all purpose flour in this sourdough loaf was a disaster. They say the Canadian all purpose and bread flours have similar protein content and many bakers are successful in getting decent loaves with all purpose flour, but today I proved myself that was not the case for me. Bread flour it is!
Dough was fantastic, but as soon as I took it from the proofing basket, it spread and leveled. I was hoping maybe once it is in the oven things would get better. But the loaf did not rise, usual oven spring was not existing, and it took longer (1 hour 15 min at 350F) to get a browned crust (I suspect because it was such a shallow loaf that its crust was further away from the top of the oven, which made it longer to brown), and as a result is as dry and hard as brick.
I will eat it, but honestly use the bread flour if it works better for your loaves.
starter was one of the best I have seen lately; I was hopeful about this loaf. Alas…..
initial shaggy dough with 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup+1tbs of starter, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tbs sugar, and 1.5 tbs salt. it was dry and did not form well at the beginning, which was somehow alarming
after 4-5 stretch and fold; it turned out to be working; dough was in a much better shape and moist
after 18 hours rise at room temperature dough has risen quite well and I was very pleased with this 🙂
quickly shaped and placed in a bowl lined up with a clean cloth and sprinkled with generous amount of flour
after 6 hours of proof at room temperature in a plastic bag (makes the green house effect)
when taken out of the bowl; it does not look bad but it started to spread after that
my signature (aka favorite scoring)
final product baked at 350F non-pre-heated oven for 1 hour 15 min
there are some air pockets, but it is a good example of a brick loaf 😦
Added after the post: On a second thought, this loaf may as well be just over-proved. The first rise was quite long (around 18 hours) and I wonder if this has something to do with this leveled loaf (aka less gluten structure)… if you have any opinion, please do comment.
this is my sourdough culture that I created a year ago from water and whole wheat flour; it is love.
this is how the dough initially looked; it consists of 1 cup of stiff levain, 1 1/3 cup of water, 3 cups of bread flour, 2 tbs sugar, and 1.5 tbs salt. I do not know why I use sugar, but I baked once without it and it was not a great rise, so I keep adding sugar to my sourdough
after 4-5 stretch and fold – ready to rest over night
after the over night rest at room temperature
shaped and directly placed into proofing basket aka mixing bowl lined with a clean cloth and sprinkled with flour; close those seams 🙂
after 5 hours of proofing in a nylon bag (green house effect; recommended)
perfect shape 🙂
my signature aka most favorite scoring
and after 55 min (45 min with oven on at 375F and 10 min off); baking at non-pre-heated oven
I managed to revive my sourdough starter from dried flakes! 🙂
The new one is very similar to previous one (that I accidentally used all in a loaf) and has had a great oven spring. Since it will be served to my guests tomorrow, I did not cut it up to see the crumb, but I am sure it is good.
While trying to revive my dried sourdough starter, here is the bread I have baked using the commercial yeast.
yeast is activated and frothy; ready to use 🙂
this is the initial dough, prior to the stretches and folds
after streches and folds and 3 hours at room temp; it is risen and formed a little bit 🙂
this is how it looked in the morning after an over night rest at the fridge
right before shaping; the dough has relaxed at room temp
start of the 4 hour proving
at the end of the proving step; there is a nice, satisfactory rise
I was amazed how well the dough has kept its round shape when I moved it from the shaping bowl on to the baking sheet. excellent sign 🙂
scored: this is turning into my favorite scoring model 🙂
1/2 tbs yeast, 1 cup 2% milk, 1 cup water (warm milk and water together first), 2 tbs sugar; mix well and activate the yeast for 10 min (cover the bowl)
add 3 tbs salt, 9 cups of bread flour, mix and form a dough
cover and stretch and fold 3-4 times (around 20-30 min rest in between)
rest at fridge over night
in the morning. take the dough out and bring to room temp ~3 hours
shape the dough and rest 5 min
work on the shape of the dough, and place it in a bowl with clean cloth and sprinkled with generous amount of sun flower seeds
put in a large plastic bag and prove at room temp for 4 hours (in the last 30 min I put it in an oven warmed to 100F)
score and bake at a non-pre-heated oven at 375F for 45 min (oven on) and an additional 15 min (oven off)
take out, sprinkle some water over the loaf, and let cool down
PS: since this loaf is going to a friend of mine, I did not cut it out and hence I have no idea how the crumb is. But the oven spring was amazing and the fact that the loaf kept its round shape, I am hopeful that the crumb too is good 🙂
It is Canada day tomorrow and we have the long weekend with Monday off.
I may be working on Monday but I am so excited for this long weekend! I just feel tired and too strained lately, and I am looking forward to winding down a little bit. This weekend will give me this opportunity 🙂
What are my plans?
Other than the regular stuff (i.e. cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cutting the grass – which I have done this afternoon), I plan to bake an unconventional type of sourdough this week. What could that be? Something that has not been done before…. I do not know really – I will have to really get creative here, or bake a regular sourdough – in any way it will be awesome 🙂
I would like to visit the thrift stores tomorrow and see whether i can find something interesting. I may buy some sewing material.
Sewing… Yes… Why do I not try sewing a blouse again? I have tons of fabric that I hauled last year from thrift stores 🙂 What a great idea – I hope I will not chicken again and do it!
I may also visit a nearby international food store and get some dry beans and bulghur – these could be excellent choices to prepare office lunch for me. Good idea! 🙂
I also would like to start drying some lilacs from my yard. I have incredible lilacs that I have been thinking about drying up for some time. I think it is the time…. Once they dry up, I want to hang them on my wall in a frame. The beauty of the flowers and plants in my yard…. How nice is the nature? I have daisies blooming up. They are all so exciting🙂
And other than this, I will look ahead my life, and plan and hope for the best. It is time that things change for the better. Now that I appreciate my life, how simple and easy going it is, and how well it works for me, including my budget, increased savings, and investments. There is a lot to be grateful for in my life. This weekend will give me an opportunity to re-think about them and re-feel my appreciation.
I am hooked to this combination and I suspect that I will always bake sourdough with kefir from now on.
I have not tasted anything quite like this, nor eaten a softer sourdough that I have baked. The slight salty taste, the crumb (the best so far), and the smell of this sourdough will fill my dreams – I can tell you that with confidence.
The recipe is quite basic like any other sourdough I have baked;
1. I added to 1 cup of whole wheat starter fed twice (Friday night and Saturday morning), 2tbs of sugar and 1 cup of kefir – mixed well with a spoon until it become somehow frothy (it does become frothy quite easily). Then added 2 cups of bread flour and 1.5 tbs of salt. Mixed and formed a shaggy dough.
This dough formed quite fast without needing to mix too much – I give it to kefir. Somehow it helped bond the dough and voila! I had that healthy looking and soft dough. As it was my practice the last few weeks, I made sure the dough was slightly sticky while adding the flour.
2. I then left it at room temperature covered with a clean towel and stretched and folded 4-5 times time to time. The next day, I shaped it, and left for proving in a bowl covered with a clean cloth and sprinkled with generous amount of sesame and poppy seeds. It proved for 6.5 hours at room temperature in a plastic bag.
3. I baked it in non-preheated oven; 375 F for 15 min first, then 25 min at 350 F (the seeds burn pretty quick if the temperature is high), and then left in a turned off oven for an additional 5 min.
Give it a try and let me know whether you also agree that this is the best sourdough ever! 🙂
Here we go – the most interesting sourdough loaf I have ever baked!
What do you think?
I had seen a recipe here at wordpress once upon a time using beet (thanks whoever had posted it at that time). It always intrigued me and finally this weekend it was the time to give it a try.
My verdict; this is a very easy loaf to work with because wild yeast loves the beet (or anything else like carrots that provide some kind of nutrients and moisture to the dough/bread) and the colour is just amazing! It was a fluffy dough that rose pretty well. The proving step was also short (~5 hours at room temperature in my cool Canadian kitchen) – partly because of the hydration by the beet and partly because I tried to make it kind of sticky with less flour than usual. The crumb is open (one of the best, if not the best crumb I have seen lately) and it is soft and palatable. The only thing was that the smell of raw/baked beet somehow threw me away at the beginning. But the remedy is easy and available – butter, as usual, makes it perfect! 🙂
This being said, I think next time I will try it with raspberry and some more sugar!
Friday night: took the starter off the fridge and fed with whole wheat flour and water, wrapped in a towel and left at room temperature overnight
Saturday morning: fed the starter again and one hour later divided it into two portion: one portion went to fridge (starter) and the second portion left at room temp for 3 hours to flourish (to be used in the dough)
Saturday afternoon: added to 1 cup of starter, 2 tbs of sugar, and 1 cup of water. Grated 1 medium sized beet and added to the mixture. Then, added 2.5 cups of bread flour and 1.5 tbs of salt and mixed with a spoon. It formed a shaggy dough. After that I left for shopping, so only 5 hours later or so, I stretched and folded it once or twice before leaving it to rise at room temperature overnight (closed lid and covered with a towel)
Sunday morning: shaped on a generously floured work surface, let rest for 10 min and shaped again. I decided it was better if I proved it in an oven dish and directly baked it after proving. Hence, I placed the dough in the dish covered with parchment paper and put it in a nylon bag – that, I found a while ago, creates a green house effect and help dough prove faster
Sunday afternoon: After 5 hours of proving, turned the oven on (375F) and placed the dough in it. Baked for 45 min with oven on and then an additional 15 min with oven turned off.
Do not forget to cool down, admire, and enjoy it with butter and loved ones!
Bon appetite 🙂
what da ya think about this crumb? wonderful, is it not? 🙂
to beet or not to beet? 🙂
grated beet – this colur is the best red shade ever!
starter, water, sugar, and beet mixed up
this is the initial dough – right before the rise
the next morning – wow! what a great rise it had had 🙂
since it is quite softy and sticky, shaping it required gentle handling and lots of flour
here it is at the end of the proving step – all fluffy and lovely looking
final loaf – I decided no to score this time as it already had some kind of surface breakage prior to proving
Here is another Sunday sourdough with a touch of rolled rye – a slice of it and butter – yummy!
The recipe is very similar to an earlier loaf with slight changes: I did not wait 30 min after adding water to rolled rye (rather mixed it with the rest of the ingredients right away – I have got lazy here 🙂 ), used one cup starter, 1 cup water, 2 tbs of sugar, 1.5 tbs of salt and 3.5 cup of bread flour. Since the bread flour is a little bit less than the previous recipe, this was a slightly sticky dough, which I prefer the last few weeks. I also did not pre-heat the oven; just put it inside and let it oven spring 🙂
In my experience rolled oat, rolled rye, or semolina flour in small amounts (like 1 cup in addition to 3-4 cups bread flour) help with proofing and oven rise – these kind of loaves never disappointed me in terms crumb.
Here is a pictorial recipe for this hearty and tasty loaf:
This loaf is similar to others in making, only with an additional 2 tbs water to make it slightly sticky. During stretching and folding, the dough formed well and the stickiness has almost disappeared. I also did not add sugar to dough for the first time.
And, finally I am consuming the wild rice that I have had for some years!!!
I totally improvised this soup:
Add in a pot 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup red lentil, 1 small potato, 100 grms of butter, and 3 cups water
Boil and then simmer for 1 hour, or until rice softens
This is a very creamy and hearty soup because of the lentil and potato, and has a mixture of both soft and somewhat crunchy texture (the wild rice has a tough outer membrane)
Here is my 50% whole wheat, 50% bread flour sourdough with flax seed 🙂
And here is yours truly having some fun after baking this beautiful loaf (I could not upload the video; apparently I must be paying for a plan to do so. Hence, rather here is a snap shot from the video 🙂
I first got enticed by commercial yeast by chance, and tried my first loafwithout knowing what I was doing 🙂 It was a very tasty, very hearty bread though – I enjoyed it 🙂
With the confidence coming out of that experience, the week after that I tried baguettesand this time I was very badly defeated 🙂 I have had very serious concerns about whether I would ever be able to bake a decent loaf. This lasted some time, while I read, read, and read about how to best bake a bread.
It was my mom who encouraged me to get hopeful and try again. And again I tried. It was not an easy period I would say; I often failed and only every once a while I could get a decent loaf. I experimented a lot with autolysing, kneading, stretching and folding, over-night dough risen at room temperature or in the fridge, using a roaster as a substitute for a dutch oven, using milk or water in dough, using pre-heated and non-preheated oven, misting the oven versus not doing it while baking, adding rolled oats or seeds like flax seed to dough, and different types of flour (all purpose flour and bread flour).
I got intrigued by wild yeast and sourdough, hence I also experimented with it 🙂 I attempted four times to get a decent starter and eventually got one with a whole wheat flour. It is my Monster starter that has been working just great since last August-September. I almost every single weekend bake a loaf or two using this starter, and I must say every week I notice a subtle progress and development in it. It is a living organism alright 🙂
So I found that while I am still far away from the “perfect loaf”, stretching and folding really works and develops the dough, over night dough is the best, there is no need for pre-heating or misting the oven, or using a dutch oven/roaster to bake a good loaf. All you need is love, patience, and paying attention to dough. If you do this, you will get a great loaf each time after a while. Guaranteed.
Today, on this very special anniversary, I tried sourdough with rolled oat with a recipe similar to this (and without the flax seed). What a beauty 🙂
Here are select loaves I have baked within the last year, starting with the first ever loaf I baked. Looking at them literally makes me happy.
If you are intrigued or interested at all, I would say go for it and try a loaf or two. Baking your own bread is very healthy, satisfying, and most importantly, an exciting hobby 🙂
Since I started baking my own bread last year, I have been feeling more “able“.
Bread has always been my favorite food. Strange enough after I started baking my own loaves, the amount of bread I consumed has reduced. How strange… I wonder whether it being a natural product with no additives or chemicals has anything to do with this? Anyways, I am proud of the fact that within the last one year I did not buy any store-made bread; I only consumed my own, mostly the precious sourdough loaves. Talking about the joy of baking and the happiness coming out of it 🙂
Anyways, when I bought my sewing machine last November, I thought it was an additional step towards being resourceful and a self-sustaining life-style. I was planning to sew my own blouses, which I have failed so far, but one day I will do this. This and others, like sewing quilt, doing repairs (which I have), and sewing cloths/placemats to be used around the house (which I have, too) will keep me feel independent and able. It feels good indeed.
We may not realize but there are so many ways that even someone like me, who does not like house chores, demonstrates the ability to self-sustain. Consider cooking at home and feeding ourselves, cleaning our own houses, taking care of the yard (boy, thinking about cutting the grass… argh… one thing that I really dislike, but keep doing anyhow), dyeing our own hair to name a few. I feel so again when I walk to or from the office, or to the shopping malls, instead of taking the bus or the cab. By walking I freely transport myself and relax at the same time. Do you not think that we in fact all are, to some degree, independent of others/stores/services and rather are self-sustaining?
I have spent sometime reading posts about homesteading this evening. I have no practical interest in homesteading myself as a single and middle aged city girl, but I sure enjoy reading about the daily lives of the homesteaders, their farming adventures, issues, and relationships with nature. My current life and level of sustainability is no-where near the homesteaders’ life, but I am doing way better than many people living in a mid-size city. I guess even though I do not realize it well, I happen to have a kind of simple, affordable, and sustainable life that I must be excited about 🙂
I baked two sourdough today; one boule and the other baton-shaped.
The recipe is quite similar to previous ones with:
4/3 cup of whole wheat flour starter fed Friday evening and Saturday morning, 1 1/4 cup water, 3-4 cups bread flour, 2 tbs of sugar, and 2 tbs of salt. It should be slightly sticky
mix, rest at room temperature, and stretch and fold 4-5 times with 20-60 min in between (it is quite forgiving; you do not need to time everything. what is important is to fold and strech so that the dough and gluten form)
rise at room temperature over night in a mixing bowl with lid and wrap with a towel
the next morning (aka today), shape and rest for 10 min. Re-shape if required, cover the loaf with a towel, and place in a plastic bag for a green house effect (I think that works really well) for 4 hours or longer (this week at the end of 4 hours, the loaves had almost doubled)
bake at 375 min for 50-55 min (until it becomes golden crisp. I no longer pre-heat the oven or use a roaster/dutch oven to bake. Eventually if the dough is good, the bread comes out wonderful)
cool down and make sure to take your time to enjoy 🙂
this is how it rises at the end of the over night rise; does it not look exciting? i am so happy to see dough risen in Sunday mornings 🙂
the boule right before proofing, seam up in a shaping bowl with a clean cloth sprinkled with flour
I am not great at shaping baton, but this will do it 🙂
after 4 hours, the boule has almost doubled in size – this is always a good sign
aaaand the end products! look at these beauties! The scoring on boule made an impression of a face, do you not think? 🙂
and the crumb of the baton – what a great development. I am very happy with the loaves today 🙂
crumb of the boule – I find that baton loaves give more open crumbs than boules (based on last week’s and this week’s experience. I wonder whether it has something to do with the height – shorter is better to get air pockets somehow? Maybe it is easier to lift up the dough if the height is not high like in my boules… something to think about)
Sourdough loaves are for myself (of course! – since I started baking sourdough in August-September last year, there has not been a week that I have not eaten it 🙂 ) while the bread loaves with commercial yeast will be given to my colleague who gave me a ride last week.
The loaves with the commercial yeast were prepared similar to this one, only without the milk. I am aware that the shapes are not the best, but we will hope at least the taste, crumb, and crust are superb 🙂
I am not good at writing my joy journal this year…… I believe this is my only the second post in 2017.
I am the best person to know that writing this journal is one thing that always made me feel better, more hopeful, and joyful.
So, why is this neglect lately? Was I too joyful so that I did not need to write it, or was I not joyful at all so I did not even bother writing?
The answer is neither.
I was slightly down; that is for sure. Work has had some stressful & pissing moments in February and March. But other than that many great things happened, almost on a daily basis.
I was just lazy, I would say.
Now is a good time to break this pattern and start being and benefiting from being grateful.
1. I am grateful for being safe and sound in this stormy day. I was not hurt, fell, or got washed out by the rain or pushed around by the wind.
2. I am grateful for my home standing tall, strong, and safe in this weather. This year we have had quite a bit of winter with lots of wind and snow. And now we are having rain. But the house has been great with no problem at sight. I am very thankful for this.
3. I am grateful for deciding to remove from my work list those that drag me down emotionally. Whether they are the unnecessary tasks or people, I say “no” more often now and it feels good. I will keep doing this as long as it serves me best.
4. I am grateful for all the food I have in my house.
5. I am grateful for having the night to myself. It is quite peaceful to have no one around.
6. I am grateful for having the energy and feeling good about myself.
7. I am grateful for eating fruits today and enjoying them.
8. I am grateful for feeding my sourdough starter this evening. I hope to make a dough tomorrow and bake a loaf on Sunday, as usual. This weekend, I will also have a loaf or two with commercial yeast to give to my colleague who gave me a ride this evening. I do not necessarily like getting favors without giving something back, especially from those people who I have no close friendship. For some reason, when someone who is not a close friend of mine offers me this kind of help/kindness, I have a hard time accepting it gracefully. Old habit… And bread sounds great – I am sure they will enjoy. And I will feel even.
9. I am grateful for the movie I am watching; my internet connection; my computer; my power and heating; my phone line; my furniture; shoes/boots and clothes and everything else I have at home. All is necessary or useful, and well liked.
10. I am grateful for reading and enjoying reading; whether it is books or browsing on the internet. But learning is the best thing a mind can relax and grow into. I have so many opportunities to do so that I am loving my life very much right now 🙂
11. I am grateful for re-starting my joy journal and being grateful 🙂
Added after the post:
I forgot – as of Jan 2017, I also would like to note at least 3 things that I appreciate about myself. Here is today’s list:
I appreciate the fact that I am not a cheap person
I appreciate the fact that I can say “no” now
I appreciate the fact that I make an effort to keep a simple, peaceful, healthy, and meaningful life
I appreciate the fact that I am more focused on my own well being at the office
I appreciate the fact that I have simple but effective/meaningful hobbies, like reading, writing, listening to music, or watching movies
I appreciate the fact that I have a character and its genuine – what you see is what you get
I appreciate the fact that I make a good effort to eat at least one type of raw veggie per day – it is essential for losing weight (for some reason, it does work for me..)
I appreciate the fact that I am resourceful
I appreciate today especially the fact that I am writing on my joy journal and also making this “self-appreciation corner” an integral part of it 🙂
Our storm continues with heavy rain, rather than snow, and with high winds. It has been a wet, cold, gray, and miserable day, but luckily not a snow-day. I worked whole day at the office and one of my co-workers gave me a ride back home. What else do I want from such a stormy day? Maybe a cup of tea 🙂
I am determined to try to sew a collar again this weekend and start a new blouse project. It is the collars that screw everything most – once I do achieve sewing one acceptable prototype, I know I can keep progressing….. But there were three trials so far and all were fails. I know I should be more patient and keep going. Eventually I will know how to best handle it. After all, there are so many people who can do a collar. Is there any particular reason why I cannot make it?
I did not think so.
Confidence and determinism are rare traits sometimes.
I have watched a number of youtube videos. There are many different ways to sew a neck line. I can do this!
I have not posted my “weekly budget check” this week. It has been similar to previous weeks where I saved by shopping items/grocery on sale, minimizing anything else. The only difference was that this week every morning I have taken the cab to the office. This was partly because of the bad weather and partly because of my need to feel good about myself. For some reason, I am not sorry. Perhaps one or two days I could rather take the bus, but in the other days taking the cab was the right decision. That is why I am not sorry. And the fact that money is not everything. And the fact that it is okay to prioritize comfort every once a while 🙂
I wonder what the future years will bring. If our economy was not this bad, in the coming years we would expect to get salary increases. This would be nice and help me to make further plans to pay the mortgage off. I have a little increase coming in April, for which I am grateful. But knowing that our salaries will probably not increase, in contrast, may even be reduced after that, I am feeling disappointed.
The other day I was thinking: what other expense I can reduce in my life? How can I get more income? One of the options is to get a roommate – but this will not happen without sacrificing my comfort and freedom. I wish I had a basement apartment where I could rent. At least that would feel like some kind of freedom. But in terms of the expenses, I cannot cut my cable-phone-internet combo; I sure can walk more frequently to office once the weather becomes more permissive; I cannot sacrifice from my grocery and food any further. None of these can happen without reducing the quality of my life or my life style. I can reduce the expenses related to my social life, but hey it is already not too much. So what do I do?
Nothing much. Cherish what I could achieve so much, aim to save as much as possible (possible is a great word here) while also enjoy my life. That is pretty much it.
2017 has been the leanest year in terms of my spending so far. Since it is March 31st, I thought it would be a good idea to check my finances. I usually do this at the end of each year, but it is good to know how I am doing in terms of budgeted categories.
Notable financial accomplishments/facts are as follows:
1. I am spending much less money this year than before
2. I am walking in the mornings whenever I can – the first time in winter this year (well, okay this is not completely a financial achievement, but an important change in my life this year – so I will keep it in the list 🙂 )
3. I have made an effort to consume the food in my pantry and freezer and it worked really good for me
4. I started to make mortgage prepayments this year and it has been going well. I am more motivated than ever to keep saving, however little it can be, and use it to make a pre-payment
5. My weekly allowance (of $120) has never been over-spent so far and I am constantly saving in my fund funds (these are the funds left from the weekly allowance). If it continues like this I will have an extra $2,000 – 2,500 at the end of the year in my fun funds account. This is additional to what I predicted that I could save this year. Maybe I will use it for my enjoyment, or maybe I will use it to invest/pay mortgage. We shall see 🙂
6. Of $6,000 funds budgeted for socials, personal care and cleaning products, hobbies, medications and other health-related expenses, gifts, and all expenses other than my weekly allowance, I spent around $1,000 so far. Considering that it is the 1/4th of the year so far, this number is good. I should keep going frugal in these areas, as I happen to shop a lot during the November-December to take advantage of the sales. I hope to keep within this budgeted amount this year.
7. My chequing account is healthy, above $0, and as usual, I continue to contribute to my RRSP and TFSA investments biweekly. The only thing is that despite all the frugal life-style, regular savings to improve the chequing account has been quite difficult (because of the increased tax, pension contributions, and mortgage payments) compared to the last year. Nevertheless, since it is in a good shape, I am grateful for whatever I can do and I am determined to keep going.
What is a Sunday without a home-baked loaf of sourdough?
You got it right – it is almost impossible!!!!! :))))
Since I started sourdoughing last August, except one weekend and when I was away for vacation/business trip, I baked a loaf or two every…single…Sunday! 🙂
I keep experimenting with the rolled cereals/grains in my sourdough loaves. My recent a couple trials including the soaked rolled oat and flax seed in sourdough (for example, here andhere) have been quite successful. I think they help with the moisture even though they lack the gluten so they take up only a small part of the total dough (other wise the loaf does not rise – I know by experience – unless you want a flat and stiff loaf, do not try to have a loaf with only rolled oat).
Anyways, I saw and purchased the rolled rye a couple of weeks ago. Honestly I have no idea what it could be used for, but I thought it would be a nice addition to my baking adventures and a nice ornament for the crust. I was not wrong.
This is the biggest loaf I have ever baked so far; thus rather than a boule I opted out for a baton loaf (I thought it would bake more evenly). Also, I proved the dough in a large plastic bag that kept it somewhat warm (something like a greenhouse effect). I am glad I remembered to do this as I think it reduced the proving time.
tend to the starter and prepare the levain as explained here
mix 1 cup of rolled rye with 1 cup of water, soak for 30 min
add the rye mixture, 1 1/4 cups of starter, 1 cup water, and 2 tbs sugar together and mix well
add 4 cups of bread flour and 2 tbs of salt. Mix and form a shaggy dough. It will be a little bit sticky dough
stretch and fold 4-5 times at 30-60 min intervals
cover, wrap with a thick towel, and rise at room temp over night. My kitchen is around 17 C
the next morning, take the dough on a floured surface, expand and form a rectangular dough, and then fold over itself to form a baton shape
cover and rest for 10-15 min at room temp
re-shape if required and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet
cover with a thick towel and place in a large plastic bag; tie the ends of the bag and rest for 5 hours at room temp
pre-heat the oven at 375 F
wet the surface of the loaf with your hands and sprinkle with rolled rye. Gently press to make sure the flakes will stick. Score the loaf as you please
bake for 55 min
cool down and enjoy!
my beautiful starter has been very happy today 🙂
this is the rolled rye and water mix… I know… I know… it does not look great, but trust me, it does the dough really good 🙂
this is the dough right before I left it for the overnight rise
and, in the morning I was met with my dough 🙂 it has risen so much! this is always delightful to see 🙂
the shaping did well, but the loaf is really huge.. the biggest I have ever baked 🙂
and 5 hours later, it has risen well – time to score 🙂
I like this pattern of scoring – very practical and looks great. I also love coating the surface with seeds or flakes – this time rye flakes 🙂
this loaf has been great. I mean, look at these air packets… hmmm. I am al most sure this is one the best loaves of mine ever 🙂
You know I bake sourdough bread every Sunday. Since each dough, each loaf is different, Sundays are usually very exciting times for me 🙂
This baby is part semolina sourdough – my second take on semolina.
My experience with semolina flour has been consistently good really, but it is true that it does not rise, so I used only a cup in this loaf. There is something nice about it that helps yield a great dough, even though I cannot put my finger on it. Let me know if you have any idea 🙂
Like other times, I fed the starter on Friday, and then again on Saturday morning.
On Saturday afternoon, I added 3/2 cup starter, 1 cup water, and 2 tbs sugar and mixed it well with a fork. Then I added 1 cup semolina flour, 3/2 cup bread flour, and 1.5 tbs salt and mixed everything well using my hand.
The rest is very similar to other times (check this) except that I proved the loaf at room temperature for 8 hours today – only because I stepped out for a quick shopping trip, bumped into friends, and spent (lovely) time with them, so when I returned back home it was already 8 hours of proofing 🙂
I was scared that it would be over-proved, but it was not – the loaf turned out to be great; I think if it was sticky, it would not shape this well and would possibly end up being over-proven. So I feel lucky this time 🙂
Happy baking! 🙂
the initial dough – may not look great but overtime stretch and fold technique does the wonder 🙂
the next morning – isn’t this a beauty?
at the end of the 8 hour-long proofing – ready to bake
I was surprised how well it kept its shape after i removed it from the bowl I used to proof it – it is mostly because it was not a sticky dough to start with
scoring – my favorite part 🙂
not bad, is it? my air packets are usually not large, but i still get softy loaf. this loaf has a consistent crumb that I really like
I surprised myself with this loaf; if you are looking for a change in the taste of your sourdough loaf, I would highly recommend you to give this one a try. This loaf tastes very realistically “nutty” because of the oat. I plan to bake a loaf only with oat and levain next time – let’s see how that will turn out.
I think it is true when they say that salt brings in the flavor. Salt level in the recipe may be too much for many, so feel free to use less, but for me it was great.
levain – am I the only one who loves seeing those bubbles? tiny yet so powerful – I love the wild yeast 🙂
levain – view from the top
mix the oat and flax seed – feel free to use others
wet the flax seed and oat – it forms a gel-like liquid, which I think is good for the dough
shaggy dough at the end of mixing – do not worry; it will be just fine after a few stretch and fold
after stretch and fold and ready to rest over night
and this is what says “good morning” to you the next morning 🙂 is that not beautiful?
shape into a round liaf – this dough was pretty strong – exciting 🙂
scoring right before going into the oven – make me proud loaf! 😉
aha! now, is that not nice? wow 🙂
thin crust (which I prefer) and soft crumb; very nice bread. I for some reason cannot get big air holes in my loaves, but maybe in summer things can get better
Friday: feed the starter with 2/3 cup whole wheat flour and 1/3 cup water, wrap in a towel, and rest at room temp overnight.
Saturday: The next morning, feed the starter again and divide into two; one part to go to fridge and the other one to rest at room temp, wrapped in a towel for a few hours, which will be used in bread.
Once the levain seems bubbly;
Add 1 cup rolled oat and 1/2 cup of flax seed to 1 cup of water, mix and let stand for 30 min or so
Add to the oat/flax seed mix, 1 cup levain, 1 cup water, 2 tbs sugar and mix well
Add to this mixture 1.5 tbs of salt and 3 cups+2 tbs of bread flour. Mix and form a shaggy and sticky dough, cover with a towel, and rest for 20 min. At this step the dough does not have to be perfect and there is no need to knead.
Stretch and fold ever 20-30 min 4 or 5 times. Honestly I put my hands on the dough whenever I had time 🙂
Cover with a towel and rest at room temp over-night
Sunday: In the morning:
Take the dough on a counter sprinkled with flour, stretch and form a rectangular dough, and then fold over to form a round dough. Cover and rest for 10 min
Check the shape, re-shape if needed, and try to form surface tension by pulling the dough towards yourself on the counter, repeat 10-15 times till it feels alright. I also “swirled” it around with the hope that it would keep its round shape
Wet your hands and touch on the surface to make it a little bit wet. Apply rolled oats and gently press on them to make sure they stick, turn the dough upside down, and place it in a proofing basket (in my case a mixing bowl) covered with a baking towel. Cover and proof at room temp for 3.5 hours
Turn on the oven at 375 F, take the dough on a baking sheet/parchment paper seam side at the bottom, score, and place in the oven. I no longer pre-heat my oven.
Bake 50 min uncovered, then 10 min covered, and then another 10 min without cover.
Yesterday I visited a bulk-produce retailer and bought myself some flax seed, rolled oats, and some other dry food at very affordable prices!!!
This excitement had to be experienced – I love it when I can get great food at such low prices. I feel grateful 🙂
This being said, I have bought the rolled oats and the flax seed to experiment/improvise new bread recipes. So, today I baked two different sourdough loaves – one with oat+bread flour and the other 100% whole wheat flour+flax seed.
Boy – they are beautiful, do you not think? So soft, so nicely risen, such great oven spring, and the air bubbles inside are making me fall in love with each one of them.
It is official; I have the greatest sourdough starter ever, which I hope to bake with forever and ever… 🙂
Levain: I have a 100% whole flour “Monster” starter that I feed with 2/3 cup whole wheat flour+1/3 cups+1 tbs water on Friday afternoon. I then let it rest at room temperature overnight wrapped in a thick towel. The next day I feed it again the same way; one hour later divide it into two: one part goes into the fridge till use next week, and the other continues to rise at room temperature for 5-6 hours. At that point it becomes very bubbly and that is always exciting to see this 🙂
Prior to preparing dough, I mix the levain with water and sugar to make the liquid base for dough (my measurements were: 1+1/4 cups of levain, 1 cup of water, and 1.5 tbs of sugar)
Sourdough with rolled oat:
add 1/2 cup rolled oat and 1/2 cup water- mix and let stand for 20 min
add 1+1/5 cups of levain/water/sugar base, 1 cup of water, 2 cups of bread flour, and 1/2 tbs of salt. Mix well and form a shaggy dough – do not worry about kneading or forming the perfect dough. Just cover, rest, and *stretch and fold every 20 or 30 min or so for 4-5 times.
*I lately started to “slam” the dough to the mixing bowl 7-8 times during each stretch and fold, which I kind of feel like helps stretch and form the dough. It is a strange feeling to do this to my dough and yeast, but then it feels also right…Try if you wish.
Then, cover, wrap with towel, and let rise at room temperature over night (my kitchen is usually cold around 17C. If you are in a hot climate, you may rise the dough at the fridge).
100% whole wheat sourdough with flax seed:
Rinse 1/2 cup of flax seed and add 1/2 cup water, let stand for 30 min
add 1+1/5 cups of levain/water/sugar base, 1 cup + 3 tbs of water, 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour, and 1/2 tbs of salt. Follow the procedure above.
Since whole wheat flour requires a little bit more water, I wet my hand before each stretch and fold to humidify the dough a little bit – it did help with a relatively softer dough. Alternatively you can add an additional 1-2 tbs of water while preparing the dough.
The next day; gently place the dough on a surface sprinkled with flour, deflate, stretch and form a rectangular shape, and fold & shape. Cover and let rest for 10 min. Shape again and place in proofing containers (i used a small mixing bowl for the oat loaves and a baking dish for the flax seed loaf).
Proofing time: 2.5 hours for the oat loaf, and 3.5 hours for the flax seed loaf
Baking: I recently started not to use roaster to bake my loaves. It gives a thinner crust and the oven spring is equally successful. I used a non-pre-heated oven for the oat loaf (375F, 50 min, baked uncovered). Once I was done with it, then I placed the flax seed loaf (pre-heated oven, 30 min open lid, 15 min closed lid, and 5 min open lid at 375F.)
Results, observations, and verdict: both loafs are gorgeous and better than what I thought I would get.
I know it is difficult to get the whole wheat flour rise so I was pretty impressed with the oven spring and the overall crumb of this lovely bread. It also had a nutty flavor and was an absolute delight even though for some the 100% whole wheat bread may sound a little bit intimidating.
The oat loaf was a delight from the beginning on – so easy to handle and the first rise was amazing with big air bubbles that I only had experienced with commercial yeast in the past. The taste of oat was undetectable but that is perfectly fine with me.
In both cases (oat and flax seed) the resting them on water prior to adding with flour and water produces a little bit sticky and mucus-like liquid, which I kind of think that helps with “binding” the dough. But of course we need a scientific proof for that.
I would certainly try these two loaves in the future and perhaps with the oat loaf I would increase the amount, just to see how the dough would respond.
Happy baking everyone! 🙂
the next morning after over-night rise at room temperature
shaped and rested 🙂
proofing – start
proofing – end: slightly risen, which is sufficient.
scoring right before placing in the oven. i always hesitate at that step – if it is too deep it deflates, if it is not deep enough then it does not shape well. in this case i think I would have tried a little bit deeper cut. maybe next time 🙂
100% whole wheat and flax seed loaf
the next morning – it risn more than I thought it would 🙂
shaping and resting 🙂
proven on a baking pot
what a nice scoring it was – the dough might have been a little bit stiff, but certainly it held the scores better than the other loaf
do you see what I see? even though it is 100% whole wheat, here are the air packets that make me feel like dancing 🙂
Friends; have a look at this 25% whole wheat – 75% bread flour sourdough!
Is it not magnificent? 🙂
With no ego I can tell this is the finest loaf of mine yet.
Sticky dough absolutely pays off – in my experience sticky (that literally sticks lightly-but not overly to your hand when you stretch and fold, or otherwise handle it) yields the softest bread with the best crumb.
This one was baked on a cookie sheet at 375F for 50 min (for 20 min of which it was covered with a lid to prevent the surface from burning).
I no longer use the roaster to bake my loaves, which gives me loaves with much thinner crust (which I love)!
Happy baking everyone! 🙂
look at this – is it not wonderful? all the air bubbles and the fine structure. I am so excited and happy my friends – please give baking bread a try. It has been such an interesting and exciting journey for me that I wish it to everyone.