My quiltsMy 2001 Grant ProjectSociety for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake

Saturday, January 08, 2005  
I cannot tell you what a relief it was when the (previously extremely sticky) unbaked loaf came out of the brotform unto the baking stone! Smells great. Rye toast for breakfast!

Written at: 1:01:49 AM

Wednesday, January 05, 2005  

More sourdough stuff...

I know. You're thinking, is she ever going to quilt again? Well yeah. Someday. But in the meantime, BREAD. Fruitcake season is over and now, it's all about the yeasty boyz out there doing the backfloat in their little indoor aquarium.

And last night it was me pulling a pretty successful batch of "Vermont Sourdough Bread" out of my eastern NY oven. This is a batch made from the so-called liquid rye starter that I've been feeding. First off the pre-ferment or "build" was SO active that I decided not to add even a whiff of regular yeast. This time I was able to pretty much follow the recipe as given in St. H's book and stay on course. It was so late though on the night that I mixed the dough that I wondered what to do. Too late to stay up and bake it! Luckily I remembered reading that you could put it in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours. Cool.

Imagine my great surprise when I pulled it out the next night and it had risen! Despite a few logistical glitches, it baked beautifully and I thought tasted great. Nice amount of air holes and good texture. Took a couple slices to work today and a couple people got some tastes and they also pronounced it good. So -- more of that!

Written at: 11:26:21 PM

Sunday, January 02, 2005  

Good news, bad news.

Let's see, first the good news. Made bread from my stiff levain starter and it worked. Yes, bread that had no added yeast to it, other than what was perking around in a small amount of the starter. Pretty amazing stuff. I think it would have been improved by a little warmer environment during the final rises, but that's for another day. Other good news: Looks pretty awesome and tastes mighty fine. Yes, I would have liked it to be a little lighter, but the oven spring (that lovely puffing you get in the oven) was inhibited a bit by not-deep-enough slashing of the loaves prior to going into the oven.

Bad news: well as I said, could have been a little airier inside I thought. One big hole longitudinally through the one loaf which I can attribute solely to how I formed the loaf. Note to self - you have done that for years - go with what you know and do quite ok!

Other bad news: My mister refused to mist after I slid the loaves onto the stone in the very hot oven. Time's short for that and the oven's hot and the door's open. Yikes. After a moment I put my hand under running water and flicked water into the oven and made steam. That was good. What was bad was the oven light cover shattering. Apparently hitting that with water isn't so good, go figure! Glass went in many directions but I only found one piece on one of the loaves. Needless to say, I'm not sharing these loaves with anyone, but I had to try them myself.

More good news: went to my new desk and put my hand right on the owner's manual for the oven and voila - it was the light cover that shattered, not the bulb although the bulb isn't working either.

Final good news: under the first reference in the manual to the light, there's a bit about adjusting the oven temp. And it's easy and doesn't involve crawling behind the oven. Hallelujah! This oven has always been a tad overshooting in temp and here's the solution to that! yeah!

Written at: 10:16:27 PM

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