Archive for March, 2008

Once a Purim

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

I made hamantaschen last night. Apricot, raspberry, and chocolate. For the chocolate I used the fancy Cote d’Or Noir de Noir spread that we get in Belgium. It’s a very dark chocolate and while it’s a little too dark for me, Jeremie and Courtney really liked it. My favorite is the apricot. I sent a tin of hamantaschen to Elias this morning and I packed up a tin to take to Belgium. We’re going to Brussels tomorrow evening. Yay for that!

Jenny Jo, this one’s for you

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Last weekend was all about Whole Wheat Sourdough. I intended to make one batch with the long fermenting recipe, substituting whole wheat flour for white flour and adding a bit more water, since whole wheat requires a greater hydration. I started the sponge (a.k.a. stage 1) late at night. I wasn’t wearing my glasses and I wasn’t paying as much attention to the process as I should have. I ended up adding a whole recipe’s worth of flour to the bowl. Whoops. Instead of trying to scoop the right amount of flour out, I scaled everything else up and made two recipes of dough. Which means four loaves. Lots of practice is good, right? I made two loaves of plain whole wheat and two loaves of seeded whole wheat sourdough. One loaf got to spend its final rise in my new brotform and the other three rested on flour sack towels inside of glass bowls. That worked out fine but the brotform makes such a nice design on the bread, I may need to pick another one up. Here’s the goods:

whole wheat sourdough in the brotform whole wheat sourdough - long rise
whole wheat sourdough - long rise, seeded slice of seeded whole wheat sourdough
whole wheat sourdough - long rise, seeded and plain sliced whole wheat sourdough

I’ll have to do this again with the right amount of ingredients for one recipe before I post what the proportions should be for Whole Wheat sourdough.

Feed me, Seymore

Friday, March 7th, 2008

I fed my whole wheat sourdough starter all night long.

Not really. Before bed I poured out about a half cup of starter and added a cup of flour and a half cup of water back to the mix. By morning it had bubbled up to the top of the jar. I was hoping to start some dough going before I left the house this morning, but I ran out of time so I had to pop the starter in the fridge. I’m going to do some serious whole wheat sourdough experimenting this weekend. I want to tackle the long fermenting recipe with whole wheat flour, try my brand new brotform, and play around with various methods in the oven.

Last night we polished off the last of the seeded sourdough by making panini sandwiches for dinner. My sandwich had Emmentaler and sauerkraut. Mmmn, delicious.

Sourdough Continues

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Last Sunday I baked two breads: Seeded Sourdough and Chocolate Chunk Sourdough

Seeded Sourdough & Chocolate Chunk Sourdough breads

I was trying to get close to Zingerman’s Chocolate Sourdough bread. The taste was there but the crust was on the soft size. Baking on a baking sheet is very easy, especially when it comes to shaping the loaves, but it doesn’t get you a perfect crust. The next round of this same bread will be on my baking stone or in my 5qt Le Creuset round. I’m not yet convinced that a cloche baker is worth the investment. They’re not terribly expensive but there’s lots of reports out there that they break pretty quickly.

Chocolate Chunk Sourdough

I did not do any additional baking this week because most of my time was taken up preparing for The Party. What was The Party, you ask? The Party was for my birthday and Jeremie’s birthday. It was our first Big Party in this house (we’ve lived here 5 years) and the first we’ve had in a very long time. Last night we had about 30 people over and a good time was had by all. On the savory side we had veggies & spinach dip, hummus and pitas, salsa, black bean dip, guacamole, and tortilla chips, tapenade, crackers, and a variety of cheeses, spinach pies, mozzarella cheese sticks, and garlic cheese crostini. For the sweet stuff we had my sweet & spicy pecans, peanut and regular M&Ms, a big birthday sheet cake, and a giant chocolate torte. The drink options were too numerous to enumerate. Needless to say, we have a lot of leftovers.