back in bread

Thursday night I started a white sourdough sponge.

On Friday I worked from home, which allowed me to bake off some bread while I was waiting for various bits of code to compile. First off – sourdough! We planned to have hot dogs Saturday night for dinner and I wanted to see how sourdough would work for hot dog buns. I finished the sourdough dough with 2+ cups of whole wheat flour, for about a 60/40 white/whole wheat split. Half the dough went towards the rolls and the other half became cheddar pepper sourdough. When it was time for the final shaping of the bread, I stretched it out into a rectangle and sprinkled it with cheddar and fresh cracked pepper. I rolled it up like a jelly roll and then let it finish rising in the brotform.

sourdough rolls cheddar pepper sourdough

The cheddar pepper is sticking its tongue out at you.

Once that was done, I went on to Challah! I tried the recipe from a new book in my collection, Secrets of a Jewish Baker. It’s very interesting in that it gives each recipe with three possible modifications for making the dough: by hand, in the food processor, or in a heavy duty stand mixer. The author recommends the heavy duty stand mixer and luckily, I have a good one. The stand mixer modifications end up making more dough than the standard recipe, so instead of two breads it yields three. I have little use for three challahs in one Shabbat and we usually struggle to make it through even one standard size challah, so I decided to make 6 “small” challahs (they weren’t *that* small). I froze 4 of them and baked off two.

unbaked challahs

As you can see, I tried the ‘6 Strand Braid’ for two of the challahs. My 6 strand technique needs work. Here are the two I baked off:

baked challah

The challah was delicious. Eggy but not too eggy, sweet but not too sweet. The sourdough rolls were good, but a little too hard on the inside to be a perfect hot dog bun. Perhaps I’ll try them again using only white flour to see if that makes a difference.

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