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Bread!

I was fed up of paying for a huge loaf of bread, filled with rubbish that got thrown in the bin by Tuesday - or paying over £2 for a nice loaf and seeing half of it get thrown in the bin uneaten.

So I made these mini loafs. They are crusty enough to last all week, four mini slices each means that there should be no waste.

And I got a new pet:

Or rather, a pot of new pets. They live in the fridge and need feeding every other day. Clearing out every other day too. Then I incarcerate their tiny bodies into elastic, let them puff up balloons with their dying breaths and roast them alive. Obviously leaving behind the lucky few “breeders”. I never knew bread was so wickedly dark.

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Oh those look tasty. I am baking bread tonight, too :slight_smile: I’ll post pictures.

Those starters can live a long long time. Mine has lived in my fridge since 2013 where I got it at a bread baking class (from this guy) I took with a friend. I haven’t named it but it has spawned children to other households :slight_smile: It even survived several long term absences… once you got it going it’s enough to feed it once a week or whenever you use it.

This one is a rye starter and I fed it just yesterday so it is not all bubbly (yet).

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I keep making sourdough starters and then totally forgetting about them… I need to get back to baking bread. The problem with sourdough is the long rise - didn’t have time in the morning to get it going before work. However, now I work from home, this is a possibility. And I love sourdough toast… Probably too much!

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I did used to make sourdough when I worked away from home, I found the key was to delay the rise, not try to fit it in - so get home and start the bread, then instead of a 4 hour warm rise, I did a 24h fridge rise and so when I got home the next day it was ready for the oven.

Also, on forgetting the starter, thats why I keep mine in the fridge - I know myself well enough! If you scoop out a tsp or two of the grey sediment, the yeast has gone inactive, and you can revive it in a day or two

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The recipe I am currently making takes 20-22h for the sourdough to get ready and then around 1.5 hours to make the actual dough on the day of baking and 1 hour to bake. So it’s quite a good one to make the sourdough late in the night (like I did) and then bake after work…

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I’m talking about weeks of neglect… :slight_smile:

I was taught to make sourdough by quite a labour intensive way - by folding, resting, folding, resting, folding, resting, shaping, final prove. Will have to look into an easier way!

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Well if you use a lot of wheat flour in your dough you need all the folding … I use mostly rye and that gets away with a lot less folding. Quite the opposite fold it too much and you ruin the bread.

PS: “my” recipe today. If anyone is interested I can provide translation. I make this bread all the time. It’s tasty and really quick for a sourdough.

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Oooh, we should definately share recipes!

I’ll start:

Starter Feed: 100ml water, 120g strong white flour, 5g Rye Flour

Bread:
250g Starter
250g Strong White Flour
50g Rye Flour
150g Wholewheat Flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp malted barley
Enough water (250ml ish) to make the dough

Whisk starter into water, add the rest and squidge into a dough
Leave for 10mins
Knead 12 times - leave for 10 mins
Knead 12 times, leave for 10mins
Knead 12 times, leave for 30 mins
Knead 12 times, leave for an hour
Knead 12 times, shape, leave for 4 hours out of the fridge or 24 in.
Bake - the mini loafs go for 20mins at 200 and 15mins at 180 (Celcius)
I also mist the oven heavily before they go in, 10 squirts on a normal plant mister, and another 5 after they go in (as quickly as possible so the oven doesn’t drop too much temp)
Cool

When I say knead 12 time, I really do mean twelve individual kneads - I have fibromyalgia so need to be really careful with physical exertion, so this is super low effort!

This quantity makes 8 of the pictured loafs… buns?.. Bun sized loafs!

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I’ve been gazumped!

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I cheated :wink: So does that mean I should post a translation?

I’ll just interpret it that way:

Here’s my alltime favorite the “Fränkisches Bauernbrot” (Franconian Farmer’s Bread). I usually make one double-sized loaf if I expect guests or at two normal sized ones at the same time and pop one in the freezer.

For one normal sized loaf:

1. Prepare the Sourdough

  • 175g rye flour (type 1150, whatever you find really)
  • 145g water
  • 17g rye starter

Takes 18-22h hours to mature at room temperature. (In my experience in winter you can leave it 24h no problem)

2. Bread Spice

Prepare the “spice” (I usually take a little more but the taste is maybe acquired so go easy and keep to the amount at first)

  • 0.2g caraway seeds (Kümmel)
  • 0.2g fennel seeds
  • 0.2g koriander seeds

Roast in a pan, then crush in a kitchen mortar (not the artillery please). The spice is best prepared fresh but my batches usually come out too large and so I often have leftover from the previous week. Just take a little more then as it looses its punch. (If you don’t have a spoon scale that can weigh these amounts, whatever you can grab with your fingers of these spices is usually around 1g)

3. Prepare the dough

  • The sourdough
  • 265g rye flour (type 1150)
  • 50g wheat flour (type 550–just the basic stuff you use for everything really)
  • 235g water
  • 7g fresh yeast
  • 10g salt
  • spices

Combine all the ingredients and knead on the lowest setting of your machine for 5 minutes. Then knead on the second lowest setting for 2 minutes. Use a spatula to make sure your machine mixed everything well and scrape the dough into a nice (sticky) ball in the center of the bowl. My machine is not powerful enough and so there is always some leftover unmixed flour at the bottom after kneading, I just use the spatula to fold the dough a couple times that is usually enough for the fermentation to do its thing over the next hour.

Cover the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes.

4. Forming the loaf

You need something called a “Gärkorb” (fermentation basket?) for the next step or a bowl to which the dough won’t stick. You can probably use some kind of bowl with a fresh kitchen towel.

gaerkorb

Use either 1 Tbsp of rice flour or potatoe starch to put in the “basket” to keep the dough from sticking.

After the dough has rested for the 30 minutes, take it out of the original bowl and form a loaf that has roughly the form of your bowl. Since it’s rye the dough is quite sticky and you don’t have to do a lot of folding. I use additional wheat flour to keep it from sticking to the kitchen counter.

Take the formed loaf and put it in your prepared bowl with the bottom side up. The bottom will look all scrounged up but that is what goes on the bottom while baking.

Cover the basket with a towel or airtight foil and leaven for another 30 minutes.

(The dough should have a sum total of 1 hour of rest)

5. Baking
Pre-heat the oven to 250°–I use a pizza stone.

When the dough has rested enough put it in the oven by overturning the basket onto a board, cut the dough a few times with a serrated knife:

and then pushing the loaf into the oven. Add steam and bake for 10 minutes. Then open the door to let out the steam and reduce temperature to 200°C. Then bake for another 40 minutes.

I haven an oven that can create steam on its own. If yours can’t you can improvise in a variety of ways f.e. using lavastones in a tray in the bottom or simply splashing water into the bottom of the oven (not quite so good for the oven)

Here’s the finished product:


PS: this is the double sized loaf made from twice the amount the recipe asks for.
PPS: do not eat directly from the oven. Rye needs to set a bit after baking. Let it cool down for an hour at least, 2-3h is better. But to get the most out of the crust try it the same day as baking.
PPPS: Here’s what the inside looks like

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Haha, thanks!!

I’ve already split my starter, one’s getting fed rye for the next few days and then I’m giving your recipe a go!

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Oh I only just now read you use a plant mister. That’s a pretty neat way to create steam in the oven. Steam is really what makes the crust all yummy.

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Mine is basically this: River Cottage Sourdough

It wasn’t River Cottage that taught me, but it was essentially the same. Similar to yours @SleepyWill in that it has a series of very small kneads followed by resting time between.

I chuck icecubes into the oven for steam

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I was editing whilst you were translating!

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I think that our recipes are the classic British way of making sourdough - I’m really interested in the Sourdough from Brittany, I’m going to give it a go sometime - the dough is so loose, it can be poured, and it’s not kneaded, it’s lifted and rolled like a wave, but the result is unbelievably light!

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Ooh! Ooh! Sourdough sharing time! I’ll have to snap some photos of the process next time I’m baking. Here’s the loaf we’re currently devouring:

Pullman
A pullman loaf - known to my kids as “square bread” - that I make as a sourdough/straight dough hybrid with half whole grain. Pure sourdough with the enriched dough takes an eternity for the final rise, with an intense sourness that’s not exactly what I’m looking for here. Good sandwich loaf, lovely toasted, and a delightful base for French toast. It gets its shape from a special lidded pan, but the same dough makes top-notch soft rolls, too. Sometimes I load it up with poppy seeds, too.

I never thought to give my starter a name, but it’s been a stalwart source of good bread for the last… five years? I forget anymore. I keep it very loose - 125% hydration - and feed with a mix of 50% all-purpose, 25% whole wheat, and 25% whole rye flours. All kinds of vigorous, and has survived two-week dormancies in the fridge just fine. (Vacation’s tough on a starter.) I bake once or twice a week, depending on the type of bread and how hungry the kids are, and sometimes toss in a pair of extra feedings to get extra starter in the fridge. It’s good stuff!

I know that extra starter’s kind of a pain for most folks, but I’ve figured out a few ways to put it to good use. Mixing into pancake and waffle batter is always good, lending them a gentle sourdough tang, and they’re flexible enough that you don’t need to measure carefully. I’ve also come up with a flour tortilla/roti recipe that’s actually improved by including old starter. They’re more tender, more flavorful, and keep well for days at room temperature. I like 'em relatively thick, so they’re equally good for tacos and for saucy foods, like Indian dals and curries, or Middle Eastern hummus, baba ghanouge, etc.

Old Sourdough Tortillas
Makes 12 large or 16 small

450g flour - approx. 300g white flour (like King Arthur all-purpose), 125g whole wheat flour, 25g whole rye flour
292g water, cold
9g salt
23g oil

Note: You’ll need to weigh your starter and adjust the flour and water quantities to account for its composition. This recipe assumes a 125% hydration starter like mine, but tweak as needed for yours.

  1. Mix together 150g - 180g of old sourdough starter with the salt and oil, stirring until well combined.
  2. Add in the remaining flour and water, and stir until combined. Turn onto a floured board and knead lightly until the dough’s no longer shaggy. A tight, super-smooth dough isn’t necessary.
  3. Divide the dough into equal pieces and roll into balls. Set on a floured board and cover with a cloth. Up to an hour’s rest time is helpful to let the dough relax for rolling.
  4. Heat a cast-iron griddle or comal over medium-high heat. Have a plate ready with a folded towel. Roll each ball of dough into a round - about 8-inch diameter for 12 tortillas, about 6-inch diameter for 16 roti - shortly before cooking on the griddle.*
  5. Slap each round of dough onto the griddle, and cook on the first side just until you see it begin to bubble. There will be some brown spotting, but probably not a lot. Flip over with a metal spatula, and cook on the second side for about the same amount of time. (You can let the second side gather some more seriously darkened spots.) It may or may not begin to puff.
  6. Flip back to the first side, and allow it to inflate like a balloon. It sometimes helps to press gently on the expanding tortilla to distribute the expansion equally. (Sometimes they don’t inflate, or do so unevenly, especially if cooked longer at first.) Once inflated, build a stack with towel at both top and bottom, allowing the steam to soften them up.

*If your timing and technique are good, you can roll out a tortilla in the time it takes to cook on the first side. I try to roll out two or three before starting, in case I’m distracted by something partway through.

Oh, and if you’re familiar with the Sourdough Project at the Public Science Lab, you can see all the microbial details of my starter (#178). Looks like they’re doing some more research, if anyone wants to get involved, too!

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It stands to reason that there are sourdough recipes for most yeasted products, most date back to long before industrial yeast or raising agents so it was probably one of the easiest ways to get the required texture!

Your Pullman loaf looks fantastic!

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  • Sourdough Project 2.0 – We should have known better than to try to send international conference-goers home with bags of white flour. Turns out customs officers don’t approve.

Eeep

In hindsight, I’m sure this is hilarious for all parties.

Prior to hindsight… well, I’m sure it was comical to at least a few

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For another technique that’s low on exertion, it’s worth checking out Jeffrey Hamelman’s unkneaded six-fold French bread. I use a modified version for sourdough pizza crusts and focaccia (and sometimes other stuff), and another even-less-effort version for straight-dough English muffins.

Not to confuse it with Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread dough, which is also excellent, and nearly effort-free, but does require a Dutch oven (or two steel loaf pans held together with binder clips, which works astoundingly well) and a little trial and error to match your batch size to the vessel. I used to use that method all the time, prepping a batch before bed and baking it the next day when I got home from work.

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