Pizza

Baker Baker

I need some advice! But first, a cute photo of Logan and me cuddling on the couch early Saturday morning:

Over the long weekend I finally got to try my very first loaf of sourdough bread. I’ve never made bread before (except for Sheepherder’s Bread and I think I killed the yeast and it never rose) but it’s been something that both Michael and I have wanted to try doing for years.

My friend gave me some of her sourdough starter probably a month or so ago. I’ve been feeding it every week and it smelled so good and sour. I was really excited to try this. So Saturday morning after the gym I got started on prepping and making the dough because I knew it would be an all day process.

First off, having the Kitchenaid mixer for making bread is AMAZING. I barely had to do any of the kneading.

Second, even though I fed the starter a lot and gave it extra leading up to the weekend, I still didn’t have quite enough for the recipe. So I had to feed the starter more right before. Maybe that changed things? I don’t honestly know.

I followed the instructions of the recipe I used (recommended by my friend). I had found another recipe, too, that I thought sounded good. I think I will try that recipe next time and see how it goes.

EASY SOURDOUGH ARTISAN BREAD RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (white whole wheat, whole wheat, unbleached, or a combo)
  • 1-1/4 cups water (may need less if your starter is “wetter”- mine is a 100% hydration starter, fed an equal ratio of flour to water)
  • 3/4 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) just until combined and then let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Using a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes. If making by hand, knead for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, lightly coated with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise for 3 hours, turning and folding the dough once or twice.
  4. Remove dough, turn and fold again, and place it back in the bowl, seam-side up. Let rise for another 2 hours.
  5. After the second rise, place a square of parchment on a cookie sheet and gently shape the dough into a ball or oval (using lots of flour, as the dough is moist) and set on the parchment. Make sure there’s a good coating of flour on the top, as this will make slicing the top later easier.
  6. Set an enameled, cast iron dutch oven into a cold oven and turn heat to 450 degrees (alternately, you can use a baking stone), and set the timer for 40 minutes.
  7. When the timer goes off, slash the top of the loaf with a serrated knife (in 2-3 places) and transfer it to the hot pot by holding the edges of the parchment (or stone).
  8. Replace the hot lid and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Remove to a wire rack to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.
  10. NOTES
  11. Slicing tip: if you don’t have a good serrated knife, try using an electric knife to easily slice through crusty artisan bread. I works like a charm and even cuts through warm breads without squishing the crusts like regular knives do.

Notes

From: https://anoregoncottage.com/easy-sourdough-artisan-bread/2/

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54767

Since this was my first loaf ever, I didn’t have high expectations. I knew it would take practice but I was still a little bummed out it didn’t turn out like it should. I think I should have let it rise longer than the 5 hours the recipe called for. Because the dough didn’t really look like it rose all that much from when I started it…

Next time, I won’t use my dutch oven to bake it, either. One of the options of the recipe was to use a baking/pizza stone. We have one that makes GREAT pizza so I will try that next time.

Overall the bread was OK but not great. It was really dense. It weighed a freakin’ ton. It wasn’t the light, airy sourdough I was expecting. I’m not sure what I need to do differently in the future. I read through some messages boards online and none of them were really clear. It could have been too wet, not wet enough, maybe I didn’t let it rise enough, maybe it had too much gluten in it, maybe not enough…HELPFUL.

So I could definitely use some advice from bread baking experts out there! What did I do wrong? How do I make the bread LIGHT and AIRY?

In other news…on Sunday we went out to lunch for Logan’s BFF’s birthday. I had an AMAZING burger on AMAZING bread. 😀

Lunch was at Hopworks. It’s a great place, good food and it’s very kid-friendly, which is nice. We were in a back room for kids so that was good, too.

Seriously, look at that bun! It was SO GOOD. I wish I could make bread like that. My burger had swiss cheese, toasted hazelnuts, caramelized onions, arugula and lemon aioli on it. It was to die for. One of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time.

The above photo was the toys at the restaurant in the kid’s area. (Great idea!) Logan had cheese pizza with apple slices on the side (decent pizza, too).

QUESTION: Master bakers, HELP ME!

Fun Friday

I had Friday off for a Mother’s Day event at daycare. I dropped Logan off at school, hit the gym, took care of some chores and then went to daycare for lunch. There were other moms there, too, and we all had lunch with the kids. Taco salad, cornbread and watermelon. Then strawberry cake for dessert. 🙂

All the kids were confused when they saw mommies! They all thought it was time to go home. Poor bubs. They were confused. But it was fun to see some of the stuff they do. They read books and sang songs. It was fun.

Then it was nap time for the kiddos (who were not happy that they weren’t leaving with the mommies) and I went car shopping.

I had a 2007 Ford Focus Hatchback. I bought it 10 years ago. It was my first REAL nice car. It was less than a year old when I bought it, had like 10k miles on it, maybe…it had a warranty…all those grownup things you count on. 😉

It was such a great car. Super fuel efficient and perfect for me. Then we had a baby. Yeah…when he was little and we used the car seat that snaps into the base, it wasn’t too bad. But I definitely did NOT have room for much else in the car. But the bad news is that my car was starting to have some issues with it and it was just too damn small.

I was SO SICK of banging my head EVERY time I got Logan in and out of the car seat. It sucked. It was time to move on.

I had planned on buying a newer car earlier in the year but then Michael got laid off and was looking for work…plans had to be put on hold. Finally, I felt like I could try and look for real. I’ve been researching and test driving for about a month. I narrowed it down to a Ford Escape. I loved my Ford Focus. It was a great car that barely had anything go wrong with it and when it did, it was affordable to fix.

Now it was down to finding the RIGHT Ford Escape.

I went to three dealerships on Friday. The first was Ford, where I used to take my car for service. I had a specific car I wanted to look at but didn’t like it when I got there. I tested a few others, even a hybrid, and then left. Feeling a little discouraged. Went to one other place and had a negative experience with the salesguy then ended up at CarMax. I ended up finding MY CAR. 😀

IT is SO NICE. It’s a 2017 Ford Escape. Very low miles. Great condition. The experience I had at CarMax was absolutely excellent. I would recommend it 100%. I am SO happy with the car!!! It will be great for our little family.

Got home and we tried the Trader Joe’s cauliflower crust pizza for dinner. It was NOT good. The Whole Foods crust was much better.

Also on Friday, Logan decided he was ready to try his bike! HE LOVED it. He was obsessed. So obsessed he didn’t want to go to bed. And when he woke up Saturday, I could hear him in his room talking about his bike, 😉

Now I want to go on a road trip in my new car!