Cooking

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!

Random Updates

What a nice weekend! It was sunny and warm, we went out to lunch at the food carts, and we got a ton of stuff done around the house, plus it was nice to just hang out in the backyard. Yesterday I pulled weeds and cleaned out the raised beds to get them ready for veggies next month and Logan played in his little car, his slide, played in the dirt and threw the ball for Bella. Everyone was happy! (Although I’m paying for it a bit today with my allergies!)

Home Improvement

Our very old fence has been slowly falling apart and the last two winters had some bad storms that basically blew it down in sections. Thankfully the whole thing didn’t fall over, and thankfully Bella is a good girl and doesn’t escape when she’s out in the yard by herself.

We recently got the broken sections replaced and it feels so good to get one more thing off our “to do” list!

And I’m glad we didn’t have to do it ourselves.

Pickled Radishes

I really wanted to make some pickled radishes over the weekend. I found this recipe and gave it a try last weekend. It was pretty easy to do, even though I got rid of my mandoline slicer a few years ago (darn it!). It only took a few minutes to get everything together and then cook the liquid.

After a week I was able to try them. They turned out great! They were really spicy!

Kombucha

I tried Kombucha once a few years ago and I did NOT like it. It was gross to me and then I never tried it again. I couldn’t understand why it was so popular! But recently I randomly tried some berry flavored Kombucha and it was really, really good. I get it now. LOL

So I’ve gotten some random flavors to try and see what I like. Kombucha is really healthy and good for gut health, which is why I wanted to give it a try again. I want to do more to have good gut health. I love kimchi and sauerkraut but you can only eat so much of it. 😉

Please tell me your favorite brand/flavor of Kombucha so I can check it out!

Sourdough

I’ve been watching a friend on IG make her own sourdough bread for awhile now, jealous because I’ve always wanted to make my own bread. Especially sourdough–I feel like it’s really healthy (much healthier than regular bread you buy in a store). I recently asked her for some sourdough starter and she gave me some and instructions.

So last weekend I got the starter and “fed” it. I am really excited to experiment. The starter smells SO good!

This is the recipe my friend suggested: Easy Sourdough Artisan Bread. I’m hoping to make our first loaf in a few weeks!

Big Boy!

Logan has had several haircuts since his first birthday but this was the FIRST haircut where he sat on a booster seat all by himself (without me having to hold him). He did such a good job! I was so proud of him.

Also, Logan helped me make a cake. He loves helping in the kitchen.

How was your weekend?