bread

Sourdough

Who knew sourdough bread was so hard??? I’ve tried it about half a dozen times or more since the first time I tried it. The first time I tried it, it was flat. The second time the dough didn’t rise for some reason. One time it didn’t look very good but it had the right sour flavor. Then another time it looked great and had the right flavor but it was a little underdone. I’ve baked it in my dutch oven and on our baking stone, with varied results.

I keep trying and reading and trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Recently I did another loaf and tried a different baking method. This is the method I used this time:

The result was pretty good. The rise was nice, there was a great color, the crust was crunchy, it was baked well (maybe slightly overdone) but not sour. UGH! So frustrating. But it did LOOK pretty:

I talked to a friend who does sourdough on the regular and she said that she puts the starter on her counter the day before and feeds it twice, once the morning before she makes it, then again that night. She said that will make it more sour. So next time, I’m going to try doing it that way and see what happens.

This week I tried again and did a few things differently. First, I weighed the flour when I made the dough and used grams instead of measuring cups. Second, I took my friend’s advice and took the starter out the day before, fed it twice and then made the dough the next morning. Third, I followed the new baking instructions.

The result was great! The bread was a little on the light side color-wise but the inside was fantastic! It was the best loaf I’ve made so far. It didn’t have a super strong sour flavor but the bread was light and airy and fluffy instead of being dense. I was really, really happy with the results.

For dinner, I made tomato bisque and we had the freshly baked bread with it. Fantastic!

On a similar note, I’ve been obsessed with the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. It never appealed to me but for some reason I saw a random episode of the new season and I decided to start at the beginning. I loved it! That first season was great and had some really good bakers.

I also love that you learn a lot from the show. They make stuff I’ve never heard of before and it’s interesting to see the methods. I also like that they do a bread episode each season! Listening to the judges critique the breads has been helpful for me recognizing some of the mistakes I’ve been making (not letting it proof long enough, not kneading it enough, etc). Also, it’s nice to watch the show while I wait for Top Chef to come back!

QUESTION: Are you a sourdough baker? Any tips or favorite recipes?

Cheese & Wine

After Logan’s nap we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I haven’t been in about 15 years, I think. And they recently remodeled it. It looked really nice! We checked out stuff but it was pretty crazy. I mean the crowds and lines were pretty insane.

And unfortunately, the cheese factory wasn’t doing anything. Maybe they were on a break? But there wasn’t anything to see. So we bought some Tillamook cheese curds and a small loaf of smoked gouda and left.

Instead, we went to The Blue Heron French Cheese Company.

I loved the Blue Heron. It was a much better experience than Tillamook Cheese Factory. Less busy AND they had a petting zoo! I posted some videos on Instagram of Logan feeding the animals!

 

Skip the Cheese Factory and go to Blue Heron. They have a TON of cheese, wine tasting, a gift shop, ice cream shop and petting zoo. So much fun!

We got a serving of the Black Cherry ice cream and the three of us shared it outside.

We came home with a jar of puttanesca sauce, a spicy red jalapeno mustard, some smoked gouda and smoked brie. Michael’s mom bought some peppercorn brie, too.

We came home and then prepped dinner stuff. Michael’s mom brought filet mignon that Michael grilled up and it was delicious–like butter!

I baked a loaf of delicious multigrain bread. And I also made this recipe: Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Tomatoes and Onions. The swiss chard and onion was from our “Imperfect Produce” box and the tomatoes were from our garden. It turned out great! I was happy with it.

We also had the peppercorn brie with dinner–SO GOOD! I definitely ate too much bread and brie. The steak was perfect. The swiss chard was great.

On Sunday we packed up and made a stop at the Cape Meares Lighthouse before heading home. It was a really pretty view.


You could go up into the lighthouse and do a tour but since we had Bella we skipped it. We took some photos and then made the drive back to Portland.

Logan slept the whole way home! It was a great trip!