Entries in bread (21)


the current favorite pizza

Like I wrote in the past, Goat Mountain Pizza in Bellingham, WA is the only place I eat pizza out.  I ate pizza there again last time we were up in the Pacific Northwest.  It is just all decadent to my taste buds.  A lot of it is because it is good bread with stuff on top.  

I have played with it in the city, half a country away.  Then, I checked out Bianco from the library.  I have wished to go to Chris Bianco's resturaunts.  His food looks good.  I actually started to follow him on Instagram because of bread makers.  Which is horribly silly.  My Instagram feed is mostly bread, mountains, surf boards, and skateboards.  It is an odd feed.  

The cookbook was not very inspiring to me but I liked the easy of his crust.  2 cups water, 5 cups flour, yeast, 1 tablespoon salt.  I use sourdough instead of yeast.  He does a thin crust pizza but uses the same recipe for his foccaccia.  That is what I did.  Made a foccacia or sicilian pizza crust.  If I have leftover dough, I have the possibilities of a good bread or croissants.  100 grams of dough.  50 grams of butter.  I make two croissants.  I still have the problem of underproofing croissants but I am getting there.  And this way I do not have to go find a bakery.

On top of that crust, I have been putting parmesan and blue cheese, thinly sliced red onion and brussell sprouts coated with a vinaigrette of oil, balsemic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  Let sit for 30 minutes before cutting it.  This is my favorite pizza currently.  I can eat a quarter of it at a sitting.  The boyos are happy because that means they will get lunch!

Everyone seems tired after Harvey.  Even if they were not "effected" they are tired because if you live here you were effected some way.  My cinnamon rolls are being asked for a lot.  I have been using white whole wheat flour in them to get more nutrition into people who need love for body and soul in the form of a baked good.  I have also been asked for cake.  Eyes lit up so big when I brought out cookies to the shop.  People are craving sweets.  They are thankful for all the good but there is some soul feeding that needs to go on.  I am trying to do what I can.  And baking for anyone who asks.



heritage grains

It has been an interesting week.  Boyos went camping but then Koda Bear ended up not feeling well.  Not feeling well with a low grade fever and just wanting to be held.  I do not mind all the cuddling but it does mean not much gets done. 

My garden is swamped in weeds after being gone, heat, and rain.  While pulling weeds, I found an ant bead and was bitten multiple times.  This should not be a big deal.  Yes, ant bites hurt.  Burn.  The problem is I have been bitten too many times and my body is reacting very badly.  My hands and feet are badly swollen, I got dopey, and my throat tightened.  I do try to be careful but I did not even see the pile until after I had been bitten.  The rest of my day was taking care of my bodies reaction.

Days like these just make me wish to bake bread.  But I bought flours from heritage grains recently and one of the flours is being troublesome.  It absorbs a lot of water after the dough is mixed.  It is a Sonora White whole wheat flour.  The Red Fife whole wheat did not react the same way.  I have add to rely  more on measurements then feel.  I do find letting all the liquid and just the Sonora flour rise together for a few hours does help.  

Bread baking is one of my meditation spaces, healing spaces so this has been very hard on me.  

But I am getting there.  I have been relying more on weights and technique then feel.  But that is what you have to do sometimes, go backwards to go forward.  

Especially when you are fulfilling a request.  Every week I am currently making a loaf of oatmeal bread (which also needed tweaking with the new flours) and a loaf of cranberry walnut bread.  The cranberry walnut bread is not a sweet quick bread but a yeasted loaf.  Not cake.  A loaf that has not sugar except what is in the cranberries.  

It is based off a loaf I purchased from Barrio Bread.  A bakery that is only 1100 miles away from one home, 1500 miles from the other.  Another spot I cannot get to every week.  Where Koda Bear asked, "Grandma, can you make this?" from the back seat of the car while adventuring.  He was eating the loaf.

Since I am not a sandwich person, I do not eat this bread on sandwiches.  But I eat it on and with everything else.  I do use it for open face sandwiches.  Salmon and cheese on top.  Or just cheese.  I like it as toast and with my eggs.  It is just a good bread.  It also satisfies the craving for sweet at times.

What I make is denser the Barrio Bread's.  Mostly because I put more walnuts and cranberries in it.  I like it!

cranberry walnut bread

sourdough starter

100 grams water

100 grams whole wheat flour

350 grams water

300 grams white whole wheat flour (or just all purpose white flour work here as well)

20 grams salt

200 grams whole wheat flour

130 grams cranberries (these can be chopped if you wish)

65 grams chopped walnuts

A bit of extra flour for folding

In a large bowl, mix the sourdough starter, 100 grams water, and 100 grams whole wheat flour together.  Cover and let sit overnight or for ten to fourteen hours.  Eight works too.

The next day, set a bit of the starter aside for next time.

Mix in 350 grams of water.  Mix in 300 grams of white whole wheat flour.  Cover and let sit for a couple hours.  This is where I am using the Sorona flour which absorbs a lot of water but I find it works with any flour.

After the dough has sat for a couple hours, it should be bubbly.  Mix in the salt.  Mix in about 150 grams of the remaining flour.  Dust a clean surface with the rest of the flour and knead the dough until smooth.  Cover and let sit for about an hour.   I usually put the dough in a bowl.

After the hour is up, flatten the dough.  Fold a long edge a third of the way across the dough.  Fold the other long edge across the dough that has been already folded over.  Fold one short end into the center.  Fold the other short end into the center.  Fold the dough into itself along that crease.  You should have a squat cube.  Set in a bowl, cover, and let rest for an hour.

Do this flattening again.

After the previous wait, flatten the dough.  Spread the cranberries on it.  Fold the long edges in.  Knead the dough up into a roll.  I sometimes divide the cranberries into a couple of groups and do this with each group.  Add the walnuts in the same way.  In the end, of the dough in a rough ball.  Let sit for another hour.

After the dough sits for another hour, flatten again.  Put in a plastic bag with lots of room.  Put it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, take the pan or pot you will back in and line with parchment paper.  I have been using a vintage cast iron porridge pot.

Take the dough from the refrigerator.  Shape into a better ball or a loaf shape if you can.  Put it into your pan or pot.  Cover.  Let rise until there is not spring back when you push your finger into it.  

Put the pot into the oven.  Turn the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake for one hour.

The loaf should sound hollow when it is done.

If you can, wait until the bread has cooled before you cut into it.

I have prettier pictures but this crazy little loaf called to me.  There are also pictures of slices other places but this is about what I could do today.  And eat bread.  I can eat toast and tea today.  Even with all the strangeness, life is good.


sweet bread dough

I hope every one had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Quiet was happened for me which I have to admit is my favourite.  New Year's Eve was movies and tea.  There was a bit of sparkling wine with a nice steak and salad.  To me, it was about perfect.

There were a lot of experiments last week and over the weekend.  Which I will get to.  But the one thing I discovered when I made the St Lucy's buns that I am still itching from, is a lovely sweet bread dough.  It is nice to have a go to sweet bread dough.  Again, from the tome.  This dough works really well with sourdough.  Since I only do sourdough, pretty huge.  

I made it into cinnamon rolls and punky monkey bread.  The monkey bread started to be called funky punky monkey bread.  And then it started to get called zombie bread because of the reactions it was getting.  It was like zombies going after brains.

I am getting ready to try panettone next.  I am making the candied citrus peel for that.  It would help if it did not get thrown out.  I have helping hands.  Which is a good reason to have a sweet bread dough that I can use as a guideline.

sweet bread dough

Note:  Modified from The Nordic Cook Book to use sourdough and a bit of whole wheat flour.

sourdough starter

100 grams water

100 grams flour

320 ml / 1 cup 5 tablespoons milk

150 grams butter

1 tablespoon cardamom

1 egg

125 grams sugar

1 teaspoon salt

250 grams whole wheat pastry flour

500 grams all purpose flour

Eight hours or the night before, mix the starter, 100 grams flour, and 100 grams water in a large bowl.  Cover.  When it is bubbling, take out a portion for next time.

To the starter, add the milk, butter, cardamom, egg, and sugar.  Mix well.  Mix in half the flour.  Cover and let rest for about an hour or an hour and a half.  It should be bubbling and the consistency of pancake batter.

Mix in the salt.  Mix in about half of the last of the flour to make a soft dough.  It may be very soft.  Turn out on a clean surface and use the last of the flour to knead until smooth.  You might need a bit more. 

Put into a clean bowl and let rise for one hour.  Take it out.  Flatten into a rectangle.  Fold the long side of the dough into the middle, and repeat with the opposite side.  Fold the ends toward the center.  Gather it up into a cubish round and put back into a bowl.  Cover.  Repeat this process three times.

At this point, I sometimes need to put the dough into a ziploc and put it into the refrigerator until the next day.  It works well.

If you refrigerate it, the next day let the dough come to room temperature.

Shape and fill the bread anyway you please.  The middle picture is the zombie bread.  Above is cinnamon rolls.  Put the shaped dough in the correct pan for shape with the pan buttered and lined with parchment paper.

Let rise until puffy.

The oven temperature will depend on shape.  Higher for smaller and a shorter bake time.  Longer bake and lower temperature for larger loaf.  Most loafs I bake at 350 degrees Farhenheit for an hour.

Whatever you make of it, this is a good sweet bread.  Have fun!


Yes, Chef!

Koda Bear and I were mixing up bread dough this afternoon.  He was talking to me about how wet it was and then I added the flour.  He asked me what it should be like and I said it should be pancake batter.

Koda Bear, who only wishes to eat fish and chips (halibut is preferred), wanted pancakes for dinner.  The planned loaf of bread became the pancakes.  Pancakes even fed company!

I was making oatmeal bread so I was not sure how these pancakes were going to turn out.  I was pleasantly surprised  I  served them with sugared berries instead of syrup.  Everyone seemed very pleased and no one went away hungry.  I would say that was successful.  And Koda Bear did not eat his weight in fish!

Now, particulars.  These are yeasted pancakes.  There is no other leavening.  I have mentioned it before but I do not really like the taste of baking powder.  I would have used baking soda here because of the sourdough but I still do not like the flavour.  I also do not like cakey pancakes.  These are much less cakey.  With the leftover batter, I added some more makings and have dough rising for bread.  Two for one is about my speed right now.  

oatmeal pancakes

Note:  if you want a cakey pancake, add 1 teaspoon baking soda to the batter.  I was working with Koda Bear on this.  He really likes the scale but we were more in a dump mode which is why the volumes.  I also do a lot of bread by feel and eye anymore. 

sourdough starter

3/4 cup water

1 cup flour

1 cup flour

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups flour 

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup melted butter

butter for frying.

In a large bowl hours before needed, mix the sourdough, 1 cup flour, and 3/4 cup water together.  Let sit covered until bubbly.  Reserve a couple tablespoons and store in the refrigerator for next time.

To the starter, mix in the rest of the water, the oats, and the brown sugar.  Give it a good stir.  Mix in the eggs.  Mix in the flour.  It should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.  Cover, and let sit at least one hour.  

After the hour, the batter should be bubbly and you should be able to see the gluten stretching.  Heat a frying pan or griddle of medium low heat.  When hot, melt butter on it.

Mix in the salt.  Mix in the butter.

I used a third cup measure to pour the batter on the pan.  Wait until bubbles have formed and popped, and the top is dry looking before flipping.  There should be some golden brown.  Flip and cook the other side for a minute or two or until there is some brown.  I fry these on cast iron which continues to heat.  I have to slowly turn the heat down as I fry pancakes.  I get three in my pan at a time.

Fry pancakes until the batter is gone or bellies are full.  Extra pancake batter can be stored in the refrigerator or made into bread.

I served these with sugared berries.  You could use maple syrup but Koda Bear did not need that.  I was thinking that I would have also liked roasted apples with cinnamon and ginger.  But the heat index was 109 degrees Fahrenheit today so roasting apples was not high on the list.  Maybe when it cools off.  

The title of the post is due to Koda Bear starting to say "Yes, Chef!" everytime I asked for his help.  It made me laugh.  


playing with lamination

Putting hands in dough is always a good place for me.  I really want to be able to make a nice naturally levained croissant and have in the past.  But people swear by the Tartine Bread book.  I am not sold.  But I thought to give it a try again.  In that book, yeast is used but the flavor should be right.  Part of the levaining is actually sourdough/levain.

The first try was disasterous.  Over baked and the kouign amman I made by using another recipe that said start with a croissant dough was awful.  My tastes have become less American.  I like salt and the American recipe I used was too salty.  I composted the end result.  Which I really do not do with bread.  But am I willing to just give up?  No.  So I tried again.

The croissants were not bad.  The end bits I faked into a kouign amman type pastry.  I think I will go looking for another starting point.  But then maybe that is really not fair.  I have never liked any recipe I have tried from the Tartine Bread book.

I am odd.  I need to buy more butter.  I thought I was going to be out of town last weekend but that did not happen so maybe this weekend more lamination can take place between stitching for the Maker's Market.