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Old 03-16-2011, 05:01 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
I have some dough rising right now. I have been having good results with a 20 minute autolyse after mixing.

Today after letting it autolyse I started the kneading and realized a couple minutes in I forgot the salt. Disaster averted.

I am also reducing my yeast a bit to see if I can get a slower rise.
FrankZ; Take a ceramic cup, add a few tbs. of flour, a half spoonful of sugar, and enough water to create a flour slurry or paste. Cover this with cheesecloth and place on a clean cupboard. Let it sit for a week or two, until it gets all frothy. You now have sourdough starter. It takes a little longer for the wild yeast to raise the bread dough, as you start with less yeast. This, as you suspect, allows the gluten to relax a little, and gives you a more tender crumb, but not too tender. And you get great sourdough bread.

Try it. If you like sourdough, you just save a bit of the raw dough from you bread, place it back into the cup, cover, and let sit on the counter, feeding it every week or two with a little water and flour. You'll never have to purchase yeast for bread again.

If you don't like the bread quite so sour, combine dough made with store bought yeast with and equal amount of sour dough. I did this to make pigs in the blanket, with the fresh dough wrapped around hot dogs, and allowed to rise before baking. I took them to a pot luck. Everyone fell in love with the dish. That was about two years back and I'm still getting asked when I'm going to make them again. Personally, I thought the flavor was the best I'd ever eaten, for pigs in the blanket.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #42
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I have a starter as well. Fed Ol' Grumpy today as a matter of fact. I prefer sour dough but it does take a lot more time.
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:49 PM   #43
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I've noticed a lot of Voodoo bread making advice.

When making a pre-ferment (starter), your local wild yeast may or may not give you a pleasant result. Yeast characteristics change from place to place, sometimes in as little as 30 miles, and you may encounter a breed of yeast that has an unpleasant taste. If you are expecting a sourdough flavor like that made in San Francisco, forget it. Even if you are blessed with a good wild yeast, it's going to taste different than other sour dough breads.

Flour to water ratio is 1:1

Most starters use no sweetener, flour and water only, but if you still insist on using some, use a tablespoon of wild honey.

Stir it and feed it weekly.

If you are wanting sour dough bread with that hint of sour flavor that some people find appealing, yet don't want to hassle with making a starter from scratch, substitute two tablespoons of white vinegar for two tablespoons of water while mixing your dough for a standard two loaf recipe.

Place a handful of ice cubes into an oven-safe dish on the rack beneath your loaf pan. This will help develop a nice crust.

And just as a matter of course, not to raise anyone's ire, and I'm certainly not perfect, but grammatically - People "sit", things "set". A person sits on a bench while a house sets on a corner lot.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:00 PM   #44
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Selkie, you are correct. When I lived in San Diego, my starters from the local wild yeast came out wonderful. My MIL gave me a starter that had been in use for about 50 years as well. The same was true of the stater I made in Spokane. And Here in Michigan's UP, my starters the wild yeast cultures I've dealt with have made excellent bread, if a bit sour. I've made starters both with, and without sugar. A little sugar has helped the starter grow a little faster. On the other hand, too much sugar will kill the yeast, as will too much honey. I find the wild honey from the UP is very sweet, much more so than is store purchased clover honey. I have a good friend who is a bee keeper, and we purchase our honey from him in quart jars.

The only real problem I've had with starter is forgetting it's there, and killing it from lack of attention. I must just have been lucky, with good wild yeast cultures in the places I've lived. Guess I've gotten spoiled with how easy it's been. Haven't had to be so very careful to get good bread.

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Old 03-16-2011, 09:42 PM   #45
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[QUOTE=...My MIL gave me a starter that had been in use for about 50 years as well. The same was true of the stater I made in Spokane...[/QUOTE]

An old and proven starter is a true family treasure! Unfortunately, I've killed all of my previous wild yeast starters, so now I make my pre-ferment a "poolish method," made only two days in advance. Some people call it by an alternate name, "biga" but a biga is Italian, and a stiffer pre-ferment than a poolish. Each has its place in bread making as well as a sour dough starter. In any event, it's fun, I learn more each time I bake something, and I get to share this interest with great friends!
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:43 PM   #46
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I am not entirely convinced on the wild (airborne) yeast thing. My starter was started in the middle of winter, in a house with a HEPA filter and an airtight container. The rye flour may have been the biggest source of yeastie beasties.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:21 PM   #47
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My starter from KA is still doing fine...but Audrey has learned to speak..."Feed me Fiona!"
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:23 PM   #48
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The bread I made a couple days ago was horrible. I failed to put the salt in before kneeding and remembered kind of late. I think it ended up over kneeded.

Also the plastic wrap stuck to the dough and really tore up the top before it went into the oven. I choked down a sandwich then pitched both loaves. Butter and cheese couldn't save the bread.

I made bread again this morning and it just came out. I decided to put the little bowl of salt onto of the mixer bowl cover while it autolysed so I would remember.

I also used a towel this time to cover it.

I can't wait to cut this.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:42 PM   #49
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Speaking of salt in bread, you might find the article cited below to be of interest. The thrust of the article is consistent with my experiences in Italy.
Italian Notes | Why do some Italians bake bread without salt?
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:48 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
The bread I made a couple days ago was horrible. I failed to put the salt in before kneeding and remembered kind of late. I think it ended up over kneeded.

Also the plastic wrap stuck to the dough and really tore up the top before it went into the oven. I choked down a sandwich then pitched both loaves. Butter and cheese couldn't save the bread.

I made bread again this morning and it just came out. I decided to put the little bowl of salt onto of the mixer bowl cover while it autolysed so I would remember.

I also used a towel this time to cover it.

I can't wait to cut this.
I have butter...
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