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The Fresh Loaf
Thanksgiving baking

Thanksgiving baking

I put together a new recipe for the sandwich bread we have around the house.  It's a nice, soft, slightly sweet bread that uses honey, spelt and more.  Here's a pic:

This in turn led me to make another bread based on it.  I called it Mike's Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

I took some of this to work and several folks wanted a loaf for their Thanksgiving meals.  Some described it as similar to cake.  I ended up with requests for eight loaves of my cinnamon raisin bread and four loaves of Deli Rye. My day off was Tuesday so I had one day to do this.  It was a busy day.  I may have done more washing thank baking.

Everything went well and folks seemed happy.  Now my boss is thinking he may order a half dozen or more for Christmas.

If you get curious about what I'm getting myself into, drop by


Free Range Bread Farm (video)

Free Range Bread Farm (video)

Okay, this ad for Abbott's Village Bakery cracked me up!

Starter Day 5, Made beer! what to do now...?

Starter Day 5, Made beer! what to do now...?

As the title says, I've successfully made hooch... and really need some seasoned advice on what to do next. (the photo is of after I mixed the hooch back into the starter)

I must admit, I'm entirely new at sourdough. Infact, I don't even like sourdough, but my husband does, and I wanted to make a starter so i can bake some SD loaves for him. 

I followed the SD instructions with 2tbsp flour and 2tbsp grapefruit juice everday until day 4, where I discarded all but 1/4cups of the mixture. 

My starter is in the water  heating room which run at about 85F. Any temperature fluctuations in the houseis negligible   as I live in a very well insulated and heated basement apartment.

So, I started off with rye flour. For the first three days, my mixture smelled like rye, very pleasant.

On the third day, it started smelling a bit yeasty and had small bubbles. I had been feeding the starter frozen rye flour up to this point, and my forum readings pointed out to me that I should not be using frozen flour for a SD starter. I switched to 2tbsp grapefruit juice and 2tbsp WW flour.

On the fourth day, I believe I added too much juice on the previous day and the mixture was somewhat runny. It was frothy and smelled "yeasty" with a hint of alcohol.

I measure out 1/4 cups of the mixture and added 1/4 cups of cold boiled water and 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour, the mixture was still relatively runny.

today was day 5 and I came home to a layer of "hooch" separating the starter. It had a strong smell of alcohol, not a terrible smell, more like the smell of fermenting rice from when my grandpa made rice wine... I do not drink, so my perception of what a alcoholic smell is may be quite off!

I did some reading and chose to mixed it down while adding an extra 2 tbsps of flour to my starter. As I had forgotten to purchase filtered water today, I did not discard any starter.

Now here is my confusion...

The threads I read seem to have conflicting information on what to do with starters that smell like alcohol:


Some threads i read said to not feed the starter for a few days and to let it balance out.

Others mention that the alcohol is a sign of a starved starter and that it should be fed.

And some advised to throw it out and start over...

what should I do next????

Pics inside, would like your expertise

Pics inside, would like your expertise

Hey guys,

made some tartine bread, alas this one was messed up. Is this under proof? While it was rising and the finger pokes started coming back slowly, i turned on the oven and in 40 min it went. it still seemed to slowly bounce back right before the oven. Please let me know your ideas, as i do not want this happening again.

All the best

Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel (Hammelman)

Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel (Hammelman)

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody on this board.

I wanted to bake this Pumpernickel since a long time! Finally got to it. What helped was that I got the mill for my Ankarsum Assistant Mixer (which by the way I love!). This mill enables me to mill grain very course which I cannot do with my Nutrimill. So now I have cracked rye and Pumpernickel grade meal and off I go :).

I am not quite sure if the bread is baked (or better steamed) enough. I messured 200F. Since I did not have a pullman loaf pan, I just used the biggest pan I have and covered it with aluminum foil and a baking sheet. I think the pan was too big, The bread did not fill it all up. Should it have risen more? I also did not have Blackstrap Molasses on hand. I don't know if that would have made the bread darker.

Thanks you for your feedback.



Analysing a Starter from its smell

Analysing a Starter from its smell

Just completed day 3 of my new starter I'm building for Sunday's Borodinsky bread bake. Just had its fourth feed and going into the fourth day. It's 100% whole rye @ 75% hydration. Building up! So a little feed each day. Not many bubbles till today when I got home to find it had risen and looks good. So far so good. Right on track. Now for the smell for experts to analyse. Last night it had a faint aroma of bananas which I know would be leuconostoc. Tonight was a new aroma which I haven't had before - smokey. As a matter of interest can anyone tell what's going on in the starter by this description? 

Interviews with Suas, Sullivan, Robertson, Frainier (Semifreddi's)

Interviews with Suas, Sullivan, Robertson, Frainier (Semifreddi's)

I just ran across this video, made by Puratos, called San Francisco Sourdough Bread. Interesting details from all the subjects: Suas is using Kamut, Robertson modifies his starter on an ad hoc basis, Sullivan treats SD as the standard and looks for balance of acid and flavor. Some good insights.

Easy sandwich bread recipe please

Easy sandwich bread recipe please

I would really appreciate finding an easy but yummie recipe for white bread for my after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich.  Like many folks, the turkey sandwich is almost better than the big dinner.  Thank you so much!!  

Greetings from The Netherlands

Greetings from The Netherlands

Hi All,

Apologies had my intro as a comment instead of posting it here. Like many before me, I have been visiting the site on and off reading questions, comments for tips or solutions. Mainly trying to get a grip on the flours, finding the same equivalent on of from different continents used in various recipes. Especially since I buy flours from the Dutch flour mills, there is not much information either in Dutch or English on comparison information. Apparently the main reason is the differences in milling processes all over the world.

So it comes back down to hands-on baking experience, the trial and error process shared by all bakers, professional and amateurs for the love of artisanal en pastry baking. Love to peek and seek more recipes, just love food diversity on our table.

RongHua Ching - Asianfoodtrail

I've been studying and now I'm really excited.

I've been studying and now I'm really excited.

I'm trying a no knead sourdough. My starter has been a monster the last few days, consuming everything I threw at it.

I'm going for more of an artisan look with this loaf. The plan is to cut it up for some sammiches and nobody is allowed to care about any holes their mayonnaise and mustard might fall through. Just put it between the cheese and lunch meat!

I pulled together the dough 17 hours ago and let it brew on the counter untouched. It was all bubbily and about to climb out of the bowl.

It's my first try at a very slack dough as well and I had to almost pour it out of the bowl. The gluten made it as stringy as the inside of a carving pumpkin.

I gave it a fold and am letting it rest on the counter for a few hours. Then I'll fire up the dutch oven and we'll see what we get.

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