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Have just started to experiment with sourdough bread. I have been baking all our bread for several years but since this lockdown business there has been no yeast available at the stores. Yes you can get it through Amazon but the price is right on five times what it was previously. I still have plenty, but to stretch my supply we have started a sourdough. I know it is kind of cheating but I like the convenience of using a breadmaker to avoid the work of kneading. It will take a bit of experimenting to get a predicatable loaf, but so far it has all been edible.

This loaf is a third whole wheat. Looks like the crust is a bit, well.... crusty. I probably could have used a bit less honey and let the sourdough warm a bit more before I started the kneading.

Going for groceries is my biggest exposure so I am trying to shop only every third week. Other than that the lockdown has not changed things a whole lot as we never spent much time in town anyway. I sure dont envy people who are cooped up in an apartment.
 

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Frank
fresh bread is a nice treat especially with comb honey.
Having it all the time could be a problem for my waistline.

Looks good bake on.

GG
 

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Greg;
Those are nice looking loaves and nice texture. Real traditional sourdough! Looks like a fair bit of coarse ground flour. That is probably better than trying to make a kneaded loaf. I have made some real sinkers so I could take some lessons. Do you keep a sourdough starter on the go continuously?

This present one was started with a mix of whole wheat and unbleached all purpose flower. Just nicely tangy; I have smelled some that were pretty mean.:rolleyes:

A week or so ago you mentioned not being able to get rye flower. Today there was no flour of any description on the shelf. It is a hundred miles in either direction to a bulk food store and I am not fussy about going into the city. I expect in another week the shelves will fill up again. Same craziness that made toilet paper disappear; people must have their fill of it and it is on the shelves again.
 

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Greg;
Those are nice looking loaves and nice texture. Real traditional sourdough! Looks like a fair bit of coarse ground flour. That is probably better than trying to make a kneaded loaf. I have made some real sinkers so I could take some lessons. Do you keep a sourdough starter on the go continuously?

This present one was started with a mix of whole wheat and unbleached all purpose flower. Just nicely tangy; I have smelled some that were pretty mean.:rolleyes:

A week or so ago you mentioned not being able to get rye flower. Today there was no flour of any description on the shelf. It is a hundred miles in either direction to a bulk food store and I am not fussy about going into the city. I expect in another week the shelves will fill up again. Same craziness that made toilet paper disappear; people must have their fill of it and it is on the shelves again.
I indeed maintain my starter non-stop.
This current batch has been going for several months (heck, maybe into the second year - I lost track of time).
The only requirement for it - coarsely-grounded rye flour (hence my screams lately, I got my last half-bag of rye left - no more).

The course texture of the bread is easily achieved by dumping a cup of most any multi-grain hot cereal into it.
Bob's Red Mill are my regulars - 5-grain, 7-grain, 10-grain - just dump it all into your sourdough and let soak.
Simple old fashioned oats, wheat berries, steel-cut oats work the same - dump into your sourdough and soak.
Grind some flax seed - dump into it.
Crumple some dried nettles - dump into it.
Anything goes, pretty much.

Get very nutritious, whole-grain, low phytic acid (removed by the fermentation) bread.
 

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Used to have a recipe for "Friendship Bread". It was a sourdough batter bread that was quite tasty. Eventually lost the starter and misplaced the recipe. Probably easy to find if I looked.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The batter type bread is a lot less work than to hand knead for the type of bread we are most accustomed to. The breadmaker takes the work out of that and besides you dont have to do as fancy a job cleaning up your fingernails;) and no other utensils to wash up. Most breadmakers leave holes in the bottom of the loaf but I cut the two first slices off the bottom and then the rest are more standard size.
 

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My bread is probably not as pretty or healthy as gregs.

That is aprox. 4 loaves baked in a like a turkey roasting type pan. My dad had a neighbor that delivered to bakeries and he was giving me 50 lbs bag of flour. I couldn't afford all the yeast to bake that much and so made up a sour dough starter. I quit making the wheat breads cause I just liked the flavor of white better. I lived on this stuff for about two years as did a bunch of my family and even a few neighbors benefited. The guy giving me the stuff ended up dying and when I had to start buying flower, I quit about a year later. I got tired of having to make sour dough pancakes cause I did not want to throw any of the starter away when I fed it and I couldn't afford to make and give away bread like when every thing but the salt was free. I am back to bought bread though I am on my last loaf but I do still have some yeast in the cupboard.

I used the no stir method, where I just mixed the dough till wet and then set it covered on top of my refrigerator for 18 hours and let the yeast work the flour. Then I would fold it four times and let it raise for another aprox two hours. Take a knife and split it down the middle and then squirt with water and bake at 500 degrees for about 50 minutes. Since I don't like real sour dough, I would put a teaspoon or two of baking soda in when I mixed first time. That takes a little of the bite out and probably helps with raise a bit to boot. I would wait till cool (hour or two) and cut into four loaves and freeze. It keeps very well frozen.
Super easy to make with no kneeding.
Cheers
gww

Ps I used a starter of about two or three cups. It would last in the fridge with out feeding for two weeks and has gone a whole month and still took off just fine. Mostly I tried to feed every two or three weeks which meant that I had to cook every couple of week or throw something away.
 

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.....I did not want to throw any of the starter away when I fed it .....gww
GWW, you don't need to throw anything away (unsure why they teach that way - I say nonsense).
I don't toss anything ever.
I just keep adding to it and let it get bigger (hence the larger jar I use).

Now, between the bakes (twice per week) I simply hit the "pause button" on the starter so not to feed it and so that it does not grow - I put it into the fridge.
It can stay in the fridge for weeks if needs be (say we left for a vacation).
:)

When readying for the baking, I am pulling the starter out of the fridge, adding some fresh flour/water, stir it up and put on the counter.
In 2-3 hours it is ready to go.

Nothing but stone ground rye and water, probably 1/2 cup flour and about the same of water - I don't even care anymore.
Proper mix should be like "thick paste" (that's all the criteria there is).
Here is the ready starter - I used it all up shortly after taking this picture, just tonight.
20200421_181508.jpg

All the starter dumped into the bread mix and I am ready to reset it anew.
20200421_211938.jpg

The starter is now reset - fresh flour/water in the same old jar.
Not too pretty as the jar is covered in dried crust anymore, but works beautifully as the culture remainder just inoculates the new medium and starts growing right away.
And it is FREE.
20200421_212226.jpg
 

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Greg
I did my bread making like I did my bee keeping. I found the easiest routine to get what I wanted and then just rinse and repeat over and over again. Just with out free flour, my project was too big to make sense.:)
Cheers
gww
 

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So I just finished the "hard" part in my tonight's baking - the mixing part - which is stupid easy and quick.

Tonight's recipe is below (every time I change some; prefer organic ingredients, but don't have any now):

1)Mixed dry:
- 3 cups all purpose unbleached flour - this is the gluten part to glue it all together and almost never changes (sometimes will do only 2 cups)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (better nutrition; could be rye but none left)
- 1 cup of nutrition fillers (tonight - sunflower seed, steel cut oats, flax seed meal)
- 3 teaspoons of salt

20200421_210637.jpg
20200421_210847.jpg

2)Dumped my starter:
20200421_211041.jpg

3)Added water - 3 cups - mixed wet (should be sticky mess when done):
20200421_211705.jpg

4)Cover and leave overnight.
80% of the hard work is done.
Tomorrow I will bake it and put up more pics.
 

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Greg
I did my bread making like I did my bee keeping. I found the easiest routine to get what I wanted and then just rinse and repeat over and over again. Just with out free flour, my project was too big to make sense.:)
Cheers
gww
It's cool.
Whatever you did was, surely, better than the commercial stuff.
 

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The next morning...
Recharged starter is growing again (bubbly) and is to be put on the pause until I need it again whenever - fridge.
20200422_075530.jpg
 

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The batter has risen nicely and is ready for baking.
When I have rye flour in the mix, it is more slow; but no rye in this batch (outside of the starter).
20200422_074148.jpg
20200422_074203.jpg

Prepping my baking pot (simple iron pot snatched on some crazy cheap sale years ago).
Prepping = oiling it.
I overdid the oiling part, but hey, avocado oil is good for you.
20200422_074519.jpg

Dump the batter into the baking pan.
I could be doing ALL of it directly in the baking pan, but I don't want acidic sourdough be eating into the iron if left there for many hours (no enamel protection).
20200422_074738.jpg

Set myself a timer for an hour - time to check work email and write this post, hehe.
The batter needs to rise back a bit since the dumping broke the sponge down some.
20200422_074843.jpg
 

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Y'all have got me all stirred up about this wonderful looking bread. Stirred up so, that last evening I went out and threw this together beside my deck ......

WFO.jpg

Well ..... obviously I didn't do all that last night, but this is one of my ongoing projects for the last couple years. All I have left is some insulation and the enclosure to protect the dome.

Pre Insulation 3.jpg

Insulation 4.jpg

I'll finish it one day
 

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Y'all have got me all stirred up about this wonderful looking bread......
It is a beauty, Dan.
Baking/cooking outside in summer - a killer project.
I wish I had such setup.
 

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Dan
I can picture some nice meat coming out of that to compliment the bread.
Cheers
gww
 

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After 1 hour timer went off, checked the baking pot - the batter has rebounded enough and is ready to bake.
I had cases in the past when I forgot about my bread, and the bubbling mess spilled out of the pot (the phone timer is a must for me).

Preheat the oven to 450F.
20200422_091102.jpg

Set the pot inside for ~45 minutes - COVERED (it holds the moisture inside so that the bread does not turn TOO dry).
Set the timer!
20200422_091051.jpg

When ~45 minutes is up:
- get the pot out and remove the lid
- the top crust will be very moist - lightly oil it (and sprinkle some flour on top if prefer floury looks); if prefer - do nothing and the top crust will be dry and less pretty (still totally fine)
- put the bread back into the oven for ~15 minutes more
- set the timer!
20200422_100716.jpg

When ~15 minutes is up:
- get out the pot;
- dump the bread out of the pot (comes out easily if the inside is oiled sufficiently; else use a silicon spatula to separate the bread from the pot, does happen if not enough oil applied)
- cool the bread few minutes; below is how I do it - must protect the table below it, which I do - else the table varnish will be ruined (bread will be EXTREMELY hot and steamy).
20200422_102636.jpg
20200422_102744.jpg

Enjoy!
This loaf should last for about 3 days for us - 5 hungry heads.

PS: the entire project is mostly about time management and not much else - which is a good fit when "working from home" and the kitchen is a short-walk away;
during the "normal" times, I usually bake on weekends
 
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