Thursday, October 19, 2006

Two Artisan Loaves

Short of being baked in a wood fired oven, (I do my best to recreate that enviroment by never cleaning my oven, so particles of flour, scraps of dough and what not combust regularly in there giving everything what I pretend is a woodsy kind of flavour), these loaves are made from scratch.
Ok, I didn't grind the flour either, but the red fife wheat was milled almost locally, (Victoria - thanks Erica if you ever run across this), and the all purpose was milled in Armstrong. Both were grown on the Canadian Prairies.
I made the starter loosely based on Dan Lepard's recipe from the Handmade Loaf. I will state here that his pictures, or rather photographs, are much better than mine, and there are alot of them in his book, for those who like that kind of thing.

Six days ago I started here.

Using Lepard's recipe as a guideline, (recipe will follow at the end), I started with a few raisins, all purpose flour, rye flour and water, (He also adds yogurt). Stir it up and let it sit for a day. Next day add more flour and water, stir and sit again for a day. Do this again the next day. Day four you add water, strain out the raisins, pour off some of the watery sludge, then add flour five you pour off 3/4 of the sludge, add more flour and water, stir, sit for a day again. This is called feeding the starter, and it can go on forever.
The starter is ready to use after day five. Instead of tossing the doughy starter stuff you use it to leven your bread.
I have never ever EVER done this in 5 days. I always forget it for one day along the way. This week was no exception, and I think I forgot about it for at least two seperate additions. It seems I have pushed the boundries of the starter too far because the loaves were far from perfect.

Starter - Day Four

You can see the nice bubble action happening in the starter. This is what is should look like. I then left the starter for an extra 24 hours without feeding it, (which I think I had done at least once already to the thing). When it was at its finished stage I used it anyway, because there were some bubbles, but certainly not as much as in day 4.

And now for some action shots.


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