Friday, April 23, 2010

It may not be Heaven, but it's pretty good!

Well, I finally have it all. So far. For now.

Everything I need to start with Paul's Mellow Bakers!

I have 'the book', have the ingredients, and finally, desperately, I had time.

And best of all, Sister gave me a new scale to work by! Whoo Hoo!

Now it is time to start posting, and with a little effort, that fresh bread upstairs will all be eaten by the time I finish this posting stuff. I mean, what is left of it.

(Yes, I am eating some right now.)

I tried the "Light Rye" first, since it was what I was the hungriest for; also, I just had to use some sourdough starter. Have I introduced Gladass yet? I have had some sourdough starter going for a few months now. A few months? Maybe I should give the time in pounds, because they seem to correspond with one another.

I have had my own pet sourdough starter named Gladass for at least ten pounds now, and I try to feed her regularly.

And yes, I did it the hard way. I initially created one of the most foul-smelling things in the house besides my hiking boots. It took a while, but eventually the 'good' bugs outgrew the 'bad' bugs and we started to make some wonderful breads.

Back to the Light Rye, then. Here is what the book simply labels 'sourdough', a combination of water, rye flour, and some mature starter. By the way, Gladass hates that term mature. Don't use that term around her if you expect to get a raise around this house...

It seemed awfully dry, but I remember reading that sourdough does wonderful things with Rye, and sure enough by the time I tasted it the next morning it had developed quite a tangy flavor.

Yeah, I tasted raw starter.

How else are you going to know?

So, let's just say that I had my doubts about this recipe being anything but another loaf of bread. But, when it was mixing
it really showed some significant strength.

It started out looking too dry, but soon the gluten developed and everything just kinda came together. Looked right, felt right, it was really kind of cool. I sealed it up in a bowl for the 1 hour bulk ferment period called for by Hamelman. And yes, there is plastic wrap on there, and yes, my photo skills are mediocre.

After the hour was up, I folded and shaped it into two small loaves. Frankly, I folded it more than once, because it was kind of fun. Also, I have been making so much sour dough, that I did not assume for as much 'oven spring' as I got. This left me with rather short, but very tall loaves:

Have I introduced my stove, Luke? It started out as 'Mephistopheles', but I could never spell that in a hurry, and 'Lucifer' seemed overworked, so Luke it is. Luke tends to run about 30 degrees hotter than the indicator dial says... ...and once again, he scorched the tops a little bit.

But the girls did not seem to mind...


  1. Hey, nice write up, lovely loaves and darn cute dogs! All that's missing is a laughing baby and you've got Guaranteed Crowd Pleaser Blog!

    Welcome to the Blogosphere! May your addiction prove fruitful - or breadful even.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed both this post and your previous one (about the women in your lives and your intro to baking). And welcome to blogging . . . be warned: it's addictive! =) We loved the taste of this one, too!

  3. Welcome to blogging. I started with the BBA challenge. Hurrying to get this rye bread done before May!

  4. Lovely post! I only started blogging because of this too and I was given a lumix camera for Christmas which has a 'food' setting which is what I use for my bread pictures and has extra stabilisers like a kid's bike. Works pretty well for a camera phobic like me. Dogs and baking seem to go well together. See you soon!

  5. Hi Steve, Gladass & Luke! And what are the names of the dogs please? :)

    (I like your post, it's interesting!)

  6. Nice post and loaves!

    This bread is my favorite for this month's bakes.:)

  7. Oggi, this is my favorite yeast bread so far! I still love sourdough baguettes, though.

    Nat, they are Emma and Phoebe, my 13 year old daughters. No crumbs on the floor at my house!

    Thanks, Paul, for starting this thing up. Pretty fun, so far, although I am getting fatter!

    Rosemary and Abby - you both have really wonderful blogs, I have enjoyed reading them, and hope to read more.