320g starter (fed 14-18 hours prior)(most recipes call for less starter)
480g water (more for wheat flour, we’ve been playing with the amount of water)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
After years of making our house sourdough the same way (too dry), we’re now playing with a few things including the amount of water (more is better but without a loaf pan, the boules tend to flatten when they come out of the basket) as well as a technique Babs found that makes holes inside (stretch out thin and fold over and over loosely). We’re also playing with how often to feed the starter and when the last feeding should be before making dough. We’ve stopped doing punch-downs and are going straight into shaping baskets next to the fire. They usually rise in about three hours. We’re playing with rise time too. It’s hard to tell when they are ready for the oven but we try to catch them toward the end of the rise (not after it’s finished or too early). All of these things are critical and we need to be careful not to get stuck in old habits like we did when we first started.
Today we made some more house bread (2 rounds) and a chocolate chip machine loaf. Here’s our Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread recipe. It’s one of our favorites. I want to try a quick bread with banana and chocolate soon, or maybe just add some banana to this recipe.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread
(from the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Recipe Book Chocolate Bread recipe)
320 g milk
1 large egg (beaten)
2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
545 g bread flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp Rapid Rise yeast
90g (9 tbsp) chocolate chips (I used 115 g or 2/3 cup this time)
I did he Homemade Cycle with a 30 minute Rest, a 30 minute Knead, adding the chips slowly between 15 and 10 minutes remaining, let it rise 3 times (0:35, 0:20, 0:40) and baked it for 1:10.
Update: Hmmm, it just finished baking and it cracked on top. It also looks a little overdone on the sides. It didn’t seem to rise enough before starting to bake. I think with the extra kneading, chocolate and sugar it needs longer rise times, even with the Rapid Rise yeast. I think next time we’ll use ASF (Active Dry or the slower rising instant) yeast and do a 1 hr Rise 1 and a 2 hr Rise 2. We’ll see when we slice it if the 1:10 baking time was right. … ugh, we just sliced it and it pretty much sucks. First of all it tastes salty so I need to be more careful measuring. Next it has no chocolate chips. That’s right, by adding them early I beat them into non-existence. I continue to struggle with the additional ingredients. Especially with the chocolate chips, it’s less important that they be evenly mixed in than left intact. It was also overdone. So this was an epic fail in just about every way. Next time we’ll go back to the original recipe, using the Course 1 White setting, adding the chips at the beep, etc.
Today we made some house sourdough with the usual 320g starter, 420g water, 600g bread flour, 200g wheat flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp salt. We let one round rest for a couple hours, punched it down and it’s been rising for about 3 hours now. Will bake that at 425 degrees, covered for 20 minutes with an additional 10 minutes uncovered. The other half of the dough went back in the machine for some sandwich bread or toast. I’m eating that now, toasted with some butter and raspberry/strawberry jelly. Good stuff!!
We’re also doing an Apple-Cinnamon-Pecan loaf in the machine with the following ingredients:
We still have dozens of apples so we made more apple pie this week. The tea for next weeks batch will be strong and next week we’ll use less (adjusted in “How we do it”). So we used 1/3 cup of apple-cinnamon-lemon puree with 1 tbsp sugar for the apple and 1 tsp of sugar for the plain.
The apple pie was pulled at 6 days which was about right. The lemon cut the sweetness. The plain was pulled and refrigerated on 12/5. We tried to pull them earlier but they were too sweet. So 16 days is about right for the plain.
This week we show our gratitude to our friends and neighbors by heaping loaves of bread on them 🙂
We’ve kneaded 2 batches (4 loaves), 2 House Wheat (320/420/800) and 2 Olive (320/380/800/1.25 cups). For the olives we set the machine for 25 minutes of kneading and after 10-15 minutes started folding in the olives. The olives contain a lot of oil so they seem to get beat up less when added early before the dough gets too glutenous. We’ll do all four as rounds, baking the plain 30 minutes (first 20 minutes covered) and the olive 35 minutes (first 25 minutes covered) at 425 F.
We’re also making more dessert breads today. The cranberry-orange-pecan quick bread came out great, maybe a little sweet but otherwise awesome. I’ll do that one again with less sugar. I also want to do a chocolate bread and another apple.