Friday, October 31, 2008

Wild Yeast Pain de Mie

Pain de mie is the french name for sandwich or Pullman bread. In other words, it is soft, tender bread baked in a loaf pan. I made this one with some of my wild yeast starter, adding a little instant commercial yeast to guarantee a faster rise. I am not sure is the wild yeast made a difference. The bread was not sour, and I blame this on my local bacteria.
The recipe uses 2 builds, meaning that I first combined the starter with some flour and left it overnight to build flavor, and then added it to the main dough.


The night before:
  • 4 oz milk (11o g)
  • 12 oz starter (340 g)
  • 4 oz whole wheat flour (110 g) [You can use bread flour here, but I prefer the rustic appearance gained by using some whole wheat]
Mix everything together and leave out for about 2 hours (until it doubles in volume. Then, refrigerate it overnight.

The next day:

Take the re-ferment out of the refrigerator 1 hour before making the dough.

  • 3.5-4 oz Bread Flour (110 g) [The amount you will need depends on the moistness of the starter]
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant /Fast acting yeast
  • 2 tbsp oil or melted butter
  • 1 tbsp honey [use the same spoon as the oil to create a slick surface. It will be easier to scrape the honey out of the spoon]
  • 1/2-1 cup water [the dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but easy to knead]
Mix well and let rest 10 minutes. Knead for 10 minutes by hand, or in a mixer for 5 minutes. Form into a ball and spray the dough with oil and let proof (rise) for about 2 hours. The dough should almost double.
Degas the dough and form into a loaf either by rolling the dough into a cylinder or another method of your choice.
Place loaf into an oiled loaf pan (small) and ferment (let rise) for another 2.5 hours.
Make a slit at the top of the loaf to prevent cracks and bake for 30-45 minutes at 350F. The loaf is done when its center reaches 195F.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing because the center is still cooking.

This bread is delicious fresh and goes especially well with cheese.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Buckwheat Pancakes: With Wild Yeast!

Last week I decided to test out my sourdough starter to see it it was sour yet. I wanted to make something easy ans tasty, so I flipped through my secondhand copy of Beard on Bread by James Beard and found a recipe for Yeasted Buckwheat Cakes. My family loves buckwheat (it's what is used for real crèpes,) and the method looked simple.
The recipe called for mixing commercial yeast with flour, salt, and water the night before and adding butter, molasses, and baking soda the next morning. All I did was replace the yeast and part of the flour and water with the barm I made about a months ago.

Ingredients (Feeds 4-6):

The Night Before:
  1. 1 cup liquid sourdough starter*
  2. 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
  3. 1 cup buckwheat flour
  4. 1 1/2 cup water
  5. 1 tsp salt
Mix all the ingredients together in a medium-large bowl. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave out in a warmish place overnight.

The Morning of:
  1. 1 tbsp melted butter
  2. 2 tbsp molasses
  3. 1/4 tsp baking soda
The flour mixture should have bubbled. Stir it well and add the remaining ingredients. Heat up a griddle to medium-low heat. Cook like you would a pancake, but longer. Check for doneness by Opening one a peeking inside. The interior should be soft but not gooey.
Eat warm with honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, or a combination!

*You can replace the sourdough with 1 package instant yeast, 1/2c flour and a 1/2c water. If your starter is dryer or more solid, diminish the amount used and add more water to make a liquid batter.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Poll Results: Pancakes or Waffles

My dear readers,
I am sorry that I didn't give the results for this a month ago. I was just too busy. But, things should be going back to normal now. I am going to try to give you at least one post per week

Anyways, here are the awaited results (because you couldn't at all see them on the blog before):
6 (33%)
11 (61%)
1 (5%)

Votes so far: 18

This is definitely a record turnout: 18!! So waffles are clearly favored by you all, and by me as well. Either way, they both are delicious with real maple syrup (none of that "breakfast syrup" stuff for me), and you are the person who doesn't like waffles or pancakes, you can still enjoy the wonders of maple syrup. It goes wonderfully with plain yogurt (my dad's idea) and oatmeal.

Please vote on my next poll to express your opinions about frozen desserts with just one click of the mouse!