Monday, February 8, 2010

Mini sourdough loaves

Last week on the heels of two spectacular bread-making failures, I decided to wing it and make some mini loaves. I am emotional about this size of bread and I explain why in some detail in my notebook.

In the past, I have had great success using Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day style of bread making. I like to use the "dirty" bowl to start a fresh round. This gives the bread a slightly sour flavor. You just add water and yeast, and then some flour. I like to add a little sugar too. It excites the yeast giving one an airier loaf.

So using the bowl that I used to make (the failed) peasant bread (it had rye and whole wheat flour), I threw in some warm water and yeast and watched it foam. Added a teaspoon of vanilla sugar and a couple scoops of white bread flour. Stirred it up and set in a warm spot for a couple hours.

Deflated the whole she-bang and pulled out a grapefruit-size chunk and divided that in half and let it rest.

Resting is very important in bread making. One must realize you are manipulating a live beast - that is the yeast collective.

I kneaded each round a bit and shaped it for the pan. Set aside to rise again while the oven heated.

I have a cold oven, so everything takes longer to cook. This is why I am hesitant to give temperature and times. You know when the bread is done when you take it out of the pan and thump the bottom of the loaf. If the thump is a hollow sound, the bread is done.

Another way to tell if the loaf is done is with an instant read thermometer. It should read 190 to 200 degrees.

1 comment:

Mrs.Oz said...

beautiful loaves. I'll have to go read why they are emotional for you now. Does it work in a large loaf too?