Sunday, August 16, 2009

I've Been Busy

I'm continuing to bake my standards, sourdough bread, orange and cranberry muffins and sourdough cinnamon buns. And I still bake four challah every four weeks for the local Jewish Temple. I was on a bread baking forum recently and found a reference to Brother Juniper's Santa Rosa Struan, which is a struan baked in a bread machine. Some further research found this was published in Rustic European Bread from your Bread Machine by Linda West Eckhart and Diana Collingwood Butts. Straight to and they had several used in very good condition. The book arrived Saturday.

Turns out that the struan is one of Peter Reinhart's recipes, when he was running Brother Juniper's Bakery in Santa Rosa, CA. Interesting co-incidence since I was a tester for Peter's latest book (due out soon).

Anyway, had a yearning for baguettes and there is an i
nteresting recipe for Pain a L'ancienne -(that's French for old fashioned bread if anyone is interested) in the book. Has some rye flour in the mix and starts with a sponge made the night before. Very easy to make and got two nice baguettes. Crust was not as crisp as I would have liked. May need to be more aggressive with the steam when baking next time. Good texture and taste.

Here's a photo of the finished product:

Happy baking!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Miserable Weather

This has been a miserable weekend with rain and low temps both days. So it was a bake weekend! Two batches of sourdough cinnamon buns for the freezer, a batch of three fruit marmalade with molasses for the cupboard and savory muffins for a breakfast meeting next Tuesday.

I still play with Peter Rheinhart's new recipes. Latest was to make the multigrain struan with Bob's Red Mill Ten Grain cereal as the cooked cereal, substituting two cups of whole wheat flour for the same bread flour with two tablespoons of gluten, and molasses for the honey. Made two loaves of this last week and two of the multiseeded bread.

Revived the sourdough starter today so tomorrow will be two sourdough loaves and a batch of cranberry/orange sourdough muffins.

Still trading bread for eggs with the two guys across the road. They sell their surplus eggs at a Farmer's Market and keep on trying to get me to sell bread there. But do I reaaly want to get up at 3:00am on a Saturday morning to bake? I'm too much of a perfectionist to want to sell day old bread at the Market. Perhaps I should take samples to the market and test the waters for artisan bread. Now if I could just take orders there and deliver later in the week. I do have one regular customer however. I bake challah for the local Jewish Temple, four loaves every four weeks. I use a bread machine recipe for this, Peter Rheinhart's recipe uses far too many eggs!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First Post for 2009

Happy New Year to all. This past weekend the Farmhouse Bakery was in full swing. First off was to try the Easy Crusty Bread recipe from the December/January issue of Mother Earth News. This is a basic simple dough, flour, salt, yeast and water. After mixing it's put in the refrigerator to retard and used as needed by cutting off a piece and shaping into a boule. Made enough dough Friday for four loaves and baked two on Saturday. Took one to our neighbors that are our source for free range eggs. Not a bad exchange.

Also on Friday I refreshed the sourdough starter that had been languishing in the refrigerator for some weeks. Nancy Silverton's method is to feed three times in a day, so Saturday morning found me with a great renewed starter. Began two loaves of her sourdough bread. This has become my staple sourdough recipe, a great crust and chewy texture. This is a two day recipe where the loaves are shaped and placed in bannetons overnight in the refrigerator to retard and develop flavor. Sunday they were taken out of the refrigerator, allowed to finish rising and baked.

With an excess of starter I also baked a set of Orange/Cranberry muffins. See my post of August 17, 2008 for that recipe. It makes a wonderful fruit flavored muffin with oatmeal as an added benefit.

Finally I baked Peter Reinhart's Holiday Bread recipe. This is another of his test bakes for his new book. A rich egg and butter dough that I made into a stollen since I had some marzipan paste in the freezer. Used a 50:50 mix of raisins and cranberries as the fruit.