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.