Sourdough Part Trace

Time to make more sourdough! One week later, the last loaf is gone. It was great, so I’m going to try to do that again. Even though the dough was a bit too fluid for me, the result was great, so I’m going to measure with the weights again.

Evening, 17 May: did the pre-ferment.

All In

0810, 18 May: things are smelling great! I put the rest of the ingredients together and mixed them up. Got all measurements very close.

Ready to Start Bulk Rise

1040: Finished kneading.

Risen Enough

1530: Finished bulk rise, it’s between 1.5 and double the original size, I’d say. When putting it into the pan, it’s definitely more sticky and less solid that previous breads except the last one, which turned out so well. Should bake around 1930.

Starting to Rise in Pan
Ready to Bake

1900: it’s ready, let’s do this!

1940: Dis bread.

Yarp

This loaf is fantastic. The density is great, although even lighter would be amazing. The flavor is just awesome. I’ll have to see how far I can push the rise next time…

Sourdough Part Doughs

Gonna try to make it lighter this time by catching it at peak rise.

1900, 10 May: made pre-ferment. Measured by weight, which resulted in less ingredients by volume than he recommends.

0945, 11 May: added rest of flour and ingredients.

1145: finished stretching/folding.

1700: it still hasn’t risen as much as I’d hope for. It’s certainly risen, but it’s taking its time.

1900: the book recommends letting it increase by 50% by volume. Has this increased in volume by 50%? Maybe. Hard to say. Based on height compared to splatter in the bowl, I’d guess that it has. Time for the next step.

Has This Risen Enough?
In Da Pan – For Final Rise

It’s kindof a wet mess tonight. It has been moister than last time at each stretching, and now it’s quite sticky. It really didn’t take shaping. If I had any experience making bread, I would’ve added more flour I think. It just doesn’t seem like the right consistency, but I’m gonna let it go this time and see what I get.

And I got a taste of the dough – quite sour too! At least that’s right.

No time to final rise and bake tonight, anymore, will have to let it sit in the fridge until tomorrow.

Late afternoon, 12 May: took the bread out of the fridge, let it warm up, then baked it.

It has clearly risen a bit more

The dough still seemed too wet this afternoon, but everything seems to have baked well.

The result is… Pretty great! Nicely sour I think, light enough as shown by the great looking hole distribution in there… I really don’t have any negatives right now.

Sourdough Bread

I made a couple loaves of bread a couple weeks ago, based on a recipe in this book Sarah asked for, Josie Baker Bread. It was good, but actually not as good as when Sarah makes bread out of the book. Mine was not mixed uniformly (the two types of flour were a little noticeable in the end product), and it was saltier than it should have been. When Sarah makes bread from these recipes, it comes out amazing. Like, I’ve eaten half a loaf immediately and only stopped because sense eventually creeped into my head again. It’s great bread.

I’ve always been interested in the raise-your-own-yeast thing. Whether for bread, beer, or whiskey, yeast is the magical ingredient that invents flavors and alcohol and texture out of biological process and chemistry alone. That’s pretty awesome.

So, my goal by reading this guy’s book was to make good sourdough. Besides being interested in growing yeast, I also love sourdough. Like, strong sourdough. When you move around frequently, it’s not easy to keep finding a good sourdough source. Trader Joe’s is pretty great though…

Anyway, I’m making sourdough in this post.

I started a starter a couple weeks ago. Basically, mix 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (all flour here is King Arthur brand) and 1/2 cup cool water together in a jar with lid askew on your counter. Let it sit. Every two days throw out all but about 1 Tbsp, then mix in that same flour and water. After a day we had bacterial and yeast growth, evidenced by the growth of the mix. After a week the mix stopped smelling like fart fruit. A little longer and it smelled like yeast-y acetone.

3 May, 0600: fed the starter in anticipation of doing pre-ferment this night.

1930: setup bread pre-ferment based on book’s first sourdough recipe.

4 May, 0800: mixed dough first step, using bread flour. The pre-ferment was acetone-smelling, which may mean I let it sit too long, and the yeast consumed all the food. Maybe this is fine though, and will produce a particularly strong sourdough. I was careful about mixing well, for uniformity. Also, I measured salt fairly carefully. Salt was just Morton’s iodized, though, we’re out of sea salt. We gotta get more sea salt from Costco.

0845: did the dough folding technique. Will do four more times or so, at 30 minute increments. Dough smelled good this first time.

1015: did fourth and last folding. Now will let it sit for several hours doing bulk rise. In the meantime we’re going to walk the dog, then go hiking near DC.

1530: put it in the bread pan!

2010: put it in the oven… It’s not as risen as it should be. I think I missed the peak of rising and it fell while we were out.

2110: it wasn’t as risen as it should be. The result was a little too dense, but still good. The sour-ness was not quite where I wanted it, but pretty good still…

I think next time I need to watch the rises and catch them at the peak. Still tasty bread.

Lambtastic

This is lamb weekend. Some folks call it Easter weekend. I’m doing two legs of lamb – right leg and left leg. Both are about 4.7 lbs, $5.99 per pound. Today, Saturday, I’m going to smoke one based on this recipe, and tomorrow I’m going to Sous Vide one based on the same recipe I’ve used in the past. Sarah likes meat more well-done than I do, and with lamb I don’t mind that much, so my target is medium-well.

1520 Saturday: late start on marinading the lamb for the smoker.

1600: putting the lamb on at 250℉, aiming for internal temperature of 160-165℉.

1700: internal temperature is 76℉.

1800: internal temperature is 126℉. I’d really like to eat around 1900, so I’m going to crank the temperature up to 275℉ to keep this party going.

1900: temperature is at 157℉, we’re gonna make it!

1930: took the lamb off the smoker, it was at 167℉.

The result was great, the lamb was nice and smoky. It was well done, and Sarah thought that was perfect. Not the best lamb I’ve had, I thought the crust was not quite the perfect complement to the lamb and the smoke, but I’d still definitely make this again, I liked it a lot.

With the sous vide one, I used the same recipe as previously, but forgot to not add extra salt with the olives. Oh well.

1330 Sunday: meat is prepped and immersed, sous vide set to 165℉ to get a doneness that Sarah likes, like the smoked meat. I’ve set it for 10 hours, but it won’t take that long. We plan to go for a motorcycle ride and then come back. It should be done any time between 3 and 6 hours from now.

1900: took out the lamb and dropped it in a hot cast iron skillet for a few minutes, rotating it regularly. Quite a bit of water got into the bag, so I had to reduce the sauce for a good 20 minutes. No problem.

I actually liked the sous vide version a little better, Sarah preferred the smoked. I think she got a cool rubbery piece of lamb by the time she tasted the sous vide version. I warned her to heat it up, but no dice. I thought the smoked version might be better if I chose a different coating for the outside. Next time I sous vide the lamb I should take it out earlier, and use a bag that won’t get water in it.

Pork Butt for Friends

We’ve got some of Sarah’s best friends in town, and some of their family is coming over Sunday, so I’m busting out the smoker to feed everybody. Time for some pulled pork!

2030, Friday: salted the 15 lbs butt with 2.5 Tbsp salt. It’s in the fridge now until Saturday night, when I’ll put 1 cup rub on and start it smoking at 225℉.

2215, Saturday: put the butt on the smoker at 225℉, after putting the rub on.

0820, Sunday: temperatures are 166℉ (top) and 162℉.

1015: temperatures are 167℉ and 163℉. We’re deep in the stall now…

1100: turned up the smoker to 275℉.

1330: meat is at 190℉ and 181℉.

1500: meat is at 197℉ and 188℉. Pork butt really takes a long time.

1510: took the top one off at 198℉.

1700 or so: took the second off at 203℉.

It came out awesome! Note that 20 hours would not have been enough time without cranking the temperature. Next time, just plan on cranking the temperature.