On Sun, 24 May 2020 12:49:40 -0400, default <***@defaulter.net>
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Post by default Post by Don Martin Post by default
I've played around using store-bought buttermilk for a starter culture
- you end up with a much creamier and less acidic result. This was
primarily a way to keep milk for a few days without refrigeration back
when I was more nomadic.
I have used malt in the past, but got away from it when I made bread
less often (my late wife couldn't resist it and needed to). Back in
the 70s, I kept the same culture of starter going for five years, with
at least one batch per week, but more often two. I let the Kitchen
Aid mixer with dough hook do the heavy lifting until it broke (it was
the swing-up sort and its supporting arm was stressed by dough). I
couldn't afford to replace it at the time, so made bread less often,
losing the culture. I have a sturdier mixer now and should get back
into sourdough with a bit of malt.
Malt is good for the enzyme activity. One of the enzymes works up to
130F and the other 160. (the things you learn making beer) Yeast
really really likes barley malt and the sugars it produces (with
enzymes) more than the plain starch in wheat flour.
I have one of the ancient Kitchen Aid mixers with the crank lift. In
some 30+ years I've put in one set of brushes, replaced the dough hook
and swapped out the machine screws for hex head bolts on the mixer
I use it to grind meat, grind/break grain, and bread making.
I've been buying flour in 25 lb sacks and using 3 gallon plastic
buckets for storage. Yeast is 1 kilo bricks of freeze dried which
keeps in a glass jar in the refer (for a year if it lasted that long).
What kind of mixer did you opt for? I've been lusting after a 15
gallon (insane I know) used Hobart 4 speed commercial mixer, but as
long as I can keep the KA working there's little point - and the
serious mixer takes up a lot of room.
I was never very successful with sourdough. The one time I had
excellent sour dough my (then girlfriend, now) wife made it. She had
it rising in front of the open oven on a summer day. I got to her
house and persuaded her to take a conjugal break. Some 5 hours later
we had the best ever sourdough. (and may give new meaning to "yeast
Bread and beer are complimentary skills. In prison they use bread to
start the fermentation of "raisin jack" (my sister worked in a prison
infirmary). It was whatever sugar or fruits they could use for mash,
and they'd drink the cloudy mixture yeast and all.
Wine made from Welch Grape Juice isn't bad either. I had to try
making it, one beer making season, after reading about how
compound-dwelling ex-pats get along in Muslim countries.
The Egyptians kept their beer making and bread making in the same area
they kept the sheep. Theory has it that the yeast was plentiful in
the straw used for sheep bedding. (an ancient funeral model housed in
the Metropolitan Museum in NY has/had it when I was there)
I suspect yeast is pretty plentiful everywhere. Grape skins, for
instance, are loaded with it (which is why I confront teetotaling
christians with the impossibility of Jesus sticking with grape juice
in the climate of Israel).
Post by default
Bumming around the country with a tent and motorcycle, I could always
depend on a job cooking (often for minimum wage, but my living
expenses were next to nothing too, and I didn't pay tax). Places like
Yellowstone Park had free room and board (not too shabby when you
consider the 10:1 ratio of college age women to men) and rail road
work included room (a "camper car - stock car with bunks and a wood
stove) and board (the foreman's girl friend(s) moonlighted cooking for
us, if we signed over the food allotment)
I have been a short order cook in a Richmond cafe where one satisfied
customer proposed marriage who whoever it was that had made those
biscuits. I declined his offer.
My current mixer is a Kitchen Aid, but the lever-lift sort, which is
much sturdier than the swing-up head type that broke. I once had the
joy of using a restaurant model that processed a ten-pound load of
flour and the other stuff with ease--I was making the pancakes above
for a summer art colony in which my wife was participating. Nobody
told me that they were essentially vegetarian, and I did up a
sufficient batch of bacon to go alone with the pancakes. Strangely
enough, neither a crumb of bacon nor a drop of batter was left over
afterward (artists are _so_ seduceable!).
The first thing about sourdough is to get a good starter (YouTube is
filled with clips on capturing your own, but the results are variable
accorting to what particular yeast species was floating around the day
you put out the potato water (or the bees collected the nectar). I
think it worthwhile to get an established strain, San Franciscan or
Alaskan) and run with it. Now you might luck out and catch a good
wild yeast the first time, but more likely you will need more than one
try to get bread that really tastes good, and you toss out the
attempts. Rising isn't everything.
The second thing is that you must make bread with it reliably, at
least once a week. You dump your starter (usually about a cup) into a
loose flour and water mixture the night before and let it work. The
next morning you put a cup of _that_ into the clean starter jar and
refrigerate it, while adding salt and flour into the overnight foaming
mix to make bread dough. I have a couple of Siamese twin baguette
pans in which I made baguettes with the dough. They may look long,
but they can disappear pretty fast.
One of my happiest memories with bread was in the 70s; my late son was
in a men's a cappela singing group, the Kokosingers, at Kenyon
College, and in the spring they went on tour to other colleges. As
they were headed for one on the other side of our home, they warned us
they would be stopping around noon. Braced for the onslaught, we did
a whole ham, a large beef roast, chicken, and three batches of bread.
There was a salad, too, of course, and some veggies for health's sake.
They arrived right on time, demolished the ham, beef, and chicken
along with the salad, and decimated the veggies. The bread vanished,
too (young males ~20: need I say more?). They sang us some their
songs, and got into the huge van they had hired. Our last view of
them was of the van headed south; an arm from a right-side rear window
waving a baguette.
aa #2278 Never mind "proof." Where is your evidence?
BAAWA Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief Heckler
Fidei defensor (Hon. Antipodean)
Je pense, donc je suis Charlie.