Happy New Year

Well, that was quick. Christmas flew by, and now New Year’s eve and day will go just as quick.

Sorry I didn’t take pictures of the Fish Dinner, but things were hectic enough without me stopping every few minutes to snap pictures.

On the sourdough front, my first loaf was a failure,. mainly because it took like 8 hours to rise, and even then, i don’t think it was enough. I tried again last night, but I cheated and added packaged yeast along with the starter to ensure a quick rise. The result was a tasty fully risen loaf–but it wasn’t sourdough. Maybe I’ll work up the guts to try again without the yeast-helper. I still have my starter in the fridge, so it’s all good.

On the writing side of life, I have been working on a new piece. I can’t say much yet, but it is a definite departure from my previous work. Wish me luck.

5 thoughts on “Happy New Year”

  1. Don’t lose hope on the sourdough thing. Keep your starter out of the fridge for another week at least and give it regular feedings to let it build up strength – it’s just a baby right now and can’t do very much until it matures and it’ll mature a lot faster out of the fridge.

    Also, an 8 hour rise is not unreasonable for sourdough. This is wild yeast, not commercial yeast, so it takes a while. This is good, though, because that long rise lets the dough develop such character and taste. A commercial yeast loaf rises MUCH faster and therefor doesn’t have that quality to it.

    I make sourdough pizza dough about once a week (from the Cheese Board Collective cookbook – the BEST pizza I’ve ever had) and that dough needs 8 hours to rise before shaping and cooking.

    Good luck!


  2. Anthony J. Rapino

    Hey Kate, thanks once again for the advice. I had read that the rise takes a while, but for some reason it still surprised me 😛

    Do you do a second rise with sour dough, or just that first one? If you do a second rise, how long does that one take? If you don’t, how do you shape it without losing the effects of the first rise.

    Thanks again. 🙂 Happy New Year.

  3. It depends on what you’re making. My pizza dough just takes one rise, but many breads need two.

    Let’s see… the sourdough bread I bake most often these days (from Nancy Silverton’s Breads From The La Brea Bakery – a great book with a lot of great info on starters) needs a 4 or so hour first rise and maybe an hour for the second rise. In between you deflate the dough to let the yeasties come in contact with new food. Punching it down is a good thing and you won’t lose the effects of the first rise. However, the weather makes a huge difference. When it’s cold it can take my bread a few extra hours to rise.

    Another great resource is the book The Bread Bakers Apprentice. Also, it’s not a sourdough recipe but it’ll help you get familiar with bread – try out the No-Knead bread recipe recently published in the New York Times. I think it’s hidden in the members only section now, but the internet has gone crazy with it so you should be find it on someone’s blog. It’s very, very easy, you mix it up in the evening, fuss with it just a little about 18 hours later then bake it in a pre-heated covered pot. Putting the lid on the pot for the first half of the baking keeps enough moisture in to let a nice crust develop.

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