Monday Open Thread 2/21/22
What's everyone else up to?
Lately I’ve been working on a new (to me) approach to making enriched breads, one that involves dialing in the composition of the preferment to create a soft, long-keeping bread rather than relying on a precooked starch like a tangzhong. Given how much I use the latter approach in my baking, it’s sort of upended my understanding of things, which is both troubling and exciting in equal measure. There’s still lots of testing left to do, but I’m looking forward to sharing more with you all here soon. If you are curious, the shokupan/Japanese milk bread recipe I’m currently using (pictured above) is called the Five-Thousand Dollar Starter Bread, and is a scaled-down version of this formula.
What recipes have you all been working with lately that you’ve gotten excited about? Share with the rest of us in the comments below!
After baking a lot of variations on The Loaf and Loaf Classic, I've been trying some of the other recipes out of Andrew's index. So far I made the Anadama sandwich bread (which had a nice, complex flavour) and the Chocolate-Cherry-Cardamom Sourdough, which was maybe one of the most delicious things I've ever baked.
On a different note, for fun I recently built a web app for a bread recipe calculator that others may find useful, which is at https://sourdoughcalculator.shinyapps.io/calculator/. The app works on mobile and desktop browsers, and there aren't any ads or anything.
It works how I like it (of course), which is that you specify a total flour weight and hydration, then enter any percentages of additional flours and the percent levain, and it gives you the weights of the water and each flour you need. You can also adjust the levain hydration and composition lower down.
It's meant to be simple to use rather than comprehensive, so there's currently no way to add a preferment/tangzhong or other ingredients (although the yeast and salt fields can be used for other items since they're just baker's percent times flour weight.) You can save recipes by clicking the "Bookmark" button and then copying the URL.
There's also a DDT calculator based off of Andrew's formula, which I mostly included to make it easier for me to try using DDT more often.
If you're looking for a more comprehensive calculator, there's https://foodgeek.dk/en/bread-calculator/ and breadcalc.com among many others you can find by searching, though I haven't used either one much.
I hope some of you find it helpful (it was fairly popular on the r/Sourdough subreddit), and if you have any feedback or suggestions you can reply here or contact me through my email on the Help tab of the app. Oh, and the code is available on GitHub, also linked on the Help tab.
I'm excited to try this! Mostly I've been crazy busy these days with regular old sourdough....my little home bakery has exploded in popularity and I'm generally sold out within an hour of posting my week's offerings. VERY grateful - and thank you for the great methods and recipes, my customers love them! The Hot Cheesy Bread has been probably the biggest frenzy of late.
We are still playing a bit with the best doughs for the Ooni, have mostly settled on the version that starts with the poolish. Have another pizza party this week when my siblings and spouses visit Jacksonville from the Midwest. Trying the Miyoko's plant based mozzarella on a couple of pizzas since my SIL can't do cows milk. That will be fun! Any advice you have for plant-based cheeses would be welcome!
Taught my first cooking class last week - Carnitas and Carnitas Fried Rice. Sourdough 101 classes will be held in March. Just got a test recipe from ATK for a bread item so I'm looking forward to trying that as well.
King Cake season is upon us and I'm committed to 12 of them for my customers, so the next couple of weeks will be pretty insane! But they are so tasty, it's a labor of love for sure.
I downloaded the baguette class and got through most of it, also ordered the additional supplies and tools I needed. Now I just need to put it on my baking schedule.
Keep the fun new stuff coming!!