About

About… Well I think the title of the blog could give you some idea. Bread, how many books have been written about it? About how to make it? The staff of life. Even if it isn’t for many people these days, it is for enough. I came into baking just a few years ago, and rather naively attempted a naturally leavened bread as my first bake from my brand new bread cookbook. Pain de Campagne Rustique. Rather surprisingly, for a complete novice, it turned out okay. It had a fairly good flavor, and while heavy, it was not a complete brick.

I’ve come quite a ways since then, and I hope to continue developing my bread skills.

4 responses

18 01 2010
Rick M

Hi, Sorry to sound so naive, but could you please explain HOW to elaborate a starter and what steps (recipe) are taken to do it correctly? I just spent a small fortune on Hazelnut butter, Hazelnut flour and Hazelnuts (and cocoa powder) and I don’t want this bread coming out like a ball of concrete!! Also do you use dark (?) semi-sweet or unsweetened chocolate for the chunks? I’m very new at bread baking. I built a wood fired pizza oven in our back yard and I’d like to try baking some of your delicious bread recipes but I’m a bit nervous (also very excited) as to getting the directions right! Thanks so much!! Rick M.

21 01 2010
Noel

Well, for elaborating a starter the first assumption is that you have a sourdough starter going. If you do not have a sourdough starter going, you can instead use about 9.8 oz of flour, and 6.5 oz of water mixed together with 1/2 tsp yeast and fermented until doubled, then follow the recipe from there. As for the chocolate, I used 60% dark chocolate chunks, which would be close to semi sweet. Good luck with the bread!

21 01 2010
Rick M

Noel,
Thanks So Much!
As a novice, this information is just what I needed!
I am (also) trying to create a starter with equal flour and water weights. I’ve been throwing half of it out and feeding it daily (no yeast). I end up with a mix of batter with tiny bubbles and liquid on top but not any more volume. It smells just like a sourdough bread. Is this ok to use? I refrigerate it at night and leave it on the counter all day covered with a damp dish towel.

23 01 2010
Noel

If you’re only getting tiny bubbles and liquid on top, it doesn’t sound like it is ready to raise a loaf of bread. If you’re not there during the day, since it is being left out, it could be that it is rising and then falling again. However, until you get at least a doubling in volume from the starter in 3-6 hours, it probably isn’t ready to make a loaf of bread.

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