Thursday, July 09, 2015

City Limits Sourdough with a touch of maple syrup

I had another fit of "clean out the bins" when I started this loaf. There was some Wheat Montana Prairie Gold and some Dakota Maid Bread Flour that I had to use. I was getting anxious to open up some new bread flour.

Mrs PG and I went to Chapel Hill, NC for my niece's wedding and while on the way, I purchased some flour milled at the Weissenberger Mill in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. I took a chance the local area work ethic that also makes Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve bourbons would be reflected in this purchase. There was so much confidence and curiosity that I also bought some AP flour and a few muffin mixes. My road trips usually mean I have to make space in the cabinets and hutch for the latest purchases. We don't collect spoons or plates or other kitsch, we just try to find some local food specialties. When they're gone, they're gone.

Anyways, I've pretty much reached the end of my KAF AP experiments. The flour is just as good as touted, I just think that I'm hindered by not baking more often. It's not easy to justify a freezer full of bread for two people.So now, I'll just blend the AP with my usual bread flour until I get fired up with enthusiasm after the next new book or startling insight.

What has been working for me is the use of some bottled spring water during the building of my starters. It has shown itself to be helpful in getting a more vigorous starter. My next experiment with starters will be to try building a rye starter, using the spring water, in about three stages for a "country loaf". The discard from the first and second stages can be used to build a pizza crust. No sense in letting good starter go to waste.

120 g at 100% hydration, with KAF AP

Main Dough
185 g Dakota Maid bread flour
90 g KAF AP
85 g home milled whole wheat
240 g spring water at 78F
All of starter
1 Tbs Quebec maple syrup
8 g kosher salt
instant oatmeal flakes for the banneton

The persistent rainfall of Spring has continued into our Summer here. It seems like everything is green with a vengeance and taller than in previous seasons. The tomato plants and chile pepper plants are an exception, not growing with their normal enthusiasm due to the lack of heat and sunshine. I wish I could say the same about the weeds. I've picked five grape tomatoes but none of the full sized tomatoes are near ripe yet. Usually, I'm bragging on my tomatoes by the 4th of July.

However, the cucumber plants are finally at work and producing better than anything I can find at the supermarket. I'm also in the process of drying my hard neck garlic which turned out satisfactorily. There's enough to plant in late October, enough to keep for eating, and plenty to give away to family and friends.

A hard drive crash in late May demonstrated the wisdom of having a back up drive so I'll be sure to have one soon. The drive crashed in less than twenty four hours and I lost a lot of recipes, most of which I had never baked. But it's not too big a problem since most of them were found through links posted on The Fresh Loaf. I may run across a recipe I lost and I'm sure I'll find something new. It will also give me an excuse to create some more "freestyle" recipes as well.

As of yesterday, this obscure corner of internet has had over 15,000 hits, a statistic that I find both amazing and amusing. I extend my thanks to all my visitors.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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