Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Starting Over

I started this blog in 2011, and it quickly became (very) evident that I had neither the time nor the inclination to keep it up to date.  Instead, I turned to Facebook where I could easily post my bread and food porn pics at will :) However, now that I'm "retired", and have a renewed interest in bread baking, I've decided to start all over.  

Since my first blog, I've baked quite a bit, read a lot of books, done research on-line, watched countless bread related videos, and (hopefully) learned much.  Before I deleted all of my previous blogs (I actually saved them as drafts), I read through most of them.  I had to chuckle. While I did (luckily) manage to produce a fair amount of good breads, I had many that were mediocre at best (yet still edible), and more than my fair share of complete and utter failures. Inconsistency was a big issue for me.  I'm now ready to learn from my mistakes and give it another go.

My plan is to devote the time to developing (and documenting) a good sourdough starter, and try some new recipes from various bread baking books I've acquired.  I've amassed quite a nice collection on my iPad:
  • The Bread Baker's Apprentice (Reinhart)
  • Artisan's Bread Every Day (Reinhart)
  • Bread Revolution (Reinhart)
  • Whole Grain Breads (Reinhart)
  • Bread 2nd Edition (Hamelman)
  • Baking Sourdough Bread (Söderin, Strachal)
  • Classic Sourdoughs (Wood, Wood)
  • Flour Water Yeast Salt (Forkish)
  • Tartine Bread (Robertson)
  • The Art of Baking Bread (Pelligrini)
  • A Passion for Bread (Vatinet)
  • In Search of the Perfect Loaf (Fromartz)
  • Baking Artisan Bread (Hitz)
  • Bread Baking (DiMuzio)
My blog already contains some informative bread-related videos, but I'm sure I'll be adding even more from the extensive list of bookmarks I've collected over the years.

As of today, I have a new sourdough starter in the works (I'm also thinking of purchasing an authentic San Francisco sourdough culture).  I'll be documenting everything to include:
  • Starter hydration
  • Flours used
  • Feedings
  • Times 
  • Ambient fermentation temperature / Starter temperature
  • Observations: Taste/ Aroma / Appearance
  • Mother starter information
  • Dough making (hydration, mixing, fermentation, times, temperatures, scaling, forming, proofing, scoring, baking, etc.)
  • Final crust and crumb observations: Taste, texture, aroma and appearance.
  • Comments from my volunteer panel of taste testers :)

All of this is a plate full for sure (no pun intended), but I'm willing to give it a shot :)

Till tomorrow...