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#16 Chef/Writer Spencer

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 03:38 PM

OK, after being beaten over the head with sourdough snobbery (on various websites) I've begun a real starter...just flour and warm water. I'm going to nuture both and see what the difference is. Where can I find that faq Robert? Thanks.
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#17 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 04:40 PM

It's not snobbery. It's about the quality of the bread. If you're serious about it, you'll see.

Try this link.

I repeat: the best way to get a starter is to acquire a known, stable one. I strongly recommend Carl's (linked via the above site), a favborite of many sourdough bakers.

Although there are only three ingredients - flour, water and salt - sourdough baking is an infinitely variable process. It takes a certain amount of time, thought and application to reach a satisfactory result.
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#18 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 12:48 AM

Maybe ten years ago, I had a chile bread at the Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe. I'm generally not a fan of flavored breads, but this one stayed in my memory. Recently, internet search made the restaurant's recipe for this bread easy to find. So I dried some chiles, acquired the fresh Anaheims and finally made this loaf today. This is a bread made with commercial yeast.

The recipe calls for chile molido, which it translates as fresh chile powder, with no further discussion. So I pulverized some dried poblanos, and some dried anaheims separately. The poblanos (the kind that turned dark brown/black on drying) were mild, deeply flavored. The anaheims were wicked hot, lip throbbing hot. So I used the poblanos and a tiny pinch of the anaheims. Other dried chiles in my cabinet - habaneros, guajillos, arbols, were definitely too hot to go into the mix. The recipe also called for dried chile flakes. I cut these back by half.

Next, a couple of fresh anaheims, roasted, peeled and diced. Unlike the dries ones, these were nicely sweet and mild.

The method is very straightforward: some water and a little olive oil, the yeast, then the dry ingredients, then the diced fresh chiles. The recipe calls for equal amounts of all purpose, bread and whole wheat flours. Develop dough, proof in bulk, turning a couple of times, form, short rise, bake (with appropriate rests).

The result was a nice light whole wheat loaf. Caution is necessary not to slash too deeply, nor to bake at too high a heat, as whole wheat will not open up the way white flour does, and it will burn if the oven is too hot. The tiny pinch of dried anaheims, and the chile flakes produced a real heat, but if that's your thing, it's a tasty treat. I can see myself retooling this formula for sourdough baking.

Edited to add: we ate this tonight with some tuna salad, which cut it nicely, as will the house-made yogurt cheese tomorrow, I suspect.
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#19 Rail Paul

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 01:00 AM

Robert, the chile bread sounds very interesting. I've found that my whole wheat and rye breads usually do better at 375 degrees (vs 400 for corn white breads) for about 35-40 minutes. Whole wheat breads normally get a 2 day rise before the oven.

How did it feel to allow commercial yeast in your baking sanctum? :D


Kalustyan's on Lex and Adriana's at Grand Central Terminal both carry fine chile molido if you don't have the time to dry and pulverize your own.
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#20 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 03:11 AM

I think the sourdough version, coming soon in this neighborhood, will be better. I try to follow the recipe the first time to see what was intended. When I first saw this bread, it was baked in a pan. I generally bake freeform loaves. What form do you think would be good? Maybe in the shape of a pepper.

Also, I will have to look properly into chile molido, after my first naive attempt. I like to do it from the raw materials. This must be an interesting subject.
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#21 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 08:36 PM

This week's boule goes to croutons, crumbs and toasts for various Thanksgiving preparations. It was slightly wetter than the last, but if it hadn't stuck to the proofing basket (because I was out of rice flour), it wouldn't have flattened out as much as it did. Still, a good looker and most suitable for its intended purposes.

Nothing next week due to intensive Thanksgiving stuff in the kitchen. Then, most likely, the much-in-demand chocolate sour cherry sourdough, followed by a reworking of the chile bread.
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#22 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 12:36 AM

The Coyote Cafe chile bread has now been thoroughly reworked:

- a two pound, 100% sourdough loaf; King Arthur 11.7% protein all purpose flour, 3 tsps vital wheat gluten, 70% hydration, 40% starter, 3 tsps olive oil (not really necessary, but it softens the crumb if you like that)

-1/4c wheat germ, a few tsps ancho chile molido, a few tsps commercial chile molido (much "redder" tasting), a few tsps red pepper flakes, 4 fresh Anaheim chiles roasted, peeled and diced

-mix the dough, autolyse, add fresh chiles, rest, ferment in bulk, turning once an hour for three hours in my kitchen (about 70 degrees, low humidity this day)

-form the loaf, proof overnight in the refirigerator

-take it out at least an hour before baking; bake on tiles with steam for the first ten minutes

The mixture for this loaf, and the final product, turned full brown from all the stuff I put in it. This is very nice. It baked up a good 4 inches, with a very good cell structure and a nice contrast between the crisp crust and the soft interior. Best of all, it has the deep flavor of real sourdough underlying a well diversified rendition of chile tase and heat.

With thanks for what came before, this loaf is now Bob's Sourdough Chile Bread.
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#23 Rose

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 04:47 AM

I never think of you as Bob for some reason.

Hmmm......the dba event could use some bread :D
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#24 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 02:06 PM

I never think of you as Bob for some reason.

I never think of you as Rose with shades.
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#25 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 12:26 AM

This week's straight boule is dedicated in the service of new crop olive oil, which has arrived from Tuscany via the Rare Wine Company in Sonoma at laughable expense. Notwithstanding, the oil is excellent this year. Toast (or better, grill) the bread, rub it with some garlic, drizzle it with the good stuff, and you will, as Cheech and Chong once said, "see God and everything." Some Tuscan bean soup with bread and oil is on the near horizon.

The humidity was low this week, so the usual mixture was less wet than it normally is. This, combined with taking the sponge a little too late, I think, resulted in a loaf that was not quite as high nor as open as I have been getting. Still, it lifted up off the stones nicely, and the taste is there.

In addition, a couple of sourdough chocolate sour cherry loaves. These little one pound beauties are rich and dense. Because of all the additions - in addition to the chocolate and dries cherries, there is cocoa powder and sugar - take some commercial yeast as a helper to get them up. I think the next batch should take more starter and less yeast. The small size makes it easy for a few people to polish one off with coffee.

Not sure yet what I'll do this next week.
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#26 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 09:34 PM

First attempt at sharing photos. Here (I hope) are three views of the basic 100% sourdough boule:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Sorry for the sizing. I'll work things out eventually.

NB: there's a lot of flour on this one because the dough was very wet and I ran out of rice flour (baker's teflon).
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#27 Lippy

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 09:36 PM

Can't see the pix, Robert.

#28 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 09:39 PM

Sorry. They show up fpr me. For someone who is reasonably fluent with the use of a personal computer, I must say, I find the whole business of getting photos up confounding.

edit: they did show up. Now, it's just "user posted image". phooey.
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#29 Cathy

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 10:03 PM

The small size makes it easy for a few people to polish one off with coffee.

Are you seeking volunteers? I'll bring the coffee. :D
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#30 Stuart

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 06:11 PM

Robert,

What shaping technique do you use for your boules (my favourite bread shape)? I use the 'dough hanging over the fingers spin' with repeated tucks until the surface is tight as a drum. Works well for me with commercial yeast, either white or white plus wholemeal.

Stuart