Monday, August 25, 2008

Sourdough Bread

Ok, in my last post I said I'd tell you how the sourdough bread turned out. It actuallt came out pretty good. I followed the recipe found about 7/8th of the way down on this page, listed as "Classic Sourdough Bread."

The bread was a little denser than I would have preferred, but that is because I cut the rise times of the dough to the minimum. When I make this bread again I will aloow for more time in the rises to have a bread that has more sourdough taste and has more air in it for a lighter texture.

If you haven't tried making sourdough, you shuld give it a shot. It is goooooood stuff!

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sourdough Biscuits

Well, yesterday I told you about my experience with sourdough pancakes. Not a failure, but not a success either.

Last night, I was having a nice southern dinner of red beans & rice, so I decided some biscuits would go good with it. I looked on the 'net and chose this recipe. As my dinner was cooking, I assembled and mixed the dry ingredients, added the starter, mixed it, kneaded it, cut out the biscuits placed them on my Lodge Fajita Skillet and baked them.

They were good, not great. They were tasty, but were missing something. If you had opened the link to the recipe, then follow the steps I took, maybe you have already noticed what I did wrong. If you haven't noticed, I forgot the butter! The recipe called for butter cut into the dry ingredients before adding the sourdough starter and mixing, kneading, etc. What is surprising is how well they did taste with any added fats. I am going to try them soon with the recipe followed correctly.

Today I am trying to make a loaf of sourdough bread, I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Friday, August 22, 2008


As I was growing up, I had a great uncle who made the best sourdough bread, biscuits and pancakes. He had taught me how and even gave me some of his starter when I was in my teens. For those who don't know, making bread & such with sourdough starter and no yeast is labor intensive. It even takes some (just a little) effort to keep the starter going. Being a typical teenager, I forgot about it for a while then was surprised when my starter had spoiled.

A few times during the 30some years since, I have played with sourdough. Some homemade starters, some commercial bought. They would work, but seldom would I stick with one long enough to keep it going and to let it get that real sourdough taste built up. That does take time.

Recently I had made my own starter, and things were looking promsing. Then one night, after separating some starter, mixing it into a bread dough and refreshing the remaining starter, I went to bed. The next morning when I checked my dough and starter I was surprised to see them both flat, no rise on the bread, no bubbles in the starter. Then it hit me. I had used tap water not bottled spring water the previous night. The chlorimine in the water had killed the yeasts and lactobacilli.

So I forgot about sourdough for a bit.

Last week, I purchased another commercial starter. It began working right away. I made some pancakes using a recipe found on the 'net, and they turned out ok, but not great. I had not noticed down out the bottom where the recipe stated the pancakes would be thin. They were, almost more like crepes. The flavor of them was good, but they were flat and missing the light taste I remember from my uncle's pancakes. So now I have my starter built back up some and will try it again tomorrow using a different recipe.

I'll keep you posted. :-)

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

R.I.P. Gene Upshaw

Gene Upshaw, the head of the NLFPA and former Oakland Raiders guard, died last night. His 15 year playing career included palying in 3 Super Bowls, 2 of which were won by the Raiders, 7 AFL/AFC Championship Games and numerous playoff games. His on field career culminated in election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Off the field he headed the NFLPA until his death.

He was a great player and leader and will be remembered as such.

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