Sourdough Adventures Starter Day 3

This morning when I fed Blanche, she still didn’t look like she changed much, except there were the light yellow spots on the surface of the flour mixture. At first, I thought the surface had dried out and gotten crusty but when I lightly touched it the surface was still moist. Then I worried those light yellow spots were mold but the flour mixture didn’t have an odor of any kind so it wasn’t mold. So then I assumed that the yellow spots were part of what was supposed to happen and mix them it the flour mixture when I fed it 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 teaspoon of water.

The day’s instructions said within 12 – 24 hours after the 3rd feeding I should start seeing bubbles on the surface. Sure enough as the day progressed I saw bubbles on Blanche’s surface and she obviously increased in size and had gone from a rather shaggy mass of flour and water to a much smoother and much bigger mass of flour and water.

I am so excited to see the changes in Blanche that mean she is really starting to grow into a real, live starter I can make bread and as I have discovered, many other things with.

Tomorrow, I’ll start feeding Blanche twice a day until I have enough starter to actually bake bread.

This is what Blanche looked like 12 hours after the third feeding. . You can really start to see the difference from day one.

Sourdough Adventures Starter Day 1

Some people have bucket lists filled with exotic places they want to visit before they die. Other people have bucket lists filled with all the exciting things they want to do before they die. My bucket list is filled with all the foodie people I want to meet, the places I want to eat at, and most of all, the food I want to learn how to make from scratch.

On the very top of that bucket list is to learn to make all kinds of sourdough bread. I have learned to make many different kinds of yeast bread over the years and I am pretty good at it but sourdough has always intimidated me. The idea of having to create and maintain a starter just seemed like a lot.

Well, in December, I turned 50 years old and decided if I want to learn how to make sourdough bread I had better get started so part of my birthday present to myself was a packet of dried sourdough starter.Since then I have been putting off for one reason or another. Now with Corona virus keeping me at home I thought now might be the time to start some sourdough experiments

.First step in sourdough baking is making a starter. I decided to use a dehydrated starter rather than trying to develope a wild starter. So may I introduce to you, baby Blanche, my new born sourdough starter.Dry StarterBaby Blanche with 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon water added to the soaked starter. I placed the container in a gallon sized plastic bag and set it in my pantry to rest for the next 24 hours.Stay tuned tomorrow for the further adventures of baby Blanche.

A Small Batch Thanksgiving –Scoop and Bake Dinner Rolls

Hey all, I know Thanksgiving isn’t for a couple of weeks yet but I work in retail and know I won’t have the time or energy to post this on Thanksgiving day.

In this season of thankfulness and gratitude, I just wanted to take a moment and tell you all how thankful and grateful I am that all you, my dear readers, have taken the time over the last year to spend time with me here on A Solitary Feast.  You constantly amaze me with your kindness and generosity of spirit.  You will never know how much that means to me.  Thank you so much.  Have a great Thanksgiving and a peaceful Holiday season.

Scoop and Bake Dinner Rolls

From Cook’s Country

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 ¼ tsp rapid rise yeast

1 cup lukewarm water (110 – 115 degrees)

6 TBS butter, softened

1 large egg

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Heat the oven to 200 degrees.  Maintain temperature for 10 minutes then turn off the oven.  Grease the muffin tins.  Whisk 1 ¼ cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.  Whisk water, butter, and egg until very smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add remaining flour and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined.  Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap and place in the warm oven until the batter is doubled in size, about 30 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the oven and punch the dough down.  Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins.  Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until the batter nearly reaches the rims of the muffin tins (let rise at room temperature), about 15 minutes.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake until golden, 14-18 minutes. Rolls can be stored in  and airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Grant Bread — Rye Version

I am back from my time out and ready to blog again. It is strange, once I decided to quit blogging, I couldn’t wait to stop but towards the end of my break, I could hardly wait to start blogging again. I really missed the act of preparing recipes, pictures and posts for you. Most of all I missed the connection I have with all of you wonderful people who read my blog. Thank you for all your support during my time out.

Even though I wasn’t blogging, I still spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and baking. One recipe that really inspired me during my time out was My Favorite Pastime’s recipe for Grant bread. I love recipes that inspire me to get in the kitchen and try my own variations. The Grant bread recipe has certainly inspired me to do that. I have made a loaf of Grant bread once a week for the last 4 weeks, each loaf a variation on the original whole wheat version.

This week’s crazy culinary experiment was to try a caraway rye version of the Grant loaf. I knew it was going to be a bit tricky substituting a lower gluten flour like rye for wheat. I added the caraway seeds and molasses because my favorite rye bread recipes use them. The result was a very mild rye bread. The next time I try it I may use a medium or dark rye flour instead of light rye flour for a more robust rye taste.

Grant Bread -- Rye Version

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 TBS molasses
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8 x 5 inch bread pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt, yeast, sugar and caraway seeds, mix well. In a separate bowl, combine warm water and molasses, stir to dissolve. Add the water/ molasses mixture to the flour; mix well. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set the pan aside in a warm place and let rise for 40 minutes or until the dough rises to a half inch of the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

40 Minute Whole Wheat Rolls

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My first attempt at baking on my vacation didn’t go very well. I have been working on a small batch recipe for rhubarb muffins. This morning I decided it would be easier to transport if I made it into loaf. I totally forgot to take in to consideration the extended baking time for a loaf so the topping was burned black and rock hard while the middle was still gooey.

Fortunately, my second attempt at baking today was much more successful. Although there is nothing better than a traditional loaf of bread, sometimes you just don’t have the time to spend two or three hours to make it. This is the recipe for when you want fresh bread fast. It makes a nice soft roll for burgers or other sandwiches. If you don’t have whole wheat flour you can definitely substitute white flour for the wheat flour.

40 Minute Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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2 tablespoons yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 – 2 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Add oil and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Add egg, salt, and enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding remaining flour as needed. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces, shape each into a ball. Place about 3 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

From Lynn’s Kitchen Adventure