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FarmGirl~K
True Blue Farmgirl

512 Posts

Kelly
TX
USA
512 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  05:26:32 AM  Show Profile
Julie- Yes it was wooden. I may start on it tonight when I get home. I'll let you know how my first loaf turns out! Thanks again for all of your help & advice. You sure have put a lot of time into answering all of our questions.

"I have an irrepressible desire to live till I can be assured that the world is a little better for my having lived in it."
Ė Abraham Lincoln
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Quintessential Kate
True Blue Farmgirl

175 Posts

Kate
Tyler TX
USA
175 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  05:40:41 AM  Show Profile
Gosh....It's been a month since I joined in with this awesome breadmaking adventure. I have enjoyed it so much and have learned so much and eaten (and given away) so much bread. On bread making days...that is supper. I mix up some herbs and olive oil and some hard cheeses......maybe some sun dried tomatoes...and that's what hubby and I have. I very seldom drink alcohol (anymore)...but I have to admit, on "bread night" we have a glass of red wine....(and of course, a small square of dark chocolate). It's almost become "date night".....we savor our bread, sip our wine while we are curled up watching a movie. It's great!
MaryJane....I am so excited about the cheese making. We will incorporate cheese into our bread night! Thank you for your dedication and vision.
Ciao, Kate

Heart of Texas
Chapter
AKA: Hot Farmgirl #234
http://quintessentialkate.blogspot.com

Today is my best day!
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Amie C.
True Blue Farmgirl

2099 Posts


Finger Lakes Region NY
2099 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  05:56:03 AM  Show Profile
Yeah, I can't wait for the cheese making directions! Thanks for putting this info out in such an accessible way, Mary Jane.

I got a really successful sourdough loaf yesterday. Best one yet. I made a double batch in my cast iron dutch oven (it's 5 or 6 quart size, so too big for a single batch). I've been holding off on using it, because I keep forgetting to buy parchment paper, but yesterday I decided to just slather the bottom and sides with butter and give it a try. The bread is delicious, and I had no trouble getting it out of the dutch oven. Came out just like a sandcastle.
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nancylee
Farmgirl at Heart

3 Posts

nancy
williams az
USA
3 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  07:21:34 AM  Show Profile
I've tried making the bread twice now following the directions using king arthur bread flour each time it did not rise, what could be wrong? Would altitude have any bearing on it we live at the 7000 ft elev.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  07:38:30 AM  Show Profile
Nancy - I don't really know anything about elevation. Maybe someone else can chime in on that. How old is your starter? Are you feeding it everyday and are you seeing bubbles on it after feeding? What type of water are you using?

Also - personally I was not a big fan of the KA Bread flour for making bread. I would suggest you use the KA All purpose flour if it is available in your area. The bread flour seemed very doughy even after a good rise and baking to 200.

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com

Edited by - willowtreecreek on Feb 12 2009 07:40:14 AM
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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  09:14:14 AM  Show Profile
Ok I've made my third loaf today and I'm sure hoping everything turns out ok. last week went to look for a cast iron pot or whatever and nothing....so I lined a regular loaf pan with parchment paper and as some of the others did i put it in the oven with the light on and we'll see what happens. I love your photo's MaryJane!!
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6055 Posts

Shirley Jean (Jeannie)
Florida
USA
6055 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  09:25:01 AM  Show Profile
I wondered about altitude and humidity, too. In FLorida, we live at almost sea level, and in a very humid climate. That must make a difference than out west where it is so dry and much higher? I will let you know when my bread is ready to bake, if it behaves any different....also some climates must have a lot more natural tendency toward mold, ours being one....

I got the organic all purpose flour. I am really looking forward to getting started!

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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little.fish
Farmgirl in Training

10 Posts

Katie
Michigan
10 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  11:25:25 AM  Show Profile
I've been having a great time with this sourdough recipe, too! I decided to try making my starter and bread with fresh ground (fine setting), organic whole wheat, and I think it turned out really well. I added a little more than 1/4 cup water to the starter each time since it seemed to need it (I don't know if this is b/c of the whole wheat).

The first loaf I baked after 7 days was really flat, but still chewy and good. The second week I made 2 loaves (added extra to my starter during the week). I made a loaf of the regular and one of the cinnamon raisin. They both rose nicely and the cinnamon raisin was gone before the week was done! The texture is more dense than normal white-flour sourdough would be, but is nice.

Like someone mentioned earlier, I also used molasses instead of sugar. Also, my bread needed 1 to 1 1/4 tsp. salt (I'm guessing b/c of whole wheat, again?) The second 2 loaves I made, I baked in 1. a small cheesecake pan and 2. a bread pan. Both worked really well.

Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe!

"...plain Kate, and bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst..."
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pearlgirl
Farmgirl in Training

14 Posts

Lydia
Holland MI
USA
14 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  1:07:46 PM  Show Profile
My starter is 3 weeks old and she improves with age! Today it made the most beautiful loaf of bread. I used 1 1/2 c. whole wheat (prarie gold) flour and kneaded it in my stand mixer for 8 minutes. I think the kneading helped the center rise. I am quite delighted!
Last weeks bread:

This weeks bread:


I made another loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread and it was much more dense than my other breads, has anyone else noticed that recipe being more dense? Maybe my starter just wasn't in a good mood Tuesday.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Pro 31:30,31

http://pearlsgleanings.blogspot.com/
http://www.pearlgirl901.etsy.com/
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  1:48:15 PM  Show Profile
That is beautiful Lydia! Thanks for sharing pictures!

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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campchic
True Blue Farmgirl

312 Posts

Erin
Nebraska
USA
312 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2009 :  5:03:03 PM  Show Profile
Alee, did you use a french bread form or just free form it?

Erin

Farmgirl #190
www.concrete-and-grace.blogspot.com
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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  06:27:19 AM  Show Profile
Well I did my third try and no luck....hmmmm. i truly don't know what the problem is, do it very accordingly, at least i think i am. Some had a rise after 4 hours at 5 hours or so nothing. I know others are using different flours and getting results. I really don't know.
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Suzan
True Blue Farmgirl

659 Posts

suzanne
duncannon pa
USA
659 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  06:56:13 AM  Show Profile
I'm with you, Melissa, I did my second loaf yesterday and it still didn't raise much, my mother looks great but I can't get it to raise...used a smaller pan on second thinking it would raise higher but no.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  08:12:08 AM  Show Profile
Girls please give me specifics - outline your process for me and I can try to narrow down the problem. Likely it is something very simple.

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  08:34:44 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Hi Erin-

I just free-formed it. It was 1 1/2 cups starter, 4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 cup warm water. Warm water should be around 90 degrees but not hotter than 95.

With starter in bowl, stir in one cup flour, sprinkle in salt and continue to add in more flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough starts forming up and leaving side of bowl.

Turn onto floured board and knead in more flour until smooth and elastic.

Put in warm 4 quart bowl with steep sides to rise until doubled in bulk, around 2 hours if you have a really active starter, but don't panic if it takes up to 8. Cover bowl during rise with plastic wrap or damp cloth as the dough has no oil to prevent dryness.

Bowl should be proofed or set to rise in an 85 degree environment.

When dough has doubled, turn it out on a slightly floured board and knead for 30 seconds. Cut in half and from into an oval in your hand by folding it over on itself and pinching shut the bottom. Then roll on board like play dough to lengthen until it is almost as long as the baking sheet. Place on lightly greased sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.

Use glasses to drape a wet cloth around the bread but not touching. Set to rise again in the 85 degree environment for another hour or until double in bulk.

Slash the top 3 times with sharp knife or razor blade. Brush tops with cold water and then place in 400 degree oven. Set a muffin tin of boiling water (use a kettle to pour the water in after you put the tin in please!) on the bottom of the stove and place the bread on the rack just slightly above center. After 10 minutes carefully remove tin of water and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until browned and done.

Recipe in abbreviated form from "Adventures in Sourdough Cooing and Baking" By Charles D. Wilford.



Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
Please come visit Nora and me on our blog: www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  09:29:04 AM  Show Profile
Ok Julie.....I take out 2 cups of mother and do the basic white Farmhouse bread to the exact ingredients. This week I lined a regular loaf pan with parchment paper.....before putting in the pan I mixed it in glass 8c measure bowl. I didn't knead it..right...but it was not sticky when I put in the loaf pan. I followed the directions from the mag. for the bread. Then I put it in the oven with the light on for about 5 hours and no rise what so ever. I'm just about out of flour so I'll try and get the KA flour. Next time I try can you come over please:)!
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Cowgirl Jess
Farmgirl in Training

12 Posts

Jessie
Post Falls ID
USA
12 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  11:03:23 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by nancylee

I've tried making the bread twice now following the directions using king arthur bread flour each time it did not rise, what could be wrong? Would altitude have any bearing on it we live at the 7000 ft elev.



Dear Nancylee, I am convinced that elevation makes a difference. I am at about 3000 ft and I have found that I almost always have to add more liquid to get the best results. I hope this helps- of course you will have to experiment but possibly your bread is too heavy to rise.

Do not worry about tomorrow, today has enough worries of it's own.
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  12:57:49 PM  Show Profile
Melissa - I would love to come over but its a little far. I was just in Rockton/Rockford last week. It sounds like you are doing all the right stuff for the baking process. What is the process you are doing for the starter and what brand and kind of flour are you using?

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  1:20:39 PM  Show Profile
Julie....the flour is organic Arrowhead Mills unbleached white flour and was using distilled water. Each day I would add 1/3 cup of the flour and 1/4 water in the morning. Throughout the week it looked and smelled like it should. Today I went out and could not find organic KA flour just the regular KA all purpose flour. Hmmm. I'll keep trying. By the way my brother and sister-n-law live in Rockford so I go there once and while.
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22856 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22856 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  3:18:32 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Alee's MSN Messenger address  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Melissa- how old is your starter. The older it gets the runnier it seems to be (I think this is because you have a yeast colony metabolizing the flour starches and the yeast "float" in the water) so if you have a younger starter I would suggest only adding flour until you get to the consistency of the bread show in the pictures. MaryJane mentioned this towards the bottom of her post on page 38 of this thread.

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
Please come visit Nora and me on our blog: www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com

Edited by - Alee on Feb 13 2009 3:20:21 PM
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ruralfarmgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

4309 Posts

Rene'
Prosser WA
USA
4309 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  7:12:00 PM  Show Profile  Send ruralfarmgirl a Yahoo! Message
I know that there are some KEY things here 1) the quality of the water you are using even if you think you have good water, try using purified water... 2) the quality of the flour, 3) the freshness of the flour. All flour isnít equal and even all Organic flour isnít equal. Make sure that you check the "ingredients" and that the company isnít using fillers.... (Barley or other heavier grains), also check the date... sometimes; if your grocer is selling organics and they donít move quickly, the oils in the flour can go stagnate. When you start the mother... day 2 you should get a "sweet smellĒ if it starts to smell rancid... then possibly you are working with an old flour.

For those that are struggling, I would encourage you to get some of MaryJanes Flour because we KNOW that this is freshly milled in Montana using a high quality PURE grain....If you still struggle then try adjusting your water source.

Lastly, if you spray or use a disinfectant or other chemicals in your kitchen, this will kill your "mother", as the fermentation, is absorbing the air... to help feed the mixture....also......make sure the cover you are putting over the mixture is chemical free....as it is being absorbed as well....

While is can be discouraging when you canít get the mother to take...... I promise once you find the right combination it will be totally worth it....


Rene~Prosser Farmgirl #185
http://farmchicksfarm.blogspot.com/http://renenaturallyspeaking.blogspot.com/



Circumstances made us FRIENDS; MaryJane's has made us SISTERS :)
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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2009 :  8:55:50 PM  Show Profile
Good info I'm going to check it all out,thanks, appreciate it. I sure do love this farm girl thing!!!!!
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campchic
True Blue Farmgirl

312 Posts

Erin
Nebraska
USA
312 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2009 :  05:35:07 AM  Show Profile
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Alee! I'm going to try the french bread recipe today for Valentines day supper! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Erin

Farmgirl #190
www.concrete-and-grace.blogspot.com
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willowtreecreek
True Blue Farmgirl

4813 Posts

Julie
Russell AR
USA
4813 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2009 :  05:59:31 AM  Show Profile
Melissa - Rene said it all really well! In addition if the mother looks and smells well it could just be that it is slow to mature. The difference between my bread the first week and now is AMAZING. I have a starter going with the KA organic AP flour. It works pretty well. They do offer online ordering if that is something you are interested in. I also agree with Alee. If your dough is too dry you might want to add less flour so it looks more like MJs pictures. Addingmore flour will increase the need to Knead!

My sister and BIL and my 2 nephews live in Rockton!

Farmgirl Sister #17
Blog
www.willowtreecreek.wordpress.com
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urban farm girl
True Blue Farmgirl

80 Posts

Melissa
Posen IL
USA
80 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2009 :  07:14:52 AM  Show Profile
Hey Girls.....Yes maybe I'm adding too much flour plus I'm going to look into ordering the flour, I used distilled water before and just picked up purified water. I'm heading out to Farm and Fleet this weekend to see if they have any cast iron pots...

Yeah Rockton is right near Rockford,huh!Cool!
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