I still make my own bread once or twice a week. Usually it's just the usual white loaf (very breadist), once in awhile I'll bake up some no knead
crusty bread, seed bread, biscuits, and so on and so forth.
One thing I CAN NOT get to work is a sourdough loaf. I just can't get that starter to...start...or stay...or love me back! So what I'm really
looking for is someone who may be here who can give me their tips on perfecting this. I would say my baking skills are "advanced amateur". I can
get 95% of recipes to work without a hitch.
I'll share my two basic go to bread recipes as collateral.
Grams Basic White Loaf
1/2 tsp sugar & 1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tbsp melted butter (plus more for basting)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup warm water
3 ish cups bread flour
1 - Proof yeast in 1/4 cup warm water with 1/2 tsp sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes. Should be frothy and bubbly.
2 - Add warm milk, 1tbsp melted butter, salt, 1/4 cup warm water and yeast mixture to bowl or stand mixer (I use the stand mixer 90% of the time). Add
1 cup flour and stir until smooth and has a slight stretch. Gradually add 11/4 cups more flour. At this point, your dough should leave the sides of
the bowl in one lump; if not, add small amounts of flour until one ball is formed that stays together. (If you're using your stand mixer, don't
turn it past about 2 for speed.). Once the dough comes together, knead for about 10 minutes until it's no longer sticky, and is a smooth elastic
3 - Let sit somewhere warm in an oiled bowl covered with a tea towel until doubled in size. Takes almost an hour in my old drafts house, less in the
4- Punch down and turn dough out onto floured surface. Let rest 10 minutes.
5 - Shape and place into a greased loaf pan. Let rise again, about an hour, until the dough is risen above sides of pan. (I have one or two higher
sided loaf pans where this never occurs, just make sure it's doubled again.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F when you've got about 30 minutes of rise
time left. Put the over rack to the second lowest position.
6 - When loaf is a a good size, brush top with melted butter, sprinkle with salt, and add anything else you'd like. I often add sesame seeds, poppy
seeds, fine cornmeal, whatever I have on hand. You can also leave off the butter and brush with honey! Bake 25- 30 minutes. I always go for 30
because we like a browned crust, but keep an eye out those last 5 minutes.
7 - Remove your bread and turn out onto a wire rack. Brush top (and sides if you like really soft bread) with melted butter and allow to cool.
1 cup Flour
1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tbsp Onion or Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Melted Butter plus more for basting
1/2 cup Milk. I always use "homo" milk (Canada), but I think any dairy based milk would work. I use lactose free (Natrel brand), because...dairy
is not a friend to us, but you could experiment with nut or soy or rice milks if you like experimenting.
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese. I usually use really old cheddar, which has a nice sharp taste, but feel free to experiment with any cheese that isn't too
high moisture or low moisture.
1 - Crank your oven to 450 F and ready your oldest, most seasoned baking sheet. Alternately, use parchment paper or even a baking stone.
2 - Mix dry ingredients.
3 - Add milk and butter. Stir until all of the flour until JUST mixed. If you mix too much, you will end up with cheese rocks.
4 - Gently fold in cheese.
5 - Drop big spoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheet/stone. I use an ice cream scoop, and we always get 5 biscuits, so double, triple, whatever
this recipe to suit your needs. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the biscuits are golden.
6 - Remove from oven and brush with melted butter (season your butter if you like with a little salt, some garlic, and some parsely to make them
pretty, or don't, just butter is good). Enjoy warm for gooey cheesiness, or cold with some leftover ham or turkey for a nice little sandwich.
Again, if you have an amazing sourdough starter and bread recipe, please, PLEASE share with me! I can't find one online that works, and it's just
not a regional bread here in Atlantic Canada.