Pizza is the perfect food

Pizza’s is the perfect food. It should be its own food group. The base is thin, naturally fermented bread (the best part…). Topped with lycopene rich tomatoes, good melty cheese, and then an assortment of veggies and / or protein. You just can’t wrong….

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Sourdough hydration experiments

My hydration trials are continuing. Making two loaves (76% and 85% with only 10% type 85 wheat) has been really rewarding and a great learning experience. I make them side by side in two different bowls and work to keep the temperatures of the dough the same so that they ferment at the same rate….

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Sourdough hydration experiments

Four pics today: a 76% hydration loaf and an 85% hydration loaf. I forgot to turn my oven down on the first one so it’s bold af. I like the bold bake, though it looked burned to others in my house. The first/76% is just out of my comfort zone, and the 85% is waaaaay…

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Accurate weight of flour and water

How accurately do we really have to weigh our flour and water? The loaf that I’ve gotten pretty good at is a 600g bâtard that ’s 75% hydration with 10% whole wheat. Can you guess the difference in flour and water if I go to 76% hydration? It’s only 2g more water and 2g less…

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Bread sleuthing

What do you look at when you’re trying to evaluate how well you made and baked your last loaf? I’m always wondering what my loaves should be telling me. Here’s the way I’m thinking these days, and I’d love to know what you think. Personally, I always focus on the crumb, but I do know…

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Baking in my Challenger

I love baking in my Challenger Bread Pan. Like so many of you have found, my loaves improved immediately the first time I ever baked in it. My oven spring was considerably better. My crusts were thinner, crispier, and cracklier. And my loaves had those awesome blisters that I’d seen on other baker’s loaves. Except…

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Bake this world a better place

Baking good bread, even good sourdough bread is easy. I read a comment on a recent post by @anjaligardener, and it made me think.  The process of making sourdough bread is very forgiving. It doesn’t have to be complicated.The challenge happens if you want to make better bread, even great bread. This takes practice, patience,…

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Starters Part 2

Starters. As I just wrote, I used to be way too rigid. If it was supposed to be ready in 8 hours, then that’s exactly when I fed it. If possible, I like to watch it closely starting an hour before it should be ready. I look closely at my starter when it’s time to…

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Starters Part 1

Starters. It’s been three years, and I’m not very good at judging my starter. I’m getting better at it. I know I learned that for my every 8 hour feeding schedule, I could feed it a ratio of 1:3:3: 1 part starter to 3 parts flour to 3 parts water. Temperature is critical; I keep…

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Baking your sourdough part 2

Two other flaws of baking bread in a home oven are heat retention and the inability to radiate heat quickly and evenly to your dough especially when it first starts to bake. Baking your bread in the Challenger Bread Pan solves both those problems for you. The Challenger is made of black cast iron which…

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