A week ago I put some sourdough sponges to ferment, and on Monday and Tuesday I finished the bread from them. First was the batch made with Manuel’s Rye Sour starter. I made it with whole grain flours and lots of seeds: sesame, black sesame, poppy, sunflower, and pumpkin. Did I leave anything out? I had a vision of a nourishing lenten bread.
The next day I was on the Communion bread team at church, and that morning we produced the most gorgeous “lambs,” but I didn’t have my camera, so I will show you a photo of one from the past. Ours this week were much browner and more evenly browned, having baked in the new convection oven.
It was at church I took these photos of wisteria later in the week. It surrounds the courtyard where the fountain was actually working that day.
As soon as I got home Tuesday I began to finish up the other dough, made with the pineapple starter. (Of course it has no pineapple flavor remaining.) I had decided to make that batch heavy on oatmeal and had added several cups of rolled oats to the sponge the day before.
Both the breads came out pretty well — but I have decided to end my Sourdough Experiments. I think the natural yeasts in the air of our town just don’t make a sour flavor that I like. The odd thing is, they are very active and powerful yeasts, compared to the ones where we used to live, which had a more agreeable flavor. They work nearly as fast as commercial yeast.
The pineapple starter is a bit nicer, so I didn’t throw it out yet, but I keep thinking that I prefer the smell of regular bread in the oven, and out of the toaster. (Perhaps I should try biscuits or pancakes with that starter.) And I like oatmeal bread a lot better with butter in it as well as on it, so considering the small amount of bread we two eat, I may as well just not bother during Lent. I have learned a lot from my experiments. And I think all the bread I’ve been squirreling away in the freezer will do nicely to make grilled cheese sandwiches a few weeks from now.
|Sourdough Oatmeal Bread|
Addendum: In the old days either Pippin or I would bake 5-loaf batches of un-sour oatmeal bread once or twice a week as our household’s basic bread. It was a more traditional shape of loaf; these loaves are flattish because I haven’t yet worked out how much dough fills my new extra-large loaf pan and it came out a bit short.