Sunday, September 28, 2014

Light Whole Wheat Pretzels



Recipe source:  Artisan Bread Every Day by Peter Reinharts P.128


  • Adjusted ingredients to incorporate 25% whole wheat flour.  The resulting ingredients for the dough:
    • 425g Roger’s bread flour
    • 142g Anita’s whole wheat flour
    • 24g brown sugar (next time should use honey)
    • 3g yeast
    • 375g water
    • 11g sea salt
    • 28.5g melted butter
  • No need to adjust flour and water content when mixing and kneading
  • Very easy and convenient recipe.  Mix the dough at night, put in the fridge for overnight rise, shape and bake the next morning.
  • The pretzels came up soft and tasty.
  • Next time should try using more whole wheat flour and using honey instead of brown sugar

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Whole Wheat (65%) Sourdough


Recipe source:  Weekend Bakery

A lovely loaf!  I’m really glad that I picked this recipe as my first experiment on sourdough bread.  The steps are easy to follow and the result is rewarding!  Bread is tasty, texture is superb!


  • Sourdough starter:  I used my bread flour culture. 100% hydration
  • Flour:  Anita’s Whole Wheat Fine Grain and Roger’s Bread Flour
  • I put 5ml (1 tsp) more of water during mixing the final dough. 
  • As my dough was warmer (81F to 85F) than the suggested temp (75F) and the room temp was quite warm (24.5C), I shortened the time between each stretch & fold to 40mins. The dough was firmer than I expected.
  • The time for second proof was slightly less than 2hrs
  • Used steam tray, pizza stone and water spray method for baking.  Not much oven spring – may be second proof for too long?  But the bread ended up with very nice crumbs.
  • Turn oven to 500F.  Reduce to 450F when baking start. Bake for 35mins in total until it reached 205F.
  • Problem: No proofing basket. Used glass bowl, oiled and dust with flour, for proofing. Dough might not be tightly shaped into boule so it split  on top when inversed out from bowl to peel. Did slashing anyway. But when it baked up, all the splits and slashes were gone.  Need to work on shaping next time.  


Poolish after 12hrs on the counter.

After mixing the final dough ingredients for about 3mins with machine and another 3mins by hand.  Dough is rough, quite tacky and a bit shaggy. Dough registered 85F – warmer than recipe suggested. After resting for 40mins.
After 1st s&f. 2nd rest for 40mins. After 2nd s&f.
After 3rd s&f.  Dough gradually becomes smoother and softer, just like after kneading for a long time.
After shaping, put in a oiled bowl lightly dusted with flour. Start of proofing. Around 1 hr. after proofing. Around 2 hr. after.  Dough is ready to bake.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Sourdough Starter


Day 1 4:50pm: Adventure begins.

Day 2 5:39pm: No activities

Day 3 6:57am:  Just 12hrs after adding new ingredients, got a good rise! Feeling happy, I stirred the mixture down!


Day 3 5:17pm:  After stirring it down in the morning, activities subsided. I went ahead to change flour to all-purpose.

Day 4 10:00pm:  Not much activities.  Feeling depressed. Finally decided to feed it once more. This is right after feeding. Day 5 5:20pm:  Hurray! The starter is not dead yet.  It doubles in size!


This is a new adventure.  Combining patience, frustration and excitement.

Instruction source:  Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice

Conclusion:   Persistence, stick to the plan is the key.  Unsweetened pineapple juice – the only type I can get here is from concentrates.  Don’t know if it worked the way it supposed to.

After Day 5, I fed it once and it spilled over the jar on Day 6.  I cleaned it up, fed it and when it doubled in size, I put it in the fridge.

I planned to feed I every 3 days.  Ration is 1:2:2.  i.e. 2oz starter:  4oz flour: 4oz spring water.