Pandemic Baking: I made bagels for passover

Nothing says ur-Passover in Pandemic Land like bagels.

I received a bag of artisan baking flour. I really wanted to test it out and baking unleavened crackers because of shit that happened a long time ago seems not to respect the gravity of our daily situation.

I have improved my bagel recipe over the old one, but it is still fun to read. Also, today I used commercial yeast but you can use sourdough. Simply substitute the yeast, ¼ cup of four and ¼ cup of water for ½ cup of starter.

ur-Passover Pandemic Bagels

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups flour 1 ½ cups warm water 1 packet of active yeast 1 ½ tablespoons white sugar 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Boiling solution:

2 tablespoons baking soda 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 8 cups of water

Bagel Toppings to taste.

In a measuring cup I combined 1 ½ cups of water with the sugar and yeast. I let it sit for 15 minutes. In a bowl I put the flour and salt.

I combined all the ingredients all into a big ball. I kneaded it 2-3 minutes and set it aside in a bowl for about 60 minutes on a warm surface.

I spread baking soda on some aluminum foil to bake the moisture out of it and evidently up my bagel skin game. I heated it at 300F for the time my dough was rising.

After an hour I set the pot of water to boil and separated the dough into balls.

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Sourdough pizza recipes and technique

A friend just asked for help with sourdough pizza crust. Here are a few prior posts on sourdough pizza:

Sourdough pizza crust doesn't take much work

This post is a super simple thin crust pizza.

Honey whole wheat sourdough pizza dough

This one makes a deep dish whole wheat. I would now add a bit more honey than the post recommends.

My old Lodge chicken roasting pan bakes sourdough loaves, pizza and fries chicken

Cast iron and pizza. If you don't have a pizza oven or a stone, this is THE WAY. Read the rest

Pandemic sourdough baking: my second loaf and some more pretzels

Click here to see the first post in this series on baking sourdough started from nothing but flour and water

After starting a new sourdough starter not long after sheltering-in-place at my parent's place about 12 days ago, I have baked my second loaf of bread!

I've been baking with sourdough for well over a decade. My aged OG sourdough starter is currently in hibernation, however, at my brother's house in Northern California while I am in Southern California. I wanted to bake, but did not have a starter. I decided to make one.

View this post on Instagram

10 seconds of steam coming out of a fresh loaf of #sourdough from my 12 day old #sourdoughstarter #boingboing

A post shared by Jason Weisberger (@jlw) on Mar 28, 2020 at 9:58am PDT

The first loaf I tried with the starter showed that it was almost but not quite mature enough for me really enjoy what I was baking. It reminded me of a prior experience baking with my OG starter when it had not been treated well. Care of a starter is pretty easy, just feed it every day.

I gave the starter another 5 days or so of daily feedings.

I made some more sourdough pretzels while I waited.

Last night I put up a smaller sized loaf of bread. I want to conserve flour as it has been the only thing I've had a hard time finding. Hell, I am using some aged whole wheat...

I combined 1 ¼ cup of bread flour and ¾ cup of 2015 expired Gold Medal whole wheat in the big blue bowl. Read the rest

Pandemic sourdough: the first loaf with my new starter

Click here to see the first post in this series on baking sourdough started from nothing but flour and water

Yesterday I fed my sourdough starter a bit later in the morning that I have been with the intent of putting up my first loaf of bread later in the afternoon.

The go-to loaf of bread that I like to bake is based very closely on the Breadtopia no-knead sourdough recipe. Yes, they based theirs on the NY Times.

When I sensed my starter was at the right stage in the yeast feeding cycle for me to most effectively kick off a loaf of bread, I did.

I measured ¼ cup of starter and mixed it into 1 cup of warm water and let it sit.

Deep in the back of my mother's refrigerator are 3 bags of whole wheat. About 2lbs of King Arthur that expired in 2017, about 2 lbs of 365 Organic that expired in 2019, and about 4lbs of Gold Medal that I bought last summer and is good for a year or so. I took the 2017 and measured out 2 cups into my favorite big blue bowl.

I had a bag of King Arthur Bread Flour at my new home, which is several miles away from my parents' home, where I grew up and am currently staying with them, as they are in their mid-70s. I ventured out to get this bag of flour, as I was freaking out with it less than a 5k road race away for some reason. Read the rest

Pandemic sourdough waffles

UPDATE: Jason baked some bread!

Do you like waffles?

I am waiting for the sourdough starter, that I mixed up from flour and water last Monday, to be ready for bread baking. At the same time I am loath to waste ½ a cup or so of perfectly good starter at each feeding. Today I used the discard to make waffles for my parents.

My very simple sourdough waffle or pancake batter recipe is as follows:

Simple Sourdough Waffle and Pancake Batter

Ingredients:

½ cup unfed starter ½ cup flour ½ cup milk 1 egg ¼ cup oil or butter 1 ½ tsp baking soda 1 Tbs brown sugar a splash of Grand Marnier

Mix the starter, flour, and milk in a large bowl. You can let them sit overnight if you want to be fancy. You may also use the sort of milk known as buttermilk for the milk addition and have buttermilk sourdough waffles.

Add the egg, oil, baking soda, and brown sugar. If you like, and I certainly do, I recommend adding a splash of Grand Marnier liquor to the batter.

The EtOH cooks out and you get a very nice, sweeter than savory flavor. This is important to note as I do not suggest adding the liquor if you are making the waffles to accompany fried chicken! When made with buttermilk and all the overnight rests these are the most awesome waffles for Fried Chicken and Waffles. Sometimes I top them with eggs benedict, hollandaise and a chili pepper-infused maple syrup.

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Pandemic sourdough: Friday Fry Bread

UPDATE: Click here for Saturday's Sourdough Waffles!

A reader suggested I not discard any excess sourdough starter I didn't have plans to bake and make fry bread instead. So I did.

You are looking at ½ cup of sourdough starter fried in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

I started this starter on Monday. I am pretty sure after today's feeding it'll be ready to bake a loaf of bread.

Previously:

Pandemic Starter Day 1

Pandemic Starter Day 2

Pandemic Starter Day 3

Pandemic Sourdough Waffles (Day 5) Read the rest