Friday, April 19, 2013

I like the oatmeal bread better.


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.
Seeded Sourdough

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.

11 comments:

Harmony said...

Oh, that oatmeal bread looks so delicious. I'm sorry your sourdough has not been entirely satisfactory, but I hope you enjoyed experimenting anyway!

M.K. said...

The oatmeal bread is very pretty, Gretchen. I love the church courtyard! I'd sit there for a rest :)

Pom Pom said...

Mmmmmm! It looks wonderful. I am trying my hand at cinnamon bread today!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Your oatmeal bread looks wonderful; I need to make some now. How does that convection oven work, Gretchen? My brother gave me one but I've never used it. Perhaps now's the time.

Jeannette said...

did I ever tell you when I read some of the theories about health via no bread and such....
I just thought about the One who said "I am the bread of life...." and I knew "no bread" wasn't a prescription I needed to pursue.

I am going to send you some flour info we talked about ...

Gumbo Lily said...

I came to the same conclusion you did after my sourdough experiments. My sourdough starter just didn't seem to work very well, and since we eat maybe a loaf of bread a week, I got sick of all the fussing around and went to a rye/wheat loaf that also has some white flour in it. We love it. Like you, when the kids were home, I made 5 loaf batches at least once a week. Those were the days, weren't they? How did we ever do anything more than cook and clean up all day?

Jody

BrightSoul said...

I think the answer to Jody is: that's all we did!!
I remember thinking how wonderful it was to be in the garden between the kids' nap times just to be alone with God before the snack time/dinner prep , feeding the poultry and milking the goat!! I also did a lot of sewing and making quilts...x stitch and knitting..my hands HAD to DO something day and night..and we did NOT have a t.v....who'd have time for THAT??


elizabeth said...

reminds me of something I am hearing often now days: one cannot go back to the same river twice; my love to you this day.

Lynn said...

Your pineapple starter sounds intriguing. I love to make bread, but have rarely tried it with any kind of pre-fermented starter. I guess I don't think far enough ahead. Good for you, for having so much stashed in the freezer :)

Heather said...

Wisteria has to be one of my favorite flower vines of all time. Such a show stopper.

Your bread looks amazing!

wayside wanderer said...

I'm fascinated by wysteria. It blooms for a like a week here. I would love to stand under that arbor and inhale deeply. The oatmeal bread looks very tasty! Yum.