Wednesday, May 27, 2015

yes, i have been baking...

a few people have written and asked where i went. i'm still here, still baking. but no new post-worthy developments. i hope you are all happily baking too!


32 comments:

  1. You should be proud of yourself. Very beautiful. I making rye this weekend.

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  2. Great to see you back Frances. Any recipes for these beauties?

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    1. sorry Ross. come on. you're a seasoned pro! you are making so many gorgeous loaves now, you don't need recipes! xoxo

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    2. Frances
      I am a big fan of yours. I tried sending you an email, but I am not sure if it got to you. I live in Thousand Oaks, CA and I have a few questions which I would like to send to you via email. I am new to blogs, so, please forgive me if this is not the way to reach you. Please let me know how to send you an email. Thanks... Paulo Marin

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  3. this is some serious bread porn. they are all so gorgeous.

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  4. Beautiful and mouth-watering! Glad you're back.

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    1. Not 'back', actually, just popping my head up to say hello... but who knows, i DID just do a post yesterday on my other blog after a year and a half of silence! ;)
      Thank you for writing!

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  5. This post makes me want to bite into my screen! What gorgeous loaves! Please keep posting pictures of your baking...such an inspiration!

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  6. Hello! I need your help. I hope you’re still answering this blog. I have been feeding my starter for 12 days religiously and feeding it every 12 hours. I use only Bob's Mill dark rye flour and bottled water. I have it in a glass mason jar, sealed and in a dark pantry. On day 4 or 5 it seemed to be getting "foamy" and showing signs of good activity. The bottom of the jar would have lots of air holes when I went to feed it again. It wasn't every super foamy and didn't seem to grow much in size though. For the past 4 days it seems almost dead. There are still a few signs of activity on the bottom many hours after I feed it - some air holes like the bottom of your jar on your old blog posts - but it seems to have died and I don't know why. I really don’t want to start over. Is there any other test I can do before I try making my levain from it? Thanks!

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  7. Hello! I need your help. I hope you’re still answering this blog. I have been feeding my starter for 12 days religiously and feeding it every 12 hours. I use only Bob's Mill dark rye flour and bottled water. I have it in a glass mason jar, sealed and in a dark pantry. On day 4 or 5 it seemed to be getting "foamy" and showing signs of good activity. The bottom of the jar would have lots of air holes when I went to feed it again. It wasn't every super foamy and didn't seem to grow much in size though. For the past 4 days it seems almost dead. There are still a few signs of activity on the bottom many hours after I feed it - some air holes like the bottom of your jar on your old blog posts - but it seems to have died and I don't know why. I really don’t want to start over. Is there any other test I can do before I try making my levain from it? Thanks!

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    1. It generally is not foamy. Lots of air holes is fine. Mine does not foam. But gets very 'holey'. Feed it more often than every 12. I often feed mine every 5 hours. Never less than that, but for a few days, try doing: a 9am feed, 2pm feed, 7pm feed, and if you are up at midnight, one more. It LOVES to be fed. Don't feed it less than 5 hours between feedings. You might just need to kick it in the pants. Starters are resilient beasts. Mine is just on the counter (of course, not in the sun, but not 'closeted' either). I use filtered water (brita filter, or, if not that, water that has been left out uncovered for 24 hours to evaporate the chlorine). Try the levain! All you have to lose is a few grams of flour. xo

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  8. Hey Frances ... one of the things I admire about your posts are the finishing touches to your loaves, as illustrated so well in this last batch of pictures. The crust colour, the slash patterns, the exquisite textures and patterns on the crusts. They're an art form in themselves and one area that has far surpassed the Tartine loaves that have been one of your inspirations (at least from the many pictures I've seen). You've dropped a few comments along the way about the final baking touches of your loaves, but I've never seen them compiled in one post. "Finishing Touches" ... any thoughts?

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    1. THANK YOU first of all, for that. Hm. Finishing touches. I don't do anything spectacular. Sometimes I feel like an 'S', sometimes I feel like nipping with a scissors, sometimes I love the 'Forkish Fold' (when I'm lazy), and when I give away loaves, I do a spiral. :)

      I don't know. I was thinking of posting periodic breads just to say hey to you all! I miss my readers! Thank you for thinking my breads are art! That's lovely and sweet. xo

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  9. Just discovered you as you've pinned a couple of my images from my Fuggle Antics blog - This images are beautiful. Makes me want to bake! G

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    1. Georgina, what a coincidence, I JUST bookmarked your roasted pumpkin, freekah, chestnut, feta and parsley dish to make this week since I just roasted a bunch of chestnuts. I also have your cookbook, which I adore. THANK YOU for your lovely compliment. I must say, I am a huge fan of Fuggle Antics!

      xo

      Francis-Olive

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  10. Hello-
    Fantastic series! Makes me think back many years to a very detailed document we were required to write for a university class. We were confined to very few pages with standard borders and lots of spacing. The professors' response to considerable demands for more space (pages)? "Choose your words wisely." Really like your writing.

    If you still stop by from time to time, I have a couple of bread making questions.
    Have you:
    1. spent any more time experimenting with 100% whole grains like Red Fife/walnut or JBB/
    2. any additional experience with Anson Mills.
    3. I've been using a Le Cloche lid on a big 1"thick stone and baking 100% whole grain bread. Do you have an opinion of that vs. Lodge cast iron? I'm wondering how/if it is affecting the crust.

    Cheers -
    Mike

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  11. Would love to see more posts from you. They always are a great inspiration to go and bake.
    Can you tell me what implement you use to make those beautiful spiral cuts?

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  12. Hi, I'm on day 5 or 6 of making growing rye starter. I ran out of rye and these last couple feedings have been all WW- in fact I'm planning to get to the store for some more. A question: on the inside of my jar, I noticed a couple patches of mold. I scraped them out, but naturally I'm worried some of it fell into the starter. I've since moved it into a smaller container. Any ideas on how to deal with mold?

    Thanks!

    ps- love this blog- bookmarked on my phone- great photos and writing!

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    1. I'm so sorry I can't help you! I have been so lucky and never experienced mold. But I'm so glad you love the site! xo

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  13. Thank you for your quick reply. A short follow up- do you change your starter's container often? I'm thinking that could be my problem. Thanks.

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    1. I never do. But in your case, I would. If you use a mason jar, put it in a preheated oven for 15 minutes and boil the lid for the same amount of time to sterilize it. When cool, use it for your starter.

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  14. hi again! loving the rye starter- so great! have you baked an all rye bread? I can't seem to find a good recipe. (Perhaps you saw the nice piece in the NYT on the resurgence of rye. And I recall a wonderful rye bread visiting a friend in Munich a few years ago- spongey, almost cakey, moist, wonderful. My host seemed to treat it as nothing too special; just unknown in the US... )

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    1. HELLO! yes, rye is my personal favorite grain! i have been having a love affair with it for years, hence the 100% rye starter :) i don't have a 100% rye bread recipe, but I do have this one which is quite lovely. a classic french loaf http://tartine-bread.blogspot.com/2012/07/seigle-dauvergne.html also, i have made 100% rye breads, they are tricky. you bake them for a very long time then you let them rest for 24 hours and the crust is VERY hard, the internal part is wonderful. perhaps i will make one and do a post. lovely chad has a bread called 'renee's bread' in his second bread book that sounds like what you are looking for. it's a recipe that I've been wanting to try for a very long time. xo

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    2. Thank you- and what a nice paen to your father. Well, I need to borrow a standing mixer-- surely if rye has been on tables for centuries there's a less mechanized way of baking with it...? I would love to see a post about a 100% rye bread if you're up to it.

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    3. TS! You know, use your hands! Just mix as a mixer would, or large spoon (you will need lots of muscle strength, it's a powerful dough). I would say beat beat beat until your arm is achey, that should be long enough, and then follow the instructions from there. I wouldn't go too crazy with mixing. After all, it is the acid in the sourdough that strengthens the dough, not so much mixing and folding, while it does contribute, the days of kneading are long past. Just give it a go and see what happens. No harm in that. Also, it IS a flattish loaf, as you can see. So, don't attribute it to improper mixing if you do follow the recipe. It is meant to be this way, it is the nature of this bread. x

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    4. Ok you talked me into it. I'm gonna get some rye tomorrow morning!!

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    5. TS! OMG! I totally forgot I made this loaf. lol. wow. SO MANY YEARS AGO! Anyway, 100% rye. Have at it my dear! https://girlmeetsrye.blogspot.com/2014/03/happy-accident-100-sprouted-rye.html

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    6. Cool! (quickly looked up what "sprouted" really means...) This'll be my next foray- the seigle d'auvergne came out nicely- it's almost done 2 days later. My partner is a big fan. Mixing by hand was totally fine- nice workout anyhow. I ended up lengthening some of the ferm steps- 5 hrs in the fridge instead of 1:50, a little longer on the bulk ferm. Seemed to grow larger in comparison to the photos you posted. I found the last browning bake needed only to be half as as long (8 instead of 17 m). One follow up- would it be helpful to score it? The crumb was fine- reminded me of a commercial rye bread- but i wonder if it would've gotten more air had I scored it. Another reason to try this again.

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    7. Hey! So traditionally seigle d'auvergne is never scored. The natural cracks in the surface are part of it's traditional rusticity. Scoring would not help open the crumb. It is meant to be a close crumbed bread. For a more open rye, try my city bread. :)

      x

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    8. (high percentage rye breads are never scored, it would never hold the scoring...)

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Hey. So, I answer all comments, but it might take me a few days. Sit tight, and I will get back to you as soon as I can!