Friday, February 11, 2011

Pane Integrale Whole Grain Bread

I'm at it again, well I never stopped....  Making sourdough bread with my uncles starter and at Thanksgiving he suggested I sell it and call it Uncles Sourdough (trade marked). So I've got recipes, baking bread and selling sourdough starter on my mind. This blog is about acquiring and using a starter.

My quest has been about making a whole grain bread at home that can be eaten with cheese, eggs, soup, or anytime I wanted a slice of sourdough bread. The only recipe and reference I've found for Pane Integrale Bread has been from Jim Lahey.  What I've found is that this is the bread I've always wanted to make, (he makes his with dry yeast, I make mine with Uncles Sourdough starter or a combination of starter and fresh yeast). The No Knead Recipe is the best it's easy and it's versatile. Versatile in two ways.  The first is that it can be eaten with a variety of foods.  The second is that it can be made with dry yeast, fresh yeast or sourdough starter and or a combination.

There's a lot of recipes out there about how to make your own starter.  They take some time to make and then feeding.   

I started researching the purchase of sourdough starters and I found the following ~

Breadtopia this one seemes to be a good place to buy a starter. . They also offer a dry version of the starter but I prefer the wet kind. The starter comes in a plastic bag which is a lot cheaper than glass or ceramic for shipping. What I didn't like is that the starter comes in a plastic bag.  Once you get used to the site you'll see they sell all kinds of supplies including everything from grain mills to bread boxes and all the baking supplies you might need.  Their website is robust and though I found it wasn't so easy to find what I was looking for, it is complex and offers a lot. I would recommend looking at it especially if you don't live in an area where baking equipment and tools are easily available.
King Arthur  also sells a starter and they list easy to find recipes on their site.  They carry all kinds of flour and supplies and though their starter is reasonably priced at$6.95 most of their other products are on the pricey side.  Worth a look though.

This last batch of bread I made was fabulous and depending on how you treat your starter you can get a nice sour flavor or just a plain bread,  When I start selling my starter I'll also offer either ceramic or glass jars in which to store it. I've already found the perfect jars now I've got to find the ceramic.

It happened accidentally. I took my starter out but forgot to feed it before making the bread.  I just took the 50g I needed and added it directly to the dough.  As per the no knead method (thought I mix mine for a few minutes just to make sure it's well mixed) I left the dough to develop for 18 hours.  Turned the oven on shaped the bread and let it rise for 2 hours while the oven warmed the apartment.  The flavor is lovely and according to O rivals some of the best bread he's eaten.

I hope you're inspired to bake your own!  Have fun and enjoy!

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