Archive for February, 2009

Multigrain Sourdough

Posted in Recipes on February 25, 2009 by cbucholz

A good whole grain sourdough has eluded me for a while. I’ve tried multiple recipes, but they turned out too dense or the flavor was off or the mix of grains didn’t seem appropriate. So, I decided to turn to the most scrumptious multigrain sourdough I know and try to figure out how it was made. Hands down, the best multigrain sourdough and, for that matter, the best bread in Vermont and possibly in the Northeast is baked by the Red Hen Company out of Middlesex. Their breads are made with only with organic ingredients and leavened slowly with sourdough starter. While I am enamored with all of their varieties, my favorite of theirs is the Mad River Grain. The crust is thick, but not overly chewy. The crumb is light and open. And the flavor, well, it’s just incredible. It is simultaneously sour, nutty, and wheaty without any of the flavors overpowering the other. They are in perfect harmony.

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Red Wine, Fig, and Chestnut Loaf

Posted in Recipes on February 14, 2009 by cbucholz

As it is Valentine’s Day, I decided to bake something special for the love of my life. Devin enjoys good bread and particularly relishes in a well-crafted plain sourdough or a rye with caraway seeds. But, aware that it was a special day, I wanted the bread for him to be a bit more decadent, with ingredients that I don’t usually use. So, I posited the question to him, “If you could have a loaf of bread with any ingredients in it, what would they be?” I added the extra constraint that he couldn’t just ask for a white sourdough or solid rye. He finally settled on a fruit and nut loaf with red wine, similar to the red wine, fig, and pine nut loaf in Dan Lepard’s The Art of Handmade Bread. But, what would the fruit and nut be? Devin particularly likes figs in his breads; the crunch of the seeds, their soft, but toothsome texture, and their mature sweetness. As for the nuts, that decision came to us while at the grocery store. Pine nuts were too expensive and the almonds and walnuts seemed too mundane for this bread. Then, I came across a can of whole chestnuts packed in water. Only familiar with whole chestnuts that required roasting and peeling, I had never tasted or baked with chestnuts package liked these before. I plucked them off the shelf, consulted with Devin, and decided together that they would be a fun experiment to try.
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Black Bread

Posted in Recipes on February 6, 2009 by cbucholz

This weekend I am heading to New Hampshire to enjoy some cross-country skiing in the White Mountains. Driving there takes about five hours from where I live. It is a long enough road trip for me to deem ‘extra provisions’ necessary, especially in the wintertime when unpleasant weather conditions and their associated delays are often unforeseeable. I realized late yesterday, however, that I would not have an extra loaf of bread to take with me. (Bread, in my book, is always included in my list of obligatory provisions.) My sourdough starter had not been refreshed in a while and I would not have time anyway to let a naturally leavened loaf proof sufficiently. Thus, a search for a quick, but tasty as well as ‘road-trip durable’ loaf ensued.

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