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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Stout & Rye Sourdough

Posted in Recipes on January 27, 2009 by cbucholz

After a long break, I am finally settling down and returning to my old routines. My time away from school was replete with travel adventures and close friends, but unfortunately little in the way of good bread. With my appetite rearing, my taste buds hankering for a slice of strong sourdough, and my teeth itching to delve into a firm crust, I set about making elaborate plans for all the different loaves I was going to bake. And bake I did, but all of my initial loaves were not quite up to my usual expectations. Sometimes I did not let them rise long enough, eager to stick them in the oven and be blessed with a hot loaf faster. Unfortunately those turned out fairly tasty, but predicatably dense. Others just did not have a that subtle combinations of flavors that truly make a loaf shine. But, yesterday I finally baked a loaf that I can be proud of. My craving for a crusty, light, and flavorful loaf was satisfied.


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Whole-Wheat Hazlenut & Currant Loaf

Posted in Recipes on December 11, 2008 by cbucholz

You can probably already tell that I really like my fruits and nuts. I’ve baked and shared a couple of breads that try to showcase various combinations. Here’s another one: hazelnuts and currants. They provide a pleasant textural contrast to one another, but their distinctive flavors compliment each other nicely. The currants with their small, bursts of dark fruit flavor and the large, orbs of rich whole-hazelnuts harmoniously decorate the crumb of this bread. I stumbled upon the idea for this bread in Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread. The recipe that follows is similar, but has a few tweaks and variations, as usual.


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Alpine Baguettes

Posted in Recipes on November 25, 2008 by cbucholz

It’s that time of year when the cold has finally sunk in, never quite “warming up” by mid-day. The puddles I see in the morning remain stiffly frozen in the street all throughout the day. The hours of sunlight are short and my walk home in the evening is usually in the dark. A good book, mug of tea, and warm blanket are about the best remedies to this sort of gray city winter weather. And so, I am left to contemplate the sunnier and warmer days. I do this by going for runs at the brightest times of day and dreaming of living somewhere that I could take advantage of the winter weather, skiing or snowshoeing everyday in the invigorating cold. I also tend to bake a lot more, enjoying the warmth of the oven and relaxing in the slower pace and necessary patience required to make a good loaf.

Alpine Baguette 1

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Sourdough Rye with Walnuts

Posted in Recipes on November 8, 2008 by cbucholz

I really like walnuts. Toasted, freshly pried from the shell, or just sinfully by the handful, I’ll take them anyway I can get them. For a while now I’ve been trying to create a walnut sourdough that appropriately showcases these spectacular nuts. The autumn weather, I feel, is appropriate for these heartier, nut-studded loaves. At times, I have felt a bit like the squirrels that I’ve seen scurrying about for the past month, hoarding their stores of acorns for the winter with ever present thoughts of cold winter days.


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