Aug. 8th, 2010

Fiber!

Aug. 8th, 2010 01:15 am
lwood: (Default)
What's keeping me from roaming the streets of My Fair City and joining up with the latest demonstration/riot?

  1. Fiber Arts (this post).

  2. Editing ancient issues of Idunna for republication (not terribly interesting if you're not in the project, really)

  3. Exploring whole grains and baking sourdough bread.


I suppose, taken together, it's a real high fiber diet...

ANYWAY!

Of late, I have undertaken rudimentary studies in several fiber arts that were of interest in Northern and Western Europe Back in the Day--especially if I could pack it up and take it on one of my trips. Here's a quick run-through...


Spinning on a Drop Spindle )


Nalebinding )


Card/Tablet Weaving )


Sprang )


Actual Weaving )


Knitting )


There. Next, a few notes about the baking, brewing, and other food things of late.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
I've been baking many different sorts of bread lately--being that flour, even whole grain flour, qualifies as fairly cheap thrills, not to mention the nutritional benefits.

Having combed over several web pages and consulted my Bread Bible, once back from the Brushwood trip I set out to make an all-rye sourdough starter. This wasn't exactly covered in my sources, but it seemed to me that if I proceeded roughly as for a wheat starter, I would not go far wrong (and if I did, I refer you to my first point: Flour Is Cheap).

For dizzying arrays of further information on sourdough, check out Sourdough Home.

This is what I did, and it worked. )


Oh, you wanted to bake with it? Or how often to feed it, how to maintain it, and other exciting things?

Visit Sourdough Home. They have much advice to give--this foregoing is based on their data, as well as Rose Levy Birnbaum's Bread Bible and my own experience.

My first bread with this was taking RLB's "Sourdough Rye", using my all-rye starter instead of her wheaten one (stiffened as per spec in the book), and taking the ratio of bread flour : rye flour in the bread proper all the way up to 1:1 instead of, er, I seem to recall one part rye to five parts white. It did all things in the right way, resulting in a dense, chewy shotput of a loaf that rose in a way I figured appropriate for a mostly-whole-grain bread.

Why?


In a word: gluten. )


As for an all-rye sourdough bread, I've just completed a matched pair--see the next post.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
Yesterday, I found a recipe online for a Finnish all-rye sourdough bread (scroll down the comments to hansjoakim, who translated this from the Finnish), which I have extracted and executed. Here it is, expanded with notes that I hope prove helpful to you:

Finnish Rye Sourdough Bread )


I have yet to actually eat any of this, but it looks proper and sounds right when I thump it. *grin*

Sourdough breads keep longer, and better, than conventional yeast breads. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the lactic (et al) acid provided by the sourdough's bacteria do a happy little denaturing number on the proteins. Thus, a loaf I made for [livejournal.com profile] count_geiger and I back on Thursday isn't stale yet--so, do not worry about it being day-old, or even longer, as long as the loaf remains sound.

Happy Baking!

-- Lorrie

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