Bread with Brewer’s Malt

I love to combine hobbies, and beer and bread are an easy match.  Now that I have a grain mill, I find myself having extra grain around the house.  So, I decided to add some malt to my sourdough sandwich bread recipe. Read more of this post

Bread with Steeped Specialty Grains

Bread and beer is a natural combination.  Many brewers use their spent grain in bread, but this never made much sense to me.  All of the sugar, starch, and protein- all of the nutritional value- has by this time been rinsed from the grain and into your beer.  To me, it makes more sense to rinse all of this out of the grain right into your bread. Read more of this post

Bread Recipe: Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

When I first started baking in earnest, I read all about the ingredients in bread and what they do in McGee’s On Food and Cooking.  From this, I constructed my own recipe and started tweaking it with each successive batch.  It was good at first, but thirty-something batches later, I have a recipe I am very happy with for sandwich bread.  I bake it weekly to make sandwiches for lunch- I go through about a loaf and a half in five days using pretty beefy slices. Read more of this post

Easy Care for a Sourdough Starter

I’m relatively new to baking, and sourdough bread is what got me to start.  As with so many of my endeavors, I was inspired by Basic Brewing Radio, this time a 10 January 2008 episode with home baker John Owen.  So right to it: the first thing you need for sourdough bread is a starter- a culture with wild yeast and bacteria to raise and flavor the bread.  Its impractical to order one online every time you want to bake, so its fortunate taking care of them is so easy. Read more of this post

Baking Experimentally: Part 1

In most hobbies, people are willing to experiment.  But, it seems as though baking has acquired a certain reverence, and experimenting is somehow sacrilegious or heretic.  The recipe is gospel, and not to be trifled with.  But, with a little understanding of how to put together a recipe and what the ingredients do, a new world of creations will open to you. Read more of this post

Bread Tips: Calcium Chloride

My primary passion is brewing, but I also like baking sourdough breads and making some simple cheeses.  Sometimes they overlap, like yeast care from brewing to yeast care for sourdough cultures.  Another nice overlap is the use of calcium chloride (CaCl).  In brewing, it can be used to treat water to enhance the perception of maltyness in the beer.  In cheese making, it is used to make a more firm curd.  As far as I know (which to be fair, on this topic, isn’t all that much), it isn’t commonly used in bread making. Read more of this post

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