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“All Sorrows Are Less With Bread”

— Cervantes

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2017-05-15 Steaks and More

In which Mike and Beth take a class!

If you haven’t been getting updates lately, there’s a reason for that.  I haven’t been sending them out.  We’ve been busy.  If you aren’t getting updates, you can always resubscribe.  If you do that, you won’t wind up with two subscriptions.  I mention this because our hosting service REALLY doesn’t want us manually adding subscribers.  So, in case you forgot, here’s how to subscribe.  You might save these instructions.  Go to At the bottom center of just about every page is an ad for the mailing list. It looks like the form to the right.

Fill in the form and click "subscribe".  You should get a message asking you to confirm it was you subscribing in a few minutes.  If you don't, the chances are good you made a typo entering your email address.  We all do that - go back and give it another try.  And that’s it.  ALL of it.  Enjoy!

This weekend we went to the Local Yocal Meat Market in McKinney Texas to enjoy their Steak 101 class.  It's a GREAT meat market.  Knowledgeable staff and about the best meat you'll find anywhere. They taught us where our favorite steaks came from, about two new favorite steaks, and how to grill steak.  It was a great class, and I highly recommend it!  We didn’t think we’d learn much, but we sure did!  Go, you’ll thank me later!


A few weeks ago Regina asked for a rye barley bread. I probably took it in a direction she wasn’t expecting.  I have been meaning to make the bread for a good while and had been hoping someone in the vast studio audience would try it and let me know how it came out.  Crickets, I heard crickets.

Here’s the recipe I started with:

We were shooting for an overall hydration of about 75%.  The bread was way too liquid.  It spread out like a mud pie.  It would have been a great pan bread, but not a free form bread.  Several things could have happened.  The starter could have been over the hill  Also, I think 65 to 70% would be better hydration level.

And, since we’re playing with the bread, I think 20 to 25% barley would have been a better level.  I liked the bread, Beth loved it, but it wasn’t quite where I wanted it.  For my next try…

* Gypsum - I add it to make our not quite ready for bread water better for bread.  It acidifies the bread and makes it harder.  If you make good dough where you are, feel free to omit it.

It’s late and I’m tired, so I’ll close by reminding you that we're having another class this weekend.  It is our Flavored Breads class, and it is a wonderful class.  In most of our classes, I focus on unlocking the flavors in flour to make rich flavorful breads. But there is a broader world beyond breads made with the "big 4" of flour, water, salt and riser.

Many grocery store bakeries call it a flavored bread if they drizzle something on top of the bread. All too often the bread is baked in a pie pan, and the bread doesn't even rise above the pie pan. Really, are we buying bread or a funky pie? In our classes, the breads are risen and bursting with flavors that can not be contained!

This is an accelerated class, so we'll start by baking some breads I prepared the night before, then you'll make a variety of flavored breads. Maybe a killer cinnamon raisin bread, a jalapeno-cheddar bread I call "Pepper Belly", a totally over the top garlic-cheddar bread I call "garlic head", maybe our signature flax seed bread, some amazingly seductive pecan cinnamon sticky buns, or some other flavored bread. You'll take home the three breads we baked in class, three more loaves to rise and bake at home, any leftovers from your Italian Appetizer Bread and my flavored breads cookbook. This will be a 4 to 6 hour class.  As usual, you can sign up at the BakeWithMike web page.

Until next time, may your dough always rise, no matter what you put in it…

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