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Vital Wheat Gluten

Vital Wheat Gluten   Vital Wheat Gluten is gluten that has been extracted from wheat.  It is pure gluten.  In our glutenphobic age, you might be wondering why anyone one want or use such a thing.  There are a number of reasons… Vital wheat gluten helps breads, especially whole grains, rise better.  We talk about …

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Eggs!

Eggs! Eggs do a lot for enriched doughs.  They add moisture, they add fats, and they act as an emulsifier.  Without eggs, many breads would not exist. Still, they are a bit of a bother.  How do measure 1/2 egg?  Easy answer – double your recipe and use a whole egg.  But that’s always a …

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Sugar

Sugar Sugar…. we’re addicted to it!  Even though we know it’s not really all that good for us.  But, really now, if we eliminated everything from our diet that someone says isn’t good for us, we’d have a very boring diet.  I can’t think of much that someone hasn’t said is bad for us.  I …

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What is Sourdough?

What is Sourdough? A sourdough starter, or culture, is a mix of flour and water that maintains a mix of yeast and bacteria. The yeast provides lots of rise and some flavor, the bacteria provides lots of flavor and some lift.  The bacteria makes the starter more acidic to protect it from other organisms taking …

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What Is Hooch?

What is “Hooch”? This question comes up fairly often. If you watch old movies or TV shows, the answer is obvious. Hooch is cheap, bad booze. And, even in sourdough circles, that’s pretty close to true There’s a great example of sourdough hooch to the right. It was taken in 2001 when I knew much, …

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What’s A Cup?

What’s A Cup? A recurring question, posed for many reasons, is, “What’s a cup?” Some people in other countries want to know what a cup is so they can use recipes on American web sites and in American cookbooks and magazines. One English baker asked plaintively in a newsgroup, “What’s a sodding cup?” But even …

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Tolerance

Tolerance When bakers talk about tolerance chances are good they mean how long a fully risen dough can wait to be baked without losing final loaf quality. There are a lot of variables in tolerance.  More highly hydrated doughs have less tolerance than firmer doughs.  Wheat breads can have as long as an hour’s tolerance.  …

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Retarding Dough For Flavor Enhancement and Process Control

Retarding Dough For Flavor Enhancement and Process Control The information below is taken from an EXCELLENT discussion in the Bread Baker’s Guild of America mailing list. It is hard to overstate how much I have learned from this group, and strongly encourage any serious baker, amateur or professional, to join and support the guild. Much of …

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Superpeel

Superpeel here he comes to save the day! A good while ago the good people at SuperPeel asked us to look at their SuperPeel. At the time, I was up to my ears in starting a bakery and while I looked at the SuperPeel, and while I liked the SuperPeel, I never wrote it up. …

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