baking Weekend of 6/27/20

July 1st, 2020

Hi and thanks for reading! This week I'll discuss challenges in baking and our new total.

Ah, summer is here, and so is the humidity. Sunday it was a scorcher outside.

This Saturday - Sunday, 6 loaves were made for donations to our local foodshelf. 4 of the curry and 2 of the Apple Rhubarb. The 6 loaves brought in $135 thanks to the generosity of our community members. This brings the total donations to $1574 for the food shelf since I started collecting. THANK YOU! There will be a drop-off of funds this week.

Just so people know, this is how we go about doing this. If someone leaves a check for Winona Volunteer Services over the weekend, the check goes in within a day or two to Winona Volunteer Services. Cash we collect till we get a couple hundred which goes into a holding account at a Credit Union here in Winona. A money order is made to Winona Volunteer Services at the time we pull the funds out. This way all funds are tracked.

Let's talk about are somethings you may find interesting about the process in making my apple rhubarb loaf.

The apple rhubarb presents it's own set of challenges depending on the rhubarb to sugar ratio. Once sugar is added to rhubarb, water is released, so it can be tricky to figure out how much water to hold back during the initial mixing of the dough before doing what is called the lamination process. Lamination is this. You lay out the dough, put your add ins on top, then roll, or fold half way, then fold another halfway, and roll it up into almost a log. It's more of a tricky challenge when you are doing 4 loaves at a time with this form of folding than with the two I was working with. Too much water, and forming the loaves and handling the lamination can feel like you're handling a mess. If I add more rhubarb than the previous time, I need to be careful in my estimates. Temperature in the kitchen can also create potential issues if there are variences or a lot of humidity. Thinking back on the weekend, I may hold even more water back during my last run of apple rhubarb the weekend of July 11th.

I truly believe when working with sourdough vs quick yeast breads, you learn something each and everytime you make a loaf. It's not enough to take classes or read, you have to experience the process over and over again.

The curry loaf I have pretty much down to a science. That too uses lamination and can have it's own issues in that, but it's not as wet of a dough. That loaf has an entirely different mix in procedure. 6 hours before even lamination takes place, I make a leaven, and let it sit. I also make a dough mix of just water and flour, and that sits for 6 hours. After the 6 hours, the two parts are mixed together, rest for 30 min, and then salt is mixed in. After salt is thoroughly incorporated, we head to the lamination process which goes on for 4 hours.

If you can't tell, sourdough is also a practice in patience. You're on the dough's time.
Thanks again to all who support my adventures in baking sourdough. I am looking forward to helping via baking for The Winona Volunteer Services Food Shelf. Also, I am excited to annouce that a week in August will benefit the Winona Advocacy Center with a very special savory loaf I am currently in the development stage of. This loaf will take hours to make since it will implement use a smoker, and at most I can only proof 2 loaves at a time using it. That's if it works at all. I will have a plan B in place. Always an adventure with sourdough!

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend! Thanks again for stopping by. Please consider sharing to help spread the word!