I remember one birthday party for Hannah when she was five or six, I had the idea of baking bread in terra cotta pots, and after the girls ate the bread, they decorated the pots with sharpie markers and then that was their party gift to take home.  Thanks to google images, they looked like this:


One bread I’ve never made from scratch was sourdough bread.  Mainly because if you’ve ever read a recipe for the bread, it sounds completely complicated.  Mixing flour and water together, leaving it on the counter to bubble up – take some starter out, add flour and water back in.  These are the steps that America’s Text Kitchen uses:

  1. Make the sponge (starter)
  2. Make the dough
  3. Knead the dough
  4. Let the dough rise
  5. Stretch the dough
  6. Divide and shape the dough
  7. Refrigerate overnight
  8. Proof the dough
  9. Let the dough rise again
  10. Bake the bread
  11. Whew!

I left out the paragraphs of information associated with each of those steps.  Your eyes would go crossed eyed just reading the instructions!  I wanted sourdough bread, but I wanted it to be easier.  So I did start out with a rye flour starter found in this book written by Goran Soderin and George Strachal.  I received a free copy of this cookbook by Skyhorse Publishing.

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I started with a rye flour starter:

  • 3/4 cup water, room temperature
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 1/2 cup grated apple, peeled

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Mix together in a large mason jar.

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Then let it sit for 2-3 days.  By day 3, this is what mine looked like:

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Then you just start feeding it.  I didn’t weigh out how much starter there was, I just scooped out half the jar contents, put that in a container to add to some pizza dough later this week, and then added 1/2 cup white flour and half a cup of water.  Mix well and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  I did the same thing on Day 4, 5 and 6 – scoop out half, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water, stir and cover.

I decided Day 7 would be the day I would make my dough, which happened to be Friday on my day off.  Since I make Artisan bread all the time, I decided I wanted to make baguettes.  I found this recipe, but had to modify it a bit with the conversion of grams to ounces.


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Then pour a bit of olive oil on your counter and knead the bread for 5 minutes.  I love kneading bread – I could do it for hours!   At this point, I just put it in my refrigerator overnight.  Be sure to wrap it in plastic so the dough doesn’t form a skin on it.

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Finally BAKING DAY!  This is enough dough for 4 baguettes – I just took half the dough and divided that in half.  I shaped into my loaves, put it on parchment paper, and let it rise for 1 hour – basically just to get it back to room temperature before baking.

Heat oven to 470 degrees with your baking stone in the oven.  Place an empty broiler pan on the bottom shelf of your oven.  When it’s time to bake, add 2/3 cup of boiling water to the broiler pan – be careful because the broiler pan is hot and will splash when you add the hot water to it.  I baked for 18 minutes, then flipped it over and baked for 4 more minutes, so the bottoms got nice and brown too.

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Ta Da!  Now this is an awesome loaf of bread – the crust is awesome, even yesterday they baguette held it’s crust.  Although not as sourdough tasting as I would have liked, so my next batch is going to have twice as much starter and we’ll see how that goes.

Once you have and keep feeding your starter, you can make bread anytime.  Just make the dough the night before and bake it right before dinner – yum!

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Yesterday while we were shopping, we decided to have a nice dinner date at home to celebrate my great tips over the weekend.  We only spent $83 dollars at the store, but $21 dollars went to a 1 pound lobster tail!   You could never get that size lobster tail for $21 in a restaurant!  (at least that’s how I justify the cost!).

For appetizers I wrapped figs and cantaloupe with fresh mozzarella and then wrapped it in prosciutto – love the salty sweet combo!

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Tony took the reigns on dinner – he ended up thawing the lobster tail on our cast iron grill pan.  Once it thawed enough so he could pull it out of the shell, he cooked it on the grill with some garlic butter.  OMG, so good!  We split a small steak and also split a baked potato.  It was delicious!  We couldn’t remember the last time we did lobster at home, so good.  Thanks for a great dinner honey!

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Tonight starts my 30 day challenge to start T-25!   I have to work Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night this week at the restaurant, but I know I can find 25 minutes each day to get it done.  Wish me luck!

Time to put my stuff together – come back tomorrow for my broccoli cheese egg breakfast cups – Tony had the idea and it was a great one – I made 12 of them, 3 is a serving, so breakfast is taken care of 4 out of 5 days this week.  I’ll probably have breakfast tacos again though to fill in that gap. 😀

Make it a great day!