In Gauteng even the dough is in a hurry!
Baking at high altitude can be rather interesting. We found it quite exciting as everything kind of moves faster. In Gauteng even the dough is in a hurry!
These are a few observations and recommendations for those of you baking at higher altitudes… We always bake sourdough bread at sea level, so the recipes posted on Motherdough website are tested in quite different conditions from when we host classes in Sandton.
Is your bread FULLY baked ?
There are really only 3 ways to know your loaf is cooked without actually cutting it open. Once you have cut it open, there is not much you can do if it is undercooked except perhaps toast slices in a pan and make bruschette.
This blog helps you avoid that disappointing feeling of cutting a loaf open and discovering it has not cooked all the way through.
Motherdough is not a typical sourdough starter.
Many people new to sourdough have noticed the runny, bubbly starters all over the internet. Motherdough is different. Instead of a liquid you have a starter that feels and looks like a dough.
There are differences in the care routine for Motherdough, compared to a liquid starter. This blog post explores this in more detail.
Overproving and Underproving
There is a time-limit on how long dough can be left to proof.
Not proving your sourdough for long enough is more forgiving than overproving. It won’t have developed a full flavour and the gluten structure will be developed to different stages.
Here we have a quick look at over and underproving and what do do about it.
How to know dough is properly proved.
Properly proved dough is the perfect meeting point between elasticity and relaxation in the dough. At the correct point, the air in the dough expands easily during baking and is held in place thanks to the gluten structure.
As you gain experience you learn to listen to the dough. A glance, a touch, a poke and you’ll just instinctively know when it’s ready. For now, there are a few things you can do to train yourself to prove to perfection.
This blog post tells you how.
The need for kneading
Kneading is an important part of the bread-making process. It builds the gluten network that gives wheat bread its characteristic structure: the beautiful oven spring as well as all the air pockets in the bread’s crumb.
There are different “by hand” techniques for kneading bread. There is something magical about working flour and water into a smooth elastic dough with your hands. Of course, the work can also be done mechanically with a mixer which we cover as well.
Natural vs Industrial Yeast
Motherdough is more than anything else a symbol of conviviality. She is a means of rediscovering traditions, the role of craftsmanship, the understanding of the human quest for self nourishment as she sits at the forefront of self-production food consumption.
We discuss how extraordinary varieties of taste, nutritional and conservation properties can be achieved with Motherdough, and what makes her different to commercial yeast.
Dough Basics 101
When you enter this world of baking, you soon realise there are a lot of new terms and concepts to learn - even with a bit of mathematics thrown in for good measure.
In this blog post we cover the main areas in brief. We will be delving into more detailed aspects of some of these summaries soon as the community grows.