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9 Sourdough Misconceptions & Myths

The following are 9 common misconceptions and myths regarding traditional sourdoughs for bread baking. That is, sourdoughs maintained by regular feedings or refreshments (technically referred to as backslopping).1. San Francisco sourdough can ...

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Differences Between Soakers: Cold Soak, Scald, & Mash

In regards to bread baking, soakers involve cooking or soaking a portion of the dough’s grains or flour with water, sometimes other liquids. Once matured, the soaker is then added to the final dough mix. In general, this process is performed ...

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Traditional Sourdough Breads of Italy

Believe it or not, Italy isn't just a nation of pizzas, basil, and tomatoes. It's also rich with sourdough breads, with some originating centuries ago. Below is a chart listing a few of these traditional breads. And as you will see, many of them ...

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Is Sourdough Healthier Than Yeast Breads?

Short answer: Yes.Compared to yeast breads or breads leavened exclusively with commercial yeast, sourdough is fermented for a longer period, anywhere from several hours to a few days. During this process, the sourdough bacteria (lactobacilli) ...

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How to Get Cracks on Bread Crust

Have you heard the “song” of bread? It’s a beautiful symphony of pops and crackles from the crust, caused by the contraction of the bread’s crumb (interior) when the crust is too rigid during cooling.Snap, crackle, pop! (photos ...

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How to Slash Dough and Make Bread Ears

Slashing or “scoring” is the act of cutting dough, just before proofing (typical of some rye breads) or before loading the dough into the heated oven. The primary purposes of scoring is to:control how the dough expands during “oven ...

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How to Bake Traditional German-Style Pumpernickel at Home

Originating in Westphalia, Germany, with references as far back as the 15th century, the pumpernickel is a dark, dense, brick-like loaf, consisting primarily of coarse rye flour (rye meal). Other characteristics unique to pumpernickel are its ...

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Effects of Spices & Herbs on Sourdough Bacteria & Yeast

Americans and Swedes have their cinnamon buns. Scandinavians have their cardamom breads. Germans have their caraway rye breads, while Italians have their herbed focaccias (flatbread). But have you ever wondered how sourdough-related microorganisms ...

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11 Tips on How to Make Sourdough Less Sour

Completely removing the sourness from your sourdough is nearly impossible, but we can make it less perceptible. To do this we must accomplish one or a combination of the following goals with your starter and dough:Minimize the production of ...

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Ash Content of American and European Flour Types

Knowing the ash (mineral) content of your flour is essential to optimizing bread baking processes, especially on a commercial or industrial level. Why is it so essential, you ask? Because ash content affects fermentation activity, dough strength, ...

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What Are Bread Crust Blisters?

Blisters, also known as “bird's eyes”, are clustered micro-pouches of air on the surface of bread crust, sometimes emulating the appearance of chickenpox or warty toads.Can you tell the difference? (Bread photo courtesy of ...

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How to Make a Starter in a Hot and Humid Climate

Can you imagine making and baking sourdough in a small, compact bachelor apartment in the sweltering heat, lungs muffled by high humidity?I can, because that’s precisely what I experienced in Cambodia, Southeast Asia.Smart ass in the ...