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

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The Effects of Spices & Herbs on Sourdough Bacteria & Yeast

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

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11 Tips on How to Make Sourdough Less Sour

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

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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 ...