Posts Tagged ‘Sourdough’

Bread Foundations

Potato Bread, Mixed Wheat, and the Barmy bases are the three staple bread foundations I’ve developed for the variety of breads offered through Tater Dave’s.

Common varieties for the Potato Bread base include:

Rosemary Potato

Chili Potato

Cinnamon Raisin

Pepperoni Potato

Sundried Tomato Basil


Mixed Wheat varieties mainly entail the Mixed Wheat French and the Mixed Wheat Garlic.

Barmy varieties manifest themselves as the Barmy Baguette and the Barmy Parm.

Why Potato Breads?

Because my Mom taught me to always add a little bit of potato flakes to yeast bread recipes to increase the moisture and softness of the final loaf. I’ve found that this subtle addition to the ingredients lends a softer crust and more tender crumb to the potato breads I make. Flavorings for the breads are kept to a ratio of 1 tablespoon of spices per four pounds of bread and/or 1 ounce of dried fruit/meat per pound in order to properly flavor each loaf.

Why Mixed Wheat?

I prefer to call the Mixed Wheat French and Garlic Breads “Mixed Wheat” because they start with 50% whole wheat flour.  Breads I produce as “Whole Wheat” contain 100% Whole Wheat Flour as well as additional whole grains. While the “Mixed Wheat” label generates questions, I feel this is needed in the bread world so customers can be better informed of the bread they are purchasing and consuming.

Why call it Barmy instead of Sourdough?

I just think Barmy sounds cooler than Sourdough – also, my wife makes a Pirate’s, “Aargh!” whenever she hears Barmy. My barmy breads are 100% naturally leavened and go through a lengthy rising cycle in order to develop good flavor. The starter for these varieties was captured locally at the beginning of 2011 and I have kept it living ever since; rebuilding it as needed to always have enough starter for the Barmy Baguette and the Barmy Parm!

Additional Bread Varieties

I’m still growing and learning as a baker, so I’m always interested in trying new spice blends as well as new varieties of breads.

I’ve dabbled with 100% Whole Grain Breads which give a hearty kick to the digestive tract, Ciabattas (golden and dusky) with light airy crumbs,  and am now trying out some Portuguese Sweet Breads due to my wife’s Cape Verdean heritage.

First attempt at Portuguese Sweet Bread


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Sourdough Starter

One of my goals over the winter is to develop a couple of sourdough starters.  I’m testing my first batch of starter tonight to see how it’s doing and below are a few pictures of what’s going on.  As a reference, I’ve used Peter Reinhart’s directions in his book Crust and Crumb for developing this starter.  At the moment it has a fairly strong ‘sour’ smell to it, but does not smell offensive.

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I’ve built up a little over 2 quarts of starter so far.  In the measuring cup is roughly 1/2 c. of the starter I’ve pulled out just to observe to see if it grows.  This is the day after feeding it so the yeast should be on the upswing.

The 8 qt. bucket the starter is living in is one of my food grade proofing buckets that is used for the bulk rise on most of my breads.

I may stay up later tonight to check on the starter, but I’ll most likely head onto bed since it’s 11 p.m. already.  The sample starter I’m “proofing” shouldn’t escape the liquid measure (unless it quadruples!) so even if I go to bed, I can measure the high water mark on the inside of the glass in the morning to find out how much it rose on it’s own.  I’m hoping to get a double or tripling in volume to show that the starter is alive and well!

Now for a little teaser of what’s in store for later in the week – I’m planning a post to chronicle a day baking and preparing for market from start to finish.

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