Photo by Donna Have been on a sourdough binge since the purple cabbage post (waffles last Sunday, bread, pictured above, by dinnertime) and loving Carri‘s ratio of 1 part starter : 1 part water : 2 parts flour with 1% salt by weight, though I back off by about 20% on the water because it’s been so humid.  I usually make a dough that’s between 30 and 40 ounces total weight. I’ve noticed various differences in the loaves and because I’ve put up the BLT From Scratch Challenge, I thought I should go over the 5 key steps of making bread, whether you’re using sourdough or commercial yeast. Mixing/Kneading:Mix or knead the dough to the point that it can be stretched to translucency. This ensures that it will adequately trap the gas being released.  Not Read On »

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Photo by Donna I screwed up the brine for these and wound up with amazing short rib pastrami, below, but I remade the brine and got it right, nothing but tarragon and garlic.  I like dill and dill pickles, but I love tarragon flavored pickles, which is the dominant herb in cornichon. I also prefer the flavor of the "natural" or "traditional" pickle, one that uses no vinegar.  Allowing lactic acid bacteria to feed on sugars in the vegetable and release acid, you create a sharp, but not vinegar-sharp, flavor. You also get the pleasure in this style of pickling of working with something that’s alive, like yeast or creating your own vinegar.  This works with most vegetables, not just cucumbers.  How do you do this, get those bacteria working for you?  By leaving the Read On »

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