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Bread and......more Bread!!

egretegret Posts: 4,109
edited 10:11PM in EggHead Forum
Baking some bread today for a bake sale this weekend. Here are a couple of loaves from a San Francisco culture I've been working on :


Here are two more called Pain Au Levain from a book my buddy Evans sent me :


Here are the loaves all together. The other sourdoughs are the SF culture like the pic above and the remainder are from a very old culture (probably well over 150 years) I have had for a while :



  • awesome!! say, see if you can leave a few remnants of that culture on this site and we'll see if we can grow something out of it :side:
  • So the made the cultures when you were a boy? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Bread looks great. Happy Birthday
  • krickskricks Posts: 244
    I'll say it again... those are wonderful. Very well done.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Beautiful pictures. I'll bet it tasted wonderful.
  • SSN686SSN686 Posts: 3,209
    Morning John:

    As usual...FANTASTIC looking bread! Have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Have a GREAT day!


    Brandon, FL


  • MDRMDR Posts: 55
    I have wanted to try to do bread on the egg I think it would be easier if you made them & sent them to me :laugh: :lol: Well if thet doesn't work I would love your recipe & method


    PS They look amazing

  • pcipci Posts: 249
    I love sourdough everything. Where did you get the old culture? Would love to get hold of some of that. What I have I started myself & its over 30n years old. Bread looks great.
  • Spring HenSpring Hen Posts: 1,568
    You are working way too hard on your birthday. You are supposed to be sitting back and letting everyone spoil you for a change. Of course, what you are doing is for a good cause so I guess that makes it okay...keep on eggin....
    love ya. :kiss:
    Covington, Louisiana USA
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Those are gorgeous John. Nice to see you haven't lost your touch.
  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,092
    Gorgeous bread as usual John... :)
  • Great pics, I love home made bread B) ...Pete
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    Oh, yes, great looking bread.
  • John,You are the master. gorgeous loaves, and your photos are getting better!
  • eenie meenieeenie meenie Posts: 4,393
    Nice to see you producing artisan breads Egret. Beautiful loaves, simply beautiful. :)
  • Very nice loaves, with gorgeous crust. How long/what temp? what's your baking setup? Do you steam the loaves? What % hydration is the pain au levain dough?
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,876
    Great looking loaves. Interesting, from the pics, seems like each culture forms a slightly different crust. Or is there a big difference in the flour used. etc?
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,697
    WOW and on your birthday :lol:
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • mrdnksmrdnks Posts: 67
    I have tried making bread and its harder than you would think to get good consistent loaves.
    Those look great!
    Nice job
  • egretegret Posts: 4,109
    Nothing secret about the recipe. However, without the starter you wouldn't be able to duplicate it unless, of course, you made your own starter (very easy to do, btw).
  • egretegret Posts: 4,109
    I got the culture from a gentleman who stopped by during one of my demo cooks at our BGE dealer several years ago. You can get some very good starters from Ed Wood at This is where I got my SF culture.
  • egretegret Posts: 4,109
    Thanks, Mike. I hooked up with PattO re the starter. Ummmmm, I didn't realize my past photos weren't top of the line!!? :woohoo:
  • ResQueResQue Posts: 1,045
    That looks great. I have some SF starter in my freezer that I got from my dad. I haven't tried to bake a sourdough yet but I am getting pretty good with french and italian loaves. How and how often do you feed your sourdough?
  • egretegret Posts: 4,109
    I bake the sourdough a little different than the pain au levain. The sourdough starts out at 500*, then reduced to 450* as soon as loaves are put in. The pain au levain is done at a steady 450*. The sourdough took about 25 minutes and the pain au levain 30 minutes. I pull them at an internal temp. of 190*. My setup is pizza stone on oven rack with a thorough preheating. I always put the dough on parchment paper and let it rise covered with plastic wrap. After about 8-10 minutes in the oven I remove the paper and let the loaf finish directly on the stone. I spray the bottom of the oven several seconds with water three times during the first 5 minutes. I don't weigh any of the ingredients so couldn't tell you what the % hydration was. Even with careful measuring I almost always have to add a bunch more flour. I use mostly store bought flour due to cost considerations since I bake quite a bit of bread (almost all of which is given away or donated). It has 13.3% protein.
    One of these days I may try to get scientific and get a good scale, but, I've been doing this for over 20 years and have gotten along very well using the "TLAR" method! :laugh:
  • egretegret Posts: 4,109
    Same flour in the sourdoughs.....the pain au levain has about two thirds bread flour, one third whole wheat.
  • egretegret Posts: 4,109
    I used to feed mine every week or two. I read an opinion from one well known expert in sourdoughs and he said, since the starter becomes dormant in the refrigerator, there is no need to keep continually feeding it like this. I can verify that this is true. I have left my primary starter in the refrigerator for 3-4 months and it always come back strong when I bring it back to life. I have a couple of containers I'm keeping that have been in the refrigerator for well over a year that I'm going to bring out one of these days and see if it still can come back. I've never frozen any so can't comment on this method, but, I understand this is an acceptable way to store it.
  • egretegret Posts: 4,109
    You're right about that. I try to make the loaves come out perfectly, but, don't always get there. I hate those CO2 bubbles and go to great lengths to remove as many of them as I can before the final rise.
  • ResQueResQue Posts: 1,045
    Thanks for the info.
  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    Very nice John!! You've been busy today! You really have that down pat.
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • Have you ever tried the SF culture as part of your pizza dough? Probably the best pizza you can make.
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