On the way to making 108 different types of breads I have discovered a few breads that I am making over and over because they taste wonderful and are easy to fit into a working - I spend the day at the office - schedule. These will be so popular that you will receive requests, perhaps even from family and friends who questioned why you would produce your own bread to begin with.
The following recipes all use sourdough starters, which are not complicated to create, maintain or use. I have an easy sourdough primer and links. Some of these bread recipes were adjusted for earlier recipes that I had made with commercial yeast. The sourdough culture has worked so well that I have not used store-bought yeast in almost a year - except for challahs, but that could be changing soon.
My favorite repeats
- drum roll, please ...
Rye bread - No surprise because I am from Brooklyn. You can't do better than a good rye. The New York genes in my children have made the recipe for bread #27 a big favorite.
Whole wheat sandwich bread - The secret ingredient in bread #32, a 100 percent whole wheat bread, is coconut oil. Make in a loaf pan. It is easy to slice.
Spelt bread - I am a spelt lover. It's not just me. Everyone adores breads made from the recipe for bread #34. This 100 percent spelt bread is not heavy at all.
and ... one more drum roll, please ... the new entrant -
White bread - Bread #38 comes out so well every time, is so perfectly matched to a busy schedule, and so amazing with its bubbling sponge and miraculously rising dough that I made it three times in rapid succession. Now I understand why bakers extol the virtues of white flours and white breads. I've already started to make variations on this recipe.
[I have now made a few variations of bread #38 (breads #40 to 42) and whole wheat-dominated variations do well. We did not care so much for the partial spelt variation.]
Celebrating the 40 mark
For Chanukah, my husband gave me a few bread-related gifts. Perhaps the best one is a 108 breads apron. I feel so established and professional wearing it. Already the apron is another talisman for good fortune in baking. The other gifts were an oblong la cloche, which I must figure out how to use, and a book, the Art of Fermentation, which threatens to turn me into a fermentation maniac. A review soon. Even though it is not a bread book per se, it is related. From a read through, the directions are less than thorough. I like a nice detailed instruction on anything that I have not tried before.
I am contemplating homemade sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. Brad and I have been talking about a sauerkraut endeavor for over a year. If I het as far as making tempeh at home, I have gone a bit off of the deep end. Of course, it was not all that long ago I felt similarly about growing and maintaining a sourdough culture.
I doubt I will get past the sauerkraut, however, as I do work for a living. Going beyond sauerkraut would mean going into business to teach people and sell the fermented goodies. Something about the word fermented does not go with goodies, unless you are beer lover, but that's a whole other story.
Well, I will have to figure out when to use this lovely new oblong la cloche. My husband gets the first bread made with it, for sure.