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Friday, May 1, 2015

In My Kitchen, the sourdough edition

When I first began experimenting with sourdough I put my heart and soul into creating perfectly formed loaves of bread.  Nowadays, although the loaves aren't perfect it is more like a habit and happily, I don’t have to put a lot of thought into it.

All those years ago I would never have imagined how adaptable and flexible sourdough can really be.


These sourdough pancakes are a perfect example.  This is probably one of my all-time favourite recipes discovered on a beautiful blog which I really miss.   Crunchy Tiger if you are still out there, I would love to see you in bread blogging land again


Sourdough bagels thanks to Celia’s recipe and tutorials.  This batch was my first attempt and I am looking forward to trying these again soon.  These were not difficult but I would recommend a little bit of spare time and bench space to make the process run smoothly.


Twisty, plaited white sourdough loaves, one plain and one topped with Za'atar.  The plaits looked far more impressive prior to cooking but this was just for fun.  The baked loaves turned out to be deliciously soft with a lovely open crumb.


White banneton loaves snuggling up with their plaited friends, straight from the wood oven.  


Celia and I recently had a conversation on Twitter regarding bread mixing with machinery, as opposed to mixing by hand.  This prompted me to share a photo of my dough mixing machine.  This beast is a commercial size dough mixer that I purchased online through an auction site several years ago.  The brand is Cater Master which you have probably never heard of, apart from my machine, neither have I.  It has a 5kg flour capacity and stands at almost 900mm tall.  As it is too large for my kitchen it lives in the entry area of our house, a unique decorative piece to greet our guests! 


I mix almost all of my bread and pizza bases with this machine and I also use it for extra-large batches of biscuit dough at peak biscuits times, such as Christmas.  It has a balloon whisk and paddle attachment as well as a dough  hook.  The dough hook is by far the most used part.  The Cater Master is nothing fancy but it makes easy work of heavy bread dough and now I cannot imagine life without it. 

Life is not all flour and bread.  There is also music in the kitchen, at the moment this song is a catchy favourite.

Are you baking or listening to music or both? 

Is there a blog out there that hasn't been updated in ages that you miss?

Happy Friday friends.

As usual I am linking up with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Celia and many of her blogging friends are a constant source of bread making inspiration.  

66 comments :

  1. This post has just made me extremely hungry for some fresh bread straight out of the oven with a generous layer of salty butter on it... oh my goodness I want it now.

    I love the look of the bagels too.. I find it so hard to find a decent bagel here that isn't a dry bread rolls in the shape of a bagel so I will definitely be keeping a tag on that recipe. I just need to make a sour dough starter though but to be honest I have been a little scared of starting one in the honest truth that I might kill it... I find it hard to keep a mint plant alive.

    Your dough mixer is a hefty one! Reminds me of the ones I used when I worked in a commercial kitchen. I want to get just a normal stand mixer but I have heard that the kitchen aid heads fall off sometimes and gears wear out using it for dough so I need to look into that a bit more but they are just so pretty :)

    Any tips on keeping a sourdough starter alive?
    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Dani, thanks for calling in. Regular feeding is my only real tip for keeping starter alive. Once you have a strong, established starter they are fairly forgiving, in my experience!

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  2. Love that beast of a mixer, reminds me of the mixer the ladies of the Broken Hill Women's Auxiliary use to make their Christmas puddings!

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    1. Thanks Deb, yes I am sure those clever RFDS ladies have similar equipment!

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  3. A wonderful bready post Jane. I really miss bread at the moment as I am in Asia and the bread is not worth eating. That mixer is art- industrial art- as well as useful, given the quanties you make. And I checked the link to the sour dough pancakes and like the sound of that method too.

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    1. Thank you Francesca. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

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  4. A proper mixer! I have to mix all my dough by hand as I've managed to break two dough blades on food processors and the dough hook on my mixer. It's strange how different shaped loaves produce different crumb, even if they come from the same batch. I've just eaten breakfast but now fancy a slice of bread.

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    1. Very true Anne, shaping does make a difference to the crumb! I still have so much to learn about this bread making business!

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  5. Oh Jane, your breads and pancakes look so good, I can smell them from Canberra! Love, love, love that machine too! Thank you kindly for the peek at your May kitchen xo

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    1. Thanks so much Lizzy...sending you a virtual pancake! x

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  6. What a great post Jane and being born and bred from New York, your sourdough bagels got me right away and your sourdough pancakes brought back heaps of childhood memories!
    Thanks for this month's IMK view too!

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    1. Thank you so much Joanne. I am certainly not a bagel expert but these were fun to make!

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  7. Oh my word – that mixer took my breath away. It lives up to its name of Cater Master. Lucky you! I like you're plaited loaves. I think I'll give them a go tomorrow morning when the starter is ready. I like that song and went down a huge YouTube spiral when I clicked the link. xxx

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    1. Thanks Fiona, yes YouTube is a spiral if you once get started!

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  8. Loaves, pancakes and bagels. That's a heavenly kitchen you've got there.

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    1. Thank you, I believe you are a bagel baker too!

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  9. Lovely photos and post Jane. My husband is the bread-baker in our house and makes a mean loaf. Only ever in small batches, though, and only when he has the time. That's a very impressive dough machine. Best wishes, Sam

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    1. Thank you Sam, happy bread and baking days to you.

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  10. A very impressive array of breads, I love the look of the pancakes and bagels too. Love that your breadmaker greets your guests!

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  11. Jane your bread looks wonderful, as always. And I love your mixer.

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  12. Loving your bread! And your mixer!

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  13. Your bread looks amazing, I must look through your older posts and see if you have any on starting/making sour dough...if I can ever find the time {sigh}

    I used to read a blog called A Vision Splendid, it was THE BLOG that got me started on simple living, in fact it was the blog that introduced me to blogs! I never knew they existed until I read an article about this woman and her blog, and looked her blog up.

    She doesn't post anymore hasn't done for almost two years I think, but I wish she would her musings always inspired me.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. I don't think I have ever posted about actually making a starter. My starter began before my blog and the details are rather hazy. Celia has all of the answers, detailed beautifully on her blog!

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  14. Wow- talk about baking central, this is a fabulous bread post! I'm a little envious of your large mixer, too, although it looks as if it might be heavy to lug around the house.

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    1. Thanks Amanda, the mixer is certainly too big to move around. Luckily the bowl is reasonably easy to move! x

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  15. I've had to accept I suck at rye sourdough starters and will have to try again. oh well!

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    1. Oh...I have a beautiful little bowl of rye starter. Sending you a virtual piece of it x

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  16. Oh this is the big mixer you were telling me about. It sure looks impressive and would be so very handy for all that bulk making and baking.
    I'm hoping to attempt a batch of those sourdough pancakes this week.
    I've been making a sourdough loaf or two a week lately using spelt flour. They seem very dense even with a rise time of at least 12 hours. Do you bake with spelt flour much?
    x

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    1. I have used spelt flour Zara, but not very successfully. I found it to be expensive and not really my thing. I am ashamed to admit that my family prefer white bread and so that is what I bake! x

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  17. Oh my Jane, what a beast your machine is! One step away from those gigantosaurs in the bakery shows on TV where their machines sit on the floor, and its takes two people to wrestle the giant bowl away!! Seriously though, your post shows a wonderful array of breads, all shapes and sizes. I can nearly smell them through the screen!! Well done. Great looking pancakes too. Cheers, Kirsty

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    1. Thanks so much Kirsty. Thankfully I can lift the bowl on my machine...although it is rather big and awkward :)

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  19. You had me at 'sourdough pancakes' Jane! xx

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    1. Sending you a virtual pancake Kate! x

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  20. Now I am really craving the tangy crusty sourdough! Beautiful. Thanks for sharing & happy May x

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  21. Look at all that beautiful sourdough...aaaah, it really is the good stuff.
    Your mixing is a beast of a machine Jane! 900mm high, wowsers.
    As for blogs that I wish wrote more...Myrtle and Eunice oh how I loved her words!...Actually and Clutterpunk!

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    1. Thanks Brydie, I know you understand this sourdough stuff! x

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  22. All that amazing bread... and that machine, it looks so wonderfully used! I had only made about 3 bread/dough things, but since I have my Thermomix, I now use it all the time to make bread and rolls and all sort of yummy treats! I love the idea of sourdough pancakes and will give this a go! Thanks for sharing! Liz xx

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    1. Thanks Liz, these pancakes are a winner!

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  23. Gorgeous post, Jane! And I'm always interested in how serendipitous our thinking is - I was just thinking the other day, I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to bread, but it's just so comfortable now that I couldn't imagine not baking. Love the look of your bagels (thanks for the linky) and you're so right - more bench space and a spare pair of hands really help with those! Your plaited loaves are fabulous and your big machine is fantastic - and a necessity I reckon given how many hungry mouths you feed! xxx

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    1. Thank you Celia, you have inspired so much of my bread baking x

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  24. What a mixer! I would love to sit and test all of your baked goods.
    Have a super day.,
    :-) Mandy xo

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  25. I love that you have that mixer greeting your guests to your home. it really tells them what your life's all about! and all those beautiful crusty breads - they smell delicious, even from here :-)

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    1. Thank you e, sending you a virtual loaf...straight out of the oven :)

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  26. This is just the post I need! My sourdough starter is quite large these days, and I've been looking for more things to do with it than just bake bread. I love using sourdough and have recently started making sourdough pancakes too. They're way easy than regular pancakes and more flavoursome, I think.
    Sarah x

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    1. Hooray for sourdough pancakes Sarah! x

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  27. Jane, it must smell heavenly in and around your house with all that bread baking going on! Beautiful to look at -- even better to eat. What a fun "greeter" you have in your entry way!

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  28. all i can say is wow! what a mixer! i love it - it is like a work of art and i bet it makes great bread.

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    1. Thanks Sherry, it is a great piece of machinery!

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  29. Those bagels are to die for! I think I must try them immediately. Do they taste like the sourdough bread? I'm looking for new ways to use my starter. Thank you Jane for sharing & inspiring

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    1. Thank you...they do taste like sourdough. Chewy and delicious! Thanks for calling in.

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  30. Love seeing all the different things you've baked with your sourdough starter. We need to start being more adventurous with Pussy Galoaf!

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    1. I love the name of your starter...I am guessing that is the name of your starter!

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  31. Snap! I made Celia's sourdough bagels too. They are divine, even if I do say so myself. You've got tons of great stuff in your kitchen.

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  32. All your breads look fantastic. Love the sourdough bagels and pancakes. That mixer is a real winner, how fantastic that it greets your guests!

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  33. Your bread gets me every single time! Also, I love that you have peak biscuit times ;D xx

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane