Loaf 22

Wholemeal Spelt and white sourdough (****)

1850 (premix)

  • 100g starter
  • 80g strong white flour (M&S organic)
  • 80g water

Taking care not to get flour round the sides. But after 5 seconds of kneading soon realised the futility of trying to do this.

1837

Menu 32 – pizza dough

1922

Menu 30 – rest

2126 to 2132 (main mix)

  • 75g wholemeal spelt (Gilchesters)
  • 75g strong wholemeal flour (Marriage’s)
  • 250g strong white flour (M&S organic)
  • 3g salt
  • 20g EVOO
  • 260g water

On to menu 32 (pizza dough). Let if finish.

2218

overnight on timer on menu 10 (French)

All good.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Loaf 21

Easy Ciabatta (****)

Not a sourdough this time. Looking for something as soft as possible. So went with the Easy Ciabatta (Menu 12) program overnight on timer. I took a hunch on tweaking some of the quantities in the hope of making the loaf softer but it didn’t make much difference. In fact if anything it made it crustier.

  • 500g strong white flour (M&S organic)
  • 40g EVOO (recipe states 3tbsp)
  • squeeze (quite a big one) of syrup
  • 5g salt
  • 340g water (up from 310g in recipe)
  • 1tsp dried yeast

overnight on the timer on menu 12.

Turned out fine. More crusty than expected, and after all the sourdough loaves to go suddenly to an all white non-sourdough was a bit bland.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Loaf 20

Wholemeal and white sourdough (*****)

Now that I have a fairly reliable baseline I’m interested in cutting back on the white flour and increasing the spelt, or wholemeal. For this one the plan is to swap the spelt for wholemeal.

premix

  • 85g starter
  • 85g strong white flour (M&S organic)
  • 85g water

This is the actual order I added them as I find the starter can be a bit unpredictable for weighing and I don’t want to actually have to concentrate too much. It’s easier to match the flour and water to whatever jumps out of the starter jar.

1653

Menu 32 and let it run for a while. While it’s doing that refresh the starter. I’m fairly relaxed and unscientific about this. Sometimes I even use scales. As long as it looks and smells good. Nudge the proportions if it looks too thick or runny.

  • 50g rye wholemeal (Doves Organic)
  • 40g water (tap warm)

Stir the starter and leave it while menu 32 completes.

1743

The pizza program has finished and I’m not sure what to think. There seems to be a fair bit of unmixed white flour around the sides. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t usually happen. I’ll need to see if it shows in the older photos. What could cause this? Well I’ve changed two things: 1. I used the 45 minutes pizza dough program (menu 32) instead of 1 hour on the rustic sourdough program (menu 29) and 2. I changed the order I added the premix ingredients. Starter first as it’s thick and sometimes slurps out and gives an untidy weight.

I’d planned at this point to put it on menu30 for a couple of hours, but instead to give it some more kneading. So I put it on menu 29 to see if it mixed in any more of the flour.

1857

Just under an hour on menu 29 and no noticeable sign of anything looking much different. Hopefully it’s not overworked the mix. Next, on to menu 30 for a couple of hours.

Around 9’ish pm
  • 200g wholemeal flour (Marriage’s organic stoneground – first time I’ve used this)
  • 200g strong white flour (M&S organic)
  • 250g water
  • 4g salt
  • 20g extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

20 minutes on menu 32 (actually 18 minutes seems to be how much kneading before the middle rise phase). After 20 minutes no sign of any flour round the sides, but lots more ingredients in the pan so not sure that means a lot.

Overnight the timer on menu 10.

Result

I was nearly 2 hours late tipping this one out so the base was a little damp, but it will dry out fine.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Loaf 19

Spelt and white sourdough (*****)

Now I have what is looking like a reliable baseline recipe and a workflow that suits me (starter straight from the fridge and overnight bake on timer), perhaps it’s safe to experiment. Not so much with the timings and method, but a little on the ingredients. Cut back a little on the salt. Fine with the EVOO; I think it’s a healthy addition, although I’m not sure what difference it makes to texture or ‘shelf life’. Since a lot of what drives this is health and a desire to minimise UPF, I’m going to tweak in favour of the wholegrain, a bit less salt, a bit less white.

This was last night’s loaf. The timings are getting a bit easier now. Fitting in quite nicely with other commitments, like having a cup of tea, watching Gardeners’ World and going to bed. Ok, GW finished last week, but the fundamental timings are sound. They work well for me.

Timings

At some time during the evening, timing not crucial, get the starter out the fridge, at around, say …

6pm

  • 80g strong white flour (going with 80g instead of 75g because I like round numbers)
  • 80g water (warmish from tap)
  • 88g starter (straight from the fridge)

Note for next time: Now that I’m keeping and using starter straight from fridge, it’s nice and thick and easier to spoon straight into the pan (as outlined in Elly’s YouTube video), it’s also trickier to get precise amounts and weights, especially if you’re as sloppy as I am. And as I like a bit of symmetry in this bit, next time I’m going to put the starter in first, then however much slops in, I’ll match that with water and flour. Might even try wholegrain next time too.

Set it off on menu 29. It’s a 2½ hour program but has a pause after an hour. Which seems about fine. Might try Pizza dough menu next time (let it run its 45 minutes) and see how that works out.

While that’s twirling away refresh starter. What I’m trying here is refreshing the starter with however amounts seem about right, then leaving it on worktop at room temperature while machine is working.

7pm

The slightly anti-climactic bit where menu 29 has a siesta. Give the starter a sniff and stir, then put back in fridge. Cancel Menu 29 and reset it to Menu 30. Pretty much, nothing happening followed by nothing else happening. Menu 30, left to its own devices, is a 24 hour 30℃ snooze, but I give it a 2 hour nap.

9pm

Cancel menu 30.

Now some tweaks to the baseline recipe. To the mix, add …

  • 200g wholemeal spelt (Gilchesters organic) (increased)
  • 230g strong white flour (M&S Organic) (decreased)
  • 250g water (decreased)
  • 3g salt (decreased)
  • 20g EVOO (increased)

Nothing particularly scientific going on here. A preference for simple rounder numbers and a tweak in favour of wholegrain and downvoting the salt. EVOO is, in general I think, a good thing, and worth having in there.

On to menu 32 for a bit. Menu 32 is the pizza dough menu and lasts 45 minutes, with a pause in the middle. I must pay more attention to the display in future, because I’m pretty sure it does switch from knead to rise somewhere on the journey.

Another tip I’ve picked up from Elly’s YouTube video is to be unafraid of looking in (although it always feels a bit voyeuristic) on the dough and nudging bits back into the mix if they’re looking a bit left out.

It’s a bit irrational but I don’t like cancelling the menu in mid twirl, and it always seems more, ‘appropriate’, to wait for a dignified break in the performance. Which seemed to be about 20 minutes in.

20 minutes later …

Time for bed. On to menu 10 on the timer overnight.

The next morning …

Pretty pleased with this. Often a bit of experimentation goes wrong. I like the thick tasty crust but curious if its possible to make it softer/thinner. But all good.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Loaf 18

Spelt and white sourdough (*****)

Three in a row. This is a good baseline. Works fine with starter straight from the fridge. (This is using Elly’s The EASIEST, no-fuss sourdough starter maintenance method. No discard (YouTube video) approach to looking after starter.) And quite tolerant of wobbly measurements too. This was done in a bit of haste after coming back from a nice meal in town.

Rough Timeline …

1830

  • 75g starter – straight from the fridge
  • 75g strong white flour (M & S Organic)
  • 75g water (warm from the tap)

Onto menu 29 while I refresh the starter … It’s looking a bit runny so around 40g rye flour and 30g water – a good stir and leave it on the bunker worktop for a bit.

1930

An hour on menu 29 takes it neatly into the middle rest bit between kneads and is a good time to stop it. On to menu 30 for a couple of hours while I head out. (I forgot this 2 hour rest bit in loaf 17 and it didn’t seem to make any difference).

2200

Back from a nice meal in town and time to add the other ingredients, a quick blast on the pizza dough setting, then overnight on the timer. Quantities are not as precise as they could have been (that’ll be the Peroni).

To the mix, add:

  • 191g wholemeal spelt (Gilchesters organic)
  • 261g strong white flour (M&S Organic)
  • 263g water
  • 5g salt
  • 18g EVOO

On to menu 32 for 20-30 minutes. I do this by eye. Basically, does it look right?

Then overnight on the timer on menu 10.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Loaf 17

Well I’m not going to put this up there with penicillin, but, that was unexpected. I would have been perfectly content with a repeat of loaf 16, but I lost the place somewhere, and it did not end well. I’ll try and remember the steps.

I’d decided I was going to use this loaf as the time to adopt Elly’s The EASIEST, no-fuss sourdough starter maintenance method. No discard approach to looking after my starter, which has just passed its first month birthday. I’d kept it in the fridge last night and the plan was to use it straight from the fridge into the recipe. Quite runny though. I thought the fridge might thicken it up a little. I need to nudge my flour/water proportions a little.

Ingredients

Stage 1

  • 75g rye sourdough starter
  • 75g strong white flour (M&S organic)
  • 86g water (wobble)

Stage 2

  • 180g wholemeal spelt (Gilchesters organic)
  • 245g strong white flour (M&S Organic)
  • 255g water (hot tap – warm to touch)
  • 5g salt
  • 15 EVOO
  • squeeze syrup

Method

This got very untidy. Here’s the timeline.

  1. 1915 – Onto menu 29 for a bit. Will check after 10 minutes while I start transferring starter to new Weck jar. New empty Weck jar weighs 396g (let’s call it 400g); handy to know so if I ever weigh it I know how much starter I have. I have 127g existing starter, and it’s a bit runny, so will (unusually for me), weigh this out. Perhaps 40g rye flour and only 20g water. Chuck it in the Weck jar with the existing starter. An awful lot sticks to the spoon. I read on the Cotswold Flour website (while I was looking for the fabled Cotswold Crunch that everyone seems to be raving about) that you should always wash your spoon in cold water, and, anyway, where was I … A lot more than 10 minutes have gone by, and I like round numbers, and Menu 29 seems to have a rest in the middle between kneads, so might as well give it the hour.
  2. 2015 – OK, at this point I should’ve put the machine on menu 30 and let things rest for a couple of hours. But I was a bit distracted and forgot to do this and went straight on to the next bit. I added the stage 2 ingredients and put the machine onto menu 32 (pizza dough). I did this bit visually; 10 minutes doesn’t seem to mix it enough so I gave it about 20-30 minutes.
  3. 2045 – What’s done is done. On to menu 10 (French) overnight on the timer.

Notes

I was not optimistic, but what can I say. Possibly the best one yet.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Loaf 16

Spelt and white sourdough (*****)

There’s an intriguing recipe in the Panasonic Bread Maker Recipe Group UK & Ireland Facebook Group about making a Spelt sourdough loaf. I’m going to give it a try, the only difference being I’m going to try do the whole thing in the machine. It’s based on a recipe from the experience-fresh.panasonic.eu website. As I don’t want to get my hands messy I’m going to try the whole thing in the machine, beginning to end.

Ingredients

Stage 1

  • 80g rye sourdough starter (was meant to be 75g but wobbled)
  • 80g strong white flour (M&S organic) (meant to be 75g but matching starter quantities)
  • 80g water

Stage 2

  • 200g wholemeal spelt (Gilchesters organic) (wobble from 180g)
  • 250g strong white flour (M&S Organic) (wobble from 245g)
  • 6g salt
  • 260g water
  • forgot the EVOO again

Method (setup)

Instead of mixing the initial ingredients in a bowl, I put them in the bread machine and switched it on Menu 29 (rustic sourdough) for an hour. After an hour is when this program seems to have a little lie down. Then onto Menu 30 for a couple of hours to prove at 30℃.

Here was my timeline, which worked pretty well for the overnight bake.

  1. 1930 – stage 1 ingredients into machine. Menu 29 (sourdough dough) for an hour.
  2. 2030 – Menu 30 (sourdough starter) for two hours
  3. 2230 – Add stage 2 ingredients. 20 minutes or so on menu 32 (pizza dough).
  4. 2300 – Menu 10 (French) on overnight timer.

There wasn’t a noticeable rise after the two hours on menu 30 but the look and smell was good.

Notes

This one looks like a keeper. A few tweaks on timing (and did I forget to add EVOO, and does it matter?). But this is a good base to get right for experimentation.

Next step is repeat this success, and also I’m going to try Elly’s approach to maintaining a sourdough starter. As she says 3:27 minutes in, If that approach appeals to you, give it a try. Well, her approach appeals to me, and I’m going to give it a try!

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Loaf 15

White sourdough (**)

Dentist, Garage and Pliability in the way today … Timing might be strange.

Ingredients

  • 100g rye starter
  • 460g strong white flour (M&S organic)
  • 340g water
  • 5g salt
  • squeeze syrup
  • EVOO (I can’t remember if I put any in. I’ve a feeling I didn’t)

Method (setup)

  1. ~0700 – On Menu 29 for a bit.
  2. ~0750 – It’s had about 35 minutes. Got Pliability now. Onto Menu 30
  3. ~1022 – Not risen a huge amount. It’s had about 2½ hours and I’ve got to go to the dentist now. And I want this for lunchtime, so on to Menu 18 for full hour and half.
  4. 1155 – Looks OK.

Notes

Seems OK. I put a blob of syrup on top before baking and it’s run down the side again. Probably shouldn’t do this. It really didn’t look like it rose much at all during the Menu 30 proof.

Standard Footnotes

Breadmaker is SD-ZX2522 (discontinued) (Instruction Manual)

Most used program menus
Abbreviations sometimes used
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • swf – Strong White Flour
  • wmf – wholemeal flour
  • M32, M30 – Menu 32, Menu 30 etc …
Other bits

Sourdough Review

The story so far …

Out of 14 loaves so far almost all have been edible, although six, eight and ten were pretty borderline. All tasty though. Main problem has been dense texture.

The Panasonic Bread Maker Recipe Group UK & Ireland Facebook Group has nudged me into some re-reading, and re-reading mygreekdish.com I note the advice to be light on the knead time. Perhaps I’ve been letting it knead too long, and perhaps I’ve been leaving it to proof (proof? prove?) too long.

The main take-away so far for me is that it’s best to do it all manually. Ideas of leaving things overnight leave too much out of control. I’m pretty sure all the bake programs rest the dough at 30℃ until the program starts in earnest which leaves a lot of indeterminate rise time where, I’m pretty sure, the dough has risen, then slumped again. Perhaps this is why the timer option on the Sourdough Bake program is reduced from the default 12 to 9 hours.

I do like the idea of Menu 30 though. It’s a controlled 30℃ environment. You’re not vulnerable to fluctuations in room temperature.

Anyway, onwards, to loaf 15 …