Because I am brilliant I decided to try an interesting and complex recipe first. Three pepper cajun sourdough, also from breadtopia. This is a pic of the dough.
We took pics of the bread, but with Drox's real camera so I don't have those pics. The bread turned out ok. A bit heavier than I wanted, but VERY tasty. This was made Fri-Sat (March 23-24). Sourdough has to rise for 18 hours!
Next I decided to try a basic white sourdough bread. I checked out some books from the library and this recipe is from Artisan Breads by Eric Kastel. They use the term Artisan very loosely because really it should be breads that only have water, salt, flour, yeast/sourdough in them and some f theirs are fancied up. Here is it rising on Wed the 28th after it was shaped into loaves.
And the white sourdough baked on the 29th.
"Crumb" is the word used to describe the inside texture and air hole spaces on bread. Here is a blurry pic of the crumb of the basic sourdough. It has holes, which shows the sourdough was doing something. But not very tall.
Next I made "White Mountain" bread from Beth's Basic Bread Book. It's just plain-ish white bread for Brent to make sandwiches. It has milk and honey in it so there is extra flavor.
Next decided to be adventuresome again and made garlic cheese sourdough. From the Artisan Bread book. I started it yesterday morning and baked it this morning. I think I didn't let the sourdough sit out long enough before using it, because it didn't rise super well, but it has ok crumb and tastes good.
Last night I also started the "poolish" for English muffins. You let part of the flour, yeast, and water sit out overnight before you make them. The below pic is of the muffins after they were toasted in a pan. You toast them before baking them to get the color. As you can see I didn't have the right heat figured out at first so some are sad and pale... The book freaked me out with it's warnings about not overcooking them.
This is some of the paler ones after baking.
Same tray as 2 pics above after baking.
Crumb of an untoasted muffin.
Crumb of a tosted muffin. My poolish apparently worked well because they are fluffy and have proper holes like store bought ones. Only mine are light more like Australian Toaster Biscuits, but better flavor.
I have decided that I am not buying bread for the rest of the year! I realize time is valuable, blah, blah, blah, but I like my bread and breaks from studying are good! And when you consider how dang much fancy Artisan bread costs at the store even with counting my time, my bread is less expensive.