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instant yeast

thank you, everyone, for your help. I'll try to remember to post a picture of my bread when I do bake it; I haven't used commercial yeast in months, but my aunt asked me for a bread I don't bake with sourdough. cheers!

Feb 01, 2010
gabriel sanders in San Francisco Bay Area

instant yeast

thanks for everyone's help so far. I should have mentioned that I'm interested in buying it in considerable quantity. I remember buying a 1 pound bag od SAF Instant for around $5, so the idea of buying Fleischman's packets is tough to stomach. Maybe Safeway has it in that kind of quantity as well; does anyone specifically know of a place I can find that? BTW, I will check Safeway tonight after work.

Feb 01, 2010
gabriel sanders in San Francisco Bay Area

instant yeast

has anyone seen instant yeast for sale in San Francisco? to clarify, when I say "instant," I mean the fine, dry yeast that can be stored at room temperature and does not need to be rehydrated prior to use. I haven't done a ton of research, but at least I know that Rainbow doesn't have it. if anyone has a good source for it or has seen it somewhere in the city, I'd love to know!

Feb 01, 2010
gabriel sanders in San Francisco Bay Area

lactic acid plus baking soda equals...

Ah ha, I suspected that might be the case. The bread has come out saltier than I expected a couple of times, one time in particular when it was not noticeably sour and almost inedibly salty. That helps explain it; maybe sticking with mostly/all baking powder is my best bet here. Thanks for the chemistry help!

Jan 31, 2010
gabriel sanders in Home Cooking

lactic acid plus baking soda equals...

So if I'm reading this right, there are no products of the reaction except for water and CO2, so the only effect on flavor should be to make the bread less sour. Cool; I was worried that lactic acid plus baking soda might yield some funky salts in addition to CO2.

In case anyone's interested, when I made this last night, it came out great. Here's what I did:

Starter: 1/3 whole wheat starter @75%, 1/3 stone ground cornmeal, 1/3 water.

I let this ferment for 2-3 hours, until it was moderately sour and bubbling lightly.

I beat 2T ground flaxseeds with 6T water, and stirred that into the starter with 3T extra virgin olive oil.

To this batter I added 1/4C AP whole wheat flour, 1T light brown sugar, 1t salt, 1/2t baking soda and 2t baking powder.

I lightly oiled a cast iron skillet (10") which had been preeated in the 400F oven, poured the battter in, and baked until it was golden on top and completely set, about 45 min.

It's delicious.

Jan 31, 2010
gabriel sanders in Home Cooking

Hippie Soup Recipes?

I think that part of what defines a hippie soup is that it has some of most of what you have in your pantry, and doesn't use a recipe. It never turns out quite the same twice.

I think the best way to go is learn to improvise soups, which is not all that hard. You can do it by trial and error (you will have to, to some degree), but there are also good guides out there. One place you might start is Mark Bittman's book <i>How to Cook Everything Vegetarian</i>, which has a good basic discussion of improvising soups (veggie ones, obviously). Bittman is no hippie, but he has sound advice for learning to create good soups out of what's available.

Also, a bunch of cumin makes most things taste pretty good.

Jan 30, 2010
gabriel sanders in Home Cooking

lactic acid plus baking soda equals...

I'm looking for information about the way baking soda's reaction to an acid effects the final flavor of quick breads. I am more of a bread baker, and I am experimenting with quick breads. What I'm trying to bake is a sourdough cornbread, elaborating my wild yeast culture with cornmeal, then using the resulting starter as the base of a cornbread batter, with the lactic acid from the culture reacting with the baking soda.

Here's my basic formula:

Starter:

Whole wheat mother starter (75% hydration): 1/3
Stoneground cornmeal 1/3
Water 1/3

Final hydration is a little less than 100%, similar to a batter.

To this I add 1T brown sugar, 1t baking soda, 1t salt, 1/3C oil (I'm trying out EVOO) and 2T ground flax seeds beaten with 6T water (roughly equivalent to 2 eggs).

When I've done it before, I've felt as though the final bread is less sour than the starter was before mixing the batter. I'm wondering if this is because the baking soda neutralizes some of the acid.

How much of an noticeable effect on acidity of the final baked good does baking soda have? Would subbing part or all baking powder keep the quick bread more sour?

I would love any thoughts people have, or ideas about this basic formula in general!

Jan 30, 2010
gabriel sanders in Home Cooking