Sourdough Bread

What better way to enjoy honey than on a fresh slice of sourdough bread? Here are some of my favorite sourdough bread recipes.


Sourdough, Five Grain White

Ingredients

290 grams purified/filtered water (about 1&¼ cups)

140 grams sourdough starter

15 grams honey

10 grams olive oil

300 grams white bread flour  
100 grams whole wheat flour
60 grams Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain rolled hot cereal mix

⅛ tsp. bread machine yeast

      
1 1/2 tsp. salt  * 8.5 grams

Yield: 1 Loaf

Instructions: Dissolve the starter, honey and olive oil into purified/filtered water.

Add the dry ingredients including yeast and stir until the water is incorporated, about 20 strokes.  DO NOT NEED at this point.

Cover and let rest (autolyze) for 2 hours.

Add the salt with  ½ tsp. of water (to help it dissolve). Lift and fold the dough over itself several times, and squish with your hands to incorporate. The dough will tear slightly as you fold, and the salt will not fully dissolve. Don’t worry- this is normal. Work the dough as best you can until it comes back together into a rough ball. At this point, you shouldn’t feel any grains of salt beneath your hands.  This is a really wet dough.

(See Schedule for detailed instructions)  Cover with plastic and let sit roughly 10-14 hours at room temperature (~ 68 – 72F).

Punch down and transfer to a well-floured towel or proofing basket.  (I have not tried the towel.  I think it would spread out way to flat if you did it that way.  I am using a floured proofing basket.) 

Here is the proofing basket I use (from Amazon)

Cover with wax paper or a towel and let rise about 8 hours – or – up to 3 days in the fridge.  Bake in a covered La Cloche or Dutch oven preheated to 475 degrees for 25 minutes (French Bread pan max 450 degrees).

Remove cover; reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes.  Internal temp should reach 185 to 200 degrees when you remove the cover.  Let cool completely on rack (at least 1 hour).

Schedule:

DAY 1 

6:00 AM (before work)

Take the starter out of the fridge and add flour and water (about 100 grams total).  

Leave at room temperature for 9 to 13 hours. 

6:00 PM (after work)

Mix dough without salt and let autolyze for 2 hours.

Feed starter about 40 grams total and return starter to the fridge.

8:00 PM

 Add salt with a little water and mix in.  

If yeast was not used, cover and leave at room temperature for 10 hours.  

If yeast used then you need to watch it and only rise a few hours before 

putting in the fridge.

DAY 2

6:00 AM (The next morning) 

Punch down and transfer to a well-floured proofing basket. 

Cover and put dough in the fridge from 10 hours up to 3 days.

DAY 2 to 4

6:00 PM (day 2)

Remove dough from fridge, 

Let rise at room temp for 1-4 hours.

Bake.


Variations:

Yield: 1 Loaf: 57 Percent Whole Grain

Ingredients

290 grams purified/filtered water (about 1&¼ cups)

140 grams sourdough starter

15 grams honey

10 grams olive oil

200 grams white bread flour   
200 grams whole wheat flour
60 grams 10 grain flour

⅛ tsp. bread machine yeast

      
1 1/2 tsp. salt  * 8.5 grams

Yield: 1 Loaf: Two Thirds White

Ingredients

290 grams purified/filtered water (about 1&¼ cups)

140 grams sourdough starter

15 grams honey

10 grams olive oil

300 grams white bread flour     
100 grams whole wheat flour
60 grams 10 grain flour

⅛ tsp. bread machine yeast

      
1 1/2 tsp. salt  * 8.5 grams

Yield: 1 Loaf: Half Rye Ingredients

290 grams purified/filtered water (about 1&¼ cups)

140 grams sourdough starter

15 grams honey

10 grams olive oil

230 grams white bread flour      
230 grams Rye flour 

⅛ tsp. bread machine yeast

       
1 1/2 tsp. salt  * 8.5 grams

Yield: 1 Loaf: Half 10 Grain Ingredients

290 grams purified/filtered water (about 1&¼ cups)

140 grams sourdough starter

15 grams honey

10 grams olive oil

230 grams white bread flour
230 grams 10 grain flour 

⅛ tsp. bread machine yeast

          
1 1/2 tsp. salt  * 8.5 grams

Bee Forage and Permaculture Swales

In 2016 I started on a project to add swales to my property to hold some water when it rains and give it time to soak in rather than running off. On the downhill side of the swales I planted Aronia berries where they can take advantage of the extra moisture. Above the swales I planted yellow sweet clover and white sweet clover so the nitrogen they add to the soil will work its way down the hill, into the swales and to the roots of the Aronia berry bushes. In the wetter side of the swales I planted a pollinator habitat seed mix designed for wet areas and in between the Aronia berry bushes and the downhill side of the swales I planted normal pollinator habitat seed mix. The pollinator seed mix and the sweet clover both offer nectar and pollen for my honeybees and the native pollinators in the area. 

One of the biggest permaculture principles is stacking functions.  The plantings 1) hold the soil in place, 2) keep the weeds down, 3) provide food for my bees and native pollinators, 4) add nitrogen to the soil in the case of the clovers, 5) provide seeds for birds and other wildlife and 6) look attractive.  This is in addition to the Aronia berries and wildflowers I can harvest for personal use or for sale.

The most labor-intensive part of this project was making the swales.  After marking the location on contour with an “A” frame level, the swales were created with a road grader blade on the 3 point of a tractor.  The blade is angled steeply to one side so that it digs the soil out on the uphill side and dumps it out on the downhill side.  This goes a little beyond what the blade was designed for but if you make multiple passes and remove a little soil each time it works really well.  

Making the swales with a tractor:

Making the swales with a tractor:

The first and second year required quit a bit of time cutting the weeds down with a weed wacker. I also mowed the wildflower patches, about 6 inches high, Three times the first year and twice the second year.

This is three years after planting the swales:

T’was the night before Christmas

My friend and beekeeper buddy Marita worked this up last Christmas eve.  I thought it would make a good first blog post for my new website.  I hope you enjoy it and I hope Santa brings you some new bees this spring!

T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the hive
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Because the mouse guards had been installed with care
    In hopes to protect all the bees that were there.
The bees were nestled all snug in their hive,
    While visions of nectar danced in the dreams of their lives.
And the Queen in her kingdom and the rest of us in the brood,
    Had just settled down for a long winter’s snooze.
When up on the top of the super, there arose such a clatter
    I sprang from my honeycomb to see what was the matter.
Away to the top board I flew like a flash,
    Tore open the propolis as I made my fast dash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
    Gave me a worry that I should be below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
    But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
    I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick
More rapid than Yellow Jacks his courses they came,
    And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Dasher! ‘now Dancer! ‘now Prancer and Vixen!
    On, Comet! ‘on Cupid! ‘on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the hive! To the top of the hive cover.
    Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves make the honeybee fly,
    When they meet with an obstacle, they mount to the sky,
So up to the hive top the courses they flew.
     With a sleigh full of candy boards, and St. Nicholas too.
And then with, in a twinkling, I heard on the hive cover
    The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around
    Down the inner board St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
    And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of honeycomb he had flung on his back,
    And he looked like a beekeeper just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! ‘his dimples how merry!
    His cheeks were like roses, that had pollen to be carried.
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
    And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The smoker he carried he had gotten from Dadant
    And the smoke it calmed me in an in-stant.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
    That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of Royal Jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
    And I could tell in a moment he had eaten plenty of our stuff.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
    Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
    And filled all the empty foundation cells, and turned with a jerk.
And laying a finger aside his smoke filled nose,
    And giving a nod, up the inner cover board he arose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
    And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
    MERRY CHRISTMAS to all, and to all a good-winter night!
See you all in the spring next year,
    Bee cause that is the real reason
For a Merry Christmas and a
    Happy Blessed Start for a New Year.

A Original work by Clement Clarke Moore on 23rd December 1823
Bee alteration by Marita Turner 24th December 2015
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