I may need to rethink my (admittedly superstitious) stance on the number 14. You see, Saturday morning I set myself up for a couple food-related disappointments but… they never materialized. Oh happy day! Let’s backtrack to Thursday when, spurred by my success with the previous week’s loaf, I decided to be daring and try out one of Girl Meets Rye‘s recipes, specifically her Bird Seed Bread.
(If you haven’t checked it out, her blog is really beautifully photographed and — if you’re me — kind of intimidating on the bread front, but in the very best way.)
So, uh, I had a bit of an Oven Fail here. I’d had my doubts when reading the instructions in the recipe*, but went with the suggestion and… pulled a horribly blackened loaf-lump from the oven about 10 minutes before we had to leave. I stuck a thermometer in it, and got a reading of about 100C — way too low a temperature for cooked bread — so I left it on the stovetop in its cast-iron “pan”, figuring I’d come home and compost it then. I can’t even express how delighted I was when I got back and sawed into it to see that, despite the extremely charred top and bottoms and low temperature reading, the inside was totally fine!
* I’m still not sure if there’s a typo, or I should just adjust for my oven, to be honest.
Woohoo! So did I follow her recipe? Umm, no. I wanted to halve the quantity, and couldn’t be bothered to mill my own millet flour, so my modifications are below. If you’re wondering why I used twice the starter recommended, it’s because 11g is how much the splot of Fran that came off the spoon weighed, and I figured it was A Sign so I didn’t mess with it.
11g starter (no idea what % hydration Fran is at)
75g whole-wheat flour
Mix together; leave overnight.
Next day, mix together:
170g AP flour
15g whole-wheat flour
25g kamut flour (why? because it’s yellow like millet. seriously.)
40g toasted millet, soaked overnight and drained*
Allow this to auto-lyse for an hour or so, then knead in 6g salt, making sure it’s well distributed. After that, do the fold-and-turn thing for awhile. I think I did it every 45 minutes over 3-4 hours or so. I really don’t know. (Sorry.) After that, I wrapped it into a ball, and put it in the fridge until this morning.
The bread had about 3 hours to warm up to room temperature. I preheated the oven (and a cast-iron pot) at 500F. Sadly when I tried to flip the dough into the pan (to land with the seam-side up) something went horribly awry and the side of the bread ended up Up. Slashes inside a pot are difficult, so I grabbed kitchen shears and hastily snipped; definitely not my best bread-slashing effort. I threw it back in the oven alongside a handful of ice cubes, and let it bake.
The recipe advises to bake at 500F for 15 minutes, turn it down to 475 for 15, then somewhere between 450-475 until it’s done. If I were doing this again, I’d preheat at 500F but turn it down to 475 as soon as it’s in, reducing to 375 or 400 after 15 minutes. Also I’d keep a closer eye on it.
* I’m not sure how I feel about the soaking of the millet. Other recipes I’ve tried that involve baking millet use it dry, so the little yellow grains lend crunchy pops and I was kind of expecting that with this bread. Instead, the soaking softened the millet enough that they’re not crunchy… but they’re also not soft enough to just kind of blend into the chewiness of the loaf. If I tried this again, I’d either want to put them in dry, or soak them longer (maybe heat them a little?) to get them softer.
Still, I got some tasty weekend toast bread out of it… and that’s not all! Since I had a jar of uber-fed Fran on my hands, I also decided to try out the recipe for sourdough pancakes on my fridge.
Not bad! To me they tasted like kind of a weird cross between English muffin and pancake. The Boy expressed (as I predicted he would) his preference for “the other” pancakes I make. This doesn’t narrow it down much, as over the past two years, I have experimented with well over 12 different recipes, but I’m pretty sure I know which one his favourite is.
Would I do the sourdough flapjacks again? Probably not; despite their tiny size, they took a surprisingly long time to cook through. I am interested in trying out the sourdough banana bread though, so I’ll let y’all know how that goes once I try it.