Friday, January 13, 2012

Hot Sauce and Wild Yeast Update

    Now that I've actually given a few jars of hot sauce to several family members who actually use hot sauce I finally have some feedback.  Chris Kang commented that it had some kick to hit. Considering Chris' gift for understatement I would translate to mean it was pretty darn hot.  Chet and Rachel Arnett also thought it was pretty good.  No one complained that it was too mild.

    I guess with all of that positive feedback I will do it again next year, assuming Terry Johnson has a good  hot pepper crop and feels inclined to drop another bucket of hot peppers in my lap.  I doubt I will go to the trouble of raising hot peppers in my own garden since I am personally not a hot sauce user.  A few days ago I spoke with Terry at the bee store and he told me that the long skinny red peppers were cayenne peppers.  He was unsure of the variety of the fourth type of pepper he had given me, but was pretty sure it was something relatively hot.

    I have been making bread with the wild yeast or levain for about six weeks now.  It has been fairly consistent as far as the "crumb" or interior texture of the bread is concerned.  It has been even textured with no big holes in the middle.  However, it has failed to produce a loaf tall enough to make a decent sandwich.  I suspect I am just not putting in enough dough so I'm going to try increasing the recipe.  I mixed up bread today with a total of 500 grams of flour and 400 grams of water.  Due to the increased volume I am going to try adding 5 minutes to the bake time.  I also read in another bread book that you can increase oven spring and get a lighter loaf by basting the crust with water immediately before it goes into the oven.  I'm going to give that a try as well.

    If anyone is interested in trying out my wild yeast starter, just let me know and I'll be happy to grow a little extra to share.  I've already given starters to my daughters Sarah and Rachel who both live in Oregon.  I'm assuming this blog has a limited readership and I won't be overwhelmed with yeast requests...

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