Archive for Failures

Pumpernickel bread with sourdough starter

Well, even if this gets filed in the ‘failures’ category, I have learned a few things from this bread-making process, one of them is a tip from “The Big Bang Theory’ episode last night. ‘Pumpernickel’ means ‘fart goblin’ or ‘fart devil’ in German. (see Wiki for more information on the nickname) While my bread didn’t smell like a fart, it didn’t smell like roses, either.

The process
1. Make a sourdough starter
-for 5 days I let a cup of flour and cup of water take in all the micro-organisms from my kitchen and ferment into a sourdough starter.

Kind of cute, right?

2. I then mixed the sourdough starter into a sponge which included carob powder, more flour and water. This sponge was stirred occasionally and let to ferment for 24 hours.

Making the sponge

3. Then I stirred in the remaining ingredients; the remaining rye flour, 4 shots of espresso, molasses and salt. The final texture was hard to get my spoon through but still sticky and moist. This sat for 8 hours.

yeah, I know what it looks like.

4. I poured the dough into a casserole dish and let it sit for 3 hours. Then I baked it at 350F for 2.5 hours. Once complete, the surface was crusty hard and the interior soft and porous.

Ready for heat.

It looks delicious, doesn't it?

The taste, however, ….weird. I originally thought to break out the espresso, carob powder, and molasses just so I could identify what tastes were from which ingredients, oh I wish I had done so.

It tastes bitter, a little dry, and overall…weird. It obviously needed more molasses or perhaps brown sugar. The espresso would make it bitter. I think the carob powder was the main culprit. …it’s not good. I’m not going to use it again. Also, this was a sourdough starter, not active dry yeast from a packet.

This recipe came from Katz’s ‘Wild Fermentation’. First recipe…good texture but I’m going to have to watch his ingredients carefully. In searching online, some suggested cocoa powder but no one suggested carob powder. Lesson learned.


Okra is hard.

Tried to sautee okra in garlic oil for awhile and hoped for the best…not the best result. The okra had a bunch of small peas inside which had an unpleasant texture next to the slimy exterior. I think I need to use okra in stews or gumbos rather than by itself. …it’s a tricky vegetable.

I'll figure them out yet...

Inauguration of the ‘failures’ file: Tamales

A valiant attempt tonight was made to cook cheese and black bean tamales. The recipe was the most simple on the internet and perhaps that was our downfall. For the tamale dough, the recipe only called for masa harina, salt, veggie stock and a little olive oil. After steaming, the dough came out looking pretty and having the right texture, but it tasted like corn flour and nothing else. After some more recipe research, we realized that the addition of lard, spices and/or sour cream might be in order. Future efforts will be better researched!

Perfectly tied by Lisa.

Steamed with melty cheese...looks good, tastes not that great