Monthly Archives: April 2012

Limoncello – Part 2

Limoncello Part 2I had kind of forgotten about the limoncello over the last couple of weeks. I’m bad about remembering to write things down and put labels on projects with dates, so I couldn’t recall exactly how long it had been since I started the batch. The good thing about starting the blog for these types of projects is I just had to look at the date from the previous post. It turns out it had been exactly four weeks, which was a good time to check in on its progress.

At this point it sort of tastes like lemony fire. The Everclear has definitely extracted a lot of lemon flavor, but it’s extremely harsh. I am surprised, though, at how clear it is right now. I know the last time I made a batch of limoncello it was almost impossible to get it clear, even after straining many times. I’m not sure if it’s more clear this time due to the Everclear, or maybe grating the lemons with the microplane kept the lemon pith out which contributed to the murkiness the last time around.

Considering that it will have to be diluted quite a bit to make it palatable, at the moment I don’t think it has quite enough lemon flavor. So I decided to add some extra lemon zest. As strong as the Everclear is, I don’t think there’s much danger of it being too lemony.  I zested 8 more large organic lemons to add to the mix. That gave me a pile of zest that weighed right at 20 grams. So it’s up to about 60 grams of zest total right now.

Limoncello Part 2

I added this zest in and gave it a good shake and put it back in the cabinet. I’ll check in on it again in another month or so and see how it’s doing.

 

Wholewheat Sourdough

Weekly Bread #1 – Whole Wheat Sourdough

Wholewheat Sourdough

I’ve been working with my sourdough starter for the last few months and trying to bake at least one loaf a week. Usually I tweak at least one thing every time I make a loaf. Sometimes more than one thing, so the results haven’t been very consistent. But I thought it would be good to come up with a solid baseline loaf and document that so I have something to use as a comparison for future experiments.

I like the flavor from adding some whole wheat to the dough, but it can make the dough a lot heavier. I’ve found that adding more 20% whole wheat flour (as a percentage of total flour) makes it denser than I care for, making it difficult for the nooks and crannies to develop that are found in any decent sourdough loaf. Adding a bit of gluten seems to help.

The main difficulties I’ve had in producing a consistent loaf are a decent rise in the oven, getting those nooks and crannies to form, and getting a deep brown and crispy crust to form. So I’ve been implementing some techniques that seem to be helping in these areas. Continue reading