Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sour Hit and Miss

The second day of my “sour projects” has been finished.  Sunday I baked my sourdough bread and finished some marmalade from the sour oranges picked from my tree.  The bread is a hit – total bulls eye – despite the fact that I made a mistake in the mixing method.  The marmalade is a miss – I’m not even sure it made it to the target.

not very attractive, but very tasty
The bread:  Using this recipe from King Arthur Flour, I made two slightly unattractive loaves of sourdough bread.  (One thing I like about most of the recipes from KAF is that you can view them by volume or weight in both ounces and grams.)  The instructions say to mix the starter with some water and part of the flour.  Oops.  I dumped ALL of the flour in.  Instead of tossing it and starting over, I figured I’d just go with it and see what happened. 

grilled cheese fixin's

Beyond that point, I followed the directions for letting it rest at room temperature for four hours and then refrigerating it overnight.  The next day, I had to knead in the sugar, salt and citric acid (I used 1/4 teaspoon), making sure that it was incorporated throughout my dough.  At first the dough was really gritty, but it did smooth out.  I baked the loaves on preheated baking stones for 25 minutes.  The next time I will go the full 30 as the crust could have been a bit darker. 

lunch for one, please

Overall though, given such a large mistake in the beginning, Tug and I were both happy with how the bread turned out.  We’ve been eating sourdough toast for the last couple of days and today for lunch I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich with the homemade sourdough, some extra-sharp white cheddar and slices of Pink Lady apple.  Very tasty.
Now the marmalade:  By the time I finished slicing all of the oranges, I had such a quantity that there was way to much for the pan I had.  I made eight cups into marmalade and have six cups waiting.  After I got started, I realized I didn’t have enough sugar.  I had about 6-1/4 cups when I needed about 8 cups.  This didn’t necessarily bother me as I ordinarily don’t use the full amount of sugar when making marmalade.  However, these tart little buggers needed every bit and possibly then some. 

Beyond the fact that it doesn’t have enough sugar, it’s slightly burnt.  In the middle of getting to the gelling point, Tug called me and said our neighbors needed my assistance.  (A bird had gotten into their chimney and was in their wood burning stove.  They don’t do birds and know that I am a friend of pretty much anything with feathers.  This is not the first time they’ve called me for such a rescue mission.)  While I did shut the burner off, I didn’t think to remove the pot from the burner.  And since our glass top stove holds heat so well, I came back to scorched marmalade.  It doesn’t taste scorched, but it’s quite dark.  Now I have to figure out what I’m going to do with six jars of very dark, extremely tart orange marmalade.

And now I’ve discovered that maybe they’re not the calamondin oranges I thought they were, but perhaps, in fact, Rangpur limes.  What ever they are, I'm beginning to think they’re more ornamental than useful!


  1. I think your tart marmalade would be great in a sweet n' sour dish or as a basting sauce ,or even a marinade !

  2. Those sound like great ideas - thanks! Maybe once I stop thinking about it as "orange marmalade" and more like a "tart lime sauce" more ideas will come to me. I hope.


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