Bread - Number 12: Did not get to taste it, but manage to see the room for improvement anyway
Dedicated to my co-workers, who are always willing to taste and compliment homemade goodies whenever they are offered.
Brought this bread into my office and left it in the kitchen with my bread knife and the strawberry jam from the egg man at the farmers market. I meant to have some, but by late morning it had all been eaten. Now this is not cause for pride. Bad chocolate, average cookies, really anything except the chili-spiced peanut brittle that comes Christmas time goes pretty quickly. Still, it was evidence the bread was edible.
Made this bread using the sponge method, basically a two-step dough process, which essentially grows a larger starter before mixing all of the dough's ingredients. All looked good, everything rose well, until realized when shaping for the final rise that the dough was too wet, a mistake that has been happening too often lately, something attributable to distraction and recent obsession with survival of the starters.
No pictures. Too rushed. Indeed, rushing does not equal good dough preparation practice. Something will not go right.
1/4 cup rye starter
1 1/4 cup bread flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/8 cup rye flour
2 tsp vital wheat gluten
2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp caraway seeds (and some more for the crust)
1. Mix water and starter. Immersion blender helps, but not necessary.
2. Mix all dry ingredients, EXCEPT the salt and the caraway seeds. I will call this the flour mix. (Then feed the starter.)
3. Add half the flour mix to the water/starter mix.
4. Mix well. This is the sponge, it is a soupy mix. Cover loosely with plastic. Leave overnight or all day.
5. In the bowl with the other half of the flour mix, add the salt and caraway seeds. Cover and leave on the counter.
6. In the morning, or at the end of the day, the sponge should be bubbly. Add the remainder of the flour mix. (Remember to make sure the salt and seeds have been added.)
7. Mix well. This will take about 10 minutes by hand. Add more flour if the dough is beyond sticky. This takes experience to determine the right consistency.
8. Left out dough for 11 1/2 hours. It rose well. Put in fridge.
9. Did usual stretch and fold, followed by about an hour and a half for a final rise. It was too wet and did not rise so well.
10. Place la cloche in oven. Preheat to 500 degrees.
11. Dough so wet, used parchment paper. Put on peel and in oven for 30 minutes.
12. Removed parchment paper and la cloche. Bread not looking like a disaster.
13. Reduce heat to 450 degrees. Leave bread in oven for another 12 minutes.
14. Remove and place on rack or on stove top for two hours.
Cannot say how it tasted, but worth making again if actually pay more attention to dough consistency. Mixing the dough in the morning before work not generally a good idea because more intent on rushing out the door than getting the dough consistency right.