Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bread - Number 16

Bread - Number 16: Sweet, yes, but I have sold out.

A white bread with a hint of whole wheat. Totally not the direction I want to take. Was showing my obsession by getting up in the middle of the night to check on the dough and move the process forward. This at a time when rest should have been my priority as a nasty infection that had been percolating took hold, which is why this post is weeks after the bread was made.

This recipe was from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread, though the instructions were not quite followed. Gave the new digital scale a try. Very weird using weights instead of measures. Can totally think in terms of cups, but not in terms of ounces or grams. Handy new digital scale, which worked beautifully.

Devoted to a sense of proportion and moderation, which is never  quite learned.

Ingredients and instructions by stage

1/4 cup starter
2.4 oz. bread flour
6 oz. water

Mixed and left overnight for about 13 1/4 hours. Did not read recipe instructions well and ended up skipping autolyse phase. Perhaps this was due to last bread, with disastrous autolyse. Also did not have sufficient time for another stage of the process.

12 oz. bread flour
1.6 oz. whole wheat flour (This is the equivalent of Winston Churchill looking at the Vermouth when making his Martini.)
1 tsp salt
7.4 oz. water

Mixed levain and dough ingredients. Added some water as it seemed impossible to incorporate all of the flour. Not sure whether this was a "ye of little faith" moment and ultimately added too much water. Actually only added about 1/8 cup extra. Dough was sticky, but all of the flour mixed in.

Every 50 minutes did a stretch and fold - that is two over the course of 2 1/2 hours. Did not know what to look for or shoot for and had zero confidence.

Dough became less sticky, but stickier perhaps than it should have been.

Shaped and left for two hours (book gave up to 2 1/2 hours for this phase).

[A nice, pretty much white bread.]

Preheated oven with baking stone and top of la choche. Turned on oven to 500 degrees about one hour prior to baking.

Reduced oven to 460 degrees when placing dough in oven. Used parchment paper to transfer dough from peel to baking stone due to great paranoia.

At 40 minutes, removed top of la cloche. Reduced heat to 400 degrees and left bread in for another four minutes.

[The cross slash works every time.  Still not seeing this as a sign.]

A beautiful bread with amazing crackling sounds emerged. Tasted good, but not a whole grain bread. Actually, due to extraneous factors, did not taste the bread for another day and a half. Easy to make a good white bread or a bread with just a little whole grains. Now must center myself and concentrate on the mission of making breads with a much higher proportion of whole grains.

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