Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bread: Some Thoughts

Yay Bread!
It was finally cool enough to make some bread today and my sourdough starter was begging to be used, so I made some bread while I wrote the first draft of my paper on the Parthenon Frieze.

So it may not be my prettiest loaf, but it was quite a success. I took it out of the oven and it was light as a feather, which means that it actually worked. I have had little success with this recipe, Norwich More Sour Sourdough from Wild Yeast, and this is the first one that turned out perfectly I scored it with the new beautiful lame that I got for my birthday. It was hard to use because the blade was curved and I wasn't used to it, but it made a beautiful ear on the bread.
The Ear
The crust sang beautifully. It crackled nicely when I bit into it and looked lovely, although I might have left it in the oven for a few more minutes. I did change the cooking time. The steaming was 27 minutes and the crisping was 10 minutes (took out when the internal temperature reached 212 degrees F).
The bread was fabulously flavorful. 75g of the starter I used were whole wheat in order to increase the flavor and it was miraculous and I increased the hydration percentage to 78% instead of 68% in the original recipe. Unfortunately this meant that I did not develop quite the interior crumb that I wanted, but it still was nice and airy on the inside. Yum!

I did realize that I may need to recalibrate my thermometer that I use to check whether the bread is ready after reading a blogpost today, but I will just have to do that before the next loaf.

Note 09/02/11: We finished off the first loaf today. Further in the crumb looked a bit better.

When I made this loaf, I made a second one which I putin the refrigerator for 16 hours. Servia cooked it while Propertius II and I talked about the beginning of Iliad Book 14. She slashed it in the shape of a sun and I thought it was very cute.

The differences between the two: 1) both had flavor, the cold fermentation loaf was more sour a and a little more flavorful but a little less wheaty. 2) I baked the cold fermenation one slightly longer: 30 minutes under steam (because it came right out of the refridgerator) and 10 minutes crisping. The crust was a little thinner and it was more crispy than crunchy. Still lovely. 3) The crumb was better on cold fermentation. 4) There was less oven spring on cold fermentation.
Servia's Sun
Cold Fermentation Crumb