Tuesday, October 3
Remember that whole thing about how I was going to conquer bread? How I was determined to make an edible loaf? Well thanks to Mr. Daniel Leader and his book, I have succeeded. I've spent the last two days following his step by step directions on how to make a good loaf of country bread. I read, several times, the breakdown of what happens in the milling process of wheat. I can even tell you what the difference is between whole wheat and white flour.
The end result, however, was that tonight we actually ate the bread I baked. That's a first, and I've made a lot of bread.
So I started out fermenting the poolish. Here it is nicely bubbling.
Once I mixed in the other ingredients, I kneaded that sucker for 20 minutes. That's a serious workout.
Here are my two loaves proofing (that's rising for the second time in their baskets, or in this case bowls.
And here they are baking in my oven.
What I learned by using an oven thermometer is that if I set the oven to 400, it cooks at 475, and then if I turn it down to 350, in 10 minutes it'll be at 300. Fabulous, I know. So I'm working out the kinks of how to actually bake in it.
Regardless the final product was not only edible, it was tasty.
I think using organic stone ground flour makes a huge difference. It tastes like good bread instead of cardboard. Now I'm moving on to the more elaborate recipes.
If you've ever considered baking bread you must first buy this book Bread Alone. Seriously, do yourself and your bread tasters this favor. You'll thank me.