Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A round loaf is a thing of beauty

Not been around lately, what with going on holiday for a few days (back to Menton if you wanted to ask), moving my Mum into sheltered housing and losing internet access...

My starters though managed quite happily through the mess of my life, calmly sitting in the fridge gently bubbling and smiling to themselves. Time for the White One to come to the fore again I thought. And it was so strong! I fed it up over two days, and it was bubbling like a little volcano. There is no doubt that as these two starters are getting older they are more and more reliable.

So, using Hamelman's trusty Pain de Campagne again as my base recipe, substituting 200g of rye flour for the same of plain, I decided to try out my newest acquisitions, 2 lovely cane bannetons bought from eBay for a very good sharp price...

The last couple of times I have baked, I have left the dough in the fridge overnight, but the timings didn't work for me this time, so this was made and baked in the one day. I think the flavour in the overnight is perhaps a little more rounded, and I think also that I like a little more rye than this had, but it is still a good bread.

Doesn't it look lovely? I did make two, but the other pictures didn't come out well (and this is a bit dodgy) but it does show the lovely break in the crust.

Now, I know that properly speaking, it is not supposed to do that, it should have been proofed a bit longer so it just opened out the slashes, and didn't actually make a break for the border, but I love the texture of these explosions, so I am not at all unhappy.

And the crumb is nice and not too big holey, just perfect for toast in the morning.

Because, even though holes are nice, your Marmite falling into your lap is perhaps less than desirable.

I think that is it for my basic Rye and Wheat Sourdough, I think my "journey" is played out, it is now a good staple, easy to do, no problem. Start on Thursday evening with first feeding, feed again on Friday evening, ferment and fold on Saturday, bake on Sunday. It sounds a lot of faffing about, but it is so easy and quick each time, just a question of minutes. Well worth it.

Next challenge is to find a recipe for a white loaf that will give me the same flavour I remember from when I was a child, and all bread was baked by small bakeries on the premises. I want a fat, luscious bloomer. All slashes and poppy seeds, and soft swirly crumb.

Any suggestions gratefully received...