Besides the croissants in the last post I did quite a lot of bread baking in the past two weeks. Some experimenting, some successful and some not, but not too much experimenting either as I want some edible bread in the end.
A while ago I seemed to have lost the touch with my main bread formula: Tartine. I decided to feed my starter twice per day with warm 37-38°C water, which seems to have made it a lot more active and better tasting as well. The levain I am making with the starter is now also done with warm water resulting in the levain being ready within 3 hours with much better flavor; more sweet and mild rather than sour.
Next up will be some experimenting with higher percentages of whole wheat and/or high extraction flour.
I have had a couple of tries at croissants but let go as I found it too much trouble and the results were rather lame.
In the week before Easter I had another try as I thought it would be the right thing to have for Easter breakfast. To my amazement the lamination of the dough went a lot better than before. I could feel that the dough was stronger and the butter didn’t ‘melt’ into the dough while rolling it out. The results were quite impressive, though I did find them a little on the small side.
Today I had another go. I was on a roll (pun intended) after all. The results were even better. The photo’s only show one half of the bake but I am so happy with the results that I just have to show them here.
So I have been baking baguettes every week now for the past month and I’d like to think that I am getting somewhat consistent results. However, I do find that sometimes the crumb differs from one bake to the next.
Last weekend I baked two batches of four baguettes each and the first batch came out exactly how I like them, crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, while the second batch had a dryer crumb. The taste was still good, though.
I will continue to bake these on a weekly basis and strive for more consistancy and possibly improvement.
Last weekend was packed with baking. Lots of different types of bread as well this time: A variation on pain de campagne, a mixed seed sandwich loaf, sourdough wheat and spelt loaf and baguettes.
All these were more or less succesful. The baguettes and sourdough spelt loafs came out very good, though the final shape of the spelt ones could have been a little better. Having said that the structure was great with some irregular holes.
The mixed seed sandwhich loaf had great flavor but it probably could have done with a bit more baking as the crumb was a little too moist. I also found the crumb a little too compact. Maybe it should have proofed a but longer. Not sure. But it’s a recipe I will try again.
As for the pain de campagne, or my version of it. I little more dense than I expected but the flavor was great. It made a perfect sandwhich for lunch.
See the photo’s to get an idea of how my breads turned out.
I think we have enough bread to last for 2 weeks but I am sure I will be baking again next weekend.