Saturday, January 16, 2010
bread from Breadcetera.com,Steve B's website devoted to "professional quality baked goods from a home kitchen." I was quite worried about him because he hasn't blogged since June 14 of 2009. But then I noticed that he's been faithfully answering people's questions on his blog, so I could stop fretting about his well-being.
I made his version of white whole-wheat bread and grumbled about its being bitter. But there will be no grumbling about this bread. I wanted to try this bread for a few reasons: first, the photos on Steve B's blog looked gorgeous and second, I couldn't resist the title with its uber-scientific "double hydration" and double flour addition method. All it means is that you add both the water and the flour in two separate additions, which turns out not to be so mysterious after all. I got the gorgeous-looking bread, learned a few new techniques, and loved the taste of the ciabatta.
It starts out with a poolish that's mixed together quickly and left standing at room temperature for about 12 hours, so it's perfect to do the night before you're ready to start making the bread.
Oh, and by the way, this recipe specifically calls for King Arthur Organic Select Artisan Flour. They may have changed the name, but this is the closest I could get.
You mix everything together except for about 40 grams of water. It's a fairly wet dough as it is, but after mixing and mixing, and allowing to rest, you add the additional water just a little at a time.
Now I understand that "fun" is a relative concept, and if most people were asked to rate, say, 100 activities for their fun quality, and one of the 100 were "watching bread dough slowly absorb small amounts of water," that might, in a general election, come in last. But I get more enjoyment out of that than I would out of hang gliding, which doesn't sound at all fun.
You can see that after all the water is absorbed, it's a very wet dough.
Here's what the directions say: "After proofing, the dough peices are gently flipped onto a transfer peel and then slid from the transfer peel onto an oven peel." Huh? I though I was doing good to have a peel. I definitely don't have one that I consider my transfer peel. I have a peel. One.
So I hoisted both breads on a baking pan lined with parchment and placed the pan on an oven stone. I couldn't decide whether the loaves should be dimpled, so I dimpled just one.
If you're wondering what I made for January Coffee Hour #3, it was these cranberry scones:
I've already blogged about these, so I won't say anything more than that they're still about the best scone around: not dry, not too sweet, tender, flaky, and delicious. Add whatever you want. Make a glaze by brushing on cream and sprinkling on sugar (or not). They're hard to mess up.