I am using up the bag of Rustic Country flour today. The first loaf did not make it as far as The Toast Test and was wiped out with the egg mayo and cress last night (delicious, since you are asking.)
Today’s loaf sees a few modifications:
- More care and better planning
- A little extra water to make a slacker dough and easier kneading
- Olive oil subs for butter
- I added the salt after the 5 minute resting period and kneaded it in, using the Bertinet method
- Kneaded for 5 minutes then rested for 5 minutes
- Kneaded for a further 5 minutes
- Rested for 10 minutes before shaping and leaving to rise for an hour
- Actually measured my dough shape against the profile of the loaf pan
Whatever happened to the Golden Rule of “change one variable at a time” ?
If I thought 8, above, was clever, I need to think again. My dough rose and spread, and ended up both far too long and far too wide for the pan. It crumpled and sagged as I attempted to squish it in. Verdict? I over-rose my bread and then panicked instead of just dealing with it. What I should have done was to knock it back and re-form it and then give it a short rise before baking.
The result? An artistically crumpled loaf.
It’s a great crust, though – and tasty bread.
The learning curve with this baker seems to be steep. I liked the loaf that it made the other day. It was good to have sandwich-shaped sandwiches too. I would like to think that I will persevere but I fancy that it will become a white elephant in my kitchen and I shall return to free-form bread making. There’s not much wrong with a simple cob, is there?