Thursday, 17 February 2011
Such a thing of beauty coming out of the oven has prompted me to post another bread-based blog offering.
I am developing quite a specific set of requirements in the bread-making process... Relative density in time and space; how very Dr Who.
Density- mixing the sour-dough starter with flour into a dough with just enough water so it's not too sloppy and wet and not too dry and tight. The dough can then be kneaded til it is firm and springy.
Time and space- leaving the springy dough for just the right amount of time so that it proves to a nice tight dome in the baking tray. Too small a tray will make the loaf very dense, too large will make it flat so selecting the right tray for the dough quantity is vital. Too much time will let the dough over-proove and go sludgy.
Once these factors are within tolerance you then have to get the temperature and baking time right. I normally set the oven at about 200 and go play on the Internet until I get the faintest whiff of cooking. Tapping the bottom of the loaf should give a pleasing thud or it could do with another few minutes. Burning is never a good smell so avoid that.
All of this is done by feel as I'm not the sort of cook that likes to measure or time anything.