I made my pain sur poolish today. I was eyeballing the salt and intentionally added a little more than usual, but I think it overdid it. It wasn't bad, but it just had that puckered look and listlessness it gets when you add too much salt. So it goes.
I rose my sourdough overnight last night, shaped it this morning, and baked it around noon. By the time I got my camera out, one loaf had been devoured and the second was reduced to this:
One thing to note: I forgot it and left it in the oven an extra 10 minutes or so. Every time I do this I am pleased with the result. Dark bread is well-baked bread!
I also tried the Lavash crackers from the BBA:
Eh... I didn't roll it thin enough, so it was more like a flat bread than a cracker. I also found the dough to be sweeter than what I'd expected. Perhaps this is the nature of lavash, I don't know. Next time I'll roll them out thinner and leave out the honey.
I also baked a buttermilk sandwich bread with some cake yeast I was given by a friend (Catlikethief). I'd never tried the stuff before. It smelled foul when I took it out of the fridge, but it definitely did the trick. I'll be interested to taste the bread in the morning to see if the flavor is at all different.
I found this photo in my camera. This was a straight up French bread, like a 65-2-1 combo. It had a 3 hour poolish, with wasn't enough to make a big difference, but it tasted pretty good.
Today I tried baking something similar though with an overnight poolish. I got distracted playing with the kids and let it rise about half an hour longer than I should have. It was huge. When I tried loosening it up on the peel so I could slide it into the oven, it went pffffffft... and deflated by about 40 percent. I got a little bit of spring back in the oven, but, alas, nothing like what it was prior.
My sourdough I timed much better, however. This was just with cheap-o store brand AP flour too, since I've not gotten a chance to pick up another big bag of Pendleton Mills bread flour.
Finally, I also made melon bread this afternoon. A yummy afternoon treat.
Pretty cool. The site has done much better than I imagined it would and been, with very few exceptions, a real treat to manage. My thanks to all who have made it so.
On the baking front, I'm going to be trying a couple of batches from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Their brioche comes highly recommended, so I'm looking forward to trying that. I've still never made brioche that I found highly satisfying.
I applied a bunch of system patches, did a server reboot, and upgraded to the latest version of Drupal today. The server took about 5 minutes to come back, which is longer than usual, and just long enough to make me worry that I was going to have to spend the rest of my day emailing back and forth with tech support. Happily, it looks like everything came back fine.
Some french bread I put together quickly for a pot of black bean soup. Not world class bread, but great for mopping up the soup.
My Christmas Stollen. I used the Peter Reinhart recipe. I changed a few things, like using Amaretto instead of Grand Marnier and dried cranberries instead of raisins. I was very pleased with the results.