Have you ever made a loaf of bread that turned out really, really well, better, in fact, than you ever would have thought possible, and then find yourself utterly incapable of making it again? This is that loaf.
It was a revelation. Shocking, actually, because of how different it was from previous attempts at the same basic bread. It was a long, cold fermented 100%WW sourdough – just flour, water and salt. But the crumb was open, soft, and fluffy like no other WW sourdough I’ve baked. The crust, too, was remarkable – thin, yet toothsome. It even stayed fresh for an uncanny length of time.
I am not including the formula here. Whatever happened that day clearly had nothing to do with what was on the page, because, try as I might, I haven’t baked anything like it since. And, oh, how I’ve tried. The original formula doesn’t really even exist anymore, because I eventually I grew frustrated and began tinkering with it to try and find the elusive x-factor.
In time I managed to move on. I hardly think about it anymore, really. When I stumbled across this photo I felt I should share the tale, as I can’t be the first and won’t be the last person to go through this.
But occasionally I still wonder… what happened that day? An exceptional bag of flour? An accidental flour mix-up? An extra ingredient that was meant for the other thing I was making that day (whatever that may have been)? Pixie dust in my starter? Maybe someday I’ll know, maybe someday…