In my quest to make better bread I have gathered information from almost any resource. Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice has become a go-to book when I want to bake. One day I was perusing random websites and I happened upon a blog called "Pinch My Salt". This blog included a number of amateur bakers making each recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice in order. I thought this might be a cheaper alternative to making beer considering I do not currently have the funds.
Yesterday afternoon I mixed together the cornmeal and water and let it sit out overnight. The bowl on the bottom of the picture is about 2 cups of flour, the cornmeal mixture, and yeast. The other two bowls are pizza dough and a poolish.
I let the soaker/sponge sit out for a couple hours until it was gurgling CO2 at me. I mixed the sponge with the remaining 2.5 cups flour, 1.5 tsp salt, 1oz shortening and 4oz of molasses . When I stirred everything together it still seemed too wet, so I mixed in some more flour during the kneading. the dough was lightly oiled in a bowl and set to ferment for a few hours. I removed the dough, knocked it down, and formed a couple boules.
I didn't want to make sandwich loaves because I really like free form loaves and the shape of boules. The final proofing lasted for about an hour before taking them to be scored and baked. The loaves scored nicely but I lack a peel, as a result I accidently deflated some of the loaf during transfer to the oven. Thankfully I had a decent amount of oven spring.
The loaves turned out fine, I can only imagine how they would have looked if I hadn't deflated them, I guess it's time to look into making a peel. I look forward to the next stage in the BBA challenge and as always look for improvement.
Cheers and Happy Baking