I am a novice and so have no context for facts. Specifically, it is my understanding that the whole concept behind artisan bread making is that the retardation adds taste. Yes? I put the starter after an hour in the fridge and let the yeast sleep. Then the next day I mix in my flour mix and let it rise twice and then put it in the fridge again so the yeast can sleep and let the bacteria go to work. That at least is my concept. In R L Barenbaum's bread bible she makes baguettes with water at the temp of 75-90 degrees....But on the KA flour package in front of me their French baguettes require cool water for the Starter.
And again with Peter Rinehart and his very much loved Pain à l'Ancienne in his Bread Baker’s Apprentice lists the following recipe for baguettes with ice cold (40°F) water:
Days to Make: 2
Day 1: 10 to 15 minutes mixing
Day 2: 2 to 3 hours fermentation, shaping, and panning; 15 to 30 minutes baking
Makes 6 small baguettes, 6 to 8 pizzas, or one 17 by 12-inch focaccia
6 cups (27 ounces) unbleached bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons (.56 ounce) salt
1 3/4 teaspoons (.19 ounce) instant yeast
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons to 3 cups (19 to 24 ounces) water ice cold (40°F)
With that as preface I ask a simple question, why do so many recipes for regular bread call for warm water rather than ice cold water, if what we want is in fact taste and we can only get that with slow retardation and that to get that we know we must go to cold temps.
Can anyone understand my question? I sense that everyone else in the room knows the answer but me...gulp. Thanks, CB