Another Marginal Success ... A Pattern Developing?
Another day, another loaf. Same concept here, use the "My Daily Bread" recipe as a basis for modification. In this case it is also a basis for education.
CONCLUSION(S): I think that I have been chronically underproofing my loaves and I think the "retarding" in the fridge is really exacerbating this problem ... so in the next loaf I'll wait longer for the final rise. I also have been very loosey-goosey with my measuring, I don't like this approach (mostly because I am not sure of the final hydration) and therefore I'll 1) formulate a recipe and 2) follow it.
The bread looks OK (well, OK, it looks bad), smells nice, and I lopped a slice off an the taste is good. Crumb is a bit on the dense side but once it cools off a bit more and dries a little it should be pretty good.
1 cup fed starter, at peak of rise
1 cup filtered water
1 cup unbleached AP flour
1 teaspoon of Greek yogurt (for the LAB bacteria)
Mix and let sit 8 hours (or overnight) in a warm room to ferment. (I left the sponge out overnight and then didn’t use it until after I got back from work … total fermentation time = 16 hours). (The sponge rose significantly … easily 2x in volume)
1 pound unbleached AP flour
12 ounces filtered water
Place ingredients in a mixer and mix at low speed until the flour and water are just combined. Leave in the mixing bowl, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours (or overnight) in a warm room to autolyse. (I left the dough out with the sponge, as noted previously I left the sponge out for 16 hours, so the autolyse was also 16 hours).
Pour/scrape the sponge into the dough. Attach the dough hook to the mixing machine and knead until the dough and sponge are combined (the dough was like batter). At this point I add flour until a high hydration dough is achieved, then once the flour is incorporated I let the machine knead at lowest speed for 5 minutes. (I did this before going to bed)(this is where I made my first mistake … I had not planned on a recipe or a target hydration, so I did not measure the amount of flour used … I have no idea what the hydration was).
Leave the final dough out for bulk fermentation. (The final dough was left in a warm room overnight (about 7 hours)). (the next morning the dough had risen TREMENDOUSLY … it had easily doubled in volume).
Add salt and knead for 5 minutes at lowest mixer speed using dough hook. (I realized that morning that I had forgotten to add the salt, however I had planned on kneading anyways so no problem ... I think).
Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, and cover. Let rest for 3 hours in a warm room.
Knead using mixer for 5 minutes at lowest speed using dough hook.
Leave the dough in the mixing bowl and cover.
Place dough in a cold room for 8 hours (or overnight). Remove dough from bowl and shape. (this is where I made another mistake … the dough was very loose and I tried folding it … it stayed very loose. I was thinking of shaping it into batards but I decided against it because I was worried the loaves would over proof, so I decided to place the entire dough ball into a bundt pan (I’ve used the pan previously for Portuguese sweet bread with great success). I left the dough in the warm room for about an hour and it rose very slowly. I then warmed my oven to ~90 F and put the dough in there for about an hour. The dough rose a fair amount (not doubled, though) and after the final bake I’m convinced that it should have stayed out in the warm room all day for proofing).
Bake at 530F for 15 minutes, then 480F for 15 minutes; use a baking stone and a small metal bowl with water for steam. Cook until an internal temperature of 200F is achieved (I cooked until following this protocol but the internal temp wasn’t 200F at the end of the 480F bake so it stayed in the oven for another 15 minutes at 480F until 206F was attained).