Three Breads. One Day.
Loaf 1: ~5lb Sourdough High Extraction Miche Type loaf
Loaf 2: Garlic Explosion (Garlixplosion?) W/ Cheese
Loaf 3: Spinach and Feta Cheese with Caramelized Onions.
They were all around 65-70% hydration doughs, all with a small amount of sourdough culture thrown in as a preferment/leavening. The miche was leavened solely by the sourdough, I added some active dry yeast to the other two.
Garlic!! SO MUCH GARLIC!! (Many liked it. A few picked out the cloves. One was weak, and just barely finished her piece. Muahahahahaha!!!) I used shredded cheddar and parmesan cheeses here, since they were already in our fridge, though I think that it would indeed be better with chunks. On the other hand, the cheese that was at the crust gave a fantastically unusually textured, but tasty crust. It was thick, but not hard, and was kinda flakey. I can't really describe it well, but it was very strange/good. I also added dried rosemary and ground oregano to it, but I would very much prefer fresh herbs to dried / powders.
Spinach/Feta/Onion. A little weak on the salty/feta taste. The cheese didn't pack the flavor I was used to from feta cheese, so I think next time I will go with a French feta, as opposed to this greek style, and in a larger quantity. Very spinachy flavor though. This had about 25% chopped spinach, drained, by flour weight. It sprung up well, but I was hoping for a bit more. Maybe longer proof/more yeast next time.
Spinach Exterior. A bit dark. I've found that my loaves get quite dark before they're fully baked, and I wait longer with the temperature turned down at the end after at hot start. Maybe if I started it at a lower temp? Or turned it down sooner?
Inside the MICHE! This guy was huge. I think 5lbs of dough is my largest boule yet. This one took quite a while to bake, I think it was over an hour. Since I'm baking for a lot of people, I figured I would make this unflavored bread in a large amount. Aaaannndddd I felt like one loaf would be easier to deal with than 2-3. Hence, this. Someone said it was the size/weight of a newborn child. I think I'll name it alfred.
It surprised me. I slashed it in a circular sort of 8pointed compass style, and it expanded beyond that, splitting down the middle. You know alfred, I'm sorry I even tried. Clearly you didn't want to cooperate, so you went and did your own thing. I thought it might look nice the way I cut you, but no, you HAD to disagree. Now you look like some kind of tribal, african mask, and I can't even claim that it was my idea.....oh how can I stay mad at you? You're so tasty.....(i think alfred is now 2/3 of its original size...ish.)
The Triforce. Garlic in front. Spinach to the left, Miche on the right. Hungry onlookers out of frame.
I would really like to figure out how to have the bread color and be fully baked at the same time. I've been using a stone and preheating to about 425-450 or so and then turning it down about 15-20 minutes in....which might be my problem. Maybe if I start it slightly lower, or didn't wait so long to drop the temperature...